“The world, is going up in flames,” Charles Bradley had once sung: “and nobody wants to take the blame.” In fact, the year 2015-2016 reflect Charles Bradley’s song more than ever before. Syria, has been an ongoing problem, that instead of quieting down has troubled the international arena, the victims of which, are always the people, the people of Syria, the Hellenes, France, Italy, and other Europeans. The growth of terrorism, whether domestic, or international, subsequently reflects Assad’s greatest reflection of himself, the home of the lion, which yet has become the slaughterhouse of the sheep.
Syria, Middle East, and Terrorism
Assad is undoubtedly the longest standing politically authoritarian leader in the Middle East. The ongoing continuous war, has lead to havoc, wreaked destruction, and civil outbreak, which is simultaneously reflected between the domestic state, but also within the middle east.
The strength of the state which contained politically, socially, culturally, and religiously different parties, is battling a five year war against those whom at first appeared as pro democracy protestors, and have now resulted to fundamentalist groups.
An approximated 6 million people are left in Syria, with more than 4 million others largely in neighbouring countries. Turkey, has become home to 2.5 million Syrians. A number so large, that it reflects the pre-war population of Aleppo, Syria's largest city. Millions more live in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, whilst hundreds of thousands have made the fatal journey to Europe, contributing to the biggest movement of people through the continent since the Second World War.
The government side includes the Syrian army and loyalist militia from the ruling Assad dynasty's Alawite sect. Iran and the Iran-backed Shia militia Hezbollah were early backers: Hezbollah has fought on the ground and Iranian Revolutionary Guard officers led Shia militia fighters from Iraq and Afghanistan against the rebels. The rebel side's principal grouping includes the Free Syrian Army's brigades and factions, the conservative Islamist Ahrah al-Sham and the al-Qaida-aligned Nusra Front. Saudi Arabia, a regional rival of Iran, has backed the rebels with arms and training, as has Turkey and Qatar.
In 2011, the Islamic State joined the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, where it found a safe haven and easy access to weapons, and wage war against all “traitors,” to the caliphate.
Over a timespan of five years, quintessentially the passionate Arab Spring protesters rose up to overthrow despised leaders from Tunisia to Libya, Egypt to Yemen. In Syria, citizens filled the streets, voicing their alleged opposition to the murderous regime of President Bashar al-Assad( The Lion). His government responded by unleashing its military on the protesters, claiming that terrorist groups had infiltrated civilian ranks. Some of them, along with soldiers from Assad’s forces, went on to form the Free Syrian Army (FSA), financed from the CIA and the Saudis, and a civil war began, where as months of fighting turned into years, hundreds of thousands of civilians died, and millions more have been uprooted.
In the process, more radical fractions among the rebels, including the Al Qaeda–aligned al-Nusra Front, gained ever greater traction, and started to emerge while ISIS spread across parts of Syria and Iraq, proclaiming a “caliphate” and drawing foreign volunteers by the thousands. ISIS had grown and prospered within the mayhem and power vacuum created by the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq and then its dismantling of Saddam Hussein’s army.
Role of the international arena in the refugee crisis
If asylum and humanitarian aid are essential measures to heal the wounds of millions, diplomatic negotiations are essential for preventing a future crisis that could leave this one in the shade. Especially, as Russian missiles rain down alongside American ones, as ever more groups, nations, and areas are embroiled in the Syrian conflict, as yet more innocent blood is spilled, it’s obviously time for international negotiations to finally begin. Diplomacy doesn’t promise a speedy end to the almost unfathomable suffering in the region, but it does offer a potential path to a different history, a path away from ceaseless violence and toward the imperfect rule of law.
However, what that means is that in order for the slaughterhouse called Syria, to seize being a slaughterhouse, the home of the lion would have to de facto return to the governance of the lion. Automatically this can be very problematic due to a plethora of reasons.
For one, the international community would have to accept that perhaps support of the Arab Spring, in order to overthrow authoritarian leaders, emerged at a time period where it would have been potentially wiser to have kept them in order to ensure geopolitical stability. This would give right to Russia’s oratory from the start, and essentially the world would turn into a bipolar system of governance, leading to potentially new Cold War era.
Moreover, the role of Turkey, has also been increasing. By strong-arming Turkey both ends, Turkey has been able to gain access to the European Parliament, with absurd demands, whilst building influence and finance in the Middle Eastern area. Quintessentially if the Sultan of Turkey opted to break the area, and Europe, he can, leaving Assad, Russia, the allies, and his mortal enemy Iran, knee filled in trouble.
The totalitarianism of the above statement is not obsolete however, the Middle East has a very strong European-US ally, Israel, that could always intervene, and with one of the most powerful army tip the balances.
The international arena, could in lieu of international law fix the current chaos, if in the words of a journalist they honestly cared. International Politics, has not become an arena of virtue, skill, and realist policies, but an arena of money making, and promotions on a who you know basis, even if in most cases that means the lack of skill and virtue.
The Role of Non Governmental Organizations and the Refugee Crisis
For the sake of argument, this part of the article, will reflect directly and solely it’s authors views and opinions, whether being from experience, or word of mouth.
Greece, has been the largest victim of the Refugee Crisis, and has surrendered to the hands of Turkish and European demands. In order for Greece to be able to voice opinions, and take actions, there is no need for a strong army ( which the Hellenes don’t have), or irrational demands, but a powerful economy. Fixing Greece’s economy could ultimately mean, gaining a geopolitical power unfathomable in world history.
However, the path chosen has been another path. A path where questionable companies get the funding for the feeding and house of immigrants and refugees in the land, a path where notorious NGO’s and Refugee Councils openly state during interview processes’ how willing would one be in assisting them forge documentation of funding in order for individuals to profit more. A dangerous path, everyone is aware of, yet no one speaks off. A path, where 10000 refugees get “lost” within the borders of this Union, a path, where vans with no license plates, access the camps and act with questionable means over those who are allegedly in need. A path, that is preposterous, a path that does not reflect Greece, or Europe, a part where rich, genuine refugees that are brought to Greece, have been mugged by smugglers, being charged extraordinary amounts, and then picked up by individuals who rob them off their phones, jewellery, and money even further. And then one asks, do these actions profit some? And if so, is that why the war in Syria will never end?
Islamic fundamentalism is perhaps the most preposterous responses to nations where refugees have been accepted in, fed and housed, however seeing how NGO’s, or at least a good percentage of them have been profiting, and knowing what is going on such camps, perhaps the only way to stop these attacks is multifold, but one of which could be vetting what they have been through.
All in all, and to conclude undoubtedly, the slaughterhouse referred to as Syria, needs to be returned to the hands of the lion, Assad. Risk cannot be eliminated, but it can undoubtedly be managed. The refugee crisis, and the Middle Eastern question, can be resolved, and multipolarity seized. The issue in hand can be analyzed from an economic, social and political perspective, which would be gladly done, but cannot be done within a few paragraphs.
With regards to a non political, clearly humanitarian perspective, the theme and outcome of the refugee crisis, and the Middle East is quite questionable, and even more, quite unethical. These refugees were forced to escape war, violence and famine in their home countries. Just over half were uprooted by conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. They live in widely varying conditions, from well-established camps to makeshift shelters or living in the open. They all await one of three possible solutions: repatriation, local integration or resettlement, yet what they received was havoc, and destruction.