Of course, it’s always problematic to make comparisons between current events and infamous low points in human history, no matter how emotionally vexing those current events may be. I call for an end (until it becomes undeniable, at which point I’ll be unable to post calls for anything) to the comparisons of brutal policymakers to Nazis or other totalitarian regimes.
Taking young children from their mothers’ arms is not the same, clearly, as wrenching a baby from the mother and smashing a rifle butt against its tiny head. Putting a crying child in a cage for indefinite detention is not anywhere near as horrific as putting a child in a gas chamber. You can’t even fairly compare those two things, caging and murdering. So calling a government policy that dehumanizes certain classes of children and designates them for this kind of inhumane treatment “Nazi-like” sounds like hyperbole and is easily enough dismissed by the hard pragmatists who believe that this kind of harsh, tough, zero-tolerance policy that makes parents pay a brutally high price, their connection with their children, will deter desperate people from coming to our borders.
It is easy to condemn this sort of policy as the terroristic tactic of people consumed by unreasoning hatred of the objects of their policy. The people coming to the US southern border are portrayed by proponents of these harsh policies as criminals, rapists, terrorists, a hoard posing untold dangers to our eternally threatened nation, incredible dangers, unbelievably bad dangers, really dangerous dangers. That many of them are running from terrors directly produced by, say, our own imbecilic ninety year selective drug prohibition regime, our eternal War on Drugs, is beside the point. Those violent drug gangs are the problem, not the ongoing American law enforcement idiocy that has only produced a massively lucrative product for these increasingly violent foreign (and domestic) criminals to peddle.
Fleeing gang violence, says our tiny, racist top law enforcement official, is no longer grounds for political asylum, it’s your goddamn problem, deal with it, you brown, non-English speaking losers. Neither is fleeing a spouse who beats the living shit out of you and threatens to kill you. Nothing to see here! No longer America’s role, to provide a haven for women and children who will otherwise be killed in their home countries, or teenagers facing death if they refuse to join a drug cartel’s street gang.
We cannot underestimate the vital role that terrorism and the threat of violent physical force plays in human affairs. By terrorism and violent force, I refer to the routinized violence threatened or visited on citizens by states, by nations and coalitions of nations. This state violence causes the vast majority of deaths by terrorism (though it is rarely referred to as terrorism, for obvious reasons). Deadly violence, and the terrifying threat of its instant deployment, and more recently fear of non-government terrorism, and the need for extreme measures to protect the populace from Terror with a capital T, is always used by the status quo to maintain order and to influence political relations.
The old debate over who is the terrorist is now all the rage, in our terrified of terror Post-9-11 world. Those illegal Mexicans, Guatemalans and Hondurans are TERRORISTS, we are told by American law enforcement. The protesters in Gaza, every one of them according to the Israeli Minister of Defense, down to the medics and members of the international press: TERRORISTS! When you’re fighting terror, the gloves must come off, obviously.
The I.C.E. agents who forcibly take the kids from their potential terrorist parents are only protecting law abiding citizens from criminals and terrorists, the worst of the worst, shameless terrorists using their own babies as human shields! Those terrorists in Gaza? We have every right to kill as many as we need to in order to make them stop hating our freedom! Israeli leaders, particularly the extreme nationalistic right wing ones, are fond of reminding the world that Israel is the region’s only real democracy. Therefore any means needed will be employed to defend it from haters, including opening fire on unarmed protesters, with special bullets designed to do maximum damage on impact.
The moral battle is won by the most skilled story-tellers, the people who can make us empathize the most with their point of view. With that in mind, Israeli lawmakers are considering a law making it illegal to photograph Israeli soldiers in a way that could potentially harm Israeli military morale. Showing a photo of an Israeli soldier cuffing a belligerent Palestinian teenager could really harm the morale of the sorely tested Israeli army. Five years in prison for the photographer who has caused this harm to Israeli democracy, ten if the photograph, according to the law, undermines the security of the state. They are voting on this important measure as I type these words. Nothing to see here!
The motto of every great democracy– Nothing to see here! Criminalize those who take pictures of things that are nobody’s business, merely the democratic sausage we all love being made. We are no slouches in this department, here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Dubya Bush’s daddy made it illegal to photograph and broadcast images of the coffins of dead American soldiers. How bad was it for morale to see, day after day, those dead Americans coming home from war zones?! No more of that shit, citizens of a democracy do not need that kind of incredibly depressing shit, it only creates prejudice. It sets our people against lawful war as the solution to every business-related foreign problem our leaders seek to solve by violent means.
Recently our perpetually petulant president withdrew the U.S. from the the Human Rights Council in the United Nations. Who needs fake fucking Human Rights from a bunch of self-righteous loser hypocrites? This sudden departure from the council did not come out of nowhere. First the council unfairly condemned Israel for having snipers shoot countless protesters, killing scores, hospitalizing thousands. Next they attacked us directly! The UN Council on Human Rights is poised to release a report about the extent and conditions of extreme poverty in the United States.
“It’s patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America,” U.S. Ambassador Haley Barber said in response to the Special Rapporteur’s report. Fair enough, Ms. Barber, if you say so. Just because the U.S. has vast numbers of citizens, an estimated 5.3 million (out of 40 million in poverty), living in desperate Third World type poverty is none of anyone’s damn business. Making a big deal about falling American life expectancy, an infant mortality rate as high as in many very poor countries, America’s informed choice not to recognize the human rights of children, outrageous meddling! It is no business of a bunch of Socialist America haters to “impartially” investigate and write preposterous, hateful, patently ridiculous reports about us. They’re our fucking poor people and we’ll deal with those selfish parasites, including the 13 million so-called children in poverty, as we fucking see fit, Sir. We’ve got your Human Rights Council right here (grab crotch), bitches!
It’s not right to call them Nazis, I’ll be the first to remind you. Assholes, yes, vicious assholes, sure, but Nazis… not quite yet. Still, this administration is taking steady, consistent steps toward a kind of American authoritarianism. The destruction of critical thought is the first thing that must be achieved, to allow incoherent partisan buzzwords to carry every argument.
Think of the incoherent messages about this policy of taking children from their parents, the citing of biblical scripture to justify it, the denials about the policy, the indignant objection to cages being referred to as cages, the blaming of Democrats for the policy, the sudden reversal of the policy by executive order. None of that really matters, if we are really ready for the end of our democracy. The silencing of all thoughtful criticism leads to the acceptance of incoherent narratives. This process is crucial for anyone seeking absolute control over a population. Silence the critics and you’re most of the way home. The lying media, enemy of the people, knows this too. Those bastards need to be made to fall into line, by hook or by crook.
Once the possibility of coherent public discussion is eliminated, the rest is pretty much downhill for any motherfucker, already in the highest position in our government, who would become Supreme Leader. The test of American democracy is upon us all. The good news is that’s its a pass/fail exam, which is also, sadly, the bad news.