In the rolling aftermath from Wednesday’s US Capitol storming-shitshow that’s seemingly gathering outrage steam, from new reports the riot/insurrection was worse than we understood even with viewing it in real time (CNN): ‘It was even more violent. It was even more treacherous. And Trump’s behavior was even more disturbing.‘
— Richard Hall (@_RichardHall) January 9, 2021
Only in the aftermath is shit seen more clearer — via the CNN link:
There was so much news that it was hard to process: Reports of explosive devices, an armed standoff, a shooting and evacuations. Viewers were able to see some of it with their own eyes, but most of the information was secondhand, from tweets and phone calls and emailed dispatches from congressional reporters, many of them locked in the Capitol..
Only later did it become clear that lawmakers feared for their lives; that some of the attackers were hunting for congressional leaders; that there could have been a massacre.
On Wednesday “the images broadcast were largely not the most horrifying ones of the day,” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes said Friday night.
“Much of what we saw — silly costumes, people taking selfies, grabbing the speaker’s lectern — looked like of kind a group that might even attend a Trump boat parade. But there was something way, way darker, more violent, more sinister, and more organized happening in that Capitol on Wednesday. And it’s time we see it clearly.”
As for the president and his behavior, CNN’s Sunlen Serfaty, Devan Cole and Alex Rogers revealed on Friday that Trump “tried to call senators” and pressure them to overturn the election even as the riot was raging.
First-person accounts presented surreal drama, but not the full-weight of reality (h/t tweet tengrain):
I heard at least 3 different rioters at the Capitol say that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor. It was a common line being repeated. Many more were just talking about how the VP should be executed. https://t.co/fxHREouEWF
— Jim Bourg (@jimbourg) January 8, 2021
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in a phone interview Thursday with ABC7NY about the ordeal, explained low-key as it being “extrememly worrying,” but feared for her life:
She went on to share her experience while inside the halls of the Capitol during the riots. She said it is no exaggeration that she and others were prepared for the possibility of dying during the siege.
“I certainly was thinking that was a possibility and I know many members thought that was a possibility as well, the security breaches are extremely serious and deserve investigations on their own,” she said. “I want to be clear that this doesn’t start or end at Capitol police but we need to know what happened with the National Guard.”
See/hear the interview at the link.
I’m sure even more details will surface in the coming hours/days as the crazy-ass riot will be examined/investigated closer and more fully to find out not only what happened, but also how it happened. A close look at security, not only via the Capitol cops, the non-use of the National Guard and DC police, and all kinds of other shit.
This event is what could be called a ‘watershed’ moment for America, an unspooling of our history and time.
One aspect of this whole ordeal is how the rest of the world views America now. Patrick Gathara is a Kenyan journalist, cartoonist, blogger, and regularly-published commentator on regional and international affairs for various publications, including The Washington Post.
In a piece yesterday at Aljazeera, Gathara scoped America, and although the picture ain’t pretty, it’s spot on:
If the past four years of the Donald Trump presidency had dented America’s carefully cultivated — if inaccurate – reputation as a bastion of democracy, the November 2020 election, its aftermath and, especially the events of January 6 have completely destroyed it.
As a shocked world tried to make sense of the scenes of a mob storming the US Capitol, many journalists seemed at a loss about what to call it.
A coup? A revolution?
The chosen terms reflect not just the particular reporter’s ideological bent but also their fundamental understanding of what the United States is.
Normally, the sight of unarmed and largely peaceful protesters occupying public buildings to protest rigged elections would be branded “people power” or colour revolutions.
This, however, was different.
Whether it is the Philippines in 1986 or Ukraine in 2004, pro-democracy demonstrations against election fraud are usually directed against authoritarian leaders clinging to power, not orchestrated by them.
They tend to be reactions to clear instances of stolen elections, not fantastical conspiracy theories involving dead presidents in Venezuela.
The Trump era may be a norm-busting extreme but it remains resolutely and fundamentally American, going down the road that the US has been on for a long time.
The widespread failure to acknowledge this reflects just how successful the country’s propaganda efforts have been at perpetuating the myth of “the shining city on the hill” ordained by history to guide the rest of the world.
He explains Americans should be on the road to ‘self discovery‘ off the startling event. Read the whole article, a different perspective on our national nightmare.
Gathara is also a satirist, and in a piece this afternoon at the Guardian he thinks real-world events are hurting his satire — for instrance his tweet thread:
#BREAKING US Foreign Minister rejects assertion that the banana-exporting, food insecure, disease-ridden North American republic, which is emerging from shambolic, divisive elections, and where police routinely execute people on the streets with impunity, is a banana republic.
— gathara (@gathara) January 8, 2021
However, I would have had a hard time coming up with something to match the events and aftermath of 6 January, when a mob of what I have referred to as “Christianist, anti-math extremists” stormed the US Capitol during a joint session of Congress to certify the results of the US election.
Filled to the brim with explosive Trumpian denials of loss, false allegations of fraud, and fired up by the president himself, the rioters were unstoppable.
Read that whole thing, too, funny-sad in its reality.
(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Agonizing Horse,’ found here),