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Brooks: Refugee Pause ‘Appalling,’ But Obama Has ‘Some Responsibility’ for Refugee Crisis

New York Times columnist David Brooks argued that while it’s “appalling” to pause admitting more Syrian and Iraqi refugees, “for him [President Obama] to wax self-righteously about other people, and their response to the Syrian refugee — he bears some responsibility for the Syrian refugee crisis” on Friday’s “PBS NewsHour.”

Brooks said, “what is the vibe now among some people is immoral, degrading, but it’s also just bad foreign policy. Ben Carson is now running for office. He’s a senior figure in the American political scene. If you’re a soldier or Marine in an Arab country, Islam is the solution. And you need to show respect. And when that rhetoric flies out across the world, it makes it much harder for our diplomats abroad, for our service people abroad. It has practical impact.”

He continued, “Now, as for President Obama, I think his policy is just a rank failure. And, frankly, he has had several — this has been a slow-rolling genocide, for a long time. And in several stops along the way, there have been people in this administration, and the other parties who have counseled some sort of action, that I think he could have taken which would have maybe ameliorated some of the death we’re seeing. And he has withdrawn and withdrawn and not taken those actions, even where red lines have closed — have been crossed. He had a training program, which didn’t work. He’s had token little efforts recently. And so for him to wax self-righteously about other people, and their response to the Syrian refugee — he bears some responsibility for the Syrian refugee crisis. And so he took some decisions to be inactive, which may have been right, wrong, but they were realpolitik decisions, decisions to save American interests, but at the cost of what has clearly been a genocide in Syria.”

Later, in response to anchor Judy Woodruff  saying, “Republicans saying, don’t let them in, and even Democrats joining in, and saying, hold off on any more Syria or Iraqi refugees.” Brooks stated, “Yeah, I think it’s appalling. The idea that we’re doing national or religious profiling, or even thinking about that is wrong. We have got — the refugees are the least likely way they’re going to get in here. The perpetrators in this case were from Belgium and France. Are we going to stop the Flemish from coming in? I mean, it’s just — it’s not a carefully thought-through reaction. The process we have to get people into this country through the refugee [program], it takes a long time. It’s probably the hardest way to get in. And so this is just a native reaction that has been an unpleasant one.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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