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Why We Must Condemn Politics of Fear in Favor of Welcoming Refugees


Why We Must Condemn Politics of Fear in Favor of Welcoming Refugees

Tom Andrews

A bill is scheduled to come before the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that would effectively block all Iraqi and Syrian refugees from entering the United States, including women and orphans fleeing the worst crimes known to humankind.

The proposal offers an opportunity for Maine’s senators to take a bold and much-needed stand against the fear-mongering that has replaced reasonable debate in Washington.


Conscience, schmonsence! The true reason why the US should welcome Iraqi and Syrian refugees is the same reason we should have welcomed Vietnamese and Central American refugees before them--because our meddling caused the destruction of what country they once had and their subsequent displacement.

Both Saddam Hussein and the Assad family were less than competent rulers, but at the very least during their reigns the was no flood of refugees so desperate to leave their countries that they would risk their lives trying to cross dangerous seas in the equivalent of rubber dinghies (and those overloaded) over tempestuous seas.


During my youth, the Vietnam war was as important to the military-industrial complex (and its war profiteers) as the War on Terror is today. And the Vietnam debacle relied on the theory of the domino effect. The theory rested on the idea that if Vietnam succumbed to communism, so would all of its neighbors. And in reverse, if one nation could see communism overcome, it would have a similar "domino effect."

Ironically, a different domino effect has come into play since the imperial wars of aggression leveraged against Iraq and Afghanistan have destabilized the Middle East. That, the Internet's capacity to spread the experience of freedom (and what freer, self-determining societies look like) far and wide--catalyzing the ideals that fired up the Arab Spring... which mostly ended up repressed by financial, hereditary, and military elites; and a reprehensible trafficking in arms are some of the causes behind Syria's implosion and consequent refugee crisis.

As Colin Powell remarked, by analogy to "The Pottery Barn's rule": "If you break it, you pay for it..." given the U.S. military's (added to big business & weapon makers) direct involvement in BREAKING Syria, at minimum, this nation should be opening its arms to these tragic persons!

Or the war profiteers should pay to rebuild that broken land.