Fiji-Indian. Radical. Forced Migrant. Juris Doctor. Reluctant Dreamer. Undocumented. Unafraid. Unapologetic. Unashamed.
This racist cartoon shows how far the stereotype of Indian immigrants in 1910 differed from the reality. Most immigrants were Sikh, and those Sikhs who wore a turban usually wore a beard. It was almost unheard of for a turbaned Sikh to smoke. And according to Dr. S. H. Lawson, ship surgeon of the Monteagle and the Tartar, they were “one hundred percent cleaner in their habits” than the European steerage passengers he encountered in his duties. “The Sikhs impressed me as a clean, manly, honest race.” From: San Francisco Call, 13 August 1910.
Image via Wikipedia
I have a question. When is the last time bombing a country with Tomahawk missiles freed a people? Was it in Vietnam, Korea, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq?
Frankly, I have no idea what is going on in Libya. Qaddhafi claims the uprising is Al-Qaeda forces. The “rebels” — who are religious but claim not to be extremists — say they want “freedom” for Libya from the despot. The UN Security Council passed a resolution to intervene and now the United States, along with France and the UK, are bombing the country.
I can’t help but see a pattern here and coincidences with prior bombing campaigns.
Coincidence #1. Many say that Libyans asked for help and military intervention and that this is not an invasion like Iraq. Rather, that this is an “internationally sanctioned” intervention. The focus is on the tyranny of the Qaddafi regime, much like the 2003 war against Iraq focused on the actions of Saddam Hussein and his mythical weapons of mass destruction.
Coincidence #2: Supporters of the war against Libya also decry the irony that the bombing campaign on the country began on March 19, 2011 — the 8th anniversary of the war against Iraq. Obama could not have picked a better date to commemorate the anniversary.
Coincidence #3. There is an oil factor here as well. The United States was chummy with Saddam till he decided to nationalize his oil industry in the early 90s. That’s when the country started having problems with Hussein gassing the Kurds, with weapons supplied by the United States. Similarly, Libya used to be categorized as a “rogue” country for quite a while. That was until it moved to liberalize its economy and signed the near-billion dollar oil contract with BP oil, following Tony Blair’s visit in May 2007.
Coincidence #4. As the country with the largest oil reserves in Africa, Libya supplies 10% of Italy’s gas needs and in return Italy is the second biggest arms seller to the Qadaffi regime. It supplies 10% of France’s oil and petrochemicals and in return France is the biggest seller of arms to the Qadaffi regime. Finally, the BP (a UK-based oil company) investment in Libyan oil $2 billion and in return the UK was the third largest seller of weapons to the Qadaffi regime. Knowing that, I’m supposed to believe that when the UK and French used Italian airbases to implement a no-fly zone over Libya, they did so with the purest and most humanitarian of motives, much like the no-fly zones imposed over Iraq.
I’m not saying that this is a war for oil. Professor Ismael Hossein-Zadeh forewarns that there is strong evidence that the powerful interests vested in war and militarism actually use oil as a pretext to justify military adventures in order to derive higher dividends from the business of war such as defense contracting.
I’m saying that our interests are not as clear and convincing. The United States, France and the UK may have several different interests in attacking Libya, some taking precedence over others. The French interest may be the coming presidential election in France where Sarkozy is not a clear favorite to win re-election. There is an economic crisis in the United Kingdom and a war may serve as distraction. The press says the UN Security Council vote was 10-0, but really there were major abstentions from Germany, India, Brazil and China. I guess they don’t have any interest in going to war with Libya.
If this is only for humanitarian purposes, it is unclear to me why intervention in Libyan affairs takes precedence over intervening in other countries with tyrants and despots as leaders. Why is the United States supporting anti-Qaddafi forces in Libya but not popular uprisings in equally undemocratic countries like Yemen, China, Iran, Bahrain and Sudan? Right now, Japan figures as more of a threat to the world and needs our help more than Libya but I do not see the same priority for the country.
I want to make it clear that there is no way I support Qaddafi but bombing Libya does not take place in a vacuum. There are economic and human costs involved, and as of now, it is unclear precisely what a successful bombing mission is supposed to achieve. No one is asking the people of Libya what they want to achieve from this. After all, their interests are the only thing that should matter in this new shock and awe campaign.
The legislation I have introduced today would provide a child, whose timely filed application for a family-based, employment-based, or diversity visa was submitted before the child reached his or her 21st birthday, the opportunity to remain eligible for that visa until the visa becomes available […] a family whose child’s application for admission to the United States has been pending for years may be forced to leave that child behind either because the INS was unable to adjudicate the application before the child’s 21st birthday, or because growing immigration backlogs in the immigration visa category caused the visa to be unavailable before the child reached his 21st birthday. As a result, the child loses the right to admission to the United States. This is what is commonly known as ‘aging out.’
Situations like these leave both the family and the child in a difficult dilemma. Under current law, lawful permanent residents who are outside of the United States face a difficult choice when their child ‘ages-out’ of eligibility for a first preference visa. Emigrating parents must decide to either come to the United States and leave their child behind, or remain in their country of origin and lose out on their American dream in the United States. In the end, we as a country stand to lose when we are deprived of their cultural gifts, talents and many contributions.
Senator Dianne Feinstein On Introducing the Child Status Protection Act In the Senate To Allow Derivative Adult Children Who Age-Out To Adjust Their Status. Thus far, USCIS has refused to enforce the law as written, narrowly construing the statute and as a result, denying thousands of young adults their right to gain legal residency under the laws of the United States.
Making it more difficult to visit India, return here frequently or stay long hurts large numbers of innocents, costs us millions and alienates. Is all that worth it just in hope of making it difficult for a future Headley to Recce? Are we going to allow terrorists to make us less welcoming?