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Rapid Response Media Team

The Rapid Response Media Team is a group of committed activists who advocate for a negotiated peace settlement in Ukraine by commenting on war-related news coverage. While the team has often focused on legacy media such as The New York Times and Washington Post (where you must be a subscriber to post comments), we also seek out popular sites such as Yahoo News, MSNBC, YouTube and CNN, where you do not have to be a subscriber to comment. We encourage each other by sharing our comments and letters to the editor, thus alerting members to news stories they might wish to comment on themselves. 

When appropriate, we make connections between the US/NATO role in Ukraine and the US war-fomenting stances in locations from Gaza to the South China Sea. By disrupting the illusion of a popular consensus supporting US/NATO belligerence, we challenge the manufacture of consent for endless war in Ukraine and beyond.

Join our Rapid Response Media Team, Email [email protected]

Sample Comments

Ukraine-Russia Peace Is as Elusive as Ever. But in 2022 They Were Talking. - The New York Times ( (6/12/24)

Jan Clausen’s Comments

"Numerous Western sources, from Fiona Hill (formerly of the U.S. National Security Council) to former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, have attested that a war-ending peace deal between Ukraine and Russia was almost reached in March-April of 2022. Analysts point to the April visit of Boris Johnson, then the U.K. Prime Minister, as suspiciously aligned with the collapse of that deal. According to Ukrainska Pravda, Johnson “brought two simple messages. The first is that Putin is a war criminal, he should be pressured, not negotiated with. And the second is that even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they [Western leaders] are not.” It is hard to imagine that Johnson was acting without encouragement from Washington. More than two years later, many tens of thousands of Ukrainian fighters are dead, the Ukrainian economy and infrastructure are in tatters, Russian forces are making significant advances in Eastern Ukraine, and Western leaders are once again scoffing at the notion of negotiating an end to this horror. Why does this article ignore the strong evidence that the failure to reach a peace settlement in 2022 was largely owing to the intransigence of Western governments that wanted to keep Ukraine in the fight as a means of targeting Russia? Let’s stop the pretense that the U.S. and NATO are “helping” Ukraine. A settlement now (better late than never) is desperately needed to avoid the total destruction of that country."

Laura Castro’s Comments

"Negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in March/April 2022 were consigned to the dustbin of history by mainstream press and the Washington “blob” it often serves. Peace negotiation was an inconvenient interruption to the U.S. / NATO longtime goal of weakening Russia and perhaps even bringing it into the Western camp by enabling Putin’s overthrow. Lloyd Austin was quoted by the Washington Post in April 2022 as saying Russian needed to be further “weakened,” while Biden said of Putin, “For God’s sake that man cannot stay in power.” 

Yet no less than former German Chancellor Gerhart Schroeder (conveniently left out of this article) worked behind the scenes on the 2022 negotiations and has said the two sides were very close—that is before Boris Johnson’s visit to Ukraine put an end to it all (check the West-leaning, English language Ukrainian Pravda). Now that Russia is occupying town after town, it seems the West’s deadly gamble didn’t pay off. In desperation, the U.S./NATO has authorized terrifying escalations (strikes with U.S. weapons inside Russia, French boots on the ground). A Harris poll has 70% of Americans saying that the war should end through negotiations. So now the press finds it necessary to subtly rewrite a little history to make it seem as if the West (the so-called Ukrainian side) played little or no role in the former negotiations falling through. Face saving? We need more than that. We need this war to end."

Eleanor Levine’s Comments

"Expecting anything other than an accounting of who is going to throw down with Ukraine, the Swiss peace conference will bring the world no closer to ending the war in Ukraine. Without the presence of Russia, the other main party to the war, no real meaningful outcome is possible. Maybe Ukrainian posturing and bravado, with backing from USA/NATO allies determined to destroy Russia (not help Ukraine), is the goal of this devastating war. For example, despite the lengthy account of the war's history, why didn't this article's authors indicate how the USA and UK pressed Ukraine into withdrawing from a promising peace settlement with Russia in 2022? Makes one wonder whose war this is and what are its goals."

Washington Post (5/31/24) weighs in on unprecedented decision: "Ukraine can use U.S. weapons for limited strikes in Russia, Biden says"

Laura Castro’s comments

"No U.S. president has EVER authorized strikes with U.S. weapons inside a nuclear armed country. Not at the height of the Cold War. Not during the Cuban Missile Crisis that almost ended life on Earth. Never.

The Biden Administration's unprecedented authorization for "limited" strikes inside Russia using U.S. weapons, satellite technology, and quite possibly U.S. advisors on the ground, is a reckless move that under international law may be interpreted as putting us directly at war with the largest nuclear armed power on Earth. 

Even if the Administration hangs on by the barest legal thread to the argument that we are NOT at war with Russia (and Russia chooses to concur), the slightest targeting slip up, a misinterpretation of instructions, a rogue operator on the ground, could lead to a conflagration the likes of which our species has never seen and which it may not survive. And pressure for even further escalations when our "limited" strikes don't work will be enormous.

All this is being set in motion against a country that has come nowhere near attacking the U.S. on its own soil and without direct debate in Congress, the one body with the Constitutional right to declare war. 

The tragedy is that none of this is going to better the plight of Ukrainians. Every day the war continues brings more death and destruction to this deeply divided country, riven by civil war for eight years before Russia's invasion, and where the latest government proposals to draft more and younger men into the fight have been highly unpopular. Only ceasefire and robust diplomatic initiatives that include a comprehensive security framework for all of Europe including Russia will enable Ukrainians to rebuild in peace and the rest of us to spend our precious resources on human needs."

Marcy Winograd’s Comment

"What a disaster! Biden leading us into war with the most nuclear-armed nation in the world. Someone, not Trump, rescue us from this unhinged White House. The only answer is a ceasefire and political solution--the rest is just a money-laundering scheme for weapons manufacturers at the expense of planetary survival."

US Abrams tanks failing in Ukraine as Russia mocks them as ‘empty tin cans’ Yahoo News (5/30/24)

Eleanor Levine’s Comments 

"The failure of these $10 million apiece Abrams tanks highlight the folly of continuing this once preventable war in which the Ukrainians no longer will enlist and which has cost thousands upon thousands of deaths and maimings along with devastating eco-destruction and human displacement. It no longer matters who seems to have the upper hand at any moment. There will be no battlefield solution for either side in this endless war. It is time to call for a ceasefire and a negotiated peace settlement."

Laura Castro’s Comments

"The Abrams are failing to perform, as did the British Challenger tanks. Young Ukrainian men don't want to fight in this war. (Who can blame them?) It's time to get to the negotiating table while something can be salvaged of the country we persuaded to walk away from peace talks with Russia two years ago."

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