The Faces of those "Rabid Dogs"

By Benjamin Wittes
Friday, November 20, 2015, 1:32 PM

We want leaders who are not only smart but who care about other people. Now, at the same time, we must balance safety against just being a humanitarian. For instance, if there’s a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog and you’re probably going to put your children out of the way.

Doesn’t mean that you hate all dogs by any stretch of the imagination, but you’re putting your intellect into motion and you’re thinking: ‘How do I protect my children? At the same time, I love dogs and I’m going to call the Human Society; and hopefully they can come and take this dog away and create a safe environment once again.'

By the same token, we have to have in place screening mechanisms that allow us to determine who the mad dogs are, quite frankly, who are the people who want to come in here and hurt us and want to destroy us. Until we know how to do that — just like it would be foolish to put your child out in the neighborhood knowing that that was going on — it is foolish for us to accept people if we cannot have the appropriate type of screening.

Dr. Ben Carson

Rabid Dogs, huh? Registering Muslim Americans (Donald Trump)? Excluding refugees from fully 34 countries and territories (Rand Paul)?

Against this sort of elevated discourse I hope the work of sometime Lawfare contributor Laura Dean might offer an antidote. Laura has been spending time in Lesbos, Greece, interviewing refugees who come from a bunch of the countries on Paul's list. We will have a great deal more to say about her project in the weeks and months to come, particularly as pertains to Syria. But for present purposes, I note only that she has also been taking pictures of some of the rabid dogs Carson is keen to keep away from our country.

Here are some of those photos, along with Laura's annotations, some from Instagram and some in notes to me.

"Meet Azem, Faisal, Jabri, Ismail, Silwan and Bassem, young Yazidi men from Sinjar, Iraq who fled when ISIS conquered Sinjar last year."

"Aiysha and her husband are Islamic Studies professors from Kunduz, Afghanistan. They fled with their tiny son Mohammed when the Taliban took Kunduz earlier this fall. They only had enough money to bring their youngest to Europe with them. Their two older sons are in Pakistan with their grandmother. The family is sleeping in an informal camp area next to the police-run Moria camp in Lesbos, Greece which is full."

"This is Omera, who made the journey from Baluchistan alone with her two sons."

"A little girl from Afghanistan has her fingersnails clipped in the informal area outside the Moria camp. She and her family recently arrived by boat from Turkey."

"An Afghan mother recently arrived by boat from Turkey, kissing her child late at night outside the Moria camp."

"A young Afghan woman handing out food to children at breakfast time outside the Moria camp. Oxfam and Save The Children pay for lunch, but breakfast and dinner are paid for by volunteer groups and there's no guarantee that the funding will last."

"This baby slept so soundly in the registration line late Wednesday night outside the Moria camp. She and her family crossed the Aegean Sea today from the Turkish coast after traveling overland from Afghanistan."

"An injured Afghan woman with her leg in a yellow plastic bag."

For more photos of the scary people we're dealing with, Laura recommends the Twitter feed of photojournalist Santi Palacios.