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Byron Shire
April 16, 2021

Where is the US on the refugee crisis?

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At last the Abbott government has shown it does not have two ‘tin ears’ when it comes to the huge mood swing in Australia since the recent publication of the heart-rending photos of the drowned Turkish toddler.

Australia’s pledged increased intake of refugees is to be commended, provided the selection process is not tampered with to pander to the anti-Muslim, pro-Christian elements in the Coalition, and provided the 12,000 person intake is truly additional and happens within the proposed time frame.

What surprises me though is the absence of the United States in this whole issue of the rest of the world stepping up to solve the “worst refugee crisis since the end of WWII”.

After all, it was the USA, in concert with Blair, Howard and other warmongers in the Coalition of the Willing that laid the groundwork for the incredible instability now swirling through the Middle East.

Their illegal and duplicitous Shock and Awe attack on Iraq in 2003, and their failure to win the war or the subsequent ‘peace’ is a shocking indictment of George W Bush and his neocon advisers. Where are they now to mop up some of the mess they created?

The USA is the world’s largest economy, one of the only economies that is doing relatively well at the moment, and the moral responsibility for this crisis belongs well and truly to them. If Germany can take 800,000 refugees, the USA intake should be in the millions. I have read that they’ve only taken 1,500 Syrian refugees in the last four years. Shame, America, Shame.

The only person to my knowledge who has publicly spoken about the American invisibility in this matter is Geoffrey Robertson on this week’s Q&A. Where is the rest of the commentariat in naming the elephant in the room?

George Lewin, Montecollum


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  1. The intake by the USA in the last six hours is 10,000 from Syria this year and including an additional 5,000 next year.
    The US is one of the largest asylum seeker acceptance countries in the world with approx. 70,000 accepted in 2014 from all parts of the world.
    “Almost half of all refugee arrivals (46.4 percent, or 32,450) in FY 2014 came from the Near East/South Asia—a region that includes Iraq, Iran, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.”
    See: http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/refugees-fact-sheet to view the statistics online.
    Australia on the other hand, vilify ourselves with choosing the gender/religion of the Syrian refugee intake and will not allow for those that arrived by boat to be part of the refugee status, although freedom of persecution is what everyone wishes to run away from by any means possible.
    Where truly is our heart? Why the specifics of choice of refugee to assimilate into this country?
    Simple… were racists’! Or more to the point, our government is.


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