Caravans, Invasions and Other Disasters or "Make Fritigern Great Again"

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Things are not going so well in America Central right now.  Things are not going too much better in Mexico, either, of late. 
 
A lot of people living in Tijuana (at least the Hidalgos) are saying "Hacer México Grande otra vez" right now.  
I tend to agree with sending Troops to the Border.  
 
This is a difficult and sensitive Civil Affairs ("CA") and Civil Military Operations ("CMO")  (and, potentially, Counterintelligence ["CI"]) mission . . . and the US Army (in particular) has gotten very good at these tasks in the last 17 years.
 
Some of these events are fallout from the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional ("FMLN").  Insurgency in El Salvador in the 1980s and early '90s and the fallout in Honduras of that Insurgency.
 
Some of it is the result of the disintegration of Venezuela, the most contiguous country in America del Sur.
 
Some of it was young Salvadoran refuges from the war starting a successful street gang in Los Angeles with the cooperation with La Eme   ("The M" or The Mexican Mafia), a US street/prison gang of great power and influence, and that entity (known as "MS-13") leaking back into America Central to create what amounts to an alternative government.
 
I don't care if this is our fault or not (but, can we talk, we clearly contributed to this), but we are stuck with it and need to take appropriate action (CA, CMO & CI-type appropriate action).
 
Some people have been saying this is an invasion.  It isn't. 
 
It is something potentially worse: a mass migration, something that does not benefit more settled populations.
 
We have to get control of this.  We also have to act justly.  This requirement is intensified by the 24 Hour News Cycle, but it is far older.  
 
The denouement of Western Romans treating a group of refugee Goths badly, ripping them off and abusing them (to paraphrase Curtis Mayfield's Freddie's Dead), happened at a place called Adrianople in 378 CE.        
 

Comments

Ryan Messano Added Nov 23, 2018 - 4:14pm
Caesar had the right idea.
 
When the Gallic tribe of the Helvetii wanted to cross from one side to the other of France, he resisted them, played for time, rushed in reinforcements, and when the Helvetii would not return to their Land, they were utterly destroyed by the Roman legions.
 
You cannot allow barbarian hordes to go wherever they wish.
John Minehan Added Nov 23, 2018 - 4:48pm
You also have to deal with them fairly, as Valens learned at Adrianople . . . .
TreeParty Added Nov 23, 2018 - 4:51pm
John - "I don't care if this is our fault or not (but, can we talk, we clearly contributed to this), but we are stuck with it and need to take appropriate action".
Where is that vaunted conservative "sense of responsibility"?Shouldn't you at least care whether it is "our fault"?!?! If a surfeit of laissez-faire irresponsibility, that some of us pride ourselves on in this country, is to blame in some measure for the mass migration that any of us would join if we were in similar circumstances. then surely we could take some of those billions we spend propping up the murderous Saudi regime and address the mayhem in the affected Central American countries.
Oh, that's probably what you meant...
 
Dino Manalis Added Nov 23, 2018 - 4:58pm
 We have to deal with the caravan and each person should be evaluated and either treated humanely or militarily if armed.  However, we also need better policies with Central American countries to stop mass emigration as much as possible.
John Minehan Added Nov 23, 2018 - 5:04pm
It is a bit passed the time for blame.  Now is the time for workable solutions.
 
We need to do something and we need to do that something well.
 
We learned a lot about CA and CMO (and CI) since 2001 . . .  and now it is time to apply them in our own backyard.
TreeParty Added Nov 23, 2018 - 5:34pm
I would say it is past time for blame, although the reasons for the "blame" persist, even as the current administration turns a blind eye to the cause and effect relationship at work there. 
I think Dino said it best. Maybe the current administration could organize a "task force" to work with Central American governments to make those nations safer and more prosperous places to live.
(I was wrong about the "billions to prop up the Saudi regime." But it likely will take on the order of billions to have a substantial impact on the situation that is motivating the emigration..) 
John Minehan Added Nov 23, 2018 - 5:49pm
"I was wrong about the "billions to prop up the Saudi regime." But it likely will take on the order of billions to have a substantial impact on the situation that is motivating the emigration."
 
Although, since this humanitarian disaster is in our backyard, it is in our best interest to try to ameliorate it.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 23, 2018 - 8:50pm
This administration has a problem with knowing where a task force really is.  And John M, despite this "crisis" is a humanitarian disaster, we can't respond to it in a humanitarian way.  Those evil criminals, sick women and children need to be dealt with harshly...machine gun them if they get X  feet from the border...any humanitarian gesture will bring millions more North in unstoppable "caravans" escorted by the MS13 grand army and ISIL terrorists.  What will fearful folks in California (Rusted Smith and others) do?  They might take their own lives or the lives of their families to keep them "white," even in death.
Liberal1 Added Nov 23, 2018 - 8:50pm
It's kind of back asswards, but I wouldn't mind Trump pulling a lot of the National Guard/Reserves out of the middle east and putting the on our border.  If it means they are back in the sand, at least it will be our sand with fewer IEDS.
John Minehan Added Nov 23, 2018 - 9:00pm
"It's kind of back asswards, but I wouldn't mind Trump pulling a lot of the National Guard/Reserves out of the middle east and putting the on our border.  If it means they are back in the sand, at least it will be our sand with fewer IEDS."
 
At least in the Army, the Guard and the Army Reserve is where the people with the experience in dealing with Civil Affairs/Civil Military Operations are.
 
So, that idea is a very good one.
 
"And John M, despite this "crisis" is a humanitarian disaster, we can't respond to it in a humanitarian way."
 
It may say a lot of things, perhaps negative things, about our culture that most of the Government's institutional knowledge about how to deal with humanitarian disasters resides in the Department of Defense, but it does.
 
Hopefully, we will use those resources, rather than generating some bloody violent mess.  I trust the troops and the NCOs to do the right thing,     
 
 
Lindsay Wheeler Added Nov 23, 2018 - 10:25pm
I support deporting Jeff Micha to El Salvador!  
 
Humanitarian?  let's send all of our 400 Catholic Bishops to El Salvador!
 
Those are all future Democrat voters!!! We can't deny them entry. hell, the Democrat Party of California has NOW achieved Super Majority in California---They have total and complete control of California and they need to control the rest of America. I hear Arizona and New Mexico is next!  I say let them in!  The Democrat Party has need of more Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortezes!!!!!  The more the merrier. 
 
Let's try to give the Demoncrat party a lift and super majorities across America!  
Flying Junior Added Nov 24, 2018 - 1:57am
I think that the author is on-point.
 
BTW.  The Mayor of Tijuana did just declare the situation a humanitarian disaster.  And this is really only the beginning.

Mircea Negres Added Nov 24, 2018 - 2:07am
Every country has the right to territorial integrity. Now, that has usually been backed up by armed troops, but Trump sent your army to the border UNARMED. What the fuck are they gonna do, throw rocks? The "refugees" are coming towards the US for all sorts of reasons. If they enter legally (ie. present valid passport and visa), that's cool. But if they don't, then law enforcement and military personnel have a duty to protect the country and arrest the assholes, something Orange Buffoon would've understood if only he hadn't dodged the draft during the Vietnam War. More Mayaguez Incident with your cereal, anyone?     
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 6:29am
Set up camps.  Screen them (including a Counterintelligence screening, as the Iraqis did when Ramadi and Fallujah fell to IS in 2015).  See to the gross humanitarian needs created by the trip.  Send them home.
 
Get enough data to figure out how this happened (there are presently a lot of theories but few facts).  Come up with a plan to avoid this in the future.
 
There are only two major errors to make: 1) having a bloody, violent confrontation where we have to use deadly force; or 2) acquiescing and letting them all in.   
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 24, 2018 - 9:10am
Simple solution: just give california back to Mexico. They can all settle there, California will be freed of the tyranny of middle America and we won’t have to subsidize any more of their bull shit
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 9:43am
"Simple solution: just give california back to Mexico. They can all settle there, California will be freed of the tyranny of middle America and we won’t have to subsidize any more of their bull shit"
 
If you want a secure border, the best approach might be a plebiscite in the counties along the Border and allowing the counties that wish to to become part of Mexico.  Think of it as a sort of "Reverse Gadsden Purchase.' 

 
Steel Breeze Added Nov 24, 2018 - 10:04am
i second TBH....
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 24, 2018 - 10:21am
That is an entirely reasonable approach John, but as we have seen this still leaves us at risk to those who determine that election results are only valid when the voters make the “right” decision. 
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 11:04am
"That is an entirely reasonable approach John, but as we have seen this still leaves us at risk to those who determine that election results are only valid when the voters make the “right” decision."
 
It'a all about what John Robb calls "The 'L Word:' Legitimacy. 
Steel Breeze Added Nov 24, 2018 - 11:11am
a group,any group from anywhere,with the stated intent of coming to your house to break your laws,is to be stopped by any means necessary........if for no other reason than to send a clear message....
Women are Inferior Added Nov 24, 2018 - 11:13am
Once again, practically anything and everything bad that happens in the world, and certainly this hemisphere, is directly or indirectly the fault of the USA. Costa Rica seems to be the only Latin American country that has its shit together. Why is that?
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 11:51am
I wish I knew more about Latin America.  I speak Spanish, so I could read the papers on-line.  I should have taken more courses in Latin American History back at VMI, as well.  
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 11:59am
"a group,any group from anywhere,with the stated intent of coming to your house to break your laws,is to be stopped by any means necessary........if for no other reason than to send a clear message.... "
 
The problem is that if you use force is an unjustified way, you become something of an international pariah, "like right away."
 
You also want to be perceived as being fair in your dealings with these people; the Romans failed to due that and they got Adrianople out of it.
 
You want to be firm but fair and send them home.  An unstable America Central destabilizes Mexico and the Southwestern US.  
Steel Breeze Added Nov 24, 2018 - 12:03pm
what you say is true,but for me, i believe in defending boundaries from criminal intent and really dont give a shit what 'the world' thinks about my methods,so i guess i'm still in the minority.....
Women are Inferior Added Nov 24, 2018 - 12:12pm
The caravan was clearly an organized effort, but who exactly is behind it and why remains mysterious to me. The fact that the Mexicans allowed the caravan to traverse the entire country speaks volumes about them.
 
Regarding the deployment of troops without weapons and without the CA/CMO/CI elements, it is obviously nothing more than a lame political stunt. The whole thing stinks to high even on all sides.
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 24, 2018 - 12:20pm
What do you suppose would happen if they got here and we process them all upon arrival with these choices:  we can ship you back via rail in cattle cars, or we can fly you back. As long as you did not disclose the fact that the plane would never land anywhere I suspect most would opt for the flight 
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 12:53pm
"The caravan was clearly an organized effort, but who exactly is behind it and why remains mysterious to me. The fact that the Mexicans allowed the caravan to traverse the entire country speaks volumes about them."
 
One reason why it would be good to have CI guys doing debriefs.
 
Ever hear of something called "The Children's Crusade?"  Sometimes big (and screwed up) things come about by way of memes.
 
"Regarding the deployment of troops without weapons and without the CA/CMO/CI elements, it is obviously nothing more than a lame political stunt. The whole thing stinks to high even on all sides."
 
Possibly, we are not advertising the CA/ CMO/CI aspects.  Who actually gets orders will tell the story.  
 
 
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 1:00pm
"What do you suppose would happen if they got here and we process them all upon arrival with these choices:  we can ship you back via rail in cattle cars, or we can fly you back. As long as you did not disclose the fact that the plane would never land anywhere I suspect most would opt for the flight "
 
Ever hear of a Science Fiction story by Cyril Kornbluth and Fred Pohl called The Marching Morons, your comment reminded me of how the story ended.  
Women are Inferior Added Nov 24, 2018 - 1:39pm
All I can say is that when I tried to reside in Germany after I got out of the Army, I had to furnish all kinds of documents, including shot records and an extract of my criminal record, and had to submit to a physical examination which included stool and urine samples. Try doing that here, lol.
 
From a CI perspective, I'm not sure how much value such people would have. As Hispanics and their various tribes tend to be very insular people, I'm sure an ISIL or other terrorist would stick out like a sore thumb. But, they all would have to be on U.S. soil for those elements to be used, and getting in is at least half the battle.
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 1:51pm
I think one thing what you would get is if this were a meme or a more active conspiracy.  Additionally, the more people you talk to, the more you can fill in the blanks.
 
In a sense,  a meme is almost more worrying, as it is a sign of widespread hopelessness. 
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 1:55pm
Seems like the best thing for the US and Mexico would be to vet these folks in Mexico, but conflicting agendas are an issue. 
 
Seems like a scene from Ford's Rio Grand (1950) or Peckinpa's  Major Dundee, but there it is,
Liberal1 Added Nov 24, 2018 - 3:59pm
"Simple solution: just give california back to Mexico."
 
You spelled Texas incorrectly.  
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 4:10pm
Possibly more like half of each.
Women are Inferior Added Nov 24, 2018 - 4:43pm
Considering our lengthy record in interfering with their affairs, including outright invasions, I think we do have some responsibility for the sorry state of affairs in the banana republics, but that doesn't necessarily mean we have to import them en masse, like the Vietnamese and the Hmongs.
 
Personally, I feel more and more like a foreigner in my own country; I refuse to learn Spanish out of sheer stubbornness, lol.
John Minehan Added Nov 24, 2018 - 6:46pm
I think we would be better off helping them to right their own ship.  We are so contiguous, it is clearly in our enlightened self-interest to help.  Without becoming Lewis Puller and Pedro de Valle,  
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:02am
Don't know if you are trying to be funny liberal one....my non-capitalization of california was deliberate
opher goodwin Added Nov 25, 2018 - 6:54am
Fantastic - Christian compassion on display!
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 7:14am
I ask this seriously, do nation-states act out of anything other than pragmatic self-interest?
 
Their leaders' actions may be (and I would say, should be) in line with their personal moral beliefs, but I think Palmerton's idea that "Nations have permanent interests, not permanent allies" applies.
 
Additionally, I don't think either fostering national dependency or acting as a hegemon is ethically right in any event.  (Although, as Michael B points out, both have been our default positions with our hemispheric neighbors.)   
Kristen Foley Added Nov 25, 2018 - 7:17am
I’d argue that because immigrants tend to be young and able-bodied, they are exactly the type of people we should desire.  Not to mention the fact the trip itself will weed out the highly motivated from the others.  I’m not saying we need to open our borders, but illegal immigration isn’t necessarily all that bad.  Certainly it’s not “worse” than if we were being invaded. 
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 7:22am
I served in the first Gulf War with John Nagl and he has since become famous for popularizing T. E. Lawrence's idea that you have to let people you are advising do it themselves, as messy as that is, in order that they learn.
 
I think that applies more generally in terms of international development.  Perhaps a way to day that is that you have to help them build their better life rather than building your better life for them,  
Leroy Added Nov 25, 2018 - 8:21am
"Some people have been saying this is an invasion.  It isn't. 
 
It is something potentially worse: a mass migration, something that does not benefit more settled populations."
 
Excellent analysis of the situation, John.  I think it is tantamount to an invasion.  It seems to be organized.  Perhaps it is a prelude to mass migration.  The economies of the developed nations are straining.  The developing economies must be in dire straights.  I don't think the US can survive mass migration.  Mass migration will happen to Europe.  It is only a matter of time.  What we see today pales in comparison to what the future holds.  I am not sure that we can stop it.  I'd say that ninety percent of the battle is setting your foot in the country.  We need to change the law where necessary.  Enforce the laws that we have.  Process the claims outside the country.  Summarily send those back who cross illegally.  It is the only way we will survive the onslaught.
 
The mass migration gives colonialism a good name.  I may not live long enough to see it, but I suspect we will intervene in these countries and fix the problems for them, even if we have to occupy these countries.
 
"I’d argue that because immigrants tend to be young and able-bodied, they are exactly the type of people we should desire."
 
That was the thinking behind Germany's immigration policy.  A large portion is content to live on the generous welfare.  It hasn't worked out that way for Germany.  It seems likely that it has created a permanent underclass.  We do need a fresh supply of young workers to support our generous pension and welfare system.  I just don't think these immigrants are going to cooperate.
Women are Inferior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 8:31am
@ John M. - There are times when I think many of these countries were better off being colonies, or at least SEMI-autonomous. They clearly don't fend well by themselves. From all of the foreign experts and expertise, not to mention money, that they require, they're like children who lock themselves in their rooms, only to emerge when they're hungry and thirsty and need to go to the bathroom.
 
"I think we would be better off helping them to right their own ship. We are so contiguous, it is clearly in our enlightened self-interest to help."
 
I agree with you there, but our "assistance" is often seen as nothing more than neo-colonialism. I'm reminded of a line from the movie Analyze This:
 
Dr. Ben Sobel: This is impossible. This is you: "Doc, I'm in pain, you gotta help me." "Okay, Paul, I'll help you." "Fuck you! Nobody helps Paul Vitti!"
 
As often as we're (rightfully) accused of playing others, others also seem to be good at playing us too; a farmer having a dispute with another one has a brilliant idea: "Hey, I know! I'll tell the Americans that so-and-so is a [Insert enemy of the U.S.]! That'll fix his wagon...permanently!"
 
Regarding the Malaya Emergency, from what I understand, the insurgents were mostly ethnic Chinese, which made it "easier" for the Brits to separate them from the general population. The Strategic Hamlets approach obviously didn't work in Vietnam, and will not work anywhere where the insurgents are racially or ethnically indistinguishable from anyone else in the area.
 
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 9:58am
"There are times when I think many of these countries were better off being colonies, or at least SEMI-autonomous."
 
I think (and I don't know enough about the subject) that it might have been a shame that something like Bolivar' Gran Colon did not get off the ground.  A federal union with sovereign (but not independent) states.  "I have plowed the sea," was a tragedy for Bolivar, for Central and South America and for the US.
 
"I agree with you there, but our "assistance" is often seen as nothing more than neo-colonialism."
 
I am reminded of  Smedley Butler's
 
"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer; a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
 
Butler (and later Marines like Puller and Del Valle) were honest professionals doing their jobs but it has left scares.
 
"The Strategic Hamlets approach obviously didn't work in Vietnam, and will not work anywhere where the insurgents are racially or ethnically indistinguishable from anyone else in the area."
 
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."  Tolstoy  Wars are like unhappy families: all are very distinct and you can't fight the last one.
   
 
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 10:11am
"I think it is tantamount to an invasion.  It seems to be organized."
 
I don't know what the truth is on the ground.
 
But, historically, in the pre-modern world, prior to the internet, the telephone or even the printing press, memes created some impressive (and impressively tragic) things, like the "Children's' Crusade."  More recently, in the late 19th Century, the "Ghost Dance Movement" caused a lot of people to die unnecessarily.  
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 10:16am
"That was the thinking behind Germany's immigration policy.  A large portion is content to live on the generous welfare.  It hasn't worked out that way for Germany.  It seems likely that it has created a permanent underclass.  We do need a fresh supply of young workers to support our generous pension and welfare system.  I just don't think these immigrants are going to cooperate."
 
When the Emperor Valens resettled Fritigern's Goths, he thought it was "win-win."
 
In the end, "how" you do it counts (although we sometimes neglect "why" too much.)  
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 10:23am
"I’d argue that because immigrants tend to be young and able-bodied, they are exactly the type of people we should desire.  Not to mention the fact the trip itself will weed out the highly motivated from the others.  I’m not saying we need to open our borders, but illegal immigration isn’t necessarily all that bad.  Certainly it’s not “worse” than if we were being invaded." 
 
"The Ship it sails in half an hour to cross the broad Atlantic
My friends are standing on the quay with grief and sorrow frantic
I'm just about to sail away in the good ship Dan O'Leary
The anchor's weighed and the gangway's up, I'm leaving Tipperary

And it's goodbye Mick and goodbye Pat and goodbye Kate and Mary
The anchor's weighed and the gangway's up, I'm leaving Tipperary
And now the steam is blowing off, I have no more to say
I'm bound for New York City boys, three thousand miles away

In my portmanteau here I have some cabbage, beans and bacon
And if you think I can't eat that, well, there's where yer mistaken
For this ship will play with pitch and toss for half a dozen farthings
I'll roll me bundle on me back and walk to Castle Gardens." 
Women are Inferior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 11:14am
@ John M. - I'll have to read up on Bolivar. Like most gringos, I'm pretty ignorant of much of Latin American history, but when I was in grade school, they taught us more about the history of Mexico than they did the U.S.; I'm not exaggerating very much with that statement.
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 11:24am
I should have studied it more,  When I was in college they brought in a professor who specialized in that area.
 
It's funny, they transferred me to Military Intelligence because I spoke Spanish . . . and I dealt with issues related to . . . Iraq and North Korea.
 
I assume the Arabic speakers were sent to Honduras . . . .
Women are Inferior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 11:36am
@ John M. - If that isn't a classic example of Military "Intelligence", I don't know what is, LOOOOOOL!
 
That kind of nonsense seems to be more the rule than the exception these days. At my last job, they put a shipping and receiving manager where a mechanical engineer should have been, and numerous other mismatches which reminded me of my military days, lol.
Women are Inferior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 11:40am
That's among the chief reasons I chose not to make a career of the Army - WAY too many idiots in charge. Hopefully all of the wars have made them shift their priorities, but knowing them like I do, probably not too much. Too bad COL Hackworth couldn't have stuck around for a few more years; I would love to hear what he would have said about what's going on today. He certainly had a fairly bleak outlook on the future of what he called "our great but sinking republic".
The Burghal Hidage Added Nov 25, 2018 - 11:41am
John: that sounds like a cousin of mine who was in the Air Force. He was fluent in German. They made him a linguist and sent him to Korea. Go figure :)
Steel Breeze Added Nov 25, 2018 - 11:47am
just military SOP.....when i left nam with months of the blood thickening GG shot still in my system, they sent me to Japan for 'cold weather' training......talk about draggin ass,lol...
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 11:55am
When I was on active duty, I had been a Field Artillery Officer and had been a DivArty S-2.  When I was called up in 2004, I ran into an old friend of mine from 1st CAV who said, "Good, they called you up to deal with the problems they are having with mortar and rocket attacks in the Green Zone?"  I told him, no, I'm going to Djibouti to work on counterterrorism.
 
The guy who spent the 1990s in El Sal chasing Terrorists probably went to Baghdad to figure out what a "Q-36" was.    
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 11:58am
"Too bad COL Hackworth couldn't have stuck around for a few more years; I would love to hear what he would have said about what's going on today."
 
If he had lived, someone should have made him Secretary of the Army . . . just to hear him complain.  ("Hey, Dave, what do you want to do?")  
Women are Inferior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:01pm
I like what a certain author said about the WW2 Battle of Kiska and the 7th Infantry Division, which suffered excessive casualties from both combat action and cold weather:
 
"The division had been formed and trained, with typical military wisdom, in California."
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:09pm
"just military SOP.....when i left nam with months of the blood thickening GG shot still in my system, they sent me to Japan for 'cold weather' training......talk about draggin ass,lol..."
 
You were in the Marine Corps, right?
 
Glad to hear it was not only the Army.  
Steel Breeze Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:13pm
@J.M........yup,....1-12-3rd MarDiv......0844/0331....
Women are Inferior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:23pm
@ John M. - The caravan situation makes me wonder what the U.N. is there for. Aren't mass migrations a bad thing to them?
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:40pm
"@J.M........yup,....1-12-3rd MarDiv......0844/0331.... "
 
"Semper Fi" and "Cedat Fortuna Peritis."
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:47pm
"@ John M. - The caravan situation makes me wonder what the U.N. is there for. Aren't mass migrations a bad thing to them?"
 
I had heard they were involved . . . it appears somewhat ineffectively  
Women are Inferior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:58pm
@ John M. - "I had heard they were involved . . . it appears somewhat ineffectively". The UN ineffective? Please tell me that isn't so!?! First we had the Mariel Boatlift, and now...the Tijuana Trample! As an MI type, what kind of questions would you ask such people? I have a funny feeling it wouldn't go like this, lol:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfqLYfsVSy8
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:59pm
I debriefed a Civil Affairs Team who were doing a VETCAP/MEDCAP at a UN Refugee Camp in Djibouti for Durg Referees from Ethiopia.
 
The doc, the vet, the operations sergeant (good, seasoned people with good civilian and military careers) all said it was one of the worst things they had ever seen, one of the shabby, weather-worn tents was patched with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees ("UNHCR") flag.
 
As a result, I don't hold out high hopes.
 
On the other hand, the Infantry Sergeant from 3d IN (The Old Guard) running the Security Detail said that even with the squalor people laughed and raised children and that it was "a triumph of the human spirit."       
Women are Inferior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 1:23pm
I guess rich and poor are all relative, aren't they?
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 1:53pm
Most of life is, I think.
 
Opher's pet boa had the right idea, if there is warmth, water to drink and rodents to eat, it's a good day. 
Women are Inferior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 2:07pm
I must be part reptile then, as my needs aren't much more sophisticated than that, lol.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 25, 2018 - 2:18pm
John M mentioned TE Lawrence.  I'll ask John if he's every read "7 Pillars of Wisdom?" by Lawrence, post Arabia.  Seems Lawrence was into "have them do it themselves" for his entire time in service during WWI.   And what sane person actually believes the "caravan" was funded by Beto O'Roarke or George Soros.  Soros is having a tough time meeting the Left's weekly payroll as is. 
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 2:23pm
Reptiles, living simple, happy lives since the Carboniferous period . . . .
Ken Added Nov 25, 2018 - 7:18pm
Some people have been saying this is an invasion.  It isn't. 
 
We have gone down this road before.  By the very definition of "invasion" this IS an invasion.
 
And the invaders tried to storm the border today but were repelled by tear gas.
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 8:43pm
Ken,
 
If they were "invaders," they would have had effective fire support.
 
What they are is a mass migration and if we use deadly force it will look bad.
 
Lot tougher nut to crack than an "invasion;"  it doesn't really have a "kinetic solution." 
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 8:45pm
"I'll ask John if he's every read "7 Pillars of Wisdom?" by Lawrence, post Arabia."
 
I need to.  It's been recommended to me by multiple people since the Gulf War.  
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 8:46pm
I don't know the facts on the ground, but a lot of things that ended badly started  by "word of mouth."
Flying Junior Added Nov 25, 2018 - 9:05pm
It's a sad commentary that Mexico is seeking help from an organ of the United Nations.  We have to work with the situation that we have.  With a dangerous hate-monger as our president, clearly we will not be accepting refugees into the United States.  I believe that congress could act independently of the president to authorize humanitarian aid if they had the backbone.  But the various municipalities and state governments can do much to ameliorate adverse conditions.  NGOs and religious charities can step in with supplies and volunteers.  I was heartened to learn that California has already sent doctors into the refugee camps.
 
That said, the very least we can do is send help to our friend, Mexico.  Money, supplies, food, medicine and the construction know-how and building supplies can help to provide sanitary living conditions.  We can save these people from disease, starvation and hardship without any help from the federal government.
 
I agree with the author that the U.S. military would be invaluable in facilitating a solution to this crisis.  But until we are welcome to operate within Mexican territory, their hands are tied.





John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 10:19pm
Cullen Kehoe Added Nov 26, 2018 - 3:12am
The caravan situation is a disaster in my opinion. I honestly feel for the people. 
 
But does living in a poor and dangerous country now constitute an asylum claim? Because if it does, the U.S. might as well open its doors to hundreds of hundreds of millions around the world (in Africa, areas of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, every country in the Middle East, the list goes on). 
 
I think, now that it's an international news story, whatever happens is going to send a message around the world that either:
 
1) Don't come, only legal immigrants are welcome or
2) Come on in, anyone in less than ideal ideal circumstances (99% of planet earth) will get an asylum claim or considered for one. And in the meantime of waiting in country, they have an (American citizen) baby, and get further claims on the country which judges will further take stock of, and the whole thing becomes a joke (which fuels more migrants). 
Ward Tipton Added Nov 26, 2018 - 4:57am
"Simple solution: just give california back to Mexico. They can all settle there, California will be freed of the tyranny of middle America and we won’t have to subsidize any more of their bull shit"
 
Legally, it could very easily be argued that California is legally at least, still the property of the British Crown. 
 
They certainly have substantially more claim than the European hispanic population whose 26 year reign resulted in the Gentleman's Treaty ... the Treaty of Hidalgo ... no? 
 
 
John Minehan Added Nov 26, 2018 - 11:09am
Might make sense to stand up a Joint Combined Task Force with Mexico and the source countries to house and process these people (some that don't qualify for asylum in the US, might qualify in Mexico), house them, provide transportation back home and do a proper screening.
 
The tear gas was VERY bad optics. 
Bill Kamps Added Nov 26, 2018 - 12:49pm
This is not very complicated really.
 
Just enforce the current jobs laws on the books, and very few will want to come here.  The law requires that employers gather documents that workers are legally able to work, no one ever checks these documents. 
 
The law requires that workers either be on a Social Security number or a 1099.  No one checks that the number matches who it was assigned to.  No one checks on companies that pay a large number of people in cash, no one is auditing them, they are not difficult to find.
 
Enforce a few laws, reduce the number of jobs available, and people will stop coming here.  You cant completely stop people from coming across the border, but you can greatly reduce the number of jobs that attract them.
 
It would be a lot cheaper to enforce the employment laws, than to station troops on the  border, and try to build a wall.
 
Of course no one wants to enforce these laws, because politically it is better to have the problem, than the solution.
 
 
Ward Tipton Added Nov 26, 2018 - 1:24pm
Bill Kamps ... I actually installed EVerify for the airlines in one location ... only to learn that using it was apparently a violation of privacy ... which may also explain why the IRS would not tell me I was (am still?) working in the US despite having been out of the country for two decades ... at least until they demand I pay for all of the benefits the other me is obtaining. 
Bill Kamps Added Nov 27, 2018 - 7:45am
Ward, yes exactly.  When we file our payroll deductions with the IRS, we provide a Social Security Number, but there is no name on the form.  So even a cursory check of the number and name, cant be done.  Yes EVerify helps companies comply, but again, no one is enforcing it.   We collect forms on the new employees to prove they can legally work in the US, but we dont file these forms with the government, and no one asks to see them, so what is the point?  One isnt required to submit the results of EVerify to the government when hiring someone.
 
It should not be difficult to determine if the SSN is being used by more than one person, or the correct person.  While a computer program might not catch them all, it could catch most.  Similarly, the IRS could  easily audit those companies where they are paying people in cash.  It would be obvious they dont have enough employees on the payroll, or they have too many cash payments for SOMETHING, even if those payments are not payroll deductions.  These are not difficult things to track, if there is a will to do so. 
 
We have been audited multiple times to determine that we arent using too many contractors (1099) instead of employees (W2).  Why cant companies be audited to make sure they arent paying people in cash?
 
In most countries, falsifying a citizens ID card, and using it successfully to gain employment is very difficult.  Not so in the US. 
 
Stopping the availability of jobs would greatly cut down on the attraction to illegal immigrants.  It wouldnt stop it, but it would greatly reduce it.  It is far easier to do that, than stopping people at the border, which is almost impossible.  It also requires no new laws, no new policy, just a will to enforce the laws. 
John Minehan Added Nov 27, 2018 - 10:45am
Bill Kamps, spot on.
 
But, there really isn't a will to do this since their is a desire on the part of small business (construction and restaurant industry in particular) and consumers for the cheap labor and lower prices they entail. 
James Added Nov 27, 2018 - 11:10am
A lot of good points made. Interesting perspective, too.
 
Much of the corporate-sponsored media coverage of this has been hysterical & agenda-driven as usual. I forget who now but just last week a media pundit was downplaying the migrant caravan, mocking concerns about it, saying these people aren't even at the border yet & most won't make it anyway. Some 5 days ago 3,000 arrived in Tijuana. Allegedly another 3,000 are in Mexicali. So I suppose now would be a good time to prepare... Or maybe a month ago wasn't so imprudent after all.
 
I think sending troops to the border, not as security or peace keepers but to assist in bolstering barricades, was warranted. It's not unreasonable for a nation to have fixed borders & control who crosses them. Border patrol barely manages to limit aliens entering the country illegally now, there's no way they can manage hundreds, let alone thousands trying to cross en masse without some assistance.
 
While I find him dishonest & his rhetoric extremely hyperbolic, I think the President is right to call attention to the situation & take action to mitigate it. Had he not done so, this could get way out of hand with mobs pushing their way through ports of entry or removing fences. Worse than they've already attempted to do, and the possibility for more still remains.
 
Obviously his crude & bombastic style offends many, but frankly I think a lot of the aggravation with Trump on this issue comes down to the fact he simply isn't accommodating the open immigration movement as many recent Presidents have done.
 
Going back several decades porous borders were tolerated so undocumented migrants could work here and return home. As political & economic conditions changed, many just stayed here. After the illegal immigrant population grew to several million, amnesty was provided for many residing here. The flow continued. Next we created 'sanctuary' jurisdictions where local authorities either deliberately ignored illegal immigrants or even tried to undermine federal authorities from conducting deportations. The incentive to immigrate illegally grew.
 
In the Obama era, in the name of fairness, we deferred deportation for young adults brought into the country illegally as children {DACA}. Then we deferred deportation to the family members who brought them here illegally {DAPA}. We stopped detaining those caught entering the country illegally with children and released them on their own recognizance. Many see this as being very accommodating yet immigration activists mocked him as the "deporter in chief".
 
On it goes, all the while {effective} immigration policy has become more convoluted, more gaming of the system, drug & human trafficking by gangs, and suppression of wages by U.S. employers exploiting cheap, desperate labor. Temporary accommodations become permanent {protected rights, even}, the goal post is moved, the list of demands grow & woe to those who dare challenge precedent.
 
The latest accommodation is an effort by some to redefine asylum to include people fleeing crime & terrible economic conditions. Also, to ignore international principles setting asylum obligations to the first safe country of refuge.
 
I think this is what has "caravans" of thousands of refugees {mostly economic migrants} at our borders now. And a lot of folks in the U.S. {and indications in Mexico, too} saying 'enough'. I don't give him credit for much, but clearly Trump is not willing to continue the trend and isn't one to be cowed into conformity.
 
All this said, it is a desperate, delicate, & complicated situation. I'm sure some of these people actually have legitimate asylum claims. I think they should be fairly evaluated & receive the asylum they deserve. I know most of the rest have left behind miserable lives. I sympathize with their situation. I don't fault them for wanting to have a better life & I hope they are able to make one in Mexico or even here if they're able to go through the legal immigration process. However, the asylum system was never intended to help people escape poverty, nor for country shopping. And the U.S. {or France, Germany or Britain} cannot take in all the poor people's of the world and remain prosperous.
 
I do agree with the author, though, that we would do well to help some of these failing countries right their own ship. Or at least stop trying to undermine them. I also agree with some of the commentary, that the overall solutions to illegal immigration broadly needn't involve building walls so much as removing incentives. There is, unfortunately, no political will from either party.
John Minehan Added Nov 27, 2018 - 11:33am
James and Bill Kamps raise excellent points.
 
As a lawyer, the striking thing about this issue is the very human hypocrisy: the "Strong Borders"  guy calls me when La Migre takes away someone he knows from his parish; and the "Open Borders" guy is upset when an uninsured motorist slams into his car.
 
John Ford's FT Apache got it right, "They will fight over cards or rotgut whiskey and they will share the last drop of water in their canteen." 
 
"Sanctuary Cities" sounds like "What is the world coming to, don't we have laws?"  
 
But if you have been a prosecutor, you see that there is no other way to do it. 
 
Cities, Towns and Villages don't have jurisdiction of federal immigration issues.  If you called ICE every time someone here illegally came to court on a minor traffic violation: 1) they would stop answering traffic summonses; and 2) you would wait in vain for ICE (they don't have the resources).
 
I have thought you could clean this up by training a large number of "contract ALJs," give them laptops with access to data bases and send them to every city, town or village court for a few years and  let them get people with clean records (the vast majority) on a pathway to a Green Card.   
 
 
James Added Nov 29, 2018 - 4:41pm
@John Minehan
Of course, cities, towns and villages don't need jurisdiction of federal immigration control in order to assist, or at least not impair. That's what federal enforcement authorities like ICE, are for. And I agree they don't have the resources. That does need to be addressed. Of course, efforts to increase them is often met with outrage, & some are proposing eliminating ICE altogether {including politicians}. I also see reports of state & local politicians trying to block or otherwise undermine their efforts in these 'sanctuary' jurisdictions. Surely that isn't helping federal authorities.
 
If this could be addressed I think some of the problem of waiting in vain for ICE could be mitigated.
 
As for your proposal, I see where this could separate the wheat from the chaff, but wouldn't this be a type of amnesty? And is the electorate really willing to tolerate that?
 
John Minehan Added Nov 30, 2018 - 3:25pm
Some of the people advocating for the elimination of "ICE" are insiders who would like to see the merger of Customs Enforcement and Immigration & Naturalization ended.
 
The birth of Homeland Security was, apparently from talking to survivors, a bloody bit of bureaucratic combat.  It left a fair amount of bad feelings.
 
Would something like what I propose be a kind of an amnesty?  Yes.
 
Is there another way to go?  Are we going to deport that many people?  No to both questions.  A lot of Trump votes call people like me when the husband of one of the women their wife goes to Mass with gets picked up by ICE.  No one is without hypocrisy, usually a sign that it is time to compromise,
Ward Tipton Added Dec 1, 2018 - 12:22am
I saw we just implement the immigration laws of the Philippines and Mexico and be done with it. 
James Added Dec 1, 2018 - 4:00am
@John Minehan
I don't doubt that about the creation of Homeland Security. I wouldn't know about aggrieved insiders who have organizational issues. My concern has been with certain activist groups & politicians who are calling for "abolishing" I.C.E. or at least major restructuring, which I read as eliminating most deportation operations from government all together.
 
I definitely agree, there isn't going to be a deportation of the {I suspect low-ball} estimate of 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. It would be a logistical nightmare to say the least. But that's not to say that number couldn't be significantly reduced. A serious crackdown on illegal hiring alone could lead to a lot of 'self-deporting'.
 
Personally, I'm not in favor of another amnesty program. Certainly not one involving the overwhelming majority of current illegal immigrants. Mostly because, 1) a type of amnesty serves as yet another enticement, and 2} the problem of current & future irregular immigration hasn't even been addressed yet.
 
I thought the way DACA was implemented was highly questionable, but the concept makes sense; seems fair. If the Congress effectively deals with the illegal hiring problem & significantly improves border security then I think a similar program with a set of conditions beyond merely a clean criminal record could be reasonable & prudent.
 
Anything much more generous than this seems to me more a giveaway than a compromise. And the way I see it, as long as the benefits of illegal immigration outweighs the risks or consequences there is no reason to expect any reduction in the flow of it.
Ward Tipton Added Dec 1, 2018 - 7:47am
I believe it would be a safe bet to say that the eleven million figure is a low-end estimate ... especially given the fact that it has been used since the days of Clinton v1.0