More than four million Iraqis have been displaced by the war. The Middle East is facing its worst refugee crisis in almost 60 years. We failed miserably to win the peace, and the consequences for th Iraqi people have been tragic.
At the beginning of this war we declared over and over that our fight was against Saddam - not the Iraqi people. We even called ourselves liberators. Now we have abandoned the people we were most responsible for protecting.
Relief organizations say almost one third of Iraqis need emergency humanitarian aid, yet that aid has declined 80% since 2005. Meanwhile, the number of Iraqis with adequate access to clean water has risen from 50% to 70%.
The Senate recently approved the "Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act." This bill increases the number of Iraqis that will be resettled in the United States and calls for more protection and aid for the rest of the refugee population.
This is an important first step, but it is only a first step. First we must make sure the measure survives final negotiations with the House. Then we must demand that additional steps be taken to meet our obligation to the Iraqi people.