Powerfully highlighting the world's "shameful" response - or lack of it - to the horrific drowning deaths of thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean, Amnesty International in the UK lined up two hundred body bags on Brighton Beach to ask the searing question, "How many more must die?" A broader campaign likewise urges us to honor our "unbreakable moral obligation to save them."
The vitriole and mean-spiritedness here and on several news blogging sites that are considered "progressive" has been mind-boggling (Lord knows what Rupert Murdoch's non-news empire is peddling on this issue). Call from people in the UK and Australia to send these refugees all home - "if there countries are in a mess, they should stay in them to fix the problems" is not only presumptuous and cruel but unbelievably hypocritical, given the floods of Brits who colonized Australia, NZ, Kenya, South Africa, Canada, the US, and elsewhere. Given the undisputed role of western countries in creating the chaos in the Middle East and Libya, it beggars belief that these boatloads of desperate refugees are not welcomed with open arms.
Let's review. the U.S./EU/NATO destruction of Libya left what had been a functioning society in total chaos. This was just the kind of place the IS can work in- nobody to stop them. but living in a chaotic wreck off a country with IS is not always appealing to many. It really wasn't that they wanted to try their luck somewhere else- they really really HAD TO get out. The EU is not always as enthusiastic about imperial wars, but this one they really seemed to like so they can legitimately lay some claim to causing the conditions that made life unbearable in what once was Libya. And they can also claim their fair share for the creation of Islamic State, So tis is another kind of blowback. Deal with it- and be nice about it. all this is not to day the U.S. is off the hook of course. we did all that stuff together so we can share in the consequences
To be fair, the USA has done it's bit to help, taking a grand total of 335 refugees from Syria out of 3.8 million of them.