Friday, September 4, 2015

Dealing with the Red Horse

A momentous and tragic event is unfolding in Europe.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees are attempting to make their way from the Middle East and Africa into Europe, with Germany for some, and Italy for others, being the intended endpoint.  The massive disaster is costing the loss of a lot of refugee lives.

It also threatens to grow worse, and as it does so, it will also have a demographic impact greater than any mass migration in recent history.  Because the migrants are heavily represented by Muslim Middle East populations (but not exclusively so), the event is even more demographically significant in some ways than the massive displaced person crisis that followed World War Two, which was huge, but which featured all Europeans within their own continent.  This crisis comes at a time of heavy, legal, immigration from the same region, into a region of the world that's in a population decline otherwise, but where the new populations have remained unassimilated and the trend is towards non assimilation.  European leaders, like those of Hungary, who worry that the influx is a Muslim invasion that will threaten the Christian identity of Europe are correct to worry, even while those nations like Germany that seek to accommodate the desperate populations are acting more Christian in their response.  Nobody knows what to do.

Notable in the crisis are a couple of salient facts.  One is that to date Islamic states have not opened their doors, although Turkey is suffering from being a highway to Europe.  Perhaps they really can't.  But some Islamic states are extremely wealthy, such as Saudi Arabia.  It would seem that they would or should step up to the plate, and that this crisis should not become exclusively a European one, with the migrant populations becoming permanently European in their situs.  That's a hard unpopular thing to say, but Middle Eastern nations have not borne their share of the global weight in recent decades, and here they can.

They clearly can't do it alone, however.  Many of these refugees are going to have to be housed in Europe until a way can be found to rapidly return them home.  If they can't be returned home soon, and they certainly cannot be now, they're going to have to be dispersed around the globe, there's no other way to be able to handle it.  South Africa, Japan, Russia, the United States, Argentina, Mexico, everyone will have to share a burden of this size.

And that's because this is the single biggest event occurring on the globe right now.  It's huge.  And it needs immediate attention.  If that attention is not received, it will grow worse.

And it will grow worse as the events causing this are growing worse.  Strife in Eritrea.  Ongoing civil war in Syria.  War in Iraq, and even ongoing war in Afghanistan.  These populations are fleeing war, a rational thing to do.

And given that they are fleeing wars, and those wars have been spilling over Europe's borders and even our own, we need to realize that pretending that these wars "are not our wars" is completely wrong.  They are.  They've become Europe's wars, as Europe is now the Displaced Persons Camp for the Middle East and Central Asia.  They're our wars as the violent radical forces that inspire these wars are gaining recruits in Europe and North America.  We can't ignore them, and we need to start paying attention to them right now.

That won't be easy.  But it's going to have to happen.

The world is engaged in Iraq right now, but in an anemic fashion.  That should end.  A concentrated Western effort could easily crush ISIL very rapidly, and that should be done. And if that were done, we're going to have to face that Iraq is gong to have to be occupied by competent administrators, i.e., western nations, for a fairly long time, together with states like Turkey, that are non western, but which are competent.  And the crisis in Syria needs to end, which can only come about through tremendous pressure that puts an end to the Baathist regime but which doesn't result in a new tyranny.

Time's run out.

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