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Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Modest Proposal - Helping Prevent Refugees - Time for more "Humanitarian Intervention?"

So, we have this crisis on our borders in that many people seem to want to skip the formalities of legally entering the U.S. and just walk on in, because whatever hell-hole they have traveled from is too awful to bear any longer. Naturally, humanitarian impulses suggest that our sympathies ought to lie with these folks. After all some suggest that the writing on the Statue of Liberty says we simply have to take in such people, regardless of their status as "undocumented" or "trespassers" on U.S. soil. The holy writ of Emma Lazarus reading in part:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
First of all, I have not now nor have I ever been involved in tossing either "wretched refuse" or "the homeless," despite my last name. Heck, I am pretty certain all my ancestors came from foreign shores, some arriving earlier than others. Indeed, some were here and participated in severing "repressive" British rule over the U.S.

The overthrow of a repressive regime brings me to one of those once fashionable ideas, about which I have written before in The Drumbeat of "Humanitarian Intervention?" in which Susan Rice suggested that it was okay for some nations to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries who fail to take care of or actually abuse their least-favored residents. Here, discussing "doing something" in Darfur in 2009, Ms. Rice was quoted by the WaPo,
Regarding the "ongoing genocide" in Darfur, Sudan, Rice said the U.S. priority for the moment is reinforcing a U.N.-backed peacekeeping mission to protect civilians. She expressed concern that Sudan's government may retaliate against international peacekeepers and aid workers if the International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant on genocide charges for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. (emphasis mine)
So, it appears to be okay to send in troops "to protect citizens" of a foreign country.  Of course, as I noted in that earlier post, Humanitarian Intervention (HI) is not a new thing
In the last decade of the 20th Century such "invasions to save lives" include Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, and Sierra Leone. In the world of the people who support such interventions, the U.S. led invasion of Iraq was not a humanitarian intervention because. . . well, because. In fact, Human Rights Watch asserted that the saving of thousands of Iraqis from Saddam's terror "gives humanitarian intervention a bad name."
So, if it was good enough for Darfur, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc, why are we not setting up to do some HI in those third-world places the refugees lining up to violate our borders come from to get away from the terror of their native lands? Surely such an HI would solve our border issues. It would keep families together in their own homes and, I am sure, win us near universal acclaim as protectors of the innocent and saviors of thousands if not millions of people.

Well, current info seems hard to come by, but here is a 2014 chart of nations of origin of (gasp!) illegal immigrants:

I guess we should start with the biggest source first and perform an HI in Mexico. Then El Salvador, Guatemala, and so on down the list until we have made the world safe for people to stay in their homes. I suppose China, India, Korea, and Canada might be a little surprised to find a flotilla of Humanitarian Interventionists off their coasts, but once you start on this mission, you just can't call it quits, .

Of course, if the intervention gets ugly, we might just generate more refugees, but it's okay if our motives are pure.


Apologies to Dean Swift, though my suggestion is less extreme than his.

But, wait, perhaps we could just set up some organized process through people could apply for admission to the U.S. and have some sort of sanction for those who try to jump the line. Let me think that over.




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