Sunday, March 20, 2016

RESPONSIBILITY AND INTELLIGENCE


The great 'breakthrough' deal over migrants invading Europe may gain Turkey its membership in the EU, despite the hesitancy of democratic humanitarians to admit a theocratic country which oppresses journalists, its largest ethnic minority (Kurds) and LGBT people.  This deal with a more moderate devil as opposed to allowing steady intrusion by culturally dissonant migrants with massive financial and psychological needs strikes a hollow note. The following silence will be a tense one, because the EU must know that the war in Syria has simply been a catalyst for an invasion from its impoverished and religiously polluted South predicted decades ago.

BBC hosted an interesting panel discussion in Jordan recently. An audience of Syrian refugees/migrants, native Jordanian citizens and Syrian-Jordanian citizens listened and interacted with a panel of politicians from Jordan and the EU, and an NGO representative. The general attitude of the Syrian refugees and economic migrants was simple: We want more of everything, such as food, housing, education, passage to the EU, free passage to and from Syria with Jordanian passports, etc.. A Jordanian minister desperately tried to assert his government's commitment to the current Jordanian population's well being as the first priority. His words rang an off note in the general attitude of appeasement on the panel. 

The German ambassador, a woman of Merkel-like demeanor, repeatedly spoke of the EU's responsibility to the Syrians. However, not one of the panelists addressed the responsibility of the Syrians in their own predicament. Perhaps this is why one of the Syrians, a woman living in a refugee settlement, felt entitled to blame those trying to help her of not making more efforts to help pregnant women in the camp. Really? In other words, she was holding the panelists responsible for the decision of men and women in wartime dilemma to have more children. The Syrian civil war has raged for five long years. It did not start yesterday. Where is the intelligence and responsibility of reproductive education and restraint? 

With all the talk about the intelligence of the Syrian migrants and refugees, I have to wonder where the evidence of this intelligence resides after hearing these presentations. Is it intelligent to have passively supported a totalitarian regime for decades and then act hapless when it backfires on you? Is it intelligent to subscribe to religious beliefs which have fanned the flames of conflict? Is it intelligent to keep having children in times of war? Is it intelligent to drag your children across borders only to have them run riot in refugee camps without schools or structure? Is it intelligent to place your small child alone on a boat to cross the Mediterranean?

I believe the European response to the refugee crisis has been neither intelligent nor responsible. I believe it has been motivated by economics rather than compassion. If the leaders of the EU had been compassionate, they would have cut all diplomatic and economic ties with the countries responsible for the Syrian debacle early on. They did not. In fact, they scooped up profits from weapons and war. They vied for favor with the very criminals in the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran who were puppet masters in Syria and Iraq. 

There is no fix for Syria from outside Syria. There is only more disruption and breakage. Research quoted by the Jordanian minister I mentioned previously indicated to him that refugees spend at least 17 years abroad before returning to their country of origin for the first time. That is a generation. So, the small children of today will be starting families before the Syrian crisis begins to heal in realistic ways. And, if The West simply houses people from Syria in mono-cultural ghettos, it will take much longer and Europe itself will be in crisis. 

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