|Credit: Hassan Ammar/AP|
There is another solution to the problems in Syria. It is simple in concept but hard to imagine. Easy to begin, but possibly harder in the long term.
Save the people of Syria by bringing them here.
We have the room. We even have a place for them to stay. It's called Detroit, and the city has empty houses, empty apartments, and a basic infrastructure already in place. Think about it. Detroit needs more citizens, Syrian people need new homes. If the government is smart, it can jump start new business opportunities here.
And it's not just Detroit that suffered from the recent housing crisis and from the changes in manufacturing. There are towns all over the U.S. who could use an infusion of new people, new ideas, and new money. We know that immigrants and immigration have an overall positive effect economically on host countries (see links below). It's is literally a win-win for everyone.
It would be relative easy to accomplish, because in all honest the U.S. military kicks butt. The Army can go in, set up airstrips, and fly in huge cargo planes. The Air Force can provide air coverage with A-10s. The Marines can locate pockets of people in need and help them get to safety (and our airplanes).
No, I don't think we can evacuate all 18 million people currently estimated to be living in Syria. But we need to save who we can.
After all, it's that what the United States is about? Extending a helping hand to people in need and welcoming immigrants?
Or, as it says on the plaque at the Statue of Liberty:
your huddled masses
yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse
of your teeming shore.
tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
(From "New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, 1883)