Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Iraq's Refugee's and the Iraqi People

Accountability must also be brought, but that just minimizes what may come from all the destruction carried out, and so far the Brits and a few others have seen that need!

The UK can only gain by helping Iraqi refugees

August 17, 2010 - On July 20 Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director general of the United Kingdom’s MI5 Security Service from 2002 to 2007, spoke before the Iraq inquiry committee set up by former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and chaired by Sir John Chilcot to examine the lessons learnt from the Iraq conflict. Manningham-Buller stated that the Iraq war “was a highly significant factor in how ‘home-grown’ extremists justified their [violent] actions.”

The image of the UK has been considerably tarnished since the Iraq war began. Time and again, convicted terrorists in the country and abroad have cited it as a key radicalizing factor which tipped them toward violent action. But the British government has an opportunity to turn the tide. If it can take certain steps to aid and reach out to both the Iraqis and the British affected by the war, the British government can restore the trust lost and eliminate some extremists’ justifications for violence – however misguided they might be.


Furthermore, of the refugee population of nearly 2 million people, according to various estimates, 40 percent are children and 60 percent are younger than 25. The war has therefore created an underclass within Syria and Jordan which will not go away for decades to come and whose experiences will only serve to fuel radical action against those countries who participated in the Iraq war.

In order to address the Iraqi refugee issue, the UK must lend its support and provide aid to countries like Turkey, Jordan and Syria to ensure that refugees have access to medical care and basic services, including education and vocational training, so that they can be ensured a dignified future. Providing basic skills training and support will also leave a positive legacy in the refugee camps where there is much despair. Without hope, these individuals can become caught in a cycle of violence and retribution.


We are all aware of the deeply entrenched positions that people hold on the invasion of Iraq. The work of redressing the war’s effects needs to continue, not only to bridge the divide between Muslim- and non-Muslim-majority countries, but to give those whom the war affected a sense of hope for the future through small steps toward building a solid, long-term foundation of trust. {read more}

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