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In this edition of Arktos Weekly News Roundup, we deal with the trans shooter in Nashville, Trump’s indictment, Finland’s accession into NATO, and Zelensky’s hubris regarding the defense of Bakhmut.

The Nashville Tennessee Church School Shooting

At 10:11am, on Monday 27th March, Audrey Elizabeth Hale shot her way into the Covenant School in the Green Hills neighbourhood of the city of Nashville, Tennessee in the United States and was caught on CCTV cameras working her way through corridors and peeking through doors, seeking out targets for what would become yet another school shooting in America. Armed with three firearms, but aiming around the building with a SUB-2000 pistol-calibre carbine, Hale made her way to the second floor of the church school and began firing upon both staff members and students. The students were all children, mostly under the age of 10. Armed police quickly arrived on the scene, and body-cam footage released by the authorities showed the rapid and professional action from the first responders. Making their way to the second floor of the Covenant School, after hearing multiple shots fired, the armed police found Hale and quickly fired multiple shots at her. The body-cam footage – blurring out Hale’s head in order to avoid showing the graphic aftermath of the gunfire from the police – shows the crumpled body of Hale, with one police officer kicking a weapon away from her hand moments before she quickly and finally dies from her wounds.

By the time of Hale’s death at 10:27am, six other people were dead – three adults and three children. The victims were students Evelyn Dieckhaus (9), William Kinney (9), Hallie Scruggs (9), substitute teacher Cynthia Peak (61), custodian Mike Hill (61) and head of school Katherine Koonce (60).

The perpetrator of this horrific act of terror, Audrey Elizabeth Hale, was a 28-year-old woman who was a local of Nashville and who was also a former student herself at the Covenant School. She had no criminal record, worked as an illustrator and graphic artist, and lived with her parents. Most of the public attention towards Hale following the shooting was on her transgender identity. She was a biological woman who identified as a man and went by the name Aiden. This is significant not only when trying to understand the possible motive(s) of Hale’s horrific act, but also because the reactions from the LGBT community – especially the trans community – left many in pure shock. The shock was due to the fact that a large number of pro-LGBT social media users attempted to empathise – or even sympathise – with Hale, trying to manipulate the facts and events into claiming that she was somehow “driven” to kill innocent people – including children – due to feeling “oppressed” by society and the recent anti-LGBT laws passed in Tennessee. It should be noted that the anti-LGBT laws were primarily aimed at the banning of sexualised drag shows directed at children, as well as the banning of any and all gender “reassignment” surgeries for minors. To the normal, everyday person, the banning of such things should be wholeheartedly welcomed and supported, but pro-LGBT – especially trans – activists have, disturbingly, been outraged at the banning of such things. At the risk of giving my own personal opinion in a news update article, anybody who supports sexualised drag shows for children and the carrying out of gender “reassignment” surgeries for minors should probably be registered in a similar category to sex offenders. Children MUST be left alone.

Pro-LGBT activists and social media users were very quick to point out that the police and the media were “misgendering” Hale, since she used he/him pronouns and identified as a man. Totally oblivious to the fact that Hale murdered three adults and three children, such people seem to be far more concerned with the fact that the media and members of the public are “misgendering” Hale and “not respecting her true identity”. Many within the LGBT community had also expressed immediate concern that the shooting could potentially result in public backlash against the trans community. Showing sympathy with a mass murderer who also killed children will not garner any sympathy from anybody.

A police search of Hale’s home and room uncovered two shotguns, detailed drawings and maps of the layout of the Covenant School building and a manifesto. Unlike cases with most other shooters and mass murderers who wrote up manifestos of their own, the authorities this time are choosing not to release Hale’s manifesto. As of the writing of this article, it is not yet known why the authorities are so reluctant to release the manifesto to the public, since previous manifestos from shooters had been made public before relatively quickly. Currently, there is a massive public debate as to whether or not the manifesto should be released, with most demanding that it should be released, whereas many – predominantly the LGBT community – have fiercely opposed the releasing of the manifesto. The former side believes that the manifesto should be released because it will give everybody a clearer insight into why Hale carried out her terror attack, whereas the LGBT community and its supporters are opposed to the manifesto’s release because they fear that if Hale had indeed been motivated by LGBT radicalisation and/or anti-Christian sentiment, the public backlash – especially from conservatives – against the LGBT community (especially trans people) would be extremely damaging for their overall image and future attempts at spreading their ideological propaganda. It had also come to light that Hale had been attending therapy sessions for alleged emotional disorders in the time leading up to her terror attack, which also begs the question as to how and why she had been allowed to purchase firearms in the first place.

Tomorrow at 11:00 am, outside of the Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., a pro-trans rally is scheduled to be held under the banner Trans Day of Vengeance: Stop Trans Genocide. Aside from the fact that there is absolutely no genocide being committed against transgender people whatsoever, the scheduled rally is especially insulting to the victims of the Nashville shooting and their devastated families because the rally comes only five days after the massacre and is set to place focus exclusively on transgender people in the wake of the trans community’s mass sympathies to the Covenant shooter herself. Twitter has since been strangely quick to remove any and all posts that even discuss the planned rally. The Trans Day of Vengeance rally has been organised by the Trans Radical Activist Network (TRAN) and Our Rights DC movements. It will be especially interesting (and welcome) to see the inevitable counter-protests and speeches from the opponents of the pro-trans rally.

The Indictment of Donald Trump

This piece of news broke as I was writing this article, yet already much information has emerged out of it. Donald Trump, the 45th and former president of the United States of America, has been indicted by a New York grand jury. He is the very first person who has been president of the United States to be placed on criminal charges. Currently, the main charge brought against him was the alleged transferring of “hush money” to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 US Presidential Election. Trump has stated that he still intends to continue running as a candidate for the 2024 US presidential election. It has also been reported that while Trump will not be publicly arrested – as this may also rile up anger amongst his supporters and lead to mass protests – one of the prosecutors, Joe Tacopina, has stated that Trump may turn himself in to the authorities on the afternoon of Tuesday 4th April. It should also be noted that while Trump’s indictment will no doubt have a significant effect on his presidential campaign, the current criminal charges will not necessarily stop him from running for the presidency again, for now.

The “hush money” that Trump had allegedly offered to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels in 2016 was reportedly due to an alleged affair that Trump and Daniels had together in 2006 in Nevada, following a meeting between to the two at a golf tournament. In 2005, Trump had married his current wife, Melania. The reason why the “hush money” was offered 10 years later was because Daniels’ agent had approached several news outlets in order to leak the story of the affair to the public. Through Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, $130,000 was allegedly offered to Daniels for her silence on the matter.

Whatever the truth is from Trump’s personal life, it is highly unlikely that this will all deter his supporters from backing him staunchly in his new campaign for the US presidency in 2024. It must also be noted, however, that this indictment comes soon after two factors came to light – new opinion polls showing that Trump holds a very comfortable lead ahead of his main Republican rival, Ron DeSantis, and a recent interview with Trump where he stated that he could end the war in Ukraine “in 24 hours”, albeit with both Ukraine and Russia making mutual compromises. One would be forgiven and understood for suspecting that Joe Biden and the Democrats are strongly determined to avoid another scenario where Trump could potentially become president of the United States of America and completely derail the Democrats’ plans for the future in politics, both domestically and internationally.

Finland’s Accession into NATO & Volodymyr Zelensky’s Hubris

Yesterday, the Turkish parliament unanimously voted to ratify Finland’s accession into NATO as a full member state. While this will mean that Finland will become a member state before Sweden does (both countries previously vowed to join the alliance together simultaneously), this is still a highly significant development, for it would mean that NATO would now officially have one of the largest military forces in Europe as part of its alliance. However, with the sheer amount of money and military equipment that NATO – including Finland – have been sending to Ukraine, even the addition of Finland into the alliance won’t much alleviate the current stockpile of problems that several of the alliance’s member states are experiencing. Unless Russia attacks a member state, or if Ukraine somehow drags the alliance into the conflict directly, it is highly unlikely that Finland’s accession into NATO will do very much to deter Russia from pushing onwards in its Special Military Operation against Ukraine.

An especially interesting development out of Ukraine comes from an interview that American news outlet Associated Press held with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Upon being asked why he continues to fight for the devastated city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region – which most predict will fall to the Russians very soon – Zelensky responds by saying that a Russian victory in Bakhmut will also result in a valuable PR victory for Vladimir Putin. Zelensky further responds by saying that more Ukrainian battlefield losses could potentially lead to both the Ukrainian people and the wider international community suffering an increase in war fatigue and both may potentially start pressuring Zelensky into entering negotiations with the Russians in order to end the war. Such a scenario would likely mean that Ukraine would have to make some difficult compromises, not least the total surrender of the annexed regions of Crimea, Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Lugansk to the Russian Federation.

This second answer is especially notable because it evidently shows that Zelensky is more concerned with his own personal and stubborn war goals than he is with the will of his own people. In fact, new videos surfacing from Ukrainian units in Bakhmut show an increasingly high number of soldiers demanding that Zelensky stops sending them into Bakhmut to die for his own hubris and pride, and to pull out Ukrainian troops and preserve lives (the Russians had previously carried out such orderly withdrawals from Kharkov and Kherson, thus preserving Russian soldiers’ lives for future battles). Fighting in brutal conditions and watching comrades die horribly and in vain for a city that’s already about to fall to the Russians is not only harming Ukrainian military morale, but also the morale of the civilian populace, it seems. One video from a Ukrainian soldier that has gone viral on social media shows a distraught man crying and cursing Zelensky and the Ukrainian government profusely, even calling for a coup against the Ukrainian state and the saving of the Ukrainian military in Bakhmut from Zelensky’s obsession with holding the city “at any cost”.

Contrary to Western claims that Bakhmut is “of no strategic importance”, it is becoming quite evident that the city is indeed just that. It is also of strong symbolic and political importance as well, and could even possibly have a significant impact on the course of the rest of the fighting on the Donetsk front and the wider war in general. At the rate of the current Russian advancement in Bakhmut, we may not have to wait for very long to find out.

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Stefan Brakus

Stefan Brakus was born in London in 1993 to a Serbian family. He speaks Serbo-Croatian and English. His negative experiences in a multicultural environment led him to shift his political views to ethnic nationalism, rooted in his love of nation-states and European cultures. He studied War Studies and International Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent. He joined the Serbian Radical Party in 2017 but now supports the Oathkeepers. Stefan currently lives alone in a small town in Serbia and commutes between there and the UK, where his family lives. He works as a writer and editor for Europa Terra Nostra and was elected a board member in 2021.

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