When I saw this opinion piece in The Hill my first thought was: oh no, not another politically correct B.S. whine-fest about the ‘plight’ of the Rohingya people of Bangladesh and Burma (aka Myanmar).
I thought I knew what was coming—that the US and other Western countries must ‘welcome’ them to our towns and cities—when I read the title of the piece by Jeff Goodson:
Resettle the Rohingya refugees where they can have a real future
But, boy was I wrong and am blown away that The Hill even published this commentary.
The Human Rights Industrial Complex (HRIC) must be having a ‘hair on fire’ moment.
Here is some of what a retired foreign service officer, with a long distinguished career, was permitted to say (emphasis is mine):
(LOL! my first tip-off that this wasn’t what I thought, was the use of the words “high dither” to describe the HRIC!)
International humanitarian and rights groups and the Muslim diaspora have been in high dither over Burma’s crackdown on Rohingya Muslims. The counterinsurgency operation, which was precipitated by Rohingya insurgent attacks in August, has so far sent 626,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh.
International players in the drama are acting perfectly in character. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which conducted the attacks, called itself a garden-variety ethnic insurgent group out to protect the Rohingya people against state repression. Burma declared ARSA a terrorist group, and initiated what it calls a legitimate counterinsurgency campaign against extremist Bengali terrorists. Rakhine Buddhist nationalists actively supported the army, and took their own vigilante action.
Al-Jazeera, Qatar’s official mouthpiece for spreading Salafist propaganda, called for foreign governments and international institutions to force the hand of the Suu Kyi government and hold it accountable. The oratory of the Muslim diaspora, meanwhile, quickly reached fever pitch.
If the international community really wants to do something constructive about the crisis, it will stop debating semantics and focus on permanently resettling the Rohingya refugees.
Uh oh! This is where I thought Goodson would go PC (politically correct) on me! Imagine my shock to see this prescription:
What is needed is for the U.N. and other bilateral, regional and non-state actors to start planning for permanent resettlement of the refugees in Muslim countries that already host large Rohingya populations. These are Bangladesh, now with about a million Rohingya, Pakistan with 350,000, Saudi Arabia with 200,000, Malaysia with 50,000, the UAE with 10,000 and Indonesia with 1,000. Since Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were so helpful in creating, training and arming ARSA, they will no doubt be especially welcoming to their Rohingya brothers and sisters.
All of the players in this drama are acting in character, and Burma is no different. It may be the most insurgent-prone country in the world, with 47 armed ethnic groups, and it will no doubt continue fighting this insurgency as it has fought others for the last 70 years — in this case with help from China. If it’s smart, it will stop the violence, peacefully escort the remaining Rohingya to the border with Bangladesh, and seal that border permanently.
Be still my beating heart! Goodson wraps with this:
It’s time to end the Rohingya insurgency for good, stop the recurring humanitarian crises, and close off western Burma permanently as a potential gateway for Islamic jihad. Whatever the fate of the few hundred thousand Rohingya still remaining in Burma, the international community should stop setting its hair on fire and focus on doing what it does best: help resettle the Rohingya refugees to countries where they can have a real future.
More details from Jeff Goodson about the Rohingya situation that is already causing thousands to be placed in Your Town, USA!
See my extensive ‘Rohingya Reports’ category with over 200 posts extending back ten years.