The media calls them migrants. Migrants move about picking fruits and vegetables, and sleeping under the stars, beside a campfire, with a lonesome harmonica tune wafting across the cooling desert scrub. the people flooding in desperation into Europe are not migrants. They are not migrating, as the Pentagon and media describes, they are fleeing. Who flees? Migrants don’t flee. Refugees flee.
Refugees on the other hand are victims, and the end of every victim is a perpetrator. One has to wonder whether out of some latent and subverted sense of guilt if the West is even capable of describing hundreds of thousands of Syrians, Kurds and Africans flooding into Europe for safety and survival as refugees. Migrants make them all seem rather benign, as if they were all out wandering anyways and they all just happened upon Europe and the West. Calling them refugees demands answers. It is in itself an accusation, a charge that requires explaining, and explaining its sins is hardly in the lexicon historically of the so-described Christian West. It begs the question of who is responsible.
Just as an aside, I might have said “so-called” Christian West, as if the concept of Christianity isn’t already steeped and soaked in blood and brutality and genocide, just as its brethren Judaism and Islam and their cousins Buddhism and Hinduism. No favorites here. Religion has been the singular most divisive and destructive and addictive force in human history. But don’t we have pretty buildings? Morality, often confused with religion is a human quality, one all too often confused and convoluted and hijacked by religion.
But the Christian West has bartered its soul in conquests either explicitly for a specific god, in beseeching gods favors in wars and crusades or in condemning the “Un-saved in Christ” as heathens, barbarians, less than human (re: the Constitution regarding indigenous Americans and African slaves as less than a person or not a person at all). It’s precisely the same as when Israel bombs Palestinians for protesting settlements on the West Bank and Gaza-a defacto sort of laizzez faire genocide-or when ISIS tosses gay people off buildings in the name of Islamic piety and purity. So while the culprits of the current crisis span the religious spectrum, it is the West now sowing what it raped.
The West, paid and enjoined by its lust for oil, habited by a conscienceless consumerism has played a divide and conquer game over oil and resources across the Mideast. It has preyed on divisions within Islam, divisions within cultures and good old fashioned bigotry through the eager extortion and bribery of egomaniacal and self-serving regional governments, oligarchs, sovereign and leaders. Arguably Saddam Hussein made the mistake of doing what the West had done for decades when he attacked Iran and then Kuwait for control of oil that would ultimately find its way to Europe and America. The first George Bush took the bait to reassert Western hegemony over oil, a policy Bill Clinton continued and which the second Bush quite purposely accelerated to lock down and undercut OPEC and middle eastern oil producers to the benefit of big oil and market speculators Evidence how the price of a barrel of oil jumped following the invasion in 2004 2013’s record $100 plus benchmarks. ISIS is but a regrettable and terrible eventuality of those policies. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/us-to-revamp-training-program-to-fight-isis/ar-AAe1wd9?ocid=U146DHP
They made it personal to us by sending our children and spouses off to war, lamenting the heroic sacrifice of the dead and wounded and by regularly reminding us of terrorism and the September 11th attacks. They confused religion, morality and desire. They made it about cheap crap and necessitating that you anguish over the price of gas for that precious and miniscule 5 or 10 days of vacation you get annually. The truth is none of this would ever have happened if not for the short sighted greed economy paraded as capitalism. Capitalism actually is about markets. This was about manipulation all along. Well the face of that greed economy and manipulation is on the faces of the dead children washing up like some Biblical catastrophe and of those desperate to find a corner of the world that holds stability and promise. There is no difference in their circumstance and that of millions of undocumented immigrants, or rather economic refugees in this country, most of them driven by our own policies. That is irony.
And we’ll hear the Right and nationalists across Europe and in this country panicked about terrorism and crimes, worrying about extremists in the midst of these people. Given the genocidal irresponsibility with which the West has comported itself, it might do well to fear anyone who has figured out that greed, politicians, and a public so distracted by endless trips to the mall or to the latest club at the expense of demanding oversight, morality and accountability from their elected officials are to blame. In the meantime, all of us in the West, in America and Europe bear substantial responsibility for the plight of this historic refugee crisis. We can begin making amends, by showing them mercy and hospitality and compassion and urgency or we can continue to sow what we rape.
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.