While I have been watching the tragedy of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfold, and view it as a gross geopolitical miscalculation by Russian president Vladimir Putin, the members of the US trucker convoy that is trying to replicate what happened in Canada see a darker conspiracy at work, that the Ukraine invasion was designed to take attention away from their effort.
Ryan Wright stood around a campfire in Lupton, Arizona, a town on the Navajo reservation where members of an American trucker convoy protest were resting for the night. As the fire flickered he discussed a conspiracy myth about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, he proffered, was a distraction. “I’m not the only one that feels this way,” Wright said. “But I feel like it’s a big fat smokescreen to keep everyone distracted on what is really going on in the world.”
Putin’s invasion had wiped the convoy’s progress off the media map. Having left Barstow in California amid honking horns and cheering supporters, the line of truckers was crossing the entire breadth of the US in a convoy and headed to Washington DC to protest Covid-19 vaccine mandates and a roster of other mostly conservative causes.
But now – with Ukraine dominating airwaves across the globe – no one was paying much attention to the American truckers. Especially, perhaps, as the convoy was promoting “freedom” against restrictions in the US that have largely been lifted already as the pandemic has ebbed recently and weary politicians have focused on the economy.
Another trucker, wearing an American and Canadian flag as a cape, nodded in agreement with Wright that it was all a plot. Others around the campfire too agree with the conspiracy myth that the outbreak of war in Europe is an attempt to divert attention away from this trucker convoy, which is currently about a couple hundred people parked in the desert of the American southwest.
So what is really going in the world that people should pay attention to is some trucks going across the US, something that happens every day, that are protesting covid mandates and restrictions that either do not exist or are being lifted everywhere, rather than a major war.
The self-absorption of some people is something to marvel at. For such people, everything is always about them.