Rep. Dave Brat, the guy who managed to beat Eric Cantor from even further to the right, is quickly making a case for himself to be included in the Republican Moron Caucus in the House. His latest bit of stupid is to claim that if we let DREAMers serve in the military it would cause “the decline of Western civilization.”
Discussing the House’s narrow vote to strip the proposal from a Pentagon spending bill last week, Fredericks asked Brat, “What’s going on out there?”
“Well, what’s going on is the decline of Western Civilization at the highest level,” Brat responded. “I think everybody knows their old Roman history, part of the reason Rome fell was because they started hiring the barbarians in, otherwise known as the Germans at the time, to be troops in their own army, and that led to their eventual downfall.”
Brat also had a response to proponents of the measure who pointed out that being willing to serve in the U.S. military shows a certain level of patriotism: “I wanted to stand up and shout, I mean ISIS is willing to serve in our military as well.”
Oh for fuck’s sake. At any given time there are thousands and thousands of non-citizen immigrants serving in the U.S. military and that’s been true for a very long time. The first American soldier to die in the Iraq invasion was Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, a Guatemalan immigrant who came to the United States illegally. President Bush gave him citizenship posthumously, as were more than 100 others who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Throughout the Bush administration, they were expanding opportunities for non-citizens to serve in the military:
“Over the past eight years, Congress has amended military related enlistment and naturalization rules to allow expanded benefits for immigrants and their families and encourage recruitment of immigrants into the U.S. Armed Forces. The U.S. military has also implemented new programs to encourage the enlistment and rapid naturalization of non‐citizens who serve honorably during the current conflict. Without the contributions of immigrants, the military could not meet its recruiting goals and could not fill its need for foreign‐language translators, interpreters, and cultural experts.”
Do you remember one word from any Republican about how horrible that was, how it was going to cause the collapse of the country or any such nonsense? I don’t either. In 2009, there were more than 13,000 non-citizens serving in the military, and since 9/11 more than 50,000 non-citizens have served. “Support the troops,” yell the armchair pseudo-patriots while demeaning huge numbers of them with their xenophobia.