Keep Iraqi refugees from becoming radicalized: help them go home

Ken Bacon, who last appeared on Refugee Resettlement Watch in November, ridiculously urging President-Elect Obama to bring in more than 100,000 Iraqi refugees in one year, seems to have come to his senses since then.  On December 22 he posted a good entry on his organization’s blog titled “The Risk of Radicalized Refugees.”  Bacon is the head of Refugees International, the lobbying arm of the refugee industry.

Bacon cites a New York Times article about angry youths in refugee camps in Darfur who have become more radical than their elders, the tribal sheikhs. They are bored, with nothing to do, uprooted from their lives and traditions, and receiving a little education — about enough to be dangerous, it seems.   

Education in the camps, which often stops at the eighth grade, has to a degree expanded the horizons of men like Mr. Ismael. English was not taught in their now-razed villages, for instance. But their heightened awareness has also stoked their outrage about the wrongs committed against them and about their lack of opportunity.

“You cannot call them a unified group with one political ideology, but they are all angry,” said Mr. Khater, the writer. “That is the factor unifying them.”

The article concludes:

“The government has created a powder keg that it doesn’t know how to defuse,” said a Western diplomat in Khartoum with wide experience in the camps.

Bacon relates this story to the Iraqi refugees:

The story caught my eye because it highlights a serious problem:  long stays in camps—either as refugees out of their countries or displaced within their own countries—can radicalize youth.  We have seen this over the years with Palestinians and with Afghan refugees, and we could well see it with displaced Iraqi youths who are living in increasingly desperate conditions.

Although most of the nearly five million displaced Iraqis don’t live in camps, they endure many of the same problems—economic hardship, limited educational opportunities, and long, boring days with little reason to hope that they will return home soon or have an opportunity to work.   While girls are often busy helping their mothers, young men have less to do, making them susceptible to recruitment by political or militia movements.

Heading off the potential radicalization of Iraqi youth should be a top priority for the government of Iraq and for the U.S.  This means resolving the displacement crisis—one out of every five Iraqis is either a refugee or internally displaced—as quickly as possible.

I think that’s right. And to his credit, Bacon doesn’t even bring up third-country resettlement. He goes straight to the point:

But neither Iraq nor the region will be safe and stable if five million Iraqis are still displaced, with 2.7 million in Iraq and the rest living as refugees in Jordan, Syria and other nearby countries.  The only sensible, durable solution is to create conditions for safe return, something that is going to require coordination by the U.S. and Iraq.  The government of Iraq has only started to deal with a host of complex legal and property issues necessary to encourage return.  But most important, Iraq will have to demonstrate that it can keep its cities safe and provide the services, including schools, that returning Iraqis need.

If the refugee agencies are really concentrating on helping to create the conditions for the safe return of the refugees, that would be welcome news indeed. I have a feeling it’s not that simple. But perhaps with Bush-hatred no longer clouding their minds, they can see more clearly what needs to be done, and work to help make it happen.

Hat tip: Matthew Hay Brown at the Baltimore Sun

Alinskyism (Day 14)

Note to readers:  This is another of the sporadic posts which I have categorized as “community destabilization.”   Immigrants and refugees offer a continuous supply of ‘Have-nots’ for whom radicals can wage a war against the ‘Haves.’    Community instability is necessary to bring about “change.”


To Saul Alinsky the world breaks down along clean lines of  ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-nots.’   Radicals are always on the side of the ‘Have-nots’ and never let conscience or morality get in the way of fighting the ‘Haves.’ 

He says you don’t love humanity enough and you are too concerned for your personal salvation, if you stop short of doing everything possible for the ‘Have-nots’—-no matter how many dirty tricks must be employed!

Certainly one of the major differences (maybe even the biggest difference from the standpoint of strategy) between Leftists and Conservatives is how the issue of ‘means and ends’ are treated.   Conservatives I know personally are concerned that they wage their battles large and small trying at least to maintain their integrity and behave ethically (I thought of John McCain here).  Alinsky thinks this is complete B.S. and that one should use any means necessary to wage a war against the “Haves.”

Look at this paragraph from Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals:”

The practical revolutionary will understand Goethe’s “conscience is the virtue of observers and not of agents of action”; in action, one does not always enjoy the luxury of decision that is consistent both with one’s individual conscience and the good of mankind.  The choice must always be for the latter.  Action is for mass salvation and not for the individual’s personal salvation.  He who sacrifices the mass good for his personal conscience has a peculiar conception of “personal salvation”;  he doesn’t care enough for people to be “corrupted” for them.

He has no patience for those he calls the “means-and-ends” moralists.   Other little nuggets:   “Ethical standards must be elastic to stretch with the times.”  “….consistency is not a virtue.”  “….in war [on behalf of Have-nots] the end justifies almost any means.”   There is more where those came from in “Rules…..”

Now go back to what I said at the end of the previous post here.  If it turns out that Bill Ayers wrote Obama’s memoirs they will not lose a minutes sleep over any ethical breach, because the ends justify any means.    They got Obama elected for the good of the ‘Have-nots’ and that is all that matters!

Did Bill Ayers write Obama’s memoir?

Update October 7th, 2009:  Did Bill Ayers just admit he wrote “Dreams,” here?

Update September 24, 2009:  Did Michelle ask Ayers to do it, here?

Judy just sent me this fascinating analysis of Obama’s “Dreams from my Father,” and I couldn’t resist telling you about it.    I had just last week listened to the audio version of the book while driving to New Jersey, occasionally laughing out loud at passages I  concluded could not have been written by Obama.

What does this have to do with refugees, probably not much, but since I have been writing about the world view that both Obama and Bill Ayers  appear to share in the category called ‘community destabilization,’  I wanted readers to know about this hypothesis.

Jack Cashill writing today at American Thinker begins:

There is no science to validate the thesis that follows, no academy to adjudicate it, and little hope of convincing the Obama faithful even to consider it, let alone concede its validity. That much said, the evidence is self-evident, accessible to all, and overwhelming.

The thesis is simple enough: Bill Ayers served as Barack Obama’s muse in the creation of Obama’s 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father. Ayers breathed creative life into this ungifted amateur, who had written nothing of note before, and reconceived him as a literary prodigy.

“I was astonished by his ability to write, to think, to reflect, to learn and turn a good phrase,” said Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison of the Dreams’ author. “I was very impressed. This was not a normal political biography.” Agreed, it was not normal at all.

Read it all! 

If I recall there were some so-called conservatives who came around to support Obama in the Presidential campaign simply because this book showed what a gifted writer he supposedly is.    It just occured to me though that even if it were to be revealed that Ayers was the literary genius behind the book, Ayers and Obama would dismiss the fuss, because as they learned from their ideological mentor Saul Alinsky, the means don’t matter, only the ends.  (I’ve been meaning to tell you about that—later today—here it is.)

Iraq proposing to give 3 percent of oil revenues to refugees

MENAFN (Middle East North Africa Financial Network) reports:

Iraq’s foreign minister announced that the ministry is planning proposals to assign a portion of the country’s oil profit for Iraqi refugees in bordering countries, Iraq Directory reported.

He went on to say that millions of Iraqi citizens have left to neighboring countries, mainly to Syria and Jordan and are living in poor environments and that is the main reason for the current measures.

It is worth mentioning that the Iraqi parliament will vote on a proposal in which three percent of Iraqi oil profits will go to neighboring countries, particularly Syria and Jordan.

That’s the piece in its entirety. Someone should send the staff of this web site to journalism school. The headline reads: “Iraq to allocate 3% of oil profits for refugees.” The article says first that the ministry is planning proposals. Then it says the Iraqi parliament will vote on a proposal. Nothing has been decided. I can’t decide either: I can’t decide whether the writer is unfamiliar with how a democracy works, or just dumb.

Either way, it’s good news the Iraqi government is thinking about, proposing, or about to give some money to help their refugees.

“Cultural” differences block investigation of missing toddler

The first thing I thought of when I read this awful story is that this poor little girl has been missing since October and we don’t hear a word about it in the mainstream media.  Compare that to the Caylee Anthony case in Florida about which we hear non-stop coverage.

Why don’t we hear about the Tangena’s—because it involves immigrants and as far as the mainstream media goes, immigrants can do no wrong, especially if they happen to be Muslim immigrants.

Police say they are having a hard time cutting through the “cultural” differences to solve this case.

Nearly three months after 2-year-old Tangena Hussain disappeared, police acknowledge thorny cultural differences are complicating their investigation.

The probe involves immigrants from Bangladesh, who police say are close-knit and often suspicious of outsiders.

“A lot of times, the only people we can interview are children, because they’re the only ones in the family who speak English,” said Hamtramck Detective George Voight, a 21-year veteran. “And when you’re dealing with people from Bangladesh, or others who are Muslims, a lot of times the women won’t talk to the police, because a lot of times women in Muslim communities aren’t allowed to talk to men.”

Tangena, whose mother is a Bengali immigrant, was reported missing in Detroit on Oct. 2 by her mother’s boyfriend, Jamrul Hussain, who shares the girl’s last name but is not related. Hussain, 27, is also from Bangladesh.

I hope the supposed boyfriend is in jail.

The same day Hussain reported Tangena missing, he was arrested in an eight-month-old kidnapping and rape case involving a 15-year-old girl. Prosecutors dropped the charges after the girl admitted she lied about being kidnapped. Instead, prosecutors charged Hussain with criminal sexual conduct.

Hussain’s attorney, Shawn Patrick Smith, insisted from the start that his client hadn’t kidnapped the girl, but instead was involved in a romantic relationship with her.

“There’s nothing unusual in Bengali culture for a 27-year-old man to have a relationship with a 15-year-old girl,” Smith said. “What is frowned upon in that culture is having premarital sex, which is why the girl lied; she had to say it was a kidnapping because it’s taboo to have sex before marriage in their Islamic culture.”

Then this:

“The last three to four years, we’ve been seeing a lot of domestic violence cases with people from Bangladesh,” Voight said. “Male dominance is part of life in Islamic cultures, but the women come here and realize after a few years that women aren’t like that here.”

Only a few days ago I posted a story about a newly released federal study that concluded immigrants must Americanize or we were going to be in big trouble.  I think we already are.

Immigrants from Bangladesh?

Besides my first question about why we haven’t heard about this little missing girl, my second question is, how did we happen to get so many immigrants from Bangladesh?

Under what program did they arrive here?    Police Detective Voight is quoted in the article saying that in the town of Hamtramck, there are about 10,000 undocumented immigrants in a citywide population of 24,000.    Is he saying the Bengalis are undocumented?

I went back to my statistics from the Office of Refugee Resettlement and found only one year where we brought 2 Bengalis as refugees.    So either they aren’t refugees, or they are refugees but aren’t really from Bangladesh originally.  I’m now wondering if they came to the US as Burmese.   Bangladesh has a large illegal population of Rohingya (Burmese Muslims).   Could they be Rohingya?

Just two weeks ago I reported on a comment made by a reader who was knowledgeable about resettlement of Burmese and he confirmed that Burmese Muslims were coming in as Burmese Christian Karen people.   See that post here.

To learn more about Rohingya and their efforts to get into western countries, see our Rohingya category here.

Endnote:  I don’t know whatever happened in the Utah murder of a little refugee girl here last spring.