As Thomas Hobbes once fathered the phrase, life before the central state was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. In Jimmy Aldaoud’s eyes, life with the United States wasn’t much better. Aldaoud was victim to the kind of cretinous bureaucracy touched by a sprinkling of laughable xenophobia. Not that there’s anything funny about the result. A man died as a direct consequence of the kind of senseless and callous rule-making that surely the gobbiest semi-democracy in the world ought to be a little ashamed of.

What’s particularly interesting is the reactions on both sides of the spectrum. Those more moved by their hearts wonder how this differs from murder, somehow an interesting hyperbole given the fact that the American state does in fact take lives on a regular basis, whether through using excessive force in policing, enjoying a bit of Goliath vs. David on the international stage, or occasionally executing its citizens.

Meanwhile, the heartless end of the spectrum wonder what all the fuss is about. On paper, everything was legitimate: the man was an illegal immigrant, he committed some petty criminal acts, and he was duly deported to his home country. Never mind the fact that he had never been to the country he was being deported to, that he was clearly unwell and in need of medical treatment, that he was a member of a minority who had fled religious persecution, and that his death was an entirely predictable outcome from his deportation.

The case is clear as mud for anyone with a couple of braincells, though it would be going too far to assume that the persons processing his case would be in possession of such aptitude. But that’s why it’s mind-boggling that safeguards are not in place to prevent this. Clearly for a person who missed out on being a citizen by 6 months, who had never known another country, who had been invested in by the state for the formative years of their life, who were to all intents and purposes already citizens of the nation, surely the first response should be to give him a few forms to fill out and a helpful nudge that ‘we consider this important’? For a nation built on the expropriation of land from other people, it’s insane how the United States are so blindingly obsessed to birthrights being tied to the soil.

But who gives a shit, right? He was only an Iraqi.

[Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash]

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