By Abel González Santamaría
The main world economic power is going through a complex social situation, which causes levels of insecurity in the whole nation to increase year by year. Children’s gardens, schools, universities, churches, shopping centers, offices and recreational places have been the scene of bloody events.
It is estimated that, in the United States, 93 people die every day from gunshots, while another 222 survive after being shot, equivalent to 33,880 deaths per year. For every ten inhabitants there are nine firearms, being the highest proportion in the world.
These statistics are carefully recorded by the Brady Campaign, which is named after James Brady, who served as press secretary to President Ronald Reagan, when both of them were wounded in 1981 during an attack in Washington DC. Reagan recovered but Brady was left in a wheelchair. For the next three decades, he became a standard-bearer of arms control in the United States.
Only one month ago, the bloodiest shooting in the modern history of the United States occurred. On October 1, an American retiree killed 58 people and wounded 500 others during a country music concert in Las Vegas. Last Sunday, November 5, a new massacre occurred. An American ex-military man killed 26 people, including several children, and wounded 20 others during a Mass at a Texas Baptist church.
The worst killings, before beginning this year, occurred, in 2016, at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people died and 53 were injured; in 2007, at Virginia Tech University, Virginia, where 32 people lost their lives, and the one that took place in 2012 at a primary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a total of 20 children and six adults died.
In spite of this harsh reality, the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States approved in 1791, which declares that “the right of the people to own and bear arms will not be violated, remains in force.” Since then, having guns is a right of American citizens and has become a big deal for the National Rifle Association (NRA).
There is no shortage of violent acts or massacres, nor the mobilization of public opinion to promote a real shift to the unsustainable regime of control of American arms. However, regrettably, the deliberate action of the NRA and other associated special interest groups, which “work” with generous contributions and threats of reprisals against each decision-making official on the issue within the Government and Congress, continues to be much more powerful.
The largest organization defending the possession of weapons of the United States, founded in 1871, is one of the most faithful donors of congressmen and presidential hopefuls, especially of the Republican Party. During the 2016 election campaign, that lobby allocated more than 30 million dollars in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Once in the presidency, on April 28, 2017, Donald Trump participated in the convention of the National Rifle Association. He was the first US president to participate in this meeting since Ronald Reagan and grateful for their contributions, he said: “You have a true friend in the White House.”
(Taken from Granma)
He is a Cuban lawyer, Doctor in Political Science and Master in International Relations. Researcher of Inter-American Relations and National Security.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
By David Brooks
The massacre in Las Vegas was characterized as the worst case of a multiple mass shooting in the modern history of the United States, but it is a type of tragedy that has become increasingly common in recent years in this country.
According to a case count of mass shootings (defined in this calculation as one in which 4 or more people are injured or killed by an aggressor), this was number 273 of the year. It happened on the 273rd day of this year. As the policy journalist Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone summed it up in a tweet: “a mass shooting per day: welcome to the United States of America”.
Only 16 months ago, until what happened yesterday the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s modern history, was when Omar Mateen killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Before that, the blood title and death of a mass shooting had been recorded at Virginia Tech University in 2007, where 32 were killed.
The cases of mass murder multiply with alarming frequency. Among the most remembered, in addition to the three “worst”, include the hate crime of the young Dylan Roof in an Afro-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing 9, in 2015, the same year in which there was a massive shooting in San Bernardino California, where 14 died; the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado where a man killed 12 in 2012, the same year that a man shot 20 primary school children and their teachers at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut and the 13 students killed at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado (subject of the famous documentary “Bowling for Columbine” by Michael Moore), among others in an increasingly long list.
Since 1970, more Americans have died from guns (including suicides, accidents and homicides) than the total of all Americans who lost their lives in all the wars in the country’s history, since Independence (1776). Every day, about 92 lose their lives by firearms, recalled Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist.
The incident in Las Vegas already triggered another cycle of debate over the control of private weapons in this country. But this, just as it is so often, already has a familiar script and nothing indicates that this time it will be very different. Trump and the Republicans expressed their condolences Monday and cited biblical phrases, while some – not all – Democrats insist again that more control of arms has to be promoted. The National Rifle Association and its allies will be silent for a while, while as always after these tragedies, the stocks of the gun makers rose on Wall Street.
The president, his team and a good part of the Republican Party, defend the “constitutional right” to arms, and argue that with more armed citizens there will be less violence and greater security.
But in an evaluation of diverse investigations published by Scientific American shows the opposite – that more weapons in private hands lead to more crimes, and comparisons with other developed countries indicate that this is, by far, the one that suffers most from gun violence, with more than 36 thousand fatalities in 2015.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, so far in 2017, there have been 46,595 incidents of violence with firearms, resulting in 11,652 deaths and 23,516 injured (this does not include the approximately 22,000 suicides per year).
In this country, there are approximately 300 million firearms in private hands – almost enough to give one to every adult and child in this country, and a little more than a third of the households in the country report having a gun at home.
But the tragedy in Las Vegas has already generated unexpected changes: the guitarist of one of the bands at the festival declared that the experience has changed his opinion. By declaring that he had been a promoter of the right of citizens to have arms all their lives, “until the events of last night. I can not express how wrong I was, “wrote Caleb Keeter of the country band Josh Abbott Band on his Twitter account “Enough is enough … We need gun control right now. “
But the White House spokeswoman said Monday was not the time to have a political discussion on gun control. “There is a time and place for a political debate. But this is a time to unite as a country,” said Sarah Sanders.
David Brooks is the US correspondent for the Mexican daily LA JORNADA.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Every American not anesthetized by anti-Russian hysteria should read Robert Parry’s essay “The Rise of the New McCarthyism” that highlights the similarities between the current overheated political pranks of Trumpism and the earlier manifestation of the shameful phenomenon in US history that is identified with the name of Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Parry recalls in that, during and after the First World War, the Bolshevik revolution terrorized the American ruling class. It, in turn, reacted with its first “red scare,” an orgy of patriotism induced by war and fear, infused by frantic means inflamed by the mythical red barbarism that led to a feast of deportations and mass arrests.
The victory of the Soviet Union, the expansion of socialism, the intensification of struggles for national liberation and a challenge to the hegemony of the two parties stimulated the occurrence of a second “red scare” in the US ruling class.
With such a base of support, a critical mass of consensus was achieved that persisted throughout the cold war. It was driven by the Republicans and the right against a large part of the left and other sectors and individuals (democrats, liberals and progressives) attacked by Senator McCarthy as “anti-American” or “fellow travelers” of the communists.
The true beneficiaries of the new McCarthyism today seem to be the neocons. They take advantage of Trump’s rejection of liberals and democrats to attract a part of the left to the hysteria unleashed by the controversy over the supposed “political interference” by Russia in the US presidential election.
The neocons and their allies have already exploited the frenzy against Russia to extract tens of millions of additional dollars from taxpayers for programs to “combat Russian propaganda,” that is, to fund non-governmental organizations and dissident US “scholars” for this new cold war.
The Washington Post (WP), which for years has served as the flagship of neocon propaganda, is charting the new political course of the United States. It had done the same to build the public support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and to promote support for Washington’s pressure to achieve “regime change” in Syria and Iran.
US taxpayers are bearing the cost of wars or military actions in the Middle East, South America, Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. Any country that does not show obedience to the global leadership of the United States becomes the target of In its attacks. the WP is leading a global campaign aimed at blaming Russia for everything that displeases Washington.
Putin has become the great black beast for the neocons, because he has frustrated Washington by a large variety of schemes. He helped to avoid a major US military attack against Syria in 2013; helped President Obama achieve the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2014-15; opposed the frustrated neocon support for the coup in Ukraine in 2014; and the support of the Russian air force that ultimately decided the recent defeat of the “rebels” supported by the US in Syria, at the hands of the local army, in 2017.
In an article, the WP reminds its readers that Moscow, historically, has relied on social inequalities in the United States to attack Washington, “which,” says Parry, “brings us back to the comparisons between old and new McCarthyism” .
Yes, it is true that the Soviet Union denounced the racial segregation of the United States. They cited that ugly characteristic of American society when expressing solidarity with the American civil rights movement and the national liberation struggles in Africa. It is also true that the communists of the United States collaborated with the national civil rights movement to promote racial integration, Parry explains.
That was a key reason why J. Edgar Hoover FBI had Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. watched and persecuted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other African-American leaders, because of his association with people known or suspected of being communists. Ronald Reagan’s administration, in the same way, was reluctant to support the global campaign for the release of Nelson Mandela because his party African National Congress accepted communist support for its struggle against the regime of white supremacy (apartheid) in South Africa.
Robert Parry warns that perhaps “new McCarthyism” is not the appropriate way to describe the situation that seems to be approaching in the United States, but that it should be a “new cold war.”
November 7, 2017.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Todo estadounidense no anestesiado por la histeria anti rusa debería leer el libro de Robert Parry “Auge del nuevo macartismo” que destaca las similitudes entre las recalentadas travesuras políticas actuales del trumpismo y la anterior manifestación del tan vergonzoso fenómeno en la historia de Estados Unidos que se identifica con el nombre del senador Joseph McCarthy.
Parry recuerda en su libro que, durante y luego de la Primera Guerra Mundial, la revolución bolchevique aterrorizó a la clase gobernante estadounidense que, a su vez, reaccionó con su primer “susto rojo”, orgía de patriotismo inducida por la guerra y el miedo infundido por frenéticos medios enardecidos por la mítica barbarie roja que llevó a un festín de deportaciones y detenciones en masa.
La victoria de la Unión Soviética, la expansión del socialismo, la intensificación de las luchas por la liberación nacional y un desafío a la hegemonía de los dos partidos estimularon la ocurrencia de un segundo “susto rojo” en la clase dominante estadounidense.
Con tal base de sustentación, se logró una masa crítica de consenso que persistió a todo lo largo de la guerra fría, impulsada por los republicanos y la derecha contra gran parte de la izquierda y otros sectores e individuos (demócratas, liberales y progresistas) afrentados por el senador McCarthy como “antiamericanos” o “fellow travelers” (compañeros de viaje) de los comunistas.
Los verdaderos beneficiarios del nuevo macartismo actual parecen ser los neoconservadores (neocon), que aprovechan el rechazo a Trump de liberales y demócratas para atraer a una parte de la izquierda a la histeria desatada por la polémica sobre la supuesta “intromisión política” rusa en las elecciones presidenciales estadounidenses.
Ya los neocon y sus aliados han explotado el frenesí contra Rusia para extraer decenas de millones de dólares adicionales de los contribuyentes para los programas de “combate a la propaganda rusa,” es decir, a financiar organizaciones no gubernamentales y “eruditos” disidentes estadounidenses para esta nueva guerra fría.
El periódico Washington Post (WP), que por años ha servido como buque insignia de la propaganda neocon, está trazando el nuevo curso político de Estados Unidos, como lo hizo en los mítines de respaldo público a la invasión de Iraq en 2003 y para promover apoyo a las presiones de Washington por lograr el “cambio de régimen” en Siria y en Irán.
Mientras a costa de los contribuyentes Estados Unidos lleva a cabo guerras o acciones de guerra en el Medio Oriente, América del Sur, África, el Caribe y Asia, y cualquier país que no demuestre aceptar el liderazgo global de Estados Unidos se convierte en blanco de sus agresiones, el WP encabeza una campaña mundial encaminada a culpar a Rusia por cuanta cosa desagrade al público de EEUU.
Putin se ha convertido en la gran bestia negra para los neocon, porque les ha frustrado una gran variedad de esquemas. Ayudó a evitar un gran ataque militar de Estados Unidos contra Siria en 2013; ayudó al Presidente Obama a lograr el acuerdo nuclear con Irán en 2014-15; se opuso al frustrado apoyo neocon al golpe de estado en Ucrania en 2014; y el apoyo de la fuerza aérea rusa que en última instancia fue lo que decidió la reciente derrota de los “rebeldes” apoyados por EEUU en Siria, a manos del ejército local en 2017.
En un artículo, el WP recuerda a sus lectores que Moscú, históricamente, se ha basado en las desigualdades sociales en Estados Unidos para atacar a Washington, “lo que –dice Parry- nos retrotrae a las comparaciones entre el macartismo viejo y el nuevo”.
Sí, es cierto que la Unión Soviética denunció la segregación racial de Estados Unidos y citó esa fea característica de la sociedad norteamericana al expresar su solidaridad con el movimiento de los derechos civiles estadounidense y las luchas de liberación nacional en África. También es cierto que los comunistas de Estados Unidos colaboraron con el movimiento de derechos civiles nacional para promover la integración racial, admite Parry.
Fue esa una razón clave por la que el FBI de J. Edgar Hoover había vigilado y perseguido a Martin Luther King Jr. y otros líderes afroamericanos debido a su asociación con personas conocidas o sospechosas de ser comunistas, del mismo modo que el gobierno de Ronald Reagan se resistió a apoyar la campaña mundial por la liberación de Nelson Mandela porque su partido Congreso Nacional Africano aceptaba el apoyo comunista a su lucha contra el régimen de supremacía blanca (apartheid) en Sudáfrica.
Robert Parry advierte que quizás “nuevo macartismo” no sea la forma apropiada para calificar la situación que parece avecinarse en Estados Unidos sino que debía hablarse de una “nueva guerra fría”.
Noviembre 7 de 2017.