by Claire Bernish
With President Trump’s approval rating sinking below even the nadir of presidential favorability, it stands to reason only a paucity of the billionaire’s campaign pledges have been addressed as originally promised — and although typical for modern U.S. presidents, his base has begun to grow weary of hollow vows.
The country is indisputably on edge.
Assurances to drain the swamp resulted in flooding the void with bankers and corporate elite of the same ilk — if differing political stance — as the previous administration. Others — such as The Wall, or the mass deportation of improperly-documented immigrants and criminals, or the wonky, derogatorily-termed Muslim Ban — only loosely follow what Trump championed in the run-up to the election.
And then there’s Obamacare.
Resentment the president might indeed fail to overhaul Washington’s political establishment now rumbles at a slow boil around the nation — even among members of Trump’s adopted GOP — and that could be treacherous, admonished illustrious academic, Professor Noam Chomsky, in an interview with AlterNet editor-at-large, Jan Frel.
Asked whether the president’s support base will continue backing each new measure or admit he hasn’t lived up to expectations, Chomsky explained,
“I think that sooner or later the white working-class constituency will recognize, and in fact, much of the rural population will come to recognize, that the promises are built on sand. There is nothing there.”
But it’s what the itinerant political analyst added that should send chills down the collective American spine:
“I think that we shouldn’t put aside the possibility that there would be some kind of staged or alleged terrorist act, which can change the country instantly.”
Since September 11, 2001, just about any act of violence that could be pawned off on terrorism has been, so the idea an event would be manufactured — rather from scratch, or opportunistically — to distract from the mess that is Washington and garner emotional support for unpopular military operations not only isn’t unrealistic, it’s happened before.
Consider the Vietnam War.
Granted, the national political climate leaned toward the opposite side of the aisle over half a century ago, but the U.S. government tends only to recycle and repurpose methods proving efficacious — and the Gulf of Tonkin was one such operation.
Because the Gulf of Tonkin incident — which fomented U.S. involvement in Vietnam — never actually happened.
“On 2 August 1964,” wrote U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Pat Paterson for Naval History Magazine in 2008. “North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats attacked the USS Maddox … while the destroyer was in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin. There is no doubting that fact. But what happened in the Gulf during the late hours of 4 August — and the consequential actions taken by U.S. officials in Washington — has been seemingly cloaked in confusion and mystery ever since that night.”
Documents declassified and released in 2005 and 2006 evince the Maddox hadn’t come under attack at all — and officials scrambled to assess the situation and opportune exploding chaos to their advantage.
To President Lyndon Johnson, that meant the signing of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution — the legislative catalyst for full involvement in Vietnam.
However, despite signing the resultant resolution, even the president had no legitimate reason to believe the second attack on the Maddox had ever occurred, as Johnson candidly admitted to then-press secretary Bill Moyers one year after the attacks,
“For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there.”
The Gulf of Tonkin incident occupies no unique spot in governmental manipulation of the populace — nor does the U.S. stand alone in States employing false flag events and deftly-crafted outcomes from organically occurring incidents.
But, as Chomsky points out, growing ambivalence with the Trump administration’s multitudinous disappointments and failures in just the first few months — coupled with an abysmal approval rating, 36 percent, worse than the absolute rock bottom experienced by either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama throughout the duration of their administrations — the timing seems ripe for a convenient mishap to lure the disaffected back to the fold.
Whether or not the famed academic’s prognostication comes true has potentially months to play out — but in the meantime, it would be prudent to examine any questionable events to discern fact from propaganda — and to be wary of unsubstantiated statements from unnamed officials.
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