I think it is becoming clear in this past shutdown showdown — and potentially the next, that with exception to freshmen in Congress, nobody has clean hands. Trump has called for the shutdown of our government at least 25 times and has said he would own it if the government shut down. But given how he is consistently blaming the Democrats for the shutdown, he’s not really owning it like he said he would.
By chance, I found this article by Deroy Murdock, a syndicated and conservative columnist I used to read in the Orange County Register. He rightly points out that Democrats used to be proud of voting for funding for border security, and that they have voted for border funding many times, including funding for a wall.
While Trump laments the “crisis” at the border, the drugs, the foreign borne illnesses, and the criminals, neither Trump nor his adversaries are willing to give serious consideration to our part in the so-called crisis at the border. Trump is like the guy in left field who, poised to catch the winning out, drops the ball, loses the game, and looks at his mitt while the ball sits on the ground.
Few of us are old enough to remember The Domino Theory. This is a geopolitical concept that says that as communism succeeded in the old USSR and China, their influence on other countries could turn those other countries into communist or socialist societies. Eventually, those socialist or communist countries would surround the United States and we’d lose most of our allies and our freedoms.
In response, the United States intelligence and military forces have worked hard to prevent countries in South America from becoming socialist or communist, or to turn them around if they did go commie. The United States has played a major influence in elections and public policy in the countries where the migrants come from: Honduras, Ecuador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The United States also has enormous financial influence in South American countries. To the extent that those countries disobey the United States, is the extent of their suffering.
Lately, eyes have been on Venezuela. While many pundits are content to say that Venezuela is failing as a “socialist” country, few are willing to point out the reality. Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, has noted in an article published by Naked Capitalism, that international finance is an arm of the of the US department of state and the department of defense. He rightly points out that the United States is using its enormous influence to not only impose sanctions on Venezuela, but also to keep Venezuela from retrieving their gold reserves held abroad so that they can feed their own people:
But then came Venezuela. Desperate to spend its gold reserves to provide imports for its economy devastated by U.S. sanctions — a crisis that U.S. diplomats blame on “socialism,” not on U.S. political attempts to “make the economy scream” (as Nixon officials said of Chile under Salvador Allende) — Venezuela directed the Bank of England to transfer some of its $11 billion in gold held in its vaults and those of other central banks in December 2018. This was just like a bank depositor would expect a bank to pay a check that the depositor had written.
England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: “The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela’s overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank.”
Those people in Venezuela are suffering. If the United States can successfully impose its will on Venezuela, I think it’s reasonable to expect another caravan heading our way. It would seem astonishing that the United States has enough influence to keep another sovereign state from retrieving gold held in reserve in another country.
And this isn’t just Venezuela we’re talking about. The “never ending wars” of the United States are a major cause of immigration, and caravans. I have to wonder if there is a single “socialist” or “communist” state that has failed without United States intervention. We have 800 military bases all over the world. We hold enormous sway over foreign governments wherever we have bases. We back our trade agreements by implied force, and the threat of the use of force is real, by arms or by finance.
So who are we to be upset about illegal immigration? If we caused the suffering of millions of people just so that we can be sure they toe the line with US foreign policy, and they come here for a better life, do we have clean hands?