Bloomberg published a stunning piece on April 9th promoting the secession of California from the U.S., in an op-ed by Francis Wilkinson titled Gavin Newsom Declares California a ‘Nation-State’, which resurrected John C. Calhoun in a neo-confederate argument favoring nullification.
Bloomberg is part a strategy to prevent Trump from a second term by way of legal means (election), and has now brought to the fore the spectre of secession or nullification. This does not mean we should normally expect some announcement by Governor Newsom that ‘The California Republic is an independent nation-state ’. Yet amazingly, it has been almost verbatim said in this way.
The Bloomberg article details how California Governor Newsom has begun using that term and also related legal constructions in discussing how California will manage the coronavirus response on its own.
Imagine an alternate timeline where Trump denied there was a significant threat posed by the coronavirus and adjusted policy to reflect that. After all, the mortality rate appeared very low compared to the infection rate. Then imagine that governors Cuomo and Newsom behaved similarly to how we’ve seen them perform over the past month or so. In fact, their behavior makes even more sense in our hypothetical, alternate reality. But imagine if their punches could land because there was some semblance of a reality that could support the barrage.
As we have made the point to communicate numerous times, 25% of Americans would like their state to secede from the United States peacefully.
In the Event 201 exercise which appears to have been made public on YouTube, the situation of Arab Springs being a result of political blow-back from coronavirus measures, is discussed briefly using the precise phrase ‘Arab Spring’. Dealing with destabilization and messaging in that context, consumes most of the last several stages of the simulation conducted in October 2019.
Those already familiar with the Arab Spring phenomenon as intentionally created ‘Color Revolutions’, will understand the connection between what appear as ‘bottom-up’ or grass-roots activism being coordinated covertly with dual-power structures within a country which is being targeted for regime-change. Given that the original Arab Spring was not only a Color Revolution, but used the ‘too-big-to-fail’ bailout money in 2008 to corner a market on perishable goods – prices affecting targeted countries were jacked-up, causing bread-riots and public protests. Regime-change was rarely a demand of protests, rather these related to the price of food. Foreign media like CNN and Al-Jazeera appeared to put words in the mouths of protestors and talked of revolution.
The take-away point here is that the ‘original’ Arab Spring was a concocted development, and so references to these in what many see in Event 201 as a descriptor of allegedly ‘concocted’ events now underway, as Mike Pompeo quipped is a ‘live exercise’, are quite apt. Because these are not simply matters of what we might read into the Event 201 proceedings, but how those involved in the event understood themselves and each other.
Having seen the repeated attempts to nullify the outcome of the 2016 election raises serious questions about the scope of the aims of the current presidency. The current president seems to provoke a highly unusual, extra-partisan and extra-political conflict that occurs no more than two or three times in a century, where it seems that sacrosanct geopolitical allegiances and long-reaching security policies risk being overturned. In our alternate time-line, we may see California moving further on the secession road and Joe Biden ‘talking sense and unity’ to California ‘President’ Newsom.
Bloomberg Hails Calhoun’s Nullification Argument
Here are some of the key fragments from the article which are particularly revealing:
The implications for the brewing civil war …
…California “as a nation-state”
At some point this civil war by other means
Federalism has always had rough spots, but conflict is rising and resolutions are not
From Fort Sumter […], the blueprint for states opposing federal control has a recurring theme.
John C. Calhoun, who used the theory of states’ rights to defend the institution of slavery, […] Calhoun’s theory of nullification, which posited that states have the power to defy federal law, could be ripe for a comeback on the left coast. With the heirs of the Confederacy now reigning in Washington, turnabout might be very fair play.
We could also point to either the daily coronavirus press conferences headed by New York Governor Cuomo which have been broadcast nationally – positioning Cuomo as a sort of ‘anti-Trump’ or ‘alternate president’ – or we could point to the Atlantic’s fair treatment of the Texas secession movement in December of 2019. That piece deserves our attention, because it pins both the Texas and California secession movements as having had some Russian attention. The leader of the Texas movement makes an apology for having gone to Russia and attended a conference relating to Texas secession.
That part is critical in terms of a broader strategy being used now against the American president. This is one where ostensibly foreign tactics used in fourth-generation warfare (4GW) to destabilize power in the U.S., or alternatively, 4GW tactics used by the U.S. to destabilize a foreign power – can be used also by a power-structure from within the U.S. to destabilize a particular and opposing other vector in the same country – in this case, the presidency.
In a piece I authored at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace when such a tactic was tried and failed in Armenia, in what was called the ‘Electric Yerevan’, we explain how 4GW uses thousands of years-old hybrid warfare tactics combined with Baudrillardian hyper-reality simulation, and Freudian psychoanalysis to manipulate mass psychology. These are adapted to Gene Sharp and his student Srdjan Popovic’s developments on some of the ideas of Saul Alinksy on Color Revolution. With a federal government unresponsive to a public which is increasingly panicked over life and death questions, such as for example Covid-19, then a combination of conscious and subconscious themes are visible, leading towards destabilization and, in this case, secession.
But how could such a potentially foreign-backed project like California (or Texas) seceding from the United States operate under the radar screen of the NSA?
In short: insulating a country from foreign destabilization campaigns would reasonably involve taking over leadership of those campaigns. This means that intelligence would involve more than observation and intel gathering, but would also involve leading the organization – assumedly to frustration. But such an endeavor would equally well serve as a cover for actually operating the secession campaign towards success, if the aim was for the operating power-structure to leverage it against an opposing other vector such as the Trump presidency.
This is how the U.S. intel was able to explain-away organizing, recruiting, and administering aspects of the Al Qaeda/ISIS project when journalists or intel officers without a need to know, would encounter evidence that this was indeed occurring.
What we can understand from this Bloomberg piece in the broader context to be discussed in brief, is that this secessionist article is a fragment or artifact of another possible reality that appears to have been planned.
Trump showed signs as late as the end of February that he would continue to deny the reality of Covid-19 by calling some aspect of the public hype around it a DNC hoax, as we already h ad. In so doing, his political line was apparently predicted by the Deep State actors whom we may call team nullification. It seemed that Prime Minister Johnson’s ‘herd immunity’ approach and Brazil’s Bolsonaro’s ‘hands-off’ attitude would soon be mirrored by Russia. Given that Russia now has just 47,000 cases and just three-hundred and sixty related deaths, and this is following a variation of the ‘internationally accepted’, symptoms-only method of determining Covid-19 (without an anti-bodies test), it would have made sense back then that Russia would down-play coronavirus following more realistic projections, if it would have the adverse effect of compounding economic woes and create problems for Putin.
Just as the tanking of the economy would work against Trump, the coronavirus pandemic appeared a ‘lose-lose’ scenario for him provided that the public had a restored confidence in mainstream media reporting, stemming from its handling of the epidemic, which could be weaponized against Trump. In other words, Americans would listen to the media and what the WHO said, as orchestrated by team nullification, and lay serious blame on the ‘science-denying right-wing’ of Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson, and Putin.
That’s why the pre-coronavirus attacks on Trump as a ‘science-denier’ had much farther reaching designs than simply a manufactured public debate with Greta Thunberg over global warming. Remember that in the film Contagion it is deforestation that causes a bat to take residence at a pig-farm, where the novel coronavirus is born.
What happened as things played out? Bolsonaro stayed with his version, and was ultimately removed from actual power by the military. This serves as a critical reminder by itself of what our ‘alternate timeline’ may have had in store for Trump, if we consider the ramifications of California making bolder moves to secede. Boris Johnson apparently became so ill that he ‘saw the light’ and changed UK policy towards a strict quarantine.
Putin, however, never went for the predicted script and instead used the very low numbers relating to covid-19 to nevertheless issue a quarantine. This was a policy that somehow dovetailed with Trump’s, and was interestingly reinforced in the aftermath of their widely discussed phone call.
History as told through FOIA may someday reveal what team nullification, pairing up with never-Trumper Bill Gates, may have tried to pull off. It really brings us back to Pompeo’s statement. More to the point what he knew – when he knew it was a live exercise, and under what conditions it was discovered, planned, or allowed to play out – and to what degree. ‘Deep State’ Department Mike is an interesting being who can appear to act as a diplomat and consensus builder on policy between the Deep State and Trump.
Trump bucked the probable response model that team nullification planned around. Instead he was very available to the needs of New York and California, and he approached his media strategy with three precise attacks.
One, he made a commercial showing various state leaders including Cuomo and Newsom thanking the president for his availability and the scope of his response. This is shown in contrast with recent attacks disputing that the president has the authority to ‘open the country’.
Two, he made a press-conference video showing how it was the WHO themselves who initially down-played the threat. This particular part shines in brilliance because leading up to and after Easter weekend, the vast majority of Trump supporters are what the mainstream media will no doubt soon be calling ‘covid-deniers’. This seemed to be leading up to some big announcement right after Easter from Trump that Covid-19 was a hoax, and attack WHO and defund it. But instead he was able to justify defunding WHO and bucking their predictive model, by showing how they underestimated the impact of the novel coronavirus.
Three, he took to twitter and openly called out the Newsom/Cuomo ‘mutiny’.
None of these three moves happened randomly the week after Easter, but rather were aimed at countering moves on team nullification and on the part of Newsom and Cuomo, to declare that the president did not have authority over the states. This all happened immediately during the week of April 13th, and so the timing of the April 9th Bloomberg piece preparing the public for pro-secessionist talking points, was not random. Almost nothing is random.
While we enter May with an in-tact government, future transpiring events will no doubt become ‘interestinger and interestinger’ as we venture further down the rabbit hole.
Joaquin Flores was educated in the field of IR and IPE at California State University Los Angeles; previously served as a business agent and organizer for the SEIU labor union; has published internationally on subjects of geopolitics, war, and diplomacy. He serves as the director of the Belgrade-based Center for Syncretic Studies, and is Chief Editor at Fort Russ News.
Originally published in Strategic Culture online journal. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.