The western world's conscience show - YASIN AKTAY

The western world's conscience show

Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body washing ashore has brought the Syria crisis to the world's agenda once again. The ongoing war (4 years now) in Syria, the Assad regime violating human rights, crimes against humanity, and the genocide-like massacres had not drawn the attention of the West and, thus, they saw themselves outside of this tragedy till today. Suddenly the lifeless body of a child washing ashore has awoken the discourse of morals and responsibilities. Yet, this lame discourse is humorous and inconsistent.

Because, for a long time now, Europeans have been discussing a possible Syrian refugee crisis. The practices Europe has adopted; drowned Syrians while trying to reach the Greek islands and Italy, insulted them in Hungary and Austria, and drowned heaps of bodies in the cold waters of the Mediterranean. And thus, the tiny body of this little boy washed ashore, while Greece, Bulgaria and other EU countries bordering East Europe were discussing precaution proposals against refugees, including electrified wires.

In other words, Aylan's body washed ashore when his murderers were discussing how they would prevent him from disembarking onto European soils and how they could send him back...

It seems that this innocent child was perceived to be an opportunity for the West to acquit their conscious. Although, they are one of the main allottees of this tragedy, their reactions are far from responsible and instead rather brazen. This incident has shown that the term “eastern cunningness” that the westerners produced with orientalist motives, absolutely befits them.

For example, around the same time, the New York Times wrote that Germany warmly welcomed Syrian refugees. The development that made them write this was; months ago Germany announced that it would accept 8000 refugees. In their world news section, the Times wrote that Turkey inhospitably met Kurdish refugees, while their front page read that Britain embraced the Syrian refugees. This article was like a ridiculous joke. Because the number of refugees Britain supposedly accepted with open arms was 187. The number of refugees Turkey welcomed from Kobani alone was 200,000 (this happens to be the number the Times criticized.) The total number of Syrian refugees in Turkey is 2 million. Hats off to the brazen NYTimes for successfully being able to glorify 187 over 2 million refugees.

Despite, knowing that it was coming, they preferred to stay silent against the massacres committed by the Assad regime, and instead looked for a midway. They continue to think that, they can prevent this fire from reaching them. The most apparent indicator of this is that; instead of seeing the whole crisis as a result of bloody-minded dictator's massacres, they prefer to see the issue as a simple refugee problem that needs strict measures to prevent it. And instead of criticizing their preference, they are trying to put the Muslims, and especially the Arabs, into the target.

Michael Ignatieff has presented a crystalized example of this approach. Ignatieff writes in his article titled “The refugee crisis is not Europe's crisis” that, Canada has accepted 1074 Syrians, the down under Australia has taken in more than 2200 and Brazil has welcomed about 2000 refugees, yet on the other hand the Gulf countries have not accepted any refugees at all. This article has disclosed the contribution the West has in the lack of a solution, while stating that the problem is derived from the Middle East.

What Ignatieff and people like him are trying to say is that; the politics they have followed since the very beginning is consistent. The EU and Western World have reiterated from the very beginning that this problem doesn't directly concern them, that it doesn't threaten their vital interests and that it should be resolved by the regional actors.

Evaluating the situation only in the boundaries of a refugee crisis, holding Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries as the only ones responsible, disregarding the efforts of neighboring countries housing more than 4 million refugees and especially looking down on Turkey who hospitably houses 2 million refugees alone, are some of the noteworthy examples for skillfully earthing the conscientious pressure that the process has created.

The common trait of the self-praising folk texts are; the Europeans and the Western World haven't used any statistics to turn their conscience show on Syria into a comedy.

It is estimated that 7.6 million Syrians have been displaced as of September 4. This number exceeds 11 million when the Syrian refugees are added. The saddest part is that; 50 percent of the child refugees are believed to be orphaned.

When this is the big picture, it is impossible to demote the humanitarian plight that resurfaced with Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body into just a refugee issue. The solution isn't finding ways to keep the refugees away, but is about getting rid of the Assad regime, which has devastated Syria. Every step other than applying this solution will only bring a new dimension to the “eastern cunningness” and will continue to insist on a lack of solution.


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