Help save their lives


by Sunny
20th August, 2007 at 4:30 am    

You will have noticed the right-hand banner on the blog-based campaign to put pressure on the government to grant asylum to Iraqi employees of the armed forces. It is a slightly changed version of several that Unity has made – please support the campaign and put them on your blog. I’ve supported this campaign from day one for various reasons and I think they are worth re-stating.

I have always been against going into war in Iraq. In addition to the reasons US vice-president Dick Cheney himself outlined in 1994, I never believed the United States military went in for altruistic reasons. Anyway, I’ll come back to my anti-war stance in another post later. The point is, I didn’t want Iraqis to die at the hands of the US military’s “shock and awe” instead of Saddam Hussain’s military. It happened anyway and 4 years later we are still there.

The Iraqi Employees campaign makes sense because it places a moral obligation on the government to at least provide asylum and help those who helped the British forces negotiate their way through the country. It does not negate the need to find the most humane path of action in the country, neither does it absolve the American or British governments of their lies and incompetence in this whole episode.

But it saves lives and gives some Iraqis the opportunity of a better life here while we try and re-build that country after the American military destroyed it. In itself, I think that is a good thing and this a worthwhile goal. So, I request that people:
1) Blog about the issue and carry the banners;
2) Look up your MP.
3) Write to them. (draft letter)
4) Tell us about your MP’s response.
There will be more updates to this campaign as we plan to make it bigger. This is not over yet.


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Filed in: Middle East






14 Comments below   |  

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  1. Sid — on 20th August, 2007 at 11:12 am  

    So Cheney prospectively outed himself as a “Stopper” in 1994 against a war he retrospectively planned in 2001. Its a shame the rest of the pro-war spectrum can’t afford such slippery luxuries.

  2. Bleh — on 20th August, 2007 at 11:41 am  

    Sid, people can change their mind, after all.

  3. Sid — on 20th August, 2007 at 12:05 pm  

    At least a million dead, ruined and displaced Iraqis would agree with you.

  4. Bleh — on 20th August, 2007 at 12:10 pm  

    Except the Iraqis, time after time after time, have responded, polled, and voted, that they were glad Saddam was overthrown and that they couldn’t have done it themselves.

    Or is the vanity of the STWC-movement more important than the will of the Iraqi people? With you, Sid, I think you do consider it to be so.

  5. Sid — on 20th August, 2007 at 12:13 pm  

    Except the Iraqis, time after time after time, have responded, polled, and voted, that they were glad Saddam was overthrown and that they couldn’t have done it themselves.

    These would be the Iraqis who make up Ahmed Chalabi’s extended family of Non-resident Iraqis, no doubt.

  6. Nyrone — on 20th August, 2007 at 12:32 pm  

    The Goverment simply doesn’t give a shit about them.
    I spent the weekend with a close friend currently working as a Senior Caseworker at the Refugee Legal Centre in Dover and he said that the Home Office is clamping down in a way that he has never seen before.

    In his opinion, the Home Office will not accept the Iraqi Translators and give them asylum because it would set a legal precedent for the ruling to be used multiple times in the future for all the Iraqis that wish to escape the horrors of Iraq and this would be a big embarrassment for the goverment, because they are still waiting on a backlog of people to send back to Baghdad and Kurdish regions when it’s a bit more safe. They are still in denial about what is happening in Iraq! Is the biggest mass-exodus of people since Palestine not something they have paid attention to? Is the brain drain in the country not getting through??

    The stories that I’ve heard from my friend are absurd to the point of disbelief. People fleeing persecution need to basically be able to bring 20 legal documents confirming that they will be killed the second they get off the plane when returning to their country. The Home office have their own gang of ‘legal men’ Read: vicious, heartless loop-hole bastards, that work on nit-picking a case and finding a hole so that the applicant can be called a liar and sent off back to his death.

    EG: A man stating in his written statement that he was beaten at 10.15 only to say 10.30 in his interview will be identified as a liar and have his whole case thrown out. It’s pedantic as it gets, and it makes me think that they are going to use the same techniques to fob off the translators.

    My friend did say, however that all the Iraqi translators currently illegally entering the country on their own, are being given indefinite stay…so what message does that give out?

  7. Leon — on 20th August, 2007 at 12:46 pm  

    My friend did say, however that all the Iraqi translators currently illegally entering the country on their own, are being given indefinite stay…so what message does that give out?

    It says fuck the law, do what you can to survive which is what any of us would do push comes to shove…

  8. El Cid — on 20th August, 2007 at 1:20 pm  

    The Times has an iffy recent track record on security-related stories, but here’s a bit more context:
    http://tinyurl.com/39lspw

  9. j0nz — on 20th August, 2007 at 3:10 pm  

    Initially I agree with you that we should grant asylum to these Iraqi translators. But if we do that there’s two major problems

    1. We’ve admitted defeat to the jihadists
    2. It will open the floodgates. Why shouldnt others who have worked for the British get asylum? The cleanrs, the

    We should pay them very handsomely for their work, and they should be provided excellent security – within Iraq. Ideally they would be paid enough for them to buy their own security.

  10. j0nz — on 20th August, 2007 at 3:20 pm  

    Having said all of that those Iraqi translators are far more worthy than 95% of successful asylum applications for the UK. It is difficult to maintain why these shouldnt be given asylum, when we give asylum to terrorists, criminals and economic migrants who lie and claim persecution.

  11. j0nz — on 20th August, 2007 at 4:20 pm  

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6955071.stm

    Learco Chindamo, 26, is serving a life sentence for killing Mr Lawrence outside his school in Maida Vale, north London, in 1995.

    Chindamo’s lawyers argued that deporting him to Italy, where he was born, would breach his human rights.

    What a farce.

  12. Chris Stiles — on 20th August, 2007 at 10:59 pm  

    Initially I agree with you that we should grant asylum to these Iraqi translators. But if we do that there’s two major problems

    1. We’ve admitted defeat to the jihadists

    Which ‘we’ are already doing given that ‘we’ are already in draw down mode in terms of troops. The main british presence in Basra is currently concentrated around Basra Airport.

    Presumably you are actively pushing for a continued and increasing British presence in Iraq, and have signed up in order to do your bit – the main driver for the reduced presence being a shortage of troops.

    No? I thought not.

  13. jamal — on 21st August, 2007 at 4:45 am  

    They were not forced to translate/work for coalition troops and Britain is not required to give asylum to anyone who chooses to work for coalition troops, or worked for the coalition troops. I suppose next they’ll want pensions too!

    The reality is that these Iraqis betrayed their countrymen (for a wage) in order to assist coalition troops in slaughtering their fellow Iraqis during this illegal war. If these traitors now lose their lives as a result, then this is the consequence of their participation in this war, which has seen over a million Iraqis killed.

  14. Bleh — on 21st August, 2007 at 10:26 am  

    The reality is that these Iraqis betrayed their countrymen (for a wage) in order to assist coalition troops in slaughtering their fellow Iraqis during this illegal war. If these traitors now lose their lives as a result, then this is the consequence of their participation in this war, which has seen over a million Iraqis killed.

    You are Neil Clark, and just as objectionable.

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