Blinken’s Kyiv Visit: More Harm than Help

Travaglio mocks Western leaders for contradictory policies on Ukraine, highlighting absurdity and hypocrisy in their approaches.

Marco Travaglio’s editorial criticizes Western leaders for their contradictory and ineffective policies regarding Ukraine, mocking the EU’s openness to far-right alliances and Blinken’s visit to Kyiv, where his guitar performance was seen as more beneficial than military support. Travaglio’s scathing tone underscores the absurdity of current geopolitical strategies.

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Bright minds

by Marco Travaglio

To illustrate the state of our leadership in the “Empire of Good,” here are two news items that spark hope for a third world war. The “liberal” Charles Michel, the EU’s most “bright” mind (only because the other is von der Leyen), says post-election alliances “only matter in substance.” This means even “far-right” parties, boasting “collaborative personalities,” are acceptable if they are “ready to support Ukraine, defend democratic principles, and strengthen the EU.” The idea of allying with neo-fascists to defend democracy might seem slightly contradictory, but not if “democratic principles” mean arms for Ukraine, which has abolished opposition parties and deploys neo-Nazi battalions.

The “democratic” Antony Blinken, the USA’s most “bright” mind (only because the other is Biden), visited Zelensky (since Netanyahu now kicks him around) to prepare for the funerals of Kharkiv and a few thousand young Ukrainians. Despite looking “concerned” over the ongoing disaster, Blinken appeared smiling, announced new armaments while Kiev reports it’s “out of soldiers” and has no trenches left because the 170 million recently allocated by NATO were swindled by local corrupt officials. In high spirits, Blinken grabbed a guitar and sang a Neil Young song with a punk-rock band in a Kiev pub. Unfortunately, he didn’t realize he chose one of Young’s most savage critiques of US society: Rockin’ in the Free World. After his little performance, with remarkable timing, he warmly greeted the Ukrainian soldiers who are “fighting for us,” meaning by proxy. This greatly pleased the most “bright” mind of Italo-Atlantism, Paolo Mieli: “Blinken, in Kyiv, ditched the suit and nice guy image, donning jeans and a t-shirt, and went to a pub where he sang Rockin’ in the Free World. This did more for Ukraine than the promise of new weapons.” Had we known earlier, the West could have saved the 322 billion dollars wasted on Kiev and instead sent electric guitars and karaoke systems. Perhaps organizing Sanremo, Eurovision, or Castrocaro on the front lines. For the exhausted Ukrainian soldiers who survived the carnage, it must have been a great relief to learn that Blinken sings and plays well: an electrifying effect comparable only to Marilyn Monroe’s famous visit to the marines in Korea 70 years ago. The trouble is, the news spread among the Russian troops too, who are now hastening their march on Kiev via Kharkiv to not miss the next concert.

Il Fatto Quotidiano, May 16, 2024

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Rockin’ in the Free World

Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” is a politically charged anthem that explores the socio-political climate of late 1980s America. Released in 1989 on his album “Freedom,” the song serves as a critique of the policies and state of the country under the George H.W. Bush administration.

Themes and Lyrics

Criticism of the Government and Society: The song opens with biting commentary on the government’s failure to address social issues. Lyrics such as “There’s colors on the street, red, white, and blue / People shufflin’ their feet, people sleepin’ in their shoes” paint a stark picture of homelessness and poverty in a country that prides itself on freedom and prosperity.

Environmental Concerns: Young also touches on environmental issues, hinting at the negligence towards ecological degradation. This reflects his long-standing activism and concern for environmental preservation.

Irony and Patriotism: The chorus, “Keep on rockin’ in the free world,” is laced with irony. While it sounds celebratory, it underscores the contradictions between the ideal of freedom and the harsh realities many face. The repetition of this line juxtaposes the image of America as a bastion of freedom with the systemic issues that contradict this narrative.

Global Perspective: The song also reflects on America’s role on the global stage. Young references international politics, indirectly commenting on the U.S.’s influence and interventions abroad. This broader view aligns with the era’s geopolitical changes, including the end of the Cold War.

Musical Impact
Musically, “Rockin’ in the Free World” is characterized by its driving, grunge-influenced guitar riffs and energetic rhythm, embodying the raw, unpolished spirit of protest rock. The song became an anthem for dissent and remains relevant as a rallying cry for those critical of political and social injustices.


[Verse 1]
There’s colors on the street
Red, white, and blue
People shuffling their feet
People sleeping in their shoes
There’s a warning sign on the road ahead
There’s a lot of people saying we’d be better off dead
Don’t feel like Satan, but I am to them
So I try to forget it any way I can

Keep on rockin’ in the free world
Keep on rockin’ in the free world
Keep on rockin’ in the free world
Keep on rockin’ in the free world

[Verse 2]
I see a woman in the night
With a baby in her hand
There’s an old street light
Near a garbage can
Now she put the kid away and she’s gone to get a hit
She hates her life and what she’s done to it
There’s one more kid that’ll never go to school
Never get to fall in love, never get to be cool

Keep on rockin’ in the free world
Keep on rockin’ in the free world
Keep on rockin’ in the free world
Keep on rockin’ in the free world

[Electric Guitar Solo]

[Verse 3]
We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We got a kinder, gentler machine gun hand
We’ve got department stores and toilet paper
Got styrofoam boxes for the ozone layer
Got a man of the people says keep hope alive
Got fuel to burn, got roads to drive

Keep on rockin’ in the free world
Keep on rockin’ in the free world
Keep on rockin’ in the free world
Keep on rockin’ in the free world


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