This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"For a while it seemed that the photograph of Aylan had succeeded in affecting public opinion in the West and in the attitudes of politicians. Schools and campaigns were named after my son and I liked that because I thought it would increase empathy and mean that my family was not forgotten."
"But the news of more boat sinkings and of walls being built along the Balkan route tells me that, in reality, beyond the initial emotional reaction, little has changed."
Abdullah Kurdi, Irbil, Kurdistan

"When the morning came, I saw how the children were crying and the women. At this point I only tried to pray."
"Everybody was trying to take the water out of the boat."
"For me, it was very shocking [people desperately dragging others underwater, trying to save themselves as their boat sank]."
Habtom Tekle, 27, Eritrean migrant, Greece

"I started to cry when I saw the situation and when I found the ship without an engine. There were many women and children."
"Water was coming in from everywhere, top, bottom."
Filmon Selomon, 21-year-old Eritrean
Once again, hundreds of migrants have lost their lives in their desperate efforts to reach Europe. What started out as Syrian refugees fleeing their tyrant's bloody war against a sectarian rebellion that arose from Syrian President Bashar al Assad's stark refusal to meet the human rights demands of a majority of his population who are Sunni -- complaining that under his regime the Shiite demographic that he represents have favoured treatment -- then chose to turn protests into rebellion, then a civil war.

The displacement of millions of Syrians, both internally and externally has resulted in neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey receiving millions of people settling in vast refugee camps. Life for these refugees has become a misery of bare existence  lacking the dignity of human rights, and many have  hopes of seeking a future in Europe. A situation which unscrupulous people traffickers have made a lucrative business from, selling passage on rickety, unsafe vessels to cross the Mediterranean.

Joining Sunni Syrians in their flight from oppression and conflict have been people fleeing conflicted lives in Afghanistan, Gaza, Somalia, Libya and Eritrea, among other places where Islamism rules and dictators and terrorism have become the order of the day, leaving people to live their lives in the inhumane degradation of extreme fear and poverty. As for Abdullah Kurdi, he lost his wife and both his little boys because he decided to make that perilous sea voyage; he and he alone.

This was not their first attempt, and his wife Rehan, feared another attempt, but obviously her opinion and her fears were not part of the equation when her husband decided that his family would make another effort. And it was he who was in control of the vessel they were crossing in and failed. Other people's children were lost besides his own; grieving parents who identified him as the captain. His determination sacrificed his sons Galip five, and Aylan, three.

He lives now in Kurdistan. He and his family are ethnic Kurds. He gambled and they lost. He is bereft of wife and children and must live with his conscience. Seeking to balm  his conscience by blaming Europe for the failings of the Middle East tyrannies and the spectacular failure of Islam as a religion that might lead its faithful to lives of decent human relations represents a refusal to face realities and see the situation as it really is.

Europe has been invaded, as a result, with more refugees and haven seekers and economic migrants than it could conceivably handle, arriving on top of the Muslim migrants it had already accepted through immigration, some from former colonies, others seeking opportunities for advancement they have been unable to find in their countries of origin. Their presence, from vastly different cultures and heritage along with a religion that is contrary to Europe's has been hugely unsettling.

The immense failure of Islam as a religion that claims for itself the right of political imperialism and social and cultural control of every aspect of every person's life, to administer affairs of state under corrupt tyrants has resulted in this massive migration. So is the solution the surrender of Europe's own reasoned politics and economy, its heritage and its culture to salvage the living tide of migrants eager to find opportunity for themselves while importing with themselves a way of life that is all-consuming and contrary to Europe's own?

The latest tragedy of drownings of migrants took place on the weekend, involving roughly 700 people, mostly Eritrean, according to Save the Children. Where, among other unseaworthy vessels, three ships loaded with migrants capsized, and one sank in the Mediterranean. This one had no engine, it was being towed by an equally unseaworthy vessel with a like number of migrants on board. And the one being towed was leaking beyond the capacity of those aboard to bale.

Abdullah Kurdi criticizes Europe for not eagerly scooping up all migrants and refugees in a grand humanitarian gesture, when the real problem is why these people are leaving their countries of origin and the need of the international community to stem the flow by courageously identifying the cause and working together to convince these countries' administrations that it would be preferable for them to alter their political trajectory rather than face an external threat to force them to do so.

Syria's situation is the most obvious one long past the need for its neighbours to mount a forceful challenge to its dictator that his human rights abuses causing strain and stress on his population and on neighbouring countries will no longer be tolerated. The United Nations' R2P would most certainly support such an initiative; if its neighbours were not so craven, awaiting the forceful intervention of NATO, the Syrian situation might have been mitigated years ago.

In one boat alone 550 people are held to have perished. The 28-year-old Sudanese captain of the tow boat cut the rope pulling the one his own boat was towing, and the rope, under pressure, flew back decapitating a woman, and led to the drowning of most of the boat's passengers; a mere 70 survivors were plucked from the sea.

As for the much-vaunted peace talks on Syria, the chief opposition negotiator has resigned. Mohammed Alloush stated his opinion from his informed perspective that the international community was not "serious" in resolving the five-year civil war which has so far been responsible for the deaths of 450,000 people.

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