Katrina vanden Heuvel on Gorbachev’s legacy and the Ukraine proxy war

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“We need to not treat the idea of peace as subversive.”

Katrina vanden Heuvel, publisher and editorial director of The Nation, predicts a dark cold war ahead if our leaders continue their craven militarism. The first step, she says, is talking about it openly, which, sadly, the media won’t do.

“The crisis is on us. And there’s a lack not only of preparedness but of thinking about the crisis.”

Katrina, who was close with the late Mikhail Gorbachev, shares the leader’s personal thoughts on peace, nuclear weapons, and the worsening relationship between US and Russian presidents. She calls Gorbachev “a great reformer in his country’s tormented history.” And shares some private stories about him too. And she reflects on her late husband, scholar Stephen Cohen, when we react to a video of him offering a very prescient analysis of the new Cold War.

Plus, Biden does fascist Roger Waters, Liz Truss wants to nuke you, and the latest in terrible Trump-themed drinks.

It’s all this, and more, on this week’s episode of Useful Idiots. Check it out.

0:00 Intro
3:13 Four food groups of news
20:10 Aaron’s book club
21:12 Stoned moment
24:14 Katrina vanden Heuvel interview

Written by usefulidiots


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  1. Gregg Palast did a story for BBC, and later for Harper's and other publications, about the 2000 elections in Florida. He offered some pretty convincing evidence that Florida had illegally disqualified black voters, based on a sham "felon voter" matching system. We all know that Florida doesn't want blacksxxxxxx felons voting. Florida may have disqualified enough black voters to swing the election. I don't understand why the Democrats didn't object to these illegal racial disqualifications.

    The other problem with the 2000 election in Florida was that Florida law counts votes according to the intention of the voter, even if the voter mistakenly voted for someone else. Because of the butterfly ballots, large numbers of Jewish voters voted for Pat Buchanan. Even Buchanan himself said he didn't think Jewish voters would vote for him. I don't understand why the Democrats didn't demand a recount based on the intention of the voter.

    These Democrats are such assholes. They might have won the 2000 election if they had fought for it. Although the 5-4 Supreme Court might have given it to the Republicans whatever the facts.

  2. Did he open the country or did he open the country for mass privatization and purchase of state property by western financiers? Resulting in the extraction of all wealth to the west And the destruction of society. That’s the source of distaste some feel for him.

  3. Can all in left-YT please start educating people about both: (1) the difference between right-authoritarian vs. right-libertarian; & (2) the difference between left-authoritarian vs left-libertarian? It’s long overdue. People aren’t cattle or sheep: They will understand if we educate them.
    Though we need to educate (& learn) about all the nuance.

  4. They also cheered to Elinsky´s announcement on the security council in Munich in February 2022 when he said that Ukraine no longer feels bound to the Budapest memorandum meaning they wanted nuclear weapons in the future.

  5. You both do such good work and I feel better seeing this video although am so unhopeful of our political situation. (There is a major wild conspiracy theory that took over our world after the events of 9/11/01. It is
    taboo to discuss any evidence of another explanation including scientific evidence.)

  6. When I see an Orange Julius sign I get like a twinge of nostalgia and I think “awwww I’m glad that’s still around” but then I don’t go buy one so I have no idea if they still taste the same.

  7. I love this leftist. So Russia and the Soviet Union they are no Empire nor were they an Empire, but the USA ist. Holy fuck. It is a "multi-ethnic" country. Yeah, and that is why overwhelmingly members of minorities out of Eastern Russia are now fighting and dying in an war of annihilation in Ukraine.

    And by they way: It is they right of every free and democratic country to join any Alliance they choose to. That includes NATO. And eastern european countries, esepecially the small ones bordering Russia, rushed into NATO for a reason: It was the gurantee for their independance and freedom.

  8. I lived through Gorbachev times. It was really bizarre, suddenly we started having all kinds of economic problems. All those propaganda videos you see in the west about Soviet people standing in line to by food are from those times. He might have had good intentions, but you don't deal with alcohol addiction by cutting down old priceless wineries, as he did People were really baffled about what the hell he was doing. And as time goes by, it gets more clear that he was criminally naive, especially in geopolitical questions and in many cases just stupid, especially when it comes to economy.

  9. Only 60.5k subscribers on the usefulidiots channel is a data point that explains why the US has its corrupt government, why its uniformed voters still vote for Democrats and Republicans, and why the oligarchs don’t even bother to manufacture consent anymore.

  10. Pretty fawning liberal take on "great reformer" Gorbachev, the useful idiot who threw millions of people into devastating poverty. Paul Jay has a much more insightful interview with Aleksandr Buzgalin on Gorbachev and the final days of the Soviet Union that everyone should check out.

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