Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 2, 2007

IRAQI REFUGEES.... According to a dejecting piece in today's New York Times, the Bush administration had planned to resettle just 500 Iraqi refugees this year, while reality shows tens of thousands of Iraqis who are now believed to be fleeing their country each month. "Until recently," the Times reported, "the administration did not appear to understand the gravity of the problem."

If only I had a nickel for every time I've seen that sentence.

"We're not even meeting our basic obligation to the Iraqis who've been imperiled because they worked for the U.S. government," said Kirk Johnson, who worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Falluja in 2005. "We could not have functioned without their hard work, and it's shameful that we've nothing to offer them in their bleakest hour."

Alas, there's a political implication. To acknowledge a refugee crisis would be to acknowledge yet another degree of failure. As Lavinia Limon, president of the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a nongovernmental refugee resettlement agency, put it, "I don't know of anyone inside the administration who sees this as a priority area. If you think you're winning, you think they're going to go back soon."

As it happens, the crisis is for the desk of Ellen Sauerbrey, the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration. Sauerbrey, of course, was given the job despite literally no background in responding to refugee crises, setting up camps, delivering emergency supplies, and/or mobilizing international responses to humanitarian crises. Her only "qualification" for the job seemed to be that she was a Republican activist looking for a job in the administration. (Sauerbrey is a former member of the Republican National Committee and was Bush's Maryland state campaign chairwoman in 2000.)

Indeed, the moment Bush nominated Sauerbrey for the post, advocates for refugees balked. Tapping Sauerbrey to lead an agency with a $700-million annual budget, responsible for coordinating the nation's response to refugee crises during natural disasters and wars, despite no relevant job experience, seemed like a spectacularly bad idea. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), rather politely at her confirmation hearing, told Sauerbrey, "I think the concern here is just that the issues of refugee relief are a very specific and extraordinarily difficult task, and it doesn't appear that this is an area where you have specific experience."

Senate Republicans, true to form, approved her nomination anyway. Now she's being asked to step up in a big way.

If the refugee crisis worsens, as it's likely to do, keep an eye on Sauerbrey. We may have another "Brownie"/FEMA story unfolding.

Steve Benen 8:28 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (70)

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Comments

Steve:

Dejecting was right. The personal stories of the Iraqis -- the translators who our military needs the most -- were just another heart-wrenching reason to feel ashamed of my country.

If they can't live in the Emerald City or on a US military base, it appears that they're entirely SOL.

I want my godamned country back ... *sigh*.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 2, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

If the Bush administration does any significant refugee relocation, it will be all about money and murderers.

The Bush Junta does not engage in any activity unless it enhances Commander Codpiece's image as the Great War Leader, gives taxpayers' money into the Bush Junta's supporters, or helps to cover up the corruption.

Posted by: James E. Powell on January 2, 2007 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Steve,

You just made me so depressed, and now I have to go to my monthly Democratic Party District meeting.

I think I'll just put on some X on my stereo and scream the whole way...

Posted by: bigcat on January 2, 2007 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

According to a dejecting piece in today's New York Times, the Bush administration had planned to resettle just 500 Iraqi refugees this year

And it would be CRAZY to let anymore in. Remember what happened on 9/11? Foreigner working for Al-Qaeda sneaked into this country and killed 3000 American and destroyed the World Trade Center. With Al-Qaeda agents flooding Iraq, Al-Qaeda would certainly sneak agents into America under the guise of being a "refugee" if we let more Iraqi "refugees" into America. I think it would be MAD if we let more Iraqi "refugees" into this country.

Posted by: The Real Al on January 2, 2007 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

I can hear them now:

It was there before, before they voted for ol' whatisname. This is s'posed to be the New World! (repeat)

Posted by: bigcat on January 2, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is doing his level-headed best to prove he's worse than Nixon. At least Nixon (and, more importantly, Ford and Carter) had a sense of responsibility towards the South Vietnamese who threw in their lots with us. Imagine what the US would look like today if we hadn't accepted the Vietnamese boat people -- and imagine how big the reeducation camps in the late '70s would have been.

This Administration won't start processing Iraqis' refugee-status applications until the day after Baghdad falls to the Mahdi Army -- and then it'll appoint a bunch of incompetent GOP hacks to do the job.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 2, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

There are between 1.5 and 1.85 million refugees who have fled Iraq, and an equal number have been internally displaced as their neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed. The refugees who have fled to Jordan and Syria and the like are causing social discord in those countries. The first ripples haven't even hit the shore. This ill-advised pissing contest could easily start a regional conflict that spreads through the entire middle east.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 2, 2007 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

> We may have another "FEMA"/Brownie story unfolding.

Hmmm......That's doubtful. While I would like to see it, I don't see the American Public that elected George Bush getting outraged about poor treatment of brown people in the Middle East.

Look how fast the public has forgotten New Orleans.

Posted by: Dave on January 2, 2007 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Best guest fill in for Kevin in (my short?) memory. Thank you, Steve.

Posted by: James on January 2, 2007 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see the American Public that elected George Bush getting outraged about

True, Dave, but events and situations do actually occur and have importance even if the American public does not notice or care about them. :)

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 2, 2007 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

In case anyone missed Keith Olbermann's commentary tonight, please visit his site at MSNBC - Powerful comments about Shrub's coming Surge-Escalate and Sacrifice plan. Shrub is becoming a ghoul.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 2, 2007 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Steve:

A little unsolicited advice - Don't make your posts so long. If you can't convey an idea in two paragraphs, it probably isn't appropriate for a blog.

Joe

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on January 2, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

After we win decisively in Iraq, any refugees we let into our country will want to turn around and go back. And any that still want to come here will doubtless be up to no good.

Posted by: the posthumorous Al on January 2, 2007 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

Dave: "Look how fast the public has forgotten New Orleans."

Have they? In this instance, I'm not comfortable conflating the media's short attention span with public opinion.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 2, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

If you can't convey an idea in two paragraphs, it probably isn't appropriate for a blog.

Translation:

If you can't convey an idea in two paragraphs, it probably isn't appropriate for the general public.

How can we possibly process that much information in the space of an ad break?

Posted by: floopmeister on January 2, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but Clinton got a blowjob in the White House.

Posted by: Pat on January 2, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter The Real Al: yes, you stood with America in its failed attempt to turn Iraq into a liberal democracy, and as a result, the Mahdi Army is now trying to kill you and your entire family. But you're one of them A-rabs, which lots of 'em is terrists, and we can't be bothered to figure out whether you are too. So, good luck with those Mahdi Army guys! We're rootin' for ya.

Normally I don't deign to comment on Al and his pooply squirmings, but in this case he represents a substantial portion of the "conservative" (read: insane) portion of the American public.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 2, 2007 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure the Hmong who got left behind in Laos when the US withdrew can sympathise.

Posted by: floopmeister on January 2, 2007 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

bigcat

I think it's actually "It was better before, before they voted for what's his name..... This was to be the New World"

Regardless, it's still a great song/album/band.

Posted by: D on January 2, 2007 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Until recently," the Times reported, "the administration did not appear to understand the gravity of the problem."

Exactly when has this administration ever appeared to understand the gravity of any problem?

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 2, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Obama may have snarked at her - but how did he vote?

Is this YET ANOTHER case where Democrats simply "went with the flow"?

They didn't have the power to change the course of government, but they at least had the power to stand up and be counted, and the Democrats of 2000-2006 have MUCH to answer to on that.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 2, 2007 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

I just double-checked w/ a Google search--Ellen Sauerbrey was a recess appointment last year, so she is out of that office in two days time. If only that would solve the problem with this Administration's unwillingness to admit mistakes.

Posted by: sam3am on January 2, 2007 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

If you're curious as to why the Bush League isn't letting Iraqis in at the same pace as, say, Cubans, I've got two words for you: Virgil Goode:

(Rep. Goode's) letter also stated, "If American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Quran."

Posted by: RepubAnon on January 2, 2007 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

As one of my Republican uncles pointed out during one Thanksgiving, many Democrats voted for people like Michael Brown along with the Republicans. I am not sure why, but unless they have a good reason, votes for people like Brown and Sauerbrey are serious marks on their records. As we waft through the absurdly large number of people attempting to run for president, it might be an easy way to determine which ones we should pay attention to and which ones we should ignore.

Posted by: Brian on January 2, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Brown was never confirmed as director of FEMA, only as deputy director. Aparrantly his promotion did not require reconfirmation (sounds like thats a law that ought to be changed, at least for the next two years). So really nobody in the senate paid that much attention to the confirmation of the deputy director of fema. Heck brown might even have been vaguely qualified for that position, depending on the responsibilities.

So your republican uncle was wrong. Only one elected official took action to make Brown director of FEMA: Bush. Everybody else just failed to rigerously inspect the qualifications of a nominee to be deputy director.

Posted by: jefff on January 2, 2007 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

"until recently the administration did not appear to understand the gravity of the problem"

When did the Administration start evaluating Shrub?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 2, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

"until recently the administration did not appear to understand the problem of gravity"

Given that they appear to think pigs can fly I'm inclined to believe this.

Posted by: floopmeister on January 2, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

I bet we'll end up with the remainders of their intellectual elite and children, like we did after the Vietnam war...

Heck, let's just invite the Sunnis to come to the US and live and wait out the Shia nuts. Bet that'd throw 'em for a loop.

Posted by: Crissa on January 2, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Extradite Rumsfeld: Obama may have snarked at her - but how did he vote? Is this YET ANOTHER case where Democrats simply "went with the flow"?

No. The vote was delayed until after the Winter recess, during which--as sam3am pointed out--Bush made the appointment. It was obvious that there were serious concerns from many sides about Sauerbrey, and that she was not going to be confirmed, or at least not without a serious fight. Bush--true to form--said fuck you--and made the recess appointment (along with a bunch of others).

Not that that makes it any better. The woman is a real piece of work... She has the honor of being one of the few people ever booed by delegates at the UN Women's Conference (New York in 2005) for insisting on abstinence as the best way to fight AIDS; one of many quaint, destructive, idiotic wingnut positions she advocates.

Posted by: has407 on January 2, 2007 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

If we cut and run like the liberals want, there will be tens of thousands of Iraqis clamoring to get into the USA. They will make Mexicans look well-behaved.

It is in our national interest to do whatever it takes to stabilize Iraq so we aren't innundated with middle-eastern refugees.

Posted by: Al on January 2, 2007 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

If we cut and run like the liberals want, there will be tens of thousands of Iraqis clamoring to get into the USA. They will make Mexicans look well-behaved.

Actually, considering France is the most popular hoped-for destination of refugees around the world, I think you'll probably be safe in your mother's basement, Al.

The again, considering that Iraq had a higher proportion of its population with university educations than the US, and it's the educated middle class that has fled Iraq, my bet is you're probably just worried that your descendants will be standing in an intersection washing the windcreens of the Mercedes coupes these Iraqi doctors and lawyers will probably be driving one day.

Can't say I blame you, I guess.

Posted by: floopmeister on January 2, 2007 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

The evidence mounts and mounts: George W. Bush is the worst president in the history of the United States.

Posted by: big al on January 2, 2007 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

floopmeister,

Happy New Year by the way - But, with the way our economy is heading, they may be driving cabs instead, post-grad degrees not withwtanding.

But, in the Pacific Northwest, who Hmong us has not bought a flower from a Hmong grower at a local Farmer's Market?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 2, 2007 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

...who Hmong us...

Oh, kudos for that... very nice :)

HNY as well - hope your holiday was good.

Posted by: floopmeister on January 3, 2007 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

My own attempts at humour are Laosy by comparison.

Posted by: floopmeister on January 3, 2007 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

The only "stab in the back" theory that corresponds to reality is the stab in the back that we're going to deliver to Iraqis who made the mistake of assisting us. You can bet a year's pay that Cheney, Bush, nobody in the upper reaches of this administration gives a damn about what happens to those people. Hell, doesn't Bush make a point of boasting about how well he sleeps?

Criminals, the lot of them.....

Posted by: sglover on January 3, 2007 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

How many different ways, to how many different people, has this administration basically said "You fucked up, you trusted us!"

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 3, 2007 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

Well, there was that big Montanyard sale in 73?

And the Ky to the relocation to Garden Grove by the South Vietnamese was..........

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 3, 2007 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

jefff: "Aparrantly [Michael Brown's] promotion [to FEMA Director] did not require reconfirmation (sounds like thats a law that ought to be changed, at least for the next two years)."

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 revoked the cabinet-level status of the FEMA Director, and instead reduced that agency to a division within the new Department of Homeland Security.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 3, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

thethirdPaul:

Or as master 70s cartoonist B. Kliban (he of the cat as Lightin' Hopkins) has one Vietnamese villager say to another:

I am sick of this entire Fu Kien provence.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Obama may have snarked at her - but how did he vote? Is this YET ANOTHER case where Democrats simply "went with the flow"?

Oh, good lord! Isn't it bad enough that wingnuts maker up ridiculous lies about apparent Dem presidential contenders without nominal progressives doing the same?

Posted by: Disputo on January 3, 2007 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

Well the way I heard it was:

the tent'ers are used to moving around, so thy wont need any help

Or words to that effect.

Posted by: madtom on January 3, 2007 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

It looks as though her only accomplishment so far has been to allow some refugees of Karens to enter the US.

There are thousands and thousands of Karens in refugees camps in Thailand - They have fled the brutal wars in Myanmar.

Now, she can work with people who will bring their Qurans with them - Hopefully, they can settle just south of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 3, 2007 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

D wrote: bigcat:

I think it's actually "It was better before, before they voted for what's his name..... This was to be the New World"

Regardless, it's still a great song/album/band.

Thanks for the clarification. I was typing by the tune in my head. Admittedly, a pretty scary thought.

If you haven't heard the KissingSoHard disc by The John Doe Thing, you'll love it! Beer, Gas, Ride Forever!!!


Posted by: bigcat on January 3, 2007 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

The U.S. should organize an international refugee aide effort in Iraq - to heal the wounds we created.

That should be the only involvement we have any more in that God-forsaken country. Bring the troops home now!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 3, 2007 at 6:43 AM | PERMALINK

If we're asking 130,000 Americans to risk their lives for a better Iraq, I don't think it's too much to ask the Iraqi people to do the same. If we do cut and run, and the helicopters start flying off the embassy roof, then I'd agree we have a moral obligation to resettle those that find the present Iraq inconvenient.

Posted by: minion on January 3, 2007 at 7:06 AM | PERMALINK

Always click the link. There may be indeed be a refugee crisis but the NYT article cites no hard data in support. Iraq has had a large expat community for some time, so how many of the estimated 1.8 million outside the country were already there prior to the war? The article implies that about 60,000 Iraqis are fleeing every month and that the pace is quickening - that's +720,000 per year or 2-3% of Iraq's total population of 29 million - ghost towns should therefore be easy to find. Where are they? How does the reporter know "most Iraqis ... assume" American status is impossible to obtain? Most? There's a poll? Where is it? The article reads, at best, like a press release for an advocacy organization.

Posted by: shake on January 3, 2007 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

The article reads, at best, like a press release for an advocacy organization.
Posted by: shake

You noticed that, too, eh?

Posted by: MsNThrope on January 3, 2007 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

If we're asking 130,000 Americans to risk their lives for a better Iraq, I don't think it's too much to ask the Iraqi people to do the same.

That's a perverted and deeply evil thing to say. We are unable or unwilling to protect Iraqis who have worked for us in Iraq, and we refuse to allow them to come to the US where they would be safe. It's filthy, cowardly behavior.

And from Brian above:

unless they have a good reason, votes for people like Brown and Sauerbrey are serious marks on their records.

Sauerbrey is an assistant SecState. She doesn't require confirmation.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 3, 2007 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

"We're not even meeting our basic obligation to the Iraqis who've been imperiled because they worked for the U.S. government," said Kirk Johnson, who worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Falluja in 2005. "We could not have functioned without their hard work, and it's shameful that we've nothing to offer them in their bleakest hour."

Johnson plainly is not with the program. The Iraqis who "worked for the U.S. government" are the ones who need to stand up so that we can stand down. We can't let them leave. The proportion of Iraqis who are willing to stand with is is already minuscule, and their tendency to be killed reduces their numbers every day.

The Bush administration is pursuing its "strategy" with resolve, locking unwilling reservists and regular troops into endless cycles of deployment and making sure that those Iraqis who offered us assistance are not allowed to flee the consequences of their misplaced faith.

George W. Bush believes in minority rights. He believes that even when the minority that he represents dwindles down to him and maybe his dog, he should still rule. He also believes that the minority of Iraqis who support the United States should rule Iraq, whether they want to or not.

Posted by: Longarm on January 3, 2007 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

shake:

Check the Jordanian embassy.

*rolling eyes*

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2007 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

brooksfoe,

Respectfully disagree as to the confirmation - They must be confirmed, however, she was placed in power by a recess appointment. There is a time limit on such appointment. It lasts until the end of the next session. If they are re-nominated, they must be confirmed.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 3, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Whoops, I was wrong on that.

Posted by: brooksfoe on January 3, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Bob:

The Jordanian embassy has 1.8 million Iraqis outside its doors? That's a lot of Iraqis. Or can the Jordanian embassy confirm that 60,000 people per month are leaving Iraq? And if it's that easy why didn't the NYT reporter, you know, check the Jordanian embassy?

*rolling eyes*
*coughs*

shake

Posted by: shake on January 3, 2007 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

shake:

Or, if you like, you can ask the UN High Commissioner for Refugees -- who *was* quoted in the NYT piece.

Iraqis are overflowing in Jordan -- and while Jordan has one of the most expansive resettlement/refugee policies in the Mideast (it's already accomodating a substantial amount of Palestinians), the process is quite expensive. You have to open up a bank account with $20k in it. Many (if not most) Iraqis seeking asylum in Jordan simply can't afford it. They also split up families at the border; they don't allow young males to pass no matter how much money the family has.

If you'd like to believe that the NYT reporter is just making this stuff up, shake -- you go right ahead. Whatever squeaks yer rubber duckie and all that there ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2007 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK


"the administration did not appear to understand the gravity of the problem."

Can we have bumper stickers made with this?
This administration continues to be the shining beacon of incompetence in every aspect of policy. Truly astounding.

Posted by: ckelly on January 3, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Bob:
The article provides no hard numbers or cites. The article does imply - and this post and you, apparently, buy into - 60,000 Iraqis per month (2-3% of the pop per year) leaving the country and that the number of refugees is increasing. I question that number or even half that number. But the article provides no real evidence (and the High Comm doesn't speak to numbers). You can choose to believe the NYT reporter has thoroughly researched and supported this story if you want to, I don't.

shake

Posted by: shake on January 3, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

shake:

Why not?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

There is a good commentary entitled "Suffer the Little Children" over at:

http://scoop.epluribusmedia.org/story/2007/1/1/223247/8658

I had no idea from looking at the graphs on this site just how terrible the population situation has become. Yet when I see newscasts, there are so many men everywhere.......I wonder to myself where are the womanfolk?

Posted by: avahome on January 3, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Here's the link again for "Suffer the Little Children"

here

Posted by: avahome on January 3, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Donkeys brey. I guess Bush hired a sour donkey to run the Iraq refugee solution.

Posted by: Brojo on January 3, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Al

*It is in our national interest to do whatever it takes to stabilise Iraq so we are not inundated with middle eastern refugees*

Matter of fact, Iraq was stabilised until the "Coalition " decided to destabilise the place in 2003.

Posted by: Mike G on January 3, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

You can choose to believe the NYT reporter has thoroughly researched and supported this story if you want to, I don't.

It doesn't require belief, just more time spent in simple research and less time trolling.

Syria alone recorded taking in 700,000 refugees as of February 2005 before the worst violence began.

Posted by: Windhorse on January 3, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse - I'm not in the business of doing the NYT's research for them. Your cite further calls the NYT article's claims of 60,000 refugees per month into question as it states that Syria's 700,000 refugees are "far more than ... any other country in the region." And if you define trolling as questioning unsubstantiated and facially ridiculous assertions, then so be it.

Posted by: shake on January 3, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Your cite further calls the NYT article's claims of 60,000 refugees per month into question as it states that Syria's 700,000 refugees are "far more than ... any other country in the region."

Not at all. The article was from February 2005, when as I stated the situation on the ground was very different from what it is now and the flow of Iraqis out of the country much slower. The cite was only meant to substantiate that massive movement of refugees out of Iraq had already been taking place.

You questioned the reporter's assertion on the grounds that the only source for the number of refugees came from the U.N. (which has decades of expertise in the counting of refugees, btw) and I showed that on the contrary, the countries in question have been providing confirmation of refugee numbers on their own.

The "ghost towns" are easy to find, it's just that they are "skeletal neighborhoods." Iraqis talk about Baghdad neighborhoods where block after block of homes are sparsely inhabited because so many families have fled. Even accounts by U.S. forces mention deserted neighborhoods and empty homes in the cities they patrol.

And yes: one measure by which I define trolling is the tactic of questioning assertions in order to undermine arguments for political reasons -- the facts of which are abundant, have been in evidence for years, and are easily accessible on the web. I can only assume such behavior is either trolling or commenting on a topic while being grossly unfamiliar with the facts -- which is trolling.

Posted by: Windhorse on January 3, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse:

Or knee-jerk ideological bias against the NYT -- which counts as trolling as well (at least on a lefty blog).

Sabrina Tavernise is no Judy Miller.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse/Bob - the dispute here is not the existence of refugees (it is a war after all) but their number. The NYT provides no hard data supporting 60,000 Iraqis fleeing every month, that the 60K number is increasing, that "most Iraqis ... assume" American immigrant status cannot be obtained or that all 1.8 million Iraqis outside the country are refugees. I believe a newspaper should support claims within stories they publish. You like the story but yet your post hoc attempts to do the reporter's job provide nothing directly in support despite the alleged existence of "abundant facts." For that I'm an idelogical knee jerk troll. Nice, but not surprising, commentary on the freshperson activist in the Quad level of discourse around here.

Posted by: shake on January 3, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

shake:

If you dispute the figures, then the ball's in your court to refute the figures.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 3, 2007 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

your post hoc attempts to do the reporter's job provide nothing directly in support despite the alleged existence of "abundant facts."

Oh no?

The Jordanian government is reporting receiving about 1000 refugees/day -- that's 30,000/month leaving Iraq right there -- and the UN is literally standing on the road into Syria counting an average of 2000/day, which is another 60,000/month for a total of 90,000/month from just those two governments.

It's not that we "like the story," rather it's that "we" have been following this situation long before this story hit, have posted about it here on numerous occasions, and don't rely on one story in the NYT for the sum total of our information on any given issue.

Posted by: Windhorse on January 3, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

But Bush is unable to feel others' pain, he is detached, doesn't compile casualty lists. In "The Hollow Man," by Robert Bryce, 8/15/05: "Bush's relgiosity is the key element here. He has a total belief in the righteousness of his position. But then again comes a key difference with LBJ. Like the born-again Bush, Johnson was a man of faith. But he was a man of many faiths, often attending two churches--one Roman Catholic, and one Protestant--on a given Sunday. Johnson's intellectual curiosity led him to see that one religion, one world view, didn't hold all the answers."
Kind of like Jefferson--open minded.
Iraqis can't depend upon Bush for compassion.

Posted by: consider wisely always on January 3, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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