The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Human Crop of War

There is little question that absent the Iraq war there would be no Syrian refugee crisis.  The line draws direct between the two.

Germany, today, is closing its borders to refugees after earning the world’s praise (for a change) for its compassionate acceptance of those who needed its shelter, and those whom it certainly can afford to shelter. As the richest European state, Germany can take more refugees, feed and house them and even find work for them.

Ethically, the countries who should be taking most of the Syrian refugees are those responsible for Iraq and who have directly fueled the flames of the Syrian conflict: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, America, Britain and so on.

There is a deadly price for posturing that leads to war: be clear, Assad, however bad he was was not as bad as the Syrian civil war.  To be sure, there is often a case for ending the reign of tyrants, but one does need to check the price tag.

And, along with checking the price, one might want to to check the motivation. Wrong ends generally feed back to into wrong means: it is not credible, given their own records on human rights, that most of those who are trying to overthrow Assad actually are acting out of good motives.

This is power politics, not humanitarian action.

There is little more to say about this.  We could take care of the refugees if we wanted to, we have the resources, this is not in question.  In question is if we want to.  In a western world whose baseline policy is austerity—who do not even want to care for their own citizens, the answer tends to be no.

Jeremy Corbyn, who suggests (to mainstream laughter) that the solution to the Syrian crisis is not to bomb Syria more, is the beginning of the repudiation of the nonsense that doing more of what didn’t work in the past is the solution.  Let us hope he is Britain’s next Prime Minister, and the beginning of a wave of repudiation of the austerity and war.

Until then the weak will suffer what they must, and powerful will do as they will.  And then whine about the results of their actions.

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  1. mark Warburton

    Quite remarkable that the situations in Britain, Australia and Canada are so common, both political upheaval and their involvement on the world stage. I hope that change abounds.

  2. Nationalist

    Camp of the saints.

    Apparently it is our moral duty to destroy the European nations by flooding them with Muslims.

    Bomb country.

    Invite all the young military aged men from that county into your country


  3. Tom

    Turkey has taken in over a million refugees. They are the best in terms of treating them. Erdogan does have a plan to end the war, but Obama doesn’t want to back Turkey on it so they have the cover and support to move in and clean Assad, IS, and PKK out in one stroke so all three problems are solved.

    Its basically a great politics messup as John Stewart so put it, “We’re at war with ourselves.”

  4. DMC

    The Saudis at least claim to have accepted between 500,000 and 2 million Syrians over the course of the war but declined to use the the term “refugees” because reasons. The substantial criticism they’ve come under has apparently begun to sting a bit, if they’re bothering to try and refute it. One might assume that there are, in fact, some mass of Syrians that they can point to…”Oh, those Syrians. Never mind.” and that they’re not just bluffing but we ARE talking Middle East Politics and the Saudis, so considerable scrutiny towards any such claims would certainly seem warranted.

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