So now we’re a country that gasses children


Desperate refugees have arrived at the US border. They want to cross over to request asylum, which they have to do — they can’t stay in Mexico and make that legal request. So what do you do? Obviously, you close the border to everyone and fire tear-gas canisters at the families trying to cross.

Well, “obviously” for a fascist police-state run by racists, I guess.

Oh, America. How disappointing can you get? Don’t answer that, I’m afraid of the answer.

Comments

  1. says

    microfraptor@#1:
    Doesn’t that count as an act of war (and also a war crime)?

    One of the reasons that they use tear gas is because governments (the US is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of CS gas munitions) have decided that tear gas is not a weapon. Therefore, mumble, mumble, it’s not assault to use it against someone. Never mind if the person being attacked with tear gas feels attacked, they are not, in fact, being attacked. According to most of the governments of the world.

    I’ve been gassed with tear gas and it’s really unpleasant. Anyone firing tear gas at civilians is a criminal. Especially because they will pretty much only use it on unarmed and harmless civilians because the correct response when attacked with tear gas is to shoot the motherfucker.

  2. raven says

    Wikipedia:
    Risks
    As with all non-lethal, or less-lethal weapons, there is some risk of serious permanent injury or death when tear gas is used.[6][7][1] This includes risks from being hit by tear gas cartridges, which include severe bruising, loss of eyesight, skull fracture, and even death.[8]

    Tear gas cannisters can kill.
    How do you think they get from the police to the targets.
    They use launchers to propel them out bound.
    It’s being hit by a large, heavy fast moving projective.
    These can main and have been known to…kill.

    BTW, from the picture above, there are a lot of small children around.
    Imagine what happens when one of them gets hit by a tear gas cannister.

  3. zetopan says

    Other people’s children, especially non-white ones, are of less than zero importance to the Mango Mussolini in the White House. Trump has no lowest level where he will not stoop even lower.

  4. davidnangle says

    “tear gas is not a weapon…”

    Just imagine what it would be called if the refugees threw a canister or two at the border police.

  5. says

    Hell forfend I sound like fucking Pinker, but we haven’t had a Rosewood in a minute. Hm, or have we? The mass graves in TX speak otherwise. Is it worse to massacre people in their homes, or to massacre people while they’re on the road? Anyway, fuck ameriKKKa.

  6. brutus says

    We’ve been sliding downslope toward this renewed low for some time. I’m against gassing anyone. However, the story is more complicated than the headline “U.S. gasses children” allows. I’m vulnerable to what’s (allowed to be) reported, but several hundred immigrants rushing the border at once (overwhelmingly more young men than mothers and children if reports are to be believed) calls for some response other than (1) gas them all or (2) let them all in. The nuanced, humanitarian middle eludes me, frankly. We have laws, policies, and agencies to handle this very thing, but direction from the top is abysmal. It will probably get a lot worse as time wears on.

  7. gijoel says

    If Americans were fine with children being shot in their own schools, then why would you think they’d be worried about tear gassing them.

  8. Dunc says

    brutus, @ #9: The correct response is to provide whatever immediate medical or humanitarian aid is required, and then process their claims for asylum as required under international law. If those claims are found to be without merit then fair enough, but they have the right to make the application and for that application to be given fair consideration.

  9. says

    Cross posted from the Political Madness All the Time thread.
    Comment 410. Comments 407, 408, 409, and others in that thread are also relevant.

    From Wonkette’s coverage:

    In another escalation of Donald Trump’s war on immigrants, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents fired tear gas into Mexico Sunday to teach those people a lesson.

    Hundreds of migrants had been protesting the US’s deliberate slowdown of processing requests for asylum at the San Ysidro port of entry. After Mexican police blocked a pedestrian bridge, part of the group crossed a dry concrete riverbed, and some attempted to get through fencing at the border.

    CBP agents fired at least two volleys of tear gas, which drifted hundreds of feet, gassing not only people trying to get through the fences, but also women and children who were nowhere near them. Fox and Friends was there to assure us, though: Tear gas is really just nacho dust. […]

    The most important thing to remember is that all of this is perfectly normal, and all the people who got gassed were totally asking for it by being poor and fleeing violence in Central America. And yes, there really were some people in the group doing a bad thing:

    An Associated Press reporter saw U.S. agents shoot several rounds of tear gas after some migrants attempted to penetrate several points along the border. Mexico’s Milenio TV showed images of migrants climbing over fences and peeling back metal sheeting to enter.

    Honduran Ana Zuniga, 23, also said she saw migrants opening a small hole in concertina wire at a gap on the Mexican side of a levee, at which point U.S. agents fired tear gas at them.

    Children screamed and coughed. Fumes were carried by the wind toward people who were hundreds of feet away.

    “We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,” Zuniga told the AP while cradling her 3-year-old daughter Valery in her arms.

    […] how many members of the group were doing those bad things? Buzzfeed reports a Mexican official said approximately 30 migrants actually breached the border and were arrested by the US, but there wasn’t any confirmation of that number from the US side.

    Also, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement (about which there has been no confirmation except from Kirstjen Nielsen) that some of the migrants “sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them,” ergo, all the thousands of refugees trying to keep their children from being murdered in Honduras don’t deserve asylum and definitely deserved to be gassed, and plenty of fine patriotic Americans on Twitter wish the Border Patrol had used live ammo. […]

    The Washington Post helpfully notes that presidents don’t actually have the power to “close the border permanently,” no, not even crazy presidents who have made ending immigration their best-selling brand. And even though Trump really, really wants to radically revise how asylum works (to the point of effectively ending it), so far, the courts won’t let him. And under US law, anyone who makes it to US soil is still entitled to ask for asylum, even if they didn’t cross at a port of entry.

    Of course, the problem with insisting that asylum seekers only go to ports of entry is that US officials are also restricting access to that option.

    […] At other ports of entry, border guards have been doing all they can to physically block people from even setting foot across the border. It’s a hell of a catch: You must come in the right way, but we won’t let you come in that way, either. […]

  10. says

    From The Washington Post:

    […] Attempting to stop them short of the border appears to be just what Trump may be planning.

    Had the migrants made it to the border and presented themselves as asylum seekers, U.S. officials would have been required by federal law to consider their claim before sending them back to Mexico. Indeed, they are required to do so whether the migrants cross at a designated point of entry or anywhere else. […]

    American Civil Liberties Union immigration attorney Lee Gelernt told The Post on Sunday night. If and when an agreement is worked out, the law says, “there needs to be an assurance that individuals waiting on the Mexican side are safe, not just from the Mexican government but from gangs” and others.

    “We believe it would be impossible for the U.S.” to make that assurance, he added.

    That last statement, from Lee Gelernt is very important.

  11. jrkrideau says

    Hasn’t Trump completely closed the border there? It is probably a bit difficult to apply for asylum if you cannot get the immigration officer in the first place.

    There must be a lot of businesses a trifle annoyed with Cadet Bonespurs if the border is completely shut in San Diego.

    Anyway, what’s a bit of gassing when the USA is helping Saudi Arabia starve tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Yemeni children?

  12. F.O. says

    As someone who got his fair share of teargas in the Athens riots: no it’s not true that tear gas can only be thrown by launchers, there are canisters that can be thrown by hand and they wouldn’t risk injuring anyone via impact.

    On the other hand, calling them “teargass” is an euphemism.
    I was healthy, in my late 20ies and still struggled not to fall on the pavement.
    It enters your throat, burns your lungs and makes it hard to breathe. The blindness, tears and burning eyes just help breaking people.
    Using it on children is outright criminal.

  13. archangelospumoni says

    Is this a surprise?
    Really–a genuine surprise that Drumpfh’s people would do this?

  14. Ishikiri says

    Well, I hope that the raging erection this caused to Stephen Miller was the most painful thing he’s ever felt in his life.

  15. methuseus says

    @Marcus Ranum #3:

    I’ve been gassed with tear gas and it’s really unpleasant. Anyone firing tear gas at civilians is a criminal. Especially because they will pretty much only use it on unarmed and harmless civilians because the correct response when attacked with tear gas is to shoot the motherfucker.

    I’ve never been gassed with tear gas, but I have to assume it’s worse than cutting onions, and the pain associated with that makes me sometimes stop cutting the onions and take a break for a few minutes before continuing to cook. I can imagine that tear gas is exponentially worse. So how is it not a weapon?
    I guess it’s not the white phosphorus that Israel has used on Palestinian children in the past.
    @WMDKitty #18:

    Fuck. That’s monstrous. How much longer do we have to wait until Trump gets tossed out?

    Agreed. Unfortunately, most likely a little over two years, if it even happens then. It would take a massive turnaround from Republicans and non-confrontational Democrats to make it happen any sooner. The only bright side is, barring any pre-emptive pardon from the next President a la Ford, lots of charges could conceivably be brought once he’s out of the White House.

  16. grumpyoldfart says

    So now we’re a country that gasses children

    Back in the good old days you were burning children with napalm (but they were Vietnamese kids so maybe their stories don’t count).

  17. Jazzlet says

    methuseus @#22
    Lucky you, I can not cut onions up as I can not see to do so, the tears flow too profusely when I try. I’ve a friend who was by chance a tourist in Paris in 68 who was able to lead the rest of her party of trainee nurses doing Paris away from the riots, as she wears an unusual contact lens that covers the entire exposed sclera of her eyes; the lenses look like an hemisphere of glass with a hole at the centre to permit sufficient air entry so they are not ‘glued’ to the eyeball by suction. The rest of the party were weeping so profusely they couldn’t see, and in enormous pain, having talked to one of them I don’t think cutting up onions has anything on CS gas.

  18. says

    So now we’re a country that gasses children

    Back in the good old days you were burning children with napalm (but they were Vietnamese kids so maybe their stories don’t count).

    So because it happened in the past we should just turn a blind eye and not do anything about it in the present?

    Fucking ass…

  19. Knabb says

    This is an entrenched institutional problem – teargassing children in particular is an American tradition, and one we’ve seen multiple times recently (see: Standing Rock). Removing Trump helps, but there’s a whole lot more cleaning to do after, starting with thorough investigations into the last several decades of what the various police institutions involved have been up to. It’s border patrol this time, but they’re not the only ones.

  20. cvoinescu says

    methuseus @ #22:

    I’ve never been gassed with tear gas, but I have to assume it’s worse than cutting onions, and the pain associated with that makes me sometimes stop cutting the onions and take a break for a few minutes before continuing to cook.

    This is entirely besides the point, but: wear safety goggles when cutting onions. They block enough of the aerosol to make it a much less unpleasant experience. Cheap goggles, like these, work well — no need to spend more than $2 or so.

    I wish there were equally simple solutions to the rest of the stuff on this thread.

  21. DanDare says

    Getting Trump out of the White House is a good start. But the US seems to need some cultural change. And the world does too.
    Here in Australia it’s still a vote winner to treat refugees badly and decry immigrants. When the voters stop supporting this shit that’s when it disappears.
    Interesting the defenders of this immorality pull out the old “others did worse” fallacy.

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