Friday, February 29, 2008

Petraeus, al Maliki and Angelina

If reconciliation is going slowly in Iraq, an OpEd piece in today's Washington Post suggests an overlooked answer--box office appeal.

As a good will ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie writes about her meetings with Gen. Petraeus and Prime Minister al Maliki, both of whom promised to provide more resources to help resettle the 2 million Iraqis who are refugees in their own country and the additional 2.5 million who have fled, mostly to Syria and Jordan.

Now, Jolie calls on "the presidential candidates and congressional leaders to announce a comprehensive refugee plan with a specific timeline and budget as part of their Iraq strategy."

Gen. Petraeus has said we "can't kill our way out of Iraq,"
but kindness may be an effective weapon

Cynics will see this as photo-op diplomacy, but since nothing else is working, why not? Bring on the superstars, if they can be passionate and persuasive about turning a botched war toward humanitarian efforts.


Carl said...

I'm amazed that more people haven't made the refugee crisis a linchpin of any withdrawal (or occupation, for that matter) plan. It would go a long way to re-establishing American credibility as a country that isn't arrogant and...

Oh. Right. My mistake.

Liza said...

Ms. Jolie seems to be sincerely trying to do good using her celebrity status to bring attention to the Iraqi refugee problem. It is one of many problems that have been created for innocent Iraqi people by the US invasion and occupation.

I was reading an article today about Iraqi women who have lost their husbands in the war and now are unable to find a way to support their children.

Historians are likely to identify the Bush/Cheney debacle in Iraq as one of the worst political blunders of all time, certainly the worst for the US.