So Europe has suddenly, miraculously "discovered" that the civil war/proxy war raging in Syria since early 2011 has hemorrhaged into an extremely serious refugee crisis.
European Sturm und Drang on what to do about the refugee drama is unprecedented in modern times. Bitterness permeates the fault lines separating fear and intolerance from generosity and solidarity.
Among quite a few progressive circles, there are widespread fears that the current Western media campaign centered on the plight of refugees may be a catalyst to prepare European-wide public opinion for an all-out war in Syria before the end of 2015.
There had been an unspoken consensus among non-sectarian close observers of Syria and Lebanon that "Assad must go" -- the Obama administration mantra -- won't be fulfilled anytime soon.
Thus the current flood of refugees released from Turkish "holding camps" on their way to Europe -- by direct orders from Ankara, with a little encouragement from Washington.
The plight of the refugees would then become the perfect excuse to precipitate a new R2P (responsibility to protect) war; Libya remixed, with fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh -- the fake "Caliphate" -- barely disguising the real agenda (which Washington shares with Ankara, Riyadh and Doha, not to mention London and Paris): regime change in Damascus.
The Refugee Chancellor
German magazine Stern has qualified Angela Merkel as The Refugee Chancellor. The generous German reaction to the refugee drama has drawn praise across the world.
And yet in other parts of Europe a much nastier game is being played: when in doubt, blame the Refugee Chancellor.
The fear/intolerance front derides refugees as mere economic migrants looking for a free ride. The fearful/intolerant argue that Europe is being taken over by Muslims breeding beyond belief, and challenge it's politically incorrect -- and even racist -- to criticize them.
They argue that once Syrians cross the border over to Turkey or Lebanon, they are safe. No less than 239,000 Syrians tried to reach Greece by sea since early 2015. The fearful/intolerant argue that these Syrians choose to illegally enter Greece, and then move forward to the Balkans on their way to the Promised Land of free housing, welfare and health insurance courtesy of the German taxpayer.
It's obvious the so-called EU "elites" -- in Brussels and selected European capitals -- had been staring at the non-stop Mediterranean boat crossing for months, but did absolutely nothing about it. After all, Europe had taken less than 10% of 4 million Syrian refugees; the burden fell on Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, who had to cope with these 4 million. Turkey alone has taken close to 2 million.
Now the Refugee Chancellor is being blamed arguably for "dictating" to other EU members how many refugees they should accept -- and pay for. This coming Monday, in Brussels, Interior Ministers of EU nations will get together to try to come up with a common policy. No wonder extremists are already gleefully parading the "positives" in the long run: the eventual shattering of the EU.
The Jihadi Reverse Flow