Mama Merkel’s immigration policy fiasco

2 Sep 2016

Taking a closer look

An old friend of mine, after travelling around the world, decided to reside in Germany permanently because according to him, it is the most beautiful and peaceful country in the world. Germany offers every luxury in the world and the lack of pollution and chaos are just cherry on the top. However, in the recent past, Germany has opened its gates for the Syrian refugees after the country got caught up in the plague of internal warfare. Quite recently, I met this friend again. He told me he had quit his plans of permanently inhabiting Germany and is now in search for some other peaceful country. Upon asking him as to what changed his mind, he told me that now that because of Angela Merkel’s open-door immigration policy, Germany has opened its gates on the refugees and it is now very convenient for the extremists to enter the country and spread chaos that would not have been possible otherwise. Well, his apprehensions proved to be true to a significant extent and we now see Germany suffering at the hands of extremists. In order to assess the reasons behind the entire scenario, it is imperative to look at the situation closely.

Retrospectively, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel can be considered responsible for all of this. Angela Merkel was born in 1954 in Germany. She became the country’s Chancellor in 2005. From the beginning, she has adopted an open door policy for the refugees. She even let a large number of them inside the country without any registrations. Hence, the current situation was a likely. However, if delve into it further, we come to know that it is not as simple as it sounds. The sole responsibility does not lie with Angela Merkel. Be it Merkel or any other European leader, the decision to merge the refugees with their own countries has always had an international aspect behind it. As Russian President Putin has repeatedly said that Europe tries to follow American policies, and the consequences are in front of all of us. For instance, in the recent situation Syria, USA sided with the opposition forces and consequently, so did Europe. However, Russia and China opposed the American policy in Syria from day one but Europe did not, unfortunately. As a result, they are ones who have to face the brunt of the war, way more than America because of their geographical proximity to the conflict zone. This is exactly why Putin keeps on reiterating as to why it is important for Europe to have an isolated foreign policy that is not linked to the USA. As a result of USA and Europe supporting the rebels in Syria, the country has become a thriving ground for the extremists. Through Syria, they have now entered Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq etc. We have observed several incidents of Syria originated terrorism in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, France, Germany and even America itself. If we look at the situation retrospectively, Russia prophesised the implications of Europe’s and America’s foreign policies rather correctly. The question here is why did America adopt this foreign policy (that Europe eventually followed) in the first place? There are several conspiracy theories behind its origin but the most commonly held is that it all links back to the Arab Spring. According to this, Arab Spring was a step towards democracy.

Proponents of this theory say that America is a democratic nation and hence supports any for-democracy movements, Arab spring being one of them. However, then the question rises that why does American and west continue to support non democratic regimes of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt? America seems to have adopted a hypocritical policy or is it the policy based on the principle of sheer self-interest? According to one of the famous conspiracy theories, the only reason America supported the Arab spring is that they wanted to defeat the opposing forces with Syria and Lebanon topping the list. America succeeded in its plans in Libya. Colonel Gaddafi was killed and the country was destroyed but the same could not happen in Syria. Russia and Iran steadfast in their support for Syrian government, which ruined America’s and its ally’s plans for Syria. Even though Syria has stood its ground through all of this, it, indeed, most of the country has turned into ruins. However, the situation is changing. The Syrian forces as well as the forces in Iraq, along with Russia’s support are fighting relentlessly against the opposition forces. As a result, the extremists including Daesh are seen to have gone on the back foot.

Europe now seems to understand that by paying Turkey to keep the refugees and by not carrying out a crackdown against the extremist, they have endangered their own selves. If the Europeans want to mitigate the effects of their wrong policies, they First of all need to emplace an efficient registration system for the refugees. Secondly, America needs to stop support of opposition groups in Syria since they are mostly religious terrorist groups. If America continues to do so, the entire world will soon whole world will be infested with Syria originated terrorist activities.

Moreover, whenever there is a conflict, people migrate and bring along their animosities to the countries they seek refuge in. Resultantly, there is a possibility that in future violent skirmishes might erupt between the migrants from the opposing groups. Hence, it is about time that Europe and America bring a paradigm shift in their foreign policies, just like Turkey has done (by normalising its relations with Russia). Only then, will we be able to attain a peaceful Syria and Middle East.

Published in “Pakistan Today” on 2nd September 2016.

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