The New Yorker has an article up about Trump’s visit to India, the violence that spiked while he was there and the lies both governments are telling about the events:*
Two things happened in Delhi on Tuesday, and the gulf between them illustrated India’s wild, alarming swerve from normalcy. At the Presidential palace, Donald Trump concluded a two-day visit by attending a ceremonial dinner: an evening of gold-leaf-crusted mandarin oranges, wild Himalayan morels, and gifts of Kashmiri silk carpets. Half a dozen miles away, northeast Delhi was convulsed with violence.
Since Sunday, mobs had been destroying the shops and homes of Muslims, vandalizing mosques, and assaulting Muslims on the streets. In their chants of “Jai Shri Ram,” praising a Hindu deity, their loyalties were clear. The attackers were Hindu nationalists, part of a right wing that has been empowered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government; many of them were even members of his party. The Delhi police, who are supervised by Modi’s home minister, seemed to side with the mobs; one video caught cops smashing CCTV cameras, while another showed them helping men gather stones to throw.
Several reports said that policemen stood by while the attackers went about their business. In a few spurts, Muslims retaliated, and the streets witnessed periods of full-scale clashes. A policeman was killed, and an intelligence officer was murdered and dumped in a drain. At least thirty-eight people have died: shot, beaten, burned. At the Trump banquet, the Navy band played “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”
As we know, obliterating truth is straight out of the authoritarian playbook. Trump sees Modi as a kindred spirit. (Tthough to be fair, Modi seems a thousand times more savvy and capable than Trump could ever hope to be.) So, it’s not surprising that Indian officials and Trump parroted Modi’s propaganda even while the violence unfolded around them:
Television journalists went out to work wearing cricket helmets, for safety; videos showed Muslim slums on fire; and the death toll climbed. Yet Ajit Doval, India’s national-security adviser, visited northeast Delhi on Wednesday and said, “Everything is normal. People of all communities are living in peace and love…”
Modi himself restricted his comments to just two tweets; in fact, he stayed away from the customary joint press conference at the end of Trump’s visit, leaving the American President to field questions about the turmoil. “He wants people to have religious freedom, and very strongly,” Trump said, of Modi.
As horrendous as Trump is, in a way, we Americans are more fortunate than India (and Russia and Hungary, etc.) because, unlike Modi, Putin, Orbán, etc., Trump is a walking collection of untreated personality disorders and not particularly bright.
His massive inferiority complex prevents him from surrounding himself with competent people, and his stupidity doesn’t allow him to game out scenarios beyond their immediate effect on himself. So far, this has limited the damage he’s able to inflict to some degree.
That said, we must make the most of the upcoming opportunity to oust our homegrown demagogue. We may not get another chance.
*Paragraph breaks inserted for readability and bold font for emphasis added.
Disagree that there’s any sort of silver lining for us in the United States.
Trump has laid the blueprint for turning the U.S. into a fascist state. If he doesn’t succeed, it will still be there for someone with more intelligence and guile.
OT: Dow Jones Industrials currently at 3rd worst weekly percentage drop in history. Only 2008 and 1933 have had a worse week.
Over 5 hours left to recover some or get even worse. Need roughly -4.5% today to pass 1933 for 2nd.
Who fucking talks like this?! “I asked Putin tremendous bigly, and said no. Then I asked him tremendlioys biglier and he said no.”
@Shalimar: Unpossible. A certain Very Stable Genius assured us that the markets looked very good.
@dmsilev: The bigliest and stablious at the jeanious. Believe me!
Reminds me of something my grandmother used to say about the depression. “If you didn’t have anything to start with, you didn’t miss it when it was gone”
This morning, as the virus spreads and the stock market drops, Trump is tweeting Rasmussen polls favorable to himself and retweeting slobbering praise from Twitter randos.
Mike in Pasadena
What variation of English does Trump speak?
The violence in India was horrifying. And it’s useful for the
nationalistsfascists– not just for terrorizing Muslims, but for separating ‘good’ Hindus, who follow orders, from ‘bad’ Hindus who have a conscience. Not to mention ‘good’ allies, like the US of A, from ‘bad’ allies like… maybe the Europeans, who have been there and done that.
@Mike in Pasadena: None. He speaks none English. Why you no know this?
@Mike in Pasadena: He am speaking Bizarro English.
I can’t vouch for it but I thought I heard he was saying he deserved 100% of the black support at some kind of black history thing because nothing bolsters black support like whining about what a great white guy you are at a thing meant to highlight black folks! [Can’t verify it but it does sound very plausible.]
Thank you for writing about this. I have been following Indian politics pretty closely since BJP won this May. So if people have any questions I will be glad to answer. This is not over. BJP is going to destroy India if it is not stopped. I fear violence at the scale that will dwarf India’s partition.
Modi carried out a pogrom against Muslims in 2002 when he was the Chief Minister. This is not the first time he has done this. The problem is not just Modi or the RSS that nurtured him. Its the upper caste support he has not matter what he does.
Anti-Muslim riots in India encouraged by the government, anti-Semitism on the resurgence in Europe, and us with our own brand of hell. What a horrifying timeline.
@Betty Cracker: his incompetence will do him in
No one. No one talks like this.
@FelonyGovt: Its government sponsored violence, a pogrom. A riot is minimizing what has happened and is happening.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Then I guess we’re all doomed. Doomed. Doomed!!!&!&!
@Ksmiami:his incompetence will do him in
“Hope is not a strategy” is an adage that has been much used in military circles, possibly since the mid 20th century, in relation to national security operations, although who uttered it first is unknown.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka): I don’t think we’re doomed, but Trump did expose an existing danger to millions of people who didn’t see it as clearly before. I say we’re fortunate in a way because if the wannabe autocrat was someone just as evil but smarter — Tom Cotton, for example — he could have kept the evidence of crimes under wraps (the Mueller report only happened because of Trump’s stupidity) and more efficiently leveraged power to cheat, lie and steal behind the scenes.
I am too much of a neophyte to the Indian media landscape to find this info, but were the pogroms and violence in Delhi repeated elsewhere in India this week? Or was this a specific demonstration of Modi’s power to DJT and to show the approval of the U.S. for his right wing Hindu nationalism?
It can not be coincidence that violence occurred during the state visit. And the subtle insults of Modi toward Trump (store bought cookies and broccoli samosa for ‘high tea’; or leaving Trump to answer questions alone at the end of the trip) to show dominance to his domestic audience. I expect the violence will expand as the citizenship bill is implemented. Just trying to get a better understanding from my limited and American-centric viewpoint.
@Betty Cracker: Maybe it’s just me, but I feel waves of powerful repulsive forces emanating from Cotton. Trump is (apparently) attractive to some people, it’s an open question, IMO, for Cotton.
From last May’s election, a large reason for the BJP’s success was due to a poorly run campaign by Rahul & Congress.
Think Congress needs to move on from the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty
A good bit of the reason Congress held onto power for 50 years was the inability of opposition parties to organize.
BJP might wind up in a similar position, because the opposition can’t get its act together
@p.a.: Hope is not a strategy, but his incompetence is creating openings that we can exploit. We still have to do it, but we can if we try.
@ByRookorbyCrook: Anne Laurie has been frontpaging my posts on this issue. The pogrom is a direct fallout of the Citizenship Amendment Bill that was passed in Dec 2020.
This was the last one that I wrote
The Orange One’s visit was a side show at best.
AL wanted me to write something about the Orange One’s visit. I will send it to her this weekend.
Many good English language newspapers in India, if you want to keep tabs on India.
Trump and the Hitler youth that love him would love to do the same thing here in the US. Wade into urban/suburban areas, beat, burn and kill their political opponents. They fever dream it. What they don’t seem to realize is that America is highly armed. If they started it they would find themselves in shootouts more than those in India did.
@gene108: BJP is not killing Muslims because of the Congress. Congress has not been in power for the last 6 years. Congress did not pass the CAA.
This is like blaming the weak German parties for the Nazi atrocities.
Or blaming the Democrats for what Republicans do when in power.
@ByRookorbyCrook: Follow the journalists on the ground ,the pundits and the talking heads are completely in BJP’s corner.
The Indian media landscape is far more rancid anything Fox News gurgles up.
@MattF: Cotton gives off some serious serial killer/war criminal vibes.
Current price returns the average to where it was in September. Doesn’t seem so bad if I think of it that way.
@schrodingers_cat: I greatly appreciate your insights into Indian politics and look forward to your post this weekend. And I am thoroughly disgusted that an American president could smile throughout a state visit as pogroms were happening mere blocks from him. It’d be like Hoover touring Berlin with Hitler and Himmler the morning after Krystallnacht and giving the thumbs-up sign. The depth of evil of this administration is astonishing.
@gene108: If you want to regurgitate the Congress Raj era then BJP and its predecessor the Jan Sangh was responsible for the collapse of two opposition unity governments in 1990 and and in 1980.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
CNBC has reverted to type. This morning was “ooh, there are bargains galore out there – better buy” crew.
The Countess noted that it is payday and ironically, she has an autodraw into her 401K and is thus buying into the dead cat bounce.
@Kelly: This morning the Dow touched the 52 week low which happened back on June 3. It’s Friday so I won’t be surprised if it closes close to that number. The virus news is not going to get better by Monday.
@Betty Cracker: He is clinical, but we knew that already.
@ByRookorbyCrook: Arvind gunasekar and Naomi Barton report in English from Delhi
BBC has a good India desk.
BC in Illinois
If you look farther back, the current average of the Dow (25, 237) returns us to January 5, 2018 (25, 295). The stock market has given back all its gains of 2018, 2019, and 2020.
Speaking of authoritarians recruiting people into alternate versions of reality…
Fox News is still trying to pin the stock market drop on Bernie Sanders’ win in Nevada. Pence, the supposed head of the coronavirus response team, is off to Florida for a GOP fundraiser. Trump is holding a hate rally in SC tonight. The assorted loons at CPAC and recent Medal of Freedom recipient Rush Limbaugh are saying the coronavirus is an anti-Trump hoax.
@Betty Cracker: That whole Aaron Rupar thread shows yet another impeachment target. The SOS can be impeached, right?
Remember – better results are realized over time if you just ride it out in a diversified portfolio. OTOH if you are highly leveraged with a bunch of Russian thugs, and it is margin call time….
Another upside is watching the dude-bros get a haircut as the Tesla bubble pops.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
That’s true. I shouldn’t snap at people. I don’t know their situations. I do have to say, I’ve probably never been as nervous/scared as I am now in my entire life. I can’t trust authorities at the highest echelons of power to be looking out for my well-being anymore. And I’m a white guy!
As much as I’m afraid for myself and loved ones, I’m most afraid for those targeted by extremist violence
ARRGH for the formatting…. J
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Secretary Pompous sure lives up to his name. I’ve never seen a more punchable face
@Betty Cracker: …and Kudlow claims the 2007-2008 financial disaster was caused by Obama. Somehow.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
He oozes arrogance.
@BC in Illinois:
I checked a more carefully and yes we’re back to June 3. I’ve owned mutual funds since the 1980’s. Black Monday of October 19, 1987 was my first stock market panic.
@L85NJGT: I’ve ridden out every stock market panic since the 1980’s. I don’t believe I’m nimble enough to get out at the right time then back in at the right time.
@bemused: He’s just horrible, but he’s also bitter and angry, and I enjoy that more than I should. Unlike Trump, Pompeo isn’t stupid, and he’s extremely ambitious. I think he’s enraged because he suspects taking such a high profile position in the omnishambles Trump administration was a bad career move.
When all the people you put in charge decide to act together to undermine our government, and at least 40% of the public cheers them on for doing this, there’s no system of government that can stand up to it.
As badly as Trump is criming in the White House, with regards to covering things up, us Democratic voters are shit scared he’ll be re-elected. At this point it won’t take a super genius to hollow out our government from within to put Republicans in charge forever, because too much of the country wants this over Democrats ever holding office.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
I’ve never seen a more punchable face
Martin Shkreli, Charlie Kirk, Ben Shapiro, Mark Halperin, Mitch McConnell, Devin Nunes, Tim Johnson, Doug Collins … all contenders.
Mostly broad index funds for me. Only individual stocks were ESOPs and incentive options. Vanguard index funds the last 15 years. Never bought on margin. Started early. Gave compounding time to work. Comfortably retired now.
I’m not blaming Congress for the BJP’s action. Just what I have heard others have observed about last May’s election.
Congress ran a poor campaign. No one was impressed with Rahul Gandhi.
BJP’s majority in Parliament is probably higher than their actual support nationally. People turned out for the BJP, because they were unimpressed with the alternative, and not because there was a huge groundswell of support for the BJP. The BJP’s actual support in India is softer than their numbers in government indicate, in my opinion.
A good opposition campaign can unseat the BJP.
When it looked almost guaranteed Obama was going to win, sometime in October 2008, the markets panicked in fear of the potential Obama administration, thus Obama tanked the stock market in 2008.
I’ve heard this before from right-wingers.
Serious question here for the Indians on the blog. How does religion, culture, and ethnicity intersect in India?
Here in the US, for example, religion is largely separate from ethnicity. Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, Atheists, Muslims, and Jews all come in different ethnicities and there is movement between groups.
The divide between Hindus, Muslims, and Christians in India seems much much deeper. Are there ethnic differences? Is one born a Hindu or Muslim and always stays one? Can you distinguish based on appearance? I assume that is the case for traditional dress, especially for women. But what about people wearing modern western clothes in offices? Do strangers know your religion? Is this like being Jewish in Nazi Germany where it is based on inheritance and not religion at all? Do Hindu nationalists try to convert Muslims and Christians?
Is this more like say Ireland or Bosnia where the distinctions were largely based on history and religion rather than ethnicity? Or is this more like conflicts in Africa where there are distinct ethnic groups? Or some combination?
@gene108: Yes I agree with you. They can be defeated as their 7 successive defeats in assembly polls show. There were many Loksabha seats in UP and in Maharashtra for example where BJP won despite getting less than 40% of the vote.
Congress under Rahul Gandhi has become a husk of its former self. Unfortunately they still get 20 to 30% of the vote almost everywhere in India so an anti-BJP opposition will have to include the Congress.
ETA: It is happening in state wide races (both in Jharkhand and Maharashtra, BJP’s allies abandoned it because of their my way or high way tactics)
If people have the stomach they can google Ehsan Jafri. He was a burned alive in 2002 and he was trying to reason with the Sangh inspired mob. He was a retired member of the Parliament.
Modi was the CM of Gujarat.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
I do have to say, I’ve probably never been as nervous/scared as I am now in my entire life.
You’re young. Global warming is a bigger threat to your well-being than this coronavirus. You’re far more likely to die in a traffic accident than to be seriously ill with SARS-CoV-2.
Here’s some perspective, in a video from the World Health Organization. I hope you find it sobering but not alarming. You need to watch the whole thing.
Somehow we accept 1.25 million traffic deaths every year in the US without a second thought, but prospect of a small fraction of that in SARS-CoV-2 deaths in the coming year has many of us freaked.
The market meltdown is not about “oh god we’re all going to die” — it’s about “oh god, the travel and restaurant and convention industries are going to shut down hard in the quarantines, and things made in China and Korea are about to become harder to get, and that’s going to hurt a lot of bottom lines”
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
I remember a morning, back maybe around 1980, when I read the morning papers and thought “those fools in Communist China seem to think they can win a nuclear war, and seem to want one.” I was terrified for a couple days.
I remember being a child during the Cuban Missile Crisis, when many of the adults around me thought we’d be in a nuclear exchange within days, and were having quiet-tense conversations “out of hearing of the kids” and sometimes weeping in private.
Sorry, but that figure is nowhere close to reality. It’s about 40K per year. https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
FYI, Wikipedia vandalism on the wikipedia Pogrom page:
Removed “|2002||Gujarat pogrom” from the list.
Indian IP address. (“descr: Bharti Airtel Ltd.,224, Okhla industrial Area Phase III New Delhi”) That’s pretty blatant, TBH. (I’m not a wikipedia editor but do look at page histories for timely vandalism.)
@Bill Arnold: I have never edited or contributed to Wikipedia. What can be done about this. Do we contact wikipedia?
Thanks for the correction.
Damn, I googled; I must have read too hastily.
The (imho, far too short) edit window has expired, or I’d go back and amend the comment with a strikethrough.
@Omnes Omnibus: exactly he is being exposed in a uniquely advantageous way for a smart candidate/party to do him in right now
@schrodingers_cat: Wikipedia is crowd-sourced, so there is no one ‘at’ Wikipedia to complain to. Interesting article about Wikipedia:
G S Herscher
Damning with faint praise, perhaps?
But it is interesting how authoritarian leaders use the same tactics, and love to praise one another.
Do they all belong to some kind of strongman’s fight club?
ETA: Any suggestions on the best short gender neutral term for a strongman? ‘Cause there are a few female leaders itching to join the club.
G S Herscher
That number is totally wrong.
There were around 40,000 traffic deaths last year in the US.
That’s bad enough, but to talk of over a million is absurd
@MattF: I know about the crowd sourcing in theory but how does it work in practice. How does on change the deleted entry.
A Ghost To Most
Mindvirus induced lies and violence.
Same as it ever was.
Anyone can edit, including you. I see an undo button for each change on the page history. Never tried it.
Given the players involved, I personally would do it anonymously. (vpn or tor, and a nym), and minimize comments to avoid stylometric doxing. But I’m quite paranoid.
ETA this looks helpful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Reverting
@schrodingers_cat: As I understand it, anyone can edit an article— I’ve done it a couple of times myself. However, when an article gets multiple edits in a short period for political reasons, things get more complicated. Your best reference here would be Wikipedia itself— there may be some way you can help trigger an editorial process.
Many observers questioned the recent run up in the stock market. Some called it a “melt up.” The manufacturing sector of the economy stalled a year ago. We can thank Trump’s tarrifs for that. The market was due to fall and Covid-19 is driving it deep. This will precipitate a recession. I was hit hard by the 2008 recession, and other folks were hit much harder, so I hope its not too bad. But this is big trouble for Trump. A strong economy is the mainstay of his support outside his hard core. And he’s already whining. No one likes a whiner except other whiners.
Hi. I hate the entire world. Can I stay here a bit?
@Geminid: I would posit that there are a lot of them within the conservative world, both elected and not. So, it’s gonna take a lot more sustained stock market damage to damage Trump. We’re not there yet.
“Despot” is close but perhaps a bit fusty. Maybe “autocrat.”
“A Democratic Socialist (booga booga) has won a handful of thousands of delegates needed! We’re all doooooooomed comrade!”
@G S Herscher: The 1.25 million traffic deaths is the WORLDWIDE estimate, not the US estimate: https://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/
J R in WV
Or what about Autocratic Despot — sounds better than Despotic Autocrat to me.
ETA fix text quote block error – has anyone else noticed that quote blocks are suddenly really sticky as you try to add your opinions below a quote?
Sure. Some of us are pretty other-worldly. :-)
Sunforest – Where Are You
@Mike in Pasadena:What variation of English does Trump speak?
We have our beat-the-shit-out-of-these-fuckers-with-votes orders.
So who is theIndian equivalent of Rupert Murdoch?
Also, how do these people feel about Buddhists and Jains?
@joel hanes: 1.25 million traffic deaths is world wide, not US. Annual in US is about 37,000.
@joel hanes: you can ignore my correction of your stat. Many others spoke up more quickly than I did.
@dww44: The stock market drop will have ramifications in the general economy. We will have a recession, and even though Trump’s hard core will not desert him, he has fair weather supporters who support him despite their opinion of his character, because the economy is strong. I know people like that. His hard core is his hard core, and their slavish loyalty drives some of us crazy. But he’s not adding to it, and they are too few to elect him.
@different-church-lady: We’re all in the wrong timeline.
@J R in WV:
Not “suddenly,” because I’ve seen it for a while, but I have noticed that blockquotes and hyperlinks are in fact sticky, especially when they’re the last thing in a comment and you want to add something after.
WaterGirl posted a kluge (for hyperlinks) involving repeatedly pressing the right arrow key, but that doesn’t work if you’re on a phone or tablet that doesn’t have an arrow key. My workaround is to put a few characters after the spot where I’m going to insert the quote or hyperlink. That (sort of) gives you someplace to go.
P.S. I think it’s better in text mode, but I haven’t checked.
@Betty Cracker: No, he actually is pretty stupid. That stunt with the NPR newsperson was dead stupid, and showed about as much self control as a spoiled 3-year-old.
India is not the modern, enlightened democracy that Modi and his ilk want you to believe that it is.
Never forget – India has more people in slavery, than any other country on Earth: 8 million people!
@gene108: Arthur Laffer has been saying that too, that the 2008 stock market crash was somehow a market reaction to Obama’s impending win.
Here’s the thing: the theory doesn’t make sense even from a simple perusal of the data, because the crash happened on September 29th. The Republican convention was at the beginning of September, and for a couple of weeks, everyone was slobbering over Sarah Palin, and McCain was actually doing pretty well! It was his best couple of weeks of the entire year. He was leading Obama in the majority of polls. It looked in no way inevitable that he was going to lose.
Then, on September 16th, the financial crisis started to go critical (and Obama seemed to have a handle on what was going on, whereas McCain pulled weird stunts like “suspending his campaign”). I suppose that, if you were completely politically perverse, you could argue that the mechanism by which massive failures of financial institutions around the world caused a US stock market crash was via the possibility that the failures would make Barack Obama win the election. But it seems unnecessarily elaborate.