Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Trump names George Soros acolyte as charge in Havana By The Wayne Madsen Report




Trump names George Soros acolyte as charge in Havana By The Wayne Madsen Report
Donald Trump has named Phillip Goldberg, an arch-interventionist U.S. diplomat and acolyte of the "regime change" dogma of hedge fund mogul George Soros, as the interim chargé d'affaires of the U.S. embassy in Cuba. Goldberg's task will be to initiate Soros-inspired themed street demonstrations in Cuba when Cuban President Raul Castro steps down on April 19 of this year.

Goldberg will replace Lawrence Gumbier, who has served as chargé since last October. 

Goldberg [pictured, left] is not liked in Latin America. As ambassador to Bolivia, Goldberg's involvement in Bolivia's domestic politics earned him an expulsion in 2008 by the government of President Evo Morales. Goldberg also served as the chief of the U.S. mission in Kosovo, a Mafia-run state that would not have been created and thrived had it not been for the efforts and influence of Soros over European Union and U.S. State Department policies during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. 

Goldberg, a former 
and assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, is an integral member of the U.S. intelligence bureaucracy and a "deep state" functionary of the highest order. Goldberg's placement in Cuba by Trump is yet another indication that Trump's rhetoric about his combating the "deep state" is pure political rhetoric having no basis in fact.

Cuban-American Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) have blocked the appointment of a full U.S. ambassador to Havana. President Obama nominated Cuba expert and diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis as ambassador but his nomination died in the Senate.

While in La Paz, Goldberg ran a major Central Intelligence Agency espionage operation out of the embassy. Before Goldberg, himself, was expelled from Bolivia in 2008, Assistant Regional Security officer at the U.S. embassy, Vince Cooper, was declared persona non grata by the Bolivian government and charged with espionage. Cooper had attempted to enlist U.S. Peace Corps volunteers and at least one Fulbright scholar in Bolivia to spy on Cuban and Venezuelan nationals in the country. One Fulbright scholar approached by Cooper, John Alexander van Shaick, blew the whistle on the espionage operation.

Goldberg supported secessionist movements in the energy resource-rich states of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Cochabamba, and Tarija. Goldberg's activities, supported by the CIA station in La Paz and U.S. Special Forces in the country, sought to break away 35 percent of Bolivia's population to weaken Morales's government. Goldberg also supported the "Santa Cruz Autonomy Statute," which tried to withhold two-thirds of Santa Cruz's tax revenues from Morales's government and establish an autonomous state-wide police force.

Goldberg was also reportedly a part of a CIA terrorist operation in Bolivia that blew up agas pipeline from Bolivia to Sao Paulo, Brazil. The severing of the pipeline cut Bolivia's natural gas output to Brazil by 10 percent. Other Goldberg activities included coordinating anti-Morales actions by the right-wing governors of Santa Cruz, Pando, Beni, and Tarija. Opposition groups funded by the United States took over government buildings in the four states. The opposition also cut the gas flow to Brazil and Argentina by taking over gas installations.

Goldberg's actions left Morales no choice but to expel him from Bolivia in 2008. In solidarity with Morales, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also expelled the U.S. ambassador in Caracas and Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega sent the U.S. ambassador in Managua packing. In expelling ambassador Patrick Duddy, Chavez said, "Yankees, go to hell," adding that the United States was "full of shit."

As U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, Goldberg immediately involved himself in that nation's 2016 presidential election. Goldberg endorsed and assisted the campaign opponents of the eventual victor, Rodrigo Duterte. In August 2016, irritated by Goldberg's election meddling, Duterte called Goldberg 
a "'bakla' son-of-a-bitch." Bakla is Tagalog for gay.
In dispatching Goldberg as his "man in Havana," Trump has left no doubt that he expects the U.S. diplomat to stir up political violence and disruption in Cuba after Castro's resignation in April. Trump's Cuba policy, which foresees Trump and Scion hotel properties edging out Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Sofitel, and other chains in a country governed in a post-Castro era by returning right-wing Cubans from south Florida, is as obvious as Goldberg's jaded diplomatic resumé. Goldberg also represents Trump's growing neo-conservative contingent, which includes ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and ambassador to Israel David Friedman, within key ranks in the State Department.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Fake news is not enough, now it's fake history BY THE WAYNE MADSEN REPORT




Fake news is not enough, now it's fake history 
BY THE WAYNE MADSEN REPORT

Donald Trump continues to push his full-throttled assault on the free press by claiming any news report that is critical of him or his policies constitutes "fake news." Not content with re-writing current events to fit Trump's agenda, some of his ardent supporters are now pushing the meme of "fake history" to discredit actual chronicles of past events in order to advance false or misleading historical claims or radical religious dogma. 

Altering history to achieve totalitarian rule was the basis for George Orwell's warning in the novel 1984"Who controls the past, controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Trump's affectation for "alternative facts" and baseless "fake news" are part of a treacherous attempt on his part to control the present. The efforts of Trump's alt-right supporters to create fake histories serve to control the past. The overall agenda represents a naked push to control the future.

Outside of the disciplines imposed by academic and archival research and historical and biographical documentation, fake history, like its evil twin fake news, is finding a hospitable nesting ground in social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Google are as responsible for promulgating false historical narratives as the alt-right's digital cesspools that include Breitbart News, the Daily Stormer, and Infowars. Although the governments of Britain, France, and Germany are attempting to enact laws against pushing fake news and history, there is no legislative solution to this problem. The only answer lies in educating the public, particularly school age youth, in relying on information that has passed the test of accuracy via scholarly vetting and accurate references.

Accurate referencing does not include movies like The Darkest Hour, which erroneously portrays wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as a dogged opponent of German Nazism and Italian fascism. Churchill's number one priority in World War II was to protect and preserve the British Empire. Unfortunately, Trump believes The Darkest Hour presents an accurate history of Churchill, which only further feeds the Oval Office occupant's fractured knowledge of history. It is Trump's myopic knowledge of history that led him to proclaim some sort of equity between neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia and those opposing their presence in the city that has a historical legacy that reaches from the Civil War and antebellum South back to Thomas Jefferson's founding of the University of Virginia in 1819.

Trump's racist supporters find the Civil War presents the greatest opportunity to proffer fake historical events. For example, the fake history of African-American Confederate battalions in the Civil War is a creation of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), an outwardly racist organization, which along with its sister group, th
e League of the South, seeks to restore the Confederate State of America. There is no record of any African Americans having fought under the Confederate flag. The SCV has been able to enlist the support of a few African-Americans like Anthony Hervey of Mississippi, "honorary" SCV member H.K. Edgerton of North Carolina [pictured right], Karen Cooper of Virginia, and 2013 Virginia GOP lieutenant governor candidate Reverend E. W. Jackson to support the flying of the Confederate battle flag, the singing of "Dixie," displaying Confederate memorials, and the belief in blacks fighting for the Confederacy, but these individuals are cartoonish outliers within their own communities.

There is no evidence that any regimented black soldiers fought for the Confederacy. A belief among some Confederacy supporters that General Stonewall Jackson commanded two battalions of black Confederate soldiers is made from whole cloth. Only when the Union forces were on the verge of defeating the Confederacy in March 1865 did the Confederate Congress in Richmond authorize the military training of a small number of freed slaves. However, the war ended before any African-Americans could take up arms. Internet websites offering "proof" of black Confederate soldiers are echo chambers for the SCV and related neo-Confederate organizations trying to repaint the Confederacy as benevolent toward African-Americans and not the prime protector of slavery as a valued institution of the South's culture and economic system.

In a Superbowl ad, Fiat-Chrysler decided to use a speech of Dr. Martin Luther King to pitch  RAM trucks. King said, "You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve." The ad then ran the slogan: "Built to Serve." There has been a recent tendency to use King as a corporate logo to sell products. George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's likenesses have been used to sell everything from bed linens and mattresses to recreational vehicles and refrigerators. For those fake historians anxious to turn King into a shill for Wall Street, it should be noted that, far from urging people to buy pickup trucks, King penned the following notes while in seminary: "
capitalism has seen its best days in American, and not only in America, but in the entire world."

There are other attempts by the alt-right to promote fake history. The most absurd theory is that Adolf Hitler was a "socialist" and Franklin D. Roosevelt was a "fascist." In fact, the opposite -- with a few qualifications in the case of FDR -- was true. Hitler's party was the National Socialist German Workers' Party -- shortened as "Nazi" -- but the party was more interested in nationalism and conquest than in workers' rights or socialism as advanced by the Marxist and democratic labor parties of the interwar era.

Fake history also includes an attempt to portray Senator Joseph McCarthy as correct in his   pursuit of "Communists" embedded in the U.S. government and President Harry S Truman as a Communist "fellow traveler." These falsehoods were originally promoted by the far-right John Birch Society, which, under Trump, has experienced a resurgence, along with its discredited fake history claims. The exchange of telegrams [above] between McCarthy and Truman presents an accurate illustration of McCarthy's perfidy and Truman's rejection of McCarthy's spurious allegations: 

Promoting fake history is not the same as researching alternate views of history. Historical research is a dynamic pursuit and newly-discovered documentation often results in acceptable revisionist views of historical events. However, revisionist views of history are different than fake history, the latter having no proof of supporting evidence, but merely unsubstantiated rantings and ramblings found on dodgy websites. Trump, however, in his repeated attacks on "fake news,' has legitimized those who traffic in fake history.

Betsy DeVos, Trump's billionaire Secretary of Education, is encouraging taxpayer-funded voucher and charter schools to teach "Christian history." This curriculum includes discredited "creationism" and the rejection of the scientific evolution of species. DeVos is more interested in America's public schools building "God's Kingdom" than in promoting true education, a goal that can only exist in a secular environment free of religious dogma and sectarian indoctrination. DeVos's and the Republican Party's overall support for historical illiteracy is compounded by the offerings on what was once known as the History Channel. This eyesore of the vast wasteland known as cable television now offers such mindless fare as "Swamp People," "American Pickers," "Counting Cars," and "The Curse of Oak Island." Instead of accomplished historians being cited for their work, a charlatan like Bill O'Reilly can claim the mantle of historical "expert" because he wrote a "Killing Series" of pulp fiction novels masked as historical research on the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus of Nazareth; the alleged assassination of General George Patton; and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. Conservative commentator Glenn Beck is another purveyor of fake history in his writings and Blaze cable TV network blathering.

After the Dark Ages, Europe emerged into the era of the Renaissance. The arts and the study of history flourished. Hopefully, the United States will emerge from the dark age of Trump into a new renaissance where historical fact wins out over ludicrous claims based on ignorance and intolerance.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Trump's military parade in DC could cost millions in damage and disruption by The Wayne Madsen Report




Trump's military parade in DC could cost millions in damage and disruption by The Wayne Madsen Report

D
onald Trump's vainglorious desire for a military parade along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC could result in millions of dollars in damage to streets, Washington Metro, and other key elements of the nation's capital's infrastructure. Trump recently tasked the Department of Defense to come up with a plan for a military parade that features armored vehicles, aircraft flying in formation, and marching military personnel. Trump got the idea after watching the French military parade held in Paris on Bastille Day while visiting Paris on July 14 last year.

The last time a military parade was held in Washington was after Operation Desert Storm in 1991. From a reviewing stand between 17th and 15th Streets, President George H. W. Bush viewed parading armored vehicles, mobile Patriot missile launchers, and troops dressed in camouflage combat uniforms. However, that parade was held along Constitution Avenue and consisted of two M1-A1 Abrams tanks, [pictured, left] each weighing 67-metric tons, and two 33-ton Bradley Fighting Vehicles. [pictured, right] The parade route was along Constitution Avenue, south of the White House Ellipse, and a safe distance from underground Metro stations and parking garages. However, there was still disruption to the capital's infrastructure, with street lights having to be removed and then re-installed and the armored vehicle treads from the tanks and Bradleys tearing up the asphalt along Constitution Avenue and side streets. Connecticut and Pennsylvania Avenues, as with many of DC's streets, are designed for a maximum of 30 gross weight tonnage per vehicle.

Another casualty of the 1991 parade was the 
Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden. The only thing the attack helicopters over the Mall managed to "attack" with their rotor wash were sculptures in the outdoor garden. Pebbles kicked up by the helicopters strafed the sculptures, many of them priceless, with gouges. The total cost of parade damage for Washington was $12 million, not counting the destruction caused to the Hirshhorn. The Pentagon refused to pay the Smithsonian for the damage caused by its helicopters.

It does not take much in the way of seismic vibration or shaking to dislodge the hundreds of 
sheet-metal acoustic panels located in Metro stations underneath Pennsylvania Avenue between the U.S. Capitol and the White House. These include the Orange/Blue/Silver Line's Federal Triangle and the Yellow/Green Line's Archives-Navy Memorial stations. In November 2010, construction above Farragut North station on the Red Line resulted in the ceiling tiles collapsing onto the subway platform.

According to various news reports, Trump desires a parade much more extensive than the 1991 affair, with a number of armored vehicles and missiles. The annual French Bastille Day parade in Paris does feature armored vehicles along the Champs Elysees but they are put on display to assuage the personal whims of the French president. Since World War II, the French have honored their annual French Revolution commemoration with a military parade to mark France's victory over Nazism.

Washington has seen military parades in the past, but these, like the 1991 parade, were to mark the end of wars. Parades in Washington were held following the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.


Trump originally wanted military vehicles, such as tanks, featured in his inaugural parade along Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20, 2017. Because of inadequate time to plan for such a display, only fighter plane fly-overs were scheduled for the parade but they were canceled due to rain.

While there is bi-partisan opposition in Congress to Trump's military parade, Defense Secretary James Mattis claimed that the Pentagon has been "putting together some options" for the parade. Although some of the "options" include holding the parade outside of Washington, Trump is intent on Pennsylvania Avenue. The city recently repaved the street following the 2017 inaugural parade. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said Trump would have to pay for the parade. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) summed up the feelings of many congressional Republicans and Democrats about the proposed parade, "
I don't think it's a particularly good idea. Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud."

In a poll conducted by Military Times, which is largely read by active duty and retired military personnel and their families, 89 percent of the 51,000 respondents felt that the parade is "
a waste of money," adding that "troops are too busy” for such an event. Many critics feel that such displays of military might are what can be expected from authoritarian regimes.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

MBS to celebrate his palace coup in Washington with Trump, Kushner By The Wayne Madsen Report




MBS to celebrate his palace coup in Washington with Trump, Kushner 
By The Wayne Madsen Report

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as "MBS," will lead a large Saudi delegation to Washington this month, undoubtedly to brief Donald Trump and Middle East "special envoy" Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, on the success of his royal palace coup against rival princes within the House of Saud. The MBS-led coup resulted in a number of Saudi princes being detained, with an additional two executed on orders from MBS. In his book Fire and Fury, author Michael Wolff wrote that Trump told friends that "we've put our man on top," after MBS's purge of his fellow princes. [To the left, Trump and MBS are seen shaking hands last year in Riyadh].
The 32-year old MBS is expected to hold more "strategy sessions" with Kushner, like those Kushner and MBS spent together until the early morning hours in Riyadh in October 2017. Some of the discussions also involved Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special adviser on the Middle East and his one-time business lawyer. 

Both Kushner and Greenblatt are known to represent the interests of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. It is expected that Kushner will push MBS to purchase additional defensive and offensive missile systems from Israel. Saudi Arabia has already obtained missile systems from Israeli firms, including Elbit Systems Ltd. and its American branch, Elbit Systems of America. 

It is significant that a key player in Saudi Arabia's arms purchases, Ahmed Al Khateeb, the chairman of Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), is expected to accompany MBS to Washington. Last November, MBS put SAMI in charge of all Saudi defense acquisitions. Also expected in Washington as part of the Saudi delegation are Lieutenant General Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz, the Commander of Saudi Ground Forces, and Khalid bin Ali Al Humaidan, the chief of the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate (GID).

For Donald Trump, the main issue to be discussed with MBS and his advisers is the listing of Saudi ARAMCO's initial public offering (IPO) with the New York Stock Exchange. Some Saudi officials, including ARAMCO chairman and Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, want the IPO to be listed with the London exchange. They point out that a New York exchange IPO would pose a risk to the firm because it could be subjected to lawsuits and potential asset attachments by the families of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. ARAMCO President and CEO Amin Nasser has delayed a decision on the ARAMCO IPO listing until later this year. MBS is known to favor the NYSE for the listing but Nasser has also spoken in favor of London and Hong Kong or even Saudi Arabia's own Tadawul exchange in Riyadh. Trump tweeted last November his preference for New York: "Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange. Important to the United States!"

It is expected that MBS and his delegation will push the United States to increase its military strikes against Houthi forces in Yemen. U.S. air attacks in Yemen have increased six-fold over those conducted by the Obama administration. The Pentagon insists that the attacks are aimed at forces of the Islamic State in Yemen, which it calls ISIS-Y. In fact, this is a not-so-clever cover story to mask U.S. strikes against Houthi forces. 

The Saudi coalition fighting on behalf of a puppet Yemeni government, which has now lost its base in Aden to United Arab Emirates-backed forces of the South Yemen independence al-Hirak al-Janoubi movement, has been caught providing military assistance to jihadists in Yemen. These include Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Pentagon's appellation, ISIS-Y. Other items on the MBS agenda in Washington include the Saudi-led sanctions imposed on Qatar, U.S. support for jihadist remnants in Syria, and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran and Lebanon, as well as Lebanese Hezbollah. The MBS agenda is virtually a copy of that of Netanyahu, including the desire to stymie lawsuits against Saudi interests by 9/11 victims' families. 

MBS will likely ask Trump for the United States to militarily help put down the South Yemeni "Southern Transitional Council" (STC), the de facto government now ruling South Yemen from Aden. MBS will call these forces, which include socialists and Marxists from the old People's Democratic Republic of [South] Yemen, "terrorists." However, that will result in a final break with the UAE's powerful Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ), who supports the South Yemeni separatists. 

If Trump and Kushner decide to heed MBS's call and wade fully into the Yemeni civil war, the already-disastrous human suffering in Yemen will only grow worse. Also, aside from the support it is receiving from the UAE, it will be difficult for the STC to match the lobbying power of the Saudis in Washington. The STC's chief representative in the United States is Summer Ahmed, a Dearborn, Michigan mother, who also works as a lab technician. To beef up the STC's lobbying clout in Washington, the UAE hired Grassroots Political Consulting LLC to promote the interests of the STC in the Congress and White House.

Of interest to anti-fraud watchdog groups and Attorneys General suing the Trump administration for violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution -- which forbids a president from accepting money or gifts from foreign sovereigns -- is in what DC hotel the Saudis will stay during their time in Washington. 

In the past, the Saudis, as well as their Kuwaiti allies, have tended to favor Georgetown's plush Four Seasons Hotel or the downtown Ritz-Carlton. However, this February 26th, the Kuwaitis will hold their National Day celebration at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. Last year, not only did the Kuwaitis hold their National Day celebration at the Trump venue but Saudi ally, Bahrain, chose it for their National Day celebration, just following the November 8, 2016 election. 

If the Saudi delegation or part of it choose to stay at the Trump-owned hotel, it will provide further proof for lawsuit plaintiffs that Trump is knowingly violating the Emoluments Clause to line his and his family's pockets. And there is every indication that most of the Saudi delegation will stay at the Trump hotel. Last year, MSL Group Americas, a lobbying firm hired by the Saudis to lobby against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act or JASTA -- an act that allows families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia and its interests -- spent $270,000 at the Trump International Hotel. 

Trump previously stated that he would turn over to the U.S. Treasury foreign profits from his hotels to the U.S. Treasury. To date, he has failed to do so.

U.S. now ranked as a "flawed democracy" By The Wayne Madsen Report





 U.S. now ranked as a "flawed democracy" By The Wayne Madsen Report

The staid financial and political news magazine The Economist is not prone to publish outlandish news stories and headlines. For that reason, the magazine’s readers around the world have taken notice of its annual Democracy Index for 2017. The magazine's 2016 Index warned that the United States had dropped from a "full democracy" to a "flawed democracy."
Thanks to the actions of the Trump administration, the United States fared even worse in the Index for 2017. The United States is still ranked as a "flawed democracy," but the actions of Trump to circumvent the powers of the legislative and judicial branches, as well as curtail the independence of the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, have placed the nation at risk of dropping further in the annual index for 2018 to a "hybrid regime." The Economist Intelligence Unit, which calculates the annual Democracy Index, rates nations as falling into four categories: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, and authoritarian regime.
The top five full democracies for recent years have included Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, and Denmark. Norway finished at the top of the Democracy Index for 2017. For 2017, the United States was tied with Italy and ranked just behind South Korea and just ahead of Japan.
The writer Sinclair Lewis, author of Elmer Gantry and Main Street, [pictured, left] could have had someone like Donald Trump in mind when, in 1935, he published his best-selling novel It Can't Happen Here. In 1936, the novel was adapted into a play with the same title. The novel's chief protagonist is journalist Doremus Jessup, a reporter for the Fort Beulah, Vermont Daily Informer, an old-school liberal newspaper. Jessup helps lead the opposition to an authoritarian "populist" president named Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip.
In the 1936 election, Windrip defeats President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Democratic National Convention, whereupon the incumbent president organizes the Jeffersonian Party to take on Windrip in the general election. Windrip goes on to defeat both Roosevelt and the fictional Republican candidate, Senator Walt Trowbridge, in the November election. Windrip, a firebrand populist, wins office on a platform of restricting immigration, attacking the poor, and threatening to curtail the "liberal" press. Windrip manages to get America's religious right to support him after he receives the full backing of a firebrand Indiana fundamentalist radio preacher named Bishop Prang.
After Trump's upset win over Hillary Clinton in 2016, Money magazine reported that sales of Lewis's novel spiked.
Soon after assuming office, Windrip proceeds to ban dissent. He trains a paramilitary force called the Minute Men to arrest his enemies and throw them into concentration camps. In his first State of the Union address, Trump announced he was keeping open the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a U.S. military enclave that exists in a legal "no man's land" outside the constraints imposed by the U.S. Constitution.
One of Windrip's initial actions is to limit the power of the U.S. Congress. Windrip replaces Congress with a "Corpo" government that eliminates rights for women and minorities. The president also abolishes states by replacing them with administrative sections. Military tribunals take the place of civilian courts.
In reaction, Jessup joins the New Underground, led by Senator Trowbridge, to spirit dissidents out of the United States to political asylum in Canada. Jessup forms a new paper, called the Vermont Vigilance, to fight against Windrip's corporate fascist government.
After Windrip fails to deliver to his ardent supporters the improvement he promised to lift them out of the Great Depression, opposition to his presidency increases. After Windrip orders the arrest of his running mate, Vice President Perley Beecroft, for insubordination, the Veep flees the country. Windrip is eventually ousted in a coup led by his Secretary of State, chief propagandist, and one-time campaign adviser, Lee Sarason, as well as his top military adviser, General Dewey Haik. Windrip then flees to France.
Upset with Sarason's presidency, Haik leads a military revolt that commandeers the White House and kills Sarason and his top aides. Haik then orders a U.S. military invasion of Mexico. Lewis's novel ends as a civil war breaks out across the United States, with Jessup working as a spy for the New Underground in Corpo-ruled parts of southern Minnesota.
It Can't Happen Here was slated to become a 1936 film starring Lionel Barrymore; Basil Rathbone; radio's "Charlie Chan," Walter Connolly; and Virginia Bruce -- the co-star of 1936's The Great Ziegfeld. However, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer chief Louis B. Mayer axed the production after complaints were received from Nazi Germany, via the Production Code Administration in Washington, DC about the film's unsuitability for the German market.
In 1968, the film project was dusted off for the small screen in a TV mini-series with the working title of Shadow on the Land, starring Jackie Cooper, John Forsythe, and Gene Hackman, and Carol Lynley. Also titled, United States: It Can't Happen Here, the series pilot was aired as a made-for-television movie but the rest of the series' production run was canceled. As with the 1936 movie, there was reason to believe that right-wing elements in the United States -- including FBI director J. Edgar Hoover -- objected to the "anti-fascism" nature of the production. In 1982, a TV series based on Lewis's novel, titled Storm Warnings, was presented to NBC, which rejected the premise of a fascist takeover of the United States. NBC only bought off on the series after American fascists were recast as human-consuming reptilian extraterrestrials and the name of the series was changed to V.

More recently, Philip K. Dick's short novel, The Man in the High Castle, has been optioned for a third season as a miniseries on Amazon Prime. Dick's story is set in an alternate history in 1962, fifteen years after the Axis powers defeat the Allies. The United States is split between the German Reich, which occupies the East Coast and Midwestern states, and the Japanese Empire, which occupies the Pacific States. The Rockies exist as a neutral zone law and order do not exist. Dick, like Lewis, portrays a number of Americans as willing accomplices of fascist overseers. The Man in the High Castle series premiered during the 2016 election and after the electoral success of Trump, production was extended for two additional years.

It would appear that after so many failures in bringing It Can't Happen Here to the screen, the political advent of a authoritarian bully real estate developer, who became popular with a reality TV show on NBC, has brought about an adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel to real life. The Economist's Democracy Index's rating of the United States as a downward-spiraling flawed democracy confirms the fact that "It Has Happened Here."

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause." Trump's desired rump parliament