Blogs > Cliopatria > Iraqi Refugees

Jul 17, 2007 1:30 pm

Iraqi Refugees

This article by Bill Bateman at Blog Them Out of the Stone Age is required reading. (Be sure to follow the link near the top to Bob’s recent guest column at Altercation for more information on the same topic.) It’s the story of the hard life and horrid death of Mayada Salahi, who worked as a translator for the United States in Iraq.

It’s also the story of how we are failing the people who have worked most closely with us.

We have capped the number of Iraqi refugees who can come to the US at 7000. Making it worse, our bureaucracy along with that of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, so mucks up the application process that we don’t even let that many people in.

It is also just one act of savagery by Ansar al Sunna, the group that tortured her to death. There is no excuse-- not invasion, not God, not anything--that justifies barbarism like that.

I don’t know how the next year in Iraq is going to play out. But no matter what happens, the likelihood is that more Iraqis will join the over two million that have already fled their country. We have, at the barest minimum, the responsibility to let in those who have actively helped us and who are in danger. And if that crimps our economy, that’s tough. And if it allows a terrorist or two, then we have to deal with it.

No matter whether it is a good war or the wrong war, no matter whether we can win or not, we owe these people. Whoever the president is, he or she better have the guts to demand this.

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Oscar Chamberlain - 7/18/2007

Clarification: It almost sounds like I am justifying shooting a civilian in my response above. That was not my intent.

What I meant to do was show the vast moral distance between identifying someone as an enemy and torturing that person to death.

Oscar Chamberlain - 7/18/2007

Acts of barbarism do not negate each other.

To the extent that she worked for the Americans, someone resisting the invastion might have a reason to shoot her.

Whether that would be a sufficient reason to kill her, I will leave for others to decide.

What is clear is that the brutality of her killers went far beyond that. It was meant to defame, to degrade, to terrorize, and to eliminate her humanity before she was dead.

I will denounce such behavior by any group, at any time, no matter what their cause or how much they have been provoked.

Stephen Kislock - 7/18/2007

Barbarism, what do you call using thousands of tons of Depleted Uranimun munitions, that have a half life of 200,000 years?

The Birth Defects, caused by DU will, live in these poor Iraqi for to many lifetimes.

You, Mr. Chamberlain, talk of one life! The Death Toll for Iraqis is 650,000, talk about these lives also?