Using Individuals’ Crimes to Justify Endless War & Xenophobia

The daily paper of Augusta, Georgia, USA, the Augusta Chronicle, today published a terrible editorial which advocates endless war abroad and xenophobia at home.

The first part of the editorial criticizes President Obama’s ambiguous, hear what you want to hear, national security speech of May 23, 2013 for not explicitly pledging endless war, which unfortunately continues apace despite Obama’s hints at peace, and for discussing the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The editorial cites the Ft Hood shootings, the Boston Marathon bombing and the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby as evidence that the war on terror must continue. The editorial does not address how the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and assassination of unknown persons by missiles launched from drones would prevent “self-radicalizing” individuals from committing these kinds of crimes. So does the editorial simply advocate war for the purpose of bravado and machismo? Are we going to continue to commit war crimes by killing non-combatants abroad, subject our military personnel and their families to lengthy deployments and inadequate treatment for their wounds and destroy our domestic economy just to demonstrate our resolve? This is cutting off our nose to spite our face.

The second part of the editorial gets to what I believe is the true purpose of the editorial: attacking immigrants and immigration reform.

But it’s no secret that much of Western Europe is besieged by large, unhappy and often restive Muslim immigrants who have failed utterly to assimilate to their new homes and cultures. … This is not a matter of being “intolerant” toward the immigrants; fact is, policies have been far too tolerant. But assimilation is not only not a bad thing, it’s a necessary thing. And the onus is on the immigrant  to fit in, not on the host nation to  recast itself in the immigrant’s  image. This is especially true when some immigrants are as malodorously overbearing and violent as they have shown themselves to be.

The most obvious thing is that the alleged problem of non-assimilation has nothing to do with the three crimes the editorial previously asserted as justification for endless war. The Ft Hood shooter was not a recent immigrant, and the Boston Marathon bombers, at least initially, were well-assimilated (sports, girls, parties and marijuana) culturally and had little contact with United States Muslims. The murderers of Lee Rigby were British-born.

The editorial cites no evidence that Muslim immigrants to Europe are a problem. Nor does it define what “assimilation” actually is. The language the editorial uses hint that its idea of the ideal immigrant is uncritical acceptance of white supremacy and American exceptionalism.

The nation will not “recast itself in the immigrant’s image.” So be happy when people whites dominate popular entertainment images, or when white victims of crimes are given more importance than non-white, or when jails are filled with brown and black people for crimes which white people commit with the same or higher frequency. Be happy when the corporate oligarchy aims the US military towards countries where you still have relatives who suffer from the resulting violence.

Of course, the biggest crime immigrants commit is being “malodorously overbearing and violent.” While I oppose any violence an immigrant may commit, I’m having trouble understanding why US citizen violence is somehow less wrong than US immigrant violence. Also, I’m trying to figure out how I can avoid being “overbearing.” Do I need to walk with a shuffle and say “yessa, massa” every time some pseudo-patriot white person tells me how great the USA is?

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