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The Green March- Illegal immigration and the strategy of unarmed invasion

Throughout history one of the key aims in warfare has been the successful implementation of a covert attack. Hannibal defeated and destroyed several Roman armies thanks to his masterful orchestration of battles that made his opponent the victim of such an attack. What he taught at the strategic level, the Romans mastered at the level of Grand Strategy, positioning themselves for the conquest of vast territories under the guise of interventions that seemed innocuous or even helpful to those they intended to dominate. They invaded and established strongholds of power in the midst of their intended victims camouflaged by declared purposes and intentions that concealed their strategic effect. Often it was only revealed when they exercised the domination it made possible. Their victims slumbered in the delusion of liberty, until the suave accents of diplomacy or arbitration gave way to the curt voice of arrogant command that signified its ruin.

Is this now to be the fate of the USA? In my latest WND.com article I characterized the reality of illegal immigration as a foreign invasion. I pointed out that the U.S. Constitution does not require U.S. government authorization before the government of one of the United States responds to an actual foreign invasion. I knew when I wrote it that some people would take exception to the notion that the peaceful mobilization of unarmed civilians can reasonably be called an invasion. They want to dismiss such language as inflammatory rhetoric and hyperbole.

As is often the case these days, such offhand dismissals depend mainly on a condition of ignorance that my experience forbids me to claim. Every time I consider the implications of illegal immigration, somewhere in the back of my mind I remember a bit of North African History I encountered during my years at the U.S. Department of State. There has been a longstanding dispute over sovereignty about a region “called the Western Sahara, the Disputed Territory of the Western Sahara, or even the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.

The dispute over this sovereignty between Morocco and the indigenous Saharawis has been going on since 1975, when more than 300,000 unarmed Moroccans converged on the city of Tarfaya in what was dubbed the Green march. This peaceful “invasion” was orchestrated by King Hassan II in response to the rejection of Moroccan and Mauritanian territorial claims to the region by the International Court of Justice, which recognized the Saharawis’ right to self-determination pending the imminent withdrawal of Spain after nearly 100 years of colonial rule. Prior to the court ruling, tens of thousands of Moroccans had already crossed the border into Spanish Sahara to back their government’s contention that the northern part of the territory was historically Morocco’s.

Of course, once experience frees our thinking from merely semantic conceptual constraints, we realize that Americans have no need to travel to Africa to comprehend the strategic power of unarmed invasion. In a sense, much of the whole history of European colonization in North America illustrates it. Many of the original American colonists came to the “New World” with no other purpose than to build peaceful life and livelihood in what they regarded as a wilderness. Their motive was therefore similar to the one many of their apologists cite as the main motivation of illegal immigrants today- the search for a better life.

As it happened, the “wilderness” was not uninhabited at all. Native Americans had a way of life that included their habitual claim to the territory on which it depended. The essentially peaceful motives of the European settlers didn’t alter the fact that their presence not only contradicted this claim, but damaged and disrupted the way of life with which it was connected. Settler families pushing into the “wilderness” might think of themselves as peaceful farmers innocently seeking to preserve their livelihood. But as they cleared the forest, plowed the fields, and gathered, stored and distributed the resulting harvest,  the jobs they did burdened and damaged the infrastructure which supported the Native American way of life.  This imposed costs that ultimately included the threat of death from starvation and serious disease.

Eventually, the pain and fear that resulted from their experience led Native Americans to respond to the “peaceful” invasion of their territory with armed attacks intended to destroy or drive away existing settlements and discourage new ones. In the course of a long and tragic history of intermittent war this armed response failed. Because it often involved the use of force against vulnerable and ostensible peaceful families and settlements, it attached a stigma of irascible savagery to people whose undisturbed way of life was far less systematically warlike than that which prevailed in Europe at the time.

Some version of what happened to the Native Americans can also be made out in the history of American states once within the political orbit of Spanish speaking America, like Texas and California. The more thoughtfully we consider the facts of American history, the more it appears that Americans should be the last people in the world to forget either the concept of unarmed invasion, or its strategic implications. Yet our present so-called representatives in positions of political leadership speak as if the ongoing invasion of the United States, by a force of humanity now numbering in the tens of millions, should be discussed as if it represents no strategic threat to America’s sovereignty and way of life.

At the very least, this bespeaks fatal incompetence. At worst, it gives evidence of studied hostility toward the national existence of the United States.  This hostility has become all too commonplace among the educated elites that are now relentlessly maneuvering to become the focus of decisive power in the regime that is displacing America’s constitutional, democratic republic.  Whether they pursue the communist shibboleth of dictatorship on behalf of the oppressed masses; or the authoritarian corporatist delusion of the hidden hand of unbridled materialism miraculously producing wealth for all; the result is an administrative tyranny intended to suppress the idea of responsible individual liberty and decentralized self-government that is the heart of the true American dream.

The power of that dream has drawn people to America from all over the world. Ironic that it now powers a strategy of unarmed invasion intended to facilitate the destruction of the very thing that brought and brings them here. Deceitful elements of the elite in all quarters and of all political stripes and persuasions are quietly working to make that happen.  Will we allow them to succeed?

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Mobamad May 14, 2010, 4:36 pm

    Mr Keyes, I wish that you were the president.

    God’s wrath is going to fall on us, if it is not all ready.


  • Chiu Chun-Ling May 6, 2010, 11:44 am

    I do feel to quibble with the characterization of the current invasion as being composed of “unarmed civilians”. Yes, there are unarmed civilians involved, but it is clear that this invasion is largely coordinated and facilitated by armed persons acting outside of any reasonable definition of ‘civility’.

  • Leigh Standish May 4, 2010, 3:26 pm

    Early contact on the part of the Pilgrims and Puritans toward Native Americans was not characterized by war; rather, it was that of evangelism and mission. My antecedent was trained in military skills, but, only applied them in defense of the Plantation. Nor was European war so brutal: it was the Native Americans, who fought on behalf of the French or British, that exercised the greatest atrocities on this continent during the early period. Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny were another story.

  • Brian May 4, 2010, 2:52 am

    What Mr. Keyes has described is happening right now in Tibet. China flooded Tibet with Chinese ppl. I think there are now more Chinese in Tibet than Tibetans in Tibet. Tibet is now firmly in the hands of China.

  • Fred Pechin May 3, 2010, 8:02 pm

    I thought it was a great article. If America is to remain sovereign among all nations it must stop the flow of illegal immigrants to America. Most people realize that immigrants are coming for a better life but we have to secure the borders first then work on an immigration policy.
    Fred Pechin

  • Leigh Standish May 3, 2010, 9:36 am

    “Eventually, the pain and fear that resulted from their experience led Native Americans to respond to the “peaceful” invasion of their territory with armed attacks intended to destroy or drive away existing settlements and discourage new ones.”

    In fact, long before Europeans landed on these shores, Native Americans were warring with one another and torturing their captives around the campfires as evening entertainment. A particular exercise was to skin the captive alive, starting from the hand up the arm, to see how long it took for the subject to die. Some of the weaker tribes invited the Europeans into their areas as a form of mutual protection against the more aggressive, powerful tribes. A brutal slavery abounded between tribes. The notion of “savage” was earned from initial interactions, not as reaction to European aggression. Nor were Europe’s wars as brutal to the vanquished as those of the Native Americans’. If war can ever be considered civilized, it was so in Europe (except against the Huguenots). The rules of engagement were strictly followed. I expected more from you than this revisionist history.

    • loyaltoliberty May 3, 2010, 10:36 am

      The religious wars that took place in Europe were so brutal that the spectacle left scars that profoundly influenced the course of thought and action in the centuries that followed. I offer here no revisionist view of history, but neither do I shrink from the real facts that marred the history of Christendom and helped to unleash the destructive tide of humanism that, starting during the so-called Enlightenment, has so damaged the spiritual life of the West. Respect for truth demands a clear eye that rejects all one-sided propaganda.
      I did not in any way suggest that the Native Americans did not war with each other. By the time they came to the shores of America, however, the Europeans had moved well beyond the episodic violence and ritual brutality that had (as you say, “long before Europeans landed on these shores”) also characterized many of the barbarian tribes from which they themselves were in part descended. The actual history and characteristics of ancient Rome, still dimmed but being restored (that was, as you’ll recall, one of the things being enlightened, i.e., brought back to light) meant in any case that they pursued the business of war far more systematically and conducted it with far more devastating instruments and results than the Native Americans. (The Romans liked to pretend their Empire was about law. In fact it was rooted in systematic and successful war making.) This very fact doomed the armed Native American reaction to consistent failure.
      It’s best to consider history with no thought except for God’s truth. We should romanticize neither the practices of Native Americans, nor the characteristics of the Europeans who encountered them. The point I make in this piece does not require that we exaggerate the violent or peace-loving predisposition of either. People came to northern North America from Europe seeking mainly peaceful lives, though they also came with much knowledge and experience of war and prepared to defend themselves. Native Americans living here also engaged in mainly peaceful pursuits, though they practiced war and were thoroughly prepared to wage it. The point of the piece is that war may be implied in a situation even when the main intentions on both sides appear to be peaceful. This is why strategic thought (i.e., thinking the way a general thinks in war) must always be an element of statesmanship. This is the reality too many of our political leaders today either ignore or willfully deny.
      Alan Keyes

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