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So what’s the truth behind the caravan trekking through Mexico from Honduras and other Central American nations on the eve of our national election? The timing and agenda at work here have raised lot of valid questions in the minds of discerning and skeptical Americans, including me.

If I were embedded with the initial mass of humanity estimated at anywhere from 4,000 and 7,000 (seems we can’t get a straight answer from national media) I’d be asking that oncoming throng the questions author Jane M. Orient raised in an essay last week.

Orient’s pertinent observations are so in harmony with my own, I decided to let you read in today’s space exactly what this highly qualified medical doctor (and executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, as well as president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness) had to say. Her essay, “What To Do About A Caravan Of Rag-tag Migrants?” is well worth reading, and is reprinted here with the permission of Angel Pictures & Publicity.


“The narrative appears to be that thousands of oppressed peoples spontaneously decided, all at once, to flee a murderous, corrupt government in Central America, and walk to the U.S., in time for election day, to plead for asylum and begin to work hard for a better life in the U.S. We see photos of a mass of walking people, including women, some carrying babies. There are photos of a resting crowd, some tending to infants.

“Some are waving flags of the purportedly evil regimes they are fleeing—such as Honduras. Some are receiving cash from men in white T-shirts. Some are reportedly receiving gifts of sandals or food from charitable Mexicans. But there are some questions that surely have occurred to the Trump Administration, and even to the mainstream media.

“The distance from Honduras to the U.S. border is about 2,000 miles, and from Mexico City to the border about 1,000 miles. How far can soldiers on a forced march travel in a day, day after day? How about an impoverished woman carrying a baby? Where is the supply caravan? People are not carrying heavy backpacks full of provisions. It is said that an army marches on its stomach. What about these people?

“No sanitary facilities are visible. What does the trail look like after the crowd has passed? What happens to people who faint or just can’t walk any farther? Are they being trampled and left on the ground? Are Doctors Without Frontiers on the scene?

“Apparently Mexican police tried to stop the throng on the southern border, but the barrier was violently torn down and some police officers assaulted. The migrants got around a blockade on a bridge—some by swimming. It is understandable that a thousand federales could not stop a mass of several thousands, at least if not willing to fire on a multitude that puts women and children in front. So, what to do?

“Obviously, the horde will not make it in a few weeks by walking. There are reports of flatbed trucks or other transportation vehicles. How can law enforcement stop a truck? How about a road block? How hard is it to arrest the driver for transporting persons who entered Mexico illegally, and to impound the truck? It could be sold to pay for chartering a fleet of southward-bound buses. How about women and children first, with food and water available on board once the doors are closed and the bus is rolling? Violent persons or those who try to run away could be detained in Mexican jails.

“Why wouldn’t the authorities do this? Were they threatened or bribed? By whom? Are there not laws to freeze funds flowing to organizations that bribe officials or support persons evading the law?

“Some people in the caravan are drug smugglers, terrorists, or human traffickers. Many are likely guilty of sexually abusing the women in the caravan. Some of the strong men of military age may just be looking for work, but some may be soldiers in an invading army. How do we know? The rest are probably hostages and human shields, likely duped by false promises, a front group exploited to capture sympathy.

“If they really are legitimate asylum seekers, who cannot safely return to their country, how about a UN-run displaced persons (DP) camp, like the camps that sheltered millions after World War II until they could go back home or to a new, legal home?

“A background check to identify criminals, public health screening and a period of quarantine to rule out incubating diseases, examination and interviews to detect abuse, medical treatment, removal of ectoparasites such as lice and fleas, clean water, decent food, adequate sanitation, and a safe environment—all this would protect the migrants as well as the people of the country that ultimately receives them. Why aren’t the self-proclaimed advocates for the poor and downtrodden advocating a solution like this? Is their aim to help these people, or to destabilize the U.S. system of government and the rule of law?

“Why do they want to endanger Americans by releasing possibly violent criminals or persons carrying deadly diseases? Incidentally, the incubation period for diseases like measles is longer than the 20-day limit for detaining children under the Flores doctrine.

“How about redirecting foreign aid to DP camps—which are refuges, not detention facilities—rather than to governments that oppress their people or facilitate law-breaking?”


How could I possibly have stated the matter more clearly and in harmony with common sense and reality than did Dr. Orient? Besides all this, I’ve read that participants in these obviously planned invasions have been offered asylum in Mexico. What’s wrong with that option for those supposedly fleeing from reported horrors back home, as opposed to being detained and returned at the U.S. border?

Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist. Email him at mmasterson@arkansasonline.com.

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Comments

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  • PopMom
    November 3, 2018 at 7:42 a.m.

    This column is not journalism. Neither Dr. Orient nor Mike Masterson is traveling with the caravan. These sorts of questions and insinuations from the far right already have caused the murders of 11 individuals in Pittsburgh caused by the ridiculous allegations from the far right that these people are financed by George Soros and other Jews. There is no evidence to suggest that any Democrats have helped financed these peoples travels. Also, there is no reason for the Democrats to try to give the Republicans ammunition for their campaign to divide the country through appeals to racism. From what I have seen of the caravan, there appears to be many women and children fleeing political discord or poor economic conditions in hope for a better life. If this is not the case, then real journalists should be down there and presenting evidence of the truth. Instead, the far right is far away with stirring their racist imaginations with visions of bandits and whores and then promulgating fear and hatred in an effort to turn out more Republican votes. I am assuming that when these people come to the border that they will be processed in accordance with our immigration laws. The hysteria is causing discord and violence among the mentally ill which seem attracted to our president and the far right.

  • RBear
    November 3, 2018 at 9:01 a.m.

    Agree, PM. This is when Masterson wanders off his beat and into conspiracy theories. If he would ACTUALLY do research instead of copy/pasting a column he didn't research himself, he would find these caravans are a normal occurrence that happens around this time every year. He would also find that the Trump myth of who is in the caravan is false. He would also find out that the number dwindles as it makes its way through Mexico (the military assessment points that out). He would also find that there is no financing from sources in the US, but the food and supplies are provided by local towns (another common occurrence).
    ...
    But Masterson didn't do the research and basically pandered to Trump's lies on the matter. When Masterson wanders off the Buffalo and into national politics, he usually doesn't do the appropriate legwork to provide accurate details. He usually just finds a columnist that fits his agenda (typically ultra conservative) and copy/pastes it. Masterson's only real value to the D-G is his excellent columns on the Ozark region, especially the wonders of the Buffalo. Outside of that, he's pretty bad as a columnist.

  • GeneralMac
    November 3, 2018 at 9:42 a.m.

    United States doesn't grant asylum for economic reasons.

    Mexico has offered asylum.
    They refused.

    Why?

    Perhaps our resident " countries w/o borders" liberals ( RBear and PopMom can answer that.

    (No, RBear, I made this post with only coffee as my drink so I can save you from making the accusation that I'm drunk )

  • GeneralMac
    November 3, 2018 at 9:46 a.m.

    Nearly 75 years later , nearly everyone remembers the Bataan Death march and how many US soldiers died.

    No reports of people dropping dead in this long march.
    Sounds staged and financed to me.

  • GeneralMac
    November 3, 2018 at 10:20 a.m.

    I have a friend married to a woman from the Philipines.

    He is trying to bring many of her relatives to the US as they are living in poverty.

    Currently they are sending money monthly to help them.

    Would PopMom advise him to send money for an airplane ticket to Mexico City and a bus ticket to Juarez ?

    Seems the "usual suspects" believe EVERYONE who isn't a criminal should be let in the United States once they arrive at our border.

  • WhododueDiligence
    November 3, 2018 at 10:26 a.m.

    From Masterson's quote of Jane Orient:
    "What happens to people who faint or just can't walk any farther? Are they being trampled and left on the ground?" (Here, Orient seems concerned about their well-being.)
    "Obviously the horde will not make it in a few weeks by walking. ...... How hard is it to arrest the driver for transporting persons who entered Mexico illegally, and to impound the truck? It could be sold to pay for chartering a fleet of southward-bound buses." (Here, Orient's concern for their well-being seems to go southward. She seems to be telling Mexican authorities how they should get rid of the scary horde.)
    *
    Apparently this is the kind of breathless, fearful, sky-is-falling sensationalism which entrances people who watch too much Fox News.

  • 23cal
    November 3, 2018 at 10:28 a.m.

    PopMom and RBear:

    Y'all covered it thoroughly, nothing left for me to add. Go you.

  • jwheelii
    November 3, 2018 at 1:51 p.m.

    A lot of questions, which apparently cannot be honestly answered at this time. Nor can those answers be determined within the chaos of the actual movement. But within this article may be the seeds of a short-term solution.

    “If they really are legitimate asylum seekers, who cannot safely return to their country, how about a UN-run displaced persons (DP) camp, like the camps that sheltered millions after World War II until they could go back home or to a new, legal home? A background check to identify criminals, public health screening and a period of quarantine to rule out incubating diseases, examination and interviews to detect abuse, medical treatment, removal of ectoparasites such as lice and fleas, clean water, decent food, adequate sanitation, and a safe environment—all this would protect the migrants as well as the people of the country that ultimately receives them. Why aren’t the self-proclaimed advocates for the poor and downtrodden advocating a solution like this? How about redirecting foreign aid to DP camps—which are refuges, not detention facilities—rather than to governments that oppress their people or facilitate law-breaking?”

    I think it's worth considering.

  • mrcharles
    November 3, 2018 at 2:08 p.m.

    Classic MM, the agenda of the salt of the earth, those who put up monuments, talk of supernatural beings, and worry about Muslim hordes believing the stereotypes like monarch butterflys.
    Unanswered questions like the taxpayer funded GOP Benghazi political attacks on the non gop.
    Classic nails on the blackboard. We know with his hog poop stand he has the ability to think so why these type columns. Of course a Harrison based fear of others and a fox like analysis of pick & choose facts creates the standard GOP mantra, commies are under our bed and our culture is under an attack.
    The sum of all fears , or as is, the policy of the gop to scare those with the minds of children. If hate was good enough of their ancestors like those white people in those 1957 photos [ note the signs about commies] it's good enough today.

    MM you of Angel's and such you might want to reread your ancient book...but of course an ala cartel divine like you will ignore the man behind the curtain.
    Look..a car chase!

  • Slak
    November 3, 2018 at 3:03 p.m.

    POPMOM points her prog-zom finger and screeches, "RAAAAAACIST, RAAAAAACIST", alerting other mindless prog-zoms to wander generally in that direction, voicing their own moans of "Hoooomophoooooobe" and other such commonly heard and meaningless groans common to the mindless prog-zom.
    "ooohhhhooowww zeeeeeeeenophooobes uuuuuuoooohhhhhhaaaa"
    LO f'king' L
    When everyone is a ___________, nobody is a _____________.
    ~
    Carefully explain to me why telling my children it is ok to be white is racist? What are the options?
    A. Ignore the issue of race and hope it will go away?
    B. Teach the science of evolution and human migration so your children understand there is no such thing as "race" and so the term "racism" is only used by angry and ignorant people to intimidate others to do their bidding or to manifest hate or instill fear and never in any serious scientific discussions?
    C. Explain that what ignorant and angry people conceptualize when they say "race" is actually culture, and unlike race, culture has definitive attributes which allow for scientific investigation in fields like anthropology?
    D. Apologize to your children for being white and tell them just to keep their mouths shut and eyes down so as not to attract any unwanted attention?

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