Refugee crisis diminishes US leadership

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-9-8 23:58:01

Germany has said that it can take in at most 800,000 asylum seekers this year. The number is many times more than the total figure of other countries' estimates combined in terms of accepting refugees in the years to come. On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the unprecedented refugee influx will change the country.

The UK has also announced it will accommodate up to 20,000 new refugees over the next five years. The figure seems too low compared to Germany's effort. However, compared with the US on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Britain is heart-warming enough. Since the outbreak of this refugee crisis, the US has taken in 1,434 in total so far. The Obama administration committed last month to resettle 8,000 refugees by the end of 2016.

Washington, as the "big brother" of Western countries, tends to push its allies forward, forcing others to take bullets for it, while cheering them on from the sidelines. 

Germany might face some tricky issues in the future, but it has left the world an impression of being responsible. Of course, Berlin did not do so out of its good heart, but because of the overwhelming pressure from public opinion.

The refugee crisis might become a milestone. Those poor refugees from the Middle East and North Africa were risking their lives as they fled to Europe. They did break the legal barriers that were set for limiting the refugee influx. Authority of the national boundary has been weakened.

Gathering together and making a breakthrough toward one direction might become a successful model which the asylum seekers will imitate. Yet we cannot blame Merkel for sending the wrong signal, nor can we blame the refugees for this rise in rebellion. The root-causes of the crisis are war and the severe inequality in the world, where some places are full of suffering.

The priority for the entire world nowadays is to stop the wars. When the European countries were following the US to "punish Syria," they might never have thought that they would also become victims in the same conflict. There will be an eventual price to pay for willfully destroying a country that they don't like.

It is hoped that the West and the globe can draw a lesson from this unprecedented crisis. The world has changed. Some regions are being buffeted by stormy turbulence, and it is thus getting increasingly difficult for others to stand aloof. 

Since the Iraq War, Washington has lost quite a few points for stirring up or encouraging a series of conflicts. The US, as the world's police, can no longer finish what it started, and has been constantly creating unfinished political projects. Its ability to give orders to the world will be severely affected. For one that heavily values its leadership, such a diminution will make it perturbed.

Posted in: Editorial

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