Lesbos and the Refugee Crisis

Coming into Mytilene, the capital.

Coming into Mytilene, the capital.

In 2008 Marie and I had the pleasure of visiting Lesbos, the Greek Island where 4000 Syrian refugees are now fleeing to each day.

We were only there for a few hours while on an Eastern Med cruise.  I remember being excited about embarking in Greece for the first time, even if Lesbos is off the main tourist route and lesser known.

It was a peaceful place with plenty of young and older folk and fresh fish in the marketplace.  Here are a few pics from our brief stay there.

The port is pretty laid back.

The port is pretty laid back.

A quiet side street.

A quiet side street.

St. Therapon Church, dating from the early 19th century.

St. Therapon Church, dating from the early 19th century.

The altar.  A mix of Byzantine, Gothic and Baroque elements.

The altar. A mix of Byzantine, Gothic and Baroque elements.

Fresh fish store.

Fresh fish store.

A thriving young community.

A thriving young community.

Things are not so calm there now.  Lesbos is about 10 km off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea.  Thousands of Syrian refugees are making the hazardous voyage in rafts and rubber dinghies every day.  Just today another 34 people drowned when their boat flipped however this was near a another smaller island further south.

What to make of the Syrian refugee crisis?  They need the world’s help and they need it now.  However it seems even Germany now is reaching the breaking point of handling the influx of migrant families.

What is going on?  We all understand the humanitarian crisis as millions flee from war torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.  However it is much more difficult to understand who is fighting who in Syria’s civil war and what is the likely outcome.  I fault the Canadian media for not better explaining to us what is being done by Canada and our allies to thwart ISIS and Al-Queda in their relentless pursuit of world chaos.

A particularly detailed article about what may happen if Damascus falls to ISIS is worth reading: http://observer.com/2015/09/how-the-dominoes-will-fall-after-isis-takes-damascus/

I support increasing and speeding up the entry of Syrians and other legitimate refugees into Canada.  I also think we should be using our military to fight ISIS and Al-Queda with the goal of ending the violence which threatens to overwhelm the western world.

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