Monday, July 9, 2018

American Thuggery

By almost any metric, the United States is a rogue nation. The depth of its depraved thuggery was recently made evident to the world:
A resolution to encourage breastfeeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.

Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.

American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breastfeeding” and another passage that called on policy-makers to restrict the promotion of food products many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.

Then the U.S. delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.
Captured by neoliberal forces, the once admired country resorted to mafia-like extortion to try to get its way:
Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.

The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.
Health advocates frantically sought another sponsor for the resolution, but none could be found as sundry countries cowered before the American behemoth. Then in a turn that amply demonstrates the inversion the world is currently experiencing, an unlikely ally came to the rescue:
It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them.
The move to thwart maternal health benefits is part of a much larger pattern of strong-arm tactics from a nation clearly unmoored from moral underpinnings:
The Americans also sought, unsuccessfully, to thwart a WHO effort aimed at helping poor countries obtain access to life-saving medicines. Washington, supporting the pharmaceutical industry, has long resisted calls to modify patent laws as a way of increasing drug availability in the developing world, but health advocates say the Trump administration has ratcheted up its opposition to such efforts.
God bless America? Not on your life.


  1. "It has now become apparent that our federal government has perhaps irrevocably destroyed the families of hundreds of asylum seekers by ripping children from their parents, then destroying the records of which children belong to which parents, and losing track in many cases both of the parents and the children involved.
    The children were kept in often horrific conditions–one child was apparently unbathed for 85 days and infested with lice, while others were bound to chairs naked in cold cells–as their parents were unceremoniously shipped away with no knowledge of where their children were or when, if ever, they would see them again. In some cases Trump administration cronies like Betsy Devos with conservative religious adoption businesses and organizations have been profiting by housing the stolen children. As the Trump administration, facing withering public condemnation and judicial demands, begins to comply with court orders to reunite the families, it’s not clear at this point that they’re capable of complying in many cases even if they wanted to.

    Worse, these horrors are not born of incompetence or even mere callous insouciance. They are an intentional act of political terror by our government, perpetrated against some of the most vulnerable and desperate people in the world for purely racist reasons.

    “Terror” is a strong word to use, and some might consider it a provocation. But I use it in the most profound and deliberate seriousness."

    1. Your post here exemplifies the depths to which the U.S. has sunk, Jay. One wonders whether they will ever recover any credibility on the world stage.

  2. The Party of Family values is really the Gotti family, Lorne. Trump picked up a few tips on the streets of New York.

    1. An excellent comparison, Owen. I hope that in the next election, Trump makes an offer the American people can refuse.

  3. In the consciousness of the world, there is an unbroken chain stretching from the horrible images of Abu Ghraib to those little kids pried from their mothers by US border officials. This, for most, is the face of 21st century America.

    Is it any wonder that people around the world list the United States as the greatest threat to world peace? They can't treat their own citizens with decency and respect. Why would they treat others any better?

    Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. That madness is expressed in hubris which is the hallmark of the United States in the 21st century. The Greeks knew that hubris is inevitably succeeded by nemesis. One of the first victims has been what little remained of American democracy.

    Well, they've made their choices even if they were shamelessly manipulated in the process. It's hard to imagine that this can be arrested, much less reversed, at this late stage.

    The world has become a far more dangerous and volatile place.

    1. Your invocation of Greek mythology is quite apt, Mound. When I taught, it was apparent to my students that hubris never has a happy ending.

  4. .. I keep seeing signs of a very strange 'civil war' underway. On the one side is the GOP, Trump, zillionaire donors, ignorant Americans and malignant media, such as Fox, Breitbart, Hannity, Alex Jones etc

    On the other side is the majority of American voters (citizenry) - most of whom resist a call to arms.. or to vote.. though the gerrymandering, election fraud etc actually is aimed at minimizing or stealing the black or minority vote.

    Somehow the GOP, Trump et al, hold the upper hand in all three levels of Government & are eagerly exploring the 'opportunity' & trying to set up for a 2nd GOP term while getting as rich as possible. According to some alert experts.. like Robert Reich, the Trump daily deceits and chest thumping, blared insults re 'no collusion, whitch hunt is a smokescreen to avoid what Robert Mueller is actually aimed at.. conspiracy, money laundering, Russian interference, obstruction of justice (a biggie), fraud, plus illegal use of charitable funds via Trump Foundation etc..

    What was behind the machinations of the breast feeding contravery has to be back room deal makings of dirtbag captured government.. and they are now hitting their stride at such actions across all sectors

    1. Those currently controlling the levers of power are brazenly pulling them to enrich themselves and their cronies, Sal. Democracy has rarely seen darker days, methinks.