Monday, June 10, 2024

Biden's Berlin Wall

Biden’s Berlin Wall

by C.A. Matthews

Having worked closely with immigrants over the years, I can’t help but take each setback in their collective struggle for equal rights and justice as personal. So many come to the US fleeing gang violence, destitution, climate catastrophe, religious and racial discrimination… And what do they find when they land on US shores? Often more of the same.

The US hides its bias behind a veneer of supposed legality and practicality. But is it really legal? Take for instance Biden’s latest twist in immigration law that prevents individuals from claiming asylum when they come to our southern border. In other words, he wants to get rid of US Code 8, Section 1158 which clearly states:

§1158. Asylum
Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien's status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title.

It’s pretty straightforward. If you are fleeing for your life, and you claim asylum, you are to be given an asylum hearing inside the US no matter how or where you enter the country. Until your claim has been adjudicated by an immigration judge, you're allowed to stay safely within the US. That is the law.

But Genocide Joe is trying hard to get the Trump bigots on his side for the upcoming presidential election. He has decided that brown and black people who usually enter on foot at our southern border shouldn’t be able to qualify for asylum even before they can open their mouths to request it. It's telling how immigrants with money (usually white and European in origin) can fly directly into any US airport and request asylum then and there, no problem. Very telling.

Does the president even have the authority to prevent non-citizens from entering the US? Some say he does under INA Section 212(f), however:

INA § 212(f) does not allow the president to interfere with or subvert other parts of the INA or other federal laws. That includes INA § 208, which grants people the right to seek asylum in the United States… While 212(f) authority has been used in recent years in an attempt to restrict access to asylum at the U.S./Mexico border, the courts have identified significant limitations. Some courts have also ruled that the president may not invoke this authority to address purely domestic considerations, such as high unemployment or costs to taxpayers. From Understanding INA Section 212f

The ongoing genocides in Gaza, Sudan, and other parts of the world—along with a potential for World War III involving Ukraine to begin any day now—have stolen the news limelight lately, making this heinous stunt violating human rights at our southern border almost invisible to the majority of Americans. But these types of violent conflicts are the driving forces behind much of the immigration to the US today. 

The US is the driver of its own immigration problems because it can’t keep itself from stealing others' land and resources. It can't stop itself from overthrowing democratically elected governments in countries that won’t do business with American businesses on US corporations' terms alone.

Until we shut down the US war machine and dismantle the military-industrial-Congressional complex, we’re going to see more and more people coming to our borders fleeing from the violence and climate catastrophes the US military has instigated in their homelands.

As the executive director at Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) states:

"This move to drastically reduce asylum access is dangerous, immoral, and illegal," said Anna Gallagher, executive director at CLINIC. "We are appalled that the United States is abandoning its commitment to humanitarian protection and national and international asylum law in issuing this executive order. The policy will strip countless migrants of their legal right to seek asylum with due process, and as a result many lives will be endangered and lost, and families separated."

Who really needs due process or to respect the legal rights of others, huh? Obviously, we’ve decided that the migrants we don’t want to let in for whatever reasons don’t have any rights at all. It was bad enough when Trump and his cadre use the misnomer “illegals” to describe immigrants coming to our border seeking asylum, but now we have Butcher Biden continuing the Trump tradition of separating family members, separating children from their parents. This move will cause ever more desperate immigrants to seek the services of human traffickers to help smuggle them into the US. More deaths, more lawsuits, more unhappiness…

The US Southern Border Wall

I talked to our resident historian, Coast Watcher, about the walls at our southern border, the barbwire-covered walls circling the bomb-pummeled territory of Gaza, historic walls such as the one that divided East and West Berlin. That got Coast Watcher thinking about how certain patterns of history are once again repeating themselves. 

Is Biden really trying to keep desperate people out of the US, or is he very slyly trying to keep desperate Americans locked in? Why would the Biden administration fear Americans escaping? Are there not enough cannon fodder (soldiers) for a big war planned in the near future? Should we expect American citizens to be denied human rights like we're currently denying them to asylum seekers, like the Israeli government denies the rights of the indigenous Palestinian people?

The New Iron Curtain?

by Coast Watcher

A common theme of far-right criticism leveled at Biden is, “He’s a Commie!” On the face of it such an accusation is far from accurate. Biden was, is, and (for what little remains of his putrid life) always will be a conservative authoritarian.

And yet, that little comment throws up a few surprising parallels between the United States of Israel—er, America—with the former Communist
Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR. In English, we called it the German Democratic Republic, or more commonly East Germany.

The first parallel is how in both nations the mainstream media was/is almost entirely state-controlled. (Not
owned by the state necessarily in the US but controlled.) Little is published that contradicts or criticizes The Regime. Social media takes up a lot of the slack here in the US, but with increasing levels of censorship it’s taking on the appearance of samizdat. In terms of online material much that is frowned upon is self-censored by the corporations who own the social media platforms on behalf of the status quo. 

A recent example of censorship in Biden’s America is how the Columbia Law Review’s website was closed down by the university board of directors after the site published an article by Rabea Eghbariah criticizing Israel.

Secondly, there’s
The Regime’s obsession with walls. The DDR created a beauty when it erected the Antifaschistischer Schutzwall (the Anti-fascist Protection Barrier, a.k.a. The Berlin Wall, a.k.a. The Iron Curtain). Supposedly a wall against the pernicious influence of capitalism, the Berlin Wall acted to prevent the hemorrhaging of the East German population to the West. Something in the region of 20% of the DDR’s people voted with their feet against the totalitarian regime during its existence, causing immense harm to the DDR's economy and its image.

Part of the Gaza Wall

Of course, both Biden and Trump claim the wall built along America’s southern border is to prevent mass illegal immigration. Looking at posts on X (Twitter) from people seeking to leave the increasingly totalitarian United States, I wonder how long it’ll be before the border wall is turned around to face inward. If the US wants you to stay put, you will be walled in similar to how the Gazans have been walled into their own homeland by the white settler colonists, a.k.a. Israeli Zionists.

The DDR shut down political dissent as soon as it appeared. We’re seeing that very same phenomena in the United States nowadays. Police response to pro-Palestine demonstrations on university campuses has been far beyond proportional to any trouble caused. Zionist vigilantes have been allowed to beat up on student protesters while the cops look the other way and arrest the peaceful students who were beaten. 

The message is clear. There is to be no resistance, no objections to the official narrative. Anyone who supports the Palestinian people are “Hamas” and subsequently “terrorists” to be locked up.

And when it comes to protesting the government’s policies in any way, shape or form, here’s a quote from Police Superintendent Larry Snelling in reference to the upcoming so-called “Democratic” Party conference in Chicago: “Protesting peacefully doesn’t always mean you’re protected by the First Amendment.”

What’s free speech good for if you can’t even be protected from harm by your own government while exercising your First Amendment rights peacefully? The East German Stasi would have been proud.

CodePink SE Los Angeles and Inland Empire joined other activists in vocally disrupting Vice President Kamala Harris’s guest spot on the Jimmy Kimmel Live television show. They were forcefully removed, assaulted, and illegally detained by the show’s security. So much for free speech anywhere in the US.

And then there’s the economy… The DDR suffered massive financial stress due to its totalitarian policies. Everything from food to furniture to cars became harder for the workers to afford. The East Germans were left with rising food costs and increasingly decrepit infrastructure.

The United States is on course for the same trouble with, as an example, a week’s grocery bill for two people in New York City costing over $750. The price of eggs has skyrocketed. Locally this most staple of cheap foods costs about $1.49 a dozen as of this past week. What will it cost next week? Will working class people even be able to afford eggs at all by November?

And it’s not like the US has experienced any recent example of infrastructure failures such as derailed trains carrying toxic chemicals deliberately set on fire in the middle of a small town or bridges falling over from a small tap from an overloaded ocean-going container barge.

It should be noted that the DDR was not above dealing with the hated Capitalist West when it came to earning hard currency to keep its failing economy afloat. The DDR took incredible quantities of industrial waste from West Germany, dumping it on its own soil and causing pollution for generations. Sounds familiar when you consider how states like Ohio take in toxic fracking water waste to make some extra cash at the expense of their own citizens’ health when the pollutants leak into their drinking water.

It's not hard to draw a parallel between the East German government taking capitalist cash like this and the US taking “backhanders and gifts” from oil companies to license fracking and drilling for oil on federal lands and preserves. In the US they sometimes call this money influx “campaign donations.”

Of course the DDR government paid little to no attention to climate change. Thirty plus years on from the Berlin Wall’s collaspe, the US government is doing as little or less. This in spite of record-breaking heatwaves across the Southwest and dramatic flooding in parts of the Central and Eastern states so far this season. There are just too many more important things to occupy the attention of the powers-that-be, like growing the US military budget.

When it came to the DDR’s military budget, it was given a 6% increase each year until it reached the point where the regime’s military became a major partner in the Warsaw Pact alliance. Military and security expenditures amounted to a 9.2% slice of the DDR budget, a sizable chunk of change.

The US military sucks up a woeful 14.7% of national expenditure. It’s not like that money could be spent on things like universal health care or providing a free education from kindergarten through college such as the East Germans had. We wouldn’t want Americans to become used to things like that. They could become “Commies.” And who really wants that?

When it comes to the government, the East German public had little say in how it was run. Show elections happened every few years. You might think there would be a big difference between the DDR and the USA when it comes to elections, but the Princeton study shows real input from the American public amounts to no more than 3% of all policies fielded in Congress. This is much like the DDR, where the status quo Communist Party always won 98% or more of the vote—something which was shown to be false when independent observers oversaw the ballot count in the elections of May 1989.

That particular election led to huge trouble for the DDR government, paving the way for the massive uprising against the totalitarian regime that threw down the Berlin Wall and brought about German reunification.

But it’s not like that at all in the US where exit polls are no longer taken in presidential elections. It’s not like Americans don’t have a wide variety of candidates to choose from when they open up their ballot for president every four years… Even in states like New York that force independent and third party candidates to collect 45,000 verified signatures within a short six week period. No comparison at all to GDR with its limited choice of candidates. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along now.

Perhaps my analogy will only go so far, although the parallels are there to see. Perhaps someday Americans will finally tell their bought-and-paid-for politicians where they can shove their military budget appropriations and demand serious and lasting beneficial changes for the people—hopefully before we all get blown to hell by the nuclear fires of World War III. 

The Berlin Wall
US military spending
 DDR military spending

Don’t Forget the USS Liberty’s Dead and Wounded

Related Articles and Other Interesting Links

Understanding INA Section 212f

‘What Are They Afraid Of?’: Columbia Law Review Board Shuts Down Website Over Nakba Article 

Peace Activists Assaulted And Forcibly Removed From Jimmy Kimmel Taping

Biden's new immigration order restricts asylum claims along the border.

A century ago, anti-immigrant backlash almost closed America’s doors

'Historic, But So, So Late': Israel Added to UN's Child-Killing 'List of Shame'

Israel has bombed a school less than a day since it bombed the last one

Israel kills over 200 Palestinians to rescue 4 captives; U.S. allegedly involved in operation

Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the USA

Rights group accuses Israel of hitting residential buildings with white phosphorous in Lebanon

US weapons parts used in Israeli attack on Gaza school

US Bombs Used in Israeli Massacre of 40 in Gaza Refugee Camp

Israeli forces killed captives during Nuseirat 'massacre', alleges Hamas

US Targets Journalists Who Criticize Administration's Foreign Policy

State department says it's Hamas' fault Israel won't accept Biden's peace deal (Hamas is willing to accept the deal)

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If You Want to See White “Supremacy” at Work, Don’t go to a Trump Rally, Observe the Democrats’ Approach to Climate Change

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Police Are Sending Student Protesters to the ER. Campus Cops Don’t Keep Us Safe.

The Fight for Palestinian Recognition in American Academia

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Russian warships will arrive in Havana next week, say Cuban officials citing ‘friendly relations’

Israel Reportedly Used Fake Social Media Accounts To Garner Support From US Lawmakers On Gaza War

When Opposing A Genocide Means You're A Nazi

Everything About Israel Is Fake

The Media Skew Public Perception By Manipulating People's Attention

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Police Can Be Held Liable for Killing a Dog but Not a Black Person

Mexico Elected a Climate Scientist. But Will She Be a Climate President?

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  1. Yep, I can see the increasingly rapid slide toward totalitarianism here in the US. Both sides are equally to blame for it.

    1. "Both sides" a.k.a. the uniparty or duopoly are taking so much lobbyist dosh from the military-industrial complex that they don't care what they're called anymore--they just want more money. It's time to kick these narcissist out of office and lock them up. We need People, Planet and Peace so the whole world can be a safer, kinder and cleaner air & water place.


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