The Paper

War is a time for poets and yet no time for them at all. Societies who know nothing of saving lives need poets to explain but the poets are too busy saving lives. Each time a decision is made by a politician to wage war the public should be reminded of the screams of frightened, confused and doomed children, as well as the predator history of war machine profiteers. The so-called War on Terror is no different. It has become an attempt to radically dehumanize the Arabs, while justifying crime after crime against the people of the Middle East. As a result of this, voices in the margin are right in asking whether the United States is being misled and ensnared in policies based on misleading reports about the source and intentions behind the bombings and massacres in places like New York, Paris and Brussels in recent days.

The problems that exist in Arabia are solvable from an intellectual standpoint, but it is clear that from a political standpoint it may be too late. The reality is shadowed by cataclysm and false awareness. In this gloom, compassion fatigue, the malady of depression that can fall upon and beset those engaged in life-sustaining labors against fierce odds, often defeated, is virtually a point of departure. The embarrassing lack of wisdom and meaningful education in the West converts a wall of silence into fear and the promise of other walls as well. This paper is about the future of those walls, where they are coming from, and why we don’t need them, why they are a waste and a fraud, for who will build us a wall against global warming and the environmental catastrophe that is a hidden result of contemptible policies towards the Middle East?

We are facing a grand transformation from a vision of Arabia as a place where progress is needed, and demagogues obstruct International Law, to a darker vision of enemies who need to be destroyed, subjugated and exterminated. The lurch from a region where war was unthinkable to a region where war is suddenly normalized with bitter consequences for the societies crippled in terrible bloodbaths, may look like just one more chapter of strategy and chess from the Encyclopedia, but the urgent cries of suffering and fight for life are immediate and pertain to our own reputation. It is no joke that elements of our High Command appear to be war criminals, giving the valor of the Lodz Ghetto Uprising to the acts of terrible revenge we call terrorism. So long as this is true, the strange case will remain that the refugee and Immigrants fleeing to America are simultaneously fleeing here from us, who invaded their homelands snarling with bigotry and jingoism.

Arriving here all but buck naked, having sacrificed their possessions and even their families to escape, they face Judges in court many of whom are not advised of the circumstances surrounding their condition as escapees from atrocious conditions. Such Judges receive a daily diet of misinformation from political media.

“Judges in the United States do not necessarily have any specific training for that position. Many judges have not even practiced criminal law; others have not practiced any kind of law for more than a few years. Some law schools now offer summer institutes to train judges, but judges are not required to attend.” [1] It is probably too much to hope that expertise in history, sociology or psychology are merits that they bring to the table. Many judges not only fail to understand the issues, but do not have a handy grasp on the Asylum process, interpreting their role as one of arbitrary judgment, leading to judicial error. According to TRAC, a records clearinghouse online: “The process by which the United States grants asylum is extremely complex, partly because it takes place in two different agencies. One is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), located in the Department of Homeland Security. The other is the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), located in the Justice Department. In addition to being under the purview of separate agencies, the asylum process is further complicated by the fact that it has multiple entry points and multiple exit points.”

In light of the fact that many illegal Mexican immigrants, towards whom nativist, anti-immigrant resentment has developed as a match to the blaze concerning Syrian immigrants, simply have to hide to get by, hoping to remain invisible until the next Congressional Amnesty program arrives, if it ever does. It contains a note from more a more extreme situation from a hundred years ago. Writing of the German Concentration Camps, Bruno Bettelheim reports, “True compliance with all commands and prohibitions was impossible if one wanted to live, so the real necessity was to just not get caught. That this was not simply a solution worked out by prisoners, but one intended by the SS was made very clear to everyone. Again and again every SS from the army commander down announced, “Don’t dare to be noticeable” or “Don’t dare to come to my attention.”[2] I saw the effects of this heartbreaking terror of American authority when I lived in the Chinatown/International District of Seattle. Walking in the door unexpectedly of Acorn, a drop-in program for Vietnamese and Filipino Immigrants from the local landscape, I provoked, as an unknown white man, a frightened stampede out the back door. I was also an offended witness to arbitrary shakedowns by bicycle police officers of elderly Asian shoppers outside the grocery, and was treated upon my arrival to Seattle in 2001 to the sad story of an 80 year old man named Manalastas who was deported from his long time home. Mr. Manalastas was known and liked by a large congregation of Filipino Veterans sworn into the U.S. Army in World War Two who were granted citizenship but never allowed to bring their wives.

Not everyone is sympathetic to the lenient sounds that trend in the civics of Seattle. Michelle Maglalang (Malkin) in a book of advocacy for the Japanese Internment camps memories of which are contained in a Memorial Wall near Little Saigon, a book specifically aimed at vocally justifying Arab cultural profiling as potential criminals despite lack of evidence, writes, “The Japanese espionage network and the Islamic terrorist network exploit many of the same immigration loopholes,” “members of both networks arrived here on student visas and religious visas.” [3] Malkin calls us, “off our collective rocker,” and pursuing, “a dangerous bugaboo,” in giving consideration to civil liberties when faced with “the threat of Islamofascism.” “America,” she announces, “need never apologize.”

Another write with a nom de guerre, Stefan Anarkowic, writes in a pamphlet titled: Against the God Emperor, “The methods of state repression are universal…all use exactly the same methods to repress, to kill, to suppress discontent, using any and all dirty tricks possible to maintain themselves in power.” [4] Whose dire warnings have more force in this tragic situation? Is there any past by which to guide us? Do we have to rationally chose our poison from between the scare tactics?

“From the moment he spoke in Wheeling on February 9, 1950 down to the instant of his condemnation by the Senate in late 1954, Joe McCarthy’s unvarying thesis was that the American system on the highest levels was riddled with subversives; that communist infiltrators had been placed and protected in high policy making positions; that they had betrayed the nation.” “Vast portions of the American public never realized the whole performance was a “hoax and fraud.” [5] Yet the authors of the current situation in Arabia rose to power in the United States from the noise of this Red Scare windbox.

1. Crime and Criminology, Sue Titus Reid, p. 394-395.
2. The Informed Heart, Bruno Bettelheim, p. 210, Free Press of Glencoe, 1960.
3. In Defense of Internment, Michelle Malkin, p. 150, Regney Publishing, 2004.
4. Against the God Emperor: The Anarchist Treason Trials in Japan, Stefan Anarkowic, Black Powder Press, Kate Sharpley Library, 2009.
5. The Nightmare Years, Fred J. Cook, c1971, Random House.