America under attack: The page is turning

America under attack: The page is turning
Cars set on fire billow smoke as rioters try to break into City Hall in Philadelphia. Via Twitter

The short story on the attacks convulsing America is that they are being mounted by fringe groups as an all-out, coordinated assault on this country.  They are not “America” attacking herself.  They’re a concerted attempt to divide and destroy America, whose people are still overwhelmingly behind law and order, peaceful dissent, and the rule of law.

Trending: Biden tells potato farmer complaining about overregulation to get job hauling chicken manure

The shock troops appear to be Antifa (and presumably some associated organizations).  Video after video shows people dressed Antifa-style – the characteristic “Black bloc” attire, including black clothing and dark face coverings – doing the rapid, professional window-smashing and fire-setting, and attacking the police.  Most of them are white.  They come armed, with pre-staged supplies like pipe, crowbars, stacks of bricks and 2x4s.  They’ve been observed in a number of places wearing earpieces and apparently coordinating on-site.

There’s video of a man in Ohio who was paying cash to rioters, as we’ve seen in the past.

The looters are locals who then invade through the broken doors and windows to pillage the contents of stores and office buildings.  They also keep the mayhem going in the streets: the constant movement, the blocked traffic, the press of bodies, the metastasizing problem that keeps law enforcement outmanned everywhere.  They’re the ones attacking civilians, like the shop owners, truck drivers, and random people on the street who have been enduring horrific battery and been left with life-threatening injuries.  (There are reports of deaths too, but so many have been wrong that I won’t mention them here for the time being.)

The locals are a mix of races and ethnicities, as are their victims.  There has been no systematic trend that I can see.  As much white-on-white and black-on-black assault as any other scenario.

There have been reports – without detail or verifying evidence – that operatives from Cuba and Venezuela are involved in the planning and coordination.  That is very likely.  Cuban and Venezuelan special operators were reportedly involved in the caravan waves from Central America too.

There were also reports that Russians and Middle Easterners were involved in the caravans.  It would be perfectly in character for current reports about Russian and Chinese involvement in the riot attacks – again, without documentation that I can find so far –  to be true.

These aspects of the situation do not mean there are Chinese or Russians participating in the attacks in America’s streets.  There may be some in the country; if so, they are probably performing their roles at a distance from the street-battle sites.

Of course, any activity that involves both Antifa and BLM is being funded by Soros-backed  organizations.

What’s going on in the big-city streets – the arson, the wanton destruction, the mass theft – is not about the mistreatment of George Floyd.  It hasn’t been since the first night.  There are still peaceful protest events taking place, but local authorities are determined not to let those protests be a launching point for riots, and are starting to impose curfews and forcibly remove even peaceful protesters with arrests if they won’t disperse.  The national guard has been called up in 24 states, at last count.

The level of destruction has become almost unfathomable.  According to people on-scene, every store and restaurant along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago is an utter wreck.  Blocks and blocks of stores and restaurants have been reduced to ruined, empty husks in Seattle and Portland.  There may well be no quick recovery from the coronavirus lockdown.  Hundreds of thousands of people are likely to lose the jobs they were hoping to go back to – this week, next week, the week after.  The gutted, burned-out stores and restaurants, the pilfered inventory, the ravaged malls and city streets: many business owners simply won’t be able to start again.

Hatred in America is not the problem.  Hatred for America is the problem.  Nothing will work as long as we are listening to our leaders babble on about hatred in America.  The impotence of that incantation has never been more obvious.  It is utterly empty.  Every heart knows it is no help to us.  It sheds no light.  It offers no guidance.

Of course, the media were quick to take up a gaslighting theme that began on Saturday with the authorities in Minnesota, which claims that “far right” elements are actually behind the riots.  This is laughably untrue.  Even Antifa has refuted it.

It hasn’t helped that Marco Rubio, the new chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tweeted on Sunday that we need to call out all extremist groups, and proceeded to emphasize the far right to the virtual exclusion of the far left.  Apparently, some far right groups have said unsavory things on Telegram and Facebook.

The sheer irrelevance of this – the grasping at straws to manufacture moral equivalence – is starkly apparent.  It’s one thing if it’s all theoretical; i.e., about whether “both sides” are messaging or exerting political influence.

But that’s not what this is.  We’ve got fire in the streets; smoke billowing up from Philadelphia as organized thugs try to break into the iconic City Hall.  The American “far right” has no history in your lifetime or mine of such tactics.  That’s Antifa’s profile.  It’s not just silly; it’s criminally irresponsible to pretend otherwise.

President Trump tweeted on Sunday that he intends to designate Antifa a terrorist organization.  He hasn’t done that formally yet, but Attorney General Barr announced that the Justice Department would be working through all 56 of its Joint Terrorism Task Forces to round up Antifa and its associates in connection with the riot attacks.

There will be some legal niceties to work out on all this.  It shouldn’t be hard to designate Antifa a “Foreign Terrorist Organization,” because Antifa is a well organized international group with a long history of anarcho-terrorism.  The approach Barr intends to use will be focusing on operatives plotting, coordinating, and traveling across state lines to incite riots.  That’s where they run afoul of federal law.

The FBI will probably have to pick up a lot of part-timers and amateurs and squeeze them to get to the planners, the Antifa chain of command, and the foreign and money backers.  It’s a good bet, however, that the intelligence development for that process was started days ago.  Barr doesn’t get chatty about things until he’s already on the move.  We can hope for something meaningful to come of this.

What happens after that, of course, is what we can’t see yet.  It will be literally impossible to put everyone in jail who deserves it.  For much of the current economic infrastructure, especially retail sales, restaurants, and convenience stores, there is no restoration.

One of the hardest-hit locations in the country, in terms of persistence of attack, is Washington, D.C. itself.

Sadly, the 200-year-old church on Lafayette Square, St. John’s Episcopal across the square from the White House, was set on fire Sunday night.  One tweep posted the poignant reminder that it’s the church where Abraham Lincoln went quietly to pray, most nights during the Civil War.

I saw a report earlier on Sunday that at least 50 law enforcement and security officers had been injured protecting the White House in the previous 24 hours.  Fox News Channel’s on-scene reporter just after midnight (i.e., Monday morning in Washington) said that as darkness fell Sunday evening, he observed a highly organized group arriving, carrying tools to use as weapons and all dressed Antifa-style in black clothing and masks.  It’s 2:00 AM there now, and the mob continues to swirl around the square.  In an earlier report, a tweep who was listening to the police scanner in D.C. said the mob was blocking firefighters, and on-scene officials were saying they wouldn’t be able to save the church.

Meanwhile, there’s this: a professor specializing in Egyptology giving pointers online about how to topple an obelisk.

Of course, the Washington Monument is an obelisk.  The academic involved naturally disavows having in mind the toppling of any particular obelisk, or indeed any public monument of any kind.

Seeing that social media interlude reminded me of the visit to Washington of a historical monument replica from Syria in 2018.  It was an arch of Baal, the pagan “god” worshipped, reportedly with human sacrifice, in much of ancient Canaan thousands of years ago.

Replica of the Arch of Baal from Palmyra is unveiled at the U.S. Capitol on 26 Sep 2018, with congressional dignitaries in attendance. Institute for Digital Archaeology (link in text for additional images and video of the ceremony)

It was feted by American political leaders and set up for display on the National Mall, including during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

If the sense is growing that there are things much bigger than we understand going on, the reason for that is sound.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.