With so many dramatic and damning revelations coming out of the impeachment hearings, it’s become all too easy to ignore political developments in the rest of the world. But that would be a serious mistake, for much of the globe is in dramatic upheaval. So today’s Signal will focus mostly on what’s happening elsewhere.
In Bolivia, the “transitional” government that Senator Jeanine Áñez established after President Evo Morales’s resignation and flight to Mexico increasingly resembles a far-right junta, with government agents hunting down and killing indigenous protesters. In the town of El Alto on Tuesday, eight were shot dead during confrontations with troops. The indigenous flag has been burned in the streets by paramilitary groups, and the government has expelled hundreds of Cuban doctors, making it harder for impoverished indigenous populations to access health care. Trump has enthusiastically endorsed the new Bolivian regime.
In Lebanon, huge crowds of anti-corruption protesters have forced the prime minister’s resignation and are blockading Parliament.
In Haiti and Iraq, massive protests against poverty and corruption are rocking the governments, which have responded with vicious repression. More than 40 have been killed in Haiti in recent months, and in Iraq, hundreds of people protesting lack of jobs, irregular access to clean water and electricity, and government corruption have been killed since early October.
In the Czech Republic, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to demand the resignation of the prime minister over widespread allegations of corruption and fraud.
In Malta, vast protests are demanding the prime minister’s resignation following an alleged government cover-up of the car-bombing assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia two years ago.
Of course, there is no shortage of important domestic stories that are getting too little coverage. Take, for instance, the appalling case of the Border Patrol agent who referred to undocumented immigrants as “mindless murdering savages” and “subhuman” before he deliberately hit a fleeing immigrant with his truck. Instead of sentencing the agent to prison, an Arizona federal judge put him on probation, noting that the incident occurred during a period of “turmoil” on the border—as if that could possibly justify the agent’s vicious behavior.
Or take the brave Homeland Security special agent turned whistle-blower Wesley Petonak, who went public with his discovery that the agency was illegally tracking journalists, attorneys, and aid workers along the southern border, placing alerts on their passports, detaining them at border checkpoints, and otherwise harassing them. This is an extraordinarily important story, involving the illegitimate use of state power to threaten and intimidate people who document human rights abuses against asylum seekers and refugees.
And the Noise? Trump tweeting about “human scum” behind the impeachment inquiry and denouncing witnesses testifying before the House as “Never Trumpers.” Filter all of this out; there’s more than enough Signal worth paying attention to.