Reiter's Ramble

Everything is a Test: Curfews, COVID and Military

tl;dr In Seattle and abroad, we are seeing events lined up to combine active military force, curfews, attempts to instigate a resurgence in COVID and familiar voter suppression tactics to slim down or kill the ability to vote later this year.

The last seven days for the United States likely settled the course that we, as a nation, must run to its end. The actions leading up to Tuesday night involving the use of actively enlisted military force against protesters nationwide, but especially in Washington, DC by the White House administration have been the results of small steps. These small steps were a series of pressure tests performed by Trump and his allies since his campaign for office in 2015. We have witnessed tests of tolerance, ranging from discussions around the grabbing of genitalia, making fun of disabled reporters all the way to a photo op with a church right after a declaration of malicious intent against peaceful protesters.

This road has been in the making for the last four years and has complicity from government officials and citizens alike. Truthfully, the platform for this disgraceful and downtrodden turn of events has been built up over the last fifty to sixty years. The platform was raised enough, so that an interested group could finally take advantage of it. This group ended up being those under the lead of Donald Trump.

The road that was launched from this platform was built, on pressure testing the GOP member base to ensure they were complicit and even excited for the message that this party was delivering. Often times, it was met with thunderous cheer, and this cheer was amplified through select media outlets, including those of the social networking variety. It was very simple, and followed the same road that Herman Göring saw paved during the rise of the National Socialist party for Germany in the 1940’s. He said:

Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.

The GOP has been fanning flames of disinformation that serves them, regardless of its origin or inauthenticity. They are able to rally their base around Göring’s principle because much of that base is comprised of single issue voters. Over the last four years, the message has been clear: the Republic is under attack by those who don’t know better, or are trying to give way to communism, or don’t value the sanctity of life or American principles. The “Red Scare” has been resurrected as the enemy to capitalism, so The GOP and the Republican base can save America. And ironically, there are pictures of people who have said they would rather be a Russian than a Democrat.

There is no nation more enticing to conquer than the United States. And what better way to do it, than to do so from within. And so, through small steps, the base has been radicalized, the stage has been set and the road has been laid bare.

The Last Seven Days/The Insurrection Act

The Insurrection Act of 1807 is a United States federal law that empowers the president of the United States to deploy U.S. military and federalized National Guard troops within the United States in particular circumstances, such as to suppress civil disorder, insurrection and rebellion.

The act provides the “major exception” to the Posse Comitatus Act, which limits the use of military troops under federal command within the United States for law enforcement purposes. The president must firstly issue a proclamation ordering the insurgents to immediately disperse.

To date, this has been invoked 19 times in the United States. If it is enacted, this would be the 20th such invocation. However, the reserves have already been deployed at the state level and direction from a Federal level. There was an exhibition of force over a crowd in Washington, DC in which a helicopter hovered a stone’s throw away from a crowd gathered below.

Across the nation, protests are beginning to swell, after a slight dissipation from the weekend prior. This was largely due to police escalation. This is in the interest of Republicans to do so. It allows further justification of mob controls, brings people closer together in the middle of a pandemic, and begins the pattern of regular curfews across cities and entire states to make it seem normal.

If the Insurrection Act is invoked, it will deploy military reserves and other active military to cities, conceivably well beyond the scope of what we’re seeing now ofMilitary Police supplementing civilian law enforcement. The precedent does not seem to be too pertinent, due to how many times it has been invoked in the past.

ANTIFA was named as the group at fault—that much of the vandalism was the fault of radical left-wing groups. Then the association of protesters being left wing allows (in the GOP hive mind) a connection between ANTIFA and anyone who is protesting. Now, Trump has the insurrection group that must be named as part of the invocation.

Attorney General William Barr wrote in a statement the day of Trump’s tweet:

The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.

And finally, Trump used police and military force to disperse people so he could “freely” walk from the White House to St. John’s church and hold up a bible. The police expelled the presiding priests, and Trump was there for a photo to hold a bible, not even his—he said that it was a bible and didn’t say it was his when asked—and less than 24 hours later, a video came from the White House that cannot be described anymore as deceptive propaganda for the GOP base.

Military force. Propaganda photo ops. Inciting further protests. This is not done to be simply chaotic. I do not believe President Trump has the wherewithal to do this himself. But I absolutely believe William Barr does. He was the one responsible for ordering the police to push the protesters out.

And now, I will describe the road that we are set on. From here on out, it is speculative. I am going to paint the worst possible but plausible picture, because I want to scare you. You need to be scared, so you act.

The Endgame

Everything is geared toward November and causing as much disruption between now and then. The Republicans have publicly stated that if everyone voted, they would be largely out of office. Trump doesn’t want mail-in ballots because that enables more people to vote.

Trump needs the votes to be public for his ego. Barr needs the votes to be public for the culmination of work over the last four years.

The GOP want and need these protests, strategically. Yes, I said it—the GOP need these protests, as it is a play that allows a much more merciless attack on freedom of movement. A separate post on this subreddit showed how a one-off organizer managed to get the largest protest event in the Seattle area on Facebook. This is a candidate for astroturfing, in the hopes of overwhelming police and causing further destruction in the Seattle area.

The pandemic couldn’t have come at a better time, and the teams that kept a good pandemic response out of the picture were restructured in 2018. The pandemic team organized by President Obama was reformed under President Trump’s pick of John Bolton, who reorganized the team. Sure enough, a pandemic started in China, and the United States was ill-equipped to deal with it as a result.

The next piece was getting people back on the streets to exacerbate the pandemic, because the stay-at-home efforts were actually working. Initially, this came in the form of astroturfing the need to reopen businesses to save the economy, and get the Americans that were hurting from a lack of work back out to save their houses and lives. Still, there was resistance, and it wasn’t effective enough.

Then, George Floyd was killed, and protests came out around the United States. Understandably so—it has been an age-old struggle for African Americans, who manage to live in a different country from their Caucasian counterparts, despite both living in the United States. So the protests came began.

The price of propaganda has become so cheap in the last twenty years. All it takes is ensuring the right articles and arguments surface to fan the flames for protest, and ensure people are out of doors to increase the exposure risk to COVID. All it takes is a police officer grabbing a pink umbrella, or police putting a baton in someone’s hand and beating them for being in possession of their weapon, and you ensure everyone sees it. Also understand that there are those who despise being set against people who do not match their ideologies who also happen to work for police, and you’ll have a conflict between the police person who is tired of a group’s bullshit and some cameras to catch the outcome.

Prediction:

Repetition is the key to normalcy. Curfews become announced more regularly. Cities and even entire states across the US have repeatedly extended curfews to curb the rioting that is being performed by those who are not protesting. There is no conspiracy here; the rioters and looters either want to take advantage of the situation, or want to muddy the peaceful message that protesters are trying to convey. They don’t have to be paid actors or bussed in. There’s simple incentive to give into negative feelings and go on a spree.

There may be a dissipation in a first wave of protests, either from exhaustion or from COVID, perhaps not. Inevitably, the flames will be fanned again in the months leading up to federal elections. Remember, this is only five months away.

Possibly, an event happens that spurns further active military action. This might come in the way of someone shooting at active duty or reserve military. There are equal chances of it being someone who is disgruntled, or someone who is plainclothes (linking Color of the Day specifically for tangential information) to instigate further action.

Inevitably, the Insurrection Act is invoked, and a loose connection between ANTIFA and any protester is drawn. The needs for curfews continue due to a response by the outraged, and the military is set to “take out” protests or large gatherings, and to arrest anyone who is out beyond curfew.

Posse Comitatus prevents the military from arresting civilians. The national emergency by way of The Insurrection Act would allow civilian arrests by military, if they tried wiggling it. Or they would and just be forced to let go of people later. Better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Inevitably, the precedent of a curfew during times of voting comes about. We have witnessed over the last several years how people have been unable to vote because of work, because of a reduction in voting stations (primarily in places where there is a Democratic party or minority presence), or because of purges of registered voter lists.

Now, imagine COVID and civil unrest being used in conjunction with curfews to limit or cut off voting altogether. It doesn’t have to be everywhere, but it must be enough to allow the GOP to win not only the White House for a second term, but to win back the House of Representatives. From there, we see many more laws shoved through that further deteriorate the United States.

Inevitably, the end goal is to suppress the vote through illness and continual protest—starting with George Floyd and turning into an American Arab Spring) to give the administration reason to send out military forces and inevitably suppressing the voters.

And if that is not believable, Washington, DC had its voting the day following Trump going to St. John’s church.

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