In December, 1943, at the famous Big Three Powers Tehran conference, Winston Churchill is reported to have remarked: "In war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies."
Well, our current President has gotten part of that message.
Iraq, along with Afghanistan and other outbreaks, represent a series of wars that Bush brought on with his misleading claims.
We understand now so clearly from reading Kevin Phillips' American Theocracy and other commentators how that underlying oil grab policy was disguised with lies about bringing democracy to the Middle East and fighting terrorism before it came again to America.
To my great astonishment, most Americans initially bought into that series of whoppers—hook, line and sinker! And to my further amazement, many still do. Of course if you believe, as many of his core evangelical supporters do, that the Rapture is coming, what's the difference?!
But we are engaged in another, even more serious, war—one which cuts sharply into our heartland, which threatens our culture, our heritage, our very survival. And again guess whose rhetoric is leading the charge?
None other than the same guy who brought down the widespread hatred of the Muslim world upon us and sullied, perhaps permanently, our image as a nation of peace, fairness and equity under the law: George W. Bush.
These arrivals, with their huge birth rates have added over 50 million to our total population since the ill-advised enactment of revised immigration rules in 1965. Our 1965 population was 194,303,000. It is now over 310 million and adding several million yearly—due mainly to immigration. Chances are this will result in a population of 500 million by 2050.
However, again Mr. Bush goes against the facts. He cites the urgent need for yet more workers to meet "shortages"—which are actually caused by underpaying workers and the reluctance of the capital-rich mega-companies to invest in America, while their CEO's take unconscionable salaries and benefits and their workers endure low wages and the constant threat of outsourcing.
And now what do we see on page one of the Saturday, May 5th Washington Post? More evidence of manipulative chicanery by the forces of Truthful George.
Under a picture which looks like something out of a Gestapo raid in the 1930's (the Post editorially is totally for another huge amnesty) the article begins:
"At 2:10 a.m., a fleet of dark SUVs surged from the garage beneath a federal building onto the deserted streets of Fairfax County, carrying a raiding party of flak-jacketed immigration agents.
"Their quarry: illegal immigrants who have ignored and evaded deportation orders. Called 'fugitive aliens' or 'alien absconders,' they have nearly doubled in number since 2001, now totaling more than 636,000.
"The Fairfax operation was part of a stepped-up national effort that has increased the number of fugitive arrests from 1,560 in 2003 to a projected 16,000 this year, U.S. immigration officials said.
"As Congress ponders a sweeping overhaul of immigration laws, the hard mathematics of eliminating the backlog of cases has become central to the debate." [U.S. Targeting Immigrant 'Absconders', By N.C. Aizenman and Spencer S. Hsu (email them)]
At least the article reports fairly that
"Conservatives say the White House has a credibility gap when it asks them to support a temporary worker program and a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants in return for a promised crackdown on the worst offenders."
"The failure to remove 'low-hanging fruit' such as fugitives 'may reflect the fact that there's a complete neglect for enforcement, or that even in egregious cases, they just can't get their act together,' said Steven A. Camarota, spokesman for the Center on Immigration Studies, a group that advocates less immigration."
How right you are, Steve. The Post article continued:
"Immigrant advocates and some former federal authorities counter that the growing backlog of fugitives—who make up 5 percent of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants—demonstrates the futility of relying on enforcement alone to stop illegal immigration."
In fact, of course, the failure to spend the money, take the time, marshal the forces to round up "this low hanging fruit" just illustrates how successful the business and ethnic lobbies have been in keeping Congress and the Federal authorities from enforcing existing laws—let alone causing new ones to be enacted.
But what does it say about the Kennedy-Bush amnesty proposal? The foreboding is evident in the comments of one key enforcement official. As the Post article reports:
"'The absconder population is exhibit number one,' said Victor X. Cerda, former chief of staff and general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 'We haven't been able to handle the 600,000-plus who went through the legal system. What's going to lead us to believe we're going to handle the 12 million?'
"Federal officials became alarmed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when they discovered they could not account for 314,000 immigrants who had been ordered deported, including 5,046 from countries where al Queda was present.
"Since then, spending on fugitive operations has grown from $9 million to $183 million a year—about $10,000 per arrest, according to a recent report by the Homeland Security inspector general. But the backlog continued to grow as immigration courts increased their workloads, issuing far more deportation orders."
Then there's the matter of detention space shortage.
So here we are. The truth being daily "attended by a bodyguard of lies" from our President, who keeps telling us how concerned he is about our security, when he keeps advocating the importation of workers to take our jobs and use our tax-supported services.
Admittedly, I speak as a Democrat. But can anyone outside the hardest of hard-core Bush backers can have any confidence that any truths will be told, or any policies that benefit ordinary American enacted.
And, of course, no matter how egregiously Bush or his minions behave, few have resigned.
Can our Republic remain a Republic for the 19 months still remaining on this cabal's calendar?
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.