Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Bush Abroad

A Bush Abroad: George Does America Latina
by C.L. Cook

Though little noticed, or made least note of in North America's press, those prison camps constructed across the United States, tendered to the tune of billions to Halliburton, are filling up fast; filling up with "illegal" aliens. While most of the new concentration camp families held (they are imprisoning whole families: Mom, Pop, and the kids) are from south of the Rio Grande, some are from other offending nations; nations like Canada.
Last month, security mad Americans nabbed a family of Canadian citizens who had the misfortune of having their Canada-bound plane diverted to an U.S. airport (the moot "State" of Puerto Rico in this case) due to a medical emergency on board. Once on the ground, the passengers were deplaned, and passed through customs and immigration; this though none planned to stay in, or travel anywhere through America, save perhaps a trip to the airport restaurant, or restrooms.
In a Maher Arar-like twist of fate, they now find themselves imprisoned for no reason, with little recourse to avoid deportation to a third country, making pleas to a toothless Canadian government that seems to wish these troublesome "foreigners" would just either stay in one place, or go away altogether.

Arar and Away

Arar you may recall was the Montrealer who found his journey home rudely interupted by a side-trip to a barely better than coffin-sized dungeon in Syria; and he discovered other tortures there too. He's "Canadian" within the bracketed context Stephen Harper's ruling Conservative party place other, less than snowbird-white Canadians who spend their time visiting the old country rather than Florida or Arizona; like the ones finding themselves below the bombs of Israel's famed IDF Air Force in Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

At that time, rather than raise protest to Israel, or demand a cease to the blitzkrieg at least until Canadian civilians caught in the cross-fire could get out, Harper's people instead questioned the Canadianess of the dusky Lebanese immigrants, suggesting in a sleazy, passive-aggressive way, the people being strafed by F-16's as they fled the full-blown war erupting were second-class citizens who should have known better than to risk vacationing so near Israel. (I go too far there: Harper's government would never suggest there were anything wrong with Israel; merely advise against visiting its enemies).

Like Arar, and the dark-hearted Levantines, the Canadian family incarcerated in Hitto prison, (the infamous for-profit, private Hell-hole, specializing in warehousing "illegals,") the sin is not in their stars, but in the pigment of their skin.

And, likewise they should have known better than to fly anywhere near America while not white. Even if their flight plan was direct to Canada, they might have foreseen the eventuality of an unexpected diversion into U.S. airspace, and known what it might mean, and so taken precautions that would have spared the New Government of Canada taking any politically inexpedient steps, vis a vis questioning American authority.

But no! Having offered them refuge from a torturing, repressive, fascist country once, now Canada's government is expected to get them out of the shit again! (To be fair to the fair-skinned majority in the minority government; their diplomatic presence overseas isn't huge, though there is a rather prominent Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C.)

It Smells Like Sulphur in Here!

George W. Bush didn't travel much before being ordained president, the story goes; but he's on the road now, touring South-y Meric-er. Luckily, he speaks a bit of Mexican [sic] from his old dayz, "crossin' tha buddah fa fawhn!" Difference is: Today, it don't seem the waiters down there are content to wait. The American promise of freedom, justice, and equality for all esta bueno, but no-one seems willing to bide the short- comings of the status quo for those mercies to be passed as promised on from beneficent Northern hands.

Furthermore; many south of the Rio Grande has or have heard of friends and relations being trapped and shipped off to the same concentration camps in America where our Canadian family languishes; and unlike Stephen Harper, they're troubled by it.

In a word that deserves to be its own sentence, Venezuelan Presidente, Hugo Chavez Frias said recently, while standing on the vacated site of a George W. Bush address to the United Nations, "Sulfuro!"
"Sulphur," element most identified in Western culture with Hades, the Underworld, he said, waving his hand under his nose slightly, as if fanning away the fumes. Standing at the podium, just hours after George had, Hugo asked the gathered U.N. personages, "Can't you smell the Sulfuro?"

Hellbound Train

In 1986, my hoser friend and me launched an expedition to Mexico; a couple of Winter months roaming round the south, gettin' drunk, and learning Mexican [sic]. Down we went, our too pale pallor telling of cooler days past, we youngsters, seeking a first foreign adventure, hungry and naive set forth cross-country. But, we ended up in Guatemala, deep in the jungle, high in the mountains, where the guerrillas run free. Or so the government's story went.
What we saw was terrorism. Riding the segundo buses, the fear was palpable whenever a jeep, or roadblock appeared. These people were terrified regularly, and on the occasions we encountered government forces, I wondered if things would have turned out differently for those on the bus had not we and our Canadian, American, British, (and not at all Australian) passports been there.

The bus bounced us through torrential rains, along a pocked and winding road that wound down the valley to the lake-shore of Atitlan the magnificent. The tips and spills of the journey were so harsh, only the drugged, or otherwise insensate could sleep, as the driver pressed madly on, over the mountain. Down the precipices, one could occasionally spot a glinting reflection of a piece of a mirror, or windshield of a less fortunate segundo bus that had missed a turn, and plunged into the gaping ravines below. But better not to look, and keep hold, and hope for a safe arrival.
Nearing Gringo Tanango, a smart town developed largely by European ex-pat hippies, a motorcycle passed the bus, back-firing as it revved up to go by us. The elderly woman standing in the aisle with the rest of us hit the deck!
It seemed, along with the brutality of official government terror, there existed too free-boot gangs of killers, murderers who had, we later learned, a habit of spraying buses with machine-gun fire from the back of motorcycles. Call it 'The Guatemala Option.'

A Final End to this Game

It seems an impossibly innocent time looking back, but only in regarding the improbable and precipitous decline of standards attending America's assumption as singular World power.
Ronald Reagan, then in league with another George Bush, administered the most heinous repression of a civilian population for the purpose of corporate and political control the world had witnessed since Mussolini's fascists.
Hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, mainly the indigenous Maya majority, were killed by Washington's puppet Rios government. By some estimates, a third of the indigenous population killed, or displaced. Despite reconciliation attempts made in Guatemala, the same supporters of the death squads of the country's worst years still prosper in the guise of legitimate businessmen and managers of trans-national murderers like Coca Cola Inc. And, they are poised to seize Guatemalan democracy now, as they did before.

Fresh from his Central Asian killing spree, George the Lesser will visit Guatemala this weekend. His plans include a day trip to a sacred temple site of the lost Mayan civilization. There, where indigenous activists from across Latin America will meet in a couple weeks time to discuss the new way coming, an el camino neo, George will entertain his hosts with platitudes of friendship and his amor de la democracia.
For their part, the priests of the ancient order promise they will perform a ritual cleansing of the temple on George's departure.

From there Bush will visit Colombia, ground zero of the Gringo suppression of the region.
Fitting that he would arrive at week's end at the beginning of America's dirty work in the south, Colombia. No-where on Earth is the culmination of the American Project more perfectly illustrated than in that sad country. Decades of civil war, an intransigent kleptocracy, a thriving narco-terror regime, propped up to serve the interests of the wafer thin elite within its borders and the corpo raiders without; where the local indigenous population suffers death squads and disappearings, and union and social activists are gunned down in the streets with the complicity of the fair-skinned, racist rulers.
Sunday, George will witness (though remotely) the dissatifaction of Colombia's battered masses, and one can only hope; if George W. Bush accomplishes nothing else in his time on this sad and beautiful orb, his presence and all it represents will be enough of an affront to the decent-minded people of Colombia to set in motion a chain of events that will, at long last bring an end to the American century of destruction, and forever extinguish its too long-lived culture of death.

Resources from Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! Immigration Stories- Radio Reports

* Human Rights Groups Call for Closure of Texas Jail Holding Undocumented Immigrants

Human rights groups are calling for the U.S. government to shut down a
jail in Texas where about 200 immigrant children, some only infants, are
being detained.

* "I Want To Be Free": 9-Year-Old Canadian Citizen Pleads From Texas
Immigration Jail

Majid and his nine-year old son Kevin are Iranian immigrants currently
being held at the Hutto detention center. They've been forcibly detained
since their plane was forced made an emergency landing in Puerto Rico as they made their way to Canada.

* Hundreds Protest NYU Republicans' "Find the Illegal Immigrant" Game
Hundreds of people gathered at New York University on Thursday to protest a game called "Find the Illegal Immigrant" organized by the school's Republican club.

* Raymondville: Inside the Largest Immigration Prison Camp in the US
The largest immigrant prison camp is in Raymondville, Texas. Some two
thousand undocumented immigrants are currently being held in the prison awaiting deportation.

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