We Resist: Day 699

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures (plus the occasional non-Republican who obliges us to resist their nonsense, too, like we don't have enough to worry about) is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Earlier today by me: This Is Why Pelosi Has Earned Her Job and Facebook Allowed Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Sony, Spotify, Yahoo, and Others to Access Users' Data and Trump and Giuliani Are Lying Liars, as Usual.

Here are some more things in the news today...

Big foreign policy news today, as Donald Trump has declared: "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency."

Which was preface for the disclosure that the U.S. "is considering a total withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria."

A few problems, detailed by MSNBC's Richard Engel:

This is a very significant moment. There are many allies who will see this as a great American betrayal. What is happening right now, when you look at the president's tweet, when you look at statements to NBC News by military officials, this administration — the president — is going into the holidays and taking a "mission accomplished" moment, saying the U.S. under [Donald] Trump defeated ISIS, so now it's time to withdraw a significant portion of the U.S. troops in Syria, out of the country, out of harm's way, if not all of the troops.

And, on a certain level, ISIS has been pushed back. It hasn't been entirely defeated, but it has been pushed back. U.S. military officials say that the fight against ISIS in Syria isn't over, and then there is the other problem about our allies that we've been fighting with in Syria.

We have had — the U.S. military has had a very close partner in a Kurdish-led force, the YPG, also known as the SDF. This is a Kurdish-led force that has been fighting hand in glove with U.S. troops for about four years now. They have lost thousands of men; thousands of women fighters have also been on the front lines; in the last four years, fighting alongside U.S. troops, they've been able to carve out a successful mini-state right on the Turkish border. With U.S. troops leaving, that mini-state would be at risk. Turkey already says it wants to invade it.

So, not only is the fight not quite over against ISIS, according to the U.S. special envoy who deals with ISIS, according to U.S. military commanders that I've been speaking with; it would also put this very close ally that has sacrificed so much for the United States in a position of probably unsustainable peril.

[Female anchor offscreen says: "And Richard, big picture here: This is another example of [Donald] Trump taking one view; his own military taking another; and this conflict, or clash, that we've seen before on other issues related to the military, in this administration."]

So, this almost happened about six months ago. That's when I went into this region in northern Syria. The troops on the ground, the Kurdish-led partners on the ground, were very concerned, because [Donald] Trump, six months ago, was making statements like, the war against ISIS was finished; it's time to leave the area; the U.S. no longer has any purpose in being there.

And the military pushed back. There were a lot of private conversations; there were a lot of people talking to the president and those around him, saying, hey, look, I know you're the commander in chief, sir, but you might want to consider this — we're not quite finished with the war on ISIS; our allies will be destroyed by the Turks. And the administration backed off.

This time, with that tweet, with the number of comments that we've seen coming out, right out of the gate this morning, it doesn't seem like the White House is willing to back off again.
There's a whole lot there, but I want to emphasize this: "It would also put this very close ally that has sacrificed so much for the United States in a position of probably unsustainable peril. ...Our allies will be destroyed." This, of course, would not be the first time that the U.S. has betrayed Kurdish fighters — a grim legacy left out of the recent remembrances of George H.W. Bush.

Also, once again, I will observe that "working with Russia to defeat ISIS in Syria" was a possible tell about Russian influence within campaigns in 2016. And here is the final endgame of that fuckery: The U.S. will leave Syria, declaring ISIS "defeated," abandoning Syria to chaos which Vladimir Putin will further exploit.

Meanwhile: The U.S. has reportedly approved a $3.5 billion patriot missile sale to Turkey. Holy fuck.

Also: The U.S. Treasury Department is reportedly removing Russian aluminum giant Rusal from the sanctions list. Good lord.

I am so profoundly shaken and upset by all of this. I am so sorry for the Syrian people who wanted none of this. I am so worried about where refugees will find safe harbor. I am so angry at Donald Trump, and every person who has abetted him.

* * *

Erica Werner, John Wagner, and Damian Paletta at the Washington Post: Senate to Pass Bill That Would Keep Government Open, Deny Trump Wall Funding. "The Senate prepared Wednesday to pass a short-term spending bill that would keep the government open through the New Year but deny [Donald] Trump the money he wanted for his border wall — a stark retreat for Republicans in their final days in control of Congress. ...The outcome would temporarily break an impasse that threatened to shutter large portions of the government this weekend and send hundreds of thousands of federal workers home without pay just before Christmas. Trump has signaled his support for the plan but 'can change his mind if he wants to,' said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican. A senior White House aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the administration's position, said the plan is for Trump to sign the legislation."

Trump had better fucking sign this shit. It would be just like him to pull an unexpected reversal and refuse to sign it, throwing the entire federal government into chaos and harming federal workers right before the holidays. I hope, for once, he abandons his urge for malice and just signs the goddamn bill.

* * *

[Content Note: Nativism; abuse. Covers entire section.]

John Stanton at BuzzFeed: Another Migrant Girl Nearly Died After She Was Detained in New Mexico by the Border Patrol. "A young girl who was in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection went into cardiac arrest in November at a hospital in El Paso where she was resuscitated, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told members of Congress on Tuesday. The incident occurred in the same CBP sector where a 7-year-old Guatemalan asylum-seeker, Jakelin Caal, fell ill [and died] earlier this month."

Speaking of Jakelin Caal, I hope every person who felt compelled to sneer that her father is responsible for her death, because he took her on a journey through the desert in search of a better life, reads this. Elisabeth Malkin at the New York Times: In Home Village of Girl Who Died in U.S. Custody, Poverty Drives Migration. "Ms. Maquin has a simple explanation for why her husband joined a growing number of villagers and made the dangerous journey north: the absolute lack of alternatives in this lush but remote part of the country. Indigenous communities like theirs have endured centuries of poverty, exclusion, and repression by economic and political elites. ...Mr. Caal, like so many other migrants, may well have heard — from others who made the trip, or from the smuggler he paid to take him to the border — that he would have a better chance of remaining in the United States if he arrived with a child."

Julia Ainsley and Jacob Soboroff at NBC News: Advocates: Trump Admin Lying When It Says It Can't Process Any More Asylum Seekers. "Immigration advocates at the southern U.S. border say the Trump administration is lying when it says it's at 'capacity' and can't process any more asylum seekers at the ports of entry where migrants can legally claim asylum. On Twitter Monday night, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said 'the processing system at CBP and our partner agencies has hit capacity.' ...But Kara Lynum, a lawyer with American Immigration Lawyers Association who was held outside the Otay Mesa border station with the 15 Honduran immigrants Monday, said the station was not full."

Tom Phillips at the Guardian: Mexico Investigates After Teens from Migrant Caravan Killed Near U.S. Border. "Two teenage members of the migrant caravan have reportedly been murdered in Tijuana, a stark reminder of the dangers facing the tens of thousands of young Central Americans who try to reach the United States each year. The Honduran victims, aged 16 and 17, reportedly hailed from the violence-stricken city of San Pedro Sula, where the caravan set out from in mid-October before cutting north-west through Mexico towards the U.S. border." That's the cost of the Trump Regime's lies about being unable to process asylum-seekers.

Rebekah Entralgo at ThinkProgress: Members of Congress Caged at the Border While Standing with Asylum Seekers. "Two members of Congress, along with 15 asylum seekers and leaders from immigrant activist group Families Belong Together, were caged together overnight at the Otay Mesa port of entry near San Diego. The group intended to observe how detained migrants are treated when attempting to claim asylum. In a statement to ThinkProgress, Families Belong Together said the incident amounted to the Trump administration making a 'mockery of our long-held democratic values and our legal process.' ...According to [Democratic Reps. Nanette Barragan and Jimmy Gomez, who both represent the greater Los Angeles area], CBP agents routinely gave them a hard time, making snide comments and jokes at the expense of the asylum seekers." Seethe.

I'm so, so glad that Shaima Swileh is going to get to see her son, but this is no solution — granting exceptions to people whose tragic stories go viral. The Muslim ban must be lifted.

* * *

In good resistance news... Elham Khatami at ThinkProgress: Nevada Just Became the First State with a Women-Majority Legislature. "Nevada made history on Wednesday as the country's first woman-majority state legislature, after Las Vegas county officials appointed two women to fill recently-vacated seats in the state Assembly. The appointment of the two women — Democrats Beatrice Duran and Rochelle Nguyen, who is also the first Asian American woman to serve in her district — brings the total number of female-held seats in the Assembly to 23, or 55 percent of the 42-seat chamber. Women hold nine of the 21 seats in the Nevada state Senate, meaning 34 of the 63 total seats in the legislature are women-held. According to Rutgers University's Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), Nevada is the first state not only to have a female-majority legislature, but to even reach the 50 percent threshold of overall female representation."

And back to shitty news... [CN: Sexual harassment; racism; homophobia] Kate Riga at TPM: Ex-News Chiefs Booted for Sexual Harassment, Racism Team Up to Create New Outlet. "Ousted NPR and Fox News chiefs, booted due to sexual harassment allegations and accusations of racism and homophobia, respectively, have been recruited by former Fox News executive Ken LaCorte to head a new 'fair and balanced' digital news outlet. According to a Tuesday Politico report, Michael Oreskes formerly of NPR and John Moody formerly of Fox News will play a key role in assigning 'importance' to stories to avoid creating a partisan silo on the new site, LaCorte News. LaCorte told Politico that he is wholly unconcerned about the men's pasts, considering their ouster an overreaction."

Staff at the Feminist Newswire: Trump Administration Rescinds Anti-discriminatory School Discipline Policies. "Today the Trump Administration announced it would rescind parts of the Obama administration's 'Rethink Discipline' school policies; policies that ensured that minority students were not unfairly targeted for harsher punishments or disciplinary practices. The Trump Administration argued that the policies' efforts to reduce discriminatory punishments contributed to the increase of violence in schools. The Trump Administration created the School Safety Commission, led by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, after the Parkland shooting. Instead of focusing on gun violence and gun control, the Commission targeted Obama era school discipline policies that protect minority students from discriminatory discipline practices, even though the Parkland shooter was a white male."

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus