Friday, 21 August 2015
Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean 'migrants'
"It is not hundreds of people who drown when a boat goes down in the Mediterranean, nor even hundreds of refugees. It is hundreds of migrants. It is not a person – like you, filled with thoughts and history and hopes – who is on the tracks delaying a train. It is a migrant. A nuisance."
Yes, they are refugees, not migrants. They didn't just fly south for the winter. This isn't some natural catastrophe, but a lot of people fleeing from the Assad government. And people fleeing the battle between the American occupation of Afghanistan, and the Taliban, and many escaping the paranoid police state that Eritrea has begun during the course of its battles against the former occupier Ethiopia. But those are conflicts the world largely ignores now, while on Syria it deliberately turns away from the cause of the problem, and the language from those politicians trying to stop refugees arriving, to those of the Left who can't bring themselves to support any struggle against Assad that might bring this crisis to an end, is that of migration, of an inevitable flow. The world could stop this now, if we allowed the Syrians to defend themselves, and stopped making it easy for Assad to wage war on them.