Thursday, 3 September 2015


Syria: Cameron will announce new moves. Broadly they make sense to me. BUT he is now on the defensive, forced to react. No leadership this summer. The sense a government has woken up from a holiday break. Along the line of travel, random reactions. Germany makes its "outstanding" offer, word spreads like wildfire. Does Germany send coaches to Hungary and says "load em up"? No, it leaves the individuals fumbling around on the concourse of Keleti station. A bit further back, people argue (on my wall) about whose fault it is. Western responsbiility for Syria's crisis is limited. Syrians are entitled to live in a decent country which at heart it is, with access to democracy which many want. But Syrians have to carry that responsibility first and foremost. Strong men leaderships create these chaotic states.

I think the West should refuse to take the blame for the ISIS phenomenon; that is rooted in its own culture (with some crass decisions on the fringes by the West). The one massive wrong decision lying in the frame was what happened in 1948 in Israel, that was the derailer.

But the blame game is not productive except insofar as it drives what happens now. Refugees/migrants in Europe will have to be dealt with: since Germany has made the offer, that country should send out the coaches and pick up (not leave people to struggle to get to). But the absolute effort - a massive one - needs to be to stop the traffickers. What happened to the Libyan trafficker destruction plan? 

Refuge should be offered to people directly in the Lebanon/ Turkey/Jordan camps. Partly to help those countries, partly to stop trafficking, UNHCR has just called for 200,000 to be accepted. That is not Germany's 800,000.

And OVERIDING all that reaction has to be pro-action. What was needed months ago. People in Syria need hope they can get home. A huge effort will be needed, safe havens within Syria, and probably a UN mandate to take the country by force from the terrorists (who include Assad).

And why should this be done? Not because it is our fault. But because first and foremost, if all along Europe's southern border is a line of chaos, Europe will be destabilised. All along that border should be peaceful trading partners, rich countries at peace within themselves. The Romans managed it! And if they are not, their chaos will mean this summer will be the new norm in the heart of Europe.

No comments: