Donnybrook In Maine Over Support For War In Ukraine

Manufacturing consent for U.S. wars by staging Punch and Judy shows of Republicans versus Democrats may be nearing the end of its usefulness.

Now that the U.S. is all out for all war, all the time, these distinctions are beginning to unravel. Case in point is the knock down, drag out fight in Maine’s House of Representatives this week over a resolution expressing support for fighting Russia over there in Ukraine.

A similar resolution a year ago passed almost unanimously, but not this time. Fifty-four representatives from all over the state voted no, while 87 still on the bandwagon voted in favor and it passed.

The sponsor and most of the yes votes are staunch liberal Democrats whose carefully managed corporate news feed leaves them vulnerable to a profound lack of knowledge about a war that actually kicked off in 2014. I say profound because their resolution’s litany of Russian crimes reads like a tabloid. 

These are the same people ignoring the obvious war crime and environmental disaster of destroying the Nord Stream pipelines carrying gas from Russia to Germany. Maybe ignorance is bliss but it may be time to wake up: Seymour Hersh has been a trending topic on Twitter all day. Could liberals actually believe that the man who broke the My Lai massacre and Abu Ghraib torture stories is probably just a Putin lover these days?

On the other hand we have kneejerk Republicans who were fine with Trump’s conduct of U.S. wars but are dead set against this war because Dark Brandon started it. And he profits from it through his family’s shady connections in Ukraine’s energy sector. And by forcing Europe to buy fracked gas shipped over from the U.S. at a hugely higher price than the Russian gas formerly flowing through Nord Stream.

The predictable accusations were made in debate over Maine’s resolution. Those who spoke against it were dangerous appeasers a la Neville Chamberlain caving to Hitler in 1938. Those who spoke in favor pointed this out. 

It went downhill from there.

Political grandstanding aside, some of us have given legislators our feedback. I agree with my representative on almost nothing domestically but I thanked him for representing my views with his “no” vote.

Another Mainer took it upon himself to write to one of the Democratic representatives who dared to buck their party’s rush to WW3 by voting no. 

Hello, Rep. Warren, 

I’m from Southwest Harbor, not in your district, but I want to thank you for parting company with the rest of your Dem (my party, which I find increasingly hard to recognize in recent years) colleagues on the Ukraine resolution. 

I’m not aware of what your reasoning was, but it has been clear to me and anyone who has paid the slightest attention to Russian and Ukrainian history, to the 8-year bloody aftermath war against ethnic Russian civilians in Ukraine after our overthrow of the Ukrainian government in 2014, and to our prodding NATO into ever-increasing provocation of Russia, would have to think that supporting that far-right quasi-Nazi government we installed is immoral. 

The war wouldn’t have happened if we’d listened to Putin’s clear legitimate red-line against NATO encroachment. The terrible toll on civilians would have been almost non-existent had we not been deliberately prolonging an unwinnable war with aid better spent here. And all the suffering in the rest of the world would not exist if it were not for the (ineffective) sanctions we have thrown against Russia. 

Whether one approves of Mr. Putin’s approach to foreign policy or not, the resolution’s sponsors’ blame for the horror is inappropriately assigned to him. It is the war-mongers in the US government who are responsible. Thanks again for your vote. I hope your constituents are half as savvy as you are. 

Dick Atlee

I also noticed that an ambitious Republican representative from a town I used to live in voted in favor of the resolution. She is the type of public official who rides any bandwagon that looks likely to make her more famous. I didn’t bother writing to her.

Why do I see a donnybrook in the Maine State House as significant? Because public support for the proxy war on Russia in Ukraine is eroding fast among members of both corporate parties. 

And third parties are hanging their hats on opposition to the war. Not just because Ukraine is losing and will lose — that’s been clear all along to people with decent sources of information. But because the costs — moral, financial, and environmental — are skyrocketing, along with the dangers of a nuclear WW3.

What party does this young person belong to? Unknown, but I can guarantee you that elected officials are scared of this happening at their town halls.

And that’s probably why Maine’s congressional delegation hasn’t held a town hall in years.

My critics have already jumped in to lament my aligning with a Tweeter who is “unsavory” despite the fact that I’m not aligning with them on any issue other than dissenting about the Ukraine war and government lies on Nord Stream. 

In these perilous times, I can live with that.

My friend Cynthia Howard a year ago in Maine with her homemade banner warning of the dangers of nuclear war. A year later, she’s still out there. Join us March 18 in Westbrook, Maine if you share our concerns and don’t mind standing with the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Maine Natural Guard, PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick, Communist Party of Maine, Maine Green Independent Party, Party for Socialism & Liberation Maine, and Maine Veterans for Peace.

REVISED March 10 to correct an error:

Thanks to former Rep. Jeff Evangelos who reminded me that last year’s resolution did meet with some principled opposition.