The country is getting more dangerous every day.
Courtesy of Vanity Fair:
“We have two pandemics,” said Nate Snyder, a former senior DHS counterterrorism official. One, of course, is the novel coronavirus. The other is the rising threat of domestic terrorism most recently exemplified by Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old arrested for allegedly fatally shooting two people and injuring a third during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse became an instant hero on the right, defended by the likes of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and adulated on extremist message boards: “Join your local nazis,” read a post featuring what appears to be a black-and-white photo of Rittenhouse toting an AR-15 in a Telegram channel associated with Atomwaffen, a neo-Nazi group that seeks a “white revolution” and race war.
Much as the spread of COVID-19 in America was helped along by his floundering and denials, the emboldening of white supremacist groups has been made possible by Donald Trump. Last Monday, he publicly defended Rittenhouse, who attended at least one of his rallies. “That was an interesting situation,” he said during a press conference. “You saw the same tape as I saw. And he was trying to get away from them…I guess he was in very big trouble. He would have been—probably would have been killed, but it’s under investigation.” Later that night, Trump offered tacit encouragement to others who believe, as Rittenhouse did, that it’s time to take matters into their own hands. “I want to leave it to law enforcement,” he said on Fox News. “But my supporters are wonderful, hardworking, tremendous people, and they turn on their television set and they look at a Portland or they look at a Kenosha…They are looking at all of this and they can’t believe it. They can’t believe it.”
His words left veterans of the Department of Homeland Security and counterterrorism experts stunned. “He is literally throwing gasoline on a fully raging fire,” said John Cohen, the former deputy undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS. As right-wing vigilantes strapped with guns flock to protest hot zones, the odds of escalation spike. “You’re going to see potentially armed extremists from the other side of the political spectrum travel to those same cities to protect the protesters. Then you run the very real risk of a full-blown firefight breaking out between these different armed camps,” Cohen said, warning of an outcome in which law enforcement is overwhelmed. “Rittenhouse is a classic illustration of the concern.”
Such an escalation is not hypothetical, and the violence in Kenosha is not isolated. Over the weekend, armed militia groups squared off in Louisville ahead of the Kentucky Derby. Clashes between protesters demanding racial justice and counterprotesters turned violent in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when one man opened fire. A man suspected of shooting a right-wing counterprotester in Portland, Oregon, was killed by federal authorities as they moved to arrest him on Thursday. A follower of the right-wing, anti-government “boogaloo” movement has been charged with the murder of a Santa Cruz sheriff’s sergeant and faces separate charges for the fatal shooting of a federal security officer in May (he has pleaded not guilty to all charges). And there’s Trump, standing in the middle of the inferno. “He continues to downplay the threat from the far right, yet he is quick to label the leftist terrorists,” said Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst at DHS. “At a minimum, if you’re going to call the leftists terrorists, you definitely need to be calling white supremacists and militia extremists who are shooting people terrorists.”
I know we have been discussing the possibility of a civil war here on IM for several months now, but I swear every day it just seems more imminent.
In fact, to be honest, I think it has already begun.
I believe some of these shootings we have heard of happening at these protests are the opening salvo.
I also think that Trump is totally cool with it.
He does not care one little bit that Americans are being killed in the streets just so long as he can then turn that around and blame it on Democratic mayors, BLM, or Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Another thing that I know is true is that Trump wants to leave America in the worst shape possible so that Joe Biden will have to spend his first year or two just cleaning up his mess before he can even start pushing his own agenda forward.
In many ways that is also what George Bush did to President Obama.