Another Test in Iraq: Our Aid to Refugees
By Michael Gerson
Wednesday, August 22, 2007; Page A17
The Bush administration correctly asserts that the entire Middle East, from royal palaces to terrorist camps, is watching the eventual outcome in Iraq to determine the state of American resolve. But the region is also taking a more immediate measure of America's commitment to its friends: our response to the Iraqi refugee crisis. And this, too, is a matter of national credibility and honor.
Over the past several months, the American response to this crisis has improved from dismal to minimal. The United States is funding its normal 30 percent of U.N. refugee efforts and cooperating more closely with UNICEF and the World Food Program. But these global initiatives amount to tens of millions of dollars of help to millions of refugees -- completely unequal to the scale of the need. American efforts to help internally displaced Iraqis through the International Organization for Migration were funded at a little more than $1 million last year, which Younes dismisses as "peanuts." And if America and its friends and allies do not provide practical help to refugees, Islamic radicals are adept at filling the gap. _________________________________________________________________ Don't know exactly what to say about this, Mike. These are your guys who set up the criteria. You used to be their mouthpiece. Islamic radicals have been busy as hell, filling American gaps as quickly as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld could create them. Got any ideas beyond a general complaint?