This article is the transcript of a live ‘interview’ show done regularly by journalists Gregg Stebben and Tomasz Nadrowski. In this show, we dissect Putin’s invasion of Ukraine to reveal tyranny’s presence and spread around the world in China, Taiwan, Iran, Turkey, Hungary, North Korea, and beyond.. Please excuse any transcript errors in this article.
Gregg Stebben: Okay , everybody. It’s, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. It’s the thing you’ve been asking for. How do we get more? Tomasz? If you’re a regular here you know, Tomasz, and we’re going to get more. Tomasz, we’re going to get a weekly dose of Tomasz even you, Jasper. Are going to get Tomasz, even when you’re in Scotland.
As you know, Tomasz is gonna join us every Wednesday, 11:00 AM Eastern, starting today. I’m gonna invite, invite in a minute or two. We’ll let some people stroll in here. A couple of things I wanna let you know. The show page for this new show, which is called Tyranny Today, Ukraine, Russia, China, Taiwan, and Beyond.
The show page now has, and I’m gonna put a link to it because Lucas showed me, oh, wait till you see this. This is gonna be the coolest thing. Watch this. Look, it’s a link. Tell me if you click that, if you get to go to the show page, someone tests that for me Anyway, Lucas showed me how to do that. If you go to that show page.
Thank you Jasper. It’s great to see you. If you go to that show page, All of the recorded shows we have of Tomasz are now there. You can watch them, you can share them, you can sign up for the future shows with Tomasz. We’re really excited about that. And today’s show will be added as soon as we can add it today.
Maybe might be as late as tomorrow, but our goal is to add each week’s show as quickly as we can so that there’s a full archive there. And of course tomorrow there’s a show at 11:00 AM at the same time with Ilia Poff. And I encourage you to join that show as well. And watch this. This is gonna be so cool.
Watch where to find the show page right here. Right there, Jasper. There it is. I think if you click that, that’s gonna take you to the show with Ilia Ponomarev And I think if you click, I’m gonna put the show for today, the link for today’s show in there. I’m just so excited that Lucas showed me how to do this, that I’m just gonna do it all day long.
So, okay, let’s get Tomasz in here because really we want to hear from him, not me, frankly. So let’s go here is Tomasz and here Tomasz. I have invited you and join us quickly, so I’ll stop talking and you can start. And thank you everybody for being here. There is Tomasz. This is great. I’m so excited.
Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thanks for doing the weekly show. I’m trying to adjust things so I can look you in the, and look in the camera at the same time. Thank you for being here.
Tomasz: Super great. Thanks for having me.
Gregg Stebben: So it’s been an interesting week. I think you were here actually a week ago, and a lot has happened in the week since.
And one of the things I want to talk about, although I know you only want to talk about it briefly, is all the chatter about appeasement from France, from other countries in Europe, from Henry Kissinger, and what is appeasement? Why are we hearing so much about it? And what does Ukraine, how does Ukraine respond to this?
Tomasz: So first and foremost, the question is why are we having this wave of appeasement calls? This is probably a recognition in most capitals around the world and outside that this war will last potentially for a long time. So neither Russia is really achieving its strategic objectives as fast as it planned to, nor is Ukraine yet in a counter offensive mode, at least not.
The time being. Couple of things need to happen on the battlefield to change the former or the latter. But there is after three months certain amount of fatigue in certain places and people would like to go back to the world as it was before February 24th. Spoiler alert, the world is not going back to.
February 23rd, like, the world is not going back to pre covid, you know, a broader discussion we can have about, about that. So what is, what is appeasement in general? It’s a widely discredited element of the so-called realist thinking in politics which had some, you know, positive externalities, not at some point during the Cold War was helpful to tie the west and the east in some form of dialogue.
But, but this realism as we know it now you’ll. , it’s possibly among many of your interlocutors. People say, well, it’s enough. You know, let’s just, let’s just stop this. There’s no chance that Europe, Ukraine can win this and things can only get worse. Or spill over to other countries, or, or, you know, are we risk maybe nuclear clash?
And look at the the blockade of support and all the problems with exporting grain from Ukraine. This creates all these problems, so let’s just, let’s just freeze it. A couple of problems with this, and I would give you three arguments that you can use if you are confronted with the so-called realist thinking.
So the first one is, is that realism in its appeasement version views global geopolitics and global geoeconomics as close systems. In fact, there are open systems and open systems are very complex, and in those op open systems, the aggressive party. Will make you believe that there is only one goal.
After which everything will be fine. We’ll just take Donbass and the peace will reign over Europe. We’ll only take over Taiwan and there will be peace in Asia-Pacific, and so on and so forth. And we know from history, that’s not true. That’s not how the aggressive autocratic regimes function. And so by doing this you essentially open the Pandoras box for subsequent conflict.
Because it’s an open-ended system, you’ll never negotiate the end of an autocratic ruler by applying a realistic benchmark. So that’s, that’s the first thing. The second issue is that by doing this, you give away the sort of escalation initiative. So this is important. Any negotiation, but in particular in military terms.
You know, if someone has the initiative to escalate and deescalate, that’s half of the win. And in fact, for the last 22 years, Putin has had escalatory initiative because by freezing any conflict, it’s his gained right to restart again whenever he wants, right? And hence the importance of this relatively mid-size economy like Russia for the rest of the world.
The West is not interested in Russia because of its stellar innovation. It’s not interested in engaging in Russia to learn something about governance. It has very little to actually learn from, from Russia today. Except it has to deal with it because this is this bully that escalates and deescalates, and whenever it escalates, then it sends troops to bring peace, you know, peace between Armenia and asja.
And of course, some of that conflict is not necessarily entirely out of Russia initiative, but Russia has used its power to reopen and, and close it. Stra a classic example in in, in Moldova and of course Georgia and of course Ukraine and hybrid attacks on either the Baltic countries or Sweden and so on.
So that’s the second problem. You just give away the initiative. The third issue of realism appeasement is that it poses kind of a moral equivalence between the west and. The aggressive autocratic regimes such as Russia and China. And you know, just, I think last week I listened to Ray Dalio, who’s a very prominent hedge funder up here in Connecticut, who over last couple of months raised his third China fund.
Tomasz: So he’s invested in China as just everybody else is running away. And remember in a, in a, in a discussion I think on CN bbc, they asked him about the concentration camps in Xinjiang and his answer was, sorry. You know human rights are not my expertise, but his recent interview that you can find on YouTube, he picks up elements of Putin’s propaganda about the so-called Eastern expansion of nato by saying what I actually saw for the first time when I worked for a hedge fund myself in Charlotte, North Carolina.
What is this? 14 years ago during the global financial crisis and Russia invaded Georgia and from the same sort of Wall Street Realist school, I heard Well, it’s, it’s, it’s understandable. It’s their backyard. It’s, it’s their right. What if suddenly they put something like this in, you know, in our backyard we were reacting Exactly.
In the same way. Yes. So my answer to Mr. Dalio and, and realist like him is like, we don’t react the same. We’ve been living with, you know, tyrannical Cuba for 60 years, somehow okay with not much of economic exchange. But we have not bombarded Cuba. We have not raped their women. We have not looted their shops in which there’s nothing to loo from in the first place.
we haven’t done any of these things that Putin is doing in his near border, nor have we actually done anything significant to Vanessa. Well, in fact, we are negotiating with this regime right now because we need them. And they actually need us. Yes, in the current oil embargo scenario. And then take Nicaragua, China basically purchased Nicaragua late last year, I think in November last year.
Entrenching Ortegas regime. What have we. next to nothing. So I’m not saying there’s nothing going on covertly, but we actually are not invading other countries, even in our backyard when it’s, when something happens that’s of, from the national security perspective, quite potentially threatening to our interests.
We don’t act like this. So there is no moral equivalence. And so this, this compares on, you know, na NATO expansion. This is, you know, understandable because you have to think Russia, you know, Napoleon, Hitler, you can’t compare. , the organization, which is a defensive treaty to nepals or, or Hitler’s colonialist ambitions in the East.
There is no comparison. NATO does not design any attack on, on Russia or indeed any other country, right? So purely defensive, defensive treaty. And as we know, countries want to be within this defensive treaty, and this is. Expands. It doesn’t expand. It just adopts members or new members who are willing to to join And, you know, the, the entire realist or appeasement style argument, you know, put in head to invade Ukraine because look, it could become a member of nato.
Well, it invaded Ukraine because it’s not a member of nara, right? That’s, that’s where the predictive power of realism stops. Russia has never attacked a nato. , it invaded Hungary, which was not NATO country. Czechoslovakia Afghanistan had a border conflict with prc, had a winter war with Finland invaded, Georgia, Ukraine, you name it.
None of these are NATO countries. Right. And likewise. after Finland and and Sweden eventually join nato, Russia will not invite, invite them. So the, the, the you, you can turn against the appeasement by saying, in 2008, when Angela Merkel and Sarcozi president of France blocked the, the fast track for Ukraine and Georgia to join nato, they laid the groundwork for this war.
That’s exactly what happens. So there’s nothing that actually can. Convince you know, people who just look at the facts on the ground in recent history that realism and appeasement are right. And unfortunately we see it. We see it in the US press, we see it, you know, in both from the la right, this kind of, I isolationist, right Rent Paul here in this country or from the left New York Times.
Both were equally wrong about it. The only chance to really. Cut off the Hydras head is for Ukraine to define what it means to to win this war and win it with our help Otherwise, We’re gonna be back to square one in two or three years. You know, Russia has resources. It showed many times in history that even if it loses conflicts, it stands up and fights again after crime war, after the initial losses to Hitler’s army during the second Old War.
So it’ll be extremely dangerous to allow this conflict to freeze, not only for Ukraine, but also from Moldova and Georgia and the Baltic countries, and Poland and many others.
Gregg Stebben: So I just wanna wanna be clear about and you might have said this, but I wanna make sure it’s clear to everybody watching.
When we say appeasement, what we mean is, if you look at what Kissinger said, for instance, on Monday what they’re saying is Ukraine should give Russia some of its land as a way of creating. and every time I hear someone say something like this, what I think in my mind, and this is what I wanna hear you comment on. I assume the person calling for that appeasement by Ukraine, the person or the organization, cuz the New York Times had an article earlier this week, you know proposing appeasement.
I think to myself, this is not about what’s in the best interest of Ukraine. It’s not even in the best interest of what’s for the world. , it’s in the best interest of, of something for you.
For your particular gains or the gains of your friends or your allies. It’s never, never about what’s right for the world or what’s right for Ukraine, which is who is in the battle, right?
It’s their land to give up. I mean, my response to Henry Kissinger was what he’s suggesting is anyone who wants to storm his. murder members of his family and burn the house down, she be punished by getting the keys to the guest house.
Right. That’s what he’s saying. Yeah. Am I reading that right? Yeah.
Tomasz: Fully agree with that. And I think the problem is when it comes from intellectuals, you know, whether American intellectual, French British, German, and so on, is that it comes from empires. A former empire. Yes. And they see the world through the lances of imperial thinking. So they kind of rule out that smaller groups of people with strong local identity have agency.
Yes. Ukrainians have agents brilliantly strong. They have their own interests. So do Taiwanese and many other countries which are smaller. Kissinger doesn’t, doesn’t even notice that they exist. You know, his, his lain with Mount was a great example of that. Now it brought some advantages for some time, but certainly outlived its utility long time ago.
So I think he’s very compromised in terms of his commitment to appeasement. Sorry. You know, unfortunately smaller countries have agency as well. They have their own history and they’re gonna act accordingly. And I think Ukraine is showing that it’s that it, that’s exactly the case.
Gregg Stebben: And every time I hear someone talking about appeasement like Kissinger, this is the visual that comes to my mind.
Tomasz: Yes, right.
Gregg Stebben: Ukraine, you’re a pest. Goodbye. Alright, let’s change gears because you’ve mentioned Taiwan a couple of times here, and there was a big significant exchange between the President Biden and I think a member of the press, although I’m actually not sure about that, but give us the background on what he.
And what it means and why it’s relevant to us talking about Ukraine, first and foremost in Russia today.
Tomasz: Yeah. Yeah. Let’s, let’s do this small detail. We’ll go back to Eastern Europe in a moment, but you know, it’s important what happened in Tokyo. This is, this is a very, very important trip by the US President to South Korea and Japan.
And you know, it ended with the meeting of the four heads of states of the quad in, in Tokyo. For the second time in six, seven months Biden reacted exactly in the same way to the same kind of question. It’s a question, if China militarily invades Taiwan, will us come to its defense? And the answer was yes.
And the second sentence was, we have a commitment to. Now the commitment that he refers to is Taiwan Relations Act from 1979, which was signed under the pressure from Congress, which was blindsided by the speed with which Jimmy Carters big brazinski moved to recognize Beijing rather than Taipei as the representative of of China.
Now it’s important that Biden said it for the second. Why? Because in my view, and you know, this is a speculative element here, I’m throwing in since about 20 2017, US diplomacy has taken a leaf out of Chinese playbook and is using what I call the salami tactics. Verbally only semantically. We slowly, slowly are shifting away from what was hardcore commitment to strategic ambiguity.
Therefore, yes, we’ll help Taiwan, but we’re not saying if that means the boots on the ground or what it actually means because Taiwan is not a treaty country, unlike say, South Korea or Japan. There is less and less of this ambiguity. So there is, there has not been like an announcement saying, you know what?
We are moving away from that ambiguity and there will be such and such number of us trips stationed in Taiwan to protect it. Mm-hmm. , that’s not what happens, but what happens is just to make Beijing guessing. Make them guess what is this, what’s going on? What kind of shift has, has occurred? And indeed it does reflect the significant shift in thinking in the connection with the, between the militaries of the two countries, between the diplomats, all the visits, official visits that we have in Taiwan since basically the beginning of covid, both from Europe and, and from from the United States.
And it’s very important that these words were pronounced in. Why? Because of course, Japan, as a former colonial power in Taiwan, will be the first country that’s drawn into the conflict. So the Japanese won this clarity. They’re rebuilding their military precisely for this contingency. They wanted to hear that and they heard it.
And it doesn’t matter that two days later, you know, some junior official from the State Department will say, well, what he actually meant was X, Y, Z. You know, this is, this is like Donald Trump’s you know big statements at some point. And then later he would apologize for something. Nobody paid attention.
Right. So this is, this is a well known. Tactic. And I think it actually is very important in that standoff because Beijing is trying to draw lessons from the Ukrainian conflict for the sake of their, you know, propaganda in the region and elsewhere. The part of propaganda is US has abandoned Ukraine.
We know it’s not true, but they’re trying to measure what level of engagement the United States would. If there is a contingency, of course of a very different nature because of nature, of geography and so on, it would be a different type of conflict and how would us react? And right now we don’t give them discomfort to, to, to make them really psyche it out.
So I think it’s a very, very well crafted message because there’s so many people say, well, you know, sleepy Joe, he doesn’t know what he’s saying. You know, Bloomberg wrote that he miss. You know, the guy’s been around for half a century, he doesn’t really well, and then some. Yeah, and then some. Exactly. So this is all very well planted.
I would say probably planted with the, with, with the journalist, the right time, the right place, and you know, not for the first time. So it’s a very, very important signal.
Gregg Stebben: Do you know who asked this question? No. Yeah, I couldn’t find it either. So you mentioned several times now that he said this twice.
Gregg Stebben: And is the second, is that an af an a significant affirming event because the first time could have been.
Oh, it was just sleepy Joe. But if he said it a second time, that is a much greater level of commitment and thought,
Tomasz: frankly. Yeah, I mean that’s precisely because word happened. So in Tokyo, number one, and secondly, just on the eve of the big quad meeting. Yeah. And, what is Q about? QAR is essentially only about China.
Right. This is what the alliance is about. So, so I think this gives it a lot more gravitous. And you know, the fact that it’s pronounced for the second time, you’re right. I mean, this is there. You don’t make the same mistake twice.
Yeah. And you mentioned how for China, a lot of this is about how watching what’s happening in Ukraine, a lot of this is.
Well, how is the US going to respond if China invades Taiwan? I, I guess I’m wondering. , or I’m assuming that China’s not only looking at how the US has responded in relationship to Russia and Ukraine, but how the rest of the world has responded. Because if you thought that, if you thought that the world was gonna stand back and let Russia invade Ukraine, you might draw the conclusion that the world’s gonna stand back and let you invade Taiwan and the world, the global community has done anything but that.
So that’s gotta be sending a big message to China as.
Yeah. So, I would probably have just a slight issue with the term global community, because the global community is divided, but the developed countries are now divided, right? Mm-hmm. So, so we have you know, this certainly came as a surprise, not only to Putin xp, to what extent Western Europe has, you know, come very united in this.
I mean the change in Germany. German politics have been dramatic. 180 degrees turn. Takes a while to translate into act, but once the Germans actually have a new strategy acting comes pretty quickly. Yes. You know, Japan, this time is part of the sanction package against Russia.
It was not 80 years ago as it still hoped to sign energy deals with Putin. Putin. Many a big mistake by opting for. Chinese relationship only in putting all his eggs in one basket. Mm-hmm. , South Korea is part of the package. Taiwan, of course, is part of the sanctioned package against Russia, and so is Singapore.
So it’s not to mention Australia, of course. So it is sobering for Beijing to see that there, you know, there is an alliance of free countries that represent more than 60% of global GDP, whereas China and Russia is about. So it’s significant. It’s a significant weight. Now, you can still ask a question.
Does that mean that in case of Taiwan contingency, Western Europe would act exactly in the same way or indeed, South Korea, which is very strongly integrated into the Chinese value chain and Chinese market. And we will not know until that happens. But I think the deterioration in relations between European Union and China, which has progressed since the beginning of Covid and was actually marked recently by the very.
Chilling summit between EU and the Chinese premier. A couple of weeks ago, it was just virtual. Mm-hmm. But no niceties there. And, of course, Europe as a, as a theater of kinetic war demands a completely different attitude from from China regarding the war. At least semantically. Europe doesn’t get that and China is now thrown into the same basket.
It doesn’t mean necessarily that European companies with significant exposure to Chinese market. Right to act upon it. But that’s a different issue. And at the end of the day, once the legislation passes, the companies have to do what they have to do. The question is how strong the lobbies are of the large, large companies, especially German large multinationals who are present in in China and Russia for that matter still.
And you know how strong the. Covered Russian, especially Chinese United front of the Chinese Communist Party influence is over those large companies. So it’s, you know, we have no guarantee the world will look exactly the same. Or one thing that we can guarantee, we might talk about it at length at some.
Some other point is that India, which is very ambivalent right now, will be on the side of the western world when the conflict with China happens.
Gregg Stebben: And just to bring this back to appeasement, Ukraine was to take the advice of the New York Times and Henry Kissinger and, and president Macron. The message it would send to China is, go for it, dudes.
Look, it worked out for us. You should do the same thing with Taiwan. It’s gonna work out for you. And that’s why we, one of the reasons, one of the many reasons we must oppose the temptation to fall for the argument of appeasement.
Tomasz: Yeah. I mean, it could open up a, a Pandora’s box in, in many places, you know, there are other places.
Unstable, potentially North Korean peninsula, you know, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and so on. We, so we have entered a period of instability. Now Turkey’s talking about moving troops again into Kurdistan and so on. It’s, it’s important that the message is very clear on, on, on what’s simply not allowed.
Perspective of international relations, international law, and, you know, not to mention all the conventions that the Russian military does not, does not comply with. So that’s I think it’s you know, we, I mentioned the moral equivalence, the issue of how this war is conducted by, by Russians. Basically, you know, targeting civilians to scare and subjugate the civilian population in Ukraine.
That should give someone like Kissinger, pz mm-hmm. But he doesn’t notice that, you know? Yeah. He’s, he thinks only in terms of, you know, big empires. Big, big, you know wheels of history moving. And that’s, that’s, that’s his view. He doesn’t notice the real human factor behind.
Gregg Stebben: So you and I had a conversation yesterday or the day before about something you’ve noticed in the, I’m gonna say the design or the structure of Russia’s military or, or, or even international and domestic intelligence that reminds you of World War II in Germany.
Tell us about that.
Tomasz: Yeah, so this is interesting. The event, let me start with the event and then a little bit of an analytical sketch. The event is that, According to some leaks from Moscow there was a switchover in terms of the responsibility for military or generally intelligence services within Ukraine.
So Russians, of course, have been trying to penetrate Ukraine more or less successful for the last 30 years. It intensified prior to the first war in Crimea and Donbas, and it’s been usually done by FSB, which is the successor of KGB. So, the, the, the sort of the it’s a internal police but it has also an outreach internationally, not least into Ukraine, the so-called FIPs service of FSB.
And they were actually tasked with preparing the first war in Ukraine in, in 2014. And they were giving the same task again. and they have been now replaced by G R U, which is military intelligence. So pure military intelligence like every other country has. So yes, you know, F S B role is more typical of an autocratic country, but most militaries around the world have a military have an intelligence service, and G R U is that one.
There’s always been competition between them. Competition for funds, competition for power, and so on. And of course, with sort of a one-man show, the way that the Russian government system is structured, that is supposed to help right. Competition for good information and, you know, see who, who does better.
So there’s no love laws between the two. Yeah. And G R U has now been put in charge of intelligence operations within. There’s also foreign intelligence service, which is run by a guy named Kin who is very close to, to Putin.
You might remember him from the announcement of the independence of those two Bantu stands. Donkin Luhansk. Two days before the outbreak of the war. He was the one who was severely scolded by, by Putin. Anyway. Why? Why do I find it interesting? Because in the middle of the war, suddenly we have that switchover. Obviously it means that FSB hasn’t done its work, right properly.
And we know they haven’t. No, they did not. Prior to the war, even though there were elements of the fifth. Throughout Ukraine at the beginning of the war. So it, you know, we know it from, from refugees who are trying to escape from, from Kiev or from Schoff or from Vinita further west. And they were caught in sniper fire somewhere in the, you know, on on.
So it took a while for Ukrainian, not even military, but for the national Guard and territorial defense to actually wipe out those. Column elements. Mm-hmm. And they were probably planted by either FSB or FIS. So now it’s down to the military intelligence. And it brought to my mind an element of the Second World War, which, you know, maybe our listeners don’t remember.
Germany also had multiple intelligence, including foreign intelligence service. Of course it’s military had its intelligence service called ava, which basically means defense. And Ava was run by an Admiral Canari, who was a distinguished admiral of the, of the Navy, retired and brought back to, to run this, I think mostly because he spoke like six languages or something.
Anyway, so he was put in late in his life in charge of Ava, and Ava was doing it’s job on all fronts as military intelligence usually does. But there was also a arm of the Nazi party so Nazi party had an arm called , so that’s a security service, and it was part of SS social staffers.
So the famous, you know you know, skulls that they have on their. And responsible for multiple atrocities all across the Europe, especially eastern Europe. So as they was part of SS and as they or SD would be in English began also to operate in occupied territories as the front.
Advanced and started competing with Ava providing the leaders of Nazi Germany with what they believe was superior or more reliable information. What’s interesting, and you can find, you know, read something about it, Ava. Under Canarias was eventually, I think in 1944, accused of undermining the Nazi system as they were actually collecting information about atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis in the occupied territories especially in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, I mean, those were, you know the colonial.
Part of the Second World War explanation by collecting that information, they wanted to be used, they wanted to undermine, they wanted to undermine the Nazi system. And, and that was caught by, by Ss and these people, the leaders were eventually, you know, imprisoned, executed Canaries himself was, I think killed it at the concentration camp in Zox Haen within days before the end of the second World War.
So SD one, but it’s interesting is that the ideologically pure Service intelligence, which was not military per se. Mm-hmm. Replaced the military intelligence service. So kind of the other way around of what we are observing here in, in Ukraine. But it’s interesting because you have always this kind of competition who’s closer, who’s more loyal, who offers better information.
And the follow of s FSB, if it’s true, if it’s confirmed will be quite remarkable because this is where Putin. You know, originally from, so from, from the KG b’s foreign service, so Right. That’s why he works Station East Germany. Not from military intelligence. So that’s a, that’s an interesting tidbit.
Gregg Stebben: Do we, do we assume that when this kind of a change is made, it’s not a sign, it’s not a positive sign, but it’s a sign of weakness or you wouldn’t be making the change at all.
Tomasz: So looking backwards, of course, it’s a positive sign. FSB didn’t do the right job. Right. And of course they messed up completely both in the key region and in car region up until now.
Mm-hmm. going forward, you know, I would rather have ’em stay if they’re just so completely, if they weren’t getting the job done. Or maybe let’s give Ukrainians some credit. Maybe there are infiltrated by Ukrainian elements, right? Mm-hmm. It’s not impossible. And so replacing them with G R U may not be a particularly good news for Ukraine if G R U performs right?
But. Yes. That’s probably, that’s probably Putin’s goal. Yeah.
Gregg Stebben: I mean, I’m assuming that there’s also some, you know, generally in an organization when you make a big change, there’s a transitional period too, where there’s vulnerability and potential weakness.
Tomasz: Yeah. And I would think that even if this is a leak, and if this is, this is confirmed, the leak came sometime after this decision.
So probably some, you know, operational changes took place before this became quasi-public or at least, you know street knowledge.
Gregg Stebben: So you gave me a list of some other things you wanted to talk about and, and we’ve, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about these current events, frankly. Mm. Do you wanna dig into some of those things or wait until next week?
Tomasz: Maybe we can wait until next week. We have, we have a pretty big chunk that I’d like to discuss. So here is a little bit foretaste. You know in the past, during the first Cold War that started also with a hot war in Korea, so something similar to what we are observing now during the second Cold War, there was always this ideological.
Backbone to both sides, right? There was communism against capitalism. Was, was an ideological rift between the two worlds. And of course it has, its had its significant economic Corolla error like the two worlds. Were not very. strongly connected, especially with the Soviet economy. And so often when you hear these days, well, you know, this particular conflict, whether it’s Russia or China, it doesn’t really matter so much because it’s not ideological.
Therefore, if they’re not ideological, they’re not totalitarian regimes, they’re just autocrats. Mm-hmm. . And I wanna take an issue with that and go through first in the case of Russia, through some elements of ideology. , you know, because it’s not a monolith, it’s not a monolithic view of the world, but unfortunately for us in our open media system and the sourcing and targeting that we can do through social media, it doesn’t matter for a promoter of ideologies.
Mm-hmm. , to be internally consistent. You can target different groups with different messages and those groups will stay within their. and may, you know, drink the Kool-Aid from what you provide. Mm-hmm. with a lot of success for the promoter of the ideologies in plural. So I just want to undermine the view that, you know, Russia doesn’t have an ideology cuz it has one, it has one for internal purposes and we can go through it.
Part of the option of that is also exported. To the outside world and there are several others that are exported to the outside world. And maybe when we go through it, you’ll recognize certain elements in different parts of the world, how the societies are fractured. Is there a fed with specific narratives of, you know, important ideological weight that Russia is promoting very successfully?
So they never lost that capacity that, that K G B had in the past infiltrating the the narratives in the. Back then, it was mostly, you know, western academia, leftist or communism, the Western and so on. But they didn’t have the vehicles such as the social media, media digital media in general to, to promote it as easily as they can do it right now.
And of course, China is doing a fabulous job doing something, something similar. So it’s for, for yet another sequel. And you know, they’re remarkably successful. And not recognizing this puts us in a relatively weak. . And we have very little you know, counter offensive that we can plow not only against the sources of those ideological narratives, but even so against people who have already been poisoned by those ideas.
Mm-hmm. . Because to be poisoned by those ideas, you have to have certain initial conditions, something that will make you amenable or. Yes to these to, to these messages. And this is where Russians are extremely good parsing different cleavages within different societies and finding those this, this fertile ground and then, you know, fertilizing it further for its own reasons.
And at the end of that, you know, when all of this trickles up to some elected officials who maybe swallowed a realism. Dogma from Neville Chamberlain or Kissinger or John Merc Heimer or someone then they’re gonna, you know, promote something within the context of some broader school of thought.
But it’ll reflect thinking, the thinking of a lot of people who will support. For example, Russian narrative for a variety of different reasons. Mm-hmm. , because it’s always easier to be against something and Russians will tell you what you should, you should be against. And this is this, this fear factor, the very good promoting and that’s why I think it’s worth to, to devote at least, at least another sequel. Right.
Gregg Stebben: All right, we’re gonna talk about that next week. Ina says, wonderful information and great history lesson. Thank you so much for your time, Tomasz. Thank you. I wanna mention. Where we’re ending this with, with this discussion starting today, continuing next Wednesday, about essentially Russia’s ability to manipulate information, particularly through social media, to target different groups.
One of the things, and I’m not gonna ask you to comment on this cuz then we’ll go off even, you know, on another tangent, but as you were describing that, it reminded me, frankly, Of the 2016 and probably the 2020 election, right? I mean, they targeted different groups of voters in the United States with information to drive people to do what was in Russia’s best interest, or that’s what we believe happened.
The other reason I wanted to hit on that is we’ve talked with Ilia Poff about his Bravery foundation and one of the his things, his Bravery Foundation, well, what the Bravery Foundation does on a broad level is they identify people within Russia. Who are trapped in jobs that force them to work on behalf of the war or the invasion, but they don’t support the invasion, but they’re trapped.
Their lives are at risk or they’re at risk of imprisonment or other legal issues. And what the Bravery Foundation is, they target those people. They either extract them or if they’re in prison or facing legal issues, they help pay for their legal bills and then hopefully get them out. That’s what the, the Bravery Foundation does, and at the end of the show, you’re gonna see a popup screen.
It looks like this. Let’s see if I can get to it. You can support Ilias Bravery Foundation by clicking one of these button. And giving any kind of donation. We’ve already had people ina t Carol. I’m not sure who that is, but thank you everybody who’s already paid for the show. This is where your money is going, is the Ilias Bravery Foundation.
When at the end of the show, this screen is gonna pop up automatically. If you can please give, obviously it’s an important thing because when the Bravery Foundation takes somebody out of that position where they’re contributing to the war effort, you’re just. You’re undermining the war effort. And we all know because if you work somewhere and they take, you know, somebody leaves their job and they’re playing an integral role, there’s this period of transition where things begin to break down and we wanna break down Russia every way we can.
So I wanted to mention that about the Bravery Foundation. By the way, if you want to tell friends and family about the Bravery Foundation, here’s another one of my groovy links. You can actually send this webpage to your friends and family. They can donate there even if they don’t get to the show. And I’m gonna put one more link in here.
I’m gonna put two more links in here. Can I do two at once? Lucas, let’s find out here. Sign up. I’m gonna encourage you to sign up now. For next week’s show with Tomasz, there’s a link, the Tyranny Today Show, and I’m gonna encourage you to sign up for tomorrow’s show with Ilia Ilya Ponomarev. If you’re new here, let me give you just a moment of background.
Ilya Ponomarev and Tomasz, if you want to jump out, there’s an end button there you can hit If you’re tired of hitting me ramble on, or you can hang out either way. That’s all right. Ilya Ponomarev on or off, who’s doing the P on Off versus Putin show with us is a former member of the Russian Par. He was the only member of the Russian parliament to vote against the annexation of Crimea.
They actually pushed him into exile as a result of that because a long history of opposing Putin and he that he, he predicted when Russia annexed Crimea. That the would, it would lead to a full scale invasion, which we’ve now seen. And he vowed that if that invasion happened, he would support Ukraine. And that’s what he’s doing now.
So he’s an incredible resource for us. And of course you can come watch him talk tomorrow at 11 o’clock. Hit that link to sign up and ask questions. And we’ve had some great questions and he’s responded, I believe, as candidly as he can. I mean, one of the questions, somebody in the chat asked you know, what happens next?
You know, how does the war end? And his answer, I can quote it because it was, it was like a line out of Russian literature. He said, I believe the war ends, he said, I believe the last shot in this war will be fired in Moscow. And he, what he meant by that was he said here, and he has said in other places, he thinks the war ends.
Putin frankly is shot. Or then we went on and had a discussion about a rope, so possibly hung. Anyway, it’s that kind of discussion. You can be part of it. You can ask questions. Sign up for the show tomorrow at 11. Sign up for the show with Tomasz again next Wednesday at 11. And if you can give to the Bravery Foundation, you can hit that button in the upper right that has a dollar sign or says pay host.
Now I’m the. Tomasz is the host. We’re not being paid. Every dollar we collect will go to the Bravery Foundation or when we’re done with the show, the screen will pop up and you can share that URL that says Bravery Foundation with your friends and family. With that, Tomasz, I’m gonna let you go. I’m, I want to thank everybody for being here.
We’ll see you tomorrow at 11 next Wednesday at 11. Thank you again for being here, Maggie. Thank you for paying for the show and supporting the Bravery Foundation. Larry, thank you everybody. Thanks for being here, and we’ll see you tomorrow and Wednesday.
Tomasz: Thank you.