Rand Paul showed off his “compassionate conservatism” yesterday by saying the United States should not settle any of the Iraqi refugees our invasion of their country created in this country. Because we won.
In Iowa, which seems to bring out the worst behavior in every Republican who visits, Paul told radio host Jan Mickelson how he felt about icky brown people:
We won the war in Iraq, why would we be giving political asylum to people to come from a country where we won the war? It’s one thing if you’re trying to escape Castro or trying to escape communism in Russia or Vietnam or somewhere else or China, I can understand asylum, but when you win the war, why would you give people asylum? And if the 60,000 coming here are friends of the West, wouldn’t you want that 60,000 to be in Iraq helping to form a better country over there?
If you let the better people, the people who like the United States leave and come here, then aren’t you diminishing the numbers of folks that would make that country a better place to live? So I think the whole idea of resettling 60,000 people from Iraq over here was a mistake. But I also think that the refugee program as well as the student visa program are some of the highest risks for us to be attacked.
Yes, let’s make them stay there where they can be subject to further brutality, and perhaps murdered. It’s what Jesus would have wanted.
This is the same Rand Paul, by the way, of whom Catholic Online said in 2013, “[E]xplained he believes there will be a time when we will all be judged based on whether or not we defended human life from the first moment of conception.”
These refugees had their moment of conception. They are post-conception now. But their human lives seem irrelevant to Paul. Maybe he can mansplain that all to God when the time comes.
In 2014, a real Christian, Pope Francis, spoke up on behalf of refugees, declaring that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a refugee:
“Remember, Jesus was a refugee; he and Mary and Joseph had to go to Egypt to save his life. Pray to Mary who knows the pain of being a refugee.”
But Francis offered more than prayers:
“Let us be close to them, sharing their fears and their uncertainty about the future and concretely alleviating their suffering.”
By “concretely” Francis did not have in mind a bullet (or a sword) in the back of the head. This is how Republicans repay their debts, and people like Paul might as well be standing on the sidelines and applauding the executions.
Paul said in 2012 that, “My faith has never been easy for me.” No indeed, nor for Iraqi refugees.
We might as well let the mafia run the country.
Iraq is really not a good subject for Republicans. Their president, George W. Bush, is the guy who invaded the country on a fabricated pretext, making the invasion as legal as Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland, and then having toppled Saddam Hussein, completely bungled the aftermath.
Despite Republican efforts to blame Obama, it is Republican incompetence that created ISIL, now terrorizing Syria and Iraq.
To compound that error in judgment, Jeb Bush has revealed not only that the architect of that disaster, Dubya himself, who still defends his decision to destabilize an entire region was a good idea, is his most trusted advisor – but that he too (more or less) still defends the invasion of Iraq.
Contrast with all the false machismo of the chickenhawks, Hillary Clinton’s admission that she was wrong to vote for the Iraq War.
And now they want to use the same false excuse they used to attack Iraq in order to attack Iran and create even more instability – and more refugees – in the region.
Scott Walker wants to treat ISIL like a labor union and Tom Cotton doesn’t even know where Tehran is and Lindsey Graham just wants to hide under his bed. And as Steve Benen wrote at The Maddow Blog yesterday, Marco Rubio has “repeatedly struggled with the basics of international affairs.”
Yet Graham is calling Obama’s foreign policy “delusional.”
Where does it end? Isn’t this just a topic the GOP should avoid? Every time they open their mouths they make their position more untenable.
We invaded Iraq. Our actions created those refugees – some 4.7 million of them – and they’re arguably the lucky ones, because at least 100,000 and possibly up to another half-million may have died during or as a result of the invasion and the violence of its aftermath.
Yet Republicans claim that the Iraq War wasn’t so bad because it didn’t affect people’s lives personally (ALERT: those 4.7 million refugees?), and that the Affordable Care Act is worse than the Iraq War.
Because Obamacare has killed 100,000 and left another 4.7 million refugees. It should be evident that Republican ideology is more deadly than Obamacare by a wide margin.
If Rand Paul were smart, he’d just shut his mouth now, while he can claim to be in the running. He would, like Jeb Bush plans to do, stay out of Iowa, where bad things happen to Republican candidates, and he would never, ever, mention Iraq.
He can’t do that. He had to not only mention Iraq but he had to do it in Iowa. Devotion to ideology is partly to blame, as is a need to appease the racist and bigoted Republican base who love to hear tales of icky brown people dying, especially bigots in Iowa where he is currently polling second to Scott Walker.
But mostly it’s just that Rand Paul has the same faulty moral compass that has afflicted each and every Republican candidate for president since we left the 20th century behind.
These refugees have been hurt enough by the United States. I submit to you that they deserve better than another Republican president.
We all do.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.