“‘This is a God-given signal! If this fire, as I believe, turns out to be the handiwork of Communists, then there is nothing that shall stop us now crushing out this murder pest with an iron fist.’ Adolf Hitler, Fascist Chancellor of Germany, made this dramatic declaration in the hall of the burning Reichstag building.
In a 2017 blog on Lawfare, Jane Chong cautioned that the “alarmist way” to address fears of an American Reichstag fire “is to scream ‘Reichstag fire’ into the echo chamber and hope people understand that you are not accusing the administration of plotting an attack or planning death camps in the wake” of one. But we should be alarmed, and we should be holding the administration accountable, based on the evidence we have.
In the 1930s, James G. Mcdonald, among others, attempted to warn the world of Nazi intentions, but they were ignored. What if we had listened? Could half a million American and millions of European lives have been saved?
It’s become increasingly apparent that a terror attack would serve the aims of Trump and others. At best, it would allow them to push through an isolationist agenda and implement more invasive domestic surveillance. At worst, Congress could approve emergency measures that suspend our rights in court and permit the military to apply force against U.S. citizens.
Given that this administration has demonstrated that their agendas are more important than facts, more important than the people, what’s to stop them from not only embracing such an attack but encouraging it? Basic human decency? I think not.
Governments have long sacrificed human life to achieve agendas. In 1964, an August 4 attack on the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin was used by the Johnson administration to enter into full-scale war in Vietnam, which resulted in 282,000 allied deaths and more than 1,300,000 total deaths. More than four decades later, declassified documents revealed what “conspiracy theorists” suspected — there was almost certainly no August 4 attack, and the Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, deliberately manipulated evidence presented to Congress to stir fears and get a retaliatory commitment to war.
In 2003, several years before the Gulf of Tonkin documents were declassified, Secretary of State Colin Powell lied to Congress to secure approval for an invasion of Iraq — the impetus for which was not to eradicate weapons of mass destruction and free the people, but was an implementation of a plan laid out in September of 2000 by the right-wing think tank, the Project for the New American Century, in a document entitled “Rebuilding America’s Defenses”, to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars,” specifically mentioning Iraq and outlining the axis of evil. Ten of the twenty-five signers of PNAC’s statement of principles held offices in the GW Bush administration, and they made no secret of this agenda. Protestors sounded the alarm, but warnings were not heeded. Years later, we know there were no weapons of mass destruction, and we know those in power doubted their existence even as Powell mislead Congress into the conflict that resulted in the deaths of thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and has today given fundamentalist terrorists a home.
This administration lies strategically and often. When countered with facts, they have “alternate facts.”
We have hate crimes against women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community, committed in the name of the President. We have neo-Nazis empowered to espouse their desire to make America white again, and an administration that responds by inciting the public to fear those who are actually the most oppressed. This administration has created its own reality, and its base willfully exists inside that reality. The judiciary, integral to our checks and balances, has been set up to take the fall for any bloodshed. It’s not so far-fetched to imagine a world in which credible evidence of a terrorist plot on U.S. soil is quietly shelved. A world in which lives lost, and our collective fear, are used against us. A world in which Congress suspends rights in the name of safety, and too many of us are too swayed by fear, too busy holding the lines between Left and Right, who’s right and who’s wrong, to work together to stop them. We need to figure out how to do that before its too late.
Original by Sayzie Jane for Being Liberal