By Richard Walker —
The unstoppable march of Muslim migrants into Europe has forced a number of these countries to restore their borders, and has led to senior North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) figures blaming Russia for the crisis.
The blame game has gained momentum as tens of thousands of migrants continue to flow monthly from Syria to Turkey and onward into Greece, with most of them determined to make their way to the European Union’s (EU) richest nations, including Germany, Austria, France, Sweden, and Denmark.
The Germans are already facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions, having accepted over 1 million migrants in 2015, the majority of whom were young men.
In January 2016, an additional 90,000 migrants reached Greece from Turkey. Of that number, 20,000 found their way into Macedonia, forcing that country’s military to erect border fences.
By most estimates, a further 1 million migrants could end up in the EU by the close of 2017.
Turkey, despite pleas from EU states, has enabled the migrant flow. A Brussels-based diplomat AMERICAN FREE PRESS spoke with pointed an accusing finger at Turkey.
It has been argued that the only way to end the migrant exodus is for the West to join the Turks and Saudis in an invasion of Syria to create safe havens and no-fly zone.
The diplomat, however, pointed out that Turkey’s real aim is to overthrow the Assad government and to build a Sunni-controlled Syria led by extreme Islamists indebted to the Turks and Saudis.
Russia is, of course, aware of Turkey’s cynical maneuvering, and has warned it will confront any invasion force.
The Europe refugee crisis has the potential to break apart the EU as evidenced by the fact that Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, and Hungary are building walls and fences, and other nations in what is called the 26-nation Schengen Zone are reinstalling border checkpoints.
All of this has EU chiefs on edge. The free flow of EU residents, if stopped, would make the ideal of one currency and passport-free travel redundant, thereby collapsing the European community experiment.
There is also a real risk the sheer numbers of migrants will bankrupt some nations sooner rather than later.
There is no consensus among EU leaders about how to deal with the continued increase in refugee numbers, yet NATO has begun blaming Russia. Anti-Russian bias lies at the heart of NATO’s command structure, starting with its boss, Jens Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister. After his appointment in 2014, he made it clear he favored expanding NATO’s borders to the edges of Russia. He has consistently condemned Russia’s bombing campaign against Islamic State (ISIS).
Some of his critics point to him being a neocon with Jewish roots and a pro-Israel bias. He has alleged that Russia has been targeting moderate elements in Syria, a charge, which has no substance since the so-called “moderate elements” are led by the al-Nusra Front, al Qaeda and ISIS.
But Stoltenberg is not alone in trying to attribute Europe’s migrant crisis to Moscow’s war against ISIS. NATO’s top U.S. general, Philip M. Breedlove, has accused Russia of “weaponizing” the migrant flow to create chaos in Europe. Breedlove’s analysis ignores the fact that ISIS has never needed a migrant crisis to get its operatives into Europe. Many terrorists trained by ISIS and its affiliates were born in Europe, and have European passports and safe houses.
He fails to acknowledge that Russia, too, faces terrorist threats as a direct result of the chaos Western policies have generated across the Middle East, with Libya the latest example of a large terrorist haven.
Missing from NATO’s latest Middle East focus is any mention of the claim by Dahham al-Anzi, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading commentators, that the Saudis acquired a nuclear device two years ago. He says the international community knew all about it.
Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.