Voices from Russia

Saturday, 30 June 2018

America’s Problem Isn’t Immigration… America’s Problem Is White Supremacy

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The USA appears to be destined by Providence to plague [the continent of] America with misery in the name of liberty.

Simón Bolívar

These words of the great 19th-century Latin American emancipator accurately describe the relationship between the USA and Latin America to this day. It’s why the punitive treatment by the Trump Administration of migrants attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the USA constitutes a double injustice.

The first injustice is the role that Washington plays and played in destabilising and impoverishing the economies of Latin American states over generations, while subverting and helping to bring down those governments south of the border that dares attempt to unshackle their countries from the chains of US imperialism, in process of which rampant crime, corruption, and violence prosper. The second injustice is the dehumanisation and demonisation meted out to the victims of the ensuing instability and social and economic dislocation wrought when in a state of extremis they flee their homes for sanctuary across the border with their families. Under no moral code can you justify or defend the forced separation of children, including infants, from their parents… none whatsoever. We saw this in the justifiable outcry unleashed in response, which eventually forced Trump to rescind the policy. However, this being said, the nauseating hypocrisy of liberals excoriating the president over the policy of separating children at the border with Mexico has been near impossible to bear. The likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, people who when they weren’t responsible for the mass slaughter of children in the Middle East with their régime-change wars, have, in the case of Clinton, supported mass incarceration in the USA itself, involving the forced separation of families, such people have absolutely no right to take any moral high ground on this issue.

Focusing on the whys and wherefores of mass migration, it’s incumbent on those who are serious about grasping the issue at its roots to identify its causes, rather than continue to deal with its symptoms, and thereby only succeed in creating more causes. In so doing we come to the role of US imperialism in sowing uneven and combined development throughout the Americas. Putting it another way, the development and wealth of the USA were contingent on the underdevelopment and poverty of Latin America… the former impossible without the latter. As Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano pointed up in his classic work Open Veins of Latin America:

Underdevelopment isn’t a stage of development, but its consequence. Latin America’s underdevelopment arises from external [European and US] development and continues to feed it. The strength of the imperialist system as a whole rests on the inequality of its parts.

No leader of a Latin or Central American country defied and resisted the juggernaut of US imperialism more than Fidel Castro did. Of the countless speeches he gave during his time at the helm of Cuban politics and society, The Second Declaration of Havana (1962), is among the most powerful:

Since the end of World War II, the countries of Latin America have become more and more impoverished. Their exports have less and less value, their imports cost more. The per capita income falls, the frightful rate of infant mortality doesn’t decrease. The number of illiterates is higher; the people lack jobs, land, adequate housing, schools, hospitals, means of communication, and means of life. Latin America is the provider of cheap raw materials and the buyer of expensive finished articles.

Lest anyone believe that Castro’s views of the relationship between North and South America in the early 1960s bear no relation to the same relationship today, consider, if you will, the plight of Honduras. According to Human Rights Watch, the Central American country in 2018 has violent crime, corruption, and political repression. Meanwhile, according to the World Bank, over 6o percent of its people live in poverty. What we shouldn’t forget is that in 2009 the army toppled the country’s democratically elected leftist President, Manuel Zelaya, in a coup sanctioned by the Honduran Supreme Court and supported by the Obama Administration. As Stephen Zunes reminded us in a 2016 article:

During his [Zelaya’s] tenure, he raised the minimum wage and provided free school lunches, milk for young children, pensions for the elderly, and additional scholarships for students. He built new schools, subsidised public transportation, and even distributed energy-saving light bulbs. None of these was particularly radical, but it was nevertheless disturbing to the country’s wealthy economic and military élites. More frightening was that Zelaya sought to organise an assembly to replace the 1982 constitution written during the waning days of the US-backed military dictator Policarpo Paz García.

With this sorry fate of the country in mind, is it any accident that the number of illegal Honduran migrants into the USA across the Mexican border spiked in recent years? At this juncture, I feel obliged to make a confession. Back in the early to mid-1990s, I was an illegal immigrant living in the USA. However, unlike those crossing the border from Mexico, I wasn’t fleeing natural disaster, grinding poverty, political repression, or a society plagued by crime and violence. I instead had travelled to the USA compelled to do so by nothing more than personal ambition, succumbing to the myth of the American Dream, which as the saying goes is a dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. Anyway, I spent five years in LA as part of the British expat community in Santa Monica, replete with its British pubs, shops, and all the rest, rubbing shoulders and working alongside many other Brits who lived there illegally, many of them having done so for a long time. I worked, paid tax, and was able to exist as if completely legal.

Of course, the difference boils down to the fact that I, and we, happened to be white Europeans, and thus accorded the unwritten but nonetheless obvious privileges white skin affords you in the land of the free. This, ultimately, brings us to the heart of the matter. America’s problem isn’t immigration, its white supremacy. Whether conscious or unconscious, it matters not. The result is brutal treatment meted out to people of colour, migrant and non-migrant alike.

25 June 2018

John Wight

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201806251065767940-us-problem-not-immigration/

Monday, 22 January 2018

The Federal Jackboot in the Age of Trump… ICE Thugs Haul Away Doctor Here for 40 Years With Permanent Green Card

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Editor:

I’ll bet you that if you looked hard enough, the target of this ICE abuse was hated by some Repug or some Born-Again and they turned him in to make life hell for him and his family (it does smell like a Nativist Know-Nothing, doesn’t it?). That’s what we’ve come to in the Age of Trump. Mind you… Hillary would’ve been worse… just with a different set of targets and a more warmongering agenda in foreign parts. Both major parties are BROKEN… America has fallen and it can’t get up… shall we help it back up or shall we stomp on it by doing the Same Ol’ Thing? What Trump and Clinton both represent is sheer evil. Shall we see that? God willing, we shall…

Note well that the Repugs and Born-Agains are creaming their jeans over this supposed “crackdown”… it tells you what sort of vicious shit-eating brutes that they are… reflect on the fact that the Hillarybots are just as bad. We’re in a bad place… shall we choose to turn away from our evil and live or shall we embrace it and receive a (merited) bad end? That’s up to us…

BMD

Even as the issue of immigration has been central to the government shutdown in Washington, a respected doctor at Kalamazoo’s Bronson Methodist Hospital who’s lived in America for nearly 40 years finds himself in jail after US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took him from his home in handcuffs. Lukasz Niec is an internal medicine doctor putting in long hours as a hospitalist for Bronson. His co-workers describe him as the model of what a physician should be. Now, he sits in a jail cell in Calhoun County with no idea of when… or if… he’ll be free to return to his patients and his family. On Saturday, Iwona Niec-Villaire said as she sat next to her sister-in-law:

In 1979, my parents, who were both doctors, left Poland and took two suitcases and two small children, my brother was five and I was six, and they came here for a better life for their kids. He doesn’t even speak Polish.

Now, the siblings are in their mid-40s, she’s an attorney, he’s a doctor… they’ve been in America for four decades on a permanent green card. On Tuesday, as Niec was enjoying a day off with his tween girls at his home on the lake in this exclusive neighbourhood near Kalamazoo, three ICE officers came to his home, told him he was being taken into custody and took him to jail. Niec-Villaire said:

The question I get asked all the time is, “Why do you think this happened?” I just really don’t know.

ICE won’t comment on the case and it hasn’t held a hearing yet. A bond hearing may not come until February, and according to immigration law experts, it’s unlikely he’d get it. Niec-Villaire said:

Until this is heard, which could be up to six months, he could be stuck in a prison cell and not helping and being with his family.

The only spot on Niec’s record is two misdemeanour convictions when he was 17, one for the destruction of property less than $100 and receiving and concealing stolen goods. He pleaded to these charges more than 25 years ago under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act that allows young first offenders to avoid a criminal record if they never offend again. However, ICE… a federal agency… doesn’t honour that state plea agreement; something Niec didn’t know when he took the plea, according to the family. Niec-Villaire said:

These misdemeanours were just an adolescent making mistakes and learning from them. We’re as American as anyone can be. He can’t go back to Poland, a country he doesn’t know, he has no family there, our parents passed away in the USA, he doesn’t know anyone, and he wouldn’t know where to go.

Now, Niec awaits his fate in jail. Niec-Villaire said:

We did go see him on Wednesday, he was shaking, in an orange T-shirt, just kind of shell-shocked.

Rachelle Burkart-Niec, the doctor’s wife of two years, said:

Our two daughters need their dad. He’s an excellent physician, he’s loving, he’s caring, he’s an honourable husband, and he’s always helping others.

Bronson’s administration wouldn’t comment on the case, but dozens of doctors and other employees are sending letters of support. Dr Hussein Akl, also a doctor in Bronson Internal Medicine, said:

He’s been just completely the model physician that you want a physician to be. The only danger I can see him on is when he’s swinging his golf swing.

Others who worked with Niece say they are dumbfounded and outraged. Dr Michael Raphelson, who specialises in palliative medicine, said:

He’s exactly the kind of person our immigration policies should be encouraging to prosper here, he’s been here for 40 years, this is a ridiculous situation.

More than 25 people gathered at the home Saturday including friends and family. Brent Richmond, Niec’s friend for 25 years, as he fought back tears, said:

He’s just a good guy, I mean, he just is.

Marc Asch, an immigration attorney in Kalamazoo, said:

In the last year, ICE broadened its scope, meaning that cases the agency wouldn’t have gone after previously are now fair game. These days there’s less discretion being exercised in who they go after, they’re being more aggressive, generally speaking. The government may not even have a solid case and it could likely end with Niec being able to stay in America… but that could be a process that takes months or even years. It’s also possible that ICE is targeting affluent immigrants of European descent to avoid the appearance of racial profiling.

However, those who love Niec aren’t interested in becoming examples. Niec-Villaire said:

He’s the person I call, whenever anything goes wrong or right and now I can’t do that and it’s breaking me up. This is a man that’s needed in the community, not detained in Calhoun County Jail.

20 January 2018

WOOD-8 TV Kalamazoo

http://woodtv.com/2018/01/20/kzoo-doctor-detained-by-ice-after-40-years-in-us/

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Iraqi Christians Face “Death Sentence” as Trump Prepares Mass Deportations

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Editor:

The stupidity of this is mindboggling. The silence of so-called “conservatives” should give you the measure of this godless and demonic movement. They support this and they support Trump in doing this to Christians. All those who voted for Trump are patsies… he’s handing over US foreign policy to Israel and the KSA. He’s also enabling every Russophobe in creation. All Orthodox who voted for this man are partially responsible for this and for the present campaign against the Rodina. It gives you the measure of Dreher and Potapov, doesn’t it (Whiteford is too stupid to garner blame for his rightwing rants… he’s merely an ignorant Yahoo… not calculating and mendacious like Dreher or Potapov).

This is evil. Note well that the “conservatives” are silent about this. Where is Fox News? Where is Sean Hannity? Where is the National Review? May God curse their movement.

Interestingly, I think that Trump himself isn’t that stupid. However, Netanyahu and Prince Mohammed bin Salman are that hateful and they forced Trump’s hand (both have an irrational hate of Iran and its allies). If this doesn’t prove to you that US foreign policy in the Middle East comes from Tel Aviv and Riyadh, nothing will. Strange bedfellows, the KSA and Israel, wot? It proves that hatred can make the most bitter opponents collude together to harm a third-party. God do help the USA and Middle Eastern Christians.

BMD

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A large roundup of Iraqi Christians by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sparked off widespread criticism of President Donald Trump, who previously pledged to protect such communities from persecution in the Middle East. Over the weekend, the ICE seized dozens of Iraqi Christians and other immigrants a series of ICE raids, many of which took place in Michigan, a state known for its large Middle Eastern population. Those arrested face risk of deportation back to their home countries, some of which Trump previously criticised as being hostile toward Christians. CNN reported that many of the detained face years-old charges, with some having not committed any crimes in the past two or three decades. Activists such as Steve Oshana, the Assyrian Christian executive director of A Demand for Action, a non-profit that assists at-risk religious and ethnic communities in the Middle East, attacked Trump for allowing authorities to send Christians back to places like Iraq, where the USA said that a “genocide” against the faith was occurring. On Monday, Oshana, who claimed that some of those arrested hadn’t committed any crimes at all, told Catholic news outlet EWTN:

Someone like the President of the United States has to step in, he promised in the past that he was going to protect our community, but the people who are being sent back now are being sent back as a direct deal between the USA and the Iraqi government to accept these people.

Lavrena Kenawa, an American Chaldean Catholic, cried as she thought about her uncle, seized Sunday by ICE agents during a rally outside the Mother of God Catholic Chaldean Church in Southfield MI on 12 June 2017. A number of protesters gathered to criticise President Trump’s authorisation of raids targeting Iraqi Christians (amongst other groups the President once pledged to protect from persecution in the Middle East). ICE stated that the raids were “consistent with the routine targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis”. According to Michigan’s Local 4 News, however, scenes of chaos reportedly broke out near Detroit’s ICE office as busses removed the suspects. Protestors claiming that ICE apprehended as many as 80 people in the area assembled outside the detention centres, shouting slogans that accused ICE of racism, and attempted to block the buses from departing. On Sunday, local lawyer Wisam Naoum said that ICE officers deliberately waited to take action when the local Chaldean Catholic Assyrian community gathered for Mass. On a Facebook post, Naoum said:

This is a deliberate attack on the Chaldean Catholic Assyrian community of Detroit by the Administration. They waited until Sunday when our community would be going to church and gathering with their families and have rounded up to 40-60 community members.

Naoum said he’d heard reports of the authorities sending suspects to prisons as far away as Ohio and that some final orders to deport individuals to Mosul were received. Mosul is the former Iraqi stronghold of the Islamic State (ISIS) that now serves as a venue for a violent showdown between the jihadists and an Iraqi government-led offensive. ISIS had its origins in Iraq’s Sunni Muslim jihadist movement and the militant group took control of up to 45 percent of the country in 2014, subjecting Shiite Muslims, Christians, and ethnic minorities to mass torture, enslavement, and executions. Despite sweeping victories by Iraqi forces against ISIS in Iraq, Christian protesters claimed being sent back to the country amidst the current instability would effectively constitute a “death sentence”. In January, Trump tweeted:

Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers. We can’t allow this horror to continue!

Shortly after Trump took office earlier this year, ISIS’s infiltration of Iraq led Trump to add the war-torn nation to a list of countries he sought to ban all travel and immigration from. Shortly afterwards, a federal court struck down the measure, prompting Trump to resubmit the order, this time omitting Iraq, as he’d faced criticism from both the Iraqi community and government, which is deeply involved in the fight against ISIS. According to Politico, in exchange, the Iraqi government reportedly agreed to accept Iraqi nationals designated for deportation by the USA. Most recently, despite Iraq’s absence, a federal appeals court also blocked and struck down the second inception of the travel ban on Monday.

14 June 2017

Tom O’Connor

Newsweek

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iraqi-christians-face-apos-death-200731868.html?.tsrc=fauxdal

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Mayor of Québec and Forced Halal

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The Mayor of Québec refused to remove pork from school catering menus and explained why:

Muslims must realise that they must integrate and learn to live in Québec. They need to understand that they need to change their lifestyle; the Canadians who so generously welcomed them don’t need to. Muslims should realise that Canadians aren’t racists nor xenophobes. Canada had many immigrants before Muslims came here. Just like other nations, Canadians aren’t going to discard their identity or their culture. If Canada welcomes someone to its land, it wasn’t merely me who welcomed those foreigners… it was the Canadian people as a whole. Finally, they need to understand that Christian roots matter in Canada (Québec)… its Christmas trees, churches, and religious festivals… their religion should remain a private matter.

For Muslims who don’t agree to this and don’t feel comfortable in Canada, there are 57 wonderful Muslim countries in the world, most of them sparsely populated, ready to welcome them with open arms. If you left your country for Canada, and not for another Muslim country, it’s because you believe that life is better in Canada than elsewhere. We won’t allow you to change Canada to be like those 57 countries. If you came to Canada with the idea that you’d supplant us with your prolific spread and eventually take over our country, you should pack up and return to the country from whence you came.

If you can accept the situation, then, stay. If not, then, get ready to leave.

Russian Demotivationals and Motivationals

Editor:

As for me, I hold two complementary positions. Firstly, if you want to attack and hurt Muslims, you’ll have to get through me. I’m not alone. If you want to hurt the harmless, you just might end up hurt yourself. Secondly, Muslims can’t dictate to us how we order our society. If we wish to eat pork and drink beer and wine, such is our prerogative. Just as Muslims have the right to live as they please, so do we. In a word, let’s have mutual respect. If certain Muslims want to live a life in a society in full consonance with Sharia law, I’d suggest that they move to a Muslim-majority country (and do so with some haste, at that). That’s my word to the few loud Islamist activists. As for ordinary Muslims, y’all come and be welcome. Do pass the shawarma and fattoush, if you will…

BMD

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