As promised, here follows my Migration Crisis blog.
First, we need to look at the source of the problem. People migrate for several reasons. It could be moving to find work or following a particular career path. It could be to do with quality of life or to be closer to family. It could be to escape war in your own country, or to escape political persecution. It could even have environmental causes: you want to live in a hotter or colder climate, or you may be escaping the devastation caused by natural disasters such as flooding. In the case of the current crisis, people are leaving Syria because the civil war is affecting quality of life. That’s about as simply as I can put it. So the source of the problem is Syria. Now the civil war isn’t quite as simple as the people versus the state, so I need to attempt to explain what really is going on. And if you’re still confused after I have, I recommend you look at the BBC’s way of explaining it.
Bashar al-Assad is the current president of Syria. In 2011, the Arab Spring caused the Egyptian and Libyan authoritarian regimes to collapse. But Assad refused to step down and started a Civil War. So, jumping back to 2015, Assad is facing an armed uprising in his own country. He’s trying to crush this uprising with help from his allies Iran, Russia and the Lebanon. USA, Turkey, Gulf Arabs and most of the western world, including the UK, want President Assad gone. So they have been arming the rebels fighting against Assad in the hope that it will assist them in his removal. However, one of these rebel groups is IS (Islamic State), whom everyone hates, including the other rebels. So, in theory, all that needs to be done is for IS to be crushed and then it’ll just be a normal civil war. But, this is where Russia is being unhelpful; it is bombing IS, which is helpful, but it’s also bombing all the other rebel groups. This therefore makes it quite hard to workout just who Russia is supporting.
The Turks say they want Assad gone, but they’re not bombing him. Instead they’re bombing IS and the Kurds. The Kurds are enemies with Assad, IS and Turkey. However Turkey and the Kurds are united in their mutual hate of IS and Assad. So the two of them being enemies really complicates the situation; its two more conflicting parties to worry about. What makes it even more complicated, is that the Kurds are backed by America, who are also allies with Turkey.
So to sum it up, America is allies with Turkey and the Kurds. Turkey and the Kurds are enemies but are united in their hate for IS. And IS is enemies with Assad. In theory, if the western world can sort out this complicated mess out, Europe would stop receiving asylum seekers because Syria should in turn recover, with the help of a new Democratic Government. Migrants are coming from places other than Syria; places like Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan. But sorting Syria would be a positive start. We refer to IS in Syria as ISIS, but there is also ISIl (Islamic State in the Levant), whom I hope to come onto in a future blog.
Moving onto the crisis in Europe instead of Syria, people are seeking a better life. Under the “Dublin 2” rules, people fleeing from persecution or war seek Asylum in the first EU country that they arrive in. In the current climate, this tends to be either Greece or Italy, but its clear for various reasons that migrants have no intention of staying there. Because of the EU quota system, migrants in Germany may have to move on to places like Poland or the UK. But because migrants want a better quality of life, many would rather stay in Germany because of the better quality of education available.
There is an argument as to how much we are responsible for the creating of the crisis. NATO’s overthrow of the Libyan Government removed the obstacles stopping people crossing the Mediterranean from there, so in that sense we do have partial blame. That said, our culpability is largely irrelevant due to the other routes to Europe available through Turkey and the Balkans. You can blame Europe for not intervening in Syria, and also for intervening in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. What this says is whether you intervene in foreign affairs or not, there will be negative consequences.
Another issue is that countries like Hungary are finding themselves in real difficulties coping with the number of Migrants, whereas somewhere like Austria, isn’t having these difficulties, even though they are basically the same distance from Syria as eachother. Geography, visa regimes, education and benefits are all factors when deciding whether to just “pass throgh” a country or to permanently seek asylum.
The Migration Crisis is a sensitive issue, with a lot of decisions regarding it based on moral responsibility. “Love thy neighbour “. It’s something that I have believe will have a large amount of significance upon the forthcoming EU referendum in the UK, depending on how the next few months pan out. Expect me to be analysising all the latest news on the matter from here on!