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WHO HATES HAITI? The Iraqis Ought To.

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In the 7th year of the illegal and unconstitutional war against Iraq, an earthquake struck Haiti. With thousands dead, with whole towns leveled, the United States acted. It sent millions of dollars in aid; it sent thousands of relief workers; it sent ships; it sent soldiers. It permitted hundreds of thousands of Haitians illegally in the U.S. to remain indefinitely. American grocery stores and pizza parlors set out canisters to collect money for Haitian relief. The plight of Hispaniola's benighted western half was the talk of gym rats. It was on the front pages of daily newspapers.

It was a natural disaster.

Iraq is a man-made disaster.

It has been ignored by the man in Congress and the man in the street. It has been disregarded by the media and by the church.

Why? There are millions dead, murdered with malice aforethought by American soldiers and mercenaries. There are millions of refugees, living hand to mouth in poor Middle-Eastern countries. There are thousands given asylum in the United States and Europe. The country itself is in ruins, bombed and shelled with poisonous uranium, with little electricity, with little potable water, and with barely-functioning sewage treatment.

It's policy. Iraqis are Sand Niggers. Worse, most are Muslim. And Israel sees them as a threat. And what Israel sees, America believes.

That's why the few who make it to the United States get the back of Uncle Sam's hand. Besides the pittance given them for only four months after arrival, they get little else. Housing is what they can find and what they can afford. Charitable organizations, religious or not, whether on the East Coast or the West Coast, give them short shrift. As the International Rescue Committee noted in its June 2009 Report (and which was borne out by the author's interviews with individual Iraqis), refugees from Mesopotamia in the U.S. find it difficult to locate jobs and, without an adequate, steady income, they cannot provide for their families. Traumatized by war, by flight, by loss of homes and possessions, they are in desperate need of financial assistance, English lessons, employment counseling, and access to health care. While Iraq is still the Land of Dreams, the United States has become the Land of Nightmares.

If only Iraqis had darker skin...If only Iraqis practiced voodoo...something might be done. Emergency rent payments could help. A uniform and generous package of services might improve things. Better information and resettlement assistance could ease the wrenching transition. Thought could be given to the plight of women with children, once supported by their husbands. They've never had to work and now they must.

Iraqi refugees' lives are now ones of suffering and despair. A former Iraqi Health Minister works as a janitor at a Wegman's supermarket. A woman in Maryland survives on what her husband, a refugee in Syria, sends her. Another woman, with a 13-year old son, has university degrees in agriculture and commerce. Although promised help in finding employment, she is still jobless and does not know what to do. In another family, the husband and wife are dentists and are studying for the U.S. licensing examination--but their four months of U.S. government support have expired. In Iraq, they had been kidnaped by bandits masquerading as policemen. In the United States, they've been questioned by government agencies about the source of funds used to exist in dangerous downtown Detroit, where major crimes are under-reported.

In contrast, Iraqis who managed to make it to continental Europe are far happier. Sweden remains the main European destination for Iraqi refugees, taking around 40 percent of the 100,000 asylum seekers or so let into Europe betweeen 2003 and 2009. Sweden has more Iraqi Christians than are left in the Black Land, a country which accepted that religion in the 1st Century A.D. However, the United Kingdom, one of the architects of the Iraqi disaster, has begun forcibly returning refugees to the hell that is now Mesopotamia.

Yet, the situation doesn't seem to register with American government officials. At a meeting of the American Muslim Alliance, the author questioned Wendy Chamberlain, former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, former State Department official in the Office of Israel and Arab-Israeli Affairs, and former Deputy UN High Commissioner on Refugees about this. He noted that U.S. policy seems to create millions of refugees, in Palestine, in Iraq, and now in Pakistan, but the American government then ignores the wreckage of peoples' lives and refuses to resolve the horrors it created. Her response? The millions of refugees in Pakistan are only" internally displaced" and the UN High Commission on Refugees is very efficient at dealing with the exiled.

As the Arabs say: "Wallahi!" ("I swear to God!")

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J. Michael Springmann was a diplomat in the State Department's Foreign Service, with postings to Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in Washington, D.C. The published author of several articles on national (more...)
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