Monday, June 18, 2018

Suffer the Children

There is a special place in Hell for people who abuse children.

Right next to it is another for those who support the practice. 

Those places are going to be full to bursting in the very near future because of the twisted, depraved, and immoral policies imposed on immigrant children by der Sturmtrumper and his minions, lackeys, enablers, and sycophants. 

Child abuse is now the official policy of the US government, and there are far too many so-called Americans who approve of it. 

We are ripping children from their parents and storing them in cages, with no plans to reunite these families.  There are refugee families who are showing up at the American border only to have US officials take their children away to be “bathed” and then never returned to them – a startlingly Nazi move, but one consistent with an administration that increasingly acts as the second coming of the Third Reich. 

As a historian I do not say that lightly.

This is an outrage.  This is a crime against humanity.  This is gratuitous cruelty, unrefined and unforgivable.  This is what happens when the worst elements of a society are put in charge.

Every single person involved in the creation or implementation of this policy and every single person who dares to defend it has declared to the world that they are assholes of the highest order who need to be brought to justice at the first opportunity.  Every single one of them.  If you are one of those people, you are sick and should get help immediately.  At the very least you should be quarantined away from civilized human beings.

There is no excuse for this.  There is no justification for this.  And it is all on der Sturmtrumper and his supporters.  You own this, you fuckers. 

Yes, I know that der Sturmtrumper has loudly and vehemently insisted that his hands are tied, that this is because of some vague and unspecified law supposedly passed by Democrats at some indeterminate point in the past, that he’d like to change it, but the simple fact is that he is lying.  He lies about everything, up to and including the weather, so why this should be different is an open question.

There is no law that requires this.  There never has been.  No civilized country would ever have such a law, which is perhaps why der Sturmtrumper hasn’t figured out that we don’t have one.  This is the result of an executive policy vomited forth by der Sturmtrumper’s administration in May 2018.  This policy did not exist under Obama or any of his predecessors of either party – Cecilia Munoz, Obama’s domestic policy director, noted flatly that “The Obama administration did not do that, no.  We did not separate children from their parents.  This is a new decision, a policy decision put in place by the Attorney General, [which] puts us in league with the most brutal regimes in the world’s history.”

This is der Sturmtrumper’s policy and he could end it any time he wanted to do so.  But he does not want to end it, because gratuitous cruelty is the only thing that he understands. 

Let’s get some things straight, for those working with fewer than six functioning brain cells:

There has been no crime committed.  It is not a crime to ask for asylum.  In point of fact, the United States is obligated under both American and international law to accept asylum seekers.  We are traumatizing children for no legitimate reason.

Even if you decide that these are illegal immigrants rather than legitimate asylum seekers (a bizarre stretch of the facts, but one that is popular among the Stupid who try to defend this evil practice), that’s not a felony – it’s a misdemeanor on par with a traffic ticket.  To traumatize a child over a trivial offense is both evil and a clear violation of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution, which does apply to non-citizens in US custody so if you’re planning to bark up that tree you can just shove that nonsense right back up your lower intestine where it came from.

Der Sturmtrumper could end this with a simple phone call, as Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) noted publicly, but he has no plans to do so because he is using these children as a bargaining chip.  His child abuse is designed as a deterrent, to keep other refugees from coming here – a flatly illegal act under American law.  He is also traumatizing children and destroying families in order to blackmail Congress into paying for his stupid wall on the Mexican border (you know, the one Mexico was supposed to pay for?).  Don’t believe me?  Maybe you’ll believe der Sturmtrumper, who declared these things openly and proudly, to the applause of his supporters. 

That’s his position – give me what I want and the children can go free.  Put another way, he’s taking hostages in order to force others to give into his political demands. 

That makes him a terrorist.

We know how to deal with terrorists in this country. 

On the plus side, this criminal outrage has united a surprisingly diverse group of people, many of whom had previously supported the criminal in the White House.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops – a group with whom I generally find very little common ground – was quite clear on the subject.  At the opening session of their biannual meeting on June 13, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo read a statement calling the GOP policy “immoral,” to the raucous applause of the bishops in attendance.  Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson AZ later called for “canonical penalties” for any Catholic involved in this evil.

I look forward to the excommunication of these sinners until they repent and begin to undo the damage they have done.

Meanwhile, Our Confederate Attorney General’s own church, the United Methodist Church, has rejected his use of Romans 13 to justify der Sturmtrumper’s child abuse policy in strenuous terms.  “To argue that these policies are consistent with Christian teaching is unsound, a flawed interpretation, and a shocking violation of the spirit of the Gospel,” they said in an official statement issued on June 15.  After pointing out a couple of the many Bible verses that command the faithful to “extend hospitality to strangers” (such as Romans 12:9-11) the statement notes that “the Christ we follow would have no part in ripping children from their mothers’ arms or shunning those fleeing violence.  It is unimaginable that faith leaders even have to say that these policies are antithetical to the teachings of Christ.  … Those who use the Bible to justify these horrific policies, should also read the prophet Isaiah: “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who use oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.” (Isaiah 10:1-3).

“The Trump Administration implemented these policies,” the statement notes.  “They have the power to stop these horrific actions.”

For fuck sake, even the Southern Baptist Convention, Franklin Graham, and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez (who delivered a prayer at der Sturmtrumper’s inauguration) have described this policy as “horrible,” “terrible,” and “disgraceful.” 

“There’s definitely a groundswell of opposition from virtually every corner of the Christian community,” said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.  “People are able to understand immediately the drive of parents to protect their child and to understand the horror of splitting up vulnerable children from their parents.”

Former First Lady Laura Bush – who, in keeping with American tradition going back centuries has been very quiet regarding the actions of her and her husband’s successors – finally had enough of it and laid into der Sturmtrumper in a published editorial.  “I live in a border state.  I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international borders, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel.  It is immoral.  And it breaks my heart,” she wrote.  “Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso.  These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in US history.”

Retired General Michael Hayden, who worked as the Director of the National Security Agency and the CIA, shared a photo of Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi concentration camp and pointedly noted that “Other governments have separated mothers and children.”

In an article from May 2018 published in the New Yorker, Masha Gessen pointed out a simple fact.  “Hostage-taking is an instrument of terror.  Capturing family members, especially children, is a tried-and-true instrument of totalitarian terror.”

This is what the United States has become under der Sturmtrumper.

This is not acceptable.

This will not stand.


LucyInDisguise said...

There are no words I can add, none I would remove.



Still > 6 ...

Future historians will not judge us kindly, I fear.


David said...

Current historians aren't doing so either, really.

Thanks, Lucy.