Saturday, July 07, 2007


Sweden, which has welcomed far more Iraqi refugees than has the U.S. or the rest of Europe, announced recently that it is tightening its asylum rules and will forcibly deport Iraqis who are denied refuge. The announcement marked an abrupt change in the relatively lax rules that had made Sweden a safe haven for thousands of Iraqis fleeing the chaos in their homeland. But the move certainly has its detractors.

"Sweden used to be positively unique. Now they've joined the rest of the gang," said Bjarte Vandvik, Secretary-General of the European Council of Refugees and Exiles. The rest of the gang? Oh, how diabolically clever...

We'll revisit the usage of the word "gang" a bit later.

More than 18,000 Iraqis have arrived in Sweden seeking asylum since 2006, the highest number in any European country. The Bush administration announced in February it would allow up to 7,000 Iraqis into the U.S. by the end of September. Fewer than 800 have been allowed in so far. Many of the refugees in Sweden have joined existing Iraqi communities in Sodertalje, south of Stockholm, and the southwestern port city of Malmo. Although they have generally kept a low profile and have been widely welcomed by Swedes, the influx has raised concerns over strains on Sweden's generous social benefit system. The government has repeatedly complained that other European countries aren't doing enough to shoulder the burden.

About 80 percent of asylum applications by Iraqis were approved in Sweden last year, but immigration officials said that number would drop as more stringent rules are enforced. Previously granted asylum based on the general turmoil in their homeland, Iraqis now must show that they face specific threats of violence if they are sent back, Sweden's Migration Board said.

"The consequence will probably be that fewer asylum seekers will be granted asylum in Sweden," said Dan Eliasson, director-general of the Migration Board. The board also said it would start forcibly deporting Iraqis whose asylum applications are rejected, which runs against recommendations by the U.N. refugee agency. "Those who are rejected should return voluntarily," said Deputy Judge Joakim Hugoson, a legal adviser at the Migration Board. "But if he or she doesn't do that the board will hand over those cases to the police for a forcible return."

The move sparked furious protests from refugee rights activists and Iraqi immigrants. Tony Saliba, head of the Syriac Orthodox church in Stockholm, said forcibly returning asylum-seekers to Iraq "is equal to giving them a death penalty."

Lars Gustafsson, a lawmaker for the Christian Democrats—one of four parties in the center-right government—called for changing existing laws to stop the immigration authorities from adopting the stricter asylum rules.

The Swedish Migration Board said it was compelled to adopt the tighter rules after reviewing rulings this year by the country's highest immigration court. Those dealt with cases that had already been rejected by the board, but officials said they offered new guidelines that would affect many of the 10,000 cases currently awaiting decisions.

The court's "interpretation of the migration law, which guides us, means that the general situation (in Iraq) does not automatically lead to asylum, but the applicant must cite individual reasons," Eliasson said. Iraqi refugees in Europe are a fraction of the nearly 4 million people displaced since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Half of those remain inside Iraq, having fled their homes and possessions to avoid suicide bombings, death squads, abductions and other violence. The other 2 million have found refuge in neighboring countries, mainly in Syria and Jordan, making Iraqis the largest group of asylum seekers worldwide.

Had enough of stories like this? Where are you in this picture? How deep is your compassion as you cry out with these Iraqis, who you do not know. "How long, how long?" How rich is your heart, how foolish your future?

"It's a bit late for Sweden. Malmo, their second largest city, is soon going to be Muslim majority. I find it amazing that in just a single generation, Sweden, a nation at peace with itself, now suffers the incidence of rapes higher than New York City," says one Swede, a long-time liberal to his lily-white core. And yes, these statistics reveal overwhelmingly attacks by "gangs" of Muslim men on teenage Swedish girls, who are villified as whores and worse by these pseudo-religious thugs. Th edonly thing is, these thugs are executing their religion with great diligence of purpose.

Perhaps, my friends on the Left, this is what happens when Liberalism has become the abiding norm of society in a world where not everyone else measures up to such high ideals in the absolute starkness of reality on the ground, and in fact could not loathe or disagree with you and your own feel-good way of life more. Que sera sera...

The hard liberal posture seems to be that they the enlightened ones are concerned more with their own feelings of being good, as if feeling good is the moral equivalent of actually being good (again, when weighed not against the fantasies of idealism but weighed instead against the grounding of realism), than the continued welfare of the imperfect nation in which they themselves thrive. If not thriving, they then feel cheated, as if the grass or gravitas could indeed possibly be greener or greater elsewhere on the planet (and a free ticket to ride) for this more disgruntled bunch.

Then when things get rough, and society and the nation are eviscerated and eventually destroyed by the truly barbarous instead of the mere whiskers of the opposition party, of course it is the fault of the other people, as they themselves, the liberals, had only the purest intentions at heart. Too bad, too late. Fiddle, and the damage done. Strange thing about history. It neither occurs in a vaccuum, or all at once. History happens one day at a time.

This article is not about Sweden's immigration problem. This rant is about America the promise, as she pertains to the ENTIRE WEST, IF NOT THE WHOLE PLANET. What do we see when we truly look at the details? You do remember how important one's attention to details is to any outcome we might imagine, do you not? The time is now for you to ask yourselves what common monopoly of the future is to remain a blessing if certain values are swept under the rug despite evidence of provision to the greater good, and others are not stopped at the gate despite evidence of danger to the whole of mankind.

Yep. The answer is in them dag nasty details, ain't it?

This is no time to cry.

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