news brief ran on the Associated Press on February 15, 2007:
Doesn´t Want Overflow Iraqi Refugees
Governor Ted Strickland has a message for President Bush: any
plan to relocate to the US thousands of refugees uprooted by the
Iraq war shouldn't include Ohio.
plans to allow about 7,000 Iraqi refugees to settle in the United
States over the next year, a huge expansion at a time of mounting
international pressure to help millions who have fled their homes
in the nearly four-year-old war.
- a Democrat who opposed the war as a US House member - says Ohioans
can't be expected to have open arms for Iraqis displaced by the
war. More than 100 Ohioans have been killed since the war began.
The governor says he has sympathy for the refugees' plight, but
he won't ask Ohioans to accept a greater burden."
It is really
all quite mad, isn't it?
That on top
of the million or so Iraqis we've killed, and the four million we've
maimed, we've also created millions of refugees; that our Maniac-in-Chief
now decrees 7,000 refugees is a politically acceptable number
we should allow into the U.S. even as he continues the slaughter
around the clock; that the governor of a state, having absolutely
nothing to do with immigration policy anyway, feels compelled
to protect the homeland (or would that be "homestate?") by warning
a morbidly unpopular president, "Not in our backyard, pallie!"
for people of good conscience to keep in mind: When we finally
get our troops out of Iraq, and our bases out of Iraq, and our
mercenaries out of Iraq, and our spooks out of Iraq, and Halliburton
Corp., and Burger King Corp.,
and all the rest - when the last U.S. helicopter flies off the
roof of the world's largest embassy and the American Empire's
sorry, bloody, murderous adventure draws to a close - we owe these
people. Big time.
I don't know
how many, or actually, why any of them would want to come live
in Disneyland. But if some do, we should welcome them and the
many lessons they could teach us about maintaining humanity in
conditions of pure hell.
For the 99.9
per cent of Iraqis who would rather stay home and rebuild their
shattered lives, at the very least we owe them money. Lots of
money. Multiple billions of dollars. And not to be administered
by our military or our corporations or our mercenaries or our
spooks. No, we should have nothing to do with that money except
deliver it to Iraq and let them decide what to do with it. I hope
they can rebuild the hospitals and the electric and phone
systems we bombed, and the water treatment plants we've destroyed,
and the economy we've wrecked. But frankly it doesn't matter if
they want to insulate their attics with it, or mix it with mud
and turn it into building material, or pile it up in the middle
of the desert and f.....g burn it all. They can't possibly do
any worse with it than we have.
is just the beginning of the magnitude of the dollar amount we
What we do
for all the pain and suffering and heartache and terror we've
created, only God knows. Those things we carry on our conscience
to our graves.
And the governor
of Ohio wants to be first in line to say, "Keep your tired and
maimed. Don't burden us."
Mike Ferner is a freelance
writer and a former member of Toledo City Council. He served as
a Navy Corpsman during Vietnam and is a member of Veterans
His book, Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from
Iraq (Praeger), has just been published. You can keep up with
the latest addition to America's burgeoning criminal population
Click here for other articles by Mike Ferner:
Dear George, F**K You!
If Not Now, When?
To The Choir
Pick A Number
Let Humanity's Mutiny Begin
What It Takes To Defy Authority In A Non-Violent Way
Haditha Is Not An Aberration
Movements: From Antiwar, To Peace, To Democracy
Speaker Of House Not Responsible For War Funding
Seven Arrested At White House Protest Against Iraq War
There Are Lives In The Balance
Getting Jailed For Peace