All the world is an ill-conceived stage (via atrios) for these people, isn’t it? Well, I’ll see your “boat people” and inaccurate historical context for the victims of the Pol Pot atrocities, and raise you the following, you Norm Podheretz Cliff’s Notes of History flunk-ee.
First, as a direct result of our piss poor planning and ill-conceived occupation of Iraq, we have the following dispatch from Jordan (H/T to Peterr for the link) and a very large number of other nations in the Middle East who are facing the same refugee/humanitarian crisis of our making and subsequent internal destabilization. To wit:
…grave concern regarding the massive displacement of Iraqis, the third-largest displaced population in the world and the fastest growing refugee population….
“Tension is rising among host communities, oversaturated with displaced populations, who, themselves, lack access to basic services, and Iraqi refugees angered by their deteriorating living condition. The destabilising nature of large refugee flows, the need to enrol children in school… and the skewing of sectarian balances in host countries may very well lead to a breakdown of law and order in the host countries,” the congressman warned in his letter.
The letter to Rice included that despite this, “Jordan has not seen significantly increased economic assistance from its top ally – the United States – to fund its schools, hospitals and public infrastructure”.
And, back here at home, almost two years after Katrina, we are still hearing and reading stories like this:
The first morning of my visit to Scenic Trails, I was walking the path between some trailers when I bumped into a man named Tim Szepek. He was young, tall, and solidly good-looking. I asked if I could speak to him for a moment and he agreed. We found a spot of shade beneath a tree, and I started with what I considered a casual warm-up.
“What’s it like to live around here?” I asked.
“Well,” he replied, “I’ll be honest.”
“Ain’t a day goes by when I don’t think about killing myself.”
And so began my time in Scenic Trails, a FEMA trailer park deep in the Mississippi woods where 100 families have lived in near isolation for close to two years.
Though Szepek was the first resident to tell me he wanted to commit suicide, he certainly wasn’t the last. The day I spoke with him, three other residents confided the same….
And stories like this. And this. And this. And this. And all of these…and it just goes on and on. Stop clowning around, George — these are other people’s lives you are playing with…and no photo-op in the world erases the fact that you are a craptastic failure.
(Photo of President Bush clowning around with a keg of herring via Guardian/UK — photo by Herribert Proepper/AP.)