Trump articulated America’s firmest-ever stance to illegal immigration during his latest remarks at a press conference on this topic, and for as controversial as the policy of “throw rocks, get shot!” might be, it makes perfect sense under the circumstances and in the unique context of the caravan attempting to violently breach the US’ borders.
There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the American military will use deadly force to prevent the invasion of the country’s borders by the thousands of people that comprise the preplanned and shadowy-organized caravan if they dare to show even the slightest hint of violence as they approach the US frontier. Trump remarked during his latest press conference on the issue that he ordered the Armed Forces to treat anyone throwing a rock the same as if they had taken up arms against the United States, lamenting that the Central American states of origin had failed to stop their citizens from embarking on this voyage in the first place and recalling with horror how the caravan literally broke into Mexico after overpowering its military.
At this point it doesn’t matter that the US is largely responsible for shaping the disastrous conditions that may have motivated many of them to flee from their homelands after being encouraged to do so in a massively organized fashion by various NGOs or that there might be legitimate asylum seekers among them, since Trump also pointed out that genuine refugees should work through legal channels if they aspire to enter America. Refusing Mexico’s generous offer of shelter, schooling, healthcare, and jobs raises suspicions that these individuals are what Ivy League researcher Kelly M. Greenhill previously described as “Weapons of Mass Migration”, and Trump will do everything in his power as the American President to stop them from illegally entering the country.
The well-intentioned and genuinely persecuted people who want to immigrate to the US must make their asylum claims at official border crossings because anything other than that is attempting to game the system and exploit the Democrats’ politically self-interested laws that they previously promulgated precisely with the implicit intent of facilitating the eventual growth of their voter base through this scheme. Those who attempt to test the might of the American military have to be prepared to face the lethal consequences.
Stone-throwing is popularly regarded as an act of protest, but it’s very likely that the NGOs that organized the caravan will encourage some of its participants to engage in this despite Trump’s dire warning in order to manufacture a media spectacle of the military firing on unarmed civilians, made all the more pronounced if young men hide behind the few women and children within their ranks by using them as “human shields” during this time. That strategy would negate the spirit of protest that stone-throwing is symbolically understood to represent and thereby turn it into a weapon of asymmetrical warfare that necessitates an appropriate response from the legitimate authorities in order to make an example out of the miscreants and serve as a deterrent to all others.
In circumstances where an oppressor is violating the human rights of a native people like in Palestine or Kashmir, stone-throwing might be the only recourse that a desperate population has left to express their resistance and generate global media attention to their liberation cause, especially if their conflict is an internationally recognized one by the UN Security Council. That, however, isn’t the case with the caravan, which has made no secret of its ill-intent in literally breaking into Mexico’s universally recognized borders and threatening to violently do the same to the US’ where its members demand to be treated like royalty by having the red carpet of generous welfare benefits rolled out for them the moment that they arrive.
For whatever one’s gripes are with the American government, they should never force its innocent citizens to bear the consequences of its decisions abroad even if the US has no qualms about punishing its rivals’ people. As the saying goes, “two wrongs don’t make a right” and “when they go low, we go high”, so it’s morally inappropriate to exercise double-standards against the American people if many of the caravan’s own supporters (some of whom are Americans themselves) are rightly outraged at the US government doing this to others.
The argument is often made that the American people are partially to blame for their government’s actions abroad because they continue to pay taxes and vote, thereby sustaining the same system that’s caused so much harm to so many across the world, but regular people should not be punished for following the fundamental law that every single state on this planet also has and partaking in democratic processes if they have the interest and opportunity to do so.
There is nothing wrong with paying taxes or voting, but guilting Americans into accepting the socio-political, economic, and even sometimes deadly consequences of “Weapons of Mass Migration” just because they do these two completely ordinary and peaceful acts that everyone else in the world also does is nothing more than a psy-op intended to trick them into agreeing to be “collectively punished” because of what their government has done elsewhere to others.
Whether it’s the US, Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, or any other country, all governments have the duty to use all means at their disposal to protect their people from foreign threats, especially one as obvious as what the caravan poses to Americans after its members made their nefarious intentions clear by refusing Mexico’s asylum offer and attacking its military. Throwing stones at the US Armed Forces would therefore no longer be considered an act of protest but a devious variant of Hybrid War that seeks to provoke civilian casualties which could then be exploited by 21st-century perception management tactics to increase global pressure on Trump.
The strategy is to frame him as a “fascist”, but it might actually end up backfiring because of how much his defense of the US’ internationally recognized and sovereign borders might resonate with the world’s “silent majority”, who — like the average American — would probably prefer that armed force not be used but would reconcile themselves with this fact as a last resort after the members of the caravan were given more than enough warnings of what awaits them if they violently try to invade the country.
Simplifying Trump’s stance to the caravan, “throw rocks, get shot!”, and for the reasons explained, nobody should expect anything less.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.