Tag Archives: demonstrations

This Is Amerika: Where Fascism, Totalitarianism and Militarism Go Hand In Hand, by John W. Whitehead

Governments are doing a terrible job of protecting individual rights and liberties and protecting public order. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem.”—Ronald Reagan

There’s a pattern emerging if you pay close enough attention.

Civil discontent leads to civil unrest, which leads to protests and counterprotests.

Without fail, what should be an exercise in how to peacefully disagree turns ugly the moment looting, vandalism, violence, intimidation tactics and rioting are introduced into the equation. Instead of restoring order, local police stand down.

Tensions rise, violence escalates, and federal armies move in.

Coincidence? I think not.

This was the blueprint used three years ago in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, when the city regularly cited as being one of the happiest places in America, became ground zero for a heated war of words—and actions—over racism, “sanitizing history,” extremism (both right and left), political correctness, hate speech, partisan politics, and a growing fear that violent words will end in violent actions.

It was a setup: local police deliberately engineered a situation in which protesters would confront each other, tensions would bubble over, and things would turn just violent enough to call in the bigger guns.

It is the blueprint being used right now.

In Charlottesville, as in so many parts of the country right now, the conflict was over how to reconcile the nation’s checkered past, particularly as it relates to slavery, with the push to sanitize the environment of anything—words and images—that might cause offense, especially if it’s a Confederate flag or monument.

That fear of offense prompted the Charlottesville City Council to get rid of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that had graced one of its public parks for 82 years.

That’s when everything went haywire.

Continue reading

Hong Kong’s Inevitable Showdown, by Patrick Lawrence

No matter how well differences are papered over, trying to merge two philosophically incompatible systems for the long term is impossible. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

This reckoning with Beijing’s authority was baked into the cake 22 years ago when the Union Jack came down over Government House.

Police and protesters at a Hong Kong airport earlier this week. (YouTube)

It is impossible not to admire the bravery and commitment pro-democracy demonstrators display daily as they clog Hong Kong streets, shut down its airport, and disrupt the territory’s beating heart in Central, the commercial and financial district. But neither can one deny the tragic fate that appears near as Beijing stiffens its resolve and signals the threat of military intervention.

The futility of all action, the necessity of any: Maybe those protestors building barricades and hurling Molotov cocktails at tear-gassing riot police are reading Camus in their off- hours.

There is no question of Chinese President Xi Jinping compromising Beijing’s authority to mollify those now in their third month of protests across Hong Kong. He is too firm a believer in the primacy of the Chinese Communist Party to entertain any such risk. But there is too much at stake for the Chinese president to order mainland troops or police units into the territory short of a decisive challenge to the local administration’s ability to govern. This accounts for Beijing’s restraint over the past 10 weeks.

The best outcome in prospect now — and the chances of this appear slim at the moment — is that Xi will authorize influential political allies in Hong Kong to frame a set of reforms sufficient to isolate demonstrators by eliminating the broad public support they have to date enjoyed. In any other resolution of this crisis, the democracy advocates in the streets stand to lose everything. Even as they number in the hundreds of thousands, they are simply no match against a government intent on centralized control over a nation of 1.4 billion.

Continue reading

Who Killed The Iran Protests? by Tyler Durden

Here is a hypothesis. Maybe, as high and mighty Americans and Europeans cheer on demonstrations in Iran, a country that’s been abused by both for quite some time, Iranian lose interest, fearing that revolutionary activity will be coopted in the name of regime change and the like by outsiders. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

One prime indicator that anti-government protests in Iran have truly died down to the point of now being completely snuffed out as reports today suggest, and as we began reporting at the end of last week, is that current headlines are now merely focused on the barely lingering and ephemeral “social media battle” and anonymous YouTube activism, along with multiple postmortem accounts of a failed movement already out. It seems there’s now clear consensus that Iran’s streets have grown quiet.

It was evident by the end of last week that demonstrations were fizzling – even as the headlines breathlessly attempted to portray a bigger and more unified movement than what was really occurring on the ground. By many accounts, it was the much larger pro-government rallies that began to replace the quickly dying anti-regime protests by the middle of last week.

But a central question that remains is, who killed the Iran protests? There seemed to be a direct correlation between Western and outside officials weighing in with declarations of “solidarity” and support for regime change, and the drastic decline in protest size and distribution.

asd

One such postmortem on the now dead Iran protests published on Sunday begins by lamenting:

Less than 10 days ago, a few sporadic demonstrations about economic hardships across Iran sparked a global media frenzy. In a matter of hours, social media became delirious with #IranProtest, awash with confident assertions that “The Iranian People want regime change”. Donald Trump waded in with his support. Nigel Farage, the unlikely new champion of Iran’s revolution, hosted an LBC radio Iran special.

Despite all of this excitement, reports from Tehran over the past few days have suggested that #IranProtests may – for now – be fizzling out (read brutally contained by the authorities).

To continue reading: Who Killed The Iran Protests?

The Iranian Rebellion: Everybody’s Wrong, by Justin Raimondo

The rarest of admissions from a pundit: he doesn’t know what the hell is going on. Justin Raimondo does so in a noteworthy article on the latest from Iran. From Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Let’s get it clear right from the beginning: we don’t know what’s happening in Iran. We don’t know who’s leading the demonstrations, which are turning into riots in some parts of the country. We don’t know who, if anyone, is directing them.

Yes, yes, I know: you want me to explain what’s happening, and if it’s a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. But I’m not going to lie to you: I don’t know – and neither, at this point, does anyone else.

Here in the West, three views have taken root among the commentariat (and, of course, among US government officials: 1) This is a heroic attempt by the freedom-starved people of Iran to – finally! – overthrow the theocracy that has fastened itself on to the nation like a giant parasite. Purveyors of this view cite (sketchy) reports of Iranian demonstrators chanting “Death to Khamenei!”, “We don’t want a theocracy!,” and other anti-clerical slogans. This is the approach taken by the neoconservatives, such as Bill Kristol, shown here on MSNBC declaring that “The Iranian people want freedom” and that’s all there is to it.

On the other hand we have a different view, 2) which we can see given expression on the same video, showing Iranian lobbyist Trita Parsi blaming – wait for it! – Donald Trump. Really? Oh yes, he really means it: it’s all because of economic uncertainty due to Trump’s threats to cancel the Iran deal. This, we are told, caused Iranian banks to refrain from investing in vast new projects, and so the standard of living hasn’t met rising expectations. There may be some truth to this, but not a whole lot: Europe has invested in Iran since the Iran deal was signed: China is also a big player, and this will no doubt increase in the future.

Then there is the third view, which simply ascribes the rebellion to “US imperialism,” and the regime-change apparatus Washington has put into place in order to pull off incidents such as these. This explanation – that the US, the Saudis, and the Israelis are solely responsible for the anti-government protests – lacks the one feature all such propositions require: evidence.

To continue reading: The Iranian Rebellion: Everybody’s Wrong