I have a confession: I'm afraid.
I live in Iraq with my family working at the headwaters of the Syrian and Iraqi refugee crisis, moving among Sunni jihadist sniper fire, suicide bombers, sleeper cells and Iranian-backed militia. I've received death threats, had mobs incited against me, and had friends kidnapped and killed by Sunnis and Shia, Arabs and Kurds. And I'm afraid.
Even on the ground here in Iraq, I hear the zero-sum conversation in the U.S. right now: "Be wise, close the borders, protect our own" on the one hand, or "be loving, welcome refugees, stop being afraid" on the other. If you're not afraid, you're either braver than me or significantly less informed.
Terrorism, kidnappings and beheadings are not political talking points for us. I often think first about my American colleagues and what might happen to us and our families if we are captured or killed. Will someone care for my wife, Jessica, and our kids? Will I care for my colleagues' families if they don't make it home alive?