Hundreds of Iranian and other Middle East citizens were in southern California jails on Wednesday after coming forward to comply with a new rule to register with immigration authorities only to wind up handcuffed and behind bars.Whether this was a collossal cockup or a deliberate monstrosity doesn't really matter. What matters is that right here, right now, people are being rounded up by the authorities and thrown in jail for no better reason than their ethnicity. And, if Atrios is right, it's being done despite INS having sent letters to all of them that their applications had been accepted and their green cards were in the pipeline.
Shocked and frustrated Islamic and immigrant groups estimate that more than 500 people have been arrested in Los Angeles, neighboring Orange County and San Diego in the past three days under a new nationwide anti-terrorism program. Some unconfirmed reports put the figure as high as 1,000.
So, let's see what we've got here:
-a ruling party that is, if not out-and-out racist, uses racist tactics and has a powerful racist minority;
-techniques being used to snow the press, and a propaganda machine without compare in the Might Wurlitzer;
-people of the wrong ethnicity being rounded up in flagrant violation of everything that said country stands for;
-arguments running thick and fast from the sycophants and ideologues aligned with the party that "freedom must be traded for security";
-the wholesale abrogation of anything approaching civil rights in the name of state security;
-the deployment of weaponry that ensures that the United States can eventually check the second-strike capability of any other nuclear power and, thus, hold them all by the scrotum;
-the systematic alienation of every possible foreign ally due to the desire for power;
-a plan for the Middle East that echoes the worst days of colonial mandates;
-and a system designed to collect every piece of available information about every citizen in order to build up a file on them and check for suspicious behavior.
So, tell me... when do we hit the part when people can start legitimately using the "F" word that doesn't describe coitus? And how the hell is the United States supposed to be the country that builds up great 'n wonderful liberal democracies around the world (through conquest, somehow) when it appears that both the "liberal" and "democratic" aspects of the country that's supposed to be the model for the concept are rapidly and spectacularly breaking down due to facing its first real territorial threat since the Civil War?
(If you listen closely, that whizzing sound you're hearing is every single Founding Father spinning so quickly they're warping space/time around them. Poor bastards.)
Polemic? Yeah. I get that way when innocent men are rounded up and caged like cattle.