Alinskyism (Day 7)

In “Reveille for Radicals” Alinsky has a chapter entitled “The Crisis”.   He says in the Chinese language the word “crisis” is made up of two symbols, one for danger and the other for opportunity.   I checked with my Chinese-major daughter and she says it is disaster and opportunity.  Similar I suppose. 

The important point that Alinsky makes is that radicals welcome crisis.   When people are pushed by crisis they are more ready to make changes.  In the radical’s worldview, change is good.  As I mentioned the other day, radicals like Alinsky get a kind of high (well, he is dead so he doesn’t get high on anything anymore) from creating crisis and forcing change. 

It would be impossible to bring about socialism or communism in a country whose people are basically content.   So crisis provides opportunity.

Another struggling and unhappy Iraqi refugee story

This one * is from Tucson, AZ yesterday.  This guy was an interpreter and definitely has a tough story to tell.

But, it’s the same old story regarding resettlement.  No jobs,  not enough financial support, unhappy refugee, whinny non-profit resettlement agencies looking for more public money etc., etc.    The very well-off International Rescue Committee is involved here too.   They were one of the chief lobbying organizations demanding we bring more Iraqis to the US.

What do you want to guess the salary is of the New York City-based Vice President?  It’s likely approaching $200,000.  Heck the President of this non-profit is getting close to $400,000.  (I’ve written about this so many times, I’m not looking up the link).  Maybe these guys could share some of their wealth with the less fortunate they are placing in the public’s care.  Or, maybe Mr. Carey has a guest room for Taha and his family?

The assumption is that people will find work and start becoming self-sufficient within 90 days of arrival, said Bob Carey, vice president for resettlement and migration policy with the International Rescue Committee in New York City.

“The resources of the programs, either public or private, have not kept pace with the needs of the people who are coming in,” Carey said. “What we’ve been doing is urging the State Department to review how they fund and run these programs.”

Some of the people have chronic illnesses or ailments, he said, and services are minimal. Many have to wait a long time for disability benefits to kick in, he said.

“They come over to the U.S. and not only have they gone through this trauma and hardship, they also have fairly high expectations about what will be provided to them, and it’s understandable they would,” Carey said. “They’ve been injured because of U.S. affiliations.”

The agencies and people providing these services are overwhelmed, he said, adding that the faltering economy has made it that much more difficult for people like Taha.

The solution for all these problems is never—maybe we should bring fewer refugees.

Just now I was looking through our archives for the Tucson wise-beyond-his-years Iraqi boy, and came across a post Judy did A YEAR AGO about unhappy Iraqis in Tucson.  Can’t you resettlement agencies in Tucson get it together to take care of these people?  Or, tell the State Department to send them somewhere else?

Here is what that very wise boy said in Tucson just two months ago.  If he gets it,  why can’t the State Department and the volags?

It is better to have 10 Iraqi refugees who are satisfied with their lives than having 100 angry ones with no life at all.

See our Iraqi refugee category for everything you ever wanted to know on the subject.  Soon we may need to make a subcategory for all the posts on unhappy Iraqis in the US.

* If the link doesn’t open because they want you to register try going to the link for the comments here and then go back to the story.  Sorry about that.  The article is in the Arizona Daily Star yesterday.

Refugees continue to pile into Bangladesh, no jobs, go west young man…

……or east!

Note to readers:  You might want to read my previous post on Rohingya before reading this one.

Apparently the UNHCR has started another program to help refugees flowing into Bangladesh find a useful livelihood.    This article in Naranjara* discusses so-called urban refugees.   I suspect many of these are Rohingya (Burmese Muslims). 

Dhaka: UNHCR officials in Bangladesh met with urban refugees in Dhaka on Thursday to explain their plans for programs for urban refugees in Bangladesh.

UNHCR Protection Officer Jelvas Musau told the urban refugees about the agency’s future plans, including a training program, and invited the urban refugees to apply for the training.

Refugee attendees complained, what’s the use in being trained, there are no jobs in Bangladesh anyway.

Previously the UN had given them cash up front to start businesses.  I guess you can figure out how well that succeeded.

Many urban refugees are suffering from a shortage of livelihood opportunities in Bangladesh. The UNHCR also had implemented a program for refugees called the “Lump-sum” program, whereby urban refugees were given seed money to set up businesses in rural areas of Bangladesh.

However, most of the refugee projects failed. Afterwards, refugees were unwilling to undertake business plans in Bangladesh.

Perhaps this is the explanation for why new undocumented refugees are showing up in Rohingya camps.

Bangladesh has been building camps for refugees to manage the resettlement process, and 500 Burmese Muslim refugees have been given the opportunity to resettle in Canada and Australia, but the urban refugees in Bangladesh are not included in this quota.


*Naranjara according to its webpage:

Narinjara News (NN) was founded by a group of Arakanese in exile in Bangladesh from Burma in 2001 seeking to voice for the people depriving of human and democratic rights and to pave the way for them who are struggling for those rights.

Learn more about Arakan here.

Rohingya demonstrate how to get into western countries

Update:  This article says 500 are going to Canada and Australia.

Here is an article that gives a blueprint for how refugees end up in the West.  In this case it is the Burmese Muslims, the Rohingya, who have the strategy down and know what they need to do.  Stay put, live in misery, have loads of babies, make trouble for the locals,  and countries like Canada (with a push from the UN) will rescue them.

The Rohingya, like many other ethnic minorities in Myanmar (Burma), a mostly Buddhist nation, were given a tough time (we won’t deny that) and consequently began spreading out throughout southeast Asia.   A large number are now in camps in Bangladesh, where they are not wanted—busy producing ever larger families according to this report.

The UN did initially try to persuade the Rohingya to return to Myanmar, but now that is not going to happen.

The long-standing Rohingya issue is unlikely to be resolved in near future as Myanmar is not responding to Bangladesh’s appeal to take the refugees back and they also don’t want to go home.

The entire repatriation process is stalled for over three years and the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR) is urging the Bangladesh government not to send the Myanmar citizens back.

“They had fled from Myanmar due to persecution related matters. So now they don’t want to go back. The UNCHR also doesn’t want to force them,” says a high UNHCR official.

The whole matter is very critical, the official adds asking not to be identified.

Some who were repatriated have returned to camps.  No one (officially) really knows who the “unregistered” are.

Allegations are rife many refugees who were repatriated over the years came back crossing the border and are now living with the local community as unregistered Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban and Chittagong.

And, no one knows who is coming in and out of camps, but tensions are building with the local Bangladeshis.

Local people from Teknaf and Cox’s Bazar say Rohingyas indulge in theft, robbery and different other social crimes, though they are not allowed to leave camps without permission.

In the last few lines of this Daily Star article we learn why the Rohingya persist in the camps.  The UN has managed to convince Canada to take 78 of them so they are all holding out and putting on a major public relations campaign to be resettled in first world countries.   This campaign has extended to the US, as we have been reporting in our category Rohingya Reports.

Speaking anonymously, an RRRC (Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner) official says the Rohingyas are much interested to stay in Bangladesh as UNHCR sent some of them to Western countries.

“So far they have sent 78 Rohingyas to Canada. So the rest are much interested to stay here as they might have chances to fly abroad,” the official adds.

For readers who have not heard about the Rohingya, check out this wikipedia article and our Rohingya Reports category mentioned above.

As hard as it might sound, the bottomline is that we can’t save the world.