“Why Don’t you stay in your own country and fight for it?” was the cry of a very old Greek woman on the island of Kos to Syrian emigrants; the population of Kos is 33,000 and there are some 10,000 emigrants who have arrived there. Most have come from Syria through nearby Turkey.
The question is a good question and it is significant that it was asked by a very old lady. Of course, emigrants who are old and helpless cannot fight but it seems that the young do not want to defend their countries in ways that the older generation did previously. Greece has a long history of fighting to defend its country. You can start with the exploits of Leonidas and work through history until about 1950. From about 1920 until 1950 Greece was virtually continuously at war, with Turkey, Italy, Germany and then with Soviet inspired communists. Many perished in the defence of Greece, but the war in Syria is not perceived as a war to defend Syria, rather it is perceived as a war to curtail ISIS.
Perhaps it is the modern way of soft comfortable living that makes the young reluctant to defend their country. Those who have little to lose seem to be able to fight viciously to defend what little they have. Those who have much to lose are much more reluctant to fight and more likely to compromise in order to retain some of what they have.
This tendency is shown in our present reactions to terrorism. Instead of treating terrorists as criminals and detecting them and punishing them using traditional methods we have created a new way of dealing with terrorists and suspected terrorists which owes more to the methods of an absolute despot than it does to a nation operating under the rule of law. Torture, detention without trial and restrictions on liberty of speech are commonplace in most jurisdictions, although Western democracies prefer to have the torture conducted elsewhere and turn a blind eye to it.
Ultimately we have to consider whether, if our country was invaded, we would flee to the safety of another place or stay to defend it, at the risk of our lives. Previous generations ago the choice was simple; we would defend our country. Today it seems that most would flee.