I ranted a bit too long until I got to what I wanted to talk about. Skip to half way if you want my thoughts on the immigration crisis.
A speech from Muammar Gaddafi in 2008 with the Arab League, all Arab leaders including Assad are in attendance. The whole talk is interesting but I directly link to the time where he suggests that America could come after any of them next, and that they would end up the same as Saddam Hussein. A kangaroo court, with a summary execution. [He criticizes Arab leaders for fighting between themselves, using Palestine as a political prop, not having any unity on political issues and cooperating together. He said the only thing they share is this building they are currently in.] He comes off as an rather intelligent person, which I suppose makes sense, you can’t rule a country for 42 years when you are a complete dummy.
Like Gadaffi suggested, he ended up the same as Saddam. Libya, a sovereign nation, had a civil war (birthed from the Arab spring) in which the international community decided who the winner would be. No fly zones were set up, bombs dropped, 110 cruise missiles fired, all the while the Hillary State Department armed the rebels in secret BEFORE the rebels were recognized by the UN. 19 Nations participated in the operation to support the Libyan rebels overthrow their government; US, Italy, France, UK, Canada. The other nations 15 offered airspace, logistics, or their blessings. With Gadaffi gone the remnants of the government try to cling to power, while radical groups like ISIS move in to fill the power vacuum.
Again like Gadaffi suggested, there will be more, next up is Assad. Back in 2012-13 I wrote a blog post saying that the US seems to really want Assad gone, and what the US wants it often times what it gets. It was pretty clear that the US public was not going to support another Arab conflict with US troops involved (a Libya 2.0). A potential false flag, claiming Assad used chemical weapons on his own citizens cropped up. However, even with that on the table and the horrible pictures on our nightly news, the US public did not want to be involved. So they stopped reporting on it and discussing it in the news. Well the war has been raging on. Rebels trying to over throw their government is turning the country into rubble. Much like Libya the power vacuum has attracted radical groups, namely ISIS, that the government has been trying to fight off for the past 3 years.
Technically this story should start with Afghanistan and Iraq, because here stable governments were removed from power, and replaced with power structures the citizens couldn’t trust, and didn’t respect. These countries have been the breeding grounds that supply ISIS with soldiers and arms.
I’m not sure why this is all happening with regard to Syria. In 2011, Syria and Iran had plans to make an oil pipeline to deliver gas to Europe. The project has been delayed and possibly canceled because of the conflict. This benefits Arab neighbors whose sole income and GDP depend on selling oil and gas to the rest of the world. Less supply is good for them. Not to mention the Saudi’s [our best pals] hate Alawite Shia, who rule Syria. Turkey has been arming ISIS forces who are attacking the Assad controlled territories as well. Israel benefits as always from having their Arab neighbors fighting each other. The more in-fighting between Arabs the less people care about Israeli settlements pushing further and further into Palestine lands. I’m not sure why the US benefits though, maybe they want to isolate Iran, maybe they want ISIS buying M4’s not AK47’s, maybe because it harms Russian interests by having an unstable Syria. Just this week the White House reported that Russia has boots on the ground and helicopters in the air in Damascus with the goal of protecting and stabilizing the Assad regime.
So as people flee these war torn regions they end up as refugee’s. I can’t blame them for wanting to escape conflict. However, I see a lot of able bodied men that should probably be fighting to protect their nation. Maybe that doesn’t happen because nationalism isn’t a strong force for Arabs, religious sect, and regional groups are more important than nationalism. Some Arab countries are receiving the refugees and offering them camps. Many refugees see these places as a dead end and the long march to Germany as the best option for security and future prosperity.
Germany is expected to receive over 800,000 immigrants in 2015. It’s a big problem that has to be considered. Where do you put these people? You can’t possibly afford to give them each $480 a month, healthcare, and all the social benefits that the European welfare state have traditionally offered. On the nationalistic side of things, certain groups of people won’t take kindly to having their demographics completely changed. They fear a loss of their national identity, a rise in crime rates and violence. Sweden’s once homogeneous society of 40 years ago has become the rape capital of Europe after years of open door immigration and refugee policy; rape statistics have increased over 1000% and violent crime over 300% over the 40 years.
There isn’t really a good choice for EU countries and it will put a lot of strain on already stretched EU relationships. On one hand I feel like Europe is reaping what they sow. I think they’ve learned their lesson about blindly following American foreign policy without considering the consequences. I think they will also soon realize that the “welfare state” is not a sustainable policy. Their liberal ideals will be challenged and I’m sure many countries will rise to the occasion and begrudgingly accept refugees, but certainly not all countries, and that is where we will see tension.
When someone tries to help this is what happens to them.
Refugees throwing away food and water offered to them.
Currently there is a stand off in Budapest, Hungary with thousands of refugees that want to travel onward to Germany. Hungary is holding them with the intent of registering them and doing the paperwork that they are required to do because of the Dublin regulation (an EU rule that refugees must apply for refugee status at their EU country of arrival) The refugees are protesting and asking to move along toward Germany, and to break the Dublin agreement. It makes you question if they are refugees fleeing war, or if they economic migrants looking for better opportunities and social services. To get to Hungary they had to pass though Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, and now Hungary. All countries without war and conflict, all with better standards of living than Syria. So why the push onward toward Germany.
There are voices in the UK that suggest welcoming refugees with open arms and minimum quotas is only going to cause more to embark on the dangerous journey. There is some truth to that. How much more can the EU sustain? The train from France to the UK is already over run with migrants trying to get to the UK illegally, jumping on trains, hiding in box trucks. A process that has cost drivers thousands of dollars of lost goods, shut down the trains at times, resulted in dead migrants, and damage to property.
The EU has a lot of problems and I think it might be doomed as an institution. It’s a great concept and it would work great if the member nations were willing to give up more sovereignty, but they aren’t willing to and they shouldn’t be forced to.
My feelings are that immigration and taking refugees is great at a small scale. You can process everyone, approve those that will be a good fit for your country and deny those that won’t be a good fit. Coming to a new country is like getting hired at new company. You need to be interviewed and make sure the country is a good fit for you and you are a good fit for the country.
In my experience in Korea the visa system is annoying but fantastic. To come here and work you need a clean FBI criminal record check (no felonies), you need a clean blood test (no AIDS/ebola/etc), you need a clean piss test (no drugs), you need a university education (no dummies), you need a health check, and you need an employment contract. It weeds out anybody who would be a total failure in Korean society. All drugs are illegal here, except alcohol, crime is nearly non-existent, and has one of the lowest AIDS rates in the entire world, and one of the highest education rates. The people and the government want to keep it that way.
This piece from the UK gives a different perspective which makes sense. Yes some of these people flee from war, but most fleeing looking for opportunities and better economic conditions. They aren’t poor and destitute, they have thousands of dollars to pay smugglers, money to buy train tickets, smart phones, credit cards and cash. It’s why they don’t accept water and food, they don’t need it.