Monday, July 2, 2018

Prof. James Petras - Immigration: Western Wars and Imperial Exploitation Uproot Millions

The West has ransacked Africa and India for centuries causing massive poverty in those continents, and then the Western destruction of liberal democracies in the ME also caused more  poverty and migration. But now we have the latest Western backed wars in Africa causing massive migration.  KV

Having destroyed the lives of working people overseas and overthrown progressive leaders like Libyan President Gadhafi and Honduran President Zelaya, millions were forced to become immigrants.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Colombia, Mexico witnessed  the flight  of millions of immigrants  — all victims of US and EU wars. Washington and Brussels blamed the victims and accused the immigrants of illegality and criminal conduct .
The West debates expulsion, arrest and jail instead of reparations for crimes against humanity and violations of international law.
To restrain immigration the first step is to end imperial wars, withdraw troops,and to cease financing paramilitary and client terrorists.
Secondly, the West should establish a long term multi-billion-dollar fund for reconstruction and recovery of the economies, markets and infrastructure they bombed
The demise of the peace movement allowed the US and EU to launch and prolong serial wars which led to massive immigration – the so-called refugee crises and the flight to Europe.  There is a direct connection between the conversion of the liberal and social democrats to war -parties and  the forced flight of immigrants to the EU.
The decline of the trade unions  and worse, their loss of militancy has led to the loss of solidarity with people living in the midst of imperial wars.  Many workers in the imperialist countries have directed their ire to those ‘below’ – the immigrants, – rather than to  the imperialists who directed the wars which created the immigration problem.
Immigration, war , the demise of the peace and workers movements,and left parties has led to the rise of the militarists,and neo-liberals who have taken power throughout the West.  Their , anti-immigrant politics, however, has provoked new contradictions within regimes,between business elites and among popular movements in the EU and the US.  The elite and popular struggles can go in at least two directions – toward fascism or radical social democracy.
Global Research


Konrad said...

The first time I went to Mexico was in 1988. Much of Mexico seemed magical to me. A pleasant escape from U.S. madness. Most Mexicans seemed happy, or at least content with their lives. I was in the Mexican state of Nayarit.

Then NAFTA reduced Mexico to a dystopian nightmare for average Mexicans.

Twenty years after my first visit, I returned to Mexico in mid-2007, and I lived there until the end of 2009 (2½ years). I was shocked. Many of the Mexican friends I had previously made were now physical wrecks. They had destroyed their bodies with drugs and alcohol, which they had used to numb the agony of extreme poverty and hopelessness. One of them I can see in my mind’s eye. He was perhaps the most intelligent man I had ever personally met (insofar as I am able to judge intelligence). Because of his brilliance and sensitivity, the pain of poverty was especially acute for him. He had gone so deeply into substance abuse that, in addition to destroying his body, he had brain damage.

Another guy didn’t seem so bad on the surface, but he had terminal liver cirrhosis, plus cancer from severe alcoholism, caused by poverty. His spent his last three weeks in a hospital. One day I got word that he seemed “miraculously cured” or recovered, and that he was cheerful and lucid. I knew that this meant he was packing his bags for his journey home. (That is, I knew that he was hours from dying). So I rushed to the hospital. He died that night.

My point is that poverty is horrendous. It is the worst form of violence. There is nothing “noble” about it (although some impoverished people can be personally noble).

For me (and this is just my viewpoint) immigrants are not marauding, invading, opportunistic rats. They are people trying to escape poverty. I have seen their hell. I lived in it. On only two brief occasions did I ever visit any tourist spots in Mexico. The rest of my 2½ years was spent in hell. It was awful, and yet I made some of the best friends I have ever made in my life.

Konrad said...

Upon further reflection, I wish to change that last sentence. In hell I made THE best friends I have ever made in my life.

They and my parents are the first people I want to see when I die.

Kaivey said...

My mum's brother emigrated to Australia and my mum never got over it. She never saw him again and I was sad about the lack of extended family. My dad's father was a sailor and he married 7 times so we never knew who my dad's mum was and so there was no extended family on his side. My mum was Welsh and her dad moved from Wales to london when she was going to get a better life. Once a year some relatives would come up from Wales to visit us and we would get to see them for a few days and it was magical and warm.

I feel sorry for the migrants who leave their families and friends behind to find a better life here but often get exploited instead.I

At my old company they contacted out the cleaning and my colleagues lost their fairly well paid jobs. The management said they did not save any money by doing this, but it meant one more hassle they did but have to deal with. Talk about selfish.

Anyway, most of the new cleaners were African and they would tell me stories about how they would often get cheated out of their overtime pay by the local bosses, who got their bonuses by saving money. I couldn't believe this was happening in modern Britain, after all the years of good working conditions that had been won by the trade unionists. I thought our country had been progressing forward, but the Tories, and then New Labour, turned the clock backwards.

Kaivey said...

I read a sad story in the Guardian, once, about the little West Indian islands where the people had once been very happy making their money out of the family tradition of fishing. But then the drug smuggling started and the boats carrying the drugs would stop off at the islands for food and drink and end up selling the islanders cheap drugs and in the end most of the islanders became addicted and it ruined their lives.