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.
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