May 27, 2007

Let Their Victims Come

Hatched by Dafydd

Hugh Hewitt appears to keep wavering between wanting only intense scrutiny of immigrants from countries with extensive jihadist networks -- and wanting to ban such immigrants entirely, without concern whether they're jihadists or refugees; but maybe I'm just misreading him. Often, his sentences are so ambiguous it's impossible to tell:

Bensman's focus today is on the plight of Iraq's Christians, 600,000 of whom have fled the Islamists of their home country, many into America. The article again details just how porous our borders are, and though Bensman's writing elicits great sympathy for the refugees, it also underscores just how easy it has been for Middle Eastern people to enter the country through the past few years. Even if the ration [sic, he must mean "ratio"] is 1,000 refugees to 1 jihadist, the number of terrorists or terrorist sympathizers in the country illegally is not small, and the idea of giving them legal status strikes me as insane.

Is the referent of "them" in the last sentence (highlighted blue) "refugees" or "terrorists or terrorist sympathizers"? Obviously it would strike any sane person as insane to give the latter legal status; the question is whether we throw out the bathwater with Rosemary's baby.

I'm disturbed that Hugh keeps quoting from counterterrorism experts whose attitude appears to be "ban them all, let God sort them out." They argue not that we should scrutinize immigrants from such countries -- which is a reasonable proposition I favor -- but that we should simply prohibit immigration into the United States from them; or at least, from countries that do not have a national database of terrorist suspects -- which is likely nearly all of Moslem and strong-minority-Moslem nations.

Here's a section from the latest "expert"; this is actually all one paragraph smushed together; I have reparagraphed it for easier reading:

You want solid reform, here's how you do it.

First, if you're going to let these &^%$# in, you give them a background check they won't forget. You crawl up their &&%$ so much they'll want to leave. Each day, every day you monitor them. This way even if you get a phony name, you got a better chance of nailing them.

It's either that or you end all emigration from those nations I listed above. And believe me, that list is by no means complete. Secondly, you create a computer system that will connect to ALL national computer databases to track these guys, and if the nation in question says "no," then emigration [sic] from that country ends immediately. If they claim they don't have a database, emigration ends until they do.

Those that do come here are still subject to scrutiny that would make any American citizen squeamish. That's OK though because they're not citizens. They don't like it? Screw them. Move to Britain then.

Lastly, if they come from one of those suicide-loving countries, you follow them like the plague until such a time that they become a citizen and are subject to the laws and protections of the nation. And personally ______, that won't happen. These %$#@& never want that. They just want to hurt us worse than the last guy.

His list of countries whose immigrants here are subject to such tactics is: "China, North Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the UAE, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Angola, Liberia, and the Congo." (No word which Congo: the the Republic of, a.k.a. the French Congo, or the Democratic Republic of, a.k.a. the Belgian Congo. Perhaps both.)

First, it's quite clear that this unnamed "expert" in counterterrorism doesn't believe for one moment that people immigrating here from, say, Iraq or Iraq could possibly be "1,000 refugees to 1 jihadist," as Hugh put it; it's clear this fellow thinks it's the reverse... or perhaps that such immigration is 100% jihadist.

Second, the expert describes earlier how jihadists coming from those countries could evade detection via checking the records by changing their names: "'Abdul ____' will become 'Mohammed ____' or some such," he writes.

But if it's that easy, or if the passport is forged in any event, what is to prevent "Abdul ____" from becoming "Gerhard _____", and the nationality going from Jordanian to German? Or for that matter, there are more and more jihadis who actually are Europeans or Americans of non-Arabic descent: Richard "Failed Shoe Bomber" Reid (English) and José Padilla (Puerto Rican American), for two examples. Both attempted to commit their crimes in 2002, even before Operation Iraqi Freedom began... so evidently, for some time now, al-Qaeda has been planning to shift from using operatives from nations in the ummah to those from Christian countries.

We still end up with all the terrorists, who will enter under passports from "clean" countries (not on the list) -- but we won't get the honest to God refugees.

All right; I know many people will say so what? So a bunch of Christians and Jews fleeing majority-Moslem countries must stay and be persecuted, or even deported back there to be tortured and beheaded. Big deal; as the expert points out, they're not American citizens. "Screw them," to quote both the expert and an earlier, identical sentiment expressed by Markos Moulitsas Zúniga about earlier victims of the same persecutors.

And after all, we have done such things before: In Operation Keelhaul, crafted at the Yalta conference after World War II between Josef Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill, Allied soldiers (mostly British, but we connived) forcibly "repatriated" tens of thousands of refugees fleeing Communist Europe back to Stalin's tender mercies. Most were summarily executed; most of the survivors were sent into the Gulag. And both Churchill and Roosevelt knew that this was to be their fate; but hey... "screw them."

All right, fine. Some don't care. But consider this: Those refugees are our best source of human intel about those countries.

Also, assuming that we have any intention of sending CIA agents into any of China, North Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the UAE, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Niger, Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Angola, Liberia, or either Congo... recent refugees from those countries are the absolute best instructors to train our spies how to speak and act like natives, and what contemporary residents there would know and -- just as important -- not know.

By arbitrarily cutting off all immigration from a laundry list of countries, we also cut ourselves off from all human intelligence and training sources from precisely the areas that most threaten America. It would be as foolhardy as refusing all immigration from Warsaw Pact nations during the Cold War, because among the thousands of anti-Communist refugees, there might be some Soviet agents.

So yes, let's scrutinize them; let's segregate them and insist they be personally interviewed and thoroughly checked. But we must not arbitraily cut off that supply of refugees fleeing from our worst enemies, because those very people can be our best and most helpful allies.

And we must not get so fixated on the "cheap grace" of nationality fixation to avoid the hard work of actually evaluating everyone we can for possible terrorist sympathies. Otherwise, we're going to be blindsided by the next 9/11-style attack by terrorists who understand just how shallow and facile Western thinking can be.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 27, 2007, at the time of 3:14 PM

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Tracked on May 31, 2007 10:56 PM


The following hissed in response by: lsusportsfan

I think that is a correct view. I hope people realize that many ancestors in our own family tress came from persecution.

The Kurds appear to have been a overall plus. Looks like the Iranian community in LA is ing gangbusters.

BY the way is there a place to send email to this blog writers on here. I can't find a address wven though I am sure it must be right in fromt of me

The above hissed in response by: lsusportsfan [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 27, 2007 4:41 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


BY the way is there a place to send email to this blog writers on here. I can't find a address wven though I am sure it must be right in fromt of me

No, we've never implemented an e-mail address, even though they're of course available as part of the hosting package. I keep dithering whether I should. On the one hand, we could conceivably get hot tips that someone doesn't want to post openly; on the other, we would get scores of e-mails from people who want to send comments that way instead of using the commenting system.

So I'm torn. I might implement it for a while and see how it works.

Is it something you can't post here? Remember, I'm not particularly bothered by topic drift or even completely off-topic comments, so long as they're not attacks.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 27, 2007 5:15 PM

The following hissed in response by: lsusportsfan

Well it is immigration related. I was going to send a email on it to you because I think this needs to gets out.

As I keep saying many of the forces behind this immigration debate are quite radical. In the end it is not really about the "illegals". THey have played us perfectly because the "illegals" take up all the air in the room. I am talking about CIS FAIR and other Tanton groups.

This just drove me up the wall today when I read this from last weeks Washington Post

The three were sworn in as the military and the country are engaged in a vigorous, divisive debate about what place immigrants should have in the armed forces and society at large. The ceremony at George Washington’s home took place as lawmakers on the other side of the Potomac River began debating a controversial immigration bill that would, among other provisions, grant legal status to virtually all undocumented workers, create a temporary worker program and tighten border controls. The bill also calls for allowing the military to be a path to citizenship for a limited number of undocumented immigrants — those who were brought to the United Stateswhen they were younger than 16 and have been living here for at least five years. ,,,,,,,,,

The ceremony also came as some military experts want to open the armed forces to undocumented immigrants and foreign recruits to fill the ranks as the Army and Marines plan troop increases. Critics fear a flood of recruits lured solely by the promise of legal status. “A very large number of non-citizens could change the purpose of the military from the defense of the country to a job and a way to get a foot in the door of the United States,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates restrictions on immigration. “It becomes a kind of mercenary thing.” Others argue that a liberalized policy could improve the armed forces. Margaret Stock, an immigration lawyer, Army officer and law professor at West Point, noted that during wartime, military brass can already sign up undocumented immigrants, some of whom have received citizenship. “I think that it’s great for the military to allow people to enlist who are qualified to be in the military,” Stock said. “Having papers doesn’t tell me whether someone’s qualified or not.”

Well, Mr Krikorian has talked about this before in a very weak piece I think for the NRO in 2003

I love this observation he made
Not to put too fine a point on it, we should go to any length to avoid developing a kind of mercenary army, made up of foreigners loyal to their units and commanders but not to the Republic. It didn't work out well for the Romans.

Good Grief. I can tell you right now that I am willing to be he is not a Southerner. I could tell him countless stories of Irish on both sides in the Civil war fighting each other. Great battles were had. In fact one Louisiana National Guard Unit and a famous NEw York Unit that once fought each other in the civil war in a famous battle hooked up again in Iraq.I could go on about WWI and WWII and how so many of these same comments were made aabout Japanesse, Italians, and Germans of American descent.

See, Mr. Krikorian does not really care or perhaps even believes the underlying premise of his arguments. His group just wants to stop immigration period. THerefore it is war on all fronts.

I wrote this to NRO today
Mark Krikorian is the head guy at National Review on opposing immigration. He is the one that is often quoted in newspapers, the blogs, and the media .He opposes this bill. He opposes the issuance of more High Tech Visas and wants them reduced. Now he opposes even this even being a pathway. Now, I realized he was not speaking for National Review. But surely the people at NRO are reading what is in the Washington Post. Yet I dont't recall anyone bringing this up

His arguments are complete balderdash. Any embedded Jouranalist will tell you that. In fact this afternoon I plan to write to as many of them and ask them to respond. One of the first person to killed in this conflict was someone that came here as a illegal in his youth. There are no indications that these people were less loving of this country

Also there is a horrible lack of history here. The Civil War was important in many ways. It made us an Country in ways not just decided on the battlefield. Tons of new off the boat immigrants(especally Irish) from both South and North forever bonded to this Country by fighting and dying all over it. The north recruited even overseas. The anti Catholicism that was always a part of United States early history never made a substantial comeback. Even in the 20's with the influx of Italians it never reached it previous heights. That too quickly went way after WWII. Why? Because Americans no matter what their creed, religion, etc fought and died by each other. If the armed forces had been intergrated in WWII, we might not have had such a dramatic Civil Rights era.

To call this a "mercenary thing" is beyond the pale. Do we dishonor those that join to get college benefits in the same tone? The military wants to expand their ranks. Does the anti immigration movement want to deny them this area of recruits. Is anything sacred or is anything up for attack in this cause? Is not ,as we have seen form our past, service in the military assimilation par excellance?

I am forwarding this to every NRO person that has a email posted today. To those that don't have their email posted online please forward it to them. If we are going to talk about provisions in the bill, we darn should talk about this.Especially since one of the leading commentators on NRO is opposing it.

I am emailing YON among others and asking him to please consider contributing something to NRO on this matter.

Here are some Michael Yon thoughts on this subject


Well those were my thoughts. Again, there is alot more in play than the "illegals". As we are dazzled with the issue of regularization issue there are other forces at work. Personally, If they sign up(an illegal) let them bring in their spouse or parents in the legalization frame work if they qualify as a part of the deal. Nothing screams assimilation than your son, daughter, daddy, or spouce fighting for his country.

THe question is why are not hearing about this provision on the right wing blogs? IS it because it makes good sense? I don't know. Perhaps it is not being advocated because it points out something potentially good in the immigration bill and Lord knows we don't want that. It is just kill it all all cost.

It should be noted that one person at NRO online has emailed me and said he would have no problem with such a provision. Good for him. THe issue is not so much NRO but conservatives questioning the FAIR, CIS, and NUMBERSUSA folks and not taking everything at face value.

FOr instance we know we will not have an Armed Service that is majority foreigner. THe provision that is at stake hear target illegals that were basically kids when brought here. FOr all purposes they are as American in experience and culture than any many natural born Americans.

The above hissed in response by: lsusportsfan [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 27, 2007 6:23 PM

The following hissed in response by: ThomasJackson

How does one conduct a background check on a nation that will neither cooperate or has motives for passing inaccurate information? Criminal records are virtually non existant in the third world and in any case bribery would prevent any meaningful checks. since even birth documents are meaningless.

Yes we should ban immigrants from suspect nations, unless they are non muslims. Anyone feigning their actual background should be deported with their family immediately after first fofeiting all assets.


The above hissed in response by: ThomasJackson [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 27, 2007 9:23 PM

The following hissed in response by: LTCTed

"Is the referrant of "them" in the last sentence (highlighted blue) "refugees" or "terrorists or terrorist sympathizers"? Obviously it would strike any sane person as insane to give the latter legal status;..."

You mean, "referent", of course. Also, by "the latter", do you mean "terrorists..." or "...terrorist sympathizers"? Hee hee!

Yeah, I understand the intent of the quotation marks, but the pending amnesty gives me pains I discharge upon your typing.

The above hissed in response by: LTCTed [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 28, 2007 6:53 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

One of the first Marines who died in Iraq was born in Guatemala. I read on a milblog ages ago that the insurgents have a hell of a time understanding the Latinos when they intercept radio messages. Drives them crazy.

Back in WW2 my Dad served with Spanish guys from New Mexico, Indians from Arizona, Cajuns from Louisiana and Italians from New York. This is not exactly the first time we have had men and women from different racial, ethnic and national backgrounds in our military. Just look at them. The other day I saw some story referencing a young woman who joined up whose parents had been boat people from Viet Nam.

There is nothing mercenary about it. It is in fact very traditional.

And as for who do we keep out? Those people in London who were responsible for killing all those people were British citizens, not Iraqis. Back before WW2 the anti immigrant lobby in this country did their best to keep European Jews out of the country. They refused to relax quotas even when it meant people would die. I hope our fear of the Other does not compel us to do anything so shameful again.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 28, 2007 6:56 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

BTW, those Japanese who were locked up in camps during WW2 still served, mostly in Europe. And Filipinos served in our military as well.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 28, 2007 6:59 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Thanks for the spelling note, LTCTed; I made the correction.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 28, 2007 12:05 PM

The following hissed in response by: k2aggie07

Its on the topic of immigration but off the topic of the post. Dafydd, you want a rational, plausible alternative to this bill, right? My earlier point that there is no plausible alternative because politicians benefit from illegal immigration aside, I have a reasonable outline.

Rather than change our whole mode of operation, why not just alter the current system. With a little thought, it becomes obvious why illegals come here -- work, schools for their kids, hospitals, and money for the folks back home. I don't blame them, really. Who wouldn't?

But the problem is they hurt everyone else. So how do you keep them out? A fence? Catch-and-release? Catch-and-jail? Unlikely; I'm reminded of Heinlein's parable about the ape locked in the room with 5 ways out designed by the scientists who then watched him to see which way he would find. He escaped a 6th way.

You have to remove the incentive. Now this can be done in any number of ways, but I think the easiest ones are to target employers.

Any employer caught employing illegals will be fined. I-9 forms should be taken seriously. Make it hurt. $5,000? $50,000? I don't care. Illegals who can't find work won't stay. You gotta eat to live, and you gotta work to eat.

Demand I-9 style identification to rent property, take advantage of health care, attend school, or get any kind of "papers" (as in anything that requires a notary).

I guarantee you that if there are no jobs because employers have done the cost benefit analysis and suddenly illegals are no longer cheaper than legal citizens voila! "Honest" illegals will disappear. All you will be left with are the crooks, gang bangers and terrorists.

But as I said before the whole thing is an exercise in futility because no one on the Hill cares one whit about stopping or even curbing illegal immigration.

The above hissed in response by: k2aggie07 [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 29, 2007 2:13 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


It's futile for a different reason: By realistic, I mean a solution that can actually pass through Congress.

There is no reason for Democrats to support this bill without a sweetener. They're not going to support conservatives just because conservatives want them to.

Tell me the scenario by which this could pass Congress.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 29, 2007 10:27 PM

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