As the debate begins on allowing 100,000 Syrian refugees into the country, we might do well to remember how we treated those who “bonded with us,” fought and died for America’s interests.
Today both the FBI director and Homeland Security secretary have volunteered that we do not have a vetting system that is reliable. The White House has all but ignored over 30 governors requests for better information about refugees in their states.
The White House can do much more by working with the Congress in tightening the State Department visa-waiver program for some European citizens. Many think that it is here that terrorists might enter the country.
Bloomberg View concludes with, “None of this is to excuse the deplorable rhetoric and nativism at the extreme of the anti-refugee movement.”
The real question might be, “Why do the Syrians deserve special treatment?” What is so special or unique about Syria or Mexico that their citizens never have to get in line as others do?
It is also absurd to say that the screening process for refugees usually takes two years and involves many government agencies. Most of these individuals have no papers. They, like our own president, seem to have no past.
Has anyone come forward who knew Mr. Obama in Hawaii or Indonesia? How about Columbia University, Occidental College or Harvard? He is simply the person without a past.
In actuality, the United States has a very poor record in supporting its former allies. The case and point can be made for Vietnam and Iraq.
Saigon fell to the Communists on April 30, 1975. Hundreds of thousands South Vietnamese soldiers, religious leaders and employees of America and the government were rounded up and sent to re-education camps. No charges were brought against these people who were confined for 3 to 10 years depending on their former status.
It is estimated that 3.5 million Vietnamese may have died during the operation of these camps. All prisoners were responsible for their own clothes, mosquito nets, food, money and personal effects. All prisoners in the camps according to Wikipedia were required to write confessions, no matter how trivial their alleged crimes might have been.
In the re-education camps, much emphasis was placed on “productive work” since many of the prisoners, according to the communists had become rich, under U.S. patronage. “The labor was mostly hard physical work some of it very dangerous, such as minefield sweeping” without technical equipment.
In 1989, President Reagan entered into an agreement with the Vietnamese freeing former ARVN soldiers and allowing them to emigrate to the United States.
This same story can be told of the Montagnard people in the central highlands of Vietnam who supported the U.S. Special Forces. It is estimated that 61,000 tribesman helped the U.S. fight the North Vietnamese. Many today live in Thailand and Cambodia – forgotten by their former allies. They were not allowed to come to America.
The Financial Times also reports that it is not uncommon for the Iraqis (whom America relied on to navigate the country after the Bush 2003 invasion) to wait 10 years for visas. These are people who are known and have a past which can be traced and verified.
Why does America abandon its allies to make room for people who we don’t know and who have done nothing for us? We need to reach back first to those who bleed for the United States before we drop our safeguards just because it is Mr. Obama’s wish.