Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Trump's White Nationalism Is A Threat To The Safety Of Every American


When Nan Whaley, the mayor of Dayton heard-- through the grapevine-- that Trump was thinking of going to Dayton to comfort the victims of the white nationalist mayhem he had caused, she joked that if Dayton was lucky Trump would direct AirForce One to fly to Toledo instead. That would be a long shot-- he'll be there, and in El Paso, today. The Washington Post's John Wagner reported that his "appearances that will not be universally welcome as the two cities grieve from weekend mass shootings that left 31 dead and many others injured and rattled. After hiding out in his rat-infested Bedminster golf resort all weekend while his white nationalist supporters ran amuck, Kellyanne Conway lied to the media, claiming he's wanted to go there since he heard of the massacres and suggested his "itinerary would be similar to other visits in the wake of mass shootings or natural disasters. 'He’s goes, trying to help heal communities, meeting with those who are injured, those loved ones who have survived the innocents who have lost their lives so senselessly and tragically,' she said. 'He meets with local law enforcement, federal law enforcement. He meets with medical professionals. He thanks first responders.'" That's today's script.
Several past and present Democratic officials urged Trump not to visit El Paso, a city of about 683,000 with a largely Latino population, in the aftermath of Saturday’s anti-immigrant attack at a Walmart Supercenter that left 22 dead.

Officials are still investigating but believe the alleged gunman posted a manifesto that echoed Trump’s harsh rhetoric on immigrants, notably describing his attack as “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

“This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso,” former congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) tweeted late Monday afternoon. “We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here.”

The words of O’Rourke, a presidential candidate, echoed those earlier in the day of Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), whose district includes the El Paso Walmart targeted in the massacre.

During a television appearance Monday, she urged the president and his team “to consider the fact that his words and his actions have played a role in this.”

“From my perspective, he is not welcome here,” Escobar said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “He should not come here while we are in mourning.”

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo (R) said at a Monday news conference that Trump will visit his city on Wednesday. He said he would welcome Trump in an official capacity and ask him “to support our efforts with any and all federal resources that are available.”

But Margo also cautioned Trump against invoking his previous rhetoric to talk about the border city.

“I will continue to challenge any harmful and inaccurate statements made about El Paso,” Margo said. “We will not allow anyone to portray El Paso in a way that is not consistent with our history and values.”

Adolpho Telles, chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, said during a television interview Wednesday that he welcomes Trump’s visit.

“Clearly it is going to help with people healing, and this is a time of healing,” Telles said on CNN.

He accused Democrats of “making this a political event for their benefit.”

White House officials say Trump is also planning to visit Dayton, where another gunman killed nine people early Sunday.

Asked during a CNN interview Tuesday morning if he wants Trump to visit his home state, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) noted that he represents a different area but said that Trump “would not be welcome in my hometown.”

Ryan, another Democratic hopeful whose congressional district includes a large swath of northeastern Ohio, called Trump “a polarizing figure.”

“He finds a million ways to divide us,” Ryan said. “He’s got to get beyond that.”

Trump, meanwhile, took to Twitter on Tuesday to push back against a tacit rebuke from former president Barack Obama.

In social media posts on Monday, Obama called on the country to reject words “coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders” that feed fear and hatred and normalize racist sentiments.

In his tweet, Trump quoted co-host Brian Kilmeade on Fox News’s Fox & Friends as pointing out that it was unusual for past president to speak out about the current occupant of the Oval Office in the wake of mass shootings.

“Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook,” Trump quoted Kilmeade as saying. “President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign. Not many people said Obama is out of Control. Mass shootings were happening before the President even thought about running for Pres.”
That's probably not the way Greg Miller was looking at it when he wrote, also for the Post, Far-right Violence Spurs Calls To Revise Security Priorities. He noted that the country "continues to employ a staggering arsenal of armed forces, unmanned drones, intelligence agencies and sweeping domestic authorities to contain a threat-- Islamist terrorism-- that has claimed about 100 lives on American soil since the nation mobilized after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. No remotely comparable array of national power has been directed against the threat now emerging from the far right, a loose but lethal collection of ideologies whose adherents have killed roughly the same number of people in the United States, post-9/11, as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State combined. The disparity is a source of growing alarm for officials and experts, some of whom now say the United States is overdue for a realignment of national security priorities as violence on the far right escalates."

The 22 murdered in El Paso Saturday were part of a spate of massacres incited by Trump's white nationalism "directed at targets selected for racial or religious reasons, including shootings at synagogues in San Diego and Pittsburgh... The prospects for a change in course, however, appear limited-- complicated by legal constraints, toxic American political currents and the amorphous nature of an adversary that has no dis­cern­ible structure or Osama bin Laden-like leader and has burrowed into corners of the Internet the way al-Qaeda once hid in the mountain redoubts of Afghanistan. The grim statistics associated with these two strains of extremism have begun to converge. The numbers of people killed in attacks linked to Islamist radicals or the far right in the United States since 2002 are virtually equivalent-- 104 versus 109, respectively, according to data compiled by the think tank New America .
Protecting the public from the most pressing terrorist threat “has been our governing principle for many years now,” said Lisa Monaco, who served as the top counterterrorism adviser to President Barack Obama. Given the surge in attacks linked to the far right, she said, “we need to prioritize our resources and focus on this threat.”

In some ways, the opposite has occurred under President Trump.

Last year, the administration downgraded the position that Monaco previously held, meaning that the top counterterrorism adviser in the White House no longer reports directly to the president.

The administration has also curtailed or disbanded a Department of Homeland Security program that had been created to counter violent extremism by working with regional authorities and organizations to identify those vulnerable to radicalization, whether by Islamist groups or the far right.

The main obstacle to mobilizing against the white supremacist threat, officials said, may be political. Trump on Monday denounced the alleged white nationalist sentiments of the suspected killer in El Paso. But his presidency has come to be defined by policies that are aligned with aspects of the white nationalist agenda and his penchant for fanning racial animus.

“This both makes the mobilization more necessary and interferes with that mobilization,” said Dan Byman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University and a former staff member of the 9/11 Commission. Trump’s words and actions, he said, amplify the danger by emboldening those with radical, racist views, while his signals of tolerance toward such groups-- including his comments after violence in Charlottesville-- undermine his subordinates’ ability to agree upon and organize around the threat.

Trump’s refusal to acknowledge Russian interference in U.S. politics has also contributed to the far right’s rise, experts said. Since at least 2015, Moscow’s destabilization efforts have included sweeping online operations aimed at sowing racial division in the United States by promoting the positions of white nationalists.

A social media study by researcher J.M. Berger concluded that far-right networks online are dominated by intersecting themes: “support for U.S. President Donald Trump, support for white nationalism, opposition to immigration (often framed in ­anti-Muslim terms).”

The latter is an area in which the response to 9/11-- with its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and multibillion-dollar investments in border security aimed at blocking entry to radicalized Muslims-- may have fostered xenophobic attitudes that contributed to the rise of the far right.

There are indications that U.S. national security agencies are beginning to shift toward the far-right threat. FBI Director Christopher A. Wray recently testified that the bureau had made about 100 domestic terrorism arrests in the past nine months and that “a majority of the domestic terrorism cases we’ve investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.”

But others said the almost singular reliance on the bureau to disrupt far-right networks-- with little or no involvement of other agencies-- underscores the extent to which the government has failed to adapt.

Nicholas Rasmussen, who served three years as director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said that attacks linked to al-Qaeda or the Islamic State-- including the Boston bombings and the night club shooting in Orlando-- were invariably followed by “all-hands” meetings at the White House. Among those assembled were often the heads of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the Treasury and State departments.

“But I suspect that didn’t happen this weekend at the White House,” Rasmussen said. “If it had happened in the Obama or Bush White Houses, I’m not sure it would have either. Because as soon as you hear ‘domestic,’ everybody reverts to ‘Well, the FBI has the ball.’ ” He added: “The FBI is hands down the best investigative law enforcement agency in the world, but asking them to take on this problem on their own makes no sense.”

A National Security Council spokesman declined to say whether any Cabinet-level meetings had taken place at the White House in the wake of the latest shootings, citing policy against such disclosures.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 5:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell me how encouraging real(!) Americans can threaten the safety of all Americans.

At 5:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:10 is clearly a Trumpist fool.

I await to hear any sign of awareness out of Beto regarding his too frequent support for Republican bills promoted by the guy he now wants to disinvite. Giving that bastard any support only helped to make the shooting more likely since he spouts off more when he feels empowered.

At 5:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook,”

Even bush was smart enough to STFU about who incites mass shootings. Bill O'Reilly incited the murder of a doctor named Tiller. The Nazis incited the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics. The Nazis have been inciting violence against gays, OBGYNs and nonwhites for decades. They have been running political campaigns attacking all of them since the '90s and nonwhites since 1968. You remember that year -- RFK, MLK. Neither was killed by respectful rhetoric.

The difference today is the hateful rhetoric that incites violence is far more open and obvious and proud. And, of course, everyone now owns an AK47 with a long mag... because the democraps are pussies and the Nazis are pure evil.


Post a Comment

<< Home