by William Skink
Mayor Engen has proclaimed, in a recent op-ed, that Missoula is ready to welcome refugees. In making his argument, our Mayor’s smug liberal righteousness is on full display. Let’s take a look.
The opinion piece opens with a young Engen recalling the relocation of Hmong refugees to Missoula during the 70’s. The problem is it’s 2016, and Missoula is a vastly different place.
It is interesting, though, to think about how similar the dynamics creating those refugees are, all these years later. During Engen’s youth, America was entangled in a proxy war against those evil commies, and now, decades later, refugees continue fleeing proxy wars against America’s perennial adversaries in the East, Russia and China.
But the geopolitics behind this refugee crisis isn’t a big part of the discussion, locally. Maybe that’s because all the liberal do-gooders basking in their righteousness are preparing to vote for death-dealing Queen of Chaos who helped engineer this refugee crisis in the first place with her “humanitarian” destruction of Libya and the up-coming escalation in Syria.
Anyway, after the feel-good personal narrative that has really no bearing on today’s situation, Engen gets into framing those who oppose relocating a hundred refugees a year into Missoula:
There’s been opposition to refugee resettlement in Missoula, but it’s largely been from elsewhere and based on misinformation, fear and outright lies. Most Missoulians, the folks I and Missoula City Council members swore to serve, believe that we’re up to the task of helping our share of refugees, whatever their situation, provided they’ve been thoroughly vetted by our government and the agencies who only continue to exist if they keep communities and refugees safe. And if I’m wrong about this or any of a number of issues, I will learn soon enough at the polls.
Engen’s mentality on the opposition is pretty clear. It can’t be coming from actual Missoulians, because Engen knows all Missoulians are enlightened liberals who think like he does, so if someone is opposing this effort, they are probably from somewhere else, like the ignorant Bitterroot. That, or they are victims of misinformation, fear and outright lies.
This statement ignores the growing body of evidence of increasingly violent cultural clashes happening in Europe between refugees and host countries. While there is no way America will ever be subjected to what Europe is dealing with (because of oceans), to just casually dismiss concerns as fear based on misinformation is wrong.
Next, Engen tries addressing the concerns about resource allocation, which has been part of the concern I’ve articulated on more than a few occasions:
Finally, welcoming refugees to our community doesn’t excuse us from taking care of everyone who is here today. There is poverty, hunger, violence and trouble right here in Missoula. We have folks who live, in some ways, as American refugees by virtue of a national political atmosphere that’s created more “have-nots” than “haves.” Taking care of the suffering here and those from somewhere else is not a mutually exclusive proposition. We’ll take care of our own and a few others, because that’s what this country is about. Sometimes this gets lost in irrational national dialogue.
The fact is that the IRC Missoula has solid funding and these families joining our community will be far less subsidized by taxpayers than the richest Americans. Volunteers and the good folks at our own Soft Landing Missoula will ensure that our adopted families will thrive, assimilate and enrich our place.
What pathetic lip service from a politician. At least Engen can acknowledge that poverty, hunger and violence exists in our liberal utopia, but ascribing that reality to some vague “national political atmosphere” is the kind of misinformation Engen decries. The national political atmosphere is not responsible for the dire situation America faces. It’s the collusion between corrupt politicians and the bottomless greed of the corporate class that has produced great chasms of economic disparity, causing the vast majority of Americans to feel more economically insecure than ever, and afraid of anything that threatens to increase that insecurity, like funding refugee relocation.
The Hmong were displaced by the violent geopolitics of America’s anti-communist obsession, driven by Tricky Dick Nixon and his main merchant of death, Henry Kissinger. I mention this because the thing that demolishes Engen’s credibility for me is his support of the neoliberal reincarnation of Nixon, Hillary Clinton.
When Clinton opened a campaign location in Missoula, this is what Mayor Engen had to say:
The mayor now supports Clinton, saying she’s most qualified to serve as the next U.S. president.
“She’s a brilliant public servant with the kind of experience our country needs, particularly given the nature of the rhetoric at the national level,” Engen said. “She believes that not just the rich, not just the white, not just the male deserve good lives. She believes we’re all first-class citizens, and that’s the kind of president I would support.”
What a load of bullshit. It’s rhetoric like this, from smug liberals, that angers me the most.
While Engen lectures us about misinformation and irrationality, supporting the political duo responsible for selling out the Democratic party and expecting them to do anything other than continuing to enrich themselves and their preferred insiders and sycophants is the epitome of irrationality.
The refugee crisis is a byproduct of American foreign policy. This foreign policy is a bipartisan effort between neoconservatives and neoliberals, Hillary Clinton being one of the worst. Mayor Engen supports this foreign policy by supporting Hillary Clinton.
Now tell me again, Mayor Engen, who is the irrational one here?
Not to go too tangential, but lets not forget the lesson of the Hmong. While Nixon escalated the war, it was Democrats Johnson and Kennedy that allowed it to get to that point. I say allowed, because the history of the Hmong centers around being organized in Laos in the early 60s by the CIA into a “Secret Army” to fight communism for us. Allen Dulles was leading a covert policy in Laos — not an overt foreign policy — and elsewhere that Kennedy was not privy to. And when we lost the war, the Hmong (and their families) who were supported by the CIA and fought for us could either be persecuted by the victors, or become refugees.
Sound familiar to today? Covert CIA wars leading to massive refugee movements. And covert policies not aligning with stated foreign policy.
And I hate this style of politic-speak from Engen. Whenever a politician engages in speaking for the whole, I just gag. The last thing that John Engen (ir any politician) does is speak for me. I do want to say that I personally will be cordial to the new Missoula refugees, as their refugee status, and reasons for ending up in the U.S. are not of their own making. They are just pawns in a far larger game, as are we all.
Missoula liberalism is incredibly masturbatory.
Better you guys have them than us.
Seems that a reporter at the Missoulian finally decided to shed a little light on the reality of resettlement in Missoula.
“Don’t fit into a mold.” Yep, the Missoula mold. Comes complete with the gentrification and hippification of the town, and just like black mold, it rots everything it comes into contact with. Even the liberal wet resettlement dream that ignores root causes of refugeeism: American drive for hegemony and exceptionalism.