By James A. Kidney
[This is a reposting to include a helpful reference to an On The Media excerpt.]
When the United States invaded Iraq and Afghanistan in retaliation for the horrific 9/11 attack, the Administration claimed we would be welcomed as liberators and be a beacon for freedom. It didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, we lit a fire in the Middle East that still burns with the intensity of a dry California forest.
One result, direct, indirect, or “collateral damage” – depending on your politics and sensitivity – is the human refugee flow from Syria and other war-torn countries of the Middle East to Europe. By now we are all familiar with the sad stories and heart wrenching photos from the area. Hopeful, scared refugees die every day in overturned rubber boats in the middle of the sea. If they reach shore, they are shoved into pens to await . . . . it’s not clear what. American editorialists moralistically cluck over the reactions of European countries to this human flow. But some of these nations, especially Hungary and Greece, face their own dismal economic prospects. Hungary’s government is falling back on Cold War habits with its own people.
Where is the United States and all of those politicians of both parties who constantly claim that this country should be that beacon of freedom? Mostly either silent, speaking in bland generalities, or are against doing much of anything.