ISIS and the wars in Syria and Iraq

Politics and religion.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:14 pm
What's really unfortunate is that many people in the West don't see the diabolical connection that has driven refugees to their countries.

The West directly generated terrorism and wars in the Middle East for decades, but especially during last 2 presidencies. They created ISIS and assisted other Al Qaeda affiliates (Nusra Front and Benghazi Salafists) for years. Those are now facts admitted by generals and politicians.

The Western governments also happened to wreck other countries with Arab Spring nonsense. Not to mention the lingering problems associated with the Financial Crisis of 2008-2009, which was actually felt much harder in the Middle East than in most places.

The worst thing that ever happened to our respective civilizations was a forced meeting -- forced friction -- all because of oil & gas, money, weapons, planned future markets, and Israel. Ideally we should have no reason to meddle in the Middle East, and thus they should have no reason to come here, as refugees or terrorists.
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Snarky!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:02 am
Darth Board wrote:It's a difficult issue overall, but as far as I can see this whole "fear the fake refugees" thing is a bunch of terror-laced hot air. Every one of the attackers in Paris has been identified as an EU national, not a fleeing refugee.


But at least one of them had a fake Syrian passport. The point isn't that the Syrians are necessarily any better or worse than anyone else, but that terrorists can slip through the weak screening process. Then again, terrorists could just as easily walk across our southern border, since our government refuses to do anything there to prevent illegal entry.

In the meantime, the refugee crisis is real (although the numbers coming into the US are not the tens of thousands we're being told but more like a few hundred). And not all the Syrian refugees are even Muslim. Many of them are Christians too. Almost half of them are children. On this one point, I actually find myself somewhat agreeing with the Obama Admin. We as Americans (and more personally, we as Christians) cannot turn our backs on those in need, and that is definitely who these people are, by and large.


Dorm seems to have different numbers than you. And last I heard, we were talking about up to 65,000 refugees. Where did you hear a few hundred? I've also heard/read that only about 3% of the refugees are Christians, largely because Christians are scared to go to the UN facilities for fear that they'll be targeted by Muslims in the facilities once they're identified. I don't know how true any of that is, but then again, I'm guessing you haven't been over to personally check on it, either, so we're both working with second or third hand information.

If governments and believers in the West don't help these folks and show them the light of the love of Christ, who will? We need to vet them carefully, and so far, we have been. But we can't let fear cause us to turn a blind eye to suffering.


Administration officials as high as the head of the FBI have said that we don't really have a strong screening process. We're going on what the UN has been able to gather in most cases. I'm not convinced that we DO have a good vetting process.

Then again, you have a point regarding our duty as Christians to reach out to those in need. But I think our government has a greater responsibility to protect the citizens of the United States (even if it doesn't seem too interested in that job sometimes).
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:37 am
Here's a local World Relief report on the Syrian refugees who have come to the town of High Point in the last 2 years. It notes the relatively small number of the group, the demographics, and the length of time it took to vet them before they were resettled in High Point and the amount of time (2 months) the local WR office had to prepare for their arrival. Thanks to the long vetting process, the most recent departure from Syria to reach HP left the country two years ago:

https://www.facebook.com/WorldReliefHig ... nref=story
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:44 am
More on Syrian refugees (linked from an article I posted on the previous page). They aren't terrorists, because it really would be the worst way for a terrorist to enter. They're begging to be scrutinized once they enter the refugee process:

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/six-rea ... ter-paris/
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Snarky!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:49 am
Your World Relief information is an awfully small sample size from which to extrapolate nationally.

Is the goal in the current situation to relocate people after a two year vetting process, or as soon as possible? The impression I got was "as soon as possible". Will World Relief be handling the process, or the federal government? As I understand it, again from the director of the FBI, we don't have a database to work with beyond what the UN has available. And that isn't going to have information on a lot of people, to say nothing of people with falsified (or no) credentials.

6. This is a far cry from what is happening right now in Europe.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:57 am
World Relief is just one of several groups that handle refugee resettlement. As I understand it, they work like "contractors" to resettle refugees from all over the world. They will certainly be called up on to help as will other Christian, secular, and other religious group organizations.

And I can't find where I got the numbers, but it wasn't the local ones I was extrapolating from. I'm still looking for the original articles I was referencing. Admittedly, there is a lot of contradictory information on the numbers. That's why I posted the Niskanen Center article, because it doesn't rely on the numbers of refugees to make the point that refugees to the U.S. just aren't terrorists, as far as we've seen, and there's no good reason to think they would be.
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Snarky!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:00 am
Darth Board wrote:More on Syrian refugees (linked from an article I posted on the previous page). They aren't terrorists, because it really would be the worst way for a terrorist to enter. They're begging to be scrutinized once they enter the refugee process:

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/six-rea ... ter-paris/


If we're so sure these are good people, why has the President vowed to block the current Congressional bill that requires vetting, follow up, and administration sign-off on each of the refugees?

But I agree in principle that helping people in need is the right thing to do. Are you prepared to accept the consequences if you're wrong?

I'm not sure I'm Christlike enough to welcome a potentially dangerous person into my home. And I'm not sure it would be responsible of me as a husband and father to do so. Why would it be responsible of me as a US citizen to welcome potentially dangerous people into my neighborhood or city?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:16 am
Heli wrote:I'm not sure I'm Christlike enough to welcome a potentially dangerous person into my home. And I'm not sure it would be responsible of me as a husband and father to do so. Why would it be responsible of me as a US citizen to welcome potentially dangerous people into my neighborhood or city?


I feel you there, and you've got a point. But when we know MOST of these people are legitimately in need, and we have no evidence or history of any of them having committed acts of terrorism, that leap toward safety and security can become extreme pretty quickly.

The fact is, someone who's a terrorist coming in as a refugee would make little sense. Think about it: They would be coming into the country alongside the very people who are running from them (and who would be most likely to rat them out). They would be shining a spotlight on themselves as they enter and leaving a much longer papertrail of their activities within the U.S. They and their possessions would be cataloged. They would have to go through a waiting/processing/vetting period of 6 months to 2 years all while maintaining their ruse (making planning any actions or communication with ISIS extremely difficult). If you were a strategist for a terrorist group, trying to stage an attack on the other side of the world, would that be the route you would take?

If it were me (Islamic terrorist Darth), I'd probably try to rely on nationals I could turn to my cause (or those I've gotten in through more normal immigration channels), and considering the refugees are fleeing tyranny overseas, even once they're settled, they'd be the last people I'd want to try to contact or expect sympathy from. I (not Islamic terrorist Darth) understand the concerns, but there's a point where the need to be the Body of Christ must trump our fears as believers and a point where our need to spread freedom and peace to those who seek it must trump our fears as a nation.
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Snarky!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:45 am
You make a good point.

And, as has been pointed out by others, if Obama really wanted to make an argument against the likelihood of terrorists using the Syrian refugees as cover, he really should point to our barely secured southern border or much more lax student visa program... but that would be admitting that Republicans have a point, so he can't do that.

In the long run, it doesn't matter what you or I want; we will be instructed by our government what we're getting. I hope they do a good job, but I fear they won't. History backs up that prediction, as it does the innocuousness of refugees. Things like this concern me:

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/11 ... louisiana/
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:03 pm
Well, it's pretty clear from the updates on that story that the big problem is that the feds are doing nothing to help the issue (Gosh, that sounds like...hmmm...EVERY issue for the last 7 years, doesn't it?). The refugee in question was never actually lost, but the state government of Louisiana was led to think he was, because the federal government refused to tell them otherwise. The lack of communication is dangerous and needs to be fixed.

David Crabb from Desiring God (John Piper's ministry) weighed in on this issue and (not too surprisingly) DG didn't fall down hard on one side of the politics of it. Instead they focused on being the Body of Christ in this situation that (as you rightly point out, my good buddy) we have no actual control over. What may be a risk for us nationally may still be an opportunity for us in the Gospel, and we should treat it as such, regardless of the decisions made by the state and federal government or our views on what should be done on an official level. It's a typically great piece from Desiring God:

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/bui ... gee-crisis

BONUS:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater
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