Trump is not Hitler or Mussolini, but he is Richard Nixon and Nelson Rockefeller, and that’s bad enough.
Apparently believing it will bolster his pro-police image, the Trump Administration has announced that it is reversing President Obama’s 2015 restrictions on the provision of certain U.S. military equipment to local American police forces.
Announcing the move on Monday to the Fraternal Order of Police convention in Nashville, Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused the former president of putting “superficial concerns above public safety” and cheered Trump’s decision, telling police that allowing cops to have military gear will send a message that “we will not allow criminal activity, violence, and lawlessness to become the new normal.”
Far from superficial, the concerns surrounding local police forces being given weapons of war had longstanding and serious implications for American society. This was true particularly after the Global War on Terror fueled an increase in military spending that left even more surplus military goods to be doled out to the police.
Providing local police with bayonets and amphibious tanks has concerned civil rights groups since the program began back in 1997. This is primarily because to the extent police were ever asked to justify these acquisitions at all, they tended to present them as riot control gear to contend with civil unrest. With America in a state of constant warfare since 2001, this was not some idle excuse, but rather reflective of a broad change in mentality.
Trump is predictably going neocon on foreign policy, which is to be expected given that the neocon foreign policy perspective represents the consensus both the general elites and their guardians in the Deep State.
By Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr.
The American Conservative
A few days before the 2000 elections, I hosted the Duncan Family Barbecue at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum, which aside from free food, always features bands, choirs, and top names from the Country music and Oldies worlds, drawing upwards of 10,000 people.
Governor George W. Bush, then the Republican Presidential nominee, walked out to the podium to the sound of the University of Tennessee Pep Band. After his speech, I walked him back to his vehicle parked in the bowels of the coliseum, and I told him “Governor, you are going to carry Tennessee.” He replied: “If I do, I will win the election,” and that is exactly what happened.
Later that night, one of my sons said, “Dad, I have never heard you so excited as when you said, “The next President of the United States!” when introducing Gov. Bush. In truth, I was excited, primarily because Gov. Bush said almost every day on the campaign trail that what we needed was a more humble foreign policy and we should not be in the business of nation building.
It’s Going Down. Listen here.
We’re several months into the Trump regime and we can now begin to make some relative critiques and analyses about our activity and how things have gone down. How have our predictions about Trump played out? Where has our analysis fallen flat? How have managers and bureaucrats from within the Left attempted to push revolt back into politics, and have we let them? But moreover, how have anarchist and anti-authoritarian rebels been successful in acting within the current situation? How have we not been? What do both our victories and our shortcomings tell us about what it would mean to go beyond the capacity and ability that we have now?
Wanting to find answers to these questions, we sought to link up with a participant from the CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective, a long running anarchist network. In the interview, we talk about these questions as well as the recent bombing of Syria by the US, conflicts within the administration itself, the recent ‘Week of Solidarity Against Repression,’ thoughts on continued far-Right activity, what Trump’s low popularity means for anarchists, and the tasks that lie before us.