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Answering to the 21st Century Exodus

 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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09 September 2015 20:39
 

After recently drawing attention to an ongoing local environmental concern, I’m experiencing in Canada, GAD responded by providing a couple of links that really got me thinking.  I’ve been unable to shake the feeling that we have the capacity to do something bigger and quickly zeroed in on the catastrophic refugee crisis we’ve all been witnessing.  Although my local story is indeed a worthy cause, the laws are technically in our favour.  I am counting on the rule of law to prevail in that case and if it doesn’t, well, whatever happens…happens

Processing human beings, through proper legal channels, as they desperately flee across borders after evading the war zones that devastated their homes is quite another story altogether.  This becomes understandably more difficult as the numbers continue to rise.  As the desperation increases so does contempt for the foreigners, by police and citizens alike, turning a helpless situation volatile.  And this is just the beginning.  This deserves our attention.

With respect to Syrian refugees, what we’ve been observing is Germany stepping up more than any other nation.  This should come as no surprise, right?  Germany.  They’ve always been known as a warm, embracing, tolerant group of people.  Ahem.  This is an overwhelming reality we simply cannot ignore.  Anyone under the impression this doesn’t affect them should glance back to the nineteen forties and imagine the similarities in their sights.  Consider the present day refugees who manage to survive the arduous journey, reach their destination, only to be promptly ushered into camps.  Camps.  Sound familiar? 

The tragic events of war and oppression are displacing people throughout the world.  We need to hold our governments accountable and not just in their immediate, political photo op, responses but in the follow through with realistic ideas for the future.  Not another fiasco like Israel.  That was a great idea, eh?  Sure thing.  You can tell by how it now so closely resembles the landofmilkandhoney.

Think of it…

“Small internet community of atheists sponsors family of refugees.  No strings attached.”

Otherwise, whatever happens…happens.  So…whaddya think?

I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat.

 
 
KathleenBrugger
 
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KathleenBrugger
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11 September 2015 01:17
 

Bigger boat. Yeah. Here’s something i wrote in my journal last weekend:

Middle Eastern and African refugees are flooding Europe. The Republican presidential candidates in the US are competing to see who can be most anti-immigrant. Australia has passed strict anti-immigration laws. Last spring there were boatloads of people in south Asia with nowhere to go.

There’s something happening. The poor people of the world are showing with their feet that they’re fed up. They are tired of the rich countries treating them as if they don’t matter. Tired of the rich countries’ superficial morality that lets them get all teary-eyed and outraged over a photo of a dead toddler (white you may notice) in the surf, and then nothing happens, again. Tired of the rich countries encouraging and engaging in wars that tear their country to shreds.

What this movement of people is saying is: there is only one world. It’s time to unite. It’s time for us to figure out how to get along on this tiny planet. It’s time for us to stop seeing each other as enemies and adversaries and to start seeing each other as brothers and sisters in the human family.

And. These refugees are a warning about what will happen if we keep postponing learning the lesson.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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11 September 2015 17:54
 

Add to the present flood of war refugees, the coming migration of millions or billions of people from flooded coastal areas around the world.  2050?  Another 21st century exodus?  Everyone in the Ganges Delta on the move, including all the animals?  Venice moving to Rome?  New York City facing a category X hurricane with sea level already four feet higher?

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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13 September 2015 02:21
 

This is probably gonna come across as all sorts of nasty but…

We rarely see people from western, secular cultures becoming refugees and flocking to other cultures. It seems the West is being asked not only to help the people, but to allow them to bring their failed cultures with them.

In normal cases of immigration, most Western countries have all sorts of criteria to allow or disallow individuals to immigrate. I never hear much shouting about that. So why can’t we say to these refugees, you can come, but you must leave your totalitarian ideologies behind?

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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13 September 2015 12:15
 

There’s something happening. The poor people of the world are showing with their feet that they’re fed up. They are tired of the rich countries treating them as if they don’t matter. Tired of the rich countries’ superficial morality that lets them get all teary-eyed and outraged over a photo of a dead toddler (white you may notice) in the surf, and then nothing happens, again. Tired of the rich countries encouraging and engaging in wars that tear their country to shreds.

I missed something.  Thought they were fleeing their own countries which’re self-destructing and going to richer countries not self-destructing. So Assad, ISIS, and the multiple infighting factions are our fault?

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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13 September 2015 12:51
 

Yes.  War mongering has consequences.  The laws of cause and effect deliver that reality.

What sort of immigration protocols can screen the thoughts people are holding in their heads?  That sort of defeats the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression.  I imagine when you are caught in the crossfire of war, and running for your life, the only ideology that matters is survival.

 
 
KathleenBrugger
 
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13 September 2015 13:43
 
icehorse - 13 September 2015 12:21 AM

This is probably gonna come across as all sorts of nasty but…

We rarely see people from western, secular cultures becoming refugees and flocking to other cultures. It seems the West is being asked not only to help the people, but to allow them to bring their failed cultures with them.

In normal cases of immigration, most Western countries have all sorts of criteria to allow or disallow individuals to immigrate. I never hear much shouting about that. So why can’t we say to these refugees, you can come, but you must leave your totalitarian ideologies behind?

Just read an op-ed in the NYT “Are Western Values Losing Their Sway?” In it the author quotes a British diplomat:

Given the choice, “nearly everyone in the world would like to live in our societies, because they can live better and don’t have to lie all the time. So perhaps it’s wrong to talk of universal values [like democracy]. But the society [those values] deliver is universally attractive.

I have to admit I share that ‘nasty’ thought that refugees need to leave authoritarian ideologies behind: If you come to this country you need to embrace our cultural values and political system. If you can’t, don’t come.

 
 
KathleenBrugger
 
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13 September 2015 13:50
 
Dennis Campbell - 13 September 2015 10:15 AM

There’s something happening. The poor people of the world are showing with their feet that they’re fed up. They are tired of the rich countries treating them as if they don’t matter. Tired of the rich countries’ superficial morality that lets them get all teary-eyed and outraged over a photo of a dead toddler (white you may notice) in the surf, and then nothing happens, again. Tired of the rich countries encouraging and engaging in wars that tear their country to shreds.

I missed something.  Thought they were fleeing their own countries which’re self-destructing and going to richer countries not self-destructing. So Assad, ISIS, and the multiple infighting factions are our fault?

Like LadyJane says, “warmongering has consequences.” First of all I was giving multiple reasons for the refugee crisis, and not every reason applied to every refugee. There are many refugees coming out of the Iraq disaster. And are you saying you think ISIS isn’t directly related to that Iraq disaster, a consequence of the completely unnecessary 2003 invasion of Iraq by the us?

Another source of refugees is Libya. That country collapsed after the West helped to depose Gaddafi and what have we done since then to help stabilize the country? The only attention that country has gotten in the US is the Repubs obsession with Benghazi.

 
 
icehorse
 
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13 September 2015 14:09
 
LadyJane - 13 September 2015 10:51 AM

Yes.  War mongering has consequences.  The laws of cause and effect deliver that reality.

What sort of immigration protocols can screen the thoughts people are holding in their heads?  That sort of defeats the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression.  I imagine when you are caught in the crossfire of war, and running for your life, the only ideology that matters is survival.

Let’s get back to normal immigration rules - why shouldn’t we apply the same process in this case?

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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13 September 2015 14:29
 

Like LadyJane says, “warmongering has consequences.” First of all I was giving multiple reasons for the refugee crisis, and not every reason applied to every refugee. There are many refugees coming out of the Iraq disaster. And are you saying you think ISIS isn’t directly related to that Iraq disaster, a consequence of the completely unnecessary 2003 invasion of Iraq by the us?

Another source of refugees is Libya. That country collapsed after the West helped to depose Gaddafi and what have we done since then to help stabilize the country? The only attention that country has gotten in the US is the Repubs obsession with Benghazi.

Agree that western actions, justified or not (depends on whom you ask) play a contributing part in sometimes consequential internal conflicts in a given country.  Do not agree that somehow these self-destructing countries are doing so mostly due to western interventions; most of those conflicts within a country existed prior to any western actions and erupted once previously imposed suppression from some autocratic government in that country were removed.  We defeated and then occupied Japan for 25 years, and to some degree Germany, and both turned out relatively well; but those days of decades long occupations are I think long gone and impossible.  At some ill-defined point, a country whose previous government is removed, in part perhaps by our interventions, must assume responsibility for their own country.  It is too facile to just appear to blame “western interventions” for the subsequent chaos. ISIS et al are forces inherent within a country that erupt when they’ve a chance to seize power.  Would they have done so in time anyway?  I think so, but that argument will never be resolved. The hundreds of thousands fleeing Syria etc are not doing so because we intervened but due to their own internal cultural conflicts.  Granted, we did not and cannot “rebuild them,” as re Japan and Germany.  And I’ve no glib answer as to what we (Western countries) should do.

“War mongering?”  Have you listened to NK, Iran, Palistine, etc. have been preaching about the U.S., Israel, etc.?  Agree, BTW, that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was, at least in retrospect, not justified.  Iraq had little or nothing to do with 911.  But some military actions were more than justified by 911, and we’d do it again in the event of another such attack.  It seems almost a “law” than an aggressor blames the target of that aggression.  That’s as true of countries as individuals.

[ Edited: 13 September 2015 14:38 by Dennis Campbell]
 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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13 September 2015 14:41
 
icehorse - 13 September 2015 12:09 PM
LadyJane - 13 September 2015 10:51 AM

Yes.  War mongering has consequences.  The laws of cause and effect deliver that reality.

What sort of immigration protocols can screen the thoughts people are holding in their heads?  That sort of defeats the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression.  I imagine when you are caught in the crossfire of war, and running for your life, the only ideology that matters is survival.

Let’s get back to normal immigration rules - why shouldn’t we apply the same process in this case?

Sounds nice, but what can you do when over-whelmed by hundreds of thousands?

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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13 September 2015 14:50
 

What this movement of people is saying is: there is only one world. It’s time to unite. It’s time for us to figure out how to get along on this tiny planet. It’s time for us to stop seeing each other as enemies and adversaries and to start seeing each other as brothers and sisters in the human family.

Sounds lovely.  Wish I had some idea how to do that without just letting some dictator assume total control.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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13 September 2015 15:12
 
icehorse - 13 September 2015 12:09 PM
LadyJane - 13 September 2015 10:51 AM

Yes.  War mongering has consequences.  The laws of cause and effect deliver that reality.

What sort of immigration protocols can screen the thoughts people are holding in their heads?  That sort of defeats the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression.  I imagine when you are caught in the crossfire of war, and running for your life, the only ideology that matters is survival.

Let’s get back to normal immigration rules - why shouldn’t we apply the same process in this case?

The criteria for seeking refugee status differs from that of immigration.  Immigrants are only considered when financially stable and possessing skills required by the receiving country.  Refugees don’t have this luxury.  Governments must be able to coherently communicate to facilitate this process.  This breaks down quickly when countries are in conflict and it becomes more and more difficult to obtain the proper documentation for the vetting process.  What we are left with are displaced people, stranded in foreign countries, trapped by an unwillingness to deal with the paperwork.

 
 
EN
 
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13 September 2015 17:50
 
KathleenBrugger - 13 September 2015 11:43 AM

I have to admit I share that ‘nasty’ thought that refugees need to leave authoritarian ideologies behind: If you come to this country you need to embrace our cultural values and political system. If you can’t, don’t come.

There is nothing nasty about that thought.  If you flee to a country, you need to accept that country’s culture and fit in. The reason your country is failing is because it’s cultural values are flawed.

 
LadyJane
 
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13 September 2015 20:02
 

Refugees, for the most part, would prefer to return to their countries of origin.  An often unviable proposition as we are witnessing them venturing forth, to build a new life elsewhere, in hopes of laying a solid foundation for a future for their children.  It seems pretty bent to make completely unsubstantiated accusations that they are responsible for the situation they find themselves in.  They are no less at the mercy of their leadership than we are of ours.  Meanwhile, why fear a group of people running for their lives with nothing more than the clothes on their backs?  I don’t understand that at all.  Are they all motivated with bad intentions?  What makes you so confident of the perspectives of all of these people?  When you pride yourselves on standing up for human freedom and individuality then that kind of thinking must extend to all humans including those that reside beyond your borders.  It’s one thing to despise the regime or ideology of a different country but how can you justify that while ignoring everything about what that ideology entails?  Whatever happened to the benefit of the doubt, man?

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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13 September 2015 20:15
 

As an additional thought re “war mongering.”  I suggest if that term refers to advocating the use of military force to gain political, social, and physical resources, that fits more closely those countries from which people are fleeing than Western countries.  What countries openly advocate the destruction of others most commonly: NK, Syria, Iran, Russia….Guess from which are people fleeing?  No country is free of that accusation, but let’s look at history. I think that’s a “liberal” accusation that conveniently ignores both history and current realities.

 
 
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