President Tough Guy Readies Rifles to Face Kids With Rocks: Esequiel Hernandez and The Perils of a Militarized Border

So, our President – a barely human mixture of evil, ignorance and cruelty – has now issued his instructions for the troops being sent to our southern borders to meet the sinister immigrants he is using to mobilize his xenophobic supporters.

What sayeth our master of military strategy? Rocks are to be considered firearms and met with appropriate force. And while it is unclear if these are actually the rules of engagement given out by military leaders, his statement does send a confusing and completely unhinged signal to troops entering such a fraught situation.

If this “rifles against rocks” strategy  is something you find acceptable, you can stop reading here and switch to a site more comfortable with the perverse idea that deadly force makes perfect sense in the epic battle between privilege and human suffering.

But if the thought of armed troops in battle against rock-throwing children makes you sick to your stomach, stop whatever you are doing and see Kieran Fitzgerald’s shattering and cautionary film The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez. Released in 2007 and originally broadcast on POV, PBS’s premier showcase for award-winning documentaries for 30 years, the film details the 1997 killing by US troops of an 18-year old US citizen herding his sheep near the border.

My point? All manner of tragedy is possible when the lethal tools of excessive force are locked and loaded and under the direction of a maniacal, narcissistic commander in chief who actually seems to enjoy terrorizing the desperate, the hungry, the homeless.

Mr. Tough Guy. Pathetic. Despicable.

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Uncommon Political Courage

“Authentic  acts of political courage are like blazing comets in the sky. If we are lucky, we might see one or two in our lifetime, fleeting moments when the civic landscape is suddenly illuminated by  someone unafraid speak a harsh truth.
And it is those harsh truths that can empower us with a sudden moral clarity, allow us to set aside our usual self-deception, jettison the tyranny of reluctance grounded in fear, and begin the task of slowly and boldly building  a just world.”
Prof. D.M.M. Veste
Doctorat de Droit
Faculté de Droit et Science Politique
Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
Nice, France
Two Acts of Political Courage
1. Joseph Welch, 1954
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“Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I would do so. I like to think I’m a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me. …. “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
Joseph Welch, Chief Counsel for the United States Army, US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Washington DC, June 9, 1954, confronting Senator Joseph McCarthy,  who had cruelly and recklessly accused a young lawyer, Fred Fisher, of disloyalty.  This confrontation set  the stage for McCarthy’s eventual censure and defeat.
2. Khizr Khan, 2016
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“Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy … Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities … You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Mr. and Mrs. Khizr Khan,  parents  of US Army Capt. Humayun Khan, Democratic National Convention,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 28, 2016, asking that Republican leaders repudiate the virulent anti-Muslim hatred of a cruel and reckless Donald Trump.