John Oliver on the plight of interpreters who helped the U.S. in the Iraq and Afghan wars

Early I posted a John Oliver clip I said was entertaining but not his best bit. Here’s example of a very good one. It’s reasonably funny but, as often with Oliver’s reports, also informative and substantive and valuable. My respect for John Oliver keeps increasing.

To summarize: The U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq has been very dependent on local interpreters, people who speak English and the local language, usually because they live there. They’ve saved a lot of American lives, and laws have been passed authorizing visas for them to come to the U.S. But the bureaucratic requirements are so ridiculous and the processing so glacially slow that it can take years, if ever, for the visas to actually be granted. In fact, visas are no longer being granted at all for Iraqi interpreters, and current plans are to stop giving them to Afghans at the end of 2015.

In the meantime, the interpreters and their families are facing death threats. Be aware that Oliver resorts to words deemed offensive to some, but the subject deserves it. (I’d use my entire vocabulary as a U.S. Navy veteran and start drawing on Marine Corps and Coast Guard terms.)


As a bonus, here’s one he did on tobacco companies, which continue to make a killing (in every sense) selling tobacco overseas, often to children:


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