Tragic images show refugee crisis at a tipping point in Europe

Go Lean Commentary

You break it, you buy it!

Though this policy is not codified in law, this seems to be the de facto standard for handling other people’s property.

But the issue in this commentary is not property, it is people.

CU Blog - Tragic images show refugee crisis at a tipping point in Europe - Photo 3The people of the Failed-State countries of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are desperate and fleeing for their lives to get out of those war-torn countries to find relief. These ones risk their lives, and the lives of their children, to turn “sure defeat” into a fighting chance for life. It’s a bet – a gamble – and many times, these ones lose.

The name of a young toddler is now surfacing to give a name (and face) to his tragedy. Young Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian refugee, drowned in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, trying to make it to shore with his parents. See the images here:

VIDEO: Tragic images show refugee crisis at a tipping point in Europe –

Posted September 3, 2015 – Hundreds of thousands of refugees are risking their lives to reach Europe this year, 20,000 overwhelming a small Greek island in just the last week, with thousands drowning and dying in what’s become the biggest mass migration since WWII. NBC’s Bill Neely reports for TODAY.
CU Blog - Tragic images show refugee crisis at a tipping point in Europe - Photo 1

“There but for the Grace of God go I” – Old Expression

From the Caribbean perspective, we have seen this tragedy before, again and again. Just recently – in January – this commentary related the same tragedies in Caribbean member-states with refugees endangering their lives to leave places like Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. We understand the full breadth-and-width of Failed-States.

The toddler – Aylan Kurdi – in the foregoing photo deserves better. It is hoped that these images that were published Wednesday with his soaked red shirt, blue bottoms and tiny velcro-strap shoes that washed up on the beach in the Turkish resort of Bodrum, would ricochet across traditional and social media and be hailed as emblematic of the desperate and deadly refugee struggle to reach Europe.

These were plastered on international front pages on Thursday. This boy’s tragic life and death will not be in vain. CU Blog - Tragic images show refugee crisis at a tipping point in Europe - Photo 2The situation in these Failed-State countries (Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan) must be addressed. See Appendix below.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for elevating the 30 member-states of the Caribbean, a few near Failed-State status. The book does not target Middle-East countries in its mitigation and remediation plans – Caribbean only – but we seek to learn lessons from the handling of this crisis.

The 5-Step leading-learning curve is normally:

1. Look, 2. Listen, 3. Learn, 4. Lend-a-hand and then 5. Lead.

We cannot lead in this case, but we can lend-a-hand, (contribute to any international relief campaign). We can also learn how to minimize Failed-State risks within our region.

So who should take the lead for fixing the Middle East Failed-State dysfunctions or the refugee crisis into Europe?

According to the opening quotation of this commentary: those who broke it. (Notice, in the foregoing VIDEO, that the refugees are targeting NATO countries).

The US and Western Europe are perhaps more directly responsible. They are the ones, in multi-national coalitions, that toppled the strong governments of Afghanistan and Iraq, then sat aside and allowed ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to form with the hope of overthrowing the oppressive regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. (So far, ISIS, has become its own “Frankenstein Monster”, to say the least, creating more distress and becoming its own threat). See Appendix below.

The Middle East is not easy!

In 2008 the newly elected US President, Barack Obama, vowed to exit US forces from Afghanistan and Iraq. He succeeded. The “laws of unintended consequences” may now have taken reign.

As for the Caribbean, we are on the periphery of this issue. Yes, we are allied to the United States and their enemies do tend to lash out at American allies. So we do have the “Sum of All Fears” that Al-Qaeda, ISIS or some other terrorist group would secure a “dirty bomb” nuclear device and detonate it in the Caribbean. But the biggest concern must be the slow creep of Failed-State status. This point was pronounced early in the Go Lean book as a motivation and a basis for confederation among Caribbean neighbors; there are the applicable statements in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12):

x.   Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices … to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed-state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xiii. Whereas the legacy of dissensions in many member-states (for example: Haiti and Cuba) will require a concerted effort to integrate the exile community’s repatriation, the Federation must arrange for Reconciliation Commissions to satiate a demand for justice.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

This Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). With a branding name like Trade Federation, obviously the scope of elevating Caribbean society starts with economics. But the CU must seek to optimize the security dynamics in addition to economic empowerments. Therefore the Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines and mitigate challenges/threats to ensure public safety for the region’s stakeholders.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The book contends that though terrorism may not be a scourge on Caribbean life presently, new “bad actors” will eventually emerge to exploit the new economic successes envisioned in the Go Lean roadmap. The CU/Go Lean Strategy statement is quoted as follows (Page 46):

Fix the broken systems of governance in our region and deter against movements towards Failed-States, and any preying upon our people. We must protect the most vulnerable among us and guarantee the human/civil rights of our women and minorities.

The Go Lean book details a series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to optimize the societal engines of the region, to stop any downward spiral into Failed-State status. See the lists here:

Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Choices & Incentives Page 21
Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Anti-Bullying and Mitigation Page 23
Community Ethos – Minority Equalization Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future – Focus on Youth & Progress Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision –  Integrate region into a Single Market Economy Page 45
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change – Increase in Droughts and Floods Page 57
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Department of Homeland Security Page 75
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Federal Courts – Truth & Reconciliation Commissions Page 75
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid Page 115
Planning – 10 Big Ideas … in the Caribbean Region – Haiti & Cuba Page 127
Planning – Ways to Model the EU – From Worst to First Page 130
Planning – Reasons Why the CU Will Succeed – Germany Reconciliation Model Page 132
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices – Cuba & Haiti on the List Page 134
Planning – Lessons from East Germany – European post-war rebuilding Page 139
Planning – Lessons from Egypt – Arab Spring Page 143
Planning – Lessons from the US Constitution – Gradual Optimization Page 145
Planning – Lessons from Canada’s History – Reconciliations with Indigenous Peoples Page 146
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Justice Page 178
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora Page 217
Advocacy – Ways to Protect Human Rights Page 220
Advocacy – Ways to Help Women Page 226
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Youth Page 227
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Dominican Republic – Need for Reconciliations Page 237
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Haiti Page 238
Advocacy – Ways to Re-boot Jamaica – Mitigate Migrations & Brain Drain Page 239

In previous blog commentaries, the related issues of Caribbean migration and refugee-seeking were fully explored. See sample list here: Pressed by Debt Crisis, Doctors Leave Greece in Droves Americans arrested for aiding ISIS Migrant flow into US from Caribbean spikes Local Miami Haitian leaders protest Bahamian immigration policy A Lesson in History: Economics of East Germany A Lesson in History: World War I Ethnic Cleansing Caribbean loses over 70% of tertiary educated citizens to the   brain drain Only at the precipice, do they change

All of the Caribbean needs to pay more-than-the-usual attention to the crisis with these Middle East Failed-States and the resultant refugee influx into Europe.

“There but for the Grace of God go I”

The remediation and mitigations in the Go Lean book are best-practices to minimize the push-pull factors for our own societal abandonment, and downward spirals into Failed-States. Now is the time for all of the Caribbean to lean-in this roadmap. Let’s show the world how to re-boot Failed-States and how to forge better conditions in a homeland. Let’s truly make the Caribbean better places to live, work, and play.  🙂

… and R.I.P. little Aylan Kurdi. We will not soon forget you. 🙁

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix – Middle East Failed States


A landlocked country, with a population of approximately 32 million people; it is located within South Asia and Central Asia between Iran and Pakistan. The recent history features a series of coups in the 1970s and was followed by a Soviet invasion and a series of civil wars that devastated much of Afghanistan.

The September 11 attacks on the United States were perpetrated by known terrorist Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda movement. The US demanded that the then-Taliban government hand him over.[122] After refusing to comply, the October 2001 Operation Enduring Freedom was launched by the US to topple the Taliban government. During the initial invasion, US and UK forces bombed al-Qaeda training camps. The United States began working with the Northern Alliance to remove the Taliban from power.[123] American forces remained until the official end of the war on December 28, 2014. However, thousands of US-led NATO troops have remained in the country to train and advise Afghan government forces.[138] The 2001-present war has resulted in between 185,000 and 249,000 deaths, which includes civilians, insurgents and government forces. A Taliban insurgency remains, to this day.


This country is situated near the Arabian Peninsula and sits in between Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait. The largest ethnic groups in Iraq are Arabs and Kurds. Other ethnic groups include Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya.[6] Around 95% of the country’s 36 million citizens are Shia or Sunni Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present.

Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein‘s Ba’ath Party was removed from power and multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005. The American presence in Iraq ended in 2011,[9] but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Civil strife continues to this day with conflicts among the ethnic and religious sects.


A country of 18 million people, on the coast of the Mediterranean; it is made up of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, it is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians,[8] Mandeans[9] and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Mandeans and Yazidis. Sunni Arabs make up the largest population group in Syria. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an uprising against Assad and the Ba’athist government as part of the Arab Spring, a crackdown which contributed to the Syrian Civil War and Syria becoming among the least peaceful countries in the world.[16]

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