• If you don’t want a scourge of migrants, don’t let your government’s foreign policy create the problem.
By Shane Smith —
The great refugee scourge has been in the headlines for months. No one knows what to do with the millions pouring out of Syria, Libya, and their destabilized neighbors. Europe initially opened its borders wide, offering asylum, until the tide became a tsunami (over 1 million by December 2015) and terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels changed many minds.
Here in the United States, Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has rocketed to the top of the polls for, among many other things, his stance on immigration. Both Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz call for a moratorium on Muslims entering the country and fantasize about building an anti-Muslim police state, as if round-the-clock suspicion, harassment, and surveillance of an ethnic group wouldn’t incite someone to violence.
One question that gets almost no attention, however, is why there are so many refugees in the first place. Why are these millions suddenly deciding to leave their country and head to Europe? Why is Syria “emptying”? Why does Libya no longer resemble a country? Why is Iraq being torn apart by wave after wave of violence? And probably most importantly, why are people from these countries so enraged at the West that they’re willing to strap bombs to themselves and kill as many civilians as possible?
The answer is inconvenient because it points to a solution that can’t be achieved through airstrikes, the arming of “rebels,” or “boots on the ground.” The answer would have grave implications for the future of U.S. foreign policy because it would lay blame for much of what has occurred at the feet of those hatching U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
The answer is that 13 years of U.S.-led foreign intervention in Iraq, Libya, and the rest of the Middle East has fatally ruptured the social order of these societies, throwing them into chaos. No one can live there peacefully, so they leave.
Iraq was the first domino to fall. It is now a smoldering ruin, and ISIS, along with every other violent gang, runs wild there, scooping up American-made military gear as American-trained Iraqi troops scatter into the night.
The watchdog group Internal Displaced Monitoring Center has some hard figures on just how many Iraqis had to leave their home permanently due to the destruction of their civilization: 3.3 million as of December 2015.
The destruction of Libya was instigated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who goaded President Barack Obama into striking Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi, insisting he was on the verge of committing genocide. Well, a genocide of sorts did happen—a genocide of national identity, order, and stability by the U.S.
Now Libya is a failed state, something along the lines of a nightmare.
The responsibility and the blame lie with Mrs. Clinton and others, who pushed for an attack without thinking of the consequences a year or two down the road.
Libya’s current condition should be Mrs. Clinton’s big scandal, not her email server.
Syria is also at a boiling point, and the civilians who’ve escaped death have left the country. More than 4.5 million Syrian refugees have fled into neighboring countries, according to Amnesty International.
Syria has been described as a “mini world war” due to the sheer number of nations fighting there, either directly or by proxy. And just as expected, the U.S. is right in the middle of it, attempting to topple Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s Russian-backed leader.
The U.S. has been doling out weapons and war gear to various “rebel” factions to give them the firepower necessary to take down Assad, but all the made-in-America war goodies end up in the hands of ISIS. It’s not hard to see how easily this strategy could all go to pot and how outlandish it is to think that bombing, invading, and arming terrorists would result in anything other than a continent-wide dumpster fire.
It might be nice to hear some strongman presidential candidate ramble on about how he’ll seal up the borders and not let terrorists in, but if he doesn’t point out the cause of the refugee flood and the terrorist attacks then none of his rhetoric will matter.
Trump, who could be our next president, is already itching to use the American war machine to create another Middle Eastern mess that will result in more refugees and more recruits to anti-American terrorist organizations.
If you don’t want a flood of refugees piling up at the border, don’t let your government create it.
When the president comes on the television speaking of the necessity of this or that Middle Eastern war, don’t buy it. It will turn out exactly the way the other wars of the last decade have turned out. It will create more terrorists, millions more refugees who’ll be making a beeline for your borders, and taxpayers, both present and future, will as usual be forced to pick up the tab.
Shane Smith is a freelance writer with an economics background, who lives in Norman, Oklahoma. This article originally appeared on the website Red Dirt Report.