14.12.2015 Author: Vladimir Odintsov

The US and European Refugees

t35434534Washington, having initiated numerous military interventions in recent years plunging Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and many other countries into chaos, has instigated an unprecedented tide of migrants among residents of the Middle Eastern and North African countries devastated by humanitarian catastrophes, a tide that now is reaching Europe. The largest number of refugees (and this number has increased several-fold in the last couple of years) are citizens of Afghanistan and Syria. According to the estimates of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of refugees entering Europe in 2015 might exceed one million people. That compels the EU countries to urgently find a solution to this problem through the allocation of significant (additional) amounts of money from national budgets as well as organizing the temporary stay for these migrants in the EU states.

According to the dramatic reports devoted to the problems of refugees that appear in the European mass media and according to the information provided by Head of the Interior Ministry of Germany, an estimated 800 thousand refugees might arrive in the country by the end of this year. But it should be kept in mind that it is not Germany, but rather Great Britain, France and a number of other faithful Washington allies involved in the military interventions that are at fault (almost as much as the US) for bringing about the humanitarian collapse in the countries of the Middle East. But Germany happens to be the one to foot the major part of the bill of its “older brother,” and its citizens have no choice but to consent to that unfair deal.

In other words, in the coming months the European states will be forced to spend their taxpayers’ money on paying for the military adventures of Washington (and its military and industrial complex) in the Middle East and North Africa. These billions of euros would preferably be invested in the industrial development of their own countries and in the programs improving the standard of living of their citizens.

There are no doubts that such a great influx of refugees fleeing to Europe from the regions infected with all sorts of terrorist and religious extremist bacilli cannot but further complicate security issues in the European countries. It will also require some considerable additional funds for them to keep their anti-terrorist programs up to date and to re-enforce national secret services, law enforcement agencies and the army..

But what steps is the US taking to settle the refugee problem? Could it be that having admitted its guilt in the creation of chaos and waves of refugees the US has decided to make up for the situation by enthusiastically joining the rank of the countries forced to host refuges? Or, perhaps, it has decided to pay for the refugee relocation program with the profits its military and industrial corporations have gained as a result of wars waged by the White House?

Absolutely not! Superior Washington has left submissive Europe to settle the problems on its own. Though it should be mentioned for the sake of fairness that President Obama did feel minor pangs of guilt, and as a result suggested that his legislators host a modest 10 thousand refugees in 2016. Yet even this proposal with its farcical number of refugees (when compared to the unprecedented number of displaced persons arriving in Europe) caused a serious confrontation between the US president and republicans. Earlier, the republican faction of the United States House of Representatives actively supported the US military adventures in the Middle East and North Africa that brought lucrative profits to the US military and industrial corporations. But today it has set to fanning the flames of Islamophobia and blocking the proposal allowing Muslim refugees to enter the US, consenting only to accept a limited number of Christians.

American governors have also been participating in the debate and about 30 of them have refused to give shelter to refugees in their regions. Some lawyers believe, however, that such a move is illegitimate. The national mass media has been actively exploited to facilitate the spread of Islamophobia among US citizens. As a result, according to the opinion poll, 53% of Americans advocate the imposition of restrictions on Syrian refugees and only 28% believe the humanitarian program should remain unchanged.

The majority of US presidential candidates (including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, etc.) try to earn bonus points from the Syrian phobias of ordinary people by promising to stop Muslim refugees from entering the country. Jeb Bush, who, despite supporting the admission of a limited number of refugees under the condition of stringent screening, continues to criticize Barack Obama and, in turn, acts as “a voice in the wilderness” calling for common senses.

Reuters reports that republican presidential candidate Ben Carson compared Syrian refugees fleeing from violence to “rabid dogs,” noting that their presence in the United States would pose a threat to Americans.

Another candidate, Governor of New Jersey Chris Christy, said he would not even let the children of refugees into the US.

O On an official visit to the Philippines, President Obama criticized republican opposition calling it an affront to “American values” and ridiculing their fears of “three-year-old orphans.” Apparently, he was aiming his speech at Governor Christy.

And on November 19, as if finalizing the debates, the US House of Representatives passed by a majority of votes the bill introduced by republicans limiting the entry of Syrian refugees to the country: 289 representatives voted “in favor” and 137 — “against” the bill. Despite the fact that the bill had been lobbied by the White House, 47 democrats also voted along with the republicans against the president. In accordance with the bill, the top officers of the law enforcement agencies and special services will bear personal responsibility for the loyalty of each Syrian refugee allowed into the US. And their units must verify such immigrants against all watch lists, conduct individual interviews, take fingerprints and collect other biometric data. Ultimately, it might take up to 2 years for a refugee to get a permit to enter the US.

In this regard, the information that since October 2014 the US has accepted only 1.8 thousand refugees could be of interest. In October 2015 just 187 persons received permits. Based on the foregoing, it seems unlikely that even the several thousand victims of American aggression from the Middle East would receive permits to enter the US in the coming years.

The US, promoting itself as a nation of immigrants and the global “leader” of the human rights movement, should be ashamed of its recent actions, which immediately evoke the tragic fate of Jewish refugees, who fled from the Nazis hoping to be granted shelter in the US in 1938-1939. The results of a 1938 poll, that show that 67% of Americans brainwashed by US propaganda advocated against the entry of 10 thousand Jewish orphans to the country are still kept in American archives. In May 1939, US coast guard ships and US authorities did not allow the MS St. Louis carrying 937 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and Europe to come ashore in the port of Miami. The ship had to take the passengers back to Europe. 254 of them eventually died in Nazi prisons. The situation with Jewish refugees only changed in 1944, when American President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued guidelines regulating aid to Holocaust refugees.

And as the saying goes, “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” Besides, all negative personality traits are exposed primarily during hard times. The current situation with today’s refugees trying to escape the chaos created in their countries by Washington, has exposed some unattractive traits of the American national character. To be more specific — of the American political elite elected by common Americans, who adopt inhumane, undemocratic decisions on behalf of the citizens of this country, the decisions, which future generations of Americans will be ashamed of.

Vladimir Odintsov, expert politologist, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

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