Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Black Ant's Opinion Of The Current Political Moment

In Juan Cole world right now, he and I are living in different universes. In mine, I go to work, see family, and interact with Trump voters and supporters on a regular basis, all of whom, and I do mean that I haven’t met any, are far from radicals.
 
In Dr. Cole’s world, the US is now struggling with an al-Qaeda/Taliban insurgency at home that is made up of violent revolutionaries that are planning massive actions to destroy the republic.
 
It can be a frighteningly effective tactic. Accelerationism, what I call “sharpening the contradictions,” was the tool that al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia and then ISIL used to take over 40 percent of Iraq. They have also had some success in pushing France to the far right and in damaging French traditions of civil liberties and tolerance.

Not all anti-government groups are organized on a paramilitary basis. They estimated that there are 181 militias. It was members of the militias who were dressed in military garb as they invaded the Capitol, and who appear to have contemplated violence against our elected representatives.
 
The SPLC has gathered information on 25,000 militiamen. The capabilities of the militiamen have been vastly enhanced by the veterans of Bush’s Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, who have joined them in significant numbers and have brought with them tactical and firearms and explosives expertise.
 
So in Juan Cole world, there’s 25,000 people preparing RIGHT NOW to destroy the United States. That’s a remarkable claim.
 
His two main sources for these arguments are the FBI and the SPLC.  The point of these stories is not to get the facts right, but to establish a narrative that, by dint of repetition, becomes accepted as common sense by the targeted audience. In the past few days, there have been *lots* of comments by and interviews of current and former FBI and CIA, etc. officials on network and cable news that tend toward this same direction.
 
This tells me that the legislation is coming, whatever we think of it. The task between now and February or March is to sufficiently saturate corporate media outlets with the official narrative so that bipartisan establishment support for the legislation becomes accepted and even expected. Some liberal-left Democrats like Rashida Tlaib will be allowed to voice mealy-mouthed objections to the legislation, but none will actually expend political capital contesting it. It will pass by large (nearly unanimous) majorities in the House and Senate and will involve further restrictions on the open internet, independent platforms, etc. and will further merge the interests of establishment Washington with the tech monopolies.
 
The one wrinkle in the above is whether enough Republicans can be convinced to turn on Trump and his voters, because the true Trumpists will reject the coming legislation (for mostly the wrong reasons).