Lord knows we've suffered
Keep Them Out Of Ohio
By Mike Ferner
-- - The following news brief ran on the Associated Press
Strickland Doesn´t Want Overflow Iraqi Refugees
"Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has a message for
President Bush: any plan to relocate to the US thousands
of refugees uprooted by the Iraq war shouldn't include
The administration plans to allow about 7,000 Iraqi
refugees to settle in the United States over the next
year, a huge expansion at a time of mounting
international pressure to help millions who have fled
their homes in the nearly four-year-old war.
Strickland -- a Democrat who opposed the war as a US
House member -- says Ohioans can't be expected to have
open arms for Iraqis displaced by the war. More than 100
Ohioans have been killed since the war began. The
governor says he has sympathy for the refugees' plight,
but he won't ask Ohioans to accept a greater burden."
It is really all quite mad, isn't it?
That on top of the million or so Iraqis we've killed,
and the four million we've maimed, we've also created
millions of refugees; that our Maniac-in-Chief now
decrees 7,000 refugees is a politically acceptable
number we should allow into the U.S. even as he
continues the slaughter around the clock; that the
governor of a state, having absolutely nothing to do
with immigration policy anyway, feels compelled to
protect the homeland (or would that be "homestate?") by
warning a morbidly unpopular president, "Not in our
Something for people of good conscience to keep in mind:
When we finally get our troops out of Iraq, and our
bases out of Iraq, and our mercenaries out of Iraq, and
our spooks out of Iraq, and Halliburton Corp., and
Corp., and all the rest - when the last U.S. helicopter
flies off the roof of the world's largest embassy and
the American Empire's sorry, bloody, murderous adventure
draws to a close - we owe these people. Big time.
I don't know how many, or actually, why any of them
would want to come live in Disneyland. But if some do,
we should welcome them and the many lessons they could
teach us about maintaining humanity in conditions of
For the 99.9% of Iraqis who would rather stay home and
rebuild their shattered lives, at the very least we owe
them money. Lots of money. Multiple billions of dollars.
And not to be administered by our military or our
corporations or our mercenaries or our spooks. No, we
should have nothing to do with that money except deliver
it to Iraq and let them decide what to do with it. I
hope they can rebuild the hospitals and the electric and
phone systems we bombed, and the water treatment plants
we've destroyed, and the economy we've wrecked. But
frankly it doesn't matter if they want to insulate their
attics with it, or mix it with mud and turn it into
building material, or pile it up in the middle of the
desert and f.....g burn it all. They can't possibly do
any worse with it than we have.
And THAT is just the beginning of the magnitude of the
dollar amount we owe Iraq.
What we do for all the pain and suffering and heartache
and terror we've created, only God knows. Those things
we carry on our conscience to our graves.
And the governor of Ohio wants to be first in line to
say, "Keep your tired and maimed. Don't burden us."
What world is this?
www.mikeferner.org served as a Navy Corpsman from
1969-73. He is a freelance writer from Toledo