2008 July 24 Thursday
Iraq Refugees Coming To United States

A wrong-headed group called Refugees International wants the US government to allow tens of thousands of Iraqis to move to the United States each year. The US government plans to let in only 12,000 this year.

The State Department cannot resettle in the United States about 25,000 Iraqi interpreters and other refugees who worked for the U.S.-led coalition over the next two years because of limits on the number of applications that can be reviewed, according to Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte.

This is yet another of the long list of costs of the Iraq war. It is a cost we could reject. Let the Iraqis stay in Iraq building a Jeffersonian democracy. Don't they love freedom so much that they are willing to work to free all the people in their country? What's wrong with them for wanting to leave? More to the point: why should Iraqis get to leave while American soldiers have to stay?

If Refugees International had its way we'd accept 37,500 Iraqis per year.

Wisner, in a July 3 letter to Negroponte, had called on the Bush administration to resettle 12,500 Iraqis in each of the next two years. Assuming each would bring two family members, the total influx each year would be about 37,500 people.

Note that would be a yearly influx which could continue for years. My take on it is that we've paid enough for Iraq already.

Nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan -- 300,000 in all -- report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or major depression, yet only slight more than half have sought treatment, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

In addition, researchers found about 19 percent of returning service members report that they experienced a possible traumatic brain injury while deployed, with 7 percent reporting both a probable brain injury and current PTSD or major depression.

...

The RAND study also estimates that about 320,000 service members may have experienced a traumatic brain injury during deployment -- the term used to describe a range of injuries from mild concussions to severe penetrating head wounds. Just 43 percent reported ever being evaluated by a physician for that injury.

Hundreds of thousands of people with brain damage by themselves add up to far too high a cost for the Iraq war. We should pay no more beyond what we have to pay to take care of our own.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 July 24 10:48 PM  Mideast Iraq Costs


Comments
Wolf-Dog said at July 25, 2008 3:20 AM:

The Iraqi interpreters, or other Iraqis who worked for the United States, fear that they will be labeled as traitors after the U.S. evacuates Iraq. They probably believe that they will be treated the way Khmer Rouge or North Vietnam treated the pro-American groups.

Dragon Horse said at July 25, 2008 3:25 PM:

A lot of those Iraqi refugees that want to come here are Christians and Secularist who fled to Jordan...remember most Iraqs were not Islamic radicals under Saddam and Saddam only used religion when he was trying to appeal to foreign Arabs...Saddam was a Bathiest, basically an Arab National/Socialists. So when the Muslim (Sunni and Shia) fanatics started to take over there were a lot of people who were not "with the program"...one of those was the significant Baghdad Christian population (Tarik Azizs people).

Personally I have no issue with Christian Iraqs coming here, if they are like Lebanese they will integrate fine (like Casey Kasim, that guy on Monk, Shakira..etc) :-) I'm not completely turned off to Muslims but they have to be very secular, that is hard to prove though.

Bob Badour said at July 25, 2008 3:41 PM:

The problem with Muslims--even very secular Muslims--is the base text of their religion. Even if a Muslim is basically a secular humanist, by calling himself or herself a Muslim, he or she invites his or her children to interpret the Qu'ran as it was originally intended.

Stephen said at July 25, 2008 10:54 PM:

Apparently we've won the war so there's no need for them to leave Iraq.

Big Bill said at July 27, 2008 10:21 PM:

We owe the Iraqis nothing. We owe the Vietnamese nothing. We owe the Cambodians nothing. We owe the Hmong nothing. We owe the Afghanis nothing. We Owe the Mexicans nothing. We owe the Chinese, Japanese, Germans, Haitians, El Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, Somalis, Jews and South Africans nothing.

Nada.

Zippo.

Bupkis.

Get it through your head. If you and you wife and your two lovely daughters want to individually sponsor some of them, put them up in your house, get them a job, pay their medical expenses and food, and accept full financial responsibility for them (and for any crimes they commit) feel free to sponsor them. We WILL be coming after you for every deadbeat, maladjusted desert dweller you sponsored who went of the reservation and started killing, robbing and raping folks.


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