Having the questionable habit of reading The Atlantic (despite its obvious liberal slant), the last thing I expected to encounter there was racism and a colonial mentality. The sad thing is, the people writing these comments seem intelligent, articulate, and completely oblivious to what their position actually means.
The first article was about the U.S. and immigrants. So far so good, right? Except, the writer implied that immigrants to the United States are a commodity.
“Asia is especially important, and encouraging large-scale immigration from Asia will have benefits far beyond the simple economics of immigration. The United States’ geopolitical strategy for the emerging Asian Century must be to position ourselves as the Alternative Asia, the way we were once the Alternative Europe. “
Specifically, the writer wants so encourage Asians to move to the U.S. because of the benefits the country will receive from it. This in itself would not be so egregious, except the writer also mentions the geopolitical situation, to wit:
“Geopolitics, too, will be centered on Asia. Already, conflicts over the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and Central Asia fill the news. The United States could be involved in stabilizing these conflicts and making sure they don’t disrupt the global economy. In the 20th Century, we stabilized Asia through overwhelming military force, but this is no longer possible or desirable; instead, many believe, the U.S. should be an “offshore balancer,” helping to mediate disputes and organize coalitions of Asian nations to keep the peace. But in order to do this we need to build credibility and trust with the nations of Asia, and having large Asian populations in our own country seems like a good way to do this. “
Truly, it makes me wonder what the writer means when he says the United States ‘stabilized’ conflicts in Asia. Does he mean the Vietnam war, where not only thousands of American soldiers died but more than a million Vietnamese lost their lives? Does he refer to the bombings of Cambodia that led to the rise of the Khmer Rouge? Or maybe he’s talking about a different region, about the American ‘advisors’ in Afghanistan that helped the Mujahideen and led to the rise of the Taliban?
And how exactly does the writer expect to build credibility and trust with Asian nations if he’s treating Asian immigrants as merchandise? Continue reading