The wrath of war

The refugee crisis is haunting Europe.

Sep 17, 2015

By Francois Ernenwein, La Croix
The refugee crisis is haunting Europe. The tragic events in recent days have only amplified the wave of thousands of people attempting to reach safer countries, some fleeing the violence of Islamic State, others the Syrian regime. What we must retain from this period is above all the huge movement of collective solidarity that arose all across Europe especially in the countries most affected by this massive exodus. However indispensable this human response may be – it has been widely encouraged by churches – it is only the first step towards a solution. The question has been gnawing at Western authorities for more than four years: what can we do (and when and how) to prevent the Syrian civil war from being exported to us? And where can allies be found to re-establish peace in the region? Due to the complexity of the issue and the catastrophic results of recent outside intervention in Iraq and Libya, calls for rapid deployment of Western troops on the ground – few and far between four years ago – fall flat today. They seem to be raising the stakes more than initiating credible proposals. Yet the entrenchment of Islamic State in the region and its consequences obviously demand a strong reaction. France is no longer ruling out the idea of joining the United States in conducting air strikes in Syria. This re-alignment, largely imposed by circumstances, was announced by the French President during a press conference on Monday, Sept 7. But it would be illusory to think that this commitment heralds the collapse of ISIS or that its effects would be perceptible any time soon. The West has made too many mistakes in this area in the last few years to claim it has found a remedy now. The only possible solutions to the Syrian tragedy and the flight of refugees will be achieved through diplomacy. Given the form of this crisis and its recent history, Iran and Russia must have a place at the negotiating table. And we must also demand action from those champions of ambiguity – the Saudis and the Turks – who have been too generously presented since the rise of ISIS as our allies.

Source: Global Plus Magazine

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