On July 15, rightwingwatch.com reported that according to a GOP Rep., Arizona may soon fall under terrorist attack from across the border.
South of the border. Down Mexico way.
Yes, Hezbollah agents may take a crash course in Español and cross the border as illegal immigrants in order to destroy democracy.
It’s not enough, apparently, that most of them are criminals (Human Events) or drug-mules (Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer). Now they are also all potential terrorists.
And the federal government, trumpets FOX, isn’t letting poor defenseless Arizona protect itself from a heinous attack by these deadly-unemployed-anuses stuffed with drugs- migrant terrorists.
As you can imagine, it’s not a pretty picture.
Sue Myrick (R-NC) told FOX that “we’re really paying attention to who is coming over, what’s happening with Iran and Hugo Chavez and Venezuela.”
You see, because of attacks on Jewish targets in that country in the 1990s, Western anti-terrorism officials began to worry about Hezbollah infiltration into the Western hemisphere.
The problem here of course is that Hezbollah’s actions have been anti-Israel, not anti-US. Their concern is not with Arizona, but with Lebanon. Many conservatives somehow equate Israel’s national security with America’s but no such connection exists outside the evangelical mindset.
Yes, Hezbollah is cuddly with Chavez. Does Myrick want to invoke the Monroe Doctrine to intervene? Should we muster the troops and invade? Oh, that’s right; the Republicans sent them all to Iraq and Afghanistan on an earlier holy crusade.
Our border is porous she says, perhaps the only accurate thing coming out of her mouth though a recent article in the New Yorker argues that “The southern border, far from being ‘unsecured,’ is in better shape than it has been for years—better managed and less porous.”
And the terrorist threat? Yeah, we were all wrong, folks. The Mexicans are not coming here for a better life. They’re coming here as Hezbollah operatives determined to destroy our way of life. Who knew?
The FOX paranoiac of the hour, host Brian Kilmeade, was all on board with this latest conspiracy theory (is there a conspiracy theory Republicans DON’T like?): “Instead of talking about Mexicans coming here for a better life, we’re talking about Hezbollah coming here to infiltrate our borders and attack the country. That would change the entire dialogue when it comes to illegal immigration.”
Change our dialogue. Yes, we need a change to our dialogue, Brian. We need a little less xenophobia, paranoia, fear-mongering and racism in our discourse on the immigration question.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the system is broken and needs fixing. Stirring up the fear another notch, putting reason out the air-lock, doesn’t seem a very productive method of furthering the discussion.
And while this is not the first attempt to portray immigrants as criminals, it is certainly the most outrageous.
The simple fact is that most immigrants are not criminals (if you are talking about activities beyond crossing the border illegally). Huffington Post debunked that claim back in 2009.
It is another fact that most immigrants are not drug mules. The drug runners have more efficient means (like submarines) of getting drugs into our country without employing the hands, arms, or anuses of people simply trying to find a better life for themselves and their families.
The idea that these people are Hezbollah agents (and why not al Qaeda?) is even more absurd, and there is not a shred of evidence to support this new layer of fear-mongering, FOX News’ gullibility notwithstanding.
The rightwingwatch story doesn’t mention it but this scenario has been advanced before, back in 2006 when FOX News reported:
“Today, optimistic Mexican illegal immigrants traipse across the U.S. border; last month, authorities discovered a 2,400 yard tunnel from Tijuana, Mexico into southern California being used to transport tons of drugs.
“Tomorrow, devious al-Qaeda terrorists sneak into our southern states, and an underground-tunnel from Mexico into the U.S. transports a nuclear weapon en route to a major U.S. city.”
“Regretfully,” FOX warned us, “this speculative scenario is more realistic than Americans are willing to admit.” FOX went on to assure us that “Terrorists can be counted on to try to exploit this vulnerability.”
Apparently, those jihadists just don’t get it. At least, they didn’t take their cue from FOX.
Four years have gone by. I suppose since no jihadists (al Qaeda or Hezbollah) have crossed the border and blown anything up in the past four years, FOX thought it was time to ramp up the paranoia again. After all, you can never have enough fear and xenophobia, can you?
There is an old expression that the evil of the day is sufficient unto itself. There are plenty enough problems facing us as a country. Let’s deal with the real ones rather than inventing new ones.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.