Saturday, October 8, 2022

BROS, Sigourney Weaver, Jean-Luc Godard


We saw BROS again Friday night.  Not just because we weren't interested in anything else but also because my girlfriend's brother hadn't seen it.  When I think of gay males nervous to buy a ticket, I think of gay males in their teens living in the deep south or something.  We're in Connecticut and he's 31.  But he was planning on seeing it at home on streaming when it came out.  As an African-American male, he was cautious about buying a ticket.  (After a Pride event when he was 20, in Pennsylvania, he got jumped and ended up in the hospital so please grasp that he does have justified reasons for being nervous.)

My girlfriend called me Friday afternoon around two and asked if we could see BROS again and told me why and I told her I was down with it, that I could see it every weekend until it comes out on streaming.  This was my third time seeing it.  (I saw it last week on Friday and on Saturday.)  It just gets funnier.

I do want to throw that out, though.  About my girlfriend's boyfriend.  Because you may know someone who's out gay and they may want to see the film but not alone -- either due to safety concerns or maybe they just don't want to go to a movie alone.  So if you've got a relative who's gay or a friend who is, think about asking if they want to go see BROS with you.  

I really like that scene -- the song's Joan Armatrading's "Love & Affection" -- and I wish more people saw that.  But I especially wish UNIVERSAL had used the scene by the bike rack in the ad or as a clip they posted online.  Billy and Luke have had a big fight and aren't speaking and then Luke sees Billy in the club and they go outside -- by a bike rack -- to talk.  It's not a funny scene at all.  But it does go to the romance of the film and it is a touching and important scene.  In a clip, they didn't have to do the whole scene but Luke talking about how he made a mistake really should have been part of the promotion.

So I've seen BROS now three times, I hope you've seen or will be seeing it soon.  If you don't like comedies, don't see it, that's fine.  But if you do like comedies, you really do need to see because you will laugh over and over.  And there's been a lot of scary hate online about BROS so I do understand if you're nervous about seeing it.  Invite a friend or two.  But don't let hate win.

And let me say thank you to C.I.  She's repeatedly championed the film, of course.  But she's also done  a three part series on it in this week's snapshot that has made a number of people rethink -- and I'm talking about in my own world.  "Iraq snapshotm" "Iraq snapshot" and "Iraq snapshot" -- those are the three parts.

Last Monday, when I went to work, a number of co-workers were like, "You liked it?"  And they were in disbelief.  And they were falling for the backlash.  On Wednesday, when C.I. first started taking it on the snapshots, two co-workers came up to me and said, "She's right."  And by Friday, C.I. had changed the conversation in the office I work in.  We were talking about real issues impacting the film and impacting how people saw it and why and how some people were attacking it.

Okay, one of my favorite performers is Sigourney Weaver and Eric e-mailed an interview with her from ALIENS.

Thanks, Eric, it's a good interview and I'd never seen it.

I wrote about a recent passing in "Jean-Luc Godard" and, at WSWS, David Walsh covers the passing:

French-Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard died September 13 at his home in Rolle, Switzerland, at the age of 91.

Godard came to prominence in the early 1960s as a member of the French “New Wave,” which also included such filmmakers as François Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol and Jacques Rivette. Like many of the latter group, Godard was first a film critic in Paris, often associated with the magazine Cahiers du Cinéma (founded in 1951).

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Godard made a number of politically radical films. The mass general strike of May-June 1968 in France figured prominently in his development at this time. From the mid-1970s onward, disoriented by national and global events, Godard experimented with images and sound in a series of increasingly gloomy, incoherent works. Many of his later films are virtually unwatchable.

Godard’s body of work, which includes nearly 50 feature films and dozens of shorter ones, is peculiar in that, at the time of his death, it could be argued that he had not directed a genuinely significant work in half a century. The key to that does not lie in the filmmaker’s mysteriously losing his touch, although no doubt there was a personal intellectual decline (almost a dissolution), but in the political and artistic environment in which he worked for decades, dominated by demoralization and pessimism.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, October 7, 2022. BROS, Iraq, Julian Assange and much more.

On BROS, I made the points I wanted to make in the last two snapshots (here and here) and thought we were not going to cover it today.  Then came the online push claiming that FIRE ISLAND does what BROS did not.

No, it doesn't.  

You have no understanding of film if you believe that.  First off, FIRE ISLAND did not become a conversation.  Second, it wasn't a strong film.  The first act is slow and weak.  Ava and I covered it when it came out:

Jane shouldn't do stand up. Stand up comedian Joel Kim Booster shouldn't try to write screenplays. He wrote the script for FIRE ISLAND -- an update on Jane Austen's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. The first forty minutes are excruciating. Once we get into Joel's character and the film's Mr. Darcy, it begins to work. You actually care about those two.


Too many movies -- and TV shows (think NAOMI) -- are just spitting out characters and confusing audiences.

The reason films used "types" -- Thelma Ritter and others for character roles -- was to help the audience follow. It's also why famous and semi-famous people are often cast in roles. Outside of Margaret Cho, most of the cast is unfamiliar to movie goers. Joel' screenplay starts with too many characters and they really needed to cast recognizable faces or at least distinct ones. CLUELESS, another update of Jane Austen, worked because it established characters and used 'types' -- the skateboarder, the preppie, etc.

There is also the fact that it's a celibate film.  Did no one notice that?  Honestly, a number of gay people on Twitter are pimping this as better than BROS but it's a chaste little film for the female/male lead.  If you don't get it, it's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen.  It's an adaptation.  Joel Kim Booster makes a lovely Elizabeth Bennett, but not much of a gay man living in 2022.  

The film has many things going for it.  But it's akin to an independent film like IT'S MY PARTY in terms of look and feel.  It wasn't an advance and considering Joel's remarks in his NETFLIX special -- his angry screeds -- I'm surprised anyone's pimping this.  Ava and I also noted that, "His persona may just be saying things for humor. If that's the case, keep it up. But if he's serious about getting complaints from gay people about his jokes, he might try grasping that he's not The Voice for Gay America."

I'm glad that PRIDE AND PREJUDICE still resonates.  But FIRE ISLAND reminds me of the play a famous blowhard wrote in college.  It was his life story.  He made himself front and center in the play.  And every other character existed to tell him how great he was.  They really weren't characters in their own right.  After he started writing films (and, later, bad TV), he just knew his play would connect with me.  (I'd passed on his previous projects.)  I was ambushed while having lunch (a friend tipped him off).  I was still a smoker then, thank goodness because I couldn't have made it through his play without a vice.  Indulgent was the kindest term.  

I told him it was as though Jules (Demi Moore's character in ST. ELMO'S FIRE) had written her own story.  There was no understanding of the world around her (I'm not talking politics or anything other than her immediate world) and that the other characters were all props for the main character (him).  There was no arc of growth.  It was just one indulgent scene after another.

I know screenplays, I've read a number, I've acted a number and I'm also good at plot points and finding where the beat should be (those last two are with regards to films I'm not a part of but that friends who are directors seek my opinion on). 

There are many reasons you can like a film.  It can be a hideous mess like 1987's ANNA but you can love it for Sally Kirkland's  outstanding performance.  Jane Fonda elevated KLUTE to film classic with her performance -- the finest performance by any actor or actress in a film that was released in the second half of the 20th century. You can love a film because the character reminds you of someone you love -- or of yourself.  A film can be a significant piece of art all around -- SOME LIKE IT HOT, for example -- and you love it for that reason.

And there are aspects to applaud with regards to FIRE ISLAND.  But, no, it's not on the level of BROS.  It's screenplay dithers at the start.  It's casting is way off.  It feels like a Greg Berlanti project and, no, that's not a compliment.  Greg wasn't the unnamed blow hard I was referring to above.  That blowhard is straight.

It may reflect your life onscreen and that's great if it does.  But by any critical measure it's just an okay film/TV movie.  

It's not revolutionary or brave -- I think Doris Day got more action in PILLOW TALK than Joel Kim Booster did in FIRE ISLAND. 

And to be clear, FIRE ISLAND isn't a bad film.  It's a weak film.  AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS is a bad film.  

Fire Island came out with a bang as not only was it released during pride month, but according to Mashable, it was the sixth most streamed film during the week of its release, outperforming Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Meanwhile, Bros was unable to outgross the Avatar re-release and is currently being vastly outperformed by the new horror film, Smile.

May 24th is when SONIC 2 came out on streaming.  That means it was in its fourth week of streaming release when FIRE ISLAND 'beat it.'  JURRASIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is a 2017 movie.  And that week that is highlighted?  FIRE ISLAND is not the number one streaming film -- not even number one of rom-coms.  No, Sandra Bullock's LOST CITY is number three -- and it came out on streaming May 10th -- and weeks and weeks later it still beat FIRE ISLAND.  I don't know how you see that as a win but most people aren't stupid enough to scan Crapapedia and then write a report.  You can call it cribbing but let's be honest, it's plagiarism -- and plagiarism of a very bad source.

BROS came in number five last weekend.  It's harder to sell tickets -- a pandemic, Hurricane Ian, fears of harm over buying a ticket to a movie with a storyline about gay people, etc -- so don't compare the two -- but if the metrics were exact, BROS still did better.  Yet WE GOT THIS COVERED starts out their (mis)report insisting BROS bombed. (BROS sold 1.5 million in tickets -- that's Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday -- Thursdays numbers will be released later today.  People are continuing to see the film.)

Another thing, stop writing about the movie if you didn't see it.  And I'm not really sure what you can understand about a film and its response in the United States when you're writing from Australia -- in other words, maybe butt the hell out.  It's interesting that BROS is said to be "less gay" than FIRE ISLAND.  That's not accurate.  Again, maybe don't comment on the movie you didn't see.  Aaron (Luke MacFarlane) is a "BRO" singular.  And Bobby (Billy) thinks Aaron only likes BROS.  But Aaron is the only BRO in the film.  (Some men in the club may or may not be BROS -- they don't have dialogue and we don't know.)   I'm sorry that idiots on Twitter who haven't seen the film have influenced an idiot at WE GOT THIS COVERED to write about something that's completely inaccurate.  There are tons of characters in the films -- gay, lesbian, bi, trans, etc -- Aaron's the only BRO.  We assume that his old friend from high school is probably a BRO. (Bobby makes that assumption when he's worried that Aaron doesn't find him attractive.)   But Aaron spent his life assuming that his hockey team buddy was straight.  And he's not acting very BRO when he's in bed with Aaron, Bobby and Steven. 

Jamyl Dobson's character may strike some as a BRO but a BRO wouldn't have a Barbra Streisand poster up on their wall.  Again, it helps, when critiquing a film, to have actually seen it.

There are a multitude of characters in BROS -- they are not all the same.

And that's what screenwriter  Joel Kim Booster doesn't grasp -- not everyone is alike, not everyone is the same.  Actors in FIRE ISLAND can only do so much with a weak script. 

The idiot at WE GOT THIS COVERED is repeating a false charge and that is why you really need to see a movie to comment on it.  The exception is commenting that you have no interest in seeing the film.  I'm fine with that.  I have always been fine with that.  But if you don't see the film you really shouldn't be talking about what it is or what it isn't because you honestly don't know.

I loved WORLD CAN'T WAIT and Debra Sweet (I know Debra).  But when she started slamming a film and calling for it to be censored -- when she hadn't seen it?  We dropped WORLD CAN'T WAIT.  

I'm an artist first and foremost.  And I'm not ever going to support cries of censorship to begin with.  But when you start attacking a work that you haven't seen?  

Go find another person to plug your activities because it won't be me.

You failed to do the basics before jumping into this conversation.  You're an idiot, Erielle Sudario for writing the article.  And it reveals how vested you are in attacking Billy and what he has done that you rush your ill thought out words into print.  They couldn't pass a fact check. Don't they teach journalism in Australia?

Equally true, since I'm now writing on the topic again, let me plug my friend Luke who is better looking than anyone in FIRE ISLAND.  He has true charisma.  Not just chemistry with Bobby, but true charisma.  And he looks hot as hell in the film.

We need to point out  the sexism involved in Twitter segment that WE GOT THIS COVERED elected to amplify.  A small group of gays are saying FIRE ISLAND is better because it's their life (they wish) and they're worried about representation.


Or are you just self-involved jerks?

Because I only saw Margaret Cho playing a lesbian in FIRE ISLAND.  

14 people in the main cast and only one's a woman -- and this is representative?  

If that truly reflects your life, what a sad life you live.

(There are 21 characters in the main cast of BROS.  I am counting Debra Messing who plays herself -- and is hilarious -- as a character because she's in more than one scene.  I am not counting Kenan Thompson, Ben Stiller, Amy Schumer, Seth Meyers or Kristin Chenoweth as characters -- they do cameos.  Explain to me also which FIRE ISLAND characters were bi, trans or non-binary?  Again, a small group of Twitter trolls are playing 'woke' but just sporting their hatred of women and anyone who isn't like them.)  

The unruly Twitter children are out of their minds as they drool over their own mirrored reflections.  It's why they rush to celebrate FIRE ISLAND -- a bunch of young, gay men -- and say BROS -- whose characters truly are LGBTQ and straight -- isn't 'representative.'

COFFEE AND TEQUILA has offered two strong pieces covering BROS this week.  We've already noted the first one in a snapshot but let's put it in this snapshot too.

And now here's the more recent one.

Let's note one more time that today is October 7th.  Why?  Monday will be October 10th.  It's very unlikely that, over the weekend, Iraq's politicians are going to pull their act together.  October 10, 2021 was when Iraq held elections.  Still waiting on the formation of the new government.  No new prime minister.  No new cabinet of ministers.  No new president.  

It will be one full year on Monday.  And there's no end in sight.  Blame it on a Biden?  Iraq's always struggled some but the last time it took this long?  Joe Biden was in charge of Iraq.  Then-President Barack Obama had put Joe in charge.  It was 2010.  It took 289 days for the government to be formed -- 289 days after the election.  

In that instance, the incumbent -- former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki -- refused to honor the results and step down.  So Joe oversaw The Erbil Agreement -- a contract signed by Iraq's political leaders which tossed the votes aside and gave Nouri a second term.

This go round, Joe's been notoriously absent from the scene of the crime.  Despite repeating urging from the Congress, he's done nothing.  Well, sometimes doing nothing is sending a message.  Noted failure Mustafa al-Kahdimi is the 'caretaker' prime minister at present since the Parliament still can't name one.  And Mustafa and Joe are not, to put it mildly, close.

Joe doesn't go to Iraq.  They don't talk.

Now Mustafa did visit the US last month.  He and Joe were both at the United Nations.  But Joe ignored him and didn't visit with him.  He met with many -- including the Prime Minister of Japan -- a man whose name the White House struggled with repeatedly in press releases announcing the visit.  They sent out a written message on each meet up.

There was no meet up with Mustafa and, as a friend with the State Dept stated to me, "That was the message."


Sadly, some didn't get the memo.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi's visit to Erbil looks like a courageous step in the current delicate circumstances that Iraq, one of the most important countries in the region, is going through.

This step proves that Kadhimi, although he leads an outgoing government, wants to be the prime minister of all of Iraq and of all Iraqis.

Let's translate that whoring into reality.  This is what Khairallah's really saying:

My buddy Mustafa and I remain close and I don't disclose it anymore than various press outlets Mustafa used to work for ever disclose that Mustafa was their employee before he became prime minister.  That's why we pimp him as some great leader when he's an inept failure who has accomplished nothing despite being handed the post of prime minister.   The US Ambassador has told Mustafa that now is not the time for oil disputes -- not with Opec's recent moves and inflation -- and, Iraqi court verdict or not -- Mustafa was told to get his ass to the KRG and try to make some sort of peace between the KRG and Baghdad and do so quickly  because the US government is really tired of Mustafa.

You can pin a lot of the blame on the press that covered for Mustafa and pretended he wasn't the problem.  He didn't fix anything.  Things got even worse under his 'leadership.'

And that's before we get to the continued armed struggle in southern Iraq.  Daniel Stewart (360 NEWS) 'reports:'

Prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered armed groups under his control to suspend their activities in almost the entire country in order not to increase tensions after weeks of heavy clashes in Basra province between the cleric's forces and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a coalition of pro-Iranian militias.

No, Danny, not "all."  MEMO explains:

Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr today announced the freezing of all his armed factions across Iraq, except the northern province of Saladin.

Saleh Mohamed Al-Iraqi, a leader of the Sadr's movement, said the influential cleric also "banned the use of weapons in all provinces except Saladin and Samarra city."

It was not yet clear why Saladin province was not included in the ban.

Salih Mohammed al-Iraqi, a close associate of Sadr, said in a statement on behalf of the Shiite leader that they were freezing all armed factions, including the Saraya al-Salam, and banning the use of weapons in all Iraqi provinces except for Salahaddin to “avoid sedition” in Basra, adding “otherwise, we will take other measures later.”

Iraqi also called on the commander-in-chief of the armed forces Kadhimi to control the “disrespectful” militias of Qais al-Khazali, secretary-general of AAH, as they “know nothing but terror and money and power.”

AAH?  Danny gets that part right "the League of the Righteous (Asaib Ahl al Haq or AAH) militia."

January 10, 2020, the US State Dept designated Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq as a terrorist organization.  Prior to that, it was most infamous for killing US troops in Iraq.  You'd never know that from the sobbing some in the US gave when one of its leaders was killed.  Long before that happened, it was a terrorist group and Barack Obama was happy to make deals with the group.

For those unfamiliar with the League of Righteous, among other things, they kidnapped 5 British citizens in Baghdad and, when Barack Obama's administration entered into negotiations with them, released 3 corpses and 1 hostage alive (Peter Moore was the one alive) after their leaders were released from prison and, much later, released the corpse of the fifth British citizen.  The four turned over dead were  Jason Swindlehurst, Jason Creswell,  Alec MacLachlan and (turned over much later)  Alan McMenemy The Obama administration's decision to enter into talks with the group was shocking considering the group also brags of their attack on a US military base in Iraq in which five American soldiers were killed.

Dropping back to the June 9, 2009 snapshot:

This morning the New York Times' Alissa J. Rubin and Michael Gordon offered "U.S. Frees Suspect in Killing of 5 G.I.'s." Martin Chulov (Guardian) covered the same story, Kim Gamel (AP) reported on it, BBC offered "Kidnap hope after Shia's handover" and Deborah Haynes contributed "Hope for British hostages in Iraq after release of Shia militant" (Times of London). The basics of the story are this. 5 British citizens have been hostages since May 29, 2007. The US military had in their custody Laith al-Khazali. He is a member of Asa'ib al-Haq. He is also accused of murdering five US troops. The US military released him and allegedly did so because his organization was not going to release any of the five British hostages until he was released. This is a big story and the US military is attempting to state this is just diplomacy, has nothing to do with the British hostages and, besides, they just released him to Iraq. Sami al-askari told the New York Times, "This is a very sensitive topic because you know the position that the Iraqi government, the U.S. and British governments, and all the governments do not accept the idea of exchanging hostages for prisoners. So we put it in another format, and we told them that if they want to participate in the political process they cannot do so while they are holding hostages. And we mentioned to the American side that they cannot join the political process and release their hostages while their leaders are behind bars or imprisoned." In other words, a prisoner was traded for hostages and they attempted to not only make the trade but to lie to people about it. At the US State Dept, the tired and bored reporters were unable to even broach the subject. Poor declawed tabbies. Pentagon reporters did press the issue and got the standard line from the department's spokesperson, Bryan Whitman, that the US handed the prisoner to Iraq, the US didn't hand him over to any organization -- terrorist or otherwise. What Iraq did, Whitman wanted the press to know, was what Iraq did. A complete lie that really insults the intelligence of the American people. CNN reminds the five US soldiers killed "were: Capt. Brian S. Freeman, 31, of Temecula, California; 1st Lt. Jacob N. Fritz, 25, of Verdon, Nebraska; Spc. Johnathan B. Chism, 22, of Gonzales, Louisiana; Pfc. Shawn P. Falter, 25, of Cortland, New York; and Pfc. Johnathon M. Millican, 20, of Trafford, Alabama." Those are the five from January 2007 that al-Khazali and his brother Qais al-Khazali are supposed to be responsible for the deaths of. Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Robert H. Reid (AP) states that Jonathan B. Chism's father Danny Chism is outraged over the release and has declared, "They freed them? The American military did? Somebody needs to answer for it."

They never did answer for it.  People treated it as normal that a leader responsible for the deaths of five Americans was released from American custody.  Barack should have been called out.

Well he was.

In the Arabic media, the League of Righteous called him out, mocked and made fund of him, bragged about delaying the release of Alan McMenemy to show Barack who was running things.  

But he should have been called out in the US media.  The news of it registered with military families but otherwise it was just a headline quickly forgotten.

 As Joni Mitchell observes in "Dog Eat Dog:"

Land of snap decisions
Land of short attention spans
Nothing is savored
Long enough to really understand
In every culture in decline
The watchful ones among the slaves
Know all that is genuine will be
Scorned and conned and cast away

Dog eat dog
People looking seeing nothing
Dog eat dog
People listening hearing nothing
Dog eat dog
People lusting loving nothing
Dog eat dog
People stroking touching nothing
Dog eat dog
Knowing nothing
Dog eat dog

Land of short attention spans.  

US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange for the 'crime' of exposing War Crimes carried out by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Let's again note this Kevin Gosztola report on a British television discussion of Julian.

A segment on Piers Morgan’s “Uncensored Program” yesterday provided its mass audience with a rare and unvarnished demonstration of the two sides in the case of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who is imprisoned in Britain and faces extradition to the United States for exposing American war crimes.

On the one hand, Assange’s wife Stella Moris outlined the dire precedent that the US is seeking to establish by prosecuting a journalist for publishing true information. She spoke eloquently in defence of the democratic rights of Assange and the population at large, as well as on the importance of upholding international legal norms.

On the other hand, John Bolton, a lifelong Republican politician and state apparatchik, ranted and raved as he asserted the “right” of the American government to ruin the life of anyone who gets in the way of its “national interests.”

The program was broadcast on British television’s TalkTV station, and has already been watched hundreds of thousands of times on social media. 

The response demonstrates the true public opinion of Assange, which is generally buried by the official media. Moris has received widespread praise for her thoughtful and principled comments, including her statements on Bolton’s own relationship to war crimes. Bolton’s remarks have been condemned as dangerous and frightening.

Morgan began by noting that Assange has been locked up in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison, a “very high security” and “grim” facility, for almost four years, following seven years of arbitrary detention at Ecuador’s British embassy. Where did Moris think the case would go, and what did she hope to achieve, he asked.

Moris, who is herself a widely-respected human rights lawyer, explained: “Julian faces a potential sentence in the United States of 175 years for doing journalistic work. For receiving information from a source and publishing it, and it was in the public interest. It was about US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he revealed tens of thousands of civilian deaths that had not been acknowledged before.”

Morgan said that he would play “devil’s advocate,” repeating the oft-repeated claim that while the Guardian and the New York Times had redacted the material from whistleblower Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks had dumped it online, placing individuals at risk.

Asked if she accepted this argument, Moris replied forcefully: “I don’t accept it, because it’s not true. WikiLeaks did actually redact all of those documents that Manning gave to WikiLeaks, and in fact it was in cooperation with those newspapers.”

WikiLeaks, Moris noted, had withheld 15,000 documents from the US army’s Afghan war logs, and had been criticised by some for extensive redactions of the Iraq war logs. The publication of 250,000 leaked diplomatic cables, in full, had not been the doing of WikiLeaks. Instead it was the outcome of Guardian journalists recklessly publishing the password to the tranche in a book.

While the US government persecutes Julian Assange, it meets-and-greets and celebrate nazis.  Jacob Crosse (WSWS) reports:

Last month leading members of both US political parties met with high-ranking soldiers of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion at the Capitol in Washington D.C.

The week-long meetings in Washington by the fascist delegations, who were warmly greeted by Republican and Democratic politicians alike, have gone virtually unreported in the press.

In their posts first exposing the visit, journalist Moss Robeson revealed that one of the Azov soldiers that visited the Capitol was Giorgi Kuparashvili. Robeson wrote that Kupraashvili is a “a co-founder of the Azov Regiment and the leader of its Yevhen Konovalets Military School, named for the founder of the fascistic Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.”

The Azov Battalion was founded in 2014 by white supremacist Andriy Biletsky. The organization is teeming with fascists and racists who idolize Stepan Bandera, a fascist who as a member of the OUN-B collaborated with the Waffen SS during World War II in carrying out the Holocaust in Ukraine.

The embrace of neo-Nazis in the Capitol by both big-business parties obliterates any pretense that the US government is fighting for “democracy” or “human rights” in Ukraine, or anywhere else.

In publicly available Telegram posts, the Association of Families of Azovstal Defenders, an organization comprised of family members of Azov soldiers, boasted that Kateryna Prokopenko, Yuliya Fedosyuk and Alla Somilenko joined Azov soldiers, Kupraashvili, Vladyslav Zhaivoronka and Artur Lypka in holding face-to-face meetings with Democratic and Republican legislators alike.

The following sites updated:

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