Cameron And Murdoch Love Syrians Enough To Bomb Them, But Not To House Them

B008In recent days, Rupert Murdoch’s Sun pulled out all the stops to warm up the Great British Public to the idea that dropping more bombs on Syria would somehow create peace. At the same time, Cameron announced the UK will absorb just 20,000 Syrian refugees before the 2020 election. It appears that David Cameron and Rupert Murdoch love Syrians enough to bomb them, but not to house them.

A UNHCR map of the Syrian Refugee population from Aug 2014

A UNHCR map of the Syrian Refugee population from Aug 2014

There are currently 4.1 million registered Syrian refugees. Lebanon is now housing well over one million Syrian refugees, an enormous burden for a state with just 4.4 million citizens of its own. Jordan is also supporting over 1 million Syrian refugees, and Jordan is already struggling to cope with its 2 million Palestinian refugees. Surrounding states have absorbed tens to hundreds of thousands each. Nearby countries have absorbed more than they can reasonable be expected to accommodate and it is now time for Europe, the U.S. and her allies among the Gulf States to help resolve a crisis they helped create. So far, results have been patchy.

Some of the wealthier West European states are responding admirably to the crisis.

Germany

Austria

Sweden

  • The Swedish government was first to announce that they will be granting permanent residence to all Syrian refugees who register in their country.
  • Sweden has already welcomed over 40,000 Syrian refugees.
  • Sweden has been providing free bus passes to Syrian refugees to help them travel and prevent them feeling isolated in their new communities.

Finland

  • The Finnish Prime Minister will be opening his own home to Syrian refugees
  • Two weeks ago Finland confirmed it will accept 15,000 refugees.
  • A total of 100 municipalities have since signed up to accept further refugees.

Across Europe citizen-campaigns have been rallying to help care for, shelter and settle refugees where many governments were simply paralysed in the face of crisis. Some states have simply shirked all responsibility under International Law.

While some of the Gulf’s richest states, individuals and companies have donated almost $1 billion to support refugees,they are accepting virtually zero refugees within their borders.

The U.S., whose relentless meddling, occupation, drone strikes have helped destabilize the region have taken in just 1,500.

And after extraordinary public outcry at the UK government’s failure to respond to the crisis, PM David Cameron announced this week that his government will accept just 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. They will only be able to stay for five years, and child refugees will be deported when they hit the age of 18.

A number of Eastern European governments have put forth, frankly, racist and xenophobic arguments for sealing their borders against the incoming refugees. They were best summed up buy Hungarian Prime Minister who argued that accepting Muslim migrant would threaten the ‘christian’ character of the state. Isn’t it lucky that Hungarian’s fleeing from the 1956 revolution against Soviet control were met with greater compassion by the UK – who took in over 20,000. Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic will accept Christian refugees but are strongly against accepting Muslims.

Meanwhile, dead people are washing up from beaches and rotting in abandoned trucks. No bombing campaign is going to help. Yet, this is Cameron’s plan, and this is how The Sun has been whipping up the ‘bomb them! Bomb them!’ hysteria.

First, it branded those who oppose a bombing campaign as ‘cowards’.

B007Then it demanded that we bomb Syria to “Help Aylan”, the Syrian toddler whose body washed up on a Turkish beach.

B010And after the UK killed two of its own citizens with a drone strike in Syria this week, the Sun responded as if the whole thing was a plot in a Carry On film.

B007

What neither The Sun nor Cameron are doing though, is addressing the most important questions on the matter:

  • Who exactly should be bomb? President Assad, or his strongest opponents, ISIS?
  • What will our targets be?
  • What do we do with the additional refugees created by this conflict?
  • What happens if we inadvertently hand Syria over to Islamic State, what is our plan then?
  • If bombing campaigns, whether or not they were supported by ‘boots on the ground’ failed to bring stable democracy to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or Somalia – how will Syria be any different?
  • Supposing Assad can be removed and ISIS can be defeated, what is the outline plan to return the nation to peace and prosperity post-conflict?

Until we have sufficient answers to these fairly basic questions, no rational UK citizen could, or should, support another episode of regime change by warfare. Our full efforts right now should be focused on humanitarian matters – to care for, shelter and settle refugees. Unfortunately, our government loves Syrians enough to bomb them, but not to house them.

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6 thoughts on “Cameron And Murdoch Love Syrians Enough To Bomb Them, But Not To House Them

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  3. the UK is also very good at supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia.. and some of these arms are sent to so called ‘moderate’ rebels but the Sun’s editors are obviously living in an universe where cause and effect aren’t connected at all.

    • These UK supplied weapons are also being used to devastating effect in the ‘forgotten’ butchery in Yemen. How the hell are these Saudi murderous a**holes able to get away with bombarding Yemen (along with their 8 or 9 Arab ‘coalition’ partners) in a totally illegal, immoral, genocidal ‘war’ against Yemen?
      And totally backed by Israel and the West? ?Que passé?

  4. As you hint at, the real story here is not who is taking the refugees but who isn’t. The GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman,Qatar,Saudi Arabia,UAE) should be doing a lot more as should the US all of whose money and expertise has been at the heart of the activities that have created the refugee crisis in the first place.

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