This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Neglected Opportunities At Source

"This is an opportunity. The immigrants have to decide whether they want to take advantage of it. We are taking this step so Hungary's transportation is not paralyzed during the next 24 hours."
"A migration crisis is shaking Hungary."
"[Buses would be used to transit refugees from Bicske to the Austrian border since] transportation safety can't be put at risk."
Janos Lazar, chief of staff, Prime Minister Viktor Orban
Hundreds of refugees frustrated at being stuck at two train stations in Hungary set off for Austria, one group forming a line nearly a half-mile long as they streamed out of Budapest, the other breaking out of a train near a migrant reception center : The Washington Post

Once tricked by Hungarian authorities convincing refugees to leave the camp and a train would take them to their destination, that destination turned out to be a registration processing centre. Knowing that if Hungary processed them they would be unable to go any further into Europe, the migrants balked at offers to bus them directly to the Austrian border. But this time the offer was genuine, and thousands were bused and welcomed to Austria and to Germany.

Taken to the main Hegyeshalom crossing with Austria, they finally believed the authorities who urged them to take up the offer. Refugees are supposed, under European law, to seek asylum in the first EU country they enter. Despite the fact that the refugees are tired and hungry, and escaping conflict in hopes for a life elsewhere, they have no wish to remain in the border countries of Europe where economic opportunities don't beckon as they do in Germany.

The Hungarian Parliament, averse to taking in Muslim refugees to begin with, in fears that their society will be completely transformed, from experience gleaned elsewhere in Europe, saw fit to tighten its existing immigration rules, and in the process created transit zones on the border with Serbia to retain migrants until asylum requests could be decided, the outcomes of which migrants could not readily appeal.

A "day of uprisings" saw hundreds of people break through a police cordon in Bicske to begin a mass march to Austria on foot, 135 kilometres away to the west, marching on tracks leading from the railway station. Women and children left behind boarded buses and were driven to the asylum centre nearby. The marchers covered about 50 kilometres by nightfall. Hungarians handed out bottles of water along the way.

And in Austria, police began preparing main border points with reception areas and first aid facilities to welcome the influx of refugees for a limited period, while Germany has not yet placed any limitations on either time or numbers of refugees it is prepared to absorb before they reach their stated figure of a staggering 800,000.

While the West flagellates itself over the fate of desperate refugees taking chances with their lives in attempts to reach Europe, some ask what the world's wealthiest countries in the Arab Gulf are contributing to the welfare of their co-religionists and fellow Arabs. It is well known that Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have taken in millions of Syrian refugees. Jordan and Lebanon are anything but wealthy and their resources are dreadfully strained.

So have the six Gulf countries of Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain whose oil riches have made them the economic royalty of the world, embarked on a mission to aid those whom Europe is scrambling to deal with? No offers of resettlement opportunities to Syrian refugees, zero. The countries that incorporate some of the Arab world's sturdiest military budgets, the height of living standards, have done nothing to help.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait have invested in the Syrian conflict, however, funding and arming rebel and Islamist factions in conflict with the Alawite regime of President Bashar al-Assad. It is, at its heart, an Islamic sectarian, tribal conflict. The forces of Shiite Islam, against those of mainstream Sunni Islam. A proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, in effect.

While the U.S. has given four billion to date in aid of the refugees, Gulf donations have totalled less than one billion. The giant construction companies like that of the bin Laden family are capable of building housing for refugees, shelters for the homeless Syrians flooding the countries that have opened their borders to them. The vast financial reserves of the Gulf States are being withheld while awaiting the full and generous response of Europe.

The world of Islam has no wish to over-exert itself on a rescue campaign of displaced Syrians; their metier is more geared toward military missions, usually by proxy militias they fund and arm; their own expensive military toys are seldom used, but if the funding for the Yemen campaign had been diverted to challenging Bashar al-Assad directly and removing his opportunities to continue inflicting death on Sunni Syrians, the tide of refugees would certainly have been stemmed.

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