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Why We Can Accept Afghan Refugees, and Should

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A day after U.S. forces completed its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, refugees board a bus taking them to a processing center upon their arrival at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., September 1, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters) Hospitable generosity represents the best of what American culture and values are about.

If you don’t imbibe the noxious prattle-on-demand that calls itself cable television “news,” you might not realize that a crew of pundits and talking heads has spent much of the last few weeks warning that the fall of Kabul to the Taliban will mean an invasive flood of Afghan refugees pouring into our streets, ravaging our daughters, and imposing sharia law on our cul-de-sacs and HOAs.

Never mind that those refugees are running from the imposition of an especially brutal form of sharia law, or that to fight a terrorist cell, we invaded their country two decades ago, and some of them helped us do it.

Never mind that the people wanting out of their country are so desperate to leave that they flooded the Kabul airport, sent children on ahead, and clung to the bottom of departing C-17 military planes.

Never mind that some of them — the ones who’d been on our payroll, mostly — may now be killed for the crime of taking a paycheck.

Forget all of that. Because neither common sense nor compassion gets anywhere near the ratings to be had by whipping people into frenzies with appeals to a paradox of exceptionalist patriotism that sows fear in place of national confidence.

Don’t believe me?

Watch pundits cash checks while American communities and dinner tables become combat zones. Over issue after issue. We keep falling for it.

It was pitiful when we allowed vacuous commentators and ambitious would-be politicians to turn a pandemic into an American civil war.

It is pathetic that we allow them to turn us against our parents, children, and neighbors, like clockwork every four years, imagining that fighting over electoral politics is more important than building lasting social bonds with the people who actually

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