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The “Red” and the Brown


Hitler-Stalin Pact — whoops, I mean Compact — magazine has issued a pro-Russian-imperialism letter signed by a who’s who of toxic pundits who prefer fascism to liberalism:

  • Sohrab Ahmari – Compact
  • Helen Andrews – The American Conservative
  • Michael Anton – The Claremont Institute
  • Edwin Aponte – Compact
  • Dan Caldwell – Stand Together
  • Vivek Chibber – Catalyst Journal
  • Freddie deBoer – Independent Journalist
  • Patrick Deneen – University of Notre Dame
  • Emile Doak – The American Conservative
  • Thomas Fazi – Independent Journalist
  • Ashley Frawley – Swansea University
  • David Goldman – Asia Times
  • Pedro Gonzalez – Chronicles
  • Glenn Greenwald – Independent Journalist
  • Josh Hammer – Newsweek
  • Mary Harrington – UnHerd
  • George Hoare – Independent Journalist
  • Murtaza Hussain – The Intercept
  • Elena Louisa Lange – University of Zurich
  • Daniel J. Mahoney – Assumption University (Emeritus)
  • Shant Mesrobian – Inquire
  • Arta Moeini – Institute for Peace & Diplomacy
  • Samuel Moyn – Yale Law School
  • Angela Nagle – Independent Journalist
  • Gladden Pappin – University of Dallas
  • Darel Paul – Williams College
  • Chad Pecknold – Catholic University of America
  • Nina Power – Compact
  • Christopher Rufo – Writer and Activist
  • Matthew Schmitz – Compact
  • Geoff Shullenberger – New York University
  • Ryan Williams – The Claremont Institute


The quality of its arguments is roughly what you’d expect from the signatories:

Foremost among the victims are the Ukrainian people. They bear the brunt of Russia’s aggression and of the attempt to bog down Moscow in a long, devastating insurgency. Ordinary Russians, meanwhile, are caught in the dragnet of indiscriminate Western sanctions. 

Ah, yes, the insurgency isn’t a direct result of an unprovoked imperialist invasion, but a nefarious conspiracy foisted upon Ukraine by NATO. (A conspiracy Putin could foil at any time by simply ending the war.) And they’re not saying that they support the invasion of Mister Putin, whom they do not support, just that it wrong to resist Putin’s invasion with either military force or economic sanctions.

Another problem with The Harper’s Letter for Even More Gullible Stooges is that pretty much the entire actual American left opposes direct American military intervention or making regime change in Russia a goal. But they have a way around that:

President Biden recently described the confrontation with Moscow as a long war “between democracy and autocracy.” Similarly grandiose rhetoric ensnared the West in the quicksand of the Middle East after 9/11, costing hundreds of thousands of lives and untold treasure.

If you point out that Mister Putin — whom, I remind you, they most definitely do not support — is a bloodthirsty authoritarian, you must be calling for regime change, which therefore only professional Putin apologists really oppose. CHECKMATE LIBS! I also note that Putin’s rhetoric (which was actually used to justify an imperialist invasion) falsely suggesting that Ukraine is saturated with Nazis does not come in for any criticism, which would indeed be awkward given how many of the letter’s signatories were pushing this propaganda point as Putin prepared to invade.

Anyway, all we need is “good-faith negotiations toward a permanent peace that takes into account Ukraine’s right to self-determination and Russia’s legitimate [sic] security needs,” which can easily be done once Ukraine unilaterally surrenders. It’s exactly the quality of argument one would expect from a group led by a maniacal hack who thinks that if democracy permits drag queens to do public readings at libraries democracy has to go.

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