Showing posts with label Juan Cole on Trump & Madison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Juan Cole on Trump & Madison. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

And Then He Has The Unmitigated Gall To Show Up at A Catholic Shrine Today With Melania By His Side !!! When Is He Going to Go Down To The River And Freakin Pray ? Veni Sancte Spiritus ! - Hold the Troops Asshole - Author! Author ! Juan Cole On Trump & Madison

This one takes the cake - only a con artist would attempt this; and please note the Archbishop's and other's reactions:
"A woman religious and protesters in Washington gather near the Capuchin College June 2 as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited the nearby St. John Paul II National Shrine. (CNS/Tyler Orsburn)"

 ~ From:  The National Catholic Reporter:

Catholic Activists Protest Trump's Visit to St. John Paul II Shrine 
by, Sarah Salvadore 

"Catholic activists, nuns, laypeople and local residents protested in front of St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington during President Donald Trump's visit there June 2.

Trump's visit came a day after his controversial appearance in front of St. John's Episcopal Church, across from the White House, where he posed for photos holding up a Bible. Federal authorities used rubber bullets and smoke cannisters to disperse peaceful protesters in front of the White House before Trump, accompanied by aides, walked to St. John's.

Earlier on June 2, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory issued a statement criticizing the use of the shrine for Trump's visit. The John Paul II Center is operated by the Knights of Columbus.

"I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree," Gregory said.

The archbishop also highlighted the use of force against protesters on June 1, saying St. John Paul II would not "condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace."

Stephen Schneck, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network, told NCR over the phone, "It's absolutely inappropriate for the president of the United States to be using a Catholic facility like the shrine for a photo op for his reelection. We have to insist that the Catholic Church in the United States maintain its distance from a person who represents nothing that our church represents."

Trump was accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump. They arrived at the shrine around 11:30 a.m., according to a White House pool report.

Around 2,000 people were demonstrating in front of the shrine, said Schneck.

Franciscan Sr. Marie Lucey told NCR she was "distressed" by the visit. "St. John Paul II said racism is a sin. And we believe the president is promoting racist policies. We are here to say 'Black Lives Matter'; we are here to say unless things change, we are going to be destroyed as a country."
Protesters held signs reading "Black Lives Matter," "I Can't Breathe" and "Veni Sancte Spiritus." Others prayed the rosary.

"As Catholics, we needed to make sure our voices were heard, that we are not in agreement with his policies and that the black lives matter to the Catholic community," said Maggie Conley, a member of the justice team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

Susan Gunn, director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, said she was representing all the religious in her organization and that first and foremost on their minds was the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man from Minneapolis, was killed on May 25 after an arresting officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. His death has sparked protests across the country.

"We are here to say his name, and Breonna Taylor and Ahmed Aubrey. Our Christian faith calls us to recognize the tremendous suffering of our brothers and sisters. I believe it's absolutely shameful that the Knights of Columbus is hosting the president at this time at the St. John Paul II National Shrine, our great pope, a man of peace," she said.

Trump's visit to the shrine coincides with the anniversary of St. John Paul II's visit to Poland in 1979. The president's visit was planned before the current protests erupted after Floyd's death.

Social Service Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, condemned Trump's repeated call for violence against protesters and said she hoped he learned from St. John Paul II's history.

"President Trump is now using the Catholic faith in another photo op to defend his appalling refusal to address racism and police violence in the United States. He is trying to create a false dichotomy of peaceful protesters versus the Church. That could not be further from the truth, and any Christian who believes it does not understand Jesus's message," Campbell said in a statement.

The demonstration was called last night by members of various Catholic organizations, including Pax Christi International, Maryknoll and the DC Catholic Coalition.

Demonstrators said they came prepared in case the police fired tear gas and flash grenades. "My wife wrote down her daughter's telephone number on her arm. But so far, the police have been polite," said Schneck.

They praised Gregory's statement and hoped that more bishops would speak up. "This is a moment of leadership and clarity. It's time for the bishops to recognize the Gospel and the values it articulates in personal life," said Judy Coode, project coordinator of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative of Pax Christi International. "

[Sarah Salvadore is NCR's Bertelsen intern. Her email address is]


Hold the Troops Asshole:

 ~ From The New York Times:

Former Commanders Fault Trumps Use Of Troops against Protesters

"WASHINGTON — Retired senior military leaders condemned their successors in the Trump administration for ordering military units on Monday to rout those peacefully protesting police violence near the White House.

As military helicopters flew low over the nation’s capital and National Guard units moved into many cities, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly aligned themselves behind a president who chose tear gas and rubber bullets to clear peaceful protesters from a park so that he could stage a photo op at a nearby church.

In so doing, Mr. Esper, who described the country as a “battlespace” to be cleared, and General Milley, who wore combat fatigues on the streets of the capital, thrust the two million active-duty and reserve service members into the middle of a confrontation in which the “enemy” is not foreign, but domestic.

The reaction has been swift and furious.

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote on Twitter that “America is not a battleground. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy.” Gen. Tony Thomas, the former head of the Special Operations Command, tweeted: “The ‘battle space’ of America??? Not what America needs to hear … ever, unless we are invaded by an adversary or experience a constitutional failure … ie a Civil War.”

Adm. Mike Mullen, another former chairman, wrote in the Atlantic: “Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.”

Television networks broadcast images of General Milley and Mr. Esper walking behind Mr. Trump as he crossed Lafayette Square Monday evening to pose for a photo holding a Bible in front of St. John’s church. Earlier in the day, Mr. Esper joined the president’s call with governors, saying, “We need to dominate the battlespace” — a comment that set off a torrent of criticism.

More than 40 percent of active-duty and reserve personnel are people of color, and orders to confront protesters demonstrating against a criminal justice system that targets black men troubled many.

The Air Force’s top enlisted airman took to Twitter to express his anger.

“Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks … I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes,” Kaleth O. Wright, the chief master sergeant of the Air Force, said in a Twitter thread, citing the names of black men who died in police custody or in police shootings. “I am George Floyd … I am Philando Castile, I am Michael Brown, I am Alton Sterling, I am Tamir Rice.”

Neither Mr. Esper nor General Milley knew when they went to the Oval Office Monday that they would be taking part in the president’s photo op, Pentagon officials said. Nor did they know, officials said, that law enforcement personnel would be firing tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters in Lafayette Square before they crossed that park with Mr. Trump.

During the meeting in the Oval Office, which officials said became heated, General Milley and Attorney General William P. Barr argued against invoking the Insurrection Act to override governors and send active-duty troops to states where there are protests. They were able to get Mr. Trump to hold off for now, but the president nonetheless ordered active-duty troops deployed to the one place where he did not have to go through governors: the District of Columbia.

After the Oval Office meeting, officials said, Mr. Trump said he wanted to review personnel who were deployed outside the White House. Along with a number of White House staff members, Mr. Esper and General Milley joined the president — and prompted outrage.

“Ridiculous. General Milley, who I respect, is embarrassing himself,” Michael McFaul, the former United States ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama, said on Twitter. “I worked 3 years at the White House at the National Security Council. I never once saw Admiral Mullen come to the building ready for war.”

The Pentagon has yet to say how many soldiers it is deploying to Washington, per Mr. Trump’s order. Defense Department officials have given varying numbers, from 500 to “thousands.”

One Pentagon official said that the troops deploying to the capital might not be limited to the military police. The official, who said that decisions were still being made, added that the troops were coming from Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, Ft. Drum in New York and might also, surprisingly, include the so-called Old Guard ceremonial unit. The Old Guard provides security for Washington and escort to the president.

The order to deploy active-duty troops to confront protesters and looters prompted one military official to liken the order to Mr. Trump requesting his own “palace guard.”

This week, Mr. Trump said, without elaborating, that General Milley was in charge of the effort to confront the protesters and looters.

At the Pentagon, officials expressed surprise at the president’s comments, and referred questions to the White House. But officials noted that all National Guard members now deployed in the United States are under the authorities of the governors. Defense Department officials said that if those troops are federalized — that is, put under the power of the president rather than governors — that would normally be done under the auspices of United States Northern Command, which oversees military units on American territory, and not the office of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff.

Representative Adam Smith, Democrat of Washington and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called on Tuesday for Mr. Esper and General Milley to testify before lawmakers about the potential deployments of United States military personnel to states.

As soldiers arrived on Monday, clad in camouflage uniforms and clutching riot shields labeled “military police” to reinforce the line of crowd control officers guarding Lafayette Square yards from the White House, the crowd of about 400 protesters responded with verbal taunts. “Fascists!” some yelled. Others booed. A few shouted expletives.

Around 10 p.m., the military stepped up its attempts to suppress the protesters. A crowd making its way through the Chinatown area of Washington had gone relatively unbothered by law enforcement, having snaked across town, blocking roads and chanting “We can’t Breathe,” “George Floyd” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.” The group, for the most part, was peaceful.

A Black Hawk helicopter, followed by a smaller medical evacuation helicopter, dropped to rooftop level with its searchlights aimed at the crowd. Tree limbs snapped, nearly hitting several people. Signs were torn from the sides of buildings. Some protesters looked up, while others ran into doorways. The downward force of air from the rotors was deafening.

The helicopters were performing a “show of force” — a standard tactic used by military aircraft in combat zones to scatter insurgents. The maneuvers were personally directed by the highest echelons of the Washington D.C. National Guard, according to a military official with direct knowledge of the situation. The Guard did not respond to a request for comment.

The deployment is also challenging for National Guard units, which inherited a legacy from the Revolutionary War militia, the citizen-soldiers who were ready to put down their plows and pick up weapons to defend their country. Today, when the National Guard can be dispatched for an array of missions — like combat duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, helping with flood relief or providing assistance to coronavirus victims — that balance is more complicated.

Members of the Guard generally report to the governor of their state, but when units come under the command of the president, federal law prohibits them from being used domestically except under some very limited circumstances.

As of Tuesday morning, governors in 28 states and the District of Columbia had activated more than 20,400 National Guard troops to assist state and local law enforcement in support of civil unrest operations, the National Guard said.

In the current unrest, military personnel specialists say, the Guard is caught between expressing anguish over the killing of a black man, George Floyd in Minneapolis, and supporting civilian authorities in quelling the violent protests and looting that followed.

“Most of the soldiers will have sympathy for the peaceful protesters and be angry about Floyd’s death, but they’re probably angry at the violence as well,” said Peter D. Feaver, a professor of political science at Duke University who has studied the military for decades. “It puts them in a fraught position.”

Thank You to the "Ethical" Reporters.....

Thomas Gibbons-Neff is a reporter in the Washington bureau and a former Marine infantryman. @tmgneff
Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent. She was previously an editor, diplomatic correspondent and White House correspondent, and was part of the team awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, for its coverage of the Ebola epidemic. @helenecooper
Eric Schmitt is a senior writer who has traveled the world covering terrorism and national security. He was also the Pentagon correspondent. A member of the Times staff since 1983, he has shared three Pulitzer Prizes. @EricSchmittNYT
Jennifer Steinhauer has been a reporter for The New York Times since 1994. She has worked on the Metro, Business and National desk, and served as City Hall bureau chief and Los Angeles bureau chief before moving to Washington in 2010. She is the author of a novel, two cookbooks and the upcoming book "The Firsts" the story of the women of the 116th Congress. @jestei


Meanwhile, a most fave:

 ~ From Informed Comment : [video on link]

The Second Time as Farce: Donald Trump and James Madison and The Defense of the White House
By, Juan Cole

"In 1848 a series of popular uprisings broke out in Europe, including in France. They largely failed, and authoritarian, right wing governments reasserted themselves until 1870. In 1851, France had the misfortune to fall victim to a coup by the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles-Louis NapolĂ©on Bonaparte, who styled himself Napoleon III. Karl Marx had been an enthusiastic supporter of the 1848 uprising, and viewed the coup as the work of a buffoon who had happened to put together an odd coalition of social classes– businesspeople, aristocratic landlords, and a rabble of barely employed street peddlers and other workers with no consciousness of their own class interests. With his wicked wit, Marx saw Napoleon III as a dramatic come-down for France from the European-wide empire of Napoleon I. Marx wrote,

“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

We are, as Professor James Der Derian pointed out, in a similar time of farce.

Thomas Fleming writes in The Smithsonian Magazine that in 1814 Dolly Madison was glad of her husband and then president James Madison’s

“decision to station 100 militiamen under the command of a regular Army colonel on the White House lawn. Not only was it a gesture of protection on his part, it was also a declaration that he and Dolley intended to stand their ground. The president then decided to join the 6,000 militiamen who were marching to confront the British in Maryland. Dolley was sure his presence would stiffen their resolve.”

True, these measures did not forestall a brief British capture, for 26 hours, of the capital, during which fires were set to the White House and the Capitol but then extinguished by a hurricane that drove the British back to their damaged ships. This was during the astonishingly inaccurately named “War of 1812.”

Still, Madison’s attempt to stand his ground and his joining of the militiamen headed to Maryland were brave moves that reflected well on one of the greatest of American statesmen.

So much for tragedy.

In the past few days we saw the second defense of Washington, DC, by Donald J. Trump.
On Friday night as protesters approached the White House, Trump was rushed to a special bunker where he was secure from the shadowy Antifa menace of unemployed Starbucks baristas, Trotskyite undergraduates at George Washington University, and radical feminist dog-walkers from Adams Morgan.

After he thus covered himself in glory and the news got out, Trump was mortified and needed to reassert himself.

On Monday in a call with governors he berated them for looking weak. This is, I believe, called “projection” in psychiatry, though most psychiatrists have been stumped for the past three and a half years, which may account for their plummeting numbers in the Trump era.

SecDef Mark Esper, confusing largely peaceful protest of social injustice with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, hearkened back to the language of his days as an infantryman in the Gulf War, and urged governors to “dominate the battle space” in putting down the Baathist African-American putsch in Louisville-on-the-Tigris. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton has cleverly escaped being committed to an asylum by standing next to Ted Cruz as much as possible, in comparison to whom he seems slightly sane. Occasionally the optical illusion evaporates, however, as when on Monday Cotton urged that the 101st Airborne Division be sent in and that they grant “no quarter” to looters, i.e. should shoot them on sight with no due process and no opportunity to surrender. However much he might be nostalgic for the days of American war crimes in Iraq, they cannot so easily be replicated in Oakland and Cleveland.

But the morphing of the tragic into farce was nowhere better exemplified than at the White House, where a petulant Trump, his face the color of a blood orange (what happens when he blushes) from having been exposed as a bunker-asylee, called out the military police to expel protesters illegally from LaFayette Park near the White House, so that he and his imperial coterie could walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church, Trump could briefly raise a Bible, and then they could walk back.

Jared and Ivanka both came along even though neither could understand what the Anglican church had to do with it all. Was it that Henry VIII founded it and he also went through a lot of women, though he had more effective ways of getting rid of the ones that palled than a mere non-disclosure agreement? Javanka was unused to walking as opposed to being carried by corporals in palanquins, and agreed their scuffed Guccis needed immediately to be replaced.

So to recap, Madison stationed 100 militiamen around the White House as it was under siege from the Redcoats. Trump stationed a few dozen MPs around it as it was under siege from latte-drinking, bicycling, Georgetown-shopping, Foucault-spewing demonstrators. Both Madison and Trump were determined to stay in the DC area. Madison joined with 6,000 troops to defend the capital. Trump hid in a bunker. Madison accompanied his old friend Gen. Lafayette to Monticello in 1824. Trump sullied the French freedom fighter’s good name by violating the First Amendment at a park named for him (the government is not to take away “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”). Madison introduced the Bill of Rights to the constitutional convention. Trump used it to wipe his watermelon-sized ass. Madison championed the separation of religion and state. Trump held up a Bible in front of a church to signal to the more benighted white evangelicals that he wouldn’t let the Kenyans from shithole countries get uppity on his watch."


Oh shazam what can I say ?  Author ! Author ! Brilliant !


About the Author

Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan and an adjunct professor, Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University. He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Follow him on Twitter at @jricole or the Informed Comment Facebook Page



Veni Sancte Spiritus Mr. Trump.....