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Opinion

Yesterday, Jan 6, 2021, a date which will live in infamy, the US was suddenly and deliberately attacked… by domestic terrorists

Fuelled and fooled by their own president, these would-be insurrectionists were a shameful disgrace to our country. It is a day that will be forever engraved in the Capitol’s history.

The president of the United States, battling relentlessly and without victory for two months against US courts, fomented the move that reached its apex in armed insurrection against the US Capitol. He told his crowd, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol… You’ll never take back our country with weakness… You have to show strength and you have to be strong.” He did this only hours before he would have officially been made ex-president un-elect by Congress in order to stop the change of power that would have happened. He succeeded for a day.

Trump supporters arrived with guns, plexiglass shields, and sharpened 2x4s. They pushed past police barriers and police officers against the commands of police and stormed the Capitol steps. They used their shields and sticks to break government windows and entered the building with guns slung over their shoulders. They had to be held at bay by Capitol security guards in the House chamber with guns drawn and aimed at point-blank distance from behind the barricaded main doors of the chamber at insurrectionists staring through the broken glass at them eye-to-eye.

The president told supporters in recent days to come to Washington to protest, and he incited the potential for violence by telling them it was going to be wild. On Wednesday, he met with the considerable Capitol lynch mob that had gathered and assured them that something would happen that day that would restore his presidency.

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This turned into an armed insurrection in the truest sense in that the mob intended to deliberately stop the government from being able to govern the nation and carry out its duties. It did. The revolt intended to prevent the official validation of the selection of a US president via a constitutionally mandated meeting of the full Congress on this day. It did. It immediately dispersed all members of Congress to run for cover and resulted in the vice president, who had been publicly threatened with death already, into being ushered from the building by the Secret Service.

It not only stopped the government in its tracks, it laid siege to the Capitol building for a few hours. It forced members of Congress to lock themselves in their offices and take cover under their desks. It thus prevented the peaceful transition of power on the designated day for that action, which has never been forcibly prevented in US history. It even managed to occupy some offices of senators and representatives. It is a day that shall live in infamy and be engraved in the Capitol’s history.

Due to a woefully unprepared policing operation, the police were easily overwhelmed. They lost all control of the situation immediately to where hundreds of intruders roamed casually throughout the Capitol building. Police officers were injured. The police shot rioters storming through the Capitol windows and mortally wounded one protester who was carried off conscious on a stretcher but with ribbons of blood streaming from her neck. She eventually died.

President Trump’s original chief of staff during his first half year in office, Reince Priebus, stated during Wednesday’s melee, “Many of these folks are nothing but domestic terrorists… These violent people have no respect for democracy.”

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‘Terrorists’ is not an overly strong word. After all, those who entered the building with guns could have just as easily entered with grenades. Of course, they created terror because everyone in the building knew none of the mob had been scanned or searched before entering as is normal for public buildings, especially the Capitol, ever since 9/11. Therefore, any of them clearly could have been from ISIS or any other terrorist group.

No one knew who any individual was. They could have had suicide vests or pipe bombs or grenades under their jackets. How would you know when they casually walked right through Statuary Hall past police officers only feet away? Many passed without resistance between velvet ropes normally meant to only keep tourists in line, not terrorists? They walked right into the chamber of the House of Representatives and for the first time in US history managed to place a Confederate flag in the House chamber.

Some among the masses wore Revolutionary War hats, seeing themselves as walking in the footsteps of historic patriots who overthrew British imperial soldiers. They clapped each other on the back after sunset and gathered by the thousands around the Washington Monument in defiance of the DC mayor’s curfew order. 

They didn’t ‘back the blue’ as true patriots, but revolted against the police – both municipal and national – knocking down barricades and striking the police and pushing them and spraying them with mace. It was not “peaceable and orderly assembly,” a constitutional right, but a totally disorderly and often violent assembly that would make Antifa or BLM envious of its rapid, albeit brief, success.

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The lack of police readiness was beyond disgraceful. Everyone in the nation knew the president’s planned protest would be heated and that he would throw as much fuel onto their already inflamed tempers as he possibly could. Everyone knew that armed members of the Proud Boys would be present and that they sounded ready for combat in their own social-media comments. Into this tinderbox, the president threw as many lit matches as he could.

At a rally months ago that became intense, President Trump himself told the Proud Boys to “stand down and stand by!” We all know that statement doesn’t mean ‘settle down’, but translates ‘be ready for action, as you may be called upon’. How could anyone see the president’s call to come to Washington on the day when the presidential election would be confirmed by congress and to be ready for things to “get wild” as anything other than a veiled call to arms?

Even Mike Pence, the presidential poodle, finally got a spine and stated, “This attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” 

Trump, on the other hand, merely assuaged the mob by gushing, “We love you. You’re very special. We know how you feel… You have to go home now. We have to have peace. Go home with love & in peace.” Then, as though they had completed a commendable event, he exclaimed, “Remember this day forever!” He also justified the actions of the mob by saying, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

Only a couple of days ago, one of the president’s ad hoc attorneys, Lin Wood, stated that Vice President Pence – if he did not adhere to the president’s orders – would be charged with treason and executed by firing squad:

Wood also stated that Chief Justice John Roberts of the US Supreme Court and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should be arrested and tried for treason.

On this same day, the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, yelled to the crowd in the White House ellipse, “Let’s have trial by combat!”

When ‘all the president’s men’ are constantly inciting tens of millions of enraged citizens toward white-hot anger and telling them to come ready for a wild time, they cannot be held innocent of inciting violence. On this grim day, the president of the United States incited armed insurrection against his nation’s Capitol in order to cling to power as many had feared he would do. Their fears have been proven correct.

Even Brit Hume, a former anchor for Fox News, the president’s favored news channel until it became less flattering toward him, said, “I don’t think there is any doubt that the president’s words got us to this point.” Hume, who covered the 2020 election, said he thought many supporters of Trump most likely saw the light about the president by these actions on Wednesday and stated, “If the election were held tonight, he’d lose by a lot more than he lost last time.”

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After a day like Wednesday, it would also not be surprising if the president’s own cabinet decided they’ve finally had enough and, along with Congress, stripped Trump of his office under the 25th Amendment, giving Mike Pence the only dozen days he will likely ever know as president of the United States.

Those members of Congress who sought to stop Joe Biden’s rightful endorsement may be permanently disgraced by this – as they should be – now that their president has been revealed for what he really is. Trump’s ill effect on the nation, which at one time operated with civility but now in divisiveness, disgrace, distrust, and disquiet, will go down as one of the nation’s darkest hours in history, and the treasonous insurrectionists may go down on a rope.

As loss after loss has turned the president increasingly maniacal, the gilded name ‘Trump’ may go down in history with more guilt than gold as a term of derision like ‘Benedict Arnold’.

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