Many, including refugees, blame U.S. for Euro-migrant crisis

Special to

U.S. President Barack Obama bears the brunt of the blame for the current migrant crisis in Europe, according to several lawmakers as well as many refugees attempting to make it Europe.

Iraqi Rzgar Abdul, currently housed in a Hungarian refugee camp, blamed the U.S. for pulling out of Iraq too soon.

Migrants face Hungarian police in the main Eastern Railway station in Budapest on Sept. 1. /Reuters/Laszlo Balogh
Migrants face Hungarian police in the main Eastern Railway station in Budapest on Sept. 1. /Reuters/Laszlo Balogh

“Iraq’s problem is America’s problem,” said the 28-year-old Abdul. “This crisis is America’s problem. In Iraq, Syria, all over, the U.S. did not do enough.”

Obama’s vow to offer asylum to 10,000 Syrians has done little to dampen the criticism of his Middle East policy that many say is responsible for the migration crisis.

In a policy paper they presented last week, Sahra Wagenknecht and Dietmar Bartsch, deputy chairpersons of the Left Party in the German Parliament, said that “killer gangs, such as the Islamic State, were indirectly supported and without hindrance supplied with money and weapons from countries including those allied with Germany.” The two were apparently referring to early U.S. efforts to back rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“When the Left Party is right, it is right,” Alexander Gauland, deputy chairman of the conservative and populist Alternative for Germany party, said in an interview with German weekly Junge Freiheit.

“America bears a lot of blame for the flow of refugees.”

Others say the United States did not do enough to back the rebels and bring down Assad’s regime. Critics also point to Obama’s insistence that the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s forces was a “red line” that would result in U.S. military action. No such action was taken after Syria indeed used chemical weapons.

“I think the tone here is, above all, you start something and you fail to pick up the pieces — that’s the story of Iraq,” said Iain Begg, a professor at the London School of Economics. “And in Libya, it was, you push out [Moammar] Gadhafi, and then what?”

Refugee Jebrail Mohamed, 26, said Obama’s failure to act in Syria led to hundreds of thousands of deaths in that country and forced him to leave the city of Aleppo.

“We have no country left,” Mohamed said. “Now all we do is wait for passports to go somewhere. Wait. Wait.”

The European Union on Sept. 11 delayed until next month its refugee resettlement program, which looks to place as many as 160,000 migrants among 22 countries.

Denmark plans to reject the plan. Foreign ministers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary issued a joint statement on Sept. 11 calling for the EU to create a “more balanced distribution of finances” as well as a greater role “contributing to the international efforts in resolving the ongoing crisis in Syria and Iraq.”

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