This Is Crazy

Refugee

See the following article, which says the U.S. is going to take 70 Iraqi refugees into the country in the next month. The article says the to maximum number that will be accepted to the USA is 7,000. That is out of 4.2 million Iraqis displaced by Bush’s war. That’s insane. So Bush starts an illegal war, his buddies profit from it, Bush displaces millions of innocent people, accepts a few as refugees, then sends CNN out to do a self-congratulatory piece of propaganda on it. I mean the tiny country of Sweden takes in more Iraqi refugees than a “super power”? Only in Bush’s Amerika does that make sense. Click through to read the articles these facts came from.


Iraqi refugees to resettle amid fresh trauma of violent past [NICE PROPAGANDA HEADLINE]

Story Highlights• Iraqi refugees to begin arriving in U.S. in next few weeks

• Refugees get apartments, counseling, traditional ethnic meal
• Agency says up to 95 percent of refugees self-sufficient in six months
By Debra Alban, CNN

Take action! Go to Impact Your World to explore ways you can help.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — A white board at the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta shows the origins of the hundreds of refugees the agency has placed in Georgia — Vietnam, Burma, Iran. Soon, it will add another country, Iraq.

While their circumstances may differ, the refugees can expect a taste of home when they arrive. The agency will provide a traditional Middle Eastern meal of halal beef, rice, flatbread and tea.

The U.S. State Department says it expects at least 70 Iraqi refugees to come to the United States in the next 10 days, part of the 7,000 who will be allowed to resettle in America under an emergency measure approved in February.

The refugees, who settle in Atlanta and elsewhere, will be sponsored by the IRC, a nonprofit agency established in 1933 to help refugees and victims of war or oppression. San Diego, California; Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Detroit, Michigan, are other possible destinations, according to IRC spokesman Ed Bligh. ( Read more about an Iraqi refugee family’s struggles in Turkey )

Burundian refugee Bonifasi Nahimana, who arrived in Atlanta on June 4, can attest to the difference the familiar food makes in an unfamiliar situation.

“We [found] in the house the food ready to eat and … Fanta to drink. … They were ready to make us forget what we went through,” Nahimana said.

Post-traumatic stress
An estimated 2 million Iraqis have fled their country since the war began in 2003. Those resettling in the U.S. are “torn between building a new life here and hoping for a brighter future there,” said Ellen Beattie, regional director for the IRC in Atlanta.

Beattie will oversee the Atlanta efforts in making the Iraqis’ transition to America as painless as possible.

“The very high level of indiscriminate violence … has left many people with post-traumatic stress,” Beattie said. “So with this group, that’s one of the recommendations: Prepare to arrange for some relatively intensive counseling.”

Fresh from the horrors of war, the Iraqis may need to establish coping mechanisms, said Dr. Kitty Kelley, program coordinator for the Center for Torture & Trauma Survivors of Georgia’s DeKalb County Board of Health. The IRC with work with the organization to counsel refugees.

“There might still be a level of shock,” Kelley said, even though the Atlanta-bound refugees have been in camps in Turkey. The mental health professionals will base counseling on the level of exposure to violence.

In addition, “it should be kept in mind that the recent trauma may be superimposed from the trauma of the past of the Saddam Hussein regime,” said Dr. Lin Piwowarczyk, co-director of the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights.

No matter their emotional state, refugees can count on several constants as they resettle in the U.S.

The IRC situates the refugees in housing it deems safe, decent and affordable, equipped with essential items, such as a couch, a kitchen table and beds.

“Very few bring much more than a small amount of clothing with them. When you’re forcibly displaced, you usually pretty much lost everything you that you had,” Beattie said.

In Atlanta, the refugees can stock up using hundreds of dollars in vouchers accepted at the IRC’s supply shop, where they can “buy” donated clothing and home goods.

Learning a new life
With help from the agency, the refugees will begin the path to self-sufficiency in their new home and new life in the United States.

The learning curve can vary.

Nahimana, 67, and his family are learning about the difference between a freezer and a refrigerator and the purpose of kitchen cabinetry. He and his family must also learn English.

Those coming from Iraqi cities, on the other hand, might be accustomed to the technology available as well as conventions such as paying bills, so they will begin their learning process by absorbing other types of American standards, such as how the medical system works, what the expectations are of parents with children in school and how to conquer the public transportation system, Beattie said.

When it comes to finding a job, they will often start at entry-level positions, no matter what they might have done before, Beattie said.

“We have people that have college degrees and they have medical degrees, but all of the that doesn’t transfer immediately and much less if you have limited English.”

Ninety-two percent to 95 percent of the families the IRC resettles are “completely self-sufficient” within six months of arrival, “an enormous accomplishment,” Beattie said.

Those six months may be a difficult time for the Iraqis.

“The violence that they are in, the turmoil in that country will be very alive and fresh to them. And those wounds are wide open,” Beattie said. But, she notes, this is a tough group of people.

“I see refugees as being survivors,” she said. “[Their] resilience is incredible.”

Find this article at:
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/06/19/refugees.resettle/index.html

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From scotsman.com
Sun 10 Jun 2007

Mass exodus: democratic Iraqis vote with their feet to escape daily terror
By IAN MATHER DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT

THE flow of Iraqis fleeing sectarian violence in their homeland has risen to more than four million – the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since the creation of Israel in 1948.

Latest figures from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees show that 4.2 million Iraqis – 13% of the population – have been displaced since the US-led invasion of 2003, and that number is still rising rapidly as the sectarian strife intensifies.

The flood of refugees dwarfs the million Iraqis displaced in the 1990s as a result of the first Gulf War and the severe sanctions that the US and others imposed on the country for more than a decade after that.

“It’s going on unabated. The magnitude of the crisis is staggering,” UNHCR spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis warned.

In addition to the 2.2 million who have fled across Iraq’s borders, a further two million have been driven from their homes but remain within the country, increasingly living in “impoverished shanty towns”, Pagonis said.

The burden of those who have left their homeland has fallen most heavily on neighbouring Syria, which for once is becoming the object of worldwide sympathy. A total of 1.4 million Iraqis have now sought refuge in the country, and UNHCR spokeswoman Astrid Van Genderen said: “We have conservative figures that go from 30,000 to 50,000 going into Syria every month.” Just over half of the 88,447 Iraqis who registered as refugees in Syria since the beginning of this year were in need of special assistance, including “many” torture victims.

While some Syrian politicians welcome the Iraqi refugees as brothers and sisters, others argue that the new arrivals, who have already increased the country’s population by 7%, are becoming an intolerable economic and social burden.

The Syrian deputy prime minister, Abdullah al-Dardari, who has responsibility for economic affairs, claims that power consumption is increasing at such a rate that a new power station costing $1bn (£500m) needs to be built every year.

Emad Shoaibi, head of the Data and Strategic Studies Centre in Syria, said: “Iraqis have brought with them crimes that Syria has never encountered before, like kidnapping and blackmail, rape and prostitution.”

He believes that the refugees have created a gap between supply and demand in basic needs, leading to a threefold increase in rents. “A poor Iraqi is richer than an average Syrian,” he said. “Iraqis can pay more for basic needs, which leads to increased prices for the Syrians.”

Syria also fears that al-Qaeda terrorists are hiding among the waves of Iraqi refugees in order to use Syria as a base.

Meanwhile, in Jordan, sheltering some 750,000 Iraqis who have fled there is costing the government $1bn a year, according to the head of the country’s information centre, Bishr Khassawneh. As a result, Jordan has adopted a hardline stance.

Bill Frelick, refugee policy director at Human Rights Watch, said: “Jordan has all but stopped the entry of Iraqi nationals at its land border and is turning away many, if not most, of the Iraqis attempting to arrive by plane.

“Since November 2006, refugees and other travellers have reported that Jordan was turning away at the border single Iraqi men and boys between the ages of 17 and 35. Most disturbingly, border guards are asking Iraqis about their religious identity and rejecting those who are or appear to be Shia.”

Egypt, host to as many as 150,000 Iraqis, has also closed its doors to Iraqi refugees, while Saudi Arabia is building a $7bn hi-tech barrier on its border with Iraq to keep Iraqis out, and Kuwait is categorically rejecting Iraqi asylum-seekers.

“It’s scandalous that countries are refusing entry to people who are desperately trying to escape from violence and persecution,” Frelick said.

Yet EU governments have reacted coolly to proposals for them to take Iraqi refugees from Jordan under a UN resettlement plan. At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU ministers argued that it was cheaper to keep the refugees in the region. “With the money it takes to resettle one person in Europe, we could help at least 10 people in the region,” said German interior minister Wolfgang Schauble, who chaired the meeting.

Sweden takes in more than half of all Iraqi asylum-seekers to Europe. In 2006 it approved 80% of asylum applications from 9,065 Iraqis. Greece and Denmark have the toughest policies, while Cyprus and Slovakia are almost as welcoming as Sweden.

The most recent Home Office figures show Britain rejected 1,675 out of 1,835 asylum requests from Iraq in 2005. But sources say the UK is talking to the UNHCR about how it might accept “a certain number”.

The US accepted only 206 Iraqi refugees in 2006. But the administration has promised to take between 7,000 and 20,000 depending on funding from Congress.

In addition to Iraqis who have fled abroad, a further two million have been driven out of their homes into internal exile, many into impoverished shanty towns.

But Pagonis said the UN is receiving “disturbing reports” that more than half of Iraq’s 18 governorates are preventing displaced people from entering their territories, either by stopping them at checkpoints or by refusing to register them for food aid and other basic services.

According to an American Congressional Research Services Report the biggest wave of refugees occurred after the American-led invasion of Iraq. The numbers dipped between 2003 and 2005, although there was a “secondary displacement” of Arabs by Kurds returning to the north. The refugee flow increased substantially again after the terrorist bombing of the Shia al-Askari mosque in Samarra last year.

More recently, escalating sectarian clashes have driven the numbers up once more. Seventy per cent of those fleeing are from Baghdad, the report says.

Nevertheless, the West is still hoping that, unlike Vietnam, when hundreds of thousands fled from communism after the American retreat, Iraq will stabilise sufficiently for most Iraqis to go back.

This article: http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=906892007

Last updated: 09-Jun-07 00:12 BST

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