Interlude: So now I’ve heard of Steve Gern

This morning I was blessed – blessed – to receive an e-mail FWD from my dad, or rather a message from one of his mates, which he then FWDed to me, I can only assume, for some fuzzy wuzzy leftist peacenik perspective.

neutral

I will, as always, be doing my best to break this tirade up and intersperse it with amusing semi-relevant pictures just to keep your will to live hovering somewhere around 50%.

My dad is part of the generation that just cannot reliably deal with the Internet, and yet is for some unfathomable reason still in charge of a lot of the world. So the stuff he sends to me from his mates usually hits my inbox with all their personal details attached.

It’s probably just as well I’m a decent person.

Anyway, this morning was a surreal one.


From: ### [mailto:###]
Sent: Monday, 13 February 2017 11:00 AM
To: ###
Subject: FW: A different perspective on a subject in the news


A different perspective! Ah, so this is going to be some sort of message of tolerance and intelligence and a rejection of fear – oh wait.


Worth a listen.  From a friend in the US.

###.

https://videos.files.wordpress.com/oaErVkaB/us-marine-on-travel-ban_dvd.mp4


Alright, so for anyone who doesn’t know yet, this is a video recorded by a marine, or possibly former / retired marine who was still doing “missions” up until quite recently and stationed in Iraq (within five minutes I think I had researched this more thoroughly than my dad or his friends). His name is Steve Gern.

There is a heap of links about him, and at this point it’s just ridiculous to try to figure out what is true and what is propaganda, so I’m working on the assumptions that:

a) He is a real (ex-)marine;

b) He was in Iraq as of the creation of the video;

c) What he was recounting was anecdotally true.

I for one have no trouble believing these points, although obviously I think it will be an uncomfortable thing for a lot of us fuzzy wuzzies to confront. In later news, it was also reported that a few hours after his video went viral, Gern was airlifted the fuck out of Iraq because his life was in danger.

A_DOY (1)

To which my immediate thought was “great, and now what about the rest of them?”

Gern makes an excellent case about the hostility a soldier faces on foreign soil. I know nothing about how that feels, except there are some military men in my family and despite my vastly differing worldview I have great respect and sympathy for their experiences.

I respect, because whatever orders and whatever politics and whatever rhetoric got them to that place (literally and ideologically), they are doing what they think is right, to protect their own and to make things better for the country they’ve been shipped off to. They’re doing something dangerous, and I can only imagine the fear they live with, but they get out there and do it, and sure – I can tip my hat to that.

Are they creating more enemies than they’re protecting us from? Maybe. Not the point at this stage.

wacky_fun

Worked for the Romans.

No, I don’t think “invading” US soldiers go over to some other country with an avowed intent to kill everyone, burn villages and rape the local women. Sure, there are some like that – but let’s keep it real, there are small numbers of bad people slipping into our countries from these “under no circumstances specifically necessarily Muslim” countries too. Conservatives are using that fact as a justification for banning immigration, after all. Sooooooo

[space left for drawing of logical conclusions]

Anyway, sure, I respect the soldier who is out there doing his job, even if I have my reservations about whether the job should really be done in certain places and under certain circumstances. Most of them are good people, doing a difficult thing.

I sympathise, because I’ve seen first-hand how that difficult thing can skew one’s view of the world, of people from a certain place, of one’s expectations of a certain culture – one’s view of civilians and activists and basically everything.

Yeah, once you’ve been hated – literally death-wish hated – by a group of people, it’s probably impossible to look at anyone from that group or a similar group and not see a heightened threat. And maybe you’re not even wrong. Also not the point at this stage.

So that brings us to Steve Gern and his experiences in Iraq.

Gern relates a simple story: That he asked his associates over there in Iraq whether he could go down to the local town and just hang out. His associates said no, that was a terrible idea, he would be captured and tortured and beheaded on video. Not by ISIS or militants of any kind, but by normal civilian townsfolk.

The take-away from this was “I can’t live a normal life in their country. Why should they get to live in mine?”

SavedPicture-20161198365.jpg

Yeah.

I can only assume that the implication is that the Iraqi civilians entering the US are … what, going to start torturing and beheading people?

Okay, that might be an unfair knee-jerk exaggeration. Maybe the possibility that even one immigrant possibly doing this is enough to justify more vetting, more security checks, and maybe that’s all the ban is about. Maybe. Sure. Okay.

But the video draws a clear parallel between the danger faced by a US soldier in war-torn Iraq at the hands of its citizens, and the danger faced by a US citizen in the US at the hands of Iraqi immigrants.

THERE’S NO FUCKING PARALLEL.

This guy is a soldier. Now, I just got through telling you how I respect and sympathise with the soldier’s experience. Where I draw the line, however, is in thinking the experience of a soldier on foreign soil has any overlap with the experience of a civilian in his or her homeland.

So what’s the difference?

Why would Gern be tortured and beheaded in an Iraqi town, while Iraqi immigrants in the US might be entirely innocent and harmless? Is there any possible explanation, or are Iraqis just that dangerous, regardless of the provocation or context? Do the native Iraqis just not like big beards? No, that can’t be it.

gern

It’s just a mystery.

So I sent the above reply to my dad and to the original e-mail FWDer, just because I could do it (I had the technology).

Why should Iraqi immigrants and refugees get to live in the US, Steve? Because your job was to liberate them and give them a life of peace. Because your country prides itself on taking in the less fortunate and giving them a chance.

Because if Iraq is so bad that Iraqis are trying to get into the US, Steve, you have failed.

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43 Responses to Interlude: So now I’ve heard of Steve Gern

  1. dreameling says:

    “I can’t live a normal life in their country. Why should they get to live in mine?”

    Sounds like a textbook case of false equivalence.

    • stchucky says:

      Right??

      I just don’t understand how he thinks a heavily-armed Iraqi soldier would survive a day in a little town in, say, the south of the US.

      I’m also a little concerned at how he would apparently be tortured and beheaded on video – not by ISIS or other militants, but just by normal citizens? Why would they videotape it? YouTube clicks? Is there an amateur film festival going on? What sort of town does he live near?

      • dreameling says:

        There’s also just the general disconnect between “US soldier in crisis-torn Iraq” and “Iraqi civilian in peace-time US”. Too completely different contexts. Not equivalent.

      • stchucky says:

        Yup.

        I don’t want to get into the counter-productive conspiracy / setup side of it (not that this is super-constructive as it is, but you know). But it worries me that a marine wouldn’t recognise this lack of equivalence. I don’t like to think that soldiers, even USian soldiers, are that blind.

        And he goes on the record saying we civilians are naïve?

      • dreameling says:

        Soldiers are just people. They’re not special. They may have perspective on things that we civilians do not, but that doesn’t make them any less prone to prejudice or narrow-mindedness.

        I imagine a soldier’s perspective is equally skewed by the violence and other shit they experience on-the-job as a civilian’s perspective is skewed by not being exposed to said shit.

  2. C Itkonen says:

    Word.

    Can I share this to my facebook so my racist relatives pee themselves?

  3. brknwntr says:

    I know this is only semi-related, but this seems the best place possible for me to express it.

    I WANT to be a pacifist. My religion and moral code from my upbringing, teach tolerance and peace, and a strict, DO UNTO OTHERS policy.

    My personality, life experience, and general world view lead me down a more “it would be awfully sad that lots of innocents would die if we carpet bombed vast swaths of the planet simply to ensure we got that one mother fucker. But if I KNEW it would ensure peace and safety for the people I want it for…. I would kill them in a heartbeat” sort of path.

    It’s a hard hard place to be.

    • brknwntr says:

      Which after further thought was not clear enough for the reader to follow my train of thought.

      I see both sides. And i actively want to be on either side of the fence at various times.

      And neither one is simple or straightforward.

      • stchucky says:

        He’d never really understood the deep-seated human impulse to die fighting now rather than pass an issue on to some future generation that might actually solve said issue. He tried not to let prejudice answer this riddle for him, but sometimes his experience with humans got in the way of this noble sentiment. That was when he became incapable of seeing it as anything but raw, howling, teeth-bared monkeyhate. Confront a group of humans with a challenge that could be solved by immediate violence or by generation-spanning thought, and they would go for the violence every time, with a relish that Decay usually considered funny but he knew the Molren had found deeply disturbing from day one.

        Sounds like the human condition to me.

      • brknwntr says:

        Yeah, that’s pretty much all I needed response wise.

        I’m studying calculus, reading a fiction book about cryptography that was written by a choreographer, drinking my fourth cup of black coffee, and medicated to slow my brain down with a medicine that seems to have the exact opposite. Today will not be a rational or logical day.

  4. Zared says:

    Maybe the typical Iraqi only hates US soldiers and not the civilians. Maybe the typical Iraqi doesn’t hate anyone in the US. Maybe it’s even the US’s fault if any of them hate us. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

    Check your premises. You presume that we have to take the risk and bring them here because we are under some obligation to do so. We are not. Even if we agree that we are obligated to help them, bringing them here is clearly not the best way to do it. It is arguable that bringing them here is not really even helping them in the long run. We should not be allowing immigration from countries that harbor a significant number of anti-western militants, especially when all sides agree that there is no way to vet them. It makes absolutely zero sense.

    You also presume that the US can afford to help. We like to pretend that we can, but we cannot. US unfunded liabilities are well over $120,000,000,000,000 (those are trillions, zeros added for effect), which is over six times our GDP. This number is increasing at the tune of 10 million per minute. The most frightening aspect of these figures is that our unfunded liabilities are growing nearly 2000 times faster than our GDP. We can not pay our existing liabilities without consistently increasing our borrowing.

    We must get our own house in order before we can help anyone else or we are going to go down and possibly bring everyone else down with us.

    • stchucky says:

      We must get our own house in order before we can help anyone else or we are going to go down and possibly bring everyone else down with us.

      On this much, at least, I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      “We must get our own house in order before we can help anyone else or we are going to go down and possibly bring everyone else down with us.”

      So, surely, Zared, we should stop wrecking other countries with invasions and drone strikes on civilians so we stop creating more and more of these needy, inconvenient folks. Right?

      We ARE obligated to try and fix what we broke, by the way. So enough of your “maybes”. Ever heard of responsibility? You break it, you buy it? “Maybe” we should think about consequences before actions. Maybe?

      • Zared says:

        Aaron, nice attitude. “Maybe” you can show me where I said we should be invading countries and blowing people up. Do you always assume someone is a neocon if they disturb your echo chamber?

        As for your second point, this is about immigration. I pointed out that IF we are responsible to help any refugees, then bringing them here is clearly not the best way to help them. I intentionally did not elaborate on what I think our responsibilities in the Middle East are because it is irrelevant to that point.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “Aaron, nice attitude. “Maybe” you can show me where I said we should be invading countries and blowing people up.”

        LOL so say it. Say it right here: we shouldn’t have invaded Iraq. I’ll wait. Also, you do know it’s particularly childish to AGAIN throw your little “maybe” line out after I parodied you for it, right?

        Tell me what you are, then, if you’re not a neocon. Because you are absolutely a right-winger. I like to know who I’m talking to. So, go on. You seem to have judged what I am, if this is my “echo chamber”. Don’t hide in the unknown.

        “I intentionally did not elaborate on what I think our responsibilities in the Middle East are because it is irrelevant to that point.”

        Yeah, I just bet that was your reason. One’s responsibility is NEVER irrelevant to the overall point, no matter how you might wriggle.

        I didn’t address whether bringing refugees here is better for them because it obviously is, and it’s beside MY point. I can play that game, too.

        I’m not going to even bother debating with you whether leaving a family in a war-torn area ravaged also by global warming is preferable to immigration to the United States. I’ll leave that to you alt-righters.

        Oops guess I jumped the gun and classified you already. Deal with it.

      • Zared says:

        Sorry, I didn’t intend to press your self destruct button. Honest.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        “Sorry, I didn’t intend to press your self destruct button. Honest.”

        You couldn’t trigger me if your life depended on it. I deal with alt-right idiots like you day in, day out.

        Respond with content or fuck off. LMAO

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Oh, I see. You ran out of prepared remarks and are now an empty sweatsuit. Understood XD

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      “especially when all sides agree that there is no way to vet them. ”

      Didn’t even argue about this little gem before, but bull shit do all sides agree there is no way to vet them. MY side, the side with facts, “agrees” that we had a tough vetting process that was letting barely a trickle into the US while you guys were running around with your hair on fire, screaming about “figuring that whole thing out.” We figured it out. We vet them for about a year. Has worked so far.

      Too bad we can’t vet some people who are already here…. All sides agree on that, too!

      Your cost argument, by the way, is preposterous. With that attitude, we shouldn’t do anything. We eventually over the course of whatever ridiculous timeframe you chose there owe far too much money! Let’s tax everyone 100% and spend nothing for a few years. That’ll fix it.

      Do you support cutting our massive, bloated offense–sorry, defense–department to help reduce our liabilities? Because every reasonable analysis shows we spend far too much, and that our defense contractors drive our policy.

      Are you even aware of that reality?

      As you can see, I require a few declarations of acceptance of fact and reality before I will take you seriously.

    • stchucky says:

      Check your premises. You presume that we have to take the risk and bring them here because we are under some obligation to do so. We are not.

      “Them” – you mean refugees?

      Sure, that’s true. I mean, we can talk about a moral obligation that every peaceful and developed nation has, but morality is a dubious thing to talk about. I’d rather the nation where I hang my hat be included in the refugee-accepting and aid-giving side of the ledger than – for example – Saudi Arabia, a nation actually in the Middle East that arguably should be leading the way with helping to fix the area … but yes, it’s just a personal call on my part. Feelings and shit.

      Even if we agree that we are obligated to help them, bringing them here is clearly not the best way to do it.

      If you mean the locals of the Middle Eastern nations where US / allied troops are stationed, sure. If they’re not leaving their homes, and are just living there and feeling hostile, by all means don’t bring them over.

      If, however, they’re fleeing persecution, murder, or a brutal regime – what other solution is there but to grant them asylum?

      I ask legitimately, not sarcastically. Because Australia has an alternative. Nauru Island, which is basically a death camp for boat people.

      It is arguable that bringing them here is not really even helping them in the long run. We should not be allowing immigration from countries that harbor a significant number of anti-western militants, especially when all sides agree that there is no way to vet them. It makes absolutely zero sense.

      It makes absolutely zero sense to interfere with those countries, killing thousands of people, and making them hate you, and then let them immigrate without taking care. I mean, I’m quite surprised that the overwhelming majority of Middle Eastern immigrants and refugees don’t seem to hate the West.

      I agree that the best thing to do would be to back out of their shit, let them handle their own mess, do what we should do to fix up the mess we caused, and then just give it time. Because right now the only alternative is to just send everyone back to where they came from and – what? Just isolate every nation inside its own borders until we “fix our own messes”?

      Again, I’m really curious what you think the solution should be. Because there is vetting and a lot of the most dangerous radicalised enemies of our nations are actually stopped and turned back. The immigrants we get are really wonderful people. Yes, there are occasional horror stories and it’s depressing as fuck. But it’s not like the only criminals we have are immigrants.

      You also presume that the US can afford to help. We like to pretend that we can, but we cannot. US unfunded liabilities are well over $120,000,000,000,000 (those are trillions, zeros added for effect), which is over six times our GDP. This number is increasing at the tune of 10 million per minute. The most frightening aspect of these figures is that our unfunded liabilities are growing nearly 2000 times faster than our GDP. We can not pay our existing liabilities without consistently increasing our borrowing.

      But the US can afford perpetual war?

      As you were saying to Aaron:

      As for your second point, this is about immigration. I pointed out that IF we are responsible to help any refugees, then bringing them here is clearly not the best way to help them.

      But that’s literally how you help refugees. By granting them the “asylum” they’re “seeking”.

      Alternatively, creating a safe place for them to return to. This is not happening in the Middle East. Or at least not fast. And in the meantime these poor people have to live somewhere. Or we can just kill ’em.

      *shrug*

      We must get our own house in order before we can help anyone else or we are going to go down and possibly bring everyone else down with us.

      Which brings me back to the only part of your comment I really agreed with. This is perfectly accurate as far as I’m concerned. The world is getting itself in a bigger and bigger mess, and every nation is inevitably going to run out of the resources required to keep its citizens at the standard of living they’re used to, and then civil unrest will increase and foreign aid will cease to exist. So that sucks.

      • Zared says:

        Andrew, I would love to go point for point through your reply, but it would be insanely unwieldy. All the same I will TRY to comprehensively clarify what I meant and address your points/concerns in a few paragraphs without cherry picking or strawmanning you.

        My first point was intended to be general and was that the US (as a nation with borders, laws, and social services) has an obligation to its existing citizens first. As such it is under no obligation to to let ANYONE immigrate into the country if doing so creates a potential threat or burden to its existing citizens. I believe the prevalence of (and often state sponsored) anti-western militants qualifies as substantial threat, regardless of whose fault it is.

        The second point was intended to be more specifically about (Syrian) refugees. I was saying that even if we agree that the US is obligated (morally, legally, or whatever) to HELP them, and if the idea is to help as many people as much as possible, then bringing them here is objectively not the BEST (not to be confused with BETTER) way to do it. I say this because for the cost to settle ONE refugee in the US (a place with a different language, climate, culture, job skill requirements, etc.) we can resettle TEN or more in the Middle East where they can acclimate much more easily for obvious reasons. Keep in mind that many of the Syrian refugees can not even read and write in their own language. How is bringing them to the US not setting them up for personal failure. (I know BETTER than death and starvation, but certainly not the BEST outcome). I hear you on the “feels”, man, but the highway to hell is paved with good intentions.

        If resettlement in the Middle East is not happening, then I have to ask, “Why the **** not!”.

        As far as the vetting process, I should have left it out of my original post because it was mostly irrelevant to my point. However, I thought it was mostly settled in the US (apparently not) that there was no way to properly vet the Syrian refugees. Republican intelligence officials pointed out that after 5 years of civil war, none of the refugees have papers of any kind than can be verified. This seems to have been corroborated by the Democrat appointed FBI director who said there were dangerous holes in the vetting process. Add to that the fact that some of the Paris terrorists apparently came in with Syrian refugees.

        As to my third point about the economics of helping, I have four kids and those numbers scare the shit out me. I don’t understand how this could have been allowed to happen, or how this can possibly be fixed. I do know that for the US to borrow more money from China to give to other people can not help anyone in the long run. No, the US cannot afford perpetual war. I agree that in the end, the US should “back out of their shit”.

      • stchucky says:

        Andrew, I would love to go point for point through your reply, but it would be insanely unwieldy.

        Baaaaahahahahaha oh man. Well, don’t take it amiss if I go for it. This is nothing.

        All the same I will TRY to comprehensively clarify what I meant and address your points/concerns in a few paragraphs without cherry picking or strawmanning you.

        Appreciated.

        My first point was intended to be general and was that the US (as a nation with borders, laws, and social services) has an obligation to its existing citizens first.

        And it, like any other country I can name, is meeting that obligation just fine (for assorted dubious values of “fine” that include the reality of the 1% … let’s say that they’re meeting the obligation of “citizens first”, not necessarily “citizens satisfactorily”).

        Prioritising does not mean taking lower-priority things off the table entirely.

        As such it is under no obligation to to let ANYONE immigrate into the country if doing so creates a potential threat or burden to its existing citizens. I believe the prevalence of (and often state sponsored) anti-western militants qualifies as substantial threat, regardless of whose fault it is.

        I don’t think we’re going to come to an agreement on this concept of “prevalence”, considering the other dangers faced by US citizens on their own soil (*cough-cough-mass-shootings-cough-cough*). And the state sponsorship you talk about is largely coming from Middle Eastern countries your government consistently fails (or doesn’t even try) to do a damn thing about (*cough-cough-Saudi-Arabia-cough-cough*).

        Now, there’s a larger debate to be held about a) the statistics of crime vs. demographic, and b) the example of Saudi Arabia as “Middle Eastern country that the US didn’t overthrow and install a puppet government” and whether that’s better or worse than a crater-riddled warzone and what that says about foreign interference in sovereign nations … but like you say, it’s mostly tangential to the point (I won’t say irrelevant though, these are all factors in what you’re talking about). And I get the feeling that we’d just talk in circles about it. You would keep coming back to the few horrible but media-exaggerated threats posed by refugees (and immigrants in general? Where are you drawing the line?) and the impossibility of weeding out all the criminals. I would keep coming back to the fact that all countries have criminals already and an immigrant (let alone refugee) population is far less that way inclined by its very nature, fearmongering aside.

        So perhaps it would be best to focus on what we agree on, which is a) refugees from war-torn countries definitely need help, and b) the countries to which they are fleeing have problems of their own that they should be fixing (before / as well as / instead of helping others).

        The second point was intended to be more specifically about (Syrian) refugees. I was saying that even if we agree that the US is obligated (morally, legally, or whatever) to HELP them, and if the idea is to help as many people as much as possible, then bringing them here is objectively not the BEST (not to be confused with BETTER) way to do it.

        Interesting distinction. I mean, I agree of course. The best solution would be to turn our global civilisation post-scarcity and give everybody everything they want, and expand into space with the benefit of some sort of benevolent AI. But as you say, at the moment we have two real options:

        1) Shelter refugees
        2) Turn refugees away (to remain in their warzones and die)

        And 1 is better than 2.

        Now, if you can think of a way to make 2 better, by not sheltering refugees in our own countries but not sending them back to the place they’re fleeing either – if you can think of a way to do that which will cost us fewer resources than sheltering them inside our own borders … sure. That sounds great.

        I say this because for the cost to settle ONE refugee in the US (a place with a different language, climate, culture, job skill requirements, etc.) we can resettle TEN or more in the Middle East where they can acclimate much more easily for obvious reasons.

        Obvious question: Where in the Middle East?

        And another point, actually in agreement with you on this: At the moment, a lot of refugees are travelling to other countries by paying insane amounts of money to shady human trafficker-ish groups, and they’re dying en route. If we can find a way to stop that shit from happening, that would be great.

        I’m fairly sure that if there was a relatively local solution to the refugee crisis, there’d be more news about it (and I’m sure there are some nations over there taking their quotas and more – as I say just above, a lot of the refugees that even make it to the EU or the US are the ones who could afford to get that far). Instead what we hear about is nations … well, taking the route you seem to be proposing, and protecting their own citizens and way of life, refusing to take refugees or other immigrants.

        And I disagree with that approach. I wouldn’t want the country where I hang my hat to be on that side of the ledger, as I already said.

        Keep in mind that many of the Syrian refugees can not even read and write in their own language. How is bringing them to the US not setting them up for personal failure. (I know BETTER than death and starvation, but certainly not the BEST outcome). I hear you on the “feels”, man, but the highway to hell is paved with good intentions.

        So do you propose (keeping in mind that we’re neither of us likely to be dictating national policy any time soon, just exchanging ideas) setting up or otherwise allocating some sort of refugee halfway house on a massive scale, somewhere in the Middle East? Assuming that giving them food or education or medical aid is outside our jurisdiction / too expensive, and they can take care of themselves the way we all should be taking care of ourselves … what do you propose we do for them? Do we help these nations recover to the level they were in during the ’70s and ’80s? That’s already a pretty big deal.

        Or do you want to just give them 300,000 tents and a bunch of water barrels and call it good?

        You know what I propose? A trade and industry agreement with the Middle Eastern nations that would allow us and them to convert a lot of desolate wasteland into solar farms. That’d be neat. Because sooner or later, the almighty oil carrot is going to go away and we’ll be left with the fundamentalist jihadi stick. And then shit is going to get really ugly. You think it’s ugly now. Wait another 20 years.

        If resettlement in the Middle East is not happening, then I have to ask, “Why the **** not!”.

        I’m pretty sure a certain amount of resettlement is happening in various Middle Eastern countries. They’re not all refusing to take in the needy.

        As to whether they can in any practical sense hope to take everybody … I don’t think that’s possible. And the reductio ad absurdum of that is worldwide national isolation. All of us closing our doors and dying alone on our own terms. That’s not how humans or the world works.

        I’m not saying this is what you propose. But I do think that we’re both obviously somewhere on the spectrum between the two ludicrous extremes of “let’s relocate the entire Middle East to the west” and “let’s send all immigrants home and close our borders”. I just wonder where you stand and how you think it’s more practical than the (yes, I admit) non-optimal way we’re doing business right now.

        As far as the vetting process, I should have left it out of my original post because it was mostly irrelevant to my point. However, I thought it was mostly settled in the US (apparently not) that there was no way to properly vet the Syrian refugees. Republican intelligence officials pointed out that after 5 years of civil war, none of the refugees have papers of any kind than can be verified. This seems to have been corroborated by the Democrat appointed FBI director who said there were dangerous holes in the vetting process. Add to that the fact that some of the Paris terrorists apparently came in with Syrian refugees.

        Vetting works fine. There will always be bad people who go from one place to another. The question is, how many good people do you want to punish in order to minimise (not prevent entirely) that inevitability? Because it sounds to me like you’re proposing punishing a lot of them.

        As to my third point about the economics of helping, I have four kids and those numbers scare the shit out me. I don’t understand how this could have been allowed to happen, or how this can possibly be fixed. I do know that for the US to borrow more money from China to give to other people can not help anyone in the long run. No, the US cannot afford perpetual war. I agree that in the end, the US should “back out of their shit”.

        Sure, non-argument. The US has some work to do if it wants to avoid a civil / class / race war of its own.

        I hope Finland will still be willing to take refugees when it happens. Even though USians are known to be belligerent, violent, heavily-armed and unwilling to adapt to foreign customs. Also a lot of them are illiterate. We’ll have to amend our vetting process.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Thank you, Hatboy, for saying almost all of what I wanted to say in response to Zared’s finally providing what we COULD do, instead of just what we can’t do, don’t have to do, and aren’t responsible for. That allows me to focus on two things, specifically, that I really wish you, Zared, and all the other right-wingers would figure out.

        “As such it is under no obligation to to let ANYONE immigrate into the country if doing so creates a potential threat or burden to its existing citizens. I believe the prevalence of (and often state sponsored) anti-western militants qualifies as substantial threat, regardless of whose fault it is.”

        And I disagree about how “prevalent” they are in these refugee groups. And furthermore, you seem to have the same right-wing belief that we liberals aren’t worried about national security. I have children, too. They go to the same schools, the same airports, the same public spaces yours do. I have no more desire for terrorism here than you do!

        I just do not view brown immigrants the same way that you do. I look at overall statistics instead of hyperbolic right-wing media fearmongering. If I honestly believed there were many Islamists trying to sneak over here as refugees, I would have a different view. As it is, I think we can and should and must vet refugees and the system was working. We didn’t have a SINGLE Syrian refugee commit terror inside the US.

        “This seems to have been corroborated by the Democrat appointed FBI director who said there were dangerous holes in the vetting process.”

        That’s cute, very cute. So you think that “Democrat appointed” makes this “bipartisan” in any meaningful sense? They’re all establishment figures, they’re all neocons. Because the “Democrat appointed” FBI director is a Republican, James Comey. Very cute trick. And Democrats aren’t even liberal anyway. Our federal government is bought and paid for by corporate oligarchs. Another fact. So party names don’t matter to me.

        And thanks Obama, for letting right-wingers use this sort of bullshit “logic” against us all, now that you compromised your entire world view over to the right wing. What did it get you? Did any of them give you any credit for reaching out?

        Zared? Do you give Obama credit for being bipartisan and reaching out to Republicans? Because to US, he did that on almost every issue. Tell me Obama did more than just enable Republican values to thrive under a Democratic president.

      • Zared says:

        Andrew, thanks for the reply. I normally would prefer to go point for point myself to keep everything in context, but going point for point through your point for point creates a giant wall of text and I am afraid I do not have your WordPress formatting skills. I don’t normally post here and I don’t see any way to format other than possibly pasting it in from somewhere else. Are you using HTML tags?

        I have to be brief anyway, I have so much work to do.

        “Prioritising does not mean taking lower-priority things off the table entirely.”

        In the context of general immigration, this does not really apply. Since there is an overabundance of people that want to immigrate to the US, we should be considering opportunity costs. Why bring in an immigrant from places where there is a higher potential for danger (even if we disagree on the degree of danger) when you do so at the expense of taking someone from somewhere else.

        “I don’t think we’re going to come to an agreement on this concept of “prevalence”, considering the other dangers faced by US citizens on their own soil (*cough-cough-mass-shootings-cough-cough*).”

        You have to admit that this is fallacious. The fact that we have our own problems doesn’t mean we should not try to avoid importing more problems.

        “But as you say, at the moment we have two real options:
        1) Shelter refugees
        2) Turn refugees away (to remain in their warzones and die)
        And 1 is better than 2.”

        Did I say that? I thought I was saying that this is a false dichotomy. What about: 3) It would be cheaper and better to resettle them in the Middle East. It doesn’t have to be about closed boarders and Nationalism at all. The same countries that want to help can still help, but instead of using ten times the resources importing them, they can spend the same amount and help ten times the refugees instead. If this is such a horrible humanitarian crisis with global ramifications, we should be able to convince local leaders to cooperate. Even if you have to line the pockets of the local royalty to make it worth their time, it would still be cheaper. Whether this could be done with everyone and whether it would be cost inhibitive to provide proper food, water, and medicine is irrelevant, because if it too expensive to do it there, it is 10 times too expensive to do it here.

        “Even though USians are known to be belligerent, violent, heavily-armed and unwilling to adapt to foreign customs. Also a lot of them are illiterate. We’ll have to amend our vetting process.”

        Funny point about our rep, but what we don’t have is rallies in the streets where we scream our hatred of Finnish culture and burn your flag. My point still stands, though. If you bring an illiterate ‘Merican to Finland they will live a life of dependency and failure. If they can’t read and write their own language, they will have no chance to assimilate. However, if you could resettle them in GB instead (especially if it were cheaper) it would make much more sense. At least they would be able to verbally communicate. (Of course, we have to pretend that you guys don’t do the Englishes too well, or the analogy falls apart.)

      • stchucky says:

        Alright, I’m going to think about this and come back to it after the weekend, I appreciate your effort. I do dearly wish that the expense and effort that is poured into the military and campaigns was spent on actual humanitarian aid instead, which is what I think you’re getting at with your points about taking care of problems on site instead of taking in refugees. Even if it does mean a huge change in the way we conduct humanitarian work.

        Unfortunately, it looks really unlikely such a change will happen. The war machine is too profitable for the merchants. And the area is too unstable. And the traffic in and out is too agenda-driven.

        But let’s take the weekend off.

        Incidentally, I have a more practical reason for pausing as well as “no time”. These responses are much easier on the PC and I’m restricted to my phone on weekends. And yes, the admin panel gives me more editing freedom but other readers seem to manage with [blockquote] and [/blockquote] – just substitute pointy brackets for the square ones. If I typed them out properly, they’d vanish 😉

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        These are great ideas that you know won’t be put into place, therefore it’s completely safe for you to show support for them. And stop making up figures of relative cost. I perform cost analysis for a living and I know the numbers you pretend to have calculated are not calculable. Certainly not by a single person such as yourself. I challenge you to prove any effective cost comparison between immigration/refugee status and resettlement. You don’t have the data.

        And you can ignore my dissection of your ridiculous positions all you want. It doesn’t change a thing.

      • stchucky says:

        “Prioritising does not mean taking lower-priority things off the table entirely.”

        In the context of general immigration, this does not really apply. Since there is an overabundance of people that want to immigrate to the US, we should be considering opportunity costs. Why bring in an immigrant from places where there is a higher potential for danger (even if we disagree on the degree of danger) when you do so at the expense of taking someone from somewhere else.

        I don’t think that sheltering one Syrian refugee or taking one Iraqi economic immigrant means you have to take one less Canadian school teacher or British scientist. Although why either of them would want to go to the US is beyond me – the fact remains, people do still want to go to the US.

        Your country would best be served by taking anyone and everyone who wants to go there. Because sooner or later nobody will. I don’t think the tiny percentage of immigrant criminals, and the even tinier percentage of refugee criminals, is worth the cutting off of those streams of new blood. Like I said, there will always be bad people who go from one place to another. The question is, how many good people do you want to punish in order to minimise (not prevent entirely) that inevitability? Because it sounds to me like you’re proposing punishing a lot of them.

        And I will basically be copy-pasting from here on in because I don’t think you’re really invested in a realistic solution and you’re not giving my responses the merited consideration, and I am out of spoons for this conversation.

        “I don’t think we’re going to come to an agreement on this concept of “prevalence”, considering the other dangers faced by US citizens on their own soil (*cough-cough-mass-shootings-cough-cough*).”

        You have to admit that this is fallacious. The fact that we have our own problems doesn’t mean we should not try to avoid importing more problems.

        No, I don’t have to admit it’s fallacious, because it’s not. The horrifying prevalence of violent crime in your country, coupled with the laughably negligible amount of violent crime in your immigrant, let alone your refugee populations, makes cancelling immigration (or the sheltering of asylum seekers) as a solution seem like a disgusting joke. Ignorance and bigotry are the only possible excuses for such an attitude towards foreigners.

        I am willing to excuse the ignorance to a degree, because you have been lied to so comprehensively by your media and your politicians. But ignorance can be remedied.

        Bigotry can too, but I’m not in the mood to take more onto my plate right now.

        “But as you say, at the moment we have two real options:
        1) Shelter refugees
        2) Turn refugees away (to remain in their warzones and die)
        And 1 is better than 2.”

        Did I say that? I thought I was saying that this is a false dichotomy. What about: 3) It would be cheaper and better to resettle them in the Middle East.

        I was giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you were for one or another of the actually practical solutions here (hence my modifier “real” in the comment above). If you want to push for option 3 as a real option, please provide more research and data.

        Otherwise, we are left with a pointless agreement that yes, it’s bad to reject asylum seekers, it’s better to accept them, but it would be even better to have some option where everything is perfect. We know that already.

        It doesn’t have to be about closed boarders and Nationalism at all. The same countries that want to help can still help, but instead of using ten times the resources importing them, they can spend the same amount and help ten times the refugees instead. If this is such a horrible humanitarian crisis with global ramifications, we should be able to convince local leaders to cooperate. Even if you have to line the pockets of the local royalty to make it worth their time, it would still be cheaper. Whether this could be done with everyone and whether it would be cost inhibitive to provide proper food, water, and medicine is irrelevant, because if it too expensive to do it there, it is 10 times too expensive to do it here.

        So why is this not happening?

        Funny point about our rep, but what we don’t have is rallies in the streets where we scream our hatred of Finnish culture and burn your flag.

        Funny thing. When the US went into a bogus, disingenuous and evil war against Iraq and its nonexistent WMDs, the French government said that maybe there should be more transparency, investigation and diplomacy involved. You raging arseholes sure burned your share of French flags then. And tried to rename the French fry.

        And the “screaming anti-American jihadis who think we’re the great satan” excuse has been used to absolute ludicrous exhaustion in the past 20 years, as a justification for any and all sanctions, prejudice, and illegal military actions against Middle Eastern countries. Fuck your flag, stop murdering people.

        My point still stands, though. If you bring an illiterate ‘Merican to Finland they will live a life of dependency and failure. If they can’t read and write their own language, they will have no chance to assimilate. However, if you could resettle them in GB instead (especially if it were cheaper) it would make much more sense. At least they would be able to verbally communicate. (Of course, we have to pretend that you guys don’t do the Englishes too well, or the analogy falls apart.)

        I’d like to see some numbers regarding how many immigrants to the US are illiterate. And how many refugees for that matter. Not that it matters for refugees because they’re fleeing death. So you help them. That’s the deal.

        In my experience, Middle Eastern immigrants and refugees are enormously more capable and willing to learn the local language and get jobs and basically get on with being productive members of society than us lazy westerners. And they do it while dealing with irrational hatred and bigotry every step of the way.

        This has been an interesting discussion but I am out of patience. Please provide some sort of practical and reality-based a) objections to Middle Eastern immigrants, b) suggestions as to how the situation might otherwise be remedied. Because I’m not seeing much here.

        Let’s take another look at your original post.

        Maybe the typical Iraqi only hates US soldiers and not the civilians. Maybe the typical Iraqi doesn’t hate anyone in the US. Maybe it’s even the US’s fault if any of them hate us. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

        Yeah…? So, not sure what this means.

        Check your premises. You presume that we have to take the risk and bring them here because we are under some obligation to do so. We are not.

        You are.

        Even if we agree that we are obligated to help them, bringing them here is clearly not the best way to do it.

        I can think of only hypothetical and fantastical better ways. Feel free to offer more than “settle and aid them somewhere more local”.

        It’s not the best way but it’s the best we have.

        It is arguable that bringing them here is not really even helping them in the long run.

        Not destroying their countries, and spending the US military budget on foreign aid, would be way better. I agree.

        In fact, you could spend 95% of it on helping your own citizens, and 5% of it on the countries you’ve fucked up, and you’d fix the world within a decade.

        We should not be allowing immigration from countries that harbor a significant number of anti-western militants,

        Ignorance and bigotry.

        especially when all sides agree that there is no way to vet them. It makes absolutely zero sense.

        All sides don’t agree this.

        You also presume that the US can afford to help. We like to pretend that we can, but we cannot. US unfunded liabilities are well over $120,000,000,000,000 (those are trillions, zeros added for effect), which is over six times our GDP. This number is increasing at the tune of 10 million per minute. The most frightening aspect of these figures is that our unfunded liabilities are growing nearly 2000 times faster than our GDP. We can not pay our existing liabilities without consistently increasing our borrowing.

        If you can afford to fight these pointless, vile, evil wars, you can afford a lot of other stuff instead.

        We must get our own house in order before we can help anyone else or we are going to go down and possibly bring everyone else down with us.

        Which brings me back to my original response, which is that this is the only part of your sentiment I actually agree with.

        And none of this really has anything to do with the blog post, which was specifically about US military hostiles in foreign countries. And the blatant hypocrisy and illogic of the bigots’ attitude “we can’t live there (as murderous invaders); why should they get to live here (as peaceful immigrants who want to be here, or as people fleeing the aforementioned murderous invaders)?”

        It automatically assumes the foreigner is an inferior life form with less right to live than the soldier has to murder.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Ouch. Very well and harshly said. I suspect we’ve heard the last from Zared. I’d write more but work internet is fucked and emailing from my phone hurts my messed up hand 😓

        Just wanted to add another mea culpa about giving him an easy excuse to tune me out. It’s not that Timo is right…this guy didn’t even start deserving politeness from us. Sarcastic maybe maybe maybe to echo chamber insults out of the gate. But I’m aware of what I did.

        Also I wonder if it’s possible to convince a bigot that his bigoted conclusions are shit if you don’t get him to realize or admit his bigotry. Seems to me the root problem will prevent convincing him. This is partly why I’ve stopped being nice to right wingers.

      • stchucky says:

        Illiterate immigrants are not a problem. Teaching a few thousand of them to read and a few million USians to read, of course, is a much better use of money than murdering people for the last few spoonfuls of oil.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-41754308/the-americans-who-can-t-read?ocid=socialflow_twitter

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        I call BS anyway on his claim that so many of them are illiterate even in their own language. That just can’t be. Written language is a near-necessity in most countries of the world today.

      • stchucky says:

        Certainly the ones that are immigrating in this method (into the EU and US) rather than just fleeing randomly on foot. These are the fortunate ones.

      • Zared says:

        I only continued this conversation, because you previously appeared to want to engage in a reasonable discussion. I am sorry to hear that it is was only an exercise of patience in the face of my “bigotry”. I’ll give you one last go, then bid you adieu.

        “Prioritising does not mean taking lower-priority things off the table entirely.”

        In the context of general immigration, this does not really apply. Since there is an overabundance of people that want to immigrate to the US, we should be considering opportunity costs. Why bring in an immigrant from places where there is a higher potential for danger (even if we disagree on the degree of danger) when you do so at the expense of taking someone from somewhere else.

        I don’t think that sheltering one Syrian refugee or taking one Iraqi economic immigrant means you have to take one less Canadian school teacher or British scientist. Although why either of them would want to go to the US is beyond me – the fact remains, people do still want to go to the US.

        It does, because it takes resources to process immigrants.

        Your country would best be served by taking anyone and everyone who wants to go there. Because sooner or later nobody will. I don’t think the tiny percentage of immigrant criminals, and the even tinier percentage of refugee criminals, is worth the cutting off of those streams of new blood. Like I said, there will always be bad people who go from one place to another.

        Claiming the US would be best served by taking anyone and everyone that wants to come here is a bold statement and certainly debatable. I will say that I disagree.

        The question is, how many good people do you want to punish in order to minimise (not prevent entirely) that inevitability? Because it sounds to me like you’re proposing punishing a lot of them.

        Generally speaking, limiting immigration is no more punishing people than for you to lock your doors at night.

        And I will basically be copy-pasting from here on in because I don’t think you’re really invested in a realistic solution and you’re not giving my responses the merited consideration, and I am out of spoons for this conversation.

        I have spent a considerable amount of my time replying to you. This looks like you just wanted to inject some random arrogance into your reply.

        “I don’t think we’re going to come to an agreement on this concept of “prevalence”, considering the other dangers faced by US citizens on their own soil (*cough-cough-mass-shootings-cough-cough*).”

        You have to admit that this is fallacious. The fact that we have our own problems doesn’t mean we should not try to avoid importing more problems.

        No, I don’t have to admit it’s fallacious, because it’s not. The horrifying prevalence of violent crime in your country, coupled with the laughably negligible amount of violent crime in your immigrant, let alone your refugee populations, makes cancelling immigration (or the sheltering of asylum seekers) as a solution seem like a disgusting joke. Ignorance and bigotry are the only possible excuses for such an attitude towards foreigners.

        Regardless of how many problems we have here, we should still do our best to limit the importation of more problems. How can you argue against that. Not that it is relevant, but you should know that violent crime statistics are hard to compare between countries because of differences in definition and reporting. That being said, the comparison tables I have seen rank the US fairly low relative to many other 1st world countries.

        I am willing to excuse the ignorance to a degree, because you have been lied to so comprehensively by your media and your politicians. But ignorance can be remedied.

        Bigotry can too, but I’m not in the mood to take more onto my plate right now.

        Whaaat!?! I can’t hear you from all the way up there on your high horse!

        “But as you say, at the moment we have two real options:
        1) Shelter refugees
        2) Turn refugees away (to remain in their warzones and die)
        And 1 is better than 2.”

        Did I say that? I thought I was saying that this is a false dichotomy. What about: 3) It would be cheaper and better to resettle them in the Middle East.

        I was giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you were for one or another of the actually practical solutions here (hence my modifier “real” in the comment above). If you want to push for option 3 as a real option, please provide more research and data.

        Otherwise, we are left with a pointless agreement that yes, it’s bad to reject asylum seekers, it’s better to accept them, but it would be even better to have some option where everything is perfect. We know that already.

        Even without hard numbers, it appears to be common sense that it would be much more expensive to settle refugees in the US than in the ME. However, the “ten times” figure comes from comparing the UN’s request for < $2000 dollars per refugee to resettle in neighboring countries, compared to what it would cost in social services to settle them in the US.

        It doesn’t have to be about closed boarders and Nationalism at all. The same countries that want to help can still help, but instead of using ten times the resources importing them, they can spend the same amount and help ten times the refugees instead. If this is such a horrible humanitarian crisis with global ramifications, we should be able to convince local leaders to cooperate. Even if you have to line the pockets of the local royalty to make it worth their time, it would still be cheaper. Whether this could be done with everyone and whether it would be cost inhibitive to provide proper food, water, and medicine is irrelevant, because if it too expensive to do it there, it is 10 times too expensive to do it here.

        So why is this not happening?

        It is happening, but why is it not happening more exclusively with more of a joint effort? No clue. Good but misinformed intentions? Virtue signaling politicians? Just some guesses.

        Funny point about our rep, but what we don’t have is rallies in the streets where we scream our hatred of Finnish culture and burn your flag.

        Funny thing. When the US went into a bogus, disingenuous and evil war against Iraq and its nonexistent WMDs, the French government said that maybe there should be more transparency, investigation and diplomacy involved. You raging arseholes sure burned your share of French flags then. And tried to rename the French fry.

        And the “screaming anti-American jihadis who think we’re the great satan” excuse has been used to absolute ludicrous exhaustion in the past 20 years, as a justification for any and all sanctions, prejudice, and illegal military actions against Middle Eastern countries. Fuck your flag, stop murdering people.

        The fact that this excuse has been overused to evil ends has no bearing on whether the presence of anti-western militants should be considered when setting immigration policy.

        My point still stands, though. If you bring an illiterate ‘Merican to Finland they will live a life of dependency and failure. If they can’t read and write their own language, they will have no chance to assimilate. However, if you could resettle them in GB instead (especially if it were cheaper) it would make much more sense. At least they would be able to verbally communicate. (Of course, we have to pretend that you guys don’t do the Englishes too well, or the analogy falls apart.)

        I’d like to see some numbers regarding how many immigrants to the US are illiterate. And how many refugees for that matter. Not that it matters for refugees because they’re fleeing death. So you help them. That’s the deal.

        The numbers I have seen put Syrian refugee illiteracy at the 2/3 mark. Literacy in the US is probably slipping, but there certainly is no comparison. The ratio between the two groups, is of no relevance, anyway. I did not bring up refugee illiteracy to make fun of them or say we are better. The only reason I pointed this out is that it follows that if someone can not read and write their own language, they can not hope to assimilate and succeed in an advanced country that speaks a different language.

        In my experience, Middle Eastern immigrants and refugees are enormously more capable and willing to learn the local language and get jobs and basically get on with being productive members of society than us lazy westerners. And they do it while dealing with irrational hatred and bigotry every step of the way.

        You can not look into this problem without being barraged with article after article discussing the problem of Syrian refugee unemployment.

        This has been an interesting discussion but I am out of patience. Please provide some sort of practical and reality-based a) objections to Middle Eastern immigrants, b) suggestions as to how the situation might otherwise be remedied. Because I’m not seeing much here.

        I have made the points I intended to make. Thanks for your “patience”.

        Let’s take another look at your original post.

        Maybe the typical Iraqi only hates US soldiers and not the civilians. Maybe the typical Iraqi doesn’t hate anyone in the US. Maybe it’s even the US’s fault if any of them hate us. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

        Yeah…? So, not sure what this means.

        This means that maybe your assertions are correct, but I wanted the following to point out that those assertions were irrelevant when it comes to the US’s recent immigration restrictions.

        Check your premises. You presume that we have to take the risk and bring them here because we are under some obligation to do so. We are not.

        You are.

        You have just waived away all of the discussion that has taken place since my original post. I still believe that a country is generally under no obligation to allow immigration.

        Even if we agree that we are obligated to help them, bringing them here is clearly not the best way to do it.

        I can think of only hypothetical and fantastical better ways. Feel free to offer more than “settle and aid them somewhere more local”.

        It’s not the best way but it’s the best we have.

        My entire point was to offer “settle and aid them somewhere more local” as the best practical way to help. I can’t think of a better way.

        It is arguable that bringing them here is not really even helping them in the long run.

        Not destroying their countries, and spending the US military budget on foreign aid, would be way better. I agree.

        In fact, you could spend 95% of it on helping your own citizens, and 5% of it on the countries you’ve fucked up, and you’d fix the world within a decade.

        I agree too, but this is besides the point of how to help the existing refugees.

        We should not be allowing immigration from countries that harbor a significant number of anti-western militants,

        Ignorance and bigotry.

        This… YOU WIN!!!

        especially when all sides agree that there is no way to vet them. It makes absolutely zero sense.

        All sides don’t agree this.

        I already pointed out that I was mistaken to say that all sides agree. However it does make sense that it would be extremely difficult to vet them properly, given the country is war torn chaos. And practically you can see that it must be, given all of the reported crime committed by people slipping into countries as refugees.

        You also presume that the US can afford to help. We like to pretend that we can, but we cannot. US unfunded liabilities are well over $120,000,000,000,000 (those are trillions, zeros added for effect), which is over six times our GDP. This number is increasing at the tune of 10 million per minute. The most frightening aspect of these figures is that our unfunded liabilities are growing nearly 2000 times faster than our GDP. We can not pay our existing liabilities without consistently increasing our borrowing.

        If you can afford to fight these pointless, vile, evil wars, you can afford a lot of other stuff instead.

        I already said that I believe the US can NOT afford to fight these never ending wars…

        We must get our own house in order before we can help anyone else or we are going to go down and possibly bring everyone else down with us.

        Which brings me back to my original response, which is that this is the only part of your sentiment I actually agree with.

        And none of this really has anything to do with the blog post, which was specifically about US military hostiles in foreign countries. And the blatant hypocrisy and illogic of the bigots’ attitude “we can’t live there (as murderous invaders); why should they get to live here (as peaceful immigrants who want to be here, or as people fleeing the aforementioned murderous invaders)?”

        It automatically assumes the foreigner is an inferior life form with less right to live than the soldier has to murder.

        I agree that Steve Gern made some false equivalencies Though I have a bit more respect for him than you do, I do not believe he is among the best/smartest political commentator.

        I brought up my points counter to the comments in your blog that were directly opposing the US’s immigration restrictions and your defense of the importation of refugees, not specifically to anything Gern said. Though his video was surely in response to the rhetoric surrounding the recent immigration restrictions.

        I have to say that your last reply has made me feel most unwelcome here. That’s OK though, because it’s your blog. Thanks for the lively debate. Adeiu!

      • stchucky says:

        If you want to go, you’re free to go. If you want to stay, you’re free to stay. I don’t have a lot of patience for people who don’t pay attention to my points and make me repeat myself (even my close friends), and that is the strong feeling I got here. If I was mistaken, and you were not just here to recite tired non-arguments and circle back to them no matter how many times they were refuted or how many calls for more information were made (which is exactly why I went back as well) … then fine. I have to say you did a poor job.

        I think if we’re both being honest here, you were looking for a quick and lofty out and had no interest in listening to any points outside your worldview. I’m surprised you went to this much trouble. If I’m being honest, I saw lazy, ignorant “I just want to believe Middle Easterners are bad because otherwise I’ve wasted years of my life being wrong” attitudes behind your post from the start, and it was going to be difficult for you to convince me otherwise. And you didn’t seem to want to try.

        Your argument boils down to:

        1) “All this immigrant crime” – a mind-set that is at best the result of being misled by the media.

        2) “Resettle immigrants in some safe part of the area they’re fleeing instead of bringing them here” – and you consistently fail to name even a single country where that might happen. And even then, I’m willing to agree with you that it would be ideal, if it were practical – or even possible.

        3) “The US can’t afford to take refugees from the countries it has destroyed” – and I agree with you there too. The US should stop destroying countries, pull all its shit back inside its own borders, and spend the next fifty years fixing itself and its citizens up. Please do that.

        Honestly, I don’t see that there’s much that we really disagree on, and what we do disagree on I don’t think we’re going to compromise about. But don’t come in here with an opening post like yours, and your consistently blinkered replies to my attempts to engage you civilly, and then pretend I’m the one who didn’t hold up his end of the discourse.

        Think twice, talk once.

      • stchucky says:

        I should probably also clarify that okay, the US is involved in Saudi affairs, but in a rather different way to its involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, and so on. I mean, all of these places have different levels of involvement, and different levels of aggression … but anyway, beside the point.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Hatboy, Zared has intentionally bypassed the most important issues behind this entire discussion, and announced his doing so from the start, which I think invalidates all the well-thought-out, oh-so-rational courses of action he proposes. I’ve stated that before. The fact of the matter is, US foreign policy has been partly or largely responsible for a great many of the refugees, by toppling leaders, invading countries, and drone striking at will into oblivion.

        We don’t declare war anymore but we are at war, or have been recently, in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, to name the primary ones. We seem to be planning to repeat our stupid mistakes in Iran by invalidating a deal that, yes, is working and is a GOOD deal. Or perhaps we’re planning North Korea next, who knows, with the genius leadership we have today.

        And it’s not all fine and well for Zared to skip past our foreign policy actions that sparked and enhanced the refugee crisis. Because anyone who agreed with that foreign policy does not get to say they aren’t responsible for the results. And since we, as a country, performed those actions, unfortunately the rest of us who didn’t want to bomb, invade, and intervene (like me), don’t get to avoid the responsibility either.

        And at least I’m saying where I stand on that foreign policy. Anyone too cowardly (or too in the wrong position) to be willing to state where they stand most certainly does NOT get the benefit of the doubt.

        And even if we were to pretend resettlement is feasible, or less costly, we have to talk about which Middle Eastern countries are left to take those refugees. Iran? We’re trying to start war with them now, so no. A statement against that would go a long way to validating Zared’s arguments.

        Saudi Arabia? I wonder if Zared understands Saudi Arabia is the primary exporter of radical Islamic terrorism in the world. I wonder if he knows that has been the case for over a decade. Wahabism and Salafism are financed and preached by members of Saudi Arabia’s own government (slash royal family). Saudi Arabia is a terrible ally, and why would we want to “resettle” refugees who are trying to flee radical Islam by forcing them under a radical Islamic regime? Sure they dress nicely and talk the talk, but Saudi Arabia, arguably, IS the problem.

        And that’s not getting into the fact that most of the countries I listed above have been wrecked physically and structurally by those invasions and by global warming. Resettling there is more cost effective, my ass.

        I can listen to and consider a genuine person’s honest alternative solutions, but they need to show they’re not part of the problem with our foreign policy if they want to be taken seriously. And as I pointed out before, they need to not pretend to have performed cost calculations that are surely beyond their ability.

      • stchucky says:

        These are excellent points, I’ll get back to them after the weekend too. They’ll probably make their way into my response as well, I appreciate the more specific and real-world-based information. I’m really just blue-sky-ing over here.

      • stchucky says:

        Hatboy, Zared has intentionally bypassed the most important issues behind this entire discussion, and announced his doing so from the start, which I think invalidates all the well-thought-out, oh-so-rational courses of action he proposes. I’ve stated that before. The fact of the matter is, US foreign policy has been partly or largely responsible for a great many of the refugees, by toppling leaders, invading countries, and drone striking at will into oblivion.

        Agreed.

        We don’t declare war anymore but we are at war, or have been recently, in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, to name the primary ones. We seem to be planning to repeat our stupid mistakes in Iran by invalidating a deal that, yes, is working and is a GOOD deal. Or perhaps we’re planning North Korea next, who knows, with the genius leadership we have today.

        Yes.

        And it’s not all fine and well for Zared to skip past our foreign policy actions that sparked and enhanced the refugee crisis. Because anyone who agreed with that foreign policy does not get to say they aren’t responsible for the results. And since we, as a country, performed those actions, unfortunately the rest of us who didn’t want to bomb, invade, and intervene (like me), don’t get to avoid the responsibility either.

        Absolutely. That’s why there is an obligation, even if we don’t go into the morality of it.

        And at least I’m saying where I stand on that foreign policy. Anyone too cowardly (or too in the wrong position) to be willing to state where they stand most certainly does NOT get the benefit of the doubt.

        And even if we were to pretend resettlement is feasible, or less costly, we have to talk about which Middle Eastern countries are left to take those refugees. Iran? We’re trying to start war with them now, so no. A statement against that would go a long way to validating Zared’s arguments.

        Yep. I’d be curious as to what “local” asylum seeker options there are.

        Saudi Arabia? I wonder if Zared understands Saudi Arabia is the primary exporter of radical Islamic terrorism in the world. I wonder if he knows that has been the case for over a decade. Wahabism and Salafism are financed and preached by members of Saudi Arabia’s own government (slash royal family). Saudi Arabia is a terrible ally, and why would we want to “resettle” refugees who are trying to flee radical Islam by forcing them under a radical Islamic regime? Sure they dress nicely and talk the talk, but Saudi Arabia, arguably, IS the problem.

        Zared consistently avoids engaging on the question of Saudi Arabia.

        And that’s not getting into the fact that most of the countries I listed above have been wrecked physically and structurally by those invasions and by global warming. Resettling there is more cost effective, my ass.

        As much as I would like to believe that our respective countries would do this local resettlement if it was cost effective, I doubt they would. There is more profit in destruction abroad, and either a paltry attempt at sheltering refugees, or none at all (which is where the travel ban comes in). There is no profit in an ostensibly less expensive humanitarian option and that’s why it hasn’t been done.

        I can listen to and consider a genuine person’s honest alternative solutions, but they need to show they’re not part of the problem with our foreign policy if they want to be taken seriously. And as I pointed out before, they need to not pretend to have performed cost calculations that are surely beyond their ability.

        Agreed.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      Well, run along back to YOUR echo chamber then, right-winger. See if you can pull together some more “facts” from right-wing media, which is at least 75% made up by bigots, for bigots. Yes, you are one even if you don’t like it.

      ‘I am sorry to hear that it is was only an exercise of patience in the face of my “bigotry”.’

      I’m especially amused that you didn’t like me stating my honest opinions of you so you cut me out, but you are also hurt that Hatboy held back his thoughts of your bigotry to induce conversation. How dare he give you a chance to prove otherwise and withhold public judgment like that!

      I suppose the only option you want liberals to exercise is to not see or call out your bigotry no matter what you do. Get ready for disappointment. LOL

  5. Pingback: A thought on immigration and the changing world | Hatboy's Hatstand

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