How much more do we need to see in terms of the news coming out of Syria before we realize that this is no longer a case of one country falling into ruin? The situation there under Bashar al-Assad was left untended for too long and leading from behind has turned out to be a case of leading a large swath of the world to ruin. Some of the latest news from the front, however, shows us the disturbing fashion in which the cancer centered in Damascus is quickly metastasizing. The Russians seem to have decided they’d like to play and they are definitely on the tyrant’s side. (Reuters)
Secretary of State John Kerry told his Russian counterpart on Saturday the United States was deeply concerned about reports that Moscow was moving toward a major military build-up in Syria widely seen as aimed at bolstering President Bashar al-Assad.
U.S. authorities have detected “worrisome preparatory steps,” including transport of prefabricated housing units for hundreds of people to a Syrian airfield, that could signal that Russia is readying deployment of heavy military assets there, a senior U.S. official told Reuters.
Of course, the Russians quickly dismissed any such “concerns” on the part of our Secretary of State, saying that their movements are simply designed to fight terrorism in the region. (Yet another case where it becomes very convenient for different nations to be able to define “terrorism” in their own terms.) Yes, it’s great that John Kerry is “deeply concerned” and is talking to the Russians about it, but what precisely does he plan to do? Is there any new plan coming from the White House?
Unfortunately, it’s not just the battle front which is posing problems. The stream of refugees leaving the area is dragging more and more of the world into this morass. Recent statements from the Brits show precisely how deep this tar pit is and how many nations will be drawn into it. (Reuters… emphasis added.)
Europe and Britain must offer asylum to those genuinely fleeing persecution but also need to boost aid, defeat smuggling gangs, and tackle the conflict in Syria to stem a migrant crisis, Britain’s finance minister told Reuters on Saturday.
“It’s absolutely clear we need a comprehensive plan across Europe,” Osborne told Reuters on the sidelines of a meeting of G20 finance chiefs in Turkey…
“But at the same time, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got aid going into the refugee camps on the borders … We’ve got to defeat these criminal gangs who trade in human misery and risk people’s lives and kill people.”
The refugee situation is splitting the EU and already starting to impact the rest of the world. We’ve got the Pope saying that every parish needs to be taking them in, while Israel is coming under renewed verbal attacks for not doing so. The Germans and Austrians are taking in more people than they will be able to reasonably absorb over the long run while Hungary is already planning to deploy their army in force next week to shut off the flood of people trying to escape.
All of this talk about letting flow the milk of human kindness sounds wonderful, but the very nature of the region where all the trouble is coming from complicates it in the extreme. This weekend Carly Fiorina showed some (sadly uncommon) good sense when she made the same point I was trying to get across in a column last week. Not all of the people “seeking refuge” may be coming with the best of intentions, particularly if we start shipping them over to the United States. (Fox News)
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Sunday argued against the United States allowing in more Syrian refugees — amid increasing calls for a greater international response to the crisis.
The former Hewlett Packard chief executive argued, like other Republicans have throughout the growing crisis in Europe, that agents from the Islamic State and other Middle East terror groups could slip through security efforts.
“I think the United States, honestly, sadly, cannot relax our entrance criteria,” Fiorina said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We are having to be very careful about who we let enter this country from these war-torn regions to ensure that terrorists are not coming here.”
There is a tragic amount of human suffering going on both inside of Syria and Iraq as well as in all the countries where their citizens are trying to resettle. But not every problem has a quick and easy solution, particularly when you’re dealing with the heart of the ISIS threat and the castoffs from Assad’s hellhole. If we can’t commit ourselves to destroying the people causing this flood of humanity and at least offer them a sliver of hope for stabilizing the region, taking in tens of thousands of refugees across the Europe and even here in the United States isn’t going to solve it. We’re dealing with the fallout of of a crisis at least partly of our own making when we ignored one “red line” after another. There should be accountability for these failures on both sides of the Atlantic but it doesn’t make the refugee crisis our burden by default.