U.S. must help Iraqi refugee crisis

The United States must take responsibility for the fate of Iraqi refugees.

As more and more Iraqis seek resettlement in neighboring Arab countries and the United States because of the war, the flight of the Iraqi refugees can no longer be ignored.

Over the past year, the U.S. government has stressed the temporary nature of the Iraqi refugee situation claiming that most of the 1.5 million refugees will eventually be able to return home. It is time, however, for U.S. officials to accept that the instability in Iraq is not going away and is continually getting worse. It is not likely that the situation will be stable enough for the refugees to return home any time soon.

There has been a lot of back and forth between Washington and the United Nations over the refugee situation. The United States claims that until the United Nations determines the status of the refugees and decides which Iraqis need to be resettled, its hands are tied. This attitude is absolutely absurd. The United Nations currently lacks the funds to run such a massive screening endeavor.

The irony of the situation should not be lost either. We didn’t need and respect the United Nations enough to go into Iraq with its approval, but we need them now to deal with the devastating mess we have caused.

It is time for the United States to step up and accept responsibility for the disaster that has become Iraq. It is estimated that 50,000 refugees are fleeing Iraq every month, most of whom are seeking refuge in neighboring countries such as Syria and Jordan. These countries simply do not have the infrastructure to support such a massive influx of refugees. Whether it means we need to take in more Iraqi refugees or provide massive funding to those countries that are left with the burden of resettlement, we must step up.

Understandably, the encouragement of the resettlement of Iraqi refugees in the United States will be hard for the American government. It would be admitting failure. But since we are talking about the lives of millions of innocent people, perhaps it is time for the government to put its pride aside and admit that Iraq has become nothing more than a losing cause.