Iraqi refugees asking for political asylum gather outside the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees office. These are lucky ones who somehow made it to Damascus. (Khaled Hariri/Reuters)
Travel in Jordan and Syria last summer gave us one insight that at the time was not something highlighted in U.S. media coverage of our nation's Iraq war: we've unleashed a flood of desperate refugees across the region. Now this is a commonplace. Literally millions are trying to get out of a country where, as James Glantz reported in today's New York Times, life amounts to trying to survive on "a deadly dartboard."
The International Herald Tribune recently attempted to quantify the situation:
Numerous news organizations have begun pointing out that the people who have helped U.S. forces and U.S. media particularly deserve some consideration as Iraq goes up in flames. And they do. And they are not getting it because to facilitate their escape would be an official admission that the U.S Iraq enterprise is out of control, kaput, down the drain. So our friends should die for GWB's lies.
Meanwhile, IRIN, the news organization associated with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, is trying very hard to draw attention to another set of refugees created by the Iraq disaster.
Having lost their own country, these folks have become just more hidden collateral damage of U.S. aggression.