Front page of USA Today for May 15, 2007 describes a microcosm of what I talk about below. There are so many refugees from Iraq spilling into the surrounding region that no American should be surprised at countries refusing shelter.
Anyway, we are doing the same thing to the Mexicans, refusing shelter(or at least attempting to), they’re experiencing a terrible amount of distress as well. One has only to look at the election riots of 2006 when conservative Felipe Calderon was elected by a narrow margin. There is a genuine socialist movement in South America right now led by Fidel-idolizer Hugo Chavez and he is succeeding by getting people to rise to his bait. The movement will go northward and will hit Mexico, so what will happen? A fucking lot more Mexican illegals will be hopping that border fence. 11 million will be nothing, there’s something terrible brewing south of the border and the rampant corruption and poverty is the cause of it all.
I’ve heard from several Mexican immigrants that they come here to work, that there’s too much shit to deal with trying to support your family there. We ought to know that the gangs running things right now on the border, Tijuana has become a smuggler’s haven and the riff-raff is spilling into L.A. We can send the National Guard down there but they’re going to have the same job as they would in Iraq (I guess it’s a good thing they’re getting practice, huh?). They’d be policing people that don’t want to be policed and are going to make everything as difficult as possible until they leave. Now, this doesn’t mean that the president should shy away from sending the National Guard down there, but they won’t be doing any good stopping people who want to work from coming here, all that is doing is setting up future smugglers, who because they couldn’t get into the U.S. will turn to the gangs that are paying to get their drugs here.
If the U.S. hadn’t gone into Iraq then a viable solution would be to send troops into Mexico with the cooperation of their president (although it seems that if we hadn’t gone into Iraq then we might still assume that we don‘t need anyone‘s help), once there we could start to build Mexico up, this would be a good training ground for what needs to be done in Africa but China may have already beat us there. If the presence of American troops are seen to be building something out of nothing (which is what Americans do, or did, best), then our standing with Mexico and Mexicans, not to mention the world, would be greater than what it is. This would be a great help in taking the fire out of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro‘s anti-American message. On another tangent, lifting our ineffective trade embargo on Cuba would be a help.
We are supposedly the greatest country in the world, a tall order to live up to, but things that seem rather simple to us, such as fighting genocide in Darfur, helping with the rebuilding effort in countries ravaged by the tsunami (which I might add, we did give the most money, but this makes sense considering our lifestyles), assisting with the removal of landmines in countries still haunted by the cold war, helping to reduce crime in Mexico (I don’t know if you heard, but they’ve hired Giuliani’s team), distributing condoms in Africa as well as proper medical stations to help reduce the AIDS epidemic, trying to relieve the suffering of North Koreans, offering to take in refugees from N.K. so China doesn’t have to bear the full brunt of it etc. etc. The list could stretch into infinity, all these things that make sense from a basic humanitarian viewpoint, that we could be doing, most of which we aren’t and if we are, we aren’t making enough of an impression to change anything. There simply needs to be an American presence helping the oppressed, not everyone can sail into the arms of the Statue of Liberty, people will die in ways that could be easily prevented if ideologues, corporations, politicians, statesmen, ambassadors, religious leaders, CEOs, presidents, prime ministers, gods and devils would check their ego at the door of life.
Why shouldn’t America lead the way? If you want something done you should do it yourself. If we can extricate ourselves from Iraq and still keep a visible presence there ready to defend the country from invasions and genocides, and yes a navy presence ready to leash Iran if they break any rules that we should establish while working cooperatively with them, Syria and Saudi Arabia to stop the quicksand that is Iraq from swallowing the whole middle-east. We should be there, simply put, because if something disrupted the world‘s oil supply then the Great Depression would seem desirable. The Muslims’ view of us is as distorted as our view of them, we don’t need to be an occupying force. That is hurting us more than losing what the president describes as “A battle in the War on Terror” (I will not go into the absurdity of the phrase or the supposed war, if you’ve gotten this far then you know what I mean.). America’s military should be seen as the tail of a scorpion, ready and full of venom. But America’s citizens should be seen as what they are, good people who are, despite everything, willing to help.
The American image does matter and the American image can easily be repaired if we do exactly what we are good at. Being good. This means supporting candidates who aren’t funded by oil and pharmaceutical industry, this means leaving the comfort of what you know and getting out into the world, you can change minds one at a time. But mostly it means that we can’t be cynical, cynicism has destroyed our spirit, we love irony too much and sarcasm has become a second language. We have to believe, in the face of everything, that goodness can prevail.