Tuesday, May 16, 2006

They Sure Do Love Their REAL ID, Don't They?

After seeing President Bush go on the air last night and pimp his plan lay out his strategery for "Illegal Immigration" the one thing that struck a chord with me was his mention of an internal passport "high tech, tamper proof identification card". Those of us who have consistently stood against the REAL ID can see what is being proposed here. If the "guest workers" have an internal passport then it stands to reason that Americans will also have to have the same secure ID or the "guest workers" will just obtain "insecure" ID from some source and there will be no solution at all. The call will go out for a National ID (already here, thanks to REAL ID) and all the politicians will nod their heads, seeing the "logic" behind the scheme plan and they will draft new legislation making it a done deal.

I've already seen these "guest worker" passports/ID's in action in foreign countries. Most notably in Apartheid South Africa and in Israel where their "guest workers" were required to carry their internal passports and surrender them for inspection upon demand. These documents served, and in the case of Israel still serve to create an underclass of workers who possess a social status that is only slightly above that of slave or prison trustee. This is a true abomination and should be opposed by anyone who holds this country in any esteem whatsoever.

Combine this with the inevitable call for a National ID for citizens, a must have in order to maintain the validity and "security" of the "guest worker" program and we have one more great leap in the direction of the police state. It's a bad deal all around and restricts just not liberty and our freedom of movement, but legitimate trade and travel between countries sharing a border. Trade equals jobs, just like tourism and making things difficult costs jobs and makes for losses across the board.

And let us not forget the militarisation of the border. Regardless of what Mr. Bush contends when you send troops to the border as a security measure you are militarising your border. Again, I have seen the same thing in Israel, South Africa and in the Sinai. Calling it something else and denying reality never changes the facts of the matter. For all intents and purposes the US government will be creating a Southern border DMZ, akin to that between the Koreas or between Egypt and Israel. As we have already seen before when the government used military on the border, the propensity for tragedy is magnified many fold.

The timing and content of this speech couldn't have come at a better time for Mr. Bush. With his ratings in the toilet and going down the pipes faster than a Bloomin' Onion on a Friday night and incumbent Republicrats up for re-election in the fall he had to do and say something. This subject will also serve to draw attention away from his NSA domestic spying and the appointment of his head spy at NSA as CIA director. The American public are easily distracted and the propagandists speechwriters and Rove are well aware of this. Does anyone still remember the outspoken Generals? They're not on the front page any more, are they? The outrage over the NSA spying is, even as I write this disappearing from the front page, in favour of the latest cat toy distraction...immigration.

Don't be fooled, folks. There is no easy answer for this issue and the strategery from the White House and it's supporters is more smoke and mirrors. Step back, take a breath and look at the big picture. Do you want to live in a country that has internal passports for an underclass of workers and everyone else (just to keep control of the underclass)? Do you want to live in a country with militarised borders? Do remember that a closed off border cuts both ways, it may keep people out but it also serves to keep them in. Let's revive a Reagan era concept where government is concerned, OK? Just say NO! Or better yet, give us a big..."Hell NO!"

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