Maram Susli

Weaponising the Refugee Crisis

NATO and its accomplices are benefitting from the refugee crisis, either economically or militarily.
23 February 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed Turkey’s call to impose a ‘no-fly zone’ over north Syria, claiming that it would help stem the flow of Syrian refugees to Europe. This comes after Turkish President Erdogan threatened to flood Europe with refugees if they did not support his demand for a no-fly zone. Erdogan has been calling for the establishment of a no-fly-zone or ‘buffer zone’ in Syria since 2011, long before he claimed it would stem the flow of refugees to Europe.

But a no-fly-zone is not a solution to the refugee crisis. It is infact an act of war that can result in the creation of even more refugees. This could be seen in Libya where contrary to what the name suggests, a no-fly-zone was in fact a NATO aerial bombing campaign that handed the country over to Al Qaeda and ISIS, and caused the mass exodus of refugees.

The Agenda behind a No-Fly-Zone

Just as it was in Libya, the real objective behind a no-fly-zone in north Syria is not stemming the flow of refugees but protecting Al Qaeda and ISIS who are losing their grip on north Aleppo due to joint Russian and Syrian airstrikes. ISIS has no airforce. A no-fly zone would aim to shoot down Russian and Syrian aircrafts patrolling the skies above the Al Qaeda and ISIS controlled regions. Erdogan has already shot down both Russian and Syrian aircrafts as they were bombing Al Qaeda along the Syria-Turkey border.

This call for no-fly zone is in step with NATO’s long term interests of regime-change in Syria and isolating Russian influence. Al Qaeda and ISIS have been crucial in aiding this NATO objective. It is NATO’s pursuit of regime change in Syria that caused the Refugee Crisis in the first place. NATO destabilised Syria in 2011 by supporting Muslim Brotherhood-linked rebels and subsequently created a vacuum for Al Qaeda and ISIS to thrive.

Who’s to blame for the Refugee Crisis?

It is bizarre to suggest a no-fly-zone over Syria would solve the Immigrant Crisis since 80% of those crossing into Europe are not even Syrian, but economic migrants or refugees from NATO’s other recent wars. Yet it is NATO’s media outlets that are now blaming Russia’s airstrikes on Al Qaeda for the entire Refugee Crisis. However, the number of externally displaced Syrians had already reached four million before Russia even entered the theatre in October 2015. In fact, the rate of Syrians crossing into Europe had begun to decline in the same month Russia became involved in the war. Russia is certainly not responsible for the hundreds of thousands of Libyan, Afghans and Iraqi refugees fleeing recent wars started by NATO and the US.

Billionaire George Soros joined NATO’s media in blaming Russia’s president Putin for the refugee crisis. In an Opinion piece for the Guardian Soros writes:

“Putin’s aim is to foster the EU’s disintegration, and the best way to do so is to flood Europe with Syrian refugees.”

This was quite a hypocritical statement since Soros has been a lead advocate for European Nations to open their borders to Refugees. In an op-ed for Project Syndicate, Soros writes:

 “The EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future.”

Soros advocates EU countries accept Refugees and then paradoxically claims that flooding Europe with Refugees will lead to the EU’s disintegration. Soros’ Open Society Foundation has been promoting multiculturalism for decades prior to the Syria crisis. He has publicly stated that his ‘plan’ was to treat ‘National borders as an obstacle’. The creation of refugees suits Soros’ agenda of dissolving the Nation-States.

This may be why Soros himself helped cause the Refugee Crisis. Soros funded Avaaz, a US State Department linked NGO that played an important role in sparking the conflict in Syria. Avaaz acted as a co-ordinating hub and logistical supply route for what became the insurgency. Avaaz also played a hand in the destruction of Libya, petitioning the UN for the no-fly-zone.

Who Benefits from the Refugee Crisis?

NATO and its accomplices are benefitting from the refugee crisis, either economically or militarily. NATO ships now patrol the Aegean Sea supposedly to stop migrant ships, but the patrols can equally be used to harass Russian supplies routes to the Syrian port of Latakia and supply routes out of Crimea. NATO is intent on isolating Russia and crippling its ability to defend its Syrian ally.

Merkel’s call for a No-Fly-zone over Syria to stem the flow of refugees, would not be the first time the Refugee Crisis has been exploited to promote an act of war. When a Syrian toddler named Aylan drowned on route to Europe, Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun featured the infamous headline, “Bomb Syria for Aylan” on the front page of the newspaper, exploiting the death of a child to drum up support for NATO’s war on Syria. The Sun’s other headlines included “Brits anger at lack of military action as millions flee Syria” and something akin to “Don’t let Aylan’s death go to waste.

While Murdoch is appealing to the ‘liberal humanitarian responsibility to protect,’ Merkel is simultaneously appealing to Europeans who are frustrated with the volume of immigrants flooding the border.  In effect, Merkel is scapegoating the Syrian refugees for Europe's entire immigrant crisis that existed long before the Syrian war. Both Merkel and Murdoch promote escalating the Syrian war as a solution to this problem.

Creating Refugees by displacing people from their homes while simultaneously cultivating anti-immigrant sentiments, then re-directing those frustrations, may be a well-planned strategy. NATO’s media arms have fanned the flames of hatred towards Syrian Refugees in particular, by falsely accusing them of conducting rape and mass murder across Europe. Initial headlines on the Paris attacks, such as this example by the Wall Street Journal,  claimed a “Syrian migrant was among the bombers.” This was due to a Syrian passport miraculously found intact on the suicide bomber’s body. It was later exposed that the passport was a fake and likely planted. Initial reports on the Cologne rape scandal claimed the attacks were conducted by Syrian Refugees. It later emerged that the those named amongst the Cologne suspects were overwhelmingly Algerian and Moroccan. By the time the truth emerged public opinion had already been influenced. Convincing the European population that bombing Syria would solve their terrorism problem is now a simple task. It ignores the fact, however, that initially many ISIS militants had come to Syria from Europe itself.

While Merkel was campaigning to be Chancellor, she claimed that multiculturalism in Germany had failed. It is questionable then why she opened up Germany’s borders to Syrian refugees. It could be argued that after photos of a drowned Syrian child went viral across the world she felt pressured. However opening the border caused more Syrian children to drown as they attempted to reach Germany. Bankers and Corporations have also been pressuring European politicians to open their borders to economic migrants long before the Syrian war. Economic migrants provide much cheaper labour than Europeans. Since Merkel's open border policy, economic migrants have found passage into Europe far easier, carrying falsified Syrian passports or simply claiming to be Syrian refugees. The creation of the Syrian crisis and the displacement of Syrian people presented Merkel with a unique opportunity to appease banks and corporations.

The loss of skilled workers is detrimental to the country from which the immigrants originate. Syria is now suffering from a ‘brain drain’ as 86 percent of those leaving Syria for Europe have a secondary education and 50% have university degrees. This will be detrimental to Syria’s post war rebuilding efforts. Destroying a country's potential for independently rebuilding itself is a both a military and an economic objective. US and European corporations have their eyes on Syria reconstruction contracts estimated to be worth more than $200 billion dollars. They intend to make Syrians foot the bill for their own destruction,  just as they did to Iraq.

Permanently displacing a population from their ancestral home is also a way to undermine nationalism.  It tears apart the social and historical connections that are the fabric of a nation. Undermining Nationalism is a strategy of warfare that is promoted by US think tanks who stress that “Syria no longer exists”. The Palestinian people suffered the same fate when they escaped an ethnic cleansing campaign by Jewish immigrants from Europe. Israel may also take advantage of a depopulated Syria to expand its territory. Stripping Syria of its Christian population accelerates the damage to its social fabric and to its historical identity. The former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave priority refugee status to Syrian Christians joining political figures around the world who have suggested similar policies. They are effectively aiding in ethnic cleansing of all Middle East Christians. In the meantime, the real solution to the Syrian Refugee problem is not being discussed: ending the war so that displaced Syrians can return home.