FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

About Those Kids in Camp X-Ray

 

Word that the Bush Administration’s goons down in Guantanamo Bay have been detaining children under the age of 16 among the “enemy combatants” that they spirited out of Afghanistan following the rout of the Taliban suggests a new strategy for dealing with America’s daycare crisis.

We know that as Bush and the conservative Congress continue to hack away at the nation’s already tattered welfare “safety net,” increasing numbers of single parents are being forced to abandon their small children at home while they go off to remote minimum-wage jobs or workfare assignments in an effort to make enough money to feed them.

Day care is not an option for these people. The federal government has been slashing daycare funding, while financially strapped states are rushing to exit the child-care subsidy business.

What’s a welfare mother to do?

Bush, the Pentagon and John Ashcroft’s increasingly inappropriately named Justice Department have provided us with the answer: detention in the name of national security.

All these working mothers and fathers need to do is get their little offspring to toddle around carrying small arms (the guns don’t have to be loaded, for goodness sake!) while spouting easily taught phrases like “Allah Akhbar!” or “Death to America!” and they’ll quickly be picked up and placed in confinement where they’ll be watched day and night and fed regularly.

Alternately, if the parents in question are undocumented aliens, they might just claim to the Immigration Department that their kids were born overseas and don’t have proper visas. That would lead to their being taken away and put in detention, too.

According to Pentagon officials, the youthful enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo are not being kept in cages like their elders, so presumably they are being treated in a manner more appropriate to their tender years–probably kept in some locked base rec room with a big-screen TV set tuned perpetually to the Cartoon Channel or WB.

Since this is pretty much what unlicensed child care services are doing in low-income neighborhoods anyway, parents can feel confident that their children are getting at least as good care in government custody as they would have been getting in a local child care facility, and at taxpayer expense instead of their own.

The only drawback I can see to this scheme is that under Pentagon and Justice Department rules since 9/11, relatives don’t have visitation rights where illegal aliens or enemy combatants are concerned.

We could work on this, perhaps getting Congress to amend the rules where minor detainees are involved. Surely the “family friendly” Republican majority would see the logic in such a rule change.

If not, at least poor struggling parents would know that their kids were getting three square meals a day in government custody.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. A collection of Lindorff’s stories can be found here: http://www.nwuphilly.org/dave.html

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 17, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: No Woman, No Cry
Kathleen Wallace
Hijacking the Struggles of Others, Elizabeth Warren Style
Robert Hunziker
The Rumbling Methane Enigma
Frank Joyce
Will the Constitution Fail Again?
Pete Dolack
Claims that the ‘NAFTA 2’ Agreement is Better are a Macabre Joke
Andrew Levine
Biden Daze
Vijay Prashad
Not an Inch: Indian Students Stand Against the Far Right
Ramzy Baroud
Sealed Off and Forgotten: What You Should Know about Israel’s ‘Firing Zones’ in the West Bank
Norman Solomon
Not Bernie, Us. Not Warren, Us. Their Clash Underscores the Need for Grassroots Wisdom
Ted Rall
America’s Long History of Meddling in Russia
David Rosen
The Irregulators vs. FCC: the Trial Begins
Jennifer Matsui
The Krown
Joseph Natoli
Resolutions and Obstacles/2020
Sarah Anderson
War Profiteering is Real
James McFadden
The Business Party Syndicate
Ajamu Baraka
Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are Convicted
David Swanson
CNN is Trash
Rev. William Alberts
Finally a Christian Call for Trump’s Removal
Dave Lindorff
The ERA Just Got Ratified by Virginia, the Needed 38th State!
W. T. Whitney
Mexico Takes Action on Coup in Bolivia and on CELAC
Steve Early
How General Strike Rhetoric Became a Reality in Seattle 
Jessicah Pierre
Learning From King’s Last Campaign
Mark Dickman
Saint Greta and the Dragon
Jared Bernstein - Dean Baker
Reducing the Health Care Tax
Clark T. Scott
Uniting “Progressives” Instead of Democrats
Nilofar Suhrawardy
Trump & Johnson: What a Contrast, Image-wise!
Ron Jacobs
Abusing America’s Children—Free Market Policy
George Wuerthner
Mills Are Being Closed by National Economic Trends, Not Environmental Regulations
Basav Sen
Nearly All Americans Want Off of Fossil Fuels
Mark Ashwill
Playing Geopolitical Whack-a-Mole: The Viet Nam Flag Issue Revisited
Jesse Jackson
New Hope for One of America’s Poorest Communities
Binoy Kampmark
Harry and Meghan Exit: The Royal Family Propaganda Machine
Ralph Nader
Trump: Making America Dread Again!
Rob Okun
A Call to Men to join Women’s March
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
We All Need to Be Tree Huggers Now
Tom Stephens
The New York Times’ Delusions of Empire
Julian Rose
Fake-Green Zero Carbon Fraud
Louis Proyect
The Best Films of 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: Into Kosovo
Colin Todhunter
Gone Fishing? No Fish but Plenty of Pesticides and a Public Health Crisis
Julian Vigo
Can New Tech Replace In-Class Learning?
Gaither Stewart
The Bench: the Life of Things
Nicky Reid
Trannies with Guns: Because Enough is Enough!
James Haught
Baby Dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark
David Yearsley
Brecht in Berlin
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail