Lyudmila Alexandrova Correspondent
As Europe’s migrant crisis grows far and wide, many are recalling the late Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi’s gloom prophecy made several months before his violent death. “Now, listen you, people of NATO. You’re bombing a wall which stood in the way of African migration to Europe, and in the way of Al-Qaeda terrorists. This wall was Libya. You‘re breaking it. You’re idiots, and you will burn in Hell for thousands of migrants from Africa and for supporting Al-Qaeda. It will be so. I never lie. And I do not lie now,” said Gaddafi in an open letter obtained by the Russian daily Zavtra and published in May 2011, several months before the Lybian leader was killed.
Since the beginning of the year 500 000 refugees have arrived in Europe. The migrant crisis has become number one priority for the EU countries, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament in his annual message regarding the state of affairs in the European Union.
“It is Europe today that represents a beacon of hope, a haven of stability in the eyes of women and men in the Middle East and in Africa. That is something to be proud of and not something to fear,” said Juncker.
The question what caused the migrant crisis in Europe has evoked a deluge of comments from the expert community and Russian society in general. Europe is about to lose its reputation of the most stable place in the world, largely because the leading European countries and the United States have been shaking loose the regimes precisely in those countries whose people are now storming railway stations in the EU, experts say.
“That the refugee crisis is an outcome of US-European policies is clear to the naked eye,” says senior research fellow Boris Dolgov, of the Oriental Studies Institute under the Russian Academy of Sciences. “The destruction of Iraq, the destruction of Libya and attempts to topple Bashar Assad in Syria with the hands of Islamic radicals — that’s what EU and US policies are all about, and the hundreds of refugees are a result of that policy,” he told TASS. “It’s a very serious and multi-faceted problem,” Professor Irina Zvyagelskaya, of the oriental studies department at the Moscow state institute of international relations, MGIMO, told TASS. “The civil war in Syria and tensions in Iraq and Libya keep fuelling the flow of migrants, but that is not the only cause. I agree with those who see the current events as a trend towards another mass resettlement of peoples, which leave the weaker countries with ineffective economies. There are systemic problems that cause people to abandon their homes and take to the road. And the liberal European legislation allows many of them to not only stay in Europe, but also to live there on social benefits without seeking employment.”
“These people are exhausted, angry and humiliated. They have no idea of European values, lifestyles and traditions, multi-culturalism or tolerance. They will never agree to abide by European laws,” says Russian author, playwright and stage director Yevgeny Grishkovets in his blog. “They will never feel grateful to the people whose countries they have managed to get into with such problems, because the very same states first turned their own home countries into a bloodbath.”
“Angela Merkel vows modern German society and Europe are prepared for problems . . . That’s a lie and nonsense! I am certain that many of those in France, Italy and Germany, who are pretending compassion and shaking their heads in bewilderment at the news more migrants have drowned or died of suffocation or fatigue on the way, in reality are saying to themselves something like this: ‘This serves them right! That will teach others a lesson!” says Grishkovets.
Political scientist Fyodor Lukyanov believes that the migrant crisis is just the tip of the iceberg, the gist of the heap of problems that had kept piling up for years.
“There is a direct link between the migrant crisis and the past fifteen years of western policies in the Middle East,” says Lukyanov in the Russian government-published daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “None of the attempts at intervention has yielded the expected results. On the contrary, each such move merely turned things from bad to worse. But even if the United States and Europe had followed a calmer line, the erosion would still be going on, although at a lower pace. The end result, however, would be the same. While 20th century models were turning irrelevant in the new conditions, no smooth transition to the next stage followed.”
Columnist and blogger Vitaly Tretyakov wonders why the European Union has walked into this trap which it will never be able to get out of. “The reasons are many, but all of them are confined to arrogance and exaggerated self-confidence. In most cases this high-handedness is never expressed aloud, but the ‘Europeans’ always feel superiority over everybody else in this world.”
“It remains to be seen whether the European Union succumbed to Washington’s pressures or preferred to manifest solidarity with the United States when it decided to speed up the so-called ‘process of democratization’ in North Africa and the Middle East. Whatever the case, by doing so it helped thrust open Pandora’s box. Now a vast territory has plunged into civil wars and armed chaos and millions of refugees were forced to flee for life,” Tretyakov said. — TASS