Obama should do this, instead of delivering petulant lectures

An overwhelming majority of Americans, including most Democrats, agree that the United States should not accept any more refugees from the Middle East — at least, not unless we can be assured that no terrorists have infiltrated their ranks.

Of course, there is absolutely no way to be certain or even to prevent many of them from being radicalized once they are here. We know that many of the so-called spiritual leaders in mosques here and in other Western nations preach in favor of jihad every chance they get. A huge number of them would happily scrap our constitutional guarantees in favor of the barbaric limitations of Sharia law.

In a recent column in USA Today, Kirsten Powers said most refugees from ISIS don’t want to resettle in the West anyway. She shared the following story:

Brian Duss, a media relations manager at World Vision — a Christian humanitarian organization — just returned from northern Iraq. He told me he heard the same thing from the refugees, whether Syrian or Iraqi: “We don’t want to go to Europe or the U.S.” He noted, “It’s as if they know we are having the wrong conversation here. They don’t want to leave. They want us to help them right now in this period of transition.”

Of course most the refugees would prefer to return to their homes. Wouldn’t you? But until that is possible, why don’t we all agree to do the next best thing and create safe enclaves for them in the Middle East?

Why not take just a fraction of the billions of dollars we’re already spending on foreign aid to provide food and shelter over there? Certainly, many of the countries in Europe that are being flooded with refugees should gladly support such a humanitarian effort.

And what about all those oil-rich countries in the Middle East that, at least so far, have done virtually nothing to help their Muslim cousins? It is absolutely shameful that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and their neighbors have kept their borders and their wallets shut. Why are we not shaming them into being at least a little helpful?

It is a cruel irony that it is the poorest countries in the Middle East that, to date, have accepted the most refugees. Powers reported:

Turkey has accepted more than 2 million. Jordan has more than 600,000, Iraq 200,000 plus, and roughly 130,000 Syrian refugees have settled in Egypt.

Yet for Saudi Arabia and her wealthy neighbors, the number is close to zero. This is outrageous!

Powers said that a reasonable budget for assistance to these refugees would come to some $5 billion a year. This is a small fraction of the amount currently being spent in Europe and the Middle East to try to “contain” ISIS or to accommodate the refugees who have fled its barbaric caliphate.

So what say you, President Obama? Rather than delivering more of your petulant lectures to your fellow citizens or trying to get more world leaders to unite in battling so-called climate change, why not take the lead in doing something that would immediately start making a difference in refugees’ lives?

Powers said:

So, if Americans don’t want them in the U.S., the best thing to do is help them stay where they are. It doesn’t hurt that this happens to be what most refugees themselves seem to want.

Sadly, there is probably no chance that Obama will support such a sensible, cost-effective solution. That’s too bad because this is something that would make a positive contribution to millions of people — and no doubt would get the enthusiastic support of a majority of Americans.

If Obama won’t do it, maybe the next president will.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

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Chip Wood