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Elizabeth Warren: “We cannot abandon the people of Syria to this butchery”

This news story was published on November 19, 2015.
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Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Sent to NIT by Elizabeth Warren, senior Democratic United States Senator from Massachusetts –

Good morning,

Over the past four years, millions of people have fled their homes in Syria, running for their lives. In recent months, the steady stream of refugees has been a flood that has swept across Europe.

Every day, refugees set out on a journey hundreds of miles, from Syria to the Turkish coast. When they arrive, human smugglers charge them $1000 a head for a place on a shoddy, overloaded, plastic raft that is given a big push and floated out to sea, hopefully toward one of the Greek islands.

Last month, I visited the Greek island of Lesvos to see the Syrian refugee crisis up close. Lesvos is only a few miles away from the Turkish coast, but the risks of crossing are immense. This is a really rocky, complicated shoreline – in and out, in and out. The overcrowded, paper-thin smuggler rafts are tremendously unsafe, especially in choppy waters or when a storm picks up.

Parents try their hardest to protect their children. They really do. Little ones are outfitted with blow up pool floaties as a substitute for life jackets, in the hope that if the rafts go down, a $1.99 pool toy will be enough to save the life of a small child.

And the rafts do go down. According to some estimates, more than 500 people have died crossing the sea from Turkey to Greece so far this year. But despite the clear risks, thousands make the trip every day.

I met with the mayor of Lesvos, who described how his tiny island of 80,000 people has struggled to cope with those refugees who wash ashore – more than 100,000 people in October alone. Refugees pile into the reception centers, overflowing the facilities, sleeping in parks, or at the side of the road. Recently, the mayor told a local radio program that the island had run out of room to bury the dead.

On my visit, I met a young girl – younger than my own granddaughters – sent out on this perilous journey alone. I asked her how old she was, and she shyly held up seven fingers.

I wondered what could possibly possess parents to hand a seven-year-old girl and a wad of cash to human smugglers. What could possibly possess them to send a beloved child across the treacherous seas with nothing more than a pool floatie. What could make them send a child knowing that crime rings of sex slavery and organ harvesting prey on these children.

Send a little girl out alone. With only the wildest, vaguest, most wishful hope that she might make it through alive and find something – anything – better for her on the other side.

This week, we all know why parents would send a child on that journey. Last week’s massacres in Paris and Beirut made it clear. The terrorists of ISIS – enemies of Islam and of all modern civilization, butchers who rape, torture and execute women and children, who blow themselves up in a lunatic effort to kill as many people as possible – these terrorists have spent years torturing the people of Syria. Day after day, month after month, year after year, mothers, fathers, children and grandparents are slaughtered.

In the wake of the murders in Paris and Beirut last week, people in America, in Europe, and throughout the world, are fearful. Millions of Syrians are fearful as well – terrified by the reality of their daily lives, terrified that their last avenue of escape from the horrors of ISIS will be closed, terrified that the world will turn its back on them and on their children.

Some politicians have already moved in that direction, proposing to close our country to people fleeing the massacre in Syria. That is not who we are. We are a country of immigrants and refugees, a country made strong by our diversity, a country founded by those crossing the sea fleeing religious persecution and seeking religious freedom.

We are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of ISIS murderers because some politician dislikes their religion. And we are not a nation that backs down out of fear.

Our first responsibility is to protect this country. We must embrace that fundamental obligation. But we do not make ourselves safer by ignoring our common humanity and turning away from our moral obligation.

ISIS has shown itself to the world. We cannot – and we will not – abandon the people of France to this butchery. We cannot – and we will not – abandon the people of Lebanon to this butchery. And we cannot – and we must not – abandon the people of Syria to this butchery.

Thank you for being a part of this,


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9 Responses to Elizabeth Warren: “We cannot abandon the people of Syria to this butchery”

  1. Nada Racist Reply Report comment

    November 19, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Yes, we should change America to meet the demands of the Terrorists!

    DO NOT give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    DO NOT send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I WILL NOT life my lamp beside the golden door.

    Get the F#@$ OUT OF HERE!! This is AMERICA!!

    What a bunch of coward Replublicans

    • Compromise Reply Report comment

      November 19, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      If they want ro come in they need to renounce the religion which terrorized them. No burkas. No hajibs. No Sharia. No Qu’ran. (25 min mark)

      • Nada Racist Reply Report comment

        November 19, 2015 at 9:31 pm

        Says…you? What about “Freedom of Religion”? What if they don’t want to renounce their religion, but just want to renounce the terrible part of their religion?

        Kind of like how you guys all don’t really associate yourselves with The Westboro Baptist Church. Because they make ALL CHRISTIANS look bad.

        • Nada Thinker Reply Report comment

          November 19, 2015 at 10:16 pm

          Last time I checked Westboro wasnt beheading people.

        • Nada Thinker Reply Report comment

          November 19, 2015 at 10:24 pm

          Don’t you just love how people pick and choose the parts they like or dont like about Muslims and Islam? It’d be like having the wife and children of a brutal Nazi take the stand at Nuremburg trial and tell the world they should overlook the horrible atrocities their father/husband perpetrated against the Jewish people becsuse he was such a good husband and loving father to them at home. It’s delusional actually.

          • Nada Racist

            November 23, 2015 at 7:04 am

            Yes, just like “Christians” get to pick and choose which parts of the Bible that they follow. Like those don’t eat shellfish, cut your hair, and wear mixed fiber clothing directions you all seem to ignore. Hypocrite cowards, all of you.

          • Confess With Your Lips

            November 23, 2015 at 8:20 am

            I want to hear you admit that Sharia law and Islamofascism is what terrorized those people to flee Syria.

  2. LVS Reply Report comment

    November 19, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    BLA, BLA, BLA-Cry me a river. Just another cry baby libraterd wanting to give away our tax money to people who want to kill us. Give the money to homeless vet’s. They earned it.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      November 19, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Every time I see her I think of Cher singing “Half-Breed”. And then I LMAO.