The refugee crisis, the EU and …?

Another Washington Post editorial, another indictment of Europe/the EU for not saving lives in the Mediterranean, for closing borders, for failing to integrate asylum seekers and economic migrants. The list goes on. No doubt about it: major European countries were complicit in the political and military interventions by the United States that have turned a fragile and complicated region of the world into a colossal disaster.

It is easier to point fingers at the failings of others than to take responsibility for reversing the disaster. In 2014-2015 EU countries, led by the German Federal Republic, received about 1.5 million refugees, many of them from Syria, but also from Afghanistan and Iraq.  Small and impoverished countries like Lebanon and Jordan hosted, if that’s an appropriate word, millions more in crowded city slums or makeshift camps.

Meanwhile in the U.S. only one prominent politician, Donald Trump of all people, has acknowledged publicly that the regional disaster started with the American invasion of Iraq. Afghans and Iraqis who collaborated with the invaders and thus have become outcasts in their own countries are waiting for their American visas. Others, along with half the population of Syria, look to the EU because they have nowhere else to turn.


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