misplaced sorrow and indignation: using the “refugee crisis”; ignoring facts on the Syrian ground

Lately, the photo of baby Aylan has been all over social media, with well-intentioned people sharing the tragedy of he, his family and countless other Syrians’ (who were fleeing the violence of NATO’s death squads) drowned bodies washed ashore.  A photo of an innocent dead child always has great impact, particularly when splashed on front pages and over social media. But the photo is without context, particularly the context of the NATO/Saudi/Zionist war on Syria. The highlighting of this particular photo, and the absence of photos of the thousands of dead Syrian children martyred by the same NATO and co mercenaries within Syria is not accidental. With the tragic photo come calls for “saving Syria”… and the Imperialist war agenda’s ridiculous answer that the way to do so is by imposing a “no fly zone” on Syria. This is addressed in commentaries below.

But lets return to the issues of the photo, who shares it, and what news many of them do not share. For some people, it is only “safe” to mourn a tragedy they don’t have to have integrity and political courage to lament over.

What about the tragedies occurring daily in Syria by the NATO-alliance’s terrorists brigades?

The September 2nd terrorists’ van-bombing outside an elementary school in Latakia [SANA: “…terrorists detonated a white van loaded with large amounts of explosives that was parked in front of Imad Ali School at al-Hamam Square at the outskirts of Lattakia”] which killed 10 people and injured 25, apparently merits no mention by the media, let alone those sharing the baby Aylan photo.

Also not spoken of are the daily terrorists’ mortars on Damascus, the routine mortars and rockets on Latakia, on Foua and Kafarya [attacks which have reportedly killed 150 children in the period between March 27 September 9]; the terrorists’ landmines around besieged (for 4 years) Nubl and Zahara, likewise being mortared and rocketed.

For example, Al Masdar News reported that on August 24th:

“…Jaysh Al-Islam (Army of Islam) and Faylaq Al-Rahman (Al-Rahman Corps) fired over 100 rockets and mortar shells into the nation’s capital of Damascus on Sunday, killing a dozen civilians and injuring over 60 others….”

As noted in an earlier blog post, SANA reported 15 were injured in Damascus, and 5 Syrians killed in Aleppo the same day, due to terrorists’ mortars and rockets, 2 more killed the previous day in the outskirts of Damascus.

These examples are a mere sampling of the daily terrorism Syrians within Syria are enduring, and which the Syrian Arab Army and allies are fighting [see also my: The Terrorism We Support in Syria: A First-hand Account of the Use of Mortars against Civilians]. They are also largely void in corporate media, Ken Roth’s twitter feed, and remain un-shared by the same people sharing the photo of baby Aylan.

*some photos from an album showing the destruction of Kafarya and Foua by terrorists’ rockets and mortars.

To actually condemn these atrocities would take a principled stance and the littlest bit of backbone.

Following are a number of important commentaries and articles on the issue of how Aylan’s death is being exploited by media in order to manipulate public opinion on Syria, to try to justify the “Human Rights” industry and world leaders’ call for more NATO bombing of Syria and for a “no fly zone” on Syria, which would only worsen the already atrocious situation in Syria under NATO assault. The deception is clear, but for those who mistakenly fall for the “save the refugees” NATO line, please consider again *why* they have become refugees and *what* is the real intention of this media campaign which ignores terrorist-atrocities within Syria, as well as ignoring the plight of refugees from Libya and other nations under the assault of NATO and Imperialism.


SYRIA SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT STATEMENT: The refugee crisis is real, but only because it is now affecting western nations?

“…Refugees are a consequence of western “regime change” policies, from Iran (1953) to Chile to Nicaragua to Haiti to Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya to Syria, to mention only a few.  In all cases, the result is death, destruction and dispossession.  
Let us remember that the thousands of refugees risking their lives to reach western shores represent only a tiny fraction of the total displaced.  The 4 million that have fled Syria are just one third of the total number of Syrians displaced due to foreign sponsorship of this unnecessary war.  At least seven million are living as best they can in government-held territory while western aid organizations ignore their plight and western nations place a cynical embargo on Syria (except for arms to terrorist groups, used to create more refugees).
Let us also remember and hold accountable the mainstream western-dominated media, who distort the facts, demonize the designated “enemy” and rarely question the actions of western governments and their allies. The emotional coverage for Aylan Kurdi should not obscure the fact that this tragedy follows thousands of others. Nor should it be allowed to obscure the foreign sponsorship of the proxy war against Syria which is the cause of this tragedy.  The media failure to inform the public about the crimes of western and allied governments is in large measure responsible for permitting terrorist groups to thrive with the support and encouragement of those governments.
We have seen it all before.  Today, only a quarter of all Palestinians are living in their native homes and villages, and until the Syrian tragedy they were the largest refugee population on earth.  There is much similarity. Both are part of the “Clean Break” plan for the destruction of Middle East nations promoted by Israel, the US and others.  In recognition of their shared struggle, more than 1100 Palestinian grassroots organizations and individuals recently issued a declaration of solidarity [CLICK HERE] with their Syrian brothers and sisters.
The Syria Solidarity Movement believes that a compassionate solution to the problem consists in
  1. Providing humanitarian support for all persons seeking refuge from war and conflict.

  2. Ending the deadly interference of the USA, western states and their allies in the internal affairs of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other sovereign nations as required by the UN Charter and international law.

  3. Enforcing End User Agreements attached to the sales of arms to other nations, requiring them not to make those arms available to other users.

  4. Sanctioning and boycotting Israel until it ends its blockade of Gaza and permits all Palestinian refugees and displaced persons and their families to return their homes, with compensation for loss and damages, as required by UN Resolution 194.

  5. Making restitution to all persons harmed by interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

The purpose of these measures is not only to bring relief to those who have been made homeless and destitute, but also an end to the policies and practices that create such refugees.”



Sukant Chandan commentary:

Eric Draitser commentary:

*Eric and Sukant discuss Libya, Syria and related issues in this Counter Punch radio episode.

Daniel Patrick Welch commentary:

*from his interview, Dan Welch:

All these wars of conquest and of choice–against Libya, against Yemen, against Syria, against Iraq, against Afghanistan–have all destabilized the region. And these are all ones that Europe has happily participated in, and that European populations also have happily gone along with–with the first exception of Iraq in the beginning. Everything else has been a cakewalk. And now to feign sympathy with this plight and say that the actual solution should be more of the disease is just mind boggling. And it’s such a double standard, and it’s so cynical.


Syrian-Palestinian based in Canada, Laith Marouf, in a series of poignant updates:

It has become impossible to ignore the destructive Canadian anarchists response to ‪#‎Syria‬ anymore. I am writing this after seeing the picture circulated from the Toronto demo yesterday by NOII and my friends… The picture shocked me as it had a French occupied Syria flag superimposed on a Palestinian flag prominently in the middle. For those who do not know my fathers family is from Deir Ezzor, Syria and my mothers from Haifa, Palestine.

To see the Syrian and Palestinian flags bastardized enraged me, specially that the death squads have slaughtered the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, the only country that treated Palestinians as equals to citizens since 1948. It also shocked me to see who anarchists have been playing into support of war in Syria and an event that only speaks about helping the refugees plays into the white savior mentality of the liberals and conservatives. If you want to organize a demo, go blockade the Saudi embassy demanding they stop funding and recruiting for Wahhabi death squads in Syria. Or demand that Harper disclose what we sold them in the biggest military contract in the history of Canada, or how much of this is in the hands of ISIS and Alqaida in Syria, Iraq and Yemen? Why not demonstrate at the Turkish embassy demanding they stop supplying and supporting the death squads and stop bombing the Kurdish peoples?


Why are people so surprised about ‪#‎Canada‬ government and ‪#‎AylanKurdi‬? For hundreds of years they had a policy to liquidate Indigenous children, from biological warfare infected blankets to residential schools of rape and death to butter box babies to 60s and 70s scoop to the highest suicide rate in the world for any children! This country was built on the blood of brown babies and the privilege and Apartheid we have in the Anglo-Saxon colonies, including Israel, can not be sustained without the death and suffering of more.”


“No disrespect to the Syrian refugees, but we must not act like imperialist media doesn’t have a stake in hyping this situation up as part of its strategy to undermine Syria, Iran and other forces in that region that are in contention with u.s. Imperialism. The campaign to provide sanctuary for the refugees is a way, in part, to win sympathy with u.s. Imperialism’s military campaign to recolonize the Middle East – enabling white power to blame the suffering of the people of Syria on the irresponsible and reckless leaders who must be taken out.

We are not fooled.

For decades Africans have been dying by the hundreds (if not thousands) every year in attempt to escape the war torn regions of our homeland by foot and boat.

The war that our brothers and sisters are fleeing is the war of all wars. The imperialist war on Africa being waged by every European and North American state power, is a war based in theft of resources.

As chairman Omali Yeshitela has stated, “Africa is not poor, Africa is being looted!”

Africans have to flee our homeland to gain access to the resources that are being stolen from us. Our stolen oil manifests as a job in a shell gas station in Liverpool, England. Our stolen fruit manifests itself as a job at a supermarket in Madrid. Our stolen coltan is a job at a cell phone store in Paris.

That is of course if we get a job at all.

Most Africans who survive the dangerous journey to Europe will be met by killer cops who throw us into prisons and detention centers, before sending us back home.

In response to this war, there has never been outcry from the same forces who “advocate” for the Syrian refugees. That is because the entire parasitic capitalist world economy rests upon the foundation of stolen African resources and freedom….


“Don’t be tricked.

The Western media and the White Left are all up in arms about the Syrian refugee crisis. You will see images of suffering Syrians and hear all bout their plight, but like Bob Marley said “don’t let em fool ya.”

The Western media and the imperial nations, and the Liberal Left don’t give a hot, dirty damn about the Syrians.

How do I know?

I know because I know there are crisis and atrocities happening all over the world, in Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Indonesia, in Papua New Guinea, in Haiti, in Honduras, in the US prison system, in the West Bank and Gaza, in Detroit, in Chicago, etc, etc, etc. The world is saturated in crisis and the vast majority of them don’t even get coverage.

The only time any crisis gets any coverage in the media is when it can politically or economically serve the Systems and Institutions of White Domination. That’s it. As soon as the West’s objectives are met, the crisis goes away; even if people are still suffering and dying.

Look at all the Police Atrocities in the US media, if we were not in an election cycle and the corporate media didn’t need to alarm and mobilize the White masses, we wouldn’t be seeing coverage of the atrocities and our community responses.

They did the same shit with the Beating of Rodney King, which brought about the Republican Revolution of the early 1990s. Trump is riding a wave of White insecurity fed by Black rebellion and protest.

Remember how up in arms the US was about the treatment of women under the Taliban, when’s the last time you heard anything about those poor women in the Burqas in the US media? You think they better off not than when the US invaded?

Syria is a target of the West, they want to destabilized the region and control the output of carbon fuels from the region, while limiting Chin(a)’s access to the resources. So they are giving attention to the atrocities, they are pulling at your heart strings, and they will soon give a solution that involves using NATO, or the US armed forces to save people (by killing even more of them) like they did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now, don’t think that I’m saying not to feel sympathy and offer what assistance you can to refugees and suffering people in our communities and across the globe. I’m just saying we should think that the media and the Elites share our concerns just because they are reporting on the problem.

The Elites only goal is to profit, they only seek to profit from the misery they cause, not to end it.”


Denis Rancourt:
“”The casualties of war underscore the need for more war“, according to Stephen Harper. The fact that he can say this stuff (which is flat-out hate speech calling for more mass murder) and not be run out of town, let alone prosecuted, tells us about the true state of Canada, of the Canadian establishment, and of the Canadian people. This is evidence that Canada is a total moral failure. We are criminally irresponsible brain-dead morons. These politicians thrive on our collective stupidity and inhumanity. Mulcair is no better for wanting UN-approved wars and for having voted for the total destruction of Libya. Trudeau is not worth losing breath about.


The anti-war movement in the U.S. and Western Europe must take up the challenge of opposing imperialist intervention by explaining that it is their own governments which must accept responsibility for the worse humanitarian refugee crisis since the conclusion of World War II. These wars of regime-change must end in order to bring peace to the world and create the conditions for genuine reconstruction of the economies of the West as well as those in the oppressed nations.

These factors provide the basis for the linking of internal struggles for jobs, guaranteed incomes, and for the end to police terrorism, with the movements against war and imperialism. The working class and the oppressed within the imperialist states cannot be fully liberated until the repression, oppression and exploitation of the peoples of the world is halted.”

 Finally, a related note, for those in Sydney, Australia:
“No Australian war on SYRIA! Syd 13th Sept, Town Hall Railway station 11am. [EVENT LINK HERE]

We have seen a wonderful huge outpouring in every city in support/ and welcome of of Syrian refugees to Australia, where are our other cities NO Australian war on Syria protests?

“If you think the most passionate appeals to humanity or the most tragic (refugee) scenes are going to change anything, just remember how this all started – with the US and its allies for years engineering the destruction and fragmentation of Syria/ MENA and spending since 2011, billions in backing terrorists to carry it out. What is not being said is to _END the wars_. In fact, there are even calls now to EXPAND the wars.” Anthony Cartalucci
Lift your voices: NO to all Australian participation! Understand the war on Syria, and know the reason _Syrians_ are fleeing! End Australia’s CRUEL sanctions on Syria! NO US foreign policy for Australia. Get out, stay out! HANDS OFF SYRIA!”
Panel, September 17, 6:30pm-9:30pm [EVENT PAGE HERE]
University of Sydney, Carslaw Lecture Theatre, LT373 (City Rd side, near footbridge)

“The Australian government’s recently announced plans to intervene in the Syrian war has generated much controversy.

Absent from the public discourse has been a serious attempt to understand the underlying causes of the war, the origins of sectarian death-squads, and the role of foreign powers in Syrian affairs.

This seminar attempts to fill that void with presentations by four speakers who recently arrived from Syria.

There will be plenty of time for questions, answers, discussion and debate.

Dr. Tim Anderson
Reme Sakr
Fr. Dave Smith
Jay Tharappel

All welcome, no charge.”


11960139_10206514615077078_5782181864757741418_n*Tim Anderson graphic

4 thoughts on “misplaced sorrow and indignation: using the “refugee crisis”; ignoring facts on the Syrian ground

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