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Suffer the little children

By Marcus Paul - 7 September 2015 20

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I felt a tear fall down my cheek for the first time in a while last week. I was shocked, saddened and above all else appalled by ‘that’ photo.

You know, the one of the little boy, with his little shoes, blue shorts and red top covering a lifeless body lying face down on a Greek beach – all alone, no-one there to offer comfort, save a soldier. I wondered if that soldier was a father. I also wondered how well he might sleep that night if he was. I guessed if he was a father, he would no doubt spend most of that evening cradling, or at least looking down at his own child.

I know there have now been revelations about this little boy’s father and why he was placed on a boat in the first instance. I don’t care. Whatever the reason, this little boy should never, ever have ended up in this situation.

There is little doubt the open borders across Europe will lead to more and more of these kinds of images. I don’t proclaim to know the answer. I wish I did. What I do know is that the Middle East seems to be the centre of hell on earth at the moment. It sickens me.

I am sick and tired of opening my social media sites each day seeing people without heads, with the executor disguising his face. I’m sick of seeing people being burnt alive or ‘roasted’, as one such video suggested last week. I often wonder if they’re actually real, or staged. I am closing in on the point of not caring, and as a journo I feel guilty about this.

And this is my point. Should we, here in the beautiful lucky peaceful country we are fortunate enough to live in, actually care? Is it our problem? There will be plenty of arguments for the increasing of immigration to our shores in the weeks ahead.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said: “We cannot save the world single handedly but we will always do what we can to help”.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has said: “The violent evil being perpetrated in the Middle East is driving the largest movement of displaced people since the WW2.”

Granted, there will be much more politicking over the issue (Greens, I’m looking at you). I usually shun political correctness – and I’m also pro asylum – so forgive me while I drop this clanger: Perhaps the Syrian refugees, and those wishing to flee the war zones of this wretched place (see Middle East) should instead look to the oil rich Saudi nations.

After all, Germany will be too full soon. How about for once these cashed up Muslim nations in the Emirates take their share?

Oh, that’s right, they don’t want them either. And yet, more little boys will soon be found lifeless of European beaches.

Marcus Paul is the host of Canberra Live 3pm weekdays on 2CC.

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20 Responses to
Suffer the little children
HenryBG 7:14 pm 09 Sep 15

chewy14 said :

Any solution that simply focuses on “taking more”, is bound to fail.

And it’s not just a practical failure, it is also a moral failure: by encouraging resettlement, we are making ourselves complicit in the sectarian campaigns of ethnic cleansing that are causing the issue.

The “refugees” should be armed and turned back to fight for their rights in their own land.
The Israelis did it, so can they.

HenryBG 7:11 pm 09 Sep 15

No_Nose said :

Certainly the cashed up Middle East countries could do more and we should be lobbying them to do so. (and our encouraging our allies to also pressure them).

Whilst we make those diplomatic overtures, Australia can also do a lot more to help out here .

We could certainly take a share of these refugees, either temporarily or permanently… 20000 would be a good starting point.

Flying 20,000 of them here would cost – in air tickets alone – more than it would cost to build a fully-staffed, modern, first-world hospital that would cater to the needs of 500,000 refugees in Turkey.

By all means, support the feel-good irrational approach, but don’t try to pretend it is either sensible or compassionate.

HiddenDragon 5:52 pm 08 Sep 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

No_Nose said :

Whilst we make those diplomatic overtures, Australia can also do a lot more to help out here .

We could certainly take a share of these refugees, either temporarily or permanently… 20000 would be a good starting point.

It is the right thing to do, the moral thing to do, but there is a good reason we cannot do it.
How will these refugees get by whilst they stay in Australia? Welfare. If not welfare, how will they get jobs when highly qualified and educated English speaking Australian citizens are already finding themselves in medium to long term unemployment thanks to the falling number of jobs?
The government is already cutting back and restructuring the welfare system in order to decrease the burden on tax payers, forcing many live well below what is required to be able to buy the essentials for living. Will adding another 20,000 to this system help anybody? Whilst we may be offering a temporary sanctuary to these refugees [if they are indeed proven to be refugees], it will come at a cost to those most vulnerable of our own citizens.
Can we affords to help? If we can, why haven’t we already been doing so up to this point for the unemployed, disabled and homeless who already call Australia home?

Those points – which, I believe, concern many people privately, if not always publicly – may be an argument for offsetting a special increase in the refugee intake against parts of Australia’s still very large regular immigration intake.

Masquara 3:49 pm 08 Sep 15

We should now be offering asylum to European Jews.

No_Nose 12:15 pm 08 Sep 15

chewy14 said :

This is the problem with looking at this issue from a purely emotional point of view. Taking more refugees for resettlement will not even make the slightest dent in the overall number

It will make a difference to those being resettled. The excuse of “We can’t help all of you…so in order to be fair we will help none of you” is not really the way to go.

chewy14 said :

We need to work harder to solve these problems at their source. Work to reduce and end the conflicts that are causing their displacement and to assist in providing services and aid in the destination countries where these people are initially fleeing to.

Any solution that simply focuses on “taking more”, is bound to fail.

I agree completely with this. Any protection or resettlement scheme should be a part of a holistic approach. There are a number of other diplomatic and military options that can, and should, be running concurrently.

Evilomlap 12:08 pm 08 Sep 15

People are not fleeing Syria because of IS. They are running from Assad’s bombing campaign, which has killed more people in the last six months than IS could ever hope to.

We should also not forget that our government played a role in creating what is now known as IS by taking part of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. IS today began as the remnants of Al Qaeda and the Iraqi army who came together in hiding in the western deserts of Iraq, consolidating their power while the US staged token victory celebrations and toppled statues of Saddam. The popular uprising against Assad in Syria (which he crushed by gunning down thousands of unarmed, peaceful protesters) gave Iraqi IS the perfect excuse to cross the border and recruit thousands of angry Syrians to their cause.

Should we take in refugees? Yes. Should we in the west demand our media actually question the motives of our governments rather than parrot back media releases so atrocities like the invasion of Iraq can perhaps be prevented in future? Absolutely the bigger issue here.

london 11:04 am 08 Sep 15

can anyone explain to me why so many men are running from syria and not joining an army to fight for their country. It’s very sad to see children pushed into this situation when they don’t have any say in the matter. Please take children and women refugees beforemen. They can look after themselves. How can Australia help when Joe tells us there is no money for health, education, social security etc. We have so many homeless here so how can we find homes for refugees. I am at a loss to understand.

Southmouth 11:04 am 08 Sep 15

I doubt the Sunni countries who are funding Sunni fighters (ISIS) are going to be too interested in taking non Sunni refugees fleeing said Sunni funded Sunni fighters. Shiite Countries would be over run by the number we are talking about.
This might be the calalyst to some appropriately scaled military intervention hopefully.

chewy14 10:29 am 08 Sep 15

No_Nose said :

Certainly the cashed up Middle East countries could do more and we should be lobbying them to do so. (and our encouraging our allies to also pressure them).

Whilst we make those diplomatic overtures, Australia can also do a lot more to help out here .

We could certainly take a share of these refugees, either temporarily or permanently… 20000 would be a good starting point.

The problem is that there are 60 million odd displaced people in the world and about 20 million UNHCR identified refugees.

This is the problem with looking at this issue from a purely emotional point of view. Taking more refugees for resettlement will not even make the slightest dent in the overall number and attempting to do what Germany and other parts of Europe are doing is only going to exacerbate the problem and cause massive civil unrest. The pull factors they are creating is already starting to cause massive issues and deaths in a number of countries.

We need to work harder to solve these problems at their source. Work to reduce and end the conflicts that are causing their displacement and to assist in providing services and aid in the destination countries where these people are initially fleeing to.

Any solution that simply focuses on “taking more”, is bound to fail.

No_Nose 9:50 am 08 Sep 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

Can we affords to help?

Yes. We can. Easily. A better question is ‘Can we afford not to help?

wildturkeycanoe said :

If we can, why haven’t we already been doing so up to this point for the unemployed, disabled and homeless who already call Australia home?

We can quite easily afford to help both desperate refugees and our own disadvantaged. Why haven’t we? Simply because the political fortitude is not there from either major party. They are both locked into cheap political point scoring and are in a continual rush toward the lowest common denominator.

wildturkeycanoe 9:06 am 08 Sep 15

No_Nose said :

Whilst we make those diplomatic overtures, Australia can also do a lot more to help out here .

We could certainly take a share of these refugees, either temporarily or permanently… 20000 would be a good starting point.

It is the right thing to do, the moral thing to do, but there is a good reason we cannot do it.
How will these refugees get by whilst they stay in Australia? Welfare. If not welfare, how will they get jobs when highly qualified and educated English speaking Australian citizens are already finding themselves in medium to long term unemployment thanks to the falling number of jobs?
The government is already cutting back and restructuring the welfare system in order to decrease the burden on tax payers, forcing many live well below what is required to be able to buy the essentials for living. Will adding another 20,000 to this system help anybody? Whilst we may be offering a temporary sanctuary to these refugees [if they are indeed proven to be refugees], it will come at a cost to those most vulnerable of our own citizens.
Can we affords to help? If we can, why haven’t we already been doing so up to this point for the unemployed, disabled and homeless who already call Australia home?

Mysteryman 7:28 am 08 Sep 15

gazket said :

ISIS said this would happen and infiltrate the refugees with ISIS fighters. The world stood by gas bagging until it happened.

The horse has bolted .It’s too late to drop sandwiches.

Will be Interesting to see how Germany and Angela handle this.

Haven’t you been told? ISIS aren’t a *real* threat. They aren’t even *real* muslims, according to the bleeding heart lefties.

Well, here we are two years later and they’ve certainly created some real problems for the rest of the world to deal with.

No_Nose 12:10 am 08 Sep 15

Certainly the cashed up Middle East countries could do more and we should be lobbying them to do so. (and our encouraging our allies to also pressure them).

Whilst we make those diplomatic overtures, Australia can also do a lot more to help out here .

We could certainly take a share of these refugees, either temporarily or permanently… 20000 would be a good starting point.

gazket 5:57 pm 07 Sep 15

ISIS said this would happen and infiltrate the refugees with ISIS fighters. The world stood by gas bagging until it happened.

The horse has bolted .It’s too late to drop sandwiches.

Will be Interesting to see how Germany and Angela handle this.

Masquara 5:07 pm 07 Sep 15

Strange (not) how the northern European countries have thrown the borders open to Syrians – but the Black Africans fleeing persecution in north Africa have had quite a different reception. Skin colour.

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