Nov 23, 2015
Since the terrorist attack in Paris, France occurred, the U.S. news has been dominated by a campaign against the admission of Syrian refugees into this country. This campaign may have been started by the Republicans, but it has won strong Democratic support.
Republican politicians have tried hard to persuade us to blame immigrants for our worsening economic conditions due to unemployment. Now, with an opportunity to blame the refugees for “possible terrorist attacks,” the Republicans think they have a political gift from heaven. And the Democrats aren’t about to let them corner this market.
Governor Snyder of Michigan was one of the first to issue a temporary stop on Syrian immigration, citing the need to review security measures with the federal government. No doubt for the governor, the news storm that followed was a welcome diversion of the news away from the blame his administrators were getting for the poisoning of the Flint water system.
Within days, the majority of Republican governors had announced a ban on absorbing Syrian refugees. Finally, the Republicans called for and won a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to drastically tighten screening procedures on Syrian refugees. The measure was supported by dozens of Democrats.
Of course, Donald Trump, who wallows in reactionary phrase-mongering, has been crowing. Referring to his fellow politicians, he said, “After Paris, they’re all on the bandwagon.” Yes, they’re all sporting their reactionary colors, competing with each other to be the most militaristic, the most bombastic. Just like little backyard bullies.
Stoking fears in the U.S. population, politicians of both stripes pretend to befriend the U.S. working class and protect us from terrorism and economic harm.
Well, they are not our friends. In making all Syrian refugees into possible terrorists in the eyes of the population, they are leading working people into a trap that in the end will devour us. It will do as much harm as the ban on refugees does to those who are fighting to escape war-torn zones with their lives.
Yes, the threat of terrorism is real, and the unleashing of violence against innocent populations is no longer confined to “other” places, but has come back to hit Europe and the U.S. as well. And the terrorists who carry out this violence are brutal and inhumane. But the vast majority of those who are suffering this violence are the inhabitants of Iraq and Syria, the people who are desperately fighting to get out of the war zones.
ISIS is the indirect creation of the superpowers, first and foremost of the U.S. ruling class. It arose from the shambles caused by imperialist wars in Iraq and Syria. It is brutal and reactionary precisely because its ranks came from brutal and reactionary forces – the “Sunni Awakening,” which the U.S. once helped arm and set up to do its bidding in the region.
If we want an end to the threat of terrorism, if we want to live in “peace,” we need to find the means to end the constant wars the U.S. ruling class has engaged us in. Workers of these countries are part of our class. Their fight to improve their circumstances and combat the ruthless rulers that capitalism is alternately creating and disposing of is part of our fight. And their desire to flee, to get away from this violence should be something we identify with and feel deeply.
Politicians in this country who work to demonize the refugees are the same ones who have drained our children’s schools of money, to give it to the wealthy capitalist class. They drain money from every part of society to give it to the banks. They carry out policies that impoverish the working class in this country, and they try to divide us in this country by race and ethnicity. And now they try to line us up behind them in a racist, anti-Muslim campaign.