La Bestia train & Central American immigration to the US

La Bestia

The US border patrol just rescued several undocumented immigrants who had been abandoned by their “coyote” (smuggler). They were rushed immediately to the hospital suffering from heatstroke & dehydration in the over 100 degree Fahrenheit temperatures here. When they recover they will likely be processed for deportation.

Many cross the Rio Grande River on the US-Mexico border into sugar cane fields which are suffocating & disorienting. They hide there from border patrols which often take mounted agents after them. This is also an area where many immigrants die & are buried in impromptu cemeteries set up caring residents.

This train named La Bestia is how thousands of Central American & Mexican immigrants travel north to the US border. They are subject to extreme violence from criminal thugs & from paramilitary death squads. They are robbed, raped, beaten, kidnapped, extorted, disappeared, murdered & dumped in mass graves. Many lose limbs from jumping on & off the moving trains & must return to countries without social security protections.

Even if they have money, they cannot travel on buses without being apprehended & deported by Mexican police & soldiers–even though the Mexican senate made it legal to transit to the US border.

Immigration is a human right. Open the damn borders.

CBS news is reporting a dramatic increase of anti-Muslim attacks across the US, including attacks on women. How can that be since we’ve had no vote here to leave the European Union?

For so long, new political activists were circulating videos produced by former KKK leader & white supremacist David Duke on Israel & the Palestinians. They were well done, even educational videos, but Duke’s purpose was anti-Semitic & hateful of Jews who he hates as much as he does Blacks & Latinos. That means there is no place for him in Palestinian solidarity. Or actually in civilized society.

When people protested the videos because of Duke’s involvement, we were told he was a changed man who’d come to his senses about racism. His endorsement of Drumpf & intrusion in the tweet furor over the star of David should settle that once & for all.

It doesn’t matter if he tries to contribute money & support to BDS, no movement for social justice should touch his ugly ass with a ten-foot pole.

US proposes military alliance with Russia in Syria

Aleppo, Syria (Unacredited photo via AP) July 5 2016

The Obama administration has proposed a new military alliance with Russia over Syria. It would do wonders to counter libertarian explanations of what’s going on in that country, in particular the roles of US & Russian warplanes, if they based any of their analyses on reality rather than speculations & wishful thinking.

To deny that Russia is bombing civilians is grotesquely reminiscent of those who continue to deny the mass murders & gulag of Joseph Stalin in the USSR. To do that, you have to take the Russian foreign ministry at its word & dismiss the testimony of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) & Syrian & international human rights groups.

According to media reports, what the US proposes is to fly joint military operations with Russian warplanes against al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda paramilitary force in Syria which opposes the Assad regime. In exchange, the US wants Russia to pressure Assad to stop bombing US-backed paramilitary forces.

Several questions are raised by this deal: if–as so many left & libertarian analysts claim–the US wants regime change in Syria, why would it be bombing al-Nusra? Wouldn’t al-Nusra, seeking the same goal, be a natural US ally? And what exactly are US-backed paramilitary forces trying to accomplish in Syria if not regime change? Are they acting for or against Assad? Are they for or against the popular revolution to overthrow Assad? If their politics are incompatible with those of al-Nusra, doesn’t this new military deal just blow that regime change scenario right out of the water?

Despite a massive, high-tech war room monitoring the war in Syria, the US claims it doesn’t know who’s bombing Syrian civilians with barrel bombs & white phosphorous. If they don’t have enough military intelligence to tell whose warplanes are taking out everything in sight, how in the hell will they be able to distinguish one paramilitary group from another?

Does anybody else see the possibilities for Armageddon? The historic imperative remains: rebuild the international antiwar movement & demand the cessation of all military intervention in Syria.

(Photo of bombing in Aleppo, Syria by evil fairies from outer space via AP)

Shame to say, watching British politics is a relief from the relentless tedium of the US elections. In the US, how many ways can you parse the criminal banality of politicians? Especially when so few are convinced by the parsing & you end up talking to yourself.

At least in Britain they’ve dispensed with Cameron, Boris, & Farage. Say what you like about Brexit but that’s a good day’s work.