President Obama is now willing to accept “at least 10,000” Syrian refugees, which is better than nothing but not nearly enough.

As the NY Times Editorial Board points out, Obama remains unwilling to speed up the refugee admitting process, which can take more than a year and sometimes two. So only 10,000 Syrians accepted, a very small number compared to what some European nations have said they will accept and over much too long a time given the scope of this emergency.

The NY Times’ editorial concludes that the Obama administration’s “paltry number sets a terrible example for other nations asked to step up to this urgent challenge.”

Yes, of course wealthy Arab nations like Saudi Arabia ought to open their doors to more refugees, and we ought to put considerable pressure– diplomatic and economic–on Arab states to do so. But until we get serious about helping to shelter the victims of war, our moral authority on this issue is puny as well as paltry.

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