Recently a friend asked me about the refugee crisis in Europe. “What’s it all about? Why are these people fleeing their countries with their children?
I explained that the existential refugee crisis in Europe is directly caused by US wars in the Middle-East, notably the invasion of Iraq, the destruction of Libya, and the ongoing Syrian civil war fomented by the US and the Gulf States in an effort to overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.
This line of reasoning perplexes my friend as she, like most American’s, wholeheartedly believes in American exceptionalism. This is understandable since the US propaganda system presents the US as a bastion of peace, democracy and prosperity, while the rest of the world is a dreadful mess riven by endless crises and insoluble problems. The US is portrayed as the protector of democracy even as it pursues ruthless hegemonic military and economic policies at the expense of the rest of the world. Hidden in plain sight is the fact that the current crisis is deeply rooted in U.S. policies since World War II, as this article at Global Research makes depressingly clear.
The crisis is totally out of control, and it’s direct blowback from the US and its allies’ regime change operations in Libya and Syria. Europe gains nothing whatsoever from this and is anxiously trying to mitigate the fallout while giving off the impression of partial compliance with its heavily promoted ‘values’, but conversely, Europe’s pain is the US’ gain. Washington is seeing to it that the continent’s most prominent countries (France and Germany, in particular) are caught up in a demographic nightmare, a time bomb of sorts that can be strategically activated at will in the event that these states ever decide to pursue policies independent of the US’ dictates.
What’s even more remarkable is that the US policy of endless war and regime change is promulgated by a small clique of neoconservatives holdovers from the Bush administration that President Obama allowed to fester within the American deep state–the ongoing nexus of military/intelligence/foreign policy that exists semi-independent of any administration.
Veteran journalist Robert Parry, who broke the Iran/Contra story in the 1980’s, says that by failing to rein in the neoconservatives, President Obama has allowed this narrative of regime change to become the dominant meme by claiming that the US is promoting democracy by ridding the world of evil dictators.
“Instead of the promised wonders of “democracy promotion” and “human rights,” what these “anti-realists” have accomplished is to spread death, destruction and destabilization across the Middle East and parts of Africa and now into Ukraine and the heart of Europe. Yet, since these neocon forces still control the Official Narrative, their explanations get top billing – such as that there hasn’t been enough regime change.”
Parry, who has been observing the neoconservatives since the Reagan administration where they were responsible for murderous US policies in Central America, says that refugees are a direct result of these regime change schemes.
“The poor Central Americans, as they tried to shed generations of repression and backwardness imposed by brutal right-wing oligarchies, faced U.S. neocon ideologues who unleashed death squads and even genocide against peasants, students and workers. The result – not surprisingly – was a flood of refugees, especially from El Salvador and Guatemala, northward to the United States. The neocon “success” in the 1980s, crushing progressive social movements and reinforcing the oligarchic controls, left most countries of Central America in the grip of corrupt regimes and crime syndicates, periodically driving more waves of what Reagan called “feet people” through Mexico to the southern U.S. border.”
That the US bears responsibility for the refugee crisis in Europe is not something that most American’s want to hear. In fact, American’s are especially loath to understand foreign policies that present the US in an unfavorable light. In their world, the US is a benevolent sheriff keeping order in a dangerous world, rather that a brutal empire whose very policies are creating these heartbreaking pictures of human tragedy.
Maybe Americans, even ones who are smart and well informed, just can’t bring themselves to accept this awful reality. In Politics and the English Language, George Orwell writes about how societies fail to see their own crimes as they meanwhile castigate the enemy for their crimes.
Meanwhile, the US views all foreign policy through a military prism. We don’t do diplomacy, that’s for sissies. If force doesn’t work, then more force will. The problems with this approach ought to be obvious. We’re creating a more chaotic and dangerous world while enriching the military/intelligence/industrial, deep state that’s already raising profound questions about our constitutional system of democracy.
These types of refugee problems are only beginning. The policies the US has chosen to implement are only going to create more conditions that make people want to flee their homes and try to make it to western countries like ours. Contrast this coming reality with politics in the US. Presently we’re enduring a presidential race where the Republican candidates are all espousing anti-immigrant rhetoric and one candidate–Trump–is talking about building a giant wall between the US and Mexico.
What’s going to happen when the US gets a real emigration crisis like the one in Europe?