Iraqi refugees from an Iraq legislator’s point of view

Here’s an article on Iraqi refugees, internal and external, that is more informative than usual. Maybe that’s because the focus is on the Iraqi government rather than on bashing the United States. It begins:

The problem of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries is likely to grow into a regional and international problem because the government appears to have no clear policy to tackle it, a member of parliament (MP) said on 12 May.

 “The government’s obvious inability to solve the problem of IDPs and refugees could lead to serious regional and international problems, as there is no clear and comprehensive policy to get them back into their homes,” MP Abdul-Khaliq Zankana, head of parliament’s Displacement and Migration Committee, said.

 “These problems will hit Iraqi security and society. The absence of support and appropriate solutions will leave them easy prey to militias and armed gangs inside Iraq and [make them into] possible recruits to intelligence services outside Iraq,” Zankana said.

The Migration and Displacement Committee wants the government to set aside three to five percent of Iraq’s oil revenues to help the internally displaced persons. The Iraqi government hasn’t taken any action and the committee threatens to resign.  Now here’s a fact I haven’t seen anywhere else:

Iraq’s displacement problem dates back nearly 25 years and is the result of some of former president Saddam Hussein’s policies, and three wars – the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, the first Gulf War of 1991 and the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

So  it’s not all due to our invasion/liberation? Saddam Hussein had something to do with it? Well, I’ll be darned.

If the Iraqi government can’t get itself together to do something about the internal refugees it’s unlikely that it will do much to bring home the external ones. Maybe they need some help from some U.S. advisors. They have the money but seem unable to figure out how to spend it.

I found this article on the Reuters Foundation AlertNet: Alerting Humanitarians to Emergencies. AlertNet’s home page says this:

AlertNet for journalists is a set of tools and services designed to make life easier for reporters, fact-checkers and editors when covering humanitarian emergencies.

The article is credited to IRIN, a “humanitarian news and analysis site” run by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 

Farooq Kathwari Watch

I used to joke that we should have a Ken Bacon Watch.    Bacon is the head of Refugees International the lobbying arm for the refugee industry.  One of the things they do is to make sure we get more refugees into the US, especially from Muslim countries.   But, a more interesting person to watch is their Chairman of the Board, Farooq Kathwari, CEO of Ethan Allen Furniture.

See my post of May 3 for more on Kathwari.

Yesterday (May 13), the Washington Times ran a photo/with caption on the bottom of page A13 of Secretary of State Rice kicking off a new Public-Private Partnership to “empower” women in Muslim countries  (if anyone finds a link for this photo and caption please send it to me).  

The caption begins:

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice addresses a State Department audience about the One Woman Initiative, a public-private sector effort to raise $100 milliion to educate and lend to women in Muslim countries.

Sitting to Rice’s left are co-chairs Carly Fiorina (former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and now a chief economic advisor in the McCain campaign) and a sour looking Farooq Kathwari. 

What a joke, “empower” women in Muslim countries.   Women have few property rights or little opportunity to be educated in Muslim countries because men control their lives and their money, so who do you think is going to get most of this Public-Private money?    Let Kathwari lend his private money and leave us taxpayers out of this project.

P.S.  Anyone still guessing about which influential Muslim Americans got the State Department to stop using the word “jihad” in connection to terrorism, I’ll bet you Mr. Kathwari is one of them.   He seems to be spending a lot of time at the State Department these days.