Saturday, May 30, 2015

Will we help Iraqis who helped our troops?

Here are some more of the emails I've received this week from Iraqis who are in danger because they helped the U.S. military and civilians.

Will we help Iraqis who helped our troops?

Here are some more of the emails I’ve received this week from Iraqis who are in danger because they helped the U.S. military and civilians.  Now that U.S. troops are leaving they fear they will be killed as collaborators. Even though 25,000 special visas were promised to those who worked for Americans, only 3600 have been issued, and the program is virtually frozen because of new security checks. Applicants are being told they must wait for 8-12 months, by which time the US troops will be gone, and they may be dead!!!!!!!!  (Read more in my column today.

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Dear Ma’am:

    I am writing to you about very dangerous issue that will happen in the Next few months. The US forces has hired tens of thousands of Iraqi locals as interpreters and workers and many other professions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Without those human resources the U.S. mission would never have succeeded. 

    Now the troops are leaving and the US government is not living up to their obligations for their employees who thought for a moment that Iraq will be a better country and helped the US to rebuild it. …these employees are in a dilemma that may gather their lives in a new-era mass grave, this time by the Muslim fundamentalists or militias which the US military in its huge capabilities are not being able to defend themselves from. How should normal people like us survive in that jungle?

    We need from the US government to take an urgent action about delaying of issuance our visa because we live in a very hostile environment. We are human, we have proved our loyalty and made all what was required and it’s time for you to look at us.

Kind regards,

Ayed (interpreter)

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Dear Ma’am:

     I’ve worked as a translator for U.S. forces more than two years and I was threatened by the terrorists who tried to kill me and threatened my wife. She left her job, she is an English teacher in primary school.. My family with two children move from one area to another. We are in grave danger. Please help us. I completed the interview and I am waiting the visa from 7 months and nothing until now.

Thank you,

N.N.

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Dear Rubin: (this from a mother whose entire family worked for the U.S. military; they all have received visas and emigrated to the USA except for her youngest son).

 We almost lost hope. He was waiting for the visa since 8 months. Now the US military withdrawal increased the danger to his life.  I swear I have a disease of the heart because of my concern. My son is currently moving from house to house can not stay in one place for fear of militias. I don not know why the U.S. government gave up on those who work with them sincerely, especially all our family worked with US army, only my young son left in Baghdad, he worked for the US army two years.

 Thank you again.

Layla

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Dear Trudy,

I am still waiting for my Visa.  Now that it's been over 6 months I don't really know where I'm at in this whole thing, it's beyond frustrating! Still facing the same threats and now dragged my parents into it too.. why do they have to suffer because i work for the US Government! it's like if they couldn't get you they'll get your family members that's just the way it is.. I don't really know what else to say..
 
What's so ironic is that I work for the US State Department..

Sincerely,

A.

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Dear Trudy Rubin:

Am an Iraqi citizen I have worked and helped the American army in Iraq for more than 2 years and after many serious threats I applied to USRAP through the IOM ORG. and since Jan,2009 I have been waiting the departure to the US but nothing happened yet in spite that I have finished all the procedures , you can’t imagine the horror that we are living in especially in the current time because of the withdraw of the American troops will leave us without any protection and we will be like “ setting duck” to the Islamic militias.

Am writing to you on behalf of thousands of cases who are living the same tragedy , we all have served the government & the army of the united state and we don’t deserve this treatment, I wish that you use this information to write about our tragedy , if you need any more details .. Please write to me on this email…

Thank you very much, and god blesses you.   

Mohamed H.

Inquirer Opinion Columnist
About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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