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The Humanitarian Crisis Spewing into Europe from the Middle East

eu-migrant-crisisThe last week or two, we have seen a great humanitarian crisis building in Europe with waves and waves of refugees pouring into Europe from neighboring Middle Eastern countries … with many dying along the way … and even children washing up on resort beaches.

The debate in Europe appears to focus primarily on how should the various nations shoulder the responsibilities of accepting the refugees.  Germany by far has been the most open-armed, although there are anti-immigrant feelings spewing in the nation as well.

Germany should be applauded for taking leadership for Europe to accept these refugees … but in some ways, it is also the least they can do.  Why?

The root cause of the current crisis, in my opinion, is American policy in the Middle East over the last decade or so.  Under the guise of fighting against “dictators” and to bring in “democracy” and “freedom” to the Middle East, the U.S. – with the support of a “coalition of the willing” from Europe powers such Spain, U.K., Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, and Poland has decimated a vast swath of societies in the Middle East region, most notably in Iraq and Syria  (but also close by regions such as Libya).  The push to support nefarious pro-Western oppositions throughout the region – in what came to be known as “Arab Spring” by the U.S. – with broad support from Europe, including Germany – pushed the entire region into further chaos.

ISIS didn’t spontaneously arise because of the birth of a fanatic here and there.  It arose systematically like a grassroots wildfire in response to the decimation of traditional culture and societies brought about by Western military actions in the last decade or so.

I was going to write a longer post about this, but I saw this editorial from Xinhua, which I thoroughly agree.  Here is an excerpt

Commentary: U.S. should abandon “wait-and-see” attitude towards EU refugee crisis
English.news.cn   2015-09-07 16:05:00

by Xinhua Writer Chen Shilei

BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) — When Europe pulls a long face amid a tidal wave of refugees, it is high time for its cross-ocean ally, the United States, to abandon its “wait-and-see” attitude and take concrete actions to solve the acute crisis.

A recent UN report said that more than 300,000 refugees — 80 percent of them from Syria — entered Europe through the Mediterranean from January to August, exceeding the number of last year as a whole.

The total number of refugees fleeing to Europe, some of whom also came from Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Egypt, is estimated to have reached 1 million.

Such a massive migration is not the result of isolated cases of stealing into other countries, but an outpouring of the humanitarian crises in some war-torn countries, where people’s basic human rights are not guaranteed. And the United States should be mainly blamed for their chaotic situation for starting the wars or destabilizing them through various means.

Take Iraq as an example. In 2003, the United States and Britain bypassed the United Nations Security Council and unilaterally launched military strikes against Iraq, claiming that the country hid weapons of mass destruction and supported terrorists. Their real motive was actually to topple the anti-U.S. Saddam regime.

About 162,000 Iraqis lost their lives in the war and several million civilians fled to neighboring Jordan and Syria, contributing indirectly to today’s refugee crisis in Europe.

Later, in 2010, the so-called Arab Spring uprisings engulfed Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria, causing political upheavals, economic depression and social unrest in these countries. Extremist groups such as the Islamic State also began to take root and have launched heinous attacks, causing a massive outflux of asylum seekers to Europe.

Facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, the European Union is struggling to take a joint action plan, with its member countries divided in their responses to the migrants.

Germany has temporarily relaxed its border rules to receive thousands of migrants, while some East European countries, restrained by their financial limitations, still closed their doors to the migrants.

The United States, which is mainly responsible for the crisis, however, showed no signs of planning to significantly increase its intake of refugees, despite its promise to provide 4 billion U.S. dollars for refugee relief.

Many lessons can be drawn from the current refugee crisis in Europe, the most important of which is that Washington should reflect its policy to impose “American democracy” on other countries, which has only led to turbulence, killing and displacement of civilians there.

While the United States is not expected to drastically adjust its foreign policies overnight, right now it should honor its moral obligation and take concrete actions to help the EU solve the refugee crisis.

The warriors and champions of “human rights” and “freedom” throughout Europe and America need to re-examine how conceited, convoluted, problematic, and hypocritical their presumptions, outlook and ideology are.  Europe should help the refugees (of course!)… but helping a select few (the few who actually took the leap and left home, who actually arrived in Europe safely, and who actually get to be accepted as refugees) should not also detract the West from reflecting on the bigger cause … the true cause of today’s calamities.

  1. pug_ster
    September 8th, 2015 at 18:43 | #1

    Have you guys ever wonder why there were so many refugees leaving now whereas Syria was able to hold itself together during the ‘Civil war’ with ISIS in the past few years? NATO airstrikes. Western propaganda tells us that they are bombing ISIS targets when they are bombing Syria to submission.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-airstrikes-target-grain-silos-in-syria-killing-civilians-only-defeating-isis-by-starving-syrians/5405533

    Western propaganda tells us that Syria bombs its own people when NATO strikes already doing that and crippling the Assad Regime. Western countries do what they do best, bomb the hell out of the Syrians and blame on Assad. China should’ve have the backbone to help out Syria, just like what Russia is planning to do.

  2. September 9th, 2015 at 09:01 | #2

    EU Refugees

    Lebanon with a population of over 4 million is now host to over 1 million refugees and the figure will approach 2 million by year’s end.

    http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e486676.html

    http://syrianrefugees.eu/?page_id=72

    The most important issue should be how to resolve the conflicts in the Middle East, that way there would be no more refugees. As the saying goes “Fixing the symptom and not the cause” is simply like throwing a cup of water to douse a huge fire.

    This refugees crisis actually shows how the mainstream Western media works. Lebanon has been bearing the brunt of hosting Syrian refugees but it only become big news when it affects Europe. And as Allen points out, it takes the picture of a young boy’s lifeless body washing up the beach to bring the crisis under the spot light. Rest in peace, all those who lost their lives.

  3. pug_ster
    September 9th, 2015 at 15:35 | #3

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/15/us-mideast-crisis-syria-idUSKCN0PP1U720150715

    This war with Syria is basically a war of Attrition. Cutting off Syria’s vital supplies while enemies from Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq are streaming in. The West can easily stop ISIS by going to those 3 countries and stopping terrorists crossing the border to Syria. Instead, they tell countries not to send arms and necessary supplies to Syria.

  4. N.M.Cheung
    September 10th, 2015 at 14:39 | #4

    No one can be unmoved by the picture of the drowned Syrian child, yet it shows the bankruptcy of the Western concept of human rights that the only response of liberals who condemn China for violating human rights can only mumble inanities of sadness. For it was precisely the drive to spread democracy by removing Saddam Hussein, the Iraq War which most join in that triggered the dominos, that spread to Syria, Isis, and the millions of refugees. Maybe the collision of modernity with medieval religion of Islam is inevitable, but U.S. definitely accelerated the explosion in a negative way, and now has her own millions of illegal immigrants which Trump wants to deport and with no solution in sight.
    Human right in the most basic form is the right to survival, food, shelter, and livelihood. At the height of the Jasmine Revolution, I questioned that the Facebook revolutionaries in their euphoric moments forgot that and embraced chaos and death.

  5. September 10th, 2015 at 17:15 | #5

    The European nations were pushed into this dilemma due to NATO’s failed policy in the Middle East. First the attack on Iraq, then Afghanistan, Libya, Syria etc are creating a power vacuum that allows the rise of the “ISIS”.

    By severing ties with the current Syrian govn’t, they have cut off possible engagement to help alleviate the situation. Of course, some Arab monarchies are responsible for the crisis as well, and pretty much do nothing to help. Yemen has now been turned into a battlefield. Their petty agenda of trying to instal govn’t pliable to their interest rather than the welfare of those countries is the cause.

    Sad to say, this issue is not up for discussion. The only accepted solution for NATO now is more arms, and more bombing to attempt to stop “ISIS”.

  6. Siguy
    September 11th, 2015 at 14:56 | #6

    the Americans have made a total mess of the region and now this is the end result. Violence begets violence and it wont end with more bombings.

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