Europe is swamped with refugees, so many they are shipping some back. In the US, that enlightened political icon who emblazons his name on everything says that all eleven million Mexicans in the US are rapists and criminals, and should be deported. Certain citizens have minds just as closed. They are morally wrong, because we ourselves create refugees by the way we treat people in other countries.
There are 60 million refugees worldwide, half of whom are children. Refugees are created three primary ways. First, violence, especially war, creates refugees. Second, poverty. Third, environmental collapse, which is closely related to poverty, and is increasingly due to climate change. We create a significant percentage of these factors ourselves. Therefore, to get rid of refugees, it behooves us to quit doing the things that create refugees.
People usually love their homeland, even when it’s a place that doesn’t appeal to us. To keep people from becoming refugees we should do our best to preserve the things they like about their homeland. Armies and corporations can’t do that; they do the opposite, making life so difficult and dangerous that people lose everything and leave.
Capitalism and politics, including military politics, are the two main factors that create almost all of the destruction and danger that causes people to flee their home country at great risk to their very lives. The two are closely linked because we don’t do nearly enough politically to prevent the problems that capitalism creates. In fact, we make it worse.
Big Oil in Nigeria is a salient example. The oil companies have extracted huge quantities of oil from Nigeria. This has made the executives of these companies extremely rich, but has devastated Nigeria. Big Oil has literally destroyed vast tracts of land with severe pollution, making life physically impossible for the people who had lived there thousands of years. Very few jobs were created for Nigerians, and none of those brought affluence to the workers. In short, capitalists essentially raped the country, chasing the natives off their own land, and created devastating poverty. The original inhabitants live in misery and squalor.
From such conditions refugees by hundreds of thousands are created, all doing everything they can to reach Europe, hoping to be able to earn a living there, however modest. It takes no great intelligence to see that these refugees would prefer to stay at home if corporate capitalism and political failure had not made their situation desperate.
Think back to 9/11. The whole world, we thought, mourned with us. But not so much in the Middle East, and some other places. They didn’t get so excited about it, and the reason was that capitalism and politics had victimized them for so long, in so many ways, that a mere 3,000 deaths and a couple of tall buildings didn’t seem like such a big deal. Nothing to get upset about. Some were even happy that we got a little taste of our own medicine.
We took oil from the Middle East, but of course we didn’t outright steal it, like we did in Africa and certain other places, such as Venezuela. But our politics! Ech!
It’s been a virtual rule that we must back the dictators who would be the worst for the people, if the country has resources to sell. The CIA was in back of virtually all of the coups that removed the democratically elected leaders of the people and replaced them with a cruel autocrat. We put Shah Reza Pahlavi on the Peacock Throne in Iran, nullifying a democratic election. He beefed up his secret service and tortured anyone who so much as mentioned democracy. We arranged the assassination of Allende in Chile, and replaced him with Pinochet and his thugs, who “disappeared” thousands, many of whom are still not accounted for.
In Haiti we meddled with the popularly elected Aristide in several illegal and amoral ways, in the end literally kidnapping him and flying him to the least safe place in Africa, where he was held against his will until eventually he was allowed to return, but not to Haiti. In fact, there is practically no place in the world, where we haven’t meddled and created anti-democratic havoc.
There have been few if any years when the US wasn’t busy with invasion, war, or occupation of countries where we have no real reason to be, usually several countries at once. The real reason is virtually always resources, usually oil. If we quit this stuff we would reap the benefit of many billions in avoided military expense, significant improvements in the refugee situation, and greatly improved national reputation. But then of course the capitalists would not be quite as rich, and that is the whole purpose.
None of this is, as they say, rocket science. It amounts only to following the Golden Rule on an international level. Corporations need to quit screwing over countries where there is something they want to steal. Our government needs to find ways to prevent corporate malfeasance. Our government needs to quit invading places and giving money to tyrants.
We need to close, say, 75% of the military bases we have forced on the world, and to bring home our troops. They’re not creating good will. They’re not creating stability. They’re creating hatred. They’re creating terrorists.
Refugees are created by wars and other stresses. Since we create wars and other stresses, ceasing to do those things would make for fewer refugees for us to deal with. People end up where they don’t want to be, away from home, because there is no opportunity at home, because there is war, because there is corruption, because there is no freedom, much of it compliments of the U. S. of A.
So what should we do? Easy. Quit invading countries; quit allowing corporations to rape and pillage; make corporations actually support the places they do business; protect the environment; hire the locals; etc. Live up to what we’re supposed to stand for.