Rodney Clough
4 min readFeb 25, 2022


The Dissidents Among Us

Above: Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, and author, “Pathologies of Power.” (1) Photo by John Ra, courtesy

Daily briefing, February 22, 2022

If modern warfare can be said to accomplish anything, then it would be to consolidate geo-political power in the hands of a few.

The last soldiers to put down their arms en masse and walk ‘off the job,’ since the soldiers on Russia’s Eastern Front in 1917, were American soldiers during the Vietnam ‘conflict.’ (2)

There is war.

And there is militarism.

And refugees, more refugees.

America experiences little of war except through the images of body bags carried off C17 Globemasters at Dover AFB.

America chooses to ignore/avoid militarism except through budget reconciliation. No filibustering here.

And refugees? Haven’t we paid for the wall yet?

Pity the Americans: we don’t realize what we are getting into. We are going ‘over there,’ preaching deterrence, wringing hands pulled from Wall Street’s cookie jar, watching, as our fossil-fueled 401Ks tank.

Financial sanctions, when a global financing cabal of thuggery surfaces in Zurich, seem like a hollow deterrent. Putin has been amassing hard currency for who knows how long.

He should know.

So Americans preach: violence and ‘over the horizon’ cannons and fighter jets are in the equation — ’boots on the ground,’ carriers off the coast. Military engagement, another hollow deterrent. Ukraine’s ‘residents’ have a choice: go underground and try to survive a violent resistance or fly away — those who can afford to — citizens of a new refugee sovereignty.

What’s left is global white-knuckled hesitancy.

Whom are we kidding?

America and her allies have tried transparency, economic punishment, and global exposure and have met misinformation, manipulation, exploitation, and propaganda. France’s Prime Minister Macron thought at least a head to head meeting would help the ‘major stakeholders’ resolve their positions.

Whom are we kidding?

Today, Tuesday, February 22, Dr. Paul Farmer died in Rwanda. In today’s global experience Farmer’s death reveals a different path, here described in a 2015 post.

“Patient-centered accompaniment in Russia,” Dr. Paul Farmer, June 16, 2015,

“This issue of PIH Reports introduces the Sputnik Program. Most readers would associate this term with the satellite of 1950s fame. But the word has also come to mean, in Russian parlance, “life partner” or “special friend” — someone around whom one’s life revolves. This need not have romantic connotation: as I was writing this, in Tomsk, a couple of Russian friends noted that, here in Siberia, extreme weather reminds people each year of the need for collaboration, of looking out for one another. Serious illness is another reminder. And so “Sputnik” became the name of an effort designed by PIH/Russia to help patients adhere to a difficult course of treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis…

“In the popular imagination, “Sputnik” will always be a Soviet satellite. But this is precisely why the term was used to describe PIH/Russia’s efforts to address the needs of those deemed incurable: the very notion of revolving around someone other than oneself has been too often devalued, even in medicine and public health. The Sputnik experience in Siberia serves as a reminder that the goal of clinical care, and of health systems, is to revolve around the patients.”

On Tuesday, February 22 with glazed over eyes Americans tethered to their cable information silo of choice, try to reckon the debacle unfolding before them in Ukraine.

‘History,’ it has been said, is lost at the end of a cannon. Wading into the ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ waters of a weak Poland Agreement, a weak sanctioning of Russian oligarch funds while Putin divides Crimea, even the reliance on Putin’s lie to lay off Ukraine in return for Western nuclear arms containment… all this seems to matter little, and too late.

When diplomacy fails, militarism succeeds.

Ukraine — too ‘corrupt’ and too broken — doesn’t get a seat at the Geneva table and her people wake up today to another day as Europe’s geo playground.

Even Chornobyl is being played.

For the ‘dissidents among us,’ (3) and let’s include the dissidents of Russia and China and those who image deterrence as ‘over the horizon’ aggression, there is needed a seat at the table.

Dr. Farmer’s legacy needs a seat at the table.

February 25–26

Note to my readers: Support the work of Dr. Paul Farmer by visiting Spread the word.


1-”Pathologies of Power,” (2003) Dr. Paul Farmer


3-Masha Gessen, “The Crushing Loss of Hope in Ukraine”



Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.