Surely we have room

How about we get really humanitarian. Let us reach out and invite the persecuted Yazidi minority threatened by ISIS to establish a community here in the US.  We’ve sent bombers but those people are still in desperate straits.

The entire world population of Yazidis may be as few as 700K, and those in Iraq probably number between 200-300K, possibly less.  There’s already a large community in Nebraska.

11 responses to “Surely we have room

  1. Check your link, Moe. 🙂


    • Well tha’ts stupid! It’s a TV station site and even though the actual headline for the video I was linking to is right there in the URL, but that’s not what comes up. Weird.


  2. In actuality we don’t really have room economically to absorb upwards of 200-300K indigents, which is what the Yazidis would effectively be, especially if they were concentrated in one state such as Nebraska.


    • Hi jonolan – you’re right of course we can’t as things are now. Money and other stuff would have to come from the Feds. But the cost of a few bombers should cover it.


      • No, I don’t think that would cover it, especially since you’re talking about many years of total support…and where and in what conditions?

        Bringing them here sounds so good and charitable, then you think of both the logistics and the long-term effects upon them and the remains of their culture and it sounds a lot less charitable.


        • It was just a thought, but I am reminded of how dreadful is our recent record of taking in war refugees – since ’07 our country of 300+million has only taken in 85K. Tiny Jordan alone has taken in 700K – in a country whose population is only 6million. Even Sweden has taken 60K. We have a moral responsibility to Iraqis this time – we broke the place after all.


          • I can’t see where or how we broke it, Moe, at least not in any way other than we broke Europe twice in the 20th century, the 2nd time to remove a tyrant somewhat similar to Saddam. Indeed, we did far more to rebuild Iraq than any nation in history has ever done for a place and people they did not intend to annex.


      • It’s just my opinion, but it seems to me that the immigration conundrum is similar to that of going to war. There are two ways to do it. One is to do it based on the emotion of the moment, and that fits the case of the Yazidis. It also fit the aftermath of 9/11 and the subsequent plunge into two disastrous wars. The other way is to contain emotion and embrace a long-term policy. This is not easy.

        In other words, why not start by granting obvious justice to children who were brought here illegally as minors and who grew up American. We are facing a horrendous injustice that would return them to lands they never knew. Then we can prioritize the rest. The Yazidis may be Christian and so represent the majority of America’s religious leanings, but ought that entitle them to special treatment? Or would it show favoritism to one religion over others?

        I fully respect your human sympathies, Moe, but there is no shortage of injustices in the world which we would like to set right. My respect for President Obama grows as I observe how he has just demonstrated the right way to do these things. Ignoring the shrill calls to immediately avenge the beheadings of two American journalists, he steadfastly proceeded to lead a coalition of nations to sculpt a strategy that promises to tackle the root of the ISIL problem. It seems to me that immigration is similar.


        • Jim – very good points all. What I was trying to say was if we can use the excuse of ‘humanitarian reasons’ to go to war, how ’bout we provide safe haven for the threatened ones instead. Quite impractical I realize, but certainly as valid a reaction if we are going to react emotionally.

          By the way, the Yazidis aren’t Christians. Given the Wikipedia definition, they appear to occupy their own universe: “Yazidism (see Yazdânism), a religion rooted in Persian religions blended with elements of pre-Islamic Mesopotamian/Assyrian religious traditions, Mithraism, Christianity and Islam.”

          I’m deeply conflicted about what the proper course of action is for us. We’re getting involved – looks like there’s no stopping that. One can even make a better than usual case for a ”just war’, except for one thing. A just war has to have a reasonable expectation of success. And we haven’t defined success.

          Looking at the equivocation from countries in the region I don’t think that ultimately West can do anything that will change the dynamics. Every time we leave (1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s, 2010’s) they just pick up the guns again. Maybe they just need to fight it out till they’re tired of war.


          • Your info on the Yazidis is interesting, and it’s pertinent to the problem, Moe. Something there is about human beings that just can’t stand political or religious stability. Just this morning I started reading an older New Yorker research article on the Branch Davidian fiasco in Texas back in the ’90’s. They were a group of fundamentalist Seventh Day Adventists (is that a redundancy?) that had broken off from the main church. Their idea of a good time was to spend 6 or 7 hours straight “studying” the bible, and especially Revelation. Boy, talk about your good times!

            The Branch Davidians were convinced that David Koresh was The One foretold who could unlock the Seven Seals that would reveal the actual time and place of Jesus’ return, and wanting to get ready of course, made sure they laid in a good supply of weaponry, including automatic weapons. (Did you know that under Texas law a girl of 14 can get married with parental permission? Hallelujah! )

            What is it about us that causes all this fracturing zealotry? Whatever it is, it seems to be an enduring characteristic of our species. If there’s any hope, I think, it’s to be found in secular politics. Like I said, this is not easy.


            • I guess we’ll never be rid of the religious zealots Jim. It’s interesting that the Branch Davidians saw themselves as on some sort of ‘war footing’. They were armed to the teeth, they had bunkers – almost marched into battle for the glory of . . . well, who knows.

              What is it about us? Human instincts I think are always tribal, territorial, even intolerant . . . but we also seem to know that and want largely to get past it. So we developed civilizations and made laws and rules to contain ourselves. But it still doesn’t take much for humans to revert to form.

              And wars – aren’t they almost always about the “three R’s”? Religion, real estate or resources? Mabe add a fourth R: revenge.

              What did Pogo say? “We have met the enemy and he is us.”


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