Strickland: No Iraqis Need Apply

Ohio governor Ted Strickland has said that he doesn’t want any refugees from the war in Iraq settling in Ohio:

Strickland, a Democrat who opposed the war as a U.S. House member, said Ohioans cannot be expected to have open arms for Iraqis displaced by the war. More than 100 Ohioans have been killed since the war began.

“I think Ohio and Ohioans have contributed a lot to Iraq in terms of blood, sweat and too many tears,” Strickland said. “I am sympathetic to the plight of the innocent Iraqi people who have fled that country. However, I would not want to ask Ohioans to accept a greater burden than they already have borne for the Bush administration’s failed policies.”

Strickland’s comments are incredibly racist. Gov. Strickland has no power to dictate where Iraqi refugees can or cannot settle, and it’s repugnant beyond all belief for him to try.

This is how disgustingly inhuman the anti-war movement has become — Gov. Strickland would deny refuge to innocent Iraqi refugees, men and women who have put their lives on the line to help secure a better future for their country and save the lives of our servicemembers, just because of his personal political disagreements with the President on this war.

What’s worse is that Gov. Strickland is a former minister. Apparently he’s turned his back on his most basic of Christian values in favor of political posturing.

8 thoughts on “Strickland: No Iraqis Need Apply

  1. Strickland to war refugees: “F*** you, Bush supporters!”


    As a former minister, he’s living up to the high standards of Swaggert, Bakker, and Haggard. Slimeballs all.

  2. “This is how disgustingly inhuman the anti-war movement has become”

    What’s “disgustingly inhuman” is to equate one man’s nativism with the 60+% of Americans who are now part of the anti-war movement.

  3. Jay, “disgustingly inhuman” doesn’t even come close. Mark, Somehow I doubt that 60% of Americans are a part of the anti-war movement as you describe it. Besides, as disgusting as it is to contemplate, the Dem’s and the far-left’s behavior is setting the stage for a reaffirmation of their McGovernism in 2008. I know a large number of people that are upset the the war has not been fought aggressively enough. That is why they are dis-satisfied with the war and President Bush.

  4. Truly amazing how the “evil face of liberalism” moves further and further right on the political spectrum to today’s clueless right-wing loonies. Three years ago, it was the moderate former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean, courting the NRA and Confederate flag-wielding rednecks, who represented “disgustingly inhuman” liberalism. Last year at this time and up until today, conservative Democrat Jack Murtha, praised on national television by none other than Dr. Evil conservative hero Dick Cheney himself only months earlier, who the right adopted as “the new George McGovern torchholder”. Now, it’s the conservative Democratic Governor of Ohio–an ordained minister who opposes abortion rights and has a near-perfect lifetime rating from the NRA–who has seized control of the unhinged lunatic leftist baton. One can only imagine who’s next on the conservative list of the world’s most evil liberal. Zell Miller? Phil Gramm? David Duke?

    With all that said, Strickland’s gonna be battered bloody for this stunt….and in mays rightfully so. His best defense is to make this an issue of economic populism, knowing full well that every military deployment in the past quarter century has brought about a deluge of refugees from the Third World that quickly work their way into the low-skill American job market and suppress working-class wages. With Ohio’s job market in the toilet, the last thing Strickland’s state needs is even more competition for a rapidly declining number of jobs.

  5. While I found Strickland’s comments a little off-putting, I really don’t get two aspects of your post, Jay:

    Strickland’s comments are incredibly racist.

    How? I mean, I just don’t see it. There are lots of reasons to desire to turn back refugees that have absolutely nothing to do with racism. Did Strickland somehow intimate that Iraqi refugees are dirty, inhuman animals because of the color of their skin?

    I mean, China props up DPRK to keep a flood of refugees out of China, which would have a destabilizing effect. Is that racist?

    This is how disgustingly inhuman the anti-war movement has become — Gov. Strickland would deny refuge to innocent Iraqi refugees, men and women who have put their lives on the line to help secure a better future for their country and save the lives of our servicemembers, just because of his personal political disagreements with the President on this war.

    Whoa. First, you lionize refugees – who by definition are fleeing a failed state, and if they were trying to “secure a better future” for Iraq, would likely not be fleeing. I mean, how does running away equal fighting for their country and “sav[ing] the lives of our servicemembers”? I’m willing to be convinced otherwise, but a flat assertion just isn’t cutting it.

    Not that I’m denigrating refugees. Not at all. They are doing what is probably necessary to ensure safety and a future for their families, and enduring great hardship to do so. In the same situation, I expect I would do the same thing. Given the great hardship Iraqi refugees are undergoing, I think Ohio should embrace any refugees who wish to settle here.

    Additionally, you baselessly assign a motive to Strickland which, in reality, is extremely unlikely. I wish Strickland would come out and clarify the reasoning behind his statement, but as Mark said, an economic reason is the likely culprit. Ohio’s economy is suffering quite badly; Strickland ran on a relatively populist economic message (not an anti-war message); and he has repeatedly expressed a desire to protect and expand “blue collar” jobs in Ohio. The vast majority of Iraqi refugees would likely be competing for the same jobs that are already in scarce supply here.

    I’m definitely not a fan of nativism, and providing a place to rebuild for people fleeing a war that we started, in my feeling unnecessarily, is the “right” thing to do, so I definitely disagree with Strickland. But I understand why he (most likely) said it. And it almost certainly wasn’t inspired by racist, xenophobic, or anti-Bush mentalities.

    Oh, and Strickland isn’t exactly Dennis Kucinich’s long lost brother. He’s a relatively conservative Democrat from a sprawling, rural, Appalachian Congressional district. As Mark noted, he’s got a perfect lifetime rating from the NRA (IIRC), is opposed to gay marriage, and has indicated he has no interest in taking steps to end the death penalty. He’s a centrist with broad appeal, which is why he crushed the ultra-right Ken Blackwell.

  6. But I’ll bet the Governor of Ohio would gladly welcome illegal aliens who are sneaking into this country and breaking our laws. That situation is also the result of a failed immigration policy, but he would probably take the PC approach on that one.

  7. Brian: Those are some pretty intelligent questions.

    First a little background. The program is to relocate 7,000 Iraqis who worked with the coalition and would be in danger should the US leave Iraq. These are people who were part of the Iraqi government, worked with the coalition, provided information, etc. Basically, people who stuck their necks out in the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq. Even if every last one of them settled in Ohio, it probably wouldn’t have much impact on the job market there.

    I do think Strickland was playing off racist overtones. For one, he singled out Iraqis. If his goal was to say that Ohio can’t accept immigrants, he wouldn’t have needed to limit it only to Iraqis. (He’d also be saying something monumentally ridiculous, but that’s another issue.)

    The economic rationale doesn’t make sense. For one, not all 7,000 would settle in Ohio. (Most of them would probably go to places like Michigan where there’s already an established Iraqi-American population.) Secondly, Strickland can’t legally bar Iraqis from settling in his state, especially if they’re authorized to be here by an act of Congress.

    Strickland was playing off racism and xenophobia, he was behaving in a deeply un-Christian manner, and it doesn’t matter what his positions on other issues happen to be. What he said was reprehensible and wrong, and Strickland should never have said such a thing.

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