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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Trump's campaign strategy: Reichstag fires

Trump tweet from today

I am certainly not the first person to make a connection between Trump and the Reichstag fire strategy. As Timothy Snyder wrote in Reichstag Warning in the New York Review of Books on February 26, 2017, a month after Trump was sworn in. (my highlights):
In February 27, 1933 the German Parliament building burned, Adolf Hitler rejoiced, and the Nazi era began. Hitler, who had just been named head of a government that was legally formed after the democratic elections of the previous November, seized the opportunity to change the system. “There will be no mercy now,” he exulted. “Anyone standing in our way will be cut down.” 
The Reichstag fire shows how quickly a modern republic can be transformed into an authoritarian regime. There is nothing new, to be sure, in the politics of exception. The American Founding Fathers knew that the democracy they were creating was vulnerable to an aspiring tyrant who might seize upon some dramatic event as grounds for the suspension of our rights. As James Madison nicely put it, tyranny arises “on some favorable emergency.” What changed with the Reichstag fire was the use of terrorism as a catalyst for regime change. To this day, we do not know who set the Reichstag fire: the lone anarchist executed by the Nazis or, as new scholarship by Benjamin Hett suggests, the Nazis themselves. What we do know is that it created the occasion for a leader to eliminate all opposition.... 
...The aspiring tyrants of today have not forgotten the lesson of 1933: that acts of terror—real or fake, provoked or accidental—can provide the occasion to deal a death blow to democracy. 
The most consequential example is Russia, so admired by Donald Trump. When Vlaimir V. Putin was appointed prime minister in August 1999, the former KGB officer had an approval rating of 2 percent. Then, a month later, the bombs began to explode in apartment buildings in Moscow and several other Russian cities, killing hundreds of citizens and causing widespread fear. There were numerous indications that this was a campaign organized by the KGB’s heir, now known as the FSB. Some of its officers were caught red-handed (and then released) by their peers. A Russian parliamentarian announced one of the “terror” attacks several days before the bomb actually exploded.
Putin blamed Muslim terrorists and began the war in Chechnya that made him popular. He thereafter exploited more terrorist attacks to consolidate his rule
: three years later, Russian security forces ended up gassing to death Russian civilians in a botched response to an attack at a Moscow theater. Putin used the negative press coverage as a justification for seizing control of television. In 2004, after the Beslan massacre, in which terrorists occupied a school and killed a large number of parents and children during a violent confrontation with Russian forces, Putin abolished the position of elected regional governors. And so the current Russian regime was built...
...It is alarming that in a series of catastrophic executive policy decisions—the president’s Muslim travel ban, his selection of Steve Bannon as his main political adviser, his short-lived appointment of Michael Flynn as national security adviser, his proposal to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem—there seems to be a single common element: the stigmatization and provocation of Muslims. In rhetoric and action, the Trump administration has aggrandized “radical Islamic terror” thus making what Madison called a “favorable emergency” more likely.
It appears that Synder thought Trump would use Muslims to execute his Reichstag fire strategy, but now it appears - or rather it has appeared since last August - that Trump intends to use ANTIFA as the great bogeyman.

And ANTIFA is the perfect vehicle. ANTIFA - for anti-fascist - like to protest wearing masks and refuse to reveal their identities. This is custom-made for use by the Right to infiltrate, commit mayhem and blame it on leftists and the "terrorist organization" ANTIFA.

The connection between Trump's Reichstag fire strategy and the IDW is through Andy Ngo.  Ngo is a right-wing sympathizer who disgraced himself so badly that he's no longer with Quillette but rather has descended even further into the pits by joining the right-wing garbage publication Post-Millennial.
Andy Ngo, the right-wing journalist and provocateur who was embraced by mainstream Republicans and covered favorably in mainstream media after he was attacked by antifa activists during a street fight in Portland, Oregon, may suddenly be persona non grata among conservatives. Nearly all mentions of Ngo were scrubbed from the upscale right-wing publication Quillette after a newly-released video showed him acting friendly with members of Patriot Prayer, a far-right hate group that has repeatedly sought out fights with leftists.
Ngo, who has used selectively edited videos to paint antifa as a violent, criminal group was hit with punches and milkshakes during a clash between antifa activists and members of the Proud Boys, an organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Many on the right rallied around Ngo after that altercation, and spread false rumors that the milkshakes thrown at him and others had contained quick-dry cement. 

After the Ngo-ANTIFA brouhaha last July/August, it turned out that Ngo's lawyer is Republican committee woman Harmeet K. Dhillon.

The Proud Boys are apparently at it again.

This tweet is also from today

The Proud Boys is a right-wing organization founded by Gavin McInnes, who has his own IDW connection - he worked for the right-wing extremist Canadian Rebel Media along with Quillette founder Claire Lehmann.


Meanwhile another organization of anonymous individuals called Anonymous has apparently published information about Trump's connection to Epstein although the story is not new. And of course the IDW has another connection to Trump - Steven Pinker was also a known associate of Jeffrey Epstein.

Although it was new to me that Trump had been accused of child molestation - of both boys and girls - by a web site called the Wayne Madsen Report:
In addition to Stephanie Clifford, aka porn actress "Stormy Daniels," and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, Cohen reportedly helped settle a number of rape cases involving Trump. WMR received a list from a reputable Republican source of these settlement claims, all of which involve male and female minors: 
  1. Michael Parker, 10-years old, oral rape, Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, FL, 1992. Trump paid his parents a $3 million settlement.
  2. Kelly Feuer, 12-years old, $1 million settlement paid in 1989, allegations of forced intercourse, Trump Tower, NY, NY.
  3. Charles Bacon, 11-years old, $3 million, allegations of oral and anal intercourse, 1994, Trump Tower, NY, NY.
  4. Rebecca Conway, 13-years old, intercourse and oral sex. Trump Vineyard Estates, Charlottesville, VA, 2012, $5 million settlement.
  5. Maria Olivera, 12-years old. Her family was paid $16 million to settle allegations of forcible intercourse occurring in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, FL, 1993.
  6. Kevin Noll, 11-years old, anal rape, Trump Tower, NY, NY. 1998. Settlement details unknown.
Five of the six alleged incidents took place at two of Trump's best-known properties -- Trump Tower in New York City and Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL. The exception is incident No. 4, which is the most recent (2012) and took place at Albemarle Estate at Trump Winery. Donald and Eric Trump opened the facility as a bed-and-breakfast in May 2015.

Trump started negotiating to acquire the property after it went into foreclosure in 2011. Trump formally purchased the entire estate in October 2012.
 
The child-sex settlements might explain Trump's reluctance to disclose his tax returns, WMR reports, and documents indicate our "president" is a deeply disturbed individual:
WMR's GOP source indicated that Trump has refused to release his tax returns because they will reveal the many out-of-court settlements he has paid to silence his assault victims and their families. The list of Trump's child victims came with an interesting reference point that was apparently part of the documentation in the settlement cases. Trump was designated with a psychiatric disorder referenced in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5). The referenced disorder is "Pedophilic Disorder (F65.4)."