Curtain Raiser

Don’t Get Fooled Again, Colltalers

It’s time for a new, all-encompassing anti-war front. Against any war, but first, the one Washington hawks are salivating to start: a disastrous, if not civilization-ending, conflict with Iran. For it’d easily kill millions, and derail the fight against climate change.
Which it’s what we all should be really up in arms against, be it for the accelerating melting of Greenland’s million-year-old ice sheet, or for the fact that this year, the July 4th was hotter in Anchorage, Alaska, than in New York City, over 440 miles south.
There’s been yet another soul-crushing incident at the border with Mexico. Meet Sofi, a 3-year-old from Honduras, who has been asked by an agent to choose which parent she’d like to stay with since the other was going to be kicked out of the country.
It was but a moment, luckily exposed just in time to prevent further damage to her and her family – they were reunited and sent to Juarez, Mexico. But the point is: what have we become? children dying or missing, in cages, filthy, forced to make decisions they can’t grasp? How can Americans be OK with an administration so brutal to kids, wherever they are, come from or why?
The universal right to seek asylum, either for fear of persecution or grave threat, is a juridical concept recognized by ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Hebrews, adopted by the Christian church and the Western tradition, and still universally accepted as an inherent right. But the president thinks he knows better and wants to change that. And he will if the American people allow him.
The rule may also be illegal, besides being against basic human decency, solidarity, and compassion, the very foundation of living in society. It’s an unfair act inflicted on those who got hurt the most by the U.S.’s Central American policies. Now if only

we could find all this historical, unbiased information, so we could actually talk with each other, instead of hurling insults.
Surprise, surprise: if you thought you’ve already heard these words defining the right to asylum mentioned above, you’re right: it’s all lifted from Wikipedia, a source that many could use at least once, before opening their mouth and adding to the madness.
Questions also abound about former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony to House Judiciary and Intelligence committees this Wednesday. He may even shed new lights on the Trump administration’s malfeasances, but it may not be wise to place high expectations on someone who’s already had a chance to enlighten us, but has not, and failed at making himself even understood.
Even if he delivers an unlike bombshell, then what? It may only serve to instruct an impeachment process that’s now all but dead on the water. And it’s more likely to be used as fodder to confirm his previous, foggy, findings: the president sort of did it, but… The second time around there’s little doubt he did it all but would that be enough to derail the Trump 2020 ticket? Hardly.
Speaking of that, it’s doing wonders to normalizing hate. When the president paused to let his angry crowd chant ‘Send Her Back,’ during a rally in North Carolina, he was once again priming his weapon of choice to get reelected: sowing divisionism.
They were referring mainly to Rep. Ilhan Omar, but also to her fellow congresswomen, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, or the Squad, all ‘minority’ women of color. They’ve become a target to his white supremacist base.
To be sure Omar is being villainized also for being the very incarnation of an American dream: born in a refugee camp, she came to the U.S. to work and educate herself, and found her voice by representing others not exactly like her. But not like him. The Squad is now the vanguard of the Democratic Party, and possibly the only one with such a visceral mandate to defeat him.
They’ve cut through grandstanding, so the president and the producers of his White House unreality show, Fox News, are all out to silence them. It may take more than all Rupert Murdoch’s money, though, or what Steve Bannon may be able to squeeze out of coward billionaires. There’s a call to save the earth and they’ve raised their hands, to be counted. Let’s lend them ours too.
The biggest risk of getting into a messy war with Iran, as with any other nation for that matter, is that so many are not paying attention. In typical Trump fashion, there’s a show of mirrors, renewed every week, designed to capture the public eye, and not let it go until it engages. And that’s so easy; by noon whatever tweet or soundbite of his is already being taken as newsworthy.
As the media hammers the same rehashed points with hardly any corroboration, about missing tankers, near misses, and downed drones, for the rest of the afternoon and evening news programs, a few hundred bots spread the new rumor on the Web. All they need is to connect with online hordes of idiots, anxious for attention and voila, that’s your news day. Meanwhile, war closes in.
We won’t repeat the same playbook that led to the death of over 4,000 troops in Iraq, plus hundreds of thousands of civilians. We’ll say no for three reasons: Afghanistan, Iraq, and yes, we won’t let the president play the commander and win reelection.
We won’t send another few thousands of our young into harm’s way – note to oneself, many undocumented soldiers took bullets for this country and still have no Green Cards – or demand those left behind to stand up and sing hail to the great white chief.
Few know by heart what the second man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, said as he descended the steps of the lunar module. As it turns out, they didn’t have the same rehearsed gravitas of Neil Armstrong’s famous quip. Or made into the day’s headlines.
They did, however, have just the amount of triviality that makes great achievements relatable to anyone, almost like a routine comment. Except that it wasn’t, of course. ‘Wa’al, here I go, down the steps of the lunar lander to join Neil on the surface of the moon – careful not to lock the door behind me.’ Don’t allow anyone to shut the door of the world on our face. Peace, never war. WC


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