By Robert A. Vella

The imagery paints the picture of our troubled world.  Dictators and would-be dictators believe they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and for any reason they want.  They are superior, in their own minds, to everyone and everything around them including human decency and the accepted laws which should govern all of us.  Even our science-based awareness of reality is subordinate to the dictator.  They are a malignancy growing inside the body of humanity and proof positive that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Under the direction of would-be dictator Donald Trump, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers fired tear gas at Central American migrant refugees yesterday on Mexican soil in a clear violation of international norms and U.S. asylum laws.  From:  ‘These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas.’

A little girl from Honduras stares into the camera, her young features contorted in anguish. She’s barefoot, dusty, and clad only in a diaper and T-shirt. And she’s just had to run from clouds of choking tear gas fired across the border by U.S. agents.

A second photograph, which also circulated widely and rapidly on social media, shows an equally anguished woman frantically trying to drag the same child and a second toddler away from the gas as it spreads.

The three were part of a much larger group, perhaps 70 or 80 men, women and children, pictured in a wider-angle photo fleeing the tear gas. Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon shot the images, which provoked outrage and seemed at odds with President Trump’s portrayal of the caravan migrants as “criminals” and “gang members.”

Further reading:  U.S. closes major crossing as caravan migrants mass at border in Mexico

Meanwhile, an actual dictator and Trump’s buddy – Vladimir Putin – attacked Ukrainian ships near Crimea in an obvious escalation of Russian aggression just before the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  By flexing his military muscles ahead of the international meeting, Putin is making a bold proclamation of his power which is also presumably intended to remind the U.S. President – who is reeling from an election defeat and worsening legal troubles – of their personal relationship.  Although Trump’s U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley criticized Russia today, Trump himself has said nothing.

From:  Ukraine to vote on martial law after Russia seizes boats in Kerch Strait

Ukrainian lawmakers were set to vote Monday on whether to implement martial law after Russia seized three Ukrainian navy ships and detained 24 sailors in a key waterway that holds strategic importance for both countries.

The incident on Sunday marked a major escalation in tensions between the two former Soviet Republics. NATO has called for calm, and an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting will be convened Monday to discuss the issue.

Ukraine said the small gunboats Berdyansk and Nikopol and the tugboat Yany Kapu were attacked by Russian forces after entering the Kerch Strait, en route to the city of Mariupol, on Sunday.

Video of the incident released by Ukrainian officials appeared to show a Russian ship ramming the Ukrainian tugboat.

Trump’s domestic problems keep getting worse.  On the heels of a damaging defeat in the 2018 midterm elections which will shift control of the U.S. House of Representatives to the opposition Democrats, the Mueller investigation is closing in on Trump’s inner circle.  See:

‘He has moved incredibly quickly’: Mueller nears Trump endgame

Alan Dershowitz says Mueller report will be ‘devastating’ to Trump

George Papadopoulos to start 14-day prison sentence Monday

Roger Stone pal Jerome Corsi says he plans to reject Mueller plea deal on perjury count

Furthermore, Trump and the GOP’s regressive tax cuts – which only benefited rich people and corporations – has increased the federal budget deficit and America’s national debt so dramatically that economists are fearing a downturn or even recession on the horizon.  Exacerbating the economic concerns are Trump’s ill-conceived protectionist trade policies which will be addressed at the G20.

From:  Trump demands action to reduce deficit, pushes new deficit spending

President Trump is demanding top advisers craft a plan to reduce the country’s ballooning budget deficits, but the president has flummoxed his own aides by repeatedly seeking new spending while ruling out measures needed to address the country’s unbalanced budget.

Trump’s deficit-reduction directive came last month, after the White House reported a large increase in the deficit for the previous 12 months. The announcement unnerved Republicans and investors, helping fuel a big sell-off in the stock market. Two days after the deficit report, Trump floated a surprise demand to his Cabinet secretaries, asking them to identify steep cuts in their agencies.

From:  GM will stop building cars at 3 North American factories and cut its salaried workforce by 15% in 2019 as it shifts to electric and self-driving cars

General Motors announced on Monday that it would stop building vehicles at three factories in North America in 2019.

According to the automaker, the Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Michigan; and the Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio, each will be “deallocated” by the end of 2019 as GM reorganizes its manufacturing capacity to focus on electric and self-driving vehicles and prepares for a downturn in the auto market or a weakening on the US economy.

From:  RPT-GLOBAL ECONOMY-Breakthrough or breakdown: G20 sets trade war turning point

PARIS, Nov 23 (Reuters) – The United States and China have in the coming week what may be their last chance to avoid a dramatic escalation in an increasingly dangerous trade war when their presidents meet in Buenos Aires.

With global growth increasingly suffering from frictions between the two biggest economies, tensions will come to a head when Donald Trump and Xi Jingping meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina.

With all this domestic and international turmoil, Trump is traveling to Mississippi to campaign for a Republican candidate in an upcoming special election for the U.S. Senate who is embroiled in racist and white supremacist controversies.  From:  ‘Segregation academies’ are common remnants of Mississippi’s troubled history

Today, while some argue that the prevalence of these private schools in states like Mississippi is because public schools there are deteriorating, experts point to the founding of these schools to show a troubling racist history that was never addressed.

The Jackson Free-Press brought the issue to the forefront when it reported on Friday night that Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith attended Lawrence County Academy in Brookhaven, Mississippi, during the 1970s. The now shuttered school was founded in 1970 to flout the integration order and had a confederate general mascot, according to the local weekly.

Hyde-Smith on Tuesday faces a contentious run-off election for Mississippi’s Senate seat against former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, who is black.

And, the dance of the dictators doesn’t end there.  In Australia, another would-be dictator is going off the rails.  From:  Australia’s PM rebukes schoolchildren protesting over climate change

Most politicians go to great lengths to avoid alienating large sections of the population, but Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison apparently didn’t get the memo as he blasted schoolchildren who are organizing protests for climate action.

“What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools,” Morrison said during question time in Parliament Monday.

Young people are planning a series of strikes over three days starting Wednesday, walking out of classes to draw attention to the lack of political action on climate change.

9 thoughts on “Dance of the Dictators: Trump fires tear gas at migrants while Putin attacks Ukrainian ships

      • Thanks, from that article:

        By the time I reach the migrant caravan in late October, they had been traveling for two weeks since leaving Honduras, having covered over 600 miles. Leaving from San Pedro Sula, one of the deadliest cities on Earth, they had set out over mountains, through forest and rivers, and along the way became both an international menace and a symbol of hope. Most days, they tell me, afternoon rains had soaked their belongings. Ants had bitten them where they slept. Crossing into Mexico, riot police had attacked them with clubs and teargas.

        But for the most part, they say, people had displayed extraordinary kindness. Farmers had greeted them on the roads with sliced oranges and bags of water and strangers had given them rides. Every day brought these tiny, unexpected miracles: a plate of beans when their children were crying, a pickup when their legs could go no further. And for that reason, they believe that God is traveling with them on this journey to America.

        I discover them in San Pedro Tapanatepec in the southern state of Oaxaca, traveling along the Pan-American highway, on what turned out to be the toughest day of the journey. The towns had been small, and few vehicles had passed along the country roads. Most of all, it had been hot, with temperatures reaching 95F (35C). Families with children had walked over nine hours and, once arrived, had collapsed into every nook and crevice of the town.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. As usual, an impeccably written report, Robert. Thank you for giving us this information in your so readable style. As to the contents, I’m too heart broken to say anything. Silent tears…

    Liked by 4 people

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