Glenn Greenwald
Politics • Writing • Culture
Ukraine's Counteroffensive Is Officially a Failure—It’s Time to Reevaluate. Trump Indictments Boost Already-Significant Primary Lead. Covering the Republican Debate LIVE From Milwaukee
Video Transcript
August 22, 2023
post photo preview

Watch the full episode here: 



Good evening. It's Monday, August 21. Welcome to a new episode of System Update, our live nightly show that airs every Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern exclusively here on Rumble, the free speech alternative to YouTube.

Tonight: there is no question that the war in Ukraine has radically changed. Even Western media outlets that have been steadfastly cheerleading for this war – and, indeed, even Ukrainians themselves – are now admitting what battlefield realities dispositively prove. The much-vaunted Ukrainian counter-offensive – the imminent dramatic event we were assured for months would be transformative in finally giving Ukraine the upper hand and dislodging entrenched Russian positions inside Ukraine: a claim that doubled as a propaganda tool to assuage a growingly restless Western population about their endless support for this war – is now, no matter how you slice it, a failure. 

After months of multi-pronged attacks, Ukraine's gains are so minimal and trivial as to be barely worth noting. Russia continues to occupy a very significant chunk of both Eastern and southern Ukraine, along with Crimea which they have held since 2014. Even Western intelligence reports acknowledge that the Russians' defensive positions are more fortified and entrenched than any seen in decades. The U.S. has already depleted its own stockpiles of artillery and other vital weapons and simply does not have to give Ukraine what they need to have any hope of changing this situation in anything resembling the near- or the short-term future.

What makes all of this vastly worse is that the cost to Ukrainians in their lives is staggeringly high. Consider just this one harrowing data point: more Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the first 18 months of this war than the number of American soldiers killed during the decade-plus war in Vietnam. The Ukrainian men who were eager to fight and who volunteered to do so have long ago been used up – killed, maimed, or exhausted. Zelensky's only option for continuing combat is to increase domestic repression, impose greater and greater punishment for desertion, and use harsher and harsher means to force those unwilling to fight to do so against their will. In so many ways, this conflict resembles some of the worst horrors of World War I, including the need to put unwilling men who do not want to fight the deeply grim choice of either offering themselves up as cannon fodder or facing unimaginably harsh punishments by a government completely unconstrained by basic considerations of human rights or legal process, operating under full-scale martial law.

At this point, debates over who is to blame for this war barely matter. All that does matter is the question of how this will end, and who will end it. It is simply becoming unsustainable – politically, economically, and morally – to justify having Western nations pour their resources into fueling and continuing this war that Ukraine has less and less chance of winning. At the start of the war, many who claim that the real goal of the US was not to save Ukraine and Ukrainians but rather to destroy them – at the altar of their geostrategic goal of weakening Russia – were accused of being callous and conspiratorial. Now, there is little reasonable space to contest that they were right all along.

Joe Biden just asked for another $25 billion to keep this war going – as he offered $700 checks per household to the victims of the Maui fire and as profits for the European arms industry reach such record heights that they do not even bother to conceal their glee. Even if you were someone who supported the US role in Ukraine back in February of 2022 with the best of intentions – namely, you wanted to help a country seeing to avoid Russian domination – the failed nature of this mission has to compel a re-evaluation of perspective and policy. The last thing this war is doing is protecting Ukraine and Ukrainians. It is destroying both of those while imposing suffering among everyone in the U.S. and Western countries other than a tiny sliver of arms dealers and intelligence agencies. In other words, the war in Ukraine is following exactly the same pattern as every other U.S. war fought over the last 50 years.

Then: polling data now leaves no doubt - none – that every time Donald Trump is freshly indicted, his polling lead among Republican voters both increases and solidifies. We'll examine exactly why it is that a presidential candidate being indicted by the Justice Department and district attorneys around the country is actually helping his standing with Republican voters. 

And then, finally: this week we will be in Milwaukee to cover the Trump-free GOP presidential debate live. We will have coverage both before and after the debate starts, as well as - we hope - interviews with candidates and others who are there. 

Our primary reason for going is that - while Fox is hosting the debate and has exclusive rights to broadcast it on TV – this is the first time that Rumble has received the exclusive rights to broadcast and stream the debate live online. We regard this as a watershed moment for both independent journalism and a free internet: this was a rejection by the Republican Party of Big Tech platforms, motivated in part by the fact that GOP voters dislike and distrust Big Tech, but still, something that could only have happened if independent media in general and Rumble, in particular, were growing with enough speed and developing enough of a reach to a mass audience that the GOP could afford to give Rumble exclusive rights. That is exactly what is happening, and we will spend a little time before heading to the airport tonight to fly to Milwaukee discussing the significance of this moment.

As a programming note, as you know, we are encouraging our viewers to download the Rumble app, which works on your iPhone and smartphone in particular, among other things, the app can notify you the minute we go live on the air. And especially in weeks like this, when our schedule might be different because we may be going live on the air at unpredictable times, you won't have to wait around or figure it out. You'll be notified right to your phone or email exactly when we start airing online. It will also help the platform and we encourage you to encourage others to follow other Rumble programs as well.

As one final reminder, System Update is also available in podcast form where you can follow us on Spotify, Apple and all other major podcasting platforms. And if you rate and review the program, it helps spread the visibility of the show. 

For now, welcome to a new episode of System Update, starting right now. 

Only for Supporters
To read the rest of this article and access other paid content, you must be a supporter
What else you may like…
Watch Tonight's Monologue

Due to a connection issue, our stream was cut short tonight.
You can find the entire episode below.

We apologize for this technical difficulty - thank you so much for your continued support.

Listen to this Article: Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok's Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted

For years, U.S. officials and their media allies accused Russia, China and Iran of tyranny for demanding censorship as a condition for Big Tech access. Now, the U.S. is doing the same to TikTok. Listen below.

Listen to this Article: Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok's Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted

What is going on here:
Iowa has the first-in-the-nation caucus, where Iowans will gather to pick who they want to see as their party's Presidential candidate. But things are a bit different this year. Learn more about what will happen on caucus night - Monday, January 15, 2024 (at 7 pm).

Only Republicans will pick and announce their Presidential choice that night. Iowa Democrats will still hold a caucus to conduct party business (like setting the party's issue priorities), but they will pick their preferred Presidential candidate using a mail-in preference card that can be requested now through February 19, 2024. Mail-in ballots will begin hitting your mailboxes on January 12, 2024.

I think Dave Rubin tried to associate himself with Eric Weinstein’s analysis, as a way of providing a response to being called out for his hypocrisy… his use of the word “we” and “people like us” is pretty funny and pathetic… as well as staged/pre planned

post photo preview
WEEKLY WEIGH-IN: We Want to Hear From YOU!
Weekly Weigh-In

Thank you so much for your continued support through another week of SYSTEM UPDATE with Glenn Greenwald! Any thoughts you’d like to share?

This post will be pinned to our profile for the next week, so comment below anytime with your questions, insights, future topic ideas/guest recommendations, etc. Let’s get a conversation going!

Glenn may even address some particularly interesting exchanges on our next supporters-only After Show.



Sleepy Sylvester works hard on some thoughtful responses with co-host Glenn on our Locals after show.

Read full Article
post photo preview
Weekly Newsletter

We are pleased to send you a summary of the key stories we covered last week. These are written versions of the reporting and analysis we did on last week's episodes of SYSTEM UPDATE.

—Glenn Greenwald

Only for Supporters
To read the rest of this article and access other paid content, you must be a supporter
Read full Article
post photo preview
Weekly Recap

Good Morning SYSTEM UPDATE Community,

Welcome to the SYSTEM UPDATE recap, your weekend digest featuring everything we’ve covered throughout the previous week. 



Prefer to listen to your daily news analysis? Reminder that FULL episodes of SYSTEM UPDATE are available anywhere you listen to podcasts🎙️



Elon Meets Netanyahu in Israel—Why? Vivek Ramaswamy on Free Speech Debates, Ukraine, & More. Plus: CNN & Senate Dems Demand More Censorship Over Israel

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (6:48)

Censorship Demands Continue (13:37)

Elon Visits Israel (32:09)

Interview with Vivek Ramaswamy (1:11:06)

Ending (1:34:58)



Americans Fired Since Oct. 7—What They Really Said. Is TikTok Censoring for China or the US? 

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (9:38)

Canceling Israel’s Critics (14:58)

Who Does TikTok Really Serve? (55:29)

Ending (1:29:18)


Supporters-Only After Show for Tuesday, November 28

We moved to Locals for our supporters-only, interactive after show, where Glenn shared his thoughts on some burning audience questions:



Almost none of the Arab countries will back up the Palestinian cause with any impactful political actions. And if a certain Arab country does decide to, they get destroyed literally or metaphorically. How can the Palestinians have any chance of statehood if these geopolitical conditions and order remains?  



Irish viewer here. Do you have any thoughts on the ongoing Irish hate speech legislation? Have you ever considered having MEP Clare Daly on the show? 


Available for paid supporters here

Want to join us every Tuesday and Thursday for this supporter-exclusive, live after show? Become a paid supporter here!



Leading Palestine Expert Rashid Khalidi on Israel-Gaza, College Campuses, & More. Plus: Elon Musk’s Defiant Message to Disney

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (4:18)

Elon’s Defiant Message to Disney (9:35)

Interview with Rashid Khalidi (24:53)

Ending (1:15:21)



The Murderous Life & Legacy of Henry Kissinger: Perfect Symbol of the Rotted US Security State

Full transcript will be available for paid supporters here.




Intro (10:40)

Henry Kissinger: A Murderous Legacy (16:30)

Ending (1:38:24)


Supporters-Only After Show for Thursday, November 30

We moved to Locals for our supporters-only, interactive after show, where Glenn shared his thoughts on some burning audience questions:  



Your shows on free speech have been very informative. You distinguished between state action and private company decisions in the context of firings for example. I’ve been wondering how to think about free speech at universities and in particular whether the rules are different for private vs. public/state universities. And even for private universities whether it matters if they receive government funding. Thanks.



Glenn, can we get a deep look at some of these 3rd party corporations involved in "Trust and Safety" i.e. censorship? Seems like platforms are outsourcing more and more censorship to 3rd parties and it is a massively booming business model.


Available for paid supporters here.



Taibbi/Shellenberger Clash with Censorship Regime in Congress (Again). DEBATE: Glenn & Israel Supporter, Max Abrahms Discuss War in Gaza

Full transcript will be available for paid supporters on Monday.




Intro (7:34)

Facing the Censorship Regime (12:04)

Interview with Max Abrahms (37:21)

Ending (1:48:26)


*Today’s show was brought to you by the Wellness Company. Go to and grab your prescription kits now–code GLENN saves you 10% at checkout!  


Thank you so much for your continued support—have a great week!

Read full Article
See More
Available on mobile and TV devices
google store google store app store app store
google store google store app tv store app tv store amazon store amazon store roku store roku store
Powered by Locals