Saturday, March 10, 2007

# Posted 7:23 AM by Patrick Porter  

SEND THESE, THE HOMELESS, TEMPEST-TOSSED, TO ME: Daniel Nexon at the Duck of Minerva argues the humanitarian case for receiving more Iraqi refugees:
First, Americans and Europeans need to protect those, such as translators, who've helped us in Iraq.
Second, a basic implication of the "Pottery Barn Rule" is that the US--and the other members of the "Coalition of the Willing"--should be taking in a great many more refugees.
I agree.

Moreover, as well as being a duty, it could be enriching for our cultures. Australia took in thousands of Vietnamese boat people fleeing from communist rule after the war in Indochina, and they became a great part of our society.

At the same time, there is another war in Afghanistan which is in the balance. Once the US-led coalition removed the Taleban from power, millions of Afghans went back there in one of the world's largest return movements.

But with the resurgent Taleban, and the upcoming prospect of its spring offensive, lets hope these Afghans won't again have to go into exile.
(7) opinions -- Add your opinion

Shucks, these resurgent Taleban!
The "Pottery Barn" analogy is false on both sides of the Iraq intervention. Saddam's Iraq was not "un-broken" and the terrorists are "breaking" the new Iraq.

The coalition brought free elections, free press, and a free market. The Iraqi's "own" that now. The terrorists are trying to break Iraq and should be held accountable.
How would we separate the friendly refugees from hostiles? If it's the Sunnis being pushed out, then the refugees will include al Qaeda sympathizers and members of Saddam's old party. Ideally we would be able to take in translators, orphans, etc - don't want to throw out the babies with the Baath water - but resettling metropolitan Fallujah in Sydney or Phoenix seems like a dangerous idea.
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I posted a while back about recent opinion polls indicating that even amongst the Iraqi Sunni population, AQ is significantly unpopular and opposed.

Secondly, most members of 'Saddam's old party 'were members for a pragmatic reason, that it was required in order to be eligible for certain jobs, promotion or indeed just to get on in life.

Thirdly, we presumably know who our translators are. With the rest, I wouldn't necessarily advocate immediately resettling people, but firstly asylum with security checks, screening etc.

And lastly, as I understand it, AQ's modus vivendi isn't ordinarily to turn up in western countries as refugees, but as middle class migrants, or as home-grown radicalised youth. That's not to say this couldn't change.

Your caution is a good one, though, but it doesn't negate our humanitarian duties.
Well, I was going to rage about the idiocy of the Pottery Barn rule, but I see tim h. has addressed it.

Iraq was broken. We're trying our damnedest to fix it. Others are trying to break it again and/or keep it broken. Why should we feel guilty, ashamed, etc? The logic escapes me.

Because "mistakes were made"? That's the nature of war. The side the screws up the least, wins.

It's almost like we went to a country, freed the citizens from a murderous dictator, some of the dictator's henchmen caused some trouble, and we're getting blamed for it.
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