Opinion

Changing of the Guard 2021

Insurrection, Impeachment, and Inauguration of a New Administration

Opinion:

By Terry Miller

Thousands of National Guard troops were called in for the Inauguration-
Courtesy National Guard, D.C.

No, it is not the ceremony at Buckingham Palace where The Queen’s Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace to the New Guard.

In fact, even that historic British ritual has ceased due to Covid-19.

But America has certainly had a major changing of the guard Wednesday when Donald Trump left the White House to the newly-elected Joseph Biden who is now the 46th President of the United States.

As this newspaper hits the stands, Thursday morning Nov. 21, we find a new administration at the helm of the ship which seemed to have lost its course over the past four years and finds a nation deeply divided; but with hope that the new kids on the block of Pennsylvania Ave. will charter a new course of civility and stability.

The videos and still photographs of the Capitol insurrection are almost surreal in their horror, albeit ever-so vivid in our collective consciousness. Those images will undoubtedly haunt many of us for the rest of our lives:  That District of Columbia police officer lying helpless on the ground while being beaten by a rioter with a flagpole that bears an American flag. We watched in utter disgust and disbelief as the officer was being beaten, as other rioters and insurrectionists repeatedly chanted “U-S-A!” The intense images of anger and violence towards anyone who got in the way of those who stormed the Capitol Jan.6 are permanently seared in my brain.

Many have equated the previous Trump administration and the unprecedented revolution of Jan 6 as the new 1984, which has become something of a benchmark for the anti-Trump left which, some say, is the beginning of a new Civil War.

The dystopia described in George Orwell’s nearly 70-year-old novel “1984” suddenly feels all too familiar. A world in which Big Brother (or maybe the National Security Agency) is always listening in, and high-tech devices can eavesdrop in people’s homes. (Hey, Alexa, what’s up?) A world of endless war, where fear and hate are drummed up against foreigners, and movies show boatloads of refugees dying at sea. A world in which the government insists that reality is not “something objective, external, existing in its own right” — but rather, “whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.”

Is 2021 the new 1984? ..a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans..”- George Orwell ‘1984’ #1984IsHere

The past two weeks have truly been remarkable, but one incident stands out like no other:  On the day of impeachment, my friend and photojournalist  colleague Nick Ut was one of the recipients for the Medal of the Arts from the newly impeached, lame duck pres. On Jan 13.

Photojournalist, Nick Ut,70, is perhaps best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning image that helped stop the war in Vietnam. The little girl running naked from Naplam burns on June 8.1972.

The terrified girl in the photograph had to rip off her clothes after a large amount of napalm fell on her. She kept on running and yelling “Nóng quá, Nóng quá” (“too hot, too hot”.) Ut ut down his cameras and ran to help Kim Phuc, poured water on her burnt skin and drove Phuc  and the other injured children to the hospital, all the time telling the driver “ faster, faster. “

Kim suffered third-degree burns and it was initially believed that she might not survive. Ut and Kim Phuc have been friends ever since that tragic  and fateful day that changed their lives forever – and ultimately, Ut’s stunning image – one single frame of negative Black & White film  helped end the Vietnam war.

Ut always refers to that image as the ‘Terror of War’…not the “Napalm Girl” to which most refer to this day.

After receiving the Medal of the Arts from the president, Nick Ut witnessed another attack, this time on US soil.

On Jan 14., as Ut was going to dinner in D.C. not far from the White House with fellow photographer Mark Harris.

Ut, suddenly became the victim of a brutal and unprovoked assault when a lone suspect beat the Pulitzer Prize winner and now coveted Medal of Arts recipient, damaging one of his Leica cameras. He survived the violence with bruises and rib damage but otherwise is in one piece. The Captiol Police arrested the individual after the surreal attack on man of peace. Ironically, it was now Kim Phuc ( the subject of the Pulitzer prize winning image) who was calling to check on Ut’s condition after a different kind of attack all these years later.

Ut, who is retired from the Associate Press, was in Washington for the honor at the White House and inauguration of Joe Biden.

On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of congress and their staff. This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army. National Guardsmen are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary.

It was reported Tuesday, that at least 2 National Guard members were relieved of inauguration duty due to their alleged right-wing extremist connections.

Adding one final nail in the proverbial Trump coffin, Mitch McConnell said: “The mob was fed lies,” said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “They were provoked by the President and other powerful people.”

McConnell’s comments came as the Senate prepares to hold an impeachment trial over the House’s charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

No, it is not the ceremony at Buckingham Palace where The Queen’s Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace to the New Guard.

In fact, even that historic British ritual has ceased due to Covid-19.

But America has certainly had a major changing of the guard Wednesday when Donald Trump left the White House to the newly-elected Joseph Biden who is now the 46th President of the United States.

As this newspaper hits the stands, Thursday morning Nov. 21, we find a new administration at the helm of the ship which seemed to have lost its course over the past four years and finds a nation deeply divided; but with hope that the new kids on the block of Pennsylvania Ave. will charter a new course of civility and stability.

The videos and still photographs of the Capitol insurrection are almost surreal in their horror, albeit ever-so vivid in our collective consciousness. Those images will undoubtedly haunt many of us for the rest of our lives:  That District of Columbia police officer lying helpless on the ground while being beaten by a rioter with a flagpole that bears an American flag. We watched in utter disgust and disbelief as the officer was being beaten, as other rioters and insurrectionists repeatedly chanted “U-S-A!” The intense images of anger and violence towards anyone who got in the way of those who stormed the Capitol Jan.6 are permanently seared in my brain.

Many have equated the previous Trump administration and the unprecedented revolution of Jan 6 as the new 1984, which has become something of a benchmark for the anti-Trump left which, some say, is the beginning of a new Civil War.

The dystopia described in George Orwell’s nearly 70-year-old novel “1984” suddenly feels all too familiar. A world in which Big Brother (or maybe the National Security Agency) is always listening in, and high-tech devices can eavesdrop in people’s homes. (Hey, Alexa, what’s up?) A world of endless war, where fear and hate are drummed up against foreigners, and movies show boatloads of refugees dying at sea. A world in which the government insists that reality is not “something objective, external, existing in its own right” — but rather, “whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.”

Is 2021 the new 1984? ..a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans..”- George Orwell ‘1984’ #1984IsHere

The past two weeks have truly been remarkable, but one incident stands out like no other:  On the day of impeachment, my friend and photojournalist  colleague Nick Ut was one of the recipients for the Medal of the Arts from the newly impeached, lame duck pres. On Jan 13.

Photojournalist, Nick Ut,70, is perhaps best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning image that helped stop the war in Vietnam. The little girl running naked from Naplam burns on June 8.1972.

The terrified girl in the photograph had to rip off her clothes after a large amount of napalm fell on her. She kept on running and yelling “Nóng quá, Nóng quá” (“too hot, too hot”.) Ut ut down his cameras and ran to help Kim Phuc, poured water on her burnt skin and drove Phuc  and the other injured children to the hospital, all the time telling the driver “ faster, faster. “

Kim suffered third-degree burns and it was initially believed that she might not survive. Ut and Kim Phuc have been friends ever since that tragic  and fateful day that changed their lives forever – and ultimately, Ut’s stunning image – one single frame of negative Black & White film  helped end the Vietnam war.

Ut always refers to that image as the ‘Terror of War’…not the “Napalm Girl” to which most refer to this day.

After receiving the Medal of the Arts from the president, Nick Ut witnessed another attack, this time on US soil.

On Jan 14., as Ut was going to dinner in D.C. not far from the White House with fellow photographer Mark Harris.

Ut, suddenly became the victim of a brutal and unprovoked assault when a lone suspect beat the Pulitzer Prize winner and now coveted Medal of Arts recipient, damaging one of his Leica cameras. He survived the violence with bruises and rib damage but otherwise is in one piece. The Captiol Police arrested the individual after the surreal attack on man of peace. Ironically, it was now Kim Phuc ( the subject of the Pulitzer prize winning image) who was calling to check on Ut’s condition after a different kind of attack all these years later.

Ut, who is retired from the Associate Press, was in Washington for the honor at the White House and inauguration of Joe Biden.

On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of congress and their staff. This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army. National Guardsmen are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary.

It was reported Tuesday, that at least 2 National Guard members were relieved of inauguration duty due to their alleged right-wing extremist connections.

Adding one final nail in the proverbial Trump coffin, Mitch McConnell said: “The mob was fed lies,” said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “They were provoked by the President and other powerful people.”

McConnell’s comments came as the Senate prepares to hold an impeachment trial over the House’s charge of “incitement of insurrection.”

January 20, 2021

About Author

tmiller Terry Miller has been in the newspaper business for 35 plus years, following in the footsteps of his father who was a Foreign Correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph when the family sailed to New York from London abroad the Queen Mary. When not shooting pictures, chasing a breaking news story. or playing drums, Miller spends entirely too much time and effort with Little British Sports Cars like his beloved 74 MGB...more like an addiction, says his wife of 22 years.


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