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The refugee crises were triggered by warmongers

by Tobias Riegel Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023 at 1:04 PM

Preventing wars and sanctions would have a preventive effect against refugee movements. But once people are here, they must be treated with dignity. Racism does not solve the problems and it is rather a smokescreen behind which geopolitical causes can be hidden.

The refugee crises were (predictably!) triggered by warmongers

by Tobias Riegel

[This article posted on 9/25/2023 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

The current debate about refugee movements persists with the symptoms. The causes fall under the table - and there are above all the consequences of Western wars to mention as well as the consequences of Western sanctions policies, because these aspects drive countless people into flight. Those who have politically or medially defended the sanctions and wars - against Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Libya, among others - are jointly responsible for the flight movements and could now save themselves the crocodile tears. A commentary by Tobias Riegel.

The current debate about refugees revolves primarily around acute symptoms such as a lack of housing and how best to deal with them organizationally. In the process, refugee movements are often portrayed like a force majeure, for example as "waves" that "form" (just like that) and "spill over" to us. This portrayal of force majeure is wrong, the refugee crises here are for the most part foreseeable consequences of concrete militaristic policies of Western states or their allies: Even if people from Central Africa are sometimes the focus of media attention - the largest groups (apart from Ukrainians) seeking asylum in Germany come from Syria and Afghanistan, both theaters of Western "interventions" that had received much political and media support in this country.

The large group of Ukrainians is not represented in these statistics because they have a special status, as the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Reem Alabali-Radovan (SPD), explained: according to this, people from Ukraine do not have to go through an asylum procedure; they immediately have rights similar to those of recognized refugees. After the start of the Ukraine war, the EU had made it possible with the so-called mass influx directive that § 24 in the Residence Act had been activated in Germany for refugees from Ukraine. The Ukrainian war, which differs in many aspects from the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, for example, discussed above, will be discussed below.

Warnings were considered conspiracy mysticism

Those who warned at the time, in the early stages of the Afghanistan or Syria wars, about the refugee flows that were predictably to result from them often had to be defamed (in an exaggerated way) as anti-American conspiracy mystics - in part by the same personnel who today complain about the lack of humanity in refugee policy. In addition, the warmongers from politics and the media who were responsible at the time remain unchallenged in the current debate because a connection between Western militarism and the refugees arriving here is not made in an appropriate manner.

In the case of the Ukrainian war, the situation is more complex than in the case of the Western-dominated wars in the Middle East: Although Ukrainian civilians are now fleeing from Russian bombs to Germany, many observers nevertheless see Western militarism as the real cause of the conflict: on the one hand, because Ukraine was to be turned into a heavily armed Western and explicitly anti-Russian NATO outpost. Second, because there was no Western intervention against years of shelling of the Donbass by right-wing militias. According to this reading, Russia's attack and the subsequent flight movements could easily have been prevented with security guarantees from the Western side in advance. This would also distinguish the Ukraine war from, say, the war against Libya: Unlike Ukraine's heavily armed positioning against Russia, Libya was not highly armed and positioned against the United States.

But even if one interprets the antecedents of the Ukrainian war quite differently and fully in Russia's favor, the current refusal by the German government to take any diplomatic initiative to finally stop the war and the streams of refugees that follow it now is reprehensible. Again, political practice contrasts sharply with official complaints in the face of a humanitarian catastrophe.

War and sanctions drive people away

In the case of Syria, from where large numbers of people are fleeing to Germany, parts of the country continue to be occupied, destabilized, and maltreated with Western sanctions, as Karin Leukefeld vividly described in this article today. Here there would be an approach to defuse flight movements: with the immediate end of Western sanctions against Syria. This approach could be applied to numerous countries that are sanctioned for "insubordination," which in turn hits many of the citizens there so hard that they may decide to flee.

One might object that the warlike causes have now happened and are therefore history, and that constant reference to the origins of today's dislocations is of no help when the baby is already in the well. It is true: The municipality, which is now in deep trouble with the issues of housing, education, etc., is not helped by the indictment of Western militarism, which drove the refugees out of their countries in the first place. But: if the causes of the current symptoms of flight are not adequately addressed, no insight will be gained for the future either - the danger that citizens will continue to put up with having to pay for the military adventures of politicians and journalists indirectly and with a time delay increases as a result.

The refugees are innocent

The refugees themselves are innocent! One must and should not simply accept the flight movements as "force majeure" - but really convincing recipes, which do justice to all the contradictory aspects of humanitarian obligation and comprehensible social self-protection, are rare. Preventing wars and sanctions would have a preventive effect against refugee movements. But once people are here, they must be treated with dignity. Racism does not solve the problems and it is rather a smokescreen behind which geopolitical causes can be hidden.

There are two levels to this: This article will focus on the suppressed geopolitical and military causes - the current domestic debate, i.e. why the topic of migration is now boiling up politically and in the media, who benefits from it and why, and what practical solutions would be, will be considered in another article.

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