When US citizens in US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES think MOVING FORWARD is simply about pushing those old and poor citizens out of these cities to bring in new, fresh, young citizens----with that same 5% to the 1% continuing to be in this OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE global 1% freemason and GREEK brotherhood----they are not looking to what FAILED STATES----TRIBUTE STATES look like for those middle and affluent classes. IT IS A MESS FOR 99% OF WE THE PEOPLE.
Far-right wing global corporate fascism is about erasing cultural norms and restructuring society around the next NEW WORLD ORDER. We talked about collapsing of a sovereign nations currency and Rule of Law bringing mass starvation, lack of basic home energy resources----the breakdown of public services and programs ----replaced by global NGOs which has been happening in US cities these few decades. MARTIAL LAW is critical for the global 1% in taking control of any nation----a these narco/terrorist structures prime for those far-right wing, authoritarian, militaristic dictatorships----that is what civil unrest and wars in Asia, Latin America, Africa, Middle-East have as goals---all driven by that same global 1% and World Bank/IMF
NOTHING KILLS PUBLIC HEALTH MORE THAN A DELIBERATE, PLANNED MOVING FORWARD TO A FAILED STATE-----A NARCO-STATE AS EXISTS IN MEXICO AND LATIN AMERICA.
Africa is slated to be completely devastated with this installation of Foreign Economic Zones by that 1% of African leaders working with the 1% of US leaders. Where African nations have in modern history seen failed states using starvation and military weapons in keeping the 99% of citizens down---we now see the same NARCO STATE in Africa as in Asia and Latin America. This is WORLD BANK/IMF/GLOBAL 1% CARTEL---and indeed it is coming to US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
Narco-States: Africa's Next Menace
By DAVIN O’REGANMARCH 12, 2012
Since emerging as Africa’s first narco-state in the mid 2000s, Guinea Bissau’s slide toward instability has been swift and precipitous. The homicide rate has spiked by 25 percent and is now nearly three times the global average. Meanwhile, poverty levels have remained near the very bottom of world rankings. Over the last five years its score on the well known “Failed States Index” has plunged more than any other country.
Cocaine traffickers, mostly from South America, first visited this sleepy West African country almost a decade ago. Guinea Bissau offered a backdoor route into the booming European cocaine market and was virtually risk free on account of its weak, easily corruptible government agencies. Co-optation, after all, is the preferred method of South America’s drug cartels.
Narco-corruption quickly penetrated the highest levels of power, including the office of former President João Bernardo Vieira, who was assassinated in March 2009. Leading military officers have since been designated “drug kingpins” by the U.S. government. As a result of such corruption, the narcotics trade flourished and may now surpass the entire value of the national economy.
Were Guinea Bissau an isolated case, these events would be sad but strategically insignificant. Unfortunately, the country may be but Africa’s first narco-state.
In recent years, traffic in heroin, amphetamines and cocaine has expanded dramatically across Africa, growing into a roughly $6 billion to $7 billion illicit industry on the continent, according to conservative estimates. As in Guinea Bissau, these drug profits are filtering to the upper echelons of power in Africa, even in some of the continent’s so-called “anchor states” such as Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Members of Parliament, police officials and government ministers have been implicated in drug smuggling over the past year.
This raises a host of concerns.
Narco-corruption imperils the continent’s recent unprecedented economic boom, which averaged 5 percent annually over the last decade and is projected to outstrip all other regions in the next five years. Likewise, roughly 60 percent of African countries are now on a democratic path, a trend that could easily be reversed with the instability brought on by drug networks. Trafficking also threatens to destabilize an increasingly vital supplier to global oil and gas markets, including a fifth of U.S. oil imports.
Ominously, Africa’s growing drug trade is also amplifying a range of international security threats. Hezbollah and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have become involved in narco-trafficking. They earn millions from Africa’s cocaine trade. Much of this money may go to purchasing the sophisticated weaponry that has flooded Africa’s black markets following the fall of the Qaddafi regime, including Semtex explosives popular with terrorist groups that were recently seized by Nigerian security units following a battle with Qaeda militants.
The African trafficking corridor to Europe also provides South American groups a low-risk alternative to the increasingly cut-throat cocaine transit routes in the Americas. In Pakistan, where the heroin trade continues to fuel instability and violence, Africans account for roughly half of all annual drug trafficking arrests.
Most worrying is the persistence of these challenges. The prolonged drug violence that continues to claim thousands of lives in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala and elsewhere is tragically clear evidence of such intractability. Narco-trafficking is by definition a transnational challenge. Therefore, this shouldn’t simply be viewed as an African problem.
Modest efforts have been made against Africa’s accelerating narco-trafficking networks. The United States has frozen assets and imposed sanctions against a few alleged African drug traffickers, including Mozambique’s richest citizen and a major donor to the ruling political party as well as an assistant trade minister in Kenya.
If more frequently used and reinforced by similar pressure from European and other governments, these tools could deliver even better results. Were the African Union to impose restrictions and embargoes, as it did during a recent political crisis in Guinea, breakthroughs in deterrence and cooperation toward a more comprehensive counternarcotics agenda could be achieved.
In Africa’s drug trafficking hubs such as Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya and South Africa, a primary aim must be to stem traffickers’ infiltration of critical state institutions. Africa’s anti-corruption commissions and offices of inspectors general should be strengthened with expanded authorities, resources and autonomy. Political party systems must also become more transparent and accountable to prevent drug profits from buying Africa’s elections, which are becoming more frequent and expensive.
Now is the best chance to head off the creation of more narco-states in Africa and prevent a new scourge from sinking roots in this long-suffering continent. The job will be much harder once the kingpins are running the show.
The people repeatedly calling the US a FAILED STATE needing to be completely dissolved and rebuilt are of course those 5% to the 1% doing anything global 1% tells them-----it is the global 1% telling us the US is now a FAILED STATE----as we see below UK and soon Europe will all be called FAILED STATES-----OPEN BORDERS is necessary for MOVING FORWARD NARCO STATE MARTIAL LAW AUTHORITARIANISM ----where everyone is now a suspected 'TERRORIST'.
- The UK is now a failed state - Al Jazeera Englishwww.aljazeera.com/.../uk-failed-state-150508081114858.html The UK is now a failed state. ... You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, ... Now, they're being forced to go home. Refugees, ...
WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% simply need to educate what FAILED STATES these several decades of REAGAN?CLINTON global neo-liberalism have looked like to see MOVING FORWARD US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES----look at this from a public health stance. Those dastardly 5% to the 1% global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organization leaders KNOW THIS is to where our US cities are heading---they support all the policies and laws MOVING FORWARD this destabilization. This is the policies of BUSH/OBAMA these several decades what we call DEEP, DEEP, VERY DEEP STATE.
The U.S. Is a Failed State: Dissolve It
By Michael S. Rozeff
July 23, 2013
America is a very sick patient with a curable cancer that, if left alone, will cause death. The cancer is the Union or the state known as the U.S.A. More commonly, the Union and the U.S.A. are referred to as the U.S. government, the federal government or simply the government. It is the body established by the Constitution that administers the powers described in that Constitution. Phasing out and dissolving the U.S. government, which can be done by constitutional means, will remove the cancer and restore a degree of health.
Ending the Union will certainly not cure all of America’s ills, because they trace back to wrong and false ideas. These are like bad habits, genetic and environmental factors that cause cancer. If they are not changed, the cancer will come back. The search for non-destructive politics is as never-ending as the search for health and longevity.
The main reason why Americans should dissolve the Union is that it is a failed state. For those who believe in the efficacy and goodness of states, their most essential, central and important task is to keep the peace within their domain. This goal entails protecting the lives and property of the citizens under its protection, the people of the United States.
Perfection of the government at keeping the peace is not to be expected. A certain amount of failure of a state to keep the peace is normal and tolerable, but at some point when war becomes the norm or becomes so extensive, permanent and destructive that keeping the peace is all but forgotten or impossible to attain, we can safely declare that the state has failed. This has happened with the U.S.
It diverts us too greatly to recount in detail the history of the repeated failures of the U.S. government to keep the peace. The Civil War (1861-1865) was a notable failure, the end result of which was a Union no longer operating under any pretense of consent but instead at the point of a gun.
The Spanish-American War followed by the Philippine-American War set the U.S. on a path of empire, which necessarily could not be peaceful because it would involve Americans in global conflicts.
The next step was to abandon neutrality altogether, and that occurred when the U.S. entered World War I. The U.S. even invaded Russia in 1918.
In the early twentieth century, the U.S. began operating under the deeply flawed idea that keeping the peace within America could be and had to be accomplished by violent interventions in other countries. Peace through war, anywhere and everywhere that it seemed necessary and feasible, became U.S. doctrine. Making the world safe for democracy became the doctrine, with the emphasis being on the word “making”.
The American empire rested on a firm belief that good results could arise from high-level and centralized control. This control mentality saw nothing wrong with using force to achieve and maintain that control. The erroneous belief, held deeply by the U.S. government, was that power and control could mold societies, peoples, economies and governments into peaceful forms.
World War I plus the U.S. push into the Pacific and the Pacific Rim were major factors leading to U.S. participation in World War II, a huge failure to keep the peace. The Korean War was closely related.
The American war machine, the military-industrial complex, that was built up required oil, and the U.S. began to intervene in the Middle East.
Eventually the U.S. began to invade countries outright, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya.. It began to have military, training, arms and support operations in dozens of trouble spots, like Yemen and Syria. Keeping the peace came to mean perpetual war.
One of the most signal failures of the U.S. to keep the peace by protecting the lives and property of its citizens was 9/11. The huge might of the U.S. military, police and intelligence agencies operating worldwide had led to a retaliation by terrorists that this same might failed to prevent.
The highest officials of the U.S. began forecasting that eventually a nuclear attack by terrorists would occur on American soil. They were mongering fear but in the same breath they were admitting that the U.S. government had failed at its most basic mission.
Consequently, the people now became subjected to disturbances of the peace instituted by the U.S. government. Far from keeping the peace, the government instituted unnecessary and intrusive invasions of lives and property in the name of protecting its citizens. What stronger marks of a failed state could there be than the DHS, the TSA, the growing brutality and militarization of police, and the wholesale surveillance of the NSA?
But there is more, far more.
I do not limit the term keeping the peace to consideration of needless foreign wars. Like most terms, the word “state” has changed meaning over time. The term “state” in the medieval tradition at one point referred to the state of the commonwealth, the state of the public thing. The Romans called it the public affair or res publica, which is the root of republic. Today, the government has drawn the economy into its sphere of influence. Whole sectors and industries have been made into a public affair or thing. Here too there is a signal failure to keep the peace. Peace in the economic realm means smoothly functioning free markets, not widespread unemployment, large social welfare programs, controlled health care, controlled education, cities going bankrupt, bubble markets, wealth transfers to an oligarchy, an unstable currency, and huge interventions in mortgage markets.
Keeping the peace in an economy cannot be done by expanding the mentality of control to economic regulations, controls, licensing, taxes and subsidies of industries. All of this is the very opposite of keeping the economic peace. All of it is the violent intervention so ably brought to our attention by Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.
In the area of the Bill of Rights, the U.S. government is mounting attack after attack. These abridgements in rights are further evidence of a failed state. They are direct attacks on the peace. So are war crimes, the use of torture, the use of kidnappings, arbitrary imprisonments, and denials of rights.
Courageous individuals, such as Assange, Manning and Snowden, have been attempting to awaken the American people to the failure of their government to keep the peace. This is because other institutions that might possibly have held the government to some sort of account have utterly failed to do so, at least so far. Social institutions like the church and the media, have failed to pressure the U.S. to change. They have, in fact, largely supported the government. The lower courts have proven to be an inadequate barrier against government’s failures in keeping the peace. The two-party system has failed to produce a peace party with influence. Intellectuals, journalists and opinion-makers have failed to set peace as their objective and rally the public around a peace movement. Instead, we see success of warmongers, fear mongers, and those who benefit from war.
The major purpose of government, according to its supporters, is to keep the peace, which means protecting rights, freedoms, lives and property. It cannot be done by invasions of these. The U.S. government has failed so badly that today we wonder what bad thing it will do next. We wonder if there are any institutional limits to what laws the U.S.A. can enact. We wonder what powers the Executive will claim next. We wonder what the government will do next to its citizens. Since the Supreme Court, which is part of the U.S.A., claims the power to decide what is lawful and what is not, we wonder how there can be any legal limits to government usurpations and tyranny.
When there are failures in any activity, we look to find out their causes so that we can remedy them. This is not being done with respect to the failure of the U.S. government. There is failure in the feedback cycle, a break in it that prevents error correction. The system is not under proper control, not that it ever has been or can be. The government doesn’t even admit failure, even when it is far larger and worse than Watergate. Partisanship is not enough to produce feedback and correction as in the Watergate case, not when both parties are war parties. The utter failures to keep economic peace go uncorrected because both parties believe in and benefit from economic control.
The average person is thwarted. He or she can criticize the people occupying the positions of power and attempt to elect others, but it’s fruitless. Americans can change administrations, but if the laws remain intact, this is to no effect. The government operates under the theory that the laws it makes stem from the people via their representatives and their government. Hence, no matter what laws they pass, they are a-ok. Once elected, they are empowered to do as they please and feel it’s the will of the people. The people who believe in this system cannot recognize insidious usurpations and tyrannies. They cannot identify the seat and root of the usurpations and tyrannies, much less remove them. They are caught in the snares of their own democracy. If the government is not keeping the peace, they hardly see it, much less understand that the form of government – the system itself – is at fault.
The U.S. is a failed state. It doesn’t keep the peace. This has been the case for a long time, but the productivity of the American people papered it over. Each in his own way, Assange, Manning, Snowden and other whistleblowers are telling us that the U.S. has not been keeping the peace. Just the opposite.
The U.S. government has gone into denial mode, attempting to paint these messengers and men of conscience as enemies of the people, spies and traitors. What have they actually done except to reveal information that is a necessary but not sufficient condition for recognizing and correcting government failure? Under the dominant theory of government that now is widely held, no people can control its government unless they know what that government is doing. The traditional Fourth Estate has not been up to the task. That is why these men have come forward.
Dissolve the Union. Dissolve the U.S. government. Do it in steps, if need be, but do it. Do it constitutionally or by actions deemed constitutional by the individual states. America is one big pressure cooker and the U.S. government is keeping the lid on. There is no need for an explosion. Remove the U.S. control and the natural energies of a free people will be released productively.
To understand Trump's chest thumping over mega-bombs overseas and sending in the global militarized police and security forces to US cities filled with gun violence and illegal gun trade----we need to understand the MARCH TO MARTIAL LAW OVERSEAS IN NATIONS MOVING FORWARD TO FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE STATUS.
Each government in Latin America taken by global banking neo-liberalism with an installed 1% leader all went through these same stages.
This is why REAL left social progressive Democrats and REAL right wing conservative Republicans have shouted these several years against HOMELAND SECURITY----the expansion of militarized policing and equipment into our communities----and of course the excuses used for ending all our CIVIL LIBERTIES----in this case illegal uses of MARTIAL LAW.
Baltimore was of course one of the first to use OBAMA'S enhanced MARTIAL LAW powers giving the ability of global 1% to declare the entire nation all at once under MARTIAL LAW----this is necessary in ALL FAILED STATES.
With this coming deliberate and planned economic collapse from massive US Treasury and state municipal bond market fraud installed by 5% to the 1% CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA we are MOVING FORWARD TO FAILED STATE/MARTIAL LAW----ergo----far-right wing extreme wealth extreme poverty LIBERTARIAN MARXISM.
This is to how the GOOD COPS/BAD COPS are now aligning themselves. They are not politicians---they are not elected to serve WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% ---they are simply rogue global Wall Street players.
All of this MOVING FORWARD TO MARTIAL LAW was installed during BUSH/OBAMA----and Trump will simply have the pleasure of being that brutal instigator.
Making Martial Law Easier' in the U.S
Article with 3 Reads
1st Kevin H. Govern
Fiscal Year 2007 legislation gave Homeland Security professionals cause to re-examine domestic employment and deployment of military forces, and more specifically, military control over law and justice enforcement - sometimes referred to as "martial law." In September 2006, Senator Leahy of Vermont warned about proposed Fiscal Year 2007 Defense Authorization Act changes to U.S. laws which would: "Fail the National Guard, which expects great things from us as much as we expect great things from them. And we fail our Constitution, neglecting the rights of the States, when we make it easier for the President to declare martial law and trample on local and state sovereignty." Some months later, after the Defense Authorization Act passed into law, the New York Times and International Herald Tribune published a February 19, 2007 article titled "Making Martial Law Easier." That article claimed that the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (JWNDAA) was: "A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington ... that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night. So it was with a provision quietly tucked into the enormous defense budget bill at the Bush administration's behest that makes it easier for a president to override local control of law enforcement and declare martial law."In this article I posited that "martial law" had not been made easier, nor did the then-current state of law and policy override local control of law enforcement under ordinary circumstances. Instead, the JWNDAA had prudently advanced an evolution rather than revolution involving over a century of federal troop deployments and 200 years of legal precedent. The Insurrection Act of 1807 was one of the first and most important U.S. laws on this subject, and was followed some 71 years later by the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which further limited executive authority to conduct military law enforcement on U.S. soil. Each of those laws has evolved over time, and consistent with the times and the popular will expressed through Congress.Epilog: In 2008, these changes in the Insurrection Act of 1807 were repealed in their entirety, reverting to the previous wording of the Insurrection Act that in its original form was written to limit Presidential power as much as possible in the event of insurrection, rebellion, or lawlessness.In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama signed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 into law. Section 1031, clause "b", article 2 defines a 'covered person', i.e., someone possibly subject to martial law, as the following: "A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces."
Trump would start this FAILED STATE MARTIAL LAW MOVING FORWARD in Chicago because Chicago is ground zero for GLOBAL NEO-LIBERALISM AND EMPIRE-BUILDING LAISSEZ-FAIRE and has a Rahm Emanuel and Obama ready to get that 5% to the 1% working towards far-right, authoritarian, militaristic, LIBERTARIAN MARXISM----ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE----it's all about love, peace, and harmony!
The NARCO-STATE in US is found in abundance in LA, Chicago, and NYC before it was made the land of global 1%. So, Trump is setting a PRECEDENT IN US for this use of MARTIAL LAW that our US Constitution forbids for just the reason of TYRANTS AND USURPERS of governance.
No, the 5% to the 1% global Wall Street 'labor and justice' leaders are not mad=====they knew this was all part of MOVING FORWARD ----Clinton/BUSH/OBAMA MOVING FORWARD failed state.
REAL left social progressives have been fighting global Foreign Economic Zone economic policies killing our US cities ----we have been fighting against massive defrauding of all Federal agencies tied to helping the poor by 5% to the 1% players---this is the problem but these FAILED STATE conditions MOVE FORWARD killing a public militia at the time of taking US to COLONIAL TRIBUTE STATE status......these are NOT left social progressive gun laws---they were written by far-right, militaristic, authoritarian Bush/Cheney neo-conservative GLOBAL JOHNS HOPKINS.
Trump hints at declaring martial law in Illinois’s largest city, even though seven cities have higher murder rates
A few hours ago, President Donald Trump took to Twitter and hinted at possibly declaring martial law in Chicago over the city’s high murder rate:
I really don’t know of any presidential powers at Trump’s disposal that could be used in regards to a city having a high murder rate outside of two presidential powers: one would be to declare a state of emergency in Chicago, and the other would be declaring martial law in Chicago. Unlike a state National Guard or a state militia, the President cannot take over a city police force.
States United, part of the Mike Bloomberg-aligned pro-gun control political network that has been known to support far-right Republicans, has a couple of infographics about the actual state of the Chicago murder crisis:
As you can see, guns originally purchased in states like Indiana, and, to a lesser extent, Wisconsin and Mississippi, all three of which have weaker gun safety laws than Illinois does, have played a large role in Chicago’s murder crisis, and seven U.S. cities (St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, Cleveland, Newark, and Memphis) all have higher murder rates than Chicago does. Despite the facts, Trump and his Republican allies haven’t hinted at martial law in cities with a higher murder rate than that of Chicago, and Trump and his Republican allies want to make it easier, not harder, for people to take guns across state lines.
While murder is a serious problem in this country, declaring martial law is going to do absolutely nothing to solve the murder crisis of Chicago or any other city.
We do not want to return to another discussion of Bush SR and Reagan's use of CIA to create this Latin American destabilization---the CIA's ties to creating NARCO ECONOMIES---the NAFTA policies creating a collapse of small farmings and local economies pushing Mexican farmers and small business owners into this NARCO ECONOMY----most people understand this progression.
What we want to look at is life under national MARTIAL LAW with government fighting NARCO CARTELS---tied to global banking.
George Jr's calling of Mexico a failed state is indeed BAD FAITH.
'So when the Bush administration talks of a Pakistan-like “failed state” in Mexico, it does so “with obvious exaggeration and bad faith.”'
Global 99% shouted during Bush era invasion of Afghanistan in pursuit of terrorists----that the only result was flushing those terrorist cells from one central location to all over the Muslim world----KNOW WHAT? Same thing happened these few decades in Latin America---the war on drugs simply moved drug cartels all over NORTH AMERICA. We KNOW many of these NARCO CARTELS are tied to CIA.
OPEN BORDERS is simply the staging of MOVING FORWARD US CITIES AS FAILED STATE=====needing MARTIAL LAW. Who pushes OPEN BORDERS? CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA and United Nations.
We have shouted about the effects of lying, cheating, stealing, no morals or ethics, no US Rule of Law, no GOD'S NATURAL LAW pragmatic nihilsm by global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA creating these same conditions for our children and young adults----all they see for themselves as regards an ECONOMY is to be that FAR-RIGHT WING, AUTHORITARIAN, MILITARISTIC 5 % to the 1% GOVERNMENT----or to become one of those black market DRUG AND GUN CARTELS.
This has been the economy built these few decades by CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA inside all US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES----and is why we shout the answer to ending violence is GETTING RID OF GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% POLS AND PLAYERS.
These are the conditions created by global 1% and global banking these several decades in developing nations taken as Foreign Economic Zones---these are the same conditions in US cities deemed FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.......it is deliberate and there is NO PUBLIC HEALTH IN THESE ECONOMIC STRUCTURES. All global health system executives and city public health officials KNOW this is what MOVING FORWARD leads to----they are paid to work for global 1% to keep silent.
Foreign Policy / Mexico / Uncategorized
The “Narco” problem in Mexico: A social perspective.
Posted on April 8, 2013 by analuciadavila
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked the small group of kids gathered in a circle in front of me.
“I want to be a Narco” eight-year-old Pepe replied without hesitation.
The community center in one of the poorest and most violent sectors of Monterrey, México was Pepe’s recreational sphere, his only access to arts, sports and education. However, despite anyone’s efforts, his role model is unlikely to change. When he grows up, he wants to be a Narco (Drug dealer).
In the last decade, the Narco issue in Mexico has become a major concern for the United States and the world. Not only is the amount of drugs smuggled across the border alarming, but the number of murders and the climate of violence and insecurity that now dominates everyday life in the country portray a problematic long-term scenario. However, what most national and international initiatives to address the problem seem to disregard is the social and cultural dimension of the issue.
Today, drug dealing in Mexico is more than a business; it is a culture and a way of life for many. Being able to offer a fast escape from the overwhelming problems of extreme poverty and exemplifying a luxurious lifestyle, the drug cartels and the iconic figures of the Narcos have become an aspiration model in the last years.
The oddly glamorous way of life the new generation of drug dealers and mercenaries live has translated into a series of cultural traits that are becoming part of the Mexican society. The cult to “la Santa Muerte” (The holy death”) and the legendary drug dealer Jesus Malverde, the famous and now banned Narcocorridos, the Narco fashion trends, and the “adventurous” and “powerful” way of life the Cartel leaders project, not only promote a culture of familiarity towards the Cartels, but a sense of admiration and respect for some of them.
It is also worth pointing out that it has never been easier and more appealing to be part of a Cartel than it is today. A series of social issues and alarming living conditions have been combined in a negative environment in Mexico. When you have a country with 13 million people living in extreme poverty on one hand, with restricted access to education and employment, and you combine that with a lucrative business that, on the other hand, offers “easy” money and operates without legal repercussions, you have the proper elements to create a society of violence, instability and insecurity that thrives. This vicious cycle is stimulated by the frustration of many who live in poverty that suffer from daily exposure to the lifestyle of a rising, privileged middle and upper-class that seems so separated from their reality and impossible to achieve.
In this way, drug Cartels have become employers that offer money and a lifestyle of privilege and eccentricities that most cannot even afford to dream about. Teenagers and young adults in risky situations and extreme poverty have become especially easy targets for the recruiting Cartels, posing new challenges for the Mexican State and the country’s laws. More than 30,000 minors are estimated to be contributing to the Cartels in different illicit activities that range from drug production and distribution to kidnapping, torture and murder.
Pepe wanting to be a drug dealer when he grows up is not a rare case. Neither is 13-year-old Sonia, who is proud to have a 15-year-old boyfriend that is part of the Zeta’s Cartel. These kids represent an entirely new paradigm that is developing rapidly in the Mexican society, especially in the poorest communities, where many would rather live “un día como rey” (a day as a King), than a life of poverty and struggle.
The drug problem in Mexico is extremely complex and wide, and by no means should its causes be reduced to one. The complexity of the Narco business in Mexico is the result of a structural problem that involves serious flaws in the rule of law, poverty, broken institutions, lack of education, corruption, social frustration, inequality, and a culture of violence.
It is essential that the Mexican State recognize that addressing the Narco issue in a proper way means addressing the damaged social structure and the issues derived from it. Although tedious, more expensive, long term and impractical, to recognize that no Merida initiative, no Fast and Furious operation, no militarization, no massive hunt for drug leaders, and certainly no investment in weapons and the military will ever be enough to solve the problem at its roots.
As long as there is hunger, poverty, lack of education and opportunities, and social agony and frustration, there will be a growing number of Mexicans willing to engage in at least one of the many activities drug cartels offer today.
The Philippines we are told is in the grips of a LEFT COMMUNIST REGIME but oddly still pushing global banking neo-liberalism----they were declared a FAILED STATE----they install policies that kill public health for 99% of citizens while PRETENDING to be champions of the working class and poor.
SOUND FAMILIAR? INDEED---FAR-RIGHT WING CLINTON/OBAMA.
'The economic policies of the Duterte regime are a continuum of the neoliberal policies of the past three decades plus. These are geared at achieving superficial high growth rates by drawing in increased foreign investments. As before, the Duterte regime’s policies perpetuate the export-oriented and import-dependent semimanufacturing and backward agrarian economy'.
If we look at public health for the 99% in FAILED STATES/NARCO STATES in developing nations---we see the future of US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES MOVING FORWARD to failed state MARTIAL LAW.
Oh, well that will only happen to this population group in US-----or that population group----it certainly won't happen to those loyal DO ANYTHING GLOBAL 1% BANKING SAYS 5% to the 1%-----well, history does repeat itself and the 5 % are always UNDER THE BUS with the 99% of citizens! This is MOVING FORWARD CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA now Trump.
WORLD BANK/IMF GLOBAL 1% always create these societal structures because it kills all talk of simple community civil problems like corrupt pols and players and lost Social Security and Medicare----looted pensions and 401Ks---and turns all talk to civil unrest/war/ refugee survival.
Because global 1% want to take US and Europe to this global corporate campus SOCIALISM----or what is called DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM---- we can see to where far-right extreme wealth extreme poverty LIBERTARIAN MARXISM takes US cities. This is not a battle between a US or Russia---the ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE does not even recognize these nations---it is simply a series of independent CITY STATE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES inside what used to be a sovereign nation.
Worsening crisis, death and destruction under Duterte regime
Communist Party of the Philippines
30 June 2017
The Duterte regime’s key economic, social, security and foreign relations policies are basically a continuation of past measures which perpetuate the oppressive and exploitative semicolonial and semifeudal system. The US imperialists and the ruling big bourgeois compradors, big landlord class and bureaucrat capitalists remain the dominant forces in his government.
The crisis of the ruling system continues to worsen in the first year under the Duterte regime as it fails to fulfill its promises of change. It has unleashed wars of death and destruction as it adopts ironfisted tactics and fascist methods to secure its rule and serve the interests of the ruling exploitative classes and foreign big capitalists.
The Duterte regime is proving itself to be fundamentally no different from previous regimes in terms of subservience to foreign imperialist-imposed economic and security policies. It is bound to face the Filipino people’s outrage for perpetuating foreign subservience, feudalism and fascism and refusing to heed the demand for basic social, economic and political reforms.
Failed promises of change
Rodrigo Duterte has zero to show to buttress his claims of being a Leftist and socialist. There are no serious policy reform in the social, economic and political fields. He has turned his back on his promise of sweeping changes made during the 2016 elections. He has continued the neoliberal policies of the past three decades which perpetuates the exploitation and oppression of the people.
The broad masses of workers, peasants, unemployed, students, teachers and other small professionals are increasingly disgruntled. They continue to suffer from landlessness and landgrabbing, worsening forms of feudal and semifeudal exploitation, rising costs of living, acute unemployment and job insecurity, low wages, natural and man-made disasters, epidemics and lack of affordable and quality social services. Millions of students continue to be burdened by tuition increases and rising costs of education.
To the great dismay of workers, not only has Duterte failed to fulfill his promise to end contractualization, he has even reinforced the policy by setting regulations for it. Workers’ wages remain extremely low. Workers continue to suffer from dangerous working conditions leading to fires and other accidents.
Contrary to the peasant clamor to stop land conversions, he is pushing for the conversion of thousands of hectares of land, particularly in Mindanao, to become oil palm plantations. He has given scant support to measures to distribute land at Hacienda Luisita and gave mere token support to the struggle of the Lapanday farmers to occupy their land. Declarations of support for free land distribution has served only as soundbytes. He has perpetuated the policy of rice importation to the detriment of local peasants and the general public.
The economic policies of the Duterte regime are a continuum of the neoliberal policies of the past three decades plus. These are geared at achieving superficial high growth rates by drawing in increased foreign investments. As before, the Duterte regime’s policies perpetuate the export-oriented and import-dependent semimanufacturing and backward agrarian economy.
Duterte’s 10-point economic agenda perfectly dovetails with the economic policies of the previous Aquino regime. As before, the Duterte regime’s “economic growth” is hinged on foreign investments and calls for further liberalizing investment policies by removing constitutional restrictions, building infrastructure for rapid transport lines from the ports to the labor enclaves and increasing government revenue by imposing additional tax burden on the people.
Duterte’s economic planners have announced the start of a so-called “golden age of infrastructure” anticipating large amounts of loans from China and Japan. These infrastructure projects, including the Manila-Clark and Mindanao railroads as well as land reclamations in Manila and Davao port areas, primarily aim to pave the way for rapid transport of raw materials as well as semimanufactures from labor enclaves to the international export market.
The Duterte regime has announced plans to spend $8 trillion over the next five years, funded largely by foreign loans, mostly from China. Such a plan will make the country a virtual debt slave, vulnerable to economic, political and military impositions of China. This situation will be no different from how the country was forced to comply with US-IMF-World Bank imposed conditionalities throughout the Marcos and post-Marcos regimes after levels of foreign debt soared to unprecedented heights.
Duterte’s tax reform plan, a rehash of old proposals, is set to impose additional tax burdens on rented homes, petroleum products, sweetened drinks and salt aimed to generate at least $600 billion to service the loans for the planned infrastructure binge.
Strongman rule: widespread death and destruction
Duterte has increasingly employed strongman tactics to establish and reinforce his rule. He has displayed all-out ruthlessness believing he can use his large number of electoral vote as license to attack the people.
He has abetted soldiers and police to unleash fascist violence with impunity. He has pampered the AFP and PNP with perks and benefits. He has appointed close to 60 former military and police generals and officers to key positions in his government. He relies primarily on the reactionary state’s armed forces to perpetuate his rule.
In less than a year, he has launched three wars: a so-called “war against drugs” (Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Double Barrel) which is directed more against the poor; an all-out war of suppression (Oplan Kapayapaan) against the people’s national democratic cause; and a war against the Moros marked by the AFP siege and destruction of Marawi City (under the state of martial law in Mindanao).
In utter contempt of the Filipino people, Duterte has repeatedly praised the Marcos dictatorship and military rule in the vain hope of making his plans to establish himself as a Marcos-style strongman acceptable. As a political quid pro quo, he gave the Marcos family the long-desired hero’s burial for the dictator in November 2016, thus completing the Marcoses’ political rehabilitation.
Duterte’s “war against drugs” is a virtual campaign of mass murder which has resulted in the killing of more than 8,000 people, mostly poor users and street peddlers. Community social activists have also been targeted. They have been killed by police agents in supposed arrest operations; and by death squads reportedly run and financed by the police. Duterte is using the anti-drug war to make it appear that killings and fascist methods are necessary and ideal in addressing social problems which are rooted in poverty. Meanwhile, big drug lords including Peter Lim and others known to be close to Duterte remain untouched.
The Duterte regime deployed its armed units and occupied at least 500 barangays despite a GRP unilateral ceasefire from August 2016 to February 2017. Subsequent to the termination of the unilateral ceasefire declaration, defense and security officials of the Duterte regime declared an all-out war on February 7, 2017. In line with this, Duterte has ordered the AFP to “flatten the hills” through aerial bombings and shelling. Cases of human rights abuses are on the rise.
Since March, the AFP has carried out around 30 aerial bombardment campaigns in various parts of the country (outside Marawi City), destroying rice fields and forested areas near communities which the AFP suspect to be supportive of the revolutionary movement. At least 20,000 people have been forced to evacuate as a result of such bombardments. There are at more than 70 cases of extrajudicial killings (more than one a week), victimizing mostly activists and organizers among the peasants and national minorities.
Duterte has completely set aside his repeated promise of releasing all political prisoners through a general amnesty proclamation. Around four hundred remain detained. This number continues to rise as the reactionary state forces target and arrest organizers of people’s organizations in line with the Oplan Kapayapaan war of suppression.
On the pretext of a “rebellion” by armed Moro groups in Marawi City, Duterte imposed martial law on the entire Mindanao island on May 23. He whipped up Islamaphobia combined with an all-out psychological offensive to draw support for his martial law declaration from among the reactionaries as well as the conservative and politically backward sections of Philippine society.
He has practically served Marawi and Mindanao on a silver platter for the AFP. For more than a month now, the AFP has been on a rampage of rape and plunder. On Duterte’s orders, the AFP has carried out non-stop bombardment of Marawi reducing the city to dust. Duterte’s big business friends are now eyeing to cash-in on planned government infrastructure building. The AFP’s siege and destruction of Marawi has resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis causing grave sufferings to hundreds of thousands of Moros. It is reigniting their widespread armed resistance even as Duterte seeks to draw the MILF and MNLF to new arrangements of “autonomous rule” under the GRP.
Duterte has repeatedly hinted of plans of imposing Marcos-style martial law nationwide. This is an overt threat against his rivals who seek to unseat him. Duterte’s political mob are calling for extending and expanding martial law to enable the ruling regime to railroad these infrastructure projects and ensure that they will bag the contracts and pocket the percentages.
Even prior to martial law, Duterte has brandished his presidential powers combined with the campaign of killings to suppress and threaten his political opponents. Eschewing all legal processes, he locked-up archrival Leila de Lima on drug charges completely disregarding her assertion that she is covered by the Sandiganbayan and not by lower criminal courts. Her detention serves as an example against other senators, congressmen and thousands of other local government, police and military officials who Duterte claims to be listed in his thick collection of drug dossiers.
His broadsides at the Aquino-allied oligarchs have merely served as a veneer to conceal the same rotten oligarchic and dynastic style of rule of his own retinue of hangers-on from among the ruling economic and political elite. Duterte has, so far, maintained supermajority control of the House of Representatives with promises of shares in the projected government contracts.
Factional conflicts within the ruling classes are bound to intensify as US imperialism maneuvers to maintain its dominance. By launching vicious attacks against his rivals among the ruling elite, Duterte has made them ever more determined to unseat him through every possible means including a US-supported coup or junta.
Duterte can counter with a palace coup through a declaration of a Marcos-style martial law. He can most effectively do so only by becoming more and more subservient to US imperialist dictates or, more remotely, by drawing in Russia or China economic and military support.
Subservience to US imperialism, while fawning to China and Russia
The implementation of the AFP’s “Oplan Kapayapaan,” the declaration of all-out war and order to “flatten the hills,” and the imposition of martial law in Mindanao all hew to US security policies and counter-insurgency doctrine. Duterte’s push to use the US-trained AFP to establish a strongman rule has made him more subservient to the security as well as economic policy dictates of the US, the dominant hegemonic power at the base of the Philippine neocolonial client-state.
Duterte launched diatribes against US abuses and intervention in the country. But he has made no more than dispirited measures to put these declarations to actual policy. The best he did was to prohibit the AFP from joining joint patrols with US naval forces in the South China Sea and downplay invasion maneuvers during joint military exercises with the US.
On the other hand, he has granted the US government the following prerogatives: (a) to maintain an unspecified number of troops in the country; (b) to build at least six US military facilities inside AFP camps under the EDCA; © to conduct at least 257 military exercises this year under the Mutual Defense Treaty and Visiting Forces Agreement; and (d) to sail its ships in Philippine territorial waters to conduct power projection operations and challenge China’s sovereignty claims in the South China Sea.
Duterte has also allowed US forces to fly their drones to carry out electronic and intelligence gathering operations (such as in Marawi) thereby allowing them to remote control the AFP’s combat operations. Fearing potential embarrassment, Duterte has chosen to ignore reports that US military forces and AFP officials planned, carried out and botched the Mamasapano-like operation to capture terror-listed Abu Sayyaf-leader Isnilon Hapilon which ignited the Moro resistance leading to the AFP siege and destruction of Marawi.
Duterte declared an independent foreign policy by launching verbal attacks against the US government, but merely to impress China and Russia as an anti-US ally with the hope of encouraging economic and military assistance in the face of the strategic decline of the US and its limited support and resources. He also aims to counter threats of a possible US-supported coup or regime change against him by rival factions of the ruling classes. Using the ISIS bogey, he has sought Russian and China military support for his imposition of martial law in Mindanao.
China responded by promising Duterte with $19 billion worth of loans for big-ticket projects. Big bourgeois compradors are drooling over these projects and are lining-up to Duterte to benefit from government contracts. In the name of supporting the “war against terror,” China also recently gave Duterte a cache of firearms. The regime also signed a number of economic and security agreements with Russia in Duterte’s recent visit.
Instead of calling for the demilitarization of the South China Sea, Duterte has allowed the US to strengthen its foothold in the Philippines while encouraging China and Russia, as well as Japan, to project their military presence in the area. He has offered these military powers the use of Philippine ports for their refuelling and stopovers bringing the Philippines closer to the eye of an inter-imperialist maelstrom in the South China Sea.
Prospects for the following year
Amid the ever-worsening socio-economic crisis in the Philippines and the protracted depression of the international capitalist system, the people are left with no choice but to launch ever more vigorous armed and unarmed struggles and rely on their own efforts to advance their national and democratic cause.
They must advance the people’s movement along the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and anti-fascist line.
They demand the Duterte regime to account for all its unfulfilled promises and put forward their urgent demands for jobs, an end to contractualization, higher wages, an end to landgrabbing, the dismantling and distribution of haciendas and corporate plantations and the free distribution of land to the landless tillers.
They demand the Duterte regime to increase subsidies to expand public hospitals, public health and free housing and end the commercialization of education, health and other public services. They oppose the planned tax reform and other additional burdensome policies.
They are determined to fight Duterte’s strongman rule.
They are building a united front of all forces to demand an immediate end to martial law in Mindanao and resist any attempt to impose martial law nationwide. They also strongly oppose plans to implement a national identification system which will only serve to strengthen the police-state.
They are broadening and intensifying their fight to defend human rights. They demand justice for all victims of unwarranted and indiscriminate killings perpetrated by the police and state armed forces in the course of the “war against drugs”. They demand justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings committed by state forces under Oplan Kapayapaan. They call for the release of all political prisoners.
They demand an end to aerial bombardments and shelling and the pull-out of all military troops from civilian communities and a stop to the militarization of civilian agencies and functions.
The revolutionary forces continue to strengthen its unity with the struggling Moro people in their struggle for their right to self-determination.
The Duterte regime will be painting itself to a corner if it chooses to completely abandon the NDFP-GRP peace negotiations. Duterte must realize that, within his term, the GRP is incapable of defeating nor forcing back the armed revolution through all-out war even with US support amid the worsening crisis of the ruling system.
It must drop the US counterinsurgency doctrine of pacification, cooptation and capitulation of the revolutionary forces through premature ceasefire and address the key issues of social justice that are the root of the raging armed conflict. The Duterte regime must accede to the just demands of the NDFP and the Filipino people for substantive socio-economic, political and constitutional reforms and let these run ahead of any bilateral ceasefire agreement.
The Duterte regime cannot afford to fight all at the same time the nationwide revolutionary armed forces led by the CPP and the various Bangsamoro armed movements in several fronts in Mindanao.
As the Duterte regime wages all-out war against the revolutionary forces, worsened by imposition of martial law in Mindanao, the NPA has no other choice but to intensify tactical offensives nationwide. The overextension of the reactionary state armed forces works to the advantage of various guerrilla forces in their resistance to defeat the all-out war of the Duterte regime.
Since February, the Party has ordered the NPA to carry out widespread tactical offensives nationwide in order to defend the people and counter AFP abuses. The NPA has launched tactical offensives against armed personnel of the reactionary state as well as armed security of local despots and mining companies. It has seized at least 250 firearms, enough for a new battalion of NPA Red fighters.
The policies of the Duterte regime deepen and worsen the crisis of the semicolonial and semifeudal system. These, in turn, generate ever favorable conditions for further advancing the people’s war. To serve the people, the revolutionary forces must intensify and broaden the coverage of agrarian revolution in the countryside, further deepen and widen the revolutionary mass base, raise the level of the people’s democratic government, and carry forward widespread and intensive guerrilla warfare.
The NPA must do everything to rapidly build new platoons and companies of regular guerrilla forces and local guerrilla units to enable the people the opportunity to rise up with arms against their exploiters and oppressors. The Party enjoins the Moro people and other national minorities, especially their youth, to join the NPA in order to wage resistance against all their oppressors and defend their right for self-determination.
In the face of the Duterte regime’s all-out war, the NPA must continue to seize the initiative and carry out more and more tactical offensives nationwide in order to derail and blunt the all-out attacks of the AFP, punish the most notorious human rights abusers, defend the interests against the people and bring forward the people’s war.
The crisis of ruling semicolonial and semifeudal system under Duterte is generating a political crisis that may burst forth within the next year. His unfulfilled promises combined with the worsening socio-economic situation is resulting in widespread disenchantment and discontent, especially among the toiling masses of workers and peasants. The Duterte regime cannot escape the forward surge of the people’s struggle for national democracy.
'The Michigan AFL-CIO released a press release in response to Benton Harbor: "This is sad news for democracy in Michigan. It comes after the announcement of Robert Bobb in Detroit ordering layoff of every single public school teacher in the Detroit Public School system," says Mark Gaffney, President of Michigan AFL-CIO. "With the stripping of all power of duly elected officials in Benton harbor and the attack on Detroit school teachers, we can now see the true nature of the Emergency Manager system."'
National media in US is now filled with MARTIAL LAW tied to collapse of employment in US as the economy collapses and the expectation of civil riots meets a growing NARCO STATE.
Who created these conditions in US cities? The CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA global Wall Street neo-liberals and their 'LABOR AND JUSTICE' ORGANIZATION 5% pushing all far-right neo-liberal empire-building policies----yes, that 5% international labor union leaders AFL-CIO----Trumka still going strong now pretending to fight for the last of public sector labor union members.
Who have these several decades been by global banking in these developing nation instabilities ----INTERNATIONAL LABOR UNIONS. We called them the OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE GLOBAL 1% freemasons----pretending to be labor leaders----local labor union members MUST KEEP LABOR UNION CONTROL LOCAL-----
For those not recognizing a long-term 5% to the 1%----ROBERT BOBB was Richmond CITY MANAGER back in the 1990s--Clinton era---
'ROBERT BOBB-----City manager
He acted as a city manager for a total of 30 years for the cities of Kalamazoo, Michigan (1977–1984 ); Santa Ana, California; Richmond, Virginia (1986–1997); Oakland, California (1997–2003); and Washington, D.C.(2003–2006)'.
Detroit brought to bankruptcy by the same means Baltimore is heading to bankruptcy we see our US citizens last of middle-class being crushed by global Wall Street CLINTON/OBAMA and international labor unions. It is this massive US citizen unemployment at the same time NARCO STATE and MARTIAL LAWS authoritarianism is installed that defines PUBLIC HEALTH in US these coming few decades of GREAT DEPRESSION MOVING FORWARD.
In 2012-----here is public health is US MOVING FORWARD ECONOMIC MODEL SINGAPORE---------Singapore was that FAILED STATE/NARCO STATE filled with civil unrest and wars back in 1970s/1980s-------------
'Unfortunately, her case is not an isolated one. The suicide rate in Singapore is rising at an unprecedented 29% a year. With people between the ages of 20-29, the increase is a horrifying 80%'.
WOW---doesn't seem our US public health departments would want that model----but they are global Wall Street corporate 1% ----not WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% PUBLIC INTEREST.
Martial Law Now a Reality in Michigan
Submitted by Jennifer Page on April 18, 2011 - 12:21pm
The week of April 10-16 saw the layoff of every public school teacher in Detroit, and the initial fruition of the highly-contested bill that allows emergency financial managers to have unconditional control over a city in a financial emergency. The city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, declared to be in a financial emergency by Governor Rick Snyder, now knows that, according the Snyder, the voter's voice doesn't really matter anymore.
Joseph Harris, the city's new Emergency Financial Manager (EFM), dismantled the entire government, only allowing city boards and commissions to call a meeting to order, approve of meeting minutes and adjourn a meeting.
The law that allows Harris to "exercise any power or authority of any office, employee, department, board, commission, or similar entity of the City, whether elected or appointed," was passed in March after the urging of Governor Snyder, and despite thousands of protesters who came to the Lansing capitol throughout February and March.
The Michigan AFL-CIO released a press release in response to Benton Harbor: "This is sad news for democracy in Michigan. It comes after the announcement of Robert Bobb in Detroit ordering layoff of every single public school teacher in the Detroit Public School system," says Mark Gaffney, President of Michigan AFL-CIO. "With the stripping of all power of duly elected officials in Benton harbor and the attack on Detroit school teachers, we can now see the true nature of the Emergency Manager system."
Earlier in the week, TMP Muckraker reported that the Detroit Public Schools' EFM, Robert Bobb, sent 5,466 unionized teachers layoff notices "in anticipation of a workforce reduction to match the district's declining student enrollment." The notices are a part of the Detroit Teachers Federation collective-bargaining contract. TPM also reported that "Non-Renewal notices have also been sent to 248 administrators, and the layoffs would go into effect by July 29."
What we have seen throughout OBAMA AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT is the retooling of a strong public health system for 99% of US citizens---to what is the only structure in developing nations having a FAILED STATE/NARCO STATE----a REFUGEE economy. This is why we shout here in Baltimore where our Baltimore citizens endure what are global NGOs expanding to treat US citizens as REFUGEES and this is the only public health that exists. This has been in existence in Baltimore these few decades and is exploding as MOVING FORWARD enters FAILED STATE/TRIBUTE STATE status. This structure is not being built only for global refugees---it is the only structure of public health that will exist for 99% of WE THE PEOPLE these coming decades of GREAT DEPRESSION FAILED STATE.
As with the global Wall Street stock market operating completely outside Rule of Law to serve today only that global 1% and their 2%======so too are these global corporate campus health systems in our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones----like Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland Medical Center being tooled to only serve that global 1% and their 2%.
This is what is so cynical about all this GLOBAL INNOVATION ENTREPRENEURS economy----our young adults are tied to building the very structures that will be the only source of public health they, their children, and grandchildren will have in ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION UNIVERSAL CARE PREVENTATIVE CARE ONLY.
What MOVING FORWARD is creating for THE 99% OF US CITIZENS and our immigrant citizens is just this------we have shouted for several years here in Baltimore that our Baltimore citizens were living like refugees. All global health organization found in developing nations or here in in France are now installing in US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES to be that public health for the 99% of US citizens. This harms citizens in two ways----first, the breakdown of what a developed nation with a long history of WESTERN PUBLIC HEALTH looks like-----AND the rolling in of not only real global 99% needing help but those global banking cartels tied to creating decades of instability inside their own nations. When we hear US has 'TERRORISTS' filling our towns and US cities----this is that mass migration of global banking/CIA groups tied to purpetual civil violence
While those 5% to the 1% CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA have the 99% of people thinking they are fighting for modern US health care structures ---all these global NGO FAILED STATE structures are being installed. Those FAKE alt left/new left groups pushing UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL CARE PREVENTATIVE CARE ONLY are those morphing Clinton global Wall Street neo-liberals now pretending to be LEFT MARXISTS. Living like a refugee in US cities deemed FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE during economic collapse and Great Depression amidst a NARCO STATE AND MARTIAL LAW is NOT A PRETTY SIGHT -----but it is MOVING FORWARD.
France had one of the strongest national public health systems when these refugee health standards allowed a tiered system inside this nation bringing World Health Organization to create what are now called UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE RIGHTS ----the very basics of public health now being installed inside all Western nations.
THIS IS A VERY LONG ARTICLE BUT PLEASE GLANCE THROUGH TO SEE HOW MARGINALIZING ONE POPULATION CREATES THE STRUCTURES TO BRING ALL POPULATION GROUPS TO LOWER HEALTH STANDARDS. THESE STANDARDS FOR REFUGEES BECAME THE UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE--HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT STANDARDS.
Public health in the Calais refugee camp: environment, health and exclusion
Surindar Dhesi, Arshad Isakjee & Thom Davies
Pages 1-13 | Received 24 Nov 2016, Accepted 19 Apr 2017, Published online: 07 Jun 2017
The ongoing emergency for refugees is having profound and hidden health consequences for thousands of displaced persons who live in informal ‘makeshift’ camps across Europe. This interdisciplinary paper reports the results of the first environmental health assessment in such a location, in what was Europe’s largest informal refugee camp in 2016, in Calais, northern France. We detail the lack of facilities for sanitation, safe provision of food, water and shelter, demonstrating how conditions fall short of agreed international standards for formal refugee camps. Rather than the notion of migrants being the cause of health problems, this paper critically reveals the hidden materiality of bodily injury caused by poor health conditions, where the camp itself produces harm. Drawing upon theories of biopolitical exclusion, the paper concludes by (i) emphasising the empirical and conceptual themes that tie refugee politics and biologies together and (ii) makes a call for increased attention to makeshift camps as key sites of health exclusion in Europe and beyond.
The public health implications of abandoning forced migrants to live in makeshift camps are critically under-researched. The ongoing global refugee emergency is having devastating implications, with an estimated 60 million people worldwide currently displaced (UNHCR, 2015 UNHCR. (2015). UNHCR mid-year trends 2015. Geneva: Author. [Google Scholar]). While the majority (86%) of these vulnerable people are hosted in developing countries such as Lebanon, Turkey and Pakistan (UNHCR, 2015 UNHCR. (2015). UNHCR mid-year trends 2015. Geneva: Author. [Google Scholar]), between 2015 and 2016, over a million refugees entered Europe to seek asylum. The arrival of asylum seekers in large numbers coupled with inadequate state provision, has created significant concerns for the health and well-being of migrants (Kupferschmidt, 2016 Kupferschmidt, K. (2016). Refugee crisis brings new health challenges. Science, 352, 391–392.10.1126/science.352.6284.391[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Makeshift camps, which do not meet minimum humanitarian standards, have increasingly become accepted as ‘de facto’ living spaces for refugees in parts of Europe (Davies & Isakjee, 2015 Davies, T., & Isakjee, A. (2015). Geography, migration and abandonment in the Calais refugee camp. Political Geography, 49, 93–95.10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.08.003[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]).
This paper focuses on Calais in northern France, in what was Europe’s largest informal refugee camp with a population of 10,000 before its demolition in November 2016. It details the first holistic environmental health survey in such a setting and empirically examines public health conditions to which residents of the camp were exposed (Dhesi, Isakjee, & Davies, 2015 Dhesi, S., Isakjee, A., & Davies, T. (2015). An environmental health assessment of the new migrant camp in Calais. Retrieved from http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-les/gees/research/calais-report-oct-2015.pdf [Google Scholar]). By applying an environmental health focus and by comparing the conditions with recognised minimum standards, the paper reveals the hidden materiality of bodily injury caused by the poor health conditions. Applying theories of biopolitical exclusion (Fassin, 2001 Fassin, D. (2001). The biopolitics of otherness: Undocumented foreigners and racial discrimination in French public debate. Anthropology Today, 17, 3–7.10.1111/anth.2001.17.issue-1[Crossref], [Google Scholar]; Foucault, 1978 Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality. (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York, NY: Pantheon. [Google Scholar]), we conceptualise the findings as the physical manifestation of new exclusions in public health. We conclude by emphasising the importance of critically and holistically researching situations in which health, environment and exclusion intertwine, particularly in informal residential settings.
The informal camp in Calais
Informal migrant camps in Calais have existed in some form since at least the late 1990s. When the ‘Sangatte Refugee Center’ near Calais closed its doors in 2002, displaced migrants were abandoned to the streets without state assistance. Many resided in small scattered makeshift encampments nicknamed ‘jungles’ (Davies, Isakjee, & Dhesi, 2017 Davies, T., Isakjee, A., & Dhesi, S. (2017). Violent inaction: The necropolitical experience of refugees in Europe. Antipode.[Crossref], [Google Scholar]; Millner, 2011 Millner, N. (2011). From “refugee” to “migrant” in Calais solidarity activism: Re-staging undocumented migration for a future politics of asylum. Political Geography, 30, 320–328.10.1016/j.polgeo.2011.07.005[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]), dispersed across the Pas-de-Calais region as they attempted to reach the UK, or awaited official asylum protection in France. In April 2015, with the escalation of the global refugee emergency putting pressure on the EU’s migration bottlenecks, French police forcibly demolished these smaller scattered ‘jungles’ and prevented refugees from living anywhere other than the ‘new Jungle’, which is the site of this study. Situated on Calais’ eastern outskirts near an industrial site and Seveso Zone of moderate toxic risk, this area of sand dunes and dense shrubbery was approximately half a kilometre in area and housed 3000 people at the time of the data collection in July 2015. Survey data available indicated that 96.8% of residents were male (RRDP, 2016 RRDP. (2016, April). The long wait: Filling in the gaps relating to refugees and displaced people in the Calais camp. Online Report, London. [Google Scholar]).
Whilst the British and French governments committed significant resources to securitise the camp with fences and the employment of bulldozers and tear gas (Joint Ministerial Declaration, 2015 Joint Ministerial Declaration. (2015). Managing migratory flows in Calais: Joint ministerial declaration on UK/French co-operation. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/455162/Joint_declaration_20_August_2015.pdf [Google Scholar]), humanitarian relief and health-focused efforts became relegated and under-provisioned. To fill the void left by official humanitarian support, major NGOs including Doctors of the World (DOTW), as well as other grass-roots groups, provided emergency first-aid, food and some basic sanitation facilities. This voluntary emergency response to refugee health needs has been echoed across France and throughout Europe’s archipelago of informal camps. Underneath these contested layers of politics and charity, however, unsuitable public health conditions continued to harm migrant bodies and minds in often unseen ways, which this paper seeks to uncover.
Biopolitics and new health exclusions
The parallel advancement and development of both nation states and governance on the one hand, and technologies of medicine on the other, have transformed the way in which we conceptualise health and exclusion (see Fassin, 2001 Fassin, D. (2001). The biopolitics of otherness: Undocumented foreigners and racial discrimination in French public debate. Anthropology Today, 17, 3–7.10.1111/anth.2001.17.issue-1[Crossref], [Google Scholar]; Foucault, 1978 Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality. (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York, NY: Pantheon. [Google Scholar]; Redfield, 2005 Redfield, P. (2005). Doctors, borders, and life in crisis. Cultural Anthropology, 20, 328–361.10.1525/can.2005.20.issue-3[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]; Sparke, 2009 Sparke, M. (2009). Unpacking economism and remapping the terrain of global health. In A. Kay & O. Williams (Eds.), Global health governance (pp. 131–159). London: Palgrave Macmillan.10.1057/9780230249486[Crossref], [Google Scholar]). In more economically advanced countries such as those in Western Europe, medical advancements and modern state development combine to offer citizenry guarantees of care. These are not only statutory provisions of health care, but also include legal and governmental actions on health, environment and poverty which actively seek to limit the potential of inhabitants succumbing to illness and accident pre-emptively.
Foucault describes this power as one which:
exerts a positive influence on life, that endeavours to administer, optimise, and multiply it, subjecting it to precise controls and comprehensive regulations. (Foucault, 1978 Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality. (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York, NY: Pantheon. [Google Scholar], p. 137)
With these advancements, the boundaries that draw out exclusionary practices in relation to health are also prone to shift. Health exclusions are operationalised in new ways, where the withdrawal of health care or the lack of regulation and resource to ensure safe living and working conditions in themselves constitute a form of exclusion. In such exclusions, environmental conditions can play a key role and this realisation has provided fertile ground for authors on environmental injustice (Bullard, 1990 Bullard, R. D. (1990). Dumping in Dixie: Race, class, and environmental quality. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. [Google Scholar]) and health and social inequalities (Marmot, 2010 Marmot, M. (2010). Fair society, healthy lives: Strategic review of health inequalities in England post 2010. London: UCL. [Google Scholar]). Moreover, as Walker (2009 Walker, G. (2009). Beyond distribution and proximity: Exploring the multiple spatialities of environmental justice. Antipode, 41, 614–636.10.1111/anti.2009.41.issue-4[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]) argues, such injustices and inequalities go beyond concrete spatialities and proximities, instead involving a variety of flows and spatial relations which combine to produce vulnerabilities. In this empirical study, the identity and immobility of the unwelcome refugee population of Calais makes them particularly vulnerable. As outcast ‘others’, migrants and refugees can be denied access to provisions and protections that normalised populations can depend upon (Fassin, 2001 Fassin, D. (2001). The biopolitics of otherness: Undocumented foreigners and racial discrimination in French public debate. Anthropology Today, 17, 3–7.10.1111/anth.2001.17.issue-1[Crossref], [Google Scholar]; Grove & Zwi, 2006 Grove, N. J., & Zwi, A. B. (2006). Our health and theirs: Forced migration, othering, and public health. Social Science & Medicine, 62, 1931–1942.10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.08.061[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]).
With reference to refugees specifically, Bauman (2004 Bauman, Z. (2004). Wasted lives: Modernity and its outcasts. London: Wiley. [Google Scholar]) discusses how such processes of exclusion permit certain groups to be cast out and treated as superfluous, dehumanised and socially abject, to the point of becoming ‘wasted life’. Anti-migration rhetoric has often relied upon framing refugees as a threat to public health, with fears espoused that migrants may be carrying disease, plagues and spreading infections as they move from economic hinterlands into advanced, developed states (Harper & Raman, 2008 Harper, I., & Raman, P. (2008). Less than human? Diaspora, disease and the question of citizenship. International Migration, 46, 3–26.10.1111/imig.2008.46.issue-5[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]; Muller, 2004 Muller, B. (2004). Globalization, security, paradox: Towards a refugee biopolitics. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 22(1), 49–57. [Google Scholar]; Smith, 2016 Smith, J. (2016). Thinking beyond borders: Reconceptualising migration to better meet the needs of people in transit. International Journal of Public Health, 61, 521–522.[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). While some commentators have described the potential for ‘forgotten pathogens’ re-emerging in Europe due to increased refugees numbers (Cutler, 2016 Cutler, S. J. (2016). Refugee crisis and re-emergence of forgotten infections in Europe. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 22, 8–9.10.1016/j.cmi.2015.10.018[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar], p. 9), we agree with others who suggest that the risk of such infections spreading to local populations are low, with ‘the bigger challenge [being] how to ensure that refugees don’t get sick after their arrival’ (Kupferschmidt, 2016 Kupferschmidt, K. (2016). Refugee crisis brings new health challenges. Science, 352, 391–392.10.1126/science.352.6284.391[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar], p. 392).
Bringing together this theorisation of migrant ‘others’ and illness with political exclusions, Fassin (2001 Fassin, D. (2001). The biopolitics of otherness: Undocumented foreigners and racial discrimination in French public debate. Anthropology Today, 17, 3–7.10.1111/anth.2001.17.issue-1[Crossref], [Google Scholar]) goes into specific detail in relation to these dynamics in a contemporary French context. Fassin explores both the denial of health care to undocumented migrants and the use of illness to legitimise residency claims for asylum seekers, to conceptualise a racialised migrant body, for whom politics and embodied suffering are intrinsically intertwined (Fassin 2001 Fassin, D. (2001). The biopolitics of otherness: Undocumented foreigners and racial discrimination in French public debate. Anthropology Today, 17, 3–7.10.1111/anth.2001.17.issue-1[Crossref], [Google Scholar], p. 3). This paper adds another dynamic to this set of biopolitics, by foregrounding the embodied effects of political strategies of exclusion in Calais.
Health in refugee camps
One way of avoiding the aforementioned exclusion of irregular migrant populations is by providing and enforcing a set of global minimum standards to ensure that refugees are treated in a just manner. The Sphere Project, for example, provides standards for the structure and administration of refugee camps covering the key issues of water supply, food security and nutrition, sanitation, hygiene promotion, shelter and settlement. The standards contain overriding principles including an unpinning requirement of any interventions, that ‘[t]he form of humanitarian assistance and the environment in which it is provided do not further expose people to physical hazards, violence or other rights abuse’ (Sphere Project, 2016 Sphere Project. (2016). Humanitarian charter and minimum standards in humanitarian response. Retrieved from http://www.spherehandbook.org/ [Google Scholar], emphasis added). The UNHCR (2007 UNHCR. (2007). Handbook for emergencies (3rd ed.). Geneva: Author. Retrieved from http://www.ifrc.org/PageFiles/95884/D.01.03.%20Handbook%20for%20Emergencies_UNHCR.pdf [Google Scholar]) also provides extensive and detailed standards for shelter, water, sanitation, food and other provisions in emergency situations, and other guidance is available on assessing mental health and psychosocial needs and resources (WHO & UNHCR, 2012 WHO and UNHCR. (2012). Assessing mental health and psychosocial needs and resources: Toolkit for humanitarian settings. Geneva: World health Organization. [Google Scholar]). These public health standards cover worst-case scenario humanitarian crisis and emergency situations. In addition, all EU member states have signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, that places ‘the right to health’ irrespective of nationality as a priority, ratified in Article 12 (see Brannan et al., 2016 Brannan, S., Campbell, R., Davies, M., English, V., Mussell, R., & Sheather, J. C. (2016). The Mediterranean refugee crisis: Ethics, international law and migrant health. Journal of Medical Ethics, 42, 269–270.10.1136/medethics-2016-103444[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]).
Despite the existence of these global standards and international agreements, this paper relates to other research in showing that refugees in Europe are excluded even from these basic public health benchmarks. DOTW (2013 DOTW. (2013). Access to healthcare in Europe in times of crisis and rising xenophobia. Retrieved June 7, 2016, from http://www.medicosdelmundo.org/index.php/mod.documentos/mem.descargar/fichero.documentos_MdM_Report_access_healthcare_times_crisis_and_rising_xenophobia_edcfd8a3%232E%23pdf [Google Scholar]) have produced the most comprehensive contemporary studies on undocumented migrants’ health in Europe, with information gathered from 8412 patients and 10,968 medical consultations in seven European states including France. Their study found 9% of undocumented migrants to be sleeping rough; the report particularly emphasises the stress-related impacts for refugees of not knowing where they would be sleeping on any given night (echoing Whitehead et al., 2016 Whitehead, M., Pennington, A., Orton, L., Nayak, S., Petticrew, M., Sowden, A., & White, M. (2016). How could differences in ‘control over destiny’ lead to socio-economic inequalities in health? A synthesis of theories and pathways in the living environment. Health & Place, 39, 51–61.10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.02.002[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Additionally, in a review of available evidence in relation to the public health needs of migrants, other scholars have emphasised the role of environmental conditions in shaping refugee health: the need to ensure adequate water supply, sanitation, hygiene and avoiding overcrowded living conditions which facilitate the spread of respiratory infections, gastroenteritis and scabies among other illnesses among the affected population (Semenza et al., 2016 Semenza, J. C., Lindgren, E., Balkanyi, L., Espinosa, L., Almqvist, M. S., Penttinen, P., & Rocklöv, J. (2016). Determinants and drivers of infectious disease threat events in Europe. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 22, 581–589.10.3201/eid2204.151073[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]).
Recurring themes in relation to health conditions in refugee encampments revolve around hygiene conditions, respiratory problems, spread of infections, the prevalence of HIV and the ubiquity of gastrointestinal illnesses. A number of studies have found gastrointestinal illnesses to be among the most significant problems within refugee camp settings, including in Senegal (Sow, de Vlas, Engels, & Gryseels, 2002 Sow, S., de Vlas, S. J., Engels, D., & Gryseels, B. (2002). Water related disease patterns before and after the construction of the Diama dam in northern Senegal. Annals of Tropical Medicine & Parasitology, 96, 575–586.10.1179/000349802125001636[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]), Palestine (Abu Mourad, 2004 Abu Mourad, T. A. (2004). Palestinian refugee conditions associated with intestinal parasites and diarrhoea: Nuseirat refugee camp as a case study. Public Health, 118, 131–142.10.1016/j.puhe.2003.09.002[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]; Yassin, Shubair, Al-Hindi, & Jadallah, 1999 Yassin, M. M., Shubair, M. E., Al-Hindi, A. I., & Jadallah, S. Y. (1999). Prevalence of intestinal parasites among school children in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. Journal of the Egyptian Society of Parasitology, 29, 365–373.[PubMed], [Google Scholar]) and Mexico (Weinhold, 2002 Weinhold, B. (2002). The diarrhea dilemma: Managing illness in Mexico. Environmental Health Perspectives, 110, a590–a590.10.1289/ehp.110-a590a[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Abu Mourad (2004 Abu Mourad, T. A. (2004). Palestinian refugee conditions associated with intestinal parasites and diarrhoea: Nuseirat refugee camp as a case study. Public Health, 118, 131–142.10.1016/j.puhe.2003.09.002[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar], p. 140) in particular draws out the importance of environmental health conditions in preventing such illnesses, finding a negative correlation between the presence of flush toilets and parasitic infections. Similar links have also been drawn between environmental conditions and respiratory illnesses. Ahmed et al. (2012 Ahmed, J. A., Katz, M. A., Auko, E., Njenga, M. K., Weinberg, M., Kapella, B. K., … Mahamud, A. (2012). Epidemiology of respiratory viral infections in two long-term refugee camps in Kenya, 2007–2010. BMC Infectious Diseases, 17, 7.[Crossref], [Google Scholar]) in their study on Kenyan refugee camps explain how camp-like conditions involving large groups in confined spaces leave people exposed to developing respiratory illnesses. As Luby et al. (2004 Luby, S. P., Agboatwalla, M., Painter, J., Altaf, A., Billhimer, W. L., & Hoekstra, R. M. (2004). Effect of intensive handwashing promotion on childhood diarrhea in high-risk communities in Pakistan: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 291, 2547–2554.10.1001/jama.291.21.2547[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]) suggested, many health threats can be addressed partly through ensuring adequate handwashing facilities, limiting the spread of pathogens. Previous public health studies in refugee encampments have focused on officially recognised refugee spaces, which are often administered by the UN or state authorities (Ahmed et al., 2012 Ahmed, J. A., Katz, M. A., Auko, E., Njenga, M. K., Weinberg, M., Kapella, B. K., … Mahamud, A. (2012). Epidemiology of respiratory viral infections in two long-term refugee camps in Kenya, 2007–2010. BMC Infectious Diseases, 17, 7.[Crossref], [Google Scholar]; Sow et al., 2002 Sow, S., de Vlas, S. J., Engels, D., & Gryseels, B. (2002). Water related disease patterns before and after the construction of the Diama dam in northern Senegal. Annals of Tropical Medicine & Parasitology, 96, 575–586.10.1179/000349802125001636[Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Here, we present the first study – to the best of our knowledge – that examines public health conditions in an informal or ‘makeshift’ camp, which are fast becoming dominant spaces of refugee migrations (Davies & Isakjee, 2015 Davies, T., & Isakjee, A. (2015). Geography, migration and abandonment in the Calais refugee camp. Political Geography, 49, 93–95.10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.08.003[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]).
This study combines quantitative methods with qualitative group interviews and field observations to provide a comprehensive assessment of the environmental health conditions and associated vulnerability of migrant residents in the Calais refugee camp (see Ulin, Robinson, & Tolley, 2012 Ulin, P. R., Robinson, E. T., & Tolley, E. E. (2012). Qualitative methods in public health: A field guide for applied research. London: Wiley. [Google Scholar]). The principal fieldwork took place in July 2015, and the key areas of focus were; food and water, shelter and hygiene and sanitation. Data were collected from 11 sub-camp sites generally consisting of people from the same country or sharing a common language. To ensure a robust data-set, these sites were purposively selected for maximum variation to cover a range of geographical locations across the camp and to include groups from a range of origin countries, age groups and group size. The selected camp sub-site characteristics are summarised in Table 1. The sub-site locations were logged using GPS and are shown in Figure 1.
Table 1. Sub-camp sample characteristics.
CSVDisplay TableFigure 1. Map showing location of Calais camp and distribution of 11 sub-camps surveyed for this project.
Some limitations in relation to the study are worth noting. As previously indicated, 96.8% of the camp population in 2015 was male. Most female refugees in Calais were housed in an adjacent accommodation centre to which researchers did not have access. However, a small number of female migrants did reside in the informal camp. In a survey conducted by RRDP (2016 RRDP. (2016, April). The long wait: Filling in the gaps relating to refugees and displaced people in the Calais camp. Online Report, London. [Google Scholar], p. 26), 46% of the female residents reported feeling unsafe inside the camp. In a study specifically on sexual and reproductive health in Calais, it was concluded that the camp did not meet minimum standards for sexual and reproductive health or provide adequate HIV protection (Finnerty, Nunes, Gilleece, & Richardson, 2016 Finnerty, F., Nunes, C., Gilleece, Y., & Richardson, D. (2016). Does the new ‘jungle’migrant camp in Calais meet the intra-agency working group (IAWG) minimum standards for sexual and reproductive health (MISP) in an emergency situation? Sexually Transmitted Infections, 92, 291–291.10.1136/sextrans-2015-052514[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Reports of sexual violence were also noted (ibid.).
Food and water
Multiple methods were used to assess food and water safety.
Stored food and water samples were taken from the majority of sites for microbiological analysis. There was an absence of food in sub-camps 5, 7 and 9 and so sampling was not possible. All food samples were from sources intended for consumption without further processing (such as cooking) by people in the sub-camp. Water samples were taken from containers which had been filled from the main piped camp supply. Food samples were analysed for the presence of pathogenic bacteria (cfu/gr); Clostridium spp., B.. cereus, E. coli spp. and Salmonella spp. Water samples were analysed for the presence of pathogenic bacteria and bacteria indicative of faecal contamination (cfu/30 ml); E. coli spp., E. cloacae and K. pneumonia. Most Probable Number coliform tests were also carried out.
Environmental swabs (of 10 cm × 10 cm areas) of a selection of food preparation surfaces, crockery and cooking equipment were taken each of the sub-camps, with the exception of sub-camp 9, using sterile equipment. Swabs were taken from the door handle of a toilet located on the main track; a long-drop toilet cover handle; and a water point tap-head. Swabs were analysed for the presence of pathogenic bacteria and bacteria indicative of faecal contamination (cell/100 cm2); E. coli spp., S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, E. faecalis, Salmonella spp. and Clostridium spp.
All samples were collected using sterile equipment and containers and stored in an insulated cool-bag before placing in a mobile freezer unit operating at -18 °C. The mobile freezer unit temperature was monitored twice daily using a calibrated thermometer. All samples were labelled immediately and double-bagged. Samples were analysed at the University of Birmingham food laboratories, and sample data were analysed against current standards and established infective doses.
Field observations were made of food and water storage and preparation practices, including temperature control, the separation of raw and ready to eat foods and the ability wash fruit and vegetables. Arrangements for hand washing and ability to effectively clean and disinfect surfaces and equipment were noted. In addition, individual and group interviews covered these issues and also explored knowledge of food safety issues. The availability and type of food, sources of food and water, hunger and reported symptoms of foodborne illness; diarrhoea, vomiting, fever or stomach cramps were also discussed.
Field notes were made on the type of shelter in each sub-camp, its construction (including use of flammable materials and insulation), condition, stability, any means of heating, ventilation and lighting. Means of fighting fires and raising the alarm were recorded, in addition to proximity to other shelters and access points for emergency services. Cases of overcrowding or inadequate shelter for the number of residents were also noted. During interviews, residents were asked about their experiences of living in the shelters.
Hygiene and sanitation
Interview participants were asked about facilities for personal hygiene including washing bodies, bedding and clothes, and in particular focusing on access to hot water, handwashing facilities, soap, toothpaste and the disposal of wastewater. Interviews also covered discussion of the toilets including the availability, cleanliness, security and user acceptability of the facilities provided. Observations were made on the availability and cleanliness of toilets and associated handwashing facilities, hygiene practices, evidence of open-air defecation, as well as the approximate distance of the hygiene facilities from sub-camp locations.
The research team also made contemporaneous audio notes of observations and items of interest, and recorded their reflections at the end of each day on site. All audio and written records were transcribed and coded against the key themes of food and water, shelter and hygiene and sanitation.
Results and discussion
Food and water
Residents of the camp were entitled to one meal a day free-of-charge from the central kitchens at the adjacent state-sponsored distribution centre. However, evidence from NGOs in the camp suggested that at the time of the study, the available free food would only cover approximately two-thirds of the population of the camp, and this assertion was supported by evidence in interviews which frequently described a shortage of food. Hunger was reported as being commonly experienced by residents in each of the 11 sub-sites. In addition, there were frequent reports in group-interviews of constipation linked to the lack of fruit and vegetables and a reliance on white bread as a staple. Where possible, this single meal was partially retained and supplemented later that day or the next, with donated food, most commonly pasta or tinned beans (Figure 2). The inadequate levels of sustenance available from the French state in this instance is among the most fundamental forms of biopolitical othering (Foucault, 1978 Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality. (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York, NY: Pantheon. [Google Scholar]); reducing refugees to a state of hunger in this way becomes a political device that reproduces refugee biologies as lives that can be ‘wasted’ (Bauman, 2004 Bauman, Z. (2004). Wasted lives: Modernity and its outcasts. London: Wiley. [Google Scholar]).
Figure 2. Portions of food salvaged from the Jules Ferry centre stored unsafely inside makeshift shelters without adequate refrigeration (Sub-camp 3).
There were no facilities recorded within any of the sub-sites for the safe preparation and storage of food. There were no refrigeration facilities, no supplies of hot water and no disinfectant or sanitiser available for the effective cleaning of hands, equipment and surfaces and food could not be effectively be protected from insect and rodent pests. This presented a risk of food contamination and an opportunity for pathogenic bacteria to grow and multiply to infectious levels (Questier, 2011 Questier, J. (2011). Food and food safety. In S. Battersby (Ed.), Clay’s handbook of environmental health (pp. 315–415, 20th ed.). Abingdon: Spon Press. [Google Scholar]). Indeed, food samples taken did reveal the presence of pathogenic bacteria at infective doses in some sub-camps as detailed in Table 2. To illustrate, one food sample was heavily contaminated with Clostridium spp., spore-forming bacteria which cause nausea, acute abdominal pain and diarrhoea (Brynestad & Granum, 2002 Brynestad, S., & Granum, P. E. (2002). Clostridium perfringens and foodborne infections. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 74, 195–202.10.1016/S0168-1605(01)00680-8[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]) and is associated with inadequate cooking, cooling, refrigeration and reheating of cooked foods (Andersson, Rönner, & Granum, 1995 Andersson, A., Rönner, U., & Granum, P. E. (1995). What problems does the food industry have with the spore-forming pathogens Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens? International Journal of Food Microbiology, 28, 145–155.10.1016/0168-1605(95)00053-4[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Samples of food from three sites also revealed contamination with B. cereus at infective doses of 105–107 (cfu/gr). No food samples contained levels of B. cereus below 103 (cfu/gr); the presence of this spore-forming bacteria in large numbers is indicative of poor temperature control during cooking, storage and reheating. The symptoms of infection with B. cereus include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea (Kim et al., 2010 Kim, J. -B., Kim, J. -M., Kim, C. -H., Seo, K. S., Park, Y. -B., Choi, N. -J., & Oh, D. -H. (2010). Emetic toxin producing Bacillus cereus Korean isolates contain genes encoding diarrheal-related enterotoxins. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 144, 182–186.10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2010.08.021[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Residents in two of the sub-sites made direct links between consumption of specific food stored unsafely and the gastrointestinal problems they were having. Furthermore, residents in four of the sites reported symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting.
Table 2. Pathogens found in food samples.
Residents were generally aware of basic food safety controls, such as handwashing, equipment cleaning, separation of raw and ready to eat foods, cold storage of high-risk foods and the need to cook and reheat food thoroughly. However, the French state’s decision not to intervene with the provision of such facilities made adhering to many of these measures impossible. The inability to wash foods such as vegetables effectively presents a risk of E. coli contamination from soil on produce; ingestion of E. coli 0157 can cause symptoms including severe diarrhoea (Swerdlow et al., 1992 Swerdlow, D. L., Woodruff, B. A., Brady, R. C., Griffin, P. M., Tippen, S., Donnell, H. D., … Greene, K. D. (1992). A waterborne outbreak in Missouri of Escherichia coli O157:H7 associated with bloody diarrhea and death. Annals of Internal Medicine, 117, 812–819.10.7326/0003-4819-117-10-812[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]), and exposure even at low doses, can be fatal or lead to life-changing illness (Food Standards Agency, 2014 Food Standards Agency. (2014). E.coli 0157 control of cross contamination. Guidance for food business operators and local authorities. Retrieved from https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/ecoli-cross-contamination-guidance.pdf [Google Scholar]).
Water facilities were also found to be inadequate. There were five piped cold water points in the camp; however at one point, the pipe was leaking, presenting a risk of contamination of the supply (Supplementary Figure 1). There was no hot water supply. Residents were not provided with suitable containers for the collection and storage of water and were frequently observed to be using chemical containers, some labelled as having previously contained corrosive substances (Supplementary Figure 2). The containers could not be effectively cleaned or covered and this led to the contamination of drinking water which others have shown to increase chances of diarrhoea (Abu Mourad, 2004 Abu Mourad, T. A. (2004). Palestinian refugee conditions associated with intestinal parasites and diarrhoea: Nuseirat refugee camp as a case study. Public Health, 118, 131–142.10.1016/j.puhe.2003.09.002[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). Indeed all samples from water containers contained harmful levels of Enterobacter Spp, which among other health issues is also linked to the prevalence of waterborne infections, especially for individuals with pre-weakened immune systems (Exner et al., 2005 Exner, M., Kramer, A., Lajoie, L., Gebel, J., Engelhart, S., & Hartemann, P. (2005). Prevention and control of health care–associated waterborne infections in health care facilities. American Journal of Infection Control, 33, S26–S40.10.1016/j.ajic.2005.04.002[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). A sample from one container was found to have 200 (cfu/30 ml) of E. coli which can cause diarrhoea. Five of the samples also had levels of 10–39 (cfu/30 ml) of K. pneumoniae present which can cause pneumonia and other respiratory infections (Nordmann, Cuzon, & Naas, 2009 Nordmann, P., Cuzon, G., & Naas, T. (2009). The real threat of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing bacteria. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 9, 228–236.10.1016/S1473-3099(09)70054-4[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]). A high incidence of chest infections amongst residents was reported by medical staff for the charity Doctors of the World, who were treating camp residents.
Shelters were vastly inadequate and directly exacerbating the ill-health and psychological distress suffered by some residents of the camp. With state provision of shelter again withheld, it was left to charities to provide limited materials or donated tents which would act as living quarters. Accommodation was found to consist of either timber-framed shelters with plastic sheeting or of tents, donated by humanitarian charities or ad hoc voluntary groups (see Figure 3). Supplementary Table 1 shows the types and condition of shelters found at each site. Several makeshift shelters and tents were found to be leaking rainwater to varying degrees, and all sites reported condensation build-up internally making bedding damp. All residents interviewed described being cold at night and some interviewees connected cold and damp conditions to the wheeziness and breathing difficulties they had been experiencing. In all, respondents in six sites reported respiratory problems, likely exacerbated by the open fires and burning of plastic for heating and cooking purposes. In terms of their improvised condition, none of the shelters surveyed were in line with UNHCR recommendations for emergency refugee spaces (UNHCR, 2007 UNHCR. (2007). Handbook for emergencies (3rd ed.). Geneva: Author. Retrieved from http://www.ifrc.org/PageFiles/95884/D.01.03.%20Handbook%20for%20Emergencies_UNHCR.pdf [Google Scholar]).
Figure 3. A view across part of the Calais camp showing the predominant type of improvised shelter.
All structures were made of flammable material and with the exception of the Kurdish sub-camp (Site 5), were built in very close proximity to each other allowing flames to spread quickly in the event of fire, and restricting emergency access. None of the sites were found to be equipped with firefighting equipment or any means of raising the alarm. The use of naked flames for lighting, and of open fires for cooking and heating presented a high risk of fire. Indeed fires have started and spread in parts of the camp regularly since the study was completed, including incidents in November 2015 in which 40 shelters were destroyed (Smith, 2015 Smith, M. (2015). Calais migrant camp on fire as France reels from Paris terror attacks. Mirror. Retrieved from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/calais-migrant-camp-fire-france-6830330 [Google Scholar]). There was also a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning where combustion of fuel for cooking and heating took place in enclosed spaces.
Due to a lack of adequate refuse storage and collection in the camp, there were large piles of waste, including food debris, in close proximity to living structures which provided food and harbourage to pests including rats and mice. This further echoes observations by Bauman (2004 Bauman, Z. (2004). Wasted lives: Modernity and its outcasts. London: Wiley. [Google Scholar]) on the juxtaposition of unwanted materials with populations deemed ‘disposable’. Interviews revealed the widespread presence of vermin, with nine sites reporting the presence of rats, one noticing cockroaches, three reporting bedbugs and nine reporting the presence of lice. As LeMay (2015 LeMay, M. C. (2015). Doctors at the borders: Immigration and the rise of public health. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. [Google Scholar]) reminds us, these pests are significant vectors of serious illness. Along with the lack of basic sanitation highlighted in the next section, these abject environmental conditions contributed to the dehumanising and ‘corrosive’ (McLoughlin & Warin, 2008 McLoughlin, P., & Warin, M. (2008). Corrosive places, inhuman spaces: Mental health in Australian immigration detention. Health & Place, 14, 254–264.10.1016/j.healthplace.2007.06.008[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar], p. 261) nature of the camp.
Hygiene and sanitation
Toilet facilities were inadequate in number and condition, with 40 toilets available in the entire camp, and many of those found to be heavily soiled or full and unusable (Figure 4). The ratio of toilets to residents was one per 75 residents; the UNHCR guidance for refugee camps recommends one toilet per family unit (6–10 people) or one per 20 residents in emergency situations (UNHCR, 2007 UNHCR. (2007). Handbook for emergencies (3rd ed.). Geneva: Author. Retrieved from http://www.ifrc.org/PageFiles/95884/D.01.03.%20Handbook%20for%20Emergencies_UNHCR.pdf [Google Scholar], p. 553). Residents frequently reported the toilets to be in a dirty condition, and this was verified by field observations as well as during interviews:
When I go to Salaam [In the Jules Ferry Centre] I use the toilets. They have (some) here but I don’t go … There are too many people … They’re not clean. (Afghan participant, Site 10)
Some ‘long drop’ toilets in large wooden structures provided by an NGO were found to be particularly unacceptable to residents, as they could not be effectively cleaned, were prone to ‘splashing’, and attracted large numbers of flies which were breeding in the effluent. As Abu Mourad (2004 Abu Mourad, T. A. (2004). Palestinian refugee conditions associated with intestinal parasites and diarrhoea: Nuseirat refugee camp as a case study. Public Health, 118, 131–142.10.1016/j.puhe.2003.09.002[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]) has shown, the lack of flushing toilets in refugee settings has been linked to increased parasitic infections and gastrointestinal illnesses (echoed by UNHCR, 2007 UNHCR. (2007). Handbook for emergencies (3rd ed.). Geneva: Author. Retrieved from http://www.ifrc.org
Unsurprisingly, many residents resorted to defecating in the open, and large areas of the camp were found to be visibly contaminated. Toilet facilities were commonly reported to be a source of distress to residents, impacting on their resilience to cope with other challenging conditions:
Figure 4. A typical view of the inside of one of the overused toilets. There were insufficient numbers of flush-toilets to serve the camp population, failing to meet ‘Sphere’ standards.
If you are to tell them to build us some suitable camps up here … with some toilets then it would be important and we would be able to handle it [living] here. (Kurdish participant, Site 5, Group interview)
There were no handwashing facilities associated with the toilets, and toilet water bottles were filled from the same water points as drinking water bottles, facilitating transmission of pathogenic bacteria via the faecal–oral route. At all sites, hands were washed only with cold water and with the exception of two sites where a limited amount of washing liquid and shampoo was sourced by migrants themselves, no other soaps or gels were available for that purpose. It is in relation to the lack of such basic sanitary conditions that Redfield (2005 Redfield, P. (2005). Doctors, borders, and life in crisis. Cultural Anthropology, 20, 328–361.10.1525/can.2005.20.issue-3[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar], p. 329) posits the ‘pit latrine’ as the most elementary expression of a discomforting and minimalist biopolitics. It is within these conditions that lives, ‘shrink to the immediacy of survival, shedding even the everyday trappings of customary dignity’ (Redfield 2005 Redfield, P. (2005). Doctors, borders, and life in crisis. Cultural Anthropology, 20, 328–361.10.1525/can.2005.20.issue-3[Crossref], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]).
Residents at all sites reported difficulties with washing themselves, their clothes and their bedding. Hot showers were available for a limited period daily in the Jules Ferry Centre, accessible via a ticketing system. However, the facilities were vastly inadequate for the number of people: around 400 daily shower places for over 3000 residents were reported with lack of access a common issue. DOTW staff reported to the research team that one in five residents seen for a range of other conditions, were also presenting with scabies. Yet with no adequate facilities for washing bedding and clothes for the vast majority of the population, treating scabies was deemed impossible by the camp’s volunteer doctors.
The research presented represents the first attempt at a comprehensive environmental health survey at an informal refugee camp, where no single state or supra-state organisation oversees conditions. The findings demonstrate how the politics of exclusion results in ‘biopolitical othering’ of migrants, with profound health consequences for disposable populations (Fassin, 2001 Fassin, D. (2001). The biopolitics of otherness: Undocumented foreigners and racial discrimination in French public debate. Anthropology Today, 17, 3–7.10.1111/anth.2001.17.issue-1[Crossref], [Google Scholar]). Inadequate shelter, food and hygiene provision creates an environment in which pathogenic bacteria multiply, are ingested and cause illness. By focusing on the minutia of a broader humanitarian crisis, we have shown how the biopolitical hierarchisation of migrants as being beneath the value of regular citizens, translates into harmful consequences even at the microbiological scale. The biopolitical othering is seen to be operationalised through each of the areas in which provision is denied or limited. This paper has shown how shortcomings in supply of food creates hunger; a lack of hygiene facilities leads to gastrointestinal illnesses; an absence of formal provisions of shelter leads to the exposure of vulnerable migrants to the elements and hazards such as fire risk, which have been shown to injure migrants and their health in Calais. Beyond the physical injury too is the stark elementary form of iniquity and indignity that is experienced as a result of being unable to use a toilet, or having to defecate in open ground, close to the sleeping quarters of fellow migrants.
However we also intend for this paper to connect health consequences within the broader political landscape to add a critical dimension to this work. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights advocates for an appropriate public health environment as a basic right for irregular migrants (FRA, 2015 FRA. (2015). Cost of exclusion from healthcare: The case of migrants in an irregular situation. European Union Agency for Fundamental Human Rights. Retrieved from http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2015-cost-healthcare_en.pdf [Google Scholar]), yet as revealed in this paper, the actual experience of public health for many refugees is starkly different. Indeed, the dire public health situation we have demonstrated in the Calais camp is politically useful to the French state. It forms part of a wider border enforcement regime; a ‘strategy [that] seeks deportation indirectly’ (Castro, 2015 Castro, A. F. H. (2015). From the “Bio” to the “Necro”: the human at the border. Resisting Biopolitics: Philosophical, Political, and Performative Strategies, 71, 237. [Google Scholar]) by creating a public health situation that is deliberately hazardous. Public health, or rather the denial of publicly acceptable health conditions, is therefore a tool of coercive governance, the aim no longer being to forcefully remove refugees and asylum seekers, ‘but to establish conditions similar to the ones unauthorized migrants suffer in their states of origin in order to force their “self-deportation”’ (Castro, 2015 Castro, A. F. H. (2015). From the “Bio” to the “Necro”: the human at the border. Resisting Biopolitics: Philosophical, Political, and Performative Strategies, 71, 237. [Google Scholar], p. 245). Seen this way, diarrhoea and vomiting are not just ailments, but also physical symptoms of political strategies of exclusion.
Though the latest manifestation of the Calais camp was demolished in late 2016 after 18 months of existence, the political situation in Europe has not changed. Makeshift camps will remain a permanent fixture on the European landscape. This reemphasises the importance of public and environmental health researchers to be attentive to wider political dynamics and to embrace interdisciplinarity. As the political strategies of refugee control fall ethically short, it is important for researchers to catalogue the specifics of these shortcomings – and to draw out the very material impacts this is having on refugee bodies. By doing so, we will be able to map out an emerging set of health exclusions emanating directly from contemporary migrant crises.
'Well, it turns out there's been just such a fund all along — the public health emergency fund. Problem is, there's no money in it'.
What was exposed over BUSH/OBAMA was a systematic defunding and dismantling of our national public health structures----from FEMA to CDC to even RED CROSS we had article after article telling us all these agencies were unprepared and corrupted.
The goal of MOVING FORWARD is to have no NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH STRUCTURES and that would include these Federal and national agencies. The Federal funding over these few decades has gone to global corporations now tasked as UNITED NATIONS REFUGEE relief organizations which have been filling our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones.
As with all Federal funds created to help with public health--these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA have seen all those funds taken to build global refugee relieve NGOs ----and as DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS made clear over these few decades----these NGOs are NOT doing that job for global 99% of people.
This is the two tiered health system being built by AFFORDABLE CARE ACT leaving 99% of citizens dependent on these global NGO HEALTH STRUCTURES.
If the goal of ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES is building a global corporate campus SUSTAINABILITY for the global 1% and their 2%-----with a 99% tied to rotating global labor pool moving constantly from one Foreign Economic Zone to another---this is the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION UNIVERSAL CARE.
Nothing like a few decades of FAILED STATE/NARCO STATE to push all thoughts of strong US developed nation health care out of the minds of 99% of US citizens.
A Permanent Fund That Could Help Fight Zika Exists, But It's Empty
June 3, 201610:24 AM ET
A mosquito control inspector in Miami-Dade County, Fla., looks for mosquito larvae in water from a storm drain.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images Public health advocates who are exasperated by the fight on Capitol Hill over how much to spend to combat the Zika virus are looking longingly at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
FEMA has a standing fund that it can draw upon when disaster strikes. The fund is replenished when the money is spent cleaning up from hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters.
If only, public health experts sigh. If only there were such a fund for health threats, officials wouldn't have to choose between fighting Zika or Ebola. They wouldn't have to run to Congress begging for money and then wait, they say.
The public agrees with them. A survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center shows that 63 percent of people said they support having a fund that the president can draw on to deal with an epidemic without having to ask Congress.
Well, it turns out there's been just such a fund all along — the public health emergency fund. Problem is, there's no money in it.
The fund was created by Congress in 1983, with an initial appropriation of $30 million. The law says if the secretary of Health and Human Services declares a health emergency and draws from the fund, Congress is authorized to bring it back up to $30 million each year. Problem is, after the first year, Congress only put money back into the emergency piggy bank twice, in 1987 and again in 1993 in response to the outbreak of hantavirus in the West.
The fund was reauthorized by Congress in 1990 with the balance raised to $45 million, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service, but it since has been abandoned. Today the fund has $57,000 in it, according to a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Today a $30 million pot of money wouldn't go very far.
President Obama requested $1.9 billion from Congress to try to combat Zika last February. Four months later, Congress is still debating how much money to allocate and where to get it.
The Senate has approved a bill giving the administration $1.1 billion in newly allocated money to mount a Zika response — which includes efforts to control the mosquitoes that carry the disease, research to find a vaccine, develop faster, more accurate tests for Zika infection and ways to deal with the birth defects that the virus can cause.
Scientists agree that the virus can cause microcephaly — a condition where a baby's head and brain are undersized and underdeveloped — in about 13 percent of babies born to women who get infected while pregnant. It is also linked to several other types of birth defects, and to Guillain-Barre syndrome in adults.
The House, by contrast, agreed to take $622 million, most of which had been dedicated to fight Ebola, and use it to combat Zika.
Obama says he'll veto the House bill if it reaches his desk.
To avoid these fights in the future, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat, has proposed legislation to re-up the public health emergency fund, by injecting $5 billion to be used for future emergencies. That's about what lawmakers set aside in 2014 to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
And last week, Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called for a permanent fund in a speech at the National Press Club.
"In a public health emergency, speed is critical," he said. "A day, a week, a month can make all of the difference."
He called the emergence of Zika "urgent and unusual" and said he was initially stunned when lawmakers told him if they move fast, money would be available after three months.
'And FEMA officials say they won’t be able to issue the grants to pay for more than 1,800 firefighter positions throughout the country, replace aging fire vehicles, or provide new breathing gear for fire departments. They’re also warning that state and local emergency departments are under strain — and might have to start furloughing their own people — because FEMA hasn’t been able to fund the Emergency Management Performance Grant, which pays for many of the local officials’ salaries'.
In the continuous game of KABUKI THEATER Congressional budget cuts designed to close down most Federal agencies----FEMA was folded into Homeland Security as we have watched as FEMA funding has been targeted for several years. If we know our Federal firefighters and emergency rescue have over these few decades been moved to global Foreign Economic Zone security and rescue corporations----we see why these fights are national news. All these global Wall Street pols KNOW FEMA is history ---long live global policing, fire, and rescue services. During any US civil unrest, violence et al----it will be those global security and public health corporations brought in tied to MARTIAL LAW.
DHS funding fight threatens Secret Service, FEMA
By DAVID NATHER and SEUNG MIN KIM
02/18/2015 05:41 AM EST
The way things are going in Congress, the Department of Homeland Security could be lucky if it gets just enough funding next week so it doesn’t have to shut its doors.
But in reality, a continuing resolution is just about the worst way that Congress could solve the funding problem, short of actually shutting the department down.
Customs and Border Protection wouldn’t be able to upgrade its mobile video systems to patrol the Rio Grande Valley. The Federal Emergency Management Agency wouldn’t be able to write the grants that pay the salaries of state and local emergency management officials. It might also have to cancel a series of training workshops next month for first responders.
And the 2016 presidential candidates have a stake in this, too: the Secret Service won’t be able to train the security details that are supposed to protect them on the campaign trail. It won’t be able to start training the agents who will be assigned to President Barack Obama when he leaves office, either.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has been warning Capitol Hill of the downsides of a continuing resolution, telling lawmakers that short-term funding won’t solve his problems. A continuing resolution wouldn’t include any of the money the department is supposed to get for new initiatives — it just keeps last year’s funding on autopilot. And it can’t issue the grants that help pay for emergency response and equipment upgrades, as well as the ones that fund surveillance cameras to look for terrorists in New York.
With the department’s funding scheduled to run out after Feb. 27, there is no constructive solution that is anywhere close to happening. The White House and Republican leaders aren’t talking to each other about a deal. And a “clean” funding bill isn’t in the cards either; even if House Speaker John Boehner wanted to bring one up, Republicans say there aren’t enough votes to pass it, even with Democrats’ help.
That leaves the non-solution — a short-term continuing resolution — as the only solution that stands a chance. It’s also the only one that Congress could pass quickly. Once lawmakers return next week, the House and the Senate will only have four legislative days to solve the problem, not nearly enough time to solve their bitter disagreements over the Republican efforts to block Obama’s immigration executive actions – a set of sweeping directives that have been temporarily halted by a federal judge in Texas.
If Congress can’t do any better than a series of continuing resolutions, the damage will mount quickly. The Secret Service won’t have the $21 million it needs to train the security agents for the 2016 campaign and purchase new vehicles and equipment, or the $4 million for the training of Obama’s post-White House security detail, according to spokesman Ed Donovan. And it won’t get the $25 million it has been promised to make the changes an advisory panel recommended after last year’s security breach at the White House, including 85 more agents to guard Obama and 200 new uniformed officers to protect other facilities.
There’s no way to know how many presidential candidates the Secret Service will have to protect, Donovan says — that’s a decision that will be made by Johnson in consultation with the top congressional leaders. But it has to be ready to guard as many as 10 candidates, he said, and “we can’t just throw them out there on the campaign trail.”
Customs and Border Patrol wouldn’t have the $90 million it needs for mobile video equipment in the Rio Grande Valley — a response to the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children last year — or $12 million to upgrade the X-ray equipment for screening cargo at the ports, according to CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske.
A short-term continuing resolution would also make it harder to deal with contractors, Kerlikowske said, because “they don’t know if you have funding for two or four months.”
And FEMA officials say they won’t be able to issue the grants to pay for more than 1,800 firefighter positions throughout the country, replace aging fire vehicles, or provide new breathing gear for fire departments. They’re also warning that state and local emergency departments are under strain — and might have to start furloughing their own people — because FEMA hasn’t been able to fund the Emergency Management Performance Grant, which pays for many of the local officials’ salaries.
There’s no guarantee that Congress will even get its act together long enough to pass a continuing resolution, now that some Republicans — including Boehner — are talking openly about letting the department shut down and blaming it on Senate Democrats. And publicly, at least, GOP leaders are happy to keep the staredown going. “The pressure mounts on the Democrats too,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told POLITICO. “I think everyone in leadership has made it clear that we’ve done our jobs.”
Indeed....it is the BANANA REPUBLIC kabuki theater of TRUMP AND RUSSIA that tells WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% we are seeing America taken to FAILED STATE. Trump is acting as a paid actor for those global 1% and our national media are that third world propaganda machine---not US journalism.
If we want to know to where US health care is going ---look to FAILED STATE third world WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION structures---they now control all of what used to be America's strong public health system.
EXTREME WEALTH IN US AS THE TOP 10% OF THE 1%----THAT IS ROBBER BARON CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA -------
'Inequality and class resentment
Inequality has risen over the past generation. The broad figures about the concentration of wealth and income in the top 10 per cent of the top 1 per cent are well known. What was less recognised until the current campaign was what was going on in the lives of the other 99 per cent'.
There's a reason national media and global Wall Street 5% to the 1% focus on this ridiculous FAKE POLITICAL CHATTER----while all government agencies once operated by public employees with oversight and accountability are in the hands of global corporations creating all kinds of FAKE DATA.
What has been a bought 5% to the 1% of professional class players now morphs into that bought FAILED STATE/NARCO STATE civil unrest civil war 'CIA terrorists groups'.
America: the failed state
America's political rot is infecting the world order. This could be as big as the Soviet collapse
by Francis Fukuyama / December 13, 2016 /
Published in January 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Trump addresses the 2016 Republican National Convention: “the greatness which Trump promises to regain will not be that which America used to imagine for itself” ©Action Press/Rex/Shutterstock
Donald Trump’s evolution from a buffoonish fringe candidate taken seriously by no one to the President-Elect of the United States is one of the most unexpected and traumatic events in recent US history. The effects are uncertain, but—in the worst case—they could lead to the US giving up entirely on global leadership, and the unravelling of the liberal world order it has done much to build since the 1950s.
The triumph of the Trump brand of nationalism is arguably of a piece with authoritarian advances in disparate countries, from Recep Tayyip Erdo˘gan’s Turkey to Viktor Orbán’s Hungary. Together these developments constitute an even more fundamental problem to cherished western ideas, by making populist democracy an active threat to individual liberty. A great deal remains up in the air, but with indignant nationalists riding the tide in so many places, we cannot preclude the possibility that we are living through a political disruption that will in time bear comparison with the collapse of Communism a generation ago.
There will be endless post-mortems in the US on how Trump’s win could possibly have come about; much of the media attention will continue to focus on short-term issues like the intervention by FBI Director James Comey 11 days before the election, or on the stream of reportedly Russian-sourced leaks from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Such considerations are valid and may have had a bearing on the outcome. But it is important to recognise that the result had roots which run deep into American society. As both the Republican and Democratic parties reassess their positions, they would do well to think about how the political map has changed in the four short years since 2012, and how this reflects not only campaign dramas, but changes within America itself—concerns over the state of the economy and a profound sense of unease over its role in world affairs.
Right around the developed world, the banking crisis of 2008 called into question the authority of elites who had created this highly risky system—there was, in Alan Greenspan’s famous testimony, a “flaw in the model,” undermining the expertise on which the standing of the elites had rested. More serious even than the failure of the western economy was the sense of burning injustice that grew in its wake. The public saw all those moneyed institutions and individuals who had been running the system being bailed out, and then poor and middling sorts being handed the bill in the form of austerity policies and unemployment. In the US, the disruptive effects of these aggravating observations were compounded by an anxiety born of decline in the nation’s relative power. After the George W Bush era had painfully exposed the limits of America’s military might in Iraq, the Barack Obama years saw China knock America off the top spot as the world’s largest economy on one measure, and it looks all set to overtake it entirely within a few years. Nationalism can take many forms, but nationalism tinged with nostalgia can be especially effective. Trump promised not merely to make America great, but to “make America great again.” British readers may hear an echo in the Brexit campaign slogan which was not simply an exhortation to take control, but to “take back control.”
The greatness which Trump promises to regain will not be that which America used to imagine for itself. Instead of the sometimes overclaimed commitment to the spread of openness and democracy, he proposes an assertive and yet more insular politics, potentially creating the space for other powers—and who knows which—to fill. The world as a whole, then, could soon have to grapple with the consequences of America’s retreat. The first task, however, is to understand why the nation came to take this solipsistic turn. And to find the answer to that one must look first to the US political system.
Elite capture and vetocracy
The dysfunction of the US political system weighed heavily on the outcome of the 2016 election. The charge that big money and powerful special interests were corrupting Congress and lining the pockets of “elites” at the expense of ordinary citizens was one that united the two outsider candidates from right and left, Trump and Bernie Sanders. Both of them vilified Clinton as the personification of this kind of corruption, since the Clintons had enriched themselves by taking money from powerful interest groups. Both targeted Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs as particular villains and, as the year ground on, the right took the charge to new heights, with Trump damning a range of American institutions as corrupt, including the FBI (though only when it exonerated Clinton), the Federal Reserve, and electoral administrations across the country. The conservative provocateur, Matt Drudge, even suggested that the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration was hyping the threat from Hurricane Matthew for political purposes.
The American political system has indeed become dysfunctional; the trouble is that critics like Trump and Sanders don’t correctly identify the source of the problem, and could not offer anything by way of real solutions.
The real problem has its roots partly in the nature of American society, and partly in the country’s institutions. The American people are highly diverse along every conceivable axis—racially, ethnically, religiously, geographically, and culturally—and, over the past 20 years, they have become highly polarised too. This polarisation is reflected in the places in which Americans choose to live, where ideological affinity is often more important than race or religion, and it is reflected in a Congress in which the most liberal Republican is considerably more conservative than the most conservative Democrat. This is quite different from the old 20th century situation, when overlap between the parties allowed for bipartisan agreement on major policies from the New Deal to the tax cuts of Ronald Reagan’s administration.
Beyond ideological polarisation, America has seen the rise of a huge number of wealthy and well-organised interest groups—not just corporate lobbyists, but also environmental groups, advocates for spending on virtually every disease known to man, and individual wealthy donors like the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson or the infamous Koch brothers, Charles and David, who can on their own raise nearly as much money as either one of the two parties. The amount of money in American politics has increased by more than an order of magnitude since the late-1990s; fund-raising now constitutes the major preoccupation of all office-holders, particularly members of the House of Representatives who have to stand for re-election every two years.
The constitutional structure bequeathed by the Founding Fathers intensifies the effects of polarisation and interest group capture. Compared to the parliamentary democracies of Western Europe, the American system spreads power out widely, among many competing branches of government. In the presidential system, the executive and legislature are effectively supposed to check one another; in a powerful upper house of the legislature, supermajorities (60 out of 100 votes) are required to pass ordinary legislation; a Supreme Court can invalidate acts of Congress, and in recent decades has taken it upon itself to make social policy; and, truly substantial powers remain with the states and localities. Each one of these power centres can potentially veto action by the system as a whole.
Add polarisation and the rise of powerful interest groups into this system, and the result is what I have labelled vetocracy: that is, a situation in which special interests can veto measures harmful to themselves, while collective action for the common good becomes exceedingly difficult to achieve. Vetocracy isn’t fatal to American democracy, but it does produce poor governance. This is evident in one of the government’s most basic tasks, producing an annual budget. The federal budget has not been passed under what is labelled “regular order” for more than a decade now. Each year there has been a showdown between Democrats and Tea Party Republicans, who threaten either not to pass a budget at all or not to raise the debt ceiling (an absurd refusal, which would involve reneging on US sovereign debt). In 2013, just as in 1996, the brinkmanship led to a complete government shutdown, during which federal workers were under criminal sanctions if they simply showed up at work.
Vetocracy has many other malign effects. The 10,000 page US tax code is a disgrace, an incomprehensible catalogue of exemptions or subsidies, special privileges slowly built up in past compromises, layer by sedimentary layer. The US, with one of the highest headline rates of corporate taxation, would do well to cut this rate in exchange for eliminating all these breaks. Budget experts in both parties agree in principle that it should be done, not least to encourage US multinationals to bring home the $2 trillion in cash they have stashed abroad. But in practice, a veto-clogged Congress is not even able to get rid of the hated “carried interest” provision, which grants private equity investors and hedge fund managers a lower tax rate than everyone else.
I define “political decay” as the capture of political power by well-organised interest groups that bend the system to their own interests, at the expense of broader public interests. A decayed system is also one that cannot fix itself, because those entrenched interests and ways of thinking prevent reform. The American political system has undergone decay over recent decades as well-organised elites have made use of vetocracy to protect their interests. This does not mean that the country is no longer democratic; it means that there is a crisis in representation as some Americans have much more weight in the political process than others. This perception of unfairness gives rise to the second important social condition which affected the outcome of the election, which is inequality.
Inequality and class resentment
Inequality has risen over the past generation. The broad figures about the concentration of wealth and income in the top 10 per cent of the top 1 per cent are well known. What was less recognised until the current campaign was what was going on in the lives of the other 99 per cent.
When people on the American left have considered inequality, they have traditionally thought first about African-Americans in inner cities, undocumented immigrants, or other marginalised minorities. Poverty among these groups continues to be a major problem, but the burden of growing inequality has fallen on a different stratum: the old white working class, which has now suffered three generations of deindustrialisation. As both Charles Murray and Robert Putnam, social observers from opposite ends of the political spectrum, have documented, America’s most important social fracture is no longer race or ethnicity, but class, defined by level of education.
“Trump may well accelerate the established trend for a significantly reduced American role in the world”
The diverging fortunes of university graduates and school dropouts is startling, and shows up not just in income statistics, where workers with only a basic education often make less than their fathers or grandfathers, but also in social dysfunctions like family breakdown, and drug addiction: during the primary season, the number one issue in largely white and rural New Hampshire turned out to be heroin abuse. Methamphetamine use has spread across rural America and children of single parents are being left to fend for themselves. There is a huge alienation on the part of rural and less educated people, and resentment that their urban fellow-citizens ignore their plight.
The white working class has not been well represented by either party. Republican elites come from corporate America, and advocate free trade and open immigration—what could be called the Wall Street Journal worldview. Working-class whites may have often voted for Republican candidates on the basis of cultural issues like guns and abortion, but the hierarchy has not shown concern for their economic interests. Trump proved masterful in stoking the rage that resulted—and today his supporters are often more enraged with orthodox Republicans like Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, than they are with the Democrats.
But the Democrats have also lost touch with the white working class. They have won national elections by cobbling together coalitions of different identity groups: African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, environmentalists, and the LGBT community. Women have been important too, but perhaps more particularly relatively educated women of feminist leanings: the outrage over the tape of Trump bragging about how he had groped women was felt more keenly among educated women than their working-class sisters, the majority of whom voted for Trump. The white working class was, until recently, an identity group that was not even perceived as particularly disadvantaged; as a result, the Democrats largely ignored them.
This transformation has been years in the making. Back in the 1930s, huge majorities of rural whites voted for Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition; they were often the chief beneficiaries of initiatives, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority that brought electrification to the rural south. After the Democrats passed the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, they began to drift to the Republicans, defecting in large numbers to Ronald Reagan in particular. Bill Clinton won many of them back in the 1990s, and Obama was able to hold on to enough to get elected twice. But their alienation from the Democrats exploded in a year when their candidate made the right noises about helping them, but seemed a cultural world away.
The success of populism in 2016 should thus not be shocking. The financial crisis of 2008 was the responsibility of an economic elite, but it was ordinary working class citizens who lost their jobs as a result. With neither party offering the white working class a home, economic marginalisation coincided with marginalisation in a political system that favoured those with money and status. The real surprise ought to be that the populist uprising did not come sooner.
Fixing the facts
One of the more troubling aspects of this year’s campaign was the debilitating effect of social media. Back in the 1990s, the avatars of the internet revolution believed that the new technology would be liberating; since information was power, its easy availability would have a democratising effect. This view appeared to be validated by democratic protest movements from Kiev to Yangon to Tahrir Square.
But whereas the internet has democratised access to information, it has not necessarily improved the quality of information—and it has exacerbated the effect of selective truths or even outright mis-information on politics. One has only to look at Russia to see how this works within an authoritarian state. Vladimir Putin has been perhaps the world’s largest purveyor of bad information. He has created new narratives out of whole cloth, such as the idea the Ukrainian nationalists were crucifying small children, or that the Malaysian airliner MH-17 was shot down by Ukrainian forces. Such propaganda has been startlingly effective within Russia: whereas many citizens were dismissive of official news sources back in the days of the former Soviet Union, they have responded far more positively to the nationalist line promoted by today’s Kremlin. When it comes to international relations, the ambition is not necessarily to promote a positive view of Russia, but simply to scramble the politics and upset the governance of his rivals. Hence the Russians gave support to the “Leave” forces in the Brexit referendum and the secessionists in the Scottish referendum before it, and in an even more daring assault on democracy Putin intervened in the US election campaign, where—according to the US intelligence community—Russian hackers stole information from the Democratic National Committee, hacked the email account of the Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, and dribbled what they found out through Wikileaks to try and damage Clinton. Some well-informed commentators have even been highlighting the vulnerability of electronic voting machines, raising the spectre of even more direct distortion of democracy.
Trump has, remarkably, worked hand-in-glove with Russian sources. He has steadfastly refused to criticise Putin, and in fact has compared him favourably to his own president, Obama. He has cast doubt on the intelligence briefings he himself received, saying that it is uncertain what the source of the leaks was, and has parroted Russian positions on the legitimacy of the Crimea takeover. Many Republicans have now followed his lead, seamlessly shifting from blaming Obama for being too soft on Putin, to saying that the US needs to get along with him better. The effects of this could be profound, but America had no need to import most of the internet-enabled distortions of the recent campaign: it was producing plenty at home.
The wider Trumpian war on truth has done even more damage, by demonstrating that there is no electoral penalty to be paid for unremitting, blatant lying. Trump has lied or, more often, put bad information out on his Twitter feed, casting doubt on big issues—like whether President Obama was born in the US, or whether crime is at an all-time high—and also distorting the record on more personal questions, as when he claimed he hadn’t supported the Iraq War before the fact (even though old television footage caught him saying that he did). Trump refuses to distinguish between facts emanating from statistical agencies like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and anecdotes he reads in gossip magazines such as the National Enquirer. He has cast doubt on the impartiality of US agencies from the Federal Reserve to the FBI when it suited his purposes, charging them without evidence of being corrupted by the Clinton campaign. Most recently he tweeted that he had actually won the popular vote due to three million illegal voters, an assertion with no empirical basis.
With every “fact” read on the internet seeming to weigh equally with every other “fact,” the compartmentalisation of worldviews of the electorate has been re-enforced. Mark Zuckerberg can protest to the contrary, but the self-selecting nature of so much political conversation is impossible to dispute, and so—increasingly—are the adverse consequences of that reality for America’s political discourse.
“Rewriting trade deals could lead to a downward global spiral reminiscent of the 30s”
For there are a significant number of Americans who will simply not believe anything they hear from a mainstream media source like the New York Times or CNN, and who will engage in wild conspiracy theories to explain away inconvenient information, believing, for example, that Trump did so poorly in the debates only because Clinton had an earpiece through which she was being fed her answers. Normally, conspiratorial thinking is the product of powerlessness, and indeed many of Trump’s supporters have felt ignored and despised. But he has stoked these tendencies for his own benefit in ways that bode ill for the future of democratic deliberation in America.
A month on from the election, there are still major uncertainties about how Trump will actually govern. The first concerns his true character. He is both a transactional businessman who wants to get deals done and an extremist conspiracy-monger, who has suggested that he will pursue staunchly nationalistic policies. When he confronts the reality of having to run a big, unwieldly government and deal with intractable foreign leaders, will the transactional or the extremist side take over?
Will he follow through with punitive tariffs against China and risk a trade war? Will he carpet-bomb Syria? Will he follow through on the logic of where such dangerous moves would lead, and turn his back on the referees of the liberal world order, such as the World Trade Organisation or even the United Nations? Will he go even further, as some of his wilder remarks have implied, and cease to feel bound by concordats that have long restricted how wars are conducted, such as the Geneva Convention? Will he authorise strikes against the families of terrorists? No one at this stage knows.
If Trump was elected because of discontent both with a dysfunctional political system and the plight of the working class, could the new president offer any hope of addressing either problem?
With regard to the US’s decayed political institutions, I am not at all optimistic. Trump has not put forward any institutional solution to the state’s capture by powerful interest groups, other than some proposals to ban revolving-door lobbying by government officials. The problem here is the sheer volume of money in politics, and a system that gives lobbyists far greater access to legislators than is permitted in parliamentary democracies. The money issue cannot be addressed in light of Supreme Court decisions like Buckley vs Valeo and Citizens United vs FEC, which argued that political donations and spending on lobbying are a form of free speech and therefore constitutionally protected. Trump’s only avowed solution is that he is rich enough not to be bribed, and that he is someone, indeed, who is rich enough to regard it as cheap advertising for his brand to turn down the presidential salary of $400,000. Quite apart from the fact that he seems eager to continue to maximise his business interests as president, he offers no long-term route to, as he puts it, “draining the swamp.”
On the issue of inequality and the plight of the working class, his major proposals—renegotiating trade deals and cracking down on illegal immigration—are unlikely to yield the positive effects he promises, and indeed may spark retaliation by other countries that will lead to a downward global spiral reminiscent of the 1930s. This is where the matter of character will kick in: if Trump finds he can’t get serious concessions from trade partners, does he walk away, as per his extremist persona, or does he simply settle for the best deal he can get?
There are however other areas where Trump might be more successful. The deadlock that has prevailed for six of Obama’s eight years is due to the two polarised parties holding different branches of government. Obama was able to pass the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank bill regulating banks because he had Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Now the shoe is on the other foot, with the Republicans in control of both branches. Log jams like the 2013 sequester that put a cap on spending across the whole government will be lifted. Congress will have an easier time passing budgets and enacting legislation. This does not mean the legislation will be good, but at least things will start happening in Washington again. That damaging sense of a frustration, no minor ingredient in the alienation, with a government that simply “can’t get anything done” could begin to ease—even, paradoxically, at a time when the Congressional majority is of an ideologically anti-government bent.
Away from trade, there is one area where Trump could do some good for his working-class supporters: infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that there is a $2 trillion deficit in infrastructure spending; both Trump and Clinton made big promises to invest. Such spending will create many working-class jobs and may provide a welcome stimulus. Trump may have a better chance of pulling this off than his Democratic rival, not just because he is a developer, but because much opposition to infrastructure spending in the past has come from the Tea Party wing of his own Republican Party. Had Hillary won the Electoral College, she would have been hobbled from the off by an angry Republican Congress eager to block all her initiatives; Trump by contrast will have more of a mandate to move ahead.
The broad Republican victory should not mask the fact that there are huge contradictions within the party between the orthodox Ryan-style conservatives who want globalisation and reduced social spending, and the working-class Trump supporters who want the opposite. This battle will soon be joined as the new administration formulates its first budget. We could get the worst of both worlds: large tax cuts for the wealthy (which look like a priority, after Trump appointed the long-time Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary) and cuts in social programmes like Obamacare, all combined with economic protectionism and inflamed ethnic intolerance. The appointment of Breitbart executive Steve Bannon as White House strategist and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff are suggestive of exactly that sort of compromise. On the other hand, Trump seemed to back off his promise to eliminate Obamacare entirely, and he may find himself stuck with his predecessor’s signature achievement as he realises that he cannot easily replace it with something “wonderful.”
The implications of the Trump victory for US foreign policy are much more disturbing. Trump has expressed admiration for a run of dictators, from Putin to Xi Jinping. He is the first major party candidate for whom promotion of a democratic world order—for so long at least notionally the calling of the US—has absolutely no resonance. Not only is he unwilling to criticise Putin, but he seems eager to cut a deal with him early on in his administration; the sanctions imposed by the US and Europe in response to Russia’s meddling in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea would be the first casualties of such an encounter.
Unlike Reagan, who restored a strong US leadership position in the world after Jimmy Carter’s post-Vietnam retreat, Trump may well accelerate the trends already begun under Obama for a significantly reduced American role in the world. This is why a character like Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was so eager to help him and hurt Clinton. In sum, even if his election was in part a response to America’s sense of decline in the world, the consequences could be to redouble it.
The book on Trump is still not written. We must to await the coming months to see which man, the deal-maker or the extremist, comes to the fore. But Trump’s victory also represents the latest stage in a global shift toward populist nationalism, a pattern whose meaning is starting to become frighteningly clear.
That trend encompasses Brexit and the rise of right-wing anti-EU, anti-immigrant parties across Europe. In some sense, these developments—like Trump—are a delayed popular reaction to globalisation, and the economic and cultural dislocations that it has wrought in the name of a freedom that doesn’t stop at the border. The “democratic” part of liberal democracy is, in other words, now rising up and taking revenge on the “liberal” part. If this trend continues elsewhere in the world we will be in for a very rough time of competing and angry nationalisms.