Refugee crises are human tragedies either caused by natural disasters, such as floods or droughts, or man-made crises when natural disasters are compounded by continued unrest and unending wars, which lead to more human suffering. The recent refugee crisis in Europe, however, is completely man-made and caused by Western countries led by America, so the ensuing humanitarian crisis is especially unsettling.
This refugee crisis can be described as a type of post-war unrest syndrome and a result of several factors: the continued unrest caused by the American invasion of Iraq and Libya from 10 years ago, the color revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East from several years ago, the ongoing Syrian civil war, and the ravages by the Islamic State — all of which led to a refugee crisis with more people, more aggressive onslaught, and one that is harder to resolve.
The global report released by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on June 18 indicated that there are almost 60 million refugees in the world — the highest since World War II. The refugees from Syria, Iraq and Libya have made the Middle East the hardest hit region. Take Syria for example; it has replaced Afghanistan as the largest refugee-exporting country in the world with 11.6 million refugees to date. In last year alone, 3.9 million refugees have scattered to 107 countries around the world. If the Syrian civil war does not end, these numbers will continue to rise.
The surging tide of refugees has weakened the European economy and made an already debt-laden continent more strapped than ever. The European countries cannot afford to support the refugees or to send them away; various countries have also been conflicted about arrangements for the refugees. Countries such as Germany and France advocated the sharing of refugees while Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia are opposed; they want Germany to take on more refugees since it is more capable. In fact, the countries hardest hit by the crisis are the ones closest to the areas of origin for the refugees, such as Lebanon. The huge number of refugees has inundated the small country of 4.6 million people on 10,000 square kilometers of land (approximately 3,860 square miles) with one out of three people a refugee. Their burden is heavy beyond belief. Turkey is also suffering; it has already taken in more than 1.8 million Syrian refugees since the Syrian civil war began — not to mention that the refugees have to pass through Turkey on their way to Europe, adding to their burden.
Europe is reflecting on why they have been so hard-hit by the refugee crisis. Some believe that this is more than a crisis of refugees but a crisis of humanity. Some have advocated eradicating the sources of refugee-creation. Yet Europe is reticent when it comes to naming who is responsible for creating refugees and who should be held responsible. When Huanqiu.com polled its readers on the question: “Do you believe the American government should be held primarily responsible for the European refugee crisis?” some 96 percent of web readers surveyed voted yes. They also said that America committed the sin but is having Europe and the rest of the world clean up the mess. Observers have obviously revealed the truth in this matter.
If Europe really wants to reflect on this problem, America’s role in the crisis is key. Every refugee has physical and mental scars from American democracy and American bombs. Europe should assert this to America and demand changes, and at the same time, it should ask America to take on the care of refugees. America has been indifferent toward the European refugee crisis, saying Europe has the ability to handle this problem. America has been very strict toward allowing refugees to enter its country; it has taken in only 1,500 Syrian refugees since 2011 and plans to take in no more than 8,000 refugees by the end of next year.
Europe should also ask itself whether it, too, is responsible for creating this tragedy. It is irrefutable that whenever America has mobilized against other countries, the larger European countries have participated to some degree, either financially or by sending troops. To eradicate the source of refugees, European countries have to stop condoning and helping such behavior and in fact dissuade and curb America’s meddling in foreign countries.