Friday, July 20, 2007

Caught In A Quandary

18 Jul 07
If you haven't figured it out, I’ve come to be quite good friends with many of the Iraqis and they tell me they have great respect for me and what I do for them. Not every day is a picnic working with them (some days are far from it) but we have all agreed that business is business and not to be confused with the person.

I try to help them out in small ways and, of course, I share everything sent to me with them. However, the ones I’m closest with inevitably come to me and ask for assistance in some large manner. It might be something somewhat difficult but achievable. Dhiaa asked me to help him get a used laptop computer and Susan’s family stepped up and helped a ton to get him one (he loves it!). But they often ask for something far more complicated. Abdul Aziz asked me to help get his father a job with the U.S. forces in Baghdad. I have very few contacts outside of the military and even fewer contacts in Baghdad so there was really nothing I could do. Ali also asked me to help get his nephew a job with the Coalition. His nephew was born in California back in the mid-80s while his father was a college professor there so is a U.S. citizen. He wants to improve his English and save money before immigrating to the U.S. Of course he will help the rest of his family immigrate.

None of them have asked any of us to help them immigrate to the U.S. but you can sense they want to ask us. They tell us all the time that they dream of going to the U.S. Recently the Iraqi MoD disallowed all travel outside of Iraq for all Iraqi service members because there was such a huge attrition from guys not returning.

Most of us would love to help any one of them immigrate and the ones we would help would genuinely make great Americans but we’re caught in a quandary. There is a large exodus occurring in Iraq particularly amongst educated Iraqis fleeing to other countries in the Middle East or Europe (i.e., Ghassan fleeing to Norway). Additionally, educated professionals are far more likely to support/work with the Coalition so they become targets by the militia within Iraq. Case in point is the bravery our guys show by simply serving in the Iraqi Air Force. The result, we think, is a large "brain-drain" occurring in Iraq. There are fewer and fewer educated people left in the country to take charge and build a friendly, responsible government. The quandary we perceive is that if we helped our guys immigrate who would rebuild (save?) Iraq?


emitch1 said...

Consider the compounding effect of the "brain drain" with a Coalition pull-out. I shudder to think of what could occur. The laws of displacement apply not just in physics...and boy, oh boy, what a mess that would be, huh? On the other hand, a sick, psychotic side of me thinks, "yeah, let's get out and let them fight it out"...but alas, the humanitarian side of me generally wins out.

Thank you for all you do for our great country! GOD BLESS AMERICA!

USAF Guy said...

Yeah...we've all shared those same frustrations! With the Iraqis we've come to characterize it as "tough love." Love you but you gotta stay here and tough this mess out. I agree too that a Coalition withdrawal would simply compound our troubles


Rejenia said...

I know it's not much help, but the quandary seems to be felt service wide. From the "grunts" in the neighborhoods, to the officer corps. A job well done, isn't always just getting "your job done". I appreciated your "getting involved", and not being an automaton.

As far as requests you receive, spread the love around, there are lots of people back in the mainland looking for concrete ways to help. you don't have to ask, just mention that someone asked you for... and I was not able to immediately help. :-)

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