Friday, September 04, 2015

“Regime Change Refugees”

Like the biblical Pontius Pilate Cameron washes his hands of any culpability in the causing the refugee crisis, blaming instead Syria’s dictator Assad and the terrorist groups for the ‘swarm’ of toddlers washing up on the beaches.

The military conflicts and political instability driving hundreds of thousands of refugees into Europe were triggered largely by Western military interventions for regime change – specifically in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria (a regime change in-the-making).

The United States Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain, used the cover of a UN no-fly zone to provide military support to oust the then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. It was led by France and the UK in 2011 and aided by Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Canada, among others. NATO has been directly involved in the civil war in Afghanistan. And numerous nations are busy providing support and supplies for rebel and foreign jihadist forces against Bashar al-Assad. 

For sure, there are many causes of the current refugee crises. James A. Paul, former executive director of the New York-based Global Policy Forum told IPS the term “regime change refugees” helps focus on a crucial part of the picture. Europe’s political leaders such as Cameron frames the civil wars and economic turmoil in terms of fanaticism, corruption, dictatorship, economic failures and other causes for which they have no responsibility. Paul said. “They stay silent about the military intervention and regime change in which Europeans were major actors, interventions that have torn the refugees’ homelands apart and resulted in civil war and state collapse.”

Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College, Connecticut, “We need a new Covenant,” he said, one that specifically takes into consideration economic refugees (driven by the International Monetary Fund) and political (war) refugees. At the same time, he said, the international community should also recognize “climate change refugees, regime change refugees and NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] refugees.”

“Why should we provide homes for these refugees when we didn’t invade their countries?” politicians from countries such as Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Latvia – all of them now members of the EU, which has an open-door policy for transiting migrants and refugees. But of course one hasn’t heard such callous heartless sentiments being officially expressed from Lebanon, Turkey or Jordan – who provide refugees with what aid and assistance they can afford. They do not say, ‘Why should we take them?’ but instead as ‘Why are the others not doing more?’” 3.5 million Syrian refugees are hosted by Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon – none of which invaded any of the countries from where most of the refugees are originating.

Cameron carries on washing away the blood on his hands, as did Tony Blair before him. 

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