The 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 crisisEnglish.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.