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Archive for the tag “Syria”

The European Migration Crisis

It’s not often I agree with David Cameron, in fact this is probably the only time I have but he is right not to take immigrants from the masses pouring into Eastern Europe and mainly into Germany. He is correct when he says this will only encourage even more to attempt entry into the European Union, much better to take them from the overcrowded refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. I part company with him on the pathetic number he suggests we take in.

There many videos shown, from differing sources and differing locations of ‘refugees’ climbing into overfull trains in Croatia, Hungary, running at speed over border crossings including thousands chancing their lives and luck at Calais climbing under and into lorries heading for the UK.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34307014

These are not desperate families fleeing for their lives but fit, almost exclusively, young men, in their twenties or early thirties that any reasonable person would conclude to be economic migrants. I am not for one moment suggesting that there are no genuine refugees, far from it, there is a terrible situation in the Middle East and North Africa and we must do all that we can to assist and no one in real need must ever be turned away.

The crisis is indeed a huge problem and it is for huge problems that we have politicians, smaller ones we can sort out ourselves, joint multi national decisions are needed here. Most problems can be reduced by discerning what the real problem is and it is obvious that many people are, for understandable reasons, jumping on this particular bandwagon of gaining entry to Europe on the backs of genuine asylum seekers and they should be weeded out in rapid time and sent back to wherever they came from, thus reducing the problem perhaps to manageable proportions. ¬†It can’t be that hard to organise teams of interpreters and interviewers to quickly come to a decision in most cases, appeals could be allowed but heard within 24 hours after which transport arranged and return within another 24 hours. Their return would also act as a deterrent to others tempted to make the journey.

After this it is for Europe, the UK in particular along with the USA who is sitting on the sidelines doing nothing, to come up with humanitarian solutions to the mess they themselves created. In addition they might start to listen a bit more often to Russia who warned of this very catastrophe some years ago instead of trying blame everything on to them to take our minds off what is really happening.

Migrants – Asylum Seekers – Some Thoughts

You would have to be a machine or completely heartless not to be moved by the photo of the drowned little boy, Aylan, lying on a beach and a couple of people have asked me what I think about the horrendous situation taking place in the Middle East and in Europe.

Aylan¬†Petitions are springing up like daisies asking Cameron and the Government to open our borders and take in thousands of these unfortunate people. So far, although being a weak prime minister he will probably do a U turn, Cameron is resisting and spouting on about how our Navy is in the Mediterranean to save people from the sea and how our foreign aid is helping in the middle east and north Africa. Quite true of course but picking people up and dumping them in Italy doesn’t seem at all neighbourly.

It’s perfectly natural, if you’re anything like a decent human being, to want to take them all in, to provide the means of a life free from fear of death, mutilation or rape, to build a life in a reasonably democratic country like ours (UK). It is, though, I feel, also essential for not only any refugees that we take in but for ourselves and the future of our nation that we stand back a little and consider the implications before we act in haste only to regret later.

Many of the people pouring into Europe are not refugees or asylum seekers but economic migrants seeking employment such as those risking life or limb climbing under lorries at Calais and this is understandable. The UK already has huge numbers of non EU immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Sub-continent. Many have integrated, built businesses and contribute to the economic wealth of the nation; many have not.

Differing cultures add to and benefit us all add to our enjoyment and increase understanding between peoples but only up to a point, a tipping point. There are towns here already that are culturally non British, where the once indigenous Briton now feels uncomfortable at best or unwelcome to say the least. Mosques are springing up replacing the Christian based communities. Admittedly I’m an atheist and would like a fully secular society but in the meantime I would like to hear church bells not an Imam crying out a call to prayer from a minaret.

The distressing scenes being played out emanating from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Libya are in part at least caused by Blair, Bush and Cameron and so we do bear most of the blame and with it some responsibility for the result. There has been a suggestion that each council in the land could take in one refugee family which would mean 10,000 asylum seekers allowed in and I think this would be a good and fair idea particularly as being spread out they would hopefully integrate rather than grouping together and forming little enclaves of their past. I feel this is the maximum we could assimilate particularly as immigration seems to be almost out of control with over a quarter of a million being added to our population each year.

As well as this Europe (EU) needs to get a grip and provide refugee centres in the inwardly affected countries then send back without delay any economic migrants. The UN and EU countries must pressure the middle eastern governments to take in these desperate people, after all they have similar religions and way of life as well as climate. It should be remembered that the UK is more crowded than India. The USA has vast areas of land so why should it too not take in refugees given that it bears huge responsibility for much of the mess in this world?

Another Mistake in the Making?

Attacking Iraq (twice) was a mistake, attacking Libya was a mistake and gave rise to IS, ISIL, Daesh, whatever you want to call the power hungry, heinous, murdering hordes that are rampaging in the Middle East and giving rise to deluded religious fanatics in Europe and elsewhere.

The US and UK are engaged in air strikes against ISIL in Syria and Iraq in the US case and currently only in Iraq by the UK. The UK government is about to consider expanding strikes into Syria also. Another mistake? I think so. Attack by air can never defeat these thugs and more importantly thousands of innocent people will be killed in the process giving rise to even more hatred of the West and so becoming a recruiting sergeant for more terrorists. There is an argument that troops on the ground is the only way to defeat them but as we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, you can defeat a nation and impose a new government under the guise of a flawed democracy but you cannot impose peace. Thousands of bombs have been dropped in the last year and yet ISIL is unmoved and the lack of western triumphalist videos and news reports rather make the case for me.

So if air strikes can’t ‘win’ and using western troops on the ground is politically unacceptable to the electorate, as is the case at present, what should the West do? This is always the question asked but never the question “Should we do anything?” We first have to accept the fact that the West is Capitalist and Capitalism cares nothing about the suffering of people and only has an interest in money. Having accepted that point we can move on and see that the death and destruction wreaked upon the Middle East was not to free a people from Saddam Hussein or the Taliban but to ensure reliable cheap oil supplies from Iraq and the hope of building an oil and gas pipeline across Afghanistan. The result as we can see has been utter chaos; we may be getting cheap oil by way of repayment of Iraqi debt (incurred by the war) but the pipeline is still too risky a project and ISIL has been born and is a bigger threat to Capitalist hopes than before.

As I said and history has shown, peace in the region cannot be forced by western arms so just suppose we pulled right out and indeed did nothing. Middle Eastern nations are awash with wealth and stocked to the skies with armaments, supplied by us of course. Leave them all to get on with it and maybe, just maybe, the two wings of Islam might cease their squabbling and co-operate against the common threat of ISIL and with the excuse of Western infidels removed it would focus their minds. We may have to cut down a little on oil imports which is no bad thing but the Arab need and greed for cash would ensure it kept flowing. In addition by removing ourselves as a perceived threat to the region and also to Islam we would vastly lower or remove the risk of terrorist attacks in our own cities. We would of course, be morally bound not to supply arms to any other nation and perhaps there is the rub. Arms sales equals deaths equals Capitalist profits.

Can You Help Me Here Mr Cameron?

OK, let me get this straight Mr Cameron as I really want to understand.

Are you saying that Assad who is winning his civil war deliberately gassed some of his own people to provoke the US and it’s lapdog, us, into dropping bombs on Syria that will kill even more people and possibly Assad himself and his family?

I really want to get this right so help me to grasp the thinking will you Dave? So we drop bombs on Syria until the opposition wins, is that it Dave? The opposition though are mainly made up of Islamic Fundamentalists who hate us, right? So is the hope that because we helped get them into power they will turn all sort of lovely and friendly and give us lots of oil at a knock down price?

By the way, I know being gassed must be a horrible way to die but can you explain to me why it’s worse than having your intestines ripped away or your legs blown off by a shell and dying slowly from that? I must admit I’m still struggling a bit with the theory Dave but I’m sure you know best; or do you?

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