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Why is Bush Ignoring the Iraqi Diaspora?

USA Today explains why Bush is ignoring the Iraqi diaspora.

WASHINGTON -- The United States admitted 68 Iraqi refugees in the six months through March, a tiny percentage of those fleeing their homes because of the war, State Department figures show.

The United States has been unable to accept more Iraqis in part because of the time needed for background checks, which have become more stringent since 9/11, Ellen Sauerbrey, assistant secretary of State, told USA TODAY.

The U.S. government may not have enough personnel to process refugees, said David Mack, vice president of the Middle East Institute, a Washington think tank. "But it's clear that the administration is not making a serious effort to do so because this undercuts the message they want to get out: that security in Iraq is improving," Mack said.

I first explained the magnitude of the Iraqi Diaspora a few days ago. At that time, I didn't have a clear grasp on why the Bush administration would be ignoring the plight of the millions of refugees that have been displaced by his ill-fated invasion of Iraq.

Well, now we have the answer. Iraq's 4 million refugees are living proof of the failure of our mission in Iraq and the blithering incompetence that got us into that godforsaken country in the first place. So the Bush administration's response is to pretend that the refugees simply don't exist and so far it's working because most people are completely unaware that there are any Iraqi refugees at all. Thankfully, the MSM is finally starting to wake up and come to grips with a humanitarian crisis that will have reverberations across the Middle East for decades to come.


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Comments (7)

cirby:

Four million refugees?

Almost one out of every SIX Iraqis?

And they were absorbed, with not a heckua lot of fuss (oh, no, increased rent prices), into countries that barely have enough decent housing for their own citizens? Syria, with a population of only 19 million, taking in 1.2 million people with nary a blip?

Where are the camps? There should be several HUGE refugee camps, chock-full of displaced Iraqis. We should be seeing human suffering on a massive scale.

...and we're not.

A couple of years ago, when the "refugee problem" as first mentioned, they were telling us that over a half a million Iraqis had entered Syria... but only had records for 22,000 actual people. No photographic evidence of the people "streaming" into the other countries, only a few, limited interviews with a handful of them (wealthy, according to the interviewees, which means that they were pretty much just Baathists who are running out to keep from meeting the same fate as Saddam).

One of the big problems in those countries is rich Iraqis driving up the price of housing, paying too much for luxury homes. Oh, the misery.

It's business as usual in the Middle East. When they say "50,000 a month," treat that as "almost 2,000 a month," and when they tell you it's a couple of million, figure on a couple of hundred thousand, with the vast majority being Baathist assholes and their families, getting out before they get caught for what they did in the previous 20 years.

Chip:
Iraq's 4 million refugees are living proof of the failure of our mission in Iraq and the blithering incompetence that got us into that godforsaken country in the first place.

Where did you get the 4 million number from?
I read the USA today Article..."About 50,000 Iraqis leave their country every month, and 2 million have fled Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003,"

and just to put this into some kind of perspective Chicago in the 2000 census had 2,896,016 VIA wikipedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago#Demographics

Chip:

I see Larkin so now you expect your readers to interpret exactly what you mean when you write your blogs. It's not that you wanted to exaggerate you just didn't expand on the real meaning of "is".

cirby:

Ummm... that photo of "Yarmouk refugee camp" doesn't exactly show a lot of, you know, "refugees." Or a "camp," for that matter.

I see some apartment buildings and one guy walking down a fairly normal-looking street. The article talks about "thousands" of refugees, but only mentions two.

Fifty years ago, that neighborhood might have been the location of an actual Palestinian refugee camp, but it's certainly not that now. Mostly due to the lack of, you know, "camping."

Once again: it's the Middle East. They mention "thousands" of invisible refugees in Yarmouk. You can assume a couple of hundred. Maybe.

Ditto for that "two million internally displaced" crap. If there were that many homeless or displaced Iraqis IN Iraq, then they'd be REALLY noticeable. At most, figure one-tenth to one-twentieth of that number, and yes, most of them are former Baathists who had to run out quickly, before they got strung up.

They probably count the Marsh Arabs as "displaced" because they displaced themselves back to the homes Saddam kicked them out of.

You want another reality check on the numbers? Note the massive LACK of press coverage of actual refugees, or photos showing the huge number of displaced people in that country. Instead, we get "estimates" with no actual, you know, people.

Compare to, say, Katrina. Half a million evacuated, less than a hundred thousand displaced fairly permanently. One in three thousand Americans displaced, as opposed to one in SIX Iraqis. Yet we can find all sorts of Katrina people, in groups of trailers, or in apartment buildings, or in small communities, with photos and everything.

Five hundred times as many Iraqis, proportionally (one-fortieth as many in real world terms), and they can only get one-off anecdotes from these people about how horrible it is that the local folks treat them like, well, guests who stayed too long on the couch?

horse:

Can you link the effect (4 MM displaced) with your desired cause (failure of our mission in Iraq and the blithering incompetence that got us into that godforsaken country in )?

How is the displacement caused by failure and incompetence? It's more likely caused by a lack of security. So a good question might be was security a mission objective failed or just a part of the conflict? There are millions displaced in most wars, but they usually return after conflict ends and security is reestablished.

The question now is when will there be security so the 4 MM Iraqis can return if they wish? That's not going to happen if the USA leaves. It could happen if we stay and Petraeus and troops are successful with their current mission.

cirby:

Don't worry about the "four million." It's done using Lancet math. Start with one-tenth of that and work your way down.

On second thought: It's a UN number that's critical of the US, so you might want to start at zero and work your way up, for that matter.

Think of the "thousands" of invisible refugees at "Yarmouk Camp," the only refugee camp in the world with apartment blocks, electrical power, and taxi service.

cirby:

The Palestinians have been living in refugee camps like Yarmouk for 50 years now.

After you start putting up apartment blocks, get electric service, and get taxis to run, it's not "refugee," it's "home."

...and if you still consider yourself a "refugee" after a HALF OF A CENTURY, you're an idiot.

Obviously, because we failed to establish a secure environment.

No, it's because the people who are "refugees" are the people who have to leave before anyone else in the country can feel secure.

Those Iraqis who've fled are never going back.

...because they're the people who made Iraq such a crappy place to live for the last 30 years or so. Now that they've gone, the Iraqis actually have a shot at a real life.

Those "refugees" are, for the most part, assholes, and Iraq is well shut of them.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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