Yesterday on “Here & Now” NPR interviewed Alaa, who worked for western media organizations in Baghdad and who now works with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project in New York, and Hayder, a former translator who lost a leg saving an American soldier, about their thoughts on U.S. troop withdrawal.
Alaa is deeply concerned to see, week after week, that the applicants she interviews by phone, whose cases she knows to be strong, are so often denied or indefinitely delayed– and it angers her to hear politicians asserting that Iraq is safe when she hears daily from family members that dead bodies are still thrown on the streets, militias still have a visible presence, and people still live in fear and insecurity often without water and electricity.
The LA Times tells the story of Tariq, a 27 year old former translator who lived on a secure base until Americans escorted him off of it in October when his unit pulled out of Iraq. Already once victim to armed attack in retaliation for his service to the coalition, Tariq still received death threats. He anxiously awaits news of progress on the SIV application he submitted two years ago.