There has been a fierce online debate for the last day or two over the publication of photos of a drowned little boy. His name was Aylan, he was 3 years old, and he drowned when a boat full of refugees from Syria capsized in the Mediterranean while destined for Greece and the EU. And as the liberal media elites debate whether the photos should be printed, they completely miss the real point that demands attention.
The photos are heartbreaking. In one, the child is lying face down on the sand on a beach in Turkey where his lifeless body washed up. In another, a Turkish policeman is gingerly carrying the boy away from the beach.
Some in the Twitterverse were outraged and shocked, just shocked, that photos of the dead boy could be published at all. One Arab woman named Dima S. tweeted “Hard to be online anymore. Respect the dead. Find out their name, origin, struggle, story anything but please respect the sacred bodies.” Well, the time to worry about little Aylan would have been before he and his 5 year old brother Galip, who also drowned, set off in a small overcrowded boat in dangerous seas. And yes, the photos should shock people’s consciousness, and provoke the fundamental changes necessary to prevent more such senseless deaths of innocent children.
Many believed it was up to Europe to do something. David Miliband of the U.K.'s Labor Party tweered "If these powerful images of a dead Syrian child on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?" Many other believed that the EU is somehow responsible for Aylan’s tragic death, and that Europe should fully open its doors to refugees from the brutal civil war in Syria.
Nobody seems to understand who is really at fault for the child’s death or what the proper solution is to prevent more such tragedies. I blame Aylan’s parents, all his other adult relatives, and the government and people of Syria. I’ve been to Syria, and it’s a nasty little miserable excuse of a country. Its government and society are riddled with corruption and incompetence, different ethnic clans and religious fanatics seethe with hatred for one another, and the only thing that held the country was the dictatorship of the al-Assad family and a common insanely fierce hatred of Israel.
Aylan’s countrymen could care less about his sad fate, drowning to death in the deep blue sea. Some of them care infinitely more about their Mercedes and seaside villas, others are dedicated to beheading anyone who doesn’t subscribe to 12th century Islamic religious beliefs. These are the people who have created Syria’s civil war and consequent refugee crisis. Millions of Aylans and Galips have been left homeless as their parents collectively squabble over a few cars and batcrap crazy religious ideas.
Multiply a million Syrian child refugees by all the other basket case countries in the Middle East and Africa, and you should quickly see that Europe simply can’t offer them all refuge. And if it can’t offer them all refuge, why should it offer any of them refuge? Europe did not create the conditions these people are fleeing. In fact, these people, the adults at least, are fleeing conditions they themselves had a hand in creating.
So what is to be done? Well, opening the gates of Europe or America to refugees from failing states won’t solve the large scale humanitarian tragedies unfolding in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Mali, etc etc etc. However, it will have the effect of importing terrorism and religious fanaticism.
No, these people need to stay where they are, in their own countries. And there are only three possible outcomes for them. Their civil wars and ethnic hatreds and religious fanaticism dominate their societies forever and ever, or eventually they kill each other in such a scale their wars burn out from literal exhaustion, or people decide they want to live in a civilized society and do what is necessary to achieve that. But that choice is up to them. We shouldn’t and can’t make that choice for them, nor can we simply welcome them into our homes so they can bring to us the chaos and death they have created in their own homelands.