2020-09-01

The Shape of the New World Dawning?

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by Neil Godfrey

American readers closer to the mises en scène will be able to help this outsider more clearly focus his observations.

From here in Australia I see

    • a President of the U.S. who speaks out against one side involved in violent clashes there, and speaks defensively on behalf of the others involved and who are his supporters;
    • a President of the U.S. who blurs into one violent image both peaceful and violent protests (those whom his own supporters oppose) as if they were all one and the same and all violent and destructive;
    • a President who focuses almost to the exclusion of all else the violence and destruction of one side without at any time addressing the issues, the complaints, the causes both immediate and long-term, that has led to the protests in the first place;
    • following from the point above, a President who frames all the protests (all of them being portrayed as violent) as a “law and order” issue, that is, as nothing more than a situation that needs to be crushed by force.

Is the above a fair synopsis?

Oh, and one other thing that keeps bugging me. An Australian Prime Minister who happens to be a Pentecostal fundamentalist and a bit of a narcissist (Australian style) and comes across as a pet puppy keen to make a good impression for his master so has dutifully acted on his master’s wishes and called on an investigation into a prejudged assessment of China’s criminal negligence with respect to the coronavirus. That’s all fine except that China is now powerful enough to throw around the sort of bully beef we expect the U.S. to apply to disobedient small-fry. Now Australia is subject to early trade sanctions and other disincentives (putting a squeeze on our hitherto lucrative Chinese student intake into our universities) from its largest trading partner as well as “arbitrary” detention of its citizens who happen to be in Chinese territory. Nice one — that sort of thing is supposed to happen to “them”, not to “us”. I still envy New Zealand for maintaining a degree of independence that seems far too rare in modern Australian history.

Posts on Vridar have been somewhat patchy in regularity lately with extended family business taking over priorities at the moment, but the above thoughts have been playing on my mind. So here they are.

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Neil Godfrey

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9 thoughts on “The Shape of the New World Dawning?”

  1. I think a fair synopsis would be:
    From the right (including the president): The leftist marxists started the violence.
    From the left: The alt-right racists started the violence.
    And, from someone who came of age during the 60s (and was a leftist at the time): Both sides are at fault for the conditions that led up to the present situation. Those conditions, as I perceive them, include a degree of ideological intransigence on both side the precludes a nonviolent resolution.

  2. Here is one of the most recent interviews from Greyzone, where reporting is honest as compared to the majority of reports in the United States that only report right wing propaganda. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLDGFoIYXZg

    Take a look back at other videos they’ve made, a real eye opener. I’m convinced you are getting censored information from the United States, as is the rest of the world.

  3. Your synopsis is fair insofar as it goes. However, it frames Trump as passively responding to developments from the sidelines, when in fact he acts as an instigator when opportunities arise. In my city of Portland, Oregon, his bringing in federal agents (as he also has in other cities) severely escalated tensions in ongoing largely peaceful protests, effectively derailing the central focus of Black Lives Matter.

    Most recently, when Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer and other alt-right groups organized a 600-vehicle pro-Trump caravan through downtown Portland, and an aggressive member of Patriot Prayer (who was reportedly seen earlier spraying counter-protesters with mace) was shot, Trump tweeted “GREAT PATRIOTS!” This was an obvious dog whistle to his Patriot Prayer supporters.

    For perspective, Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer have been staging events in Portland, a bastion of peaceful liberalism, since 2016 with the express purpose of engaging in violent clashes with antifa, as documented in emails and Facebook postings. They bring members in from outside Portland for these events. Many of these agitators carry weapons, and on one occasion they tried to drive a vehicle through a group of protesters, not long after something similar happened in Charlottesville (resulting in a fatality). In the pro-Trump car rally that just took place, they drove aggressively, sprayed mace and shot paintball guns at counter-protesters from their vehicles, which they have also done at BLM protests (with no police intervention).

    Although Trump rails against antifa, a database on 900 politically motivated plots and attacks in America compiled by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found

    329 victims killed in right-wing violence since 1994
    21 victims killed in left-wing violence since 1994
    0 victims killed in anti-fascist (i.e. antifa) violence since 1994
    (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/27/us-rightwing-extremists-attacks-deaths-database-leftwing-antifa)

    Antifa is a loose collection of activists opposed to fascistic groups. Antifascists will engage in fist-fights, throw bottles, and otherwise physically confront right-wing activists at alt-right rallies. If it turns out that the Patriot Prayer member was shot by someone identifying as antifa, as preliminary reports are saying, it would be the first such victim since 1994. This would be a timely propaganda victory for the Trump campaign that seeks to characterize antifa as a dangerous violent organization.

    1. I found some additional relevant data on American right-wing violence here (excerpted below):

      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/violence-protests-united-states-data_n_5f4d4430c5b697186e39b2cb

      Right-wing groups have organized about 360 demonstrations in opposition to Black Lives Matter, often under the banner of “Blue Lives Matter.” Some demonstrations were also organized in support of President Donald Trump or Confederate statues.

      All told, according to ACLED’s data, over 40 of those right-wing demonstrations have resulted in violence since May.

      This adds to recent findings from the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, which identified nearly 500 incidents of vigilantes or far-right activists confronting Black Lives Matter demonstrators since May.

      Those incidents include 64 cases of simple assault, 38 cases of vigilantes driving cars into demonstrators, and nine times that shots were fired at protesters.

      The president, meanwhile, has attempted to make “law and order” a central pillar of his campaign, in part by signaling his opposition to the nationwide protests…

      It’s this type of messaging from the White House, in support of state repression of protests and tacit tolerance of far-right vigilantes, that has Kishi and the team at ACLED so worried.

      “I think as you’re closer to November, this hyperpolarization is kind of coming to a front,” Kishi said.

  4. There is something else that is beginning to take shape now, I can hardly say it. In some weird reversal of what happened in Nazi Germany with the roundup of the Jews who were forced to wear Star of David armbands, now in the Hitlerian atmosphere of the United States, those who wear masks and want confinements are being called “the protectors of the people and society” by this government, whereas those who protest confinements, masks and mandatory vaccines, are scapegoated by the government.

    1. There have always been some restrictions of freedoms in America, when your exercise endangers others. For example? We have freedom of speech. But you are not allowed to dishonestly yell “fire” in a crowded theater, causing a fatal stampede toward locked doors.

      1. America is a pretty good country. But it is not perfect It develop odd fashions and crazes pretty regularly. And often other parts of the world jump on the bandwagon.

        I don’t think masks are crazy though; Japan has had them for decades. And if there was ever a time for them in the US, using them now seems medically advisable. To protect others from the spread of the Virus.

        Trumpists are trying to call that a restriction on traditional freedom. But it seems legitimate. In contrast, Trump seems repressive, neo-fascistic, in all too many ways. He lives to incite right wing violence.

        Restricting immigration has long been an issue worldwide for instance. But it has always had racist overtones. Which Trump makes much worse.

  5. https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/australian-tv-anchor-detention-shows-104443109.html

    Australian’s sending harmful weeds to China in grain. Please stop! CHINESE LIVES MATTER.

    Still, Australia’s commodities industry is nervous after China’s announcement on Tuesday that it was suspending shipments from CBH Grain Pty in Western Australia because harmful weeds were found in the cargoes.

    ‘Singled Out’

    “As long as Australia refuses to comply with Beijing’s directives and be compliant, it can expect its citizens in China to be detained without charges, due process or speedy resolution,” said John Blaxland, a former intelligence officer and a professor at the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at Australian National University. “But it now seems to be aware that it needs to stare it down because a lot of it is probably just political posturing aimed at appeasing a domestic audience.”

    China has been clear in linking Australia’s call for a virus investigation to actions by the Trump administration, which has hit Beijing on everything from data security regarding popular apps TikTok and WeChat to human-rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. As recently as last week, a top Chinese diplomat based in Canberra said his nation had felt “singled out” by Australia’s push for a virus probe, adding “we don’t think it is fair.”

    The current tensions are a far cry from the heights the relationship reached during and after Xi’s state visit in November 2014. That trip sealed a comprehensive free-trade agreement that pushed their two-way trade relationship to record levels that remain intact, despite their spiraling diplomatic grievances.

    But things turned south in 2017 when Australia rejected China’s call for an extradition treaty. The next year Australia accused Beijing of “meddling” in its affairs, leading to anti-foreign interference laws. That year also saw the government ban Huawei from building its 5G network, a decision that was later mirrored by other western nations.

    Morrison is increasingly describing his nation’s relationship with China in transactional terms, saying its “mutually beneficial” because of their booming two-way trade. He appears to be waiting for China to lower the temperature so a new equilibrium point in the relationship can be found, and views the threat of trade retaliation as China following its playbook against other nations like South Korea and Japan.

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