Toronto Star Classroom Connection

U.S. not reason for immigration from Middle East

Demonstrators understand firsthand the plight of Palestinians, Nov. 14

The writer states that immigrants coming from Syria, Iraq and Lebanon were a direct result of U.S. catastrophic wars in the region. This is not really true.

There were14 million displaced Syrians, five million of which became refugees due to the 2011 civil war in Syria, with no U.S. conflict involved. The Lebanon refugee crisis started with the 15-year civil war in Lebanon (1975 to 1990). One million people left Lebanon as a result. No U.S. war involved (in fact, Lebanon expelled all Palestinians after the 1991 Battle of Sidon).

Iraq is more complicated. The U.S. left Iraq by 2011, then the butchery of ISIS started by 2014 with more than one million people displaced as a result of ISIS butchery, a quarter of these as refugees.

The coalition, including the U.S. entered a fight to eliminate ISIS.

However, ISIS was at least as responsible as coalition forces for the refugees from Iraq.

These refugees are more likely motivated by their experience with civil war and occupation by homegrown conflict rather than U.S. engendered conflicts. (All data from UNHCR publications).

Brooks Masterton, Pickering





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