politics Trump

‘Thousands And Thousands Of Heavily Armed Soldiers’

Martial law - in essence, anyway.

On Monday evening, Donald Trump delivered a short address in the Rose Garden while police and military personnel fired tear gas to disperse protesters gathered nearby.

It was a surreal scene even by the standards of an administration that specializes in creating alternate realities.

Law enforcement (some of whom rode towards the crowd on horseback) appeared to be coordinating with the White House in a bid to create a chaotic scene, knowing the media would employ split-screens as the president spoke.

If the plan was to stir up commotion in order to help Trump’s “law and order” message resonate, it’s not clear how effective it was. Demonstrators generally ran away as the tear gas wafted down the streets of the nation’s capital. Police half-heartedly chased after them. Camera crews backpedalled, still filming.

Trump began by declaring that the administration is committed to securing justice for George Floyd’s family, and the president claimed to be an “ally of peaceful protesters”.

He quickly pivoted, though, addressing what he decried as “acts of domestic terror” perpetrated by “professional anarchists”.

In what may be seen in hindsight as one the defining moments of his presidency, Trump reiterated his message to governors from a conference call held earlier in the day, imploring state and local officials to “dominate the streets”, before declaring that if governors do not act forcefully enough, he will send in the military.

Then, over the sound of explosions, Trump adopted an audibly gleeful cadence in the course of telling the nation that he is currently in the process of deploying “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers” to stop what he described as “rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and wanton destruction of property”.


“We are putting everybody on warning”, Trump cautioned. “Our seven o’clock curfew will be strictly enforced”.

It would not be a stretch to say that Trump has declared martial law in the US, something those who still had a sense of humor after his inauguration once joked about before satire died a slow, agonizing death with each passing tweet.

Fast forward three years, and Trump has, in fact, called in the military to quell violent demonstrations against racial injustice which have now spread to nearly every major metropolitan area in America.

This comes as the country is coping with an unemployment rate that’s expected to hit 20% when the official number for May is released on Friday.

The US economy has all but collapsed. It’s possible the protests will make the second quarter even worse economically than it was already destined to be. It isn’t totally out of the question that America could witness a 50% contraction (on a QoQ, annualized basis).

All of this, and the country still has no vaccine and no truly effective therapeutic against COVID-19. Some worry the protests may act as super-spreader events.

After officially informing Americans that “thousands” of “heavily armed” soldiers are set to police the streets, Trump proceeded to perpetuate the unfounded notion that the protests are, for the most part, the work of unnamed “terror organizers”, who he threatened with “lengthy sentences in jail”.

He identified Antifa, but also mentioned “other leading instigators”, without saying who he was referring to.

After declaring that America has “one beautiful law”, the president excused himself, telling reporters he was going to “pay respects to a very, very special place”.

The “special place” turned out to be nearby St. John’s Church, which was damaged during the protests. It was, for lack of a better way to describe it, a cheap photo-op for Trump. Below is one such photo.

The necessity of preemptively clearing the area for the president to visit the church in part explains why police abruptly decided to push back protesters as the president began to speak across the street.

In addition to tear gas, reports and video from the scene suggest some demonstrators were fired on with rubber bullets.

A reporter could be heard asking Trump if the Bible on display was his. “Is that your Bible?”

“It’s a Bible”, Trump said.


23 comments on “‘Thousands And Thousands Of Heavily Armed Soldiers’

  1. mfn says:

    How to put this politely: burning in hell for eternity is too good for Steven Miller.

  2. Pyrognosis says:

    Anyone who didn’t see this coming has their head up their ass.

  3. joesailboat says:

    This virus has spared the young. Most politicians learned their lesson from Kent State. Killing Grandchildren is a bit of a no-no.

  4. I’m still confused, the entire country is on curfew @7 ? How long will this last? The governors have various times in specific cities ranging till 10pm

    • At least we “opened it all up” against those horrible governors who were restricting our freedumbs, amirite?

    • He cannot enforce a martial law declaration. He has not power to order the military to take action against U.S. citizens.

      • calh0025 says:

        Until he does it anyway. He seems to be able to break pretty much any law he wants without recourse. Is this where you suspect the GOP would abandon him? Or do you suspect the military would decline the order? The latter maybe plausible.

        • The military has put in writing after once he made another audacious statement. Words to the effect, ‘we will follow any legal order put to us by the Commander in Chief’.

  5. runamok says:

    Isn’t this Posse Comatitus? Doesn’t this require an act of Congress? Isn’t this a country of laws?

    “Our greatest days are ahead of us”…yes, like five or six years from now after we’ve descended through what might perhaps be among the darkest periods of our countries history. Sure, we’ll emerge with great optimism, but that is years from now.

    To the reader who exclaims that the non-aware must have had their “heads up our asses,” yes we have, as a country, have our heads up our asses. This was seen coming from decades away. But those of use who have seen it coming, are far out weighted by the numbers who cared to either not pay attention or were under the influence of the bread and circuses.

    I’m sorry my friends, but this might be a long, hot summer, exceeding perhaps, 1968…and don’t we have party elections this year, at least proxies of such?

    Premarket open is down 20 points.

    • Anonymous says:

      Posse Comitatus is one of those old-timey laws that aren’t enforced anymore – like adultery, blasphemy, sacrilege, debasement, perjury, obstruction of justice, bribery, fraud, corruption, torture, witness tampering, not registering as a foreign agent, campaign finance violations, collusion, conspiracy, war crimes, and lollygagging.

    • northwest says:

      Probably postpone the election. Because of the Virus. Or something.

  6. Darkstar says:

    Walt, any room left on your island?

  7. I do not think the military can follow such an order. They are required to follow any lawful order, this order to deploy on protesters is not lawful. The Senate passed on ending this before it started when they declined to prosecute impeachment.

    • MrSomebody says:

      Knowledge is Power…

      The Insurrection Act of 1807 is a United States federal law (10 U.S.C. §§ 251–255; prior to 2016, 10 U.S.C. §§ 331–335) that empowers the president of the United States to deploy military troops within the United States in particular circumstances, such as to suppress civil disorder, insurrection and rebellion.

      • Mr, Somebody, from Mr. Nobody,

        Thanks for the enlightenment. I guess we are closer to Fascism than I knew.

        Oppose Fascism or you may get to know the power of the State under the heal of a boot.

      • Of course this must be verified to be believed.

      • According to Wikipedia at least there are significant limitations to the use of this act. Which it does not seem are being met. So such a unilateral move would be unconstitutional and therefore an illegal act on his part. Not that illegal has ever slowed him down.

        The act empowers the US president to federalize the National Guard and to use the remainder of the Armed Forces:

        1.when requested by a state's legislature or governor, to address an insurrection against the state (10 U.S.C. § 251),
        2.to address an insurrection against the federal government (10 U.S.C. § 252), or
        2.hinders the execution of the laws such that citizens are deprived of constitutional rights (10 U.S.C. § 253).

        • You’re correct. Or at least, technically you’re correct. The issue is, it’s not really clear what Trump “can” and “can’t” do. All of these purported limitations assume he doesn’t just ignore them. And I don’t mean that to be alarmist (although it is alarming). Rather, I mean it in the context of William Barr. Barr wasn’t just brought in to deal with Mueller. And Barr is no idiot. His role in all of this forces us to rethink what is and isn’t possible for the executive when he’s got somebody who is competent, cunning and determined right next to him. This administration is full of silly people — Barr is not one of them.

  8. I don’t know if the United States can avoid an existential crisis over the next 7 months much less an additional four years beyond 2020.

    • He may have figured out that if he loses the Senate and Presidency he gets to take up residence in prison. His nature is to lash out at all perceived enemies who would limit his sphere of influence.

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