I’ve been following the blooming refugee crisis brought about by the war in Iraq for a while now, and it’s clear that the US Government isn’t doing what it must to protect people forced to flee their homeland because of the war it started.

From US News and World Report:

U.S. Falls Short of Iraqi Refugee Target

November 01, 2007 04:15 PM ET |

The United States accepted only some 450 Iraqi refugees in October, well short of the Bush administration’s stated goal of 1,000 a month.

The figure also marks a decline from September, when 889 refugees were admitted. Iraq’s neighbors have been overwhelmed by a flood of more than 2 million Iraqi refugees fleeing the violence in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion. After being criticized for failing to accept the country’s proper share of refugees, the Bush administration vowed that the United States would accept 12,000 Iraqi refugees in fiscal 2008 (out of a total of 80,000 refugees Washington plans to admit).

By contrast, it accepted only 1,608 Iraqis during the last fiscal year—with more than half coming in September. But the process has clearly gotten off to a slow start. Refugee groups have criticized the State and Homeland Security departments for failing to clear up significant bureaucratic hurdles, including multiple interviews and long waiting times for Iraqis applying for refugee status.

The State Department says it has added personnel to process all the applications.

—Kevin Whitelaw

I’m well aware of the twisted irony of the US taking in refugees from a crisis it is directly responsible for, but the ability to leave Iraq is the difference between life and death for many refugees. This is a question of immediate needs for physical security, food, and shelter –not of politics.

One can hold the belief that the invasion of Iraq was a monstrous crime that spawned thousands upon thousands of others and created untold misery for millions, and still work to make sure Iraqi refugees find safe haven in the United States.

Human Rights First has a site dedicated to the Iraqi refugee crisis and what you can do to help.

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