Re: The Title Of This Post Is Orange

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Spackerman will volunteer, and that's his next book right there. Meanwhile in other news, the Brit government is still moving heaven and earth to kill all these people keep them out of the country (old link, but there's no improvement.)


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 7:52 AM
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Witt makes me feel ashamed with all of her do-goody stuff.

She makes me feel like all of my hard work breaking up marriages is tiny compared to her contributions to society.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 7:58 AM
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2. You're not framing it right, will. Your efforts to increase the number of single person households is a sterling contribution to the recovery of the property market.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:00 AM
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Perspective is a funny thing. Certainly the American government is indebted to these people, but typically we call people who cooperate with an invading army "traitors" and "collaborators."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:01 AM
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4: yes, well, typically we're Saddam Hussein (I guess?).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:04 AM
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Yes, Ogged, and that's why they need to flee the damn place.


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:05 AM
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Certainly the American government is indebted to these people, but typically we call people who cooperate with an invading army "traitors" and "collaborators."

That's awfully rich coming from someone who believed, as many of these folks probably did, in the original promise of the liberation of Iraq by American firepower.

Just like nations, people of good will can sometimes choose unsavory alliances in the service of good causes.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:08 AM
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This is a good thing, but this

. Without any real support, these Iraqi professionals are unemployed and desperate. In the Land of Opportunity, the only opportunities they have found are as janitors, cashiers, and dishwashers.

Is typical of pretty much any new immigrant who doesn't speak the language without an accent and who comes here without a job lined up. Employers don't understand their work history, university credentials, and it's hard to get a driver's license. It's much worse for Muslims. So the end result might not be all that different.

(Legal or not; shivbunny's company contracts to another company, who pissed off their client, who called the ATF on them because of all the Canadians working with explosives without the proper paperwork.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:09 AM
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So the UK will not admit 700 of these guys? 700?

I assumed we'd be talking about some obscenely large number...


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:09 AM
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(Legal or not; shivbunny's company contracts to another company, who pissed off their client, who called the ATF on them because of all the Canadians working with explosives without the proper paperwork.)

Canadian's just another kind of Muslim, Cala.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:11 AM
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8: Surely they got the job in the first place because of a reputation going back to SCTV's "blowed up real good" routine.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:12 AM
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We host a lot of seminars for Iraqis at my institute here, and often end up out to dinner afterward (or, memorably, salsa dancing). Hanging out with Iraqis is a really great way to feel like you never want to say anything snarky and negative about your own life again. I'd totally volunteer if I was DC'd...


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:12 AM
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Is this related to the List Project for Iraqis, as profiled by George packer in the New Yorker last year? They're doing similar stuff and should know about this...

Let me know if you want to contact them.


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:13 AM
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Ogged, I think there are two things in play here which lead people not to regard these people as bog standard quislings. One is incandescent rage at the open cynicism of the American and British governments. The other is the strong suspicion that these people are precisely the suckers who fell for the "freedom and democracy" bullshit, and that they are thus, however culpable in some ways, at least partly forgivable in the same way as people in the west who boosted the idea of the war in March 2003, but had realised their mistake by about August. And we all know people in that category.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:14 AM
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Not that I didn't like being a smartass to ogged above, but I do think the enduring disconnect behind the kind of righteous-struggle narratives we've embedded in our culture (plucky rebels defeat an onerous regime imposed by outsiders) have failed to change over the past, oh, century, even though our military adventures have pretty much always cast us in the role of the putative bad guy, is interesting.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:15 AM
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"So the UK will not admit 700 of these guys? 700?"

Sweden accepted more Iraqi asylum-seekers last year than the U.S. It's amazing how this issue has no traction whatsoever in the U.S., especially now that we all pretty much agree that the war is an ongoing mistake.


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:16 AM
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Immigrant Iraqis could live up to their original promise by becoming florists and candy sellers.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:16 AM
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16: like the GI bill, any suggestion that everybody currently in Iraq might not want to stay there indefinitely is seen as anathema by the powers-that-be. Of course everybody wants to stay in Iraq. It's so awesome! No need to come back and be telling ridiculous stories about how you "might" have been killed. Almost only counts in death and taxes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:19 AM
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My intentional malapropism in 18 was unintentionally stupid. Oh well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:19 AM
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3: So what you're saying is that will is responsible for urban sprawl?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:20 AM
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20: au contraire! As new singles are likely to downsize, he's responsible for gentrification in denser urban areas.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:22 AM
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18: Apparently the (right-wing) Dutch government is in a quandary where the 'politics' side of the government says Iraq is a success story, while the asylum-granting side is letting in the flood of Iraqis fearing for their lives. Eventually the press got wind of this, and now asylum is only granted to people from Baghdad. Because Falluja is so safe, doent youe knoew.


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:24 AM
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It's amazing how this issue has no traction whatsoever in the U.S., especially now that we all pretty much agree that the war is an ongoing mistake.

All of us except for the folks with the power to do the right thing for these Iraqis.

It is politically untenable for the Bush Administration to make any reasonable accommodations for our Iraqi helpers, because to do so would be a tacit admission that all is not hunky-dory in Mesopotamia. The State Department bureaucracy (excepting the individuals in Iraq who have personal relationships with these folks) is unlikely to apply any pressure, because they have an institutional interest in avoiding anything that sets a precedent for a more expansive interpretation of asylum rules.



Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:25 AM
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As part of my general amnesty to traitors and collaborators in their homeland who have decided to move to my country after my country destroyed theirs, sure, I can volunteer a couple hours of my time tweaking a resume.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:26 AM
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Can't we just let them in and tell them to write 'Lesbanon' or something on the forms? I miss the days of non-computerized records.


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:27 AM
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'Lesbanon'

The sexiest country on earth.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:28 AM
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I will send this to my sister. I'm not sure when she's moving to DC, but she might be interested in doing this.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:28 AM
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"Malk? Your name is Malk?" "Well, it's really Malik, but the customs guy told me not to advertise that."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:29 AM
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Wingnut sister? Will her worldview be crushed if they don't bring hearts and flowers to the session?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:31 AM
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a more expansive interpretation of asylum rules

President Gerald Ford and other officials strongly supported Vietnamese immigration to the U.S. and passed the Indochina Migration and Refugee Act in 1975, which allowed Vietnamese refugees to enter the United States under a special status.

Verbatim from Wikipedia. But of course that happened after the war was lost.


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:32 AM
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Dammit, we're winning!


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:35 AM
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Geez. I tried to put the point as mildly as possible, and meant what I wrote: it's interesting that from one perspective, these people are brave and deserving of help and respect, while from another perspective (that's not typically alien to us), they're turncoats who should be shunned, if not much worse.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:35 AM
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9. disaggregated, if you really want your opinion of the human species to disappear down the nearest stormdrain to know about the cynicism of the British government on this issue, read the latest entries . The blogger is an honourable right winger (ie. not a Bushie or Blairite), who has been doing what he can, for all the good it's done.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:36 AM
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But of course that happened after the war was lost.

I was going to point that out if you didn't. Part of the difference was that the massive exodus of refugees (which became even more massive after the Ford Administration made Leave to Remain pretty much automatic for any Vietnamese who could make it to the U.S.) was perceived as a testament to the correctness of America's cause in the war. If all those people want to leave, communist rule must be pretty awful. When Iraqis vote with their feet, the effect is the opposite.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:37 AM
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That didn't come out right, but the link works.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:38 AM
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As was pointed out on Yes, Prime Minister many years ago, when it comes to foreign policy issues, most people only want to know two things: who are the goodies, and who are the baddies.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:39 AM
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Ogged, there will be noone to translate Farsi for you guys when you invade Iran...


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:40 AM
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29: Wingnut sister is a good person, just horribly misguided.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:42 AM
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33: I already hate everyone, thanks.


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:42 AM
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36: indeed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:42 AM
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while from another perspective (that's not typically alien to us)

And one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter. So what?

You wrote "typically we call people who cooperate with an invading army 'traitors' and 'collaborators'," which is simply not true. We call them that when they're on the other side, and when they're on our side, they're patriots. "Typical" is neither one.

When you make the obvious point that the two "collaborator" and "patriot" are two sides of the same coin, you at least give rise to the suspicion that you believe there is merit to the collaborator perspective, which, even if true, is awfully rich coming from someone who bought the same bill of goods.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:44 AM
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Part of the difference was that the massive exodus of refugees ... was perceived as a testament to the correctness of America's cause in the war.

A poll taken in 1975 showed only 36 percent of Americans were in favor of Vietnamese immigration.

But we all know that Wikipedia is written by lying liers that lie.


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:45 AM
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We're getting that "noone" quite a bit; sounds like made-up Scots. Wasn't that the name of the lead singer of Herman's Hermits?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:46 AM
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Noöne being the perfect opportunity to deploy a well-turned dieresis.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:48 AM
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umlaut!


Posted by: Rottin' in Denmark | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:50 AM
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It's a diaeresis when it doesn't change the sound. It's an umlaut when you have to make an vowel sound that doesn't exist in English.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:51 AM
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I don't see where 42 contradicts what I wrote. The point is not that a majority of Americans favored Vietnamese immigration, but that it could be presented politically by the Administration as evidence of the essential justness of America's cause. Pick up a Readers Digest from any time between 1975 and 1985 and you'll see that the "Boat People" issue was an ideological talisman for apologists for the war (very much like the bogus "Yellow Rain" genocide charge that resulted in Hmong tribesmen of Cambodia ending up in Lake Wobegon).


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:52 AM
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It's a diacritical, whatever, and it doesn't belong there.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:52 AM
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Because of all the Canadians working with explosives without the proper paperwork.)

Oh, sure, it's OK if Canadians go around blowing things up. That's just multiculturalism gone wild. "It's their culture". "Canadians just like to blow things up". It's not our country any more. Just give the keys to the foreigners, because they own the place.

And as we know, the Calasisters are adorable and glamorous, albeit partly wingnut.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:52 AM
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Ruprecht's Corollary to Murphy's Law: If you do not click "preview" before posting, there will be an HTML syntax error in your comment.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:53 AM
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48: yuh huh!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:54 AM
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47: Touché


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:56 AM
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When you make the obvious point that the two "collaborator" and "patriot" are two sides of the same coin, you at least give rise to the suspicion that you believe there is merit to the collaborator perspective, which, even if true, is awfully rich coming from someone who bought the same bill of goods.

Of course there's merit to it, following on the distinctions between working toward the same ends and working together and cooperating with a liberating force and cooperating with an occupying army. And the ad hominems here, satisfying as they may be, just don't work, because I never argued that we would bring democracy to Iraq, nor that we would even try. Anyway, I don't really want to hash this out; just wanted to note the point and a slight personal reservations.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:58 AM
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That's just multiculturalism gone wild. "It's their culture". "Canadians just like to blow things up".

This is blatant and inexcusable prejudice. I'm friends with a Canadian couple (some of my best friends are Canadian), and when they were struggling with how to deal with the beaver dams that kept springing up on their summer property and threatening their cottage, they curtly rejected my suggestion to employ a coffee can full of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, some diesel fuel, and a blasting cap. Even the prospect of turning a profit off of the residual beaver pelts (that is, from the beavers killed by the shock waves in the water; presumably any beavers in proximity to the dam would not yield usable pelts) could not convince them.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 8:59 AM
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Iraqis could get jobs playing all the Arab baddies that Hollywood is so fond of, but that would put other swarthy types out of work.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:01 AM
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49: The funny thing is how the whole incident shows what a paper fence security is. Everyone who has to handle dynamite has filled out the proper paperwork. All of the proper paperwork has said 'must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident.' There's so many loopholes around this, but all of them had been approved just by checking the permanent resident box and writing 'L-1 visa') in the margin until the client got pissed off and made ATF take a second look.

The end result is that his company (which is Canadian-based) has twelve drillers in the field in Wyoming, and only one of them is a permanent resident and permitted to drill. "What's going to happen?" I say. "Either the contractor will slip the ATF guy a lot of money, or we'll make the American helpers (the assistants on the rig) the primary guys on the permit and say that the drillers won't handle dynamite (which is true.)"


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:03 AM
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What were they, Mennonites or Baha'is or something? Those weren't real Canadians.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:04 AM
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I'm friends with a Canadian couple (some of my best friends are Canadian), and when they were struggling with how to deal with the beaver dams that kept springing up on their summer property and threatening their cottage, they curtly rejected my suggestion to employ a coffee can full of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, some diesel fuel, and a blasting cap.

Dropped from a low-flying Lancaster bomber? (hums tune)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:05 AM
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Ogged, I would be sincerely interested in your perspective on a related question.

One could argue (and I would find persuasive) that the wave of Vietnamese immigration to the US after 1975 was an essential ingredient in the rapprochement between the two countries several decades later. The success of Vietnamese-Americans in climbing the economic ladder served to normalize them in the eyes of America, and their pioneering commercial ties with the home country helped integrate Vietnam into trading relations with the U.S.

So one could argue that allowing in large numbers of Iraqis today could help set the stage for a normalization of relations between the countries in a generation or so.

But then you have cases like Iran and Cuba, where the emigre community is at best an ambiguous aid in moving toward peace and friendship.

How do you think Iraqi immigration to the US will play out in that regard?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:08 AM
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Dropped from a low-flying Lancaster bomber? (hums tune)

The beavers are not sophisticated enough to protect their dams with torpedo nets. So there is no need to resort to "skip bombing". Yet.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:10 AM
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Thing is, we already have that word: it's "none." But it sounds a bit stilted to use it where we want to use "no one." Unless we're The Black Knight.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:11 AM
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What with the Iraqis who would come here not being acolytes of a deposed, US friendly despot, it seems like maybe it would be rather more like the Vietnam scenario, no?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:11 AM
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61: but "none" doesn't specifically refer to individuals. You could just as well be saying none of that ice cream is there to translate Farsi.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:13 AM
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59: Many nations keep close tabs on their nationals in the US, even the ones who've gained US citizenship. I've heard about this from Vietnamese, Koreans, Iranians, and Chinese; Cubans are a rather special case. There are also local immigrant groups which enforce or try to enforce a degree of conformity on the new Americans.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:13 AM
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We'd need more Iraqi immigrants, wouldn't we, KR?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:14 AM
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"Nobody", on the other hand, is a perfectly acceptable alternative that doesn't call for diæresis. But what's wrong with diæresis?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:14 AM
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How do you think Iraqi immigration to the US will play out in that regard?

There doesn't seem to be much of an analogy with Vietnam, because in the narrative of threat and war, individual Iraqis have always been cast as victims, not threatening foreigners who now need to be rehabilitated in American eyes. And even now, the "insurgent"/"al qaeda" language is meant to hide the fact that the people fighting us are regular Iraqis, trying to repel a foreign force, just like any American would, and I think that that hiding has been mostly successful, so I don't see that Iraqi immigration makes much difference, because Americans are favorably disposed to them anyway.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:18 AM
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We'd need more Iraqi immigrants, wouldn't we, KR?

Well, yeah. And I favor that for a whole host of reasons.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:19 AM
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67: It might still work the other direction; Iraqis here rehabilitating our image there.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:25 AM
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because Americans are favorably disposed to them anyway

Only barely, and that's because our government maintains the fiction that the Real True Iraqis love us. Once we're gone, the regime that rules Iraq is going to be suspicious of the US at best, and more than likely the majority of the population will be actively hostile. If a post-occupation Iraqi government takes power that is openly aligned with Iran (not totally improbable), there could be a serious chill between the countries for a generation or two. Even short of that scenario, the inevitable withdrawal from Iraq is going to be accompanied by a lot of rationalizations about the ungrateful, incompetent Iraqis who couldn't get their act together, so fuck 'em. And the Dems will be guilty of this as well.

So I frankly foresee the need to lay the groundwork for rapprochement, especially at the human-to-human level.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:25 AM
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There doesn't seem to be much of an analogy with Vietnam, because in the narrative of threat and war, individual Iraqis have always been cast as victims, not threatening foreigners

This was also true of Vietnam, BTW. Right up to the end, when it was an obviously false interpretation.

The US denied that the Viet Cong was a nationalist movement with popular support, but painted it as a foreign-controlled, bolshevik organization that preyed on the republican majority by means of violence and terror (which was not entirely false, either, but still). The Vietnamese went from being our noble, endangered allies against a common enemy to being unreliable, cowardly ingrates, unwilling to shoulder the burden of their own defense. Sound familiar?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:32 AM
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Probably it's the beavers that are the problem -- Canadians yearn for the time when their large beaver population and the fur trade made them a power to be reckoned with. Like cargo cultists, they think that if the beavers were restored, Canada would become an independent nation again.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:38 AM
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No wonder there's so many Canadians in Hollywood. They're trying to spread their crazed beaver cult to the San Fernando Valley.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:45 AM
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54: What did they do about the beavers? Did they build beaver deceivers for them?


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 9:52 AM
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59: are you sure about this? I once worked for a nonprofit that did a lot of work with the Vietnamese community in Mass.--I was surprised by how pro-Vietnam War they were. Had the South Vietnamese flag in the community center, celebrated the appropriate national holidays, etc. I'd be pretty surprised if they supported normalization of relations. I don't know if this is typical of the Vietnamese community as a whole, though.

As for this:
"And the ad hominems here, satisfying as they may be, just don't work, because I never argued that we would bring democracy to Iraq, nor that we would even try"

You asshole. You supported the invasion; you have less than no business calling people seeking asylum as a result of it traitors & collaborators (or saying that you have ambiguous feelings about helping them because from some perspectives they're traitors and collaborators, blah blah blah). Maybe you didn't have any illusions about democracy blossoming in the desert but I presume it had something to do with the shittiness of Saddam Hussein's government--I think people who worked as translators just *might* have had a similar motivation, and it's far more understandable that someone who actually had to live under that gov't (and didn't know what a bunch of immoral incompetents our was) would not sufficiently anticipate the aftermath. Not that every translator who's had to flee even supported the invasion, of course; there's also the possibility of pragmatic recognition that the U.S. was there & the forces violently opposing the U.S. presence weren't necessarily preferable, to say nothing of the need to make enough of a salary to survive. And God knows, I don't think Iraq would have been any better off if the U.S. army had access to even LESS language capacity & cultural knowledge. Why don't you just try shutting up about Iraqi civilians?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 10:15 AM
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Because I think I'm making a fair point, duh.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 10:20 AM
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The missing link here, Katherine, is that ogged considers himself a traitor and collaborator.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 10:21 AM
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I wish 75 was entirely in caps


Posted by: disaggregated | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 10:47 AM
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Americans are favorably disposed to them anyway

Errr...kind of. Of the trickle of Iraqi interpreters that have come through my neck of the woods, there are certainly a subset of Americans who are willing to gush over them and express appreciation.

But jobs and housing, not so much. At that point, they revert back to being single young men with suspicious characteristics and all-too-few pieces of paper.

(And thanks, LB! I'm glad to give the Upwardly Global folks a little p.r. for such a an easy-to-help good cause.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 11:10 AM
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In addition to Vietnamese refugees being post-1975, it's also important to note that:

a) Many spent years in refugee camps before coming to the US (in contrast to Iraqis who are living as refugees but by and large NOT in camps), and

b) They were more often being resettled in groups, as families, rather than as single adult males.

Both of these factors are significant because of how they buffered the transition for both the refugees themselves and for the American public.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 11:12 AM
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But jobs and housing, not so much. At that point, they revert back to being single young men with suspicious characteristics and all-too-few pieces of paper.

Sure, yeah, I wasn't addressing their prospects as immigrants, but whether they're necessary as ambassadors for some kind of rapprochement between the US and Iraq. But I was just speculating in response to Knecht's question; I could be entirely wrong about what Americans think of Iraqis.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 11:13 AM
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I could be entirely wrong about what Americans think of Iraqis

I suspect that Darryl Worley (he of "Have You Forgotten"* fame) has a better finger on the pulse of American public opinion than ogged does.

*The Wikipedia entry whitewashes the background of the song, claiming that it was written about troops in Afghanistan. The fact that it was released the same month as the invasion of Iraq and went straight to number one on the country charts is not mentioned.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 11:19 AM
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in response to Knecht's question

Oh. Well, back to that, I think I'd tentatively say we're headed for the Iran/Cuba model. My reasoning is almost entirely based on the demographics of refugees likely to be selected for resettlement given current US policy.

On my more hopeful days, I would probably say that it will be more like the Liberian model.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 11:21 AM
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We're in an environment in which innocent brown people get confined and tortured, and it's all good because it putatively protects the exceptional. I suspect American attitudes towards these Iraqis will be primarily that they ought be thankful that America saved them.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 11:44 AM
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"Sweden accepted more Iraqi asylum-seekers last year than the U.S. It's amazing how this issue has no traction whatsoever in the U.S., especially now that we all pretty much agree that the war is an ongoing mistake."

One reason the war was a big mistake was it was likely to result in the admission of a large number of undesirable immigrants. Personally I would rather see the war drag on if leaving means allowing the terrorists to follow us home.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 1:13 PM
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"... because Americans are favorably disposed to them anyway."

I have my doubts about this.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 1:15 PM
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Fuck you, Shearer.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 1:15 PM
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Come on, Shearer. That's not even an attempt at a high-quality troll, because even you can't believe the average Iraqi helping the Americans is a terrorist.

(Besides, if the terrorists wanted to get here, there's plenty of easier ways than cozying up to Americans, becoming a translator in fear of one's life from other groups, applying for asylum (unlikely to be granted), then two or three years later enacting a secret plot.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 1:19 PM
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I call lazy trolling.

You know the rules, Shearer. Bring us cake. I'd even settle for ice cream instead. It's sunny outside.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 1:21 PM
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I think one other difference between refugees from Iraq and Vietnam is that for a long time after the Vietnamese war the US had relatively little skin in any trade or short-term strategic interest with either Vietnam itself, or its immediate neighborhood (not none, but relatively little). In the fossil fuel age, Iraq stays right in the middle of the cauldron. Iran is similar, and Cuba is next door.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 1:52 PM
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I once worked for a nonprofit that did a lot of work with the Vietnamese community in Mass.--I was surprised by how pro-Vietnam War they were.

According to a Vietnamese guy I knew ca. 1980-82, this was not entirely spontaneous. The refugee community had a leadership structure which had a considerable ability to enforce conformity on people. As I understand, the same is true of the Cuban community, andh the younger generations are breaking loose.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 1:59 PM
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"Come on, Shearer. That's not even an attempt at a high-quality troll, because even you can't believe the average Iraqi helping the Americans is a terrorist."

The average Iraqi admitted doesn't have to be a terrrorist for it to be a bad idea. 10% would be far more than enough. And even if the Iraqis actually working with Americans are trustworthy, what about their family members? Are you going to keep them out?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:15 PM
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This really is the laziest troll attempt in a long time. What do you mean by "terrorist?" You think 10% of people anywhere are "terrorists?"


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:20 PM
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Oh, shut up, Shearer.

---

My work partner's son is part of the US military's "psy-ops", as is his wife. She has just been deployed to Pakistan for a year to work in the production of pamphlets and such, whatever sort are needed. For good or ill? Propaganda or positive coalition building? Impossible to know, and she will not ask, she will just do it. Collaborator?

How ridiculous these things are.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:23 PM
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"This really is the laziest troll attempt in a long time. What do you mean by "terrorist?" You think 10% of people anywhere are "terrorists?""

Terrorist or terrorist supporting sure. What fraction of the Catholics in Northern Ireland backed the IRA? Anyway the whole point of terrorism is that a few committed people can create havoc all out of proportion to their numbers particularly when they can operate out of a larger group of sympathizers.

As for what I mean by terrorist, I mean people willing to plant bombs on subways and the like.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:37 PM
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Personally I would rather see the war drag on if leaving means allowing the terrorists to follow us home.
what a strange statement, the war drag on part
i can see the fear of terrorists, if i were American i would understand the fear and suspiciousness part
but the war preferable to be continued to that?
then for what are you fighting for now, for democracy? to support the pro-democracy Iraqis as i understood
if you can't tell between who you fight and support, it's just plain occupation for the Iraqi oil
this kind of statements would create more terrorists even among the sincere supporters, igniting hatred anew


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:41 PM
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But they also have to be connected to terrorist groups in order to be effective. 10% of translators are unlikely to be secret terrorist plants. If one was a terrorist and wanted to get here, there are easier ways than hoping the government gets around to creating a visa class for translators. A fortiori for immediate relatives of translators. (In the time it takes to get the derivative immigrant petition approved, they could be in flight school, if you catch my drift.)

These people all do go through background checks, too, you know, before they can be issued a visa. There's far easier ways for terrorists to get in, easier places for them to go, such that the resettlement of 700 translators is probably not the most logical alternative.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:43 PM
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(Incidentally, the whole you're-not-authorized-for-dynamite flap has taken an interesting turn, as it was apparently motivated largely by a grudge someone else had for not being hired for the job, so he tipped off the ATF on see-if-you'd-hired-me-you-wouldn't-have-this-problem, and now the only one permitted to work is shivbunny on the assumption he doesn't smack them all for being stupid or the company doesn't lose the whole contract. Seriously, this whole security-by-grudgework thing is just one dock away from being the plot of The Wire.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:49 PM
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Not to mention that 10% is way too high a guess. One out of ten people willing to plant bombs? There are a billion muslims in the world, and there have been, tops, not counting Palestinians, a few dozen bombings over the past few decades.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:51 PM
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That too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:53 PM
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Shearer, your rationality is too erratically distributed for anyone to want to bother with you any more. The smart Shearer and the other Shearer seem inseparable.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 2:56 PM
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"then for what are you fighting for now,"

To save face.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 3:05 PM
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"But they also have to be connected to terrorist groups in order to be effective. ..."

No, small isolated cells are fine. Look at McVeigh.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 3:07 PM
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Not to mention that 10% is way too high a guess

You would say that. 100% of Iranians are terrorists.

Shearer, in a hole = stop digging.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 3:12 PM
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"Not to mention that 10% is way too high a guess. One out of ten people willing to plant bombs? There are a billion muslims in the world, and there have been, tops, not counting Palestinians, a few dozen bombings over the past few decades."

10% was not an estimate, it was a hypothetical to show average behavior didn't matter.

As for the rest of your post, there is no valid reason to not count Palestinians and even so a few dozen bombings is a ridiculous underestimate. There have been thousands of bombings in Iraq alone


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 3:15 PM
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103: But that's not an argument that would apply to anything specific about Iraqis; anyone of the 64 million visitors per year could be part of a silent one man terrorist cell.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 3:18 PM
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Think of all the terrorist attacks by the Vietnamese on our brave soldiers! It was much too dangerous to let Vietnamese refugees into the U.S.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 3:18 PM
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"But that's not an argument that would apply to anything specific about Iraqis; anyone of the 64 million visitors per year could be part of a silent one man terrorist cell."

Iraqis have more reason than most to hate the US. I wouldn't allow visitors from Iraq either. And it is easier to change policy with visitors if they start setting off bombs you stop letting them in.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 3:29 PM
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Today is one of those days where my chief motivation for favoring more immigration of brown people into this country is that it pisses people like Shearer off.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 3:39 PM
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I look forward to a time when there's a decent Iraqi restaurant in every other strip mall in America. That's how you win a lost war.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 3:44 PM
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Btw, if you google the name of the organization, you'll find out they also have events in New York and (ahem) San Francisco.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05-23-08 5:40 PM
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