This is 2014, when hundreds of angry protesters in Murietta, California, chant "USA, USA, USA" while blocking a busload of hungry, tired, lonely children from a long journey in search of a concrete floor to serve as a bed.
Teenagers joining extremist groups are a growing sign of the desperation facing young Syrian refugees. It should also be a stark warning to the outside world that has been content to stand by while the fighting continues.
The current problem of Iraq will not be resolved by sending more U.S. troops, drones, or jets to Iraq. A U.S. military presence would only bring back the same problems associated with the invasion and occupation of the country. The United States can do something, however.
Shukri Sheikh Ali thought this year would be different. It was to be a time of rebuilding, of recovering, of returning home. Instead, she is starting over once again from scratch, her land thirsty for rain and her village emptied by conflict.
What if those of us searching for solutions made peace with the fact that we just do not -- and, perhaps, may not -- fully understand all of the contours of some of the seemingly intractable problems facing the Syrian refugee population?
The bombings alone didn't force Anout and her family to flee their home in a small Syrian town near the border with Iraq. Nor did the missile attacks. Nor the scarcity of food, the closing of all the schools, the loss of electricity. Anout's family -- two boys and three girls -- endured all of it.
The video opens up on smiling laughing children. It's your normal "Happy" video -- joining videos from America, Germany, Egypt and Australia, to name a few -- but there's a slight twist to it: The people in the video are Syrian.
A refugee crisis is anything but fair, though. Donors want results; the media wants stories; the government wants greater support; and refugees want effective assistance. But, it is the children that need protecting. If we bungle protecting them, what else could possibly matter?