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Our Iraq War Helped Displace Millions -

By jimstaro - Posted on 07 November 2010

Who We Now Shut Out

05 November 2010 - By definition, they’re the people nobody wants. Conflict, disaster, persecution and other crises uprooted about 43 million people from their homes last year. Many millions were displaced by conflicts directly linked to U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. But despite its historical promise of refuge to the world’s huddled masses, America keeps its humanitarian floodgates tightly guarded.

Recently, the Obama administration proposed an annual cap of 80,000 on refugees entering the U.S.—a generous number by international standards but a tiny fraction of the unrelenting wave of displacement.

The annual cap will include around 17,000 Iraqis (though the actual number admitted may differ from the annual target). The figure is a modest acknowledgment of America’s moral debt to that country. It also may reflect geopolitical posturing at least as much as it responds to humanitarian needs—not surprisingly, the U.S. absorbs far more refugees from Iraq, Burma, Iran and Cuba than from the rest of the world combined. Regardless, opening our doors to 17,000 Iraqi refugees is not nearly enough, when measured against Washington’s responsibility in driving them from their homes.

Betsy Cooper of the U.S.-based Iraq Refugee Assistance Project, argues that from a historical standpoint: {read rest}


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