From A World to Win News Service:

The Migration Crisis: A Threat to a Despicable World Order

March 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Update from the editors of Revolution: On March 18, an agreement on refugees was announced between the European Union and the government of Turkey. While we have not been able to analyze this agreement, it is clear it is a vicious escalation of the brutal repression faced by refugees. Under the agreement, the E.U. will give the brutal Turkish regime billions of dollars to “outsource” the inhumane interdiction of refugees and attacks on them at sea, and to pay Turkey to detain many of those who survive the journey to Greece. 

Thousands of refugees stranded in the Greek town of Idomeni try to find a route across the border to Macedonia.
The more than 40,000 refugees who have made it alive to Greece only to be stuck there have been offered little way out but death or deportation. Above, thousands stranded in the Greek town of Idomeni try to find a route across the border to Macedonia. (AP photo)

March 14, 2016. A World to Win News Service. The words “Fortress Europe” are becoming a reality. The more than 40,000 refugees who have made it alive to Greece only to be stuck there have been offered little way out but death or deportation. There are no concentration camps and no mass killings of migrants, but the value of their lives has already been discounted by the European powers.

EU [European Union] Council President Donald Tusk warned immigrants: “Do not come to Europe... It’s all for nothing.” But given what they are trying to escape from, what else are they supposed to do? They risked death to get this far, and for many, the most rational choice is to continue risking death from the cold, disease, the police, vigilantes, drowning in frigid rivers. or perishing in the woods as they try to head north.

Four more countries that have been conduits out of Greece—Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, and Macedonia—have closed their borders “with the implicit backing of the European Union.” (New York Times, March 3, 2016) Albania deployed police to help patrol its border with Greece, to be joined by Italian officers. Bulgaria announced it will build a fence, closing the last opening. The UK is already sending Land Rovers to capture refugees attempting to cross that country and send them back to Turkey.

London announced it will send three ships to join the NATO flotilla in the Aegean. Unlike previously, these ships will operate in Greek and Turkish waters. They are not there to save anyone—18 people drowned March 13, adding to the preventable deaths of more than 300 people in these waters so far this year. The six ships now include two landing craft, designed to dump large numbers of soldiers or anyone else on a beach.

In these same waters, on March 12, two men on a Turkish Coast Guard boat were filmed approaching a rubber dinghy filled with refugees and beating them with sticks. A BBC correspondent said this was not the first time. On other occasions, reporters have seen them puncturing life rafts. Inside Turkey, which kept its borders with Syria open to allow recruits and supplies to reach Islamist fighters, border guards opened fire on refugees fleeing Syria, according to the Independent (March 4), which also reports “heavy beatings of those caught after attempting to slip across.”

Syrian refugees in a Turkish government-run camp.
Syrian refugees in a Turkish government-run camp. 300,000 of the 2.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey are living in such camps with only the bare necessities for life. Many have been there for four or five years already. (AP photo)

The European Union’s plan so far has three aspects: immediately use walls and weapons to keep the 42,000 refugees already in Greece from escaping, stop more from coming, and send as many of those people as they can to Turkey. They have offered Turkey billions of dollars to accept them—making the EU and the Turkish regime the biggest “human traffickers” on the planet. Given what Turkey is doing to them, why would any refugees want to end up there?

More than 14,000 people, from half to two-thirds of them women and children and many elderly, are trapped in the town of Idomeni, on Greece’s border with Macedonia. They are wet and cold all the time, and many are falling sick from these conditions. If they are treated in a hospital, they are released back into a tent in the frigid mud.

Greeks from this village and as far away as Thessaloniki bring food and supplies. A chef’s club comes to cook meals for thousands of people at a sitting. “Pensioners struggling to make ends meet buy two loaves of bread, one to share with those who have descended on their community; elsewhere, villagers open their homes.” (Independent, March 12) NGO activists, doctors, and others from around the world come to do what they can. But Europe’s governments seem to be waiting for these people to die or accept whatever unacceptable fate is offered to them. A political decision has been made to get rid of them, and making them suffer is part of enforcing that decision.

The stakes are very high, not only for the European powers but the U.S. as well. They perceive this situation not as a humanitarian crisis but a threat to their “security interests.” It is true that their domination is at risk. The top NATO commander in Europe, the American General Philip Breedlove, told the U.S. Congress that “Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponizing migration from Syria in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve.” The target is “the agreed rules of the international order.” (U.S. Department of Defense website)

This statement, as insane as it sounds, reflects concerns roiling the whole U.S. ruling class today, and those of its Western allies. The claim that Russia is deliberately trying to cause Syrians to flee to Europe by backing the Assad regime’s military offensive cannot hide the fact that the U.S. and its allies have done so much to prolong the civil war and turn it into an international conflict. All the world’s imperialist countries bear responsibility for the horrors Syrian refugees are fleeing, as well as the horrors Afghans, Iraqis, and others are trying to break out of. People should think about the general’s point that the military might of rival Russian imperialists and sick refugee children both represent a mortal threat for the interests he represents.

“The truth is that it is impossible for a handful of wealthy countries to benefit from and enforce the backwardness and poverty in so much of the world without having to confront the consequences of that domination,” the Revolutionary Communist Manifesto Group wrote (AWTWNS150928). “The current crisis is full of real and serious dangers, not only for the refugees but for everyone. But these same explosive conditions can also bring real opportunities for beginning to carve out a different type of future. There is no use in pining over the broken promises of an increasingly bankrupt European social democracy. Rather we need to look past the boundaries of the present system and begin to construct the kind of movement that, fighting to beat back the reactionary onslaught, can lead in the direction of the only real solution, communist revolution.”


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.

REVOLUTION AND RELIGION The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian
BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live
BAsics from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian
Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)
WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism
You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation Its History and Our Future Interview with Raymond Lotta
The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need