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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/12/19

Beware the 'Trump Trump Macoute'

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The resurrection of vigilante goon squads in countries like Sudan Libya Colombia Guatemala Honduras Brazil and Haiti is directly linked to right-wing authoritarian regimes coming to power
The resurrection of vigilante goon squads in countries like Sudan Libya Colombia Guatemala Honduras Brazil and Haiti is directly linked to right-wing authoritarian regimes coming to power
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The re-emergence of the feared Janjaweed paramilitary forces in Sudan should serve as a wakeup call for every American who supports democracy and the rule of law. The Janjaweed emerged in 2003 in the genocide committed in the western region of Darfur to deal with black African tribes that opposed the regime of General Omar al-Bashir. After Bashir later began to loosen his tight grip on power, the Janjaweed paramilitary volunteers faded back into their regular jobs. However, in April, Bashir was ousted in a military coup by a junta led by Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and, more ominously, the Janjaweed commander, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, also known as "Hemetti."

Now in charge of Sudan's Rapid Security Forces, Hemetti has launched a brutal crackdown on protesters favoring a return to democracy and civilian rule. The Sudanese junta is supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt's President General Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, who has also carried out atrocities in Egypt, and, more surprisingly, the chief U.S. diplomat in Sudan, Steven Koutsis.

The resurrection of vigilante goon squads in countries like Sudan, Libya, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, and Haiti is directly linked to right-wing authoritarian regimes coming to power. Donald Trump's increasing dictatorial ways, which include purging the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and other law enforcement agencies of those who do not agree with Trump's "brand" of totalitarianism, is opening the door for far-right vigilantes, all loyal to their cult leader Trump, disrupting the 2020 election with violence against Democratic candidates, election protection volunteers, journalists, and minority groups.

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The Janjaweed is not the only vigilante group in recent history that has sought to maintain tyrants in political power. In Haiti, the "Ton Ton Macoute," formally known as the "Volunteers for National Security," committed heinous human rights abuses against the opposition to dictator Francois Duvalier, also known as "Papa Doc." After Papa Doc's death in 1971, his son, Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as "Baby Doc," continued to rely on the Ton Ton Macoute to stamp out opposition to his rule. Before he was ousted in 1986, Baby Doc purchased condominium 54K in the Trump Tower in New York through a Panamanian shell company called Lasa Trade and Finance. The $1.65 million used to purchase the condo in 1983 was looted by Baby Doc from the Haitian National Treasury.

Trump's affection for tyrants like Baby Doc, North Korea's Kim Jong Un, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the Philippines's Rodrigo Duterte, and others, including, from recent history, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, raises a legitimate concern that, like all these leaders, Trump will permit government-sanctioned vigilantes to help him maintain power. Hitler's Brown Shirts, Mussolini's Black Shirts, Colombian President Ivan Duque's United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), Bolsonaro's milícias, Duterte's Davao Death Squad (DDS), and Kim Jong Un's network of informants all serve as models for Trump's and his cult members' insidious plans.

For anyone who does not believe that Trump has the motive and the means to command a network of vigilantes capable of carrying out political assassinations, torching opposition campaign offices, beating up opposition political campaign volunteers, and attacking journalists, think again, because we have already witnessed the advent of such operations.

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After Trump called the press the "enemy of the people," a Trump fanboy named Jarrod Ramos walked into the newsroom of the Annapolis Capital-Gazette last year and gunned down five people in cold blood. Last August, Robert Chain was arrested for threatening to attack the Boston Globe. In October of last year, Cesar Sayoc, a Florida man, mailed pipe bombs to several leading Democrats, news media organizations, and other opponents of Trump. On January 29, 2017, when Trump was only nine days into office, a pro-Trump Canadian killed six worshipers in the Islamic Cultural Center in Quebec City. The leader of a group called the "White Rabbit Militia Illinois Patriot Freedom Fighters, Three Percent" was charged, along with two others, of bombing the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. On August 12, 2017, neo-Nazi and Trump supporter, James Alex Fields Jr., ran his car into a crowd protesting a neo-Nazi and white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing Heather Heyer. Three days later, Trump called the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville "very fine people."

In October 2018, eleven worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh were killed by Robert Bowers, a far-right extremist who believed that Trump was too soft. On April 27 of this year, John Earnest a far-right supporter of Bowers, New Zealand mosque killer Brenton Tarrant, and 2011 Oslo, Norway mass murderer Anders Breivik shot up the Chabad of Poway synagogue, near San Diego, killing one and wounding others.

In January 2018, Brandon Griesemer made 22 phone calls to CNN headquarters in Atlanta and threatened to kill the network's employees. Trump's reaction to the threats was to call CNN "fake news." On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, a Trump supporter, killed 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Earlier, Cruz, who had worn a red "Make America Great Again" hat to school, had written Trump a letter addressed to the White House and reportedly received a response. In May 2017, Jeremy Christian stabbed two passengers to death on a Portland, Oregon train. He had earlier written, "If Donald Trump is the Next Hitler then I am joining his SS." In May 2018, Dimitrios Pagourtzis shot to death ten people at Santa Fe High School in Texas. He was an avid follower of Trump and members of his family on Instagram. In May 2017, Sean Urbanski, a Trump supporter, stabbed and killed U.S. Army Second Lieutenant Richard Collins III on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

In January of this year, Zephen Xaver, a trainee prison guard and follower of Trump on Twitter, shot and killed five women in the Sun Trust Bank in Sebring, Florida. Trump never once responded to the shooting.

During Trump's presidential campaign in 2015 and 2016, there were several other acts of violence perpetrated by Trump loyalists, including a major terrorist attack in Kansas City, similar to the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building bombing and planned by a pro-Trump vigilante group called "The Crusaders." In August 2015, two Boston brothers, both Trump supporters, viciously attacked a homeless man they wrongly believed to be an illegal immigrant. Trump's reply was that his supporters are "passionate."

What all of these far-right terrorists have in common is their support for Trump. If Trump signals that he wants them to organize into his own personal vigilante force to wreak havoc and mayhem on his opponents, they will. They have their means of communications on social media, like 4Chan, 8Chan, Gab, Telegram, and other social media platforms. They certainly have access to guns and the components required for weapons of mass destruction. They have a nascent network that could be unified under a single command and control organization. Since they have not adopted a single name, like the Janjaweed or Ton Ton Macoute, for the time being, let's call them the "Trump Trump Macoute."

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Lance Ciepiela

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With his autocratic style of government Donald Trump has been more at ease with foreign dictators than with democratic leaders. The list of strongmen and despots he has befriended and endorsed is long. Equally long is the list of democratic leaders and countries he has insulted and snubbed.

Trump has distanced himself from other democratic countries, in particular when he abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and when he pulled out of a global climate agreement.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jun 12, 2019 at 5:29:31 PM

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