The Coalition’s Statement on the Refugee Crisis

This statement was produced to coincide with the 24th annual Gandhi Peace Festival in Hamilton, Ontario, whose theme this year was “Refugees and Sarvodaya.”

Photo of a Boatload of Refugees

The United Nations recently proclaimed its New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants which it says “expresses the political will of world leaders to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, to save lives and share responsibility for large movements on a global scale.”

If climate scientists are correct, this declaration may be useful in the future. Billions of people, living in cities currently at or near sea level, and hundreds of millions, living in areas experiencing desertification, such as in the sub-Sahara, will need to move. And the world will have to accommodate them in an orderly fashion.

However, the UN declaration comes too late for the current refugee crisis: over 65 million people, the largest number in recorded history, currently displaced and/or refugees outside of their home countries. And this tidal wave of refugees sweeping over Europe is due, not to climate change but to international lawlessness, specifically to four illegal western military interventions in the Global South: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

Rise of Xenophobia

Right-wing and neo-fascist parties in Europe are shamelessly creating xenophobia for racist political gain. The fear of foreigners is on the rise in Europe because European political leaders have failed to take ownership for their roles in creating the refugee crisis in the first place. As NATO member states, European powers have all loyally supported the US-led “War on Terror” which has translated into fifteen years of unending war against Muslims and Arabs in Asia and North Africa. If those leaders had accepted blame for the refugee crisis, some Europeans would not be taking out their anger on the refugees themselves, but rather on the leaders who created the crisis.

The solution to the current refugee crisis is NOT to call for “open borders” and to turn current refugees into permanent residents of Canada and other accepting countries. Of course, refugees need to be protected and their human rights observed until the conflicts that caused them to leave their homes can be brought to an end. But most refugees wish desperately to return to their countries of origin. And war-torn countries, such as Syria, desperately need their externally-displaced citizens to return in order to reconstruct shattered economies.

The overall solutions to the refugee crisis are straightforward:

  1. end the wars, such as the current western aggression against Syria, remove the economic sanctions, re-establish normal diplomatic relations;
  2. NATO countries need to pay reparations to reconstruct the countries they have illegally devastated and to fund the repatriation of the refugees. And they need to undertake not to wage illegal wars against sovereign countries in the future. Dissolving NATO would be a positive step in that direction.

One thought on “The Coalition’s Statement on the Refugee Crisis”

  1. Dear respected Sir/ Madame :

    I read with extreme concern the letter signed by you recently about Syria, calling for “US hands off Syria” and if you actually signed on this letter, I am afraid that you had fallen victims to the hidden agendas of the US plots against the people of Syria .
    I think you have gotten the facts only partially correct, the facts on the ground however make me shiver when I see that that you are supporting a tyrant who has brutally tortured his civilian opponents to death and caused damage beyond description to his country to stay in power , you are doing exactly the opposite of what you intending to do, serving the exact agenda that you intended to stop .
    Since when does the solidarity movement stand with bombing hospitals, bakeries , farmers markets and other civilian targets that are all considered war crimes and have been done systematically by Assad and Russia on a regular basis?
    Since when did the solidarity movement stand for using cluster bombs, Phosphorous bombs, Chlorine gas, Napalm bombs, and other internationally forbidden arms on civilian neighborhoods, causing extreme destruction of civilian infrastructure and destroying civilian houses on top of their inhabitants with impunity and causing the death of more than 500,000 innocent civilians, and displacement of more than half the population of Syria?
    The true target of the hidden agendas of the US government is not the Assad Regime as they declared repetitively and continued to do so publicly for 6 years, this was only an empty threat for local and international consumption, the true hidden agenda of the US is a war of attrition against the Syrian people ran by the Assad regime, and maintained by an extremely limited support of the opposition .
    Do you really believe that the mighty US could not change the Assad regime because he is much stronger than Saddam Hussein or Qaddafi ? or have too much public support ? then why did he had to get the help from Hezbollah, Iran revolutionary army, and sectarian Iraqi,and Afghani militias, if he is so strong and supported by the people of Syria, why did he need to have Russia come to establish air bases and enter with all its power to bomb the civilians in the opposition controlled areas, while US administration is watching and giving lip service to the opposition even those they claim to support .
    While the people of Syria are under daily bombardment, the US administration is putting a lid on the advanced arms that can effectively stop the bombing of civilian neighborhoods, effectively allowing the continued destruction of civilian targets that were completely off limits in the past in any other previous war including WWII ( houses of worship such as mosques and churches, hospitals, ambulances, farmers markets, water reservoirs, first aid workers and many other civilian targets including houses of civilians destructed on top of their inhabitants ) and allowed the regime to besiege civilians in large areas, starving the inhabitants to death like what happened in Madaya, and Homs and many other areas including Aleppo at the present time, not even bothered to drop food supplies to help the besieged areas like what was done effectively by US in the past when they were serious about saving civilians in besieged areas( that was done before in Bosnia when it was besieged by the Serbs, and in Iraq for the Yezidis that were besieged by ISIS by the current administration)? the hidden agenda my dear fellows is not the regime change , but much much larger, it is actually a population change , similar to what happened in Palestine in 1948.
    The US administration is in fact using Assad to destroy the country, allowing arm supplies to the opposition in a very limited, and extremely controlled fashion just to keep the destruction ongoing ,at the expense of the Syrian people. The Syrians are the ones who are losing their lives,houses, and their country .
    The administration could have easily finished Assad either by direct intervention as they had all the justification they needed if they were truly going after a regime change (multiple documented massacres and war crimes committed against the People of Syria, slaughter and torture against peaceful demonstrators and later against civilian bystanders, and the famous CHEMICAL WEAPONS WAR CRIME AGAINST THE CIVILIANS IN GHOUTA AND MANY OTHER CIVILIAN AREAS) or they could have done that indirectly at the hand of the opposition by supplying them with high quality arms to stop his air-strikes on areas under their control. They had too many opportunities to intervene if they really wanted a regime change, and did not have to wait for 6 years until Russia establishes bases in Syria and make it look impossible to find a solution. the decision was made from the beginning to keep Assad in power .
    Your support of Russians aggression against civilians and Assad regime against his own people, who have committed a multitude of war crimes against large civilian populations is actually playing directly into the hidden agendas of the US administration .
    I hope you will re evaluate your position carefully and stand in true solidarity with the people of Syria against both the hidden agendas of the US administration, and the Russian aggression at the same time. do not fall for the propaganda of the Regime which is actually supported directly by the Russian aggression and indirectly the US lip service, against the people of Syria, affecting a major demographic change in that small country , the cradle of civilization,called Syria, UNPARALLELED SINCE THE PALESTINIAN NAKBAH .
    Please help the real victims of the hidden agendas of both powers, the PEOPLE OF SYRIA, AND STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THEM , NOT WITH THEIR BUTCHERS BOTH FROM THE EAST AND THE WEST .

    For the majority of Voiceless Syrians under attack by both super powers in the World,
    Dr Sakkal

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