Al-Jazeera, the international news agency (owned by Qatar, an absolute monarchy), posted an article titled: 'If these images don't change Europe, what will?' containing images of drowned Syrian refugee children. It begins:
Heart-rending pictures of a toddler's lifeless body washed ashore on a Turkish beach sparked horror as the cost of Europe's burgeoning refugee crisis hit home.
The images of a child lying face down in the surf at one of Turkey's main tourist resorts has once more put a human face on the dangers faced by tens of thousands of desperate people who risk life and limb to seek a new life in Europe.
Effrontery on this scale can only be met with a loud, long 'fuck you and the horse you rode in on, al-Jazeera'.
Permit me to elaborate.
Al-Jazeera is "owned by the government of Qatar". Qatar is lavishly funding Sunni militants in Syria. Wikipedia notes that "The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimated that Qatar had sent the most weapons to Syria, with over 70 weapons cargo flights into Turkey between April 2012 and March 2013." That aid is going to Sunni extremist militias, mainly the al-Nusra front, a Sunni militia responsible for suicide bombings and massacres:
Last week fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, entered a village in Idlib province in the north-west of the country and shot dead at least 20 villagers from the Druze community. They had earlier forcibly converted hundreds of Druze to their fundamentalist variant of Sunni Islam.
The incident happened in the Druze village of Qalb Lawzeh in the Jabal al-Summaq region, a place where al-Nusra fighters have dug up historic graves and destroyed shrines in recent months, according to the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It says Nusra first tried to confiscate the house of a Druze government official and shot one villager dead. Another villager then seized a fighter’s weapon and killed him. Nusra then sent reinforcements into the village and they opened fire.
Qatar wants al-Nusra to win the Syrian civil war outright and establish an Islamic state, although it would prefer them to be somewhat less bloodthirsty.
And what is Qatar -- which has sent billions to militias in the Syrian civil war -- doing to help with the refugee crisis its policies have helped create?
Well, it's certainly not opening its borders to them, that's for sure:
As the crisis brews over Syrian refugees trying to enter European countries, questions have been raised over why they are not heading to wealthy Gulf states closer to home.
Although those fleeing the Syrian crisis have for several years been crossing into Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey in huge numbers, entering other Arab states - especially in the Gulf - is far less straightforward.
Officially, Syrians can apply for a tourist visa or work permit in order to enter a Gulf state.
But the process is costly, and there is a widespread perception that many Gulf states have unwritten restrictions in place that make it hard for Syrians to be granted a visa in practice.
Without a visa, Syrians are not currently allowed to enter Arab countries except for Algeria, Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen.
The relative wealth and proximity to Syria of the states has led many - in both social and as well as traditional media - to question whether these states have more of a duty than Europe towards Syrians suffering from over four years of conflict and the emergence of jihadist groups in the country.
Here's a cartoon recently published in Saudi Arabia:
So, does Qatar have the resources to host any of the hundreds of thousands of refugees it helped create? Funny you should ask. Qatar just happens to be literally the richest country in the world. It will spend over $200 billion to host the 2022 World Cup. It's currently employing tens of thousands of workers building those massive stadiums. But instead of offering those jobs to desperate Arab brethren, it's bringing in workers from half the world away.
So, the article with heart-rending photos appears in a news organization run by the richest country in the world. A country that is actively prolonging the Syrian civil war by delivering arms to religious extremists. And which has turned away the refugees fleeing the chaos it helped create.
This news organization is scolding Europe for failing to open its borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees. Qatar, Earth's richest nation, thinks Europe is demonstrating moral cowardice and selfishness.
The mind boggles.