Iraqis who worked with Americans top "Death Lists"

Discussion in 'Iraq' started by rdean, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. rdean

    rdean Guest

    Congress and the State Department have accelerated the process of giving America’s Iraqi allies visas to the U.S. But the process remains slow—it can take at least a year—and only a small fraction of eligible Iraqis have actually resettled here. Evidence suggests that Iraqi Christians get to the front of the line, along with family members of refugees who are already here. Once the troops are gone, there is going to be a spike—perhaps a sharp one—in applicants. A lot of these Iraqis will be in danger, and some of them will probably be targeted, during the long period of waiting for their applications to be reviewed. Iraqis who work with Americans are at the top of the death list of jihadi groups, whose umbrella organization, the Islamic State of Iraq, recently declared its intent to settle scores as the Americans leave. As Johnson says, “Two clocks are running: the clock on the application for resettlement, and the clock on withdrawal.”

    Interesting Times: The Clocks Are Ticking for Iraqis : The New Yorker

    Since the war began, targeted attacks have forced nearly two-thirds of Iraqi Christians from their homes and though they only made up 5 percent of the Iraqi population before the war, they now make up 20 percent of Iraq’s refugees. Additionally, of the up to 1.4 million Christians in the country in 2003, as few as 500,000 remain.

    Christians were among those targeted by armed gangs and Islamic militias. By 2006, there were frequent attacks near their house. That spring, their twelve-year-old son was home alone when a car bomb exploded so close that it broke the windows. Then came the death threats. “My wife was threatened in her medical school—they were threatened, the dean of the college, the head of the department also. One of her colleagues was killed in his own clinic,” Abdulnour said. That August, he moved his wife and children to Jordan. He returned to his job in Baghdad, where he had only a few months left until he could claim his pension. But before he could finish, armed men came looking for him. He fled too. Today, Abdulnour and his family have settled in Sweden; their lives in Iraq are over.

    They Fled from Our War | The New York Review of Books

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