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November 28, 2006

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I'll send him some money after I deposit my paycheck. Thank you for posting this.

Well, that certainly makes me feel a little bit choked up just to be blithly living here.

I'm not sure, but I suspect that New Zealand has been accused of not carrying its weight in refugee resettlement quotas. However the top origin for refugees these years is Iraq.

Thanks lily.

Here's a radio interview worth listening to.

Healing Iraq was always my favorite of the Iraqi weblogs, but since February it's just been remarkable. To the point that for all the horrors it describes, it occasionally inspires twinges of professional jealousy for me (he's a year or so younger than I am, by the way).

That's a great post Hilzoy. It just makes me so angry.

Phoenician,

I think the country you are thinking of is Australia when it comes to refugee resettlement quotas. Eg. a few years ago we in Australia had a bunch of boats come here filled with Iraqi and Afghan asylum seekers. Being Oz (ie. run by a bunch of Neo-cons), they were shipped off to Pacific Island hell-holes for processing (see. Pacific Solution and mandatory detention). NZ on the other hand took in many of those denied visas.

I don't have a great understanding of NZ refugee policy, only my own anecdotal observations. However, I know many Iraqi and Afghan refugees personally and they all agree that they wished they had applied for asylum in New Zealand instead of Australia.

Hopefully Nabil will get through.

Katherine: Professional jealousy? What do you mean? How come?

He's just such a damn good writer.

(I had wanted to be a journalist before I went to law school, and haven't quite shaken that desire).

(I don't just mean the writing style--I mean actually conveying to people the truth of the situation.

There are a lot of very very good reporters on the ground in Baghdad--which he no longer is--but you won't find excerpts like this anywhere else:

M.H.D: Dear brothers, Please inform us on how the Shia pray because this will save many from being killed during interrogation after they are abducted.

Norway:
Response to the brother who asked how the Shia pray. With the usual Iqama and Edhan add the phrase “I am witness that Ali is the guardian of Allah,” but not as part of the Edhan used by the Prophet. This is the opinion of the majority of Shia clerics, including the Sadrists. The Shia also regard the Basmalla a part of any Sura … I personally prefer the Fatiha instead of the Tasbihat, but the majority of Shia read Tasbihat.

Nor will you generally find a map of Baghdad that actually shows you where things are happening. Etc. etc.

I never got much beyond covering zoning meetings--except, I suppose on this site--but I recognize talent when I see it.)

Refugee status is hard to get but as previously noted a student visa is much easier (and New Zealand is currently suffering a skills shortage, on graduation it should be possible for him to apply for permanant residency as a skilled migrant)

http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/study/canistudyinnewzealand/

Gives a very rough guideline.

There is racism here as there is everywhere (and Muslims in particular have been used as political football for oppurtunistic politicians) but it is by and large safe(if you ignore the fact that the two largest cities are situated on 1)a chain of volcanoes and 2) an active faultline).

I'll send a little something -- because I can.

Last summer I had the privilege of traveling in Jordan and Syria meeting with refugees from the mess the U.S. has made in Iraq. More here, and here, and here. Those of us who knew all along that invading Iraq would only lead to monstrous carnage now have the sorry task of trying to dredge out of the U.S. government as much recompense as possible for the victims of our mad hubris.

I'll send something.

Is there any way to contact someone (his sponsor, maybe, or the attorney) to find out about other people helping Iraqis get out? I have neither the connections nor the expertise to take a lead on this, but I'd be happy to help anyone who is. I'd also be interested in knowing how one sponsors a person into the country - though, being in the US, sponsoring an Iraqi might be problematic.

Katherine: Yes, I sent just that first fragment to a friend of mine. Truly heartbreaking.

The situation sounds as much like an incipient Rwanda as like a civil war.

Katherine: thanks.

It's good to be able to do something, however inadequate.

For some reason, I've been feeling, about Iraq, as though I have no skin -- no protective anything at all between me and the news. As though I have somehow been peeled, like a grape. It's all just so horrible.

As though I have somehow been peeled, like a grape.

Great. Now I have an imagine of a decadent Roman lying on a couch being delicately fed ripe, juicy Hilzoys...

For some reason, I've been feeling, about Iraq, as though I have no skin -- no protective anything at all between me and the news. As though I have somehow been peeled, like a grape. It's all just so horrible.

Yeah, I recall the day Bush made his speech about going to war with Iraq. I was suppose to contact the American Embassy on a work matter, but I simply couldn't. I was so angry that I knew that if I was talking on the phone to them (probably to some poor Kiwi local secretary), I'd just start screaming and ranting - and lose my job.

Katherine: "regretting it later"... I always feel drastically inadequate and embarrassed after I write something here. However, I promise that your posts are always worth reading :) Your poem was beautiful.

Tonight I walked into 'my' old lecture hall to hear Gilbert Burnham give a talk on the Lancet Iraq paper he co-authored. When I entered the building I absolutely became so overwhelmed with emotion and anger that I had to leave (I never made it past the front door). I thought about my friends who are serving in Iraq right now and all the Iraqis. It was such a powerful juxtaposition to enter this one room where I had learned from so many great scientists and hear the details of this study (again). I could not manage it today.

Again, thank you for the post. Friday is payday and I plan on giving something. Is there a way to start sponsoring Iraqis to get them the hell out of there? I’d be willing to work for free.

Hilzoy: I'm sorry. I feel this way too. The worst part about it is that there is not much even left to advocate. I'm surprised to find that the Baker Commission itself is out of ideas. I was under the impression that this Commission had a canned solution that everyone had more or less agreed on already, not that (1) they really didn't know what to propose and (2) Cheney was already not on board. It's just chilling to read these posts.

About the only thing I can think of is that they have to try to sweep through Baghdad and minimize the movement of these militias. But that's not going to happen because it would spike up our casualties tenfold at least. And, even so, how long can that last? Eventually we would have to pull back, and then there would again be the anarchy of Iraq.

It just fills me with rage that for three years Iraq has been falling apart and people in our country have been covering their eyes, simply refusing to see it, because it was something they did not want to believe.

It could have been much better. As bad an idea as it was, there is no reason it had to come to this.

CaseyL wrote: I have neither the connections nor the expertise to take a lead on this, but I'd be happy to help anyone who is.

Me too. I'll look.

Thank you for writing this, Katherine.

(And though I'm sure I've said this before: your series of blogposts on Maher Arar and the issue of extraordinary rendition are journalism at its best.)

Hi guys,

it is myself and my husband that are sponsoring Nabil. It is a common misconception (probably even for Ze himself) that I responded to that post on his blog. In actual fact I had contacted Nabil through Nabil's blog prior to that and we had already obtained his lawyer at the time that Ze's post was written.

We have made amazing progress thus far but there are still several issues (formalities)to be dealt to.

Please be aware that it is near impossible for an Iraqi to obtain any type of Visa to NZ through the usual, conventional channels right now, due to a multitude of reasons and policy changes specific to applicants from the region. This is the case with most Western countries. However, if you are prepared to make a serious commitment to helping one, there are ways that you may pull it off, and quickly too.

I am happy to advise anyone that is interested in helping an Iraqi that they personally know, to escape. I am considering putting together a website explaining our experiences and all that we have learned throughout this process and providing support to those Iraqi's and Western families who wish to follow in our footsteps. For obvious reasons however, I am not at liberty to do this until Nabil's case is finalised and he is physically here.

I would appreciate you not publicising this post widely as it may do more harm than good for Nabil if this all became "public" prematurely, but you may contact me discretely if you would like some advice.

Thanks, Suz, for the correction & everything else (sorry for the error--I had wondered how you possibly did anything so quickly; this makes more sense. I don't this weblog is widely read enough to create any problems as far as publicity but if there is anything we should delete please let me know).

About two weeks ago, my district was attacked by mortar missiles, we had missiles falling everywhere in the district, destroying houses and killing innocent people, the district was attacked with about 75 missiles in 5 days, one of the missiles fell on the side-walk just two yards away from the outer door of my house, it was shocking and very horrible, about a month ago, gunmen killed a woman who was a hair styler and owns a shop near my house for no reason, they just stopped her in the street when she was closing her shop and killed her, and left her corpse laying on the street, and truly I don't want to end up like that.

I was going to post some snark about how this is no more dangerous than Washington DC (complete with driving by headless corpses on my way to work this morning) but just can't do it.

I hhave tried to donate several times annd the paypal won't accept my mastercard or my visa. Bothh are current and valid. has annyonne else had this problem?

Lily: Bothh are current and valid. has annyonne else had this problem?

Yes – I always seem to have problems with PayPal. A Pal it ain’t. I have much better luck with Amazon myself, but they don’t appear to be able to accept that.

Is there anyone who can accept donations via Amazon who could redirect to PayPal? Or take donations and then send on a snail-mail check?

FWIW, I recently had trouble on paypal from linux/firefox. Yesterday on XP/firefox I ran into a gui problem there.

Note that paypal will supposedly accept bank account #s now as well credit cards.


If a variety of OS/browser combinations fail someone will be available to redirect contributions.

FWIW, I recently had trouble on paypal from linux/firefox

Dude – hardcore! I’m (somewhat) a Unix geek and curse M$ daily, but even I don’t use that as my browsing platform :)

OCSteve: I do, but only in its friendly Mac OS X guise ;)

Hilzoy! Say it ain't so! I can handle you being a liberal - but Mac!

OCSteve: yes, ever since, I think, 1984. The real selling point was that since it didn't have a command-line interface, I could use it to draw pictures.

Note that paypal will supposedly accept bank account #s now as well credit cards.

They do. It's actually kind of annoying: if you give them your bank account #, which gives you various perks, it is (or at least was) pretty hard to make the default anything other than the bank account.

I do, but only in its friendly Mac OS X guise

<pedant>The Unix/Unix-like underpinnings of OS X are actually FreeBSD, not Linux.</pedant>

I'm glad Katherine's post has ended with a discussion of computer/internet issues.

Back to the telegram, Ugh says!

Real men use semaphore. Or smoke signals.

Real men use semaphore. Or smoke signals.

Whoa whoa whoa whoa, let's not be hasty here. I'm willing to settle for the pony express.

Just to ruin everyone's fun again: I was wondering today why Human Rights Watch hadn't issued a report on Iraqi refugees--it turns out they did several weeks ago. The focus is where the people are: neighboring countries, Jordan above all. Here is the section on the US, UK, etc..

Since the start of the war in 2003, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden and Canada have modestly helped to relieve Jordan of some of its burden by resettling what still are small numbers of refugees from Jordan. The United States suspended admission of Iraqi refugees from the time of the September 11, 2001, attacks until April 13, 2005, when it announced that it would normalize processing of Iraqi resettlement cases. Despite the formal resumption of Iraqi refugee processing, only two Iraqi cases (12 persons) referred by UNHCR departed for the United States in 2005. The United States admitted another six Iraqis on family reunification grounds without a UNHCR referral in 2005. In 2006, the U.S. State Department admitted 43 Iraqis refugees from Jordan. From the beginning of the war in April 2003 through May 2006, UNHCR referred no Iraqi refugee cases for resettlement in the United Kingdom. Six Iraqi family reunification cases departed from Jordan to the United Kingdom without a UNHCR referral....

The number of Iraqi asylum applications lodged in Europe rose by 26 percent from 2004 to 2005. In 2005, Iraqis represented the third largest group of asylum seekers in Europe, trailing only asylum seekers from Serbia and Montenegro and Russia. The European countries with the largest number of newly filed Iraqi asylum claims in 2005 were Sweden (2,330), Germany (1,895), the Netherlands (1,620), the United Kingdom (1,605), Greece (971), and Belgium (903).

A note on the jargon: a "refugee" is someone fleeing persecution given advance permission to enter a country. An "asylum seeker" is someone who shows up by some other means first--illegally, or using a temporary visa--and then asks not to be sent back...

I don't know what the # of asylum claims is in the US. I suspect pretty low, because it's incredibly difficult to get here in the first place.

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