Depending on which side of the TV you get your information from, you’re either waiting for thousands of migrant women and children seeking their part of the American dream to show up in Arizona, or, you are waiting for armed terrorists sent here by George Soros on an invasion mission ready to kill you and take your job. The reality, however, is neither of these.
On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted out that the “migrant caravan” is “an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!” This rhetoric is not only dangerous, but it’s entirely inaccurate.
It is a verifiable fact that roughly 5,000 men, women, and children are making a northward trek by foot, bus, and any other means, through Mexico. The reason for their trip, however, is not to “invade” the United States but rather to seek asylum from an assault originating in Washington DC that has long been perpetuated against the people of South America by both parties.
The reality is that these folks are not “moving” or “migrating,” rather they are fleeing the violence in their homeland that is a direct result of American policy in that region. While the United States does not have a migrant crisis, we most assuredly have a refugee crisis—and it’s our fault.
Starting under Ronald Reagan, the US has been funding extremist military regimes who’ve carried out mass murder, kidnappings and tortures in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
US-backed military coups, exploitation of resources, and America’s history of spreading economic neoliberalism in El Salvador have sent the entire region into chaos—just like what happens in all the countries who’ve been unfortunate enough to receive some “freedom” from the US. What’s more, it’s effectively created a climate where paramilitary-aligned drug cartels can and do thrive.
The infamous MS-13 gangs, so often mentioned by Trump are a direct result of Bill Clinton’s administration’s policy.
“This is a problem that’s American made through and through, so to treat it as though it’s some external threat being foisted on America obscures the fact that it’s our foreign policies, our military intervention, and our long history that created MS-13 in the first place,” Daniel Denvir, writer-in-residence at Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project, told Democracy Now, summing it up succinctly.
Couple this foreign intervention with America’s war on drugs, and we have the perfect storm for the current refugee crisis. Contrary to what your TV is telling you, no one walks 3,000 miles to “invade” another country, nor do they leave behind their homes and risk kidnapping, death, or worse to seek out some version of the American dream.
However, when gangs run rampant and corrupt militarized governments become indistinguishable from drug cartels, and innocent people, including children, are being slaughtered, then and only then does a 3,000 mile trek on foot to seek refuge become feasible.
While it’s been widely reported that the “caravan” is headed to the United States, according to some reports, they may just be fleeing the immediate area and may never make it here.
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith laid this out rather clearly on Monday, which likely caused regular Fox News viewers’ heads to explode.
“Tomorrow the migrants, according to Fox News reporting, are more than two months away — if any of them actually come here,” Smith said on the air Monday. “But tomorrow is one week before the midterm election, which is what all of this is about.”
Smith went on to point out that a very similar scenario played out in April and very little came of it. “When they did this to us, got us all riled up in April, remember?” Smith said. “The result was 14 arrests. We’re America. We can handle it. But, like I said, a week to the election.”
Shep Smith on the migrant caravan: "There is no invasion. No one is coming to get you. There is nothing at all to worry about." pic.twitter.com/4dLmPuZem0
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 29, 2018
People fleeing conflict in their country—that is a direct result of bipartisan American policy—does nothing for either of the parties’ platforms. However, when you can spin what’s happening to make “the other guys” look bad by lying to Americans about why there are thousands of people walking through Mexico, then you have the makings of a political campaign.
To call this an “invasion” is not only entirely inaccurate, but it’s insanely hypocritical. Even if the majority of this caravan does make it to the US border, there is absolutely no way that they would or could invade us—even without the US military that Trump is sending that way. To be entirely clear on that notion, here is the definition of “invasion”:
1. an act or instance of invading or entering as an enemy, especially by an army. (They have no army)
2. the entrance or advent of anything troublesome or harmful, as disease.(They are human beings, not a disease)
3. entrance as if to take possession or overrun:(5,000 people could never take possession or overrun anything in such a well armed country)
Fleeing to another country because your children are being kidnapped, murdered and tortured as a direct result of foreign governments meddling in your country is not an invasion.
On the contrary, however, flying tanks, bombs, jets, and troops overseas and stationing yourself inside the borders of a sovereign nation—without being invited—is an invasion.
Democrats and Republicans are all for invasions when it’s the US who is carrying them out. One need only look at the nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries across the planet that the US maintains to prove this point.
Moreover, one need only look at list of countries the United States has entered without permission over the last two decades—like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, to name a few—and laid waste to their infrastructure, populations, and environments.
US tanks rolling down the streets of southern Syria in At Tanf is what an “invasion” looks like—not men, women, and children feeling US-created violence.
Drones flying overhead, dropping hellfire missiles on hospitals, blowing up dozens of innocent children is what an invasion looks like.
Troops raiding homes in the middle of the night, holding entire families at gunpoint while searching the house for non-existent evidence of ties to Al-Qeada is what an invasion looks like.
Currently, the only country raiding homes in America and holding entire families at gunpoint, spying on them with unethical technology, and killing innocent people is the United States. Until that changes, any talk of an actual invasion is merely that, talk.
In 2009, Ron Paul summed up American foreign policy and the direct impact it has on creating terrorism, fostering refugees, and stoking hatred toward the US. Although the speech below is over nine years old, it still holds true today. If you really want to know what creates problems around the world, like refugees and terrorism, you need to imagine what it feels like if it actually happened to you.