شبح الحرب الأهلية يحوم في الولايات المتحدة

اب 31  2022

علي دربج 

المصدر: الميادين نت

نتائج استطلاع أميركية جديدة مقلقة، تشير إلى أنّ أربعة من بين كل 10 أميركيين، يعتقدون أن حرباً أهلية قد تكون محتملة في العقد المقبل.

شبح الحرب الأهلية يحوم في الولايات المتحدة

    ليس الوقت كأي لحظة في الماضي، إذ يتطلع الأميركيون اليوم بخوف إلى المستقبل، وقلق من شبح حرب أهلية، وهم يرون هذا الخطر يحوم فوق بلادهم بسبب الأزمة السياسية التي تشهدها الولايات المتحدة حالياً.

    وتعود جذورها إلى مرحلة فوز الرئيس الحالي جو بايدن في الانتخابات الرئاسية الأخيرة، بعد رفض غريمه المهزوم الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب الاعتراف بالنتائج، وتعبئة أنصاره وتحريضهم على اقتحام مبنى الكونغرس في 6 من كانون الثاني/يناير عام 2021، لتبلغ ذروتها أخيراً مع الغارة التي شنها مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي FBI على مقر إقامة ترامب في مارالاغو بولاية فلوريدا بحثاً عن ووثائق ومستندات سرية كان ترامب قد عمد إلى إخفائها.

    خصوصاً أن من في الداخل الأميركي، من الحزب الجمهوري ومعه الجماعات اليمينية المتطرفة، يهيئون لها الظروف والأسباب، ويعدّون لها الأرضية الخصبة، وينفخون في النار طمعاً في إضرامها، لا سيما أنهم يعتبرونها خشبة الخلاص الوحيدة من إدارة بايدن وحكومته ودولتهم العميقة. 

    ولكن ما مؤشرات الحرب الأهلية في أميركا؟ 

    هناك مجموعة واسعة من الأصوات، بما فيها أصوات بعض الساسة الجمهوريين والديمقراطيين، والأكاديميين الذين يدرسون الصراع الأهلي، فضلاً عن المتطرفين على الضفة الأخرى يروّجون جميعاً الآن فكرة أن الحرب الأهلية باتت قريبة أو ضرورية.

    والأهم أن هؤلاء جميعاً، يشيرون إلى عدد من الأدلة والوقائع والمعطيات التي تدعم رؤيتهم تجاه عدم استبعادهم وقوع حرب أهلية في أميركا، ويمكن تلخيصها بـ3 معطيات: 

    أولا: إطلاق عاصفة من التهديدات شملت عملاء مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي، والقضاة، والمسؤولين المنتخبين، وأعضاء مجالس إدارة المدارس (لكونهم يخالفون نظرة الجمهوريين إلى تنشئة الطلاب)، فضلاً عن المشرفين على الانتخابات. 

    ثُانيا: إقامة معسكرات شبه عسكرية مغلقة يتدرّب فيها المتطرفون المدججون بالسلاح لمواجهة حكومتهم 

    ثالثا: نتائج استطلاعات الرأي التي تظهر أن وجود أميركيين يتوقعون صراعاً عنيفاً، وأن حرباً أهلية حقيقة قد تدق أبوابهم في أي لحظة، لاسيما مع اقتراب موعد الانتخابات التشريعية النصفية. 

    عند النظر في نوعية الأصوات الأكاديمية التي تعمقت في قضية الحرب الأهلية الأميركية وأصحابها نجد في مقدّمهم ستيفن ماركي، مؤلف كتاب “الحرب الأهلية التالية: رسائل من المستقبل الأميركي” الذي قدم مقاربة، قال فيها إن تهديدات المتطرفين أصبحت أكثر وضوحاً وتحديداً، وأن خطابهم قد تسرّب إلى شريحة كبيرة جداً من الأميركيين وأثّر فيهم.

    ويستدل على ذلك بما أقدمت عليه حكومة ولاية تكساس والحزب الجمهوري فيها، اللذان تحديا السلطة الفيدرالية، بعدما وافق آلاف الناشطين الجمهوريين إثر اجتماعهم في هيوستن (كبرى مدن ولاية تكساس) في حزيران/يونيو الماضي، خلال مؤتمر الحزب في الولاية، على قرار يرفض نتيجة الانتخابات الرئاسية لعام 2020، ويعلن بايدن “رئيساً بالنيابة”، فضلاً عن سعيهم لاستفتاء الناخبين بشأن الانفصال عن الولايات المتحدة.

    ما يلفت أن ماركي، الروائي الكندي الأصل، الذي كان يقرع جرس الإنذار مما هو آتٍ على أميركا، تسارعت وتيرة تحذيراته أخيراً، وأصبحت أكثر إلحاحاً، بعدما رأى مجموعات صغيرة من المسلحين يتدرّبون على قتال عملاء الحكومة، وعلّق على هذا الأمر قائلاً “هذا النوع من الفوضى الذي أصفه يشبه الغضب على الإنترنت: يمكنك أن تعده تمثيلاً مسرحياً أو قد يكون خطراً جداً، ويمكن أن يكون متعة عطلة نهاية الأسبوع، أو الإعداد العسكري الفعلي.

    يشارك ماركي في الرأي محللون آخرون، قالوا إن الضجيج الحالي مؤشر قوي إلى أن حرباً أهلية ساخنة – يرجح أن تشهد تفجيرات واغتيالات واعتداءات على المؤسسات الفيدرالية والمسؤولين- قد تكون قريبة.

    وفي تقاطع مع أفكار ماركي، توقّع الكاتب المحافظ كورت شليشتر حرباً أهلية، وخلص في كتابه الجديد وعنوانه “سنعود: سقوط وصعود أميركا” أن “الولايات الزرقاء تواجه تحدياً، وأردف قائلاً من الجيد الاحتفاظ بالمدن، ولكن إذا كنت لا تحتفظ أيضاً بجميع الأراضي الريفية بين المدن، وكذلك الطرق المؤدية إلى الأماكن التي تحصل فيها على طعامك ووقودك، فلديك مشكلة حقيقية”.

    ومن الشخصيات الأميركية المعروفة أيضاً، التي لا تستبعد الحرب الأهلية الأميركية، روبرت رايش، وزير العمل في عهد الرئيس بيل كلينتون، الذي كان قد لفت إلى أن “الحرب الأهلية الأميركية الثانية تحدث فعلاً” واستطرد قائلاً خلال حديثه إلى صحيفة الغارديان، “لكنها ليست حرباً، بقدر ما هي نوع من الانفصال الحميد المشابه للمتزوجين غير السعداء الذين لا يريدون أن يمروا بصدمة الطلاق الرسمي”.

    المثير في الأمر، أن رايش لا يرجّح حصول تقسيم عنيف للبلاد، بل شيء “مشابه لخروج بريطانيا من الاتحاد الأوروبي – قرار متبادل ومتقطع للذهاب في طرق منفصلة في معظم الأشياء، مع الحفاظ على اتصال بشأن بعض الأشياء الكبيرة (مثل الدفاع الوطني والسياسة النقدية والحقوق المدنية والسياسية)”.

    وماذا عن الآراء التي تستبعد الحرب الأهلية؟ 

    في مقابل هذه الفئة المتوجسة والقائلة بإمكان حدوث حرب أهلية، نجد جماعات أخرى تنفي هذا الخيار مثل رابطة مكافحة التشهير وغيرها من جماعات المراقبة الأميركية التي لا ترى هذا النوع من التخطيط المحدّد من قبل الميليشيات الخاصة والتجمعات عبر الإنترنت للمتطرفين بالوضوح نفسه الذي كان قائماً قبل تمرّد 6 كانون الثاني/يناير العام الماضي، وقبل مسيرة تفوق البيض في شارلوتسفيل عام 2017.

    هذا الرأي يتبناه كذلك أورين سيغال، نائب رئيس مركز مكافحة التطرف، الذي أوضح في حديث إلى الإذاعة الوطنية الأميركية بالقول “لقد مررنا بهذا الأمر منذ فترة طويلة، ولا أرى الناس قد يجتمعون معاً في تنظيم متماسك مثل الذي رأيناه في السادس من كانون الثاني/ يناير”. 

    المحللون من كلتا الفئتين، سواء الذين يقولون إننا نتجه نحو حرب أهلية، وأولئك الذين يرون أن منظومة التهديد تقتصر إلى حد كبير على أشخاص منفردين، ومجموعات صغيرة غير منظمة، لا تشكّل أعمالها الخطرة والمشتتة حرباً أهلية هم يتفقون ولا يستبعدون معاً، إمكان حصول هجوم منظم وعنيف على الحكومة أو السلطات المحلية أو تلك التابعة للولايات (ولو محدودًا)، وحمل السلاح ضد نظرائهم الفيدراليين.

    إضافة إلى هذا الانقسام الحاد حول ما إذا كانت سلسلة الهجمات الفردية والجماعات الصغيرة، يمكن أن تؤدي إلى صراع شبيه بالحرب يزعزع استقرار البلاد، إلا أن الخطر الأكبر الذي يلوح في الأفق، ويقضّ مضاجع الجانبين في نقاش الحرب الأهلية، هو أن الاتجاه الأكثر إثارة للقلق هو فقدان الثقة والأمل والشعور بالانتماء على نطاق واسع في مجتمع تضرر بشدة. 

    ما مصدر إلهام المتحمسين للحرب الأهلية؟ 

    في الحقيقة، يُرى ويليام بيرس، أستاذ الفيزياء الذي تحوّل إلى منظّر للنازيين الجدد، مصدر إلهام ومنبع أفكار القتل والتصفية والقضاء على الحكومة الأميركية، للمتطرّفين اليمينيين الأميركيين. 

     فقبل ربع قرن، وبعد تفجير المبنى الفيدرالي في أوكلاهوما سيتي، عُثر في سيارة المهاجم تيموثي ماكفي الذي اتخذ رواية بيرس “يوميات تيرنر” وثيقة تخطيط له لشن حرب أهلية، على مقتطفات من الكتاب في سيارته عندما قتل 168 شخصاً وأصاب مئات آخرين ومعظم من الأطفال.

    الكارثة لدى القادة الأميركيين الحاليين، أن بيرس، كان فخوراً جداً بشعبية كتابه بين المتعصبين البيض وغيرهم من المتطرفين، إذ إن هدفه وهدف أولئك الذين كان يأمل أن يقرأوا كتابه هو إطاحة الحكومة.

     ولهذا قال بيرس “الناس لا يستخدمون الكتاب كمخطّط، ولكن كمصدر إلهام”. وأكّد أن “ليس لدي الوقت للكتابة للترفيه وحسب. إنما لشرح الأشياء للناس. أود أن أرى أميركا الشمالية قارة بيضاء فقط”.

     وما يزيد الطين بلة لدى الأميركيين، أن لدى بيرس رؤية مدمّرة للنظام الأميركي، إذ أوضح أنه “إذا لم ندمّر النظام قبل أن يدمرنا -إذا لم نقطع هذا السرطان من لحمنا الحي- فسيموت جنسنا كله”.

    بيرس، الذي توفي عام 2002، كان قد تنبأ في كتابه بتآمر المتعصبين البيض لتفجير مقر مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي وإشعال حرب أوسع على الحكومة. وتوقع كذلك أن تتكرّر أعمال العنف الفردية، معتبراً أن “الإرهاب لا معنى له إلا إذا كان مستداماً.. وفي يوم من الأيام سيكون هناك إرهاب حقيقي ومنظم يجري وفقاً لخطة تهدف إلى إسقاط الحكومة.

    ماذا عن حماسة ترامب والحزب الجمهوري للحرب الأهلية؟

    طوال عقود، بقيت “يوميات تيرنر” لبيرس، نصاً يستخدمه المتطرفون العنيفون، ويظهر على نحو متكرر عبر الإنترنت في أحاديث المشاركين في هجوم 6 من كانون الثاني/يناير وأنصار الرئيس ترامب. 

    ليس هذا فحسب، فقد أصبح الخطاب العدائي أيضاً جزءاً من حملات بعض الجمهوريين اليومية. وفي هذا الإطار كتبت لورا لومر، المرشحة الجمهورية في منطقة مجلس النواب الـ11 بولاية فلوريدا، التي كانت قد خسرت بفرق ضئيل في الانتخابات التمهيدية الأسبوع الماضي، على Telegram في 8 آب/أغسطس الماضي أن “الوقت قد حان لخلع القفازات.. إذا كنت أميركياً محباً للحرية، فعليك إزالة الكلمات اللائقة والكياسة من مفرداتك”.

    وبالمثل، غرد اليوتيوبر المحافظ والبودكاست ستيفن كراودر، يوم حدوث غارة FBI في مارالاغو، قائلاً إن “الغد هو الحرب”. وأضاف “لقد حان الوقت للقتال من أجل كل بوصة مربعة” ثم كرّر كلامه في اليوم التالي، مؤكداً أنه الوقت لمكافحة النار بالنار، حان”. كما كتب موقع النقاد المؤيد لترامب عبارات تصب في خانة التحريض مثل “هذا. يعني. الحرب”.

    فضلاً عن ذلك، تحدث الناس على منصات التواصل الاجتماعي المؤيدة لترامب، عن شراء الذخيرة والبحث عن مواجهة العملاء الفيدراليين. “حرب أهلية! التقطوا السلاح أيها الناس”، غرد أحد الغاضبين. 

    كان مثل هذا الحديث أشبه بالدعامة الأساسية لسنوات ترامب. في الصيف الماضي، زعم النائب ماديسون كاوثورن وهو جمهوري من كارولاينا الشمالية، ومن الذين أنكروا نتائج الانتخابات الرئاسية، أن أنظمة الانتخابات الأميركية “مزورة”، مشدداً على أنها “ستؤدي إلى مكان واحد، وهو إراقة دماء”

    حتى إن ترامب نفسه، الذي كان قد تحدث ضد تدريس نظرية العرق الناقدة في تجمع حاشد في كارولينا الجنوبية هذا الربيع، أشار إلى أن مصير أميركا “يعتمد في نهاية المطاف على استعداد مواطنيها للتخلي عن حياتهم للدفاع عن بلدهم، وعليهم القيام بذلك”.

     وعلى المنوال نفسه، أكد أحد أبرز منتقدي ترامب في حزبه، النائب آدم كينزينغر (إلينوي)، في وقت سابق من هذا العام في برنامج “The View” على شبكة “إيه بي سي” أن الحرب الأهلية يمكن أن تندلع” وقال “علينا أن نحذر ونتحدّث عن ذلك حتى نتمكن من إدراك ذلك والقتال بقوة ضده”.

    مع أن كتاب بيرس لا يزال يلهم الجهات الفاعلة الفردية والمجموعات الصغيرة، إلا أن حربه الأوسع نطاقاً لم تقترب قط من أن تؤتي ثمارها بعد.

    اليوم، “الحرب الأهلية” هي صرخة قوية، عكسها بعض الأميركيين في سلوكهم، بارتدائها على القمصان، وبعضهم الآخر يتدرّب عليها علناً بأسلحة هجومية، مثلما يفعل ابن القس، هيونغ جين مون، الذي يتولى رعاية الدورات التدريبية في مجمّعه في تكساس وبنسلفانيا من أجل حرب “وطنية” أخرى على “الدولة العميقة والكلام له. 

    وماذا تقول استطلاعات الرأي عن احتمالات الحرب الأهلية؟

    يعتقد عدد من الأميركيين أن حرباً أهلية حقيقية وعنيفة مقبلة. ففي استطلاع للرأي أجرته هذا الربيع جامعة كاليفورنيا في برنامج أبحاث الوقاية من العنف في ديفيس، قال الذين شملهم الاستطلاع بمعظمهم، إنهم يتوقّعون حرباً أهلية في السنوات القليلة المقبلة.

    إضافة إلى ذلك، أظهر استطلاع آخر أجراه مركز المسح حول الحياة الأميركية، وهو مشروع غير حزبي تابع لمعهد أميركان إنتربرايز المحافظ، أن ما يزيد على ثلث الأميركيين يوافقون على أن “طريقة الحياة الأميركية التقليدية تختفي بسرعة كبيرة، حتى إننا قد نضطر إلى استخدام القوة لإنقاذها”.

    وكشفت نتائج استطلاع جديدة مقلقة نشرتها YouGov، وهي شركة رائدة في مجال أبحاث السوق، أن أربعة من بين كل 10 أميركيين، يعتقدون أن حرباً أهلية قد تكون محتملة في العقد المقبل. وتوضح يوغوف أن من بين أولئك الذين يقولون إنهم صوتوا لترامب عام 2020، أكثر من 50% يتوقعون أيضاً أن يزداد العنف السياسي في السنوات المقبلة.

    أكثر من ذلك، يشير استطلاع آخر لـ”يوغوف”، كان قد أجري لمصلحة مجلة الإيكونوميست، إلى أن نحو 14 في المئة من المستطلَعين، قالوا إن الحرب الأهلية “محتملة جداً في غضون 10 سنين. فيما صرح 29 في المئة أنها “مرجّحة إلى حد ما”. ولكن، بين ناخبي ترامب، كانت هذه الأرقام 19 في المئة، و34 في المئة، على التوالي، أو 53 في المئة في المجموع. ومن بين ناخبي بايدن، كان المجموع يزيد قليلاً على الثلث.

    في الحصيلة، يشعر الأميركيون بأن الانقسامات بين الأمة تبرر أو تسبق صراعاً عنيفاً. 

    The Highland Park Shooting and American Fascism Now

    JULY 8, 2022

    Fireplug and Coneflowers in the Author’s Garden, Highland Park, Illinois, 2013. Photo: The Author.

    BY STEPHEN F. EISENMAN

    I heard about it from my daughter, Sarah, in Chicago.

    “Dad, did you hear about Highland Park?” That was an ominous beginning. She continued: “There was a shooting during the 4th of July Parade. A bunch of people were killed.”

    My heart sank. I lived in Highland Park for almost 15 years, from 2001-2015. Sarah too. I had been there just a few weeks ago to visit my dear neighbors Hannah and Joe, and to meet up with Sarah.

    “You ok, sweetie?”

    “Yeah, but it’s really bad.”

    “Let me hang up and find out more.”

    I looked at the NYTimes and Guardian and texted Hannah – she and her husband were out of town and ok. I told my wife Harriet, who was out pulling weeds in the garden. I was tearful; she consoled me. Though I hadn’t lived there in a while, Highland Park was a big part of my life. It was where I bought a house with my former wife in late 2001; where I ran hundreds of miles in the beautiful forest reserves; where I taught my dog Echo how to catch a frisbee; where I wrote three books; where I recovered from injuries after a bad car crash; where Sarah went through a very challenging (for all of us) adolescence; where I started a new life after my divorce; and where Harriet and I were married by a rabbi, with Echo as our witness, in 2014.

    I never made many friends there, but I didn’t care about that. I had friends enough in Chicago and L.A. And then there was the gift of Hannah – a brilliant and funny art historian (U. of Illinois, Chicago), and her kind businessman husband, Joe Reinstein. Joe and I didn’t have that much in common except for being Jewish, enjoying gardening and liking to make jokes. He sounds a little bit like Jack Benny. Many of you, dear readers, won’t have a clue as to who that is, so please look him up on YouTube.

    Highland Park, a city of 30,000, is about one-third Jewish. When my former wife (Catholic) and I moved up to there in 2001, some of our Northwestern University colleagues were surprised that we relocated to such a bourgeois suburb. To quiet the teasing, I told them that we moved there so I could “be among my people.” That shut everybody up. Then as now, identity politics ends discussion. In truth, though I am a cultural Jew, I haven’t stepped inside a synagogue since my bar mitzvah in 1969, not including other people’s bar mitzvahs and weddings.

    Now, after the shooting, Highland Park was going to become one more of those names on a list that includes Parkland, Sandy Hook, Buffalo, and Uvalde. The grim consolation is that the list is now so long – and growing longer every day — that Highland Park will soon be displaced in memory by another mass casualty event. In a few years, it will be a footnote. But not for the people whose family members were killed or wounded; not for the town’s other residents who will remember that infamous day, and not for a north Florida transplant who remembers the place with fondness.

    Outline of a critique of fascist violence

    In time, we’ll find out much more about the confessed killer, Bobby Crimo. But my friend Sue Coe nailed the profile in an email she sent me before he was identified: “He will be a 20-something white male, who hunts, goes online in his bedroom, and over excites himself.  His mother/grandmother/caretaker, who he hates, does his laundry, and cooks his food.  He won’t have many friends; past fellow students will say he was a loner. Maybe there’s a manifesto, posted online, ripped off from some other moron.” She forgot to mention that he will be a Trump supporter, rare for someone his age, and rarer still in Democratic Highland Park or nearby Highwood where the killer lived with his father and uncle. Sue is clever but not clairvoyant – she described what has recently become the typical profile of the mass shooter.

    Crimo may have a diagnosable psychotic illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or delusional disorder. Alternatively, he might suffer from a less totalizing, but still debilitating mental illness such as borderline personality disorder or depression. He apparently attempted suicide in 2019. In online raps (or rants), he claimed to be compelled to kill. But whether there is a plausible diagnosis or not, the question will be the same: Why did this 21 y.o. kid decide to buy an assault weapon and kill or injure dozens of people he didn’t even know? Answers won’t be found in the DSM but in the convergence of fascism and Republican Party politics.

    Fascism is a well-understood political formation, but easier to recognize in hindsight than foresight. It cannot be defined, as some have tried to do, by a delimited set of attributes, for example: 1) militarism and a culture of violence, 2) the leadership (Fuhrer) principle, 3) antagonism to democracy, 4) deferral to the authority of elites, 5) racism, 6) strict control of both gender expression and sexual reproduction, 7) denigration of science, 8) the ubiquity of lies and conspiracy theories, and 9) the bringing of government and civil society to heel in order to enforce one-party rule. The problem with this list or any other, is that it establishes an ideal type that exists nowhere except the mind of the investigator.

    Then what use are the words fascist and fascism today? They serve as a warning, enabling us to recognize especially toxic political speech and behavior, and prepare ourselves for the behemoth lying in wait. Does the rampant racism, violence, corruption, and electoral fraud of the last president and current Republican Party mark a fascist turning point in the United States? Does Republican debasement of the Supreme Court – marked by its denial of women’s autonomy, endorsement of gun culture, refusal to accept EPA authority to prevent a climate catastrophe, and endorsement of a theocratic state — indicate the rise of fascism?

    To be sure, U.S. capitalist democracy was deranged from the start by slavery and genocide. When those practices were ended or curbed, it was still marked by racial oppression, gross inequality, and environmental degradation. Despite that, U.S. politics has been self-correcting to a surprising degree, staving off fascism when it seemed imminent. The first Ku Klux Klan (1865-1900) was stymied by Progressive Era legislation and policing, and the second (1915-1940) by the Great Northern Migration (which depleted the Black population of the South) and by the democratic solidarity that arose after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and Germany’s declaration of war against the U.S. Fascism in other words, has frequently been incipient, but countervailing tendencies were always stronger. However, that pattern – a glide to the right matched by a lurch back to the center — may be changing.

    During the last three decades or so, neo-liberal capitalism has sustained a highly productive collaboration with Christian nationalism and other versions of far-right, populist extremism. They are strange bedfellows. The goal of the first is to ensure the highest possible profits for the longest possible time, regardless of the human or environmental consequences. The climate crisis has made this stance existential. Continued economic growth and increasing profits – the lifeblood of large business enterprises — is simply incompatible with environmental responsibility. For that reason, fossil capital, along with its confederates in the weapons, aerospace, steel, and home building industries, is waging a war against the coming era of environmental regulation and economic planning that must inevitably curb growth. That’s what the recent Supreme Court decision, West Virginia vs EPA, was all about. It was a big win for capital against the environmental movement and American labor. Working people, especially the non-white sector, are the first victims of climate change. In addition, the Court’s ruling will be used to attack workplace health and safety laws.

    The goal of the second group, the far-right Christian nationalists, anti-abortionists, militias, and self-proclaimed fascists, is to establish a new nation of white Christian, Aryan, or “legacy” Americans who will reclaim the power they believe was taken from them by the Jews, Blacks, feminists, and queers who sought to “replace” them. Their cultism (QAnon, Stop the Steal, anti-Vax, etc), gun-rights militancy and religious enthusiasm has little in common with the secularism and public reserve of the corporate heads, lawyers, bankers, lobbyists, and advertising executives who comprise the neoliberal faction of U.S. conservatism, but they share one fundamental principle: that the only salient economic and political unit is the individual and the family. The neoliberal faction adds a proviso — codified by the Supreme Court in Citizens United — that corporations have many of the same rights as people.

    For neoliberal capital, this means that state or federal programs to regulate production, improve social welfare, and protect the environment are both non-sensical and counterproductive; they are based on the mistaken premise that societies exist and have collective interests that need to be safeguarded. For the far right — Christian nationalist, militia, anti-abortion, and the rest — exclusive focus on individuals and families means that any concatenation of social groupings that opposes their apocalyptic vision must be cast aside if not eliminated. Social movements of feminists, queers, Blacks, or any others, are anathema.

    This mixture of neo-liberal and far right-populist extremism is highly volatile. It is also the basis of MAGA and Republican Party identity. When that world view is offered up by the former president and his congressional and mass-media followers and apologists, the consequences can be catastrophic: Witness the January 6 coup attempt, and the earlier, far right killings in El Paso, Pittsburgh, Poway, Buffalo, Uvalde…and now Highland Park.

    MAGA triggers and the alien within

    When I lived in Highland Park, I never locked my door. I know that’s a cliché about small-town life, but it was true. That doesn’t mean the practice is wise. Our house was broken into once, but instead of walking through the unlocked front door, the would-be thieves broke through a locked, glass side door. They didn’t manage to steal anything and hastily exited the front door, likely chased by Echo – notably nippy with strangers — who would not have passed up the chance to licitly bite a burglar. The police came five minutes after we called them and had great sport playing detective – dusting for fingerprints, checking for signs of forced entry, looking for shoe prints in the wet soil outside. They never caught the guys.

    The idea that the Highland Park Police would ever have to deal with a murder, much less a mass murder was unimaginable to me. From 2000 to 2020, there hadn’t been a single killing in town. But everyone was aware of the threat guns posed, especially after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December 2012. In June 2013, Highland Park’s City Council and Mayor Nancy Rotering introduced a measure banning assault weapons and large capacity magazines. I spoke in favor of the it at the June meeting dedicated to the subject, as did many others. However, there were a few who spoke up in opposition, repeating the standard NRA line that people, not guns kill people. One older woman waved a coffee mug and said it could be used as a lethal weapon – a wag near her dared her to try. Another speaker invoked the second amendment with the reverential awe usually reserved for the second commandment – people sniggered. The ban passed easily. It was unsuccessfully challenged in multiple courts, and ultimately survived a Supreme Court review – I doubt it would today.

    I now wonder if the confessed killer’s father, Robert Crimo II attended that City Council meeting. He’s a gun lover and Trump supporter who helped his son obtain the rifle used in the shooting. He also ran for mayor of Highland Park in 2019 against the incumbent Mayor Rotering, losing by a margin of 2-1. In April that year, police visited the Crimo home after a report that Robert III (Bobby) had attempted suicide. No action was taken after his parents gave assurances that mental health professionals would be contacted. In September, the police again came to the Crimo household after receiving a call that Bobby had threatened to kill his family. They searched his room and found in his closet 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword. His father later that day claimed they were his, and the weapons were returned. The Highland Park Police promptly reported to the Illinois State Police that Bobby was a “clear and present danger” to himself and others. Despite that, in December 2019, the 19-year-old – who eight months earlier attempted suicide — applied for and was issued a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID). Because he was underage, the application was co-signed by his father.

    The FOID application should have been denied because under state law, no gun permit can be issued to someone “whose mental condition is of such a nature that it poses a clear and present danger to the applicant, or any other person or the community.” In addition, a FOID must be denied to anyone who “has been a patient at a mental health facility in the last five years.” If Bobby’s parents had in fact contacted mental health professionals after the boy’s attempted suicide, they would have had to take him to “a mental health facility,” most likely Northshore Hospital’s Behavioral Health Center in Highland Park, just half a mile from where they lived. Apparently, both the Illinois State Police and the physician or psychologist who treated Bobby, failed to send notification to the Illinois Department of Health Services FOID reporting system.

    A few days after being granted his FOID, and then again between June 2020 and September 2021, Crimo bought at least five guns, including two rifles, one of which was the semi-automatic Smith & Wesson M&P15 used in the killings. That’s similar to the guns used by the young, far-right killers in Buffalo and Uvalde. In late September 2020, Bobby attended a Trump rally in Northbook, Illinois. On January 2, 2021, four days before the capital insurrection, Crimo joined other Trump supporters to greet the soon-to-be- ex-president at an unidentified airport. On June 27, 2021, he posted a video of himself draped and dancing in a Trump flag. Sometime later, he had the number “47” tattooed on his face and painted on the side of his car. If Trump is re-elected in 2014, he will be the 47th president, though if the numbers are transposed — 7/4 – they represent the date of the Highland Park shootings.

    We know less about Crimo’s actions in the weeks before the shooting, though more information may soon emerge. We know that in some of his most recent YouTube and other postings, he revealed his identification with soldiers, spies, assassins (Lee Harvey Oswald) and warriors — especially with the German SS. After the massacre in Highland Park, he drove up to another, famously Democratic Party stronghold, Madison, Wisconsin, with the intention of shooting up their July 5 parade too. Fortunately, he abandoned that plan when he got there and returned, more or less to the scene of the crime, where he was captured. Was the ongoing Trump saga – the former president’s unrelenting “stop the steal” rhetoric, claims of persecution, exhortations to “take our country back,” endorsement of the NRA, and invitations to violence – a trigger for Crimo? But if they were, why did Crimo attack innocent people at a patriotic parade? There is no obvious answer.

    In Male Fantasies (1987), Klaus Theweleit described the transformation of de-commissioned German soldiers after World War I into mercenary militias called Freikorps. Those bands were responsible for political assassinations and the brutal repression of protesting German workers, communists, feminists, and social democrats. By the late ‘20s, they became the stormtroopers (Sturmabteilung) that enabled Hitler’s rise to power. Some became prominent Nazis, like Rudolf Höss, commandant of the Auschwitz concentration and death camps.

    Many of the men studied by Theweleit were subjected to stern discipline as children – part of a normally pathological Prussian upbringing — and then further brutalized as soldiers in wartime trenches. Consequently, they developed a sense that they had been hollowed out, or that they had been overcome by an “alien within.” This foreign being was hungry and dangerous, and could find relief only in violence, especially against a crowd. While the solider was stern, bounded, firm and resolute, the crowd was vivid, thriving, shapeless, feminine, social, communal, and sexual – everything he was not, and it had to be destroyed.

    Theweleit’s two volume book is widely cited – too widely – in studies of male sexual violence and the psychology of Nazism. There is no easy way to map a wide-ranging study of the literature the psychopathology of World War I veterans onto the mind and behavior of young, mass shooters today. But the preoccupations of the Highland Park killer – assassinations, school shootings, the SS, spies, guns, knives, and militias – suggests comparison with the young fascists in Male Fantasies who emerged in inter-war Europe, scarred and deadly dangerous, who hated crowds, and were ready to follow the orders of a charismatic leader.

    Fascism, unlike Covid, can’t be diagnosed with a nose swab; but its symptoms are unmistakable and sometimes fatal. It’s fair to say it killed seven people in Highland Park and injured 30 others. It was also deadly in El Paso, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Uvalde. Urgent action is needed to stop the proliferation of assault weapons and guns with large magazines. But this essay is not about the need for gun control, or “gun safety”, essential as that is. It’s about the violence that again struck a U.S. community last week, and the need to resist the Republican far-right – both its corporate and Christian nationalist wings. Until their assault upon our health, safety, bodily autonomy, religious (or irreligious) freedom, and environmental future is stopped, the killing will continue.

    Stephen F. Eisenman is Professor Emeritus of Art History at Northwestern University and the author of Gauguin’s Skirt (Thames and Hudson, 1997), The Abu Ghraib Effect (Reaktion, 2007), The Cry of Nature: Art and the Making of Animal Rights (Reaktion, 2015) and many other books. He is also co-founder of the environmental justice non-profit,  Anthropocene Alliance. He and the artist Sue Coe and now preparing for publication part two of their series for Rotland Press, American Fascism Now.

    Russian military is no joke either: Shock waves across US?

    21 Mar 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen Net

    Ruqiya Anwar 

    When it comes to the Ukraine crisis, US citizens are stressing: “We don’t have a dog in the fight.”

    The crisis in Ukraine is raising considerable anxiety and rising global uncertainty. It appears that neither war nor heavy economic penalties would bring a sustainable solution to the current situation, which extends beyond Russia and Ukraine. The only way out is through diplomacy. That possibility was squandered when the US and NATO, in response to Russia’s concerns, limited NATO’s eastward expansion.

    However, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The special military operation will strive to “denazify” Russia’s sovereign neighbor, its mission is to protect citizens who have been bullied and subjected to genocide for the past eight years. And to do this, Russia will work to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.

    Even as President Joe Biden imposes more sanctions and promises a greater response that could draw retaliation from Moscow, there is little interest among Americans for a US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. President Joe Biden has been criticized by a faction of the Republican Party for opposing Putin’s plans for Ukraine, with some even suggesting that Russia has the right to invade. 

    As history has shown, economic sanctions would only harm innocent civilians, particularly women and children. The rising oil costs owing to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the economic sanctions the West has imposed on Russia are affecting the entire world, particularly the poor nation-states.

    With the general public’s memories of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent Taliban takeover still fresh, much of the worry on both the right and left is centered on the US avoiding military involvement in Europe. Members of the House Freedom Caucus have indeed been particularly loud in their opposition to US intervention in Ukraine, and stressed that “In the Ukraine conflict, we don’t have a dog in the fight”. There should not be a single American soldier killed there. There should not be a single American bullet fired there.

    Significantly, Ukraine has no legitimate reason to be a member of NATO, and NATO, as a Cold War relic, may have no present purpose or goal. Getting involved in a military crisis is not in the best interests of the United States.

    Similarly, many Americans prefer that the US stay out of the crisis, the escalating violence, and political ramifications are already hitting their budgets. As traders reacted to geopolitical tensions, the price of oil, which has been climbing for the past year, hit an eight-year high this week. According to experts, if US lawmakers pass another round of sanctions, gas prices will certainly rise considerably more.

    Moreover, the restriction on wheat or metals, on the other hand, might push the worst spell of inflation in decades even higher. Consumers in the United States will pay more for gasoline and other necessities as commodity prices rise, leaving less money for discretionary expenditure. As costly as another European conflict would be inhuman and economic terms, the financial strain would fall disproportionately on the lower and middle classes in the United States.

    Furthermore, the US economic growth could be cut by 1% as a result of tougher sanctions on Russia. Stock market turbulence can also have a psychological impact, undermining consumer confidence and reducing expenditure, thus, slowing down US economic growth. Sanctions implemented by the United States and other countries may worsen inflation in the United States, and stock prices in the United States have collapsed already.

    Consumer pricing and consumer confidence in the United States are likely to be affected by the sanctions. Gas prices in the United States have reached new highs, and Biden warned that they will go up even more.

    Notably, the issue of “who are they?” lies at the heart of much of the doubt about America’s intervention in Ukraine. Who are they to lecture about national sovereignty and international law when they have a significant history of invasions and interventions? Who are they to set themselves up as paragons of freedom and human rights, given the record of slavery and discrimination, their foreign record of supporting sympathetic tyrants, and the continued injustices of American life? People on the left frequently pose such concerns. Only about one out of every three Americans can locate Ukraine on a map of Europe.

    Biden’s presidency is already on the verge of collapsing. His approval rating has dropped to 41%. His grip on the White House is already tightening. Therefore, Presidents in such dire trouble have a history of suffering crushing defeats in midterm elections during their first term.

    The US and Europe have already become major victims of the crisis, both economically and geopolitically, and the worsening of the conflict could spell disaster for the continent and the world. Europe, as the continent that saw two previous World Wars erupt, must demonstrate greater foresight and courage in stepping up its efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

    The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

    Biden says Latin America is US ‘front yard’, Trump says ‘backyard’ – Pick your flavor of neocolonialism

    22 Jan 2022

    Ben Norton 

    Source: Al Mayadeen Net

    When we look past all of the superficial Culture War battles they wage to distract the US public, we can clearly see that the two ruling-class parties share 95% of the same policies.

    Pick your flavor of neocolonialism

    What is the difference between Republicans and Democrats? Trump says backyard and Biden says front yard. Otherwise, they share 95% of the same warmongering, capitalist, imperialist policies.

    People in Latin America often ask me, “What is the difference between Republicans and Democrats?” For those outside of the United States, the two hegemonic parties seem so similar that they’re difficult to tell apart.

    The reality, of course, is that the Republican and Democratic Parties are indeed nearly identical. When we look past all of the superficial Culture War battles they wage to distract the US public, we can clearly see that the two ruling-class parties share 95% of the same policies — and are funded by the same billionaire capitalist oligarchs and exploitative mega-corporations to obediently serve their economic interests.

    The Joe Biden administration has made this undeniable. The Democratic President campaigned on promises to reverse the Republican Trump’s disastrous policies, only to continue the vast majority of them.

    At a press conference on January 19, the current President accidentally revealed what the real difference between him and the former head-of-state is: Trump thinks that Latin America is the US empire’s “backyard”, while Biden insists it is Washington’s “front yard”.

    You can see Biden’s comments in the official transcript published at the White House: “We used to talk about, when I was a kid in college, about ‘America’s backyard,’” he said in the presser. “It’s not America’s backyard. Everything south of the Mexican border is America’s front yard.”

    I repeat:  “Everything south of the Mexican border is America’s front yard.”

    So now, when people in Latin America ask me to describe the differences between Republicans and Democrats, I have the perfect answer: Republicans think you are their ‘backyard’, whereas Democrats think you are their ‘front yard’.

    Pick your favorite flavor of neocolonialism.

    Biden has been in power for exactly one year as of this January 20, and he has failed to accomplish anything significant. (His long-overdue withdrawal from Afghanistan does deserve an honorable mention, but it is greatly overshadowed by Biden’s hawkish policies against the rest of the world — not to mention the devastating sanctions his administration has imposed on Afghanistan, which are starving millions of civilians.)

    Far from breaking with Trump, Biden has doubled down on the far-right former President’s worst policies:

    • Biden still recognizes coup puppet Juan Guaidó as fake “President” of Venezuela, and has maintained Trump’s murderous sanctions.
    • Not only has Biden not removed any of the hundreds of crippling sanctions that Trump imposed on Cuba; he has in fact further expanded the US economic warfare against the Caribbean nation, to such a degree that the New York Times wrote that “Biden is taking an even harder line on Cuba” than Trump.
    • Biden has continued the borderline genocidal, scorched-earth war on Yemen, which was expanded by Trump and started by Joe’s running mate Obama.
    • After Trump unilaterally tore up the Iran nuclear deal, the Biden administration has refused to return to it, demanding Tehran’s agreement to a series of unreasonable new demands.
    • Biden has kept US troops illegally occupying Iraq (where the democratically elected Parliament voted overwhelmingly to expel them) and Syria (where they are preventing the central government from accessing its own oil and wheat reserves as it suffers under a suffocating Western sanctions regime).
    • Biden has maintained the witch hunt that Trump’s Justice Department launched against WikiLeaks journalist and political prisoner Julian Assange, who is being tortured in a maximum-security British prison as he awaits extradition to the Land of the Free for a show trial.
    • Biden fulfilled the Trump administration’s plans to extradite — that is, kidnap — Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, who was detained and held in horrific conditions for the supposed “crime” of circumventing illegal US sanctions to buy food for the Venezuelan people.
    • As more than 850,000 North Americans have died, Biden’s Covid-19 policies (or lack thereof) have for the most part been identical to those of Trump. The bipartisan strategy is to put profits over people’s lives and let corporations quite literally dictate “public health” policies.
    • Biden has accelerated the new cold war on both China and Russia while imposing more and more sanctions around the globe.
    • Heck, Biden has even managed to deport more migrant children than the inveterate racist Trump.

    Meanwhile, inside the United States, Biden’s own party has blocked all attempts at passing significant legislation.

    The US government is so thoroughly undemocratic, so entirely beholden to capital, it has become a dysfunctional basket case. Its “democratic” window dressing has melted away, and all that is left is a stone-cold authoritarian regime controlled by billionaire oligarchs, a textbook dictatorship of the capitalist class.

    The only thing the US empire can do is do what it has always done: escalate its imperial aggression abroad, endlessly pour money into the gaping maw of the Military-Industrial Complex, try to tame the voracious appetite of the death cult of capitalism — use war abroad to distract from the mass death, skyrocketing inequality, growing poverty, dire homelessness, police brutality, and mass incarceration inside the United States.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

    ELECTION SEASON NEARS IN THE UNITED STATES AS POLITICAL CRISIS GAINS TRACTION

     03.09.2021 

    Election Season Nears In The United States As Political Crisis Gains Traction

    The United States 2021 elections are drawing near, with the majority of them taking part on November 2nd, 2021.

    Many are taking place on the surrounding days.

    It is a volatile season, as the Democratic Party won the Presidential Elections in the face of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and holds a majority thanks to the vice president in the Congress.

    In the House of Representatives, the Democrats hold the majority.

    Interestingly, in the Senate the Republicans have 50 senators, but still Democrats hold majority with 48 senators, due to Kamala Harris swinging the vote.

    Political instability was introduced in the United States following the fiasco that the withdrawal from Afghanistan turned into.

    Americans were abandoned, Afghan allies were left behind, and an ISIS terror attack left 13 Americans and hundreds of Afghans dead.

    This political instability didn’t simply appear out of nowhere with the fiasco in Afghanistan.

    It was brewing when former President Donald Trump faced Joe Biden in the polls, and even before that.

    This could also be a way to set the stage for Biden’s resignation, for health reasons or otherwise. A power grab is in order by Vice President Kamala Harris and the neoliberals she represents and whose interests she fights for.

    Conservatives and traditionalists would surely come in the spotlight and receive quite a bit of negative attention focused at them. After all, they are the ones who elected Trump, and almost even re-elected him.

    Various neoliberal movements, such as BLM and others will become the norm at Washington level, and that is when the true suppression attempts can begin.

    This leading ideology will marginalize the states that are more conservative. There will likely be an ideology split within the United States, and even within singular states themselves.

    Local authorities, as well as the local business elites and opinion leaders, will be strained, they will need to guide the population in one direction or another.

    As a result, every state that’s strongly conservative or liberal will play a significant, leading role in the upcoming events ahead of the election, and after it.

    If Texas remains strongly conservative, pro-Republican, as there is not even a Democrat candidate, it is likely that changes might be coming. Some states may wish for more independence in spending, development, legislation and more and be freed from some compulsory factors coming from Washington.

    This doesn’t relate to a splitting of the federation into smaller countries, but rather a US in “two speeds”, similar to what is being observed in the European Union.

    Texas is second in the US – second richest, and with its 29.1 million residents in 2020, is the second-largest U.S. state by both area and population. It is also a staple of conservatism and the Republican party, it promises to remain as such.

    Naturally, the winner of the elections will become an important figure.

    Currently, the governor of Texas is Greg Abbott, from the Republican Party.

    Election Season Nears In The United States As Political Crisis Gains Traction

    He seems like a rather conservative, but adequate leader of his state, with the population having a generally positive opinion of him.

    It is an up-and-down, however.

    Recently, the most radical abortion law in the US has gone into effect, despite legal efforts to block it.

    A near-total abortion ban in Texas empowers any private citizen to sue an abortion provider who violates the law, opening the floodgates to harassing and frivolous lawsuits from anti-abortion vigilantes that could eventually shutter most clinics in the state.

    Senate Bill 8 ushered through the Republican-dominated Texas legislature and signed into law by the Republican governor, Greg Abbott, in May, bars abortion once embryonic cardiac activity is detected, which is around six weeks, and offers no exceptions for rape or incest.

    He is also widely considered to have failed the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas was also woefully unprepared for the freezing cold, and citizens were left without power and heat for days.

    Still, despite controversy, he is the favorite.

    When CPAC, the nation’s leading conservative political conference, met in Dallas earlier this month, speakers included former Dallas state Sen. Don Huffines. And while Huffines bashed President Biden, he spent most of his time on stage blasting a fellow Republican: Gov. Greg Abbott.

    Huffines invoked the story of the Alamo and praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, then said:

    “Well, we don’t have a Donald Trump as governor. We don’t have Ron DeSantis as governor. We don’t have William B. Travis as governor. Unfortunately, we’ve got a career politician that’s a political windsock, a RINO (Republican in name only.)”

    Abbott, citing the kickoff of the legislative special session, wasn’t there to defend himself. Huffines used his absence against him, attacking Abbott’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “He doesn’t want to face you,” Huffines said, “because he shredded our constitution. He put 3 million Texans on unemployment and dependent on the government in one day.”

    But Huffines wasn’t just speaking out of passion. He’s also one of two candidates challenging Abbott as the governor seeks a third term in 2022. The other: former Texas Republican Party chairman Allen West, who’s made many of the same charges against Abbott’s pandemic response.

    Essentially, the situation in Texas is such – the Republican party, more or less, has the victory certain. The favorite appears to be Greg Abbott, but his two main competitors are also from the Republican party.

    The two main candidates: Don Huffines and Allen West are simply pushing the same platform, and want to win over the state away from Abbott, who has gone rogue, according to them.

    There’s little to mention about West, he simply wants to “overthrow” Abbott, and he even gave up on the chairmanship of the Republican Party in Texas for the purpose. Both him and Huffines are on the same “team”.

    In the case of Huffines, experts say that he didn’t win his own seat when he ran for Senate (in 2018), and it’s a seat that was more Republican than the state as a whole when he lost it. It is unlikely that this time he would have success.

    Still, when he announced his campaign, he made no mention of Abbott.

    It took aim at “politicians who offer nothing but excuses and lies” and promised to take on the “entrenched elites of the Austin swamp.” In promising more decisive action, Huffines said Texas needs to “finally finish the [border] wall” and that he would put the state “on a path to eliminating property taxes.”

    Huffines was a strident conservative in the Senate. His announcement highlighted his record on issues important to the right, as well as his successful push to shut down the Dallas Public Schools bus agency amid reports of financial mismanagement there.

    He got to the Senate in 2015 after unseating Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, in the primary, attacking him as too moderate. But the Dallas-based Senate District 16 swung toward Democrats under former President Donald Trump, and Johnson beat Huffines by 8 percentage points in 2018.

    Huffines stayed politically active after leaving the Senate and especially so in the past year, as conservative angst simmered over Abbott’s pandemic management. Even then, Huffines has an interesting family connection to the governor’s circle: His brother is James Huffines, whom Abbott tapped last spring to chair the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas.

    Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson said the odds are that Republicans will ultimately get everything they’re pushing in the current special session, even if it takes several more special sessions to get those priorities passed.

    “Right now, the Republicans have the Democrats strung up by their thumbs with their feet barely touching the ground,” Jillson said. “I think the Republicans are going to win on the substance, and how the Democrats frame their eventual loss very much will determine whether or not the two bases are equally energized by this fight or one is energized more than the other.”

    In his most recent gubernatorial race in 2018, Abbott won with 55.8% of the vote.

    Abbott has money too.

    He’s sitting on a war chest of $55 million.

    But despite rampant rumors that former Congressman Beto O’Rourke or even actor Matthew McConaughey will get into the race, Democrats still don’t have a declared candidate for governor.

    Still, the Democrats appear to have given up on Texas, as there is no candidate, two months prior to election.

    MORE ON THE TOPIC:

    Abortion and the Culture War

    About me

    August 8, 2021 

    An Analysis by Lawrence Davidson

    Part I—Competing Rights

    For those American readers not old enough to remember a time before the nationwide legalization of abortion through the court case known as Roe v. Wade (1973), let me remind you of some of the attributes of that era. The prevailing law made it very difficult to get an abortion in the United States, but not impossible. The real question was how much danger a pregnant woman was willing to face in the illegal “back alley” operations that were available. You see, as with most things illegal, a “black market” existed which would not only eliminate the unborn fetus, but often kill the distraught mother as well. If you were well off and determined, you could go abroad and have the operation performed with relative safety—often making the whole issue one of class privilege. Behind the scenes, one found two dramas played out: (a) the frantic, sometimes near-suicidal despair of the pregnant woman, often only a teenager, and (b) the sanctimonious prattle of those anti-abortionists —mostly men—who said they represented the will of an imagined deity.

    Having said this, I do not want the reader to believe that there is no moral question when it comes to abortion. From an evolutionary standpoint, the fetus is a potential human being upon conception and may well have a “moral right” to that life trajectory. Yet that right exists within a broader context which requires that it should be balanced against a woman’s “moral right” to control her own body and the child’s “moral right” not to be born into an environment where he or she is basically unwanted. If we were to deal with this issue logically, the real answer to the dilemma of competing rights is surely free and universally available contraception—along with sensible sex education.

    Part II—Anti-Abortion and Gun Mania—An Eerie Connection

    There is yet another relevant fact to consider. Remember that the whole anti-abortion movement assumes that human life is uniquely valuable. However, our societies often do not act as if human life is something special—morally or otherwise. Take a look at the essay I wrote in June 2019 entitled “The Alleged Preciousness of Human Life.” I think it lays this failing out clearly and convincingly. Here in the United States, this fact is most obviously brought home by the society’s glorification of guns and the resultant deadly mayhem.

    Actually, there is an eerie connection between the abortion issue and gun mania. It runs, of course, through the Republican Party. At the end of July 2021, “228 Republican members of Congress told the Supreme Court that it should overturn Roe v. Wade and release the court’s ‘vise grip on abortion politics.’” These are the same politicians who have sworn loyalty to the official Republican party platform that states “We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a natural inalienable right . . . secured by the Second Amendment. Lawful gun ownership enables Americans to exercise their God-given right of self-defense.” In other words, the Republicans who demand that the courts subscribe to their view of the “right to life” of unborn children are the same ones who insist that each citizen has a right to possess society’s chief instrument of death. In this effort they invoke, once again, the approval of that imagined deity. They also misinterpret the Second Amendment, and play fast and loose with such words as “natural” and “inalienable.” Well, as it is often said of American politics, hypocrisy is the name of the game.

    Part III—Culture War

    Both abortion “rights” and gun “rights” are parts of a continuing American culture war—which also includes other hot topics such as real equality for Blacks, Native Americans, women in general, homosexuals, and transgender people, as well as other questions such as multiculturalism.

    None of these issues existed as publicly divisive ones before the 1960s. Before that time, the misleading though strongly promoted image of American society was white, male, heterosexual, and benevolent. For those old enough to recognize it, the benign version of this model was given in a classic TV show called The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, which aired from 1952 to 1966. The resulting false picture of the near-perfect American family dwelling in a community where there were no serious social problems became so iconic that, subsequently, many Americans came to idealize the 1950s. One strongly suspects that the anti-abortion and pro-gun lobbies still do.

    The Ozzie and Harriet model had broken down by the second half of the 1960s. What shattered the iconic image were (a) the demand for equal rights, both in social and political terms, for, initially, the country’s Black minority and female majority—that is, the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Liberation Movement and (b) opposition to the Vietnam War, which shredded any claims of “God-given” moral exceptionalism for the nation.

    The “excrement hit the fan” the moment these campaigns for equal rights and peace began to gain political backing. People knew this was happening because new laws came into existence: anti-discrimination laws and others like the “war-powers act” which sought to limit presidential power to wage undeclared war. These were seen as progressive moves attuned to a different, if yet unfulfilled, humane canon of American ideals.

    From that general moment until today, the progressive equality camp has been engaged in a culture war—really a struggle for political power—with the camp that favors the traditional white-male-heterosexual-anti-abortionist setup.

    Part IV—Fascist Potential

    For the past five years Donald Trump has been the leader of the latter camp, and this alignment helped him win the presidency in 2016. During this time Trump has been accused of racism, misogyny and sexual harassment, being a deadbeat, tax evasion, nepotism, blackmail, compulsive lying, encouraging police violence, subversion and insurrection, and being an advocate for the destruction of the world’s climate, among other things. If even half of these allegations are true, it means that the white-male-heterosexual-anti-abortionist crowd is quite willing to have a criminal personality with fascist leanings as their leader.

    One way to interpret this is that, for this camp, democracy is not an important issue. It was democracy that led to the progressive change they hate and fear, and democracy that seems unable to reverse this course as quick as they would like. If voter rolls expand and gerrymandering is corrected, their influence will shrink. Under these circumstances this side in the culture war is willing to throw democracy out in favor of an authoritarian government run by thugs. We already see intimations of this in Arizona, Florida, and Texas, to say nothing at the U.S. capital on January 6, 2021.

    One might ask, can the sane citizens of the U.S. take hope in Trump’s defeat in 2020? The answer is, perhaps not. If Donald Trump keeled over from a fatal coronary tomorrow, we would still be in trouble as a nation. One indicator of this, relevant to the abortion question, is that, in his brief stay in the White House, he was able to appoint to the Supreme Court three reactionary judges—making the balance 6 to 3 in favor of decisions turning the clock back to a pre-progressive time. The constitutional argument these six judges will most likely use toward this end is “states rights”—turning important social decisions over to state legislatures even if these bodies are filled with anti-democratic, conspiracy-theorist, paranoid, irrational politicians.

    Part V—Democratic Party Weakness

    This brings us full circle back to Roe v. Wade. “At issue before the court is a Mississippi law that bars most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy [Roe v. Wade set the cut off at 24 weeks when most experts believe fetus viability occurs.] There is no exception for rape or incest. The court will render its decision by next June, in the lead up to the mid-term elections.” Upholding the Mississippi law would invalidate Roe v. Wade and the legal status of nationwide abortion.

    If legal precedent was a factor in this contest, there would be no doubt that Roe v. Wade would be upheld. For over forty years both lower court and past Supreme Court decisions have upheld the present law affirming the “woman’s right to choose an abortion before viability.” But, because the Trump administration managed to shift the balance of power on the high court, most observers now expect that Roe v. Wade will fall. Like wolves circling a wounded prey, various states with Republican legislatures have “introduced more than 500 restrictions on abortion over the past four months, a huge increase from previous years.”

    In the meantime, the Democratic administration of Joe Biden has not spoken out strongly about the possible demise of Roe v. Wade. In fact, President Biden, who is Catholic and perhaps fears increased criticism by the Catholic Church, has refused to use the word “abortion” in public. His administration has also chosen not to challenge other conservative icons, such as the issue of gun control (or lack thereof). Put it all together and one suspects that President Joe Biden is a man bypassed by time. He is a politician of an age when bipartisan cooperation, and thus meaningful compromise, was possible. Yet this ended with the Obama presidency (2009-2017), when the Republican leadership, which is still in place, systematically attempted to defeat or stall everything President Obama attempted to accomplish. Biden was a witness to all of this in his role as vice president, but he seems to have learned nothing from that experience.

    Part VI—Conclusion

    So here is the situation: (1) An ex-president with a sociopathic personality leads a Republican minority of mostly white, heterosexual, male conspiracy theorists who have also taken up the cause of outlawing most abortions and, given half the chance, are perfectly willing to selectively overthrow the U.S. Constitution; (2) the defense of the realm is in the hands of Democratic Party leaders who, for the most part, have misjudged the current situation and rely on traditional bipartisanship—to wit: they are trying to compromise with those who do not respect the present democratic system; (3) as a consequence, leaders like Joe Biden have probably lost that part of the nation’s progressive achievements encoded in Roe v. Wade, and perhaps a lot more; (4) finally, in 2022 there will be mid-term elections for the Congress—to reelect the Republicans as they now exist is to put into power the bigoted, the prevaricators, and often the deranged.

    It is anyone’s guess if, devoid of able and forceful Democratic leadership clearly articulating what is at stake, enough voting American citizens will understand the risk or have the motivation to stop a reactionary takeover.

    The Democracy vs. Freedom Dispute

    About me

    July 1, 2021 

    by Lawrence Davidson

    Part I—Democracy and Freedom

    In the United States, there is a dispute over whether democracy and freedom are compatible. Some, such as Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, have questioned their compatibility, and even asserted that freedom, rather than democracy, is what the U.S. really stands for. These terms are often used out of context and the dispute often suffers from a lack of historical knowledge, but there is nothing surprising about that. 

    Most of the men who put together the U.S. Constitution saw the world in class, racial and gender terms. While they wanted a more democratic government than that in England which, for propaganda purposes, they had portrayed as a tyranny, the new American democracy had to be carefully structured. Here is how this translated from theory into practice: the common man’s passions should be held in check by a system that kept the power to make policy in the hands of those white males who had “a material stake in society”—that is, the propertied class. For large segments of the population democracy was to be denied due to both gender and color. 

    Only a relative few of these men were thinking about freedom per se. And those who did, certainly did not define it in open-ended libertarian terms. Indeed, in late 18th century America, freedom came in two flavors: (1) first and foremost, the freedom from “unreasonable” taxation. What is unreasonable in this sense, would be argued about incessantly right up into the present. (2) Protection against the abuse of government power. The notion of abuse was directly connected to a) examples of alleged British excesses leading up to the American Revolution and b) Federalist party practices (when in power) like the suppression of critical newspapers and pamphlets. It is to cover a host of these sorts of issues, collectively posited as the protection of individual rights or freedoms, that Jefferson and Madison insisted a bill of rights be added to the Constitution as its first set of amendments. Once this was accomplished (December 1791) America’s democracy and a constitutional list of protected rights/freedoms, became compatible. 

    Part II—Getting Things Wrong 

    Now we fast forward to the present and Republican Senator Rand Paul, who was recently quoted in the New York Times as follows: “The idea of democracy and majority rule really is what goes against our history and what the country stands for [which is freedom]. The Jim Crow laws came out of democracy. That’s what you get when a majority ignores the rights of others.” He goes on to connect Republican Party opposition to a bipartisan congressional investigation of the January 6 “protest” (it was really an attempted insurrection) with the right of the political minority to protect itself against the majority. All of this is ahistorical and illogical. 

    When taking up Paul’s position there are several points to consider:

    First: Historical accuracy. Paul seems confused about the status of majority and minority when it comes to freed slaves in the American South at the time Congress abandoned Reconstruction (March 1877). At this time, the Black population in large parts of the rural South constituted the numerical majority. So, the Jim Crow laws that quickly followed were the products of a local political/racial minority (southern Whites) seeking to suppress the newly won rights of their local majorities (southern Blacks). Thus, Paul has his facts backwards. He might have made this mistake because he thinks that the American Black population has been a minority at all times and in all places throughout the country’s history. Yet here we have an important exception—an exception that challenges the senator’s argument that discriminatory behavior principally has its source with oppressive majorities.

    Today, if Senator Paul is looking for a minority in need of protection, he should focus on contemporary southern Blacks (who are now indeed a minority both in size and power.) They are now faced with a white Republican Party in control of state legislatures seeking to suppress the voting access of minorities.

    Second. Paul seems not to take into consideration that the American majority has grown and diversified. In other words, when it comes to what the government (local, state and federal) cannot do to you (like suppress your voting rights)—the you have steadily grown larger. Theoretically this should bode ill for the rightwing state legislatures mentioned above. It is unclear how Senator Paul personally feels about this (such narrowing of the election laws has not taken place in his home state of Kentucky), but he is an active member of the Republican Party, and that is party playing fast and loose with the voting laws in a host of southern and mid-western states. Why is the Republican Party doing this? Because a growing and diversifying majority creates a growing number of voters and most come from Black and other non-white segments of the population. Exercising their participatory political rights, they tend to vote Democrat. 

    Third. The constitutionally protected rights or freedoms are not open-ended. Yet Paul seems to suggest that they are when he asserts that to protect the Republican minority in the Senate, the party can block a bipartisan investigation of the January 6 insurrection. On the one hand, it is quite true that the bill of rights was designed as, and remains, a necessary defense of individual rights from majority demands for political or cultural uniformity. On the other, one can ask, what is Paul and the Republicans trying to protect their party from? The bill of rights does not, and never was supposed to stifle investigation of criminal acts. The only thing the bill of rights does in this regard is to guard the individual against illegal evidence gathering procedures and other abusive practices on the part of law enforcement.

    Part III—Misusing the Bill of Rights

    Against this background, how are we to understand Paul’s specific application of minority rights? At the very least, we can understand it as a misinterpretation of the purpose and intent of the bill of rights and the protections it offers individual citizens. In other words, he is defending his party’s refusal to allow a bipartisan investigation of an apparent crime—a crime with potentially embarrassing trail of evidence.

    The Republican Party and its conspiracy-spinning allies in the press and social media (whose speech is nonetheless protected) essentially created an alternate reality for millions of Americans that led some of them to insurrection. Despite many evidence-based demonstrations to the contrary, millions have bought into the myth that former President Donald Trump was cheated—and thus they, his supporters, were also cheated—out of victory in the 2020 presidential election. While both the Republicans and their supporters may believe the unbelievable—aver the demonstrably false—they have no right under the Constitution and its bill of rights to express such a delusion by going on a rampage, destroying public property, and attacking public officials. They have no protected right—no “freedom” to do this even if they claim, probably truthfully, that they believed the president told them to do it. 

    Taking the next step, what is the real-world consequence of Paul’s defense? Well, given the likelihood that the investigation would connect elements of the Republican Party to the actions of the insurrectionists, this must be seen as self-serving obstruction of justice—itself a crime. For Paul, this is the “freedom” that—conveniently—supersedes democracy. 

    Finally, the whole affair is a scary example of a paradox: The protection of speech, that is the right to free speech, can  degenerate into a campaign of lies and this can easily lead people to unprotected, that is criminal, actions. This is, admittedly, a downside of the bill of rights. An individual (and keep in mind that under U.S. law corporations are seen as individuals) has a protected right to lie to the public—to wit: broadcasted fantasies ranging from those of the National Inquirer to Fox TV and, lest we forget, Donald Trump.

    Part IV—Conclusion

    It is worth repeating that one of the positive things about the political evolution of the United States is that it has expanded the ranks of the participatory majority. In political terms, citizens of all genders and races now have both participatory rights and protected individual rights. Correspondingly, the minority—referring here specifically to those who object to this historical expansion—is slowly shrinking. While the latter’s rights to, say free speech, will remain protected, their ability to retain political and cultural power may well diminish over time. There is no doubt that the Republican leadership has a sense of this possibility, and this accounts for their increasingly fierce and frenzied attempts to turn back the clock. 

    The shift of emphasis from an expanding democracy with protected individual rights/freedoms, to a dangerously ad hoc and sometimes illogical version of freedom, is part of that frenzied activity. Senator Paul and his friends, very short on historical facts and judgment, want all of us to believe in the absurd. That is, obstruction of justice in the name of minority rights is “what the country stands for.”

    Iran rules out step-by-step lifting of sanctions

    Biden knows that any deal with Iran will be attacked by the Republicans as selling out to Iran

    US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
    This file photo shows Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh fielding questions from reporters.

    by PressTV, Tehran

    [ Editor’s Note: Iran seems to have found some middle ground. It will meet in Vienna with the remaining JCPOA countries with the US ‘down the hall’, or one could say ‘in the dog house’, until it comes back into full compliance with the agreement.

    Nothing could show more weakness than negotiating with someone who has walked out of a deal unilaterally, and only wants to dicusss coming back into it on the terms that it can renegotiate the deal, which is obviously a continuing reneging on the deal. That would be a humilation for Iran.

    An Iranian government doing so would have zero chance of being reelected, and hence the Biden administration’s opening strategy was not a confidence builder. So far, as a token concession, it has put on the table releasing a few billion of frozen (stolen) Iranian funds, a mistake made to pretend the US was being flexible.

    On the American side Biden knows that any deal with Iran will be attacked by the Republicans as selling out to Iran, but he should not be concerned about that at all. We recently had the large numbers of the Republican party after the January 6th insurrection vote not to certify the election, fearing the punishment of our ex-Mafia-in Chief president.

    The saying about this situation that we learned about as kids was ‘people who live in glass houses should not throw stones’. If Biden flubs this he runs the risk of the Iranian hardliners coming to power, where he will then be blamed for that by the Repubs.

    While the Republicans have openly launched the most massive nationwide voter supression campaign in modern history, we are way past having to worry about making them happy.

    The world is watching while America devours itself on the one hand and then is posing that it should be the world leader of a new ‘coalition’. Some would suggest that is not a bet that makes good sense to even entertain… Jim W. Dean ]


    Iran cannot prevent its being tormented by the US, but it will not be pushed around

    First published … April 03, 2021

    In an exclusive interview with Press TV, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh rules out any step-by-step lifting of sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic under former US president Donald Trump.

    “As has been clearly stated many times, no step-by-step plan is being considered,” Khatibzadeh said on Saturday.

    “The definitive policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the lifting of all US sanctions, whether those which Trump reimposed after withdrawing from the JCPOA or those which he initiated, as well as sanctions imposed under any other heading,” he said.

    “Obviously, this lifting of sanctions must be effective and must be verified by Iran,” Khatibzadeh added.

    His remarks came in response to claims made by US State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter about a planned meeting by representatives of Iran and other countries in Vienna Tuesday to discuss the troubled 2015 nuclear deal.

    Restoring the nuclear agreement would be a major step, nearly three years after Trump scrapped it and imposed new sanctions or reimposed others lifted under the deal, forcing Iran to take a series of “remedial” measures in response to the decision.

    Porter said Friday that the discussion would focus on “the nuclear steps that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance with the terms of the JCPOA”, using initials for what is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

    In the talks, American officials would be down the hall while British, German, French, Chinese and Russian officials meet with Iran.

    And that would be joined with discussion of “the sanctions relief steps that the United States would need to take in order to return to compliance, as well,” Porter said, an acknowledgment that the United States is currently in violation of the accord.

    Khatibzadeh stressed that “the suspension of Iran’s remedial measures and their reversal will take place only after the lifting of all sanctions and its verification” by the Islamic Republic.

    In a tweet on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the aim of the Vienna session would be to “rapidly finalise sanction-lifting & nuclear measures for choreographed removal of all sanctions, followed by Iran ceasing remedial measures”.

    “No Iran-US meeting. Unnecessary,” he added Friday.

    American officials have said they were willing to meet directly with the Iranians, but the Iranian government has insisted on working through the Europeans, a stance which Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi reiterated Friday.

    “We only negotiate with the members of the JCPOA. The parties that are now known as the P4+1 will be our negotiating partners. They can talk to the other sides as they wish. We have no direct or indirect dialogue with the Americans,” he said.


    BIOGRAPHYJim W. Dean, Managing Editor

    Managing Editor

    Jim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. 

    Read Full Complete Bio >>>

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    American Prospect

    Via The Saker

    January 27, 2021

    by Sushi for the Saker Blog

    If you wish to understand the concerns of those who attended the 1/6 Save America rally, you can learn much by watching the first three minutes of this video . If you wish to understand the issues that lie at the heart of the Nancy Pelosi – Never-Trump response, you can do no better than watching the same three minutes. Three minutes is not a long time. Maybe it saves the Republic. Perhaps not.

    I recognize many of the locations shown; it was in Seattle that I met my first wife and my memory of the city is tainted by the youthful hormones associated with love and romantic attachment. Dispense with those gemütlich thoughts, strip all the romance away, and the video remains a searing reintroduction to an America in decline.

    The Articles of Impeachment cite Trump for the remark,” ‘if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.’ He said those words because he believed them to be true. His supporters believed them to be true. The founders of this country believed them to be true. The ghosts of Concord, Omaha, Antietam, Betio, and a thousand other forgotten battles, laid down their lives to consecrate those words. America is drenched in blood. Is it worth asking who spilt it and why?

    A picture containing text Description automatically generated

    At the end of President Regan’s term in office, America was the greatest exporter of manufactured goods, the world’s largest creditor nation, the world’s largest importer of raw materials. Each year, America created the greatest value added in the history of the world. Today all these numbers are reversed. America is the world’s greatest debtor nation, America imports almost all its manufactured goods, and the main source of value added is found in the FIRE sector.

    In an earlier era, America hired people to add value to raw materials and sell the finished products. People had good jobs. They lived the American dream. Today, they live the American nightmare. Today the route to wealth is found in the creation of SPACs and CDOs and other pieces of paper backed by little more than a promise. Or it is found in creating a new virtual universe composed entirely of electrons. The plungers have bid up the market to incredible heights of fantasy, interest rates border on the negative, and Biden is in the process of adding a few trillion more dollars to the top of an already teetering matchstick pyre. As the great sage of America once said: “What, me worry?”

    In the years since President Regan, middle America has been in constant decline. Republicans came into office, made a lot of promises, and when they left office the majority of America was worse off than before. The Democrats came into office, promised hope and change, and when the Democrats left office the majority of America was worse off than before. The Red Hatters suspect the emergence of a pattern.

    There have been 16 years of Republican presidents: Bush 41, Bush 43, Trump 45, and 16 years of Democrat presidents Clinton and Obama. Trump’s supporters have learned, much to their chagrin, and at great personal expense, that it does not matter who you vote into office, the outcome is always the same. The average American is yearly worse off, their savings erode, their debt explodes as increased debt is the only way to keep their head above water, send their children to school, pay their bills. On the coasts, and in Washington, live the elites who get richer and richer every year. The banks collapse and wipe out the savings of ordinary Americans? No problem. We bail out the culprits with trillions of dollars and the bank executives, the ones who created the funny money in the first place, they give themselves multi-million-dollar bonuses. For what? For crashing the world economy and coming out on top? Nice work if you can get it. And the ordinary folk? They lose their job, their savings, possibly their home. Some get the bonus of a cardboard mansion.

    When Enron collapsed, people went to jail. When the savings and loans collapsed people went to jail. In the financial crisis fat paychecks and get out of jail cards went to a small segment of the population. None of them wore Red Hats. The systemic causes were never addressed, except as a band-aid solution, which implies they remain as a hidden set of weaknesses ready to rip open at the next great signs of stress.

    The Democrats want you to believe that 1/6 was a coup, a rebellion, a putsch, an overthrow of a legitimate government. It is unclear how you claim to be a legitimate government, of the people, by the people, for the people, when each year the elites get more and more wealthy and ordinary folk are driven into poverty and then laughed at. Called Deplorables. Despicables. Traitors. Insurrectionists. Domestic Terrorists. Refused airline travel because of their political views. Refused legal counsel because of their political views. Have their employment threatened because of their political views. Have their insurance contracts revoked because of their political views. Have their communications media cancelled because of their political views. Put on watch lists because of their political views. Labelled as American ISIS for their political views. Al Qaeda in America. Bin Laden’s corpse is adrift in the Arabian Sea but he is winning.

    Two observations. The first is that the Red Hatters have legitimate grounds for grievance. The elites that populate the coasts and inhabit the Capitol appear greatly unwilling to acknowledge that fact. In fact, the response of the Washington and coastal elites appears dedicated to the destruction of any form of political unorthodoxy. The Red Hatters strike me as empiricists. They experience the fact of reduced opportunity, reduced paychecks, a decline in their standard of living. These are the people who staff small business, the fire stations, the police stations, who are shipped overseas to combat the war on error. Those who send them overseas, who seek assistance from the fire stations, the police stations, are ideologues. And the ideologues are disconnected from reality and therefore indifferent to the plight of their fellow citizens. They hold the belief that the physical and financial distress the Red Hatters claim to experience is all in their head. If they removed the hat all would be fine. And what they really require is ostracization. A period of re-education and indoctrination. A few years in the Gulag. Ship them out to the Xinjiang re-education camps. Store them in Gitmo. It’s the American way.

    The Ideologues have it all. And they want even more. Their appetites are immense and unyielding. Any form of challenge, appeal, or protest, is to be crushed. Legitimate grievance will be labelled Al Qaeda in America and destroyed. The orange man who appears to have provoked the uprising; he too will be destroyed. None can be allowed to remain standing because the sheer fact of their presence threatens the Ideologues beatific view of a world in which they have absolute mastery. Political mastery, commercial, and military.

    The second observation is that history has gone out of fashion. It is an outdated subject well past its best before date. America’s history of rebellion and revolution is outmoded and inapplicable. Not pints, but gallons, hundred of gallons, VLCCs brimming with blood, all of it spilt, and none of it matters. Because this time its different. Those history guys in their funny hats, weird britches, and leggings, they did not have computers. They knew nothing of social media. If any remain alive today, they are dodos, too stupid to know they went extinct years ago. The problem is exacerbated by a Fourth Estate which is of the belief that “goebbels” is a noise made by turkeys, or the description of a rushed and greedy eater. People who do not know history are forever condemned to repeat it. That includes 1929 as well as 1776.

    I remain confident of one thing. Joe Biden will unify the country.

    The truth of this is found in his first initiatives. His imposition of a $15 minimum wage, his approval of increased immigration, his grant of amnesty to those present in the country illegally, his increase in corporate taxes, and his termination of the XL pipeline, coupled with the termination of drilling on Federal lands, will increase the cost of energy which will act as a regressive tax on those who can least afford it. These initiatives will have negative impact on Blacks, Latinos, hard hats, and Red Hats. All will have a negative impact on jobs and employment.

    Biden’s single greatest achievement is the executive order stipulating that those males who self-identify as a woman are to be free to participate in women’s sports. For any impoverished youth seeking a higher education the best means to a scholarship is now to self-attest to female identity and win a post-secondary sports scholarship.

    By this initiative alone, Biden will add fifty percent of the population to the group of persons already united against him. He only needs another 15% to 20% and he will have achieved 100% of his inaugural goals. I think he can do it.

    A large crowd of people in front of a monument Description automatically generated with medium confidence

    There has been some feedback from persons who attended the Save America rally on 1/6. They dispute my estimate of crowd size which was based on the only aerial photograph I was able to locate. I have since found other imagery which confirms a new estimate of close to 500,000. It was standing room only in the ellipse and there was a multitude on the West end of the mall and to the East of the George Washington Monument.

    When the British burned the Capitol, they came with a small brigade of 4,500 men. That small force burned the Capitol, the White House, the US Treasury, and the War Department. Then they blew up Fort McNair. That was achieved by 4,500 men.

    Does anyone honestly believe there would be much of Washington left standing if a force of 500,000 had been incited to attack?

    The current public estimate is of 800 people having entered the Capitol (I believe this to be high. The available imagery does not support such a high number. The F.B.I. presently has case files on 200 persons). If the full size of the crowd was 500,000 then the entrants are 0.0016 of the total participants. The Democrats and the press are gleefully slandering large numbers of people possibly creating grounds for a class action suit. The litigants would have grounds for damages based on loss of employment and loss of reputation.

    Second, Incitement requires that people attacking the Capitol, heard what Trump had to say, listened to it as instruction, command, or direction, and acted as they did because of what he said. Press reports show the first attacks commenced at 12:50 and Trump did not complete his remarks until 13:13. The alleged incitement did not occur until the end of his speech. In addition, the significant size of the crowd completely swamped the available cell towers. Many Save America attendees reported no cell phone reception.

    Third, incitement requires that those persons allegedly incited are in fact guilty of some crime. Marching to the Capitol is not a crime. Thousands of tourists do it every day. The words: ‘if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore’ is language not found in the criminal statutes. It is used as a legitimate form of grievance and has been used throughout history for exactly that purpose. Trump never incited burglary. He never told anyone “steal Pelosi’s lectern” In fact, it is unclear what exactly it is presumed he incited.

    Fourth, there may still exist in this country a legal tradition known as the presumption of innocence. All of those charged by the state for alleged criminal activity are innocent of that criminal charge until such time as the legal process pronounces them guilty. Madame Pelosi and her compatriots in the House have put the cart before the horse. What if every alleged criminal is found innocent? What then is Trump to be found guilty of inciting? An Antifa conspiracy? Was Trump a secret BLM plotter?

    Fifth, the evidence suggests that there were multiple independent groups at the Capitol on 1/6. This citizen report by a person with some knowledge of special forces activity claims there were at least four different groups present: 1) Plainclothes militants; 2) Agents-provocateurs; 3) Fake Trump protesters; 4) Disciplined, uniformed column of attackers. This citizen account confirms details found in The Defense of Mr. Trump: there was a relatively minor observed police presence, there was limited, or no, cell phone reception, the majority of the crowd was jovial and friendly, and included people of all ages, and races, including parents with children. There was minimal sense of threat.

    Sixth, this new account supports the fact that among the Save America participants there were persons who were not Trump supporters but who sought to appear to be Trump supporters. Some were dressed in militant gear. The exact numbers of these militants, and their pollical affiliation, will not be known until the police complete their investigation (if the police complete an investigation) and have obtained statements. Trump cannot be accused of inciting people who were part of a pre-existing disciplined and militant cadre, persons who conspired to disrupt the Save America rally, and attack the Capitol, weeks before Trump made his remarks. The fact that some of those charged are alleged conspirators suggests the police are aware the violence was pre-meditated well in advance of Trumps remarks at the Save America rally.

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    Seventh, it is well known that in the summer of 2020 there were riots across the United States and these riots were led by groups known as Antifa and BLM. These riots and violence were described as “peaceful” by both the press and political leaders. In the summer of 2020, a group of violent militants had been permitted to raise havoc. There was no condemnation of this rioting and violence. It was applauded. The Vice-President worked to provide bail for those arrested. These rioters were not Trump supporters. Trump condemned this violent action. If Antifa and BLM agitators were present on 1/6, as it appears that they were, if they conspired to stir up a peaceful protest (as it appears that they did), if they ordered Save America participants forward into the attack (as it is reported that they did), if they sought to prevent peaceful participants from departing the scene (as it is reported that they did), then those individuals are guilty of incitement. If they are found guilty of conspiracy and incitement, then why the impeachment of Trump?

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    Eighth, by not condemning the violence occurring in the summer of 2020, the political leaders communicated to the citizens that violent protest was acceptable. That to burn buildings was acceptable. To proclaim an independent state was acceptable, That police defunding and disbanding was acceptable. The press, and the political leadership who failed to condemn activity that put lives at risk, condoned unlawful deaths, and caused over 1 billion in property damage. Certain groups known to have led the 2020 violence are reported to be complicit in the events of 1/6. The political leaders and the press, by virtue of their lack of condemnation, gave notice to Antifa and BLM that their actions would be tolerated, that there would be no legal sanctions, that the police would not arrest them, and the state would not prosecute them. They sent entirely the wrong message to the hoodlums. Did sending this inaccurate message lay the foundation for the riots at the Capitol? Was it misleading to claim Antifa to be just an idea? The press reporting during this period, and in prior periods, also gave endorsement to Antifa. Support for Antifa was seen as a means to undermine a sitting President. Does such conduct rise to the level of sedition? Is it possible the wrong president is being impeached? If you can impeach an out of office president, should others also be held to account for their conduct?

    I do not have the answer to these questions. But I think the following sums up the situation:

    The president-elect’s demeanor and furor certainly were not compatible with his media image as the supposedly angelic uniter of the country. Within 24 hours he had gone from blasting the police authorities as racists to the old reductio ad Hitlerum trope of comparing a few Republican senators to Nazi propogandist Joseph Goebbels, in a hysterical rant that descended into incoherent numerology about the bombing of Dresden. I’m sure Xi Jinping and Ayatollah Khamenei were impressed by his historical recollections. (see American Greatness)

    Lastly, if disputing an election result is an impeachable offense what does this say about the Democrats who have disputed election results multiple times in the past? What does it say about the Speaker of the House, the person who bears ultimate responsibility for the security of the Capitol and appears to have been negligent in the discharge of her duties? On 1/6 did she fail to properly execute her responsibilities toward Congress? Is this the reason for her attack on legitimate assembly and grievance? To reassign blame for her own failure? Should Pelosi be subject to impeachment?

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    Part One of this series: On Democracy

    Part Two of this series: What is to be Done?

    Part Three of this series: The Defense of Mr. Trump

    Democrats’ ‘divide and conquer’ Senate show trial may jeopardize duopoly

    US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
    Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Miss., right, and Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., confer during the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing for Gina Raimondo, nominee for Secretary of Commerce, in Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC on January 26, 2021. / AFP / POOL / Tom Williams
    Democrats’ ‘divide and conquer’ Senate show trial may jeopardize duopoly
    (Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US election. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea, and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China,’ which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.)

    Tuesday, 26 January 2021 10:40 PM  [ Last Update: Tuesday, 26 January 2021 10:44 PM ]

    Press TV and The Saker

    By Ramin Mazaheri

    Much ink could be spilled about the upcoming, and second, Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, but that would be a waste of ink – the trial has nothing to do with social justice or patriotism and everything to do with aggravating political divisions for elites’ gain.

    We could say it’s just “politics as usual”, but only if: the “True Rate of Unemployment” wasn’t pushing 30%, even per Politico; 2020 didn’t witness the biggest annual rise in the US poverty rate since the 1960s; America didn’t just have its most disputed election in anyone’s memory; there weren’t armed soldiers protecting politicians nationwide, or, according to nearly 40% of the country, there weren’t armed soldiers making sure politicians are illegitimately installed in the White House. In the US right now politics are not usual, whatsoever.

    It is incredibly bad journalism the way the US Mainstream Media endlessly overplays the number of Republican defectors against Trump – they get way, way too much press, and of course it’s because they don’t want to admit Trump has any grassroots support (which is not from neo-Nazis). One might have easily imagined that scores of House Republicans were about to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment, yet only 10 out of 211 did (5%). To give one mainstream example, it was totally misleading of the Los Angeles Times to write that a “bipartisan House majority voted to charge him” after the House’s January 13 vote, and in their lede paragraph, no less, and to even mention the 10 Republicans in their headline. Trump remains the most popular Republican by leaps and bounds – there is no way 17 of 50 Republican senators will end their re-election chances just to appease a Never Trumper movement which only won the general election by a 51-47 margin. Trump’s first Senate trial was a landslide – by supermajority standards – for “not guilty”: 52-48 in favor of Trump.

    Given the assurance of acquittal (again) we should ask who benefits from this second trial, and who does not benefit?

    Obviously, the enormous mass of everyday Americans will see no benefit from the trial, and I listed just a few of the once-in-a-century reasons why they have more pressing concerns. It is never declared in the US media that the US public has no real appetite for the Senate trial – they need and want the governors of the nation to govern, and right now.

    The only way Americans could possibly be convinced that the nation needs to shut down Congress for weeks with a trial whose conclusion is not in doubt is via constant Mainstream Media talking heads shrieking about its necessity, and with the very same fervor that they were shrieking that Russia stole the 2016 election. This is fake-news, too, and it certainly takes airtime away from discussing things like the “True Rate of Unemployment”.

    The only people among average Americans who insist that seeing ex-president Trump in the dock is more pressing than resolving the multiple areas of socioeconomic disaster are the most bloodthirsty and rabid of the Never Trumpers. How can one easily switch off four years of demonization? Answer: many simply are psychologically unable to move on, and even though they got what they want – Trump is out of the White House. But while these people – generally upper- and upper-middle class persons who are not very touched by the economic crisis – are loudly obnoxious they are not in actual control of the levers of power.

    It’s primarily the nation’s elite-level politicians who really want to make America’s Marianas Trench-depth cultural-political divide even deeper, but not for the reasons one may think.

    Many Congressional Democrats are no doubt embarrassed and vengeful over having been turned into cowering, world’s fanciest gas mask-wearing deserters on January 6 – these people control the legislative docket and they want Trump to look afraid now. That would be a self-centered and over-emotional reaction, but why should we ascribe self-sacrifice for the well-being of the nation among the virtues of Congressional Democrats?

    The Capitol Hill protest did make many Democrats even more dead-set on getting Trump out: Despite being elected president once and narrowly winning re-election – or rather, precisely because of this electoral success – Democrats want to try and ensure that Trump cannot run in 2024, and a Senate conviction would bar Trump from ever holding public office again. Again, they are deluded by endless MSM spin if they think they have a realistic chance of turning so many Republicans.

    Those are two plausible motivations for the Senate trial, but they are not sufficiently convincing.

    How elite Democrats gain from a trial, but America loses (unless a 3rd party truly sprouts)

    There seem to be so many tiny groups which gain in the many instances where one reads “but America loses”? Thirty million Americans file for unemployment in 2020 – the S&P 500 gains $14 trillion in value over the same timeframe (up 16% annually). Four hundred thousand Americans die from coronavirus – the first vaccine announced only two days after Joe Biden prematurely declares victory, allowing Biden to change the media focus from his divisive and promise-backtracking early declaration.

    By forcing a trial in the Senate Democrats seem to think they can win big by playing “divide and conquer” or even just “divide and divide”.

    In the latter scenario Democrats certainly gain by forcing Congressional Republicans to openly divide themselves into pro- and anti-Trump factions, which will necessarily be revealed during the Senate vote on the 2nd impeachment. That vote will be like the 2003 Iraq War vote for Democrats (but only if we falsely imagine today’s Democrats to actually be an anti-war party anymore). If nothing else is gained for elite Democrats – who happily watched households crumble and workers go hungry until after Biden’s election to finally become willing to negotiate a second, paltry household stimulus – a Republican Party distracted by squabbles, and thus open to being bought into defection on certain key votes, is enough reason to waste everyone’s time with a Senate show trial.

    The “divide and conquer” scenario is more worrying for national health, because the pro-War Democratic Party does like to conquer human beings: There are incredibly shocking efforts to blacklist, censor and seemingly criminalize Trump supporters. By forcing Trump’s Congressional supporters into the open Democrats will know exactly where to set their stigmatizing sights. I cannot believe that Democrats are going to lead a multi-month, much less multi-year, “Trumperphobia” campaign, but I also couldn’t believe the 2016 Russophobia campaign lasted until even after the 2019 Mueller Report’s exoneration of Russia. Is it possible that Democrats are going to persist in their anti-Trumper cultural pogrom for years rather than honestly discuss America’s decline?

    But the main question is: How deep is the American duopoly? Answer: the deepest and oldest in the world.

    What if Democrats are actually trying to create a Republican Party division into two parties, with the Trumper faction defecting to a new “Patriot” or “America First” party? That would end the need for Democratic legislative majorities – all they’d need is a plurality (as in every other modern democracy).

    Is it possible that Trump will actually undo America’s awful legislative duopoly and bring in a multi-party system? Like most good things Trump has done, this boon would be an unintended consequence of Trump’s actual political agenda.

    Are Democrats looking to end the two-party system by giving Trumpers a clear indication that they can either organize, drop out or get persecuted by the US system? Are anti-Trump Republicans daft enough to think that the Republican Party will stay Reaganite forever, even after Reaganites allowed the Great Financial Crisis to mushroom into the Great Recession for so many of their voters?

    I would say that – in the end – Democrats are not looking to end the duopoly, in which they are the party which is paid no matter what: they are paid to make sure actual leftist ideas lose, by combining them with fake-leftists idea such as identity politics, and they are paid to make sure leftist gains are truly, truly minimal when they do occasionally have power.

    But Democrats are US politicians, after all – they cannot think long-term, and they openly admit they spend 2/3rds of their working hours focused on getting campaign money for their re-election – and so they really don’t know what they are doing, or even care about the medium- and long-term consequences of their actions. The Senate trial of Trump is useless theater, but who knows what these professional actors really feel or if they even feel anything at all? If they feel anything it is for their supporters and “work family”, which can be found on Wall Street and not Main Street.

    Just as the January 6th protest was improvised and not the start of a long-term “Occupy Capitol Hill” movement – it had none of the determination and planning of Egypt’s Tahrir Square” (in a nod to this week’s 10th anniversary of that wonderful progressive movement, which was repeatedly sabotaged by Washington and Tel Aviv and their Egyptian compradors). Democrats are now improvising a way to keep inflicting opprobrium, censorship and maybe even criminal convictions on the odious – yet quite popular and taboo-breaking – Trump. Just like in 2016: anything to keep from discussing the real roots of any sort of “drain the Swamp” political feeling and America’s undeniable decline. 

    Elite Democrats don’t have Russia to kick around anymore, let’s remember – all they have is Trump and his 74 million supporters. Kick them too much and Democrats might break their own precious duopoly.

    (The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


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    Democrats Launch Their Assault on Red State America – Civil War Heats Up

    Paul Craig Roberts - Official Homepage

    January 12, 2021

    Paul Craig Roberts

    The opening salvo against red state America is the article of impeachment against President Trump introduced on January 11 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat Representatives David Cicilline, Ted Lieu, and Jamie Raskin.  So much for Biden’s promise to “unify the country.”  

    What is the intent of this article of impeachment?  It cannot possibly be to remove Trump from office.  Trump will have left office before the Senate could vote on impeachment. There is no such thing as impeaching a person who is not in office. Clearly impeachment has nothing to do with getting Trump out of office.

    How does it unify the country to follow up an election believed by half of the US voting population to have been stolen with impeaching the president who is regarded as the victim of a stolen election? Adding insult to injury will only further enrage 75 million or more Trump voters,  and many honest Democrats, who regard the election as stolen.  If the Establishment and its Democrat, Republican, and media allies truly believe the election not to have been stolen, why wasn’t the evidence permitted to be examined so that the controversy could be settled instead of ignored?  Ignoring the evidence deepens the suspicion as does labeling those who challenged the election “enemies of democracy.”  Democrats are now trying to censure Republican members of the House and Senate who supported having the evidence presented to Congress.  Why censure someone who wants evidence to be examined?

    What many Americans and people abroad do not comprehend is that in the 2020 election Trump  officially got 74,222,958 votes.  This is the official number, which is understated by the 10 million vote suppression used against him.  In “losing,”  Trump’s 74,222,958 official votes are more votes than any elected president has ever received with the exception of Biden whose vote count was raised by 10 million fraudulent ballots. How is the country unified by demonizing half of it?  Are the Democrats’ threats and reprisals against Trump and his supporters unifying?  

    I watched the presentations by independent experts to three state legislatures of the detailed evidence showing evidence that the election was stolen in the swing states. Some of the experts explaining the election’s theft were people of color as were many of those who signed affidavits under penalty of perjury of the electoral fraud that they witnessed.  This information has never been presened by the media to the public, nor has any media, election officials, Department of Justice, or Congress examined the evidence.  It is overwhelming evidence ignored.

    Whether of not you believe that Biden—the most uninspiring presidential candidate in American history—got 81 million votes (the largest in American history), why do Pelosi and the Democrats want to make themselves even more hated and distrusted by half of the country by impeaching the president whose reelection they stole?  

    This is rubbing salt in the wound.  Half of the country already regards Biden as an illegitimate president and regards the Democrats as power-mad totalitarians hostile to democracy.  What does Pelosi achieve by furthering this image of Democrats? She is damning her party and herself. Why?

    The answer is to generate fear in Republicans and Trump supporters.  

    The Democrats are using open unabashed retribution to scare Republicans and Trump supporters into compliance. Everywhere you look Republican members of Congress both House and Senate, Trump’s present and former cabinet members, and present and former members of the White House staff are denouncing Trump and putting distance between Trump and themselves. The latest is Fiona Hill, formerly of Trump’s National Security Council. She denounces Trump for having “put us on the brink of civil war.” Note that for Republican Fiona Hill, it is not a stolen election that puts “us on the brink of civil war,” but the protest against the election theft. This is the position of the Republican Party.  In other words, the Republicans have surrendered.  They are useless to the people.

    As a large number of videos made available online by people who attended the rally show, the Capitol police allowed protestors into the Capitol.  The Trump supporters were not smart enough not to take the bait. Once inside, the Democrats had their “insurrection” and “storming of the Capitol.”  

    It achieved its purpose. It stopped presentation of the evidence showing Congress a stolen election. Scared by the presstitutes one voice proclamation of an attempted coup, the Republicans wilted and ran for their political lives knowing that they would be blamed for “aiding and abetting Trump’s insurrection.” 

    The Democrats intend to keep them running, and that is what the impeachment is about.

    Trump supporters are in for it as well.  The FBI, which has been hand-in-hand with Democrats throughout the Russiagate and impeachment hoaxes, is now hunting down those who attended the Trump rally.  Those for whom the FBI cannot invent grounds for arrest have their names turned over to the presstitutes who agitate for their firing from their jobs. Already policemen, corporate employees and executives, including a chief financial officer, have been fired for attending the Trump rally, and recording artists dropped because they attended the rally. Dumbshit indoctrinated school children have impoverished their own families by ratting out their parents for attending the rally and causing them to be fired.

    Children squealing on their parents to the media is the worst part of the Democrats’ assault on America, because it shows that the liberal propaganda that passes for education in the schools has destroyed solidarity and loyalty in the family.  Without the family, there is no society.  Essentially, without family there is no country.

    In so many ways Americans are now people without a country. 

    As the blatently public theft of a presidential election shows, democracy is a dead value among elites and institutions in the United States.  The word will continue to be used as cover for oligarchic rule in the interest of the few. All who find the courage to challenge rule by the few will be demonized as “enemies of democracy.”  We are already seeing it.  President Trump and his “deplorables” are already declared “enemies of democracy.”

    Whether or not Americans believe Trump and his supporters are enemies of democracy, many will be caused by fear to go along with it.  Otherwise, they will be the next to be outed, fired, and prosecuted.

    I am not optimistic.  One reason for my lack of optimism is the age of disinformation in which we live. Disinformation is used by the Establishment to conform the public to its agendas. Disinformation is used to reconstruct white society. Disinformation is even used by Trump supporters in efforts to keep alive hope that the stolen election will be overturned or that Trump will win reelection in four years.

    Another reason I am not optimistic is that I read comment sections of websites that host courageous and insightful commentators in hope of encountering intelligence and a rising awareness that could result in effective resistance.  But what do I find?  Inability to comprehend what they have read. Narcissists  hiding behind fake names. Nit-picking in place of weighing a well-stated presentation. And the ever-present trolls demeaning the authors with ad hominum accusations that are spread into social media.  

    I am also not optimistic when I see that Trump, who has experienced the evil power of the Establishment, has not come to the realization that the last blow he can strike against the Establishment is the pardon of Assange and Snowden, two who are persecuted for telling the truth. Perhaps the reason is that many of Trump’s patriotic supporters have fallen for the Establishment’s line that Assange and Snowden are Russian agents who acted against America.

    In the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, and all of Western Europe, telling the truth is being criminalized.  The result will be the destruction of the truth-teller. This is true as well within the universities.  Identity politics and Establishment agendas rule.  If you cross them, you are out.

    Objective truth has been redefined as a “white construct” that serves “systemic racism” and misogynists. White people, especially heterosexual white males, have been assigned the role that Karl Marx gave capitalists. They are hateful, exploitative creatures that must be destroyed by demonization and indoctrination. The process has been going on for some time in the schools and in work place “sensitivity training” sessions.

    This is the ideology of the Democrat Party. Imposed ideologies wear down facts. 

    As the Native American tells the elderly woman in the Clint Eastwood film, The Outlaw Josey Wales, “Hell is coming to breakfast.” White people can expect hell.  To see this, all you have to do is to look at Biden’s Department of Justice appointments.

    Americans are only now beginning to realize that the expensive educations they have paid for their children have resulted in their children being stolen from them. A friend told me recently that his son and son’s girlfriend had left their brutally lockdowned Democrat state to come to him in a Republican state where life still went on not too far from normal.  Having heard their conversations with him and among themselves, he has concluded that they regret that they were born white.  

    To his dismay, he understands that their regret at having white skin is not because of employment and promotion quotas that limit their success as white people, or the demeaning racial training sessions they have to endue as “systemic white racists.” Their regret is due to their successful indoctrination that, as white racists, they are responsible for the lack of success of black Americans.  Perplexed, he asked me, “how can we resist the tyranny that is being imposed on us when the younger generation believes we are quilty and cannot be trusted with our freedoms.

    Yes, good question.  How?

    Note that the outpouring of support for Trump in the Washington Rally, which Democrats easily turned into a liability for Trump, consists largely of older adults.  Where were the young people?  They stayed home and ratted out their parents.

    America’s young were not born into a free society. They have never experienced a free society. They are not socialized into a free society. They have no idea what one is beyond access to the Internet. 

    It was two decades ago that the Bush regime orchestrated  the PATRIOT Act.  It was two decades ago that the Republican President of the United States threw habeas corpus out the window and claimed executive authority to detain American citizens indefinitely without presenting evidence before a court.  No bar association, no university law faculty, no court, no Congress, and certainly no presstitute media demanded Bush’s impeachment for unilaterally exercising unconstitutional executive authority.

    During the subsequent Obama regime, America’s First Black President, who got less votes than Trump did in 2020, executed American citizens without due process of law.  No one demanded Obama’s impeachment for his unconstitutional and illegal murder of American citizens.

    If cancelling the Bill of Rights isn’t insurrection, what is?

    In contrast, President Trump who challenged the media monopoly for its censorship, who challenged the military/security complex for its orchestration of Russia as an enemy, who challenged various “trade agreements” for sending Americans’ middle class jobs abroad—in other words, a rare president who represented the American people—this President was destroyed by the Establishment and its media and intellectual whores.

    The  corrupt and evil Establishment, acting through the Democrat Party with the backing of the monopoly over all communications and the monetary and power interests of the military/security complex and Wall Street, and strengthened by the Identity Politics hatreds, which extend into the universities, public schools, bar associations, corporations, and judiciary, and the indoctrination seminars that white males are forced to undergo, has achieved more power than Stalin and Hitler could imagine.  

    Today the United States is not only a threat to its citizens but also a threat to the world.  The American Establishment’s belief in its hegemony makes the United States  the greatest threat that the world has ever experienced.  

    The forces in control of the United States deny the existence of objective truth. As the Establishment defines truth, truth is what serves the agendas of the ruling elite.  

    There is no other truth.  

    Among other terrors, this means that an accused person can mount no defense.  As the trial of the surviving brother of the alleged Boston Marathon Bombing demonstrated, the proof of his innocence according to the FBI’s own evidence was not allowed to be introduced into the trial, only the fabricated “evidence” of his guilt.  When this happened, it was clear that the United States government regarded the rule of law as dispensable whenever it interferred with its agenda.

    As journalist Ekaterina Blinova instantly recognized, the effect of the stolen election is to create one-party rule in the United States. Of course, the Democrats won’t rule. Rule will be by the interest groups for whom the Democrats will front. As the Republcans abandoned the American people and joined in the denunciation of the “insurrectionist Trump,” there are few voters left who will vote Republican. By its cowardice, the Republican Party has destroyed itself.

    What can be done.  I am open to answers.  If you think about it, you wonder if Americans have the intelligence and awareness to survive.  Consider Parler, a social media alternative that does not censor.  Why did Parler think it could be independent when it was dependent on Apple, Amazon, and Google?  It must be a new high water mark of American insouciance that Parler executives thought the ruling Establishment would allow them free speech. https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/09/tech/parler-suspended-apple-app-store/index.html 

    America is in collapse on all fronts—morally, economically, socially, politically, and militarily.  Every American institution is corrupted. America’s collapse will be a large collapse, and it will affect the entire world.

    The Worst of Days for Trump & Trumpists

    Image courtesy of Voice for America 
    Patrick J. Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) | Twitter
    Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.” To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at http://www.creators.com.

    By Patrick J. Buchanan
    Source: Creators

    January 8, 2021 

    President Donald Trump, it turns out, was being quite literal when he told us Jan. 6 would be “wild.”

    And so Wednesday was, but it was also disastrous for the party and the movement Trump has led for the last five years.

    Wednesday, the defeats of Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Georgia’s runoff elections were confirmed. This translates into the GOP losing the Senate for the next two years.

    Chuck Schumer now replaces Mitch McConnell as majority leader.

    And the new 50-50 split will put Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the president of the Senate on Jan. 20, in position to cast the deciding vote on every major issue where the two parties are evenly divided.

    Wednesday, there also came the acceptance by both houses of Congress of Joe Biden’s 306-232 electoral vote victory over Trump. The last potential hurdle to Biden’s inauguration as 46th president of the United States has been removed.

    But the worst of the day’s events for Trump came when a segment of a friendly crowd of 50,000 he just addressed concluded its march down the mall to the U.S. Capitol by smashing its way into the building and invading and occupying the Senate and House chambers.

    Members of Congress were forced to flee and hide. A protester, an Air Force veteran, was shot to death by a Capitol cop. Vice President Mike Pence, who was chairing the joint session, was taken into protective custody by his Secret Service detail. Doors were broken open. Windows were smashed, and the building was trashed.

    All this was seen on national television from mid afternoon through nightfall. The East and West fronts of the Capitol were occupied for hours by pro-Trump protesters, whom the president, his son Don Jr., and Rudy Giuliani had stirred up in the hours before the march down the mall.

    What Americans watched was a mob occupation and desecration of the temple of the American Republic. And the event will be forever exploited to discredit not only Trump but the movement he led and the achievements of his presidency. He will be demonized as no one else in our history since Richard Nixon or Joe McCarthy.

    Yet, just two months ago, Trump rolled up the highest vote total ever by an incumbent president, 74 million. And, according to four major polls, his approval remains where it has been for four years, between 40 and 50%.

    What took place Wednesday was a disgrace and a debacle. But it was not, as some have wildly contended, comparable to 9/11 or to the British burning of the Capitol in 1814 during the War of 1812. That is malicious hyperbole, establishment propaganda.

    On Sept. 11, 2001, more than 3,000 Americans died horribly when Manhattan’s World Trade Center twin towers came crashing down and the Pentagon was hit by a hijacked airliner. And there have been far more serious events in the lifetimes of many of us than this four-hour occupation of the Capitol.

    In May 1970, after Nixon ordered an invasion of Cambodia to clean out Communist sanctuaries, National Guard troops, in panic, shot and killed four students at Kent State University in Ohio.

    Hundreds of campuses exploded; hundreds of universities shut down for the semester. Scores of thousands of demonstrators poured into D.C. Buses, end-to-end, circled the White House. U.S. troops were moved into the basement of the Executive Office Building.

    Today, there is absurd media talk of removing the president through impeachment or invocation of the 25th Amendment.

    If the House votes impeachment, is the Senate going to hold a trial in 12 days to put Pence in the Oval Office? As for removing Trump through the 25th Amendment, this would require a declaration by Vice President Pence and half of the Cabinet that Trump is unfit to finish out a term that ends in two weeks. Not going to happen.

    But undeniably, the events of Wednesday are going to split the Republican Party. And what does the future of that party now look like?

    After Trump leaves the presidency, he will not be coming back. The opposition to him inside the GOP would prevent his nomination or would defect to prevent his reelection were he nominated again.

    Yet, the size and strength of Trump’s movement is such that no Republican candidate he declares persona non grata could win the nomination and the presidency.

    Trump’s supporters are today being smeared and castigated by the same media who lionized the BLM and antifa “peaceful protesters” who spent their summer rioting, looting, burning and pillaging Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Portland, Kenosha, Louisville and scores of other cities.

    The Trumpists have been demonized before. They are used to this. And whatever their sins, disloyalty and ingratitude to the man they put in the presidency is not one of them.

    Wednesday was a bad day for America, but it was not the Reichstag fire.

    Trump’s disgraceful end

    January 9, 2021 – 12:10

    By M.A. Saki

    It was too late for Americans, especially most of his fellow Republicans, to realize how dangerous Donald Trump was. 

    I cannot forget remarks by Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, an expert in global thought and comparative philosophies, who said that “Trump is the most dangerous man in the world.”

    On Wednesday, Trump provoked assault on the Capitol in a last-ditch effort to overturn the results of the November 3 election in which he lost with a rather large margin.  

    According to CNN, in his first presidential debate on October 1, Trump refused to condemn White supremacists and blamed what he called “antifa and the left” for violence and told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

    At last, his Proud Boys, a mob of fanatics, caused mayhem by storming and capturing the Capitol, violently disrupting the ceremonial electoral count. The move by the fanatics came as a severe blow to the heart of democracy that the U.S. has been boasting of.

    Trump has been repeatedly claiming that the U.S. presidential election looked like an election in a third world country. But, in fact, it was Trump himself who behaved like a dictator in a third world country as he refused to admit losing the election. 

    It is very difficult for the liar-in-chief to admit defeat and resist his egoism. He proved that he is ready to push the United States toward a crisis in order to please his egoism.

    Just prior to the elections, he kept claiming that he will win the presidency for a second term otherwise the votes are rigged.

    Trump’s entire presidency was filled with numerous lies. He has no principles. In addition, the self-centered president shows no respect to democracy, freedom of expression, human rights, etc. By inciting his supporters, who attacked the Capitol building, he crucified democracy and the rule of law in the U.S. and showed complete disregard for those who had not voted for him.

    If the American Constitution had not restrained Trump, he would have acted more irresponsibly and recklessly at home and abroad.

    His unprecedented sanctions against Iran under the name of the “maximum pressure” campaign are in violation of international law. The sanctions have pushed millions of Iranian citizens to the verge of poverty and instead made a small percentage of Iranians millionaires because of skyrocketing inflation. This will remain in the memory of Iranians forever. His reckless order of assassinating Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020 reminded the people of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria which ignited the First World War. 

    Also, his move in recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the stolen Golan Heights and moving the U.S. capital to Jerusalem in violation of UN Security Council resolutions are some other examples of the illegal moves that the Trump administration should be ashamed of.

    Trump picked Mike Pompeo as his secretary of state, who according to Professor Adib-Moghaddam, “continued to pursue an essentially ideological foreign policy, driven by a distinctively irrational approach to world politics in general and Iran in particular.” 

    Actually, from the very beginning, Trump was unfit for the post of president. However, a great majority of Republicans in Congress, especially in the Senate, kept supporting him just for partisan interests. 

    Regardless of certain extremist senators such as Ted Cruz and a considerable number of lawmakers in the House of Representatives who still repeat Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, finally it was realized that the person that the Republicans supported for four years based on party lines dealt the greatest blow to the Republicans themselves. And fortunately, he is being forced, of course legally, to leave the White House in disgrace.  

    PA/PA

    ترامب يخسر آخر حروبه و سيف العزل فوق رأسه

    ناصر قنديل

    خلال يوم واحد خسر الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب كل أوراقه، ولم تعد ثمة حاجة لمناقشة الاختلال العقلي الذي يصيبه من زوايا ارتكاباته في منطقتنا. فالتعبير طغى يوم أمس على وصف ترامب في وسائل الإعلام الأميركية، وصولاً لما ورد في رسالة نواب ديمقراطيين وجمهوريين في الكونغرس الى نائب الرئيس مايك بنس لبدء مسار عزل ترامب بداعي الاختلال العقلي، ويكفي النظر لوضع ترامب خلال أربع وعشرين ساعة ورؤية حجم الضرر الذي جلبته حماقاته عليه، للتحقق من صدق الوصف بالاختلال العقلي.

    كان ترامب قد حصل على حسم الحزب الجمهوري للقبول باعتماد ترشيحه للرئاسة في 2024، وكان ترامب قد نجح بدمج جمهوره المتطرف والغوغائي بجمهور الحزب الجمهوري، وكان ترامب يأمل بفوز المرشحين الجمهوريين بمقعدي مجلس الشيوخ، وكان ترامب يأمل بامتلاك فرصة التحكم بالكثير من البيئة المحيطة بالولاية الرئاسية للرئيس جو بايدن من خلال ما يستطيع فعله خلال ما تبقى من ولايته، لكن ترامب كان يطمح لما هو أكثر، فوضع خطة لقلب الطاولة تبدأ بتحرك حشود مؤيديه نحو الكونغرس لمنع حسم شرعية فوز بايدن التي يتولاها الكونغرس وفقاً للدستور.

    ليس واضحاً بعد ما إذا كان الاختلال العقلي لترامب وراء مشهد اقتحام الكونغرس أم أن هناك من نجح باستدراج الاقتحام لإلحاق هذا “العار الديمقراطي” بترامب ودفع الحزب الجمهوري الى واجهة المواجهة معه، لكن الحصيلة هي الأهم في النهاية، فقد حمل ترامب مسؤولية المشهد الذي أصاب صورة الديمقراطية الأميركية المؤسسية بجرح بليغ ورسم شكوكاً حول قدرتها، رغم النجاح بتجاوز الأزمة هذه المرة، لكن السابقة حصلت، وهي تهديد الكونغرس من قبل أحد المرشحين الخاسرين، خارج إطار الاحتكام للمؤسسات الدستورية والقضائية، والسابقة صارت قابلة للتكرار.

    الحصيلة أن ترامب وجد نفسه محاصراً داخل الحزب الجمهوري، وقد أجبر على دعوة مناصريه للذهاب الى بيوتهم، وأن نائبه بنس قام بإدارة عملية تثبيت رئاسة بايدن وبات المرشح البديل لترامب لرئاسة 2024، وأن جمهور الحزب الجمهوري قد انفصل كلياً عن جمهور ترامب الذي تحول الى شريحة ضيقة قادرة على المشاغبة، لكنها عاجزة عن صنع السياسة من دون الحزب الجمهوري، وهي الأقلية البيضاء المتطرفة، وأن الحزب الجمهوري خسر مقعدي الكونغرس في جورجيا وصار الديمقراطيون ممسكين بناصية البيت البيض والكونغرس بغرفتيه، ما يُضعف قدرة الجمهوريين على المشاركة في إدارة البلاد، وأن ترامب اضطر الى إعلان قبوله تسليم السلطة لبادين في الـ 20 من الشهر الحالي، والأهم أن سيف العزل بات مسلطاً فوق رقبة ترامب إذا ما غامر بالذهاب إلى اي مغامرة، فالوزراء وخصوصاً نائب الرئيس الذين لا بدّ أن يمر عبرهم أي تصرف احمق لترامب يتربصون به لبدء مسار العزل إذا بدرت ملامح اختلال عقلي جديد.

    سيذكّر التاريخ ترامب كرئيس أميركي أحمق، وسيطوي الأكاذيب التي روّج لها بصفته رئيساً تاريخياً، لكن أميركا ستبقى تجرجر أذيال ما فعله داخلياً وخارجياً، فالعالم الذي تركه ترامب من بعده لا يختلف عن أميركا التي يتركها، حيث الخراب يعمّ كل شيء والترميم يحتاج جرأة نادرة ربما ليست متاحة للرئيس الجديد، بحيث تبدو أميركا ويبدو العالم أمام إدارة الخراب أكثر مما يبدوان أمام خطة لإعادة البناء.

    فيديوات ذات صلة

    مقالات ذات صلة

    Is Washington going to Maintain its Ties with the Muslim Brotherhood?

    Source

    EGP34222

    By Vladimir Odintsov
    Source: New Eastern Outlook

    According to media reports, Republican Senator Ted Cruz recently sent another bill to the US Congress, proposing to declare an Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Russia – ed.), a terrorist organization.

    Earlier, in late 2014, the US administration, in the face of Congressman Ted Cruz, already made a similar suggestion. In it, he referred to the fact that Egypt, after the President of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Morsi was overthrown in late 2013, declared the organization a terrorist organization, and in March 2014, Egyptian example was followed by Saudi Arabia. In November 2014 the UAE declared the actions of 83 organizations in their territory illegal. This list included the Muslim Brotherhood, while Jordan arrested numerous high up and ordinary organization members, whom they promptly accused of terrorism. In April 2016, however, Ann Petersen, then Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs, speaking before a subcommittee of the US Congress, refused to consider the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, stating that “the organization is represented by legitimate political parties in several Middle Eastern countries, moving away from its violent position that it has held for decades”.

    Nevertheless, in 2017, a group of Republicans represented by Senator Thea Cruz introduced a new bill in the US Congress recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. Soon enough, another bill was introduced against the Islamist organization, proposing that it be declared a terrorist group in the United States.

    In order to understand the reasons for the difficulties in having the US authorities officially recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, which has long been recognized as one in Russia and a number of other countries, it seems appropriate to recall the history of its existence and its “friendship” with the US authorities.

    The Muslim Brotherhood was established as an international religious and political association in March 1928 by teacher Hassan al-Banna in Ismailia, Egypt. The status of this organization is ambiguous – in some countries it is legal, and political parties associated with it have seats in the parliaments of their respective countries, in particular in Yemen, Sudan (until November 2019), Tunisia, Turkey, etc. At the same time, it is recognized as a terrorist organization in Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, UAE, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Tajikistan.

    US cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood began in 1953 under President Eisenhower, when several dozen Islamic theologians were invited to Princeton University to participate (according to the official version) “in a scientific conference”. In fact, the US authorities thereby intended to enlist the support of the spiritual leaders of Islamic countries to combat the growing “Communist threat” in the Middle East. Moreover,

    File:President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Oval Office with Muslim  delegates in 1953.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
    Said Ramadan (second from the right) in the Oval Office with US President Dwight D. Eisenhower and other Muslim leaders in 1953

    in the reports published in the media about this meeting, one of the main representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood at the time, Said Ramadan, who was present at the meeting, was referred to by the US intelligence agencies as a “fascist” and a “Falangist:”.

    In his book, “Washington’s Secret History with the Muslim Brotherhood”, Ian Johnson, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, noted that US  interest in the Muslim Brotherhood especially increased after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 to use Islamists in opposition to the USSR in that country at the time.

    And then, in September 1981, the Egyptian president Anwar Sadat is assassinated by members of a terrorist group, a splinter group of the Muslim Brotherhood. During the same period, the Muslim Brotherhood actively supported Islamic extremist groups operating in Afghanistan. Since the mid-90s, the Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly attempted to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, carried out a series of major terrorist attacks on tourist routes against foreign nationals, and participated in military operations in Chechnya and Dagestan on the side of the bandit formations.

    After the September 11 attacks, US contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood were frozen for some time. However, given the George W. Bush administration’s clear miscalculations in the two wars in Muslim countries, cooperation with representatives of this Islamist group has been strengthened by Washington in the hope that they will “help ease tensions” in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in Europe. Therefore, in 2006 in Brussels, with the mediation of the US State Department, a conference was organized, involving the European branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, where representatives of the US and British intelligence agencies discussed the prospects for cooperation with the Islamists.

    With the arrival of Barack Obama into the White House, this close cooperation continued, especially since people from George W. Bush’s team, who were developing a strategy for rapprochement with the Muslim Brotherhood, remained in the Obama administration. The leading role in maintaining these contacts was played by the US (CIA) and British (MI6) secret services, as Thierry Meyssan, the founding president of the Réseau Voltaire website, has written about in great detail and accuracy. It was not without the involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood that the United States succeeded in deposing and executing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

    Today, the Muslim Brotherhood has great influence not only in a number of countries in the Middle East, but also in Europe and the United States, and it is very well organized. The Muslim Brotherhood is a real international network with decades of experience. In Europe, the centers of this organization are London, Munich and many other major cities.

    Given that Washington’s main goal in foreign policy has always been to maintain the role of the US as the absolute global leader, America could ensure its leadership in a global crisis only by, first, creating a climate of chaos in the world, in the midst of which the US would look like “an attractive island of stability”. In addition, it is much cheaper to manage chaos than it is to manage order. Second, America could retain global leadership if the economic and military-political power of China, the only competitor of the US in the battle for world domination, ready to take the crown of the winner from the United States, was severely restricted. Therefore, in recent years, the “friendship” of the United States with the Muslim Brotherhood has taken a blatantly anti-Chinese focus on using these Islamists to wreak havoc in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China and Central Asian countries.

    By agreeing to a strategic alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, the US government has opened a Pandora’s box. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has repeatedly proclaimed its desire to build an Arab caliphate based on Sharia principles “from Spain to Indonesia,” intends to conquer new spaces and countries, especially enemies of the United States, with the active support of Washington through terror and propaganda.

    As for the United States, under the guise of legal difficulties in officially recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, it clearly fears the unintended consequences of such a step for its relations with Turkey and Qatar, which support the Muslim Brotherhood on both the religious and political levels. If the assistance of the peninsular emirate in the Persian Gulf is mainly limited to financial support for this Islamist organization, Ankara has made the Muslim Brotherhood one of its “combat wings” in Syria and Libya.

    That is why it would be unwise to expect a positive outcome from the consideration by the US Congress of another bill to declare the Islamist organization Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Russia – ed.) a terrorist organization, even though relations between Washington and Ankara have noticeably deteriorated lately.

    Vladimir Odintsov, a political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook“.

    A Poisoned Chalice?

    A Poisoned Chalice?

    December 15, 2020

    by Observer R for the Saker Blog

    The Biden v Trump 2020 election controversy has generated a lot of accusations and squabbles over evidence or lack thereof. Less common is an explanation of the strategy of the legal teams on both sides. To what extent is the Trump legal team trying to goad the voting system companies into suing the Trump campaign for defamation? How does the Trump team plan to get into a court where they can call for discovery, produce witnesses, and cross-examine witnesses? What is the Biden team’s strategy, other than trying to get the cases thrown out early to prevent dramatic movie-style courtroom battles? If the Trump team is trying to get to the Supreme Court as fast as possible, what do they plan to do once they get there? What is the strategy of the voting system companies, other than denials and refusing to show up at investigative hearings?

    Possibilities

    Do the political parties even want to win? If the stock market is a giant bubble and the real estate market is also pumped up by easy money and low interest rates, what happens when the bubble bursts? The economy has already slumped due to the virus and the lockdowns. The US national debt is way into the danger zone as is the budget deficit. The helicopter money cannot go on forever without the dollar going the way of Zimbabwe money. A possible result could be Great Depression II which would forever tarnish the reputation of whoever was President at the time. The President could look forward to being called Herbert Hoover II. The party in office at the time could look forward to defeat in the next election, and probably to defeats in several more elections. On the other hand, if the opposing party could put up a candidate for President in the 2024 election who could act, look, and speak like a proper president, that party might hold office for a considerable length of time. If successful, that President would fill a historical role as Franklin Delano Roosevelt II. In other words, winning the 2020 election might turn out to be like winning the proverbial poisoned chalice. Better for the party to wait until 2024.

    The Democrats put up two candidates in 2020 who fared poorly in the primaries and generated very little enthusiasm in the campaign, with relatively small crowds of supporters. Campaigning from the basement was hardly inspiring and the many mental lapses provoked more sympathy than support. It seemed as if many of the ballots were not so much votes for Biden as votes against Trump. One could wonder if the Democrats did the calculations and decided to put up candidates who would likely lose the election. The Republicans, for their part, seemed to waste most of four years time when they should have been working on re-election tactics. The Republicans could have done something much earlier to set up competing television, print, and social media, instead of leaving the field mainly to the Democrats. The Republicans complained about slanted coverage and censorship being directed mostly at them, but did very little to combat it. The Republican administration was unable to get many of the federal agencies to act in a non-partisan manner. Finally, the Republican Party was also unable to put more polish on its candidates and to do a better job of writing speeches and sound-bites. It did not seem like they were very much interested in winning.

    On the other hand, maybe the parties really did want to win in 2020. Both parties went at mud-slinging with gusto. The Democrats had the mainstream media in full cry, using every possible way, fair or foul, to discredit the other party’s candidates. The Democrats also made herculean efforts to ensure that their candidates received as many votes as possible, allegedly by any means possible. So, despite fielding a less-than-stellar cast of candidates, by election time the Democrats seemed determined to win. The strategy seemed to be that an avalanche of after-midnight absentee ballots would put Biden over the top in the swing states, then the mainstream television networks would call the election for Biden. At that point, Trump would make the usual concession speech and the Democrats could go forward with transition-team planning and house hunting. It all went according to plan, except for a small wrinkle when Trump declined to concede. He even went further and declared the election to be fraudulent. This off-script behavior so upset some of the media that they censored the President in mid-speech. At this point, the gloves came off and the Republicans decided to maybe look like they really wanted to win after all. Whistleblowers came forward and claims of scandalous irregularities appeared, along with a flurry of lawsuits. Even if it turned out not to be enough to keep Trump in the White House, it would serve to fire up the Republican base and help organize a four-year obstruction campaign against the Biden Administration. The Republicans even started greater use of alternative media instead of relying on crumbs from Fox News. The network had basically sided with the Democrats when it came to calling the election and Republican viewership and support for the network fell dramatically.

    Difficulties

    For the first three weeks after the election on November 3 things seemed to be going favorably for the Democrats. The Republican allegations were not taken seriously by the mainstream media and were considered more like sour grapes or just more Trump tantrums. Biden went ahead with setting up his team and most interest centered on who he would pick for the important cabinet posts. Foreign governments allied with the US immediately congratulated Biden on his supposed win, and even most of the holdout governments capitulated after a while. Notably, Israel and China were slow, but eventually got onboard. The only remaining major holdout was Russia. Republican attempts to seek remedy in the state courts seemed to go nowhere, and the Republicans could not get traction in the federal courts either. Biden looked like the winner. Then a few storm clouds appeared on November 25. Catholics and Jews had filed suit against the lockdown rules in New York, which they claimed discriminated against churches. They had lost a previous suit earlier in the summer, but this time the US Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in their favor. It was noted that the newest justice cast the deciding vote, thus validating the intense worries of the Democrats when Trump was able to appoint three justices. In addition, on the same day, lawyers for the Republicans filed suits in federal courts seeking to invalidate the election results in Georgia and Michigan. Just prior to this, the Republicans had managed to get a public hearing in the Pennsylvania legislature concerning the allegations of improprieties in the election. A federal court in Nevada set a hearing for December 3 concerning election issues in that state. These actions moved the Republican complaints out of just the alternative media and gossip columns and into official channels. Now things began to get dicey for both parties.

    More Difficulties

    The lawyers for the Democrats will have to try to discredit the whistleblowers’ testimony and try to prevent election officials from being called to testify under oath in court. The mainstream media supporting the Democrats will have to try to minimize the court actions and direct public attention elsewhere. Lawyers for the Republicans will try to do the opposite. Of course, it may turn out that the Republican Party’s evidence is weak and not persuasive enough for the courts to interfere with the election results. On the other hand, if evidence of a major election scandal is produced, the recent action of the Supreme Court does not bode well for the Democrats. It will be very tricky for the Republicans to produce such evidence. This has nothing to do with the facts of the election, but with the outing of who did what and when. The alleged evidence appears to depend in large part on the activities of certain voting system companies.

    Trump and his supporters keep calling for documents to be declassified, but nothing much seems to happen. One of the former CIA directors calls for keeping things classified, but it is not clear what, if anything, the classified information has to do with the election. If the Trump lawyers reveal the evidence they claim to have concerning voting fraud in the US, how can they prevent that action from indirectly producing evidence of voting fraud in other countries around the world that were using the same software, hardware, and voting system companies? Some articles on the internet allege that voting system companies operating at elections in the US are actually owned or controlled by foreign companies. We have been subjected to more than four years of allegations and investigations of foreign interference in US elections and hacking by foreign parties. So it would seem prudent to make sure that elections in the US are only supported by US-owned and controlled companies and only use software and hardware developed and built in the US. So the Democrats have every incentive to prove that the voting system companies are US companies and have US headquarters. The Democrats also have every incentive to abandon their long claim of Russian interference in US elections, as well as to deny any foreign hacking of the 2020 election systems. The Republicans have to walk a very narrow path as they cannot allege any Russian interference now after denying it for more than four years, but they cannot point a finger at Western countries being involved either. This latter problem means that the experience of elections in certain other countries should not be mentioned. The Republicans are thus left with blaming the usual suspects—Venezuela, Iran, China—who are the current bad countries listed by the Trump administration. The Republicans seem unlikely to claim in federal court that the “Deep State” is mounting a “color revolution” against them even though the actions appear to be right out of the much-discussed color revolution handbook.

    Even More Difficulties

    Up until the first week of December, the Biden supporters were mostly successful in preventing the Trump supporters from getting traction in the courts or in the mainstream media. The media had censored or spun the alleged voting scandals to such a great extent that most of the public did not know what Trump was talking about when he mentioned issues concerning Hunter Biden. This censorship began to fall apart when Hunter himself admitted that he was under investigation by the IRS concerning tax issues. Then some news media in Washington detailed how Hunter was also under investigation by US Attorneys in several states for possible illegal activities, and that Joe’s brother James Biden was also under investigation. The news about Hunter’s laptop gained wider circulation. In the meantime, however, the swing states certified the election for Biden despite the Republican efforts to delay. In an amazing coincidence, more information about the connections between the Bidens and China was aired at the same time as more information about Chinese spying in the US. So just as the Democrats used “RussiaGate” against Trump, the Republicans appear to be setting up “ChinaGate” to use against Biden. Then to top it all off, the State of Texas filed suit in the US Supreme Court against four of the swing states (Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin) concerning the election. Texas was joined by eighteen other states, with three more leaning toward support. In response, nineteen other states joined the swing states against the Texas suit. This was an unprecedented legal maneuver that was mostly a surprise. The US Supreme Court was quick to dismiss the lawsuit on December 11, 2020, for “lack of standing” by Texas, thus joining other courts in finding procedural reasons for not getting involved. The Electoral College voting is on December 14 and is expected to favor Biden. There may be more surprises as analysts are wondering what was the point of Executive Order 13848, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election, signed September 12, 2018, as well as the reason for replacing the top managers of DoD intelligence immediately after the election. The Executive Order requires the Director of National Intelligence to issue a report by December 18, 2020, concerning the 2020 election. On January 6, 2021, Congress meets to certify the electoral vote. This is normally a rubber-stamp affair, but it is still possible to have a surprise at this point.

    Future Difficulties

    Regardless of who becomes President in 2021, a cloud will hang over future elections. Just as many Democrats still hold to the belief that the 2000 election for President was stolen, many Republicans will continue to believe that the 2020 election was stolen. If/when Biden is sworn in as President, the Republicans will worry that there will be little urgency on the part of the Federal authorities to investigate any aspect of the 2020 election. The Democrats will likely use their successful electioneering strategy in both the 2022 election and the 2024 presidential campaign. The strategy appears to be most applicable in densely populated areas which happen to be mostly Democrat. The strategy appears to be less useful in small towns and rural areas populated by Republicans. This asymmetry gives the Democrats an advantage in statewide elections, whereas district elections are more of a level playing field. A surplus of votes in one district does not affect the outcome in other districts, although such a surplus can swing a statewide total. This could affect statewide races for office such as governor, secretary of state, attorney general, US senator, as well as the national offices of President and Vice President. The Republicans will, therefore, be searching for a viable counter-strategy. If, on the other hand, Trump somehow stays in office, there might be a concerted effort by Federal agents to dismantle the big city voting strategy. The stakes are very high as the US states are rapidly becoming less united.

    Trump will continue political civil war to maintain his relevance: analyst

    November 20, 2020 – 21:12

    By Amir Mohammad Esmaeili

     TEHRAN – Jim W. Dean, the managing editor of Veterans Today, tells the Tehran Times that Donald Trump is going to continue the American political civil war to maintain his relevance, and also to help protect himself from prosecution. 

    “There are many, even in U.S. intelligence, who have considered him a national security threat, and who fully expect him to profit from selling U.S. classified material for his personal interest and attempt to rebuild himself after he leaves office as the ideology enforcer of the Republican party, as a big Mafia Don, even those running in primary elections must kneel and kiss the ring of ‘Don’ Trump,” notes Dean, who comes from an old military family going back to the American Revolution.

    Here is the full text of the interview:

    Q: How do you analyze the U.S. presidential election and its following consequences? 
     
    A: It is both a relief and a torment. The thought of four more years of an autocratic Trump regime would have put 79 million Americans into a depression. And not the least of that would be because we have been looking forward to his losing his presidential immunity so the legal cases, including criminal ones, can proceed against him and his family. 

    “There are many, even in U.S. intelligence, who have considered him (Trump) a national security threat, and who fully expect him to profit from selling U.S. classified material for his personal profit.”Hundreds of retired ex-prosecutors are ready to assist in this process, people who have served both Republican and Democratic administrations. They are joined in the belief that Trump should be made an example of to dissuade any future autocratic new president thinking that he can follow in Trump’s shoes.

    There are many, even in U.S. intelligence, who have considered him a national security threat, and who fully expect him to profit from selling U.S. classified material for his personal profit and attempt to rebuild himself after he leaves office as the ideology enforcer of the Republican party, as a big Mafia Don, even those running in primary elections must kneel and kiss the ring of ‘Don’ Trump.

    Q: How do you see the current chaotic situation in the U.S.?

    A: The chaos in the election count is subsiding. The Washington Post, three months prior to the election had revealed the White House plan to contest the election due to Trump being so behind in the polls. It has turned into a circus that will stain the Republican party for years. 

    Their original plan was focused on challenging a close election, but Rudy Giuliani is now viewed as taking a wrecking ball to that strategy. He chose to flood the courts with scores of election fraud claims, many of them based on Twitter social media platform reports alone. 

    That, combined with Trump’s tweeting about “The Steal”, blew up the original plan with almost all of the early challenge cases being thrown out for lack of evidence. Some judges hinted that the attorneys presenting them might have their law licenses taken away. Pro-Trump law firms have begun backing off filing any more cases, including in Pennsylvania.

    The political strategy now seems to be focused on challenging the vote count with nitpicks as a way to operate a fundraising scam that will fund a Trump supporter PAC called Save America. Trump is thinking of revenge and needs to be able to control his base to intimidate the Republican leadership and to be a critic of the Biden presidency.

    The man wants to continue hogging the media spotlight with his endless false claims to keep his base riled up, the biggest of which will be that the election was stolen from him, and them.

    Q: How do you assess the reaction of the U.S. political and security apparatus to the political unrest? 

    A: There had been months of preparation for election unrest, both for street protests and rioting. But there was also contingency planning for the possibility that an angry Trump might do some crazy things, including starting a conflict somewhere. 

    “Trump is thinking of revenge and needs to be able to control his base to intimidate the Republican leadership and to be a critic of the Biden presidency.”This planning even involved a high alert being put out for any possible false flag attack being planned which could justify a Trump “retaliatory” strike. The scenarios included a possible nuclear event where Trump could call a national emergency. 

    On the political end, we know from White House leaks via the Washington Post, that Trump asked his staff to consider the nuclear option of demanding the Republican State legislatures take the step of casting their respective state Electoral College votes for Trump, under a Constitutional pathway that has never been used.

    The consensus, so far, is that the Republican Party going forward would not want that on their record. The Supreme Court has already hinted it does not want to get involved in an election court case and is letting some items on its docket just run out of time. It does not want its reputation besmirched by a desperate Trump.

    Q:  Will U.S. foreign policy towards West Asia change in Biden’s presidency? 

    A: Biden has sent some early signals, such as the unipolar Trump foreign policy mania seems to be history. The EU will be the first benefactor for renewing better relations. This triggers some early responses inside the EU that it is time to take responsibility for its own defense, which will be popular with American taxpayers. 

    Biden has indicated the U.S. rejoining the JCPOA, but then later attached some conditions to it, which could doom that move. 

    Expect Biden to be a hawk with Russia, China, and North Korea, but trying to bring a coalition along with him so he does not follow the Trump lead of talking one game and then doing another.

    Trump and Melania According to Fritz Lang

    trump and Melania.jpg

    by Gilad Atzmon

    As of today, America does not seem convinced by its democratic nature and its democratic process. One poll released yesterday claims that “less than half of the Americans believe Biden is the legitimate winner of election; a third say Trump won.”  By now it is reasonable to admit that America is far from being confident about anything that is traditionally associated with its core ideological roots and its founders’ philosophy.  

    By now it is also clear beyond doubt that the predictions of a Democratic ‘landslide victory’ were either delusional or even consciously duplicitous. As of today, Republicans have gained seats in the House of Representatives, and look likely to retain control of the senate. If this is not enough, President Trump also increased his support base significantly. He even managed to expand his share of votes within marginal segments that until now were considered ‘democratic territory’ such as the Black and Latino communities

    America is divided in the middle. Some may wonder what is it that made so many American voters  give their votes to a presidential candidate who seems to be past his best days and often appear confused and cognitively challenged. Others wonder how is it possible that such a significant number gave their vote for a second time to an eccentric real estate tycoon who proved to be totally foreign to some elementary knowledge of running a country, let alone the language of politics and diplomacy. How is it possible that more than 70 million Americans voted for a man who shakes his hands and ass to the music of YMCA at his rallies?   

    The truth of that matter can’t be denied: Trump’s electoral power is based on his wall-to-wall support amongst White uneducated males. It is America’s white working class that support a man who has never engaged in any form of manual work so to say, a man who was born into wealth. 

    I would expect every American political scientist to clear his or her table and concentrate on one question: what is it at the core of this bond between this demographic and this abrasive real estate oligarch? Seemingly the many Americans who do not approve of Trump prefer to go to bed in the night and wake up in a Trump-less universe. Bizarrely enough, this is exactly what happened on election night. America went to sleep accepting that Trump might very well make it again, that he might be here to stay for another four years.  Yet miraculously, when America woke up, just a few hours later Trump looked likely to be on his way out. We may never know what really happened at the wee small hours in those ‘swing states.’ Yet, Trump’s bond with America’s white working class is, no doubt, a fascinating question and it remains a mystery.

    Trump is not the first American tycoon to be loved and admired by the working masses. Henry Ford, the chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production, a man who made the USA into an industrial superpower, wasn’t exactly a ‘socialist’ by any means but he took great care of his workers and improved their lives by unimaginable proportions.  

    Ford was a pioneer of ‘welfare capitalism.’ He astonished the world in 1914 by offering a $5 per day wage, practically doubling the rate of most of his workers. Ford believed that paying employees more would enable them to afford the cars they were producing and thus boost the local economy. In practice, Ford offered a valid answer to Marx’ theory of ‘alienation.’ His workers bonded with their reality by means of consumption.  Ford believed in manufacturing, nationalism and patriotism. He was against wars; he saw Wall Street and global capitalism as America’s prime enemy. This fact alone put him on an inevitable collision course with the wolves of Wall Street. Consequently Henry Ford went down in History as a “notorious anti-Semite” and Trump has been denounced more than once  by the ADL and other Jewish organizations for “extolling” him and his achievements.

    It is not difficult to point at some crucial similarities between Ford and Trump. Both are critical of military interventions. Both adhere to nationalist, patriotic and conservative values. Both believe in manufacturing. Both oppose globalism of any form and see globalist Wall Street as a prime enemy. But the bond between the struggling worker and the arch capitalist has deeper cultural, rational and psychological roots that go beyond the particular historicity of one industrialist or another.

    The significance of the fantasy of bond between the oligarch and the oppressed is at the centre of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), one of the most important cinematic epics of the 20th century.

    Watch Fritz Lang’s Metropolis: https://youtu.be/AvtWDIZtrAE

    Metropolis was created in Germany during the era of the Weimar Republic. It is set in a futuristic ultra-capitalist dystopia that isn’t so removed from the reality we witness in the growing abyss between Americas’ seashore urban metropolises and the so-called ‘Fly Over’ States. It tells the story of Freder, the son of the city master, and Maria, an inspirational working class, Christian and saintly character. Together, Freder and Maria defeat social injustice and the class divide by means of unity. Against all odds, they manage to unite capital and labor. For this unity to occur, a mediator has to come forward to transform social clash into a harmonious future.  Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is two and a half hours of horror, oppression, slavery, capitalist malevolence and class divide that resolves in the end into harmonious reconciliation of the Hegelian ‘end of history’ type. The cinematic epic exhausts itself when the workers’ leader and the city master are shaking hands and accepting their mutual fate and co-dependence. “The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart,” is the inter title of the scene, emphasizing the ideological and metaphysical motto of the film. In the eyes of Trump supporters, Donald is such a ‘heart.’

     Yesterday I watched Melania Trump – The Mysterious First Lady, a new Arte documentary that attempts to grasp the role of Melania and her contribution to her husband’s success. 

     Watch Melania Trump – The Mysterious First Lady: https://youtu.be/GwM–ZPeJtA

    It didn’t take me long to notice the similarities between Lang’s Freder and Donald Trump. It took me even less time to see a resemblance between Maria and Melania.

    Looking at the Arte film it becomes clear that Melania’s roll in Trump’s success is far greater than what the American compromised media may be willing to admit. The American press treats the current first lady as a meaningless decorative element planted in proximity to the ‘great evil’. But, as the Arte film reveals, for Trump’s supporting crowd, Melania is a loaded symbol of deep spiritual and cultural meaning.

    Melania is practically the ultimate embodiment of the ‘American dream.’ Born in a remote village in Communist (former) Yugoslavia, she made it to the top of the world. She is literally the First Lady, married to the strongest man in the world. She did it on her own. She had a wish, she dedicated herself and she accomplished her mission.  

    But it goes further, this ‘sleeping beauty’ character happens to ‘wake up’ in the most volatile moments and say the right things.  Being a dedicated mother, she furnishes the turbulent presidency with a deep sense of family commitment. She fits like a glove with the conservative understanding of conventional gender relations. But she also enlightens the compatible and mutual relations between the male and the female couple:

    She is ‘young and beautiful,’ he is ‘old and shrewd’ but when things ‘get out of hand,’ when the president, for instance,  is caught on tape calling to “grab them by the p*ssy”  the couple swap rolls immediately. Melania, out of the blue, becomes the big caring mother/wife, she forgives her naughty husband however confirms that he is actually a very nice gentleman and qualified for presidency. It is, practically Melania who Gives Donald the kosher stamp when he really needs it.   

    It isn’t a coincidence that no one in the USA could produce such a documentary that delves into the true meaning of Trump and his Trumpina. Not one camera owner in the USA has the mental power to admit that the Trump project is actually way more sophisticated than what we are willing to admit. One filmmaker who apparently understands the Trump project is obviously Michael Moore who predicted Trump’s victory in 2016. He also tried to warn his fellow progressive friends that they are deluding themselves into believing the pollsters and their phantasmic landslide victory predictions.  

    Trumpism is ideologically motivated and strategically driven. Not many  Americans in the Left have the guts to admit that if one political offering is pushing for non-binary gender, trans identiterianism, Globalism and anti-patriotism, there would be enough people that push back on this message, clinging to the most obvious call for nationalism, family values, strict gender binaries, Christian ethos etc.  

    In Fritz Lang epic Metropolis the leader unites the under-city slaves with the Mammonites on top. I am not so sure that Trump can establish any kind of a bridge between Wall Street and his supporters in the ‘Fly over’ States. Wall Street does not see any reason to reach out to the so-called ‘deplorables.’ America is already divided on pretty much every possible front. Two days ago I asked a NY friend how does he feel about the current events in the USA. He corrected me immediately.  “I live in NYC not in the USA… the USA” he said, “starts after the Hudson.”

    It is hard to predict where America is going from here. But since Henry Ford predicted the current mess almost a century ago it may be good to remember that it was the same guy who cleverly pointed out that “when everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

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    The Democratic Facade

     BY GILAD ATZMON

    democracy 2.jpg

    by Gilad Atzmon 

    On election day, countless progressive and liberal commentators throughout the entire mainstream media were foolish enough to admit that the battle at stake wasn’t really about ‘Trump or Biden’ but about the ‘American way,’ the future, so to say, of the public discourse and public life in the USA. Progressives and liberals were confident enough to believe that with nearly 100 million ballots given in before election day, Americans had already cast an unprecedented spectacle of rejection of everything that may even mildly resemble ‘conservative values.’ They were convinced that America had made its choice already. For them, I must assume, the election was just an act of formality. The battle was basically won already.

     But then just a few hours later, it became clear that the pollsters failed them completely once again. The ‘Trumpsters’ refused to evaporate. They grew substantially and even expanded demographically into some ‘unexpected’ electoral territories traditionally associated with Democratic politics.

     The clear meaning of the election is that America, like most other Western states, is divided in the middle into two opposing societies that have very little in common.  Far more worrying is the clear fact that the two sides of the divide cannot tolerate each other. 

    As much as the Left, Progressives and Liberals are convinced by the absolute validity of their way of thinking, to the point that they insist to dictate them by authoritarian and tyrannical measures, at least as many people do not buy, follow and even reject those values.   Many Americans do not accept the identiterian shift. Many Americans are not convinced at all that gender isn’t binary. I assume that most disappointing and worrying for the DNC is the fact that members of ‘diverse minorities’ as the Democrats call them, have switched sides. They became vocal Trump supporters.

    Watch a Cuban fusion band sings “I will Vote for Donald Trump” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HpwNRSE4nM

    This is very easy to explain. The Democratic Party offers Blacks, Gays, Latinos and so called ‘diverse minorities’ to be marginalized forever in an amalgam of ‘Others United’.  The GOP is offering those people an immediate integration as ordinary people into the American realm. All you need to do is get yourself a red Trump baseball cap and join your next local Trump rally. It is this most basic existential togetherness that was so vivid within the Left revolutionary discourse, but only materialized into a populist sustained tsunami of political resistance within the contexts of right-wing populist politics. 

    In the upside-down world in which we live. The Republican party has become the party of the American working-class people. People who are defined by their adherence to family values, the church, hard work and see themselves as the ‘Americans.’  The Democratic party that claimed to be the voice of those working people, has gradually morphed into an urban identiatrian conglomerate.  A collective of ‘as a’ people: humans who insist to identify with their biology:  ‘as a Woman,’ ‘as a Gay,’ ‘as a Trans,’ ‘as a Black,’ ‘as a Jew.’

    In the upside down world in which we live, the Left ended up adopting the most embarrassing and problematic Hitlerian ideological aspect: Unlike Italian fascism that adhered to the concept of ‘socialism of the Italian people,’ or early Nazism that pushed for the idea of ‘equality of German speaking people,’ Hitler insisted upon ‘socialism of one race.’ Hitler believed that people’s politics is intrinsic to their biology. As opposed to traditional inclusive Left thinking that was class oriented, the contemporary Left pushes people to identify politically on biological terms: ‘as a woman,’ ‘as a black,’ ‘as a gay,’ ‘as a trans’ etc. The GOP on the other hand, is coming closer and closer to universal class politics.  

    On the morning of the 3rd of November, the liberal press was ready to announce that the ‘as a’ philosophy had won. But as things stand right now, this  battle between the ‘as a’ people  and the ‘Americans’ may escalate into a real violent conflict as there is no one in America or anywhere else who knows how to unite the people into a simple concept of peoplehood. Again, this is hardly an American phenomenon. The exact same division and the lack of a political unifying prospect is currently apparent in every Western State.

    On Thursday, Wall Street rose substantially. Naturally, many commentators believed that our oligarchs and financial tycoons were excited by Biden’s likeliness to win the American election. But it may also be possible that Wall Street was way more thrilled by the prospect of a possible civil war. When people fight each other, capitalism, mammonism and usury can be celebrated mercilessly and boundlessly. This is exactly what Wall Street is after.   

    It may as well be possible that in the global universe in which we live, in a world where all existential concerns reintroduced themselves as ‘global threats’ to do with: global warming, global financial turmoil, global pandemics etc., a state of bitter civil war is exactly where global capitalism wants us the people to be. Democracy and the fantasy of political choice, as such, are just a camouflage. It is there to convey the image that the current chaos is merely our own choice or fault.  

    To understand ID politics and its disastrous impact on contemporary society read Being in Time

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    A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’?

    Wednesday, 11 November 2020 8:10 AM  [ Last Update: Wednesday, 11 November 2020 8:18 AM ]

    US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
    US President Donald Trump (File photo)

    By Ramin Mazaheri

    A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’?
    Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

    The United States repeatedly has the worst elections of all the Western core democracies.

    That’s not “Iranian meddling” but Harvard and their 2019 Electoral Integrity Index. They ranked US elections just 57th in the world.

    One wonders how much further they will fall in this year’s ranking?

    If we honestly ask if American elections have integrity I think everyone has the same answer, and it’s as serious as a heart-attack:

    You don’t want to go there. American elections cannot withstand serious scrutiny.

    So if President Donald Trump actually wants a second term, it’s likely there for the taking. He’ll have to ride out weeks of personal stress even worse than the televised Watergate hearings in 1973, but he won’t come out like Richard Nixon just for insisting that American elections finally get looked at honestly. 

    I don’t think that Trump has engaged in vote fraud, but I must report that half of the US still believes that Democrats did. Mail-in balloting has unnecessarily stressed an already corruption-filled system, per Harvard. In a democracy it does not matter if perceptions of voter fraud run on partisan lines – if such perceptions are widespread they simply must be resolved satisfactorily.

    Nobody has tested the integrity of US elections in recent memory. Not in even in 2000, when they rushed to install George W. Bush 37 days after the election. We later found that an unforgivable 14% of African-American votes had been questionably rejected in they key state of Florida.

    Americans shouldn’t forget things like that, and many don’t. Many just permanently stay away from elections and encourage others to do the same.

    Democrats want to pin all the blame for the current election mistrust on Trump, but such a view acts as if the world began in 2016.

    This is an election system which could not stand serious scrutiny, and now it is cracking at the end of this year of unprecedented pressures.

    Half the country is begging Trump: stress it further.

    His supporters are asking Trump to be a martyr and refuse to concede

    This is an absolutely history-making moment in time, and this hard-news journalist never resorts to such hyperbole: This is the moment when Donald Trump can choose between going down in history likely portrayed as a buffoon, or he can take on the establishment “Swamp” by forcing it to investigate allegations of structural corruption by elites.

    It’s a stunning idea, and unthinkable to half the country here, who is being swamped with the insistence that Joe Biden is the president-elect even though the votes counting is still ongoing, even though he leads by a mere average of 21,000 votes over four states, and in an election which has been tainted by corruption accusations for months.

    What they are applying as pressure is the cynical power of “inevitability”. Maybe Trump really did get fewer votes, so why put the nation through stress?

    That common view should be rejected in favor of the martyrs who came before, such as the disenfranchised Black Floridians of 2000. And how long can honest reckonings be put off without destroying faith in the system? Destroyed faith in society has a price, and America has a problem with honest talk, but this is truly la chance for redemption.

    That’s why Joe Biden’s early declaration was so reckless, self-interested and – in the worst sense of the word – Trumpian. Biden’s promised redemption is already false – he did not have faith in allowing the US system to play out.

    It seems like a difficult task, but I contend that Trump has everything going for him – he has the one thing nobody really has, which is time. All Trump has to do is let the process play out: if he lost fairly, he will garner much credit for standing up for the common voter; if he wins the presidency, he’s a hero who reversed the tide.

    Trump’s Achilles’ heel is that he cannot do this with dignity, but when every other election this century has been disputed, one person’s foolish behavior isn’t the main issue for American society anymore. 

    There really is no rush: a new president doesn’t take over until January 20. But imperialists abhor a vacuum. They don’t know who is in charge and, thus who to follow, and thus who to plot to destroy. Imperialist cultures are exceptional and distorted like this in ways smaller countries can’t imagine.

    This, “We’re the slave-master,” pride is also why a small country can take their time and get an election right, but the US is rushing to judgement no matter how many it disenfranchises. They know they have to constantly project total strength: every day they do not is another day the colonized will question the slave-master’s true power and abilities.

    What is this 21st century “Trumpism” really? We are about to finally find out.

    ‘Trumpism’ isn’t the name of a proper political party – will one be found or is it over already?

    Certainly, like the Yellow Vests in France, it was immediately and falsely slammed as xenophobic. That’s now a pathetic, false and boring argument: Trump won a greater percentage of minority votes than any Republican in 60 years. So we don’t really know what it is, due to this propaganda.

    The reality is that their opposition to 1%-benefiting globalization, their demand for patriotic sovereignty and their opposition to 1%-benefiting “universal values” are the reasons for the corporate-mainstream vilification of both.

    If Trump gives up the adjective of “Trumpian” Republican will no longer be necessary because the world’s oldest duopoly sucks the revolutionary spirit out of every third-party movement. I doubt you have heard of the “Bull Moose Party”, even though Teddy Roosevelt is on Mount Rushmore?

    If Trump really stands his ground right “Trumpian” could shed its perceptions of xenophobia and be associated with a spirit of rigor and democratic egalitarianism. It would be a coup against the 1%’s efforts, and to win that Trump has to get absolutely crucified in the next three months.

    We’ve never known just how serious about politics Trump is, no?

    He used to be a reality-show star, but he has certainly put in a lot of work for four years. Key senators have said that Trump is within his rights to demand recounts and transparency. Now we will find out how fighting he is willing to do – he still has a ton of power.

    Trump been vilified for four years, and revolutionaries are made, not born. Surely he is aware of the problems which those without power cannot possibly stand up to? He who is more aware is necessarily more responsible.

    But how deep is Trump’s Trumpism?

    It’s very easy to cynically say that Trump will only ever be a tool of the pro-Zionist camp, or that he is only in this to make money, or that all he seeks is fame or even infamy. Maybe all this is quite true, and he’s gone further than he ever imagined or even wanted to?

    It doesn’t matter to me: The better point to make is that Trumpism is very real to its supporters. Like the Yellow Vests they actually do have genuine virtues. They see corruption and they want it out, but all they have is one vote each – they are not the president. 

    Right now is the time if Trump shows he has learned how to be a public servant after four years, or if perhaps many are right to conclude that “democracy with American characteristics” is incapable of producing humble, selfless public servants, and only corrupt, self-interested ones. 

    If Americans cannot have a transparent election they cannot possibly achieve even moderate progress: This is country which has opposed revolutionary tactics for 200+ years – everyone here is committed to reformism of the American system. If Trump does not make a stand here – if he bows to the forces of cynical inevitability – Trumpism remains half a personality cult, half a brand name and certainly half-finished at best. Trumpism will have made a point, but not a real impact.

    The average American should not be punished – they have a right to free and transparent elections, and the whole world knows that they don’t get them. 2020 is yet another recent example. It seems unfortunate that it is up to Donald Trump to help him and her, but it is too early to judge: he may yet get added onto Mount Rushmore, as he hopes.

    What is certain one week after their initial vote is that the US has had a vote, and a winner (two of them) – there is only one logical conclusion: concession/inauguration.

    Until that happens it will be a steadily-increasing drip of chaotic news. That is not a bad thing for the world, nor one to be feared by Americans, but it is intensely feared by their 1%.

    (The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


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