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Syrian Refugee Crisis (aka: Muslim Exodus and Europe)

Kirkhill

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Jarnhamar said:
The US was so hot and horny to invade Afghanistan and Iraq,  why are they sitting on their hands with Isis?

Different Commander-in-Chief?

220px-George-W-Bush.jpeg
220px-President_Barack_Obama.jpg


Democracy in action.
 

Marchog

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This is not an invasion.  This is a migration. 
An invasion is not a whole lot more than a migration that the, er, migrate-ees don't like.

Invasions are repelled because of hostile INTENT.
I disagree.

Invasions are repelled because of defensive intent on the part of the invaded.
 

Good2Golf

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Tuan said:
...Wondering how the international community and NATO would respond to this.

By actively engaging the source of terrorism...not waiting until it comes to its shores.
 

observor 69

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Saving Syria’s ocean of little Alan Kurdis: Analysis
Beyond the refugee crisis, a no-fly zone now may be best the best hope of protecting children

By: Mitch Potter Foreign Affairs Writer,  Published on Fri Sep 04 2015


Beyond the refugee crisis, a no-fly zone now may be the best hope of protecting children.

Somewhere beyond the reach of your conscience, thousands of tiny Syrian boys and girls every bit as innocent as Alan Kurdi are never coming to Canada, no matter who wins the election.

They won’t come to Canada because you can’t be a refugee until you leave. And these children haven’t managed to do that — they’re still part of the millions of civilians trapped within the bloody centrifuge that is Syria. For those younger than 5, war is all they’ve ever known.

They won’t come to Canada, ever. Because like Alan, they will die. And the overwhelming evidence suggests it will be the indiscriminate weapons of Syrian President Bashar Assad — including illegal barrel bombs dropped on residential areas by regime helicopters — that kill them.

More at:
http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/09/04/saving-syrias-ocean-of-little-alan-kurdis-analysis.html

 

Edward Campbell

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OK, and sorry, but I'm going to repeat what I have said recently.

First:

E.R. Campbell said:
Refugees are, by definition, people who are:

    1. Fleeing their home in fear of life or limb; and

    2. Want, and fully intend to return to their homes as soon as the danger is removed.

People who are fleeing their homes, for whatever reason, and who want to settle somewhere new are migrants, not refugees.

It is wrong to settle refugees in far off, foreign lands, where they have little ability or, often, inclination to adapt. Refugees should be:

    First: Made safe ~ provided with shelter, food, medical care, schools and security, as close to their homes as is practical. This will put a HUGE strain on a few countries which are unfortunate enough to border conflict zones.

    Second: Able to see the international community deal with the threats/dangers which have made them into refugees. This is the real nature of R2P: the civilized, able, mature countries must ACT to change governments which abuse their
    own people: invade; overthrow the cruel, repressive, unrepresentative government; hang the leaders and their henchmen (and women); and, briefly, support new, better leaders.

    Third: Assisted in returning to their homes.

Bringing e.g. Syrian refugees to Canada or Denmark or Germany is unproductive, possibly even counter-productive. Some people in refugee camps will decide that home is no longer attractive; they will want to change their own status from refugee to migrant. Those who want to immigrate to Australia or Britain or Canada should fill out the forms just like all other potential immigrants and hope that they have the "points" they need, based on skill and knowledge and so on.

And, Second:

E.R. Campbell said:
I don't want to sound cruel, but I do need to restate my views on refugees vs immigrants and the better way forward:

In short, as much as this picture pains me, personally, too ...

   
cc8ce86d-ddc5-49fa-aac7-6682efed305d-original.jpeg


        ... and as much as I am glad that the government wants to "do something," I am afraid that we, Canada, under pressure from our friends and neighbours and the media, will do the wrong thing, rather than taking
            a leadership role in helping the Arabs to find a solution to Syria, military, I guess,* and helping some Arabs, especially Jordan to better manage the Syrian refugees.

____
* The US led West can, with minimal effort, invade Syria, topple and hang Assad, deal a series of smashing military blows to IS** and then leave, and leave the Arabs to clean up the mess. There will be all manner of "do gooders" (from the political left, centre and right) screaming "You broke it, you fix it!" but the correct answer tol that is silence, during the rapid withdrawal and nearly total from the region. There is nothing that we, the West, can do to "fix" the Middle East; only the people there, Arabs, Persians and Israelis, can do that, and they may have to have another generation (or two) of war ~ small or large wars, doesn't matter ~ to manage the "fix," whatever it is. What we, the US led West, can do is to simplify the problem:


                                                                                                                                  Simplifying a problem
eq0024P.gif
mussolini%20alive%20and%20dead.jpg

                                                                                                                                  This way    or    that way


Europe (and Canada and Australia and New Zealand, and Japan, India, Singapore and, yes, China, too) need to join together, under US leadership ~ suspect though that may be on many issues ~ to try to simplify the situation in the Middle East, with the strategic aim of making it easier for the Middle Easterners, themselves, the Arabs, Iranians and Israelis, especially, to settle the issues for themselves in their own ways.

I advocate military action. Swift, vioent, decisive military action to:

    1. Overthrow Assad and his Ba'ath Party cohorts and then leave it up to the Syrians to form a government that suits them ... I know, that means letting the civil wars (there will be more than one, I suspect) rage on for a while;
        and, then

    2. Turn towards IS** and defeat it. This defeat must be brutal, bloody, complete and exemplary. It must leave fear in the hearts and minds of Arabs and Iranians (and North Africans and West Asians, too); and then

    3. Go home, get out of the region, almost completely (leaving substantial air and naval/amphibious forces in the region or very nearby ~ maybe stay in Bahrain, and base (more) forces in Cyprus and Djibouti, too), and leave
          the locals to work out, over a long, long time, maybe generations, their own modus vivendi.

We, the US led West cannot "fix" the Middle East. That region, other than Israel, is highly unlikely to embrace anything like the modern, sophisticated, liberal democracy we understand in my lifetime or in that of my children and (as yet unborn) grandchildren. They may need generations to bicker and fight ~ all out wars ~ before they decide, in their own ways, what works. We may not like what emerges, neither may the Chinese. I have no idea what a Middle East peace might look like, and nor, I believe, do any of Barak Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Kings Abdullah of Jordan or Salman of Saudi Arabia, or Ayatollah Khomeini. But, after there has been enough killing and talking, and fighting and talking, and bombing and talking, and talking and talking, someone, a bunch of Arabs and Iranians and Israelis, will figure out what makes an acceptable peace. What we, the US led West, can do is simplify the problem by taking a couple of the "pieces" (pieces that are problems for us and the Middle East) off the "board."

 

Kirkhill

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ER.

I agree we cannot FIX the Middle East.  But too many folks are using that as cover for:

A - turning a blind eye and
B - not ACTING.

I don't accuse you of either of those.

I agree with you on your course of action.

We can FIX parts of the Middle East.  And maybe, over time, that is enough.

 

Edward Campbell

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OK, I'm going to go father.

We, the great big, global, well intentioned but shambling, stumbling, two and half billion "we" that lives, however unsteadily, above the poverty line also cannot do much to provide immediate help for the other four and half billion, especially not for the hundreds of thousands who, daily, are fleeing war and famine and terror and oppression. We can feel bad ... and I do. But that, feeling bad, is about the extent of it.

This:

     
gaza_dead_boy_in_sand_460.jpg

      A dead child in Gaza (21st century)

Is no worse than this:

                             
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                              Children in Auschwitz (20th century)

It has always been thus:

                                   
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                                    Dutch executions of Anabaptists (Mennonites) in the 16th century

And Muslims are no better, nor worse, than Christians and Buddhists and Hindus and so on ...

What we can, and should do is to provide some, temporary safety and security (Maslow's Hierarchy, the bottom two levels: life, however miserable, and an opportunity, however small, to go on living). What we can and should do is to change some* of the situations that caused some* people to become refugees in the first place.

That's about the extent of the possibilities, no matter what politicians and journalists and the rest of the chattering classes say.

_____
* We, the slice of the 2½ billion people who might, reasonably, be expected to do something cannot do everything for everyone all the time. And, sometimes, it may not be in our best interests to do anything.  :dunno:
 

Kirkhill

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ER - We are in, what some describe as, violent agreement.

Of course we can't fix it all.  Or maybe even a large part. 

But that doesn't and can't prevent us trying to do something.

1545 Merindol
1562 Vassy
1572 St Bartholomew
1625 and Muslims taking slaves from the River Dart and Catholics slaughtering Protestants in La Rochelle
The Huguenots
The Palatines
The Jews

In 1917 the Armenians were ignored (for, perhaps, obvious reasons).

Sometimes we have stirred our stumps and tackled causes head on.  In none of those cases was it likely that the solution would be general or long lasting.  But, sometimes somethings are changed everywhere for a short time and sometimes somethings are changed somewhere forever.  Thus 1545 is not like 2015.

No we shouldn't take on the world.  But maybe we can save a town.
 

larry Strong

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E.R. Campbell said:
Refugees are, by definition, people who are:

    1. Fleeing their home in fear of life or limb; and

    2. Want, and fully intend to return to their homes as soon as the danger is removed.

Hello ERC.

I was wondering where the 2nd part comes in on the definition of a refuge....I seem unable to find that part.

I do realize it is one of the 3 legs of the UNHCR mandate.....

The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with "the option to return home voluntarily", integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.



Cheers
Larry
 

George Wallace

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Not to sound racist, but if we are going to start taking in large numbers of refugees, should we be selecting all the non-Muslims first?  It will be very easy for the Muslims among the migrants to return to Syria, Iraq, etc. once the IS problem is ended; but still a problem for non-Muslims who would still face persecution from some of the Muslim sects.  Bringing in Muslims ahead of non-Muslims would only perpetuate the hardships and discrimination that the non-Muslims are facing in their desperation to flee IS. 

We may also have to get tough with Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria to create the Kurdish homeland. 

A very complex problem, and no single easy solution.
 

Edward Campbell

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Larry Strong said:
Hello ERC.

I was wondering where the 2nd part comes in on the definition of a refuge....I seem unable to find that part.

I do realize it is one of the 3 legs of the UNHCR mandate.....




Cheers
Larry


You're quite right, Larry, I should not have said "by definition," because that's not what any legal definition says.

But a refugee, by the strict definition, who does not want to return home becomes a migrant, doesn't (s)he?
 

a_majoor

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I see a hardening of attitudes in Europe, and it won't be long before we see violent attacks on refugee/migrant columns and camps by the locals to drive them away. With nations like Hungary mobilizing the military to close the borders, I can also see gunfire being used to keep the borders closed as well.

Nativist political parties and movements have sprung up all across Europe because of what is already seen as uncontrolled immigration leading to unassimilated populations lodged in the hearts of the nations. These unassimilated populations are blamed for taking jobs, demanding and receiving vast sums of welfare (for which the natives pay) and are regarded as criminal elements (rightly or wrongly), so supercharging this by letting hundreds of thousands more come in isn't going to go well with the local population, regardless of what Brussels decides.

While we indulge in semantics about migration vs invasion, the Europeans clearly see this as an invasion, and are taking steps from the bottom up to deal with it.
 

Kirkhill

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Janet Daley - Daily Telegraph

Without borders in Europe, there is no hope of ending this migrant crisis

The principle of free movement cannot withstand this influx of refugees and the criminal efforts of people traffickers

The lesson of the past week is that a picture of a dead child can move a continent and overturn the stance of a government – but only, it seems, if that picture suits the politics of influential voices in the public dialogue. For some reason, the appalling photographs of the bodies of children who had been deliberately gassed by the Assad regime, laid out on a concrete floor in Syria two years ago, were not sufficiently moving to compel the world to take action. Are dead children only a moral outrage when they are on the beaches of Europe? Or is it just easier to use the image of that single drowned child to support the notion of Western guilt, whereas an indictment of Assad and the intervention that would logically follow from it would have invited all the recrimination which self-loathing Western opinion delights in?...

Link to full article

This is what Janet is talking about:

2015

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And the whole world weeps

2013

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SyrianPatient-deadkids.jpg

erbeen-mother.jpg


And if that isn`t enough there are lots more here

How long before it is time  to focus on the things that really matter again.

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For those that wish to pursue the migration / invasion issue try this article

Migrants' great escape to the 'other' Europe reveals stark divide

Scenes of joy among migrants crossing from Hungary to Austria indicative of wide policy differences that have emerged as Europe struggles with its biggest migration in 70 years

It was a far cry from what they had left behind – after a week stranded in squalid limbo outside Budapest’s main railway station thousands of refugees crossed from Hungary into Austria on Saturday and received something they had been missing: a warm welcome....

....That confusion was building again on Saturday night as more Syrian and Afghan migrants came to Keleti station hoping that more buses might take them to Austria, only for a Hungarian government spokesman to rule out any further transports.

And so it was by lunchtime that another 600 migrants set off on foot towards the M1 to Vienna, unsure if they would picked up by buses like those had been on Friday – and if not, then why not.

“Why are there are no buses?” asked Wasim Al Jubail, a 29 year old Syrian who left a holding camp for Keleti square after hearing of Saturday night’s crossings into Austria. “We are very confused,” he said, “We do not understand.”

He is not alone.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Brad Sallows said:
This is chiefly about guilty consciences and winning elections.  Most of the people who beak off about R2P have no intention whatsoever of following through.

Most people who beak off about R2P have no idea whatsoever as to what it entails or the fortune in treasury and soldier's blood it would cost.
 

Brad Sallows

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>I assume you are not rationalizing inaction.

No.  I object to politicizing tragedy (including beyond elections).  I suppose it's a fine line, but easy to draw: criticize/exhort the government, but not by party or personal name.  Each government has to pick a few causes - which this one has done - and stand by them to effect.  When challenged (eg. "why are we not involved in <sh!thole>?"), rigorously avoid defensive counter-accusations and explain: we want to do a few things effectively, rather than be everywhere to no effect; those who wish to be involved in "<sh!thole>" should work together among themselves.
 

Edward Campbell

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E.R. Campbell said:
Here is the problem for Syrian refugees:

             
e4157636-ea4c-4641-abbd-e7344fdb9214-original.jpeg


...


This article, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail, looks at the Gulf State/Saudi response to the Syrian refugee situation (including a reference to the cartoon, above):

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/gulf-monarchies-bristle-at-criticism-over-response-to-syrian-refugee-crisis/article26239615/
gam-masthead.png

Gulf monarchies bristle at criticism over response to Syrian refugee crisis

BEN HUBBARD
BEIRUT — The New York Times News Service

Published Sunday, Sep. 06, 2015

The Arab kingdoms and sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf have some of the world’s highest per capita incomes. Their leaders speak passionately about the plight of Syrians, and their state-funded news media cover the Syrian civil war without cease.

Yet as millions of Syrian refugees languish elsewhere in the Middle East and many have risked their lives to reach Europe or died along the way, Gulf nations have agreed to resettle a number of refugees that many find surprisingly low.

As the migration crisis overwhelms Europe and after the well-publicized drowning of a Syrian toddler crystallized Syrian desperation, humanitarian organizations are increasingly accusing the Arab world’s richest nations of not doing enough to help out.

Accenting that criticism are the deep but shadowy roles countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia have played in bankrolling the war in Syria through their support to the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

And Gulf citizens – with or without their governments’ knowledge – have funded the rise of Syria’s jihadists, according to U.S. officials.

“Burden sharing has no meaning in the Gulf, and the Saudi, Emirati and Qatari approach has been to sign a check and let everyone else deal with it,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch for its Middle East and North Africa division. “Now everyone else is saying, ‘That’s not fair.’”

There are, in fact, hundreds of thousands of Syrians in the Gulf, where vast oil wealth and relatively small citizen populations have made the countries prime destinations for workers from poorer Arab countries and elsewhere. While many expatriates are professionals who have built lucrative careers there, most are low-paid laborers who give up their rights to get jobs and can be deported with little notice.

This group now includes many Syrians who have fled the war, although they get none of the protections or financial support that come with legal refugee or asylum status, nor a path to future citizenship – benefits Gulf countries do not grant.

Gulf officials and commentators reject the criticism, however, saying that their countries have generously funded humanitarian aid and that giving Syrians the ability to work is better than leaving them with nothing to do in economically struggling countries and squalid refugee camps.

“If it wasn’t for the Gulf states, you would expect these millions to be in a much more tragic state than they are,” said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political science professor in the United Arab Emirates, which he said has taken in more than 160,000 Syrians in the last three years. “This finger-pointing at the Gulf that they are not doing anything, it is just not true.”

Others bristle at criticism from the United States and the West, whom they accuse of letting the conflict fester for more than four years while Assad’s forces deployed chemical weapons and bombed civilian areas, causing so many people to flee.

“Why is it that there are just questions about the position of the Gulf, but not about who is behind the crisis, who created the crisis?” asked Khalid al-Dakhil, a political science professor at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

He agreed that the Gulf could do more, but directed the blame toward Iran and Russia, which have heavily backed Assad and his military while also refusing to resettle Syrian refugees.

Fueling much of the criticism is the tremendous wealth in the Gulf, a region filled with sprawling malls, gleaming skyscrapers and wide boulevards clogged with SUVs. That opulence is clearly lacking in Syria’s neighbors, where most of the conflict’s more than 4 million refugees are.

Jordan, for example, has an annual per capita income of $11,000 and has received 630,000 refugees. Lebanon is richer, but has more than 1.2 million Syrians, making them about one-quarter of the population.

Turkey has the most, about 2 million, with a per capita income of $20,000.

Those average incomes are a fraction of the figures for Qatar, $143,000, Kuwait, $71,000, or Saudi Arabia, $52,000, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Gulf countries have funded humanitarian aid. Saudi Arabia has donated $18.4-million to the United Nations Syria response fund so far this year, while Kuwait has given more than $304-million, making it the world’s third-largest donor. The United States has given the most, $1.1-billion, and has agreed to resettle about 1,500 Syrians.

Many Syrians, too, have criticized the Gulf for trumpeting its outrage while doing little that would compromise its high standard of living.

“We know that the Gulf could take in Syrian refugees, but they have never responded,” said Omar Hariri, a Syrian who had recently fled Turkey on an inflatable raft with his wife and 2-year-old daughter.

Speaking by phone from Athens, he said he saw hope in Europe, not in the Gulf.

“They have helped the rebels, not the refugees,” Hariri said.

This week, Kuwaiti commentator Fahad Alshelaimi said in a TV interview that his country was too expensive for refugees, but appropriate for laborers.

“You can’t welcome people from another environment and another place who have psychological or nervous system problems or trauma and enter them into societies,” he said.

Cartoonists have lampooned such ideas. One drew a man in traditional Gulf dress behind a door surrounded by barbed wire and pointing a refugee to another door bearing the flag of the European Union.

“Open the door to them now!” the man yells.

Another cartoon shows a Gulf sheikh shaking his finger at a boat full of refugees while flashing a thumbs-up to a rebel fighter in a burning Syria.

One Syrian took aim at Gulf leaders. “We are hosting Syrian refugees, but only if they have Kuwaiti citizenship,” the emir of Kuwait says in one cartoon. In another, the president of the United Arab Emirates says his country has received “many wealthy refugees” in Dubai.

Many in the Gulf have turned their ire to the United States and its Western allies, blaming them for not intervening forcefully against Assad in a way they believe could have ended the conflict and stopped the refugee flow.

This week, Nasser al-Khalifa, a former Qatari diplomat, lashed out on Twitter, accusing Western officials of shedding “crocodile tears” over the plight of Syrians.

He said unnamed “other countries” had wanted to give antiaircraft weapons to the rebels to defend against air attacks on civilian areas, but had been blocked.

He also accused the Obama administration of not forcefully intervening in Syria out of fear that it would ruin the rapprochement with Iran. “Now European and American officials facing their shortsighted policies must welcome more Syrian refugees,” Khalifa wrote.

Michael Stephens, the head of the Royal United Services Institute in Qatar, said the decision by the United States not to directly intervene against Assad had left many in the Gulf unsure of how to respond.

“The Gulf Arabs are used to a paradigm in which the West is continuously stepping in to solve the problem, and this time it hasn’t,” Stephens said. “This has left many people looking at the shattered vase on the floor and pointing fingers.”


There are, I believe, some legitimate criticism to be levelled at the US led West for being, suddenly, inactive after decades (going all the way back to the Roosevelt administration) of being involved in the Middle East. But, equally, the Saudis and the Gulf kingdoms could and should do more, much more for their kith and kin.
 

tomahawk6

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How about we defeat the jihadists thereby eliminating the need for refugees ?
 

McG

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tomahawk6 said:
How about we defeat the jihadists thereby eliminating the need for refugees ?
If it were just that easy, why did it take a dozen years for Canada to get out of Afghanistan?
 

Kirkhill

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MCG said:
If it were just that easy, why did it take a dozen years for Canada to get out of Afghanistan?

Perhaps because we, and everybody else, were fixated on getting out of Afghanistan?

Is NATO out of Germany?  Is the US out of Japan? Korea?

Is Britain out of Gibraltar? The Falklands?
 
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