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The Migrant Crisis and the Dead-End of US Imperialism

“Deporter-in-Chief” Obama’s policies towards Latin American immigrants are incontrovertible proof that both major parties serve the same neoliberal master. Neither party tells the truth about the migration crisis: “US imperialism's dual military and economic assault in the Central American region is the primary reason thousands of youth are being forced to flee from the conditions of their native countries.”





By Danny Haiphong

“CIA-backed mercenaries murdered hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.”

The hegemony of corporate imperialism, otherwise termed "neo-liberalism" and "globalization," has pushed the liberal paradigm to its limit. Imperialism's crisis in the center of US society and on the world stage can no longer reform itself to satisfy the conditions expected by social-welfare liberals a half a century ago. For the oppressed and exploited of the planet, this means either becoming trapped in the paralysis of bankrupt liberal ideology or building an alternative to a bankrupt system. The left in the US imperial belly is in a crisis of its own, one that directly connects to the crisis of the imperialist system. The dominant mode of preservation for US imperialism is the imprisonment of left ideology within the political theater of the Democratic and Republican Party.

Most of us digest the political theater of the Democratic and Republican Party from the corporate media. The Democratic Party masks itself as the "progressive" force within Washington. However, in the neo-liberal era, "progressive" no longer means policy that benefits poor and working class people. The terms “liberal” and “progressive" are defined merely as digestible rhetoric that contrasts from the Republican Party "extreme" positions. The Republican Party plays the overtly racist and sexist "extreme" right. This posture distracts oppressed people from the fact that both Parties are on the same imperialist page. Washington's game of Republican "bad guys" versus Democrat "good guys" is little more than a face-saving brand for US imperialism in a time where the trajectory of its rule is crisis, crisis, and more crises.

“The terms ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ are defined merely as digestible rhetoric that contrasts from the Republican Party "extreme" positions.”

The coverage of the migrant crisis by the outlet “Democracy Now!” is one recent example of how the liberal wing of the ruling class is doing everything it can ideologically to maintain a "populist" image. Democracy Now! interviewed Illinois representative Luis Gutierrez, focusing on the debate in Washington on the future of the tens of thousands of children entering the US from Central America. Gutierrez did the typical Democratic Party run-around, claiming that President Obama should be "as wide and as broad and as generous as [Republicans] have been small and mean-spirited." Further, the Illinois representative said, in a cruel twist of irony, that he is "tired that Democrats and that my party always brands itself as not being as bad as Republicans." Such statements shed all accountability on the Republican Party of imperialism and legitimize Democratic Party "reason" as the rule of law in the empire.

When critically examined, Gutierrez erases US imperialism's role in the migrant crisis. The Democratic Party under Barack Obama has deported twice as many undocumented peoples than the prior Republican Bush Administration. And given that many of the youth traveling North into the US are from Central America, the question as to why indigenous peoples from the region would travel thousands of miles to escape their native countries needs to be answered. Luis Gutierrez’s dominant narrative of "violence" and "drug cartels" being the driving force of migration is a vast oversimplification of the context of the migrant crisis.

“The Democratic Party under Barack Obama has deported twice as many undocumented peoples than the prior Republican Bush Administration.”

In accordance with nearly 2 centuries of US imperial plunder, the nations of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and much Central America remain under US imperialism's corporate and military thumb. CAFTA, a “free trade” agreement that mirrors NAFTA, privileges US-Western corporate interests at the expense of sovereign agricultural and industrial development in the region. Furthermore, the US ​maintains a large military presence in Central America to allegedly fight the War on Drugs, a policy that was a product of its own covert intelligence work beginning in the late 70's and early 80's. The continuation of this policy was made explicitly clear in the 2009 Honduran-coup sponsored by the Obama Administration. US military aid and intelligence in the age of Reagan sponsored death squads and counter-revolutionary militaries to destabilize the revolutions in Central America. These CIA-backed mercenaries murdered hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. US imperialism's dual military and economic assault in the Central American region is the primary reason thousands of youth are being forced to flee from the conditions of their native countries.

The fact that Washington’s coverage of the migrant crisis is so divorced from the geopolitical and economic context of the issue is not merely crude deception. Ferocious reliance on the game of chicken between the "good" (or lesser evil) Democratic Party versus the "evil" Republican Party is a sign of crisis in US imperialism's ideological arsenal. There should be no doubt that both parties will continue to act in cohesion for the ultimate master: US capital. A new left movement is needed to educate and mobilize the exploited classes in a way that relates issues like the migrant crisis to the racist imperial order. Either we organize an offensive to overturn US imperialism’s crisis-ridden system or watch history pass us by.

____________________
Danny Haiphong is an activist and case manager in the Greater Boston area. You can contact Danny at: wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com

 Reprinted with permission from Black Agenda Report.

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