Monday, November 16, 2015

Fear Plays Badly with Us

I have been reading what the Republican candidates for the presidency have been saying about President Obama's having agreed to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year. They are now, after the terrible and heartbreaking and heart wrenching and punk coward attacks in Paris, all claiming that it would be crazy, or worse, to allow those refugees to find refuge on our shores and soil. Ben Carson mentioned 200,000 refugees; Ted Cruz talked about the "tens of thousands" of refugees; Donald Trump talked about the "Trojan Horse" these refugees could be; Jeb Bush said we should only accept Christian refugees, not Muslims; Carly Fiorina talked about Obama's plan to "unilaterally" allow refugees to enter the US.
    These are phony talking points. Just lies. The plan calls for 10,000 over the course of a year, all carefully screened--which probably means no males between the ages of 12 through 40--not 200,000, and certainly not unilaterally, without screening.
   I recognize the terror that terrorists create. I recognize that several related/coordinated murderous events can make it seem as if the whole world is on the brink of falling apart. But I don't think it is. But I agree with the one or two pundits who say that the entire plan of ISIL is to provoke enough rage at all Muslims that Europe and the U.S and Canada and Australia and others will refuse refuge to the refugees who are leaving everything behind in order to escape the violence in their homelands. If those Muslims can be denied refuge or marginalized into refugee camps, they will certainly grow bitter, or a lot of them will. Some of those will then become terrorists. Others who already have citizenship in the various Western countries will see their refugee brethren isolated or eliminated out of fear sown by attacks like those in Paris and they too might become terrorists. Fear plays into the hands of terrorists; everyone becomes a potential enemy when you're afraid of your shadow. And, of course, the truism remains true: The only thing to fear is fear itself. Fear is what builds up the walls between people. Fear causes isolation, not acceptance. And that, particularly now, would play very, very directly into the terrorists' hands.

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