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20 November 2015

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David Lentini

And the point is? Why should either the US or Europe accept refugees, when the closest countriesboth geographically and culturallywon't take a single one?

And yes, 10,000 refugees is far fewer than being forced on Europe. But the issue is risk of infiltration, not the total number.

Sure, the GOP is milking the irrational fear for all it's worth (and in America, that's a lot). But let's not go too far in the other direction.

walden

Enjoyed your column, CP. I can't wait to hear the Republicans' reaction if/when they discover that the newly-elected Liberal government is on the way to fulfilling its campaign pledge to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of this year. A great wall along the northern border perhaps?

confusedponderer

David Lentini,
the point is the demented unreality of the GOP debate on the subject. You have noticed that?

If you distributed these 1,854 refugees on the states, each would get about 37. Those 10.000 are just a number yet. Of course 'infiltration' is a danger - but given these very low number of Syrian refugees accpted by the US so-far it is a small problem, and it is a problem that is already being adressed.

I'll spare you the pottery-barn-ish angle that, perhaps, the US owes Syrian (Libyan?) refugees something for the US contribution to fuck up their country.

As for why Europe would 'accept' the Syrian refugees, well, in contrast to the luxurious geographic position the US find themself in, Europe is in a position of proximity. Europe doesn't have a choice really, since the problem forces itself upon us, just as it has been forced upon us by countries like Turkey.

The alternative is letting the refugees starve, die of disease, drown or freeze do death (Winter is coming), which we don't want to see happening for humanitarian reasons.

They should be deported as soon as stability returns to their country.

That creates, suddenly, an interest in Europe to see stability returning to Syria asap, even if that means Assad staying in power.

That however is a goal apparently not shared by the US who in their hearts of hearts yet have to give up on regime change. With that unattainable, the US don't want to see either Assad, Al Nusra or IS win and want to keep the party going - that however would mean to perpetuate the crisis and perpetuate the refugees.

This goes a long way to underline why Putin's views on Syria these days finds more favour in Europe than America's - it is after all the US insistence on regime change and the resulting prolongation of the civil war that brought us these refugees.

As Europe fully understands, Russia's intervention changes that game, and could make it possible that the Syrian government decisively defeats the rebels, and restores government control over much of their territory.

And there we get to the point where I could go on about how insane the Republican candidates are when they propose their REALLY bright ideas on what the US should do about Russian impertinence and Russia in general. Are you afraid of nuclear war? I hope you're not, because the GOP candidates sure aren't.

James Doleman

International law is pretty clear on the matter. If someone is fleeing a war zone they have a right to refugee status. Let's hope it is never us.

J

Colonel,

CNN reports that Jonathan Pollard was released from prison this morning.

EDIT: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/20/us/politics/after-30-years-in-prison-jonathan-pollard-to-be-freed-but-not-to-israel.html?_r=0

Ken Roberts

Land of the Brave? In contrast, I'm all for this guy's approach...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/paris-attacks-canada-sees-no-reason-to-raise-threat-level-1.3325003

There's a lot of brave and capable people in the US. Many people to admire. But why is there such a tremendous disconnect between ordinary people and the memes in political discourse? Infantilization on a mass scale cannot be a good plan.

Chris Chuba

1. On an amusing note, here is some neocon porn on how Rubio would take out ISIS ... http://journal.ijreview.com/2015/11/250238-what-defeating-isis-would-look-like/
In the comments section I posted my observations on the most disturbing aspects of this fantasy.

2. Regarding refugees, am I correct that the summertime surge in Syrian refugees was Turkey flushing out their refugee camps in order to create a crisis in the EU to pressure them to take out Assad?
If so then they have shot their bolt so to speak because Turkey only had about 900k Syrian refugees. Also, they started their flush too early, had they known when the Russians were going to start their air strikes they should have waited until then in order to create the illusion that the Russian backed campaign was responsible.

S Wood

CP,

Excellent writing. You got the point across with humor (plus facts) which makes it very memorable. Sent it to all my friends.

elkern

Adding (more) insult to injury, the HuffPo version of this indicated that this was announced by Netanyahu.

Grrrrrr.

A. Pols

All else aside, It's hard to see how bringing refugees of this sort in is of potential benefit to this country.

confusedponderer

I bet that within less than a year Pollard is in Israel.

confusedponderer

"If so then they have shot their bolt so to speak because Turkey only had about 900k Syrian refugees. Also, they started their flush too early, had they known when the Russians were going to start their air strikes they should have waited until then in order to create the illusion that the Russian backed campaign was responsible."

Interesting observation.

Lars

The reality of the situation is that the greatest ally of ISIS in America is the Republican Party. Home of the less than brave and historically ignorant.

Why would anyone want to replicate every mistake George W. Bush ever made?

Trey N

Just why is the U.S. so hell-bent on ousting Assad? Is it really to please Qatar so that it can build a gas pipeline to Europe? Is this a required quid pro quo to keep the CENTCOM HQ/Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar operating?

Or is it now simply sheer ego and attempted face-saving since an Amerikan Empire diktat has been successfully defied??

I'm really having trouble understanding exactly why the U.S. is so stubbornly bloody-minded on the issue of Assad. If it's now merely a question of "prestige", it certainly appears that the U.S. is being hoist with its own petard....

The Beaver

@ CP

Yep.

He would be given an Israeli passport outside the Israel Embassy or Consulate either in DC or NYC. Make a trip to Toronto crossing the border by car (most probably) and be on the next El_Al flight to TLV.

PirateLaddie

Why are there refugees? Well, they usually result from a disconnect between whoever's running a piece of land (or seeking to) and the folks living there. Some of the folks up stakes & look for someplace new. Sometimes, they're encouraged by those trying to take over the area. Western policy is to grudgingly accept a fraction of those fleeing conflict, so people in the receiving countries can sleep well at night.

A Modest Proposal: If a receiving country determines that refugees are more the aggrieved party than those "in charge" back in their homeland, why not have a policy of accepting the refugees as family units, housing and providing for women and children (especially education & skill development) and training, then arming, the suitable males -- toward the end of expediting their return to their homeland as "liberators"?

This would give the receiving country something of a "higher moral ground," put pressure on the forces that compel the refugees to depart their homeland and (one might hope) strengthen both martial spirits in the refugees (all the rhetoric about "an armed populace," etc.) and their relationship with the country that is harboring their kin while Daddy's Away At War.

Like they say, "couldn't hurt."

Bill Herschel

Does anybody remember Ebola? You know, the virus that was going to eliminate the population of the United States several times over. How many people in the U.S. died of Ebola? Three?

But the Republicans, very, very, wisely, hammered Obama for even suggesting that all flights from Africa not be interdicted at the 12 mile limit by F-15's and shot down if they didn't turn back. You see, the public had seen 24/7 pictures of people dying from Ebola, etc.

The result? The Republicans, a very short time afterward, crushed the Democrats in the 2014 elections and took control of both houses of Congress. Why? BECAUSE THE DEMOCRATS REFUSED TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

How many Americans have seen pictures of carnage in Paris? 100%? How many believe that Arab "refugees" are responsible? 100%?

I applaud the Republicans for trying to turn this into a case of THE DEMOCRATS REFUSING TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. It worked with Ebola, and there is every reason to believe it will work now.

And, then there is the question, "What is the downside?" There is none. The U.S. refuses to take a single refugee? Seeing the U.S. refuses to bomb Afghan poppy fields in the middle of a heroin epidemic for fear of alienating Afghan poppy growers, I would say that we have done enough. Let the Syrian refugees be flown to Afghanistan by the CIA to find work in the poppy fields.

And remember, it wasn't a case of making sure people flying in from Africa didn't have Ebola, it was making sure that there were no people flying in from Africa. I repeat, it worked then, it will work now.

David Habakkuk

All,

The 'sense of the meeting' of comments on a report in yesterday's 'Mail' – a good bellwether of the opinion of much of 'Middle England' – is well expressed by one of the 'best rated': 'Never thought this would be said but, Mr Putin- THE UK LOVES YOU!!!!' Currently, five people disapprove, with five hundred approving.

(http://tinyurl.com/o4b4jp2 .)

The headline may be equally significant. It reads: 'ISIS on the run: Sun sets on another day of heavy losses for terror group as Russia's heavy bombing blitz enters its third day.'

It could be that the senior editorial staff of the paper – whose success has much to do with the fact that it is much more 'in tune' with its readers than most of the British MSM – is capitulating to them.

Increasingly, it seems as though Russia's intervention in Syria may have precipitated the most dramatic change in public opinion on British foreign policy since Hitler occupied the rump of Czechoslovakia in March 1939. It is not clear to me how far this is paralleled elsewhere in Europe – very many parts of which are of course are far more directly exposed to the refugee crisis than we are.

It will take time to see what the ramifications are, but they are liable to be huge.

oofda

Hopefully for his burial. Will Israel return the highly classified material that he stole? You know the answer and that underscores what a wonderful ally Israel is for the United States. The relationship is a one-way street.

confusedponderer

oofda,
"Will Israel return the highly classified material that he stole?"

Since Bibi is such a dead end, maybe Obama could ask the Russians about it. If Bibi annoys Putin, the Russians may just intimate to the US what exactly the Israelis gave them for allowing Russian Jews to emigrate to Israel.

Ali Mirza

A bit off topic but worth checking out.
Sen Richard Black making Virgina proud and opting for a reality based view ;) The senator has apparently written a letter of appreciation to Bashar Al-Assad
http://sana.sy/en/?p=61732

An article on the same letter from the Borgistas:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/05/27/bashar-al-assad-posts-a-letter-of-support-from-a-virginia-state-senator/
Damage control..?

Fred

CP,

Can I categorize this rant under "Pot, calls kettle black"? From what I see Germany has taken essentially zero Mexican economic migrants. That is the result of the simple fact that Germany is blessed by geography and insulated from the Mexican economic crisis by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Let me know how many you want to let into your country. We currently have about 11,000,000 million.
http://www.dw.com/en/german-companies-profit-from-nafta/a-1076528

Fred

Bill,

I sure do. Ebola is highly contagious, completely alien to North America and has a fatality rate approaching 100% without intense medical treatment. Of course it's all about the racism!

The proper response to the Syrian "refugee crisis" is to defeat ISIS and return Syrians to Syria. Perhaps the Obama administration could defeat them the same way the president's wife defeated Boko Haram - a Twitter post. You do remember #BringBackOurGirls don't you?

Kunuri

As I have written here many times, Syrian refugees flooding Turkey first, and then EU is Erdogan's doing. He is now using the refugee flood into EU as a bargaining chip to secure concessions on other issues. He is also using the refugee problem as leverage to go in Syria to create a buffer zone, which US and NATO have been resisting all along. Of coarse a no-fly zone comes with that package.

It is entirely within the power of the government here to stop the refugees finding their way into Greece from the western shores. I read from a reliable news source today that between January 2015 and November 2015 alone 79,000 refugees were intercepted and returned back to Turkey, or wherever else, nobody knows, imagine how many must have slipped through. Inconveniencing Greece when they can is a national sport in Turkey.

From personal experience, having lived along the western coast for 3 years, nobody slips through, you can't even go night diving before gendarme shows up. So, the exodus is preventable, but what's in it for RTE? I will answer by another observation, each refugee pays upwards of 2000 euros for the passage, and cayotees are organized, kickbacks for silence goes all the way up to the top, and everyone knows where the buck stops. Need I say more?

But all I can hope in this atmosphere over here that they are not monitoring the internet in English, otherwise, maybe some of you will be kind enough to bring me a carton of cigarettes when you come to visit me in jail. Yes, it is that bad, imagine the intellectuals, artists and honest journalists as they do their jobs.

confusedponderer

Fred,
ok, what did Germany do to make all these Mexicans flee to America?

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