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Migrant Caravan: Branding Migrants ‘Human Shields’ Has a Deadly Motive


Migrant Caravan: Branding Migrants ‘Human Shields’ Has a Deadly Motive

Neve Gordon, Nicola Perugini

The “migrant caravan” is making its way towards the US border – and is facing countless obstacles and much opposition along the way. Most recently, protests erupted when a large group of the migrants reached the Mexican border town of Tijuana. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump was quick to join the clamour, accusing them of causing “crime and big problems in Mexico”:


Gordon/Perugini sez: “Interestingly, the president, secretary of state, and DHS did not pluck these allegations out of thin air. They are simply repeating claims made in a 2014 report published by the US right-wing Tea Party organisation.”

… Which, in turn, were plucked out of thin air.


Trump, you are the one causing crime and big problems in America and the World.

Please, fall on your own sword.


From the article:

“…the world should reflect on this and how one of the pillars of international law – the category of civilian – is being eroded.”

Civilians and our infrastructure—hospitals, water treatment plants and pharmaceutical production facilities, among others—have been “legitimate” military targets since at least the London blitz and the firebombing of Dresden. In Gaza, there are no civilians, only militants as far as Israel is concerned; and have we forgotten “Shock & Awe?”

I found the authors’ lack of this context disturbing.


You don’t think Bibi sends snuff flicks to herr twitler, of his heroic snipers shooting unarmed men, women and children at the fences and bars of their concentration camps?
“This is how it is done! Get with the program!” he no doubt tells twitler. twitler probably has his top military in to watch them and learn from a bloody expert.


I wouldn’t be surprised, this is the same kind of elite that laugh when talking about men who were sodomized and murdered.


Crime. I was in southern Mexico ten days ago. Outside a bus station, watching the crowds go by , tense, tired travelers all, holding their bags tightly. I smiled at them, something an old lady can safely do, I thought, while also holding my bags tightly. Some seemed quite grateful to see a smile. There will be jobs teaching English here for me, I know. I looked at one. But this day, I was passing the time with my phone in my hands. A cab driver nearby was on his radio talking about the stupid gringo on the road with the phone. Whatever, i thought. A young man ran by and wrenched my phone from my hands, disappearing at lightning speed. I wanted to report it to the police. The vendor behind me said, no use, it happens all the time.

Sure there are thieves among them. Poor people, escaping war torn areas, how can there not be? But even a thief can get a job laying bricks. Let them in. But hold your bags tightly.
I returned toChina. I am too old by regulations to work in China anymore. But it is safe here. The immigrants are trying to get somewhere safe. I wish them well. But yes, there are thieves among them.

They come from Africa, to Europe and Chins, where labor is needed. They come from Myanmar to China through a border town when I stayed last month, Lincang. They go from China to Russia to farm in Siberia. And Canada is getting people from around the world. One commenter said three million are leaving Colombia and Venezuela for other South American countries.

And some of us leave the US, too.


I visited a former town in Arkansas in 2009. I had lived there from 1979-1983. Oh, how it had changed! An old friend told me this story:

Walmart had been birthed in the town just north of it. But the real change came because of Clinton’s action as president for his former state.
The town to the south had a big chicken company. Processing chickens is nasty and dangerous work. To keep the labor cheap, Clinton facilitated immigration work visas for a huge number of Mexicans, probably too many. Drugs ran rampant and gangs were everywhere. The formerly all white town was overwhelmed and besieged suddenly. A Cuban entrepreneur entered upon the scene. He introduced banking, small loans, leading to bigger loans, requiring people who stayed to invest, encouraging home loans. They cleaned up the town. The old apartment complex where I first lived, which had become overrun with drug gangs, was turned into an elder facility, open to over fifties only. I stayed there again, and it was safe.


Want to help immigrants? Volunteer to teach English in your community.
When my kids got big, I started thinking about changing my career away from engineering into something more humanistic. I volunteered at two local agencies and took courses to get certified.

Maria was difficult for me. A Mexican mother at home with four, she managed to come to class and was willing, her husband a dishwasher. Nothing I taught seemed to stay with her. One day I brought a beginning Spanish book for her. She really struggled with it. She had only been to school a couple of years. Then one day she didn’t come. The agency said her husband beat her and she had a black eye.
Then there was Marco. Also a dishwasher, he left his family in Mexico. Brought me roses and sported a lot of gold jewelry. Where did the money cone from? They have challenges, like everyone. Their solutions are maybe different.


And there was Juan, a trained engineer, wanting the class to move along faster. Immigrants need a LOT of community help. Metoo. Thank you all for reaching out. Here in China, I can speak conversational Chinese, but I cannot read it.