"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Two Very Different Views

Among the many letters in the Laconia Daily Sun, I found two today that were diametrically opposite regarding our country's position on Syrian refugees. Since the LDS is a "paper" the "discussion" by opposing letter writers won't begin until the next issue is published on Tuesday. This is an opportunity to bring the conversation to the forefront in close to real time.
On  one side is a letter from Marc Abear of Meredith , who is clearly opposed to the USA accepting Syrian refugees on the premise that many of them would likely be jihadists and pose threat to the homeland.
The second letter is from Sandra Ringelstein of Moultonboro, who takes the position against the hysteria and finding a middle ground and to treat the refugees with compassion.
Personally, I strongly agree with the second letter writer. I marvel at how this tragic humanitarian crisis has devolved into a political football with all sorts of extreme,  and in my opinion, un-American responses. I have to wonder if this were not a Presidential election cycle, would the rhetoric be so loud?  There is a middle ground here and it shouldn't involve violating constitutional rights or shunning the very things that make this country great. It will require common sense and avoidance of hyperbole and extremism from all sides. It will take leaders that remember that their job is not to get re-elected, but rather to govern.
This post has real people, using real names who put their position and views out there for public consumption. I will not publish any comments on this post that are anonymous.


Nancy Wright said...

After reading the November 2015 preliminary findings of a House Homeland Security Committee Review, I'm inclined to agree with Marc Abear. Our governments first responsibility, duty and obligation is to protect America and it's citizens from harm.

Taken from the November 2015 Syrian Refugee Flows. A link to the full Committee Review is below.

"Beginning in December 2014, the Majority Staff of the House Homeland Security Committee began investigating security concerns regarding the Syrian refugee crisis. This report provides preliminary findings of the review and is based on Congressional hearings; meetings with officials from multiple departments and agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Counterterrorism Center; national security briefings; overseas travel throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean, Balkans and Western Europe to examine counterterrorism screening and refugee flow; meetings with foreign partners and non-governmental organizations; extensive document review' and additional outside consultations."

"A review by the Majority Staff of the House Homeland Security Committee concludes that the Administration's proposal will have a limited impact on alleviating the overall crisis but could have serious ramifications for U.S homeland security. Additionally, widespread security gaps across Europe are increasing the terrorism risk to our allies and present long-term implications for the U.S homeland."

The report lists and details 10 reasons why allowing Syrian refugees into the United States poses serious security risks.

#1, "Islamist terrorists are determined to infiltrate refugee flows to enter the West-and appear to already have done so in Europe."

#2, "While America has a proud tradition of refugee resettlement, the United States lacks the information needed to confidently screen refugees from the Syria conflict zone to identify possible terrorism connections."

#3, "Despite security enhancements to the vetting process, senior officials remain concerned about the risks and acknowledge the possibility of ISIS infiltration into U.S.-bound Syrian refugee populations."

#4, "Surging admissions of Syrian refugees into the United States is likely to result in an increase in federal law enforcement's counterterrorism caseload."

#5, "Europe's open borders are a "cause celebre" for jihadist."

#6, "European governments face substantial obstacles to information-sharing and are stymied by a lack of internal border checks in their efforts to keep track of terrorist suspects."

#7, "Glaring security gaps along refugee routes into Europe-especially lax security screening of travelers-make the pathway highly susceptible to terrorist exploitation."

#8, "Mediterranean and Balkan countries risk becoming a new "terrorist turnpike" into the West due to particularly poor information sharing and weak vetting systems."

#9, "Syrian refugee populations in Europe have already been directly targeted by extremists for recruitment, and in the long run certain communities in which they resettle are likely to become "fertile soil" for violent radicalization."

#10, "America's security is put at risk when partner countries fail to conduct adequate counterterrorism checks on refugees and are unable to cope with the radicalization challenges created by mass migration."

This should be a wake-up call to us all. Decisions should be made on facts not emotions.


Joseph Cormier said...

There's another letter from a Meredith resident, Don Ewing, a prolific letter writer. His piece on page 4 merits reading, as well. It's titled ... "Our Country is the most desired target of Muslim terrorists."

I have my own position on the refugees, not from any local Letter To the Editor. I do distinguish, from which country are the refugees. Are the "illegal aliens" from South and Central America, refugees? Are we saying refugees from Chile, are no different than military-age refugees from Syria? I had/have no problem with Montagnard or Vietnamese refugees after the Vietnam "Conflict". I worked with them and understand cultural differences. Assimilation, once in the U.S., was never a doubt.

Mr. Baer opines on facts, or perceived facts, that can be researched and develop one’s own opinion, if not stance. His thoughts are not hysteria in my view, but a recognition of the “world” is in a dangerous state of flux, culturally and practically.

We are not a Democracy, we are a Republic, and do rely on the ballot box to represent the “wishes of the people”. I believe, that, is a greater good, than an elected person pursuing his/her notions, because he/she knows best … once in office.

Ms Ringerstein”s piece, “Evil will be released if we lose compassion for all humanity”
… is altruistic, at best, with little substance other than personal feelings and hyperbole. “Evil” is already released … and coming to a place near you. Is that hysteria or caution? Is ultra-caution “evil” if protecting those same kids?

Does the term … “remove head from being buried in the sand” sound familiar?. I acknowledge this is not the common vernacular phrase, but it’s a crude attempt at diplomacy. I'd normally reference physiology.

Is it political football, to fear flying body parts. It would be political, to discuss why there is such a huge surge of refugees, from that part of the world. It would be political to discuss, what would be more cost-effective and humanitarian to “help” those, there, in their part of the world, instead of bringing them here. That might lead to political discourse regarding leadership, and leading from the behind.

Who knew, Putin would become a "beacon" for that part of the world … and not for “feel good” reasons.

Governance is performed by the elected, not by the altruistic. If they are the same … then a “middle ground” might be had … or a blunder!

Just saying …

Terence C. Jatko said...

I don't think anyone wants to deny LEGAL immigration to properly-vetted people from any location. It is prudent to investigate the background of anyone coming to this country. Even the great Barack Hussein Obama, Smartest Man in the World, suspended immigration from Iraq when several terrorists somehow slipped through the screening process.


Our FBI Director himself has said the process is uncertain.


Anything short of proper scrutiny of these people is potential suicide.

Joseph Cormier said...

Is there any dispute that "times are changing".

Mobo, more than likely, will have a "call to arms" for the proposed gym, now community center, once the BoS begin the 2016 warrant article hearings. Is there enough "change" to get it approved? Change will happen, by design or by default. Change may be "good" or not!

Some folks are upset about Dollar Tree or Store, whatever it is, coming to MoBo. It is "change". Town zoning needs to be changed, so, it has been said.

Can't help think about what would happen if "change" "evolved" to Jesus was banned, or Yahweh, or Joseph Smith, or Martin Luther, or John Calvin, or Huldrych Zwingli ?

I don't consider myself as paranoid, a little quirky, maybe, but once in while, will have a thought.

Washington Post article on change:

“Don’t come over to America and try to turn people to your way of thinking.”


"Media bias" ... from whose perspective?
Washington Post ... liberal or conservative ...or...


I won't wish everyone Happy Thanksgiving; afraid to upset the turkeys.
God knows, (ooppss, PC policed will get me) we have enough turkeys ... especially those without feathers. Don't even think about bringing-up feathers and Native Americans (who probably came over from Siberia).

May Allah be with you!

Rick Heath said...

Those non-elected officials with the responsibility of keeping this nation safe have real doubts about the veracity of the vetting process of huge numbers of refugees from a part of the world that keeps few records. Those records that are kept are from a war torn country that has little or no government from which to access them.
It is one thing to open the door of your house to a neighbor in need. It is yet another and a foolish thing to open your door to a stranger in a riot without some assurance it is safe for you and your family if they enter. What is completely foolhardy is to have no doors on your house. Europe's open borders have proven to the observant citizen that having no doors is a danger not only to your own house but to your neighbors' as well.
If the present administration had not lied to this writer at every facet of leadership I would be more likely to believe their claim that we should take responsibility for these people BEFORE the nations of the middle-east step forward and offer their help.
If you earn less than $250K you will not pay one penny more in taxes, If you like your insurance policy you can KEEP your policy PERIOD, It was a reaction from a video, My administration is committed to unprecedented levels of openness and transparency in government, We've got shovel ready projects all across the country...., I will sign into law a health care bill.... that will cover every American and will save the average policy holder up to $2500 per year, We reject sweeping claims of inherent presidential power, What difference, at this point, does it make?? We are NOT at war with Islam... And on and on.
Fully vetted refugees in limited numbers, no problem. Unlimited numbers of young, able-bodied, Islamic un-vetted males, problem.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Some facts regarding the Syrian refugees that seem to get lost in all the rhetoric:
-12 million Syrians have fled their homes because of conflict; half are children.
-4 million Syrians are refugees; most are in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.
-The USA is proposing 10,000 refugees next year, about 1/4 of 1%.
-Since the Syrian civil war began, more than 240,000 people have been killed, including 12,000 children.
-One million more have been wounded or permanently disabled.
-Turkey is hosting more than 1.9 million Syrian refugees. Iraq, facing its own armed conflict, is hosting about 250,000 Syrians.
-More than 1.1 million refugees are in Lebanon.
-About 630,000 refugees have settled in Jordan, mostly with host families or in rented accommodations.
-About 80,000 live in Za’atari, a camp near the northern border with Syria, and about 23,700 live in another camp
-Between 2 million and 3 million Syrian children are not attending school. -The U.N. children’s agency says the war reversed 10 years of progress in education for Syrian children.
-Between 2.1 and 2.4 million school-age children are not attending school. In Syria, 5,000 to 14,000 schools have been damaged
The humanitarian crisis is real and we are not talking about adult and young adult fighters. These are real people who have witnessed terrible violence, that live with no meaningful infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, no means to work or find food and are solely reliant on outside agencies and governments for their very survival. Call me a bleeding heart if you will, but as a Christian, I believe we need to do all we can to help our fellow man. Making a little extra effort to simply vett the incoming refugees is all that is needed. Why is that so difficult? This should never have become a political issue. This is no trojan horse either as it is far easier for terrorist to gain entry than posing as refugees.

Joseph Cormier said...

Sometimes, data are irrelevant.

It would seem by the data, that the refugees are settling in other countries already. The other countries, also, don't have a "southern border crisis" to deal with. 10,000 refugees, relative to millions settling some place else, seems political.

Perceptions, sway the populace when viewed as "too close to home".

The present furor will probably dissipate with the next news cycle ... yes ... especially in an election cycle.

Some will ask, why the sense of urgency about getting refugees here now, ... if the process takes around two years.

Putin, France, and some other UN Article 5 countries will probably provide more resolution, than a token effort from the US.

I agree with blogger about the hysteria is politically motivated, tempered with real U.S. citizen fears, about terrorism. I agree with human temperance.

I disagree about the immediacy of Syrian preference.

U.S. Dept. of State

"The total processing time varies depending on an applicant’s location and other circumstances, but the average time from the initial UNHCR referral to arrival as a refugee in the United States is about 18-24 months."


Rick Heath said...

First, I don't see on your list of "host" nations Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait (whose ass we saved) and a number of others. They would feel more at home in fellow Islamic nations than here in the home the "Evil Infidels". Why are these local folks not taking their brother Muslims?
Second, We have been hoodwinked for far too long on the border security along the AZ, NM, TX border allowing millions of illegals from dozens of countries, not just Mexico to enter at will. Until we learn to control the borders we have failed to do so far, find a way to SAFELY allow families, mothers with children and the elderly to come from Syria, leaving their radical sons behind, we need to protect the homeland first.
Third, it is fact that the Boston bombers were refugees who we failed to keep track of even with a heads up from Russia. It is a fact that the Paris tragedy was carried out by at least one refugee from Syria.
Perhaps, if we had a truthful leader in the White House rather than a boy crying wolf he might have more of a consensus when he takes these "sky is falling" issues to the public.
I know this sounds political, however, seven years of failed, politically motivated and less than transparent leadership has consequences. I am sorry about the horror that those people are going through. However, we should ask the American families of those sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and parents who have been killed and maimed by radical Islamic terrorists who have already infiltrated this country, how they feel.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Reminder: No comments on this post anonymously

Moultonboro Blogger said...

For some perspective regarding the term "radical Islam" here is a link to an interesting point of view. http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/22/opinions/mcwhorter-should-we-call-it-radical-islam/index.html

Joseph Cormier said...

Perspective ... Blogger ... have you started festivities early!

CNN ... John Hamilton McWhorter V :

"His work has expanded to a general investigation of how adults acquiring a language "undoes" much of the complexity and irregularity that human language otherwise inevitably wends into, to varying degrees of which creoles are simply an extreme."

"He has outlined these ideas in academic format in Language Interrupted and Linguistic Simplicity and Complexity, and for the general public in What Language Is and, on English, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue."

"McWhorter has also been a proponent of a theory that various languages on the island of Flores underwent transformation due to aggressive migrations from the nearby island of Sulawesi, and has joined scholars who document that English was profoundly influenced by the Celtic languages spoken by peoples encountered by Germanic invaders of Britain. He has also written various pieces for the media arguing that colloquial constructions such as the modern uses of "like" and "totally," and nonstandard speech in general, be considered alternate renditions of English rather than degraded ones."

"In April 2015, McWhorter appeared on NPR [6] and claimed that the use of the word "thug" was becoming code for "the N-word" when used by whites in reference to criminal activity. He added that recent use by President Obama and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (for which she later apologized) could not be interpreted in the same way, given that the black community's conception of the "thug" includes an element of admiration for self-direction and survival. He did not cite a basis for these claims in the interview, which was widely misunderstood, but clarified his views in an article in the Washington Post.[7]"


Faux News said...

Faux News tells you that Saudi Arabia has not done it s part in taking in refugees. Do talking heads do research anymore?