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Tilting at Windmills

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September 1, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

REFUGEE UPDATE....Hilzoy takes a look today at how the United States is doing on the Iraqi refugee front. Answer: not so good. With just a little more effort, we might surpass Norway.

Kevin Drum 1:52 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (22)

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"Facts, schmacts! Why, you can prove anything even remotely true using facts!"

Posted by: Homer Simpson on September 1, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

The compassionate Bush
... Iraqi refugee masses that have poured into neighbouring Damascus. For their care, of course, the Syrians have received not a scintilla of gratitude from the Americans who were responsible for creating the hell-disaster of Iraq in the first place. It's worth comparing the vital statistics (though not on CNN or Fox News): Syria has accepted almost one and a half million Iraqi refugees – caring for them, providing them with welfare and free hospital services – while Washington, when it isn't cursing Iraq's prime minister, has accepted a measly 800 Iraqis....
Yet Syria is the evil one.

Posted by: Mike on September 1, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Well I guess next time people around the world will know whether it's worth the risk to help the US. Everyone makes a big deal about how detrimental it was to pull out of Beirut in the 1980s, but nobody seems to be concerned about how it looks to abandon hundreds of thousands of supporters in 2003-2007. There were thousands of people who risked everything to work for the US as consultants or translators, and we seem to be just dumping them to be slaughtered as the situation deteriorates. How is that helpful for our long-term interests. I bet a fair number of these people would even vote Republican if we let them in.

Posted by: sab on September 1, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

First of all, do you even bother stating how difficult it is to all these refugees into this country. They have to pass through background checks to make sure they are not security threats. It would be unconsciencable for the President to waive the security check and allow willy nilly all stripes of Iraqis into this country, as a certain percentage would likely be terror threast.

There is currently a backlog of processing these security checks. If you want to blame anyone, blame the bureaucracy.

Also, this is not a contest to see who can be the most compassion. Syria allows all these Iraqis not out of niceness, but because of proximity. They have no choice.

If you really want to compare US and Syria, compare how many Mexicans we allow in each year as compared to Syria. That would probablly more of an apples to apples comparison.

Posted by: egbert on September 1, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Well then let's let them in and see who they vote for, you blue thumbed pussy.

Posted by: MillionthMonkey on September 1, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Scrambled egbert: Do you mean Mexicans who are in this countries as refugees because we elected a craven, conscienceless dickhead that wrecked their entire country and unleashed a sectarian civil war?

That would be Zero - since you brought up comparing Braeburns and Granny Smiths.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 1, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

If the grammar cop would send me a ticket, I will pay my fine...

Preview is my friend...

Preview is my friend...

Preview is my friend...

500 times on the chalkboard...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on September 1, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Looky...

America is dead-dog shity-ass broke.

Where I live the Fed govt. is angling to remove garbage cans from the Nat. Park.
It's has gotten too damn expensive to provide that service to our taxpayers!
So park visitors will have to haul their trash out.
Or leave it behind in the verge.

Hey Looky:

Did anybody note that our dead-dog shit-ass broke country...
Can only afford to send the Greeks 1.5 million worth of disaster aid?
1.5 million!
WTF!
That's not even enough to pay freight!

Looky everyone:

We are fucking broke.
We can't afford to police our parks or help the Greeks.

WTF Kevin?
You expect us to welcome in Iraqi freeloaders?
And what? House them too?

Looky:

Quit expecting us to save the world...
Or nation build or...
Whatever the fuck you want to call it...
That's someone else's job.
We're fucking broke...
Dead-dog fucking broke!

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on September 1, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

For their care, of course, the Syrians have received not a scintilla of gratitude from the Americans who were responsible for creating the hell-disaster of Iraq in the first place.

Of course, Syria's heavy support of the insurgency almost from day one of the conflict has nothing to do with the current problems in Iraq. I might have gratitude for a doctor who fixed my broken leg, but not if he was the one who deliberately broke it.

The chart from that link is much less a measure of national generosity than it is of geographical accessibility.

Posted by: elmendorf on September 1, 2007 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well then let's let them in and see who they vote for, you blue thumbed pussy.

If you mean the Iraqi refugees, yeah, by all means let's let them in. Vietnamese-Americans voted Bush over Kerry by 72 to 28 percent in 2004. Even now, they still know damn well which party voted to let them burn, and which one wanted to defend their freedom.

Posted by: elmendorf on September 1, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Emlendorf - THat is the same point I was making: that the Syrains don't have the border controls to prevent Iraqis from flooding there country. It's not like there more compassionate that us in any meaningful sense. Its more a sign that their state is broken this dog wont' hunt.

Posted by: egbert on September 1, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Well, actually braeburns and Granny Smiths do combine rather well for a pie - The juice from braeburns and the tartness of the more firm Grannies work. Of course, Macintosh and Grannies are much better.

Eggies and FAUX-Libs are a disaster, though.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 1, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert is right. Things are hard! It isn't like we have hundreds of billions of dollars to spend HELPING Iraqis! We only have hundreds of billions of dollars to spend KILLING Iraqis!

Get with the program, Kevin!

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on September 1, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

It must truly be wonderful to be Egghead, where every single bit of news is good, no matter what!

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on September 1, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

You joke about overtaking Norway. I only wish we could. Fact is, Norway is the largest spender, on a per capita basis, on refugee relief of any country in the world. This is something we should be number one in, especially given those wonderful words emblazoned on the bottom of the Statute of Liberty...but, oh that was a French gift anyway...wasn't it? In the end we are we come in about 13th on a per capita basis. But all the wingnuts will happily point out that we are number one in the dollar amount we spend on refugees. But if a guy making 50K per year gives 5K a year to charity and Bill Gates gives 100K, who is the more philanthropic?

Posted by: majun on September 1, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

[infantile whiner deleted]

Posted by: mhr on September 1, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert cites "proximity" & elmendorf blithely seconds:

"The chart from that link is much less a measure of national generosity than it is of geographical accessibility."

Curious then that the even-more-inaccessible & distant Australia takes in twice as many Iraqi refugees as the US. It does so, furthermore, with only 7% of the American population (20,000,000/300,000,000). Many of us here in Australia believe that we, as Coalition members should take in considerably more. Be that as it may, it's hard to imagine any justification for the far larger US taking in only half as many as Australia. Every member of the Coalition, but particularly the US as leader of the invasion & occupation, bears far more responsibility for the ensuing refugee crisis than do any of Iraq's impoverished & long-suffering neighbours. To suggest otherwise is contemptible sophistry & an ethical nonsense.

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on September 1, 2007 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Watching Auburn and Kansas State. Announcer just said after a highlight of USC scoring its third touchdown: "The Vandals just got vandalized." I kid you not.

I love football season! Especially college football. Although, I went to the University of Washington and don't often root for USC. UofW had the stuffing knocked out of them by USC every year I was there and for years after until Don James came to town. Those were the days.

Posted by: Mazurka on September 1, 2007 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

But if a guy making 50K per year gives 5K a year to charity and Bill Gates gives 100K, who is the more philanthropic?

Isn't the more appropriate question which one is doing more good?

Posted by: carlotta on September 2, 2007 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

And the answer is...

collectively the European nations.

Far, far more good.

sorry, if that hurts your Yankee sensibilities. You know, that we're always supposed to fawn and praise you as the bestest, goodest... Reality sucks, eh.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 2, 2007 at 3:58 AM | PERMALINK

[deleted]

Posted by: Liberal_Crusher on September 2, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Lordee, if there is anything this country doesn't need it is more chamberpot immigrants.

Chamberpot immigration is the inverse of the politically correct Iraq invasion. American culture, which we call "democracy," cannot be imposed on cultures that have too many factors antithetical to "democracy," and nor can many alien cultures that are too undemocratic to start with (like Mexican or African) be assimilated into chamberpot America at the rate at which they are coming.

Posted by: Luther on September 3, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK
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