Friday, June 3, 2016

What evil lurks deep in the hearts of Donald Trump's constituency?


A disturbing non sequitur reply to one ofDonald Trump's campaign tweets.

Scary Tweets in the Interzone

I came across this Tweet this morning. The tweet's author apparently believes that a President Trump will provide the bloodbath that America needs—making America great again, indeed. MR, the tweet author, blames Marxists for America's problems. History tells us that when beliefs like this are actuated by a state, citizens become more patriotic and rally together in the cause of eradicating the Jews (e.g. Germany); the Muslims (e.g. Bosnia); teachers, parents, and neighbors (e.g. China during the Cultural Revolution); or the Marxists and intellectuals (e.g. Chile) from among the general population. The Holocaust happened only seventy hears ago; the rest of them happened within the last fifty. An underground naturally forms around the scapegoats, and the underground might also seek to overthrow the tyranny, but typically these networks manage to save only a small number of people from the state-sponsored fate that awaits them, and their uprisings yield tales more of heroic martyrdom than of David defeating Goliath.


The Pinochet quote seems accurate. It is quoted abundantly in many places about the Web, but, in true internet fashion, none of the quotes provide a citation that tells us when, where, and how Pinochet said it. Interestingly enough, there is a similar quote with a specific citation from Thomas Jefferson:
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure. —Thomas Jefferson, Letter, Paris, 13 November 1787, to William Stephens Smith.
Yet Jefferson was writing about the cost in blood of the American Revolution and not of some purge of undesirables in America or Chile. 

There is no evidence that Trump advocates this sort of violent extremism. People can and do comment whatever they want in response to a tweet, especially the tweet of someone well followed. Yet I have no doubt that Trump is a magnet for extremists like MR, all of whom will no doubt want their beliefs translated to action after the election. I shudder to notice that MR has five likes on his tweet—in this context, those five s are like pats on the back from five strangers in the crowd.


MR professes admiration for right-wing dictators.

He is also repulsively racist:


I lived in Chile in 2005, and I've talked to both Pinochet supporters—of whom there are many, much to my surprise—and to those who hid from him in the years after the coup. In the Santiago Metro on random walls I saw flyers like you might see for a missing cat here in the States, but these flyers were for people who disappeared in 1973 when the junta had the Chilean Army out rounding up every enemy, real and imagined. "Did you see my son?" "My daughter?" "My husband?" "I haven't seen him or her since 11 September 1973."

The Other 9/11

Socialist Salvador Allende was elected to the Chilean presidency in November 1970. Chile, as a mistress nation of the United States, was discontent, and Allende was seeking an arrangement in which Chile would not lose in every deal it made. The Soviet Union wooed Chile because they needed ports on the Pacific for servicing their submarines. Yet this sort of slouching toward another lover just would not do in the eyes of Chile's long-term master, the United States. 

Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger advised President Richard Nixon to do something about it. Several American corporations had a vested interest in lassoing the wandering colony back into the fold. Among them was ITT, the International Telephone & Telegraph, a close friend of AT&T. ITT owned 70% of the Chilean Telephone Company and funded the right-wing newspaper El Mercurio (Wikipedia). The Nixon White House had their fingers deep in the Chilean coup, and the underlying rationale has Henry Kissinger's fingerprints all over it: drop Allende in his tracks; put hardline pro-American soldiers in charge. The Americans have always denied foreseeing the bloodbath resulting from the takeover, but they wouldn't admit it if they had. The CIA roused civilian discontent in Chile: domestic turmoil, lots of strikes, demonstrations, and all sorts of attention that embarrasses a president trying to reform his country. The US went to the Chilean military and said, "Why don't you boys take over?"

"Because you would frown upon our destabilization of a strategically important region. You might put sanctions in place. You might even invade."

"No, we want you to take over and work with us. We will support your golpe del estado—which shouldn't take much—with air support. We may have to criticize you publicly, but you understand politics well enough to understand that such criticism is meaningless. We will support you with whatever aid you need."

So, on 11 September 1973, there were American jets in the air over Santiago as Chilean tanks rolled south from the military base in the north part of the city, down La Avenida Bernardo O'Higgins (which changes names a few times) to La Moneda, the presidential palace.

"I'm sorry, on what date did you say?" you ask.

"September 11th. Why?"

"Oh.... nothing."

"OK, well, it wasn't until later that Pinochet emerged as a clear ruler of the junta. In the beginning it was just a group of Chilean generals." Junta, by the way, means a group or a "board" like a board of directors.
The junta immediately established a 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew. Anyone found on the streets during curfew was either shot or taken prisoner. On top of that, the junta began rounding up its enemies, MR's Marxists. Mostly they rounded up students and professors. The earthy, bestial, philistine's way that tyrants and fascists look at life is not well supported by educated people, and this condescension makes the right-wingers feel insecure. So they kill people. They arrested folk singer Victor Jara. They arrested newspaper editors and journalists. They arrested so many people that they used the National Stadium as a holding tank, and from there all those people disappeared. Los desaparecidos. They had no trials, no due process, nothing. They were simply taken somewhere, killed, and buried in mass graves.

A special unit was on its way to arrest Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda when word came down that the poet had deprived the unit of its prize by dying of natural causes before they got there. Or that was what people believed for thirty years. More recently it has come out that Neruda was likely fatally poisoned by one of those tiny bits of radio-active particles that slowly consumes the victim from the inside.

The coup was hard on everybody, not just the professors and students of the universities. Because the soldiers who patrolled the streets 24 hours per day had few controls and little supervision, there was a great deal of raping and sexual harassment going on. As a target group of the coup, women suffered tremendously and probably more than any other group.

I've met a lot of people who believe that the American distaste for the Socialist Salvador Allende was sufficient reason to depose him. But what if the shoe were on the other foot? What if the French in 2008 had found Barak Obama so distasteful that they had invaded Washington, killed Obama, taken over the White House, established a curfew, and had caused thousands of American citizens to disappear with neither trace nor known grave site. Anyone so patriotically American that they advocate killing presidents would be outraged by receiving the same treatment at home. And this demonstrates how in the prevailing American mindset, Latin Americans are sub-standard, second-class specimens of humanity with whom in all dealings both political and economic it is unnecessary to be either honest or fair.

Asking Isabel to Ask Michelle to Ask the Generals...

Michelle Bachelet first served as President of Chile from 2006 to 2010, and she was reĆ«lected and has been President again since 11 March 2014. She is friends with Isabel Allende—who didn't know her famous uncle, Salvador Allende, well because of a family gap created by a divorce. Salvador Allende "committed suicide" (official story) at the time of the coup. Allende occasionally makes online public appearances, and I went to two or three of those to encourage her to use her influence with Bachelet to have the President order the military to reveal the location of where the graves are so that there could be a full accounting for the thousands of people who disappeared in 1973. It's just awful that people are putting flyers up in the Metro system begging for information on the remote chance that they might find something out. I've since learned that some of this has been done, so I quit harassing Isabel Allende. To her troupe I probably appeared just as loopy as MR looks to me...

The United States has not done much of this sort of action within its own borders—most of it has been limited to small ventures like the Tuskegee Experiment on men who were deliberately given syphilis by injection without being told, or like when radioactive fallout was allowed to fall on St George, Utah, to see what would happen—at the very least, that had to have shortened some lifespans. The New York Times reported that "children who grew up in southern Utah in the 1950's died from leukemia at more than twice the normal rate." A convincing case can be made that the US, acting through one of its covert proxies like the CIA, instigated 9/11 on the basis that (1) Osama bin Laden was a CIA agent who, during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan of the 1980s, procured weapons and funding for the Mujahideen, an insurgency group fighting the Russians; (2) the US has repeatedly demonstrated the will to kill in order to profit; and (3) if you "follow the money," benefits of 9/11, including the self-righteous anger and justification to invade at least two countries, point back to the US military-industrial complex.

Al Qaeda got little more than a few moments of joy out of 9/11, but the US claimed invasion rights to two countries. It took over the oil fields of Iraq, and restored the Afghan opium supply so it could continue to make and sell heroin to its own people. It built a pipeline from the production region of Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea, across Afghanistan, through the Himalayas at the Kyber Pass, and down into a new terminal near Mumbai. That pipeline will profit from supplying both Russia by sea and India by land as both countries come online with cars.

Domestically the US took advantage of the warlike hysteria to clamp down on American civil liberties, and it initiated a vast high-tech surveillance program of its own citizens.

Beyond its adventures at home, the US has done even more heinous deeds to other nations, particularly in what we were taught in junior high school to call euphemistically America's back yard. Within the tunnel vision of American foreign policy, Latin Americans amount to a second-class sub-humanity that is not entitled to the same basic rights of American citizens at home. Ronald Reagan's contra war in Nicaragua was funded by cocaine sales to the Crips and the Bloods of Los Angeles. The drug trafficking in Latin America probably reaches much further back than that. The United States has lied to its own people about conducting a War on Drugs that in reality is a War against the Competition in the Drug Business. In Colombia, with the help of a cooperative Colombian government and armed forces, the US has out-maneuvered the left-wing FARC revolutionaries to become the leading cocaine cartel in Colombia. For decades, the FARC has used Marxist cant on its Web page as a justification for their rampant criminal activity including drug trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion. Likewise in the United States, the US portrays its efforts abroad as an interdiction, and many movies and TV shows lately portray DEA agents as heroes in the endless war. US drug trafficking and its war against its competitors has strewn a murderous chaos from the Rio Grande river all the way through Mexico, Central America, and the cocaine production regions of the Andes. The whole business is a morally putrid suitcase crammed with mind-rotting drugs, malfeasance, murder, and a massive deception that makes the world's sleaziest and most brutal felons out to be flag-sucking super-patriots.

So if MR's hope for a fascistic leader in Trump materializes, what they gain most by their bloodbath isn't so much a mass murder of universal healthcare advocates and other Marxist entitlements. What they gain is silence, ignorance, bliss about American war crimes committed on a global scale. I slip into a dizzy self-contentment with my smart phone, my car with a tank full of gas (and which will soon drive itself), a brain overstimulated from constant entertainment, and a plethora of gift options to give the person who has everything because I already do have everything. Rather like one of Saddam Hussein's kids in the 1980s, I might have an inkling that dad is out there at play in the fields of war, gassing Kurds and stealing oil, but I don't want to look the gift horse too closely in the mouth because the gifts abound. And it's in that way that MR has it all wrong: the conflict isn't between left and right, between fascist and Marxist. The conflict is between those who have and those who don't. This left and right business is just another distraction.