So that piece was largely about US historical amnesia, and the false line between the "civilized" West and the rest, but I want to talk about this part here, since there is a lot of debate about the use of the word "coup"
If the Supreme Court had found a way to give the election to Trump, that's a "judicial coup" or lawfare. Flynn's martial law plan, if it re-engineered the election, would be a military coup. Congress denying the results would be "parliamentary" coup. And all would be "autogolpes"
It seems to me that very specifically, what happened on Wednesday Jan 6th is that Trump ordered his supporters to violently pressure Congress to carry out a "parliamentary coup" - which was never going to happen - but then they broke inside, and defiled the symbols of the state
A mob inside of the Capitol could never be a coup in itself; they're not going to set up their own government. For these things to work you need institutional support for some kind of concrete configuration of power, which Trump (it seems to me) was never close to having
But I also think that Trump leaned on everyone around him to somehow get this done, and the ways that appeared possible to him and allies were all three: parliamentary, military, and judicial. And of course, inciting public support for whatever efforts they were making
So then, is a very badly planned and obviously doomed attempted self-coup a coup? I guess, in the same way that lazily and badly attempted murder is still attempted murder, and a crime. A lot now hinges on how much Trump KNEW he was doing attempted coups, or wanted to succeed
But if I am asked to be specific (and people are asking) I'd say that January 6th was a violent desecration of the seat of the government, as a result of President Trump inciting his supporters to assist in trying to make a parliamentary (auto-)coup happen that day.

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More from @Vinncent

11 Jan
Vogue cover discourse is proof that there is no event monumental enough to stop social media from devolving into petty culture war bullshit. It is not even clear who runs the most powerful nation on Earth and everyone is quote-tweeting threads about whether lighting is violence
Apart from the fact that the cover is fine! There are two, and one simply seems to say "the next VP dresses like this, a casual Gen-X cool mom, isn't that an interesting and novel development?" Meanwhile a new nazi vanguard is hiding out in man caves throughout the Northeast
I want to edit my first tweet. It's not just "social media" - it's social media in our political epoch, in which to a large extent there is no real politics beyond culture war. Proper deference to the new girlboss is quite literally all you can ever ask for
Read 4 tweets
10 Oct 20
So: Ann Dunham definitely worked at the US Embassy, and Lolo definitely worked for the Indonesian Military, while the US-backed and blood-soaked Suharto dictatorship consolidated rule over Indonesia. But this tweet is probably not 100% right. Because many people asked, a thread:
First — there could be more. For The Jakarta Method (link in bio), I did not do special research into Ann or Lolo. But in "Dreams From My Father," (1995) Obama is clear that they were both surrounded by horrible people, and horrible things. His version could be wrong, of course.
But by just relying on Obama's own account, David Remnick's book, and other mainstream and very-public sources, you can insert that narrative into what we now know about 1965-1966 Indonesia, and the story is very striking, I think. That is how I tell it -
Read 13 tweets
1 Oct 20
So, I do believe we are seeing a kind of convergence between US and Latin American societies (a re-convergence? - most nations in the hemisphere are built on the same history) but you really should not do the "Good First World becoming like Bad Third World because Trump" trope
Many of the very bad things now "appearing" in rich North America were 1) already present in previous iterations of anglo North America 2) actually imposed on Central / South America by Washington. It's a back and forth. The hemisphere has been one big system for about a century
You do see the very beginnings of things like death squads in the US. But we had those before, and trained them elsewhere! You see re-convergence on oligarchy and its control of politics. But the whole thing, north and south, grew out of violent settler colonialism and exclusion
Read 5 tweets
10 Aug 20
Something like this happened to one of my best friends right after we graduated university. It's a story I always tell when trying to explain the insanity of the 🇺🇸 U.S. 🇺🇸 medical system:
My friend was like 22, and didn't have insurance. University coverage ends abruptly, and it's really common for people this age be themselves uncovered. While riding his bicycle home from his low-paid job one day, he was struck by a car in Oakland. He passed out in the street.
When he woke up, he found himself, in a daze, covered in blood. He looked up and saw that an ambulance was waiting for him. Knowing very well how these things work, he said "No! No! I'm fine. I am not going to the hospital." He knew that he could never afford the bill.
Read 8 tweets
5 Aug 20
I am very excited about this - next Thursday (August 13th) @SoeTjenMarching and I will discuss The Jakarta Method - not just the book, but the situation faced by survivors of the violence, and family members of the victims, to this day. Register here:…
The event is 6PM EST (1900 Brasília, 2300 London, 5am in Jakarta), hosted by @public_affairs and @powerHouseBooks. It will stay up after, so sign up even if you might be busy. I hope we can make clear that Indonesia 1965 is not in the past, but still affects of millions of people
To get a sense of the scale of the unresolved trauma unleashed by Indonesia 1965, you only have to look at the opening passage of @SoeTjenMarching's incredibly brave and important 2017 book, The End of Silence: ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
3 Aug 20
You should always identify when a country is committing serious abuses. But it's much harder to identify an action another state can take that will improve, rather than worsen, the situation. The fatal flaw of US foreign policy ideology is to ignore the difference between the two
It works both ways. If you opposed the invasion of Iraq, you could be (and were) accused of ignoring Saddam's crimes. Inversely, mainstream discourse usually ignores abuses committed around the world until it is time for the US government to Do Something (anything at all will do)
Whereas, the morally and tactically coherent position is that serious crimes are being committed all over the place, all the time, and precisely for that reason we need to careful about choosing which actors and actions will facilitate the reduction of harm
Read 6 tweets

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