I’ve been seeing this meme around a lot recently and its been getting on my nerves. Mike Cernovich is spamming JK Rowling offering to pay for refugee plane tickets. Sargon of Akkad is making quips about petitions supporting refugees doubling up as volunteer lists for housing arrangements. All of it is ridiculous and honestly needs to stop.
I support refugees. I’m unable to house one and mentor them into assimilating with British society, would I if I could? Maybe, yeah? Give me a house big enough and start paying me to do so. I’ll get right on that. If you’re now shaking your head that I’m asking for payment for it, why? I’d be a full-time and out of hours carer getting someone on their feet. I couldn’t continue to work my crappy job, and in my lil house, I couldn’t fit another person in here.
Sargon has made a similar point in his recent “The Skeptic Community” video. You can’t really expect people to give up all of their time to do something for free. That’s why sites like Patreon are so great for content creators. I don’t see why the same doesn’t apply here.
Except for the odd celebrity endorsement, the majority of the people supporting refugees are regular every day people. With 9 to 5 jobs, possibly family commitments, a house that just about fits everyone in. They’re students barely affording to pay their rent, food and buy course supplies. They’re not all JK Rowling with her $1.2bn net worth. Suffice to say the majority of people can see a bad situation happening, and are powerless to help out. Hence why they are asking their Government to do so on their behalf.
But why should our Government help? What obligation do we have to foreign countries such as Syria, the place where the majority of refugees are coming from right now
To find that out lets look at what caused the Syrian people to become refugees in the first place. Which would be an event called the Arab Spring that began in 2011. You may have heard about it, but in short its a huge wave of conflicts and revolution that over threw a lot of the crappy dictators & authoritarian regimes in the Middle-East. Except for in Syria, where President Assad plunged the nation into a brutal civil war.
A bunch of religious factions started fighting each other, and then ISIS came along and became possibly most terrifying extremist ideology the world has ever seen. On all sides of the conflict people were tortured, mass executions happened, civilians were targeted and killed and even chemical weapons were used. Including Sarin gas which even a cursory glance on Google can show you isn’t a fun time for victims.
Syrian civilians became trapped between the conflicts. 1/3rd of Syrians are displaced within their own country, many are dead and roughly 4 million have become refugees. Most of which have been taken in by neighbouring countries, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan. These countries currently have 95% of the Syrian refugee population in camps. Who grew tired of waiting to be resettled where they are and aimed for somewhere safer and further away from the conflict area. So they headed to the EU.
What does any of this have to do with us? Because the US, and by proxy the UK with our special relationship under Tony Blair at the time. Actively planned to “take out” a bunch of Middle-Eastern countries, one of which was our friend Syria. The destabilisation of the Middle-East has been an ongoing campaign by the Western world as a way to enact political change and seize control from authoritarian regimes. Which is exactly what happened during the Arab Spring, funnily enough.
The UK and US, along with other countries such as France and Russia, have all been supporting different factions in different conflicts, with money and weapons. In some cases, such as “The Free Syrian Army” supported by the UK – nearly all of the money and weapons donated to them was stolen, according to George Galloway, who spoke out against intervention in Syria from the get-go.
Given all of our involvement in the Middle-East and how we’ve made things worse every single time we’ve done something. Given our current involvement in selling weapons to Saudi Arabia which are being used to kill Yemeni people in a war right now. Given everything – don’t you think we owe the Syrian people just a touch of compassion and help? We have been instrumental in fucking their country, the least we can do is take them in until things are less fucked.