We Are Awful, Volume 3,912

« September 2015 »

Memo to America: MANY OF US ARE AWFUL.

The good news is, the Syrian refugree crisis has provided you, the average citizen, with yet another handy, convenient, and accurate asshole detector. The bad news is, we didn't really need another one.

Here's the deal. Syrians are fleeing the war in their country by droves, heading mostly to Europe, because Europe is mostly safer than the entire Middle East. Why is Syria so dangerous? Why is Syria in the middle of a war? Why is the rest of the Middle East not safe? It's very simple. For nearly a decade and a half, the western world, primarily led by the United States, has carried out a foreign policy that says we can fix things there if we just drop enough bombs and give enough people guns.

The bombs, for some reason, haven't had the stabilizing effect their proponents have claimed. This should not be surprising, because what bombs do is that they take useful things, like roads and bridges and buildings, and turn them into much less useful piles of rubble. Assuming people survive the bombing, they are then living in a place that is mostly rubble, and are somehow more concerned with that than creating a stable democracy friendly to the people who blew up all their shit.

The guns are even better. Basically, we can either give guns to the right people or the wrong people, because it's tough sometimes to tell who the right people are. If we give guns to the wrong people, well, that's bad. But if we give guns to the right people, we have to make sure first that they don't suddenly become the wrong people when the political landscape changes, and second, that other wrong people don't come along and take all the guns away from the right people. On both counts, our record over the past decade and a half has been fucking atrocious.

In short, there's no getting around the fact that, directly AND indirectly, the current Middle Eastern refugree crisis is our fault. These are the victims of our shock and our awe knocking on our doors and asking if they can come in because we turned their home into whizzing bullets, irregular chunks of concrete, and frequent explosions. And how do we react? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, you have to." - Donald Trump.

This, by the way, is the moderate position currently amongst the GOP candidates. So moderate, in fact, that he ended up walking it back some a few days later. Here's a case where Trump's honesty is both enlightening and horrible. He hates the CONCEPT of taking in refugees. Of course he does. He's a white Republican. At least he feels, or briefly felt, that there was an obligation at stake here, instead of just up and saying that the refugee crisis is part of a secret plan to smuggle terrorists into the United States.

That's the position taken, to various degrees, by Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, John Ellis Bush! Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and most egregiously, by increasingly awful person Mike Huckabee, who suggested that the refugees want to come here because we have cable TV.

Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal just blame Obama for the whole crisis, which is both incomplete (he's only responsible for part of it) and incorrect (because Christie thinks he didn't drop enough bombs to stop the violence). The only one not scared of refugee terrorists is, ironically, the candidate most scared of terrorists in general, Lindsey Graham.

About the only thing we can take small, cheap comfort in is that this is one area where, as awful as we are, most of Europe is actually worse, because, well, there the refugees are real, not potential. And real refugees can be tear-gassed and hit with water cannons. Which is not to say we wouldn't totally do that if they were trying to get on trains here instead of Hungary. I mean, we do that to our own citizens when they get out of line. But over there is where the awfulness is actually happening in practice. USA! USA! USA!

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