Refugees: America’s Responsibility

Excellent Op-Ed by Steve Hilton:

While we can argue forever about the causes of conflict in the Middle East, it is impossible to ignore the impact of American foreign policy on what’s happening in Europe. It was shocking to see an “expert” from the Council on Foreign Relations quoted on Saturday saying that the situation is “largely Europe’s responsibility.” How, exactly? The Iraq invasion (which could reasonably be described as “largely America’s responsibility”) unleashed a period of instability and competition in the region that is collapsing states and fueling sectarian conflict.

There are plenty of comments to his post, several asking what responsibility Russia and Iran have, particularly in Syria.  As usual in human affairs the choices vary from bad to worse.

It’s crazy that, as Nicholas Kristoff points out, that “…the World Food Program was just forced to cut 229,000 refugees in Jordan off food rations because it ran out of money…” There’s an example of losing a dollar to save a dime…

One think I have not heard anything of is what kind of organizing might be encouraged among the refugees — while still in the camps, and when disbursed around Europe.  It’s an enormous cohort of educated and talented people which, if they are like most refugees, will retain strong feelings for the lands of their birth for decades.  What might emerge if their social capital can be encouraged to grow and find a way to slow and halt the on-going disasters, then to stabilize and re-build what they have lost?

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