Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Haven't They Suffered Enough?

An opinion piece in the New York Times calls for mass settlement of Syrian refugees in Detroit. Yeah, that's not going to work.

I know Detroit has massively depopulated--I'm one of the people born and raised there but no longer a resident, after all--but the idea of mass settlement of Syrian refugees seems ... downright cruel.

Haven't those Syrians suffered enough from civil war without putting them into a zombie Apocalypse setting?

And won't we provide real reasons for the international community to accuse us of human rights violations?

Also, you have to love the breezy setting aside of security issues in that opinion piece:

Homeland Security, which controls the borders, would have to carry out accelerated security checks, as has been done in the past for Vietnamese and for Iranian religious minorities.

"Accelerated" means superficial and fast, of course.

Our past experience of mass refugee settlement cited consisted of South Vietnamese allies fleeing conquest by North Vietnam and Iranian minorities by definition not likely to feel the tug of radical Shia Islamist mullah-run Iran.

Just what might mostly Sunni Arab refugees from a country not known as an ally of ours with plenty of jihadis from their ranks running loose in the Middle East do once here?

Certainly, the mostly Christian Arab community in the Detroit region has done well and is an asset. I'm one of the last people in this area to have anything against Arabs generally or Syrians in particular. That's not the issue.

But the mass dumping of war-scarred refugees from a country that has been our enemy and which generates jihadis into policy- and crime-scarred Detroit seems more than just cruel to those refugees.

Dumping them into our own war zone is perhaps likely to cause a significant number to feel doubly betrayed by America which would not act against Assad three years ago and which dumped them into an alien city that looks painfully like Sarajevo Aleppo already.

I wouldn't be shocked if young men who pass that "accelerated" security check become radicalized just from being put in Detroit.

And here's a big question. Why would the refugees stay in Detroit? The idea  of these authors is that they would benefit the city. Are the refugees to be serfs tied to the land and held in place by force?

I don't care what level of coordination is done by various levels of government to welcome these refugees. True compassion will result in the established Arab community helping those refugees move out of Detroit just as fast as they can, just as Detroiters have done for the last fifty years.

Perhaps the next opinion piece will be to force all those who moved out of Detroit to move back in--for the good of the city of course. Why not? If refugees have to stay, why should Detroiters be exempt from the same logic regardless of how long ago we fled?

Obviously, I jest on the last point. But I do find the assumption that the refugees will--and perhaps must--stay in Detroit once they arrive is typical of such social planners whose analysis ignores the real world realities that their theories ignore.

I suggest San Fransisco as an alternate destination for mass settlement of Syrian refugees. Or perhaps whatever city the two authors live in.