Today is "Bloggers Unite for Refugees" day (). I've been thinking about the millions of refugees in the world. There are refugees on account of every reason people flee to find refuge in another location. There are "official" definitions and "legal" definitions erected by governments to maintain barriers or boundaries to movement of people. Some people do in fact seek to move into someone else's territory for specious or even harmful reasons. Often though, barriers are erected for bloodline reasons. The United States for instance allows immigrants whose family members or closer genetic relatives are already here. English people don't have as much difficulty moving to the U.S. provided they have academic credentials and a work history in the U.K. or elsewhere not frowned upon by the British-American Empire.
Why do people flee? What prevents their return? What happens to family relationships? What can be done about it all? There are numerous questions revolving around the issue of refugees. We shouldn't attempt to cover the entire field in one post. Our aim is to draw attention to the issue and to connect some fundamental societal issues to the situation.
There will be thousands of blogs (hopefully) blogging upon the various issues, citing statistics, painting horrid pictures, moving people to sympathy and compassion, etc., and rightly so.
People flee what are termed "natural disasters," "acts of God," and manmade disasters. Where one leaves off and other root cause begins is a debate. For me, it isn't debatable, as in a question in my mind. It is a debate in my view solely because people refuse to make obvious connections. They do that for a number of reasons the greatest of which is deliberateness. It's a selfish reaction that causes the whole problem in the first place. That's a theological discussion though upon which I won't focus in this post. The tie-in may be found elsewhere on this site for those who are interested (should be).
Earlier today, I had occasion to respond to someone just entering her twenties. She was making a humble point about the lack of citations in a post to which I had directed her attention. I responded as follows and will intersperse comments as those tie in with a huge part of the refugee problem.
Citations are a concern. You're right about that. Many of the sites I visit take it for granted that the readers are hugely informed (very time-consuming and often stressful). If you read the comments on the page ("CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE REAL OBAMA NOW?" by Sam Smith. Undernews. November 5, 2008), you'll notice that the readers (many Obama fans) aren't taking the author to task for stating "wrong" facts. This guy is watched like a hawk on that level. If his facts are wrong, people don't hesitate to point that out. He has to be careful on that score. That's not to say that he doesn't make the occasional "factual" error.
Let me say that Barack Obama hasn't revealed himself to the public. Is he the great compromiser? Is he the great pragmatist, as his new Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, wants him to be? ("Rahm Emanuel 'Do What You Got Elected to Do': The incoming chief of staff says expect a pragmatic White House," by Jason L. Riley. The Wall Street Journal. November 8, 2008.) Of course, one person's pragmatism is another person's folly. Rahm Emanuel is an extremely controversial figure for the left. He is a real neoconservative. The neocons are the ones who got the U.S. into the quagmire of Iraq based on a pack of lies (all documented and rarely disputed anymore even by the most ardent neocons - they just seek to change the subject or completely ignore the history).
Here's a point at which I want to make the connection with the millions of war refugees of Iraq. No one knows the exact number. The official U.S. government doesn't want to know. They don't want to know for the same reasons they don't count casualties anymore. They don't want the focus there. There are millions of Iraqi refugees though. Many are in the bordering nations. Syria and Jordan have large refugee populations. It has put a great strain upon those governments to absorb so many people needing employment and infrastructure, etc. Many other Iraqis are displaced within Iraq. They are internal refugees. They've move to other areas to escape persecution and death squads (the Surge), etc. This has put a strain on internal areas for the same reasons Syria and Jordan and other nations are being strained.
The Refugees are mostly poor — made poor by the war and occupation. They've lost their homes, many of which could not be sold for lack of buyers in war-torn areas.
So, who or what is responsible? War and occupation are the obvious answers, but who caused the war and occupation? The fact of the matter is that the U.S. neocons did.
Now why would I bring this up? The point is that in order to prevent more refugees in the future and to correct the wrong now, we must repudiate neoconservatism in total and en masse.
This is urgent and relevant to the in-coming Barack Obama administration.
Others and I have pointed out that Rahm Emanuel is an ardent neocon. He is Obama's first public choice designed as such to send a strong signal to the rest of the neocons and particularly the ultra wealthy Jewish Lobby (AIPAC; American Israel Public Affairs Committee). Emanuel is anti-antiwar. He deliberately sabotaged many antiwar candidacies. Obama is familiar with the criticism. Obama and Emanuel are both from Chicago, Illinois.
His father was a member of the Irgun (a political Zionist terrorist organization). Rahm Emanuel joined the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) as a civilian volunteer. I haven't seen it written, but I suspect he holds dual citizenship. His mundane loyalties are therefore divided. Of course, he works to make Israeli and American causes one and the same. You might be interested in the following linked articles on some of this.
[Very telling article] "," by John Walsh. CounterPunch. October 24, 2006.
"Conned Again," by Paul Craig Roberts. Information Clearinghouse. November 9, 2008.
"Rahmbo vs. the Chicago Peace Movement: Chicago activists won't miss him," by Sergio Barreto. Chicago FreeSpeechZone. November 7, 2008.
You weren't born yet when Bill Clinton was coming up through the ranks. Your generation doesn't have a good feel for the difference between a George McGovern and a Barack Obama for instance.
Here's an example of how George McGovern viewed the Vietnam War for instance:
Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave. This chamber reeks of blood. Every Senator here is partly responsible for that human wreckage at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval and all across our land - young men without legs, or arms, or genitals, or faces or hopes.
There are not very many of these blasted and broken boys who think this war is a glorious adventure. Do not talk to them about bugging out, or national honor or courage. It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men and their lives and their hopes. And if we do not end this damnable war those young men will some day curse us for our pitiful willingness to let the Executive carry the burden that the Constitution places on us.
So before we vote, let us ponder the admonition of Edmund Burke, the great parliamentarian of an earlier day: "A contentious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood."
In addition to government officials being responsible along with their voters for the U.S. troops who are killed and maimed, they are also responsible for all the refugees. By the way, millions were killed by the U.S. in Vietnam and the surrounding area all based upon a lie just as with the Iraq War. Many more were crippled, and the country was poisoned with Agent Orange (for profit).
The use of hunter-killer drones now may be sparing more U.S. troops, but it isn't really sanitizing war and the refugee problem.
It takes study at your age to try to get that feel. Barack seems left only because left was moved way over to the right by the Democratic Leadership Council. Rather than fighting to educate the people as to why they shouldn't move toward laissez-faire capitalism, Clinton said to the Democrats that to win, they must move toward laissez-faire capitalism. Now we have the financial disaster of a lifetime and possibly much longer if the powers that be don't start doing the right things.
One needs to understand here that Jimmy Carter barely lost. There is also the issue of the October Surprise that ended up as the Iran-Contra Affair. Carter was cheated out of a victory. One has to wonder whether or not the military rescue attempt concerning the U.S. embassy hostages in Iran wasn't sabotaged by neocons. Dirty tricks are their specialty.
What does this have to do with the problem of war refugees and any other type of refugee and families and friends, etc., being separated?
The direction of laissez-faire capitalism has encouraged war and a general disregard for the plight of people in other lands. The laissez-faire capitalists will argue that this isn't the case. They will at the same time run down socialism and communism as being more warlike and responsible for more poverty, etc. Of course, they are selectively comparing capitalism with Stalinism and the like and not with the vision of Jesus Christ for instance. They avoid or twist Jesus if pressed to even address the vision of Jesus as an alternative political-economy, which it most certainly is.
Everywhere where the spirit of self-centeredness has increased starting again with Ronald Reagan, things have deteriorated. Here again, the laissez-faire capitalists will point to all the material possessions of Americans as proof to the contrary, but again, compared to what? Also, what is now happening to that materialism?
Steve Forbes and others are trying desperately to twist the issue. They have the ludicrous audacity to suggest that regulation caused evil, greedy people to prey upon those who were naively trusting. The predatory lending is the fault of those who would regulate. What Steve Forbes is doing is pointing solely to the Federal Reserve as the regulatory culprit while the Federal Reserve is a privatized, non-audited institution. It was used by the crony capitalists but is not and never has been representative of a socialist vision. Crony capitalism is not socialism. At most, the expression "socialism for the rich" might apply to a slight degree, but socialism isn't focused upon the rich. It's focused upon everyone.
The laissez-faire capitalists complain that socialists are coercive; however, not all are. Besides, the laissez-faire capitalists are in favor of weaponry and the Military-Industrial Complex, at least in theory. They are often antiwar, but they are not pacifists and neither are they interested in racing to the rescue of those who are dispossessed by war.
As for the argument that Stalinism is worse than capitalism, well would Stalin have ever arisen had hugely selfish forces not been there for Stalin's kind to gain power by fighting against? The answer to that is no.
This fight is what is causing the wars and refugees. It needs to end. Definitions need to be set right. There is council communism (a tiny distance from Christianity) that is the best that the mundane world has to offer. It does not have to be coercive at all. If the council communists are at once Christian (as am I), they will leave off coercion and consequently Marxism.
Would that system (Christianity that is Christian communism) be better than capitalism? Of course it would be better. It would not cause any refugees and would work to reunite them.
The argument that is cutting-edge now is whether or not laissez-faire capitalism was responsible for the current crisis. I written about it (STEVE FORBES, FORBES MAGAZINE, ARGUING SELECTIVELY FOR MORE DEREGULATION), but the battle is being waged in the ivory towers so far. My point is that the direction showed itself to be wrong. We don't need to go to Hell to know we don't want to go in that direction in our hearts. The other huge argument is over whether or not socialism or communism necessarily means Stalinism, as the laissez-faire capitalists would like people to believe, or even coercive on any level.
Anyway, I hope this all set you to thinking to expand your horizons. I count you as very bright and a future leader (influential).
It is a great thing that the majority of American voters did show that the color of one's skin is irrelevant. So is being female versus male [irrelevant]. Heart is what matters. Love is the solution. The real issue is how to define real love.
Today is "Bloggers Unite for Refugees" day (), so I need to get cracking to get a post up on the subject. I'll try to cite my sources too. I do try to do that, but it's so time-consuming to keep everyone in mind who might not be aware of something I just take for granted. It's the old "preaching to the choir" problem.
P.S. I'm going to use this as the basis for a blog post but without naming you. I'll probably tie the refugee issue right into it too.
So I did.