Turkey currently hosts over  2,7 million Syrian refugees.
Lebanon currently hosts over 1.2 million Syrian refugees.
Jordan currently hosts over 630.000 Syrian refugees.
Iraq currently hosts over 230.000 Syrian refugees.
Egypt currently hosts over 120.000 Syrian refugees.


None of the six of GCC, Gulf Cooperation Council, states has signed the UN convention on refugees that governs international law on asylum since WW II.

 




















































































 

Token Effort Will Not Suffice


We are in the midst of historic reshaping of the Middle East map. How this map would look 25 years from now is being decided today. Unfortunately the most influential country in the world has decided to sit this process out. The geopolitical view of President Obama's administration is a token involvement that hardly influences reality on the ground. That leaves countries like Russia, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to make decisions for hundreds of millions of people based on their own national interests. Unfortunately their track record is one of very bad decisions and even worse global consequences.

Russia gave a world an October Revolution of 1917. Hundred years later we are still dealing with the aftermath of that event. Iran gave us an Islamic revolution of 1975 which jumpstarted a wave of Islamic  awakening throughout the Muslim world. We'll be dealing with the aftermath of that event, at least for another 100 years. The events taking place today in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and other countries in the region will influence what kind of world our kids and grandkids will live in.

Europe is also in the process of monumental change the likes of which they have not experienced since World War II. They already had serious problems with their Muslim minorities which they have not been able to resolve. The combination of ultraliberal laws, resistance of local Muslim to assimilate and lack of opportunities for the radicalized population proved to be a toxic mix that produced a 7th column in the heart of Europe.

The emergence of the Islamic State and creation of so called califate took that radicalization to another level. Young Muslims from Western countries and Europe in particular enthusiastically responded to the call to arms from ISIS in the way that Osama Bin Laden could only dream about. Many of them have not only joined the ranks of the terrorist organization fighting in Syria, Iraq and other countries, but also were promoted to the top leadership positions.

The values they were taught while growing up in many pseudo socialist European countries were lost in no time. Former students, professionals and even criminals who at one point used alcohol, used drugs and chased women miraculously transformed into hard core jihadies who are routinely chopping off heads of the infidels, rape women and commit suicide bombings.

Western Europeans have been promoting multiculturalism and secularism for many decades now. As a result number of Christians actively practicing their faith is in steep decline. Many churches go bankrupt and are turned into shopping malls while the number of mosques are growing. Some of those mosques are led by imams who promote pretty radical ideas.

They attract young men who do not get the answers they are seeking in secular schools. Some of them end up in the killing fields of a Syria and Iraq, choosing death over relatively comfortable life in Europe. Maybe multiculturalism is not all what is being promoted to be. Some people value their own culture and prefer to stay within its confines no matter how extreme some of it's tenants may be. If that's the case, then marriage of progressive European ideals and Islamic radicalism is doomed to failure no matter how hard it is promoted.

When Syrian president Asad started killing his countrymen in hundreds of thousands, world has watched and did not do anything of significance besides the useless rhetoric. The United Nations could not produce even one resolution condemning Syrian regime. Then came an infamous red line over Asad's indiscriminate use of chemical weapons against Syrian population. It was a red line which President Obama never acted on, letting Asad off the hook and in the process, allowing Vladimir Putin to become a major player in the Middle East.

How much of the major player we found out recently when Russian air force decimated the remnants of the Free Syrian Army and breathed the life back into a comatose Asad regime. In the few months Russians accomplished more than U.S. led sixty country coalition in a couple of years. Russians are now viewed as a force to be feared while the coalition forces are viewed as a joke who are resigned to celebrate an occasional success when they take out a couple of terrorist leaders.

In the Middle East only the brute force is respected. Anything else is viewed as a weakness. We need to make a decision of whom we are trying to impress, our enemies or our friends. It looks like we are more interested in impressing our friends by showing them what great humanitarians we are. The only problem with that policy is that it makes the world an even more dangerous place and does not help the people who need it the most, the Syrians.

During the first Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, we were introduced to the Powell doctrine of the overwhelming force named after American General, Colin Powell. It asserted that if and when the United States used military force, it must do so in overwhelming fashion and it must serve our vital national interests. Unfortunately the only party who seems to be following this proven strategy are the Russians.

We and our European partners prefer a more "humanitarian approach", a slow and a methodical engagement that limits any potential civilian casualties. So much so that we would not even hit the Islamic State oil tankers, one of their major sources of revenue. In the meantime between Asad and ISIS the casualty count amongst civilians is in hundreds of thousands, not counting the millions living in refugee camps or trying to find their way into Europe. Where is the humanity in that approach?

United Nations is actively encouraging the Western countries to accept more refugees. They claim that rejecting Muslim refugees only encourages ISIS and promotes their message. Islamic State does not need any encouragement. Unlike a hypocritical U.N. they know exactly what they stands for and what their goal is. Their short term goal is to defeat the Asad regime who happens to be the magnet that draws Sunny radicals from around the world to join the jihad in Syria. Their long term goal to have their black flag raised over the Vatican.

For Islamic State a refugee crisis is just a convenient strategy for conquering the Western world. They know full well that assimilating millions of Muslims into European societies is an impossible task. Europe could hardly handle the radical Muslims that already lived in Europe before the current crisis began. IS also understands that it is only a matter of time before many of the newcomers will be radicalized.

The idea that showing kindness by accepting millions refugees will make European countries safer is a pipe dream. When Angela Merkel announced to the world that Germany has an open door policy the situation only got worse. The origin of refugees is no longer limited to the countries affected by war. In fact, many of them come from places far removed from Syrian civil war, like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lybia and Bangladesh amongst many others. These are not refugees but rather an economic migrants. Tens of thousands of them can now be found all over Europe, living in newly created shanty towns, under the bridges or in open fields.

Most of them do not speak the local language or understand the laws and culture of their host countries. Initially they were probably elated just to make it to European soil, but once they realize that streets of Europe are not paved in gold, the disappointment will inevitably set in. Two words are very important in Islamic culture, dignity and humiliation. If after a period of time they still find themselves living on the fringe of the society while the locals are living in nice houses and driving fancy cars, their mood will change into resentment and anger.

Germany already got a taste of it when hundreds of women we sexually assaulted by refugees during the festival in the city of Cologne. The same people were waving the flags of the countries of their origin and not the flag of Germany, who welcomed them into their midst. That incident, coupled with recent terrorist incidents in Paris and Brussels provides a sneak peak into the bleak future awaiting Europe.

Given a choice, most refugees would prefer to live in their own homes in their native countries rather than on the streets of European cities. The moral thing to do is not to have them swap a misery in their homeland to lesser misery somewhere in Europe but to deal directly with it's origins. Those origins are not in London, Paris or Brussels.

Islamic State is responsible for creating a lot of that misery in the Middle East. By allowing them to exist, we create a precedent that a few thousand of determined jihadists can destabilize entire continents. Not only that, by showing a weak spine we encourage the emergence of similar behavior in other parts of the world.

There are already ISIS franchises in North and Central Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The longer we allow the ISIS cancer to fester the longer this list of potential failed states is going to get. Another Syria will be catastrophic for Europe as it can implode on itself under the pressure of millions of desperate refugees knocking on its doors. That kind of scenario will mean the end of Europe as we know it.

What will it take for the Western countries and NATO to take this threat seriously and fully commit to eradicating the Islamic State once and for all. How can they sit back and endlessly pontificate about their nonexistent military strategy in the face of ethnic cleansings, beheadings and mass murder perpetrated on the daily basis?

As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once famously said "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?". How difficult will it be for NATO to defeat Islamic State who at best has 30 to 40 thousand active fighters and no Air Force? Just because the Iraqi army ran away from them does not make them unbeatable.

Kurdish fighters in Iraq and Syria prove that point over and over again. While we have the most sophisticated weapons ever made by men, the Kurds fight ISIS with old and sometimes broken equipment. Many of their soldiers do not even have decent shoes or uniforms. What they do have is a commitment to win this war and understanding that any other outcome is not an option.

In the meantime we do not even have a decency to provide them with weapons. Instead we send arms to Shia dominated Iraqi government who is supposed to share them with the Kurds. That never happens because it's the same corruption plagued government who takes orders from the Ayatollahs in Teheran and serves their interests. How is it that we are arming our enemies but get cold feet when it comes to our friends?

It is often said that history repeats itself and that we never learn from it. Unfortunately it is true. The slow and methodical approach to defeating evil that is Islamic State may eventually produce some results, but the cost of that strategy will be very high. Many more countries will be destabilized, many more people will die or become refugees and their problems will inevitably become our problems as Europeans are learning first hand. It will be quite sad because we have the means of dealing with this problem now but we do not have the will.