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On the US arrests of Middle Eastern immigrants.

by Committees for a Democratic Palestine Sunday, Dec. 22, 2002 at 6:19 PM

On the Mass Arrests of Middle Eastern immigrants in California The language of fascism is always cloaked in subterfuge. And it is just this sort of duplicitous language that the U.S. government is employing to describe the mass arrest -- under the dishonest pretext of 'voluntary registration' -- of hundred, perhaps thousands of Middle Eastern men, many of them Iranians, in the last week in California.

On the Mass Arrests of Middle Eastern immigrants in California

The language of fascism is always cloaked in subterfuge. And it is just this sort of duplicitous language that the U.S. government is employing to describe the mass arrest -- under the dishonest pretext of 'voluntary registration' -- of hundred, perhaps thousands of Middle Eastern men, many of them Iranians, in the last week in California.

What the U.S. government describes as 'detention' is, in fact the systematic denial of the human rights of those whose only crime is their national origin. And while perhaps 2,500 men and boys -- or more -- languish in cold cells with little food and water, the U.S. government turns truth on its head and trots its public spokespeople in front of the cameras to spin its tissue of lies and argue that the mask is reality.

It is no small irony that a regime that has cloaked itself in the mantle of 'freedom' and 'democracy' has taken one more open step in it's aggressive offensive to impose a police state, not just within the lands it seeks to occupy and dominate, but within its own borders.

No-one should be surprised by this, given the U.S. government's unflinching support throughout modern times of the 'detention' policies of its allies. There was thundering silence -- and often outright support -- from the United States government when Great Britain imprisoned and often murdered Irish men and women at the peak of internment. South Africa incarcerated and brutalized tens of thousands and killed with impunity while the indigenous people of that land struggled for freedom from the harsh yoke of Apartheid -- while the U.S. regime hypocritically wrung its hands and did little else to forestall that murderous rule. Chile's Pinochet regime, Argentina's right-wing military junta, Somoza's Nicaragua, Uruguay's brutal dictatorship, Guatemala's despots, and a host of other U.S.-backed regimes in Central and South America have incarcerated, tortured and 'disappeared' untold millions in the last five decades -- with the blessing of their big brother to the north and the corporate masters that the U.S. regime serves.

Today the U.S. rattles its shield, readies its war machinery and threatens to wreak an even more sweeping devastation on the people of Iraq as part of it's insatiable hunger for oil and dominion in the Middle East. And it's closest partner in the region -- Israel -- continues to enforce a barbarous occupation that lays waste to the land, homes and very lives of millions of Palestinians. What is the U.S. government's response when Israeli soldiers and settlers bury their bullets with impunity in the backs of any who stand in its way, from the smallest infant to the ninety-year-old woman shot dead in the back this November? Scant else but silence -- and a relentless commitment to refill the bank accounts and ammunition bunkers of that murderous colonial settler regime at the expense of housing, jobs and food for millions of Americans who struggle in want and privation within the United States.

Why should we be surprised that a country founded on the twin pillars of slavery and the dispossession of it's own indigenous population would refrain from the open tactics of despotism? Those who cringe in silence at the growing audacity of the Bush regime's imperial arrogance should remember that this swelling repression -- the growing detentions, the demonization of the 'other', the escalating attacks on civil liberties and basic freedoms within the borders of the United States -- will only intensify unless it met with real resistance. And resistance requires solidarity. To quote an old American labor slogan, Americans must remember that an injury to one is an injury to all.

This week thousands of friends and relatives of the disappeared in California rallied to protest the Bush-Ashcroft regime's rush to fascism. Increasingly, Americans are challenging the 'logic' of the mass internments imposed since September 11, and the ugly parallels with the treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, Native Americans from the Trail of Tears to Wounded Knee, and the imprisonment and theft of labor of millions of Blacks and Latinos who languish in the U.S. prison industrial complex. Each day, more and more Americans question the veracity of the U.S. government's rationalization for the impending war on Iraq, U.S. support for the Zionist occupation of Palestine, Plan Colombia, and the government's relentless attacks on its working people in its unbridled support for corporate globilization.

The great African-American freedom fighter, Frederick Douglas said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." The U.S. government has at last torn off the mask of civility and openly bared its real agenda -- an agenda of domination at home and abroad. There is -- there can be -- only one answer: popular resistance, rooted in the knowledge that real power lies in the people, if they will only seize it. This is the lesson that the Palestinian people continue to teach the entire world. All power to the American people in their resistance to U.S. imperialism.
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