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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 03:46 PM
Number of posts: 24,690

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Good points. My response:

1. "probably understates", "there are likely ..."

Since their numbers are rough estimates, it is certainly probable that they are high in some cases and low in others. If there are other studies done by reputable organizations, they should be part of the conversation as well - whether they show numbers similar to CAP's or significantly different ones.

2. "All these numbers are estimates, as the report's author concedes."

Quite true. I would not expect accurate numbers in the middle of a civil war. (I would not want to be a census worker in Syria right now).

I respect CAP as a progressive organization and think they have done their best to inject facts into the policy discussion - even when "facts" are just the best estimates they can make.

It is not like they are using republican tactics of making up "facts" to support a predetermined policy choice. CAP opposes foreign, particularly American, intervention as more likely to make things worse rather than better. Like most liberals (and liberal organizations) they try to rely on facts (or as close as they can get to them) rather than on fear, emotion and "convenient facts" that happily support the policy that one prefers.

3. "While I don't want to deny that there was a democratic upswelling to which the government responded harshly, I have to wonder how much of that is left in these various rebel factions."

I largely agree with you. I think the "democratic upswelling" is still there but it gets pushed far into the background (hopefully not extinguished) in the middle of such sustained violence. The longer this civil war has gone on, and the longer it continues into the future, the less of a factor the "democratic upswelling", which I agree was present at the beginning, becomes.

While I believe that foreign involvement will make things worse not better for the Syrian people, it does bother me that Assad's "harsh" response to the outbreak of democratic sentiment in 2011 will prove to be a "successful" tactic - not the Syrian people, of course, but for Assad's continued rule.

His tactic proves to other dictators that if you use the army to put down democracy movements, particularly in the Middle East, you may be unpopular at the beginning but, as time goes on, the repression will bring out the most violent wings of the domestic opposition to you and attract "really bad characters" from elsewhere.

Voila! You are no longer the bad dictator opposing a "democratic upswelling" but a great sectarian leader opposing religious fanatics. Now that you have won the PR battle, all that is left is for the army to win the military battle. With a continuing supply of tanks, planes and ammunition that should not be too hard. There is a lesson here for dictators everywhere.

Right-wing European delegation in Syria "fact-finding" mission

A delegation of ultra right-wing European politicians began a previously unannounced "fact-finding" mission in Syria on Tuesday to assess the presence of foreign fighters in the war ravaged country, a spokesperson for a British MEP said.

Nick Griffin, Member of the European Parliament from the British National Party, has taken part in the delegation which is meeting with Syrian officials to gauge the extent of involvement of European-based extremists, his spokesperson Simon Darby told Al-Akhbar.

He said arrangements for the visit had been organized between several other politicians from Belgium, Russia and Poland at the invitation of Syria’s interior ministry.

Syria’s unlikely alliance with the extreme-nationalist European politicians underscores its desperate attempt to regain international recognition after being shunned by most western and Arab governments.


This "ultra right-wing" 'fact-finding' mission (which will undoubtedly find that Muslim immigrants to Europe are evil even when they leave Europe and return to the Middle East) is an odd thing for Syria to cooperate with. I suppose in a pinch you take your 'friends' where you can get them.

"RepubliCON NeoCONS love illegal immigrants." They do indeed. And they know the only way

to keep them here and keep them 'illegal' is to shoot down immigration reform. They want the 'system' to stay exactly as it now is - keep them here and keep them 'illegal'.

"That's why Raygun and every president since have NOT enforced employer sanctions against corporate cheapskates who hire illegally."

Not quite true.

As Immigration Audits Increase, Some Employers Pay a High Price

L. E. Cook was one of 1,444 businesses to receive an introduction to ICE’s stepped-up worksite enforcement program in 2009 — almost three times the number audited in 2008. Last year, 2,196 businesses were audited. An ICE representative said the agency did not categorize audits by business type and that the law applied across industries.

“Any company is at risk at any given time,” said Leon Versfeld, an immigration lawyer in Kansas City, Mo. In one prominent case, American Apparel, the clothing manufacturer, was forced to terminate 1,800 undocumented workers after a 2009 audit. Chipotle Mexican Grill, the restaurant chain, has let go hundreds of workers since its audit began last year.

While the administration of George W. Bush focused on headline-making raids that resulted in arrests of immigrant workers, the Obama administration has gone after employers with ICE’s I-9 audits on the theory that employers who hire unauthorized workers create the demand that drives most illegal immigration.

After the audit, Mr. Cox started using E-Verify, a federal program that lets employers confirm the authenticity of a job applicant’s Social Security and green card numbers electronically. Although the program’s use is mandatory in some states, its reliability has been debated, and it remains voluntary in California. A bill in Congress that would require all American employers to use the program could go to a vote this month.


U.S. Seizes 14 7-Eleven Stores in Immigration Raids

More than a dozen 7-Eleven franchises took in more than $180 million in revenue by running a “modern-day plantation system,” prosecutors in New York charged on Monday, built on the unpaid labor of dozens of illegal immigrants hired using sham Social Security numbers.

Federal authorities seized 14 7-Eleven stores on Long Island and in Virginia, arresting nine owners and managers, and seized property, including five homes. They are investigating 40 other 7-Eleven franchises in New York City and elsewhere in one of the largest criminal immigrant employment investigations ever conducted by the Justice and Homeland Security Departments, officials said.

Under the Obama administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has moved away from high-profile workplace raids in which dozens of workers in the country illegally were rounded up for deportation. Instead, agents from ICE, as the agency is known, have relied on audits of employers’ hiring records to detect illegal immigrant workers.

The audits were low profile but often very effective
at forcing illegal immigrants to leave their jobs.


Interestingly, the massacre was reported by "opposition sources", not the regime.

Rather than waiting to see if this would be picked up by the Assad regime, "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group that has reported abuses on both sides of the conflict", publicized the massacre.
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