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Arnold Isaacs: A Catalog of Heartlessness
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Think of it as the real-world feedback loop from hell. In October 2001, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and launched a “war on terror.” With the invasion of Iraq a year and a half later, that war would begin to spread across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa. It would, in the end, collapse states, turn cities into rubble, help spread terror groups across the region, and above all, unsettle and displace staggering numbers of people on a planet already in turmoil. That invasion of Iraq, for instance, led to a Sunni-Shiite civil war, urban ethnic cleansing, a disastrous American occupation, and the creation of al-Qaeda in Iraq, a group that would later morph into ISIS (whose leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, met other key figures of that future movement in an American military prison). The subsequent war against ISIS began after militants from that terror outfit took several of the country’s largest cities in 2014, while the American-trained Iraqi military collapsed and fled. In the course of that war alone, an estimated 1.3 million Iraqi children were displaced. (According UNICEF, conflicts have displaced 30 million children on this planet in recent years.) Refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan in particular headed for Europe, which, in turn, helped spur the growth of right-wing populist movements there that thrived on anti-immigrant platforms, only increasing the pressure on the displaced of this planet… and so it went.

Developments over the years in Central and South America, thanks in part to a set of grim U.S. policies there, spurred similar rounds of disintegration, displacement, and flight — and in the rich country to the north, a similar growth of right-wing populism. From the moment Donald Trump descended that escalator in Trump Tower in June 2015 to announce his entrance into the presidential race, he would denounce immigrants (Mexican “rapists”) and hail the “great, great wall” that he was going to build to protect the United States from them. He followed up with Muslim bans, rejected small numbers of Syrian refugees, and lately has touted the supposed way in which the various migrant feedback loops from American policy merged — Islamic terrorists secretly crossing our southern border (fake news!).

As TomDispatch regular Arnold Isaacs suggests today, the results domestically when it comes to U.S. policy towards migrants (legal or not), the displaced, and refugees could hardly be meaner or uglier. It’s a record of vindictiveness, right down to the mistreatment of even the smallest children at our southern border, that might seem hard to match, but don’t underestimate Donald Trump.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Donald Trump, Immigration 
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  1. Ohhh good grief,

    Let me guess. You don’t like President Trump.

    we should have a moratorium on anyone immigrating here from anywhere until we get our immigration policies in order.

    I am ever amazed by people who decry the children of Mexico being abandoned or manipulated like chess pawns by their own country and country men — and blaming the US for the mess they create.

    Let me see another Vietnam war protestor who shouted give peace a chance at the US when they should have been shouting at the North Vietnamese who couldn’t wait to use deadly force every minute of every day breaking every peace agreement to do so. The same spoiled protestors on college campuses who abandoned the children in poverty stricken areas right here in the US .

    good grief, at least have the integrity to say — I have no idea how to address the issues in the US, so my guilt response is to take the easy way b y blaimg the US for issues that are soley the fault of some foreign government. Over simplified for the overly simple arguments here.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  2. Speaking of heartlessness, I would be curious the last time you spent aiding anyone in any of the dysfunctional systems we have right here in the US.

  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    I repeat: why does Mr. Engelhardt enjoy the privilege of having these introductions published separately from the article of the, as he vainly reminds us, “TomDispatch regular”? Mr. Isaacs’ article is here separately, and has received comments. So we now have commenters literally talking past each other, diminishing one of the best aspects of TUR.

    Assuming (very) hypothetically that TomDispatch or its parent The Nation wanted to amplify a TUR article written by, say, Linh Dinh or C. J. Hopkins, it’s hard to imagine Mr. Unz requesting, much less receiving, such an annoying little soapbox.

    • Replies: @WorkingClass
  4. @EliteCommInc.

    Vietnam? Are you kidding me? Your pals killed 4 million there. And you take their side? You are criminally ignorant.

    • Replies: @Wally
  5. Renoman says:

    Face it, America is the World’s #1 Terrorist Nation. Money oil guns money oil guns and that’s about it. Sheer corruption all the time Democrat Republican all the same just a gang of absolute bastards, you should be so ashamed.

    • Replies: @Wally
  6. Wally says:

    Speaking of BS, proof of your “4 million” is where?

    • Replies: @nsa
  7. Wally says:

    Indeed, oil we buy, oil we sell. So what?

    And perhaps the citizens of those countries who buy our guns should do something to stop it.
    Or are they just too stupid to take care of it themselves?

    • Replies: @renfro
  8. “conflicts have displaced 30 million children on this planet in recent years.”

    “30 million”. This seems too low.

    I have the sneaking suspicion that this number doesn’t include the tens of millions of American children whose lives have been destroyed due to their mother’s and father’s having lost their jobs to the hordes of opportunistic invaders streaming across out southern border.

    Funny how American lives just disappear when it comes to counting victims.

    You forget, Tom. The alien globalists are using the same tactics on Americans as they are on the rest of the world.

  9. @anonymous

    I second your complaint brother. I have always thought this set up is stupid. But so is Tom Engelhardt.

  10. There are people who care about the lives of the unborn. We know Black Lives Matter. And half the country cares passionately about the lives of people crashing our southern border. But it’s a rare American who actually cares about the massive death and destruction resulting from American war crimes in the Middle East and North Africa. Tom Engelhardt for example, uses the whole shit show to bash Donald Trump.

  11. By all means, we should stop invading the world! Doesn’t mean we have to invite them either, though!

  12. nsa says:

    Bobbie McNamara in interviews estimated Vietnamese deaths at 3 to 4 million as the result of his war…..mostly civilians. You might add in all the murdered Laotians and Cambodians……scratch your head and try to remember when the US supported the murderous Khmer Rouge commies diplomatically and militarily until the Vietnamese invaded and put a stop to the slaughter (another million civilians minimum).
    Hell, Wally……add up all the corpses and you almost get to your magic 6 million number……except no one cares as they weren’t jews.

    • Replies: @Wally
  13. renfro says:

    Or are they just too stupid to take care of it themselves?

    That’s a two edged sword buddy… can say we Americans are also too stupid…or lazy to take care of our own war and greed mongers ourselves.
    Its the same everywhere.

    • Replies: @Wally
  14. renfro says:

    right down to the mistreatment of even the smallest children at our southern border,

    I am tired of hearing that crap.
    What do you suggest we do with illegals with children…..put them in a separate home…where are we going to get 20,000 separate housing for them? Would you like to leave them in the same housing as the adults….with unknown kinds of other illegals?

    I read all the stories on the two children that died after crossing the boarder that blamed it on not receiving care.
    That was in fact a point blank leftist lie …..the children died, one within hours and one within a day of crossing from SEPTIC SHOCK….which is caused by bacterial infection. They obviously picked up the bacterial infections in the unsanitary conditions during their travel….something their parent or adult escort should be held responsible for because it causes symptoms before it reaches the fatal point.

    All the adults accompanying children had health interviews to screen for disease and illness….if they didn’t notice the condition of the child they weren’t paying attention because the symptoms are visible…or else they just didn’t report it in their screening.

    The lying media conveniently left out the cause of death in order to generate more outrage.

  15. Wally says:

    Like I said, ‘proof of 4M killed in Vietnam is where’?

    I want verifiable numbers based upon reviewable data. You obviously do not have that or you would have produced it. Yes, I know about Laos, Cambodia & the Khmer Rouge. But so what? The simple fact is that you do not have verifiable, reviewable data to prove claimed & obviously fake numbers.

    McNamara? Seriously? What’s his source? LOL

    Just admit it, you nor anyone else has proof of ‘4M killed in Vietnam’ though your attempt to distract from that fact with desperate obfuscation is noted.

    There was no ‘6M Jews’ except in the minds of Jews who have been promoting that lie since at least 1823. That subject change further gives your game away.

    I’m just the messenger, your easily debunked lies are the message.

    Good day.

  16. Wally says:

    – Except that American wants the wars stopped.

    Please note the growing discontent.
    Please note that Trump is aware of it, hence the Syria draw down.
    Notice that in spite of all the neo-con bluster, we are in fact not in Iran.

    – Except that euro-white Americans can feed themselves and do not generally have children that they demand others pay for. All of that is NOT true for Africa and much of Latin America. It’s white majority countries where the dumb & lazy want into for the free lunch … which they cannot provide themselves. The facts are the facts.

    Please tell us who your “greed mongers” are. Specifics, sir, specifics.

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