Win-Win Solution on Immigration and Empire

Rather than British ground troops, Britain relied on
an 80-percent Indian force to police Iraq. And when that
couldn’t do the trick, the Royal Air Force pioneered the
art of dropping bombs on population-centers

Far be it from me to tell America how to run its immigration policy or police its empire, it does nonetheless strike me that the politicians in Washington are missing an obvious win-win solution of the type that would have made Bill Clinton salivate.

There are literally millions of people throughout Latin America who are ready to take considerable risks in order to reach the United States and make new lives for themselves here — preferably with the coveted green card and then citizenship to make it legal. And there are also literally millions of people in Iraq who want nothing to do with the United States — in fact, don’t want the U.S. in their midst at all — which makes it such a difficult place for U.S. troops to police. But police it they will, President Bush has made clear, in announcing that the decision about withdrawing from Iraq will be left to future presidents.

The American voter is getting increasingly unhappy about the burden of occupation in Iraq. And also about the influx of immigrants. So what to do?

Well, how about learning from the British. They also occupied Iraq, whose state they had pretty much designed, from the end of the first world war until they had stood up a friendly monarchy. But most of the British boots on the ground in Iraq were not on British feet; they were worn by soldiers recruited in India, who made up 80 percent of the British force in Iraq.

Rather than rely on an increasingly uneasy U.S. public to pay the price, a long-term deployment in Iraq may be a lot easier if the U.S. were to staff it with green-card Marines. The Romans did it; so did the British. It’s the art of empire… But, of course, that didn’t work for very long, so the RAF had to bomb the rebellious buggers into submission. Which, of course, the U.S. is also increasingly wont to do…

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10 Responses to Win-Win Solution on Immigration and Empire

  1. You’re on to something, Tony.

    The danger, of course, is that people will think of us as exploitative, heartless skunks.To counter that unfair impression, I suggest LFT or “limb-based fast-tracking.”

    An IED explosion that costs you N limbs reduces your wait for citizenship by N years. For those in a hurry, there’ll be the IDIC option ( instant-death=instant-citizenship).

    We’ll still lose the war, but at least we’ll show we have a big heart. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

  2. Tony says:

    Bernard– I sometimes worry that people may not realize that we’re joking!

  3. Pat S. says:

    This is already going on to a small extent, particularly among the Marines. There is a significant number of Central and South American recruits who get the promise of citizenship for serving in the U.S. armed forces. Check out the KIAs on this page from Guatemala, England, the Marianas and Panama:

  4. Tony says:

    Wow. I have to say, it doesn’t take too much imagination to envisage a situation where the U.S. recruits whole units from among the armies of Central American states whose officer corps has been trained at the School of the Americas — one or two Spanish-speaking U.S. Spcial Forces guys commanding whole units of Green Card Marines. That’s how the South Africans operated in Namibia and Angola — their frontline units were mostly black troops recruitied in SA and also Namibia and then commanded by one or two white officers with a grounding in unconventional warfare…

  5. Looks like Max Boot has already worked out the details.

  6. My fellow on Orkut shared this link and I’m not dissapointed that I came to your blog.

  7. Green Card says:

    I honestly don’t see the drawbacks to allowing foreign nationals to earn citizenship through a term of service in the United States military. As long as the parties are willing, I see few more mutually beneficial trade-offs.

  8. I have to agree with the above poster. If these people want a green card badly enough that they would join the military for one, then I think they deserve to have one. American kids are not joining the military like they used to, so any help the armed forces can get should be taken advantage of.

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