||6. Internal War and the External Enemy Image||Page 14|
It has often been claimed or implied that a policy of internal military interventions is necessary in the USA to protect the country against foreign enemies. This may have helped to lay the base for the preparation of the country to engage in foreign wars.
As early as 1877, the enemy image was used to justify internal intervention against labor activists. Strikers were portrayed as 'foreign communists' in the 1878 book Strikers, Communists, Tramps, and Detectives by Allan Pinkerton (1969). Pinkerton was not only the author of spy books that were so popular that they were reprinted in many editions, but he was also the founder and head of a vast system of private spies and guards hired by the major industrial capitalists (Jensen, 1991, p. 279). In 1902, the same reasoning may be found in the National Guardsman, which characterized labor agitators as the 'scum of foreign countries' (Mahon, 1983, p. 151).
Bills for the deportation of radical aliens were debated regularly by the US Congress, which responded to the public image, cultivated by big business and mass media, that labor activism was the work of foreign agitators. The Immigration Act of 1903 excluded immigrants and deported resident aliens if they were 'anarchists, or persons who believe in or advocate the overthrow by force and violence of the Government of the United States'. The Immigration Law was made even harsher in 1917 to include as well those who were found to be 'advocating or teaching the unlawful destruction of property'. This law was aimed specifically at the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical labor movement of that era. It was used as the legal basis for massive raids, arrests and deportations of IWW activists in 1919-21 (Preston, 1963).
It was often claimed that the IWW, which had many aliens in its ranks, represented a foreign conspiracy. For example, the head of military police at Camp Lewis, Washington, whose troops took part in IWW raids and arrests, claimed that the IWW was manipulated by the Russian consul in Seattle who was 'undoubtedly a German agent' (Preston, 1963, p. 159).
The attacks on the IWW during World War I were an example of what Jensen calls the 'rage militaire'. Beginning with the Spanish-American War in 1898 and extending through two World Wars and the Cold War , domestic labor organizers and anti-war activists have been attacked as agents of the enemy. Jensen (1991, p. 75) describes the process as:
...a mounting tide of accusations by Americans against other residents, both citizen and alien, of being spies from the newly declared enemy. These agents of an evil enemy government, 'bad spies', would penetrate the internal defenses of the country, thus attacking it from within, and bring about military defeat by sending information to the enemy.
(continued on next page)