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Iraq Humanitarian Crisis Is Personal In San Diego

Evening Edition

Aired 6/16/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS:

Mark Arabo, Lifelong El Cajon resident and Chaldean-American.

Bob Montgomery, with the International Rescue Committee IRC — a group that's worked to resettle Iraqi refugees and immigrants.

Colin Archipley, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Anbar province as part of his three tours in Iraq.

Transcript

Sunni insurgents continue to move toward Iraq's capital.

Their latest takeover is the northwestern city of Tal Afar. The members of the group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, apparently conducted their first wholesale execution of Iraqi soldiers in the city of Tikrit this weekend.

San Diego County is home to nearly 80,000 Iraqis and thousands of veterans of Operation Iraqi freedom — two groups with a lot at stake in the future of Iraq.

On KPBS Midday Edition we heard from a spokesman for San Diego's Chaldean community about their concerns for the Iraqi people and what they are asking the U.S. government to do in response to the humanitarian crisis.

And we heard from an Iraq war veteran about why the takeover by ISIS in Iraq is frustrating.

Marine Corps vet Colin Archpley said the U.S. military gave Iraqis free elections and stability, but it was up to the Iraqis to maintain that and they squandered it.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | June 16, 2014 at 12:36 p.m. ― 1 month, 2 weeks ago

How ironic, it was PRECISELY the Iraqi Eastern Rite Catholics (wrongly called Chaldeans) who wanted Saddam out the most and cheared on the "Coalition of the Willing", even though they themselves enjoyed relative protection and freedoms under the dictator. (Tariz Aziz, for example.) Now that pro-war support is coming back to bite in the . . . Even before the withdrawal, the Iraqis had been targeted more often than before by their fellow countrymen.

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Avatar for user 'magdasobol'

magdasobol | June 30, 2014 at 12:49 p.m. ― 1 month ago

@Missionaccomplished Your comment is baseless and false. As a Chaldean myself, I am disrespected by your incompetent comment. Why would you attempt to deface the name of Chaldeans by refusing to refer to them as their rightful name? If you would have simply googled a list of Catholic rites, then you would see the Chaldean rite is respected as a rite of its own. Chaldeans are being persecuted and oppresed because of their faith; they are being killed because they are Christian.

Also, it wasn't the Chaldeans that wanted Saddam overthrown the most. It was the Kurds; the Kurds were targeted by Saddam for rebelling against him. The Chaldeans only benefited from the stability that Saddam forced by brute strength and displays of power.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 30, 2014 at 2:47 p.m. ― 1 month ago

The problem is Islam. Almost all of the world conflicts are due to Islam.

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