Should Iraqi Translators be given Asylum in UK and USA?



The controversy that has erupted on the internet and within sections of the media, over whether Iraqi translators working alongside ‘Coalition’ Forces in Iraq, should be given political asylum in the United Kingdom and USA may not be all it seems. As clearly there are much wider implications to this story that go beyond the translators in question and it would be interesting to know who originally dropped this particular pebble into the WWW/media pond. Could it have been someone at the heart of the US or UK Administrations.

Those who are old enough will still remember vividly the TV pictures from the US Embassy in Saigon, when the last of the US armed forces and Embassy staff began to withdraw from Vietnam as the Vietcong/PAVN approached the outskirts of the city, thousands of panic stricken Vietnamese collaborators turned up at the Embassy and demanded that they and their families be given the sanctuary in the USA they had been promised. When this was refused due to a callousness in Washington and the swiftness of the Vietcong/PAVN advance into Saigon, which left the US forces on the ground without the time or means to ferry the majority of their former allies out of the country to safety. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese people who had given their loyalty to the USA for well over a decade, were left to the mercy of their Vietnamese enemies .

Could it be that having no desire to see a rerun on our TV screens of those tragic events, the US and UK governments are attempting to smooth an escape path for the thousands of Iraqis who have collaborated with the Coalition in occupied Iraq.

So far the campaign for asylum has centered on a comparatively small number of Iraqis who have been working in the field as translators for coalition forces. However if this group were to be given the green light to enter the US and UK, there is little doubt there would be a horde of fearful Iraqis on their tail, who have also taken the invaders shilling and who would be demanding the same right to asylum. Better for the two governments to acclimatize their own people with the likelihood of this now, than suddenly announcing a mass influx of Iraqi refugees in the wake of coalition forces being brought home.

Already many of those Iraqis who are on contracts working either directly for the coalition forces, or the multi nationals like Haliburton, have moved their families out of Iraq; and into the surrounding countries in the belief that if and when the US pull out begins, they will be reunited either in the USA or UK. For those Iraqis who have attempted to fill their pockets with coalition gold or even loose change, unless they sit near the top of the greasy pole their future at home looks bleak. Make no mistake everyone from former Government Ministers to the pool boy at the US Embassy will be applying for asylum and not without reason. For once the US either pull out or retire hurt to fortress like zones, the Iraqi people will understandably demand their pound of flesh from those who collaborated with the coalition forces, who have made their lives a misery over the last four years.

Far from being welcomed as allies, many if not a majority of people within the US and UK feel they have no obligation what so ever to these Iraqi people. Due to the increasing hostility to the war and occupation of Iraq, there is little sympathy towards those Iraqis who worked for the coalition forces. Many even regard them as Quislings to their own people who will have to answer to their own for their collaboration. Whilst politicians especially George Bush, the British Defense Minister Des Browne and their media gofers still talk about their armed forces in the language of the second war period, in reality few if any people believe their armies presence in Iraq is protecting them from invasion, occupation or personal harm; and almost nobody believes those service personnel who have had their lives stolen by Bush and Blairs disastrous decision to invade Iraq, died to protect their kith and kin back home.

The vast majority just want this infantile criminal war and occupation to end, and the last thing they want is to be reminded of it by having an Iraqi Quisling living next door. At best feeling that their tax dollars/pounds and armed forces removed Saddam from power and it is now for Iraqis to rebuild there land, thus their place for good or band is back home.

A harsh assessment it is true, but if one looks at the Algerians who collaborated with the French against the FLN in their struggle for independence; and who were re-settled to southern France after the French withdrew from north Africa. It is far from a success story, the French State all but abandoned them in a strange and hostile environment. Their children and grandchildren who were born in France are rightly bitter and angry and 50 years later are still having to fight for equality and respect. The reason for this betrayal of their former allies, was that few Frenchmen wished to be reminded of a disastrous war. When it comes to Iraq, I doubt the British or Americans will be any different.

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2 Comments

Filed under Iraq, Iraqi translators, Irish politics, neo-imperialism, UK, USA

2 responses to “Should Iraqi Translators be given Asylum in UK and USA?

  1. WorldbyStorm

    Two things strike me reading this. Firstly it is very possible that due to the way in which the armed insurgency is linked with political forces who are engaged directly with the US/UK the prospects of retribution towards those in the Green Zone, etc may in fact be very very limited. However, that’s predicated on the de facto civil war between various groups not becoming worse, in which case the alternative might be simply a greater conflagration between the various groups. Secondly the situation is objectively different to Vietnam or Algeria if only because the forces involved bar Al-Queda – actually do have representation in the political processes established under the occupation. Therefore everyone is complicit, or not, as the case may be. And that leads to a third significant difference. Algeria, and Vietnam can be seen as the result of decolonising processes which took multiple decades to arrive at the departure of the colonial forces. Iraq simply doesn’t fit that model. There there has been in intervention over four or five years. Almost all agree, across the political spectrum and on into the insurgency that the US must leave.

  2. Happy Kitten

    Wow! is the only word that I can say..

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