Causes of the Syria war and its relationships with EU refugee crisis, Paris attacks

By Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, editor-in-chief. The Indicter magazine is a publication after an initiative of Swedish Doctors for human Rights. I have received the responsibility by the Editorial board of The Indicter of being the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief. I am honoured with the task of presenting to the public this first issue, comprised by […]

By Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, editor-in-chief.

The Indicter magazine is a publication after an initiative of Swedish Doctors for human Rights. I have received the responsibility by the Editorial board of The Indicter of being the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief. I am honoured with the task of presenting to the public this first issue, comprised by six analyses around the theme ‘The Paris attacks, the EU migrant/refugee crisis, and the causes of the Syria war’.

The interaction between the Paris attacks, the EU refugee crisis, and the causes of the Syria is multi-fold:

The migrant/refugee influx

The emergent migrant flow entering Europe in the last months is often equated with the term “refugees from Syria”.

Ruling elites of countries such as Sweden – both at government and opposition – until recently motivated their request to the public to admit more refugees based in that thy were sufferers from “Assad’s war in Syria”. But this constitutes a double fold deception.

We have to distinguish a quantitative from a qualitative aspect in this process. In the first place most of refugees in the recent migrant flow are not from Syria, way far from that. Country-wise considered Syria may be the most prominent in the list of “refugee countries” to EU. However, when breaking down the cohorts Syrian migrants / Non Syrian migrants among those entering EU, we find that migrants from Syrian are the minority. The majority of migrants correspond to a constellation of countries mainly represented by Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other African countries. And this quantitative distribution seems to increase in in the lasts months, and increasingly in the recent weeks.

However, qualitatively speaking, it would be licit to say that the emergent migrant flow comprising citizens from this variety of countries has a primarily origin in the Syria war. Why?

The Syria war occasioned a massive emigration first to neighbours countries, and also further to Europe. The wide acceptance of such migration by countries such as Sweden or Germany, elicited a “copycat” displacement by individuals from other countries in disarray, both in the Middle East (such as Iraq), Asia (Afghanistan) and Africa (Libya). Meaning, this “smuggling” of different nationalities in the Syrian cohort would not have taken such a huge dimension.

In sum, we could say that a) the worsening of the Syria war was the event that motivated the Syrians’ massive migration, among other countries, to European ones, and b) the positive reception done by these countries (based on misunderstanding, or prejudice, or plain ignorance) to the Syrian migrants was the catalysis by which other nationalities merged in the migrant flow. With this said, I am not denying that in those countries a situation of war or conflict also prevails.

Which lead us to the following item

Who caused the war in Syria, alternatively in Afghanistan, or Iraq and Libya?

One aspect that is not mentioned in analysis around this theme is the actual dichotomy between the original cause of the Syria war and the cause of the protracting feature of the Syria war.

Articles in this issue present eminent evidence on that the causes of the war is to be found in Western countries interests. These article refer to weapons supply, political support of puppet “free Syrians” representatives, etc. And this enumeration of evidence also explains the protracting character of the conflict ­ as the weapons supply continues unabated, even – or especially – after the Russian intervention in the conflict. In fact, new reports confirm that NATO countries, using proxies such as Ukraine, are now equipping “moderate terrorists” with land to air missiles. @Professors blog has denounced in Twitter the possession of such kind of missiles in the insurgents’ and IS militants’ hands longer time ago.

But the original causes of the war, as a constant in modern history, is economic. And has to do with oil production and deliverances, and with gas supply, markets, etc. And here we find the problem swimming in the same context that other contemporaneous wars – cold wars, propaganda wars, or wars by proxy – such as the one represented by “sanctions against Russia” – harbouring a pristine clear financial and economic motivation.

Concluding, the causes of the migration process with lead to crisis in EU countries such as Sweden is to be found in the wars sustained these countries. See for instance the article by Ruin, Elinder and Romelsjö (members of the European Human Rights Front) in this issue, where a detailed per-country list of interventions in which Scandinavian countries have participated – and which correspond to the countries of origins of the migrants that now are “upsetting” Europe. These governments have none to blame but themselves.

The Paris attacks and the risk of further governmental encroaches of our privacy and Civil Liberties

The interconnection of the above with the recent terrorist-attacks in Paris is subtler.

I am NOT saying that the refugee or migrant influxes permitted or made possible these attacks. It has not been probed that any of the actors in the Paris deeds were part of the refugee cohort arriving to EU countries in the last months. Not excluding that such a cases may be found in the future.

But the terrorist attacks have given immediately opportunity for governments to pursue new cuts in the arrays of civil liberties. Civil liberties for all, which democratic Europe managed to acquire after an epoch of much prevalent fascism.

In the cases of Sweden and Belgium these measures were already planned, but waiting for an opportunity like this one to materialize support in the public opinion. Trevor Timm summarized in The Guardian, “Government officials are wasting no time in attempting to exploit the tragedy in Paris to pass invasive anti-privacy laws and acquire extraordinary new powers that they have wanted for years.”

They will say that their own European “Patriotic Act” is devised for the war on terror. Just look at the consequences of the Bush-model implemented after September 11. Terrorism does not diminish just because those in power bestow their police with the right to kill whoever, without trial; rather terrorism is fostered by such measures because in “preventing spread” it leads to more wars of occupation and more suspicions against guest minorities or even to straightforward mistreatment.

What causes “Muslim” terrorism in Europe? What fosters recruiting of terrorist militants ending with a fanatic conviction for searching their own death in merit of their despicable terrorist deed?

Those who give as cause, simplistic, “a fundamentalist religion”, “a fanatic sect”; or simple demonization, as many Europeans leaders resort to, fail to grasp a more sustainable causality. And this is not because of the complexity of the cause – which is actually rather simple. Rather it is because in the cause habits the result of a wrong or infatuated policy these leaders are the authors and responsible.

The ultimate cause is cultural segregation. A wicked supremacist attitude that treat with contempt the very same people they have admitted as refugees; or invited as refugees, like in the case of Sweden.

One of the terrorists abated by the French forces in the aftermath of the Paris attacks sent the following message to the world Muslims in a YouTube video, most probably taken out of circulation by this moment:

“Are you satisfied with this life you are having? This humiliating life whether it is in Europe, Africa, Arabic countries or America? Are you satisfied with this life? This humiliated life where you call yourself Muslim?

That these words come from a dreadful terrorist condemned by everybody is not the central. The central is that it reveals what it might be found in the core-psychology of such a horrifying acts. And the central is that governments can do something about that.

In the bottom line of my analysis I sincerely agree in this topic with the following words of President Barack Obama, which I quoted in an older tweeter of January 18 this year:

.The Indicter - Obama on integration


To which I added in the same twitter:

a good idea + tweeter added

So, US-led coalition, stop arming “moderate terrorists” in Syria. EU, do treat terrorists as terrorists; but treat non-terrorist immigrants and refugees according to the Refugee Convention you are signatories. And take the responsibility for in the first place having contributed to cause these emergent migrations waves, and for then being naive or unprofessional in the management of whom gets in and whom not. Meaning, take social responsibility for those you have admitted, and stop morally profit on their misery.


Marcello Ferrada de Noli


Cover image: “The Run”, by arte de noli