I am sickened that the mainstream media has been showing images of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s dead body washed up on a Turkish beach. It is a grotesque breach of basic human decency to exploit this toddler’s death in order to sell newspapers in the Western world. The number of companies that have used pictures of this child’s corpse is too immense to list. Suffice it to say that virtually every major newspaper has used these images. No matter what reasons are put forward, there’s no excuse for it. I guarantee you that The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post would have never shown a dead German child rolling around in the surf on their front pages. Those who claim that there’s some social responsibility to show these images are simply more manipulative and disgusting than their competitors.
But where does responsibility lie for this boy’s death? Aylan Kurdi died with his mother and brother when the small boat they were in capsized. They were being transported from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos. His father, Abdullah Kurdi, managed to survive after witnessing the loss of his wife and two children. This is a terrible tragedy. We were first given to believe that the Kurdi family were refugees fleeing war-torn Syria to the safety of Europe. But in fact, buried deep in the initial news stories, we discover that Abdullah Kurdi and his family were in Turkey since at least last year (and by some accounts, since 2012). This is not a story of a family killed while trying to escape the Islamic State’s barbarity, they had already managed that. This is a story of a guy who wanted a more liberal European government to buy him some new teeth.
Abdullah Kurdi apparently had his teeth pulled out while being tortured in the custody of the Islamic State. Tima Kurdi (his sister in Canada) claimed that it was a $14,000 dental bill that prompted him to leave Turkey for Greece. She also attempted to lay blame on Canada for the death of her extended family. She claimed that her entry request for Abdullah had been denied by Canadian officials. It turns out that this was a lie, Canada never received a request from (or for) Abdullah Kurdi. They did receive a request from Tima for her other brother, but it was returned for being incomplete. None of this has stopped Tima Kurdi from continuing to castigate Canada, even as she admits her lie about Abdullah having been denied entry into her adopted country: “To be honest I don’t want to just blame the Canadian government. I’m blaming the whole world for this.”
Let’s review what led up to this horrible event, shall we?
- Abdullah Kurdi was not fleeing Syria when his family drowned.
- The Kurdi family had been in Turkey for (at a minimum) a year. His sister was paying for his rent and expenses.
- Abdullah wanted a more generous set of government benefits that would pay for his dental work.
- He therefore decided to sneak illegally into Greece.
It’s a nightmarish tragedy, but it didn’t happen while they were fleeing a war zone. It happened because Abdullah wanted the Greeks to pony up their money for his needs. Of course it’s not the West that bears the brunt of the responsibility for these deaths, it’s the Islamic State. Abdullah Kurdi also bears a good measure of responsibility for the death of his family… unfortunately he’ll have to live with that for the remainder of his days.
But what responsibility does Europe and the West have to those who are literally dying while attempting to gain entry to our countries? In my opinion we have a tremendous responsibility, but not exactly the one you might be imagining. I do not believe that we have a duty to take countless millions of refugees into our countries. Whole populations in the Middle East and Africa are fleeing Jihadi activity. We need to address the root cause of this problem or the refugees will multiply.
We cannot sit idly by while an army of religious nut jobs slaughter all the Christian, Yazidi, and Kurdish men that they can find. We cannot simply watch as the Islamic State rounds up the wives and daughters of their vanquished foes, and turns them into sex slaves. This must end. This refugee crisis will almost surely force our hands. If not now, then in very short order as chaos erupts throughout Europe and the rest of the Western world.
They say that Nero fiddled as Rome burned, instead we stare obsessively at our smartphones.