The Great Syrian Freakout of 2015 is cause for shame

Remember the Great Ebola Freakout way back in … 2014?

Sure you do. It was just a year ago.

Remember the brave governors — Georgia’s own Nathan Deal prominent among them — standing up to the federal government and pooh-poohing its reassurances that the threat of Ebola was easily contained?

Remember the media pundits and politicians who insisted that screening of airline passengers from West African destinations wasn’t nearly sufficient, that the only way to protect ourselves from doom was to shut down all contact, to cancel all flights and ban all passengers from those areas, even if by doing so we severely hampered assistance efforts to those areas? Doing anything less, we were told, would turn us into victims of our own political correctness.

Remember intellectual giants such as Bill O’Reilly explaining to mere experts such as the head of the Centers for Disease Control (experts, what do they know?) that they were fools who had no idea what they were doing, that the panicked fearful had far more wisdom on the subject than those who had spent their entire adult lives studying and dealing with such challenges?

Remember how we were all GONNA DIE! Except, of course, we didn’t. None of us did. Not a single person contracted the disease and died from it in this country.

Looking back on it, it all ought to be vaguely embarrassing. We also ought to have learned something from it. Yet here we are, a mere calendar year later, indulging ourselves in the Great Syrian Freakout of 2015, with almost identical dynamics. Only this time, it is not a disease that is our enemy. It is fellow human beings in their time of need.

In Washington, politicians are pandering to the worst of us, proposing and passing legislation that would contradict much of what we tell the world about ourselves and our values. Here in Georgia, the governor has issued an executive order attempting to block resettlement of all Syrian refugees, citing the recent terror attacks in Paris in which none of the attackers were Syrian.¹ Others, such as state Sen. Josh McKoon of Columbus, are even advocating a halt to all refugee resettlements in Georgia regardless of country of origin.

As a politician, such moments offer a test of character. Do you see irrational fear as an opportunity to be encouraged and then exploited for political gain, or do you treat it as as a problem that, as a leader, you have a responsibility to calm and overcome? Is that a moment at which we will be at our best, or our worst?

It’s the kind of test by which history will judge a person, a state, a nation. It is also true of most religious faiths. At the moment that it mattered, when you had the capacity to help, did you live up to the principles that you claim to hold dear, or did you find a reason to do otherwise? Did you help the stranger in need, or did you pass him as he lay by the side of the road, afraid that by trying to help him we might endanger ourselves as well?

As our faith leaders remind us, it doesn’t matter what words you utter sitting in a pew; what matters is what you do. By their fruits, you shall know them.

It’s interesting that in general– and there are certainly many exceptions — those who most avidly preach American exceptionalism, the humanitarian importance of Judeo-Christian values and undying allegiance to principles such as religious freedom have been those most eager to toss all that aside in panic and pandering. While our European allies are trying to accept hundreds of thousands of largely unscreened refugees fleeing the violence sweeping their countries, we — a nation of 300 million, a nation that we like to think of as more courageous — cannot accept 10,000 carefully screened after a two-year process, and Georgia cannot accept a single one.

We shame ourselves. By our fear, we shame ourselves.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

1182 comments
Paul42
Paul42

Conservatives have been rather quiet this morning.  It won't be long, though, before we'll read over and over about how Putin is weak and nobody takes his wimpy statements seriously.  Guy doesn't know how to lead and apologizes all over the world.  That's why Ergodan doesn't respect him - he really laughs at Putin, and that's why he knew he could shoot down a Russian fighter jet and Putin would do absolutely nothing about it.

That's IF the cons follow their normal script.

Peachs
Peachs

@Paul42 Putin is backing the wrong horse in Syria, we need to figure that one out, and go after ISIS, or all this support that O talks about in Syria against the dictator needs to go after ISIS boots on the ground. End of the day if Putin backs Assad, we might as well back him too, he is not going anywhere.  

Peachs
Peachs

There is a common element in the French and Republicans that helps explain gun rights.  It is the freedom France defends at all cost to allow its citizens the right of travel and movement. There is no border checks, and 5,000 jihadist were allowed back in the country, with their guns, since it was their right.  A hundred plus died because of this; live and let live philosophy of the France and thousands die in the United States because this country thinks freedom is more important than lives, yet blame for their lust for freedom is placed squarely on the shoulders of the president, both here and France.  Never understand that more than I do now. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

I did not realize that Christie is so wimpy that he did not even challenge Trump's lies about thousands and thousands celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey.  What a wuss!

fedup52
fedup52

@KUTGF Well christie is sucking up to Trump for some reason.  I will bet it involves money.

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@KUTGF


As useless as he is, Huckabee is the most moronic and puzzling presently IMO.  He is not suggesting BO wants us all to memorize the Koran.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@fedup52 @KUTGF I suspect it is more fear of Trump attacking him since Trump has no filter.  But it sure would have been an opportunity for Christie to stand up and say that is was offensive to all of New Jersey and to defend his state against the lies.  Christie chose to cower and hide from Trump. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

By 50 percent to 42 percent, more Americans say they trust Clinton to handle the threat of terrorism than Trump, who leads the Republican field and responded to the Paris terrorist attacks by calling for heightened surveillance of mosques and redoubling his opposition to allowing Syrian refugees to settle in the U.S.Clinton's eight-point advantage over Trump wasn't unique: the same poll showed the Democratic frontrunner also leading Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush when respondents were asked, "Who would you trust more to handle the threat of terrorism?"_________________________________________________________________________  That is going to make some RW heads explode.  LOL

AtlantanITP
AtlantanITP

If anything Hillary Class is trustworthy.... You lefties like your leaders to be grifters, plagiarizes, phonies, crooks and hypocrites. Now that is left wing American leadership.

Paul42
Paul42

@KUTGF

Nah. It was a librul poll that asked leading questions to trick people.  Wait'll the next Fox News poll comes out if you want to see what people really think.

dreema
dreema

@KUTGF As the former Secretary of State, she's really the only one qualified. Trump can't see any farther than the distance between himself and the nearest camera or microphone.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

Good heavens, the con world would be in full conniption mode if the leading Dem candidates engaged in the verbal diarrhea of Trump and Carson.

I do not think we will ever see the likes of two more ridiculous candidates again...but, the fact that these yahoos are LEADING is unfreakinbelievable...

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Nick_Danger @LordHelpUs  I've actually tried to think up like:like inflammatory statements. About the only thing I can imagine is if Bernie or Hils were out on the stump telling lefties that it was time to confiscate all privately owned guns.

That's about the only thing that could match the crazy junk mainstream GOPers are out there selling on the campaign trail as I type.

RaindroidWillBoy
RaindroidWillBoy

@Visual_Cortex @Nick_Danger @LordHelpUs


The ME is far worse off now than it was before she and BO started meddling.  Plus, liberals seem to be ok with her hawkish leanings.  And then there is the trustworthiness issue with other global leaders.  Bigger re-set button won't even do the trick.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@LordHelpUs 

Can you imagine the poutrage if Mrs. Clinton espoused strange opinions about ancient Egypt, or (pick latest stupid Trumpism)?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Nick_Danger @LordHelpUs  ...and I'll add, can you imagine how many weeks--maybe months?--we'd be hearing about it if a Tea Party protester had been beaten at one of her events, and Hils' reaction was that "maybe he needed to be roughed up"?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@BuckeyeGa 
In fairness (not being snarky here at all) I suppose we need to not get all knee-jerky here ourselves. The perps are being sought; there are reports from the protesters that the shooters were white, AND that white supremacists have been around at past protests. It doesn't necessarily follow that white supremacists were the shooters.
Still, you have to wonder what kind of coverage the Fox "News"s of the world would be giving such an incident if the gang colors, so to speak, were reversed.

Peachs
Peachs

@BuckeyeGa common thugs that is our advantage, they are like rednecks with one gear, once you have the figured out the game is over. 

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@VC

Yep people keep,stirring the pot regarding how BLM are terrorist then play dumb with things take a violent turn. I wonder how many people today will call the guys who did the shootings thugs

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@VC

I agree there shouldn't be a knee jerk reaction

I've read a lit of different accounts that I'm not repeating because it's unconfirmed.

KUTGF
KUTGF

And in other news about that horrible BLM, seems white supremacists have started shooting.  I don't expect much in the way of outrage from our RWers. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Peachs @KUTGF In probability of danger, that is the greater likelihood but the trolls will mock anyone who speaks that truth. 

Peachs
Peachs

@KUTGF The NYC police chief say Sunday, he is much more worried about easy gun access to nuts than this terrorist fearmongoring. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex


Is there any chance that at least a few right wing fundamentalist types aren't having conniptions over today's Google Doodle?



Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Visual_Cortex 

It will be quite amusing if that happens (I'm kinda ashamed of taking my amusement that way, but, well...)

KUTGF
KUTGF

Who will the Trump thugs/Supporters beat up today?  What lie will Trump tell today? 

Peachs
Peachs

@KUTGF he is funny, I saw where he wanted to put strippers on planes for flight attendants, naked women would keep the terrorist away..

Paul42
Paul42

@KUTGF

Even if one aced creative writing there'd be no way to predict.

What one can predict, though, is that the base will accept or forgive whatever he says.

Honestly, by now I expected a rising chorus of "TRUMP LIED" from the far right, but then again, they are not known for consistency.


KUTGF
KUTGF

@Paul42 @KUTGF If any other person had made statements like this, the RWers would be all over it like 57 states!  Corpseman. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@KUTGF  I somewhat jokingly suggested that Trump could drop an N-bomb and rise in the Republican primary polling, a few days back. I'm not so sure that's so far-fetched at this point. After all, "Obama said the word..." right?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@KUTGF @Peachs  there were unverified stories about the 9/11 hijackers attending strip clubs. Don't know if I believe them. But what is verified is that at least one of them got pretty drunk-and-disorderly in public.
Anyway, somehow I don't think nekkid wimmyn would keep cold-blooded killers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

Chalk that up to yet another Really Stupid Thing Attributed To Trump, I guess.

Peachs
Peachs

@KUTGF @Peachs the night before 9/11 they all had a prostitute on their charge card, so naked women would be used by ISIS as a recruiting tool!  I might even fly more..