Originally posted by huckleberryhound
I've recently had my social media feeds filled with the picture of the poor kid washed up on the Turkish beach. Although i think this is a profoundly sad event, and that something needs to be done about the crisis in Syria, what has annoyed me is the use of this child like a meme for a certain part of society to use against another. So, my debate qu ...[text shortened]... is this.
Who is to blame for The babies being washed up on the beaches of Greece and Turkey?
Who is to blame? You are using a well worn politician's device called "reframing the issue" which is used when people do not expect much sympathy for their opinions so shift the debate to different terrain in the hope of regaining an advantage. Why do you imagine that is the key question here? Are you a Cameron supporter by any chance? It is what he wants us to imagine.
As the Syrian crisis unfolds many British people have been sickened by the cynical and inhumane response of the UK government and media. Similar concerns exist around Europe.
Cameron's mantra has been that we must not help migrants, however desperate and however well they fit every legal definition of a refugee entitled to international help and support, because that will encourage more to follow them. The insanity of this response can be located in the delusion that people are fighting to get into our backyards, to take our jobs and our homes, rather than fleeing for their very lives to get away from fighting.
This has been followed up with his pious pronouncement that instead of rescuing drowning and dying migrants, we must work for peace and security in the region - a generous phrasing which presumably encloses not only internal strife within Syria but post invasion Iraq, the aggressive Israeli state, the Sunni - Shia split of more than a thousand years, and perhaps the price of oil. It is so entirely delusory that it is plainly a sarcastic, dismissive and insulting position which the British electorate as a whole is not accepting any longer.
Perhaps he envisages a policy for Syria like that for Israel. Enfold millions of refugees in some desert camp without prospects and leave them there, stateless and destitute for decades without prospect of improvement. If they protest at their treatment, maybe do what the Israelis do to Gaza and bomb them into passivity again. America will supply the weapons. It sure as hell will not be taking in the refugees.
Something had to change and the images of three year old Aylan Kurdi served as a catalyst. As Stalin said, one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. Tyrants use that difference to their ends. We can use it in reverse against tyrants, by making the statistics human again. People can certainly be critical of the subsequent outpouring of sentiment in social media and question the political intelligence of much that has been said, they can raise their world weary eyebrows at the amatuer attempts to provide practical and financial help for example to the migrants trapped at Calais, but any politician ignoring the strength of feeling displayed is heading into trouble.
We have been led for too long by politicians and other interests willing to disregard the common humanity we share with the people of Syria, Iraq, Palestine and the region generally. The image of Aylan is serving as a rallying point for those of us who are sickened by all that and want to see humane values given due weight in the policies of this country. And the image is working its magic like a crucifix held up to a vampire.
That is how media works. Mock it if you wish from a vantage point of privilege and impunity. Ignore it at your peril.