February 18, 2007
This doesn't sound like the Bush administration is very confident of victory: A group of U.S. officials will go to Amman, Jordan later this month to begin interviewing Iraq war refugees for possible admittance to the United States. Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey (a former congresswoman from Maryland) is overseeing the program. About 7,000 people have fled from Iraq to take refuge in Jordan, Syria, and other countries, and the short-term effect of a U.S.-led offensive in the streets of Baghdad might be to create more refugees. See Washington Post.
Jihad Watch calls this Bush resettlement policy "Utter madness ... if these Iraqis are admitted to the U.S., it will be with absolutely no screening to determine if they are jihadists or jihad sympathizers."
To me, the psychological component is almost as important as the potential terrorist threat from admitting Iraqi refugees en masse. Remember all the boat people from Vietnam after the fall of Saigon, and all the social problems that resulted when they tried to adapt to life in the U.S.A.? If that kind of thing happens again, it will be widely regarded as proof that we had lost the war. We should live up to our obligation as liberators to help the Iraqis up to a point, but if they can't figure out how to establish a modicum of order and security in their own country, that's their problem, not ours.