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民彩网官网/The State of the Union

Cotton’s Appalling Militarism

The same fanaticism and militarism that warp Cotton's foreign policy views are on display here.

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Tom Cotton for military intervention in the United States:

One thing above all else will restore order to our streets: an overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers. But local law enforcement in some cities desperately needs backup, while delusional politicians in other cities refuse to do what’s necessary to uphold the rule of law.

Cotton made a version of this argument earlier in the week when he was calling for sending active military units into American cities to show “no quarter” to looters. In other words, he was openly calling for against American citizens just days before this op-ed ran:

“A no quarter order is a war crime, prohibited even in actual insurrection since Abraham Lincoln‘s signed the Lieber Code in 1863,” conservative attorney David French tweeted. “Such an order is banned by international law and would, if carried out, be murder under American law.”

Cotton’s vile statement provoked a great deal of criticism, so there is no way that The New York Times‘ editors didn’t know this background when they published the later piece. He doesn’t use the “no quarter” language in the op-ed, but we know this is his position and it is implicit in his statement that an “overwhelming show of force” is required. He repeatedly refers to rioters as “insurrectionists.” This misrepresents the nature and extent of the disorder, and Cotton conflates riot with insurrection to provide an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act. Cotton makes no effort to demonstrate that deploying the military to American cities is actually necessary. He asserts that local law enforcement needs backup in some places, but he offers no proof that the situation demands such an extreme response. He says that many cities are “in anarchy,” but he cannot back up that claim anywhere because it isn’t true.

Using the military domestically is an extraordinary measure that should be considered only in catastrophic conditions. It is dangerous and outrageous to call for such extreme action when it is not absolutely necessary. The governors in the states that have been most affected by unrest don’t want military intervention, and as recently as this week the Secretary of Defense said that invoking the Insurrection Act was . Cotton’s eagerness to use the military in this way reflects both his own horrible judgment and his knee-jerk, hard-line approach to every security problem. The same fanaticism and militarism that warp his foreign policy views are on display here. Cotton’s argument is particularly obnoxious under the circumstances. The unrest across the country has been sparked by the excessive use of force by police, and over the last week we have seen many more examples of gratuitous police brutality against peaceful protesters. Putting soldiers on the streets risks inciting more violence and inviting more abuse.

One of the growing problems in the U.S. is the ongoing militarization of the police. Police officers are not only being equipped with military gear and vehicles that should have no place in domestic law enforcement, but in some cases they are behaving as if they were an occupying force rather than as the protectors of their communities. That in turn leads to more unjustified uses of force against American citizens. Further militarization of law enforcement by deploying troops to our cities will make these problems worse, and it will further erode public trust in both their local police and the military.

Just as the military shouldn’t be used to police other countries, it should not be used to police this one. The American people aren’t insurgents to be opposed by occupying forces. Americans should recognize Cotton’s idea for the ugly authoritarian poison that it is, and they should reject it.

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‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Rips Into Trump’s Photo Op and Troop Deployment Threat

More military voices are dissenting.

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Outgoing Secretary of Defense James Mattis. (Office of the Secretary of Defense).

President Trump’s former Secretary of Defense James Mattis with the current Secretary of Defense’s use of the term “battlespace” referring to a federal security crackdown to recent protest-inspired violence on U.S. city streets. And that’s not all.

“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

He referred to reports yesterday that peaceful protesters around the White House—as well as media and — with pepper balls, flash bangs and the aggressive use of plastic shields from the area to make way for the president’s photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. The county government of nearby Arlington, Virginia, was so incensed by the spectacle that they from the city by 8 p.m. that night.

Monday night’s staged sojourn by the president also included Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley, who said later that they had no idea “where they were going” when asked to walk with the president, though they were seen that found that 58 percent of respondents favored “calling in the military” to quell the violence on city streets. Note from the actual language that it suggests the choice of governors to do the “calling,” not imposition by Washington. This has been a hotly debated issue among commenters here at TAC.]

Nonetheless, Trump’s law and order declaration did not, however, go down well with everyone inside the military, as TAC’s Mark Perry pointed out yesterday, saying the crackdown on peaceful protesters and the threat of federal troops in the state “may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment.”

“It wasn’t enough that peaceful protesters had just been deprived of their first-amendment rights—this photo-op sought to legitimize that abuse with a layer of religion,” wrote Allen, speaking directly of Trump’s use of the bible in the photos in front of the church, which had sustained damage from in the violent protests the night before.

Unlike other presidents in which the military has staying virtually silent—particularly under Republican leadership—there appears to be a splitting in the ranks and a willingness for service members, retired and active duty, to speak out on matters of national politics. In a way, this has been encouraged: the politicization of the military, starting in recent times with celebrity generals like David Petraeus, the media’s cooptation of military figures as “message force multipliers” and pundits, the rabid use of veterans to exploit hot button stories like the pardon of Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher or the firing of Captain Brett Crozier. Social media does not discern between active duty or veteran—everyone has an opinion.

But the military was supposed to be the one institution that was four square behind the president and he has long looked to the military to embolden his lack of foreign policy and national security experience. It is also the institution, that, for better or worse, is the most well regarded by the American people in poll after poll, year after year. It could be that this is more than anti-Trumpism (though Trump’s approval ratings with active duty military year-over-year). Maybe the old sages like Mattis and Allen sense that their own politicization is about to undermine that regard. For those of us who are skeptical of federal armies being sent out to conduct law enforcement duties without the consent of governors, this is welcome news for us, whether we personally like these guys or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To Establish Justice, America Must First Quell the Riots

Political games—quite often by Republicans—are dulling the country’s response to a reign of terror.

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People cheered as the plywood on the door at Wells Fargo went up in flames near the Fifth Precinct. (Photo by Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

The good senator from Missouri — the state in which Michael Brown was killed six years ago and one of the major of our country’s present racial strife — took to the floor this week to grapple with the nation’s rolling crises. 

“It was one week ago today that George Floyd died in the streets of Minneapolis,” Hawley said on Monday, “at the hands of Minneapolis police officers employing incredible, illegal — unconstitutional — violence. … Words cannot begin to describe the injustice that this has done to Mr. Floyd — to his family, to his community and to millions of Americans who feel caught up, who feel judged by, endangered by, imperiled by these actions. And too many others like them, over two many years, for too long in this country.”

Sen. Hawley went on to condemn reactive rioting. But dare I say he got it backwards. 

Since his impressive ascent to the United States Senate in 2018 — a year of bloodletting for most other Republicans — I have covered Hawley . He’s the upper chamber’s greenest member. At forty, he’s a rare exception to our country’s shameful gerontocracy — one need only to look at the presidential finalists this year to bear witness to America’s greatest internal liability. 

Unlike the vast majority of his colleagues, Hawley ‘gets it’: the country really is in trouble — and not from a failure to pass grander tax reform, or repeal Obamacare or to annex Iran (indeed, the Senator’s work on foreign policy is particularly visionary). Whether Hawley is acting out of sharp-eyed ambition or profound convictions (or, as is most likely, a mix of both) is both unknowable and, for the moment, irrelevant; the result would be largely the same. He has proven himself to be a refreshing force for the good. 

However, the construction of his most recent address revealed a rare misjudgment– and one that is tempting to many like-minded politicians. But the preeminent challenge is now the riots themselves.

What has been on display in the streets of American cities this week has been neither purely insurrectionary —  acts of political violence — nor simply nihilistic criminality: rather, it’s been a frightening admixture. But its emergence has now killed far more people than just Mr. Floyd and have put many American cities under a de facto fourth month of house arrest, just as they were carefully opening up. And in a development that might have been thought unconscionable mere weeks ago, mass demonstrations have further exposed the population to a virus the country just devoted three months to fighting in spectacular, unprecedented fashion. 

Those violating curfew in cities like the one I live in — our nation’s capital, now an icon of self-induced chaos — are not naive, peaceful protesters. Whether they participate in the pillaging themselves is immaterial: they are party to a riot. They are making their community less safe, and contributing to the violations of rights dearer and more fundamental than that of assembly.

As this demonic year drags on, at risk are others’ rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness —  the credo embossed on Washington’s now-desecrated national monuments. That, if I may suggest, should have been Hawley’s lede. In failing to do so, he cedes the stage to figures like , inflated by symbolic politics and exacerbated by the manifold other problems of our declining society. According to the Washington Post’s own statistics, there has actually been a 75% drop in such incidents over the past half decade, from 38 in 2015 to 9 in 2019.

Meanwhile, in a climate of disorder no doubt exacerbated by the riots, in Chicago’s majority-black neighborhoods over Memorial Day weekend alone. The irony here is that this could be actually be akin to society’s spasm over illegal immigration —  just as border crossings peaked before the issue propelled Donald Trump to the White House, police abuses are trending downward just as its past consequences become clear – triggering a a psychic meltdown as its consequences are laid bare. A larger problem may be the sheer difficulty of the job of policing our heavily armed, depressed, and heterogeneous nation.

I think — tragically — there is no acceptable alternative to law and order, which remains a tough and unpleasant business.

Law enforcement is far from perfect, and grievous mistakes continue to be made. But considering the enduring public pressure on police departments and recent efforts at reform — including the White House-shepherded First Step Act — there is a case to be made that accountability for racial incidents has never been higher, with cameras on every police vest (and in everyone’s pocket). That’s how we know about George Floyd’s murder in the first place. The officers in Mr. Floyd’s case have been charged — Wednesday saw the escalation of those charges at the behest of the state’s hardline attorney general, Keith Ellsion — and if a jury of their peers decides so, they are going away for a long time. That’s our system and it’s a flawed, but fine one. Both history and the present are replete with ghastly alternatives to adjudicate the disputes of men. To abandon the rule of law would be to give the benefit of the doubt to nihilism, which consumes everything and offers nothing.

Consider the future on offer from those who so glibly celebrate the destruction of our urban spaces. In this environment, who — exactly — is going to sign up to join law enforcement? Who — exactly — is going to start a small business in a city? 

Licking their chops in all this are amoral, multinational corporations. Far from opposition, they have offered studied silence on the violence. They can take the hit. In fact, for companies like Amazon and Netflix, social atomization helps their bottom line. 

Sen. Hawley is hardly alone in his well-meaning but misguided approach. The only future the Republican Party will have in a further diversifying country will be one of standing shoulder to shoulder with those left behind: the cop putting it on the line in a collapsing American city, the minority business owner with squalid insurance, the young mother who wants to be able to walk with her kids at sundown. Begging for scraps from the table of depraved elite with a tendentious reading of this country’s history is not something that should be supported— and not something that will win.

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Podcast: Empire Has No Clothes, Episode 5, With Congressman Warren Davidson

Can Congress finally take back its constitutional war powers? Don't hold your breath.

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On this edition of Empire Has No Clothes, Matt, Kelley, and Daniel speak to Congressman Warren Davidson, Republican of Ohio, and one of the foremost advocates of constitutional war powers in the House. He tells us why Congress so willingly surrendered its authority to declare war to the president and whether they can ever claw it back. They also talk about the toxic U.S.-Saudi relationship and whether reform is finally—finally!—right around the corner.

Listen to the episode in the player below, or click the links beneath it to subscribe using your favorite podcast app. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating or review on iTunes or Stitcher, which will really help us climb the rankings, allowing more people to find the show.

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Podcast: Ann Coulter on Why She Turned Against Trump

'He hired no one who supported the MAGA agenda, and brought in half of Goldman Sachs.'

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The following is an edited excerpt from bestselling author and columnist Ann Coulter’s interview on TAC’s Right Now podcast last week, about her break with Trump, and how his administration has failed to deliver. To hear the full interview with Coulter, preceded by a conversation with Jeff Sessions, hit play on the widget below, or subscribe to our podcast on , , , or .

TAC: You’ve been very strong in your condemnation of Trump over his endorsement of Tommy Tuberville over Jeff Sessions in the Alabama senate race. Why does this race matter to people who don’t live in Alabama, and what caused you to sour on Trump?

Coulter: That’s funny, I thought I was soft-pedaling it. I’ve just gotten really fed up. We knew Trump was a child, I did a podcast with Michael Isikoff and Dan Klaidman and they act like, as so many liberals did during the campaign, like it’s breaking news to Trump supporters that he’s a coarse, vulgar, narcissistic, egomaniacal, lazy individual. No, I grew up in New Canaan, familiar with Donald Trump in New York, well aware of him, though I have never seen an episode of The Apprentice, during the campaign it seemed like it was an actually an advantage that he was such a boorish mongrelo, because he seemed to have no interest in what the fancy people thought. We’d been voting for less immigration for 40, 50 years and the politicians will never, ever give it to us. So when you see the attacks Trump came under, it just seemed plausible to think, let’s try this. We’ve tried elegant politicians, we’ve tried well-spoken politicians, let’s try a complete joke of a candidate, because he would say things like build the wall, the Mexican rapists speech, and then he didn’t back down. Yay, hallelujah.

Turns out we didn’t get that advantage. No, his boorishness, narcissism and egomaniacal childish behavior went in all the worst directions he could possibly go in, starting with not keeping any of his promises. He was too lazy. As I pointed out in In Trump We Trust, every one of his major promises is 100 percent in the control of the president. He didn’t need Congress. They kept saying, how is he going to build the wall without Congress, and I kept saying the president is Commander-in-Chief, he has full authority to build the wall. But it turns out that would have required him to, I don’t know, make a phone call. Get up and walk to the other side of the room. Nah, I’ll just sit here and tweet Michael Moore conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough killing his intern, that’s more fun. I’ll sit in bed eating a cheeseburger.

He could have continued to do that. I mean, look at the courts, the one bright spot of the entire Trump administration, he wouldn’t have known Brett Kavanaugh if he’d found him in his soup. He turned over the courts to the Federalist Society. That’s what we hoped he would do with his promises on immigration, on building the wall, on deporting illegals, on signing the anchor baby executive order, on ending the guest workers or indentured servitude provisions. But no, he hired none of his early supporters, he hired no one who supported the MAGA agenda, and brought in half of Goldman Sachs. The Donald Trump administration had more Goldman Sachs employees than the Bush and Obama administrations combined. That’s why we never got the ending of the carried interest loophole.

In any event, to fast forward to what I was upset about this week. Trump has a habit of creating messes for himself because he’s so easy to play. So, so easy to play. You could get him to admit to robbing a bank by sitting him down and saying, ‘we know you weren’t the brains of the operation, you were just the getaway driver,’ and he’s say, ‘No, no! I was the one who shot the bank clerk! That was me! That was my decision!’ He recently did this with coronavirus, this famed 3D chess everyone keeps telling me about. No politician wants to be in charge of reopening, because every death the media is going to leap on. So for some reason, the media got a bee in their bonnet, saying Trump has nothing to do with reopening, this is up to governors and mayors. And the next day, he holds a press conference saying it’s my decision.

After the Lester Holt interview, for some reason he gets it into his head to blame Jeff Sessions, because who technically appointed the special prosecutor? Rod Rosenstein. Rod Rosenstein was Donald Trump’s pick to be the assistant attorney general. He put Rod Rosenstein in that position, it was his choice, it was his appointee. And as for Sessions recusing himself, this always gets lied about by the Donald Trump brown-losers, it was 100% manifestly obviously required for Sessions to recuse himself from any investigations into the campaign. It wasn’t anything having to do with Russia. If it had something to do with Burisma, or something new that came up during the administration, then of course Sessions could oversee it, but he was part of the Trump campaign. The Democrats’ conspiracy theory about Trump was that his campaign conspired with Russia. Sessions was part of the Trump campaign. Of course he had to recuse himself, by law he had to recuse himself.

But this gigantic fruitcake in the Oval Office, instead of just firing Sessions, and by the way Sessions offered his resignation the day after. When Trump first came into office Sessions recommended, fire Comey right away, start with a clean slate. There would have been no Russia investigation. But he disregarded Sessions’ advice, the day after the special counsel was appointed, Sessions offers his resignation letter, Trump rejects it. Though it would have been stupid, if at any point Trump could have decided to fire Sessions. You’re the president. You’re the president. Fire him. But no. Giant fruitcake doesn’t fire him, he just taunts him, he humiliates him on Twitter, over and over and over again. So needless to say all sane, rational people hated Trump for that, they really hated Trump for that. Sessions was one of two-and-a-half members of Trump’s cabinet who wasn’t an abominable open-borders, forever war, anti-MAGA, anti-Trump person. Sessions was the greatest U.S. senator. He’s great on immigration, he’s great on crime, and apparently, according to the tweets I was reading last night from Ryan Girdusky, that’s the whole reason Jared detests Sessions.

Listen to the rest of the interview here (Coulter begins at about 38:25). 

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Endless War Comes 民彩网官网

The president has shown he has no respect for the law or the Constitution, and last night was no different.

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Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley hold a joint press conference at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Oct. 28, 2019. (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James K. Lee)

The president ordered an attack on protesters to last night, and he also threatened to deploy the military on American soil:

When Trump had returned safely to the White House less than an hour later, the verdict seemed clear: The president had staged an elaborate photo op, using a Bible awkwardly held aloft as a prop and a historic church that has long welcomed presidents and their families as a backdrop.

In the process, protesters had been tear gassed and attacked, and Trump had taken a raging conflagration and doused it with accelerant.

“We long ago lost sight of normal, but this was a singularly immoral act,” said Brendan Buck, a longtime former Hill aide who is now a Republican operative. “The president used force against American citizens, not to protect property, but to soothe his own insecurities. We will all move on to the next outrage, but this was a true abuse of power and should not be forgotten.

The president has shown on many occasions that he has no respect for the law or the Constitution, and last night was no different. Trump’s stunt was an affront to constitutional government and the rule of law, and it brings disgrace on everyone that was involved. That is particularly true of the when they saw the tear gas clearing the crowd for Trump to walk to the church: “I’ve never been more ashamed. I’m really honestly disgusted. I’m sick to my stomach. And they’re all celebrating it.”

— Lauren Peikoff (@laurenpeikoff)

Trump’s threat to deploy the military here is an excessive and dangerous one. Mark Perry reports on the reaction from military officers to the president’s threat:

If senior military leaders go along with what the president is threatening to do, it will be enormously damaging for the military as an institution.

Earlier in the day yesterday, audio has leaked in which the Secretary of Defense vile remarks about using the military to give “no quarter” to looters. This is the language of militarism. It is a consequence of decades of endless war and the government’s tendency to rely on militarized options as their answer for every problem. Endless war has had a deeply corrosive effect on this country’s political system: presidential overreach, the normalization of illegal uses of force, a lack of legal accountability for crimes committed in the wars, and a lack of political accountability for the leaders that continue to wage pointless and illegal wars. Now we see new abuses committed and encouraged by a lawless president, but this time it is Americans that are on the receiving end. Trump hasn’t ended any of the foreign wars he inherited, and now it seems that he will use the military in an llegal mission here at 民彩网官网.

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General Milley Checks on His Troops…On the Streets of D.C.

It may have been a silly photo-op and a symbolic announcement, but Trump's calling in the military is not insignificant.

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Gen. Mark Milley on the streets of D.C. Monday night, June 1, 民彩网官网. (Twitter)

There is nothing more cringe than a political photo op, but when the President of the United States sends his Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff out onto the streets during political protests it becomes a bit unnerving, too.

The stagecraft with the president leaving the White House grounds with the two aforementioned cabinet officials, along with Attorney General Bob Barr, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and assorted White House staff, to the historic St. John’s Church, where he held up a bible. Demonstrators had set fire to the church and the basement had sustained damage the night before. 

In order to clear the way for this sojourn, outside the White House in the late Monday afternoon sun.

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US President Donald Trump walks with US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper (C), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley (R), and others from the White House to visit St. John’s Church after the area was cleared of people protesting the death of George Floyd June 1, 民彩网官网, in Washington, DC (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

 

He finished the evening by addressing the nation, announcing he would be deploying federal troops “to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and the wanton destruction of property,” he said. “We will end it now.” He said the military would exert “total domination” over the situation. Again, flash bangs could be heard and smell of tear gas in the air as protesters were dispersed just before the D.C. curfew.

Later there were reports that upwards of 250 military police from Ft. Bragg had been activated for the mission.

Earlier, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper called it “dominating the battlespace.” Senator Tom Cotton, a combat veteran and hawk of first order, , that  “if necessary, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry—whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters.” 

Later Esper and General Milley were seen walking the streets, giving interviews, shaking hands with police. 

Milley, donned in his fatigues, told reporters he was “checking” to see how well the deployed D.C. National Guard were doing and said “everyone has the right to protest …. But protest peacefully.” 

According to reports some 1,700 DC Guard and  were moving into the city over the weekend. Because D.C. is a federal district, not a state, there was no need to federalize them, they are already under the chain of command.  As an aside, Trump put Milley but as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs he is not in the military’s operational chain of command so it is not clear what exactly that role will be.

It was a rough night Sunday for sure, with a number of businesses broken into, fires lit, buildings and monuments, including the Lincoln and WWII Memorials, spray-painted and defaced. But this isn’t a war and the “soldiers” hadn’t been in the “battlespace” for more than 48 hours. The moment hardly called for a moral boost akin to stoking the troops after the Battle for Baghdad. This was a Trump photo op and Milley and Esper were a command performance.

So what do we at 民彩网官网 see? That depends on who you ask. Many Americans, watching the wretched violence on TV and You Tube—store owners in major U.S. cities beaten as they businesses are looted, vehicles smashed, neighborhoods smoldering—will commend the president for taking a stand, calling himself “the law and order president.” They will have no reservations about calling in the military for D.C. or if the president decided to invoke the Insurrection Act to send troops into more volatile cities like Minneapolis and Los Angeles.

Others will look back at the other —the most recent, the Rodney King riots in L.A.—and wonder if Trump’s move is more symbolism than necessity. In Los Angeles in 1992 the city had been on fire for three days and after 5 days, more than 3,700 buildings were torched, a $1 billion worth of damage caused, and 60 people dead. As disturbing the images coming from D.C. over the last few nights are, there is no comparison.

But the symbolism cuts both ways: Milley walking around DC —sans helmet, to prove it’s not so bad—after accompanying the president on a cheesy photo op in which protesters had to be forcibly cleared for the cameras, makes him look like a political tool. Esper too, looks like, as one friend noted to me, part of Trump’s “personal praetorian guard.”

It also sends a message, I’m afraid, that we suddenly have an occupying army. This tends to rub some Americans the wrong way. It’s kind of . We have accepted, for good or bad, that the laws allow this incursion from time to time but also, that it has often, like President Hoover calling on Gen. MacArthur to bulldoze the World War I , pitted the Army against its own citizens.

And when Esper starts using words like “battlespace” and police taunt citizens by calling out while paint balling their neighborhood, it is an uncomfortable reminder of how wide that civ-mil gap has become since 9/11. And how the significance here can be much more powerful than a silly Trump photo op. And not in the way Trump expected.

 

 

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Amid Chaos, Trump Deploys Military to Washington

“I am your president of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters," said Trump, with flash bangs heard in the background.

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President Trump speaks to the press after meeting with Republican Senators in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, May 19, 民彩网官网 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump addressed the nation Monday briefly after protests and violence swept the nation over the weekend in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

As helicopter blades whirred overhead, and flash bangs were heard in the background, Trump declared that, “I am your president of law and order, and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

The president said justice would be served for George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes during an arrest. Trump said he and “all Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd” and that his administration was “fully committed” to service justice for Floyd and his family.

Holding a Bible and surrounded by aides national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Attorney General Bill Barr, senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, chief of staff Mark Meadows, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Trump said, “We have the greatest country in the world.”

“But in recent days, our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa, and others.”

“A number of state and local governments have failed to take action” Trump said, and he promised that “if a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”

Trump said he will ensure that violent protests end, and that he is willing to deploy “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers” in order to maintain order.

Nearby, peaceful protesters and rubber bullets, so that Trump could visit St. John’s Episcopal church across from Lafayette Park.

Meanwhile, an active duty military police battalion of between 200 to 250 military personnel is in the process of deploying to Washington, D.C., from Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, and could be in the nation’s capital as soon as Monday night, to three US defense officials who spoke to CNN.

Earlier Monday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper encouraged governors to “dominate the battlespace” and put down nationwide . 

On a White House phone call with governors on Monday, Esper urged leaders to use force and overwhelm protestors.

“I think the sooner that you mass and dominate the battlespace, the quicker this dissipates and we can get back to the right normal,” Esper said during the call, according to a recording of the call leaked to the New York Times.

During the same phone call, Trump urged governors to dominate and use force to put an end to the protests and violence.

“You have to dominate or you’ll look like a bunch of jerks, you have to arrest and try people,” Trump told the governors during the call, which took place from the basement White House Situation Room.

The entire D.C. National Guard was already called up over the weekend to assist along with a host of other  law enforcement agencies, including Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, the Secret Service, and U.S. Park Police, to control protests near the White House. Riot teams from the Bureau of Prisons and a Federal Bureau of Investigation hostage rescue team are assisting as well, according to a senior Department of Justice official.

Trump on Monday said in his call with the governors said Washington would be “under much more control” because “we’re pouring in and we’re going to pull in thousands of people.”

“We’re going to clamp down very, very strong,” Trump said, according to an audio recording of the call obtained by CNN. “The word is dominate. If you don’t dominate your city and your state, they’re gonna walk away with you. And we’re doing it in Washington, in DC, we’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before. … But we’re going to have total domination.”

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Susan Rice Suggests Russians Fomented Floyd Protests, Violence Across U.S.

Obama's former national security adviser offered no evidence for her bizarre claim.

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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice speaks to the media following Security Council consolations over the situation in North Korea April 13, 2012 in New York City. There has been condemnation from United States and countries in the region over North Korea's failed long-range missile launch. The Security Council will also address the ongoing situation in Syria later in the day. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser Susan Rice suggested without evidence that the Russians could be behind the violent demonstrations that have taken place across the U.S. following the death of George Floyd.

Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Sunday, Rice said:

“We have peaceful protesters focused on the very real pain and disparities that we’re all wrestling with that have to be addressed, and then we have extremists who’ve come to try to hijack those protests and turn them into something very different. And they’re probably also, I would bet based on my experience, I’m not reading the intelligence these days, but based on my experience this is right out of the Russian playbook as well.”

“I would not be surprised to learn that they have fomented some of these extremists on both sides using social media. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they are funding it in some way, shape, or form.”

Rice admits she’s not reading the intelligence anymore, so what makes her think the Russians are behind this?

She doesn’t offer much more in the way of evidence for her assertion, other than that the Russians are the Democrats’ always-present bogeyman, ever ready from behind to unleash mayhem upon the U.S.

Ever since the election of President Donald Trump, Democrats have blamed Russians for the outcome of the 2016 election.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller found evidence that Russian-linked accounts spent for the purpose of influencing the 2016 election, but there’s nothing to suggest their efforts were successful. The Department of Justice abruptly dropped its prosecution of a Russian-based troll farm, days before trial. Mueller also did not find evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election.

Although the claims of Russian “collusion” in the 2016 election were eventually found to be nearly totally baseless, Rice’s new narrative, that Russians support 民彩网官网’s post-Floyd rioting, appears to be even more fact-threadbare.

Rice’s claim drew criticism from across the political spectrum.

Eoin Higgens, a senior editor at Common Dreams, tweeted “you cannot make this sh– up. F—- deranged” while former U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy “there she goes again.”

There’s a reason Rice’s claim was not taken seriously — besides the lack of evidence for the Russian meddling narrative that has dominated the nation’s political life since 2016, there’s also the sheer ineptitude of the actual Russian trolling and ads themselves.

Just look at this ad the Russians funded from the 2016 election cycle for a taste of how convincing those Russians and their social media campaigns can be:

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Screen capture courtesy of USA Today, provided by the House Intelligence Committee. May, 2018.

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The Antifascist Fascists in Our Streets

For Antifa, targeting the innocent and the vulnerable is the whole point.

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People cheered as the plywood on the door at Wells Fargo went up in flames near the Fifth Precinct. (Photo by Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Yesterday, I wrote about the wonderfully diverse array of jackasses who have used George Floyd’s shooting as an excuse to act out. Today, Andy Ngo delves into what’s clearly the largest of those factions, Antifa, the supposedly anti-fascist left-wing front.

The US is getting a small preview of the anarchy antifa has been agitating, training and preparing for. Ending law enforcement is a pre-condition for antifa and BLM’s success in monopolizing violence. Those who are harmed first are the weak and vulnerable, the people who cannot protect themselves. Small business owners in Minnesota pleaded for mercy, even putting up signs and messages in support of the rioters, but to no avail.

The destruction of businesses we’re witnessing across the US is not mere opportunism by looters. It plays a critical role in antifa and BLM ideology. Their stated goal is to abolish capitalism. To do that, they have to make economic recovery impossible. Antifa sees a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to exploit an economically weakened America during the coronavirus pandemic.

In other words, all this looting is by design. Antifa’s radical ideology comes with a built-in excuse for cathartic violence. How convenient!

Back in 2018, my friend Zachary Yost suffered his way through Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, a primer on the group written by (but of course!) Dartmouth lecturer Mark Bray. What he found was a chillingly lucid call to revolution that subordinated all else to the goal of overthrowing capitalism and the “Far Right.” So free speech, for example, is dispensable, valuable only to the extent that it enables the coming flames. Yost writes:

By the time he’s finished, Bray has thrown everything and the kitchen sink into the category of fascist ideologies that must be targeted, ranging from whiteness to “ableism, heteronormativity, patriarchy, nationalism, transphobia, class rule, and many others.” Though cloaked in calls to stop oppression, Bray’s book at its core makes the case for the exercise of raw, unbridled power. Under this revolutionary ideology, no dissent can be tolerated. There can be no live and let live—it is all or nothing.

In fairness, Antifa is a wide and somewhat amorphous umbrella, some of whose members may not subscribe to everything Bray says. But what the more committed among them seem to understand is that, come lawlessness, power will flow naturally to he who has the most muscle, he who’s most willing to pick up a brick and throw it, at the expense of the poor and vulnerable. Remember that tonight when we inevitably see more violence in the streets. Senselessness is the point. Preying on the innocent is the goal.

Remember after Charlottesville when some on social media compared these guys to the American soldiers who fought the Nazis at Normandy? I don’t want to hear another word about that. Antifa may stand for antifascist, but Yost’s piece makes it clear that they’re fascist to their marrow. And as with many latter-day fascists and extremists, Antifa are simultaneously cogent at the manifesto level and utterly delusional as to likely outcomes. They aren’t going to overthrow capitalism or Donald Trump. They may, however, affect the election in five months, with the most likely beneficiary the president they so despise.

These people are self-defeating morons, yes, but they still have the potential to do great damage. Last night, here in Washington, the unrest they helped fuel saw a church lit on fire, LaFayette Park near the White House set ablaze, the AFL-CIO building attacked, and the Lincoln Memorial defaced. This is how a Franco ends up in power: because even churches are being targeted, even the moderate leftists aren’t safe. Bully people long enough and they long for a bully of their own. That Antifa has desecrated the protests over George Floyd’s death this way is appalling and I wish them nothing but the worst.

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