It has become increasingly clear that those, other than the politicians who are orchestrating the xenophobia, who are insisting that those coming to Europe from Syria are economic migrants rather than refugees from a war-torn country know next to nothing of what is happening. Fear and ignorance have always been the mother and father of racism and violence. Since the early days of the Arab Spring various rebel groups, often at odds with one another, have been fighting against the oppression of Bashar al-Assad’s régime. This war, which is at once a civil war, a holy war, and bears all of the classic hallmarks of a Cold War proxy, has claimed the lives of up to 330,000 people and displaced more than eleven million. To claim that those who are fleeing this horrifying warzone are doing so for economic reasons (‘to take our jobs’) is a monstrous distortion of the truth, and is nothing more than thinly veiled racism on the part of those who make it. The truth is that Syria has become the largest humanitarian crisis of the twenty-first century, and it is being made worse by the involvement of the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the PR China.

Assad and Syria under his control have been powerful strategic and economic assets to Putin’s Russia and China, and eager not to lose their foothold in the Middle East both China and Russia have vetoed attempts to sanction Syria in the United Nations’ Security Council. Equally eager to get their hands on more oil and secure the Turkish and Eastern Mediterranean pipeline the United States and Europe have been working hard to find common cause with the various rebel groups in the north and east of the country. The removal of Assad would set the stage for the creation of another US/Israeli puppet in the region. So both spheres, Russia and China, and the United States and Europe have been funding and arming their Syrian favourites, and thus compounding what was an internal conflict. We must add to this mix the current state of affairs between Saudi Arabia and Iran, both of whom are also throwing in chips in an attempt to gain greater influence in the Levant. In one respect we can see the refugees as economic migrants, as there is a hell of a lot of outside money being put on the table, and it is their lives that are at stake.

Jason Michael
Blog Author

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