The refugees escaping from Syria only have one destination: the west. Because there they know they will be relatively safe and free. Not in Russia, not even among their own religious kin do they find welcome. No matter how stupid and self-destructive the adventure in Iraq was, it has left unchanged the basic underlying ideological world order between free and not free. Even Brexit is a free choice not open to Ukraine or majority of Syrians who want the sort of freedom that the British have enjoyed for centuries.
Hindsight being what it is, primarily the west culturally (not so much politically nowadays) is the enduring power behind people’s desire for pluralism and freedom from oppression and ideological monomania. The west brings not an ideology of freedom, it brings the tools, the media and the carriers. The failure of the Persian Green revolution and the Arab spring was due to a failure of experience, to violent repression, to Islamic takeover and to the west’s failure to stick to its values. It was not due to the liberal zeal with which millions filled the street to demand change. But by the time that the Arab spring was well underway, the Americans had already voted with their feet and voted in a president with a mission to abandon them to their horrific destinies as a failed experiment.
In response to http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1353c1d8-4298-11e6-b22f-79eb4891c97d.html