Refugee Drumbeat: Signaling our defeat in Iraq

In previous posts we have written about the Save the Iraqi Refugee drumbeat. Granted the Christian Iraqis will need to be helped, there may no longer be a place for them in their homeland, or at least not for a long time. However, the drumbeat to bring waves of Iraqi Muslim refugees to the US is growing. I had thought it was all from the leftwing media, who say that those who have helped us are in danger for their lives and must be brought to the US for protection – all to signal the voters that the war is lost. It’s another argument by the left in their denial that the surge strategy is working…and their denial that entire villages are helping us because it saves their lives.

In this June/July exchange of Letters to the Washington Post, Julia Taft likens the Iraqi situation to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, Ellen Sauerbrey, responded with this Letter in which she says that Iraq is not like Vietnam because the war is not over!

But, you know the old saying “with friends like these, who needs enemies.” President Bush needs to take heed, because so-called friendly Conservative leaders in Washington may be the ones beating those drums to bring Iraqi refugees here, maybe from compassion – and maybe more, to signal the voters that they should lobby Congress against letting the surge strategy work.

Refugee Resettlement Watch received a forwarded email, with an attached draft letter (below in entirety) that may reveal who is behind the drumbeat to open the floodgates to Iraqi refugees. We can’t disclose the source of the email forwarded to us. However, our source alleged that they had received the email from someone in Grover Norquist’s office. Norquist is the once-respectable conservative (Americans for Tax Reform) who has since become a major apologist for the Islamist Lobby according to Paul Sperry in his book Infiltration, and founder of the anti-surge, pro-defeat lobbying group American “Conservative” Defense Alliance.

The source also alleged that the email included this line: “If you are interested in signing on to this letter, please contact David Keene at with your signature and logo.” That would be David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union and also a lobbyist with the Carmen Group in Washington, D.C. Keene spoke recently at a rally sponsored by ACLU and the extreme leftwing “United for Peace and Justice,” opposing Bush administration policies for homeland defense. For more on Keene’s retreat from conservatism into Islamism, see here and here.

The file attachment was named “”. Norquist is known for holding a Wednesday weekly meeting that includes lobbyists such as Keene.

Here is the letter’s text in entirety:

Letter to Members on Iraqi Supporters of U.S.C.

We are writing to you today to express our support for legislation that would allow Iraqi citizens to come to the United States as refugees if they can prove that they are in immanent danger of being killed because they have worked with our forces.

Regardless of how one feels about the war in Iraq, we believe it is vitally important that that we as a nation provide a resettlement opportunity for those Iraqis who have risked their lives and placed themselves in danger by assisting the coalition forces.

This is not and cannot be allowed to become a partisan issue. Our Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, recently wrote a memo home arguing that the US is losing the ability to recruit talented Iraqis to work with us because of the real possibility that once they join us and put their lives at risk, they will be abandoned to the tender mercies of our enemies and theirs for their trouble. As a result, many Iraqis who might otherwise come out and join us in our effort to rid their country of terrorists are reluctant to do so.

Their number includes the thousands of Iraqis who have worked with our forces as interpreters and who as a result have already been branded by extremists within Iraq as enemies who must be killed to discourage others from working with us. We owe those who work with and for us a debt both of gratitude and loyalty and it is imperative that they and those who we hope will join us know that we do not forget our friends.

Given the situation in which these friends of the United States find themselves, we believe Congress should pass and the executive branch should implement legislation that would allow those who find themselves in this situation and who can prove that their lives are, in fact, in danger because of their assistance to us to come here.

This would not open the gates to a flood of Iraqis fleeing the uncertainty and general danger within which they live today, but would allow them to escape an intolerable situation in which they as individuals find themselves because they came to our aid when we needed them.

Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to address this issue. HR 2265, introduced by Congressmen Blumenauer and Shays in the House, and S. 1651 introduced by Senators Kennedy and Smith in the Senate that would provide emergency resettlement options for these Iraqi friends of the United States.

This legislation should be passed with the support of leaders of both parties.

Hey guys, the war is not over! Granted we should make every effort to protect those who have helped us by supporting them financially in the countries where they have settled; it shouldn’t be left completely up to Iraq’s neighbors. We need to support our friends in Iraq by winning this war. Frankly the best and brightest would presumably want to see Iraq rebuilt, especially with the surge beginning to work. Large areas of the country are now secure. We know in the past people have moved back when security is established.

Why would the President of Americans for Tax Reform want to further burden our taxpayers? And who is David Keene’s lobbying client at the Carmen Group that required him to use his lobbyist email address rather than his email address as head of the American Conservative Union? That just seems strange to me, like an appearance at least of a conflict of interest.

Any of you have answers to what is going on here? Could someone analyze those bills mentioned in the letter – do they raise the levels of refugees coming into the country? Check out HR 2265 and S. 1651.

Here’s what puzzles me. It doesn’t seem in the interest of conservatives or even of Norquist or Keene to support bringing a large number of Muslim immigrants into the U.S., and to oppose letting General Petraeus win with the surge strategy. Yet, if this letter is for real,¬†they’re banging the drum on this.

So who is calling the tune?