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17 9, 7:24am
Ok. I REALLY didn't want to rant about this... but....
A large portion of this crisis lays at the hands of the USA. I am sure I will get a lot of angry Americans that disagree, and as an American I must accept their criticism. But to understand why I say this is to understand the last 50 or so years of US-Mideast policy. We have been a destabilizing force in that region since the late 1960s, when we supported Israel in the Six-Day (and later Yom Kippur) wars. This stirred up (rightfully or not -- thats another debate for another time) anti-US resentment in the middle east in the 1970s which culminated with dictators that would come to power by railing against the US then immediately switching to a more cooperative tone when in office. A few examples? Iran with the Ayatollah. People don't realize that the same Ayatollah that overthrew the Shah in 1979 was the very one we provided weapons with in the 1980s to fight Iraq -- interestingly enough, we also supplied Iraq, then led by Saddam, another dictator that publicly railed against America but was more than willing to work with our arms dealers, during the Iran-Iraq war, which killed millions and ended up moving the border of Iran and Iraq virtually nowhere.
Why does the above matter? Well, because Saddam had virtually bankrupted the country after the eight-year war with Iran. So he turned to Kuwait and made the case that Kuwait was nothing more than a Western-puppeted petrostate. We implicitly told Saddam that we would turn a blind eye and not fight him if he invaded Kuwait in the Bush I years. Guess what? We lied and went in for Desert Storm. Why is this relevant to the crisis? Keep going. The war is a success for the USA, but Bush I decided to pack up shop -- a VERY wise idea -- without deposing Saddam. While this did result in another decade of his bloody dictatorship (ask the Kurds about that), it also prevented a power vacuum from forming in the middle east, because Saddam was able to keep a then-also depleted Iran at bay.
But Bush I was seen as a pansy by the American electorate for not "finishing the job" and got booted for this and other reasons (Ross Perot) in 1992 after 1 term. Fast forward 9 years to 9/11. From Day 1, the Bush II administration wanted to link 9/11 to Iraq, in particular Saddam. I have inside sources -- ones that I can't reveal because of their status related to the US government -- but basically Bush II wanted to finish what his father started, and Cheney (who some argue had the real power in that administration, especially in the first term) wanted to help his friends at Halliburton. So they went on a media campaign to invade Iraq, and, shamefully, it worked brilliantly. Even the New York Times was duped/bullied into supporting the invasion. What does this have to do with the refugee crisis?
Well, after the US kicked Saddam out of power, and ironically declared "mission accomplished" for a quagmire that we still are stuck in today, Iraq was kept from civil war only by the US, which supported a Shiite government that unfairly treated Sunnis. We basically kept this government in place until we left a few years ago. And when we left, it unraveled fast, because the Iraqi Sunnis found a movement that treated them more like what they were used to during the Saddam years -- Da'esh. As it gained power, Da'esh took advantage of popular protests in other middle eastern countries (namely Syria) and turned what were initially protests against a repressive government that we have implicitly supported at times to turn the country into a full-blown civil war. Our current president has been, in my opinion, overly idealistic in the protests against the dictators of the middle east since 2011. Qaddafi, Assad, Mubarak, Ben-Ali... these were all dictators that were clueless at best and evil at worst. But they were stable. The implosion of all of them at once leads to an enormous power vacuum, which Da'esh seems to be filling.
TL;DR we are to blame for a lot of this mess because Bush booted Saddam after supporting him for decades, creating a power vacuum. We added to this power vacuum by Obama supporting the protesters of dictators, including the ones fighting Assad, similar to Saddam. As a result, civil wars are occurring all over the middle east -- the worst in Syria due to Da'esh -- and anyone with a shred of sanity or means is high-tailing it the hell out of there.
What should we do? Well... realpolitik. Ideally, join the Russians and Iran and get Assad back in power. That sounds horrible but I would take an evil dictator over an evil, more amorphous organization like Da'esh. Support an independent Kurdistan, and partition what's left of Iraq into two proxy states, a Sunni state which is a proxy of Saudi Arabia, and a Shiite state which is a proxy of Iran. And stop (publicly) supporting Israel so much. I'd prefer to support Israel because they are stable and developed -- but for this reason they do not need our help against regimes that are most certainly less stable and more undeveloped. Let them fight it out, as they are in Yemen. Barbaric and violent? Yes. But I prefer my barbaric violence to be containable. The US should not support an idealistic "spread democracy" policy. The US should support a policy that serves AMERICAN INTERESTS ONLY. We are not the spreaders of democracy, and we never have been. It's a hollow lie, always has been.
To my fellow americans... proof.
Dominican Republic 1961
El Salvador 1979