Last week, #HumanityWashedAshore and the world’s eyes opened.

A 3-year-old died tragically and our hearts broke collectively. The grief we feel is real and warranted and even necessary, because feeling deeply makes us uncomfortable, and that discomfort propels us into motion. “Why is this happening? What can I do? How can I help?” we asked, even though it’s been happening for years and reported on continuously. Sometimes the only way to get our attention is with toddlers and kittens.

Regarding the why: It’s a complex situation in a complicated region, and the political solution will require international cooperation. But we can all look at our role in the tragedy, because the truth is, if we participate in this modern world we have blood on our hands. As Audrey Quinn and Jackie Roche explained in their 2011 collaborative comic, “Syria’s Climate Conflict,” environmental changes have played a pivotal role in destabilizing the region, and we have each contributed to that mess.

What can we do? The intangible answers are simple (love) and the tangible ones multifaceted. Before we close our eyes again, or numb our grief, or a kitten crosses our screen, let’s talk about it.

First of all, if we have money, we can send it. Well-known charity groups include UHNCR, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, International Red Cross and Save the Children. But smaller groups are helping, too: Migrant Offshore Aid Station, Refugees Welcome, Worldwide Tribe in Calais, Small Projects Istanbul, Karam Foundation, and Hand in Hand for Syria. We can find more ways to contribute financially on the website of The Independent.

If we have time, we can share it. Get a plane ticket and cross the pond (but wait a few weeks — they’re inundated right now). Bring along food, clothes, books, items for shelter, toiletries. Or rent a van at the airport and pick up goods from designated drop spots on the drive out. The Facebook group Calais Migrant Solidarity Action from the U.K. has more information and suggests that helpers expect to spend a week in Calais.

Syria has become the planet’s largest source of refugees. Four million people have fled the country, 6.5 million are displaced inside its borders, with thousands more fleeing daily and no end in sight. The International Rescue Committee has asked the United States to resettle 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of next year. Germany — a country one quarter the size of the U.S. — is expected to integrate 800,000 asylum-seekers this year, and can continue accepting 500,000 annually for several years. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country could afford the influx without raising taxes or taking on new debt. Sweden, the EU country sheltering the second-highest number of refugees, has offered permanent residency to all Syrians who have already been granted temporary residency, extended the right to bring their families along, and proffered free bus passes to help with travel. France has agreed to shelter 26,000, and Spain will take in 16,000.

Guess how many Syrians the U.S. — one of the largest, richest countries in the world — will have accepted by the end of this year? One-thousand eight hundred. That is disgraceful.

As David Miliband outlined in his March 19 opinion piece for The Washington Post, this is what needs to happen in the U.S. and what we should ask for in our letter:

(1) Request that the resettlement cap to accommodate Syrian refugees be raised.

(2) Request that the Department of Homeland Security issue needed guidance on “material support” waivers created in 2014, thus avoiding delays and denials to Syrians who have committed no wrongs.

(3) Request that a family reunification mechanism enable Syrian-Americans to bring extended family to safety more quickly.

Let yourself be moved by the photo of the 3-year-old. Cry, ache, feel it deep in our bones. Let humanity wash ashore our heart. Then let yourself be moved in the world — globally and locally — because the world needs both our heart and our hands.

Jessica Feltz

writes from Frederick.

(82) comments

rickwolfe

While we may have concern for “Refugees” of the political kind, the people who are presently coming to Europe are leaving their homeland for two reasons; Political (based on the war between the government and ISIS or other factions) or an Economic basis.
It seems to me, from what I have read, that the ultimate goal for these displaced people is to get to Germany, where there is substantial economic benefit. In addition, the economic benefit of being in Germany as a refugee is greater than it is in other countries of the EU. I also read that that refugee people who are presently in Germany are trying to get the rest of their family to Germany as well.
There appears to be a common thread between the ‘refugees’ that are showing up in the EU and Europe, and the ‘Illegals’ that are coming to the US. Both groups are coming to a new homeland for economic reasons. Also, for economic reasons, once they arrive, they do not leave and return to their original home country.
One should wonder though why Arab speaking world and other Muslim countries are not extending their help to these people (other than Saudi Arabia agreeing to build 200 mosques in Germany). I did note that Saudi Arabia, has taken in a very limited number of Syrian refugees as ‘guests’, not as ‘refugees’, because some of those refugees could be possible ISIS agents. That would be inviting trouble. Recall what happened in France recently (remember-Charlie Hebdo)
The question that the EU and Europeans can consider over the next 10 or 20 years is simple, is the EU going to regret that they invited these refugees, and in the process invited greater problems?

vicdavy

The Labor Party has won a majority in the British Parliament,and they are proposing taking in Syrian refugees. There are millions of people in this World who care about people! Thank God Democratic Socialism is sweeping the civilized World! Too bad the Conservative Narcissists can't understand that,"The needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few"!

Nicki

You've been fooled olefool -

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/belgiumpork.asp

olefool

WAY TO GO QUEBEC
MAYOR REFUSES TO REMOVE PORK FROM SCHOOL CANTEEN MENU... EXPLAINS WHY

Muslim parents demanded the abolition of pork in all the school canteens of a Montreal suburb.

The mayor of the Montreal suburb of Dorval, has refused, and the town clerk sent a note to all parents to explain why...

“Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Canada and Quebec, its customs, its traditions, its way of life, because that's where they chose to immigrate."

“They must understand that they have to integrate and learn to live in Quebec."

“They must understand that it is for them to change their lifestyle, not the Canadians who so generously welcomed them."

“They must understand that Canadians are neither racist nor xenophobic, they accepted many immigrants before Muslims (whereas the reverse is not true, in that Muslim states do not accept non-Muslim immigrants)."

“That no more than other nations, Canadians are not willing to give up their identity, their culture."

“And if Canada is a land of welcome, it's not the Mayor of Dorval who welcomes foreigners, but the Canadian-Quebecois people as a whole."

“Finally, they must understand that in Canada (Quebec) with its Judeo-Christian roots, Christmas trees, churches and religious festivals, religion must remain in the private domain."

The municipality of Dorval was right to refuse any concessions to Islam and Sharia.

“For Muslims who disagree with secularism and do not feel comfortable in Canada, there are 57 beautiful Muslim countries in the world, most of them under-populated and ready to receive them with open halal arms in accordance with Sharia."

“If you left your country for Canada, and not for other Muslim countries, it is because you have considered that life is better in Canada than elsewhere."

“Ask yourself the question, just once, “Why is it better here in Canada than where you come from?”

“A canteen with pork is part of the answer.”

phydeaux994

[thumbup]

DickD

Summary of eRumor:

The mayor of Quebec has resisted calls from the parents of Muslim children to remove pork from school cafeterias.

The Truth:
It’s not true that Muslim residents asked Quebec Mayor Régis Labeaume to remove pork from school lunch menus.

The eRumor first surfaced in 2013. The original version falsely claimed that the mayor of Ath, Belgium, had resisted requests from Muslims to remove pork from school lunch menus.

“Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Belguim, its customs, its traditions, its way of life, because that’ where they chose to immigrate,” Ath Mayor Marc Duvivier allegedly said.

However, Duvivier dismissed the claim as “completely wrong” and said nobody had requested that pork be removed from school cafeterias, according to a Belgian newspaper report.

A modified version of the eRumor re-surfaced in November 2014. The new version was exactly the same as the old version, except references to “the mayor of Ath” were changed to “the mayor of Quebec.”

There haven’t been any credible reports of Muslim parents requesting that pork be removed from schools in Quebec or Belgium

vicdavy

[beam] Thanks for the facts! Where do these guys get this stuff "The Onion"?

FrederickVeteran

Because white birth rates in Europe are negative these non white straight hair Muslim immigrants are being accepted with opened arms in hope of igniting their birth rates.

jwhamann

Indonesians?

public-redux

I can imagine a birth rate of zero but a negative birth rate is beyond my ken. I can't imagine any woman drawing an offspring back into her body. Sounds might painful to me.

jwhamann

Quit giving money to Israel.

Nicki

Sadly, you are right, Phy.

phydeaux994

Don't forget people, this is the County that after the 2010 election, the newly installed members of the BoCC voted to defund just about all of the non-profits that served the children, the old and infirm, the poor and the homeless, and the other less fortunate people of the County. This is still the mentality of many of the commenters here today, they don't care about their own, much less any foreign refugees fleeing oppression. Their excuse is "well they are probably terrorists anyway". Frederick County is doing it's darndest to keep up their old reputation.

Nicki

True, Vic.

vicdavy

Jessica, appealing to the heartless racists who post here is a waste of time,we know who they are.

Nicki

Dick- supplied to troops, for one.
http://www.rt.com/usa/230435-pentagon-viagra-troop-support/

DickD

Two thoughts on this, why would young men need it. Why is the government doing it, because that is not an insurance company doing it.

mamlukman

"Sweden’s ugly immigration problem" in the Toronto Globe & Mail, Sept. 11. With 419 comments so far.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/swedens-ugly-immigration-problem/article26338254/

Immigrants now make up 16% of Sweden's population.

“There has been a lack of integration among non-European refugees,” he told me. Forty-eight per cent of immigrants of working age don’t work, he said. Even after 15 years in Sweden, their employment rates reach only about 60 per cent. Sweden has the biggest employment gap in Europe between natives and non-natives."

"Sweden’s generosity costs a fortune, at a time when economic growth is stagnant. The country now spends about $4-billion a year on settling new refugees – up from $1-billion a few years ago, Mr. Sanandaji said. And they keep coming. Sweden automatically accepts unaccompanied minors. “We used to take in 500 unaccompanied minors a year,” he said. “This year we are expecting 12,000.”

"Sweden is a cautionary tale for anyone who believes that Europe is capable of assimilating the hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants who are besieging the continent, or the millions more who are desperately poised to follow in their wake. The argument that these people are vital to boost the economy – that they will magically create economic growth and bail the Europeans out of their demographic decline – is a fantasy."

"It’s really very simple, Mr. Sanandaji explained. You can’t combine open borders with a welfare state. “If you’re offering generous welfare benefits to every citizen, and anyone can come and use these benefits, then a very large number of people will try to do that. And it’s just mathematically impossible for a small country like Sweden to fund those benefits.”

--This is not from some neo-Nazi, but from an Iranian Kurd who grew up in Sweden and is now an economist--PhD from Chicago.

DickD

Why isn't this problem being discussed by the U.N., where it should be discussed. This is a world wide problem, not a U.S. problem. We need the Arab countries to step up to their responsibilities. So far, they have just robbed our country with exorbitant oil prices

mamlukman

Dec. 31, 406 AD……Sept. 5, 2015 AD…..look it up.

If you paid attention to the interviews with the refugees, each of them has said something like "When I get settled, I will bring my wife/children/parents/cousins/uncles/aunts…." The current refugees are just the tip of the iceberg. And the tip is about 800,000 people.

You hear about the Greek and Italian navies saving refugees at sea. Where are the Turkish, Lebanese, Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian, and Moroccan navies? (Just to mention the Muslim countries on the Mediterranean.)

Germany is willing to take 800,000 refugees for resettlement. How many is Saudi Arabia willing to take? Kuwait? The Gulf States? Tunisia? Algeria? Morocco? What's that, I can't hear you!! None? Yup. Interesting.

Muslims are supposed to follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad. In 622, Muhammad and 70 companions were refugees. They fled from Mecca to Medina, which welcomed them with open arms. Madina had two Arab and three Jewish tribes when Muhammad arrived in 622. Five years later, two of the Jewish tribes had been driven out. The third tribe? All the men (600-900) were beheaded and the women and children sold into slavery. That is just a terrific example of how refugees should act in a place that has given them refugee, and I look forward to hearing how it all works out for those lovely people with the "Welcome refugee" signs. I supposed they could keep the signs, cut off the "Welcome" part, and hang the "refugee" part around their necks in a few years. God help them.

johnqFrederick

interesting analysis . . .

so . . . stock up up .223 and .308

DickD

And get locked up.

johnqFrederick

I don't think so, but you go ahead and try to dial 911 when you need help . . .

Ha! The weakest will go first because you choose to be weak in your thoughts, your silly liberal, feel good rules, regulations, and laws

I am sure an insurgency will hone your feebleness and enslave you as you convert to them -- your new masters

Nicki

Johnq can't have a thought unless he finds a way to blame liberals.
Herbie can't get PP out of his mind. (Yes, Barbara, it is more about control than concern for the unborn.)
I bet both is all for the tax dollars spent on viagra.

DickD

Nicki, please explain to me about tax dollars being spent on viagra. Most medical plans will not pay for it.

threecents

I think they will pay.

DickD

Name one.

vicdavy

Great letter. America destabilized the region so it is incumbent on us to help!

olefool

Are you saying that the USA is responsible for the middle east quagmire??? C'mon, were you born yesterday??? That area was a mess many, many years before we ever went there. It had to do with fanatical muslims and moderate others. I was on combat duty there in 1958 and I remember those days. We were hated by the muslims even back then. If they don't want to join the civilized world I say let 'em rot where they are.

DickD

Amen, if you worked for any company that had expats there, you would here the same thing.

vicdavy

No! I have and paid attention to World History and America's Contradictory abysmal foreign policy. They stated hating us because we supported the Zionist Movement which robbed Arabs of their homeland. The US has been on every side of most Middle Eastern countries and supported Dictator friendly to US interests(OIL for Weapons), and they hate our allies who we supported, although England and France, and others colonized and oppressed the indigenous population! So you were there 57 years ago? You had some anecdotes, that have apparently completely informed you. They were the beginning and end of your education about the region,I guess, cause there has been a few changes since 1958,ya think? I was in Vietnam in 1969 and I had questions,so I spent the next decades learning about this other Foreign Policy debacle. The stupid War in Iraq besides kill tens of thounds of Human Beings destabilized the region and left it in CHAOS! olefool.[beam]

vicdavy

The "NO answer" was for your ridiculous born yesterday question. I would say from yesterday till today you haven't leaned much.[beam]

olefool

I would say that people like you vic are the reason people like me write on these forums. If, as you assert, "They stated (sic) hating us because we supported the Zionist Movement which robbed Arabs of their homeland." when they were actually fleeing a similar terror, how is it that you don't see these "refugees" as doing the same as the Jews did in the 40's? the point I was making is that you're woefully mis-informed if you don't believe that the middle east wars have been ongoing for at least a thousand years, a time long before the USA was discovered or founded .

You may get some insight reading mamlukman's comments at 2:15 yesterday.

vicdavy

How is it justice when European Jews terrorized Palestinian Muslims,Arab Jews and Christians to take over their land. The Balfour Declaration of 1917 by the British Colonialist set the groundwork for the takeover of Palestine against the resistance of the Muslim Christian Association. Who's uninformed? Everyone knows the Religion has started many wars, DUH! BTW, did you know that Jesus is mentioned in the Koran many times and is considered a respected Prophet and the Old Testament is recognized by Muslims,as well. Sadly many so-called Christian can't get their nose out of the Jewish bible because the Old Testament God like to kill!

olefool

Strange comments from a person who has spent the last 40 years searching for an alternate sphere of spirituality. It seems you've finally found that which you seek.

vicdavy

"alternate sphere of spirituallity"?[beam] The alternative to war is the reality I and the rest of the World is searching for,olefool. I experienced your preferred reality in Vietnam in 1969 and I and millions like me did not like it. You have been watching to many John Wayne and Clint Eastwood war movies! Did you ever experience the real thing?

huskycats

Isn't it time for people to fight back for their countries? Look what was accomplished during WW 2 by the underground and the brave people living in places they wanted to protect. Why does everyone feel they are entitled to run to another country and expect to be taken care of? No matter how much we do, it's never enough and the blame for all the problems in the world will eventually fall on America. Are people running to China or Russia? Of course not. Is China being asked to pay for pollution? Of course not. But America is. Our money is going everywhere in the world but our veterans are living on the street and getting sub par treatment from their country. Let's take care of our own first and only then help the rest of the world.

johnqFrederick

Great point -- and you do know that the gun control freaks will tell you that this will never happen -- you know -- mass killings, genocide, execution of innocent men, women, and children

Why? Because we learned from our past - from WWII -- unless our public school system fails to teach history . . .

DickD

As long as we keep the gun nuts under control there will be no need to worry.

DickD

How about a 12 gage pump? Better at close range, besides, we have a Sheriff with an AK-47, who promises to protect us from the government. Talk about right wing nuts.

magnumrn2

I was appalled at the on-line question of the day in the FNP on whether or not the U.S. should take in 10,000 Syrian refugees and 67% voted no. There are 50 states in this country and 10,000 refugees comes out to 200 refugees per state. Now, if churches "adopt" a family (and we should probably figure 4 people per family), this comes out to 50 churches per state "adopting" a family. Are we not our brother's keeper? I am sickened that 67% of Frederick folks are opposed to helping these refugees. St. John's Catholic Church - step up to the plate and become an example of the right thing to do! Jean

mamlukman

Ever read the Iliad? Remember the Trojan horse? These are not people who will be grateful and assimilate to our culture. Many of them will do their utmost to destroy the political system and culture we currently have and replace it with…take a guess.

threecents

Donald Trump?

mccourtneyg

You do realize that many of the refugees are Kurds, right??? Kurds are predominantly Christian and not considered Arab. I'm so tired of the uneducated spewing their hatred. The lack of knowledge and understanding about the make up of people in Middle East screams how weak our educational system.

rickwolfe

From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurds#Religion
"Today, the majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslim, belonging to the Shafi school."
Maybe many years ago, there might have been more Christians in the middle east. However. most of them were driven out by the Muslim majority or I hate to say - killed off, as happened in Lebanon, Egypt, Iran,Turkey,Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and of course Saudi Arabia, where Jews and practicing Christians are not allowed at all
Islam does not seem to be a religion of peace and friendship with other religions not one bit.

johnqFrederick

The LTE writer is naive at best or purely on a liberal bend:

1. Let Europe do their part -- the USA has defended Europe for the last 50 years in money and military lives
2. Let the Middle East solve their problems -- Saudi Arabia, Quatar, Yemen -- let them pay and house
3. Put your own money where you mouth is -- if you can crowdfund for the liberal cause of the day, then go for it!

Otherwise, try to put a little more thought in the reality of the 'Syrian refugee' crisis -- or is it?

Where was the LTE writer when the Christians in the Middle East were being slaughtered?

public-redux

You do know that a significant fraction of Syrians are xian, don't you? And are being slaughtered?

johnqFrederick

And your point . . . .?

I guess they ask before they shoot the people . . . ?

public-redux

Given your previous comment, I thought that you cared about Christians. My mistake. My apologies.

mccourtneyg

Ugggh another one that assumes all the refugees are Arab and Muslim. You do know there are many other ethnic and religious groups in the Middle East like the Kurds. Many of which are Syrian refugees running from oppression and certain death. Another fake Christian who would not lift a finger to help his brethren.

tonyc51

It is time for us to look inward, to help those that need help in our own country. Education, infrastructure, nutritional needs, and the list goes on and on.
Yes I am concerned about the fate of the people of Syria, of Afghanistan, of Yemen, but feel it is time the billions being spent to rebuild those places (and often not appreciated), as well as the billions spent to destroy them through some of our military endeavors, be redirected to help our fellow citizens. Not to mention that we currently have millions of refuges (call them what you like) that need to be assisted to assimilate into our country.
If the US government continues to fritter away our money, it is only a matter of time before we will be unable to address those problems that are truly in our purview.

vicdavy

"look inward"? LOL! Due to Repukes and their Christian Wackos, progress has been obstructed for decades!

Reader1954

those people will do what they always do : turn to us (for help) then turn on us

b1sellers

"those people"

Really.

herbie

Amazing how the liberal media ran the photo of the drowned child and o many people expressed their sorrow over his death - yet all but ignore the slaughter of millions of babies murdered at Planned Parenthood

If only these folks cared about the children here in the US as they do for other people children the bloodletting would stop

barbaradean8

[offtopic]

herbie

That sums up the liberal compassion for the babies hacked up at PP

All Barb can say about their murders is "off topic"

dtwigg

Comments like yours should make all opponents of abortion ashamed to share a common concern with you.

barbaradean8

no know nothing of my compasion or me quit the asinine comments

vicdavy

herbert is all for the Preborn but to hell with the PreSchool!

DickD

When you have a one track mind and refuse to look at the real facts, that is what happens.

olefool

So herbie, the gist of your comment is that if abortions, i.e. women's reproductive rights, were abolished in the USA that would bring everlasting peace to the middle east??? Nah... I don't think so.

public-redux

No, herbie specifically mentioned abortions at Planned Parenthood and not "all" abortions. Don't put words in his mouth.

MCEDDE21

solid!

DickD

Yeah, he has a "thing" about Plan Parenthood. I put fact check on here yesterday, that proved him wrong, but Herbie can't be bothered with the truth.

FrederickVeteran

We killed a million babies in Iraq

barbaradean8

the anti abortion crowds isnt about saving babies,its about controlling woman,there's few groups that really care about babies.but most are just
"pro life" till birth and could care less after
'

DickD

You know, if we just look at the facts, take religion out of it, you can look at this two ways.

First, it is controlling a woman's body, if you don't allow abortion rights.

Looking at it from having a baby you do not want, it allows those that cannot have their own to have one. Our daughter is adopted and she has been a great blessing to us.

b1sellers

"Looking at it from having a baby you do not want, it allows those that cannot have their own to have one."

So a woman should be forced to put up her child for adoption (and then be vilified for doing that!) rather than having an abortion? To satisfy people who can't have children?

DickD

No, I am not saying any woman should have a baby she does not want. I am saying our daughters genetic mother got pregnant and chose to have her baby - probably because of her religious beliefs. She put the baby up for adoption, which most young girls did with "love" babies, back then. I am also saying she has become a wonderful person, a RN nurse with her own family. We all get along good and we do feel "blessed" I am sorry you cannot understand that.

barbaradean8

but FV they were born,they're so called love for babies ends at birth

johnqFrederick

Yes, we have killed millions of babies in Baltimore with all the guns, and bombs, and . . . starvation, and lack of jobs, and

johnqFrederick

[thumbup] good point Herbie!

The secular progressives can't let a crisis go to waste -- evident by their Attention Deficit Disorder -- they tend to chase the liberal squirrels running from one faux crisis after another

barbaradean8

utter complete crap,fox news,and rush oxcotin limbaugh drugged out BS,when you get your news from junkies this is what you get

DickD

Barb, why don't you say what you really mean. lol

threecents

Fetuses are not babies.

mccourtneyg

Amazing how conservatives only care about babies in-vitro. The moment the baby is born the heck with him/her nothing but a moocher from the government trough. Nothing but fake outrage and hypocrisy.

DickD

The baby and the mother do not have to be moochers, there are plenty looking to adopt. I ran into a lovely lady the other day that adopted two Chinese girls. I know other couples that have adopted black children. The government pays them nothing, they paid us noting - not even the adoption costs. So, if they are mooching, it is a choice.

sue1955

You are way out of bounds. Aren't there enough problems in this country without you worrying about sending money to Syria and dealing with everything else involved? Maybe you have family that needs your help and would appreciate the extra money you have. People in the community (i.e., Frederick) could sure use your financial help.

Be rational. One cannot just take a bunch of food on an airplane as well as just buy a plane ticket to Syria. You likely may need U.S. Department of State clearance to go over there, not to mention whatever Custom requires for taking food out of the country.

Be aware, also, that charitable organizations do not typically send every dollar to whomever needs it. They have administrative expenses, including salaries. Think about all of the millions that was sent in after 9/11 that never got to the families of the victims. That has been a tragedy that is either not known or overlooked. The incoming money was so great that it was too overwhelming to deal with (not that it is any excuse).

I'd love to save every cat and kitten out in the world. I understand your deep caring on one level, but we all have to realize that there are limits to what each of us can do with whatever our interests may be.

vicdavy

There Human Beings not Cats!

barbaradean8

but there not white xstians,so they are sub human to the conservites

vicdavy

[thumbup][beam] U B Correct! barb.

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