Republican leaders are some of the least humanitarian and cruelest people in the country. But I’ve come to believe they are also some of the thickest. You can see this in the strategic implications of keeping Syrian refugees out of the country.
The refugees are people who’ve been abused by the Syrian government (Asad famously gassed them) and driven away by ISIS and other rebel groups. They are already predisposed to hate those people. Our best strategy would be to scoop up every one we can persuade to come to the U.S. and give them a place to sit out the war. The war will end and eventually they will go back. We have an enormous opportunity to affect Syrian society after they return.
So, it isn’t just humanitarian to accept the refugees. It’s also smart national security policy.
Add Stability to the Middle East
There are perhaps two million refugees we could bring to the United States. This is possibly 20% of the Syrian population. What will these people believe when they return to Syria?
We could spend a moderate amount of effort teaching them how to run a secular society. We should help them learn how we view human rights and due process. We should help them set up public institutions they can take back with them.
We could also help them develop techniques for surviving the more drought-prone conditions Syria is seeing as a result of global warming. And we could help them learn proper business techniques they could use on their return. Climate change is one of the factors at the bottom of the problem, and that isn’t going to go away, even if we knock off ISIS.
By simply helping them out and providing the right information and technology, we could inject stability into the Middle East on their return.
That would be smart strategy.
But unfortunately much of our federal government is run by Republicans, who don’t know very much about how to run a government. As I’ve said before, Republicans don’t know money. (They want to privatize Social Security, for example. And they are still promoting trickle-down economics, even after it’s been show to be an abject failure.) But it’s deeper and more disturbing than that. They don’t even know how to win a war.