Canada should accept Middle Eastern refugees on humanitarian grounds, but we should also do so in recognition of our complicity in creating the conditions these desperate people are fleeing.
Led by the U.S., Canada and some European nations have bombed, invaded and overthrown governments throughout the Middle East in an arc of destruction extending from Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, across Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan to the shores of the Arabian Sea in Pakistan.
A century of such military “interventions,” together with Saudi Arabia’s export of religious fundamentalism and our unconditional support for Israel, have combined today to create a wave of refugees in search of that which no longer exists in their homeland: peace, security and opportunity.
Canada is certainly not responsible for all the suffering in the Middle East, but we have had a hand in it.
It is time that Canada rejects the empire-building and sense of entitlement that led western nations to meddle in the region, and to work with the UN to re-establish security and freedom in the Middle East so that its people can live and prosper in their own homelands.