NC Democratic Party will hold precinct meetings on March 11, 2008. I have written up a precinct resolution below to address the suffering of the Iraqi refugees. Representative Waters has a bill introduced that will address this huge and still growing problem. Press release for this bill is here.
I feel it is the only moral thing to do to try and help these people who have suffered so much from our invasion and occupation of their country, but there is another reason to do it – if we don’t help them, then organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah will. And then a new political fraction will grow out of this that is opposed to American and Israeli policies. Now, I too am opposed to many of those policies, but the difference lies in the fact that those groups will often resort to violence to achieve their goals (along with the US and Israel) and that route only leads to more human suffering. So, here is my proposed resolution for the NC Democratic Party to consider at the annual meeting. This will be introduced at my precinct meeting, and then passed on to county, district and finally state Democratic Party meetings. Please introduce it at your precinct meeting, if you feel so inclined.
RESOLUTION TO ASSIST DISPLACED IRAQIS
Whereas the estimates of Iraqis refugees, both internal and external to Iraq, are well over 4.5 million and representing at least 14% of the total population; and whereas a large number of these refugees left their homes with nothing more than a suitcase, and whereas the majority of them are in dire poverty; and whereas they are lacking in clean water, food, health care, electricity, job opportunities and security;
And whereas this situation came to be as a direct consequence of the US led invasion and occupation of Iraq; and whereas not addressing this situation would be a moral failure on our part; whereas our lack of assistance will likely result in more instability and violence in the Middle East in that the role of “protector and provider” may be provided by sectarian actors in the pattern of Hamas or Hezbollah (as per Rep. Waters); whereas a failure to address this crisis could spell disaster for the entire region;
And whereas the country of Sweden has resettled more than ten times more Iraqis than the country of the United States of America in the last fiscal year;
And whereas the non-partisan Congressional Research Service said that “The impact of this level of displacement cannot be underestimated in terms of it’s impact on regional stability and the potential for humanitarian suffering.”, and whereas there currently is no coordinated plan or strategy to meet this crisis, therefore;
Be it resolved that the American people will help these displaced Iraqis to the best of our ability;
Be it resolved that the United States of America will meet the goals to resettle displaced Iraqis here in the United States that have already been established;
And be it resolved that the NC Democratic Party will ask all Democrats in North Carolina who are elected to the US House of Representatives to co-sponsor HR 5488 which is the “Recovery and Stability in Iraq Act of 2008” to assist in meeting our goals and basic requirements of humanity in regards to the Iraqi refugee crisis. This bill will provide for an Iraqi Displacement Coordinator who will report directly to the President and will identify programs that address the humanitarian needs of the displaced Iraqis and develop strategies to address those needs.
There are (almost daily) updates on the Iraqi refugee crisis on the Iraq Today blog, which I help write. That blog also has reports on the conditions of Iraqis living in refugee camps inside Iraq. Some of these camps are just thrown together by the Iraqis themselves, where ever they thought they could safely stay. These camps, and their tents and shanty towns, can be seen on Google Earth. There is also one more thing that we can do – contribute or raise funds for Iraqi refugees. I personally have sold household items at flea markets to donate to this cause.
Please help - they badly need it.