Reader Dan sends along some comments about the war in Iraq…
Thinking about Syria
Syria has a population of about 19 million people.
GDP= about $27 billion
Estimated .5 million Palestinian refugees and 1.3 million Iraqis=1.8 million refuges=10% of the population of citizens.
It is the only country that currently has an open door policy for refugees.
The US granted 744 visas, and under pressure President Bush promised 7,000 more, but has made no mention of how, who, and when the visas might be granted. Currently the US does not provide aid directly to help with the refugee problem.
Do we have any obligation to Iraqi refugees?
Is it reasonable for an Iraqi refugee to expect US aid?
Is it reasonable for an Iraqi who has been active in supporting the US effort in Iraq (interpreters, aides, businessmen) who must flee because of death threats to expect asylum in the US?
Is it in the US interests to provide aid (hearts and minds?)?
When I consider our track record of Federal help with Katrina refugees, I wonder at Syria’s capacity to deal with this problem. Is it in our national interests to keep Iraqi Muslims out of the US, which at least appears to be the policy?
Is it even a problem worth serious consideration in the occupation effort?
This one was by reader Dan.