Are The Americans Creeping Towards Civil War?

Are The Americans Creeping Towards Civil War?

Darko Lazar

The traditionally boring, midterm snooze-fest has been reinvented this year as the election of “lifetime” importance.

This combination of elections for the US Congress, governorships and other state-wide races, is normally characterized by setbacks for the incumbent president’s party.

And even though this year was no exception, the 2018 midterms have also underscored intensifying divisions that now define an America fundamentally split in two.

Moreover, the record voter turnout should not be misconstrued as democracy at its best, but serve as yet another reminder that neither side is ready to trust its opponents with leading the reconciliation process.

For the American people, who just ushered in a divided government, this election will solve nothing. It will only make the political struggle even more fierce and deepen social divisions.

A highly charged atmosphere

The ideological struggle between the US Democratic and Republican parties dates back decades.

It has often times been ferocious, earning it the label of Washington’s cold civil war.

But today, that struggle is no longer confined to ideology. By spilling over into everything from class to national identity, immigration and race, it has permanently and irreparably polarized American society.

In this highly charged atmosphere, calls for unity are never anything more than veiled criticisms and condemnations of the opposing side. But perhaps more importantly, this environment turns everything from letter bombs to mass shootings into divisive political issues.

Then and now

Between 1978 and 1995, Theodore John Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, killed a number of people as he attempted to start his ‘revolution’ by conducting a nationwide bombing campaign.

Kaczynski even had his manifesto, the ‘Industrial Society and Its Future’, published in leading newspapers like the Washington Post.

The text was published in 1995, but excerpts of it would resurface years later in the manifesto of Norwegian far-right terrorist, Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011.

Also in 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 people when they blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City. The bombing was supposedly McVeigh’s response to the government’s actions against the Branch Davidians cult that came to be known as the Waco siege.

All of these characters had very clearly articulated ideologies. However, their political motives were of no interest to the general public and they went down in history as lone terrorists, never linked to a broader political movement.

Fast forward to 2016 and everything has changed.

In October, a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue and 13 letter bombs sent to prominent Democrats were quickly attributed to the Trump administration’s ‘hate-and-fear-mongering’.

Last June, James Hodgkinson ambushed Republican congressmen at a baseball practice in Virginia using an assault rifle and pistol. He was immediately linked to Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, after having volunteered to work on his 2016 presidential campaign.

Just a few months later, a neo-Nazi, James Alex Fields Jr., plowed his car into a crowd of rival protesters in Charlottesville, killing one person. The fallout from that incident led to the notable departure of Trump assistant Sebastian Gorka from his post.

Earlier this week, the FBI indicted a number of people involved in the Charlottesville violence, who are now being accused of traveling to Ukraine to train with the neo-Nazi Azov battalion.

According to the indictment, the Ukrainian paramilitary group “is believed to have participated in training and radicalizing” US-based white supremacists.

In October 2017, Stephen Paddock rained down bullets for approximately 10 minutes from his Casino hotel room, killing 58 people at a Las Vegas concert.

FBI sources later revealed that agents discovered literature belonging to the left-wing militant group Antifa in Paddock’s room.

In the months leading up to that attack, images appeared online of Antifa members fighting alongside the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.

Whether Paddock had any official links to Antifa remains unknown. However, according to official records, the 64-year-old singlehandedly carried out the deadliest mass shooting in US modern history.

The second and third deadliest mass shootings – in what is a long list of massacres – have all been carried out over the last twelve months.

Unlike the good old days of Kaczynski, McVeigh and Nichols, today’s villains are part of the political debate. Whether it’s about gun control or their ideologies, almost all are integrated into the country’s political struggle. Their actions of lunacy – of which there is no shortage throughout US history – are suddenly being ascribed to the leaders and parties that they support or oppose. This is what the threshold of civil war looks like.

Violence is worst when it takes on political dimensions, because that is when it risks taking on true grass-roots political power and inevitably becoming justified.

The US has not reached the final stages just yet, but it is creeping awfully close to the precipice.

Source: Al-Ahed News

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Questioning Jewish Progressive Wisdom

November 02, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 There is an element of truth in the above…

There is an element of truth in the above…

By Gilad Atzmon

Earlier this week the Jewish Forward reported on Monday’s counter-Trump demonstration in Pittsburgh.

“They came in their thousands, singing Jewish songs and folksy protest anthems … (they were) holding signs denouncing Donald Trump as ‘President Hate.’”

I think it is not a clever move for leftist Jewish groups to declare that Trump is to blame for the terror attack in Pittsburgh. In fact, some might see it as irresponsible, and a response that could easily provoke further harassment and violence.

Most disturbing to me about the Jewish progressives’ response to Trump’s visit was the blunt dishonesty reflected in the signs and announcements of the protestors and organisers.

According to the Forward one sign read,

“you know who else was a nationalist? Hitler.”

Hitler was indeed a nationalist but so was Churchill, Gandhi, Herzl and even the 52% of the Brits who voted for Brexit. Nationalism isn’t the problem: Racism is.  Accordingly, we tend to believe that it was racism that drove Hitler’s discriminatory ideology. But the ‘progressive’  Jewish groups who opposed Trump this week aren’t free of racism. They themselves are operating as racially exclusive political groups. I have said it many times before. I struggle to see a categorical difference between Aryans only and Jews only clubs. To me, both are equally racist.

“Speakers from Bend the Arc, the progressive Jewish group that organised the march, castigated Trump and what they saw as his complicity in the attack, allegedly perpetrated by an anti-Semite who shared Trump’s anti-refugee views.”

It is comforting to learn that  Jewish progressives support some refugees; do they also support the Palestinian refugees?

Israel has prevented the ethnically cleansed Palestinians from returning  to their land for more than 70 years.  The Jewish State’s record on refugees and asylum seekers is appalling. But it seems the progressive Jews at Bend the Arc have little to say about that. I searched Bend the Arc’s web site and didn’t find any denouncements of the Jewish State’s anti refugee policies.  Maybe in the Jewish progressive universe one rule applies to the Jewish State and another rule to the sea of Goyim.

Noticeably,  the Bend the Arc event was not the only protest in town: A previous rally event had been held nearby, organized by the leftist Jewish group IfNotNow in collaboration with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and other groups.

“We know Trump is responsible for violence in our city,” IfNotNow and DSA organizer Arielle Cohen told the Forward. “ Trump has been the enabler-in-chief.” I fail to see the evidence that supports Cohen’s strongly worded accusations. And I wonder whether the decision makers at IfNotNow and JVP grasp the danger they may inflict on their communities by making such provocative accusations.

It is interesting to contrast this reaction to that of the members of the African American congregation that was targeted in 2015 by Dylann Roof, a self-professed racist shooter, who killed 9 people who had invited him into their bible study. After the shooting, Mr. Roof was unrepentant but the reaction of the victims and their families contrasts sharply with the progressive reaction to the Pittsburg massacre.

At Mr. Roof’s bond hearing, the victim’s relatives spoke directly to Roof. “You took something very precious from me”  Nadine Collier, the daughter of Ethel Lance said. “But I forgive you. And have mercy on your soul.”

“I acknowledge that I am very angry,” said the sister of DePayne Middleton-Doctor. “But one thing that DePayne … taught me that we are the family that love built. We have no room for hating, so we have to forgive. I pray God on your soul.”

Each speaker offered Roof forgiveness and said they were praying for his soul, even as they described the pain of their losses. Not one speaker blamed political leaders or anti Black sentiment. They correctly saw Roof as the culprit, even as they compassionately prayed for him. There is much to admire in the congregation’s reaction. It was the opposite of inflammatory, intended to calm the situation.

If the goal is to unite America, to bridge the divide and calm things down, probably equating your president with Hitler and accusing him of the hate crimes of others is the worst possible path to choose.

 

Preventing the next Pogrom

October 31, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

pogrom01.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Eleven people were killed in a gun attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last Saturday. It seems mass shooting has become a popular hobby and not just in America.  Political violence is mushrooming. It is crucial to try to understand how this has happened to us.  What led to this rapid deconstruction of our human landscape, how have we regressed into lethal barbarism and where and when did we lose our ability  to care for each other, to be compassionate, to tolerate difference?

A few days ago I wrote that this violent shift requires much deeper analysis and not our mere anecdotal debate over the 2nd Amendment or gun control. It demands a profound study of the transition in our human condition. Mass killings as a daily occurrence has something to do with people’s sense that we live  in a universe that lacks a prospect of a future. It is the outcome of the reduction of the working class into a workless mass. It has a lot to do with the collapse of the family and the orchestrated attack on family values and the church. It may also have something to do with the fact that our governments are wiping out countries and people in the name of immoral interventionism and Ziocon interests. As a part of understanding the motivation for these killings, it is important to consider that taking people’s lives on a mass scale makes the killer a ‘little god.’ Add to the mixture some ‘emancipatory ideology’  and the perpetrators of these barbarian crimes are elevated, at least in their own eyes, into martyrs.

It is perplexing; despite our real time access to world news which notifies us of developments around the globe as they happen, our understanding of these events and their meanings is constantly shrinking. The more we ‘know,’ the less we understand. We seem to have forgotten how to question events, political exchanges and historical changes. We are removed from essentiality and  authentic critical thinking, we are drifting away from Being.

Instead, we have learned to operate carefully within a strict regime of correctness. We know how not to cross some sensitive lines and that has kept us from questioning what really happened. We got ourselves accustomed to a tyranny of correctness.

Monitoring the ‘antisemitism debate’ provides us with an insight into the dynamic that sustains our oppressive authoritarian reality. We, the people, are subject to a constant flood of ‘information’ delivered via two parallel streams: one is characterised by its fascination with fake-news and manufactured  antisemitic accusations. The other is designed  to  suppress any critical analysis of the causes of actual tragic events such as the recent Pittsburgh pogrom.

While Western media outlets are excited to disseminate phantasmic manufactured ‘revelations’ about  “Labour’s antisemitism” or Corbyn as an “existential threat to British Jews” there are, noticeably, zero attempts made to understand what  led to the mass shooting in Pittsburgh. All the press tells us is that the perpetrator is an ‘antisemite’  and that anti-Semitism is growing.

From the perspective of liberals and progressives, the declaration of ‘antisemitsm’ is an end in itself. Once an act is castigated as ‘antisemitic’ any inquiries come to an end. The perpetrator is condemned as an ‘irrational hate monger.’ But antisemitism is not the only antisocial phobia. Homophobia, islamophobia, transphobia and other such ‘phobias’ operate to close debate in a  similar fashion. They serve as magic wand soundbites designed to deny any rationale for political positions that make us  uncomfortable. We reduce dissent into a symptom of ‘insanity.’

The effect of these soundbite explanations is devastating. The West has replaced its Athenian ethos of tolerance and pluralism with a radical form of Talmudic Herem (excommunication).

The media casually labels as antisemitic anyone who dares to express peaceful critical thinking. And the same media suppresses any attempt to grasp what antisemitsm means in practice and  what are its causes. While the media parrots the ADL, claiming that antisemitsm is on the rise and that the Pennsylvania shooting was the worst anti-Semitic event in American history, the media does not dare ask why.  Why is America apparently becoming increasingly anti-Semitic

If Jewish institutions, and liberals and progressives want to fight anti-Semitism, the first step should be to open a discussion of the circumstances and dynamics that have led to such a rise of anti Jewish bigotry. To prevent the next pogrom we need to emancipate ourselves from the current tyranny of correctness and reinstate the Greek agora into our midst. Our social media networks could become a true marketplace of ideas, encouraging people to challenge each other and to constantly rethink their own positions.

Blood of Pittsburgh victims is ‘on Trump’s hands’

US President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One prior to departure from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, October 30, 2018, as they travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, following the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One prior to departure from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, October 30, 2018, as they travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, following the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue. (Photo by AFP)

Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:57PM

A group of Jewish leaders have blasted US President Donald Trump’s visit to Pennsylvania, saying the American head of state has blood on his hands following Saturday’s mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

In a letter signed by 76,000 people on Tuesday, a group of progressive Jewish leaders – known as members of the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice – told Trump that he was not welcome in Pittsburgh until he renounced white nationalism.

“We know that we are representing tens of thousands of Jewish people who have already signed, and people across the US, around the world, who feel that the blood of these victims is on President Trump’s hands,” Tammy Hepps, one of the Jewish leaders, said on CNN.

“He has knowingly and intentionally and selfishly for years used this rhetoric to endanger our community,” he added.

Hepps noted that the signatories of the letter said Trump was unwelcome in Pittsburgh until he officially renounced “the words and the policies and the deeds that you have done that led to this day.”

An orthodox Jewish schoolboy passes a memorial for victims of the mass shooting that killed 11 people and wounded 6 at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on October 29, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by AFP)

The 20-minute rampage described as among the deadliest against the Jewish community in the US on Saturday left 11 people dead and dozens wounded, including four police officers who dashed to the scene.

Armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and at least three handguns, Robert Bowers, the suspect, reportedly shouted “all Jews must die” as he entered the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

Federal prosecutors charged the 46-year-old local resident with obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs as well as using a firearm to commit murder. In addition, he faces state charges that include 11 counts of criminal homicide, six counts of aggravated assault and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.

It was the third mass shooting in a place of worship in the United States in the last three years.

The US president swiftly denounced the incident as anti-Semitic and an “assault on humanity,” with members of Bend the Arc casting blame on Trump’s rhetoric for the tragedy.

“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” the group wrote. “You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.”

Trump, who traveled to Pennsylvania on Tuesday afternoon to meet with victims’ families, was also urged to stop targeting minorities, immigrants and refugees.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, alongside Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, place stones and flowers on a memorial as they pay their respects at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 30, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

US lawmakers snub Trump invite to Pittsburgh

Meanwhile, several high-profile US lawmakers declined an invitation to join Trump on his visit to Pittsburgh to pay tribute to the 11 victims of the mass shooting.

The Washington Post said in a report that House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had declined official White House invitations to accompany the US president and his wife Melania during their trip to the city.

The report added that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto had also been invited but would not be appearing with Trump.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, alongside Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, place stones and flowers on a memorial as they pay their respects at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 30, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

City and local officials had earlier told the Washington Post that they were expecting at least two protests to coincide with the victims’ funerals.

More than 1,000 protesters took to the streets of Pittsburgh later on Tuesday to denounce Trump’s visit in the wake of the mass shooting, holding signs that read “President Hate, Leave Our State!” and “Trump, Renounce White Nationalism Now.”

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