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    And 3/3 ... Ben Norton too! Coincidence? Archived Message

    Posted by Ian M on July 19, 2022, 11:04 pm, in reply to "Caleb Maupin, another Grayzone contributor also comes under fire..."

    Missed this, also part of the first Feb 27th broadcast and later repeated:

    [Transcript, p.237 onwards]

    AF: “Okay, thanks for the latest there, Peter. That was RT’s Peter Oliver. Now we can get more reaction to and speak with the assistant editor of The Grayzone website. Ben Norton is with us this evening. Good evening to you, Ben. Firstly, let's just talk about this latest development. President Putin has said that his defence deterrence forces, which do include nuclear weapons, will be put on high alert. We should stress it does not mean an intent to use them, but a very worrying escalation”.

    This was followed by a live interview about the conflict with journalist Ben Norton (“BN”) (“the Norton Interview”):

    BN: “Yeah, and we should understand that this is undergirding the entire problem here, which is NATO. You know, the Western corporate media loves to talk about the supposed military threat of Russia, and now they're taking these comments out of context. But we should also keep in mind that NATO has been doing exactly the same, threatening Russia on its borders with missile deployments. I mean, even Estonia, which is right on Russia's borders, has been doing military exercises with NATO for months 100 kilometres from the Russian border. So, I think what all of this underscores, you know, people using the, the nuclear word. I mean, that's a very scary word to ever hear. What it all underscores is that there needs to be diplomacy. But the reality is that the United States and NATO were the ones that sabotaged all attempts at diplomacy. You know, Russia was repeatedly asking for diplomacy, going back to December, asking for security guarantees, and the United States and NATO refused to meet the security guarantees. So, I'm one of many people in the United States, some, one of many Americans who is very critical of the US Government's policy for creating this entire situation in the first place. For leading to this situation of war, which is tragic and horrible for everyone. And I think that, you know, I and many Americans hope that the US Government can now see that they need to actually engage in serious diplomacy to prevent this from escalating further”.

    AF: “What do you make of the White House's reaction then to this latest development? Because they say ‘but there's actually no threat from NATO to Russia’”.

    BN: “Well, I mean, that is preposterous. And the US constantly says things like this. They say that NATO is a defensive alliance. I mean, that would be news to the people of Libya whose government was destroyed in 2011 in a NATO war. That would be news to the former people of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia no longer exists as a country because NATO destroyed it. That would be news to the people of Afghanistan who were, who suffered under 20 years of a NATO US Military occupation. So, you know, the US constantly says things like this. It always acts as though it's acting defensively. It always acts as though it's innocent. But the reality is that there are at least two NATO member states right now directly on Russia's borders. And then there are also numerous other NATO member states near Russia's borders that have missiles. Some of them have nuclear weapons and they are threatening Russia, and this is in contravention of agreements that were made by the Western powers back in 1990 at the time of German reunification. We have so many documents from Western government showing that the United States, Britain and France, and then also later the unified German Government all promised that NATO would not expand one inch east after German reunification. And they lied about that. And NATO not only expanded once and not only expanded twice, it expanded 14 times. And every single country that was added to NATO after German reunification was to the east of Germany and many of those countries were former allies of the Soviet Union and Russia and many of those countries are right near Russia's borders. So, the US says that NATO is not threatening Russia, but then it constantly insists that every country on Russia's borders should be part of this military alliance. But it's not a tenable position”

    AF: “Uh, then we have got hopes of peace talks. Very tentatively, we have a Russian delegation and a Ukrainian delegation expected to meet on the Belarusian-Ukraine border shortly. What are your hopes? What are your expectations? We all hope a peaceful solution, obviously. But what can we expect from this?”

    BN: “Well, I certainly hope that there can be a diplomatic breakthrough that brings peace because war is bad for everyone. I mean, it's bad for the people of Ukraine, it’s bad for Russia, which is now being targeted by all these Western sanctions. No one wants war, but the reality is that the US and NATO have been the ones that refused to give any concessions. They have to give concessions. So what, what I hope to see is that the US finally admits that NATO will not add Ukraine and also Georgia, that NATO will stop its eastward expansion because that is what brought about this war. It is NATO's constant endless goal to surround Russia with military bases, potentially with nuclear weapons. NATO no longer even should exist. Frankly, I'm one of many Americans who thinks that this this alliance should not exist. It should be abolished, and there should be a new security agreement reached because NATO, at this point, is all about maintaining US control over Europe. When we see that countries like Germany and France actually were trying to have what they call strategic independence. The reality is that this conflict has only made that worse, that situation worse. So, what I hope to see is that finally the US agrees to say that it's going to stop expanding NATO. But as we've seen in the past few months, that doesn't look likely”.

    AF: “Well Ben, they would argue that recent events in Ukraine, the conflict that's there now is the perfect reason to increase the size of NATO”.

    BN: “Yeah, and that's why I said that this war is bad for everyone. I mean, it's been some ways, you know, it's going to hurt Russia. And that's why I think diplomacy really needs to be the path forward, because the US is using this as an excuse to continue to expand Russia, excuse me, to continue to expand NATO, to strengthen NATO. But the reality is that NATO, this Cold War alliance, the US says that doesn't want a new Cold War with Russia and also China. But then the US continues to expand NATO around Russia's borders. This is the attitude of the Cold War. This is the strategy of a new Cold War. So, yes, I really hope that we can have serious diplomatic breakthroughs. The US has refused to give any diplomatic concessions. This could be a turning point. The US could finally say, all right, we're not going to continue this new Cold War on Russia. We're going to try to have peace in Europe. Unfortunately, I can't be very optimistic, given the long history of US war and aggression. But the US, there, there are some people in Washington who don't want to see a war with Russia. Maybe this could be an eye- opening moment where they say, ‘wow, we bear responsibility for this crisis in Ukraine and we could end it if we're serious about diplomacy’”.

    AF: “Okay, Ben, appreciate your views tonight. That was Ben Norton from The Grayzone website. Thank you for coming on.


    Norton also reported on having a factual post of his about Ukrainian soldiers smearing bullets with pig fat to insult & religiously humiliate Muslim Chechen adversaries which was pulled from Instagram for 'violat[ing] their content on promoting violence and hateful groups' while at the same time parent comapany Meta was allowing praise for the neo-nazi Azov battalion (p.517).

    Ofcom didn't have any comment about these contributions, apart from RT's captions underneath the interview.

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