September 9, 2014

SPENGLER: 14 Million Refugees Make the Levant Unmanageable. “There are always lunatics lurking in the crevices of Muslim politics prepared to proclaim a new Caliphate; there isn’t always a recruiting pool in the form of nearly 14 million displaced people. . . . When people have nothing to lose, they fight to the death and inflict horrors on others. That is what civilizational decline looks like in real time. The roots of the crisis were visible four years ago before the so-called Arab Spring beguiled the foreign policy wonks. The Arab states are failed states, except for the few with enough hydrocarbons to subsidize every facet of economic life. Egypt lives on a$15 billion annual subsidy from the Gulf states, and if that persists, will remain stable if not quite prosperous. Syria is a ruin, along with large parts of Iraq. The lives of tens of millions of people were fragile before the fighting broke out (30% of Syrians lived on less than $1.60 a day), and now they are utterly ruined. The hordes of combatants displace more people, and these joint the hordes, in a snowball effect. That’s what drove the 30 Years War of 1618-1648, and that’s what’s driving the war in the Levant. When I wrote in 2011 that Islam was dying, this was precisely what I forecast. You can’t unscramble this egg.”

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