Skip to main content

Searching for a "Reichstag Fire"

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

He writes on AlJazeera on what is known as the "Reichstag Fire"....

"Donald Trump and his top Islamophobe nomenklatura gathered at the White House, now led by the militant crusader Stephen Bannon, are on a desperate lookout for their "Reichstag Fire" and their favourite propaganda outlet, Fox News, is franticly searching for it - even in Canada.

"Reichstag Fire" was an arson attack on the Reichstag, the German parliament, in Berlin on February 27, 1933. The incident was soon abused by Adolf Hitler and his gang to demand a suspension of civil liberties in systematic preparation for his putsch for total fascist power.

Ever since, the term "Reichstag Fire" is used metaphorically to mark a dreadful event abused by any proto-fascist movement to blame an amorphous internal enemy, to be coupled with an external enemy, and rapidly from there rapidly move towards a total control of the state apparatus by criminalising and crushing public dissent.

Given the fact of Trump's serious unpopularity with a significant portion of American society, this "Reichstag Fire" incident is increasingly a dangerous possibility.

From the historic Women's March in Washington to widespread airport rallies against his Muslim ban, Trump and his handlers know only too well his loss of the presidential popular vote by about three million nationwide is now growing into widespread public discontent, state-level gubernatorial opposition, and systematic resistance by the judiciary branch.

Soon after the executive order late in January banning Muslims from seven countries for 90 days to enter the United States, the Trump administration was given what it thought was its "Reichstag Fire" moment to justify its draconian measures and push for even more.

The incident presented itself when reports emerged that a gunman had attacked a Muslim centre in Quebec, Canada. Fox News, Trump's most trusted source of fake news, instantly came forward and reported the perpetrator was a Moroccan Muslim.

This, however, like most other things on Fox News, was a case of bogus reporting. The suspect of the mass murder in Quebec was, in fact, a violent "white nationalist" named Alexandre Bissonnette, who is a notorious character known to the local authorities for his racist Islamophobic views. Not only was the perpetrator of this crime no Muslim, but, in fact, Muslims were his direct targets.

None of this, however, prevented Fox News from jumping to the conclusion that the act of terror was perpetrated by a Moroccan Muslim and, on the basis of this false news, the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer instantly jumped the gun, declaring it a vindication of Trump's Muslim ban."


Continue reading here.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Donald T: First seduced..... then betrayed!

All those supporters of Trump - who, heaven's only knows, got him headed for the White House - are in a for more than a rude awakening and shock.   Whatever Trump "promised" is just not going to happen....as Paul Krugman so clearly spells out in his latest op-ed piece "Seduced and Betrayed by Donald Trump" in The New York Times.

"Donald Trump won the Electoral College (though not the popular vote) on the strength of overwhelming support from working-class whites, who feel left behind by a changing economy and society. And they’re about to get their reward — the same reward that, throughout Mr. Trump’s career, has come to everyone who trusted his good intentions. Think Trump University.

Yes, the white working class is about to be betrayed.

The evidence of that coming betrayal is obvious in the choice of an array of pro-corporate, anti-labor figures for key positions. In particular, the most important story of the week — seriously, people, stop focusing on Trum…

Snooping..... at its worst

The Brits have just brought in legislation which allows for unprecedented "snooping" in a Western democracy - says Edward Snowden.   Let truthdig explain....

"On Tuesday, the United Kingdom instated the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, a piece of legislation described by whistleblower Edward Snowden as “the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy.”

The law, informally known as the “Snooper’s Charter,” spent over a year in Parliament before it was passed. The Guardian reported:

"The new surveillance law requires web and phone companies to store everyone’s web browsing histories for 12 months and give the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to the data.

It also provides the security services and police with new powers to hack into computers and phones and to collect communications data in bulk. The law requires judges to sign off police requests to view journalists’ call and web records, but the measure has been descri…

A "Muslim Register"

Outrageous is the word which immediately comes to mind - the idea of a  Muslim Register which Trump has floated.     And how and by or through whom would this Registry comes into being?    Let The Intercept explain.....

"Every American corporation, from the largest conglomerate to the smallest firm, should ask itself right now: Will we do business with the Trump administration to further its most extreme, draconian goals? Or will we resist?

This question is perhaps most important for the country’s tech companies, which are particularly valuable partners for a budding authoritarian. The Intercept contacted nine of the most prominent such firms, from Facebook to Booz Allen Hamilton, to ask if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry, an idea recently resurfaced by Donald Trump’s transition team. Only Twitter said no.

Shortly after the election, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty wrote a personal letter to President-elect Trump in which she offered her congratulation…