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Showing posts with label Thomas countryman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thomas countryman. Show all posts

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Rebellion Day 12 - And Pinche Trump Is HIDING !!! He's Digging a Tunnel Back to Mar D' Lago - HUNDREDS More Former U.S. Diplomats, Military & Senior Officials REBUKE Trump !! - Bill Moyers !!The Walls Come Crumblin Down: Mellencamp !!!

Washington D.C.Tthe Road To The White House Courtesy Mayor Of D.C., Muriel Bowser !


First off, a giant thank you to the Mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser !!!


 ~ From The Guardian:

Washington Mayor Stands Up To Trump and Unveils Black Lives Matter Mural
by, Lauren Aratani 

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It's going to be a long weekend, here are the updates:


 ~ From CNN:


George Floyd Protests Across The U.S. 


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Hundreds more former U.S. Diplomats, Military and Senior Officials rebuke Trump !!!

This actually was from yesterday: 


 ~ From Foreign Policy:  Report edited today, the number is up to 418!!!


More than 200 Former Senior U.S. Diplomats Rebuke Trump
by, Jack Detswche, Robbie Grammer 

"More than 280 former senior U.S. diplomats and military leaders rebuked President Donald Trump over his plans to use U.S. military units to control protests across the country in a letter shared with Foreign Policy on Friday. 

 
The participants joined a chorus of high-ranking current and former officials who already have condemned the commander in chief after police forcibly cleared protesters near the White House this week for a photo opportunity.


The letter was drafted by Douglas Silliman, the president’s former ambassador to Iraq; Deborah McCarthy, who served as U.S. ambassador to Lithuania during the Obama administration; and Thomas Countryman, a veteran diplomat who served as the State Department’s top arms control official. 


“Many of us served across the globe, including in war zones, diplomats and military officers working side by side to advance American interests and values. We called out violations of human rights and the authoritarian regimes that deployed their military against their own citizens,” the former high-ranking officials wrote. “We condemn all criminal acts against persons and property, but cannot agree that responding to these acts is beyond the capabilities of local and state authorities.” 


“There is no role for the U.S. military in dealing with American citizens exercising their constitutional right to free speech, however uncomfortable that speech may be for some,” the signatories added, condemning the use of National Guard helicopters in a so-called “rotor wash” low-flying action against protesters near the White House on Monday night. On Thursday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered as many as 700 soldiers with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division that were on high alert to respond to protests back home, leaving under 1,000 active-duty U.S. troops nearby, mostly from military police units. 


Speaking to reporters on Friday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy confirmed that Esper had given the 91st Military Police Battalion “vocal instructions” to depart the Washington, D.C., area immediately and that it was the Pentagon’s intention to send home any other remaining troops “as soon as possible.”


“The decision to bring the active forces in on Monday was largely due to the fact that we did not have enough people here,” McCarthy said at a Pentagon gaggle today. “Sunday was an incredibly challenging night for us: The Lincoln Monument was defaced, we had five soldiers hit in the head with a brick, obviously St. John’s was burned. Inside of Lafayette Square, [we] definitely lost control, to the point they were on the north fence.”


Lawmakers and former members of Trump’s own administration, including former Defense Secretary James Mattis, have criticized the White House’s decision to flood the nation’s capital with more than 4,500 National Guard troops—mostly from other U.S. states. Trump has yet to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act that allows the U.S. military to respond to riots, and active-duty units ordered on standby did not enter Washington, D.C., city limits. 


But even the deployments of reservists and Justice Department personnel, who have been seen concealing their badge numbers and other identifying information, have stoked ire from local officials, after protests proceeded peacefully throughout much of the week. In a letter sent to Trump on Thursday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told the president that she had ended the city’s state of emergency for demonstrations and asked for National Guard troops to demobilize. 


“The protestors have been peaceful, and last night, the Metropolitan Police Department did not make a single arrest,” Bowser wrote. “Therefore, I am requesting that you withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington, DC.” Bowser accelerated her protests of Trump’s response on Friday, unveiling a street sign for “Black Lives Matter Plaza” next to the White House after the city hired a crew to paint the adjoining intersection with a stenciled tribute to the movement. 


The walling off of the White House and use of unidentified Justice Department personnel to patrol Washington’s streets has prompted outcry from Capitol Hill, including from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has demanded that those units make their badge numbers visible.


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Here is a copy of the letter if you missed it, with all of the signees (so far):


 ~ From Just Security:


The Strength of Americas Apolitical Military 
by, Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman, Ambassador Deborah A. McCarthy & Thomas Countryman


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Only just received this as an email, must read, love this guy: (note their poet of the day is Octavio Paz)

 ~ From billmoyers.combillmoyers.com

We Hold This Truth to Be Self-Evident: It's Happening Before Our Very Eyes
by, Bill Moyers 


"At 98, historian Bernard Weisberger has seen it all. Born in 1922, he grew up watching newsreels of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler as they rose to power in Europe. He vividly remembers Mussolini posturing to crowds from his balcony in Rome, chin outthrust, right arm extended. Nor has he forgotten Der Fuehrer’s raspy voice on radio, interrupted by cheers of “Heil Hitler,” full of menace even without pictures.


Fascist bullies and threats anger Bernie, and when America went to war to confront them, he interrupted his study of history to help make history by joining the army. He yearned to be an aviator but his eyesight was too poor. So he took a special course in Japanese at Columbia University and was sent as a translator to the China-Burma-India theater where Japanese warlords were out to conquer Asia. Bernie remembers them, too.


In time, we became colleagues on a series of broadcasts about the 20th century. As we compared the leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler in an episode titled The President and the Dictator, Bernie kept reminding the team that the most cunning demagogues “are never more than a few steps from becoming dictators.” Not surprisingly, the subject came up again when Trump was elected. No, we didn’t think he was Hitler, or the Republicans Nazis, but both of us acknowledged a deep unease over the vulnerabilities of democracy, which had led to Trump’s election in the first place. Inspired by Bernie and unnerved by Trump, I decided to take a deeper look at democracy under stress and began reading what is now more than a dozen books on Europe in the 1930s. The most recent is a compelling and chilling account of Hitler’s First Hundred Days, by the historian Peter Fritzsche – a familiar story revisited by the author with fresh verve and insight.

Hitler was a master of manipulation, using propaganda, violence, intimidation, showmanship, and spectacle — and above all, fear. By demonizing “the other” – Jews, social democrats and communists – Hitler won the hearts and minds of the masses, consolidating his power, and turning Germany into a one-party Nazi state.


I had just finished the book when I received a short email from Bernie, who had been watching on television the events following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. He wrote, “All this open talk by Trump of dominance is pretty undisguised fascism. He’s inciting chaos to set the stage for the strong man to ‘rescue’ the nation.”


There was no doubt who would be Superman riding to America’s rescue. When Trump promised to end what he called “American carnage” – a crisis of “poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, crime and gangs and drugs” — he did not ask for our help. He did not ask that we put our faith in each other or in our democratic values or even in God. Donald J. Trump would be our savior, the new Messiah — because “I alone can fix it.”

Bernie’s note triggered a recollection, sending me across the room to retrieve from a file drawer an essay written two years ago in The New York Review of Books by the American legal scholar Cass Sunstein. Reviewing three new books about ordinary Germans and the Nazi regime, he concluded: “With our system of checks and balances, full-blown authoritarianism is unlikely to happen here.”


I had admired Sunstein’s work for years and found reassuring his judgment that the rule of law would check a would-be tyrant. But many found that assurance disquieting. One dissenter was Norman Ravitch, emeritus professor of history at the University of California, Riverside. Responding to Sunstein, he wrote: “The normal concern of people of all sorts with their daily lives, family, work, leisure, and so on indicates that only those in certain areas of work and life could possibly notice the slow but relentless advance of authoritarian and totalitarian policies by the government. The Nazis knew how to appeal to people who did not have the ideological concerns but only normal human concerns. They knew how to conceal their real goals and how to make passive individuals active supporters.”

So does Trump. He understands that most Americans are concerned with little more than the economy, health care and jobs. They respond positively to politicians who promise action on these priorities, whether or not they know if those promises will ever be fulfilled. Ravitch pointed out that like Hitler and like Mussolini, Trump knows how to appeal to a variety of concerns with promises that can be both attractive and contradictory. Because no population is educated enough, sensitive enough, or ethical enough to see through the deception, “the danger is very great indeed. It may in fact be one of the chief weaknesses of democracy that democracy can lead to tyranny just as well or perhaps even more than other political systems.”


Two years have passed since that exchange between scholars, and in those two years Trump has doubled down. This president is no friend of democracy.


He has declared himself above the law, preached insurrection by encouraging armed supporters to “liberate” states from the governance of duly elected officials, told police not to be “too nice” while doing their job, and gloated over the ability of the Secret Service to turn “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” loose on demonstrators — to “come down on them hard” if they get too “frisky.

He has politicized the Department of Justice while remaking the judiciary in his image.
He has stifled investigations into his administration’s corruption, fired officials charged with holding federal agencies accountable to the public, and rewarded his donors and cronies with government contracts, subsidies, deregulations, and tax breaks.


He has maligned and mocked the disadvantaged, the disabled, and people of color.


He has sought to politicize the military, including in his entourage the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs (dressed in combat fatigues), as his orderlies unleashed chemical fumes on peaceful protesters – all so that the president could use them as stage props in a photo op, holding up a Bible in front of a historic church, just to make a dandy ad for his re-election campaign.

He has purged his own party of independent thinkers and turned it into a spineless, mindless cult while demonizing the opposition.


He has purloined religion for state and political ends.


He has desecrated the most revered symbols of Christian faith by converting them to partisan brands. 


He has recruited religious zealots for jobs in his administration, rewarding with government favors the electoral loyalty of their followers.


He has relentlessly attacked mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people” while collaborating with a sycophantic right- wing media – including the Murdoch family’s Fox News — to flood the country with lies and propaganda.


He has maneuvered the morally hollow founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, into compromising the integrity of the most powerful media giant in the country by infusing it with partisan bias.


And because truth is the foe he most fears, he has banned it from his administration and his lips.  


Yes, Bernie, you are right: the man in the White House has taken all the necessary steps toward achieving the despot’s dream of dominance.


Can it happen here?


It is happening here.


Democracy in America has been a series of narrow escapes. We may be running out of luck, and no one is coming to save us. For that, we have only  ourselves."

Bill Moyers

For more than half a century, Bill Moyers has been listening to America as a journalist, writer and producer. You can explore his body of work on the Bill Moyers Timeline. Follow his work on Twitter at @BillMoyers.



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I'll be back....