Friday, July 11, 2014

Children Crossing Illegally: Nothing Left to Lose

An NPR reporter  remarked this morning she had interviewed the parents of children who were deported back to Nicaragua from the USA. This was the much bally hooed event of "send them back on the next plane" strategy all the Republicans are screaming will end this crisis.  Just send a few planeloads of kids back and they'll stop coming. 

When they arrived at the airport in Nicaragua  what the kids said and what the parents said, pretty uniformly, was: "We'll try again."

So much for the Republican plan to, "Just send back a few planeloads of kids and their parents will get the message. That'll stop this thing in its tracks."

Of course, what the Just Send 'Em Back crowd is engaging in is wishful thinking.  They purport to know how other people, people in Central America think and from there, how to predict what they will in response to what we do.

Americans have never been very good at this sort of thing.

From the infamous "They will welcome us with open arms" assurances coming from Cheney and Rumsfeld when they were asked about what they expected when American troops rolled into Baghdad, to the "win their hearts and minds" in Vietnam, Afghanistan, you name it... we just do not understand other cultures very well and we do not put ourselves into  other people's minds very well.

Mad Dog is the first to admit, he has no good idea about what to do with 60,000 kids and who knows how many more to come.  But what irks Mad Dog is listening to all those Republicans like John Boehner, the editors of the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh,  who are so sure they do know what needs to be done. Of course, these Tea Party savants  are even more sure this is all, very simply, Mr. Obama's fault. 

Basically, people who don't like Mr. Obama are shamelessly using this. It's a bad thing and ipso facto, it has to be Mr. Obama's fault. If Democrats had reacted this way on September 11, 2001, how the Republicans would have reviled them for being unpatriotic at a time we needed to all come together. 

One can only imagine what the Republicans would say if the lunatics manage to pull off another big, high profile attack: It's definitely Mr. Obama's fault.  The fact we have paralyzed the government leaves us blameless.

Listening to a CNN call in show this morning, Mad Dog was surprised to hear a Black man from Chicago allude to that ship with people fleeing Hitler, who we sent back to Germany, where all aboard died in concentration camps.  Cordell Hull, the Secretary of State, refused to allow the ship to dock in the USA, pointing to the flag by his desk, saying he would have violated his sacred oath to defend that flag if he had allowed the ship to dock. The problem was each passenger, according to US law, required a letter from his local police chief attesting to his good character and for most of the passengers that letter would have had to be generated by some Gestapo official. The Gestapo writing letters of recommendation for Jews. Somehow, didn't happen.

 So, Secretary Hull did his duty by his flag and  sent men, women and children back to the gas chambers.

We do not have information to suggest what these kids face in Nicaragua or Honduras is the equivalent of annihilation in concentration camps, but what do we really know about what is going on down there in Central America?  

Could be pretty horrific. Maybe, maybe not, but the sudden influx must mean something. 

Mad Dog is humble before his own ignorance. Would that he could say the same for John Boehner and his entire cohort of Republican hyenas. 

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