Count Palau as “fear-gripped”, too

posted at 11:34 am on June 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Obama administration may be celebrating the agreement with Palau that gets 13 of the al-Qaeda-trained Uighurs out of Gitmo, but the Palauans have a much different reaction to the news.  Jake Tapper reports that the editor of Palau’s main newspaper gets accosted on the street by angry citizens demanding to know what idiot thought bringing violent Muslim separatists into their tourist haven was a good idea:

The decision by Johnson Toribiong, president of the obscure Pacific nation of Palau, to take in up to 13 Uighurs — Muslim Chinese — currently being held at Guantanamo is meeting some resistance from the general population.

As ABC News’ polling director Gary Langer points out, proportional to population, sending 13 Uighurs to Palau is like sending 188,993 Uighurs to the United States.

The Associated Press reports that Fermin Nariang, editor of the Palau newspaper Island Times, has “been stopped in the streets of the capital Koror by locals venting their anger. ‘This is a very small country … and some are saying if the whole world doesn’t want these folks, why are we taking them?’ Nariang said. The government has ‘fumbled the ball on this one.'”

The AP also reports on more of the surprising sentiment in Palau about having trained terrorists set free among them:

Palau President Johnson Toribiong explained his decision to grant the Uighurs entry as traditional hospitality, but public opinion has appeared overwhelmingly negative. Some complained Friday that the government failed to consult the people.

“I totally disagree” with allowing the Uighurs onto Palau, Natalia Baulis, a 30-year-old mother of two, told The Associated Press by telephone.

“It’s good to be humanitarian and all, but still these people … to me are scary,” she said. …

The newspaper quoted islander Debedebk Mongami as saying, “I’m also afraid this news is going to scare the tourists who plan to come to Palau.”

Tourism accounts for 80% of Palau’s GDP.  As I wrote in my “fear-gripped” post earlier this week, the nation depends on Palau’s status as a South Pacific haven, a status which could get damaged by the presence of trained terrorists who allied themselves with groups that like to attack tourist destinations.  That is a rational concern, especially given the proximity of another Muslim separatist terror effort in the Philippines, just 2500 miles from Palau.  The global economic crisis will hit Palau hard enough without making it into a halfway house for al-Qaeda’s allies.

Image from the Foreign Policy blog Passport, where a commenter left this pithy response:

Wage war on the West -your reward is paradise in this life, AND the next.  Wow. I hope recruitment doesn’t go up too much. Sounds like a ticket out of poverty.

See Palau!  Bermuda!  Just wage war against the West, and travel the world!


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Comments

The whole world kept smashing Gitmo until it broke open, and now they don’t want to deal with the mess.

Jim Treacher on June 12, 2009 at 5:19 PM

The SCOTUS’ un-Constitutional over-reach into the realm of war powersspecifically: which branch of government is allowed to make a declaration of war -or to decide when we are under invasionwas the fundamental LEGAL disaster behind all of this ensuing lunacy.

That NEITHER the previous (nor current) President ~NOR THE Congress, at the time, or since~ EVER MADE A CONSTITUTIONAL CASE against this illegitimate expansion of the SCOTUS’ seperation of powers’-limited grasp has allowed this folly to metastasize.

The Supreme Court could not decide such cases during “wartime” or if “the nation were under invasion“, therefore, while the Congress ALONE can make the decision that we are NOT at war (not the Court) the Court’s entire “logic” in hearing these cases demonstrated the SCOTUS’ own impeachable incompetence and anti-Legislative Branch power-grab.

A stupid, supine Congress is doubly to blame for not recognizing this illegal move and slapping the SCOTUS back into Constitutional line.

Nothing good can come from such a fatally-flawed (IL)legal basis.

profitsbeard on June 12, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Obama is such a stupid turd. This is the worst idea ever. I feel sorry for these people, they are hard up for money and now they have to take these stinking prisoners in. One can only imagine what the libs would be saying if Bush would have done something like this.

echosyst on June 12, 2009 at 6:08 PM

umm, Is there anything stopping the Bermudans , or the peluvians, from just handing these bastards over to the Chinese Government?–easy solution

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on June 12, 2009 at 7:28 PM

(posted on the other thread too)

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on June 12, 2009 at 7:29 PM

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on June 12, 2009 at 7:29 PM

Apparently we paid Palau to take them. What’s to stop China from raising the ante to get Palau to turn them over? Win-win! Obama gets rid of them. Palau gets rich. And China gets what its wanted all along. I guess the only losers are the Uighers, but hey, they made their beds…

Dee2008 on June 12, 2009 at 7:35 PM

All I know is that Barry better hope no one dies or is injured at the hands of any of these people or there won’t be enough hope or change on this planet to prevent the blood on his hands.

elduende on June 12, 2009 at 8:04 PM

It’s 3 a.m.

Barack, please pick up the red telephone. Palau is on line one; Burmuda, line two. Your VACATION WITH A TERRORIST idea is killing their tourism.

OMG, tell me that somebody/anybody at the Obama administration thought this thing through..

TN Mom on June 12, 2009 at 10:15 PM

The panel on Special Report today agreed this all means his Gitmo policy is collapsing into an embarrassing heap.

PattyJ on June 12, 2009 at 10:40 PM

I hear they all want to be pirates. Send them to Somalia.

scorpio9 on June 13, 2009 at 1:07 AM

You beat up the Trolls! Now come on people, I said, “Less logic, more hope and change!” You guys start posting O-holes quotes where he is going to keep the Gitmo guys forever and all the trolls run away.

Let China have them. I am sure China will not torture them, will give them a fair trial, just before giving them a 7.62×39 send off.

GunRunner on June 13, 2009 at 2:09 AM

This is incredible on so many levels. These are terrorists, period. That the US Govt would decide they are not our terrorists and send them on their way is beyond common sense. If the Chinese captured Osama Bin Laden, and decided he was not their terrorist, we would just sit by and relax. No wonder we can’t get China to help with anything, we don’t deserve it acting like this. Maybe they will be tried in China and executed, same as Bin Laden in America. And qute probably they deserve it, I ride busses in China from time to time, and prefer it in fact.

wallyone on June 13, 2009 at 5:57 AM

Send them to Sanya

DarkCurrent on June 13, 2009 at 8:34 AM

Does this guy do anything that turns out right?

BigMike252 on June 13, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Instead of sending them to Palau, suppose we just keep them at Gitmo and send $1 million dollars to each of 200 inner city grade schools. Wouldn’t we all be better off?

bob4096 on June 13, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Palau now says there is only a 50/50 chance that they will take the Gitmo detainees. They also say that even if they do take them it will be 2-3 months before they can be transferred.

Hera on June 14, 2009 at 5:07 AM

Your VACATION WITH A TERRORIST idea is killing their tourism.

Time for another BAILOUT!

peacenprosperity on June 14, 2009 at 10:56 AM