Who Taught Trump about Weaponized Migration?

Amid the ongoing family separation crisis, I want to look back at something that raised a few eyebrows among the more generalized nausea at Trump’s behavior at the G-7. The WSJ reported this comment Trump made to Shinzo Abe in the context of the horror it elicited from European leaders and along with a related comment he made to Emmanuel Macron.

At one point, Mr. Trump brought up migration as a big problem for Europe and then told Mr. Abe, “Shinzo, you don’t have this problem, but I can send you 25 million Mexicans and you’ll be out of office very soon,” according to the senior EU official who was in the room. A sense of irritation with Mr. Trump could be felt, “but everyone tried to be rational and calm,” the person said.

The EU official said at another point, in a discussion over Iran and terrorism, Mr. Trump verbally jabbed at Mr. Macron, “You must know about this, Emmanuel, because all the terrorists are in Paris,’” the senior official said.

What Trump is talking about when he suggests he could send 25 million Mexicans to Japan is weaponized migration, as envisioned here, the deliberate creation of migration influxes to take out a political leader. In spite of the salience of racism in our politics, it’s not a common concept here. But in Europe, where migration from a destabilized Northern Africa and Middle East poses (as I heard a few MEPs say just before the election in 2016) the single biggest threat to the EU project, it’s a very real concern. For some time, the political cost of her human rights approach to migration has been the key weakness Angela Merkel’s opponents exploit. And in the days since the G-7, the topic of migration has threatened, for the second time this year, to collapse Merkel’s governing coalition.

For some time, there have been signs that the migration from (especially) Syria had been weaponized in two ways: first, by the seeming release of waves of migration that in their intensity would overwhelm Europe’s ability to respond. And more importantly, by the inclusion of terrorists, including returning European Arabs, among the waves of migrations. Most notably, four of the men who attacked the Stade de France on November 13, 2015 came in with a wave of other migrants. While Europeans respond more rationally to terrorist attacks than Americans do, by tying this one to migration, it made the waves of migrants in Europe far more politically toxic than they would otherwise be.

And while it was clear that the migration from Libya and Syria was being orchestrated for maximum damage, at the time (and still) it wasn’t clear who was behind it. Turkey (as the host of many of the Syrian refugees), Saudi Arabia (which maximized the instability of Syria to support ousting Assad), and Syria itself were all possibilities. On February 25, 2016 testimony viewed as particularly inflammatory, then NATO Commander Phillip Breedlove placed the blame squarely on Russia and Syria.

To the South from the Levant through North Africa, Europe faces a complicated mix of mass migration spurred by state instability and state collapse.

And masking the movement of criminals, terrorists and foreign fighters. Within this mix, Daesh — ISIL or Daesh, as I called them, is spreading like a cancer, taking advantage of paths of least resistance, threatening European nations and our own with terrorist attacks. Its brutality is driving millions to flee from Syria and Iraq, creating an almost unprecedented humanitarian challenge.

Russia’s enter into the fight in Syria has wildly exacerbated the problem, changing the dynamic in the air and on the ground. Despite public pronounces (sic) to the contrary, Russia (inaudible) has done little to counter Daesh but a great deal to bolster the Assad regime and its allies. Together, Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponizing migration from Syria. In an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.

Around the time Breedlove gave this testimony, GRU hackers would hack Breedlove as a key focus of the DC Leaks campaign that paralleled — but should in my opinion be considered a separate campaign from — the hack and leak of the DNC.

So Trump’s comment, while addressed to Abe, was instead intended for the benefit of Macron and, even more specifically, Merkel, and subsequent events have only borne out the salience of the comment.

I want to know who prepped the fantastically unprepared Trump to deliver this line. Trump knows virtually no policy well enough to deliver a zinger like this, and yet he knew how best to deliver a line to exploit the real vulnerabilities of all the European members of the G-7. And while, from the comments kicking off his campaign by inventing rapist immigrations from Mexico, Trump is perhaps at his best when he’s mobilizing racism, this comment had a more sophisticated vector than his usual bombast. Further, Trump public comments are, so often, just a regurgitation of the last person he engaged closely with. Which makes me acutely interested in who has both the access and the ability to direct his interests such that he managed this line.

There are certainly candidates in his orbit. Obviously, Stephen Miller is all too happy to politicize immigration. But in truth, it’s not clear (though the jury may still be out) that he’s any good at it. The Muslim ban has serially backfired (though we’ll see what SCOTUS says in a few hours), and unified centrists and even conservative supporters of America’s wonderful diversity against Trump in early days of his regime. The family separation policy, thus far, has provided Democrats an effective way to humanize Trump’s vicious policies, and the White House’s failure to manage the messaging of Miller’s hostage-taking has only made things worse. The other key policy effort to politicize immigration, Jeff Sessions’ focus on MS-13, has largely been a laughable dud, both because those who actually comment on the policy recognize that MS-13 is an American phenomenon, and because MS-13 has never done anything as spectacular as ISIS and Al Qaeda with which to generate visceral fear or even much press attention on the policy.

Steve Bannon, who has hob-nobbed with the European far right and is far more sophisticated than Miller, is another likely source for Trump’s remarkably sophisticated understanding of weaponized migration.

I think neither John Bolton nor John Kelly would be the culprit, the former because he’s a different kind of asshole than the racists Miller and Bannon, the latter because his racism has always lagged Trump’s and he seems to have lost much of the control he has over Trump in recent days. Mike Pompeo is also a racist, and a savvy one at that, but I’m not sure even he is cynical enough to prep this line from Trump.

Whoever it was, that line is not just horrifying on its face, but horrifying because whoever explained how weaponized migration works when wielded by competent actors seems to have privileged access to Trump right now.

Update: I first posted this at 8:27. At , Trump tweeted this:

67 replies
  1. Trip says:

    My top pick is Dershowitz~Gatestone, Bolton~Gatestone, Bibi (equal with first two), Putin, then Bannon.

    • Rayne says:

      It was Bannon with Cambridge Analytica/SCL team (likely with backup from Putin given convoluted relationships seen with Brexit characters Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore).

      … Cambridge Analytica, Wylie claimed, had been involved in harvesting the personal information of some 50 million Facebook users without proper authorisation.

      And now Wylie has given further details to the Washington Post about how he worked with Steve Bannon, who was Cambridge Analytica’s vice-president between June 2014 and August 2016, with Mr Nix as chief executive.

      During this time, Wylie admitted, his data mining helped the firm discover how young, conservatively-minded whites responded positively to certain phrases, like “drain the swamp”, or “deep state”.

      The same groups, Cambridge Analytica found, also liked the idea of a big wall to keep out immigrants. …

      source: The Independent

      • Rayne says:

        Just realized Trump was already adequately prepped decades ago; his ex-wife Ivanka said he kept a book of Hitler’s speeches at his beside (source: Vanity Fair, 1990).

        If he was fond of Hitler’s speeches then he may have relied on the essence of his 1927 Nuremberg Rally speech:

        …As I have said, today one places no value on our blood, on the intrinsic value of our race, but rather apostles proclaim that it is completely irrelevant whether one is Chinese, Kaffir, or Indian. If a nation internalizes such thinking, its own values are of no use. It has renounced the protection of its values, for they too must be protected and encouraged. A people that sees its blood as worthless cannot possess the intrinsic will to withstand the competitive struggles of this world. It needs no great minds, does not even want them any more. It will inevitably believe that all people are equal in terms of blood, and will no longer have a need to rise above the others. That is why one needs great minds. It will no longer desire to rise, and that is why one needs great spirits. Since such peoples no longer value their race and see themselves as the same as everyone else, and no longer feel the inner need for happiness or great men, they can no longer struggle, nor do they desire to.

        That leads to what the large parties proclaim, namely to a nation that thinks internationally, follows the path of democracy, rejects struggle, and preaches pacifism. A people that has accepted these three human burdens, that has given up its racial values, preaches internationalism, that limits its great minds, and has replaced them with the majority, that is inability in all areas, rejecting the individual mind and praising human brotherhood, such a people has lost its intrinsic values. Such a people is incapable of policies that could bring a rising population in line with its territory, or better said: adjust the territory to the population. …

        …62 million people have an impossible amount of land. There are 20 million “too many.” This nation cannot survive in the long term. It must find a way out, which lies neither in the size of its population nor the amount of its territory. Divided in its energies, it must become the victim of those we all know to be our masters. Can that change in the coming years? No!

        That is the task of our movement. We are not burdened with the vast and wise experiences of other politicians. We entered political life as soldiers who served at the front while we were overcome by miserable little scum at home. …

        Trump’s tweet linked in Marcy’s update crystallizes much of the Nuremberg Rally into less than 280 characters.

        Trump may have been coached or had already known how insular Japan has been, but it would have taken very little to meld his understanding of Japan’s history with his personal values to project onto Japan a fear of a flood of migrants.

  2. BroD says:

    Immediately upon reading the headline query, I thought, “Bannon”. I think I’ll give myself a treat. Of course Miller no doubt is a contributor–interesting how he lurks quietly behind the drapes.

    • BroD says:

      I should add that I think it’s very astute to pick out this thread from the general fraying of diplomatic relations upon which the administration has embarked.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    An important observation. The Trump whisperer responsible would still be operating and could do considerably more damage. Again we have the Russian link and that the chaos and other consequences operate wholly in Russia’s interest.

    The whisperer would need routine access. Trump is receptive ground for racism, but he’s thick, takes in new data rarely and poorly, and retains it for short periods.

    As you say, the creativity in this particular racist thrust would never have come from Trump. It is too subtle, sharp and focused. MIller seems more interested in domestic applications of racism and in issues affecting Israel and its ultra hardline policies. This level of chaos in Europe would not seem to be in Israel’s interest.

    Bannon seems the usual suspect. It could also be someone who has the number for one of Trump’s unsecured phones, which opens the possibilities to a Russian or someone more familiar to Trump acting as an intermediary for them. That Trump seems abjectly, consistently and persistently promoting Russian interests is the most salient point.

    Oh, and what about those missing immigrant girls. Lots of pictures of boys and a few families before separation. But no coverage of groups of separated girls.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The family separation at the border seems right out of KUBARK and the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual.  Isolate, disorientate, pick the most innocent and vulnerable victims, tell them they brought it on themselves.  Colonial policing comes home.

      Ironic, given that the US developed this no-touch torture for use in our would be colonies in Latin America, to overthrow social justice reformers and impose dictatorships of the resource extraction elite, which created the failed states and state violence that many of these immigrants are fleeing by coming to the US.

      Miller and Sessions know their history of racism and policing, what works, and how to lie about it.  Their tactics are those of the CIA, not the Bible.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Jefferson Beauregard is lying again, this time to a bunch of friendly sheriffs.

      Immigrants bring children, you see, as a way to manipulate the good feelings of friendly Americans.  They are just tools of propaganda.  We have a generous lawful system.  We always take care.  We don’t arrest people at our borders who come here for asylum.

      That special place in hell is going to need Rowan Atkinson’s Beelzebub to organize the new arrivals.  Jeff and the Don will be first in line. Kirstjen Nielsen will be right behind them.

      Where are the little girls, Jeff?

      • Trip says:

        “Hey, that guy/woman is using a kid as a shield!”…Sessions, “Quick, shoot the kid!”.

        Karma is a bitch and I can’t wait until she pays a visit to some of these bitter, unloved, ugly pieces of sadistic excrement.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The needs of families the US is terrorizing come first.  That the US processes  them in this way is voluntary.  Being irrationally cruel to the most innocent and vulnerable is entirely the point.  Avoiding censure for it would be one reason the US is leaving the UN committee it has long sought to control.

      This Trump-Miller-Bannon policy – which Kirstjen Nielsen both flaunts and denies – also makes victims of its perpetrators, just as torture damages its perpetrators as well as its victims.  As is true in a dysfunctional family, they, in turn, will make victims of others in their lives, personally and institutionally.  We already see it in the absurd claims Kirstjen Nielsen makes as she attempts her role as Mike Pence in a skirt.

      We would benefit from paying attention to these knock-on effects of the Trump-Miller-Bannon policy of destroy it all, let God, the Russians or the Democrats sort it out.  The path of destruction is wider than we see at the moment.

      • posaune says:

        I’m wondering:  It’s really kid-napping, isn’t it?   Deporting the parent and keeping the child?  I wonder how many of these children have been transported across state lines?  Is there any approach the state AGs could take (injunction, etc.).

        What happened to the Lindbergh law?  doesn’t that address transporting a child across state lines?

  4. greengiant says:

    Who does Trump talk to besides Bannon and Stone? Was that tweet from Scavino/Parscale kind of people? I like this post.

    Anyone who has seen attachment disorder so bad that there is no conscience, no empathy is more than willing to impeach Trump now just on a fraction of the separated children. Conviction will require 67 senators. Perhaps the end game is to get this impeachment round one to fail before midterms so the GOP can flush itself entirely and impeachment round 2 will pass. No double jeopardy stay out of jail card in impeachment. Best done after the primaries.

  5. pseudonymous in nc says:

    The morning tweet was from Scavino (“tenuous” is the uncanny valley word there) but I don’t think Caddy Boy Dan has any concepts. I’m going to place an outside bet on Loud Obbs, who is apparently in regular contact with King Idiot and is very much in the Steve King camp. Or King himself.

  6. SteveB says:

    This maybe off piste but it would not surprise me in the least if Trump had not taken a call from the man he wanted to be UK ambassador to the USA, in prep for the G7 : Nigel Farage.

    Farage has been trolling Euro pols for decades, is well practised in delivering awkward zingers, has been weaponising immigration for decade while (incredibly) managing to maintain a thin veneer of teller-of-uncomfortable-truths to mask (with a nod a wink and a grin) his racism and xenophobia. Believer in border control, and disrupter of multilateral trade agreements. He is a people pleaser and a Trumpophile suck up. Also RT show host.

    A total asshole but knowlegeable, deft and dangerous.

    A nifty choice for a certain sort of pre G7 prep outside the State Department box.

    • harpie says:

      Carole Cadwalladr 22 minutes ago:  

      7:01 AM – 18 Jun 2018 Ah, interesting. Why has @Arron_banks blocked me? Turns out it was my tweet about @Nigel_Farage (& his central position in a web of relationships that link Trump & Russia) that seems to have done it…

      • orionATL says:

        harpy –

        your comment and steve b’s coincide with my conviction that brexit and the 2016 american presidential election are directly connected, though for what motive is unclear. it may be that these, and so easily exploitable a political issue as the “immigration hordes” issue which has been successfully exploited in smaller european countries, are all connected. if so, they may be connected thru some sort of informal network of rightwing ideologues like farage, mercer, and bannon.

        it would not surprise me at all to learn that there is a mutual benefit relationship between these folks and the present russian government. no one should doubt that thecrussians intend, as a defensive military strategy if nothing rlse, to do as much damage to both american and european unity as is possible.

  7. Bob Conyers says:

    The specific timing of this launch is beyond their capability, but early contributors to the idea may have also come from the Trump sons who are full of swamp fevers.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if there are advocates on the Hill. Again, they’re not the ones who have the access to suggest playing this particular card at this particular time, but I could easily see them lobbying Trump to wield this line of attack in general.

  8. SteveB says:

    @ harpie 10:26

    Well it struck me that NF would be an advocate for the several notable tracks of Trump G7 performance: I’m not sure that any American adviser would have prompted him to say the pro Russian stuff (for reasons of optics at this time ) whereas NF simply has to encourage Trump to be Trump, which pleases Trump most of all.

  9. Danno says:

    Alas, such weaponisation has always existed but in days gone by it was over Catholic immigration, etc.

    In Australia, the current form dates back to 2001. And right now Trump’s inhumane treatment of refugees has scary echoes to how Australia didn’t handle the weapinised xenophobia.

    Now … by calling the flows of people “migration” is already granting some of the argument to Trump.

    The majority of people arriving in this fashion are asylum seekers and it is legal for them to enter a country to plead for asylum in any way they can.

    • ANZAC Friend says:

      “In Australia, the current form dates back to 2001. And right now Trump’s inhumane treatment of refugees has scary echoes to how Australia didn’t handle the weapinised xenophobia.”

      John Howard, the Australian Prime Minster at the time (1991) took advantage of it, rather than not handling “weaponised xenophobia”. (Or perhaps I’ve misunderstood the concept of “weaponised xenophobia”). It was the beginning of Howard’s use of wedge politics. Despite the utter cruelty of his immigration policy towards “illegals”, “boat people” he did it it very successfully politically and culturally – relying on innate racism. Neither side of politics will end it now, it’s so entrenched. And this is despite the fact that Australia is a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees. For more information: https://johnmenadue.com/robert-manne-how-we-came-to-be-so-cruel-to-asylum-seekers-2/




  10. KH says:

    Don’t totally discount the possibility that Trump’s reptile brain has reflected on this issue more than any other & more than you give him credit for.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      With such little hands, he always relies on an extra pair to grasp what he needs grasped.

  11. Nigel says:

    while it was clear that the migration from Libya and Syria was being orchestrated for maximum damage, at the time (and still) it wasn’t clear who was behind it…

    Was it really so clear – was the mass migration not simply a side effect (however desirable from the regime’s perspective) of a brutal civil war ?

    While the emphasising the problems of mass migration has certainly suited certain actors (and it’s also quite conceivable that Putin’s later intervention was partially encouraged by the prospect of destabilising the EU), the war, and its refugees, would still likely have happened absent any outside intervention.

  12. Michael says:

    TrumpleThinSkin enjoys me-time on his cell with who-knows-who anytime … what, daily? It’s 21st century now; getting “face time” doesn’t involve hours on horseback. Trumps whisperer, if she does exist, need not be physically in D.C. She could be anyone anywhere. Which causes me to throw up hands and turn my energies to something that I know how to handle. Like making my lunch.

  13. Wes says:

    It isn’t the objective of monetary policy to destabilize the world order. However impeding the role of debtor nation-states to create order seems to produce instability as a byproduct.

  14. pseudonymous in nc says:

    I think Anne Appelbaum is right to read this as a (half-baked) call for regime change in Berlin. That would fit with it being the whisperings of someone wanting more instability in Europe, which points to Bannon (who was fascist-cosplaying in Italy for its election) or perhaps Farage & co.

  15. samuel morgan says:

    One only has to read the ABC “This Week” transcripts of the Bannon interview to see that it was Bannon. Even though he lies that he and Idiot Don don’t talk anymore.


  16. What Constitution? says:

    How long will it take for someone to replace the dog with a small Hispanic child on the cover of National Lampoon, changing the text to “Pay for the Border Wall or We’ll Kill This Brown Child”?

    Along these lines, will Ivanka be slapping one of her new Chinese trademarks on a line of “Republican Voter” brown shirts?

  17. Watson says:

    Given that Japan perceives its shrinking (because of aging) population as a crisis, it’s peculiar (i.e., racist and xenophobic) that Prime Minister Abe would view an influx of 25M Mexicans with horror.

    That any world leader would fear population decline shows how mal-organized we are. From a 1999 Cornell University study: ‘Democratically determined population-control practices and sound resource-management policies could have the planet’s 2 billion people thriving in harmony with the environment. Lacking these approaches … 12 billon miserable humans will suffer a difficult life on Earth by the year 2100.’ http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1999/09/miserable-life-overcrowded-earth-2100

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      More horrible to Abe would be that such a large number were non-Asian.  Culturally, Japan looks with intense disdain on its Indigenous Ainu – as Australian and North Americans of European extraction look upon their indigenous populations. Koreans are looked upon with almost similar disdain. Many of them came to Japan during the colonial period, formally 1910-45, but which began earlier.

      The large-scale use of Korean woman as forced prostitutes, servicing the Japanese colonial army, is also a background issue.  The arrangement is both one that Japan refuses to acknowledge or make reparations for, and continues to demonize Korean woman, specifically, and Korean people, in general.

      This is not esoteric knowledge.  Any State Dept, DoD, or intelligence official with the slightest familiarity with East Asia would be aware of that cultural dynamic.

      That Trump would mention large-scale forced emigration to Japan in the terms he did was both intensely insulting and a threat, not just an illustration for a talking point.  As EW said, this is most likely a gambit in some larger game.  It’s already an expensive one for US relations.

    • orionATL says:

      watson writes:

      “Given that Japan perceives its shrinking (because of aging) population as a crisis, it’s peculiar (i.e., racist and xenophobic) that Prime Minister Abe would view an influx of 25M Mexicans with horror.”

      the economic value and, in time, the economic necessity of immigration to meet labor needs in the face of a declining labor force is an issue that never gets discussed publicly in the u. s. these days. yet one only has to look around the united states to see how essential immigrant labor is in some sectors – farming and processing farm production for sure, but not that only – construction, food service, and hostelry too.

      that this major economic need of our society rarely gets publicly discussed, even by those corporations and businessmen who need and have come to depend on this labor, is something of a mystery. it may be because the natural advocates fear retaliation from the government (inspections and regulation) or from their customers.

      it seems certain that having an authoritarian like trump persistently exploiting what is our almost genetically encoded fear of having our culture changed or destroyed by strangers to that culture – immigrants – discourages public discussion of the very positive economic side of immigration. wr conveniently forget our own history of massive and economically beneficial immigration.

  18. Willis Warren says:

    I’d say that there’s more than destabilization afoot.  It seems to be a two pronged attack, send immigrants and watch fascist (populist) gov’ts emerge.  That those fascists gov’ts are friendly to Russia let’s you know where this is coming from.

      • Willis Warren says:

        It’s someone on the natsec staff, and it’s someone fairly recently put there.  So, who? do we have a list of Bolton’s staff?  I imagine there’s a grad student there from the navy who’s working on this

  19. Damiana Swan says:

    I suspect that whomever it was didn’t bother trying to explain the nuance and larger meaning to Trump.  It would have been much easier to suggest that (for instance) that Japan is a small country that doesn’t get many refugees, so Prime Minister Abe probably doesn’t realize the Yuge problem they are for us, and that if Trump just points out to him that if we sent HIS country 25 million Mexicans, he’d soon understand the problems involved.

    It seems to me that it has to have been someone that Trump sees as warm and sympathetic and believing that Trump truly wants the best for everyone.  He’s really vulnerable to that sort of flattery, and it would be significantly easier to project that sort of false persona to Trump than to successfully explain the complexities of European migration and economic realities, so that Trump actually understands it.

    So, someone who has a thorough understanding of Trump’s psychology, a thorough understanding of how to manipulate him undetected, and a thorough understanding of European migration issues AND how to weaponize migration, and an understanding of how Macron and Merkel would perceive what he was saying.

    Which honestly sounds like Putin, to me.  Bannon is a clumsy amateur in comparison to Vlad.

  20. gmoke says:

    Surprised the name “Sebastian Gorka” hasn’t been mentioned.  Órban and Fidesz have been playing on xenophobia ever since they got into office, first with the native Romany population (as there aren’t enough Jews left in Hungary to be a credible boogeyman – “George Soros” being the exception that proves the rule) and later with Syrian and other refugees.

  21. cfost says:

    This reminds me of how the Romans struggled to fend off the “northern hordes” at the Rhine.

    Right wing reactionaries like Bannon and Bolton are able to make political hay out of the immigration issue (along with, apparently, their European counterparts) because the left wing has been MIA for decades. Probably since The elder Bush changed the enforcement focus from the employer to the employee. Until we have an honest discussion of the real motives on both sides, the immigration problem will not get fixed, which is just the way many employers want it. If the real motive is control, then it is hard to imagine a better employee than an under the table employee, except publicly we’ll call them illegals and encourage fear of the immigrants and then we declare full employment and then we say we need “guest workers” at Mar a Lago and Bedminster. Who changes this dynamic? The immigrant? Of course not. But if you yourself are struggling financially, it is easier to be scared of the foreigner than to summon moral courage and change the dynamic. This dynamic is Trump’s political bedrock.

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Kirstjen Nielsen is the prom queen from the planet Ego.

    She must be vying to replace Sarah Sanders, because she is lying and using the same script the entire government is using to justify its intentionally cruel border policies. 

    Her circular mischaracterizations of the law and what her department is doing to enforce it – using priorities and methods of its own choice – are gross and misleading.  Her projection gives the impression that Donald Trump has acute self-knowledge.

    She should resign immediately, before the holy water boils away.

    Where are the little girls, Kirstjen?

    • Palli says:

      or should we ask where is Jeffrey Epstein?

      “Hiding the girls” I really can’t stand the audacity of flaunting the direct relationship to the Boco Haram kidnappings of girls.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Or we could ask Father Merrin’s successor to return to DC.  Plenty of work to go round.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Kamala Harris and other Democratic critics of Trump’s border policies are wrong.

    This Trump border policy is exactly who this administration is. They believe in this cruelty, they want this cruelty, they promised this cruelty, they delivered this cruelty, they will run on this cruelty.

    And that’s only one policy. Many others reflect similar goals of cruelty and destruction, most especially of the aspects of government that protect the common woman. Destruction from within is their objective and they are achieving it.

    If the Democrats and the chattering classes let these actors get away with it without consequence, if voters let the bulk of those who are up for re-election extend their public employment contracts this November, it will be who we all are.

    • posaune says:

      I agree that it is cruelty by design.  And very Karl -Rove-like.   Rove was a master of the two-fer or even three-fer from same evil plot.   And so it is here regarding the child welfare system: Force tens of thousands of lost, unidentified immigrant children into a sub-human temporary federal child welfare system (foster care) before dumping those children into state systems that are overwhelmed by the opioid crisis and sorely unfunded; or keep the immigrant children caged for years.   Will the states grovel for chump change the feds throw their way for providing care for these children?  These children will sustain far greater trauma than can be imagined — deeper than most foster children (whose trauma is significant);  these children have no language, know no one other than siblings if their lucky, have been torn from home, from parents, from every thing and person they know.   And this is by design, it is an outcome desired by the Trump Administration.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump’s ICE does not separate families.  It separates adults from children.  The children have no name, no gender, no age, they’re only identifier is that they are not adults.  The adults they arrest.  Their crime is not being black while living in America, it is wanting to live in America without having been born here.  They go to jail.  (Tom Sullivan, The Black Gate is Closed.)

      ICE assumes that without full documentation of the parent-child relationship – who has that while escaping an unlivable situtation and carrying a child 2000 miles? – the claimed parent-child relationship is a lie, a scam.

      That might explain that while ICE has facilities for holding prisoners, it has no facility to match parent and child, to track them, to let them communicate while decisions are pending, to reunite them.  DHS has not spent a bent dime on that infrastructure.  Chance or god will sort them out, I guess, but not Trump or his Republican administration.

      • Trip says:

        This is a rationalization. This entire, “They bring kids who aren’t theirs to get in the country” sounds a lot like Reagan’s “Welfare Queen” fairytale. Maybe it has happened as a few anecdotes, but where are the statistics PROVING this? Did they do DNA tests on all of the adults entering, as well as the minors?

        It also sounds remarkably like the voting fraud nonsense where illegals were supposedly voting for Democrats. We see what happened with that. It was absolute garbage.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        As paediatricians and other experts have said until they are blue in the face, the negative developmental aspects from the traumas induced by this Presidential Separation Program are legion, for both parent and child.  PTSD is the tip of the iceberg.  That’s intentional, too.

        This is a crisis manufactured for domestic political and electioneering effect.  What it will not do is end or reduce the number of those seeking to come to America.  That number, ironically, was already going down.  But those who do come are fleeing lives much worse than what ICE has in store for them.

        The non-denial denials, the mischaracterizations, the canned talking points, and outright lies coming from Kirstjen Nielsen rival those that erupt from the mouth of Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

        In the minds and hearts of neo-Confederates, neo-fascists, and the most ardent rightwing Trump advisers and supporters, this program is a warning. It is vicarious punishment (and satisfaction) for all the little brown people already here, many of whose families were brought here as slaves, who think they can vote and make progress and keep their citizenship. It’s a warning they should think again.

        • Trip says:

          I completely agree @earl.  Trump was ignored by his mother and he developed a personality disorder. Also, remember the Russian orphanages where children weren’t hugged or loved, and all the problems the adoptive parents faced with behavioral issues after?  It’s just as important for children to receive comfort and love than it is to receive basic needs like food and shelter. Oxytocin is produced, which is thought to be an important precursor of empathy. It has calming and bonding properties.

  24. cfost says:

    Several people in my acquaintance are actually quite happy with Trump’s (Bannon/Miller’s?) immigration policy. Many years of unaddressed and unresolved resentments have given rise to this situation: Democrats were so focused on the Hispanic vote that they forgot about the people who became Trump voters. See: the Great White Flight out of California. Who speaks for the many millions in this country who feel left out of both major political parties?
    I predict a major disappointment for the Democrats this fall, and possibly into 2020. Why? Can’t win if blacks and Hispanics don’t vote. The vote, as Trump has said, “is rigged.” Seen any good election security legislation lately? Remember Karl Rove in Ohio in 2012? Barring the sudden emergence of a Bill Clinton or an Obama, the dems are boring. My pick, Elizabeth Warren, would get the HRC treatment, and I don’t think she has the appetite for such distracting nastiness.

  25. Watson says:

    Americans and Europeans tend to see themselves rather than the displaced people as the victims, to the benefit of the right-wing scoundrels who incite religious and ethnic hatred. If liberals don’t come up with a practical, humane solution to immigration, they’ll be handing fascists the rope to hang democracy with.

    To be honest, I’m not prepared to take a refugee into my home. Humans have been migrating throughout history, usually fleeing hardship or danger. The solution must be on a global scale: a Marshall plan to bring the world standard of living into the 21st century, and compulsory mediation to replace warfare.

  26. Rusharuse says:

    Trump to Dems: “give me my wall and I’ll reunite the kids, no wall and the children keep crying . . and of course that will be your fault”.

    Sometimes called Chigurh (Anton) logic!

  27. orionATL says:

    i suspect trump will withdraw and declare victory on the child-separation issue soon.

    i am very interested in the reactions of religious groups. i understand that the southern baptists just expressed their serious concern with the trump seperation policy. similarly the united methodist church has criticized jeff sessions, a nominal member :), for supporting the policy.

    in general, the political calculation must be: how many do i satisfy vs how many do i enrage. i’d guess by now the number enraged has far exceeded the number mollified.

    the question for november is will this outrage last? and will it cause voters formerly tolerant of trump’s behavior to cancel their unquestioning loyalty and become more observant?

    you have to wonder about the president’s political judgment. the nation and its media mouths had just begun sappy and comfortable with trump as president when he goes and pulls this stupid stunt which penetrates ordinary citizens’ conciousness in a way that, e. g., no discussion of the work of the office of special counsel’s, can.

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