Hans Rosling is one of my favorite demographers and analysts of change over time. If you’ve never seen any of his Gapminder videos, you owe it to yourself to catch up (especially the one on the washing machine, which is guaranteed to enrage feminists). A few months ago he asked a simple question: why are “refugees/migrants” paying thousands to cross the Mediterranean in rickety boats when you can fly to Europe for a fraction of the price? Has something to do with “documents,” which sounds familiar to the American ear.
So yes, some of the refugee chaos currently under way in Europe can be traced to Obama bugging out of the Middle East and thinking that bad neighborhood would sort itself out without us, but the EU hasn’t exactly distinguished itself.
And here’s Rosling’s take on the specifically Syrian angle on the crisis: