Tag Archives: tear gas

US Mimics Israel at US-Mexico Border

No More War

My social media Facebook feed is overwhelmed with photos and messages of horror about the current actions of the U.S. military at the US-Mexico border.  Check out the story here, if you haven’t seen it.

We (I use that pronoun deliberately) have closed the border and we are now violently throwing tear gas canisters and shooting rubber bullets at men, women and children migrants.

Here are several videos of the migrants being attacked at the US-Mexico border.

I’m not shocked by Trump’s aggressive and violent response at the border, and neither should any American be shocked. We’ve been watching the same actions occurring at the fence (not border) separating Israel and the Gaza Strip since March of this year.

Israel, our best friend and ally in the Middle East, has deployed its military to the perimeter fence line shared with Gaza to shoot tear gas canisters, rubber bullets, and live bullets at Palestinian men, women and children participating peacefully in the Great Return March. 

Palestinians have paid a great price for their call for life with dignity during mass protests held along Gaza’s boundary with Israel over the past eight months.

Some 180 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli occupation forces and nearly 6,000 others injured by live fire during the Great March of Return.


Altogether, a staggering 24,000 Palestinians have been injured during the Great March of Return protests – more than one percent of the territory’s population.

See Maureen Clare Murphy’s full article here.

Neither Trump nor the U.S. Congress has stood up to Israeli leaders and told them to stop this barbarity.  Trump probably thinks he has the tacit support of Congress for his deployment to the US-Mexico border.  The US and Israel are playing by the same playbook now. Americans shouldn’t be surprised.

I, for one, fully expect snipers to be deployed at the US-Mexico border. And I won’t be surprised when the U.S. military is deployed against Americans inside our country. This action today against the migrants in the South is only a precursor to future, more aggressive actions to support our nascent Fascist government.

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Filed under Gaza, Israel Defense Forces, People, Uncategorized, US Policy, Video

Sequester the NDAA

Sequester = “A general cut in government spending.”

In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if they couldn’t agree on a plan to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion — including the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction lawmakers in both parties have already accomplished over the last few years — about $1 trillion in automatic, arbitrary and across the board budget cuts would start to take effect in 2013.

Thanks to some of the arrogant, uncompromising idiots in Congress, we are now beginning to see the impacts of sequestration, which led to an $80 billion cut in spending this year, and will lead to another $76 billion cut in fiscal year 2014.   Check out this interactive map and fact sheets prepared by the White House about how the sequester will impact your state.

Not everyone thinks the sequester is a good idea — see Robert Reich‘s and Paul Krugman‘s comments. But a Gallup Poll in May shows many Americans still don’t “get it.”  Geesh!

There may not be enough federal money for food stamps, libraries and critical infrastructure projects, but there is damn plenty to go around when it comes to the military!

Last Friday, the House passed a $638 Billion defense bill (315-108).  I’m disappointed (but not  surprised) to see that all three members of Congress representing New Mexico voted in favor of the bill.  After all, New Mexico is home to several military bases.

The proposed NDAA 2014 (National Defense Authorization Act) does a number of nasty things — like forbidding President Obama from closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, limiting his ability to reduce nuclear weapons, and blocking the Pentagon from closing any domestic bases.

Pentagon

Pentagon

There also appears to be plenty of money to pay for Israel’s weapons.

According to the Israeli business website Globes, the Defense Authorization Act triples funding for US-Israeli missile defense programs, including the Arrow but excluding Iron Dome, from $96 million to $284 million in fiscal year 2014. It increases funding for Iron Dome from the $15 million, requested by Pentagon, to $220.3 million.

iron-dome

 

An amendment to the NDAA “prohibits the authorization of Defense Department funds for tear gas and other riot control items to Middle East and North African countries undergoing democratic transition unless the Secretary of Defense certifies to the appropriate Congressional committees that the security forces of such countries are not using excessive force to repress peaceful, lawful and organized dissent.”  This provision does not apply to Israel’s use of tear gas in the West Bank, since Israel is not a country “undergoing a transition to democracy in the Middle East.”

I’m livid, absolutely livid!

I’m sitting down today to write a letter to my Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham to ask her for an explanation for her vote, and I’m going to write Senators Udall and Heinrich because now the NDAA 2014 must return to the Senate for reconciliation, I think.  And then I’m going to write President Obama and encourage him to veto the bill if this bloated military hog makes it to his desk.

If Congress can find more than 1/2 BILLION dollars in the budget for Israel’s military, it can damn well find the funds for our public schools, libraries and homeless shelters.

If Congress has concerns about the use of tear gas in Egypt, Turkey and elsewhere, but no concerns about how the IDF is using tear gas against peaceful protesters in the West Bank, then they need to get their heads out of the sand.

head-in-sand

 

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Filed under Israel Defense Forces, People, US Policy

Stand off in Cairo

I walked to the US Embassy this morning for my appointment with an official to discuss my travel to Gaza.  The security guard told me the Embassy was closed due to the current unrest and destruction from last night.  I didn’t take “no” for an answer, and pressed him with my need to travel to Gaza tomorrow.  He went inside and his superior came out and told me the same thing.  No luck today.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or maybe not.

The atmosphere near Tahrir Square today is both tense and calm.  Seems odd but that’s what it feels like.  Two sides are squared off.  Young men and boys in Tahrir Square throwing rocks at the Army (police?) and other Egyptians standing on the side of the Army watching, as spectators at a sporting event.

While the young people are provoking and trying to engage, the Army is watching, watching, watching …… and then they all run  en masse alongside the military vehicles shooting tear gas.

The human side of this confrontation was so real this morning.  The army personnel are all in uniform fully decked with weapons and shields, but they each appear calm and nonplussed.  Smoking a cigarette.  Distributing Sunkist drinks and eating bread.  Chatting with spectators while keeping a watchful eye on the demonstrators.

Where is this all headed?  What are the demonstrators trying to accomplish?  One middle-aged Egyptian told me that the demonstrators want to hear from President Morsi, but the President hasn’t appeared (shaking his heading).

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Filed under Egypt