Germany as leader in migrant crisis; migrants can help an aging Europe; time to negotiate in Syria; a new arms race; progress against poverty

A round-up of global commentary for the Sept. 21, 2015 weekly magazine

Markus Schreiber/AP
A woman carries a child as she stands between other refugees who were made to unboard a train by German border police officers, at the train station of the southern German border town of Passau, Germany, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Germany introduced temporary border controls Sunday to stem the tide of thousands of refugees streaming across its frontier, sending a clear message to its European partners that it needs more help with an influx that is straining its ability to cope.

Die Welt / Berlin
Germany as able leader in solving the migrant crisis
“With all the spontaneous emotion in this country [toward helping arriving migrants and refugees], we shouldn’t forget how long we, especially the government, have pushed this problem aside. We shouldn’t forget either the shameful conditions that many of Germany’s refugees are currently living in, and the remarkable commitment to refugee aid that civil society has proven,” writes Jörg Eigendorf. “Why should we face our government’s failures in this current moment of euphoria? Because our biggest challenge still lies ahead of us. Winter is coming.... Germany’s part in this challenge may make it a role model, and it may even change Europe.... If there is a country capable of this, then it must certainly be modern Germany with its people, economic power and sense of history.”

Le Monde / Paris
Migrants can help an aging Europe
“What will we call this human tide washing over Europe, a few years from now?... We all know the seemingly rational objections – that these people are not Europeans and can’t integrate in our societies, that the economy can’t take on that burden,” writes Guy Sorman. “But what sounds true is false. These people are refugees, who once accepted into Europe, would bring their education and their capacity for work. Most of them are young and determined.... Migration is a terrible selection of the fittest against the weakest. The United States has always developed faster than Europe thanks to the dynamism of migrants, whereas Europe declines as it grows older.”

The Hindu / Chennai, India
The time to negotiate in Syria is now
“It’s already too late now to find a political solution [in Syria]. [Islamic State] controls almost half the country and it is trying to advance into areas controlled by the regime,” states an editorial. “If that happens, the humanitarian situation in Syria will worsen, triggering a further refugee exodus. To stop that from happening, regional heavyweights such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia and their backers in the West should reverse their policy towards Syria. They should rein in the rebels they bankroll and directly engage with [Bashar al-Assad’s] regime to push for talks.”

The Jerusalem Post / Jerusalem
A new arms race after the Iran deal?
“With the almost inevitable passage of the Iran deal on Capitol Hill..., Israelis are naturally worried about the future...,” writes Jonathan Adelman. “Iran, already close to having an atomic bomb, will almost surely have the atomic bomb within the next decade.... And yet there are many reasons for hope as well.... Militarily, Israel is by far the strongest power in the Middle East. It already has the most advanced anti-missile systems in the world (Arrow 2, Iron Dome, David’s Sling) and within several years is likely to have an even more modern anti-missile system.... Even more important, Israel is reputed to have 80-100 atomic bombs and doubtless could produce many more in the next few years.”

América Economia / Santiago, Chile
Global progress against poverty is happening
The United Nations 2014 report on its Millennium Development Goals noted that “90% of the world’s population has better access to drinking water, and there is a narrowing of differences between the number of boys and girls registered for school in developing countries. Likewise the number of malnourished people fell from 24% of the population in 1990-92 to 14% two decades later...,” writes Juan José Toribio. “What does it mean that many poverty-reduction objectives have been met in spite of the global slump of recent years? This has happened thanks to economic liberalization, globalized finances, geographic diversification of production, technical innovations and greater acceptance of private enterprise. It is all this, not aid, that has ensured the better allocation of resources to those in need.”

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