The infamous "Uruguay Six" have turned their up noses at gainful employment, according to their host country's president. So much for Marie Harf's jihadi jobs program.
Six former Guantanamo detainees — four Syrians, a Tunisian, and a Palestinian — were transferred in December 2014 amid much fanfare. Uruguayan President José Mujica took every opportunity to pat himself on the back for his magnanimity. But things have turned sour pretty quickly.
According to the Associated Press:
...Syrian refugee Abu Wa'el Dhiab raised a stir by complaining last week that the men have "walked out of a prison to enter another one."
A labor union that has been helping the men said, however, that they have turned down job offers.
Mujica then visited the home where five of the six men are staying and asked them to start working. After his visit, the president said on his radio program that the former detainees are far from the ancestors of Uruguayans, who he said were gritty, hard-working immigrants.
"If these people were humble people of the desert, poor people, they'd surely be stronger and more primitive, but they're not," Mujica said of the former prisoners. "Through their hands, features and family histories, it seems to me that they're middle class."
The ironies are so plentiful one almost doesn't know where to start.
First, there's the dig by one detainee about Uruguay being just another prison. This is particularly rich because Mujica derided Gitmo as "not a jail," but a "kidnapping nest," asserting that the detainees were not terrorists and were innocent. He characterized them as refugees, whom he was glad to take in on humanitarian grounds (Thomas Joscelyn debunked this nonsense in great detail).
Upon their arrival, one of the detainees wrote in a letter to the Uruguayan people, "We will only bring good faith and positive contributions to Uruguay while we learn Spanish and remake our lives here." The honeymoon didn't last long; they went from national celebrities, photographed "strolling through Uruguay's capital...stopping to buy cheese and bread in their first long walk in freedom," to government mooches in record time.
Then there's the expectation that the six actually get a job. Mujica doesn't want them to sit around and collect welfare, food stamps, unemployment, and other government benefits. After two months in a new country, he demands they be employed. (Could anyone imagine President Obama saying that?) And Mujica is no conservative; he makes the liberals in our country look like Ted Cruz. He was a member of a left-wing guerrilla group, and he's still a hard-core leftist. (Not to mention that Uruguay itself is a relatively liberal country — abortion, gay marriage, and marijuana are all legal.)