There is currently a major debate raging about the “heartlessness” of Europe. Syrians have been fleeing their country in droves and a few died in the journey recently. A particular photo of a toddler is so heartbreaking that I was moved to tears just looking at it.
But international diplomacy can’t run on heartbreaking photos. Did that child’s parents have no option but to cross the Mediterranean Sea illegally, jeopardizing his life? Well the Arab world is all around them. Rich, thinly populated, and their brothers in pan-Arabic nationalism.
But no Arab country would take them, they knew. As soon as Syrian civil war began, the Arabs closed all gates. I was in Dubai at the time, and I know that all visas to Syrians stopped. Even visit visas to see their families. I’m sure the Shia Syrians looking at Iran would find similar welcome. Iran would pump money to their favorite side in the conflict, but not help the victims. Same with Saudi etc. Shameful.
If it was just safety, though, there were other options for the parents. Even India. No don’t laugh. I know someone who worked in a Syrian dominated firm in Dubai. They were facing a crisis in their Syrian office and we’re looking for a place to relocate. When my friend suggested India and drew a feasible plan, the Syrians refused point blank. The main reason being the perceived poverty of India. They had to shut down the offices and many were left adrift, their fates unknown. But they didn’t shift to india. They wanted a wealthy nation.
And that’s why they were crossing the Mediterranean. To reach Europe. Arabs have a weird relationship with West. They want to live there and destroy it. Sometimes within the same sentence. And that’s where the problem facing European leadership lies. These are potentially dangerous people. Imagine the hilarious situation of the states trying to prevent their boys and girls from fleeing to Syria and Syrians hoarding on the borders trying to get in. These are two sides of the same coin. The idiotic ideology of west adulation and west hatred. (The same problem grips Pakistan too. India fascination and India hatred)
So what is the solution? Well, Europe must take them of course. That’s the problem with having welfare state. More and more people want welfare. The state can’t choose based on ethnicity. You take more and more from the rich till you have reducing wealth. And higher demands. And resentments about distribution.
And rebellions that take ethnic or racist forms. Bleeding heart liberals always cause literal bleeding in the long run.
State policy shouldn’t be run by feelings either. Nor by a single photo. But it will. Cameron has declared Britain open for Syrian refugees. Others will follow suit.
Europe has set itself to fail. Europe is not heartless. It is too much heart and too little head. Arab world is heartless, to their own brethren, but no one seems to be criticizing them for this. Strange, right?
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