In a previously little-noticed video from February at the Clinton Global Initiative, former President Bill Clinton suggested that the U.S. use Syrian refugees to rebuild Detroit. “The truth is that the big loser in this over the long run is going to be Syria. This is an enormous opportunity for Americans,” Bill Clinton said about the Syrian migrant crisis. “Detroit has 10,000 empty, structurally sound houses – 10,000. And lots of jobs to be had repairing those houses. Detroit just came out of bankruptcy and the mayor’s trying to do an innovative sort of urban homesteading program here. But it just gives you an example of what could be done.”
The former president also argued that “we don’t need to Syrians through the entire Detroit area, we just have to target the parts of town that are the most deserted and therefore, most dangerous.” Asked to elaborate, Clinton argued that Syrian refugees are “the perfect way of hitting two birds with one stone.” “On one hand, we would help so many families that are struggling and are in danger. On the other, we would help heal countless crime-infested neighborhoods and areas of the city that have become virtually unlivable because of it. I’m not sure any sound American would want to expose their family to such a dangerous environment,” he said.
Asked to explain the logic behind his theory, the former commander-in-chief argued that Syrians would be the “perfect” solution for one reason only: “You have to understand that we’re talking here about people who grew up and have spent most of their adult lives dodging hostile bullets, rocket launchers and tanks, IED’s, suicide bombers, you name it. When you have people that have had that kind of life-long training of staying alive, a place like Detroit is going to be child’s play to them.” “It would be like putting a highly-trained Delta Force commando into a paintball arena,” Clinton made a picturesque comparison.
“Living under constant fire sounds like something that’s very stressful, but at the end of the day, those people are accustomed to it,” he added. “And that’s what makes them the perfect homesteaders. And let’s consider, for a moment, the effect those hardened people will have on the troublesome, crime-riddled areas of Detroit. When you put normal, average people against drug dealers and criminals, they get scared away easily, that’s normal. But when you substitute them with people who grew up next to daily mortar fire and bombings, drug dealers become no more challenging than an elementary school bully who keeps picking on you for no reason.”
“And how do you get rid of bullies? Two ways. You either ignore them and let them grow tired of picking on you, or you feed them their own teeth and fix the problem that way. It’s the same with Detroit criminals and Syrian settlers: the refugees are a peaceful bunch who’s after a peaceful life. And if they get bothered by criminals and constant shootings and drive-byes, they’ll either ignore it completely, which is what they’re used to doing, or they’ll bring over some of their suicide bomber friends and lower crime rates that way. And trust me – one or two suicide bombings later, and Detroit will be completely crime-free. Either way, it’s a win-win situation for America,” former president Clinton concluded.