January 8, 2021

‘Worse than a crime; a mistake’

The mob of yahoos and cretins that broke into the United States capitol this week was not a spontaneous act of violence. Quite the contrary, it was a carefully planned criminal uprising designed to terrorize congress and prevent the election of president-elect Joe Biden.

It was clear orders had been given to the local security forces to largely disarm but accommodate the rioters, and allow them into the capitol buildings. By whom? Clearly by President Trump or his minions. There will probably be no written record. Trump, who grew up rubbing shoulders with gangsters and union thugs, certainly had learned the lesson taught by the late criminal lawyer Roy Cohen to always skirt the law and never leave a clear trail.

It’s also very likely that Trump tried to organize a military coup against his own government, what Latin Americans call an ‘autogolpe.’ That’s why ten former US defense secretaries, including the far-right Dick Cheney, felt compelled to issue a joint letter warning Trump not to involve the military in domestic politics. Draft-dodger Trump fancies himself a potential military genius. His effort at Bonapartism quickly failed.

A mob of low-IQ thugs waving Confederate flags was not enough to take over the US government. For this, military or paramilitary forces would have been needed to seize the Pentagon and major military bases, the major media, airports, telecommunications, the Treasury, and police HQ.

And yet there had been open talk for weeks of some sort of coup attempt by Trump supporters. Americans were so absorbed by the game of politics that they almost ignored the looming threat of a coup attempt by denizens of the far right, driven to a frenzy by Trump’s crass falsehoods about the election being stolen.

It’s interesting to compare Trump’s coup attempt with events in the Soviet Union in 1991. A cabal of die-hard communists, including Defense Minister Marshal Yazov, sought to overthrow the reformist government of Mikhail Gorbachev. They mounted a poorly-organized coup to seize state organs in Moscow and isolated Gorbachev at his retreat in Crimea.

The two Soviet mechanized divisions tasked with seizing Moscow went to the city center, then remained inactive due to lack of orders. Marshal Shaposhnikov refused to order his transport aircraft to bring more troops to Moscow to aid the coup. Special KGB ‘Alpha’ units refused to fire on insurgent leader Boris Yeltsin. In all, the highly patriotic Red Army refused to engage in the coup.

The coup failed and its leaders, most of them drunk on vodka, were rounded up and arrested. But this event, and the anti-Yeltsin coup two year later, marked the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union.

The coup leaders were initially jailed, then released. Stalin would have had them shot. The Soviet Union and its successor, Russia, never recovered.

Trump’s encouragement, and then refusal, to halt the storming of the capitol, will likely mark the end of his political career. He could be censored, or even jailed for his act of insurrection. His plans to run again for president in four years look highly unlikely to succeeded after his act of political arson. His supporters, who are large in numbers, should be deterred from advocating violence, Christian political extremism, extreme Zionism and environmental backwardness. The Republican Party needs a huge enema.

Americans deserve to be deeply embarrassed by this week’s events. Scenes of rioters inside the capitol waving Confederate flags conjure fears of a second American civil war: many of the states that voted for Trump were also part of the old civil war Confederacy.

As a New Yorker and life-long Eisenhower Republican, I was horrified by events in Washington. Trump was flying B-52 bombers over Iran while hooligans were trashing the capitol.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2021

This post is in: USA

12 Responses to “TRUMP’S FEEBLE COUP”

  1. commentator says:

    Along with a very large number of other people, I found the events of Wednesday the 6th quite astonishing.

    However, which seems to be put me into a tiny minority, I found the reaction, both among politicians and the media, far over the top.
    This is an event where five people died, one more or less accidental (I gather from having a fire extinguisher tossed at him), three apparently from medical problems (heart attack, stroke, and so far undisclosed cause), and only one by gunshot, and that from the police. Yet it is treated as if the end of the world was at hand. I have seen it equated with 9/11, when just about 3000 people died. Then there is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s extremely ill-advised equation of the event with Kristallnacht. Talk about hysteria. My biggest problem with all these assertions that the occupation of the Capitol amounted to an “insurrection” or an (attempted) coup, is summed up by a question I have not seen asked in print, “Where were the guns?” Who ever heard of an insurrection or a coup without weapons?

    This also needs to be seen in the context of all sorts of dire media predictions that if DT lost the election, then thousands of crazed Trumpers would invade Washington wielding their assault weapons and shoot up the place. But instead, the demonstrators strolled down Pennsylvania Avenue, and, finding security quite rudimentary, proceeded to push their way up and into the Capitol. All it would take would be for a few hotheads at the front to move the light fences and the small number of police out of the way for the rest just to come up in their wake. In the videos I have seen of the event, most of the “mob” were just standing around basically sightseeing. Even in the rotunda, they mostly seemed to be staying within a roped off walkway. The only guns I saw in the videos were those in the hands of the police.

    I certainly notice that there seems to be no outrage about the shooting of an unarmed “white” woman on the 6th for no more serious offense than trespassing, and this a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. I guarantee that had she been “black,” media reaction would have been quite different. I find it striking that the identity of the shooter still has not been revealed, especially given that the media coverage of violence in America is that it is almost exclusively committed by white people, especially policemen, against unarmed and innocent black people.

    So far as I can see, this was just another, albeit very prominent, event in the “Occupy” movement. Students were invading and “occupying” university administrations regularly in the late 1960’s and have continued off and on pretty well ever since. Vandalism, of the sort seen in the Capitol rampage is also characteristic of these events. I note, for example [https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/university-of-sydney-usyd-occupy-administration-building-cuts/ ] that this past October, “around 100” University of Sydney students are said to have “stormed past security on Wednesday afternoon and made it to the top floor, where they’ve been chanting at management for hours.” One is immediately reminded also of the “Occupy” movement of about ten years ago, starting with “Occupy Wall Street” and continuing from there and spreading as far as such places as Toronto.


    P. S. Considering the current preoccupation with “race,” it may be surprising that the New York Times coverage of the recent (January 10th) shootings in Chicago fails to mention that the shooter was “black.” This feeds into the common misunderstanding that violence itself is “white.” [ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/10/us/chicago-evanston-shooting-spree-university.html?action=click&algo=bandit-all-surfaces&block=trending_recirc&fellback=false&imp_id=600258672&impression_id=bd6b3917-545b-11eb-ba43-47de16e22d13&index=9&pgtype=Article&region=footer&req_id=87830552&surface=most-popular&variant=1_bandit-all-surfaces_daysback_4%5D

  2. …another thought. If Graham had have done his job, the first time, the US would not be in this position right now.

  3. Nice to see you back Eric. No shortage of things to write about!

  4. Donald Trump is a poppet, a stooge of the Global Oligarchy, specially the Russian/Ukrainian Oligarchs who had bailed him out of bankruptcy in 1993,

    Take a look at this link to an article by Prof. Robert Reich, in Guardian from July 2019;

    Russian/Ukrainian Oligarchs own Donald Trump, but they are also unofficially allied with the Russian state under president Putin; they share same assets and strategic resources, and Trump is an asset of the Russian Oligarchy who’s being used by the Russian States under president Putin.

    Trump is tasked to destroy the American Supremacy, to weaken and destroy the Western Alliance, hence, the global order under the US leadership, so the Global Oligarchy under leadership of the Russian/Ukrainian Oligarchs could take over the West and Western Assets at cheap basement bargain prices, just as they did with the Russian State Owned Assets in the 1990’s.

    Trump is a poppet; but the puppet master is the Global Oligarchy in Eastern Europe along with its international oligarchy alliance who have sponsored Donald Trump since the 1990’s, Trump is tasked to destroy the American supremacy and its Western alliance from within.

  5. Eastern Rebellion says:

    The whole affair was an appalling display of brute force and ignorance. I expect that those responsible will be seriously disabused of any sense of entitlement they might hold. Pray for America.

  6. Welcome back Sir Eric ! … when the rebels were ransacking the capitol we were beginning to think you had left us to fight insanity by ourselves . Please feel free to post as often as you like ., just don’t leave us a lone anymore … did I say welcome back ?
    I am still too much in shock to say anything else …

  7. solum temptare possumus says:

    What a melting pot. Each faction straining to attain the froth bubbling up from the lowest, basest, animalistic behavior. Tomorrow may see the end of Trump’s Political career; as even Republican Senators may vote to impeach Donald J. Trump; again. They should see the need to purge the party of this anomaly of destructive behavior that has fractured the Nation. And eliminate any chance of him running again in four years
    Let us hope that Joseph Robinette Biden can find the salve to heal the rift that separates the moderates from the fringe Americans that did not vote for him. This wound must not be allowed to fester.
    I hope Americans listening to speeches by candidates in the future, can recognize self-serving jingoistic rhetoric and answer this platitudinous ponderosity the same way that Roman citizens answered their
    senators: “Cras credemus hodie nihil”, as they pumped their fists in the air. “Tomorrow We Believe, but Not Today!”
    Yours respectfully,
    Ad iudicium

  8. Trump is only a symptom of a much deeper problem.
    He has exposed the ugly underbelly of the US. The US Constitution needs a serous re-write. There are just so many things that need fixing; it’s difficult to know where to start. Biden and Harris are part of the ‘old white guys’ and they will not make the changes needed.
    I think the US is ‘Friar Tucked’

  9. Hopefully all the security heads who allowed this to happen will be fired.

  10. Too many media, authorities and politicians pretend to be surprised by the violence in Washington. Anyone who did not have a close-up view of their spleens knew this was coming. America has been building up to this since the Reagan era. And its not over yet.

  11. Joe from Canada says:

    Thank you Mr. Margolis.

    I have long awaited your insight into this situation, and appreciate the analysis. I remain concerned about the high percentage of deniers: those to whom facts do not matter.

    Question, sir: one analyst today compares these ‘anarchists’ to others involved in coups in Iraq, Venezuela, Ukraine, and Serbia. Are there any common American based denominators?

  12. Welcome back, Eric. Please resume writing weekly columns and continue to do so as long as your health allows. Your commentary is valued by so many of us, because it is a voice of sanity in the midst of so much madness.

    This is one of the most entertaining columns I’ve read in a long time! Also bang-on accurate in your description of Trump and his human garbage supporters – part of the “basket of deplorables” so correctly characterized by Hillary Clinton. He also continues to be supported by all those fake Christians known as “Evangelicals” – whom the rest of us should trust less than we would do so with people from the Mafia.

    As for Trump, not only has he committed provable high crimes against the American state, but he might be fairly accused of wrongful death for urging his supporters to storm and desecrate the Capitol; because, it was his incitement to riot that led to the death of the Capitol policeman. That policeman’s family would be fully justified in suing Trump, his son, Trump Jr., and Rudy Giuliani for wrongful death – and it would certainly scare those low-life cockroaches a bit (and I hate to demean cockroaches by comparing those people to them). And both his son and Giuliani could and should be arrested now for sedition- they’d look good so good in orange prison garb. So would Trump himself look good in orange – at least it would match his hairdo.

    It is indeed tragic what happened on Jan. 6th – a day that will live in even greater infamy than the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. But, I’m not confident that the US will fully recover from the events of that day, because the divisions within the country now run so deep. Another American civil war might well be in the works.

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