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One year after the invasion of Ukraine: The media, vanguard of the war party

The following poem was written for the “Poets for Peace—5/6 benefit“.

On War

Le Monde Diplomatique last March in plain French for all to read: 

One year after the invasion of Ukraine: The Media: Vanguard of the war party.1

No journalists allowed.
   Only cheerleaders and propagandists for the merchants of death.

No politicians honestly concerned with national security.
   Only cheerleaders and propagandists for the merchants of death.

No press freedom nor peaceful assembly,
   For they threaten the merchants of death
   and their cheerleaders
   and their propagandists
   and their emperors with no clothes.

Only children with no clothes,
   and no food and no books.
Only death and destruction
   worse than “surrender”.
Worse than “surrender”
   and continuing the conflict with nonviolence
   with Rules of Engagement by Gandhi and King
and by Erica Chenoweth2 and Maria Stephan,3
   whose data threaten the merchants of death.4

Arms manufacturers are NOT merchants of death.
   Only their lobbyists
   and their paid toadies in legislative assemblies
   and their paid toadies as media executives.

Everyone needs a strong, effective national defense.
   No one needs to manufacture enemies
   at rates that could exceed our abilities to suppress them.

No one needs government secrecy
   USED to stampede the public and elected officials
   into counterproductive uses of military force.5

No one needs government officials
   who lie to Congress and the public
   while people who expose those lies
   rot in jail,
Rot in jail 
   like Manning6 and Hale.7

I took an oath to protect and defend 
   the Constitution of the United States.
   Manning and Hale were true to that oath 
   while government leaders betrayed that oath
   while the major media gave them no option:
   betray the nation or do not get elected. 
   while Manning and Hale rot in jail. 

No one needs to die for a cause that is better served
   by nonviolence
   and rule of law.

by Spencer Graves, Secretary, PeaceWorks Kansas City 

Spencer is a Vietnam-era veteran, whose activism was awakened by that experience and sharpened by decades of searching for perspectives on important issues rarely covered adequately by the major media. 

Russo-Ukraine War map copyright 2022 Viewsridge, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International license (

Text: copyright 2023 Spencer Graves: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International license.

1 Serge Halimi and Pierre Rimbert, in French: “Un an après l’invasion de l’Ukraine, une débàcle du journalisme: Les médias, avant-garde du parti de la guerre”. My translation: “One year after the invasion of Ukraine, a debacle of journalism: The media, vanguard of the war party”. Their translation: “Ukraine war: Lessons from the textbook of journalistic error: Western media as cheerleaders for war”, Le Monde Diplomatique (, 2023-03. Accessed 2023-05-04. 

2 Wikipedia, “Erica Chenoweth” (

3 Wikipedia, “Maria Stephan” (

4 The work of Chenoweth and Stephan is summarized in Wikiversity, “Effective defense” (

5 Matthew Connelly (2023) The Declassification Engine: What History Reveals About America’s Top Secrets (Pantheon).

6 Wikipedia, “Chelsea Manning“.

7 Wikipedia, “Daniel Hale“.

Russo-Ukraine War 2022-12-01
Status of forces in Russo-Ukraine war 2022-12-01

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