Angelina Jolie’s article in the Washington Post should have been labeled a public service advertisement — it was just another UN fundraising appeal, certainly written by a UNHCR hack, but falsely disguised as a newspaper article.
Entitled “Staying to Help in Iraq”, with a subtitle saying “We have finally reached a point where humanitarian assistance, from us and others, can have an impact”, Angelina Jolie, or her flack, engage in a shameless bit of name-dropping — why else would you want an “actor”, as Jolie aparently prefers to designate herself — doing this?
“In Baghdad, I spoke with Army Gen. David Petraeus about UNHCR’s need for security information and protection for its staff as they re-enter Iraq, and I am pleased that he has offered that support. General Petraeus also told me he would support new efforts to address the humanitarian crisis ‘to the maximum extent possible’ — which leaves me hopeful that more progress can be made … During my trip I also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has announced the creation of a new committee to oversee issues related to internally displaced people, and a pledge of $40 million to support the effort. My visit left me even more deeply convinced that we not only have a moral obligation to help displaced Iraqi families, but also a serious, long-term, national security interest in ending this crisis…
“What we cannot afford, in my view, is to squander the progress that has been made. In fact, we should step up our financial and material assistance. UNHCR has appealed for $261 million this year to provide for refugees and internally displaced persons. That is not a small amount of money — but it is less than the U.S. spends each day to fight the war in Iraq. I would like to call on each of the presidential candidates and congressional leaders to announce a comprehensive refugee plan with a specific timeline and budget as part of their Iraq strategy.
“As for the question of whether the surge is working, I can only state what I witnessed: UN staff and those of non-governmental organizations seem to feel they have the right set of circumstances to attempt to scale up their programs. And when I asked the troops if they wanted to go home as soon as possible, they said that they miss home but feel invested in Iraq. They have lost many friends and want to be a part of the humanitarian progress they now feel is possible. It seems to me that now is the moment to address the humanitarian side of this situation. Without the right support, we could miss an opportunity to do some of the good we always stated we intended to do”.
At the bottom of the article, it says this: “Angelina Jolie, an actor, is a UNHCR goodwill ambassador”.
This supposed newspaper article in The Washington Post, signed Angelina Jolie, though certainly not written by her, is posted here.