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FTR #1162 Farewell America, Part 1

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FTR #1162 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: In the imme­di­ate after­math of the 2020 elec­tion, there was much beat­ing of the breasts and tear­ing of the hair by main­stream and “alter­na­tive” jour­nal­ists and polit­i­cal forces.

Declar­ing the (pre­dictable) assault by Trump and much of the GOP on the integri­ty and accu­ra­cy of the elec­tion results to be an “attack” that “threat­ened Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy,” they might be seen as clos­ing the barn door after the horse had gone.

In fact, “Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy” had its brains blown all over the back of a lim­ou­sine in Dal­las, Texas on 11/22/1963.

This pro­gram presents aspects of the long-dead Amer­i­can demo­c­ra­t­ic process that have escaped wide­spread exam­i­na­tion.

Key­ing the dis­cus­sion is a quote from Anne Hidal­go, the may­or of Paris. “Wel­come back Amer­i­ca!” she wrote on Twit­ter. . . .

In a 1968, Farewell Amer­i­ca–a book pre­sent­ing an oblique, some­what enig­mat­ic account of the JFK assas­si­na­tion was pub­lished, alleged­ly authored by “James Hep­burn.” In the years since its pub­li­ca­tion, the book has come to be under­stood as some­thing of a response by French intel­li­gence to both the JFK assas­si­na­tion and over­lap­ping attempts by ele­ments of CIA and French fas­cist and revan­chist forces to over­throw and/or assas­si­nate Charles De Gaulle.

An excel­lent account of this impor­tant, but large­ly unrec­og­nized ele­ment of U.S. and world his­to­ry was pre­sent­ed in a remark­able tome titled The Dev­il’s Chess­board by David Tal­bot. We present Tal­bot’s account of the attempts at over­throw­ing De Gaulle and that even­t’s inter­sec­tion with the intrigue that took Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s life.

(With hol­i­day gift-giv­ing sea­son fast approach­ing, we emphat­i­cal­ly rec­om­mend The Dev­il’s Chess­board for those who tru­ly val­ue demo­c­ra­t­ic process and integri­ty.)

The World War II leader of the Free French forces and the French pres­i­dent for 11 years, De Gaulle had run afoul of pow­er­ful ele­ments of the French mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence forces, as well as Allen Dulles’s CIA. Out­raged at his attempt to grant Alge­ria its inde­pen­dence in order to con­clude a bru­tal gueril­la war, De Gaulle was viewed as an out­right trai­tor by the OAS (L’Or­gan­i­sa­tion de L’Armee Secrete–The Secret Army Orga­ni­za­tion).

Because of De Gaulle’s insis­tence on pur­su­ing con­ven­tion­al mil­i­tary and nuclear inde­pen­dence from both the U.S. and NATO, and the belief that he was “soft on com­mu­nism,” ele­ments of Dulles’s CIA col­lab­o­rat­ed with the OAS forces, act­ing in tan­dem with Rein­hard Gehlen’s BND cadres.

The coup was led by Mau­rice Challe, a dec­o­rat­ed French Air Force gen­er­al, who planned to air­lift elite para­troop­er ele­ments into France, where they would join with oth­er armored and air­borne forces staged out­side Paris.

Alert­ed to the impend­ing coup, De Gaulle ral­lied the French pop­u­lace behind his besieged gov­ern­ment, and the coup lost momen­tum. Challe sur­ren­dered after his fel­low coup plot­ters lost enthu­si­asm for the oper­a­tion.

Ear­ly on in the coup attempt, cred­i­ble polit­i­cal and jour­nal­is­tic indi­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions set forth the assis­tance to the coup pro­vid­ed by ele­ments of the CIA and Pen­ta­gon, sup­ple­ment­ed by U.S. reac­tionar­ies.

Fol­low­ing the coup’s fail­ure, OAS gun­men ambushed De Gaulle, who escaped with his life due to the skill and loy­al­ty of his secu­ri­ty detach­ment.

Interestingly–and per­haps significantly–an OAS ter­ror­ist named Jean Sou­e­tre was arrest­ed in Dal­las on 11/22/1963 and deport­ed to Mex­i­co. Some ana­lysts believe that a French fas­cist and crim­i­nal ele­ment was involved with the oper­a­tional phase of the JFK assas­si­na­tion in Dal­las.)

In 2002, a book was pub­lished (after the death of its author) which pre­sent­ed De Gaulle’s point­ed analy­sis of the killing JFK, which he felt was alto­geth­er sim­i­lar to the attempts on his life.

De Gaulle’s analy­sis of the method­olog­i­cal tem­plate of both Kennedy’s mur­der and his own, very near brush with death is poignant­ly accu­rate and telling.

(The JFK assas­si­na­tion has been dis­cussed in many pro­grams over the years, includ­ing The Guns of Novem­berAFA #‘s 11, 12 and 13, 15 and 37, and many For The Record pro­grams, includ­ing FTR #‘s 876, 961, 962, 963, 971, the long series of inter­views with Jim DiEu­ge­nio (#1031 through #1056, except­ing #1039 and 1123.)

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Analy­sis of JFK’s 1957 speech endors­ing Alger­ian inde­pen­dence; Guy Ban­is­ter inves­ti­ga­tor Mau­rice Brooks Gatlin’s claim to have car­ried a large sum of mon­ey from the CIA to French con­spir­a­tors plot­ting the over­throw of De Gaulle; Gatlin’s 1965 death in a fall from a high-rise hotel win­dow in Pana­ma.

1. Key­ing the dis­cus­sion is a quote from Anne Hidal­go, the may­or of Paris. “Wel­come back Amer­i­ca!” she wrote on Twit­ter. . . .

“After Joe Biden’s Win Over Don­ald Trump, Relief Sweeps Through America’s Allies” by Adela Suli­man, Yuliya Tal­mazan, Rachel Elbaum and Sapho­ra Smith; NBC News; 11/7/2020.

 . . . . Paris May­or Anne Hidal­go was less diplo­mat­ic. “Wel­come back Amer­i­ca!” she wrote on Twit­ter. . . .

2. In a 1968, Farewell Amer­i­ca–a book pre­sent­ing an oblique, some­what enig­mat­ic account of the JFK assas­si­na­tion was pub­lished, alleged­ly authored by “James Hep­burn.” In the years since its pub­li­ca­tion, the book has come to be under­stood as some­thing of a response by an ele­ment of French intel­li­gence to both the JFK assas­si­na­tion and over­lap­ping attempts by ele­ments of CIA and French fas­cist and revan­chist ele­ments to over­throw and/or assas­si­nate Charles De Gaulle.

An excel­lent account of this impor­tant but large­ly unrec­og­nized ele­ment of U.S. and world his­to­ry was pre­sent­ed in a remark­able tome titled The Dev­il’s Chess­board by David Tal­bot. We present Tal­bot’s account of the attempts at over­throw­ing De Gaulle and that even­t’s inter­sec­tion with the intrigue that took Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s life.

(With hol­i­day gift-giv­ing sea­son fast approach­ing, we emphat­i­cal­ly rec­om­mend The Dev­il’s Chess­board for those who tru­ly val­ue demo­c­ra­t­ic process and integri­ty.)

The World War II leader of the Free French forces and the French pres­i­dent for 11 years, De Gaulle had run afoul of pow­er­ful ele­ments of the French mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence forces, as well as Allen Dulles’s CIA. Out­raged at his attempt to grant Alge­ria its inde­pen­dence in order to con­clude a bru­tal gueril­la war, De Gaulle was viewed as an out­right trai­tor by the OAS (L’Or­gan­i­sa­tion de L’Armee Secrete–The Secret Army Orga­ni­za­tion).

Because of De Gaulle’s insis­tence on pur­su­ing con­ven­tion­al mil­i­tary and nuclear inde­pen­dence from both the U.S. and NATO, and the belief that he was “soft on com­mu­nism,” ele­ments of Dulles’s CIA col­lab­o­rat­ed with the OAS forces, act­ing in tan­dem with Rein­hard Gehlen’s BND cadres.

The coup was led by Mau­rice Challe, a dec­o­rat­ed French Air Force gen­er­al, who planned to air­lift elite para­troop­er ele­ments into France, where they would join with oth­er armored and air­borne forces staged out­side Paris.

Alert­ed to the impend­ing coup, De Gaulle ral­lied the French pop­u­lace behind his besieged gov­ern­ment, and the coup lost momen­tum. Challe sur­ren­dered after his fel­low coup plot­ters lost enthu­si­asm for the oper­a­tion.

Ear­ly on in the coup attempt, cred­i­ble polit­i­cal and jour­nal­is­tic indi­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions set forth the assis­tance to the coup pro­vid­ed by ele­ments of the CIA and Pen­ta­gon, sup­ple­ment­ed by U.S. reac­tionar­ies.

Fol­low­ing the coup’s fail­ure, OAS gun­men ambushed De Gaulle, who escaped with his life due to the skill and loy­al­ty of his secu­ri­ty detach­ment.

Interestingly–and per­haps significantly–an OAS ter­ror­ist named Jean Sou­e­tre was arrest­ed in Dal­las on 11/22/1963 and deport­ed to Mex­i­co. Some ana­lysts believe that a French fas­cist and crim­i­nal ele­ment was involved with the oper­a­tional phase of the JFK assas­si­na­tion in Dal­las.)

In 2002, a book was pub­lished (after the death of its author) which pre­sent­ed De Gaulle’s point­ed analy­sis of the killing JFK, which he felt was alto­geth­er sim­i­lar to the attempts on his life.

De Gaulle’s analy­sis of the method­olog­i­cal tem­plate of both Kennedy’s mur­der and his own, very near brush with death is accu­rate and telling.

The Dev­il’s Chess­board: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of Amer­i­ca’s Secret Gov­ern­ment by David Tal­bot; Harp­er [HC]; 2015; Copy­right 2015 by The Tal­bot Play­ers LLC; ISBN 978–0‑06–227616‑2; pp. 412–424,; 502, 566–67.

Discussion

5 comments for “FTR #1162 Farewell America, Part 1”

  1. Dave,

    I sin­cere­ly appre­ci­ate your life’s work in dis­sem­i­nat­ing the crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion nec­es­sary to cut through the fog of cur­rent and his­tor­i­cal mis­in­for­ma­tion, dis­in­for­ma­tion, and par­ti­san dri­v­el. I may not always agree with all of your con­clu­sions, but the work you’ve done is invalu­able.

    Thank you.

    Posted by daedalus | December 10, 2020, 7:55 am
  2. I agree with the com­ments and echo them. You have made a tremen­dous con­tri­bu­tion to humankind, Dave.

    Posted by Maricata | December 23, 2020, 9:21 am
  3. There’s def­i­nite echoes of Farewell Amer­i­ca here: We’re get­ting reports from the US’s NATO allies about the their inter­pre­ta­tion of the Jan­u­ary 6 pro-Trump DC insur­rec­tion. Three anony­mous offi­cials spoke to Busi­ness Insid­er
    , includ­ing a French police offi­cial respon­si­ble for pub­lic secu­ri­ty in a key sec­tion of cen­tral Paris. And accord­ing to that anony­mous police offi­cial, the avail­able evi­dence strong­ly points toward the Trump admin­is­tra­tion delib­er­ate­ly orches­trat­ing the storm­ing the Capi­tol for the pur­pose of pulling off a coup. The oth­er two anony­mous NATO offi­cials appear to large­ly agree. As one of the offi­cials put it, “Today I am brief­ing my gov­ern­ment that we believe with a rea­son­able lev­el of cer­tain­ty that Don­ald Trump attempt­ed a coup that failed when the sys­tem did not buck­le”:

    Busi­ness Insid­er

    Some among Amer­i­ca’s mil­i­tary allies believe Trump delib­er­ate­ly attempt­ed a coup and may have had help from fed­er­al law-enforce­ment offi­cials

    Mitch Protheros
    Jan 7, 2021, 7:58 AM

    * Mul­ti­ple Euro­pean secu­ri­ty offi­cials told Insid­er that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump appeared to have tac­it sup­port among US fed­er­al agen­cies respon­si­ble for secur­ing the Capi­tol com­plex in Wednes­day’s coup attempt.
    * Insid­er is report­ing this infor­ma­tion because it illus­trates the seri­ous reper­cus­sions of Wednes­day’s events: Even if they are mis­tak­en, some among Amer­i­ca’s inter­na­tion­al mil­i­tary allies are now will­ing to give cre­dence to the idea that Trump delib­er­ate­ly tried to vio­lent­ly over­turn an elec­tion and had help from some fed­er­al law-enforce­ment agents.
    * “We train along­side the US fed­er­al law enforce­ment to han­dle these very mat­ters, and it’s obvi­ous that large parts of any suc­cess­ful plan were just ignored,” one source told us.

    The sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump who stormed the Capi­tol on Wednes­day to stop the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of Pres­i­dent-elect Joe Biden’s elec­tion vic­to­ry were attempt­ing a vio­lent coup that mul­ti­ple Euro­pean secu­ri­ty offi­cials said appeared to have at least tac­it sup­port from aspects of the US fed­er­al agen­cies respon­si­ble for secur­ing the Capi­tol com­plex.

    Insid­er spoke with three offi­cials on Thurs­day morn­ing: a French police offi­cial respon­si­ble for pub­lic secu­ri­ty in a key sec­tion of cen­tral Paris, and two intel­li­gence offi­cials from NATO coun­tries who direct­ly work in coun­tert­er­ror­ism and coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence oper­a­tions involv­ing the US, ter­ror­ism, and Rus­sia.

    They said the cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence avail­able point­ed to what would be open­ly called a coup attempt in any oth­er nation. None were will­ing to speak on the record because of the dire nature of the sub­ject.

    While they did not fur­nish evi­dence that fed­er­al agency offi­cials facil­i­tat­ed the chaos, Insid­er is report­ing this infor­ma­tion because it illus­trates the scale and seri­ous­ness of Wednes­day’s events: Amer­i­ca’s inter­na­tion­al mil­i­tary and secu­ri­ty allies are now will­ing to give seri­ous cre­dence to the idea that Trump delib­er­ate­ly tried to vio­lent­ly over­turn an elec­tion and that some fed­er­al law-enforce­ment agents — by omis­sion or oth­er­wise — facil­i­tat­ed the attempt.

    ‘Today I am brief­ing my gov­ern­ment that we believe with a rea­son­able lev­el of cer­tain­ty that Don­ald Trump attempt­ed a coup’

    One NATO source set the stage, using terms more com­mon­ly used to describe unrest in devel­op­ing coun­tries.

    “The defeat­ed pres­i­dent gives a speech to a group of sup­port­ers where he tells them he was robbed of the elec­tion, denounces his own admin­is­tra­tion’s mem­bers and par­ty as trai­tors, and tells his sup­port­ers to storm the build­ing where the vot­ing is being held,” the NATO intel­li­gence offi­cial said.

    “The sup­port­ers, many dressed in mil­i­tary attire and wav­ing rev­o­lu­tion­ary-style flags, then storm the build­ing where the fed­er­al law-enforce­ment agen­cies con­trolled by the cur­rent pres­i­dent do not estab­lish a secu­ri­ty cor­don, and the pro­test­ers quick­ly over­whelm the last line of police.

    “The pres­i­dent then makes a pub­lic state­ment to the sup­port­ers attack­ing the Capi­tol that he loves them but does­n’t real­ly tell them to stop,” the offi­cial said. “Today I am brief­ing my gov­ern­ment that we believe with a rea­son­able lev­el of cer­tain­ty that Don­ald Trump attempt­ed a coup that failed when the sys­tem did not buck­le.

    “I can’t believe this hap­pened.”

    A law-enforce­ment offi­cial who trains with US forces believes some­one inter­fered with the prop­er deploy­ment of offi­cers around Con­gress

    The French police offi­cial said they believed that an inves­ti­ga­tion would find that some­one inter­fered with the deploy­ment of addi­tion­al fed­er­al law-enforce­ment offi­cials on the perime­ter of the Capi­tol com­plex; the offi­cial has direct knowl­edge of the prop­er pro­ce­dures for secu­ri­ty of the facil­i­ty.

    The secu­ri­ty of Con­gress is entrust­ed to the US Capi­tol Police, a fed­er­al agency that answers to Con­gress.

    It is rou­tine for the Capi­tol Police to coor­di­nate with the fed­er­al Secret Ser­vice and the Park Police and local police in Wash­ing­ton, DC, before large demon­stra­tions. The Nation­al Guard, com­mand­ed by the Depart­ment of Defense, is often on stand­by too.

    On Wednes­day, how­ev­er, that coor­di­na­tion was late or absent.

    ‘It’s obvi­ous that large parts of any suc­cess­ful plan were just ignored’

    “You can­not tell me I don’t know what they should have done. I can fly to Wash­ing­ton tomor­row and do that job, just as any police offi­cial in Wash­ing­ton can fly to Paris and do mine,” the offi­cial said. The offi­cial directs pub­lic secu­ri­ty in a cen­tral Paris police dis­trict filled with gov­ern­ment build­ings and tourist sites.

    “These are not sub­tle prin­ci­ples” for man­ag­ing demon­stra­tions, “and they trans­fer to every sit­u­a­tion,” the offi­cial said. “This is why we train along­side the US fed­er­al law enforce­ment to han­dle these very mat­ters, and it’s obvi­ous that large parts of any suc­cess­ful plan were just ignored.”

    The Nation­al Guard, which was deployed heav­i­ly to quell the Black Lives Mat­ter protests in 2020, did not show up to assist the police until two hours after the action start­ed on Wednes­day, accord­ing to The Asso­ci­at­ed Press.

    Video shows police doing noth­ing as riot­ers access the build­ing

    One video appeared to show some police offi­cers open­ing a bar­ri­er to allow a group of pro­test­ers to get clos­er to the Capi­tol dome. Anoth­er video showed a police offi­cer allow­ing a riot­er to take a self­ie with him inside the Capi­tol while pro­test­ers milled around the build­ing unchecked.

    Kim Dine, who was the chief of the Capi­tol Police from 2012 to 2016, told The Wash­ing­ton Post that he was sur­prised that the Capi­tol Police allowed demon­stra­tors on the steps of the Capi­tol. He said he was also mys­ti­fied that few riot­ers were arrest­ed on the spot.

    Lar­ry Schae­fer, who worked for the Capi­tol Police for more than 30 years, told ProP­ub­li­ca some­thing sim­i­lar: “We have a planned, known demon­stra­tion that has a propen­si­ty for vio­lence in the past and threats to car­ry weapons — why would you not pre­pare your­self as we have done in the past?”

    ...

    Sys­tem­at­ic fail­ures

    The French police offi­cial detailed mul­ti­ple laps­es they believe were sys­tem­at­ic:

    1. Large crowds of pro­test­ers need­ed to be man­aged far ear­li­er by the police, who instead con­trolled a scene at the first demon­stra­tion Trump addressed, then ignored the crowd as it streamed toward the Capi­tol.
    2. “It should have been sur­round­ed, man­aged, and direct­ed imme­di­ate­ly, and that pres­sure nev­er released.”
    3. Because the crowd was not man­aged and direct­ed, the offi­cial said, the pro­test­ers were able to con­gre­gate unim­ped­ed around the Capi­tol, where the next major fail­ure took place.
    4. “It is unthink­able there was not a strong police cor­don on the out­skirts of the com­plex. Fences and bar­ri­cades are use­less with­out strong police enforce­ment. This is when you start mak­ing arrests, tar­get­ing key peo­ple that appear vio­lent, any­one who attacks an offi­cer, any­one who breach­es the bar­ri­cade. You have to show that cross­ing the line will fail and end in arrest.”
    5. “I can­not believe the fail­ure to estab­lish a prop­er cor­don was a mis­take. These are very skilled police offi­cials, but they are fed­er­al, and that means they ulti­mate­ly report to the pres­i­dent. This needs to be inves­ti­gat­ed.”
    6. “When the crowd reached the steps of the build­ing, the sit­u­a­tion was over. The police are there to pro­tect the build­ing from ter­ror­ist attacks and crime, not a bat­tal­ion of infantry. That had to be man­aged from hun­dreds of meters away unless the police were will­ing to com­plete­ly open fire, and I can respect why they were not.”

    ‘Thank God it did­n’t work, because I can’t imag­ine how hard it would be to sanc­tion the US finan­cial sys­tem’

    The third offi­cial, who works in coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence for a NATO mem­ber, agreed that the sit­u­a­tion could only be seen as a coup attempt, no mat­ter how poor­ly con­sid­ered and like­ly to fail, and said its impli­ca­tions might be too huge to imme­di­ate­ly fath­om.

    “Thank God it did­n’t work, because I can’t imag­ine how hard it would be to sanc­tion the US finan­cial sys­tem,” the offi­cial said. By sanc­tions, he means the impo­si­tion of the diplo­mat­ic, mil­i­tary, and trade block­ages that demo­c­ra­t­ic nations usu­al­ly reserve for dic­ta­tor­ships.

    “The broad­er dam­age around the world will be exten­sive in terms of rep­u­ta­tion, and that’s why Putin does­n’t mind at all that Trump lost. He’s got to be hap­py to take his chips and count his win­nings, which from the Trump era will be a shock­ing­ly quick decline in Amer­i­can pres­tige and moral high ground.

    “Every moment the Amer­i­cans spend on their own self-inflict­ed chaos helps Chi­na, it helps Putin, and, to a less­er extent, it helps the mini-dic­ta­tors like [Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip] Erdo­gan and [Hun­gar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor] Orban, who breathe cyn­i­cism about pol­i­tics, human rights, and democ­ra­cy as their air,” the offi­cial said. “They won’t miss Trump; they’ll be glad to see his dra­ma leave so they can enjoy the poi­soned polit­i­cal cli­mate.”

    ————

    “Some among Amer­i­ca’s mil­i­tary allies believe Trump delib­er­ate­ly attempt­ed a coup and may have had help from fed­er­al law-enforce­ment offi­cials” by Mitch Prothero; Busi­ness Insid­er; 01/07/2021

    “They said the cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence avail­able point­ed to what would be open­ly called a coup attempt in any oth­er nation. None were will­ing to speak on the record because of the dire nature of the sub­ject.”

    None were will­ing to speak on the record because of the dire nature of the sub­ject. What tran­spired was so unthink­able it’s unspeak­able. And yet it hap­pened with plen­ty of warn­ings before­hand that some­thing big was in the works. That’s why the French police offi­cial is pre­dict­ing that an inves­ti­ga­tion would reveal some­one inter­fered with the deploy­ment of addi­tion­al fed­er­al law enforce­ment on the Capi­tol. A sen­ti­ment shared by none oth­er than Kim Dine, the chief of the Capi­tol Police from 2012 to 2016:

    ...
    The French police offi­cial said they believed that an inves­ti­ga­tion would find that some­one inter­fered with the deploy­ment of addi­tion­al fed­er­al law-enforce­ment offi­cials on the perime­ter of the Capi­tol com­plex; the offi­cial has direct knowl­edge of the prop­er pro­ce­dures for secu­ri­ty of the facil­i­ty.

    ...

    Kim Dine, who was the chief of the Capi­tol Police from 2012 to 2016, told The Wash­ing­ton Post that he was sur­prised that the Capi­tol Police allowed demon­stra­tors on the steps of the Capi­tol. He said he was also mys­ti­fied that few riot­ers were arrest­ed on the spot.
    ...

    And note one of the mas­sive pos­si­ble areas of fall­out for the US had Trump actu­al­ly pulled the coup off, even if only for a cou­ple of days: Once the US becomes a dic­ta­tor­ship, its finan­cial sys­tem is sub­ject to sanc­tion. Some­thing that would effec­tive crip­ple the con­tem­po­rary glob­al finan­cial sys­tem:

    ...
    The third offi­cial, who works in coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence for a NATO mem­ber, agreed that the sit­u­a­tion could only be seen as a coup attempt, no mat­ter how poor­ly con­sid­ered and like­ly to fail, and said its impli­ca­tions might be too huge to imme­di­ate­ly fath­om.

    “Thank God it did­n’t work, because I can’t imag­ine how hard it would be to sanc­tion the US finan­cial sys­tem,” the offi­cial said. By sanc­tions, he means the impo­si­tion of the diplo­mat­ic, mil­i­tary, and trade block­ages that demo­c­ra­t­ic nations usu­al­ly reserve for dic­ta­tor­ships.
    ...

    Yes, if Trump pulled this coup off, prompt­ing the sanc­tion­ing of the US finan­cial sys­tem, we real­ly could be look­ing at a mas­sive glob­al eco­nom­ic cri­sis. An eco­nom­ic cri­sis root­ed in the col­lapse of the dol­lar as a glob­al safe haven that could upend the glob­al eco­nom­ic order. Have fun try­ing to fath­om that. The longer the coup last­ed, the worse the dam­age, but even a short-lived coup could be dam­ag­ing enough to prompt a mas­sive reshuf­fling of the glob­al eco­nom­ic order as the dol­lar los­es its safe-haven sta­tus. It’s an exam­ple of the glob­al nature of threat posed by the Jan 6 coup attempt. And an exam­ple of just how much mon­ey fore­knowl­edge of events could be worth. Imag­ine what how prof­itable it could have been to groups who just hap­pened to be well posi­tioned in high­ly spec­u­la­tive bets that ben­e­fit­ed from an event that desta­bi­lized the dol­lar.

    Also keep in mind that this report is just the ini­tial response of for­eign offi­cials to the events of that day. Amer­i­ca’s allies are pre­sum­ably con­tin­u­ing to study what hap­pened as more infor­ma­tion comes out. The diplo­mat­ic fall­out is an evolv­ing sit­u­a­tion. It rais­es a ques­tion about one of the long-term con­se­quences of those events: what are Amer­i­ca’s allies going to assume about the like­ly sta­bil­i­ty of the Unit­ed States the next time a Repub­li­can wins the White House? After all, it was­n’t just a coup attempt. It was a pop­u­lar coup attempt, at least pop­u­lar with Trump’s core base which remains the core base of the Repub­li­can Par­ty. So one of Amer­i­ca’s two major par­ty’s is basi­cal­ly pro-coup at this point, some­thing gov­ern­ments around the world have no doubt noticed. So, again, how will world han­dle future Repub­li­can admin­is­tra­tions? We see, but they’re pre­sum­ably going to be putting a lot more thought into how the world might go about sud­den­ly decou­pling itself from the US finan­cial sys­tem going for­ward. A per­ma­nent threat of a finan­cial emer­gency root­ed in a bad rep­u­ta­tion. It would be a fit­ting Trumpian farewell to Amer­i­ca.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 10, 2021, 5:29 pm
  4. This next arti­cle titled “Biden delays release of JFK assas­si­na­tion files” by MATT MCNULTY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and AFP, 23 Octo­ber 2021 includes some of the fol­low­ing. Pres­i­dent Joe Biden has deter­mined that ‘an inter­im release’ of the remain­ing clas­si­fied files ‘shall be with­held from full pub­lic dis­clo­sure’ until ‘lat­er this year’ — near­ly 60 years after Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion in Dal­las, Texas in 1963. How­ev­er, a sec­ond batch of records will be released to the pub­lic in a ‘more com­pre­hen­sive release’ in a lit­tle over a year on Decem­ber 15, 2022, the memo announced. The cause was report­ed­ly due to the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic has slowed down the the review process by the Nation­al Archives to pro­tect against iden­ti­fi­able harm to the mil­i­tary defense, intel­li­gence oper­a­tions, law enforce­ment, or the con­duct of for­eign rela­tions’ which they assert “out­weighs the pub­lic inter­est in imme­di­ate dis­clo­sure.” US law requires that all gov­ern­ment records on the assas­si­na­tion be dis­closed ‘to enable the pub­lic to become ful­ly informed.’

    The obvi­ous ques­tion the read­er should ask, is what secrets are so impor­tant to with­hold from the pub­lic 57 years lat­er?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10122889/Biden-delays-release-JFK-assassination-files.html

    Posted by Mary Benton | October 31, 2021, 11:04 am
  5. These next two main stream media arti­cles show how seri­ous our sit­u­a­tion is that the US is head­ing towards fas­cism. The first arti­cle was writ­ten by Jason Stan­ley who is a phi­los­o­phy pro­fes­sor at Yale Uni­ver­si­ty. He is the author of How Fas­cism Works. It is one of the 10 best arti­cles I have read this year. It explains and links a lot of details and tac­tics that have been used by the clear­ly dom­i­nant ele­ment in the Repub­li­can Par­ty to con­vert the US to a fas­cist gov­ern­ment.

    After this is anoth­er good arti­cle from NPR on Decem­ber 23 by cor­re­spon­dent Melis­sa Block which explains the tac­tic of how the Repub­li­cans used the “Big Lie” about vot­er fraud in the 2020 elec­tion to place restric­tions on vot­ing rights to destroy the democ­ra­cy.

    As an aside and not men­tioned in either arti­cle, the Anti Vaxxer Move­ment could be inter­pret­ed as sup­port­ing a Nazi’s “Mas­ter Race” the­o­ry where only the fittest sur­vive.

    FIRST ARTICLE:
    The Guardian UK, Decem­ber, 22, 2021, Amer­i­ca is now in fascism’s legal phase by Jason Stan­ley:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/22/america-fascism-legal-phase?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    Amer­i­ca is now in fascism’s legal phase | The far right | The Guardian

    “Let us be remind­ed that before there is a final solu­tion, there must be a first solu­tion, a sec­ond one, even a third. The move toward a final solu­tion is not a jump. It takes one step, then anoth­er, then anoth­er.”

    So began Toni Morrison’s 1995 address to Howard Uni­ver­si­ty, enti­tled Racism and Fas­cism, which delin­eat­ed 10 step-by-step pro­ce­dures to car­ry a soci­ety from first to last.

    Morrison’s inter­est was not in fas­cist dem­a­gogues or fas­cist regimes. It was rather in “forces inter­est­ed in fas­cist solu­tions to nation­al prob­lems”. The pro­ce­dures she described were meth­ods to nor­mal­ize such solu­tions, to “con­struct an inter­nal ene­my”, iso­late, demo­nize and crim­i­nal­ize it and sym­pa­thiz­ers to its ide­ol­o­gy and their allies, and, using the media, pro­vide the illu­sion of pow­er and influ­ence to one’s sup­port­ers.

    Mor­ri­son saw, in the his­to­ry of US racism, fas­cist prac­tices – ones that could enable a fas­cist social and polit­i­cal move­ment in the Unit­ed States.

    Writ­ing in the era of the “super-preda­tor” myth (a Newsweek head­line the next year read, “Super­preda­tors: Should we cage the new breed of vicious kids?”), Mor­ri­son unflinch­ing­ly read fas­cism into the prac­tices of US racism. Twen­ty-five years lat­er, those “forces inter­est­ed in fas­cist solu­tions to nation­al prob­lems” are clos­er than ever to win­ning a mul­ti-decade nation­al fight.

    The con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can fas­cist move­ment is led by oli­garchi­cal inter­ests for whom the pub­lic good is an imped­i­ment, such as those in the hydro­car­bon busi­ness, as well as a social, polit­i­cal, and reli­gious move­ment with roots in the Con­fed­er­a­cy. As in all fas­cist move­ments, these forces have found a pop­u­lar leader uncon­strained by the rules of democ­ra­cy, this time in the fig­ure of Don­ald Trump.

    My father, raised in Berlin under the Nazis, saw in Euro­pean fas­cism a course that any coun­try could take. He knew that US democ­ra­cy was not excep­tion­al in its capac­i­ty to resist the forces that shat­tered his fam­i­ly and dev­as­tat­ed his youth. My moth­er, a court stenog­ra­ph­er in US crim­i­nal courts for 44 years, saw in the anti-Black racism of the Amer­i­can legal sys­tem par­al­lels to the vicious anti­semitism she expe­ri­enced in her youth in Poland, atti­tudes which enabled east­ern Euro­pean com­plic­i­ty with fas­cism. And my grand­moth­er, Ilse Stan­ley, wrote a mem­oir, pub­lished in 1957, of her expe­ri­ences in 1930s Berlin, lat­er appear­ing on the US tele­vi­sion show This is Your Life to dis­cuss it. It is a mem­oir of the nor­mal­iza­tion years of Ger­man fas­cism, well before world war and geno­cide. In it, she recounts expe­ri­ences with Nazi offi­cers who assured her that in nazism’s vil­i­fi­ca­tion of Jews, they cer­tain­ly did not mean her.

    Philoso­phers have always been at the fore­front in the analy­sis of fas­cist ide­ol­o­gy and move­ments. In keep­ing with a tra­di­tion that includes the philoso­phers Han­nah Arendt and Theodor Adorno, I have been writ­ing for a decade on the way politi­cians and move­ment lead­ers employ pro­pa­gan­da, cen­tral­ly includ­ing fas­cist pro­pa­gan­da, to win elec­tions and gain pow­er.

    Often, those who employ fas­cist tac­tics do so cyn­i­cal­ly – they do not real­ly believe the ene­mies they tar­get are so malign, or so pow­er­ful, as their rhetoric sug­gests. Nev­er­the­less, there comes a tip­ping point, where rhetoric becomes pol­i­cy. Don­ald Trump and the par­ty that is now in thrall to him have long been exploit­ing fas­cist pro­pa­gan­da. They are now inscrib­ing it into fas­cist pol­i­cy.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: Fas­cist forces have found a pop­u­lar leader, uncon­strained by the rules of democ­ra­cy, in the fig­ure of Don­ald Trump. Pho­to­graph: Car­ol Guzy/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

    Fas­cist pro­pa­gan­da takes place in the US in already fer­tile ground – decades of racial strife has led to the Unit­ed States hav­ing by far the high­est incar­cer­a­tion rate in the world. A police mil­i­ta­rized to address the wounds of racial inequities by vio­lence, and a recent his­to­ry of unsuc­cess­ful impe­r­i­al wars have made us sus­cep­ti­ble to a nar­ra­tive of nation­al humil­i­a­tion by ene­mies both inter­nal and exter­nal. As WEB Du Bois showed in his 1935 mas­ter­work Black Recon­struc­tion, there is a long his­to­ry of busi­ness elites back­ing racism and fas­cism out of self-inter­est, to divide the work­ing class and there­by destroy the labor move­ment.

    The nov­el devel­op­ment is that a ruth­less would-be auto­crat has mar­shalled these fas­cist forces and shaped them into a cult, with him as its leader. We are now well into the reper­cus­sions of this lat­ter process – where fas­cist lies, for exam­ple, the “big lie” that the 2020 elec­tion was stolen, have begun to restruc­ture insti­tu­tions, notably elec­toral infra­struc­ture and law. As this process unfolds, slow­ly and delib­er­ate­ly, the media’s nor­mal­iza­tion of these process­es evokes Morrison’s tenth and final step: “Main­tain, at all costs, silence.”

    Con­struct­ing an ene­my
    To under­stand con­tem­po­rary US fas­cism, it is use­ful to con­sid­er par­al­lels to 20th cen­tu­ry his­to­ry, both where they suc­ceed and where they fail.

    Hitler was a geno­ci­dal anti­semite. Though fas­cism involves dis­re­gard for human life, not all fas­cists are geno­ci­dal. Even Nazi Ger­many turned to geno­cide only rel­a­tive­ly late in the regime’s rule. And not all fas­cists are anti­se­mit­ic. There were Ital­ian Jew­ish fas­cists. Refer­ring to the suc­cess­ful assim­i­la­tion of Jews into all phas­es of Weimar era Ger­man life, my father warned me, “if they had cho­sen some­one else, some of us would have been among the very best Nazis.” We Amer­i­can Jews feel firm­ly at home. Now, where the fas­cist movement’s inter­nal ene­mies are left­ists and move­ments for Black racial equal­i­ty, there cer­tain­ly could be fas­cist Amer­i­can Jews.

    Germany’s Nation­al Social­ist par­ty did not take over a main­stream par­ty. It start­ed as a small, rad­i­cal, far-right anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty, which faced dif­fer­ent pres­sures as it strove to achieve greater elec­toral suc­cess.

    Despite its rad­i­cal start, the Nazi par­ty dra­mat­i­cal­ly increased its pop­u­lar­i­ty over many years in part by strate­gi­cal­ly mask­ing its explic­it anti­se­mit­ic agen­da to attract mod­er­ate vot­ers, who could con­vince them­selves that the racism at the core of Nazi ide­ol­o­gy was some­thing the par­ty had out­grown. It rep­re­sent­ed itself as the anti­dote to com­mu­nism, using a his­to­ry of polit­i­cal vio­lence in the Weimar Repub­lic, includ­ing street clash­es between com­mu­nists and the far right, to warn of a threat of vio­lent com­mu­nist rev­o­lu­tion. It attract­ed sup­port from busi­ness elites by promis­ing to smash labor unions. The Nazis por­trayed social­ists, Marx­ists, lib­er­als, labor unions, the cul­tur­al world and the media as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of, or sym­pa­thiz­ers with, this rev­o­lu­tion. Once in pow­er, they bore down on this mes­sage.

    In his 1935 speech, Com­mu­nism with its Mask Off, Nazi pro­pa­gan­da min­is­ter Joseph Goebbels described Bol­she­vism car­ry­ing “on a cam­paign, direct­ed by the Jews, with the inter­na­tion­al under­world, against cul­ture as such”. By con­trast, “Nation­al Social­ism sees in all these things – in [pri­vate] prop­er­ty, in per­son­al val­ues and in nation and race and the prin­ci­ples of ide­al­ism – these forces which car­ry on every human civ­i­liza­tion and fun­da­men­tal­ly deter­mine its worth.”

    The Nazis rec­og­nized that the lan­guage of fam­i­ly, faith, moral­i­ty and home­land could be used to jus­ti­fy espe­cial­ly bru­tal vio­lence against an ene­my rep­re­sent­ed as being opposed to all these things. The cen­tral mes­sage of Nazi pol­i­tics was to demo­nize a set of con­struct­ed ene­mies, an unholy alliance of com­mu­nists and Jews, and ulti­mate­ly to jus­ti­fy their crim­i­nal­iza­tion.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: Trump sup­port­ers con­struct­ed a gal­lows near the Capi­tol in the hours before the 6 Jan­u­ary riot. Pho­to­graph: Andrew Caballero-Reynold­s/AF­P/Get­ty Images

    Con­trary to pop­u­lar belief, the Nazi gov­ern­ment of the 1930s was not geno­ci­dal, nor were its noto­ri­ous con­cen­tra­tion camps packed with Jew­ish pris­on­ers, at least until the Novem­ber pogrom of 1938. The main tar­gets of the regime’s con­cen­tra­tion camps were, ini­tial­ly, com­mu­nists and social­ists. The Nazi regime urged vig­i­lante vio­lence against its oth­er tar­gets, such as Jews, sep­a­rat­ing them­selves from this vio­lence by obscur­ing the role of agents of the state. Dur­ing this time, it was pos­si­ble for many non-Jew­ish Ger­mans to deceive them­selves about the bru­tal nature of the regime, to tell them­selves that its harsh means were nec­es­sary to pro­tect the Ger­man nation from the insid­i­ous threat of com­mu­nism.

    Vio­lent mili­tias occu­pied an ambigu­ous role between state and non-state actors. The SS began as vio­lent Nazi sup­port­ers, before becom­ing an inde­pen­dent arm of the gov­ern­ment. The mes­sage of vio­lent law and order cre­at­ed a cul­ture that influ­enced all the Nazi state’s insti­tu­tions. As Yale his­to­ri­an Tim­o­thy Sny­der writes in On Tyran­ny, “for vio­lence to trans­form not just the atmos­phere but also the sys­tem, the emo­tions of ral­lies and the ide­ol­o­gy of exclu­sion have to be incor­po­rat­ed into the train­ing of armed guards.”

    In the US, the train­ing of police as “war­riors”, togeth­er with the unof­fi­cial replace­ment of the Amer­i­can flag by the thin blue line flag, augur poor­ly about the demo­c­ra­t­ic com­mit­ments of this insti­tu­tion.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: A thin blue line car­ried at a Blue Lives Mat­ter ral­ly in Kenosha, Wis­con­sin, 30 August 2020. Pho­to­graph: Mor­ry Gash/AP

    For a far-right par­ty to become viable in a democ­ra­cy, it must present a face it can defend as mod­er­ate, and cul­ti­vate an ambigu­ous rela­tion­ship to the extreme views and state­ments of its most explic­it mem­bers. It must main­tain a pre­tense of the rule of law, char­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly by pro­ject­ing its own vio­la­tions of it on to its oppo­nents.

    In the case of the takeover of the main­stream rightwing par­ty by a far-right anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic move­ment, the pre­tense must be stronger. The move­ment must con­tend with mem­bers of that par­ty who are faith­ful to pro­ce­dur­al ele­ments of democ­ra­cy, such as the prin­ci­ple of one vot­er one vote, or that the los­er of a fair elec­tion give up pow­er – in the Unit­ed States today, fig­ures such as Adam Kinzinger and Eliz­a­beth Cheney. A fas­cist social and polit­i­cal par­ty faces pres­sure both to mask its con­nec­tion to and to cul­ti­vate vio­lent racist sup­port­ers, as well as its inher­ent­ly anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic agen­da.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: Armed mem­bers of the New Eng­land Min­ute­men mili­tia group at an anti-mask and anti-vac­cine ‘world wide ral­ly for free­dom’ in Con­cord, New Hamp­shire, 15 May 2021. Pho­to­graph: Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images

    In the face of the attack on the US cap­i­tal on 6 Jan­u­ary, even the most res­olute skep­tic must admit that Repub­li­can politi­cians have been at least attempt­ing to cul­ti­vate a mass of vio­lent vig­i­lantes to sup­port their caus­es. Kyle Rit­ten­house is becom­ing a hero to Repub­li­cans after show­ing up in Kenosha, WI as an armed vig­i­lante cit­i­zen, and killing two men. Per­haps there are not enough poten­tial Kyle Rit­ten­hous­es in the US to jus­ti­fy fear of mas­sive armed vig­i­lante mili­tias enforc­ing a 2024 elec­tion result demand­ed by Don­ald Trump. But deny­ing that Trump’s par­ty is try­ing to cre­ate such a move­ment is, at this point, delib­er­ate decep­tion.

    Black rebel­lion, white back­lash
    Street vio­lence proved invalu­able to the Nation­al Social­ists in their path to pow­er. The Nazis insti­gat­ed and exac­er­bat­ed vio­lence in the streets, then demo­nized their oppo­nents as ene­mies of the Ger­man peo­ple who must be dealt with harsh­ly. Trump’s rise fol­lowed Black protest, at times vio­lent, of police bru­tal­i­ty in Fer­gu­son and Bal­ti­more. More recent­ly, the mur­der of George Floyd and a his­toric protest move­ment in the US in the late spring has giv­en fuel to fas­cist mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

    All of these recent devel­op­ments take place as only the lat­est in a long US his­to­ry of Black rebel­lion against white suprema­cist ide­ol­o­gy and struc­tures, and a par­al­lel his­to­ry of white back­lash.

    White vig­i­lante groups reg­u­lar­ly formed in reac­tion to Black rebel­lions, to “defend their fam­i­lies and prop­er­ty against Black rebel­lion”, the his­to­ri­an Eliz­a­beth Hin­ton writes in her recent his­to­ry of these rebel­lions. Hin­ton shows that police often act­ed in con­cert with these groups. For decades, the insti­ga­tor of these rebel­lions has typ­i­cal­ly been an inci­dent or inci­dents of police vio­lence against mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty, fol­low­ing a long peri­od of often vio­lent over-polic­ing that exac­er­bat­ed these com­mu­ni­ties’ griev­ances.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: Armed police forced peo­ple to lie face down in the street dur­ing the Watts riots, Los Ange­les, in August 1965. Pho­to­graph: Hul­ton Archive/Getty Images

    Street move­ments in the US have often been accom­pa­nied by vig­or­ous cam­pus protests, from the protests against the Viet­nam war of the 1960s, to recent cam­pus protests for racial jus­tice that attract­ed media rebuke (para­dox­i­cal­ly, for “chill­ing free speech”). Politi­cians in both par­ties have feast­ed on these moments, using them to troll for votes. Dur­ing these episodes of protest and rebel­lion, US politi­cians from Bar­ry Gold­wa­ter onwards, plac­ing cam­pus protests togeth­er with Black rebel­lion against over-polic­ing, have encour­aged harsh law and order polic­ing and crack­downs on left­ists. John Ehrlich­man, one of Nixon’s top advis­ers, said that Nixon’s cam­paign and admin­is­tra­tion “had two ene­mies: the anti-war left and Black peo­ple”, and invent­ed the drug war to tar­get both:
    You under­stand what I’m say­ing? We knew we couldn’t make it ille­gal to be either against the war or black, but by get­ting the pub­lic to asso­ciate the hip­pies with mar­i­jua­na and blacks with hero­in. And then crim­i­nal­iz­ing both heav­i­ly, we could dis­rupt those com­mu­ni­ties. We could arrest their lead­ers, raid their homes, break up their meet­ings, and vil­i­fy them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

    Politi­cians have shown less inter­est in address­ing the under­ly­ing con­di­tions that lead to vio­lence in poor Black urban com­mu­ni­ties – the wide­spread avail­abil­i­ty of guns, the mas­sive and per­sis­tent racial wealth gap and the effects of vio­lent polic­ing and mass incar­cer­a­tion. And why should they? As long as these under­ly­ing con­di­tions per­sist, politi­cians of either par­ty can run for office by milk­ing fear and promis­ing a harsh law and order response. Morrison’s 1995 address is a warn­ing that these con­di­tions are ripe for har­ness­ing by a fas­cist move­ment, one tar­get­ing democ­ra­cy itself.
    In its most recent iter­a­tion, in the form of the reac­tion against Black Lives Mat­ter pro­test­ers and the demo­niza­tion of antifa and stu­dent activists, a fas­cist social and polit­i­cal move­ment has been avid­ly stok­ing the flames for mass rightwing polit­i­cal vio­lence, by jus­ti­fy­ing it against these sup­posed inter­nal ene­mies.

    Rachel Kle­in­field, in an Octo­ber 2021 arti­cle, doc­u­ments the rise of the legit­i­ma­tion of polit­i­cal vio­lence in the US. Accord­ing to the arti­cle, the “bedrock idea unit­ing right-wing com­mu­ni­ties who con­done vio­lence is that white Chris­t­ian men in the Unit­ed States are under cul­tur­al and demo­graph­ic threat and require defend­ing – and that it is the Repub­li­can Par­ty and Don­ald Trump, in par­tic­u­lar, who will safe­guard their way of life.”

    This kind of jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of polit­i­cal vio­lence is clas­si­cal­ly fas­cist – a dom­i­nant group threat­ened by the prospect of gen­der, racial and reli­gious equal­i­ty turn­ing to a leader who promis­es a vio­lent response.

    How to top­ple a democ­ra­cy
    We are now in fascism’s legal phase. Accord­ing to the Inter­na­tion­al Cen­ter for Not for Prof­it Law, 45 states have con­sid­ered 230 bills crim­i­nal­iz­ing protest, with the threat of vio­lent left­ist and Black rebel­lion being used to jus­ti­fy them. That this is hap­pen­ing at the same time that mul­ti­ple elec­toral bills enabling a Repub­li­can state leg­is­la­ture major­i­ty to over­turn their state’s elec­tion have been enact­ed sug­gests that the true aim of bills crim­i­nal­iz­ing protest is to have a response in place to expect­ed protests against the steal­ing of a future elec­tion (as a reminder of fascism’s his­tor­i­cal con­nec­tion to big busi­ness, some of these laws crim­i­nal­ize protest near gas and oil lines).

    The Nazis used Judeo-Bol­she­vism as their con­struct­ed ene­my. The fas­cist move­ment in the Repub­li­can par­ty has turned to crit­i­cal race the­o­ry instead. Fas­cism feeds off a nar­ra­tive of sup­posed nation­al humil­i­a­tion by inter­nal ene­mies. Defend­ing a fic­tion­al glo­ri­ous and vir­tu­ous nation­al past, and pre­sent­ing its ene­mies as devi­ous­ly malign­ing the nation to its chil­dren, is a clas­sic fas­cist strat­e­gy to stoke fury and resent­ment. Using the bogey­man of crit­i­cal race the­o­ry, 29 states have intro­duced bills to restrict teach­ing about racism and sex­ism in schools, and 13 states have enact­ed such bans.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: Oppo­nents of crit­i­cal race the­o­ry protest out­side the Loudoun coun­ty school board offices, in Ash­burn, Vir­ginia, 22 June 2021. Pho­to­graph: Eve­lyn Hockstein/Reuters

    The key to democ­ra­cy is an informed elec­torate. An elec­torate that knows about per­sist­ing racial injus­tice in the Unit­ed States along all its dimen­sions, from the racial wealth gap to the effects of over-polic­ing and over-incar­cer­a­tion, will be unsur­prised by mass polit­i­cal rebel­lion in the face of per­sis­tent refusal to face up to these prob­lems. An elec­torate igno­rant of these facts will react not with under­stand­ing, but with uncom­pre­hend­ing fear and hor­ror at Black polit­i­cal unrest.

    Some­times, you trace a fas­cist move­ment to its gen­e­sis in Nazi influ­ence on its lead­ers, as with India’s RSS. In the Unit­ed States, the causal rela­tions run the oth­er way around. As James Whit­man shows in his 2017 book, Hitler’s Amer­i­can Mod­el: The Unit­ed States and the Mak­ing of Nazi Race Law, the Jim Crow era in the Unit­ed States influ­enced Nazi law. In 2021, leg­is­la­tors in 19 states passed laws mak­ing access to the bal­lot more dif­fi­cult, some with spe­cif­ic (and clear­ly inten­tion­al) dis­parate impact on minor­i­ty com­mu­ni­ties (as in Texas). By obscur­ing in our edu­ca­tion sys­tem facts about this era, one can mask the reemer­gence of leg­is­la­tion that bor­rows from its strate­gies.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: Trump sup­port­ers out­side the Penn­syl­va­nia con­ven­tion cen­ter, where bal­lots were being count­ed, 6 Novem­ber 2020. Pho­to­graph: Bryan R Smith/AFP/Getty Images

    Indeed, the very tac­tic of restrict­ing polit­i­cal­ly vital infor­ma­tion to school­child­ren is itself bor­rowed from the Jim Crow era. Chap­ter 9 of Carter G Woodson’s 1933 book, The Mis-Edu­ca­tion of the Negro, is called Polit­i­cal Edu­ca­tion Neglect­ed. In it, Wood­son describes how his­to­ry was taught “to enslave the Negroes’ mind”, by white­wash­ing the bru­tal­i­ty of slav­ery and the actu­al roots and caus­es of racial dis­par­i­ties. In Fugi­tive Ped­a­gogy: Carter G Wood­son and the Art of Black Teach­ing, Jarvis Givens doc­u­ments the strate­gies Black edu­ca­tors used to con­vey real his­to­ry in the con­strict­ed envi­ron­ments of Jim Crow schools, strate­gies that, trag­i­cal­ly, will again become nec­es­sary for edu­ca­tors to take up again today.

    Fas­cist ide­ol­o­gy strict­ly enforces gen­der roles and restricts the free­dom of women. For fas­cists, it is part of their com­mit­ment to a sup­posed “nat­ur­al order” where men are on top. It is also inte­gral to the broad­er fas­cist strat­e­gy of win­ning over social con­ser­v­a­tives who might oth­er­wise be unhap­py with the endem­ic cor­rup­tion of fas­cist rule. Far-right author­i­tar­i­an lead­ers across the world, such as Brazil’s Jair Bol­sonaro, Hungary’s Vik­tor Orbán, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, have tar­get­ed “gen­der ide­ol­o­gy”, as nazism tar­get­ed fem­i­nism. Free­dom to choose one’s role in soci­ety, when it goes against a sup­posed “nat­ur­al order”, is a kind of free­dom fas­cism has always opposed.

    Accord­ing to Nation­al Social­ist ide­ol­o­gy, abor­tion, at any point in preg­nan­cy, was con­sid­ered to be mur­der. Just as it was accept­able to mur­der dis­abled peo­ple and oth­er groups whose iden­ti­ties were con­sid­ered dan­ger­ous to the health of the “Aryan race”, it was accept­able to per­form abor­tions on mem­bers of these groups. In the first six years of Nazi rule, from 1933 to 1939, there was a harsh crack­down on the birth con­trol move­ment. Led by the Gestapo, there was a puni­tive cam­paign against doc­tors who per­formed abor­tions on Aryan women. The recent attack on abor­tion rights, and the com­ing attack on birth con­trol, led by a hard-right supreme court, is con­sis­tent with the hypoth­e­sis that we are, in the Unit­ed States, fac­ing a real pos­si­bil­i­ty of a fas­cist future.

    If you want to top­ple a democ­ra­cy, you take over the courts. Don­ald Trump lost the pop­u­lar vote to Hillary Clin­ton in 2016 by almost 3m votes, and yet has appoint­ed one-third of supreme court, three youth­ful far-right judges who will be spend­ing decades there. The Roberts court has for more than a decade con­sis­tent­ly enabled an attack on democ­ra­cy, by hol­low­ing out the Vot­ing Rights Act over time, unleash­ing unlim­it­ed cor­po­rate mon­ey into elec­tions, and allow­ing clear­ly par­ti­san ger­ry­man­ders of elec­tions. There is every rea­son to believe that the court will allow even the sem­blance of democ­ra­cy to crum­ble, as long as laws are passed by ger­ry­man­dered Repub­li­can state­hous­es that make anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic prac­tices, includ­ing steal­ing elec­tions, legal.

    There has been a grow­ing fas­cist social and polit­i­cal move­ment in the Unit­ed States for decades. Like oth­er fas­cist move­ments, it is rid­dled with inter­nal con­tra­dic­tions, but no less of a threat to democ­ra­cy. Don­ald Trump is an aspir­ing auto­crat out sole­ly for his own pow­er and mate­r­i­al gain. By giv­ing this move­ment a clas­si­cal­ly author­i­tar­i­an leader, Trump shaped and exac­er­bat­ed it, and his time in pol­i­tics has nor­mal­ized it.

    Don­ald Trump has shown oth­ers what is pos­si­ble. But the fas­cist move­ment he now leads pre­ced­ed him, and will out­live him. As Toni Mor­ri­son warned, it feeds off ide­olo­gies with deep roots in Amer­i­can his­to­ry. It would be a grave error to think it can­not ulti­mate­ly win.

    SECOND ARTICLE:
    NPR, Decem­ber 23, 2021, The clear and present dan­ger of Trump’s endur­ing ‘Big Lie’, by Melis­sa Block:
    https://www.npr.org/2021/12/23/1065277246/trump-big-lie-jan-6-election

    The clear and present dan­ger of Trump’s endur­ing ‘Big Lie’
    Melis­sa Block

    Pro-Trump riot­ers storm the U.S. Capi­tol fol­low­ing a ral­ly with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Jan. 6. His sup­port­ers gath­ered in the nation’s cap­i­tal to protest the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of Joe Biden’s Elec­toral Col­lege vic­to­ry. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

    It’s been near­ly a year since the Unit­ed States suf­fered an unprece­dent­ed attack on con­sti­tu­tion­al democ­ra­cy.

    When a vio­lent mob stormed the U.S. Capi­tol on Jan. 6, the goal was to over­turn the results of the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and install Don­ald Trump to a sec­ond term.

    Call it an insur­rec­tion or a coup attempt, it was fueled by what’s known as the “Big Lie”: the ver­i­fi­ably false asser­tion that Trump won. Joe Biden won 306 votes in the Elec­toral Col­lege, while Trump received 232. In the pop­u­lar vote, Biden won by more than 7 mil­lion votes.

    Many are warn­ing that over the past year, that “big lie” of a stolen elec­tion has grown more entrenched and more dan­ger­ous.

    “I’ve nev­er been more scared about Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy than I am right now, because of the metas­ta­siz­ing of the ‘big lie,’ ” says elec­tion law expert Rick Hasen, co-direc­tor of the Fair Elec­tions and Free Speech Cen­ter at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Irvine.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: A riot­er iden­ti­fied in court doc­u­ments as Josi­ah Colt of Merid­i­an, Ida­ho, jumps from the pub­lic gallery to the floor of the Sen­ate cham­ber on Jan. 6. Colt has plead­ed guilty to one felony count. Win McNamee/Getty Images

    “This is not the kind of thing I expect­ed to ever wor­ry about in the Unit­ed States,” Hasen says. “I kind of feel like a cli­mate sci­en­tist from five years ago or [an] expert on virus­es a cou­ple of years ago, sound­ing the alarm and just hop­ing that we’re not too late already.”

    A “big lie” with roots in his­to­ry
    In ral­lies across the coun­try, Trump con­tin­ues to ham­mer on the fic­tion that the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion was stolen from him.

    Speak­ing at a ral­ly in Geor­gia in Sep­tem­ber, Trump trum­pet­ed his famil­iar, base­less claim that the elec­tion was “cor­rupt” and “rigged.”

    “I have no doubt that we won, and we won big,” Trump said. “The head­lines claim­ing that Biden won are fake news — and a very big lie.”

    A cou­ple of weeks lat­er, he repeat­ed the fic­tion at a ral­ly in Iowa. “We did­n’t lose,” he insist­ed to a crowd that reward­ed him with chants of “Trump won!”

    By invert­ing the nar­ra­tive, attempt­ing to slough off the “big lie” and pin it instead on his oppo­nents, Trump exploit­ed an age-old tac­tic, says Yale Uni­ver­si­ty his­to­ry pro­fes­sor Tim­o­thy Sny­der.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: For­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump repeat­ed his lies about a “total­ly cor­rupt” elec­tion at a ral­ly at the Iowa State Fair­grounds on Oct. 9. “We did­n’t lose,” he told the crowd, which reward­ed him with chants of “Trump won!” Scott Olson/Getty Images

    “Part of the char­ac­ter of the ‘big lie’ is that it turns the pow­er­ful per­son into the vic­tim,” he says. “And then that allows the pow­er­ful per­son to actu­al­ly exact revenge, like it’s a promise for the future.”

    Sny­der, author of the books The Road to Unfree­dom and On Tyran­ny, has spent years study­ing the ways tyrants skew­er truth. Sny­der points to Hitler’s orig­i­nal def­i­n­i­tion of the “big lie” in his man­i­festo, Mein Kampf and the ways he used it to blame Jews for all of Ger­many’s woes.

    “The lie is so big that it reorders the world,” Sny­der says. “And so part of telling the big lie is that you imme­di­ate­ly say it’s the oth­er side that tells the big lie. Sad­ly, but it’s just a mat­ter of record, all of that is in Mein Kampf.”

    A lie that’s become embed­ded in pub­lic opin­ion
    Over the past year, Trump’s lie that elec­tion fraud cost him the White House has become firm­ly anchored in pub­lic opin­ion.

    Accord­ing to a CNN poll con­duct­ed this sum­mer, ful­ly 36% of Amer­i­cans do not believe that Pres­i­dent Biden legit­i­mate­ly won the elec­tion. Among Repub­li­cans, that num­ber leaps to 78%.

    In an NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll con­duct­ed in Octo­ber, just 34% of Repub­li­cans say they trust that elec­tions are fair, while 75% of Repub­li­cans say Trump has a legit­i­mate claim that there were “real cas­es of fraud that changed the results.” Just 2% of Democ­rats agreed with that state­ment.

    What’s more, says Tim­o­thy Sny­der, “the ‘big lie’ is not just in peo­ple’s minds. It’s also now in the law books.”

    Sny­der points to the raft of new laws passed in Repub­li­can-led states that restrict vot­ing. Over the past year, at least 19 states have passed laws lim­it­ing bal­lot access.

    Pho­to Cap­tion: Thou­sands came to Wash­ing­ton for the March On For Vot­ing Rights on Aug. 28. Mar­tin Luther King III, the Rev. Al Sharp­ton and Texas Rep. Sheila Jack­son Lee are among those pic­tured. Tyrone Turn­er for NPR

    In addi­tion, Trump loy­al­ists in bat­tle­ground states are run­ning for pow­er­ful offices that con­trol elec­tions. These are can­di­dates who are endorsed by Trump, because they’ve embraced his lie that he won the 2020 elec­tion.
    And some Repub­li­can-con­trolled state leg­is­la­tures have moved to seize pow­er over elec­tions, open­ing a path where they could over­rule vot­ers and sub­sti­tute their own slate of elec­tors to choose the win­ner.

    All of it, Sny­der says, is a direct out­come of Trump’s “big lie” and is deeply trou­bling for the future.

    “All of those things set us up for a sce­nario where the can­di­date who los­es by every mea­sure, not just by the pop­u­lar vote, but by the Elec­toral Col­lege, the can­di­date who los­es by every mea­sure will nev­er­the­less be installed as pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States,” Sny­der says. “I think that is prob­a­bly the most like­ly sce­nario in 2024 as things stand now.”

    That sce­nario needs to be con­front­ed imme­di­ate­ly, Sny­der says: “It’s right in front of our eyes. The most inter­est­ing and the most dis­tress­ing thing about Amer­i­can news cov­er­age right now is that we don’t treat the end of democ­ra­cy in Amer­i­ca as the sto­ry. That is the sto­ry.”

    We delude our­selves, Sny­der says, if we think we’re immune from an anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic turn. “We imag­ine that there’s some­how this immov­able Amer­i­can demo­c­ra­t­ic back­ground, which does­n’t real­ly exist,” he says. “We can lose democ­ra­cy just like any­body else can, just like most peo­ple have in the his­to­ry of democ­ra­cy. We can lose it, and we’re los­ing it right now.”

    “The fierce urgency of now”
    As of yet, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic-led Con­gress has been unable to pass leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect vot­ing rights, a fact that Car­ol Ander­son, pro­fes­sor of African-Amer­i­can Stud­ies at Emory Uni­ver­si­ty, finds appalling.

    She argues that pass­ing vot­ing rights laws would “short-cir­cuit the dam­age that the ‘big lie’ is doing and will do.”

    Ander­son sees “a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty that does not under­stand that Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy is hang­ing by a thread, and does not grap­ple with the fierce urgency of now.”

    We have been, in her words, “bap­tized in Amer­i­can excep­tion­al­ism” — the naive belief that the demise of democ­ra­cy can’t hap­pen here.

    “Even after you have had the insur­rec­tion,” Ander­son says, “even after you have had these leg­is­la­tures write these laws fig­ur­ing out not only how to stop Black peo­ple, brown peo­ple, indige­nous peo­ple from vot­ing, but also how to low­er the guardrails of democ­ra­cy that pre­vent­ed Trump from being able to over­turn the results in these states; so even after see­ing this, to not move and do what needs to be done to pro­tect this nation?” Ander­son sighs. “It’s uncon­scionable.”

    Pho­to Cap­tion: Guests arrive for a ral­ly with for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at the Iowa State Fair­grounds. Like Trump, his fans con­tin­ue to per­pet­u­ate the “big lie.” Scott Olson/Getty Images

    For Ander­son, author of the books White Rage and One Per­son, No Vote: How Vot­er Sup­pres­sion Is Destroy­ing Our Democ­ra­cy, Trump’s lie about the elec­tion sprouts from the same twist­ed roots as his birtherism lie, which is the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry Trump ped­dled, false­ly claim­ing that Barack Oba­ma was born out­side the U.S. and there­fore inel­i­gi­ble to serve as pres­i­dent.

    Link­ing both, she says, is a clear racist through­line.

    “Foun­da­tion­al to that is the deval­u­a­tion and the dis­miss­ing of Amer­i­can cit­i­zen­ship for Black peo­ple,” Ander­son says. “This is about, ‘My nation is about the real Amer­i­cans. And all of those folks aren’t real Amer­i­cans.’ It is so vile. It is so racist. And it works. That’s the thing, it works.”

    After all, Ander­son says, if you repeat the lie enough times, it starts to sound like the truth.

    A failed coup is prac­tice for a suc­cess­ful one
    In Con­gress, the House Select Com­mit­tee to Inves­ti­gate the Jan­u­ary 6th Attack on the Unit­ed States Capi­tol has inter­viewed hun­dreds of wit­ness­es to estab­lish the truth of what hap­pened that day.

    Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R‑Ill., is one of just two Repub­li­cans on the com­mit­tee. An out­spo­ken Trump crit­ic, he has announced he won’t run for reelec­tion.

    Kinzinger com­pares con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries to a can­cer eat­ing away at the Repub­li­can Par­ty, and feed­ing that can­cer, he says, is the “big lie.”

    “The thing that’s most con­cern­ing is that it has endured in the face of all evi­dence,” he says. “And I’ve got­ten to won­der if there is actu­al­ly any evi­dence that would ever change cer­tain peo­ple’s minds.”

    Beyond his com­mit­tee’s mis­sion of uncov­er­ing what hap­pened on Jan. 6 itself, Kinzinger has broad­er ques­tions.

    “More impor­tant­ly in my mind, what is the rot in the sys­tem that led up to Jan. 6? And where have we come since? And how do we stop any­thing like this from hap­pen­ing again?” he asks. ” ‘Cause even though Jan. 6 tech­ni­cal­ly failed, there’s a lot of areas where you can learn from, if your goal is to over­throw a legit­i­mate elec­tion and poten­tial­ly do it suc­cess­ful­ly next time.”

    And that is pre­cise­ly the les­son from his­to­ry, says Yale pro­fes­sor Tim­o­thy Sny­der.

    “It was­n’t enough, but next time, it could well be enough. And the fact that it’s been rehearsed makes me wor­ry,” he says. “This is what his­to­ri­ans and polit­i­cal sci­en­tists who study coups d’e­tat say. They say a failed coup is prac­tice for a suc­cess­ful one.”

    Pho­to Cap­tion: Vir­ginia Nation­al Guard sol­diers march across the east side of the U.S. Capi­tol on their way to their guard posts on Jan. 16. After the riots at the U.S. Capi­tol Build­ing, the FBI warned of addi­tion­al threats in the nation’s cap­i­tal and in all 50 states. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

    What we’re poten­tial­ly look­ing at, Sny­der warns, is noth­ing less than the end of the demo­c­ra­t­ic Unit­ed States as we’ve come to know it.

    “That’s just the real­i­ty,” he says. “And in order to pre­vent things from being fright­en­ing, you have to look right at them and say, ‘OK, that’s the mon­ster. How can I dis­as­sem­ble it? How can I take it to pieces? How can I make sure that that sto­ry isn’t our only sto­ry?’ But it will be unless we tell it to our­selves straight.”

    We have to con­front that real­i­ty, Sny­der says, if we are to find the courage and con­vic­tion to do some­thing about it.

    Posted by Mary Benton | December 24, 2021, 9:46 am

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