“They speak about the dumbing of America as a foregone thing, already completed, but, duh, it’s a process, and we haven’t seen
anything yet.”–Michael Herr, Kubrick (2000)
Full-Blown Fascism Lifts Off in America
The deployment of President Trumps “federal troops” in Portland–a traditional progressive bastion–and his promises to take similar measures in Chicago, New York, Albuquerque, Detroit and other Democratic strongholds, forms the edge of the wedge of a truculent new strategy with three obvious objectives:
- To consolidate his campaign for re-election and rally his followers with theatrical shows of force.
- To intimidate his opposition all over the country.
- And this is the most worrying: To rehearse on the street his studied, incremental fascist takeover of America.
What are they hiding beyond the bread vans, the riot gear and the anonymity?
Disclaimer: When I say “his” troops and “his” strategy, I’m not referring to Trump personally. Nor would I dare to suggest that he “studied” anything. I think it’s clear by now that Donald J. Trump is incapable of the structured thinking required to elaborate a coherent plan, whether it be for a political or a military campaign or both. In normal circumstances the activation of this blatant boots-on-the-street operation would seem premature. The elections are still 13 weeks away. But a series of grave recent events has obliged what’s left of the Trump team to anticipate the program. The exploding coronavirus epidemic and Trump & Company’s extreme incompetence in dealing with it, his alarming descent in the polls–his revered “ratings”–and the corresponding rise of Joe Biden, demanded a high-profile response.
They would have us believe that the presence on the streets of the “feds” is intended to quell the unrest, but the truth is the exact opposite, and they know it. As Beau of the Fifth Column, an exceptionally lucid southern journalist, points out, the US military’s own manuals on civil unrest make clear that the intervention of troops serves mainly to grow the number of protestors and intensify the situation in the streets. Trump’s stormtroopers are not there to extinguish the fire, but to fan the flames. Beyond this point anything can happen. Are they looking to provoke a Kent State University moment? That would certainly dissuade minority voters from going to the polls.
To further obfuscate the panorama the Trumpers have launched the opening salvos of a new Cold War against China. This is a dangerous and gratuitous Trump initiative, unnecessary, untimely and counterproductive, especially when led by his Dummkopf Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. The Pompi is not worried, though, as he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows that he’s capable of igniting a nuclear war in the Middle East that will jump start the Apocalypse which will, through a miraculous biblical process called “The Rapture,” propel Pompeo and the rest of his Evangelical/Pentecostal cohorts directly into Heaven. Happily for them, this process brings with it a curious by-product. At exactly the same time as the faithful are being sucked up, the rest of us–you, me and, ironically, Donald J. Trump–will be rocketed directly into Hell. This, of course, sounds silly to us but it doesn’t to Mike Pompeo, perhaps history’s all-time worst choice for any country’s chief of diplomacy.
What Can We Know?
How little we know, and what they’re telling us can’t be trusted. Trump & Co. are masters of the fumbling falsehood. If the troops are from the Border Patrol’s BORTAC elite unit brought up from the Mexican border, as the government alleges, why are they operating out of unmarked white bread vans? Doesn’t BORTAC have transport of its own? So, the questions arise: Who is in those white vans and on the street gassing, grabbing, and harassing demonstrators? Why don’t they identify themselves? Why don’t they follow standard arrest procedures? Why aren’t the detainees read their rights? Whom do the “feds” answer to? What is their chain of command? Are they trained for dealing with civil disturbances? Do they operate under the Uniform Code of Military Justice? What rights do the detainees enjoy and what recourse after they are released? Do they have access to the paperwork. Is there any paperwork? What are the federal troops hiding beyond the bread vans, the riot gear and the anonymity? Who is going to prosecute them when the time comes? Until we have answers to all of these questions the so-called “feds” are under suspicion of mass kidnapping.
On July 23, yesterday, President Trump announced the units of “federal troops” that he would be using when extending the operation to other cities, all governed by Democratic administrations. He mentioned the FBI, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the US Marshall Service, and Homeland Security. That’s practically the whole Department of Justice. It seems an incongruous lot to be out on the streets perfoming crowd control duties. Or is the President simply lying? We know that the Big Bald Lie is his specialty. Don’t be suprised to discover, in the aftermath of this giant re-election clusterfuck, that the “federal troops” were actually just well-dressed mercenaries rented by the Trump re-election campaign committee.
Hamilton Nolan writes in The Guardian today (24/7/2020):
If there was ever a tipping point, we are past it. Trying to stare hard at the daily news to determine the exact point at which we slip into fascism is like staring at a baby to see when it turns into an adult. By the time you perceive it, it’s already happened. It is important to understand that the crackdown phase that we are now in – the unaccountable government forces, the riot police, the teargas, the targeted political prosecutions that will come next – are not something new, but something old. This isn’t about Donald Trump. This is about America, baby. This is what we do.
Who’s in Charge?
Chad F. Wolf is the man, the thug from central casting who currently holds the position of acting Secretary of Homeland Security. He was previously a lobbyist for Wexler & Walker, a now-defunct lobbying firm, who helped clients win contracts from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), his previous employer. During his tenure in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) he was one of the creators of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, the kids-in-cages operation. In February 2019 he was nominated to the position of Under Secretary, but his confirmation was delayed by a protest from Senator Jacky Rosen regarding poor conditions for children at DHS facilities. (Source: Wikipedia)
Now, with this ghoulish baggage, he’s turned loose on the streets of America, to make the country even greater (They already lead the world with more than 140,000 coronavirus dead.) and to guarantee re-election for President Donald J. Trump.
P.S. Let me recommed a book which has been on my bedside stand for three or four decades. In it you may recognize patterns of America’s past and future under President Donald Trump. It was written after the Second World War by William L. Shirer, a reporter who been through it all, and based on first-hand German and American sources, many of which are no longer available. The book is called The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960).
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