The times are trying to those who identify as leftist, liberal or progressive; the line between satire and reality has been decidedly blurred, leading to day to day reality having become a cruel joke for those detesting the rise of the far right.
The far right in the UK and the US has been riding on the waves of the current refugee crisis (or ‘migrant crisis’, as they prefer to call it), yet those on the right seem eager to forget the refugee crisis was created by ourselves, especially the UK and US.
If we rewind the clock to 2003, the US and UK invaded Iraq, quoting the danger of Saddam Hussein and his supposed WMDs. Before long, Saddam was toppled and the invading forces prided themselves on having delivered ‘freedom’ to the Iraqi people. The WMDs were never found because they did not exist.
Iraq’s ‘freedom’ quickly imploded as the UK and US had created a power vacuum. Not surprisingly, it saw the rise of multiple militias and terrorist groups scrambling for power which the Allies and the newly formed Iraqi government couldn’t contain.
Ultimately, the shambles in Iraq gave rise to ISIS who optimally used the disarray Iraq was in, leading to them controlling swathes of land and instilling fear in the hearts of the Iraqi people with shocking acts of brutality. The power of ISIS subsequently spilled into Syria, as Bashar Al-Assad’s iron fist began rusting.
All this brought a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since WWII. Though Europe is the desired destination of many refugees, by far most have sought refuge in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Lebanon alone has taken in 1.5 million Syrians, (1 refugee per 4 Lebanese). The stream of refugees only increased due to the instability in Afghanistan which has lasted for many years now, in which the UK also played an important part.
The above doesn’t explain all the refuges taking the Mediterranean Route via Libya, but that was also of the UK’s and US’s making. The Route itself is nothing new as people smugglers have made use of it for decades.
The reason this didn’t bring on a crisis at first was because the Western World had struck a deal with Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi, who made sure Libyan beaches could not be used for smuggling purposes. This meant many refugees could not cross the Mediterranean from Africa.
When the Libyan Civil War broke out, the West (mainly the US, UK, France and Canada) aided rebels who aimed to overthrow Gadaffi’s regime. Ultimately, the Western forces played a decisive role in removing Gadaffi – descending Libya into anarchy.
Libya became a bonanza for people smugglers. Many of those trying to cross into Europe are from (South) Sudan, seeking to flee civil wars, whereas many are from Eritrea, whose regime is akin t North Korea (Eritrea has less freedom of the press than Kim Jong-Un’s country). It is little wonder that these desperate people are fleeing.
The conclusion, obvious yet generally ignored, is that the West removed two dictators and patted itself on the back, despite plunging Libya into disarray. This led to the refugee crisis we see today.
The UK played a major part in creating this crisis but fails spectacularly to take responsibility for it. Instead, the UK runs from this responsibility, and many of its mainstream media outlets find it acceptable to denigrate and abuse refugees.
It’s time that our government owns up to our country’s mistakes. This crisis is a direct consequence of our governments actions.