It is hard to go a day or two and not hear some news about the Syrian refugee crisis. Everybody sees the effect, but to find the cause you need to go back to political choices made by leaders in countries other than Syria.
This connection of dots is both easy to see, and easy to hide if you allow yourself to be distracted by the effect. This all comes down to political decisions made months before the Syrian exodus started. It is not the decision of one leader that caused this, it is the collective decision of many not to get involved with somebody else’s business.
One of the weaknesses of US President Obama is his desire to keep a political promise despite significant changes in underlying conditions. His political promise was to bring Americans home from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. That was all fine and a wonderful promise back in 2009, but times have changed and he has refused or very reluctantly changed his position. Common sense and calling it like it is seems to have eluded him and he could take a few pointers from Donald Trump in the reality check department.
The same is true in many leaders in the European Union (EU). They also did not want to send people over to fight in what they saw as somebody else’s war. At the time it was somebody else’s war that grew into today’s war against ISIS and Syria’s ruthless dictator. The ounce of prevention as to a pound of cure does apply in this case.
As time progressed Syria became an unlivable place due to growing fighting. The lack of decisive military intervention caused the situation to fester forcing the Syrian people into a simple choice being stay here and die or flee and hope to live. That choice was a basic as the choice people made in 2011 who were living near the Fukushima reactor in Japan. Because that disaster was caused by nature, politicians were more than happy to come and help. That was not the case with Syria.
So as with any disaster, people will need to relocate. Fortunately in Japan, people just relocated inside Japan and there was no real conflict of culture. But for Syria, there was no place to go inside Syria as all was equally dangerous, they needed to move to another country, and that was a bit harder to swallow. Small numbers were manageable, but not a significant chunk of the population.
So this now no longer was somebody else’s business, it suddenly became the business of the politicians who decided not to provide decisive military intervention. The biggest problems were yet to unfold, mostly being cultural clashes. The majority of the refugees were Muslim and had a preference to Sharia law over other laws of their now EU host countries. So the laws of their host countries were replace with Sharia law. This included attacking women from their host country for not dressing as conservative as Sharia law dictates as well as more than a few incidences of organized rapes.
We could continue to list the conflicts that may be on par with having your in-laws move in, and few if any find that a positive thing. But we must point out the lessons of this. If we are to be part of a global community (family), we must be willing to step in to help despite other issues. It never is somebody else’s problem. The negatives of any situation will be felt one way or the other, so by taking no action may result in more negatives than tending to things at once. The problem is Syria is still unresolved, and the refugees are not necessarily as welcome as the same politicians who did not act say they are.