209 days until class . . .
I have been distracted somewhat in the past week - studying the history of events that lead up to the Civil War and World War II.
There seems to be a good chance that we are currently living in the years that future generations will see either as the years leading up to World War III, or with a second American civil war.
Many people compare Trump to Hitler, but Trump is no Hitler. Hitler had a plan, and worked with almost single-minded devotion towards the realization of that plan. Towards that end, he carefully manipulated others.
Trump, on the other hand, is mostly just making things up as he goes along. He wants to be loved and admired - to be the person that everybody is talking about, the center of attention. He also, it seems, wants to set up his children to be the leaders of the next generation. He wants the Trump name to be like the Kennedy's name - an American dynasty.
Everything else is a means towards this end.
Somebody once said to me that Trump is more of a Mussolini than a Hitler, and this seems accurate.
Steve Bannon, Trump's advisor, on the other hand may well be a Hitler admirer. This does not mean that he shares Hitler's hatred of Jews - though he likely is aware of the fact that a "self/other" narrative is useful when it comes to consolidating political power. He recognizes the value of having a "them" to vilify, and sees a useful "them" in Muslims and Mexicans (immigrants).
He also likely knows the usefulness of war and conquest in getting a nation to rally around its President and to consolidate power. In this case, Bannon likely sees that it would not be particularly difficult to start a war between the United States and China.
Hitler gained a great deal of popularity as a result of both his successes in annexing Austria and Czechoslovakia. While these made Hitler hated by foreign governments, it rallied the people - and that made it politically impossible to overthrow Hitler.
If Bannon/Trump want a war, they have already told us how they will start it. They will announce a blockade around the islands that China is developing in the South Pacific. If they announce a blockade, China's next step will be to ignore the declaration and send another shipment of supplies to the islands. Now, America is in a position of starting the war by firing the first shot at the blockade runners - and a war with China begins.
In contrast, the Obama plan has been to challenge China's claim to control over the waters by sailing American warships through those waters and daring China to take the first shot. Using this technique, China has to fire the first shot. Peace is preserved until China decides to try to take control of those waters by means of military force. Building up the islands just isn't going to do any good.
Both Trump and his Secretary of State nominee Tillerson have spoken in favor of a blockade. In doing so, they have already spoken in favor of an act that would play will in a hypothetical Bannon plan to consolidate power around the President by getting the United States involved a major war.
The best immunization against this plan would be simply to have people become aware of it. The more people who realize - as quickly as possible - that a blockade of those islands is possibly a part of a Hitleresque plan to consolidate Trump's power by starting a war, the less of a chance that it will succeed.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
209 days until class . . .
Posted by Alonzo Fyfe at 8:12 AM