On the Frontlines of the Refugee Crisis

If you would like to humanize the humanitarian crisis that’s happening right now in the Middle East, Turkey, Greece and the Aegean, watch this short documentary from the NYT. In it, you will be presented with a view of the crisis from the front lines – the Greek coast guard and the refugees themselves. What can one say? The scenes are simply heartbreaking. Refugees–among them many women and children–desperately attempting to flee war and state collapse, and on the other side, the Greek coast guard and Greek islanders who simply lack the resources to deal with such an enormous, difficult situation but make every effort to do so. And no one lends a hand. The EU has forsaken Greece, made it into some sort of quarantine zone–problem solved, they must say! Typical Eurocrats–heartless, cruel, selfish to the core. And the broader international community? Well, the US has done little, in no small part due to the rampant Islamophobia gripping the country (fomented more so by the vile campaign of Donald Trump). And so the lost are left to fend for themselves, told (effectively), to deal with it, wait a bit (or, you know, for months or years), for some sort of coherent policy to emerge. Such will never arrive. For these are the world’s forgotten, the have nots–everyday Syrians, Afghans, and others–the “collateral damage” from the games of the great powers, whose mercy is absent and lust for destruction knows no bounds. Perhaps a few heads of state should sit and watch this video–watch as near-dead children are rescued and resuscitated, watch as the masses of the dispossessed float in the cold Aegean–and see their policies in action. For ours is a reprehensible global order, writ large in this video through the suffering of the innocent.

 

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