Mainers Gather In Rain On Day Of Alleged Coup To Say: No $$ For War In Ukraine

Yesterday was a strange day to be holding a “No War With Russia” banner rather than glued to my news feed. Sixteen of us gathered in Lewiston which is a smaller group than usual; I’m sure the rain was a factor and also perhaps the fact that I have never been to or seen any anti-war activity in a small Maine city dominated by labor and immigration issues. 

The Democratic Party long since owned those movements, and this is their proxy war with Russia. 

Co-sponsor the Communist Party of Maine had a strong showing making up 1/3 of our group yesterday, many of them younger than most of us old anti-war horses.

We stood at the edge of Veterans Memorial Park which is filled with tanks and warplanes from days gone by. This made our protest even more surreal, at least for me. (And an Army recruiting sign may or may not have gone missing from the busy street where we stood.)

Public reaction was mixed and, as always, interesting. A young African man said “We agree!” from a passing car, while older white ladies nodded and gave thumbs up. A pedestrian who stopped to converse with us said NATO was designed to be the world’s policeman and that U.S. is the only superpower with both Russia and China very weak at this time. Curious about where they were getting their information, I offered to send them a link to my blog.

By the time we had returned home following a friendly but somewhat soggy picnic lunch with some of the protesters, the fizzled coup or perhaps maskirovka psyop (or whatever it was) had concluded.

My recap:

Wagner Private Military Company is a group of mercenaries that fought really well in Ukraine. But they can’t fight on Russian soil and their leader is a loony guy close to Putin (was his chef, trusted not to poison him) who isn’t even military. He, Prigozhin, apparently became angry when the generals weren’t sending him as much ammo as he wanted. Then, apparently, further infuriated by the directive to sign contracts with the regular Russian military by July 1 or be disbanded (mercenaries and conscripts are barred under Russia’s constitution from fighting on Russian soil, which Donbas is now considered). So he apparently took over a military command center in Rostov and then allegedly marched on Moscow, tricking his troops into participating by claiming they were on a mission ordered by the generals. 

Since the whole crisis was averted quickly with the tricked soldiers laying down their arms and Lukashenko of Belarus swooping in to negotiate and lead Prigozhin into exile there, many are seeing this as a fake coup staged to find out who the traitors are.

Others think Westerners like NATO, CIA, etc. had chosen Prigozhin as the next Zelensky and urged him to stage a “Moscow Maidan.” If so, they got very little bang for their buck — but you wouldn’t know that from the gushing headlines in the¬†corporate press¬†claiming civil war in Russia was on. Some who have this opinion think Prigozhin will now destabilize Russia’s ally Belarus from within.

Scott Ritter shared his thoughts mid-coup here; he has just returned from Russia and his views are worth considering.

Really, one needs to return to the infamous 2019 RAND report at times like these. RAND being the think tank for the Pentagon that outlined plans for “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia” five years after the U.S./NATO successful coup in Kyiv. The problem so far is that NATO, not Russia, has been overextended in Ukraine. And yesterday’s unbalancing attempt failed. 

But don’t think the U.S./NATO won’t keep trying.

We’ll keep protesting, too. Here’s our summer schedule:

Sat August 19 1:30pm Ellsworth, Maine

Sat September 23 1:30pm Unity, Maine

October date tbd Skowhegan

Could Titan Failure Be Let Them Eat Cake Moment For The Uber Wealthy?

Instantly iconic, one of various memes juxtaposing images of two recent sea disasters. A massive effort underway to rescue five billionaires versus nothing for hundreds of migrants, including about 100 children, who were on a boat that capsized in the Mediterranean.

Responses on social media suggest the OceanGate submarine folly is being seen as a “let them eat cake” moment where the uber wealthy thumb their noses at the rest of humanity.

If the current trajectory of planetary ruin for the profits of the few plays out without massive popular uprisings, I will be surprised.

Here’s some of what I’ve seen.

Taxpayer money is being spent to rescue five wealthy fools because of course it is. The military contractors who operate the U.S. government are so wealthy they’re said to be the 1% of the 1%, and the OceanGate guys are their own.

The astounding parallels between the Titanic shipwreck — where the wealthy survived and the workers, by and large, did not — keep coming. Chief among them is hubris. Both the massive ocean liner and the makeshift submarine looking for its wreckage were described by their creators as “unsinkable.” But ramming into an iceberg quickly took out one while running a deep sea operation from an outdated game control device appears to have doomed the other.

Now we learn that the CEO of OceanGate is married to a descendent of two of the wealthy passengers on the Titanic. (Who was the pilot in the Titan with the four other men he doomed.)

One of the things that makes me wonder if we’re at the “let them eat cake” moment is the way that orcas  — who have already been teaching each other to attack yachts by deliberately destroying the rudders — quickly became heroes.

So, it was a short step from knowing orcas are attacking yachts to imagining orcas attacking the submarine. 

This tweet refers to banging sounds that were detected yesterday during the search for Titan.

(I also saw the abovementioned image on Twitter but I neglected to take a screenshot at the time.)

Maybe class warfare will supplant culture wars even in the heavily propagandized West?

 Oops, maybe not.

End note: for those who find it unseemly to joke about the self-inflicted death of billionaires, you could use the search term Blink-182 (the name of a band) to see how one of their family members has been consoling himself during the search.