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The Great Murderer: Bashar Al-Assad
The Syrian refugee crisis is the issue of our time; the SNP have shown little regard for the lives of Syrians and are starved of imagination when it comes to finding a resolution. Their problem is clear, they refuse to acknowledge the source of the problem: Bashar Al-Assad, a monstrous minority leader with a ferocious compulsion for murdering the majority of his population with poison gas.
The evidence for these crimes against humanity is overwhelming and indisputable. The derisive dictator first used chemical weapons – Sarin gas – in 2013, in five separate sites. Buoyed by the inaction of weak western states, Assad deployed chemical weapons again in both 2014 and 2015 and most recently in April 2017. These atrocities are confirmed by a UN report and supported by German and American intelligence agencies. Should you require further evidence there exists online an endless stream of misery. Men, women, and children foaming at the mouth, gargling for air, while their last breadth is chemically suffocated out of their rigid bodies, corpses twisted and contorted out of human recognition as chemical convulsions have distorted the human form. One cannot imagine the pain and emotional horror the victims feel as they become a vague reflection of the human form, embalmed in the shape of unimaginable pain. According to Angus Robertson, any action against this criminal was a trigger for another referendum on Scottish separation. You would assume that there was an unbridgeable intellectual and moral chasm between refugees and Scottish separatism. How wrong we all were: the SNP’s ability to weaponise any issue is boundless.
The SNP Hypocrisy on Refugees
The SNP’s solution to this unprecedented horror is to provide sanctuary to all refugees and leave Assad to murder as many humans as he possibly can until the conflict runs out of Syrians to kill – how liberal! One can think back to the summer of 2015, to the height of the refugee crisis. A three-year-old toddler was discovered in the coastal town of Bodrum, the poor child had perished trying to make the perilous journey across the Aegean Sea to the Greek island of Kos. The photo of the deceased went viral and created an unprecedented outpouring of grief and call to action. Suddenly, smelling in the air the sweet tang of political opportunity, Syria was of critical interest to the SNP. “We must protect the children” they screamed. A comprehensively shameless and hypocritical statement for one plain and indisputable reason. After demonstrating granite stubbornness in the face Assad’s previous acts of barbarism they now demanded immediate intervention. Where was this crusade when Assad was gassing his citizens in 2013 when we could have made a meaningful intervention in Syria? Where was the rallying cry to help refugees between 2011- 2015 when the majority of Syrians fled the pornographic violence? What about today when he continues murdering Syrians? They flatly refuse to help, recycling tiresome shibboleths about Iraq and Western imperialism. In their new found concern for humanity, their hypocrisy unravels: Children being murdered in a chemical attack is acceptable but children drowning in the Mediterranean is unacceptable and demands immediate attention. Humanity begins and ends at the border of Europe.
Refugees as Politically Expedient
But why the sudden change of heart? The SNP’s decisions are calculated with the precision of a mathematician with pure political pragmatism in mind; their sordid pitch can be classed as cheap ideological blackmail: the evil Tories vs. the Brave SNP. Unprincipled, and a slave to their own nationalist cause, they feel compelled to oppose the Conservatives on every issue and are quick to grab the most convenient tool in which to mercilessly bludgeon their primary obstacle to separation. Seeing a political opportunity, the SNP made the refugee crisis their cause célèbre. For them, the topic is drenched in a perceived liberal duty to show solidarity with the huddled masses and oppose what they believe to be the liberal taboos of the 21st century – racism. In essence, only a stone-hearted Tory, free of compassion and rich in right-wing xenophobia, could refuse to take in these desperate, desperate, souls. After painting this rich collage of lies, the SNP followed Angela Merkel and refused to work with David Cameron. In fact, they wanted to follow their Scandanavian heroes, Sweden. It is worth noting that Sweden did take in more refugees but to pay for them it has cut its foreign aid commitments. That raises an interesting question: who’s paying for refugees in Sweden? The poorest people in the world, the refugees in the Syrian refugee camps. More to the point, they have gone cemetery silent after the Assad’s most recent form of chemical mania. One wonders, could it be that there is an election around the corner? Could it be that their resolution to the crisis has proved facile and counter-productive? Hmmm, I wonder.
Coping with a Refugee Crisis in the 21st Century
The SNP’s portrayal of David Cameron as a perfect study in human evil is a plain lie; it is their view that is outdated and risks greater human destruction. Two leading academics have destroyed and exposed the SNP policy for its gross irresponsibility and praised David Cameron for his work in the Syrian refugee crisis. In their new book, Refuge: Transforming the Refugee System, Alexander Betts and Paul Collier reveal the deep flaws of the SNP position can be broken into three parts.
One – An Old System
For the most part, it is about a soft-hearted attachment to anachronistic ideas and shameless moral gradstanding. Much of the rhetoric around refugees is seeded in the policies of post-war Europe. As the Soviet Union charged across the Vistula River, the last natural barrier between Russian and the Germany, educated citizens became aware that the war was lost. On hearing the stories of Soviet brutality – the mass rape of German women – Germans packed their belongings and headed for the hinterland. In all, 12 million Germans were forced to relocate. The grand strategy of the Cold War also played its part. At the Yalta Conference, the Soviets agreed on the repatriation of Soviet citizens after the war. To prevent the persecution of returning citizens the Americans supported the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees. With the people of Europe needing our help, it was our duty to provide safe havens for these refugees. This is commonly understood as the”care and maintenance” model. In a globalised world, Betts and Collier show no respect to this “huddled masses” approach; it is outdated, conceived in the context, and with the imperatives of the Cold War in mind, and causes more harm than good. We can, and should, do better.
Two: The Current Crisis
Today, we can see how this liberal vision for Europe has catastrophically failed. In one swift and careless action, Merkel scrapped EU Dublin Agreement – under which asylum seekers are bound to seek asylum in the first EU country they reached. That is a rather moot and redundant bureaucratic point; the larger issue is the after-effects of Merkel’s action, which the SNP supported. It has had devastating consequences for Europe and the Middle East. Let us expose just a few:
- It emboldened Assad in is heinous acts, there is a direct link between our inaction and his continued reign of terror.
- It created a mass exodus of Syria’s educated class, a catastrophic brain drain that will make restructuring the country extremely difficult.
- It stiffened the resolve of Europe’s far-right with their support mushrooming across Europe
- It has provided a shot in the arm to the world’s sex traffickers.
In their obstinacy they have assisted Assad in his maniacal pursuit of power, increased the danger to Europe and the world, and made the daily life of the common refugee exponentially worse.
Three: Empower Refugees
Should you look at the history of refugee camps they can become permanent fixtures of the landscape, draining billions in aid with people living in a permanent hand to mouth existence for decades. Kenya, for example, shares a border with war-torn Somalia, where around 300,000 refugees are held in a state of permanent incarceration. Their sole source of support comes from international aid. Syrian refugees have been living in Turkey for 5 years. The people that have made it to Europe are not those most in need but those that can afford the journey. The people left in Turkish refugee camps are often the poorest and most desperate for our help.
Individuals can live in refugee camps for up to 20 years without any prospect of returning home or bettering their lives. That is the situation in Kenya and we should be trying our utmost to prevent that becoming the situation on our European doorstep. The humane solution is to integrate refugees into the local, host nation’s economy. That way they have a job, a purpose and, most importantly, a future they can control. Evidence has emerged that the policy of local integration has significant benefits. Uganda which hosts 500,000 refugees has adopted this policy. According to Collier & Betts, 21% of refugees are now entrepreneurs with 40% of their employees of Ugandan origin. This has been followed in Jordan, a neighbour of Syria that hosts a significant amount of refugees.
The Vindication of Cameron
Benjamin Disraeli once complained that his MP’s were a useless rump that ‘could not be got to attend business while the hunting season lasted… they never read… they learnt nothing useful, and did not understand the ideas of their own time.’ This statement could easily be fit for the SNP, they are consistently preoccupied with separation, appear as useful as a hammer made of jelly; and have little command of modern ideas. David Cameron implemented this radical, modern approach in neighbouring Jordan and should be proud of his actions; the SNP should be ashamed. Our PM did care for Syrians; he believed the refugee crisis transcended the ideological battlefield. The SNP did not.
While David Cameron continutes to work with the Jordanian government and the World Bank to implement an ethical policy for the 21st century along the lines of the Ugandan model, the SNP thought it fair game to use refugees as political pawns, as part of their loathsome quest for separation, to drive a wedge between the Home Nations, and inspire bitterness and rancour. It was they who framed the issue as a Manichean duel, the good vs evil, but it was they who imperiled the lives of many more Syrians. It was the SNP that said the solution to this crisis is the same solution as 1945. They were wrong. They give life to the phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Perhaps, that is too kind for the SNP, it should read “the road to separation is built on political expediency.”
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