Their essay cast the Syrians as the workforce the Hashemite Kingdom needed to realize its dream of industrialization. Betts and Collier also denounced the existing international response to the refugee crisis as “antiquated and fueled by panic.”
The panic was obvious and largely centered on Europe. Record numbers of refugees had arrived on Greece’s Aegean islands since June of that year and beaten a path north and west through the Balkans. The influx made Europe’s leaders appear impotent.
Early that September, stark photographs of Aylan Kurdi, a Kurdish-Syrian toddler who drowned while his family tried to cross from Turkey to Greece, briefly tipped the balance of public opinion from fear of mi