Posted: 11/18/15 14:50
by Dave Mindeman
Amidst all the Syrian refugee talk coming from the Republicans, we seem to be missing a very important fact.
These refugees are not just going to walk into the US tomorrow. There is a year long process of information checking that goes on whenever someone seeks asylum. And if they have no information to check, as our GOP friends keep pointing out, then they do not enter the US.
Former Congresswoman Jane Harmon, who spent years on intelligence committees, spoke on MSNBC and mentioned that since 9/11 we have taken in 700,000 asylum seekers in the US and of those, only 3 had any connection to terrorist activity - and that connection was money laundering, for which they were deported. No terrorist acts can be traced to these asylum seekers.
This country has spent enormous resources to keep us safe. There is no way we can be perfect, but for Republicans to panic over the remote possibility that refugees could be terrorists in disguise is completely out of proportion.
In addition, this fallacy that we can protect the homeland by sending in more American troops into the Middle East is ludicrous. All we would be doing, in such an instance, is providing ISIL and terrorist elements a focal point for their destructive intentions. Yes, maybe we could take back territory that the Iraqi army was unwilling to defend, but the idea that terrorism would be snuffed out by such actions is pure fantasy.
It is discouraging that Republicans have chosen to use fear as a political tool. They have done it before, but never in such a harmful, blatant way. This nation needs to reject this equivalent to yelling fire in a crowded theater. It is foolish, it is harmful, and undignified.
This country is never going to cower in fear. So many men and women have fought and died to keep the shackles of fear far removed from our way of life. And if Republican fear baiting wants us to let terrorists change that equation, then we have to reject it...fully and completely.
The idea that we can run and hide from this fight is just wrong. And I believe we won't. The Syrian people are asking the world for help. If the US truly is the world leader, then we need to be leading the world in that help.
That is who we are. That is who we must be. Danger or no danger, we must show the world what leadership really means.