In order to solve any problem, even the large and perplexing ones, the first step is to identify it as clearly and at the highest level possible, as if imagining the problem as like and onion, and the proceed to peel back the layers of it to eventually get to the heart of it. Once the problem is identified, it may very well be that in peeling back the layers, it might be discovered that the problem is much too large in scope to be solved, or that solving the problem would require actions that are morally unacceptable or cost prohibitive.
Without really knowing much more about German politics than what education can be obtained in news media, likely of questionable integrity, it appears to me that Merkel’s party may have already been through the problem solving process with regard to issues in the Middle East and may have concluded that the problem is unsolvable from their vantage point: it is too large in scope for their authority – very likely – and taking political control over the Middle East is morally unacceptable and could never pass a cost/benefit analysis.
If a problem such as societal evolution via convulsion is too large and costly to solve directly then what else is there to do? One possibility is to influence the problem by helping the more liberal not-as-bad guys. Which they did. But with Europe being somewhat closer to the problem geographically than here in the US, doing this had its own unique set of consequences – refugees – a problem that it appears Europeans, and Germans in particular weren’t prepared for and which became political problem number one.
It seems that European backing of Syrian rebels waned after the refugee problem became acute because we can plainly see that just a year later the cause of Syrian freedom that at one time was nearly a breath away from being won is now as good as lost; the fall of Aleppo was no mere coincidence. A very sad reality that is somewhat understandable on the surface as an attempt to stem the refugee crisis.
But the political impact of the refugee problem is a now lasting one that has ultimately served no purpose at all. Merkel cannot now claim that enduring the wave of new, what may have been temporary, inhabitants was for the sake of a freer world for lack of a huge achievement to point to that would make it safe for them to return home. By cutting off supply and support to Syrian rebels, Merkel gambled in the moment and won nothing but very large and useless consequences for Europe that will hang around as long as the refugees will. Just ask yourself if, as a Syrian refugee, you would to go back to life ruled by Assad. I can speak for myself only, but I would seriously consider anywhere but Syria after having had a taste of freedom. And, of course, refugees hanging around isn’t cheap if they either are not allowed to or cannot integrate.
Many have accused Trump of being unfit for office. But I am full of wonder why, with all of gambling and losing with no good purpose Merkel has done, her competence appears to be beyond reproach. At least Trump isn’t interested in helping Merkel mop up her mess and making her problems ours by importing them to the US. His refusal to do so has nothing to do with bigotry and everything to do with sleeping in one’s own bed. Syrian refugees who, after Merkel’s misguided leadership, now cannot return home for the foreseeable future is a problem bought and paid for by Europe that is presently too expensive for the United States to solve. And I’d assure my European friends that it won’t be solved by name-calling and denigrating the President of the United States.