War on Terrorism and Immigrants
This section will discuss the historical context for the present-day "War on Terrorism." It also explains how the Right and the U.S. government have exploited certain key events and people's genuine fear, to pursue an agenda that includes domestic repression, increased hostility to immigrants, and the militarization of the U.S.- Mexico border.
George W. Bush was right about the fact that global terrorism did not begin on September 11, 2001. But he is wrong in implying that the response- the War on Terrorism- began that day. It, the war on drugs, the war on crime, and other such domestic and foreign policies are deeply rooted in U.S. history. While many agendas and policies advocated and implemented by various administrations, including the Bush Administration, might be identified as having right-wing origins, many others, especially when it comes to foreign policy, are harder to pinpoint as being specifically rightist. They are instead much more structural and/or systemic in nature, and are rooted in the historical evolution of the United States from its original founding to its "sole superpower" status at the present time.
Terrorism has been a horrific reality for the world beyond our borders since long before September 11, 2001. And now it is an equally terrifying reality for Americans. It is important to understand that people's fear of terrorism, whether they live in the United States or elsewhere, is genuine- whether that terrorism is perpetrated by non-State actors like Al Qaeda, or State actors, i.e., governments. It is equally important to understand that governments around the world, including the United States, have exploited this fear to impose draconian laws that infringe on people's civil liberties and violate their civil rights, and that help to maintain the social, racial, economic, and political status quo that benefit the wealthy and the ruling elite. As Natsu Taylor Saito explains:
Pages 149-174 of Defending Justice, edited by Palak Shah