This will appear in the Farmerville Gazette, Farmerville, Louisiana, USA the week of 9/14/2015

“You reap what you sow”. This is a saying that we have heard since childhood and has been Anglicized and modified to the current saying. The origin is Biblical and the term is stated “As you sow so shall you reap”. This defines as “Your deeds, good or bad, will repay you in kind”. This was generally viewed as an individual depiction and used to denote that good will begot good and thus instill into a person his moral obligations. While this saying has been with us for thousands of years it is not only applicable to a single individual but can also address the actions of an entire nation. This is no more true than what we are witnessing today.
Three years ago the Middle East was undergoing a transition like no other in peacetime. During World War I and II the world witnessed geographical boundaries change while governments changed from their traditional structure to some different organization that was installed by a conquering nation. During the Arab Spring, governments were deposed, not by an invading army but instead by insurrections within the countries. This began with the fall of Iraq and Afghanistan courtesy of American military ingenuity. After that the dominos began to fall and for the most part the United States stood by and observed the fall. We left Iraq and scheduled a pull out of Afghanistan and left the building of new countries to local leaders and a population that was unfamiliar with true Democracy. The other countries that craved Democracy and threw off the yoke of tyranny received lip service from the United States and Europe. Support of substance did not follow up after the rhetoric was dispensed.
As the other countries of the Middle East struggled with democracy and as America reeled from the embarrassment of Benghazi a revolt was beginning in Syria. Four years ago a handful of revolters had been killed. While every life is precious that number is small compared to the hundreds of thousands that have died in the conflict while America and Europe stood by and let the genocide continue. The only countries offering help came not to the revolutionaries but instead to the aid of Syria. Russia and Iran offered help for the tyrants that rule Syria.
The Syrian conflict grew to a point that a small group was allowed to form under the radar of the free world. This organization had very good leadership, great organizational skills and apparently financial backers with deep pockets. It grew so quickly that it not only has caused disruption in the Middle East but has risen in three years to be actively attacking free countries on three continents. ISIS is a product of Europe’s and America’s inability to act when they needed to. Had the democratic countries of the world pulled together and had Turkey allowed NATO countries to launch air attacks on Syria, we would not have the chaos we have today. We are reaping what we have sown.
This is not the end of the dilemma. The world has watched as Jordan absorbed a million refugees that flowed across their border. Likewise Turkey saw Syrian refugees coming across their borders while fleeing the revolution and the terror of ISIS. Recently the world awoke to find the refugees seeking asylum in Europe. A Greek policeman could be seen lifting the lifeless body of a toddler from the Aegean waves as the child and his family braved and lost the battle to find safety in Europe. We have also witnessed Hungarian border guards mistreat many trying to get to Germany and Austria. This may be a throwback to fifty years of Communistic rule in Hungary. Unlike what many would have expected, the Germans and Austrians are welcoming as many as seventy thousand refugees to their country with England declaring to take more. The atrocities performed by a few in Germany during World War II and unfairly branding an entire country has kindled a wave of humanity in a country that is so geographically and culturally different from what the refugees are fleeing.
There are already starting to be cries for the United States to take more refugees. Our State Department has said that we could take a few thousand more but this will not quiet the critics that are taking an unusually large number of distressed humanity. I’m sure it will be pointed out that the United States has been the one country in the world to openly welcome the oppressed to its’ shore. We will see how this unfolds. If only we had acted four years ago. I guess we reap what we sow.


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