In the eyes of government leaders, the much-vaunted free flow of capital across borders does not extend to human capital. They didn't count on globalization resulting in people desperately fleeing the effects of globalization.
The spoils of war know no boundaries as they spread to, and bloat to bursting the too-big-to-jail and fail global banking cartel. The left-over spoils of war trickle down in tiny toxic drops to human traffickers who suck up the collateral damage of war and foist it into airless trucks and trains and let it drown as its rudderless crafts capsize.
The lucky survivors get thrown into concentration camps and "family detention centers."
The tens of millions of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East and Africa are stateless people. As such, they have none of the human rights occasionally and gratuitously bestowed upon human beings by individual nations.
The Jews, long the prototype of stateless people, from the Inquisition all the way to the second World War and beyond, have now been replaced by Muslims fleeing from the ravages of drought and climate change, civil wars from within and invasions from without. Images of them desperately clawing their way onto trains in Hungary are reminiscent of displaced Jews clawing their way onto trains bound for the gas chambers.
The photograph of a drowned three-year-old washed up on a Turkish beach has momentarily shocked the world into paying attention. There has been a sudden public pivot away from viewing the refugees as festering sores and swarming tunnel rats into a pretense of caring. Even such xenophobes as British Prime Minister David Cameron have become willing to let in a lucky, token few. Is it perhaps because that iconic drowned toddler was wearing the same kind of adorable Croc shoes as little Prince George on his little feet? Collateral damage suddenly gets a name and a face and some long-overdue humanity.
It seems that even neoliberal austerians can develop a conscience and a heart when public opinion shames them into it. Even cold-hearted Germany, punisher of the Greeks, is bending over backward to let the refugees in, some of its officials taking the moral lead and welcoming the human detritus of war into their own private homes. Germany, of course, is still reeling from the blow to its global reputation due to its complicity with the Nazis and the extermination of the Jews.
So far, we await American leaders developing this same sense of shame. So far, we wait in vain. Our own president is too busy taking selfies in front of melting glaciers to suddenly develop a melting heart. His idea of reparations to native Americans, most of whom were exterminated both directly and indirectly by American colonialists, is to benevolently restore the aboriginal name "Denali" to an Alaskan mountain. His administration still imprisons Central American refugees in border gulags euphemized as Family Detention Centers. Women and children are still labeled "national security risks" if they have the nerve to flee violence, rape and murder from south of our sacrosanct border. The American government, in thrall to the xenophobic rantings of Donald Trump and his reactionary followers, is not about to allow any more Others across our precious borders, despite the fact that American foreign policy created this epic Diaspora of Others in the first place.
It's NIMBY writ large.
I suggest that we build massive affordable housing complexes for refugees in the same gated Dallas luxury community currently housing George W. Bush, as well as throughout the wide open Wyoming plains that his unindicted co-conspirator Dick Cheney currently calls home. I suggest that the New York Times stop restricting its moralistic finger-wagging to the generic "West" and put the United States at the very top of the list of countries which are morally bound to rescue the human casualties of the wars this country's military-industrial complex has started and so richly profited from. After all, "We're Number One!" is the mantra being shouted by politicians from both major political parties. Let them put their money where their mealy, moralistic mouths are for a change.
If the xenophobes and the billionaires don't like it, maybe we can get the Corrections Corporation of America to build them some brand new luxury housing, with lots of gates and guards and barbed wire and high tech security systems to keep the Other out, and themselves blessedly hidden from the rest of us.