Why do people want to immigrate into a country for a better life and more opportunity than they could have in the country they’re leaving, and then want to change the one they flee to into a replica of the one they’ve fled from?
We are thinking of the Muslim immigrants who want to turn western European countries, which have prospered as tolerant democracies under the rule of enlightened law, into sharia-governed hells.
And we are thinking of Central Americans who come illegally into the US, which has prospered because it has been a tolerant democracy under the rule of enlightened law, and then demand that it be just like home – lawless. Lawless enough to let them in and let them stay.
Yes, it was the rule of law protecting individual freedom that allowed the West and above all the United States to prosper.
Funny how the poor benighted peoples of Third Word states curse the US, blame it for all their sufferings, cry damnation upon it, burn its flag, and then risk their very lives trying to get here and stay here.
Victor Davis Hanson writes with indignation at Investor’s Business Daily:
No one knows just how many tens of thousands of Central American nationals — most of them desperate, unescorted children and teens — are streaming across America’s southern border. Yet this phenomenon offers us a proverbial teachable moment about the paradoxes and hypocrisies of Latin American immigration to the US.
For all the pop romance in Latin America associated with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, few Latinos prefer to immigrate to such communist utopias or to socialist spinoffs like Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador or Peru.
Instead, hundreds of thousands of poor people continue to risk danger to enter democratic, free-market America, which they’ve often been taught back home is the source of their misery.
They either believe that America’s supposedly inadequate social safety net is far better than the one back home, or that its purportedly cruel free market gives them more opportunities than anywhere in Latin America — or both.
Mexico strictly enforces some of the harshest immigration laws in the world that summarily deport or jail most who cross Mexican borders illegally, much less attempt to work inside Mexico or become politically active.
If America were to emulate Mexico’s immigration policies, millions of Mexicans living in the US immediately would be sent home.
How, then, are tens of thousands of Central American children crossing with impunity hundreds of miles of Mexican territory, often sitting atop Mexican trains?
Does Mexico believe that the massive influxes will serve to render US immigration law meaningless, and thereby completely shred an already porous border? Is Mexico simply ensuring that the surge of poorer Central Americans doesn’t dare stop in Mexico on its way north?
The media talk of a moral crisis on the border. It is certainly that, but not entirely in the way we are told.
What sort of callous parents simply send their children as pawns northward without escort, in selfish hopes of soon winning for themselves remittances or eventual passage to the US?
What sort of government lets its vulnerable youth pack up and leave, without taking any responsibility for such mass flight?
Here in America, how can our government simply choose not to enforce existing laws?
In reaction, could US citizens emulate Washington’s ethics and decide not to pay their taxes, or to disregard traffic laws, or to build homes without permits? Who in the pen-and-phone era of Obama gets to decide which law to follow and which to ignore?
Who are the bigots — the rude and unruly protestors who scream and swarm drop-off points and angrily block immigration authority buses to prevent the release of children into their communities, or the shrill counterprotestors who chant “Viva la raza” (“long live the race”)?
For that matter, how does the racialist term “la raza” survive as an acceptable title of a national lobby group in this politically correct age of anger at the [name of the] Washington Redskins?
How can U.S. immigration authorities simply send immigrant kids all over the country and drop them into communities without guarantees of sponsors or family? If private charities did that, would the operators be jailed? Would American parents be arrested for putting unescorted kids on buses headed out of state?
Liberal elites talk down to the cash-strapped middle class about their illiberal anger over the current immigration crisis.
But most sermonizers are hypocritical.
Take Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the House. She lectures about the need for near-instant amnesty for thousands streaming across the border. But Pelosi is a multimillionaire, and thus rich enough not to worry about the increased costs and higher taxes needed to offer instant social services to the new arrivals.
Liberals and ethnic activists see in open borders extralegal ways to gain future constituents dependent on a growing government, with instilled grudges against any who might not welcome their flouting of US laws.
How moral is that? …
What a strange, selfish and callous alliance of rich corporate grandees, cynical left-wing politicians and ethnic chauvinists who have conspired to erode US law for their own narrow interests, all the while smearing those who object as xenophobes, racists and nativists.
How did such immoral special interests hijack US immigration law and arbitrarily decide for 300 million Americans who earns entry into America, under what conditions, and from where?
Here is a news video of citizens rising in revolt on “Independence weekend” – a fitting time to choose.
Some residents of Murrieta, California – a small “bedroom” town of 106,000 – protest against 140 illegal immigrants from Central America, some of them sick with infectious diseases, being brought in buses from the border and dumped on them by federal agents.
The problem needs to be fixed at a federal level, says Alan Long, the mayor of Murrieta. “The problem is in Washington, D.C.”
Right. And its name is Obama.
Once again we display the picture of Obama as the Pied Piper, bringing a stream of children from distant parts into the United States.
Why? Because the Obama Gang in charge of America actually did bring a stream of children over the border. Obama abducted 65,000 children. Organized the abduction and paid for it (with taxpayers’ money).
Thomas Lifson at American Thinker reports this smoking-gun news:
The Obama administration’s claim to have been surprised by the wave of children flooding over our borders may turn out to be another political lie of the year.
Sundance of Conservative Treehouse noticed a very peculiar advertisement:
On January 29th of this year, the federal government posted an advertisement seeking bids for a vendor contract to handle “Unaccompanied Alien Children“. Not just any contract mind you, but a very specific contract – for a very specific number of unaccompanied minors: 65,000.
Why would DHS and ICE be claiming “surprise” by the current influx of unaccompanied minors on the border in June, when they were taking bids for an exact contract to handle the exact situation in January?
Secondly, how could they possibly anticipate 65,000 unaccompanied minors would be showing up at the border, when the most ever encountered in a previous year was 5,000 total?
The bid specifics are even more suspicious:
The Contractor shall provide unarmed escort staff, including management, supervision, manpower, training, certifications, licenses, drug testing, equipment, and supplies necessary to provide on-demand escort services for non-criminal/non-delinquent unaccompanied alien children ages infant to 17 years of age, seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year. Transport will be required for either category of UAC or individual juveniles, to include both male and female juveniles.There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total: 25% local ground transport, 25% via ICE charter and 50% via commercial air.
In addition, the Contractor shall have personnel who are able to communicate with juveniles in their own designated language(s).
Link to the ad here.
Is this a plan to overwhelm the welfare system of the US? A further effort to engineer total breakdown of the economy?
Even our deeply disgusted view of Obama has proved to be too lenient. He is capable of greater evil than even we had thought.
They abducted the children from their homes. They pretended that it was legal for them to enter the US. The misleading news spread and more and more children were drawn to start on the long road to the US border. Whatever care the paid agents were supposed to exercise during the migration of the children, we know it has been insufficient. Not all have been transported over ground or by air. Many have travelled alone, and many have died on the journey. Many have have been abused, forced into prostitution, and some of them have been killed.
This is not just bad government by bad people. It is a reign of monsters.
This is a picture of a Texas “warehouse” full of children who illegally entered the United States. They have been brought in from the Mexican border by the busload. Now what will they do with them?
It will be some time before they’ll have the vote – even fraudulently – to help keep the Democratic Party in power.
Meanwhile their lives are at risk.
See our post, Death and the maiden, May 27, 2014.
Noemi Álvarez Quillay?
Untold numbers of children are being smuggled across the southern border into the United States with the active encouragement of the Obama-led Democratic government.
One of them was only three years old.
The Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell reports and comments:
There has been a lot of talk from the Obama administration about having more “humane” immigration policies.
But the sad fact is that on President Obama’s watch, one of the most inhumane realities of illegal immigration has skyrocketed.
Children are crossing the border – and they’re doing it without their parents.
The number of minor children crossing or attempting to cross the U.S. southern border unaccompanied by a parent or other adult relative has exploded from 6,560 in 2011 to an estimated 60,000 for fiscal year 2014. Border patrol agents in South Texas reported over 1,000 such children were apprehended by officials earlier this month, including a 3-year-old boy from Honduras.
What explains the dramatic increase?
As a government official from Ecuador told The New York Times, one of the main reasons is a belief held by many in Central America and Mexico that some sort of immigration reform will be passed that allows anyone who can get into the United States illegally to be able to stay.
In other words, the prospect of amnesty is encouraging more illegal immigration – and in this case, the human trafficking of children. Often raised by their grandparents or other relatives because their parents have already come to the U.S. illegally, these children are traveling alone or with human smugglers, called coyotes, who are paid to get them across the border.
And what happens once they’re here? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, by law, the U.S. government must assume custody of “unaccompanied alien children” apprehended by law enforcement who file claims to remain in the United States. The government then contracts with state-licensed facilities to care for the children until it can place them with sponsors.
According to a judge in Texas who has reviewed numerous such cases, the U.S. government is guilty of encouraging this illegal behavior.
He described one case where after taking a child into custody, Homeland Security agents learned that the mother, who herself was in the U.S. illegally, had “instigated this illegal conduct”. DHS delivered the child to the mother anyway, didn’t prosecute her, and didn’t even initiate deportation proceedings for her.
As the judge said, “instead of enforcing the law of the United States, the Government took direct steps to help the individuals who violated it”, conduct for which any “private citizen would, and should, be prosecuted”.
The judge said:
By fostering an atmosphere whereby illegal aliens are encouraged to pay human smugglers for further services, the Government is not only allowing them to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so.
To get an idea of the danger these children face, one need only read the very sad story of Noemi Álvarez Quillay, a 12-year-old girl from Ecuador. She died in a holding facility in Mexico — authorities there say she committed suicide — after being caught with a smuggler trying to get her across the border near El Paso. Noemi was poor, but had been well taken care of by her grandparents in Ecuador after her parents moved illegally to the U.S.
More information comes from the New York Times:
Noemi was taken to Casa de la Esperanza, a shelter for Mexican minors whose name means “House of Hope”. Over that weekend, she was questioned by a prosecutor. After that, a doctor described Noemi as being “terrified”, according to a report in El Diario of Juarez.
On March 11, when called to eat, Noemi instead went into the bathroom. Another girl could not get in. The doctor, Alicia Soria Espino, and others broke open the door and found Noemi hanging by the cloth shower curtain.
How likely is that? Why would a child suddenly hang herself? And – a twelve-year-old girl hanging herself with a shower curtain – how? – visualize it – try it – we did, and couldn’t, and don’t believe it.*
Notice the insertion of the unnecessary detail, “Another girl could not get in”, as if to imply that there’s a witness that the door was locked from the inside.
The story reeks of cover-up. Was the child murdered? If so, why?
The next day, her parents in the Bronx received a phone call from a woman who told them that Noemi had safely crossed the border. Later that day, they received a second call saying that she had died, according to Ecuadorean consular officials.
Was it even Noemi? Does the child pictured above look like a twelve-year-old? Doesn’t she look more like an 8 year old? Perhaps it is a picture of Noemi at the age of eight. (Photos were taken of her by her poor grandparents in Ecuador? Unlikely.) Or maybe it is a different child.
The authorities determined that the girl initially thought to be an 8-year-old Mexican was probably the 12-year-old Ecuadorean. In part because her parents, who do not have legal immigration status, decided not to go to Mexico, DNA tests were required to confirm her identity, said Jorge W. Lopez, the Ecuadorean consul general in New York.
The report does not say whether DNA tests were in fact carried out or whether an identity was confirmed.
Autopsies found no sign of a sexual assault, a common crime against migrants.
The man said to have been the smuggler, Mr. Fermas, was arrested but was later freed by a judge, who did not find enough evidence to hold him for prosecution, said Ángel Torres of the federal prosecutor’s office in Ciudad Juárez. …
The police said he had been found in charge of a pickup truck with Noemi inside it. According to Fermas the Smuggler they were lying.
In published interviews, Mr. Fermas has said that the story about the pickup truck was untrue and that the police had entered his house and taken the girl under the guise of rescuing her.
The NYT does not pause to consider why the police lied, why Fermas used these words, why the police might really have taken her away if not to rescue her.
What really happened to Noemi? Who was the dead child? How did she really die? Is it true that “no sign of sexual assault was found”?
Why is the NYT so incurious about the story it is reporting?
It goes on without pause to cold – and chilling – statistics :
In the week after Noemi’s death, 370 foreign child migrants were detained across Mexico, according to the national immigration agency. Nearly half were traveling alone.
The Morning Bell report also looks no further into the disappearance of Noemi and the suspicious death of a little girl. It is more concerned with the political implications of child-smuggling from Latin America:
The Obama administration has implemented multiple policies that encourage illegal immigration.
Its lax and increasingly nonexistent enforcement of our immigration laws has resulted in a 40 percent drop in deportations of illegal immigrants in the U.S. since 2009. Instead, illegal immigrants who have been convicted of further crimes inside the U.S. have been released. Last year, one in three — more than 68,000 criminals – was released.
Interestingly, one of the reasons given for children attempting to cross the border into the U.S. is that they are trying to escape crime and gang violence in their home countries. Yet the Obama administration’s immigration policies are actually releasing criminals back into the very communities where these children are likely to find themselves in America.
This is Obama’s version of “humane” immigration policies.
But what happened to Noemi?
Who was the dead child?
How did she die?
* Our shower-rod wouldn’t hold the weight even of a child. A shower-curtain does not lend itself easily to being tied round a neck. Also, it would have to be hung very high for the average twelve-year-old to suspend herself. She would have to stand on the edge of the tub (if there is one under the shower) and then take her feet off it. The shower curtain and its rod would have to be so strong that her weight would not then drop her to the bottom of the tub or onto the floor of the bathroom.
We think an eight year old girl was murdered. And so probably was Noemi, in some clumsy cover-up plot with a substitution of identities. The plot has probably succeeded. The unlikely story that Noemi committed suicide will probably never be further investigated. The truth will probably never be known.
In just five years, Barack Obama has succeeded in crippling the American economy and shattering the world order under the Pax Americana.
Americans feel the grave economic effects of his domestic policies more immediately and urgently, but it is the shattering of the world order that will ultimately change their lives for the worse.
President Vladimir Putin found that “he could annex Crimea without firing a single bullet”. He has good reason to think that “he will later be able to do the same with the rest of Ukraine”. But he will probably “wait until the situation worsens and the impotence of the United States and Europe becomes even more obvious”.
That is part of the picture of the crumbling world order, described here by Professor Guy Millière (of the University of Paris), at Gatestone.
[Putin] apparently considers that he has in front of him a weak and declining America. And the general demeanor of the present U.S. administration tends to prove him right. The United States seem in full retreat. U.S. military budgets continue to fall. For the last five years, Barack Obama spoke of “ending” the wars in which the U.S. was involved, and he depends on Russia’s cooperation for further negotiations with Iran, for dismantling chemical weapons in Syria, and for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Putin doubtless thinks that Obama will not enter into an open conflict with Russia. Sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States are insignificant, and Putin has every reason to think they will not increase. …
[He] evidently considers Europe even weaker than America. The way European leaders speak and act shows that he is not wrong. For decades, Western European countries relied on the U.S. defense umbrella; none of them today has an army capable of doing more than extremely limited operations. Their foreign policy positions converge with the Obama administration positions. They all have deep economic and financial links with Russia and cannot break these links. The UK needs the Russian capital invested in the City of London. France cannot cancel its Russian warship contract without having to close its shipyards in Saint Nazaire, and without being confronted with major social conflicts. Germany could not survive long without Russian oil and natural gas. Overall, Russia provides thirty percent of the natural gas consumed in Western Europe. Putin apparently thinks that Europe will not enter into an open conflict with Russia. …
Either the West will stand up to Putin, and it will have to do it fast, or Putin will win. Obviously, Europe will not stand up. Polls indicate that Americans are turning sharply toward isolationism.
Showing his view of the situation, Obama recently said that Russia is nothing but a “regional power”, acting “out of weakness”.
What is Russia’s “region”?
Russia covers ten time zones and has borders with Europe, the Muslim Middle East, China, North Korea, and Alaska.
Yes, Russia has a common border with the United States. The US is in its region.
If massing troops on the borders of Ukraine and annexing Crimea are signs of “weakness,” by its evident impotence, America appears even weaker.
Will Putin be content with annexing Crimea, or even the whole of Ukraine?
Several plebiscites have been held since 2006 in Transnistria, a strip of land between Ukraine and Moldova, and each of them has indicated a willingness to join Russia. Estonia includes a large Russian minority, and Russian leaders in Moscow speak of the need to “protect” the Russian population of Estonia.
Estonia is a member of NATO. If Russia were to attack it, NATO, according to Article 5 of its charter, should defend it with prompt military action. But would it? NATO’s military power is America’s military power. Under Obama,what chance is there that America would go to war in Europe?
The world order built after the Second World War was shaped by America. For almost five decades, its goal was to contain Soviet expansion. In the late 1980s, the Soviet empire collapsed, and another phase began: an arrangement in which America would keep the peace and assure the survival of liberty.
America has apparently abrogated that responsibility.
And if Russia is not deterred, other powers will be encouraged to advance their interests abroad by force.
Rogue leaders around the world are watching and drawing their own conclusions.
[The Iranian Ayatollah] Khamenei sees no reason to stop saying that America is the “Great Satan” and that Israel has to be wiped off the map. China sees no reason to hide its intention to occupy the Senkaku/Diyaoyu Islands. Last week, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un fired six missiles into the sea of Japan. [President] Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela reaffirmed its alliance with Russia and positioned Russian missiles in Caracas.
Guy Millière predicts that the chaos will increase and speed up. He sees disaster coming fast.
If we do not see the Ukraine as a warning signal, we could quickly discover that life could now easily enter the state of nature in Hobbes’s Leviathan: [solitary, poor,] nasty, brutish and short.
We are in principle against intervention in the internal affairs of other countries. But we are not for isolationism or pacifism – we regard either philosophy as a formula for national suicide. If other countries become belligerent, build up their armed strength, send their warships towards our shores, establish bases in countries on our borders, and declare their aggressive intentions towards us, the politics of those countries become our business. That is happening now. We are under threat – because Obama is deliberately weakening America. And his reaction to the result is to weaken America even more.
The conditions for major war develop much more easily when the U.S. is too weak. They are developing as we speak.
To a meaningful extent, the significant increase we’ve seen in unrest around the globe since 2010 has been made possible, and inevitable, by the retraction of American power. Even where we still have power in place, it has become increasingly obvious that we aren’t going to use it.
We quote from a website interestingly named Liberty Unyielding. The article on the extreme folly of the Obama administration’s moves to weaken America is by Commander Jennifer Dyer, now retired from the US navy. (Her own blog is at Theoptimisticconservative.wordpress.com):
The collapse of order in the Arab nations in 2011 was the first significant stage of the process. The perception that the United States would do nothing about a Hezbollah coup in Lebanon was tested in January of that year. The perception proved to be true, and when protests erupted in Tunisia and Egypt, for causes both natural and manufactured, a set of radical Islamist actors – the “establishment” Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni jihadists, Iran – saw an opportunity. The establishment Muslim Brotherhood has largely won out in Tunisia, but the battle still rages among these radical actors for Egypt, Syria, and now Iraq. Lebanon is being incrementally sucked into the maelstrom as well.
In multiple venues, Russia has watched the U.S. and the West effectively back Islamists in Russia’s “near abroad”: in Turkey (with support for the now struggling Erdogan government); in the Balkans, especially Bosnia and Kosovo; and in Syria. …
There was a time when the implicit determination of the U.S. to enforce the “Pax Americana” order – the post-World War II alignments of the region – held Russia in check. The Russians still derived some security benefit from that order, after all … It appears to me, however, that 2014 will be the year in which it becomes clear that, according to Russians’ perception, they no longer benefit from the old order. If we’re not going to enforce it, Russia will do what she thinks she has to.
In fact, Moscow’s pushback against the plan for Ukraine to affiliate with the EU constitutes just such a blow for perceived Russian interests. It is of supreme importance for Westerners to not misread the recent developments. The EU and the U.S. did back down when Russia pushed hard last fall. The only ones who didn’t back down were the Ukrainian opposition. I predict Vladimir Putin will try to handle the opposition factions cleverly, as much as he can, and avoid a pitched battle with them if possible. He respects what they are willing to do. But he has no reason to respect Brussels or Washington.
And that means he has more latitude, not less, for going after the regional props to the old order, one by one. As always, Russia’s inevitable competition with China is a major driver, along with Russia’s concern about Islamism on her southern border. The whole Great Crossroads – Southwest Asia, Southeast Europe, Northeast Africa, the waterways that snake through the region – is, if not up for grabs, at least in ferment. Look wherever you like: there are almost no nations where there is not a very present menace from radicalism, or where governments and even borders are not gravely imperiled by internal dissent.
Israel is the chief standout for politically sustainable stability and continuity. Romania and Turkey seem likely to at least retain their constitutional order in the foreseeable future, but Turkey’s geopolitical orientation, in particular, is less certain. Greece and Kosovo – even Bosnia – have serious internal problems. Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia all remain in crisis at various levels. Jordan and Saudi Arabia are relatively stable, and the Arab Persian Gulf states relatively so as well. But their neighborhood is going downhill fast. Iran is riding a wave of radical confidence, and the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan.
In this tumultuous region, it’s actually a little funny that Pakistan looks stable and staid compared to Iran, Afghanistan, and neighbors west. We can hope that Islamabad’s perceived need to maintain a symmetrical stance against India will keep Pakistan’s loose federation of intransigents federated, and the nukes under central control. But as we move across South Asia, we near another boiling pot. Thailand – long an American ally and pillar of stability in the region – has been rocked in recent months by national unrest of a kind not seen in Southeast Asia for decades. Islamist radicalism is a growing threat in Indonesia, and an unpacified one in the Philippines, after more than a decade of U.S.-Philippines collaboration in fighting it.
And, of course, China is making real, transformative moves against regional security with her proclamations about air space and maritime rights off her southeast coast.
This disruptive process, like the battles for many of the Arab nations, is already underway. We’re not waiting for something to happen; it’s started.
China assumes, quite correctly, that there will be no effective pushback from the United States. But two other nations with power and means will regard it as intolerable for China to dictate conditions in Southeast Asia: Japan and Russia. The dance of realignment among these nations has implications for everyone in Central Asia and the Far East. The day may be on the horizon sooner than we think when maintaining a divided Korea no longer makes sense to at least one of the major players. The day is already here when Chinese activities in Central Asia are alarming the whole neighborhood, just as Chinese actions are in the South China Sea. …
Russia and Iran are advancing on the US through Central America:
It’s no accident that as radical leftism creeps across Central America (falsely laying claim to a noble “Bolivarian” political mantle), the maritime dispute between Nicaragua and American ally Colombia heats up – and Russia shows up to back Nicaragua and Venezuela – and so does Iran – and unrest turns into shooting and government brutality and violence in Venezuela – and Hezbollah shows up there to openly support the radical, repressive Maduro government.
Now Iran has a naval supply ship headed for Central America, very possibly with a cargo of arms that are not only prohibited by UN sanction, but capable of reaching the United States if launched from a Central American nation or Cuba.
We’re not still waiting for the shocks to start to the old order. They’ve already started. I haven’t surveyed even the half of what there is to talk about …
She looks at the latest defense cuts with dismay and considers what the consequences will be:
This is the world in which the United States plans to reduce our army to its lowest level since before World War II, and eliminate or put in storage much of its capabilities for heavy operations abroad (e.g., getting rid of the A-10 Warthogs, moving Blackhawk helicopters into the National Guard). It’s in this world that DOD proposes to cease operating half of our Navy cruisers, while delaying delivery of the carrier-based F-35 strike-fighter to the Navy and Marine Corps. These cutbacks come on top of cuts already made to training and maintenance expenditures in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force that will affect unit readiness for years to come. …
Then comes what should be a shocking observation:
By cutting back on defense so drastically, America is deciding, in essence, to “fight fair”: to give whatever opponents emerge more of a chance to kill our soldiers, damage our interests, and drag out conflicts. …
That would be hard to believe of any American leadership – until now. It is ludicrous. Worse, it is lunatic. But Obama has never concealed or disguised his wish to weaken America’s military capacity.
The decision “to further limit our capabilities to use power in politically relevant ways” will result in “even more global unrest: more conflict, more shooting, more blood, more extortion and political thuggery menacing civil life in the world’s poorer and more vulnerable nations”, and that cannot be good for America. The point is that -
These unpleasant trends will spill over into civil life in the wealthier nations soon enough …
As it has, she points out, in Ukraine, Thailand, and Venezuela, “whether directly or through second-order consequences”.
Peace and freedom have to be tended constantly; they are not the natural state of geopolitical indiscipline, but its antithesis. …
We’re extraordinarily unprepared for the world that is shaping up around us. …
[And] a world that doesn’t want quiescent trade conditions, tolerance of dissent, the open flow of ideas, and mutual agreements, peacefully arrived at, will not have them.
That’s the world we are sentencing ourselves, for now, to live in. Perhaps we will learn from the consequences how to think again: about what it takes to guard freedom, and indeed, about what freedom actually is.
It is Obama who needs to think again, but there is no reason to hope that he will. It could hardly be more obvious that he does not care for freedom.
This information was given to us as a comment on our post Saved from Communism – and flourishing (September 15, 2013) by our reader – and citizen of Chile – Carlos. It confirms the two reports we quoted, which praise Chile for its spectacular economic achievements since 1973. But it is also a reality-check and corrective to their optimism, because it also tells the distressing story of how the Left is trying to sabotage the system that worked so well and return the country to failed collectivist policies:
The information you cite on this post is correct. The country I grew up in was entirely different from the one my parents knew. Latin American nations have always been poor in ways someone that hails from the Anglo-Saxon world can’t fathom, and it’s been like that since the Spaniards came hundreds of years ago.
My parents, the son and daughter of poor country workers (the kind that toiled the land without technology or electricity), are now medical professionals, wealthy, and have traveled to all continents. It’s the kind of story you hear in those once poor third world countries that lead free market reforms, or about first generation immigrants that arrive to the US as paupers and then, after some decades, amass the kind of wealth only a small percentage possess in their countries of origin.
Besides [and because of] having the highest per capita income of the region, the people of Chile surpass others in South America on eating and drinking alcohol, so much that, just like the US, obesity and diabetes are a major health concern of all ages.
With all this, you would think that the Chilean people would be happy and elated about their progress …
Yes, progress – because obesity and diabetes are bad effects of eating too much, not too little …
… but that could not be farther from the truth. The political consensus, accepted by pretty much everyone, is that the Chilean economic system is immoral and awful; a system built on “inequality and greed”.
Like in the US and Europe, the political Right has abandoned the Universities and intellectual spheres, leaving them to the Left to reign supreme. Socialism of all stripes is discussed on all political talk shows, while the greatest and most successful economic reforms in Chile’s history (the greatest reduction of poverty in recent years, for one) are scorned as “neoliberalism” and not egalitarian, and capitalists are despised with the same animus as your lefties [in the US] inveigh against the “one percenters”.
While the European welfare states are teetering, the people here hate the privately managed social security, accusing them of being thieves. The general belief here is that if something, whether minerals, forests, social security funds, etc., is owned by the State it is the property of everyone, which is good (no matter how much it costs or how much the national debt rises), but if it is private then someone somewhere is stealing from them (with commodities this is believed even if the prices are low).
This thinking is also applied to education.
Throughout 2011, huge protests broke out clamoring for free university education and the end of the voucher system for funding school education for poor families. The protesters were led by a member of the Communist Party, who was acclaimed and embraced by the fawning media. The protests ended up with more than a thousand policemen injured (beaten, burned by molotov bombs, etc.) and damages to schools on strike (by their own students, if not older members of left wing fanatic groups) that, according to the Minister of Education, amount to the cost of building 11 all-new schools.
Street violence is now a staple of the national life, with policemen attacked with a shower of rocks, molotov bombs, and acid (yes, ACID). Even the horses that policemen use have been the subject of horrible knife cuts. The last protest to commemorate the 40 years of the coup ended up with a policeman with his face (nose, teeth, cheek) destroyed by a rock blow, as several others had their hands burned with acid. (See videos of the riots here – where a fallen mounted policeman is stoned – and here and here.)
All of this without counting the crude and disgusting language the police are subject to by the crazed mass that revels in violence.
The two greatest universities of the country are hostile grounds for Presidents of all stripes. Years ago, Ricardo Lagos, a Socialist President, was verbally abused in the Law faculty of the University of Chile and paint was hurled at him for the crime of not been socialist enough. And just three or two years ago, the current President, Sebastián Piñera and other political colleagues where attacked in the Catholic University of Chile by a group of students that behaved like a group of crazed baboons hooting and jeering.
The “secular religion” of the Left, besides the sanctification of the “Dear Leader”, is the adoration of the martyrs of the Revolution.
At the tax payer expense, a Museum of the Memory was built to commemorate all the 3000+ victims of the Pinochet dictatorship, all under a language of Human Rights violations. Of course, there is no mention of Allende’s association with the Soviet Union, one of the greatest Human Rights violators ever, only surpassed by others that applied the system of Scientific Socialism, which Allende and the Left adhered to and admired. There is no mention, also, of the more than 400 police and military men that were murdered by the paramilitary groups; no mention of the human disaster that Allende government was (with a ridiculous high inflation, shortages of the basic victuals, rationing lines, out of control political violence, aggressive taking over of land and industries, the State controlling most of the economy); no mentioning of the language the Left used during Allende’s reign: the threat of violent Revolution, and, most disgusting of all, the claims that, after killing the men of the Bourgeoisie, they would take their women ‘to the bed’, a nice and blithe euphemism for rape.
Our Communist Party has expressed, openly, their grief for the passing of the lunatic dictator Kim Jong-il, and gave vocal support to the Assad regime on the glorious duty of massacring their own people (a very Communist endeavor, you know). These horrendous, ignominious, disgraceful acts in support of murder and evil that boggle the mind are met with total (yes, that is the word) indifference by the general populace, while Pinochet’s dictatorship is routinely condemned.
Michelle Bachelet, a member of the Socialist Party who governed Chile between 2006 – 2010, will return again as a candidate for the next election. While in her first mandate she tended to be Center-Left, supported by a somewhat moderate coalition, and applying as much fiscal sanity as a Socialist can have, this time she comes at the head of a new political group that includes the Communist Party and is bent on changing the “Neoliberal” system, increase taxes and all the litany of reforms that scares investors and ruins long term economic projects. She enjoys the support of nearly 40 – 45% of voters, mostly because of her motherly appearance and the fact that she is a woman.
The problem with Chile is that, as Ayn Rand would say, its very core, its spiritual, cultural and historic center, is complete and powerfully rotted with Altruism. It is embedded in the national soul. Its roots lie, I believe, with the Catholic creed, and is something that most Chileans embrace. This allows for any right, any value to be sacrificed on the altar of the Collective, Public, Tribal good.
This is the reason I am writing this to you, because I think that in some years, Chile will utterly fail in its quest for economic development, and it will be a disaster.
Economic liberalism, individualism, is the antithesis of Altruism.
The Left has learned NOTHING from the experience of Allende’s government: the living members of his administration have publicly refused to ask for forgiveness for ruining the economy and the coexistence of a nation that some three years before was peaceful and stable. The younger members of the Left believe that the CIA and the Right ruined the economy just to get rid of Allende. The lessons of History only apply to their enemies.
It is a very bleak picture that I have painted of the current situation of Chile, but it is one that any of us living here would profess, any of us that believe in freedom, private property and the secular Rule of Law focused on defending individual rights.
We enjoyed a lot of what Glenn Beck did in his regular hour on Fox. We found his weeping mawkish, and we switched off when he went on about “God”, which was mostly, and much too fully, on Fridays. He became too much the preacher. But he’s a natural entertainer, and he was right, and informative, and even fascinating a lot of the time.
He has been replaced by “The Five”. The five are made up, usually, by a (varying) couple of beautiful intelligent women and a couple of well-informed and/or amusing guys – and a lugubrious lefty named Bob Beckel whose inclusion puts us off watching.
At this point we request our outside-America readers not to stop reading. We’re coming on to a point of international interest.
We’ll let Humberto Fontova take over. In an article titled A History Lesson for the Racist Bob Beckel, he writes:
“I still have my Che Guevara poster. Che Guevara was a freedom fighter.” – Bob Beckel on FoxNews’ “The Five” Sept. 5th.
If Bob Beckel’s “freedom-fighter” had been allowed his fondest bit of “freedom-fighting” Bob Beckel’s incinerated remains would fit in a gin bottle today. “America is the great enemy of mankind! Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination!…If the missiles [on Cuba] had remained, we would have fired them against the very heart of the U.S., including New York City.”
For the record: Ernesto “Che” Guevara was second in command, chief executioner, and chief KGB liaison for a regime that jailed more political prisoners per capita than did Stalin’s during the Great Terror and murdered more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler’s murdered (out of a population of 70 million) in its first six. Many, perhaps most, of those murdered and jailed by the regime Che Guevara co-founded were Batista opponents.
The Stalinist regime Che Guevara imposed on Cuba also stole the savings and property of 6.4 million citizens, made refugees of 20 percent of the population from a nation formerly deluged with immigrants and whose citizens had achieved a higher standard of living than those residing in half of Europe. Many opponents of the regime Che Guevara co-founded qualify as the longest-suffering political prisoners in modern history, having suffered prison camps, forced labor and torture chambers for a period three times as long in Che Guevara’s Gulag as Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s Gulag. Most of these had been Batista opponents.
“Don’t put him in a list of fascists. The fascists (Batista) were the ones he was trying to get rid of.” – Bob Beckel on Fox News’ “The Five” Sept. 5th. …
For the record: … The Castro regime – with firing squads, forced-labor camps, torture and drownings at sea – has caused an estimated 102,000 Cuban deaths. … Nazi repression caused 172,260 French civilian deaths during the occupation. France was nation of 42 million in 1940. Cuba was a nation of 6.5 million in 1960. My calculator reveals that Beckel’s freedom-fighter caused an enormously higher percentage of deaths among the people he “freed” than the Nazis caused among the French they enslaved and tortured with the SS and Gestapo.
Beckel tells the “Fox Five” that the CIA killed many more people than Che and implies that in the 50’s the agency was Che’s enemy.
Yes. Bob Beckel, still stuck in his adolescent leftism which involves being forever against the establishment of his own country (“courageously”, such safe and privileged members of America’s progressive elite believe) clings to the opinion that the Castro Brothers were GOOD and the US government was BAD.
And actually, annoyingly, he’s only completely wrong in one of those judgments. The Castro Brothers and Che Guevara were as far from good as any savage tyrants could be, so he’s wrong there. But some parts of the US government were bad, not for reasons Beckel might like to intone, but, to the contrary, because they sided with the Castro Brothers – as Humberto Fontova goes on to explain:
In fact during the late 1950’s the Castro brothers and Che Guevara had no better friends – and Fulgencio Batista few worse enemies – than the CIA.
“Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” [said] Robert Reynolds, the CIA’s “Caribbean Desk’s specialist on the Cuban Revolution” from 1957-1960.
“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except (Republican) ambassador Earl Smith,” [said] CIA operative in Santiago Cuba, Robert Weicha.
And those brilliant minds, paid to gather accurate information, insisted that Castro and his cohorts had nothing to do with Communism:
“Don’t worry. We’ve infiltrated Castro’s guerrilla group in the Sierra Mountains. The Castro brothers and Ernesto“Che” Guevara have no affiliations with any Communists whatsoever,” [said] crackerjack Havana CIA station chief Jim Noel 1958.
Next, Bob brought out this old canard of the Left:
“Listen … when the CIA was complicit in the assassination of Allende [the Commie despot who was ruining Chile - JB], that was killing a head of state.”
Ground control to Major Bob: … The leftist [claim] that [Allende] was assassinated by the CIA was spun and spread only by the hardest of hard-left wackos. Not even Allende’s own family believed it. An investigation including an autopsy by Chilean authorities just last month confirmed that Salvador Allende committed suicide. Surely you read the New York Times, Bob?
Bob could brush that aside. His main business was to go on praising Castro’s revolution and regime for as long as breath was in him or until the alloted hour on Fox came to a close. He said:
“The idea of picking Che Guevara and calling him a mass-murderer is crazy.”
Yet Guevara himself confessed to being just that – with great pride, as Fontova reminds us:
“Certainly we execute!” boasted Che Guevara while addressing the hallowed halls of the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 9, 1964. “And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary! According to the “Black Book of Communism,” those firing-squad executions (murders, actually; execution implies a judicial process) had reached 14,000 by the end of the ’60s, the equivalent, given the relative populations, of almost a million executions in the U.S. “I don’t need proof to execute a man,” snapped Che to a judicial toady in 1959. “I only need proof that it’s necessary to execute him.”
The Left cannot hear that. Will not read it. To the Left, the savage Che Guevara is forever a hero. Why? Well, because, among other lies -
“(Che) did help Fidel Castro get rid one of the biggest thugs and murdering bastards there ever was, and that was Batista in Cuba.”
Now watch Fontova stride into the ring with his red muleta, and ready himself to administer, with one fatal thrust of his puntillo, the estocade - the coup de grace.
(And while he advances we must whisper that we are not admirers of Fulgencio Batista nor of labor unions, but that is not important at this moment of suspense.)
Here he comes – watch, listen:
Batista was a mulatto grandson of slaves born on the dirt floor of a palm roofed shack in the Cuban countryside. As President (via honest elections 1940-44, bloodless coup 1952-58) he always enjoyed the support of Cuba’s labor unions. And under Batista, according to a study by the International Labor Organization, the Cuban workforce was more highly unionized than the U.S. work force, with Cuba’s Industrial laborers earning the 8th highest wages in the world. …
Fontova the Toreador is leaning over the horns, his dagger is in place – now for the downward thrust:
So here’s Bob Beckel bashing a black politician of lowly origin who enjoyed overwhelming unionized labor support – while hailing the lily-white rich-boys, Fidel and Che, who outlawed labor unions and sent such as Richard Trumka and Jimmy Hoffa to the firing squad or prison. … Using liberals’ own standards Beckel sure sounds like an elitist – and a racist to boot.
Later the Toreador, in relaxed mood, tells us this:
No doubt Beckel picked up the leftist proverb about Batista as “one of the biggest murdering bastards there ever was” from a meme hatched in 1957 by a Fidelista Cuban magazine publisher named Miguel Angel Quevedo. The meme asserts that Batista’s police and army “murdered 20,000 Cubans” and is still parroted by the MSM/Academia axis.
For the record: Ten years after he hatched and spread the lie, Quevedo (from exile, he scooted out just ahead of a Fidelista firing squad) confessed to the lie and greatly regretted how the lie helped the propaganda campaign to put Fidel and Che in power. The regret for the calamity he helped bring upon Cuba was such that, right after signing the letter, Miguel Angel Quevedo put a gun to his head and blew his brains out.
Here’s Humberto Fontova and Nick Gillespie, the editor of Reason, with Glen Beck on Fox in the good old days before Beckel and the others replaced him, talking about Che Guevara.
And here’s an extract from Glenn Beck’s article, Exposing the Real Che Guevara:
“When you saw the beaming look on Che’s face as the victims were tied to the stake and blasted apart by the firing squad,” said a former Cuban political prisoner, to this writer, “you saw there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Che Guevara.” As commander of this prison/execution yard, Che often shattered the skull of the condemned man by firing the coup de grace himself. When other duties tore him away from his beloved execution yard, he consoled himself by viewing the slaughter. Che’s second-story office in Havana’s La Cabana prison had a section of wall torn out so he could watch his darling firing-squads at work.