Somebody at the White House needs to tell us what the President is up to in the wee hours of the morning, because every day around 2 or 3 A.M., something apparently blows up the President’s nose, hits his brain, and he explodes on Twitter. On Thursday, only hours after his Homeland Security secretary shook hands with her Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran counterparts in Tegucigalpa, promising them that her boss “shares common cause with the countries of Central America,” the boss man himself, probably watching his favorite cable news channel, reached for his phone and tweeted another tantrum. “Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country,” the President sniffed. “They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. […] May close the Southern Border!”
Despite his reputation, the President isn’t that great a liar — he just lies a lot. There’s a difference. A great liar can get anyone, everyone to believe the untrue things he says, whereas a constant liar just tires everyone out with his lies till they stop calling “Bullshit!” and finally roll over. Constant liars are sinvergüenzas, shameless, which lends them a talent for spitting out white-hot lies at rapid fire. I would’ve guessed the President lies at least ten times a day till I Googled it. Turns out The Washington Post’s Fact Checker has clocked his rate of lies at sixteen and a half every day during his second year, “almost triple the pace” of his first year, when he only averaged about six lies a day. So, kids, the lying President, who lies a lot, is lying more and more, faster and faster. He probably lies in his sleep. I bet he dreams about lies.
The President’s latest lie (though he has to have lied since then, and is probably lying as I write this, and again as you read it) has to do with that bit about a few Central American countries having “taken our money for years.” Bullshit, Mr. President. If anything, it is the United States that has been taking money from Central America — and rights, and resources — which is the main reason why moms from Comayaguela to Quetzaltenango are packing up their kids and heading north on foot. I’ll say it again: On. Foot. You know how far that it is from San Pedro Sula to Tijuana? Over two thousand seven hundred miles. Do you know how long it takes a kid, a kid like Jorge Alexander Ruiz, to walk that far? If you don’t stop to eat or sleep or anything, then at least nine hundred hours, or thirty-seven and a half days. As any kid who has ever run away from home will tell you, no kid walks ten or twenty miles unless he is running away from something terrible, so any kid walking nine hundred miles must be escaping a real hellhole.
Turning countries into hellholes, incidentally, has been the effect, if not the goal, of over a hundred years of U.S. bullying in Latin America — and nowhere is that more true than in Central America. Washington sees Latin America as its backyard, and so it has been treating Central America as its shed, the place where it keeps a few guns and a workshop for building hegemony. Read about United Fruit and the Banana Wars in the early part of the last century, how Uncle Sam turned Honduras into one big U.S. plantation. Read about how the United States sent Marines to crack the whip in Nicaragua right around World War II, how Sandino started an uprising to get rid of them, and how the United States then trained Papa Somoza to get rid of Sandino, along with any hopes for actual democracy.
(And while you’re at it, read War Is a Racket by Smedley Butler, who acted as Washington’s bulldog in Central America during those same Banana Wars, and was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history, winning two Medals of Honor. A MAGA hat-wearer might dismiss the lowly opinion of this writing dog, but they can’t dismiss the word of a Devil Dog legend. “War is a racket,” General Butler starts off saying. “It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. … It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. … It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”)
Read Bitter Fruit to learn a little about what the United States has done to Guatemala, or The Massacre at El Mozote to see what students of the American school did in El Salvador. Read anything about Central America and you will know what the region has “taken” from the United States (nothing) and what it is owed by the United States (where to start?).
Actually the President could start by handing over the six hundred and twenty-seven million dollars which the State Department has set aside for Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The President could also start by quitting the great American lie that says the crisis at the southern border isn’t a humanitarian one but a national-security one, centered on Central American gangs bringing murder and Mexican narcos bringing drugs — when, in reality, MS-13 and Barrio 18 were born on the streets of Los Angeles and then deliberately exported to Central America, and the narcos shooting it out in Old Mexico are warring over the exclusive license to supply Uncle Sam’s raging drug habit. Pot. Coke. Junk. Crank. Uppers, downers. And now fentanyl.
Sam likes to get twisted and has plenty of money to spend, just not on schools or clean air.
Now Central Americans, whom the United States stomped all over during its climb to the top of the food chain, are getting trampled by the country yet again as it comes tumbling back down. And the President, laced with lies and geeked out on God-knows-what, has the nerve to want to build a wall to keep them out of here.
I think all that lying has rotted his brain.
Featured image: The White House/Flickr