Baghdadified: The Militarization of US Cities and Police

By Danny Sjursen | ( Tomdispatch.com) | – –

This… thing, [the War on Drugs] this ain’t police work… I mean, you call something a war and pretty soon everybody gonna be running around acting like warriors… running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs, racking up body counts… pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your f**king enemy. And soon the neighborhood that you’re supposed to be policing, that’s just occupied territory.” — Major “Bunny” Colvin, season three of HBO’s The Wire

I can remember both so well.

2006: my first raid in South Baghdad. 2014: watching on YouTube as a New York police officer asphyxiated — murdered — Eric Garner for allegedly selling loose cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner not five miles from my old apartment. Both events shocked the conscience.

It was 11 years ago next month: my first patrol of the war and we were still learning the ropes from the army unit we were replacing. Unit swaps are tricky, dangerous times. In Army lexicon, they’re known as “right-seat-left-seat rides.” Picture a car. When you’re learning to drive, you first sit in the passenger seat and observe. Only then do you occupy the driver’s seat. That was Iraq, as units like ours rotated in and out via an annual revolving door of sorts. Officers from incoming units like mine were forced to learn the terrain, identify the key powerbrokers in our assigned area, and sort out the most effective tactics in the two weeks before the experienced officers departed. It was a stressful time.

Those transition weeks consisted of daily patrols led by the officers of the departing unit. My first foray off the FOB (forward operating base) was a night patrol. The platoon I’d tagged along with was going to the house of a suspected Shiite militia leader. (Back then, we were fighting both Shiite rebels of the Mahdi Army and Sunni insurgents.) We drove to the outskirts of Baghdad, surrounded a farmhouse, and knocked on the door. An old woman let us in and a few soldiers quickly fanned out to search every room. Only women — presumably the suspect’s mother and sisters — were home. Through a translator, my counterpart, the other lieutenant, loudly asked the old woman where her son was hiding. Where could we find him? Had he visited the house recently? Predictably, she claimed to be clueless. After the soldiers vigorously searched (“tossed”) a few rooms and found nothing out of the norm, we prepared to leave. At that point, the lieutenant warned the woman that we’d be back — just as had happened several times before — until she turned in her own son.

I returned to the FOB with an uneasy feeling. I couldn’t understand what it was that we had just accomplished. How did hassling these women, storming into their home after dark and making threats, contribute to defeating the Mahdi Army or earning the loyalty and trust of Iraqi civilians? I was, of course, brand new to the war, but the incident felt totally counterproductive. Let’s assume the woman’s son was Mahdi Army to the core.  So what?  Without long-term surveillance or reliable intelligence placing him at the house, entering the premises that way and making threats could only solidify whatever aversion the family already had to the U.S. Army. And what if we had gotten it wrong? What if he was innocent and we’d potentially just helped create a whole new family of insurgents? 

Though it wasn’t a thought that crossed my mind for years, those women must have felt like many African-American families living under persistent police pressure in parts of New York, Baltimore, Chicago, or elsewhere in this country.  Perhaps that sounds outlandish to more affluent whites, but it’s clear enough that some impoverished communities of color in this country do indeed see the police as their enemy.  For most military officers, it was similarly unthinkable that many embattled Iraqis could see all American military personnel in a negative light.  But from that first raid on, I knew one thing for sure: we were going to have to adjust our perceptions — and fast. Not, of course, that we did.

Years passed.  I came home, stayed in the Army, had a kid, divorced, moved a few more times, remarried, had more kids — my Giants even won two Super Bowls. Suddenly everyone had an iPhone, was on Facebook, or tweeting, or texting rather than calling. Somehow in those blurred years, Iraq-style police brutality and violence — especially against poor blacks — gradually became front-page news. One case, one shaky YouTube video followed another: Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, and Freddie Gray, just to start a long list. So many of the clips reminded me of enemy propaganda videos from Baghdad or helmet-cam shots recorded by our troopers in combat, except that they came from New York, or Chicago, or San Francisco.

Brutal Connections

As in Baghdad, so in Baltimore. It’s connected, you see. Scholars, pundits, politicians, most of us in fact like our worlds to remain discretely and comfortably separated. That’s why so few articles, reports, or op-ed columns even think to link police violence at home to our imperial pursuits abroad or the militarization of the policing of urban America to our wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa. I mean, how many profiles of the Black Lives Matter movement even mention America’s 16-year war on terror across huge swaths of the planet? Conversely, can you remember a foreign policy piece that cited Ferguson? I doubt it.

Nonetheless, take a moment to consider the ways in which counterinsurgency abroad and urban policing at home might, in these years, have come to resemble each other and might actually be connected phenomena:

*The degradations involved: So often, both counterinsurgency and urban policing involve countless routine humiliations of a mostly innocent populace.  No matter how we’ve cloaked the terms — “partnering,” “advising,” “assisting,” and so on — the American military has acted like an occupier of Iraq and Afghanistan in these years.  Those thousands of ubiquitous post-invasion U.S. Army foot and vehicle patrols in both countries tended to highlight the lack of sovereignty of their peoples.  Similarly, as long ago as 1966, author James Baldwin recognized that New York City’s ghettoes resembled, in his phrase, “occupied territory.”  In that regard, matters have only worsened since.  Just ask the black community in Baltimore or for that matter Ferguson, Missouri.  It’s hard to deny America’s police are becoming progressively more defiant; just last month St. Louis cops taunted protestors by chanting “whose streets? Our streets,” at a gathering crowd.  Pardon me, but since when has it been okay for police to rule America’s streets?  Aren’t they there to protect and serve us?  Something tells me the exceedingly libertarian Founding Fathers would be appalled by such arrogance.

*The racial and ethnic stereotyping.  In Baghdad, many U.S. troops called the locals hajis, ragheads, or worse still, sandniggers.  There should be no surprise in that.  The frustrations involved in occupation duty and the fear of death inherent in counterinsurgency campaigns lead soldiers to stereotype, and sometimes even hate, the populations they’re (doctrinally) supposed to protect.  Ordinary Iraqis or Afghans became the enemy, an “other,” worthy only of racial pejoratives and (sometimes) petty cruelties.  Sound familiar?  Listen to the private conversations of America’s exasperated urban police, or the occasionally public insults they throw at the population they’re paid to “protect.”  I, for one, can’t forget the video of an infuriated white officer taunting Ferguson protestors: “Bring it on, you f**king animals!”  Or how about a white Staten Island cop caught on the phone bragging to his girlfriend about how he’d framed a young black man or, in his words, “fried another nigger.”  Dehumanization of the enemy, either at home or abroad, is as old as empire itself.

*The searches: Searches, searches, and yet more searches. Back in the day in Iraq — I’m speaking of 2006 and 2007 — we didn’t exactly need a search warrant to look anywhere we pleased. The Iraqi courts, police, and judicial system were then barely operational.  We searched houses, shacks, apartments, and high rises for weapons, explosives, or other “contraband.”  No family — guilty or innocent (and they were nearly all innocent) — was safe from the small, daily indignities of a military search.  Back here in the U.S., a similar phenomenon rules, as it has since the “war on drugs” era of the 1980s.  It’s now routine for police SWAT teams to execute rubber-stamped or “no knock” search warrants on suspected drug dealers’ homes (often only for marijuana stashes) with an aggressiveness most soldiers from our distant wars would applaud.  Then there are the millions of random, warrantless, body searches on America’s urban, often minority-laden streets.  Take New York, for example, where a discriminatory regime of “stop-and-frisk” tactics terrorized blacks and Hispanics for decades.  Millions of (mostly) minority youths were halted and searched by New York police officers who had to cite only such opaque explanations as “furtive movements,” or “fits relevant description” — hardly explicit probable cause — to execute such daily indignities.  As numerous studies have shown (and a judicial ruling found), such “stop-and-frisk” procedures were discriminatory and likely unconstitutional.

As in my experience in Iraq, so here on the streets of so many urban neighborhoods of color, anyone, guilty or innocent (mainly innocent) was the target of such operations.  And the connections between war abroad and policing at home run ever deeper. Consider that in Springfield, Massachusetts, police anti-gang units learned and applied literal military counterinsurgency doctrine on that city’s streets.  In post-9/11 New York City, meanwhile, the NYPD Intelligence Unit practiced religious profiling and implemented military-style surveillance to spy on its Muslim residents.  Even America’s stalwart Israeli allies — no strangers to domestic counterinsurgency — have gotten in on the game. That country’s Security Forces have been training American cops, despite their long record of documented human rights abuses.  How’s that for coalition warfare and bilateral cooperation? 

*The equipment, the tools of the trade: Who hasn’t noticed in recent years that, thanks in part to a Pentagon program selling weaponry and equipment right off America’s battlefields, the police on our streets look ever less like kindly beat cops and ever more like Robocop or the heavily armed and protected troops of our distant wars?  Think of the sheer firepower and armor on the streets of Ferguson in those photos that shocked and discomforted so many Americans.  Or how about the aftermath of the tragic Boston Marathon Bombing? Watertown, Massachusetts, surely resembled U.S. Army-occupied Baghdad or Kabul at the height of their respective troop “surges,” as the area was locked down under curfew during the search for the bombing suspects.

Here, at least, the connection is undeniable. The military has sold hundreds of millions of dollars in excess weapons and equipment — armored vehicles, rifles, camouflage uniforms, and even drones — to local police departments, resulting in a revolving door of self-perpetuating urban militarism. Does Walla Walla, Washington, really need the very Mine Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) trucks I drove around Kandahar, Afghanistan?  And in case you were worried about the ability of Madison, Indiana (pop: 12,000), to fight off rocket propelled grenades thanks to those spiffy new MRAPs, fear not, President Trump recently overturned Obama-era restrictions on advanced technology transfers to local police. Let me just add, from my own experiences in Baghdad and Kandahar, that it has to be a losing proposition to try to be a friendly beat cop and do community policing from inside an armored vehicle. Even soldiers are taught not to perform counterinsurgency that way (though we ended up doing so all the time).

*Torture: The use of torture has rarely — except for several years at the CIA — been official policy in these years, but it happened anyway.  (See Abu Ghraib, of course.)  It often started small as soldier — or police — frustration built and the usual minor torments of the locals morphed into outright abuse.  The same process seems underway here in the U.S. as well, which was why, as a 34-year old New Yorker, when I first saw the photos at Abu Ghraib, I flashed back to the way, in 1997, the police sodomized Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant, in my own hometown.  Younger folks might consider the far more recent case in Baltimore of Freddie Gray, brutally and undeservedly handcuffed, his pleas ignored, and then driven in the back of a police van to his death.  Furthermore, we now know about two decades worth of systematic torture of more than 100 black men by the Chicago police in order to solicit (often false) confessions.

Unwinnable Wars: At Home and Abroad

For nearly five decades, Americans have been mesmerized by the government’s declarations of “war” on crime, drugs, and — more recently — terror. In the name of these perpetual struggles, apathetic citizens have acquiesced in countless assaults on their liberties. Think warrantless wiretapping, the Patriot Act, and the use of a drone to execute an (admittedly deplorable) American citizen without due process. The First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments — who needs them anyway? None of these onslaughts against the supposedly sacred Bill of Rights have ended terror attacks, prevented a raging opioid epidemic, staunched Chicago’s record murder rate, or thwarted America’s ubiquitous mass shootings, of which the Las Vegas tragedy is only the latest and most horrific example. The wars on drugs, crime, and terror — they’re all unwinnable and tear at the core of American society. In our apathy, we are all complicit.

Like so much else in our contemporary politics, Americans divide, like clockwork, into opposing camps over police brutality, foreign wars, and America’s original sin: racism. All too often in these debates, arguments aren’t rational but emotional as people feel their way to intractable opinions.  It’s become a cultural matter, transcending traditional policy debates. Want to start a sure argument with your dad? Bring up police brutality.  I promise you it’s foolproof.

So here’s a final link between our endless war on terror and rising militarization on what is no longer called “the home front”: there’s a striking overlap between those who instinctively give the increasingly militarized police of that homeland the benefit of the doubt and those who viscerally support our wars across the Greater Middle East and Africa.

It may be something of a cliché that distant wars have a way of coming home, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Policing today is being Baghdadified in the United States.  Over the last 40 years, as Washington struggled to maintain its global military influence, the nation’s domestic police have progressively shifted to military-style patrol, search, and surveillance tactics, while measuring success through statistical models familiar to any Pentagon staff officer.

Please understand this: for me when it comes to the police, it’s nothing personal. A couple of my uncles were New York City cops. Nearly half my family has served or still serves in the New York Fire Department.  I’m from blue-collar, civil service stock. Good guys, all. But experience tells me that they aren’t likely to see the connections I’m making between what’s happening here and what’s been happening in our distant war zones or agree with my conclusions about them. In a similar fashion, few of my peers in the military officer corps are likely to agree, or even recognize, the parallels I’ve drawn.

Of course, these days when you talk about the military and the police, you’re often talking about the very same people, since veterans from our wars are now making their way into police forces across the country, especially the highly militarized SWAT teams proliferating nationwide that use the sorts of smash-and-search tactics perfected abroad in recent years. While less than 6% of Americans are vets, some 19% of law-enforcement personnel have served in the U.S. military. In many ways it’s a natural fit, as former soldiers seamlessly slide into police life and pick up the very weaponry they once used in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere.

The widespread perpetuation of uneven policing and criminal (in)justice can be empirically shown. Consider the numerous critical Justice Department investigations of major American cities. But what concerns me in all of this is a simple enough question: What happens to the republic when the militarism that is part and parcel of our now more or less permanent state of war abroad takes over ever more of the prevailing culture of policing at home?

And here’s the inconvenient truth: despite numerous instances of brutality and murder perpetrated by the U.S. military personnel overseas — think Haditha (the infamous retaliatory massacre of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines), Panjwai (where a U.S. Army Sergeant left his base and methodically executed nearby Afghan villagers), and of course Abu Ghraib — in my experience, our army is often stricter about interactions with foreign civilians than many local American police forces are when it comes to communities of color.  After all, if one of my men strangled an Iraqi to death for breaking a minor civil law (as happened to Eric Garner), you can bet that the soldier, his sergeant, and I would have been disciplined, even if, as is so often the case, such accountability never reached the senior-officer level.

Ultimately, the irony is this: poor Eric Garner — at least if he had run into my platoon — would have been safer in Baghdad than on that street corner in New York. Either way, he and so many others should perhaps count as domestic casualties of my generation’s forever war. 

What’s global is local. And vice versa. American society is embracing its inner empire. Eventually, its long reach may come for us all.

Major Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular, is a U.S. Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. He lives with his wife and four sons in Lawrence, Kansas.  Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet.

[Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.]

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, as well as John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, John Feffer’s dystopian novel Splinterlands, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.

Copyright 2017 Danny Sjursen

Via Tomdispatch.com

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

TYT Nation: “Trump Is Re-Militarizing The Police”

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13 Responses

  1. Our ancestors claimed the right to armed revolution against King George partly on the depredations of his Redcoats. There’s no way the total number of unarmed American colonists killed by Redcoats before that rebellion in 1775 approaches the number of unarmed African-Americans and Latino Americans and other Americans of Color killed by the police in the last generation.

    At what point does the Declaration of Independence finally apply to Americans who aren’t Founding Father-colored? Did Crispus Attucks die in vain?

    • link to github.com

      In 2015 according to the Washington Post, police killed the following:
      -990 total, of which 93 were unarmed
      -495 Caucasians, of which 32 were unarmed
      -258 Blacks, of which 38 were unarmed
      -172 Hispanics, of which 18 were unarmed
      -14 Asian Americans, of which 0 were unarmed

      super390, Why do you think Asian Americans (21 million or 6% of the population) are killed by the police, commit crimes and serve time in prison at a tiny fraction the rate of Caucasian Americans?

      It is possible but not statistically verifiable that a tiny number of Hispanic Americans associated with Mexican organized crime commit the large majority of crimes committed by Hispanic Americans and the large majority of Hispanics killed by the police. Even without accounting for this outlier skewing statistics, Hispanic Americans are killed by police at comparable per capita rates as Caucasian Americans. Adjusted for Mexican organized crime, I suspect that Hispanics are less likely to be killed by the police than Caucasian Americans.

      Statistically a case could be made that America as a whole doesn’t have a large problem with police violence against Latino Americans, Asian Americans or Caucasian Americans. But things could get better. Including by training police in martial arts, conflict resolution, operating without fire arms. Police need to also accept greater risk and greater police casualties.

      There is a challenge with the 38 unarmed Black Americans killed by police per year. Which needs to be carefully studied for improvement. Keep in mind the following context:
      -Over 96% of all killings of black Americans are by non police officers.
      -Black Americans commit 51% of all Americans murders and 40% of all police killings.
      Again, the vast majority of this is probably by a tiny percentage of black repeat offenders. Police need better profiling to target the subset of African Americans committing crimes and sharply reduce profiling of African Americans which AI data mining suggests are less likely to commit crime based on measurable characteristics.

      You are right that policing needs significant improvement. I would argue that the main improvement needed is to better protect the Americans people. Far, far, far too many Americans are murdered, assaulted, raped and robbed every year . . . period. American police as a whole are also too casualty averse.

      Still, super390, shouldn’t our response be to ally with the police and help them dramatically improve police performance?

      • Ally with the police, like they’re already an autonomous foreign power – or occupier? One that we as taxpayers already shower with military aid?

        You are discounting the broad knowledge of African Americans of everyday police harassment as a sign that the police consider them to be the enemy. You can say they’re lying, but they believe it and they are Americans.

        In fact, you ignored the entire premise of the above article; that none of this abuse happens by accident, but by ideology. And that ideology is a far greater threat to democracy than all the criminals put together – at least the ones outside of Wall Street and the pollution industries.

        And the explanation for all this is very simple. We have low-turnout elections where hateful trolls can dominate. You can find elected mayors, district attorneys, police chiefs, sheriffs and judges in various combinations. All they do when pimping for votes is talk about being tough on crime, using exactly the kill-the-enemy rhetoric that I and Mr. Sjursen talk about – he from first-hand experience.

        And God help us, that’s the only kind of voter who shows up for those elections. People who in their crude bigotry are a thousand times more honest than you ever will be.

        If that changed, you would be the first to attack the people who got elected for being “soft” on the “enemy.” As if our side could run up enough of a body count to make them go away, the NRA fantasy that always ends in another kind of body count.

        • super390, peace officers are your brothers and sisters. When they make mistakes, when they fall, we help them back up. We help them become better. We help them be successful because they are family.

          Often upper middle class people who are privileged to live in safe communities (almost never having to worry about being killed, raped, assaulted or robbed) demand that peace officers withdraw their protection from poor, vulnerable and unsafe communities. In many though not all cases this is intentional; and I condemn this unreservedly.

          African Americans males do have a different experience in society than Latino males, African American females and everyone else. African American males are killed, assaulted, robbed, raped at extraordinarily high rates.

          According to the 2015 Association of American Universities (AAU) Campus Survey on Sexual Assault, 5% of all college male students are sexually assaulted. Colleges are the safest places in America. This suggests that rapes of African American males in unsafe neighborhoods and prison could be catastrophically high, and perhaps serially under reported (because of embarrassment).

          I think part of this abuse does happen in part because of ideology. Police don’t protect African American males nearly enough. Criminals is one of the major channels through which this ideology works. Historically in the south 1865 to the present . . . when “riots” happen (code for black males attacking black males and attacking black property), the police have pulled back and watched. Often these “riots” are fueled and encouraged by people who are not black. Do you really think that this is an accident?

          Do you really think low African American male voter turnout is an accident? This is encouraged by powerful external factors.

          Do you really think that black divorce rates rose from 10% a century ago by accident? Do you really think that black illegitimate birth rates rose from 10% a century ago to 76% now by accident? Do you really think that black single mother headed families rose from 10% a century ago to 76% now by accident? The attack on the black family; kicking the black father out of the house is led by powerful forces external to African American males. Do you really think these forces are well intended?

          1787 to 1861 the South went to great lengths to prevent African Americans (including the many who were free) from being educated.

          link to ushistory.org

          This process was far more pernicious and subtle than overt. Where do you think the demonization of nerds, geeks, uncle toms, coons; calling blacks who enjoy learning “white” comes from? It was an insidious clever conspiracy by non blacks to prevent African Americans from getting educated, affluent and successful.

          This colonization of the mind has been used by bigots to hurt African American males in many other ways to. Is it an accident that African american males start businesses at a fraction the rate of Latino Americans?

          Of course there is a powerful ideology to keep black Americans down. Super390, we need to fight this ideology together. We all share common values and interests. We all benefit from the success of others, including black males.

          Criminals target homeless people, poor people and unsafe neighborhoods (code for neighborhoods where peace officers have removed their protection) the most. Perhaps you volunteer at your local homeless shelter. If so, please ask homeless people you know what they fear most. I have, and the greatest threat they fear is crime and safety.

          High crime is a mechanism used by powerful forces to keep communities poor, disenfranchised, weak and disunited. High crime keeps businesses and jobs away. Pushes the cost of living up. Lowers the quality of life. Suppresses civil society. Prevents kids from studying and academically succeeding. And allows sadistic predators to prey on African Americans (assault, rape, robbery, murder) without a high risk of incarceration (since too many peace officers intentionally do not protect African Americans).

          Super390, could we be on the same side?

        • Since I cannot reply to your response to my comment, I will post it here.

          Stop slinging that Trumpian “Republicans are your friends” crap on me. You STILL haven’t addressed my comments about the Redcoats, or the author’s experiences with hostile occupying armies. The Redcoats were legally the “brothers” of the colonists too, but that doesn’t make the Revolutionary War invalid.

          And your claim that anti-police rhetoric scares the police into “withholding” protection from Blacks is bullshit because you refuse to accept the role of the police in carrying out violence against Blacks since the Civil War. Many Klansmen WERE policemen. The great destruction of Black Tulsa carried out by White citizens was done with the authorities by their side, not watching innocently.

          The police were integral to one of the greatest racist acts of the Jim Crow era; the use of vagrancy laws against innocent people as a matter of policy to produce temporary slave labor, which local governments then rented to favored private interests. This is now recognized by historians as an essential part of the Southern economy for decades. Why didn’t the population rebel against such a grotesque miscarriage of justice? Because Whites understood that the law was overwhelmingly enforced against Blacks. I don’t see how that would have been efficient unless the police forces acted as the first filter.

          You’re not addressing the article or my arguments because you want the Blacks to be broken to “goodness” under a society that just proved its evil foundation by letting a White Supremacist get in the White House. You’re using arguments to smear White liberals, obviously, thus providing cover for the monsters who think there are good White Supremacists.

          And over and over again, you refuse to admit that millions of Black people perceive harassment by cops in every area of their lives. You evade it relentlessly, and conspicuously, just as the apologists for our crimes in Iraq refused to address the petty cruelties of our Occupation forces. I will not post further replies until you explain that.

        • Let’s try to bring this one to a close, guys. Comments are for informed response articles not for running debates about loosely related issues.

        • I know that Juan just laid out the law about tangential issues but writing something to you here is the only way to address you at all. You mentioned below that a racist got elected president.
          I just wanted to add that his call for NFL teams to fire protesting players was a Selma Alabama ambush if I ever saw one. It may not have drawn as much blood as the police billy clubs and police dogs did more than 50 years ago but its intent to crush a non violent protest done for a good cause was just as clear to me. Yet it seems to me that the American people have by and large not at all seen if for what it was.
          It took me a while to figure out how to respond to Trumps outrageous assualt on the intergrity and patriotism of the players. I am in Gemany so my only means of response is through the internet. I at first thought if I point out how unamerican this assault was on a liberal web site i will just be preaching to the choir. If I put it one a conservative web site my comments will either be censored or somehow minimized to prevent it having any effect on my intended audiance. Eventually I came up with the idea of placing my comments on NFL game disscussion pages. Yet that really has not had any visable effect. No one ls lining up behind me to protect the integrity of the players.
          Then today I asked myself where in the hell is Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders or any other leading figure in the Democratic Party? I have not heard any of them come to the defence of the players. Being in Germany I might have missed it. But with my experise in US politcs I suspect that the more likely answer is they do see that pointing out that Trumps has sowrn to up hold the constitution and made a blatant attempt to silence a protest that was unpopular among confederate patriots.
          Leaders in the Democratic Party could reach millions if they so choose. I am lucky to reach a few dozen. The democratic leadership obviously has motives other than truth, justice, and defending sacred American values on their agenda.

        • during editing my comments at the end of a reply to super 390 got gargled. What I mean to say was that leaders in the Democratic Party could reach millions of people and point out how dispicable Trumps calls for NFL owners to fire protesting players were but as far as I know they have failed to do so. They are either complete idiots or they have motives that having nothing to do with truth, justice and sacred American values.

  2. One of the biggest travesty in America is the way police don’t do nearly enough to protect the American people from criminals.

    African Americans are killed in huge numbers and the police don’t protect them nearly enough. This is a dereliction of duty. 96% of all African Americans who were killed in 2015 were not killed by the police.

    Asian Americans cause around 1 1/2% of all murders; and 9% of all murders are committed against Asian Americans. More hate crimes per capita are committed against Jewish people than any other subgroup in America. While statistics on Jewish American murder rates are not compiled; if they were compiled it would not be surprising if their murder rates were more lopsided than Asian American murder rates. Hate crimes are also committed at much higher than average rates against LBGTQ Americans.

    The police have a responsibility to protect Americans far better than they do. Part of this reluctance probably has to do with the large numbers of police murdered in America. My response would be the sacrifice is sweetness. Shouldn’t police be willing to sacrifice their lives in huge numbers to protect American civilians?

    The city of Baltimore is mentioned in this article. Baltimore is famous for crimes against Asian Americans and Latino Americans. All too often police in Baltimore do not protect.

    I think poor people and homeless people are hurt worst by the lack of police protection.

  3. ‘We Don’t Worship Government, We Worship God’

    Trump means to separate Constitution and our laws from the Bible with that statement.

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