On Friday, partial shutdown entered its 21st day, matching the longest previous one in 1995-96. Unlike then, there are no signs of imminent resolution.
Both sides of the aisle share blame for what’s going on. Things could go on much longer. Trump, most Republicans, and undemocratic Dems are dug in for the long haul over who’ll blink first.
Continued sturm und drang by both right wings of war party rule is all about seeking political advantage – unrelated to national security or a crisis along America’s southern border with Mexico.
What’s making daily headlines ignores vital issues affecting the great majority of Americans, along with a permanent US state of war on humanity.
It’s supported by both sides of the aisle, solidly for policies benefitting privileged interests exclusively at the expense of most others.
Conditions are worsening over time, not improving – whether Republicans or Dems control things. Instead of informing the public about what’s going on, major media suppress what’s most important.
While Rome burns, as the saying goes, they fiddle. Here are some top-featured Friday headlines:
NYT: “White House Considers Using Storm Aid Funds as a Way to Pay for the Border Wall”
Washington Post: “Trump eyes Army for building wall as he mulls emergency declaration”
Wall Street Journal: “White House Aides Explore Alternative Ways to Pay for Border Wall”
AP News: “Trump closer to declaring emergency; 800,000 won’t get paid”
Reuters: “As US shutdown nears record length, Trump weighs declaring emergency”
Fox News: “Trump says he has ‘absolute right to declare a national emergency’ in Fox News interview”
CNN: “The government is STILL shut down”
The White House website falsely headlined “The Crisis at the Southern Border Is Too Urgent to Ignore”
On Thursday, Trump perpetuated the myth about criminal gangs pouring into America through its southern border, “targeting unaccompanied minors for recruitment…smuggl(ing) firearms, weaponry, and other dangerous materials into the United States.”
Drugs trafficking is more facilitated than deterred by the US, entering the country through all its borders – from South and Central America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Since at least the early 1950s, there’s been a global CIA/illicit drug connection – involving the agency, major banks laundering dirty money, underworld figures, along with others in business and government.
US occupation of Afghanistan made the country the world’s leading opium producer, used to make heroin – after the Taliban eliminated most opium cultivation in the 1990s.
Before heading to America’s southern border for a PR photo-op stunt on Thursday, Trump perpetuated the myth about a national security crisis along the US border with Mexico.
In his January 8 Oval Office address, he falsely claimed NAFTA 2.0 will fund his wall indirectly. Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach called his claim “ludicrous,” stressing:
It’s “unclear if the deal will be enacted, and, if it is, the text does not include border wall funding directly nor would it generate new government revenue indirectly given that it cuts the very few remaining tariffs, not raises them,” adding:
“All imports into the United States from Mexico have been duty free for more than a decade, meaning that NAFTA trade does not generate money from Mexican importers for US government coffers and nothing in the NAFTA 2.0 changes that.”
“(I)t’s obvious that trying to connect NAFTA to funding for his wall decreases the likelihood Congress passes the revised NAFTA, even if Trump’s NAFTA-wall-funding claims are entirely without merit.”
On Thursday, Trump repeated the Big Lie about Mexico to pay for his wall, falsely claiming “(t)hey are paying for it (indirectly) with” NAFTA 2.0 that Congress may reject.
He’s “not prepared to” declare a national emergency, “(b)ut if I have to, I will,” he roared. “I have no doubt about it. I will” – claiming he has a legal right to do it.
The Supreme Court will likely have final say if he goes this far over nothing, over a political crisis unrelated to national security or conditions along the US southern border.
What’s been going on for many years is over deeply impoverished and repressed people – refugees and asylum seekers of the wrong race and ethnicity, fleeing intolerable conditions at home in nations run by despotic regimes the US supports.
If partial shutdown continues on Saturday, what seems certain, it’ll be the longest in US history – neither side willing to compromise so far, both sides seeking political advantage over the other.
What’s going on is one of countless examples of America’s deplorable state – an increasingly repressive plutocracy, not a democracy, waging endless war on humanity at home and abroad.
A Final Comment
Trump wants $5.7 billion for southern border wall funding. A previous article explained the following: Russia’s 37-mile fence, separating Crimea from Ukraine, cost less than $3 million.
At an equivalent cost-per-mile along the near-2,000 mile US/Mexico border, a similar barrier could be built for about $150 million.
It’s a tiny fraction of what Trump wants. Russia’s fence includes “an intricate system of (visible and hidden) alarm sensors,” night-vision security cameras, a video feed, and an alarm when anyone approaches a detection zone along its entire length – followed by an audible warning, according to Russia’s Border Service.
Russian efficiency and effectiveness are notable compared to notorious US waste, fraud and abuse, countless trillions of dollars wasted, much of it earmarked for advancing the nation’s imperium.
America’s FY 2018 federal budget exceeds $3.3 trillion, $5.7 billion a drop in the ocean. What matters is what US funding is spent for.
Discretionary spending is largely for militarism, endless wars, and corporate handouts – at the expense of vital homeland needs gone begging, further proof of a nation ill-serving its people.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Featured image is from Debbie Nathan