Talk­ing points

Why Trump called in the troops

The Week (US) - - News 17 -

Let’s all take a step back and think about the “ver­tig­i­nous ab­sur­dity” of this mo­ment, said David Roberts in Vox.com. Pres­i­dent Trump has de­ployed more than 5,000 U.S. troops on Amer­i­can soil at the Mex­i­can bor­der, in an at­tempt to drum up hys­te­ria over a car­a­van of 4,000 Cen­tral Amer­i­can mi­grants who are flee­ing drug­gang vi­o­lence and poverty. U.S. troops can’t be used for do­mes­tic law en­force­ment, so they will have no con­tact with the mi­grants; in­stead, the Pen­tagon says, they’ll be pro­vid­ing lo­gis­ti­cal “sup­port” for the U.S. Bor­der Pa­trol, such as main­te­nance work. Nev­er­the­less, Trump says that he could ul­ti­mately send as many as 15,000 troops, which would be more than the num­ber of Amer­i­cans sta­tioned in Afghanistan. The car­a­van, still weeks away from reach­ing the bor­der, has shrunk from 7,000 to 4,000 peo­ple, and con­tin­ues to dwin­dle. Those who make it here plan to legally ap­ply for asy­lum. “Where is the emer­gency?”

Why is it “sud­denly cyn­i­cal” for a pres­i­dent to take a ma­jor im­mi­gra­tion ac­tion be­fore a big elec­tion? asked Ed­die Scarry in Wash­ing­ton Examiner.com. In the sum­mer of 2012, Pres­i­dent Obama is­sued an ex­ec­u­tive or­der to pro­tect more than a mil­lion young il­le­gal im­mi­grants known as “Dream­ers” from be­ing de­ported. Obama clearly hoped his or­der would im­prove his stand­ing with Latino vot­ers, but the me­dia didn’t re­act with the “hys­te­ria that Trump faces.” The car­a­van presents a real chal­lenge to our im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy, said Noah Roth­man in Com­men­taryMagazine .com. But even so, “there is no strate­gic jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for these de­ploy­ments.” When a sim­i­lar car­a­van reached the U.S. in April, only a few hun­dred mi­grants were left, and they peace­fully ap­plied for asy­lum at a check­point. Trump has “wildly ex­ag­ger­ated the threat.”

This may be “re­al­ity tele­vi­sion for Trump,” said Rex Hup­pke in the Chicago Tri­bune. “But it’s real life for the sol­diers.” Ev­ery mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion en­tails hard­ship and risk. “Ve­hi­cles crash. Sol­diers get in­jured op­er­at­ing heavy ma­chin­ery. There’s psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tress, ill­ness, and heat ex­haus­tion.” Over a re­cent 12-year pe­riod, nearly 4,600 ac­tive-duty per­son­nel were killed in ac­ci­dents. Sol­diers and their fam­i­lies bravely ac­cept these risks, but the com­man­der in chief should not to ask them to sac­ri­fice for no rea­son. In­stead, Trump is “treat­ing men and women who have vol­un­teered to fight and die for this coun­try like toy sol­diers.”

The U.S. Army, head­ing for the bor­der

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