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What GWOT Veterans Really Think About Syrian Refugees

muslim refugees iraq europe

While serving with the Marines in 2003, my squad went on a patrol in the slums of Al Kut Iraq.  Truthfully, I can’t decide whether it was because we were trying to build good will or that our Battalion Commander never had a good Halloween in his life, but we were instructed and encouraged to throw out candy to the kids as my infantry unit patrolled the streets.  They would yell, “Saddam Donkey, George Bush good” as we gave them candy and a thumbs up as we moved on.  On one such occasion, candy was thrown out and picked up by a beautiful Iraqi girl who couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9.  However, when she picked up the candy, an older boy, perhaps 14 or so ran over, slapped the girl to the ground, and took her candy.  The other boys laughed, the adults did nothing, and my squad was about ready to commit a war crime because we were freaking pissed.

The Children We Know

There is not a single Marine I knew who wouldn’t have picked up that little girl and brought her to America that very moment.  Honestly, it was not a rare occurrence to have had experiences with Iraqi children that moved even the hardest warriors to compassion in that very uncompassionate land.  Fascinatingly enough, the adults I encountered in Iraq blend in together, but the children stick out in my mind.  I don’t imagine it is any different in any war.  Take a look at this video below and it will testify to the common experience of many.

Veterans of all wars are not the minions of homogenous thought that many make us out to be.  We are as diverse as the stars in the sky and while you might find common themes of thought, we are not the same.  So while this article is titled, what Veterans think, I admit I have not been appointed to speak on behalf of them in any fashion.  But neither have you.

So it bothers me when a Veteran is attacked for expressing hesitancy at taking in 10,000 refugees from the war-torn region.  The average Veteran of the GWOT wars have met more potential refugees than you and have felt more compassion at the plight we observed with our own eyes.  The only problem is that we know the rest of the people who inhabit that region and there is more than meets the eye.

It is Not Just the Children

We were stationed at a fire station in Al Kut for about a month where we spent time having chai with the firemen where they told us that if anyone attacked us, they would fight with us to defend us.  Good men.  Interpreters, affectionately known as Terps, risked their lives to help us as they regularly went on patrol with us while potentially risking reprisal from militants.  There was even this one hilarious guard at the City Hall we affectionately named, MoFo, because the Marines he previously encountered taught him nothing but English profanities.  As we left the gate, he would scream them out at us and we would yell them back with love.   By all means, bring the firemen, Terps, and yes even MoFo to America.

Syrian Refugees

But the Iraqi/Syrian people are not all the same.  I don’t know if that 14-year-old kid who slapped that girl wound up joining ISIS, probably not because he was likely Shia, but I know the adult version of that man is not someone I would enjoy having in America. Go and google much of the combat footage from the GWOT wars.  You can even find videos from the insurgent’s standpoint and those men exclaiming Allah Akbar as they snipe American soldiers or blow up our vehicles are not men we need in this country.  And the entire complaint when you tell me you are bringing 10,000 refugees over is I don’t know which ones you are bringing?  America has no idea and can only hypothesize. But for those who walked the streets of the region, we know that some could come and live in our houses with our children while some deserve to meet the brrrrrrt end of an A-10 Warthog.  Do you really trust government bureaucrats to tell the difference between the two?

Slow Down America

For all the various camps which have developed about this particular issue, I fall into the camp of whoa, I mean just whoa.  Ease up compassion dog because you might not be certain who you are dragging into the gates of America. If I saw that same little girl in Iraq who got slapped to the ground I just might jump the gate and bring her in myself.  But if you open the gates wide and the adult version of that 14-year-old male who slapped her to the ground come in with a few of his buddies, then we have trouble.  Do you know who these 10,000 are and that is the sole complaint of those who know.

Syrian Refugees in America

If we import even one ISIS terrorist, we will know it. The results, aka the body count, will be explicitly measurable.  That being said, I want so badly to help the children that I have seen with my own eyes and I reject the notion that because I am cautious for the sake of American children that I don’t care about refugees in need.  We most certainly should admit refugees.  However, we should be able to tell the difference between a 9yo girl fleeing with her mother and the 22-year-old male without family who is either too much of a coward to fight for his homeland or a terrorist.

The House has just passed a bill, with a veto-proof margin, that would require more stringent checks and pause the flow of refugees until we can be sure who is coming through.  Keep that in mind, a veto-proof margin in this day and age of partisan political bickering.  Are we getting MoFo who risked his life with us, or are we getting that 14-year-old boy who slapped a girl to the ground for getting a piece of candy ahead of him?  Or are we getting ISIS who would gun down Americans as they eat at a mall?  I don’t know if even this new bill can tell us that, but it is a step in the right direction.  But don’t tell me, or any other GWOT Veteran that we don’t have compassion for those children, because I can still see their faces.  Can you?

If You Want a Rational Approach to the Refugee Crisis, then Like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Page Below.

Jeff Edwards

108 Comments

  1. “I don’t know if even this new bill can tell us that, but it is a step in the right direction.”

    Specifically, how do you actually know it’s a step in the right direction? Or are you only speaking rhetorically? What specialized experience do you have with how the USG resettles refugees that leads you to this conclusion? And what, in this legislation, have you read that changes this process?

    • The process to pause, slow down, and assure the American people it is happening the right way. Government is accountable to the people and when such high stakes are involved, we are not big fans of blindly trusting in government efficiency. We were skeptical before Paris and in light of Paris, the policy needs to be whoa, slow down and get it right.

      • It’s already an 18 month process. The littlest bit of research on your part would show that the fear of an attack coming from a refugee are unfounded especially since the majority of arrests of people linked to Isis are, in fact, US citizens. It’s ridiculous to change an already successful program which would delay entry for thousands that need to escape to safety. Who is more likely to support the enemy, a refugee that was screened, admitted, and assisted into a normal life with their loved ones, or someone that was told they’re not welcome because the US needs more time to “get it right” when we already had a fully functioning program.

        • Holy shit you are a dumb fuck. I’m pretty sure that the Tsarnaev brother were vetted refugees too. Remember them??? (Probably not) It isn’t the refugee program that has people concerned it’s the common teachings of Wahhabi ideology (arguably radical Islam’s true origin) that have been gaining traction globally. To understand a god damn thing you’d need to go all the way back to the origin of the Wahhabist movement which I’d spend hours discussing with you and you’d likely still say some dumb ass shit about. Nidal Hassan (fort hood shooter) was a US citizen but like I just said he was influenced by the Sunni (Wahhabist) strain of Islam. Much different than Shia and even different from mainstream Sunni. Basically “bro” most Syrians are Sunni and so even if only 5 % are of a Wahhabist religious mindset that’s still 500 motherfuckers wanting to bring about the caliphate. If only 2.5 are bad that’s still 250….. Soooooo…. Go back to playing xbox you ignorant fuck. Lastly, most of ISIS attacks aren’t US citizens…. I recommend you go online and check DHS data. ….Oh whoops sorry I forgot your probably busy playing level hard on guitar hero…. Oooh here comes the solo!!!!

          • If you are unable to express yourself without liberally sprinkling your message with gratuitous profanity, then you don’t have the intelligence to express an informed opinion. Peace out.

          • Perhaps you are the one who needs to do research?
            Also, if you cannot provide a differing opinion without profanity, then don’t expect for it to be taken seriously.
            By the way, don’t ever call someone who risked Their Life So that You can express your opinion, even with your nasty, name calling language, a dumb F!
            When you go risk your life, perhaps you might be taken seriously.

          • Ha, ironic that the exact same dickless morons that can’t handle “vulgarity” and think that free hugs are the answer to combating terrorism will be the first to complain when terror strikes home. Naturally, their complaints will be wrapped in layers of “George Bush caused this…” and “they only kill because they feel alienated by our racist…”.

          • ^ nice ad hominem. Tsarnaev brothers are a bad example; they entered the US on tourist visas, applied for political asylum, and remained for over a decade before their evil act. That, and they were naturalized American citizens. Hassan was more than simply an American citizen – he as a major in the Army.

          • ANONYMOUS Guess what dip shitticus, Yeah I said a dirty word, oh no don’t tell my mommy please. I did risk my life in combat 3 times even in Iraq. When you’re afraid to post a comment with your name, don’t come off all high and mighty for one! Two if you’re going to try and belittle someone for what they said in reply to another person’s comment, don’t you think that, I don’t know, maybe you should try and refute what the fuck they said?! It’s obvious to me that you just felt like posting something moronic just to make yourself “feel” better about being a great and mighty “social justice warrior” instead of a real Warrior. That’s ok though, you can go and join now because the Army is taking SJW’s now and it’s a kinder and more gentler place. They’re not even allowed to cuss at you any more so you would fit right in.
            Why don’t you take some time and study and actually learn about Islam and all the shit they pull on people. I’ve seen more nasty crap that they’ve done to their own kind in the name of their oh so “peaceful religion” than you can imagine in your feeble little mind.

            So don’t think that just because you post some bullshit trying to call out someone else for using dirty words, and then you don’t even refute what he said that you are all that. You don’t even have the balls to use you own name. When I was in the Army we called people with that kind of mentality Cowards.

          • You bunch of sweethearts can talk so tough behind your keyboards. “I’m really, really tough because I’ve been to combat so I am going to make a hollywood-style speech that Jack Nickolas would applaud and talk about how cowardly you are if you don’t like my vulgarity.” It’s called being a gentleman, tough guys. Sit around and lob your character bashing, but there are some of us that have the badges and tabs and NCOER’s that legitimize our viewpoints without getting all hostile.

            You don’t know if I play video games. You don’t know my political party. You don’t know my marital status. You don’t know anything. So stop the hypocrisy of judging my motives which are a whole lot less visible than your spurts of sporadic conduct.

        • The Boston marathon bombers and the Kentucky Missile buyers prove our system DOES NOT WORK.

          Or maybe you have selectively forgotten about these incidents.

          • The Tsarnaev brothers parents were here on a vacation visa. Are we going to stop all tourists too?

          • cancel all tourists? nope. swap them for good ones, those who like to come here, those who want more and pay more.
            make muslims be they tourists or visitors as uncomfortable, suspicious, evanescent as christians visiting dsaudi arabia….visiting? no tourism there! working for them? not with a bible for comfort!

        • First of all, talking about how refugees aren’t dangerous because relatively few have committed terrorism in the US is faulty logic. Circumstances on the ground are changing and the refugees from Iraq/Afghanistan etc. from the past 10 years didn’t have a group like daesh trying to make a name for itself and start a global holy war. By your logic, before we are able to use greater caution in handling the current refugees, we would need to suffer multiple refugee-related terrorist attacks. That isn’t a trial and error approach that most folks I know would condone. Secondly, the 18 month screening process you mentioned is lengthy, but due to being run by bureaucratic government agencies and shouldn’t be thought as an indication of thoroughness. Let’s look at the process: 1) Biometrics – big fancy word that basically just means checking a fingerprint database… in a part of the world where there are few if any surviving records. 2) Intelligence agency cross-checks – great if we’re talking about the high profile leaders who are on the agencies radar, but not if they’re the tens of thousands of common people recruited, radicalized and trained over the past two years while we had no eyes on the ground. 3) Interviews – Seriously? Are we expecting sleeper cells to be outfoxed and reveal their mission while talking with poorly paid TSA-style bureaucrats?

      • Terrorists who wish to attack the US will enter the country via stolen or faked passports. They will not wait out the extremely long refugee process. The refugees have been terrorized themselves and need help from the US and other countries. Irrational fear of the refugees is wrong – 10,000 people aren’t about to enter our country tomorrow. But, an actual terrorist might – by much simpler means. Don’t hold innocent people accountable for the actions of the guilty.

      • Jeff, you nailed it. I’ve sit here tonight reading all the post and my fellow Americans stating a lot of things that they know nothing about except for a few. I served in Afghanistan in 07. On of my jobs was to work with locals. So there is a lot of daily inter actions with them. I found out that yes they see things very different than what we do. Most of the men treat woman as second rate citizens. I also watch a boy of 10 or 12 run up to a small girl who was picking up brass she had in her shirt. He punch her and push her to the ground. I ran over and push the boys away from her and let her pick them. The young boys didn’t understand why I was taking up for the little girl. Now when these boys come in and we simulate them into our schools this is what will be setting next to our sons and daughters. There is also truth that the grown men over there do like young boys. This I also have a problem with. This is their culture. I have also notice on here than know one has said anything about what the is going to cost the tax payers. If you go to WIC or any other place where food stamps are being handed out. These places are full. We have to many homeless mothers, children and veterans here that needs to be taken care of first. I do believe we should think twice. Maybe get our affairs in order here first. Like securing our borders comes to mind. Then we can think about helping out countries. We are already sending billions of our tax dollars out to them. I’m really getting tiered watching my taxes go up to support another one of our politicians agendas.

    • You are a fucking moron. Those of us US Vets that were over there are more qualified to know who the bad guys are than the government is. When a government doesnt want to take the extra steps to protect its citizens there is a major problem. Extra vetting processes is not up for discussion with this president. He just wants to veto everything that goes against his agenda. Get with reality. There are bad guys out there trying to kill us. Ive been there, done that. I dont want it in our country. If you want to take the chance, move to afgahistan, itaq, syria or whetever your bleeding heart liberal ass desires.

      • Yeah, vets that experienced not even a fraction of the country and culture know better, you tell him! If you and your buddies could do the least bit of research that doesn’t include Fox News you would know that our process works just fine and most of our arrests are US citizens. But yeah, keep acting like you know something.

        • You should change your name to Captain Oblivious. If you think the vets don’t know enough, the obviously YOU would know even less. So, why are you running your mouth? And how many of these refugees are you signed up for?

        • Both the Boston Marathon Bombers and the Kentucky Missile buyers were Refugees. That’s Four too many our current system has missed. If you think that’s an acceptable margin, you are more oblivious than you lead yourself to believe!

          • ^ Boston Bombers arrived via tourist passports. Later applied for political asylum. Similar, but not the same. They were here for 10 years, became naturalized American citizens, and then went on a rampage of terror. No system is perfect; it’s an irrational argument to stop granting refugee relocation as a result.

    • Somehow people don’t think that 18 months is long enough to screen someone. So many cowards we have in this nation.

      • Amazing, you’re calling vets who have served cowards. I bet you’d piss your pants if you actually had to say any of this to a vets face or to my face. Interesting how you attack your own fellow citizens on behalf of foreigners you’ve never met. You sir, are a true ahole.

        • I think the captain is a little sympathizer I’m sorry I served three and a half tours and I and I was wounded. this guy’s family must be some kind of Middle Eastern people or something that he wants to shed tears for them.

        • Neither the author of this article nor anyone posting in the comments speaks for anyone other than his or herself – and that includes you. Many who served do not share your view. And that doesn’t make either side, “right” – only that there are differences of opinion. I would be happy to tell this to your or any other veterans’ face, for that matter. My own five deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, and other combat zones have paid my debt to have an opinion and speak it freely in full – and I’d be happy to look anyone square in the eyes and let them know.

      • Your 18 month process let in two people who blew up the Boston Marathon and two more people who were caught trying to buy missiles while mailing other support back to Syria. But Nothing’s Broken Here, HUH????

    • Here’s a better question, how and what do you know any better?

  2. Jeff Edwards, Thank you for writing this article…it really resonated with me and fits very well with many things I’ve experienced and felt.

    • I agree. As if its not bad enough that our veterans are so poorly treated here at home, now we’re seriously going to ignore their warnings? Really?? What the hell kind of common sense is that? More than Obama, more than Congress, more than our civilian citizens, our VETS know what they have seen and experienced first hand. They learned to recognize the signs of possible danger, as a matter of survival in a truly alien and hostile culture! If they say “whoa”, that is good enough for me. Thank you for your service, and for writing.

  3. In light of the Paris attack you should be suggesting greater scrutiny of European nationals rather than Syrian refugees as all of the terrorists involved were European nationals and not Syrian refugees.

    • please keep up with recent information. i am also sure that the europeans were not radicalized by a guy named ralph.

  4. The Nature of War video, although a cartoon, was pretty powerful. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Yeah but no one is opening the gates wide open either. But well said anyway.

  6. There’s a little girl, who was 3yr old at the time, standing about 1/2mi outside of the LSAA ECP. She was the same age as my son was at the time back in the states and to this day, when I dream about her I wake up with wet eyes… Well said.

  7. I feel the same way its really about finding the wolf with sheep clothing at this point. We really just need to have a reinforce camp that serve sorta like a jail but with temporary cloth tents and access to water and donated food and have female personal and male personal of respected gender to strip them down check for any hidden weapon/ cell phone/ diseases and give them a clean clothes while they tag and wash their old one and give them back.

    And this process can be done reasonably well and then after they are admitted then you can start the process of education and teaching the law of this land and to get them a custom to america.

    And give them a farm to do some field work for the min wage so that they would have some money to start with. I mean they did flee from terror so they had to leave everything behind. At least we can do is show what a real society is like and not their shit hole places.

    Im not saying that we should let them in just like you said slow down the process and give them a proper way of learning. Oh and they should not have access to phone or internet just for safety reason. And the “Family” should be place in random camps so that the wolf can be found much easier.

    This is not a sure fire but at least it would help them and us out. And they could just place a sign with their language that says “we check for terrorist and your health condition for treatment”

    • So treat them like we did the Japanese during WWII. Fucking cowardly.

      • Something you may forget about the people of the United States during WWII: the general population of the US was a greater threat to the Nisei than the Nisei were to the US. It was not cowardly to put them in camps; it was an act of appeasement that prevented the common citizenry form running around lynching and killing Nisei, whereas the people knew the government was taking care of the situation.

        We got a lot of things wrong, such as the preservation of their property while they were away, but we got a lot of things right. Look at what Germany did in their internment camps, and then tell me it is in anyway comparable to the US Nisei Internment camps.

        You’re thinking using Kantian Logic, which demands that maxims be applied to every situation no matter what. The real world is not Kantian; it requires a Utilitarian Ethic that adapts and adjusts to the reality that is the local situation, no matter how inappropriate the solution may be elsewhere.

      • Well sir I know it is sometimes difficult for someone who has been protected from the harsher realities of life to understand the concerns of the very men who have had your ungrateful back. I have talked too many people about this issue and most are torn. However you have to be the saddest example I have ever seen of “You can’t fix Stupid Go out and pickup 100 disenfranchised Americans and relocate them to the street you live on where your children go to school and let me know how liberal you are next year. Oh and give me 5% of you taxes to help support them.

  8. Thank you Jeff – we need all the “reality based” input we can get from those who actually have experience with these people. excellent article

  9. Jeff, I, too am so grateful for what you have said here. I am not a racist, I, like you, feel my heart break when I see suffering, especially the suffering of children. However, like you, I am frightened by the lack of accountability and the lack of concern so many have that without the proper “whoa..slow down” (as you put it ) that we are really putting our country at a grave, grave risk.

    Anyway, thank you, it is nice to read something from someone who has truly been there. It is nice to know that others feel as I do..not that I lack compassion, I don’t..but I also don’t want to see a young girl in this country smacked down to the ground by that 14 year old boy.

  10. I especially appreciate this sentence; “So while this article is titled, what Veterans think, I admit I have not been appointed to speak on behalf of them in any fashion. But neither have you.”

    Also, I appreciate your POV about the difference in refugees as deserving or not (a child vs 22 year old single man, the 14 year old who slapped the girl), but would like to add that, in my opinion, we are in no position to judgethat. Does one defining moment, a young teen being a bully to a little girl, or a young man being afraid to engage in war, determine someone’s whole existence? Just things to think about. As to “compassion dog,” people keep talking about who we might “let in,” but these people are no different than any other group of people, including those people who already call the USA their home. In a group, you get many diverse people. There are good, There are bad. The minute we start playing personality police and discriminating based on age and gender or anything else to decide who isn’t and who is worthy of saving, before we even know what these individuals are like, I think we tread on murky ethical grounds. I’m sure people used the same justifications for inerning Japanese American citizens during WWII. It doesn’t make it right.

    Thank you for your thoughts (and service…)

    • I appreciate the feedback and the well thought out response. I wish instances like that little girl getting slapped were rare, but if you talk to enough Veterans, you will find them common from the region. I think what seperates this particular group in this particular point in history is their proximity to the group, ISIS, sworn to destroy us. The risk for infiltration is high and even if you don’t get a sworn ISIS supporter, you might easily get one sympathetic to their cause. So it will require a unique approach towards vetting them unlike what has gone on in the past.

      If a refugee comes to America and initiates an attack, it will also set back the Muslim community. Everyone has a stake in getting this right and those who walked those lands know getting it right is easier said than done.

    • I dare say, though, that we have a lot of veterans who DO know what these people are like, so you can’t say “we don’t know what these people are like.” That’s speaking for them, is it Not? And when those guys start saying “pump the brakes,’ I do believe that reaction is one that was developed while they were being shot at, blown up, and Trojan horsed by the little boy playing soccer and selling DVDs at the garrison gate.

      You have to listen to that inner voice. And when you don’t have that inner voice, you have to listen to those who can hear the inner voice – that’s something you learn when you don’t yet have it developed. It may just save you your life, or your shift, or fifteen hours troubleshooting a broken jet. It’s all the same Voice.

    • Alien. Like Jeff, I too appreciate the well thought out, reasoned response. The problem is, that there was a study done, that showed 13% of refugees are ISIS sympathizers. I don’t necessarily think that the issue is that the refugees will directly engage in an act of terror, that would screw up the process and would likely close that door. What we will probably get, are people who engage in sedition and agitation, neither of which are beneficial, and both cause problems. That doesn’t even touch on the fact that we will be supporting these people. With that being said, I have seen similar events to the girl being slapped. We actually stopped giving out candy because it happened too often, also, if something does happen and you’re swarmed by kids, it makes a hairy situation even worse. Another point I would like to add, most of the men I’ve seen in the region, aside from cops or Iraqi army, they hardly worked. Most of the men could be found hanging out around the town center, seeming to do little of anything meaningful, while the women worked in the fields. There’s just glaring cultural differences that I don’t like or find appealing in any way, and it seems to point out that they feel women are there to serve men and that men come first, and it made selfishness seem to be high on their list of values. On a side note, I think the only time I recall a man over there doing any sort of labor, was when I saw a man slaughtering a goat in the middle of town, unless you count the Iraqi contractors who were somehow even less efficient than an illinois road crew

  11. I can appreciate your stance and your service. I was in Iraq about a year later, but farther out West. However, you don’t speak for me. So your title should be “What A GWOT Veteran thinks…” or even “What Some GWOT Veterans think…”

    I’m well acquainted in my current work with the refugee process and the fact that it take on average over 700 days for refugees to get processed already, I don’t see what the point of slowing down the process is. The process to get into the US is extremely stringent, as it should be. Of the 2200 Syrians we’ve taken in over the last six years, 44 were single military age males. The rest (about half) were children, or elderly (about a quarter), or adults with children many of them single mothers…of the 44 MAMs that were brought in more than half had extenuating situations…in need of advanced medical care, family already here who were citizens etc.
    Refugees don’t even get to pick what country they go to and many are turned away.

    The real concern is people from our own country becoming radicalized or maybe radicalizing *after* they are brought here.

    Why would a terrorist take a two year process to “sneak” in when they can just use hop on a plane and fly in?

    I know what kind of America I wanted when I went to fight for it, and a terrified, isolated, selfish country is not it.

    Semper Fi

    David

      • I read it. Backtracking with one sentence buried in the body of the article doesn’t mean it’s cool to keep a misleading or inflationary title. The point is it immediately sets people to expect that they are reading the Veteran Opinion™

        • I wouldn’t characterize it as backtracking as I would clarity. This article has been received well because it resembles much thought from the Veteran community. It it didn’t, it would be dead in the water. The greatest complement someone can pay me is for them to tell me they loved my article, but they disagreed with everyting I said. I am a huge fan of dissenting thought, even if that contradicts my own.

  12. Thank you, Jeff. For your Service and your words. You have said, from a much more informed position, what I have been thinking all along. Yes, I understand a family wanting to get their children and their elderly dependants out of danger. But when I look at the pictures and film clips, I see far more men of fighting age who should be (in my opinion) doing their part to correct the problems in their own homelands, not expecting the US or any other country to be sheltering them and giving them hand-outs.

    • So you see men of fighting age when you see media clips that are purposely selected to show them. What a surprize. Just so you know, more republicans get “hand-outs” than anyone else. Do some research.

      • Except not. Are you on drugs right now? Dang, how does someone get so f’ing ignorant?

      • Are you as stupid in real life as you are behind your monitor? Just because you can sit there and lie, doesn’t mean that intelligent people will believe the bullshit that spews from your blow hole.

        I’m thinking if you would get some news from somewhere besides MSNBC and Huff you might be able to learn something.

        I have serious doubts, but there’s always that possibility, however slight it might be.

        And as far as “research” goes? It’s captainally obvious that you haven’t done any.

        By the way, dumbass, it’s spelled “surprise.”

  13. Jeff thank God I found your post ! I’ve searched for a week to find out what our men and women in uniform who have been there think ! My son is a marine he’s been there twice . He hasn’t answered my text yet but he will . He finds this war stuff difficult to talk to me his mom about . His unit rushed a little girl to a medic but she died in his arms .Her mom gave her some sort of chew with opiate in it and she died of an overdose in Afghanistan . That was when he had just arrived and he quit sharing stories after that to me between Iraq and Afghanistan I imagine he wants to forget . Thank you for your honesty ! I’m so upset that our commander in chief wants us to absorb these men into our communities . I’m torn of course I want to take in the children and women (mothers) I’m hesitant about the adult women without children and the men . In Sweden rape is second highest in the world because of their absorption of Syrian refugees . I don’t believe women or children are valued in that culture . I have daughters and grand daughters who are just babies. These are men our military could not trust to arm with weapons in their own country of Syria (I read after vetting thousands of these men not many passed the test of our best Intel analysis ) yet now Obama wants them in the USA to live freely and share our right to bear arms. That frightens me .God bless you and all of our brave men and women in the military fighting for us ! I’m so very proud of you all !

  14. Hey Brother, I love the pictures they reminded me of the good times in AL Kut, as for the article and your opinion, well said and I’m 100% behind you.
    Semper Fi.
    SSgt. De La Cruz
    1st Civ. Div.
    Wpns Co. 3/25

  15. You obviously are tempering compassion with wisdom, in order to protect against the willful masquerading Wolf in the sheep shed. Thank you for your service, for your caring and understanding of both the innocent and the militant amongst the indigenous. It is a very tough call to reject the legitimate, persecuted, endangered human being from the rescue that may be their last chance to escape certain hell with Satan’s minions.
    And I get the 4-14 yr old potential defection. We all should remember that reality. Are there any risks you would want taken if it were your wife, daughter, mother, sister on the run from their butchers?

    Question:
    Are you saying that NO Syrian/IraqiKurdish/Yazidi refugee Whosoever can be vouched-safe?
    Not even the 4 yr old lone survivor on the Greek beach, or his raped/abused/kidnapped 13 yr old sister, turned ISIS “bride”/trash-bitch? Or the Litmus Test Passer: Still wearing their Death Warrant around their neck- (That Big Christian Cross jewlery-thing) or on their door/shirt/back- (that Red “N”/Nun/Nasara/Nazarene=
    Christian Marker)?

    Would you have been dubious of the frantric “German” (no descriptive moniker either, just one of those blanket/generalizationed German refugees), beating on your door at night?: Whereupon further scrutiny you saw a Yellow “Jude/Jew” Star sewn into their raggy jacket.

    Are there any scenarios where one of the escaped ISIS prisoners would pass any Litmus test? I am well-acquainted with jihadis and militants (no disclosure here) and the need for the most stringent precaution. But my Greek Orthodox Damascus-born Syrian (first) mother-in-law, aged 96, American-raised since 1925, poses no threat does she? Neither does her Arab Christian family, targeted by ISIS from Raqqa to Mosul. Nor my Kurdish Christian convert/humanitarian workers (from Irbil to Sulamaniya), or my Iraqi Muslim-converted Christian friends hiding in Jordan since ’04, or their Yazidi neighbors who just can’t seem to get a warm meal or tent in the winters on Mt. Sinjar… (Not to mention their frenzied families working/hiding/saving $ for them from the Balkan states to the Scandinavian ones, (no disclosure there either.)

    Any exceptions to your over-abundance of caution, with which BTW, I completely agree but see possibilities for a Corrie ten Boom “Hiding Place” option.

  16. Being a truck driver during OIF 1, I came to encounter many children along our MSR’s and ASR’s. Some, I hope we’re able to follow the path of a war refugee and get out of the hell that had become of that part of the world. That is why this whole debate about the current Iraq war refugees has perplexed me somewhat. The Paris attackers were from Europe and possessed European passports. Which, given the current travel agreements between the US and Europe, most of them would not follow the path of a War Refugee. They would travel here much the same way any other European citizen.

    • Actually, at least one, if not more, Paris attackers came over as refugees. But if they just came as immigrants instead, how does that make it any better?

  17. I have but 1 question..Have Any of those who support the new measures actually read the bill or seen the actual process we, the UN, NAto and the various NGO’s currently use..

    There is a reason NOT ONE of the criminals from Paris were refugees, NOT ONE (in fact the only Refugee involved was a guy they killed in Greece to steal his identity).

    The Boston Bombers Grew up HERE and weren’t “Refugees..the rest of their family still lives (as much as they can) normal American lives.. Note Oklahoma City, Charleston, Atlanta (remember the Olympics), Columbia, Sandy Hook, just like PARIS, NONE WERE DONE BY REFUGEES. It’s not the Refugees we need to worry about it’s our own radicalized youth, be they Muslim, Christian anti-abortionists (remember the clinic bombings), Racists (Charleston) or the plain mentally disturbed.! And that speaks more to what’s wrong with us than with them..

    I really want to blame Refugees and agree with the our uninformed and narrow minded House of Representatives..but the Reality is the Facts ARE NOT on their side..WE have a much deeper issue that doing knee jerk stupidity will probably just make matters worse.

    • You’re talking to a wall there, Chuck. The folks commenting here just seem to hate brown people because reasons.

      • Just let us know how many are coming to live with you big guy.

        • Refugees don’t “go live with people” – that’s not how the program works. Here’s a link that might help you understand…. http://lmgtfy.com

      • That’s a despicable slander. There is absolutely nothing here to justify that outrageous comment. Shove off. Your opinions are pre-programmed and you are not thoughful about them.

    • You sir, are a f’ing moron. Stop with the “homegrown” BS. Those arrests are to people with names like Mohommad who immigrated here – they are not “homegrown” no matter how much idiotic lefitsts want to say. If you want to go back decades to find a crime to make yourself feel better great, but you are trying to create equivalency where there is none. A botched bombing 30 years ago is not the same as all the various attacks we’ve had over the last several years.

    • Bingo.

      And, by the way, ISIS really hopes that Europe and the US will deny entry to the refugees. They even brag that the Paris attacks were a “trap” for the Western world, trying to bait us into denying refugees. Because if we accept refugees, we undermine ISIS’s rhetoric that we don’t care about Muslims, don’t care about Syrians, and all we do is kill Muslims and never help them. What we are doing instead is playing right into their hands, helping ISIS to paint the west as a group that only cares about oil and only rains fire from the sky on Muslims, never extending a hand to help those in need.

      The end result will be increased radicalization and recruitment for ISIS, both in Syria and Iraq and in western countries.

      • Jason, that’s why I propose we do both at the same time. Which would be more effective in dealing with the refugee situation? Arming the Kurds directly and putting boots on ground, only to defend the Kurd’s land to preserve a safe haven in the region, while allowing the Kurds discretion on who is allowed in and who has to go, essentially only setting up defensive positions, and letting them primarily call the shots without us going on the offensive, or taking in countless refugees while not truly attempting to help in the conflict and prevent genocide. I think helping the Kurds defend their land is the best way to help those in need.

      • Jason, your comments indicate that you don’t understand the radicalization process. You are using platitudes to justify policy decisions that will have consequences.

  18. Hey brother. I’m glad you pointed out that there is diversity of opinion among us veterans. I think it is reasonable to ask what is the process used, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of that process.

    To that end, we do know that the process takes about 2 years to go through. There are knowledge gaps and we do the best we can to mitigate that risk. Only 2% of refugees fall into the class of single males of fighting age. I believe that is 14 to 65. Over half are children.

    While I appreciate the need for caution, I do hope we are not so cautious that we close the door. Risk needs to be balanced. Would I deny letting in 10 people if I knew statistically one was a terrorist? Probably. But what about a 1 out of 100, or out of 1,000, or out of 10,000? My answer changes.

    To put simply, I am willing to take some risk, and I hope you are too as there is nothing in this world as zero risk.

    • Not sure where you got the 2% number, but here’s a link to the UN data.

      http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php

      Looks like 22%+ for adult male and an additional 6.6% for teenage male (fighting age in that part of the world). Don’t have the breakdown of married/unmarried, but I would doubt that only a small fraction are single.

  19. People from these countries seldom have birth certificates, do not know their own birth date, and have no documented personal history at all. Therefore, a proper background check is impossible and unrealistic. What will happen is that a “background check” will be done which will turn up nothing because of the reasons mentioned, and the person will be admitted because nothing negative was discovered. When they commit a terrible crime, the people responsible for the vetting will say that there was nothing in the refugees background check that suggested them to be a threat.
    I worked in Iraq with soldiers vetting people so I know for fact that most from these regions have no true documented identification.

  20. Bringing them here will not resolve the issues where they came from, but it will certainly multiply ours. I am for helping them fix the problems in their own land. What about the millions of others still there? What gives these “refugees” precedence over the other people of their country?

  21. His experience was in Iraq. The refugees are coming from Syria. Not the same. The religions are not always the same. Shia vs Shiite vs Alawi vs etc etc. Interesting observations but IMHO his observations in Iraq are not applicable throughout the region. And, the U.S, refugee vetting process already has been described as lengthy and thorough. The Paris terrorists were not Syrian but citizens of France and Belgium. It would not be too much of a stretch to expect that a terrorist entering the U.S. would in fact be a U.S. citizen not a Syrian. I have read and believe that the bigger exposure is to people entering the U.S. much more easily via tourist, business, and education visas.

    • Right. And the Americans in Brooklyn are nothing at all like the Americans in Raleigh. The Americans in Miami are nothing like the Americans in Memphis. The Americans in Boise are nothing like the Americans in Albuquerque… Is that your line of reasoning?! It’s Pure BS. The distance between Iraq and Syria is the same distance as North Dakota is form south Dakota, and the differences between the people are equally so. You could almost say that region doesn’t even have borders right now because everybody is shooting at each other.

      As for these French and Belgium Terrorists, you have confused Politically registered nationality with True Nationality. The terrorists with French citizenship in France were NOT French and the same goes for those from Belgium; Their true Citizenship was to ISIS, and as such, they were TRAITORS if they were ever French or Belgium in the first place, which they were not, when makes them Immigrants or Sleeper Agents in a War at a level you cannot comprehend. Isis DOES comprehend the war at this level, and they are doing very well right now because the west blows the idea off that such a crude movement could ever be a serious threat to any western nation.

      But then, you’re probably one of those people who doesn’t believe in Nationalism in the first place, so none of this makes any sense to you.

  22. I hear people stating our current refugee vetting process is 18 months and robust and there is no reason to prolong it. I do not know enough about that system to comment on it, but the issue is that the President is seeking to bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016. My understanding is that means they are NOT following the standard refugee vetting process. Are they applying the same standards and investigations with these 10,000 that they apply to all other refugees seeking entry into the US?

    What also concerns me is that the President states it’s wrong to take a refugee’s religion into consideration and that the US has never done this. This is the stuff that concerns me; the President made a false statement there. He either intentionally lied or does not know the United States Code.

    The US Code states clearly that a refugees religious beliefs are to be taken into consideration along with other relevant facts.

    What I thus see is a government that doesn’t even know the law of the land trying to press for a certain outcome. And because that government demonstrates such extreme levels of incompetency, I cannot in good conscience agree with them until I double-check what they are doing. And that means slowing down the refugee situation until we’ve had some time to look at what’s really going on here.

    Because if the leaders of the government have to claim lies in order to validate their point, I start to question everything they are telling me.

  23. There is nothing wrong with extra security. The end run is the refugees will still be admitted. The Government is still responsible and required to protect the interests of its citizens first. As someone else has stated the Tsarnev brothers were refugees. I also recall a group of 19 Saudi’s came here on student visas and look what they did! They crashed 3 of 4 commercial aircraft into 3 buildings so it’s actually good to see that Congress finally has put aside partisanship and put forward legislation in the right direction even if it’s only a small step. It’s a start.

  24. Major Nidal Hassan was vetted more than these refugees. Look what happened.

    Why would any sane person wish what is happening in Europe on our kids/grandkids? These people are medieval, backwards, violent, primitives that bring nothing to the table. They won’t assimilate, or even grasp the concept of what it means to be an American.

    They will breed like rats, spread sharia and islam throughout the land like a cancer and take over. That’s what they do. Like I said, look at what has happened to refugee friendly/open borders Europe.

    • They said the same thing about the Irish, the Germans, the Polish, the Italians, the Jews, the Koreans, the Cubans, the Vietnamese, etc ….

  25. To all that have expressed your views or what ever you think , it is a right that is slowly being taken away. Our representing people in Washington D.C are looking out for their own interest in the long run. Some bills or laws are signed with little to any thought process, I agree that there is a process,but really what process in the government is not bent to help certain people. I have served my country and have done everything that is asked of me, I have sacrificed the true thing in life I love the most and that is my freedom, of speech. America that is being blinded by ignorance or the simple fact that people think it won’t effect them. I have seen in Afghanistan, that a little boys are treated as sex toys for men, and women are treated with no respect except to produce babies and walk in the shadow of a man.

  26. If you are willing to let your fear keep you from helping people like that girl, those firemen, the terps, or MoFo, then you don’t really have compassion.

    • Flag on the play. Straw man argument in effect. Repeat first down.

    • It’s not fear, dummy. Is ir fear or prudence that causes you to lock your front door when you leave the house?

  27. I served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. Kids weren’t as welcoming and threw rocks at us, that is what I remember. I sew more than a handful of kids between the ages of 9 thru late teens that walked around with AK-47’s . I agree that it is a messed up place but don’t lut your guard down, don’t get complacent. STAY FROSTY!

  28. Why do people think 18-24 months is some magic number that insures proper vetting has taken place? Who hasn’t dealt with the gov’t at some point, enough to know they aren’t exactly expedient OR thorough? Things can be rubber stamped to get the numbers they need to meet some quota or drawn out till the day you die if they want to. Just putting a “should be completed by” date on something…ANYTHING when dealing with them doesn’t mean it’s been done properly.

    • The wait period for immigrants to receive a permanent resident card can be about 18 to 24 months. But, only a small portion of that time involves an (overworked!) USCIS agent reviewing the paper work. However, during that time, the people in the process typically reside within the United States.
      So, all the defenders leaning on some nebulous comment about “18 months” are being completely specious. It might sound good. But, reality is: it is near meaningless.

  29. We shouldn’t let any of them in. Not 1 person! Why can’t they go to another Arabian country? Our administration is incompetent at best and corrupt af at worst. We’re going to have American casualties on our land if we let them here, and that blood will be squarely on Obama’s hands. How about we clean up the problems here first? We have in excess of 500,000 homeless people here, and nearly 50,000 homeless veterans living on the street right now. I feel for the women and kids, but you’d have to be a complete idiot not to see this Trojan horse.

  30. There are many major issues I have with this whole framework. The primary one is that you think that by being a foreign soldier in an invading occupying army you think that you have some sort of special insight into the population. You are not even there as a tourist, you are there behind the barrel of a gun backed by the full force of the most powerful military in human history. Spare me, you were a Hessian for the 1%.

    Then you end with the following statement: “However, we should be able to tell the difference between a 9yo girl fleeing with her mother and the 22-year-old male without family who is either too much of a coward to fight for his homeland or a terrorist.”

    You have absolutely no idea what it is like to be caught between a totalitarian regime who is backed by regional powers (Iran) and a global power (Russia), and Islamofascists who are backed by regional powers(Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Sunni Gulf states) who happen not so coincidentally to be US allies in the region. Any attempt for reasonable people to create an alternative is met with immediate suppression by both the totalitarian regime and the Islamofascists, because frankly you are an easy target. The regime wants to make damn sure that they have a loathsome enemy to their benefactors and the Islamofascists execute the moderates as a means of “purifying the population”.

    If you were a reasonable 22 year old male, you have a choice between two evils because everyone you knew who chose a third revolutionary path was killed. So you leave if you can.

    • Brunowins, you are wrong to assume we know nothing about the population. You must think everyone in the military is a shooter (infantry). Your logic seems to point to facts of the US using the “going in blind” technique. Are you not aware of jobs within the military that strictly focus on regional/culture expertise? Even language proficiency? Or are all of us military people too stupid to have the capacity to learn multiple languages? Not to mention spending entire deployments out in villages, not shooting, rather talking to people, building trust and understanding, plus the many more government agencies that are not a part of the military deployed to these countries. It just seems you think everyone is a 19yr old kid with a M4 waiting to shoot it at the first opportunity, which is not the case.

      • I know that there are people in our imperial forces whose job it is to make it easier for us to conquer foreign lands. But the author of this article was hardly TE Lawrence.

        If you think it is foolish for me to have this view of our military, then you should ask yourself what proportion of our military has the characteristics you are describing. Of the hundreds of people I know who have done military service only one has Arabic language proficiency and she was in the Green zone the whole time and despised it.

        Last but not least, when you are part of an invading occupying army it inherently influences your perspective and what information you are able to draw from your experiences. It is precisely because you are engaging with the population in order to achieve what is best for the military and the population knows it.

  31. Fought there in April 04 after 82nd ended it’s blood bath in Al Fallujah in Feb 04. 2nd ACR OH-58D Scout’s were there witnessing from the sky…I saw the exact thing except it was soccer balls and coloring books and pens…I understand you Marines feelings.

  32. Scott Hicks

    November 19 at 7:54am · Edited ·

    More options

    Most of my friends know I practice Immigration law. As such, I have worked with the refugee community for over two decades. This post is long, but if you want actual information about the process, keep reading.

    I can not tell you how frustrating it is to see the misinformation and outright lies that are being perpetuated about the refugee process and the Syrian refugees. So, here is a bit of information from the real world of someone who actually works and deals with this issue.

    The refugee screening process is multi-layered and is very difficult to get through. Most people languish in temporary camps for months to years while their story is evaluated and checked.

    First, you do not get to choose what country you might be resettled into. If you already have family (legal) in a country, that makes it more likely that you will go there to be with family, but other than that it is random. So, you can not simply walk into a refugee camp, show a document, and say, I want to go to America. Instead, the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees) works with the local authorities to try to take care of basic needs. Once the person/family is registered to receive basic necessities, they can be processed for resettlement. Many people are not interested in resettlement as they hope to return to their country and are hoping that the turmoil they fled will be resolved soon. In fact, most refugees in refugee events never resettle to a third country. Those that do want to resettle have to go through an extensive process.

    Resettlement in the U.S. is a long process and takes many steps. The Refugee Admissions Program is jointly administered by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in the Department of State, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within DHS conducts refugee interviews and determines individual eligibility for refugee status in the United States.

    We evaluate refugees on a tiered system with three levels of priority.

    First Priority are people who have suffered compelling persecution or for whom no other durable solution exists. These individuals are referred to the United States by UNHCR, or they are identified by the U.S. embassy or a non-governmental organization (NGO).

    Second priority are groups of “special concern” to the United States. The Department of State determines these groups, with input from USCIS, UNHCR, and designated NGOs. At present, we prioritize certain persons from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Iran, Burma, and Bhutan.

    Third priority are relatives of refugees (parents, spouses, and unmarried children under 21) who are already settled in the United States may be admitted as refugees. The U.S.-based relative must file an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) and must be processed by DHS.

    Before being allowed to come to the United States, each refugee must undergo an extensive interviewing, screening, and security clearance process conducted by Regional Refugee Coordinators and overseas Resettlement Support Centers (RSCs). Individuals generally must not already be firmly resettled (a legal term of art that would be a separate article). Just because one falls into the three priorities above does not guarantee admission to the United States.

    The Immigration laws require that the individuals prove that they have a “well-founded fear,” (another legal term which would be a book.) This fear must be proved regardless of the person’s country, circumstance, or classification in a priority category. There are multiple interviews and people are challenged on discrepancies. I had a client who was not telling the truth on her age and the agency challenged her on it. Refugees are not simply admitted because they have a well founded fear. They still must show that they are not subject to exclusion under Section 212(a) of the INA. These grounds include serious health matters, moral or criminal matters, as well as security issues. In addition, they can be excluded for such things as polygamy, misrepresentation of facts on visa applications, smuggling, or previous deportations. Under some circumstances, the person may be eligible to have the ground waived.

    At this point, a refugee can be conditionally accepted for resettlement. Then, the RSC sends a request for assurance of placement to the United States, and the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) works with private voluntary agencies (VOLAG) to determine where the refugee will live. If the refugee does have family in the U.S., efforts will be made to resettle close to that family.

    Every person accepted as a refugee for planned admission to the United States is conditional upon passing a medical examination and passing all security checks. Frankly, there is more screening of refugees than ever happens to get on an airplane. Of course, yes, no system can be 100% foolproof. But if that is your standard, then you better shut down the entire airline industry, close the borders, and stop all international commerce and shipping. Every one of those has been the source of entry of people and are much easier ways to gain access to the U.S. Only upon passing all of these checks (which involve basically every agency of the government involved in terrorist identification) can the person actually be approved to travel.

    Before departing, refugees sign a promissory note to repay the United States for their travel costs. This travel loan is an interest-free loan that refugees begin to pay back six months after arriving in the country.

    Once the VOLAG is notified of the travel plans, it must arrange for the reception of refugees at the airport and transportation to their housing at their final destination.
    This process from start to finish averages 18 to 24 months, but I have seen it take years.

    The reality is that about half of the refugees are children, another quarter are elderly. Almost all of the adults are either moms or couples coming with children. Each year the President, in consultation with Congress, determines the numerical ceiling for refugee admissions. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the proposed ceiling is 85,000. We have been averaging about 70,000 a year for the last number of years. (Source: Refugee Processing Center)

    Over one-third of all refugee arrivals (35.1 percent, or 24,579) in FY 2015 came from the Near East/South Asia—a region that includes Iraq, Iran, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.
    Another third of all refugee arrivals (32.1 percent, or 22,472) in FY 2015 came from Africa.
    Over a quarter of all refugee arrivals (26.4 percent, or 18,469) in FY 2015 came from East Asia — a region that includes China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. (Source: Refugee Processing Center)

    Finally, the process in Europe is different. I would be much more concerned that terrorists are infiltrating the European system because they are not nearly so extensive and thorough in their process.

  33. I have direct knowledge of our State Department’s Leahy vetting process. Also a “thorough” process. We’re screwed.

  34. fuck it then leave them there to rot and while were at it lets just start kicking out the ones who are already here that’s what everyone seems to want right, elect donald trump or whoever else is gonna enact these types of things , let the confederate flag fly too why not it doesnt matter anymore the world is going to hell lets speed it up get it over with already

  35. The campansioniate response would be to protect them in thier homeland, not be party to the radical movement and rip them from it, for it’s their home. By helping them flee rather than secure their homes, and restore their dignity, they receive no vindication or peace. They do not want our way of life, it will not restore their peace, nor should they be forced to try.

    We, the United States, should flood that region with troops along with the rest of the world and secure peace. Our military want to do help them.

  36. I’m a vet of both recent wars Iraq and Afghanistan working gun trucks and detention facilities. Being a vet does not make me or you an expert in this issue. But swearing or illogical fallacies do not represent vets well. I appreciate that this article states that it does not represent all of us because it does not. The authors experiences are valid, but again the logic does not compute that the child who assaulted the little girl will become a terrorist. Beware where the media leads you, choose the red or the blue pill.

  37. In most countries on the Continent they already have those percentage numbers, in the UK we are not far off. And the invasion continues !!

  38. Jeff,

    Thanks for the article. Appreciate your viewpoint. I was with you in Al Kut in 2003, part of Task Force Tarawa. Saw loads of good and bad people…not unlike anywhere else in the world I’ve had the privilege to serve.

    We either believe in our democratic government or we don’t. I think, having served faithfully for more than a few years, that our government has a good process to vet refugees. These poor folks wait years to enter our country legally, something that can’t be said about those who sneak across in the night.

    I’m bullish on this country’s future. We have the greatest system of government in the world, and are a nation of immigrants. Let’s not do something stupid as a result of our collective revulsion to what’s happening in Europe.

  39. While I respect the service of all veterans, especially combat veterans (my son is one), I don’t believe it gives them specific expertise unless they worked specifically with refugees or in military intelligence. It takes training and experience to shift through those who are likely good bets for resettlement and those who aren’t.. Yes indeed a single 22 year man should have to really prove he is safe to let in, while a family with two spouses, some kids, and a bachelors degree (about half of the refugees let in so far have that credential) are almost certainly a safer bet.

    For those of you who don’t know, to get in as a refugee (instead of someone who arrived on a tourist visa and claimed asylum) means that not only is that family eligible for Refugee Cash Assistance and thus has a case manager from whatever government agency runs that program, but also a case manager from a sponsoring agency (all refugees go through sponsoring agencies) who does everything else including holding their hand when they need it. In short they have baby sitters.

    No other immigrant has that. Which means refugees are constantly monitored already.

    Part of the 18-24 month preadmission period is indeed because the State Department lives on red tape, and not only because of the background check. Although you have to wonder just how cost effective it is to try to slip a spy or terrorist through this when it takes almost two years before you can even get them in the country.. That costs money, and even ISIS works on a budget.

    The worst two terrorist attacks (that were carried out by Muslims) where the Boston Marathon bombing and the Fort Hood shooting. Both carried out by people who had been here for a decade or longer. They got radicalized WHILE THEY WERE IN THE US BY READING CRAP ON THE INTERNET.

    They didn’t slip into the country to cause havoc. They decided years later after they got here. Refugees they were not.

    As to the Paris shootings… none of those terrorists were refugees. Migrants perhaps, but I noticed that several where either Belgian or French citizens. It is right there in the news. The only evidence at all that a refugee was involved was the passport, and you would expect that if it was actually matching one of the dead shooters, it would have come out by now.

  40. oh yeah, and 9/11 was carried out by guys from Allied nations (Saudi Arabia mainly), here on legal short term visas. They weren’t refugees either. We let in 1 million refugees from Indochina after 1975, and lots more ever since. I don’t recall any terrorist attack ever by an actual refugee (compared to people here on visa or naturalized or native born citizens). I also recall that the second worst terrorist attack on American soil was by two white guys who hated the US government because of Waco. Those two killed more Americans then every terrorist attack combined in the US since 1921 (look up the Wall Street bombings some time) other than 9/11.

    And they were here already

  41. So, what I’m reading is that you’re so terrified of Muslims that you’ve made yourself blind to the realities of living in America. Good to know that after your service you’re finally let the terrorists win.

  42. After reading the comments, I have to smh at the notion that the vetting process takin 18 months is somehow thought to be through. Look how long it takes to get your claim to be done at the VA! Just a bunch of gov. Employees getting paid to do nothing fast for top dollar in my opinion! I say if they want to come here, then they should assimilate to our culture. Learn English. Take the test that any other person has to take to become a citizen. Also my girlfriend applied for a tourist visa to the United States, but was turned down because she was a single female. So how is this fair? She also paid a 160$ application fee that was not refunded. Just for them to say No! I am a retired Vet and the whole process stinks! I told her maybe she should claim to be Muslim and wear a burqa and next time she would get approved! Finally I do think most vets feel empathy for those in need. Yet are not sympathetic, because we know of the real life dangers that some of these people could possibly bring to our country. I saw a post the other day that I thought was a good comparison. ( in front of you is a bowl full of m&m’s. 5 of them are poisoned. Do you let you child eat any of them? If you say yes then you are a special kind of stupid. especially when there is no true way to tell which ones are poisoned.

  43. These are fundamentally different circumstances and “refugees” than others we’ve dealt with before. I suppose the closest analogy would be to ask, how many refugees did we take in from Imperial Japan or Nazi Germany during WWII? Precious few, and those we did were known to us already.

    The issue being danced around is best described by the example of the guy guarding the access point into a highly secure target, and it is known that vicious people are trying to get into it to blow it up. Getting in isn’t easy, and someone complains that the process takes too long and is a pain in the ass. The exasperated guard explains, “Look, I have to be right every single time – they (the enemy) only have to get it right once.”

    Given that we cannot actually vet these people well at all – no actual records being available, and probably highly suspect if they were – then we’re accepting “not getting it right” multiply.

    EO1.Bradley’s meme about the M&M’s is correct. I live within a few miles of the Marathon Bombings, and look at the carnage two people can cause. Now multiply that by thousands.

    My 0.02 cent’s worth.

  44. waste of time… the name calling… never gonna change anyone’s views with that… enjoy the character bashing “gentlemen”…. when no one is willing to actually TRY to listen to another’s view, even if it does not align with your own, it is a waste of time… and you are just all wasting oxygen. have fun chasing your own tails.

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