Monday, 14 August 2017

Conflicting narratives about Charlottesville

Making sense of the events at Charlottesville, Va

I have a little bit of time to try and make some sense of the senseless events of yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia, Va.

People everywhere are so polarised and especially,being close to the events blame everything on the “other” side.

Even here in NZ I had a ridiculous conversation with a friend who tried to sell me parallels with the rise of Hitler. When I questioned the value of making this sort of historical parallel instead of analysis he suggested that perhaps I was harbouring an attitude towards Hitler (which I freely admit I am)

What is missing is a wider perspective – whether it is the Right “making America great again” or the Left blaming their failures on Trump or Putin.

Without spending hours and hours watching interviews and reading about something that I regard as a symptom of where America is headed. Collapse of Empire will always throw up conflicts like this.

Let’s start with the conventional narrative.

The events are scarcely  behind us  and already there  an article on Wikipedia telling us exactly what happened and evaluating it by who was present - all before the dust has settled.

The August 11–12 rally was organized to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park (formerly known as Lee Park).[8][9] The event was organized by white nationalists, white supremacists and members of the alt-right.[10][11] The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote the rally was "shaping up to be the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States" and was "expected to draw a broad spectrum of far-right extremist groups – from immigration foes to anti-Semitic bigots, neo-Confederates, Proud Boys, Patriot and militia types, outlaw bikers, swastika-wearing neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Ku Klux Klan members".[12] Among the far-right groups engaged in organizing the march were the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer clubs,[13] the neo-Confederate League of the South,[7] the National Policy Institute,[14] and the National Socialist Movement.[7] Other groups involved in the rally were the Ku Klux Klan,[3] the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights,[15] the 3 Percenters,[16] the Traditionalist Workers Party,[15] Identity Evropa,[1] Vanguard America,[15] the American Guard,[17] the Pennsylvania Light Foot Militia,[18] the Nationalist Front,[7] and Anti-Communist Action.[17] Prominent far-right figures in attendance included Tim Treadstone,[19] Augustus Invictus,[12] David Duke,[20] Nathan Damigo,[12] Matthew Heimbach,[19] Faith Goldy,[21] Richard B. Spencer,[19] Mike Enoch,[19] League of the South founder Michael Hill,[12] self-described "white activist" Jason Kessler,[22] and radio host Christopher Cantwell


And here is how VICE characterises things.

White supremacist march in Charlottesville leads to chaos and violence

Of course we have people on the Right, like Alex Jones who knows exactly what happened and then what I characterise as the fascist liberals are teling us that what happened was a terrorist act when the investigation of what happened hasn’t even begun yet.

It’s all guilt by association – “they’re nazis so this is the truth”

The truth of course is much more complicated.

From the get-go, I can tell you that these words of Don DeBar, a let-leaning anti-imperialist who voted Green Party resonate with me.

"People need to learn to discern between idiot, angry, miseducated sociopathic post adolescents like this sick twist and FBI/CIA concocted Nazis like David Duke and real, actual fascists seeking a mass base and actual political power. Kicking the shit out of the former feels good to a lot of folks - I understand the impulse. But it is not fighting fascism, and, in fact, helps advance the agenda of the real McCoy."

---Don DeBar, via Facebook

By listening to a couple of commentaries and interviews it has become clear to me that things are not nearly as cut-and-dried as the media displays it.

I have to make clear that in the past I would have immediately been in support of organisations like Antifa on the basis that they are anti-fascist. But with the world the way it is what we need is not ideology, or taking sides, but a clear analysis of how this fits in with events that are seeing societies in decline and America losing its way as a world hegemon.

We are talking about something that has more than an air of inevitability about it.

It really makes sense to ask who the nazis are and who the fascists are – and who represents the greater threat.

Those who see Trump as a nazi dictator tend to overlook the fact that America has been a fascist state since at least 9/11 and the Patriot Act and that what we are seeing now (including Trump) is a result of what came before.

Although the more one  listens to Patrick Henningsen of 21st Century Wire the more his unstated bias towards the “alt-Right” and dislike of the Left becomes more apparent (for example, he is a terrible climate change denier).

However, I have to say that there is a lot of sense to what he says and he is engaging in analysis from his own position rather than just spouting opinions.

This is what I listened to yesterday on RT:

Today he was on the air interviewing Andy Nowicki who was in Charlottesville as a journalist embedded with participants of the rally.

In what sounded to me to be a reasonable version of events from a witness he basically said that the authorities were going to ban the demonstration based solely on the political views of the organisers but the decision was reversed with support from the ACLU.

The demonstration was relatively peaceful while militias kept the two groups apart but police had a hands- off approach allowing the leftist ANTIFA (who did NOT have permission to be there) to physically attack the folk from the Right. When they did intervene, according to this account, it was to close the thing down basically because of the actions of the Leftists, but blaming the hitherto peaceful demonstrators who had the permit to be there.

Was it a false flag? I think not but I feel sure that this will be used to tar the supporters of Trump with further epithets of nazi, racist, terrorist – you name it – it all fits even if it doesn’t fit with the facts.

Even the act of, at a time of febrile conflict and division to remove statues of Robert E Lee (who, like it or not, is part of US history) is red rag to a bull. The only thing I can compare it with is if, in Russian, they removed Lenin from the mausoleum. The Russians have (sensibly) not gone down that road.

Listen to the following (from approx the 32 minute mark)

This footage reflects what Mr Nowicki witnessed

Here is some more from the libertarian Right that seems to confirm the same narrative

Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange has a slightly more neutral approach although the information is much the same

Even Debbie, Sane Progressive is not buying into the mainstream narrative of blame

The terrible event of a car running into demonstrators looks very much as if it was intentional but to tar everyone with the same brush seems diingenuous to say the least.

There was an extreme section of both sides as shown by the following placard that was reprotedly making the rounds before the event.

There was definitely violence from the likes of ANTIFA who seemed ready to beat up anyone they identified as “alt-right”. There was definitely violence from the extreme elements on the Right. That much is sure.

The question I would ask myself is whether there were agents provocateurs there, lured into violence perhaps by the authorities and whether this might have been the outcome the authorities were looking for.

The trouble, it seems to me, is that many are responding emotionally to Trump who seems to be there specifically to collapse American society (rather than ‘making America great again) but misidentifying the real threat.

There is a great danger that people might become the dupe of this man.

George Soros predicts riots, police state and class war for America

George Soros predicts riots, police state and class war for America

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