Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Iraqi refugees in Jordan

Human rights watch has a new report on the status of Iraqi refugees in Jordan. Well, HRW calls them refugees, but the Jordanian government calls them illegal immigrants. Whatever they are termed, there are an estimated half a million to a million of them in Jordan right now. Anyway, our government spokesman, Nasser Joudeh, responded to the report, decrying what he called “specialization of this organization in Jordan” and saying that the organization should change its name to “Jordan Watch”. I wonder what Batir would think of this?

Joudeh also criticized HRW for calling for assigning “political refugee” status for Iraqis in Jordan. This is funny, because the report makes no such demand. It calls for a system to protect and temporarily settle refugees for Iraq (Iraqi, Palestinian and Iranian Kurds), and afford them free medical care and their children free schooling. No mention of political asylum.

While these demands seem reasonable on their face, given the human dimension of the issue, I appreciate why the government would be reluctant to adopt them. Affording refugee status implies a temporary arrangement. Given Jordan’s history with Palestinian refugees, there is little to assure anybody that a temporary arrangement does not become a long term political, social and economic obligation. Jordan hosts Palestinian refugees from Gaza who do not enjoy Jordanian citizenship. They have been in Jordan for almost 40 years, with no realistic opportunities to return home. Given the feckless way that the international community is dealing with this issue, why should anybody lend themselves to creating a new situation like that of the Gazans in Jordan? I think that we should have learnt our lesson.

Here is what HRW wants

Minimally, Jordan should admit asylum seekers and tolerate the presence of refugees broadly recognized by UNHCR even if it is not able to provide them with a durable solution. It should refrain from rejecting them at the border or deporting them. It should allow them to work and provide them the basic necessities of life required by international human rights standards, including nondiscriminatory access to education and health care. Finally, Jordan needs to speak up and call upon the international community for help to share the enormous refugee burden it tries to ignore by remaining silent. Pretending that the burden does not exist will neither make the problem go away nor absolve Jordan of its responsibilities to protect and assist.

No matter that our public schools are overcrowded and public healthcare is overstretched. Housing costs are skyrocketing. Not only is HRW asking to provide free services to the refugees already here, but it is also asking to let anybody who wants to enter to do so. Presumably, it we do this, the flood gates of funds from international donors will open and the financial burden created by this will be taken off our shoulders.

HRW must think we are stupid.

It is interesting to note that the report mentions that the government has been more restrictive in it’s entry policies since last year’s terror attacks, which were carried out by Iraqis. The report fails to address the legitimate security concerns behind this. Or does this not matter?

While I am totally sympathetic with what Iraqis are going through these days, I doubt that they will be well served by compromising the security and economic and social stability of their neighbors. The burden of solving Iraq’s problem is that of those who created this situation.

17 Comments:

At 2:09 AM, Anonymous onzlo said...

This report is absolutly rediculous, but then again 'he who's hand is in water is not like he who's hand is in fire'.

 
At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly and since we have participaited in Iraq's situation directly we should atleast help the innocent people. True we have more than half a million Iraqis in Jordan the number is more like 800,000 with those from the first Gulf War, then what difference will it make if we allow two hundred people on Jordanian border. Lets not forget what Iraq has done for us through out history from defending Jordan in all the wars with Israel to flourishing the Jordanian economy in the 1980's and giving us free oil all the 90's. Is that how we repay a people who have done all that and who we have helped their country to be occupied the least we can do is give the shelter until their country gets out of the mess we have helped putting them in.

 
At 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon
"we have helped their country to be occupied"
Can you enlighten me?

 
At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

habibi first of all the, 4th cavalery division which was refused entery to iraq by the turkish parilimant entered iraq from Jordan. Second many of the security contracters aka the mercinaries who have killed hundreds of Iraqis are based in Jordan. So if u dont know that we have helped in what iraq is now then you dont know shit. If you need further proof i suggest the next time u take a holiday and go to aqaba look at the huge convoys of American and British forces on their way to Iraq.

 
At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you substantiate the information with some reliable sources?
Assuming there is some truth to your accusations; does this make Jordan responsible for the situation in Iraq? I find your logic very twisted. And finally “habibi” 7abk bur9….

 
At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See i bet u know in your heart that Jordan participated but you need me to prove to u, to get sometime to justify it. No problem u have all the time to justify it if u can. As for "accusations" they are not im simply saying facts but truth hurts doesnt it. See I have talked to many educated people who explain to me why we have supported the invasion and i understand sometimes but when you tell me that we have not supported the invasion now thats what i call pure ignorance. I told you how you can get proof get out of ur Amman bubble and go to aqaba on the way u can see the convoys, or u know what just look up in the air and see the american C-130 flying everyday over amman. If u need further proof to feed ur ignorance
here is qoute by link from the U.S. military.
"Jordan has been a strong and silent ally of the U.S. Much of that changed last November when coordinated suicide attacks stunned the capital city of Amman and shocked the world. Besides being coalition members in Iraq and Afghanistan, Jordan’s military is conducting U.N. missions elsewhere -- Eritrea and the Ivory Coast, and Haiti."

If u are too dumb to understand what coalition members mean, it means that we have participated in the coalition i.e. supported the invasion. As for my twisted logic, logic itself is twisted for you because u live on your daily dose of propaganda. It doesnt make Jordan responsible fully but partly to the situation in Iraq. But maybe u think its not Americas fault the situation in Iraq then thats another thing then with your twisted logic Jordan is not to blame for what is happening there. Then we have nothing to talk about HABIBI

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Onzlo: I agree. However, this does not mean that mean that we should respond.

Anon 1: You are right. We will never atone for all the sins we have committed against the great Arab cause. This is why we should not even try.

Anon 2: Didn't you know? It's always our fault.

 
At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Don Cox said...

"The burden of solving Iraq⤮s problem is that of those who created this situation."____Somehow I doubt that the terrorists and militias in Iraq are interested in solving the problems they have created. On the contrary, their aim is to generate chaos and then seize power.

 
At 5:30 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Don: How cute. You know full well what I mean. By dissolving the Iraqi army and security system, the "coalition" paved the way for the militias and terrorists to come in.

 
At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you show me where I have stated that Jordan didn’t support the invasion? I am simply asking you to prove that Jordan is responsible for the situation in Iraq. As for the U.S Army corps of engineer (USACE) quote, it came after a series of criticism to the US administration Iraq war policy; so, trying to prove they have many allies, they considered any country providing any kind of support, even modest humanitarian support, as an ally.
That’s being said, I am not denying the fact that Jordan is providing some logistic support to the Americans (transportation, counterterrorism, joint training, etc…) at the same time I don’t think that you are naïve enough to believe that we could have stopped the war. And we since we have major stake in the stability of future Iraq (this became very clear after Amman bombings) Jordan is compelled to provide some support for your own wellbeing dumb ass.
Now back to the convoys; can you show me how that statement corroborates your story about the so-called American/British convoys and C-130, and by the way, you no shit about what’s in my heart and I don’t live in Amman. Actually I am not sure how did reached those conclusions? I guess it’s the twisted logic; or to be more accurate, the lack of logic. At the end Habibi 7abks bur9 u 3ashara ‘7ors….

 
At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khalaf,anon, first of all im not talking about the arab cause or some nasserist ideology conspiracy theory, true its the adminstration fault and the real mess is because of the de-bathification and the dissolving of the army. Still the fact that we supported such an ignorant adminstration in their blunder in Iraq should give us some feeling of guilt. Now you look at what happened from 2003 till now i say if every arab country Jordan, Saudi and Kuwait had the balls to tell the american army not to enter then Iraq wouldnt have been in what it is now. Jordan alone couldnt have changed the outcome of the war i agree but doesnt mean we shouldnt be blamed for a minor role at least of this devastating invasion. If every Kuwaiti and Saudi and Jordanian thought it would be their fault if they helped in what is now Iraq America wouldnt have invaded in the first place. Now i bet every one of u said before the invasion that their is going to be a civil war after America invades we all knew it, everybody in the world knew it. Doesnt matter which small detail had the biggest share in making the mess the biggest reason is the invasion and we agree that we assisted in that so i dont see why u cant admit that we have assisted in the mess. As for the 7abak bor9 guy im glad u copied my qoute and pasted it on google to make sure it was real. If the Americans wanted to declare this because of criticism they would have put it on the news not on a ambigous website for the corp of engineers. Be sure im not talking about after the amman bombings after that it was legitimate for us to assist in any way we wanted because true its for our own well being, im talking about before the bombings at the start of the invasion. Ofcourse we have an interest for the future stabilization of Iraq doesnt mean we didnt help fuck it up at the start maybe they thought if they help the invasion they would further stabilize Iraq or make it a Business hub or whatever i dont care the fact it is not stable. Yes because of the terrorists yes because of the militias yes because of the debathification yes because of the dissolving of the army but all these things fall under the big title "THE INVASION OF IRAQ" if it wasnt for that none of the previous reasons would have happened since we assisted in this big reason we are to blame for part of the mess. If someone builds a fast car for a bad driver and the driver crashs the car and kills three people isnt it the builders fault partly atleast that he built this fast car for a dumb driver, its an analogy we, Saudia and Kuwait are these builders we built this fast car for a dumb Bush. Admit it oh bas, You are like Bush you are all in a "State of Denial"

 
At 12:50 AM, Anonymous Batir said...

Now this is interesting.
Jordan deals with the Iraqi government and hets accused of "supporting occupation".
Jordan welcomes the Iraqi PM maliki and get accused of facilitating collaboration with the USA.
The King welcomes Hareth Al Dhari and then receives death threats from Al Qaeda and get criticised by the Iraqi Shi'ite.
Jordan welcomes Abdul Aziz Al Hakeem and then he says that Sunnis will be the biggest loser in the civil war (a clear threat).
And now Jordan is accused of de-humanizing the Iraqis in Jordan.
What the hell do we have to do to please the Arab world? My answer is to take Jordan out of the region to be neighbores to Sweden. We are living in the middle of a psychiatry here and we are always accused of all the sins.

 
At 1:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Batir, we are talking about something longer than your memory span of two days. We are talking about what happened 3 years ago, everything Jordan is doing in the last couple months is good and right im talking about 2003. Im saying that we should let the 200 hundred refugees in, or is it because they are poor that they arent allowed in or maybe because they dont have 50,000 to buy a Jordanian passport. If they are afraid it would increase the inflation or damage the economy they shouldnt allow them to own land or give out citzenships like candy, but to say that a couple of hundred refugees on the border will destroy the economy is wrong. As for their schooling its a the U.N.'s problem the can have their own UNRWA for iraqi refugees thats not our problem but to leave them stranded on the border as if it is going to change anything and some how help our bubble of an economy.

 
At 7:25 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Come on. Are you trying to be cute? The issue is not 200 people on the border, it is a precident that would lead to a new flood of refugees, many of whom do not have Iraqi citizenship and will stay in Jordan permanently.

 
At 6:58 AM, Blogger DTW 06 said...

I recently read "The Battle for Peace" by General Tony Zini. He argues persuasively for early intervention in a refugee crisis. These added refugees will put pressure on the host countries that can very easily lead to greater instability in the region. Zini asserts it is in America's best interest to help maintain stability.

The Invisible Refugees

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Kloie said...

is this blog still active?

 
At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when was this posted?

 

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