Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Palestinians getting the dirty end of the stick again.

Trudy Rubin had an interesting column in the Inquirer today about the flow of refugees out of Iraq. I wrote about this very same subject back in June. Rubin cites a UNHCR report in November which counts the number of Iraqis leaving Iraq at 2000 a month. These lucky ones who are able to get out are mainly winding up in Jordan and Syria. (Unfortunately, there are about 425,000 who can't get out and are being forced to move into areas of Iraq where they can find the relative security of being amongst their own religious group.)

In all, over one million Iraqis have fled George W. Bush's war since 2003, according to the UN. Countries like Syria and Jordan are hardly capable of taking care of so many displaced people. These countries won't allow the Iraqis to work and can toss them out at any time as they are considered temporary visitors. These poor people are under intense economic stress and the situation is being left to fester without any international relief because of the fact that W. & Co. refuse to recognize any of this is actually happening.

Beyond all the doomsday scenarios presented by the ISG about Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey getting involved in a regional war over Iraq, there is the added threat of the regimes in Jordan and Syria being destabilized by the influx of so many Iraqis across their borders. W. & Co. might welcome the collapse of the Syrian government but there would be hell to pay as Syria's current ethnic tranquility dissolved. They've got their own Christian, Kurdish, Sunni/Shiite divisions that would doubtless spill over into Turkey and maybe even into Israel.

And the loss of good King Abdullah II, our good authoritarian buddy in Jordan, could make the Palestinian problems of today look like a picnic in comparison. W & Co. are playing with fire by ignoring what's going on with the Iraqi refugee situation. If something isn't done right away about this unconscionable neglect of so many human being trying to escape W.'s bloodbath in Iraq, we're all going to wind up burning in the same hell, as Hamid Karzai puts it. (He thinks he's got problems in Afghanistan!)

One other note about the Iraqi refugee problem:

A group of 24 Palestinians escaping from certain death in Iraq have been stuck in a no man's land "between Tanf on the Syrian side and El Walid on the Iraqi side" because as stateless peoples they are forbidden to travel without papers. [UNHCR] Again we have a situation where no one from the US or the UN is willing to deal with reality. These Palestinians have no country because the Israelis took it. We know they're there but by law and treaty they don't exist. I would just like to point out here that the Gulf State Arabs and the Iranians like to talk a good game about their great love for the Palestinian people's cause and plight under Israeli occupation, yet when it comes right down to it, they don't give a damn.

Sure the Saudis will tell Jim Baker that the Arab/Israeli conflict is the number one thing that needs to be taken care of to set things straight in the Middle East, but all they really want the Palestinians around for is the cheap labor they provide. The Saudis and the Kuwaitis are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to the Palestinian question. 'Oh yes, it’s terrible what the Israelis are doing in the occupied territories. We're shocked, shocked! Now clean my toilet you dirty Palestinian!' Remember what the Kuwaitis did to the Palestinian laborers in their country after the US threw Saddam out in 1991?

How ironic that Syria will allow the exiled leadership of Hamas to set up shop in Damascus, yet at the same time claims that these poor bastards living in tents out in the Syrian Desert aren't allowed to travel through the country to get back home. I guess if they had RPGs or suicide belts strapped to themselves, they'd be welcomed with open arms! And please, Mamoud Amadinejad; don't tell me about you're support for a free Palestine. You're using the Palestinians just like the Saudis are. They're merely a pawn in your in game for political power. If Israel were to get wiped off the map tomorrow, you and the Royal Saudi family and Bashar al-Asad would all have to find new jobs. If you didn't have the Jewish state to kick around anymore maybe your people would finally wake up to the fact that Israel really wasn't responsible for all the poverty and desperation. Maybe it was you bloodsuckers all along.


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