Thursday, 3 September 2015
The Refugee Crisis
I have grandchildren about the age of this little Syrian boy washed up on a beach in Turkey and this photograph is truly shocking. Despite this I'm going to say some things that many people will be uncomfortable with. There is a great deal of breast-beating going on across Europe and especially here in Britain. It's all the fault of the US and Britain because we intervened in Iraq. It's all the fault of the US and Britain because we didn't intervene in Libya and Syria. Whatever the truth or otherwise of this the refugees desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean are not running away from the West but to the West. They are running away from fellow Muslims, Asad, ISIS, the Taliban and all the other barbarians that infest their countries. Having run away from these monsters, they are being exploited by other fellow Muslims and then left to die mid-ocean in leaky boats. ISIS, Asad, the Taliban and others in the Middle East are delighted that this crisis is putting pressure on Europe and are well satisfied that it is threatening European unity, undermining our democracies and putting strains on US-European relations. We might have many allies in the Middle East but the truth is that we have few friends. Their is little breast-beating in Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, or The Yemen, they are taking few if any refugees or offering much support and few of the refugees are heading that way in any case. Our problem is that if we open the door to these refugees there are millions who may well soon follow them and force the door open wide. Our choice is an unenviable one. We can either accept that we no longer have any control over our borders and stand by helplessly as we are flooded with refugees with all that means for our infrastructures, political stability and social cohesion. Or, we can intervene in the Middle East to put a stop to this with all that means in terms of death, destruction and huge expense. Our enemies in The Middle East have struck at our greatest strengths - our compassion, our sense of fair play, our democratic principles - and turned them into our greatest weaknesses. Decision time is now here - you pay your money and take your choice.