…lady liberty, no lady, she, “ils ne passeront pas!”…Posted: 2014-07-15
…especially if from the South, and of that complexion and destitute and desperate…
To keep the context, we sample something of that myth to which so many still cling, the utter bombast of:
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
…and utterly predictable, obvious to most.
In the US as elections begin to draw near corporate politicians religiously resort to their accustomed ‘hot button’ issues, ‘culture’ wars to galvanise their respective constituencies to secure their vote, an untidy formality for them to continue to promote the corporate agenda. And the gullible do what the gullible always do so well. Immigration, a ‘hot button’ issue, important to corporate US politicians only for its many votes that make the difference for the candidate to pursue the agenda of the corporate owner. We consider the abundant evidence, so blithely ignored as it continues to accumulate.
The Guardian gives us the news. And the ideal platform for the US Presidential announcement on immigration, one that must stir ‘patriotism’ and highlights ‘serious commitment’ and the eternal benevolence of the US. Superb political theatre for the swooning faithful, theatre of the absurd for all others. Obama urges immigration reform at Fourth of July naturalisation ceremony. We have,
“We have to fix our immigration system, which is broken, and pass common-sense immigration reform,” Obama said at a White House ceremony for 25 foreign-born men and women who gained American citizenship for their service in the US military.
Of course the thing is predictable: the usual props, the usual platitudes – vapid nonsense. Another myth evident to all but the blindly faithful.
And to show seriousness of purpose of the ‘concerned’, we see ‘evidence’ from Reuters on 14 July, 2014, Obama asks Congress for $3.7 billion for immigration crisis,
(Reuters) – The White House asked the U.S. Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency spending on Tuesday to address a cross-border surge of children from Central America that is taxing public resources and causing a political headache for President Barack Obama.
It was Obama’s most substantive response to date as he struggles to gain control of a humanitarian crisis along the Texas border with Mexico. The money would both pay to care for the children and accelerate a return to their home countries.
Children caged like animals. The picture, no photo-op, is worth more than all the cynical photo-ops of US officials so avidly promoted by the US MSM. Such a disgrace provokes the observation in a posting by Joshua Holland of Moyers & Co over at common dreams, America’s Response to a Modest Spike in Refugees Is Downright Shameful,
Those seething with so much rage and xenophobia that they’d hurl ugly epithets in the faces of children fleeing bloody violence in Central America bring shame to the whole nation. But the response of mainstream America hasn’t been much better.
The media’s characterization of what’s going on at our southern border as a “crisis,” politicians pointing fingers at one another and Washington’s refusal to provide the resources necessary to care for a small wave of refugees — not to mention the bipartisan push to send them back home — is just as shameful when one considers the context.
Is the word, ‘xenophobia’, really the word – and not hateful racism, in the ‘post-racial’ US? And one picture provokes the thought, unalloyed malevolence.
Now then if one casually informed on regional affairs were asked, what country is culpable, principally responsible for the refugees and displaced persons…
A commentary from The Guardian explores the hoax that is US immigration policy, Obama’s new plan for detained migrant children militarizes immigration policy
Mass deportation will never address the underlying human rights crisis unfolding south of the border. These young refugees represent the fallout of decades of not only America’s failed immigration policy, but of our destructive trade policy and inhumane foreign policy. The majority of these children come from Guatemala,Honduras and El Salvador – three of the many countries ravaged by civil strife, drug wars and economic turmoil precipitated by US political and military intervention over several decades, as well as free-trade regimes and the corporate plunder of Latin America’s natural resources.
And to briefly examine the root causes of which the US is largely and violently responsible, we start with this from nacla, The U.S. Roots of the Central American Immigrant Influx, as for US benevolence,
Before dying of pneumonia at a Guatemala hospital in late May, the recently deported 21-year-old Gustavo Antonio Vásquez Chaj told his family that the U.S. Border Patrol had kept him, at some point, wet, stripped of a layer of clothing, and in a cold cell during several days in detention. Gustavo’s travel companion, Maximiliano Tucux Chiché, 19, survived but was hospitalized in critical condition at the time of Gustavo’s death. The young men left Chicuá, their community near the city of Quetzaltenango, in late April, hoping to reach Washington, D.C., where a relative of Vásquez’s has lived for 12 years.
It is indisputable that the United States shares significant responsibility for the genocide of tens of thousands of Guatemalans—mainly indigenous Mayans, including members of Gustavo and Maximiliano’s community, who comprised a majority of the (at least) 150,000 killed in the 1980s alone. A 1999 UN Truth Commission blamed Guatemalan state forces for 93 percent of the atrocities. That same year, former President Bill Clinton admitted the wrongness of U.S. support for Guatemalan state violence.
U.S. culpability for Guatemala’s plight endures to this day. The problem—then and now—is that the United States is in denial as a nation over what to do about its complicity.
[bold added for emphasis]
And for recent policy we stay with nacla, and recent ‘policy’, The U.S. Re-militarization of Central America and Mexico, An indicting observation,
Human rights organizations from Central America, Mexico, and the United States see the administration’s regional security policy very differently. In a letter sent to Obama and the region’s other presidents last year, over 145 civil society organizations called out U.S. policies that “promote militarization to address organized crime.” These policies, the letter states, have only resulted in a “dramatic surge in violent crime, often reportedly perpetrated by security forces themselves. Human rights abuses against our families and communities are, in many cases, directly attributable to failed and counterproductive security policies that have militarized our societies in the name of the ‘war on drugs.’”
Surely, some pattern should have started to emerge? To ensure its successful emergence we bring in Prof Chomsky, who. while he deals with overall US foreign policy, touches on El Salvador. (Anybody remember that name, Roberto D’Aubuisson?)
Other important events took place immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall, ending the Cold War. One was in El Salvador, the leading recipient of U.S. military aid — apart from Israel-Egypt, a separate category — and with one of the worst human rights records anywhere. That is a familiar and very close correlation.
The Salvadoran high command ordered the Atlacatl Brigade to invade the JesuitUniversity and murder six leading Latin American intellectuals, all Jesuit priests, including the rector, Fr. Ignacio Ellacuría, and any witnesses, meaning their housekeeper and her daughter. The Brigade had just returned from advanced counterinsurgency training at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and had already left a bloody trail of thousands of the usual victims in the course of the U.S.-run state terror campaign in El Salvador, one part of a broader terror and torture campaign throughout the region. All routine. Ignored and virtually forgotten in the United States and by its allies, again routine. But it tells us a lot about the factors that drive policy, if we care to look at the real world.
And to stay with El Salvador, we are reminded of a BBC and Guardian report, familiar to many, From El Salvador to Iraq: Washington’s man behind brutal police squads, An excerpt should open any eyes still closed,
Of his El Salvador experience in 1986, Steele told Dr Max Manwaring, the author of El Salvador at War: An Oral History: “When I arrived here there was a tendency to focus on technical indicators … but in an insurgency the focus has to be on human aspects. That means getting people to talk to you.”
But the arming of one side of the conflict by the US hastened the country’s descent into a civil war in which 75,000 people died and 1 million out of a population of 6 million became refugees.
[bold added for emphasis]
Again, the US. So let us see, the ‘finely spoken’ US President proposes to do what? U.S. Deports Honduran Children In First Flight Since Obama’s Pledge, as Reuters reports – an excerpt,
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras, July 14 (Reuters) – The United States deported a group of Honduran children as young as 1-1/2 years old on Monday in the first flight since President Barack Obama pledged to speed up the process of sending back illegal immigrant minors from Central America.
Fleeing violence and poverty, record numbers of children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have crossed into the United States over the past year, testing U.S. border facilities and sparking intense debate about how to solve the problem.
[bold added for emphasis]
From the US President’s most frenetic supporter, the cluttered, chaotic HuffPo, we get, White House To O’Malley: Border Kids Won’t Be Sent Home To Die, An excerpt of a response from the White House spokesman,
Earnest was asked about the point during Monday’s briefing.
“These children and other immigrants who are attempting to enter the country without documentation will go through the immigration process, and that means their claims of asylum will be considered by an immigration judge and by asylum officials,” he said.
The contradicting evidence lays bare the reflexive dishonesty, unblinking hypocrisy that has become the hallmark…
On Honduras, which also evokes the recent memory of ex-President Manuel Zelaya, Lanny Davis and barely disguised US support for the coup against the democratically elected leader, in an earlier article over at CEPR we have the musing on the incumbent US President, Will Obama’s Legacy Be a Death Squad Government in Honduras? Which should provoke this observation: Honduras may well be the least egregious of his legacies?
…Lady Liberty, now a mere tourist attraction for those very undemanding of the tourism experience…