Our Undocumented Wars

If only they used their time and energies to end this foolish war would they find the money to solve society's real problems

By Roberto Rodriguez
Published on LatinoLA: July 18, 2007

Our Undocumented Wars

In the past seven years, Republicans have been on the wrong side of virtually every issue from the environment, universal health care, a living wage, food and drug safety, consumer protection and worker and civil rights to the Iraq war and war-profiteering corporations.

Despite this, Republicans continue to get their way Ǫ even when they lose elections. (It pays to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court and to have a compliant media.) However, when it comes to amnesty, conservatives have it right; lawbreakers should be brought to justice.

Where many depart with them is on the matter of just who needs amnesty? Seemingly most Republicans believe that undocumented immigrants are criminal aliens. To them, no matter what anyone calls it, legalization a recognition of their humanity equals amnesty,
and are thus abhorred. Conversely, regardless of what conservatives say, for many, at the core of their revulsion is the "browning of America." They feel entitled to their indignation and assert that the nation's problems will be solved by warring against the nation's 20 million "illegals." (That's their number, epithet and illogic).

Arguably, it is those that have prosecuted the undocumented war against Iraq who are in most need of amnesty, having used their power, intellect or prestige to disingenuously spread falsehoods to help facilitate this illegal war, including their outlaw policy of
permanent war.

The demagogues, who claim to oppose rewarding law-breakers, are generally the same ones who continue to swallow the president's lies about a country that had nothing to do with 9-11 nor has ever posed a threat to this nation. But they're not dupes; they've been complicit when this imperial president, obsessed with secrecy, has willfully
disregarded the U.S. Constitution and international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions on War.

This is the definition of a double standard. The difference is that the sole crime of the vast majority of these migrants consists of crossing perilous borders to feed their families. The attempt by politicos to paint them as deadbeats and criminals, and conflating them with terrorists, is but a shameful canard. Contrarily, this
administration stands accused of waging an illegal war; contrary to its unfounded claims, without a Congressional or UN sanction. In the process, it has ruined a nation supposedly in the name of the Lord while causing many thousands of casualties, at the eventual cost of several trillion dollars.

This explains the desperate need for scapegoats; i.e., brown people. But the hypocrisy and obsession doesn't end there. When pardons begin to be doled out to administration officials for prosecuting this illegal war what will Congress do, especially those members who are dead-set against amnesty for undocumented immigrants? But we needn't
wait; even beyond the Scooter Libby commutation, the hypocrisy is already on display. A cowed Congress has enabled this war, this while going along with the administration's insistence of exempting itself from the International War Crimes Tribunal, while also embracing its illegal torture, spying, detentions, secret prisons and extraordinary
rendition programs. The leadership has also inexplicably taken impeachment "off the table."

If Congress were to grant pardons and immunity to these incompetent and corrupt political scoundrels, they would be meaningless before domestic and international courts. Just as we've seen in Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Guatemala, El Salvador, etc. nations that
engage in illegal behavior normally go through convulsive periods that minimally require truth commissions and trials for those implicated in the deaths of thousands.

Let the convulsion begin. Yet, beyond the illegalities and the exorbitant war-costs, another casualty has been the nation's moral compass. The politics of fear fostered by a completely deluded president so as to promote this war-for-profit has had the
unintended consequence of permitting many otherwise decent Americans to feel comfortable with their revulsion, finger-pointing and dehumanization. It has now morphed into a climate and culture of fear, hate and blame. They have seemingly forgotten that throughout human history, the laws of survival have always trumped artificial borders and laws. As such, many do not seek humane solutions because they do not see human beings. Instead, they see invading hordes and illegitimate human beings and clamor for draconian laws, hunter battalions and 2,000-mile walls.

If only they used their time and energies to end this foolish war would they find the money to solve society's real problems.

(c) Column of the Americas 2007

About Roberto Rodriguez:
Rodriguez can be reached at: Column of the Americas, PO BOX 41552, Tucson, AZ 85717 or The columns are archived at:

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