Good evening Arnold from here in England
I couldn’t help but see your impassioned video earlier on which has gone viral across the internet regarding the events at The Capitol in Washington. Your sincerity and passion for democracy shines through but I felt compelled to write an open letter in reply to some of your assertions.
As a fan of your films and also your personal journey, this was not easy to write.
Do I agree with what happened at the Capitol building? No, of course not. But that seat of US government has seen worse before and will not fall because of the actions of a few protesters. On May 2, 1967, 30 members of the Black Panthers entered the building with rifles and shotguns. After a short discussion with law enforcement, they left with no charges against them – the protesters this time were on the whole unarmed and there were fatalities. Indeed, in 1814 the British (Under General Ross) burned both the Capitol and The White House after a 2 day occupation of Washington during a trade war in retaliation for US forces burning Canadian cities including Toronto. Within a few years, the organs of US government were back up and running again in the Capital.
But, why were they there? There have been serious allegations of vote rigging which have been ignored on the whole by law enforcement. I don’t know if these allegations have any substance or not but surely, in a mature democracy, should be investigated thoroughly to make sure that voters for both the Democrats and Republicans can be assured that the will of the people has been fairly enforced? As someone who has been involved in politics this side of the pond and has witnessed some fairly questionable practices on election day that have been similarly ignored, you can see where conspiracy theories arise. As has been pointed out to me, Trump got more votes than any other sitting President in US history and still lost. In this case, sunlight is the best disinfectant.
It is also of note that you put out this video today – again, I don’t doubt your sincerity here. But I have friends in the US and the riots going on during the past year have not raised your ire in a similar manner? Less than 2 weeks ago, on New Year’s Day, the Federal Courthouse and Justice centre in Portland, Oregon, were attacked with Molotov cocktails and property destroyed/windows smashed by rioters ‘in support’ of the Black Lives Matter movement as reported in the New York Post. Throughout the last year we have seen places that are not government buildings but people’s homes and livelihoods destroyed by rioters who want to defund the Police and overthrow the democratically elected government as stated by those groups themselves (AntiFA and BLM). Unlike the Government buildings that will be rebuilt with taxpayers money, many of these citizen’s livelihoods are now gone without the ability to fund restoration. Amongst them are a large number of ethnic minorities in the States – I distinctly remember a report on one Black American gentleman who had been a fireman for 20 years and put his pension pot in to his business only to see his whole life’s work go up in flames.
Worse still was the death of 8 year old Secoriea Turner, shot dead in Atlanta by BLM activists on Independence weekend because her mother had dared to drive through an illegal barricade. As her parents stated afterwards, ‘You have killed one of your own’. Surely this rioting and destruction, in many cases with the organisations behind it openly supported by certain Democrat elected officials, is a far greater threat to democracy than a few hundred idiots descending on Washington?
It is also concerning that those in charge of major social media companies have now banned the sitting President of the USA from posting on their platforms because they claim he is ‘inciting violence’ but have no problem leaving up posts from the likes of the Supreme Leader of Iran stating that they will wipe Israel off the map?
Which leads me on to your comments about Kristallnacht in 1938, comparing the events. I can see where this is coming from having seen some of the AntiSemitic T-Shirts that featured in media coverage. As somebody who has campaigned against AntiSemitism both on line and on the streets, I am horrified that anybody could display such sentiments. But herein lies a difference – most right minded people are utterly disgusted with this display whereas in 1938 the vast majority turned away from criticism for fear of being ostracised. Yet in American Politics, the likes of ‘The Squad’ have posted openly AntiSemitic tropes with no criticism at all. In 2019, Sen Ilhan Omar (above) was voted AntiSemite of the Year by both The Jewish Post and The Campaign against Antisemitism. The JPost also gave a big mention to Louis Farrakhan whose ramblings are still happily allowed by the major social media companies. The Democrats have major elected officials who constantly post lies about Israel and Jews that go unchallenged and are allowed airtime to breed. Whilst the majority currently reject these viewpoints, the rise of antiSemitism in Europe and the USA is a matter of fact – you speak of Europe learning the lessons of World War Two but are obviously unaware of the current mass exodus of Jews from countries like France to Israel in the face of a rise in hatred on the continent. In England, I too have seen friends ‘Make Aliyah’ because of the rise in discrimination fostered here by the likes of the Labour Party who were referred to the Equality and Human Rights Commission because of their attitude towards Jews. Whilst the hatred is not currently as bad as that of the 1930’s. the seeds are there and those, like me, who challenge them often end up with bans and warnings from the same social media companies who allow unfettered reign to those who spread the lies.
Comparing The Capitol incident to Kristallnacht is to demean the significance of that event. I was fortunate enough to visit your country of birth in 1982, my father having done his national service in Austria just after the war in a town called Klagenfurt and wishing to see it again. As a 14 year old, I was taken with the friendliness of the people and the beauty of cities such as Vienna, Innsbruck and Salzburg. That such wonderful people could have been dragged in by the horrors of Hitler seems almost unreal but serves as a warning call to us all. Yet there are similarities with what is going on today – censorship of free speech, demonization of the Jewish community and a crack down on ‘alternative’ voices. Kristallnacht was enabled by state sponsored propaganda that turned normally rational people against a section of society. Any dissent was swiftly crushed – is this not what we are seeing in today’s online social media community?
Comparing a minor incident to the wholesale destruction of Jewish businesses and communities is totally disproportionate – but if Big Tech allows narratives that target Jews and Israel to constantly be aired whilst banning the voices that would stand against such viewpoints then we are all on a slippery slope.
I have never been a big supporter of Trump but can see both the good and bad points of his Presidency. Pre Covid, the unemployment numbers were down, especially in areas with large minority communities. On foreign policy, he is the first President in years not to have committed to foreign wars and his pro Israel stance has led to normalisation of relations between the Jewish state and a number of Arab nations such as The UAE.
Whilst I wish President elect Biden well, his record on both foreign policy and equality are not the best. His apparent desire to resurrect Obama’s disastrous Iran deal will destabilise the whole region after the last four years of progress.
Furthermore, a hangover of his time as VP to President Obama is a pro EU stance that flies in the face of logic. You say that ‘Europe has learned the lessons’ – but has it? What started as the Coal and Steel Community morphed in to The Common Market, then the EEC and now the EU. Those who have questioned further integration have been demonised and portrayed as ‘fascists’ and more. When Holland and France voted in referendums against the EU constitution, it was renamed ‘The Lisbon Treaty’ and put through without reference to the people. When the Irish voted against The Lisbon Treaty, they were forced to vote again (After a huge input of finance from those campaigning for it that overwhelmed the voices against when it came to promotion). In the UK, we voted to leave the EU despite Obama telling us we would be ‘at the back of the queue’ for a trade deal (Strange wording for a US President, surely ‘back of the line’?) and spent over four years seeing the democratic vote of our people trying to be thwarted at every turn by big business and the elites who profit from Brussels at the expense of the ordinary citizen. Democratically elected governments in Greece and Italy have been swept away because of the influence of Brussels, the Euro currency that so impoverishes those in the southern countries to the benefit of German exports now dependent upon handouts from the EU for their shattered economies that come with conditions.
Despite the warnings about China, the EU has just signed a deal with them that ignores the genocide of Uyghar Muslims in one of their provinces. They also funded the student uprising in Ukraine that ended in civil war, a war that they then ran away from and left those they had encouraged to the wrath of Putin.
No, Europe has not learned it’s lessons and thankfully the UK has walked away. I hope that the US wakes up and walks away from censorship, far left violence and the politicians and big media who endorse crony capitalism at the expense of American citizens.
Anything else would be a betrayal of liberty and the founding fathers