Cutting through the bullshit.

Thursday 22 February 2007

Cynicism unlimited

Sol Salbe sent around the editorial from tomorrow’s Forward where we learn of ‘the recent discovery that the family of Anne Frank had unsuccessfully attempted to obtain an American visa before being captured by the Nazis’. In response, NY Democratic Rep. Steve Israel proposes that Anne Frank be awarded posthumous honourary American citizenship!

“The best way we can honor Anne Frank in death is to give her what her father sought for her in life,” said Israel, a New York Democrat, in a statement last week. “The news that Anne Frank’s family sought to flee to the United States makes it clearer than ever that we should bestow honorary citizenship upon Anne Frank.”

I was well aware that the US regards US nationality as the most precious thing anyone can possess. But it never occurred to me that the dead could make any practical use of it.

To their credit, the Forward recommends a more appropriate tribute to Anne Frank’s memory and in atonement for the wrong done her, the US should resettle some of the estimated 3.8 million Iraqis its war has driven from their homes.

What has the administration done to address the crisis? From 2003 until last month, the United States admitted 466 Iraqi refugees (this is not a misprint — there are no zeros missing from the end of that figure). America currently spends about $8 billion a month on the war, but the administration reportedly entered 2007 planning to spend just $60 million this fiscal year to provide shelter and protection for displaced Iraqis, and $20 million to help resettle refugees here and in other countries.

The administration has taken a few key steps in recent weeks, which suggests that it is finally ready to set a new, morally responsible course on the issue. Earlier this month, the State Department announced the creation of a task force to coordinate American efforts to resettle and assist Iraqi refugees. Then, last week, administration officials unveiled a plan to admit about 7,000 of the refugees into this country by the end of the year.

As Senator Arlen Specter recently pointed out during a hearing on Capitol Hill, last year 20,000 of the immigration slots reserved for refugees went unused. The issue, according the State Department official on the other end of Specter’s grilling, was a matter of dollars and cents: Financing for the slots was not available.

The Forward reckons the 7000 is ‘progress’ in comparison to their previous ‘shameful record’. Apparently, these refugees ‘have no future back in their native country because of their support for America’s reconstruction effort’. Well, I’m dubious that they could have supported ‘America’s reconstruction effort’, since so far there has only been an American destruction effort. But certainly there is no excuse for asking Syria and Jordan to take up the slack. The US should definitely fly all 4 million over and educate, house, and employ the lot.

What’s missing from the Forward’s editorial is the obvious first step that the US and nobody else can take to alleviate the suffering of the Iraqis.


  1. In response, NY Democratic Rep. Steve Israel proposes that Anne Frank be awarded posthumous honourary American citizenship!

    The complete lack of any understanding is rather sad.

    In Canada there was a lot of guilt over the treatment of Jews - especially the Luciatania. The result was about 2 decades of liberalised refugee laws. Those days are unfortunately long over.

  2. "The US should definitely fly all 4 million over and educate, house, and employ the lot."


    It *is* a destruction effort, mind you....

    Lets just say that the type of folk who you with an occupier..aren't too popular nowadays with a war on and know if they aren't flat out inflitrators, then whatever they already turned once, what's twice?

    Not to mention it's widely understood that the point of the war on terror is to bombard muslims.

    So how about the UK, you want to take them?,it would probably help RESPECT among other socialist movements..

  3. Oh,disclaimer: The actual point of the war on terror is commercial, the understood one regards bombarding muslims.