World View: With Syria Destabilizing, Number of Refugees Back to WWII Levels

This morning's key headlines from

  • With Syria destabilizing, number of refugees back to WW II levels
  • Ban Ki-moon says that Syria and Iraq are becoming unstable
  • Both America and Europe face floods of mother and child refugees
  • Financial advisors taking kickbacks in addition to commissions

With Syria destabilizing, number of refugees back to WW II levels

For the first time since World War II, the number of refugees that have been forced to leave their homes because of violence or persecution exceeds 50 million. During 2013, there were about 10.7 million individuals who became new refugees. Fully half of the new refugees were children, and the large preponderance were mothers and children. 

The top three countries producing new refugees in 2013 were: 

  • Afghanistan - 2.56 million
  • Syria - 2.47 million
  • Somalia - 1.12 million

The top five countries that hosted refugees were: 

  • Pakistan - 1.6 million
  • Iran - 857,400
  • Lebanon - 856,500
  • Jordan - 641,900
  • Turkey - 609,900

2013 saw multiple refugee crises, reaching levels not seen since the 1994 Rwandan genocide. While there was only one major war causing refugees in 1994, there were several in 2013: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and in Central African Republic. 

The figures were in a new report by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UN refugee agency - UNHCR). António Guterres, the head of UNHCR, announced the report with a big dollop of wishful thinking: 

Peace is today dangerously in deficit. Humanitarians can help as a palliative, but political solutions are vitally needed. Without this, the alarming levels of conflict and the mass suffering that is reflected in these figures will continue. 
The international community has to overcome its differences and find solutions to the conflicts of today in South Sudan, Syria, Central African Republic and elsewhere. Non-traditional donors need to step up alongside traditional donors. As many people are forcibly displaced today as the entire populations of medium-to-large countries such as Colombia or Spain, South Africa or South Korea.

Guterres says that Europe, America, and other wealthy countries have an obligation to do more to help refugees escape from violence and persecution. 

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this worldwide surge in refugees is a sign that many countries of the world are becoming unstable in the generational Crisis era. 

As an aside, the report says that there are additionally about 3.5 million stateless people in the world, though they are not counted as refugees. UNHCR

Ban Ki-moon says that Syria and Iraq are becoming unstable

The normally mild-manner U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed anger on Friday at the situation in Syria. He blamed the conflict on Syria's president Bashar al-Assad for launching the war against peaceful protester three years ago, and he criticized the Security Council and the international community for failing to do its duty and for risking the "cohesion and integrity" of Syria and Iraq: 

Divisions within Syria, the region and international community, even within the United Nations, and continued arms flows continue to fuel the conflict. These bleak prospects have darkened further with a flare of violence and sectarian tensions in Iraq. Suddenly the cohesion and integrity of two major countries, not just one, is in question.

The time is long past for the international community, in particular the Security Council, to uphold its responsibilities," he said in urging the U.N. council to impose an arms embargo on Syria.

Of course this is never going to happen, because Russia (along with Iran) is a supporter of the genocide in Syria, and China sides with Russia because China is busy annexing other countries' territories. 

It's interesting how the U.N. Security Council has evolved since the end of World War II. At that time, it was thought that the UNSC could maintain peace in the world. Its five permanent members -- Britain, France, U.S., Russia, and China -- had all been the targets of preemptive war by Germany and Japan. Since these five countries had learned such harsh lessons, it was thought that they would be the ones to guarantee that nothing like WWII ever happened again. 

The ability of the UNSC to preserve peace has been eroding for decades, but the real death for the UNSC was struck in 2011 by Russia's president Vladimir Putin. As I've reported several times, has been to use the United Nations as a tool to control Barack Obama and cripple American foreign policy, and he's been spectacularly successful since then. ("22-Apr-11 News -- Russia seeks to cripple Nato through Libya United Nations politics"

This has been a remarkable development. Instead of learning any lesson from WWII, Putin and Russia are leading the world into a possible new world war and are preventing the UNSC from doing anything about it. In fact, the UNSC is now a tool to cause war, rather than a tool to prevent war. 

This is just one more example of why people never learn the lessons of history. VOA

Both America and Europe face floods of mother and child refugees

There's been a great deal of news coverage recently of the flood of women and children coming through the border with Mexico in order to remain in the United States. Estimates are that between 60,000 and 80,000 children without parents will cross the border in 2014. The huge size of this mass wave of children is a new phenomenon for which the border patrol is completely unprepared. Unlike adult male migrants, who try to get into the U.S. without being spotted by a border guard, these children run to the border guards, as they've been told that unaccompanied children will not be deported. In many cases, they carry with them the name and phone number of relatives or friends in the U.S. They're escaping violence in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. 

A similar phenomenon is happening in Europe. Some 43,000 migrants, many of them unattached children, cross the Mediterranean in shaky, unstable boats headed for Italy or Greece. Many of these children drown or have to be rescued by patrol ships sent out by European governments. These children are fleeing violence in Syria, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and other countries. 

These surges of child migrants into Europe, America, and elsewhere are highly charged political issues and are a big part of the increasing instability of the world that's leading us into a possible new world war. CNN

Financial advisors taking kickbacks in addition to commissions

According to James Sanford of Sag Harbor Advisors, many financial advisors take kickbacks from the companies whose mutual funds that they advise clients to invest in. In other words, if you're paying a financial advisor to tell you what you should invest in, he may be selecting the investments that bring him the largest kickbacks, rather than investments mostly likely to be good for you. This is unethical, or course, and probably illegal, but with Washington from the president on down perpetrating the greatest acts of corruption I've seen in my lifetime, who cares what financial advisors are doing? CNBC

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Afghnistan, Pakistan, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, António Guterres, Ban Ki-moon, Iraq, UN Security Council, Russia, China, Vladimir Putin, James Sanford 

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