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Why the Flood of Refugees Will Not Stop Whatever Happens in Syria

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 4/03/2016 Mladen Grgic
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Among the Syrian refugees, there are many men between 18 and 50, in good health, crossing the Balkans, trying to arrive in EU. And someone was curious enough to ask, but why are they not fighting being against Assad, for Assad, for Freedom, Democracy, or at least against the proclaimed enemy of all - the Daesh?
But what those tired faces are telling us is that there is nothing to fight for - nothing worth fighting. And when people are not fighting, it means there is no hope, and where is no hope, there is no point of living, or you stay and become an animal-looking-human being, trying to survive no matter what, or you leave. And it is most probable that most people will choose to leave.
In his book The Day of the Barbarians, Alessandro Barbero, the Italian historian, relates the decline of the great Roman Empire to the mismanagement of the refugee crisis: "an unforeseen flood of refugees at the frontiers of the empire, and the inability of the Roman authorities to manage this emergency properly, gave rise to a dramatic conflict that was to culminate in Rome's most disastrous military defeat since Hannibal's Carthaginians destroyed the Roman army at Cannae in 216 BC."
The bloody conflict in Syria initiated another "unforeseen" flood of refugees, which is making the 60-year-old European Union trembling. The invasion of disparate has, nonetheless, put in discussion some of the core objectives of the European Union - "an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers." The walls have started to be build while the most infected countries are beginning to advocate for revision/abolition of some of the core treaties of the Union.
Many are hoping for fast resolution of the conflict in Syria, and an absolute halt to the immigration. But, whatever happens in Syria, whoever claims the victory, whatever remains the border of the future Syrian state, the flood of refugees will not stop. It might reduce in intensity, but will not stop, despite the efforts of some European countries to building the 'Game of Thrones'-look like walls.
The reasons are many. First, the Syrian conflict is not the only one raging in the region. There is an undeclared civil war in Libya (threatening to become another war with Daesh); a bloodshed in Yemen (not so covered in the Western media, but nevertheless violent and destructive); still unpredictable destiny of Afghanistan, and a dangerous friction between Saudi Arabia and Iran - to mention only some of the actual and potential carnages, which are pumping too much fuel for the migration of desperate.
Second, the refugees do run away from the conflicts, but there are also immigrants among them, who are running away from poverty, misery and lack of any hope for the future of the broader Middle East region. In the aftermath of the World War II, and since its establishment, the EU experienced peace and an impressive economic growth which resulted in the rise in the living standards of its citizens. The social programs, health care, and education for all and for free, made the EU being perceived as a place where the life seemed worth living.

In parallel, the countries around Mare Nostrum (as was the old name for the Mediterranean Sea) have experienced nothing similar. Short periods of growth have been regularly interrupted by persisting conflicts; the 'wannabe' revolutions were always ending in new models of tyranny and autocracy. Even the modest economic growth was destined to end in the pockets of few while the inequality persisted. Eventually, the hopelessness of people directed them towards religion, and from there to various radical movements - as the ultimate refuge from a miserable life.
From its part, the EU (and the USA), threated the region according to its foreign policy goals and their security needs, neglecting entirely the peoples and their problems, which resulted in policies which outcomes kept accumulating people suffering, frustration, and desperation. Finally, when the last revolutions failed, the only thing left to the local populations was to leave.
Here we are, with both feet in the 21st century, and the Middle East appears more hopeless as never before. Therefore, whatever is the outcome in Syria, the people composing the Mediterranean Civilization, will continue to cross the walls (both imaginary and real ones) until the West realizes that interests of Middle Eastern peoples are more important than their theoretical security concerns, as ultimately, neglecting them will bring Europe to collapse.

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