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The Hell With Your Tired,
Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses

| September 13, 2015

Beached: it's not a prank anymore. America's welcome to refugees has long shriveled. (Sara)

Beached: it’s not a prank anymore. America’s welcome to refugees has long shriveled. (Sara)

Sad irony. Twenty-six years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States is the nation with the world’s most disgraceful wall while Germany, preparing to welcome and grant citizenship to 800,000 refugees–one refugee for every hundred German–is the nation that best lives up to the Emma Lazarus words at the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” How false those words sound against the disdain America shows the children of its nearest neighbors. How phony they are in  America’s response to the refugee crisis in Europe and “what is superciliously called the Middle East,” as the writer Arundhati Roy put it.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive But it’s only the latest act of criminal hubris on America’s part. We started the war–the war crime, really–that birthed ISIS. It’s only fair, in the calculus of a nation fabricating absolution where it can, to turn our back on the greatest humanitarian crisis of the century and call it someone else’s problem. We bomb well. We disrupt. We shatter. Just don’t ask us to rebuild.

I have no reason to be sympathetic to Syrians. I unfortunately know a minor something about being a refugee, and for the same reason that Syrian refugees are pouring out of their country by the millions. The last night I spent in Beirut before escaping in 1978 was in an apartment building that was near a high rise out of which jutted Syrian howitzers. The howitzers had been quiet for a day or two. We were desperate to make our exit. We took our chances. At the time, the father of the current Syrian leader was occupying Lebanon and bombarding much of it, though thankfully for us he wasn’t using barrel bombs. We were lucky in my family. We could make our exit with a few dollars in our pocket and a place to go. We weren’t refugees in the mattress-on-our-backs sort of way. But our nation was taken from under us. Lebanon would be occupied by the Syrian army for 27 more years.

When the Syrian civil war began I was cheering the rebels, whatever they were at the time. I thought Syria might have its piece of the Arab spring and Bashar el Assad would be overthrown. But that Arab spring turned into the century’s Balkan wars, with Syria its bloodiest front. Refugees have been pouring into Lebanon ever since.

Most people have no idea what that means. Lebanon is a country about a third smaller than Connecticut. It had a population of 4 million, not counting about half a million Palestinian refugees who’ve been there for decades after being expelled by Israel, and not counting the thousands of Iraqi refugees left from the exodus created by George Bush’s war.

Since the Syrian civil war began, 1.1 million Syrians have taken refuge in Lebanon. Imagine that. It’s as if 5 million people suddenly poured into Florida and required emergency assistance—not for a week or a month, but for the foreseeable future.

Lebanon isn’t a rich country. It’s barely recovered from its own civil war. It’s not equipped to offer asylum to so many. But it has. It’s taking care of more than a quarter of the 4 million Syrians who’ve fled. And it can be excused for finally shutting down its borders, causing refugees to look beyond the Middle East. Now they’re pouring into Europe. And Europe is panicking, shockingly. It was not until the images of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler whose cadaver washed ashore in Turkey, and of Petra Laszlo, the Hungarian Hun who kicked one refugee child and tripped a father and his child, that the continent’s conscience began to stir.

Laszlo kicked and tripped just three people. They got up and kept going. American and European policy is kicking and keeping down millions. We’re all Laszlos on steroid.

U.S. refugee admission by region since 1987.

U.S. refugee admission by region since 1987. Click on the image for larger view. (Congressional Research Service)

Germany’s Angela Merkel has been the only exception with the opening to 800,000 Syrians and North Africans. That’s as grand a gesture as any European country has shown refugees decades. Barack Obama’s order Thursday to open the United States to 10,000 refugees is dismal in comparison, even as an improvement from the 1,500 who have been accepted since the civil war began. It’s part of America’s long-standing closed-door policy. We’ve not been generous toward refugees, not since the Reagan era, anyway, when the country accepted a total of 65,000 to 75,000 refugees a year, more than half from East Asia. Russian Jews swelled that number to about 120,000 a year in the early 1990s, but since then we’ve taken in as few as 27,000 in 2002, and no more than 73,000, in 2010.

In other words Germany, a nation with a quarter the population of the United States, is preparing to accept more refugees in a single year than we’ve accepted in the last 15. That’s some example to the world from the nation of immigrants.

Obama is under Republican pressure not to accept Syrian refugees. They worry about potential terrorists. Of course they do. As you well know, every Arab is really a terrorist, so you can’t blame them. And by calling them potential terrorists we ensure they don’t come here: we’ve demonized them, turned them into threats. That’s why you smell that vomit about them being security breaches rather than human beings. Of course we can’t take them in. And if you think the dehumanization is targeted only at potential Arab terrorists, just remember how unremarkable it’s become to refer to Mexican immigrants in barely less dehumanizing terms, though Mexicans have as much to do with terrorism as my olive skin has with Kalamata olives. It’s racism, white-supremacy-pure and simple. I’ve had my share in our lovely little community here.

But assuming some of those dangerous Arabs are good people, to quote the sage Donald Trump, surely there’s a way to do a little screening, while America’s 1 million or so Arab-Americans may possibly be an indication that Japanese-style internment camps aren’t necessary. As long as we’re at it maybe we could screen for those American-born terrorists, right-wingers all, who far outnumber anything the Arab, Islamic, Slavic, Chinese and African worlds have thrown our way since 9/11. But white skins and Christian denominations are like self-cleaning ovens. They ‘re their own whitewash.

One other seemingly potent criticism is being thrown Obama’s way about his failure in the face of the refugee crisis: that his leaving Iraq caused it, which conveniently cleanses Bush’s responsibility for invading Iraq in the first place, and that his refusal since to start a fourth American crusade in the heart of the Arab world is worsening matters, because three lost wars–on Iraq, on Afghanistan and on “terrorism”–aren’t enough). “American interventionism can have terrible consequences, as the Iraq war has demonstrated,” New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote. “But American non-interventionism can be equally devastating.” So in Cohen’s calculation, doubling down on devastation is better than not, because at least American power can then have another big stage to show off its Tomahawks.

Bombing Syria to stop the flow of refugees, however, is not a solution. Nor is sending more troops and opening a new front there, as some of our candidates for president, who have short or fond memories of recent crusades, keep urging. The only military option in Syria, other than creating no-fly zones, belongs in the hands of the Kurds, the Turks and other Sunni-Arab armies. The West can arm and provide logistics. It cannot act the crusader against an ISIS army that would love nothing better than to suck in more western blood. ISIS can only be discredited and defeated by its own.

Meanwhile there’s a huge role for Europe and the United States to play. It starts with opening our doors far wider than they’ve been and welcoming refugees as generously as Lebanon and Germany do. Wealth and capacity aren’t in the way. Anti-Arab prejudice is.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him on Twitter @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

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68 Responses for “The Hell With Your Tired,
Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses”

  1. Layla says:

    No country in the world has taken as many refugees in as the United States of America. None.

    I would say the problem is is more than “anti-Arab” prejudice as seen by the article below.

    There are many countries in the Middle East which could house these families.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      That comment above is flatly wrong. The United States doesn’t rank anywhere near the nations with the heaviest refugee intake, hasn’t for decades, as this table indicates, and my source is a little more reputable than uncle sam’s xonophobigoted tripe cited above. The comment moderator really should do a better job filtering tripe from fact.

      • Knightwatch says:

        Pierre, you know better than I that today’s conservatives are knowledge-adverse. They angrily dismiss facts and go on to the next unfounded visceral belief. Presenting the facts to them is akin to a fly buzzing at the head of a water buffalo. The buffalo, as do its conservative counterparts, merely shakes its head and blunders on down the path. In the case of conservatives, that path is dictated by Fox, Rush, Breitbart or the like. The lack of intellectual curiosity is disturbing, but the wilful ignorance is frightening.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you for real Tristam!!

  2. Katie Seamore says:

    America has millions of refugees from south of our border. Please don’t disregard that fact. Our resources will only go so far. It is my suggestion the the rest of the world will need to absorb the greatest number of the displaced Syrians, starting with the more affulent middle eastern countries.

  3. Bob says:

    The last thing we need is more immigrants. We are in trouble. 50% of us are on the government dole in some way shape or form and over 40% on welfare. There are 90 million Americans looking for work. I say let the rest of the world take them. We have done our share!

    • anon2 says:

      Bob, give us some sources for your “facts.” Are you including Social Security recipients in your “dole” count? Jobs are available at the very bottom, like picking crops, and at the very top, like high tech.. Without immigration and/or better education, Americans are not be able to fill these jobs.

      • Layla says:

        Americans are being REPLACED by foreign workers in high tech jobs for cheap labor and they are being asked to train their replacements or risk all severance benefits.

        Where have you been?

        nd Canada has announced they will not be taking any of these people due to the security risks at this time.

  4. Knightwatch says:

    I’m alarmed at the direction that ultra-conservative Americans are pushing this country. We are losing the heart and “soul” of what made America special – – the compassion for those in need of help; the sense of a collective responsibility to do all that we can to help the sick, the hungry, the displaced and the desperate. We have so much excess wealth and capability in this country that we can easily lead the world in extending a welcoming hand to tens of thousands of these unfortunate refugees. Yet our conservative citizens only see the personal cost, the inconvenience, the disruption and most disturbingly, the perceived “existential” threat to their privileged white, bigoted, anglo-American lifestyle.

    I can only hope that, ultimately, good old American generosity and compassion will prevail.

  5. No More says:

    Perhaps the Lebanese refugee would care to house them all in his house. And use his paycheck to feed them.

  6. tulip says:

    As horrible as this migration is, the USA can’,t or won’t take proper care of it’s own down trodden people. Adding a huge amount more of immigrants makes it even worse. Where are they going to live and who is going to support them?

    My biggest and most frightening objection to this is that Isis and other groups have infiltrated the migrants and are coming into all these countries. God help us all.

  7. Fredrick says:

    Yes it’s a crisis, yes it’s heartbreaking and we would all love for everyone to be taken care of. But if people want to come here then do it legally as apparently, at least I hope, your family did Mr. Tristam. That really is the point. If those flooding across our borders were doing it legally you would not hear the screaming and decent, Mr. Trump would not be so popular. Or at least the screaming would be limited by those who are off to the extreme. The extremes will scream regardless.

  8. theevoice says:

    sorry to say the world has become such a place that NO immigrants are welcome inside our’s just the way it is..they should stay in their countries and fight for their way of life, with pots and pans if need be!!!

    • anon2 says:

      theevoice, send in the little children and the old grandparents with their pots and pans to fight against Russian high tech weaponry. Why not just slaughter them humanely and spare folks like you from having to help them. (sarcasm). I firmly believe that the surrounding Arab States, who, with all their riches, should be doing more to help the refugees and stop the atrocities at their source. But apparently they have the same mindset as many of the posters on FlaglerLive.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The fact is that the five richest Arab Gulf states have taken in zero (that’s right–ZERO) of the Syrian refugees. Despite being “outed”, Saudi Arabia (which is one of the richest ones) says the immigrants are, of course, welcome…If only, alas, they could get through the complicated VISA process–What a shame (not to mention, a coincidence.) Given that customs and language would seem to make the resettlement much easier if Arab nations would help Arab migrants, the big five seem to have no intention of changing their policies…even though, as we know, Saudi Arabia is a huge player in the Syrian conflict that many of these refugees are fleeing. Not all of the immigration issues, however, involve the Syrian refugees. I propose that many in the Arab world (including many of the Syrian refugees themselves, who are blaming the US and Israel for every single one of their woes) might try to clean up the messes and moral transgressions/failings in their own backyards instead of frittering away all of their energy blaming their own chosen scapegoats. If they took a little more responsibility for themselves and their own, perhaps things would finally begin to change for the better–for them, as well as the rest of us.

  10. I/M/O says:

    Germany just closed it’s borders to any more refugees. The Trains have been stopped.

  11. Oceanside says:

    The only humanitarian crisis in the Middle East is the genocide of Christians and other non-Muslims by Muslims.

    This piece is pure propaganda, evidenced by Tristam’s failure to discuss Islam and Muslims.

    These are *NOT* “refugees”: this is Islamic hijrah, pure and simple, which Flagler Live evidently supports.

  12. Jesus, people – too hear you talk, you might as well be living in a Russia or some such… I wonder how many of you “I got mine, fuck the rest of you” people are irrevocably native. I wonder, too, how many of you EVER had to run from bullets, not to a bigger paycheck or a cozier suburb, but run to literally stay alive. What a shameful and sadly unsurprising display of our nifty flagler county true colors… My your god(s) truly be so forgiving as to overlook your basest trespasses, you un-American scum.

    • Bob says:

      Hey Inna, why don’t you and you liberal friends each take in and support a refugee family. That way I won’t have to support them with my tax dollars!

  13. m&m says:

    My last wife was Lebanese and stole every penny I had. She got the gold mine and I got the shaft. We have enough illegals here already.

  14. Watchdog says:

    There’s no room at the inn

  15. confidential says:

    I totally agree that those Arab richest states like Saudi Arabia and others in the region should serve the needs of these refugees and their permanent or temporary settlement.
    And we should not start unjustified wars “a la Bush” in countries like Iraq, Afganistan (were even Russia lost after several years of fighting) also against Libya and even Iran many decades ago, etc. Not that I agreed much with those deposed and or executed leaders, but getting ourselves embroiled in their internal affairs we just engineered the unbalanced that invented first Al-qaeda and now ISIS.
    I wonder when the time will be that we spend our hard earned dollars in battling for the betterment of all Americans right here at home and not in wars against countries in the other side of this world with very negative consequences for us here.

    We have a very tragic history of bringing refugees here that as they never assimilate our culture or society and become resentful of our western comforts, end up killing many of us, like in the case of the Boston Marathon brothers, the Huong Asian that shot dead 5 of our landowners and hunters in MN, the Eastern European that shot dead several of us in that Midwestern shopping mall, the resentful Asian refugee that massacre students in the Virginia Tech and so on. When enough is enough of bringing these potential threats to us all here. Please talk to the wealthy Saudis and other Arab countries to accept them. Will be better if we contribute somewhat to their settlement there and NOT HERE.
    American middle class families are still in financial trouble, looks at all the housing homeless around us why do the government keeps on wasting our funds in others overseas?

    • Lancer says:


      First…Afghanistan was doing pretty well BEFORE the Soviet Union invaded. The USSR destabilized the region. True, the US armed the Mujahadeen and contributed greatly to the Soviet defeat. It was quite more than “several years” of Soviet occupation that was bent on conquering, maintaining and holding Afghanistan.

      Post USSR, Afghanistan descended into civil war. Rhabani’s government was ultimately defeated by a Pakistani movement…The Taliban. The foreign arm of the Taliban was called…Al Qaeda. The US has nothing to do with their creation. Al Qaeda was financed by UBL and he declared war on the USA. The reason? When Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait, the Saudi government ASKED the USA to bring troops too their country. UBL considered it the greatest insult that US troops be on Saudi soil. Saudi Arabia, after all, is the birthplace of Muhammad. What is not realized is that Hussein actually attacked a Northern city in Saudi Arabia…he crossed the border…but, that attack was quickly repulsed by…the United States. Once that happened, UBL and his band of Al Qaeda miscreants have attacked the US. 9/11 was a direct result of Al Qaeda having a safe base of operations in Afghanistan. In fact, an Afghan hero Massoud was assassinated by Al Qaeda 2 days before 9/11 and was telling the US that a major Al Qaeda attack was coming to our country.

      So…if the USSR had never attacked Afghanistan, would the US had ever been in Afghanistan? Doubtful. However, the left never wants to criticize the Soviet Union. Must be why Ted Kennedy’s trip to the USSR during the Reagan Administration has never been widely publicized. Unclassified KGB documents documented the reason for Ted’s trip as “an attempt to undermine US foreign policy”.

  16. Ron says:

    Take a look at the last pair of refugees that this country took in. Did we forget already what happen at the Boston Marathon? It’s time for other countries to step up. Trump for President!

  17. Layla says:

    This has nothing to do with prejudice. Why must you make everything about prejudice? It must be terribly difficult to grow up in a country which you resent so much.

    • Lancer says:

      usaid! The hillary state department’s and 0bama’s little love child. They have wasted BILLIONS of US tax dollars abroad, including building mosques in Egypt for the Muslim Brotherhood.

  18. Geezer says:

    Immigration is what made America great. We can’t stop now to appease the gullible
    Tea-Partiers and bigots whose minds are as narrow as they are hateful. The vast
    majority of newcomers here love and appreciate their new-found freedom, and
    the opportunities that hard work brings.

    My parents were “immigrants,” and they worked like animals to feed, clothe, and educate
    my brother and I. They were so proud to eventually become American citizens!
    They were loyal to the USA, and no other land. They produced two children who
    are law-abiding, and respectful of others, with an abiding reverence for all life.

    These values instilled in us are all but becoming a rarity. Those “Americans” that abhor new
    faces – faces colored of darker complexions, or speaking in other tongues – those are the
    voices of people who have helped tarnish the image of the United States, worldwide.
    Those are the ones we should deport.

    Shame on them for slapping “Lady Liberty” in the face.

    • Bob says:

      Geezer, your and my parents and grandparents came here from Europe. They wanted to be Americans. Many changed their names to sound more American. They learned English as soon as possible. Most had skills they brought with them to start businesses and get jobs. To accept charity or help was an embarrassment. The Hispanic group coming from south of the border are totally different. They have few or no skills. They don’t care to learn English. They would love to turn the U.S. Into a Spanish speaking country. And finally have no problem taking every possible handout and benefit the government will give them.

      • Geezer says:

        Gee Bob, my family came from Cuba in the 50’s.
        We never, ever took or required a handout….
        You see, my father worked himself into an early
        grave to provide for us. He spoke excellent English too.

        I wish you well Bob. Maybe one day you’ll have
        an epiphany, and realize that you shouldn’t paint
        entire cultures with such a broad brush.

        Your fellow American,

        El Geezer

        • Lancer says:

          So…geezer you feel that Pres. Carter’s handling of the Mariana Boatlift was a “good thing” for South Florida?

          • Geezer says:

            Sorry Lancer, I can’t go back and forth with you, responding to your purposely obtuse, and simpleminded comment. With people like you there’s only black and white, with no gray area. You’re a follower with no original thoughts. You’re just a shallow, vacuous person who is mired in a perpetual mental slump.

            As far as President Carter goes: you couldn’t shine his shoes.

            One more thing: there was never a “Mariana Boatlift.”
            There was however, a Mariel boat-lift.
            If you mean the Mariana Trench, (what’s that you say?) that’s a whole
            lot closer to Guam – as if you were swimming to China from the west coast.

            Doesn’t it suck to be corrected by a Hispanic?

            ENGLISH PLEASE!

            • Bob says:

              Sorry Geezer but you are the one who is in lock step with any liberal no matter what. No gray area for you. If it’s a democrat or liberal you dedicated to them. After all these years if you think Carter was a good president then my point is proven. I would also like to list everything that Obama has screwed up but I’m tired of typing. I will list 4. Obamacare, Iran deal, leaving no troops in Iraq thus allowing ISIS to take over, and adding more to debt than all US president combined before him.

  19. Freddy says:

    Pierre, doo not say the US is not taking in refugees. There are 11 million here, (illegal aliens), right now fleeing the economic conditions from South oof the border.that we are housing and feeding.

    • Geezer says:

      Pierre – doo not say that. You heard the man.

      South oof the border – is that a motel in SC?
      Owned by criminally negligent spellers?


      De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”
      Don’t think me unkind, Words are hard to find….

      -The Police

  20. frankie boy says:

    send all the illegals home,including the mexicans

  21. Outsider says:

    Here is what Britain got for it’s helping out Muslims in need. The radical Muslims tell us they will never take over the U.S. militarily; they will do it via the womb, just as they are doing it in Britain, where the most common name for newborn baby boys is “Muhammad.” And how dare you say we won’t rebuild? We did it in Iraq, and the peace loving Muslims are tearing it all down as we speak. We fought for and gave the Iraqis a peaceful nation on a platter and it’s being ruined by more violence perpetrated by Muslims hell bent on creating a caliphate that will smother it’s people in radical ideology. Are there desperate people fleeing these countries who would do us no harm if they came here? I’m sure there are many, but among them will be those who will kill us from within. A significant part of the U.S. Muslim population is ideologically opposed to us, with one recent poll showing 25% favor jihad to establish Sharia law here. The fact is the Muslim countries are being ruined by Islam, and liberals keep trying to convince us that it is a peace loving religion. Stop pissing on my boots and telling me it’s raining. And all of you who keep telling us we are uneducated morons watch this video and tell me why we should welcome these people with open arms:

  22. Buylocal says:


    If there was a contest to determine the country who has given the most beyond it’s borders, who do you think would top that list? Who would be at the bottom?

  23. Geezer says:

    The two biggest “triggers” of mental meltdowns here, and the subsequent brain-dumps
    are the mere mention of guns or Mexicans.

    Meanwhile these “patriots” are not saying a word about what the TPP, and the mega-rich
    corporations that outsource, and pay very little to no taxes are doing to their country.
    The assholes they elect are draining the country dry.
    (the TPP has nothing to do with tepees)

    I guess that Mexicans are easiest to blame – the latest ethnic group to be scapegoats
    for ignorant white people and others in denial. You confront them with the truth and their
    seething racist -oriented hatred always comes to the surface. It’s a disease without a cure.
    Hate and the “us vs. them” mentality – myopic, unhappy people who like to spread their misery.
    The same gang that was “priced out” of a meaningful education due to politicians that WANT
    ignorant and hateful citizens.

    These politicians are peeing on their backs and telling them it’s raining.
    Laughing all the way to the bank, bolstered by right-wing media which feeds an unending
    stream of half-truths and innuendo. The dummies who watch these (or listen) networks
    are lemmings and hand-puppets to the powerful corporations.
    Ignorant dummies!

    There seems to be a psychological need to hate certain groups of people, people to
    blame all the ills on – even if its patently false.

    It’s so easy to pull the wool over people’s eyes. You simply need to know what buttons to push.
    Nowadays we push the “hate button.”

    These “brain-dumps I cite are analogous to dog dumps.

    Hasta la vista, baby.

  24. anonymous says:

    Another great article by Pierre…yet another chance to attack his fellow Americans…

    What is evident, from this article, is Tristam’s view of people. He has a “thinly-veiled” hated for Christians and / or anyone not as “enlightened or liberal” as himself. Newsflash, Pierre, not every “right-wing” person in this country (100 million of us) are against taking in refugees.

    Let’s go one further…most of the “real” Christians I know are VERY sympathetic to the plight of all endangered people in this region (yes, even the Kurds / Christians and other “minority” groups). We are to love (i.e. help) the poor and forgotten. In fact, some of these very people are over there on the ground right now, giving aid and help to these poor people.

    Perhaps, instead of writing hate pieces, you could take a more inclusive approach? You do a great service to highlight these issues, but, please do so without throwing in jabs at Republicans, Christians, etc.

    Specifically, Pierre, I would like to know what YOU are doing about this issue. You obviously feel passionate about their plight. Put political / religious rants aside and please tell everyone what you are doing to help these people.

    If it turns out, actually, that you have done nothing…perhaps you can amend this article to include phone numbers of aid agencies or lawmakers whom people can call. At least then, this article will not have been written in vain.

    • Lancer says:

      Agreed, anon.

      It’s very interesting that Pierre hasn’t written an article about the Christian plights and atrocities being committed against them, in places such as, Syria, Northern Iraq, Nigeria, Algiers and Egypt. Nor does Monsieur Tristam engage his criticism in the failed US foreign policy that has attributed to the mass exodus of refugees in many of these places, as a result.

      Why is that?

  25. David B says:

    Every man, woman, and child is entitled to freedom in America, just like our ancestors who came here. Just follow the correct procedures to become a citizen.

    • snapperhead says:

      what procedure is that? Kill the natives and steal their land?

      • Lancer says:

        It’s called CONQUEST. You should try understanding it and how it has advanced civilization.

        “Conquest and Cultures” by Thomas Sowell would be a great place to start.

        • snapperhead says:

          Sowell’s logic is distorted and ignores, like usual, the history of the conqueror’s actions to justify the ” advancements” that some descendants may enjoy today. That logic is equivalent to saying future Americans would be better off if we slaughtered millions now. His opinion I suspect would be a whole lot different if he were born in 1730 instead of 1930.

          • Lancer says:

            So…you’ve read the book?

            You may not like historical fact…but, that’s how it is.

            The fall of Rome ushered in? Yep, what is commonly called “The Dark Ages”. Much of their technology lost. When Rome abandoned Hadrian’s wall in GB, the country didn’t recover for a hundred years.

            So…who did the “native americans” conquer the land from, Snapper, they had to have come from somewhere? Also, they were defeated by a vastly technologically superior society…one that built ships and could navigate, build infrastructure and not just hunt and gather.

            It’s always hilarious when someone makes an illogical argument of this kind, fully taking for granted the tremendous strides, technologically, that we have had. Spare us the obnoxious, irrelevant hindsight.

            • Geezer says:

              Look at you, rationalizing wholesale murder.

              “It’s always hilarious when someone makes an illogical argument of this kind, fully taking for granted the tremendous strides, technologically, that we have had. Spare us the obnoxious, irrelevant hindsight.”

              It’s almost as if you’re citing your own comments.
              What a fine spokesman you make for the ignorant masses.
              What regurgitated, odious claptrap you spew.

              Reminds me of a garbage can when the lid is lifted on a hot Florida day.

  26. confidential says:

    See the link below to read about the threats we have with some of the large groups of refugees we bring into our country with all expenses paid:

  27. karma says:

    White supremacy my ass, Every two weeks there is a large portion of my paycheck(Federal tax, state sales tax,ad valorem tax ) is used to support many of the people coming into this country. The cost of “Illegal immigration” alone cost 113 billion dollars a year or about $1,117.00 per household a year in 2013( And many of them can not get all the government handouts. Why don’t you include the real cost to the taxpayer for just the 10,000 approved to come in.All the handout provided to them,
    Tell me what country where Blacks, Muslims and South Americans have it better than here. If life is so bad here for you,Whats stopping you from going elsewhere? You claim to be the victim while you ask for donations from your “lovely little community”

  28. Geezer says:

    I knew that this article would bring out the Klansmen.
    I see them as clowns, and am reminded of the foregoing song.
    And the clowns are right here….

    Send in the Clowns -Song by Judy Collins

    Isn’t it rich? Are we a pair?
    Me here at last on the ground, you in mid-air
    Where are the clowns?
    Isn’t it bliss? Don’t you approve?
    One who keeps tearing around, one who can’t move
    Where are the clowns? There ought to be clowns
    Just when I’d stopped opening doors
    Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
    Making my entrance again with my usual flair
    Sure of my lines, no one is there
    Don’t you love farce? My fault, I fear
    I thought that you’d want what I want, sorry, my dear
    But where are the clowns, send in the clowns
    Don’t bother, they’re here
    Isn’t it rich? Isn’t it queer?
    Losing my timing this late in my career
    But where are the clowns? There ought to be clowns
    Well, maybe next year

  29. Brad W says:

    [Selected as the Comment of the Day in the Daily Briefing.–FL]

    It’s very easy to sit back and say we should just let everyone come here, but there are a ton of tough questions that need to be answered especially when you are talking about millions of people. Where do you put these people? How do you feed them? How do you account for them and process visas? What do you do with those that do not have documentation that proves their identity? So forth and so on. Even Germany put a pause on things over the weekend because of concerns. It’s an extremely tragic situation and problem that needs a solution. One of those solutions is to end conflict and help rebuild those countries. Obviously that is more long-term and in the short-term many counties need to come together to help provide assistance and accommodations. I don’t think there is an easy answer, and I don’t think all of the responsibility falls on the US.

    I would also like you opinion Pierre on these two questions . . . 1) We have about 14 million residents here living under the poverty level, do we take assistance from them? 2) We are a country that is set up where states manage themselves a great deal How do you accommodate that type of influx without trampling on the states’ rights and placing huge burdens on stretched state budgets?

    • Joanne Updegrave says:

      I have to agree with Brad W. It breaks my heart when I see the children of the refugees trying to escape from war and tyranny. They and their parents are the innocent victims.
      Back when those meaningful words were inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, refugees came to this country for a better life and they WORKED for all that they achieved. There were no entitlement programs handing them money. They rolled up their sleeves and helped bring this nation to what it is today. Some had family already here to help, but the majority of them didn’t They also showed their children, by example, the meaning of rewards through hard work. Unfortunately Americans have seen the other side of refugees coming into this country both legally and illegally. Even though they are in the minority, it always reflects on the majority. And, as Brad W points out in his comments, we have sooo many problems with homeless people right here. Our veterans who are homeless is a disgrace. These brave man and women fought for our freedom. How can we make them a priority? Any suggestions?

      Pierre, I read your paper religiously every day and for the most part, I agree with your blogs. This one was a hard read. You called it ‘Bush’s War’…have you forgotten 9/11? I pose this question to you: if you were president then, what would you have done?

      • Pierre Tristam says:

        Joanne, the day after 9/11 I was responsible for writing the lead editorial we ran at the News-Journal in response to the attacks. This is what I wrote; it answers your question directly, and I think it has not only stood the test of time, but proved truer than anything I’ve written in my quarter century in journalism:

        It is hell in Manhattan and Arlington. It is not war.

        And if the nation continues to rattle its sabers as it has since Tuesday’s attacks, then something potentially more dangerous than war could develop — a misunderstanding of what war is, and a response to the attacks so overwhelmingly out of proportion with Monday’s terrorism that the United States could plunge itself and the world into a nightmare both will regret.

        War is a relentless march of brutality, a devastation that doesn’t begin and end with two or three deadly impacts but a death machine that drafts and bloodies, willingly or not, entire populations and industries. “War,” as Ernie Pyle wrote two years before his own death at war, “makes strange giant creatures out of us little routine men who inhabit the earth.” The White House, aided by commentators and the military and abetted by collective anger, is veering prematurely toward making strange giants out of routine men.

        An unintended consequence of Tuesday’s attacks is that the country’s moral authority around the world is unequaled since the end of World War II. But America’s misuse of its own might, conventional or nuclear, could wipe that out in a flash while inviting even more evil rogues to retaliate. It would open the era of terrorism by suitcase weapons of mass destruction, whether they be nuclear or biological (it wouldn’t matter to the victims).

        Even short of all-out retaliation, the political misuses of the situation could have bewildering consequences for the nation’s budget and its sense of itself as a free and peaceful society. Senators are scrambling to outscream each other for a new war against terrorism, for a blank check to the nation’s secret services and military, for a new and improved national security state that would make Harry Truman’s Cold War infrastructure look quaint in comparison. The Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI are sitting back, waiting to reap the windfall.

        It is all an abuse of an extraordinary situation. New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has repeatedly warned city merchants and hospitals against taking advantage of Tuesday’s disaster and gouging consumers and victims. But no one is warning against gouging by the Pentagon and the nation’s already-gigantic national security establishment. No one is warning against gouging the national treasury and the national trust at such a vulnerable time.

        We are not, or ought not be, that sort of giants.

        No one is arguing in favor of doing nothing. Retaliation is inevitable and necessary. No need for moral relativism, for “sensitive” treatment of a truth naked enough to be told as it is: The nation was attacked by backward, anti-Western fundamentalists to whom civilization is an affront, for whom repression is an edict from whatever twisted deity they pretend to serve. Few will mourn their loss should they be found and destroyed. But there will be plenty to mourn if, as so often happens in these cases, retaliation becomes a carnage of innocents different from Tuesday’s attacks only in hardware and location. And if war is the result. We are not there yet, and we should not let cowardly fanatics with Khyber Pass addresses take us there. They want our war. Let us, rudely and violently, decline.

        There are better things to do, and they’re being done. The only people poring into lower Manhattan are rescuers and volunteers and anonymous heroes already chipping away the devastation of an evil act with a million daily acts of humanity. They are relentless, as the nation will be, to set things right again. But they’re not at war.

      • Bob says:

        I’ll answer that question for Pierre. Of course he will say no. We forget there was a tremendous amount of intelligence that Iraq had WMDs plus Hussein had used them on his own people. Congress agreed. Hussein had enough time to get rid of the weapons, but of course it was all Bush’s fault!

        • anon2 says:

          To Bob: You are a gifted disseminator of misinformation. The majority of intelligence regarding Saddam Hussein’s WMD was fabricated by the United States in order to advance George Bush and his cronies’ desire to engage our country in war with Iraq. A war that financially devastated the United States, killed hundreds of thousands of people, and destabilized the entire region, then and now.

          Strange to me is that you justify our invasion of Iraq because of Hussein’s use of lethal chemicals on his own people, but you consistently oppose giving aid to the Syrian refugees, whose government has also used chemical weapons on its own people’ I guess it depends on who is the US president at the time of these atrocities, not the facts.

          • Bob says:

            Anon, I don’t think all the major world leaders and U.S. Congress would believe fabricated information. I don’t oppose aid to refugees, I don’t believe we should get involved. We have enough problems here.

            • anon2 says:

              Bob, read this Newsweek article:


              The WMD intelligence was fabricated. Do you remember Colin Powell’s lie about yellow cake uranium, or the arm twisting perpetrated by the United States of any country that refused to join the Iraq invasion? I could go on and on about the multitude of deceptions, but somehow, as I’m listening right now to the junior Republican Debate trying to rewrite history, I don’t think that they or you are interested in the truth.

  30. confidential says:

    I have nothing but compassion for refugees, but also some groups of them are a threat to us all and this is a reality that should not be allowed. Refugees are settle among us without a complete background and health search and is done for political reasons and once here the younger generations resent not being able to achieve the progress or success that many of us have and this then is what takes place, please read:

  31. Cyd Weeks says:

    I saw a headline today.. “The number of homeless children in public schools has doubled since before the recession, reaching a record national total of 1.36 million.” That figure has nothing to do with adults that are homeless, vets that are homeless. Because I don’t think we should be taking in refugees doesn’t mean I am against them or their ethnic background/nationality. I just think we need to take care of what issues we already have.

  32. Lancer says:

    I love it when a headline takes a quote completely out of context to support an ideal that has never had merit.

    First, most people think that saying was part of the design and construction of thee statue of liberty. It is not.

    Second, people think Emma Lazarus was saying “give us your poor…” and we, the USA will take care of them. That is untrue.

    At that time in history, the US was taking people in because of OPPRESSION, not because of poverty, per se.

    Next, the quote attributed to Emma Lazarus is from a donated poem that was used to raise money for the pedestal the Statue of Liberty, the gift from France, was to stand on. It was written in 1883 and it was not until 1903, that the saying was bronzed and put inside. You don’t walk around the Statue of Liberty and see the poem, “The New Colossus”.

    Lastly, the Statue of Liberty is not meant to be a symbol of immigration. It is meant to be a symbol of Liberty and Freedom. The statute was planned and built without ever taking Lazarus’ poem into consideration. It’s not called “The Statue of Immigration”…it is called “The Statue of LIBERTY”.

    The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 commemorating the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Lady Liberty is stepping forward carrying the light of liberty TO the rest of the world. The lady is not lighting the way to the US.

    Immigration is a very tricky subject. The US has always taken advantage of immigration because we have taken the BEST. Somehow the left has twisted it where we should just take everyone, so that they can come and take advantage of our entitlement programs! We do have immigration policies in place and a structured way to gain citizenship…legally. However, the federal government controls this program and, just like virtually everything government, is void in efficiency, effectiveness and severely wasteful.

    Also, if Pierre were to study American immigration history, he would realize that we have ALWAYS had safety measures in place and, until the last few decades, have maintained our immigration laws. There have even been decades where we have shut down immigration.

  33. Bill says:

    First why are they going to Europe NOT other Mid east Muslim Nations? Well most wealth muslim nations don’t want them. Europe for whatever reason looks to commit social and cultural suicide by letting in MILLIONs who have NO desire to become European. We should be helping them BUT in there own lands. Bush got us into a unnecessary war in Iraq and 0bama gave it away to the islamists along with destabilizing much of the mid east. If we are to let any in let them be REAL refugees the Christians and others who are NOT muslims.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Despite the way that their own government has treated them and the fact that the Arab world has done woefully little to help them (but eagerly uses their plight to kill each other in greater and greater numbers), who do the Syrian refugees claim to be their greatest foes? Why, that would be ISRAEL (who everyone states is not doing enough to help the refugees who hate and blame them) So, by all means..let’s shame Israel into letting them cross in unimpeded (let alone, uninspected) hordes so that they can join the Palestinians in killing Jews (excuse me, “Zionists”) to their heart’s content. The final stroke of the ridiculous in that demand: The Syrian refugees who happen to be Palestinian were treated worse in the refugee camps than any of the Arab sub-groups there–by other Arabs/Muslims. And it’s Libyans and other Arabs who crowd, beat, starve and otherwise endanger them in rickety and poorly stocked boats that convey them to…God knows where. For money. Because they love their “brothers and sisters” so much! That’s Arab/Muslim solidarity for you. You might try writing about the need to clean up your own current and historical backyard, Pierre. That is, if you truly wish to be honest in your reporting and unbiased in your commentating.

  35. Anonymous says:

    @Katie Seamore Says–Saudi Arabia has offered to build 200 mosques in Germany for the Syrian refugees fleeing in droves to Europe. Their own VISA process makes resettlement of the refugees difficult to impossible, despite the considerable part that S.A. plays in the Syrian conflict otherwise. But their motivation is less humanitarian than power-based. A great deal of it has to do with their concerns about the growing influence and power of Iran and how that could effect the delicate balance of power in the region against S.A.’s interests. When you consider the critical humanitarian concerns posed by the migrant issue, the building of 200 mosques in a country far far away from their own backyard just doesn’t cut it now, does it?

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