What Scares Me

When you’re trying to go about your life without the paralyzing fear of nuclear annihilation hanging overhead, you can use various coping strategies. You can distract yourself, perhaps asking your partner to watch a silly movie. You can compartmentalize e.g. I’ll think about that later but right now I’m concentrating on making dinner. You can rationalize: Pentagon brass and their counterparts around the globe have families, too, and don’t want them burnt to a crisp. You can get active organizing against war as in, all out for March 18!

Or, you can stop reading the news (when I stop doing this you’ll know I’m either dead or senile).

But no matter what I try to do, certain information breaks through my fear barriers.

For example, the bombing of the NordStream pipelines seemed to this history major a belligerent act of the magnitude of say 9/11 or the sinking of the Lusitania.

Bioweapons already unleashed upon the world scare me. Future potential for bioweapons we don’t even know about yet, ditto.

Massive, unusually prolonged earthquakes in less-than-cooperative NATO ally Turkiye following a week when a slew of Western diplomats mysteriously closed embassies there saying a terrorist attack was imminent. (Turkish President Erdogan responded to the diplomats leaving by accusing the West of a psyop or psychological manipulation to instill fear. Guess he was wrong on that one.)

Playing nuclear chicken with the Zaporizhia power plant under Russian occupation and Ukrainian bombardment scares me, as does the claim that a deliberate release of radioactive material in the vicinity of one of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants will occur soon as a false flag event.

Oddly, though, what scares me the most is Ukraine war propaganda.

Liberals who are well-meaning but poorly informed have let my local peace community know that they believe Russia is kidnapping Ukrainian children and forcing them into camps for re-education. I clicked through to the petition with its rhetoric at fever pitch (“We can’t abandon Ukraine’s stolen children!”) and found it to be an entirely evidence-free claim. That is, not a shred of documentation, citations, or photographs was offered to support this alarming accusation.

In short, a perfect piece to teach teenagers how to spot propaganda — which I used to do for a living.

From the petition’s website:

Note that none of the bold face type above was linked to anything. 

The only evidence offered in support is a photograph with no source and no identifying information.

Why do what appear to be fabrications in service of the U.S./NATO empire’s demonization of Russia scare me so much?

Remember I mentioned I was a history major which means I’ve spent a lot of of time studying what the prelude to wars looks like. And this is the image that immediately came to mind (trigger warning: artist’s rendering of violence against children):

Source: Military Analysis

Look familiar? It’s a staple of propaganda from WW1, supporting the claim that Germans were killing babies in Belgium using the bayonets on their rifles.

I also remembered that a similar claim used to whip up support for the first Gulf War, that Saddam Hussein’s forces threw premature infants out of incubators in Kuwait, was later proven false.

Fast forward to today. Children allegedly in Russian re-education camps is propaganda being spread by educated Democrats in my state who you might think would know better. They are on the Friends Committee for Maine Public Policy aka Quakers, who I grew up thinking were pacifists. 

Now that even they are salivating for war with Russia, we’re in big trouble.

I have seen several videos said to be of Ukrainian children being trained as soldiers in neo-Nazi camps. Since the empire generally accuses others of its own crimes like harboring weapons of mass destruction, I suppose this is fitting.

As a friend thinking of Leni Reifenstahl said this morning: The bourgeoisie is ready to kill.

And if that isn’t the most alarming sign of another world war, I don’t know what is.

Schwarzkopf is the general who oversaw the U.S./NATO war on Iraq.

Raging Against The War Machine In Maine

Yesterday’s gatherings to rage against the war machine in Maine were among the most interesting I’ve organized. Not only did we get a bunch of new people to fill in the ranks of those missing because they only oppose wars when a Republican is in the White House, but our participants were from a broad range of political parties and tendencies: Green Independent Party of Maine, Communist Party of Maine, Libertarian Party of Maine, and independents were all represented.

Two people said they were Republicans, while two others told me (separately) that they were registered Democrats but did not feel like the party represented their interests and were planning to unenroll.

One person came from New Hampshire to join us, while two others had come up from NYC as one of them has ties to Waterville, Maine.

Professors from the Maine College of Art in Portland and Colby College in Waterville were with us, plus someone who works at the University of New England.

Our messaging was varied and most signs or banners played on one of the nine demands we were organized around for raging on February 19:

Not One More Penny for War in Ukraine

Negotiate Peace

Stop the War Inflation

Disband NATO

Global Nuclear De-escalation

Slash the Pentagon Budget

Abolish War and Empire

Restore Civil Liberties

Free Julian Assange

In addition we had a sign made the night before at my house calling out the Biden administration on revelations by investigative reporter Sy Hersh that the Nordstream pipelines were bombed by U.S. and NATO nations working together under cover of so-called “war games.”

I saw another good sign on this theme in the coverage of the Rage event in Washington DC.

Estimates of that crowd range from 3,000-5,000 (crowds are notoriously hard to count). We had 20 in Bath and 15 in Westbrook, with some overlap. Many of the groups represented said their members had traveled to DC for the bigger rally. Honestly, as an anti-war organizer in Maine, I’m please when we have attendance in the double digits.

We also received coverage from Maine Public Radio and I just finished a follow-up radio interview this morning with the Ric Tyler/George Perry Show. Those two media outlets in Maine are as far apart ideologically as our group was. However, since the corporate media ignores us in these days of draconian narrative control, I’m willing to spread our message on whichever platforms are available. (Just to be clear, I don’t align politically with either of those media outlets.)

What’s next? March 18 is the date we agreed to meet again in Westbrook, where response was positive from many of the hundreds of cars that drove by in an hour.

Want to join us next time? Leave your email address in the comments and we’ll be in touch. Because we don’t have to agree on everything to stand together against the real possibility of a nuclear World War 3.