Thursday, September 03, 2015

A Burdensome Horror and Human Tragedy

"[Migrants] are not entitled to move freely within the European Union even after entering Hungary."
"If the migrants don't comply with the very basic rules that are in place in the European Union, there is no solution to this problem."
Zoltan Kovacs, Hungarian government spokesman

"We are among the few who are actually taking genuine measures [to enforce border controls]."
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto
 A migrant lies on the track with a baby as she is detained in Bicske, Hungary, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries. A migrant lies on the track with a baby as she is detained in Bicske, Hungary on Thursday.

As international news continue to focus on the ongoing refugee crisis with its unprecedented numbers fleeing persecution, conflict and sectarian strife in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, attention was riveted on the heart-breaking photograph of a Turkish border guard encountering the lifeless body of a small child washed upon a beach in Turkey, another victim of unseaworthy boats whom human smugglers convince migrants and refugees will bring them to haven in Europe.

Aylan Kurdi, all of three years old, died in the attempt to reach the Greek island of Kos. With him, his older brother, five-year-old Galip, also drowned, as the small craft they were being conveyed in, with their father and their mother along with other migrants, capsized in five-feet waves. Two 15-foot craft were being used by smugglers who charged the desperate families $2000 for passage from Bodrum peninsula headed to the Greek islands.

In all, 23 people died when both boats sank. Another three children and a woman among the dead. Seven people were rescued, and two were able to reach shore, wearing life-jackets. There is no hope that the two missing will be found alive. These were a handful of people among the over three- hundred-thousand who have surged over land and by sea to reach Europe, and, they hope, rescue from the dreadful misery their lives in their home countries have become.

The European border control agency has estimated that 23,000 people had managed to arrive in one week, to Greece, representing a fifty percent increase from the week previous. Fully 160,000 people have inundated Greece with their burgeoning presence in the first nine months of the year. Hungarian authorities have refused to allow asylum-seekers to travel onward to their favoured destination, Austria and Germany.

Germany has pledged that it is prepared to take in any Syrian refugees that manage to reach its border. It estimates that it will have taken in 800,000 Muslim asylum seekers in the past year alone. With the number of Muslim immigrants that Germany has already absorbed that will bring the total Islamic demographic in Germany to six million. That six million has been transforming German society, its culture and its prison population inexorably.

Migrant children demonstrate with placards in a railway station in Budapest, Hungary, on Aug. 31. The European Union is grappling with an unprecedented influx of people fleeing war, repression and poverty in what the bloc has described as its worst refugee crisis in 50 years.   Attila Kisbendek/AFP/Getty Images

Quite a contrast in the space of 70 years; the willing absorption of six million people with a totally different heritage, ethnic group, religion, culture and values, after a hugely successful effort at genocide through a state machinery using every technical advantage it could muster in the face of a global war effort, to destroy the lives of an equal number of Jews, during the Holocaust years. Now comes an influx of Jew haters as virulent as those of the Nazis to transform a Nordic country to a Middle Eastern one.

The real problem is the horrible failure of the world community to halt the Islamist rampages against Muslim populations, in the paroxysms of tribal, ethnic and sectarian bloodbaths. That neither the Arab League nor the broader international community saw fit to put a halt to Syria's Bashar al-Assad's mounting butchery of Syrian Sunni civilians is a blot on world history. Syrians fleeing the horrors of being barrel-bombed by their own government, of being killed by Hezbollah and Shiite militias, comprise the bulk of the refugees.

The crisis is escalating. Desperate and horribly vulnerable men, women and children are in dire need of humanitarian aid. Who cannot imagine how dispiritingly hopeless it seems to people who have risked life and limb to escape potential death, to discover that the haven they imagined was simply a figment of their imagination? These are people who have not fled from their countries of origin willingly; what people exiles themselves from all that they know and cleave to, leaving property and security behind for the unknown?

The tragedy is that this has happened. That the forces of evil overcame the inertia of comfort and willing oblivion to the responsibility to give some measure of protection to those whose very humanity demands it, rather than leaving them to suffer the consequences of having been born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, the 28-member European Union cannot agree on the least they can manage to ameliorate the desperate condition of human beings whom fate has scorned with misery.

Migrants sleep at a park near a bus station on Aug. 30 in Belgrade, Serbia. Over 10,000 migrants, including many women with babies and small children, have crossed into Serbia as they head toward Hungary and the European Union. The number of people leaving their homes in war-torn countries like Syria marks the largest migration of people since World War II.  Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Greece, Italy and Hungary plead for more assistance from their EU partners. Germany, pledging to take in the lion's share of the asylum-desperate in one year alone has also appealed for its EU partners to share more of the load being imposed on Europe. While the Arab nations whose inaction in the face of one of their own transforming the Middle East into a personal charnel house without consequences, lean with comfort on their oil riches and deplore Western interference in Arab affairs.

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