The U.S. is to blame for Syria's misery

Had we not gone looking for weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist, millions of people would stiff be s

If there's a lesson for today's refugee crisis in the history of the Vietnamese "boat people," it is the disaster of waging wars that are impossible to either win or end (As U.S. accepts more Syrian refugees, Baltimore Resettlement Center plans for influx," Sept. 10).

Decades ago the Vietnamese fleeing their homeland sought asylum in the first place they set foot. Unlike the current migration into Europe, the boat people were grateful for any safe haven.

Germany has offered assistance and possible asylum to more than 800,000 Syrians, Afghans and others — a truly generous proposal. Austria is also in agreement with the resettlement.

But what about the countries like Greece, Macedonia and Hungary? No such accommodation was on the table — in fact the influx of migrants desperate to reach Germany looked like an invasion. Is it any wonder places like Hungary are building fences?

Germany has put out the welcome mat, but at the same time has done nothing to assist the newcomers reach their border. It was shortsighted and dangerous. Unlike the "boat people" of Vietnam, these asylum seekers have a specific destination. There is the major difference.

No matter how this disaster is handled in Europe, America bears responsibility for the mess in the Middle East. Had we not gone looking for weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist, had we left Muammar Gaddafi alone and were not promoting regime change in Syria, millions of human beings would be safe and in their homes.

It is time the United States stopped trying to police the world — it always leads to misery, death and upheaval.

R. N. Heid, Baltimore

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