Over the last 24 hours, Europe has been shown the now infamous video of Omran Daqneesh, the 5 year old boy who was pulled from the rubble of a building hit by an air strike in the Syrian city of Aleppo. The world media is currently hoisting this poor child up as a symbol of the suffering of the people of Syria.
An excerpt from Anne Barnard’s piece in the New York Times;

“In the images, he sits alone, a small boy coated with gray dust and encrusted blood. His little feet barely extend beyond his seat. He stares, bewildered, shocked and, above all, weary, as if channelling the mood of Syria.”

There are hundred of reports all across the world media today exactly like this, all expressing temporary horror and anger. And unfortunately I didn’t make a mistake in my last sentence; I did mean to write ‘temporary’.

We are all living in a world where this type of shocking imagery is now passing us by so fast, that we don’t even have to time asses what to do about it. It’s a shameful situation and one of the drawbacks of instant media and information flow.
It’s just too quick.

Facebook, Twitter and all the other media are excellent tools for making us aware but they don’t seem to help in the aftermath. And it’s frightening to me that it seems that we are also getting used to images like this, almost somewhat desensitised.

As Europeans, should we feel collectively responsible to a degree? Did we allow our governments to join the “willing” and force feed democracy on a vast area of the middle east that was nowhere near prepared for it?

Or was it all a ruse just ensure the control of natural resources, mainly oil. The right will say that there is not vast amounts of oil in Syria and therefore, the western powers invasion for that reason is a liberal conspiracy but that argument doesn’t stand up. The Syrian civil war is a by-product of the Iraq invasion of 2003. As is the so-called Arab Spring which was not expected and has caught the major powers off guard. The result of the uprisings in most cases has been catastrophic; Libya, Egypt and Tunisia have all experienced instability, both on an economic and religious scale which has been devastating to their main sources of income such as tourism in the cases of Tunisia and Egypt and oil production in Libya.

A future united European federation must not allow itself to fall into the murky world of nation building and destroying. Our colonial history has enough evidence to show that it is an entirely disastrous agenda which leads to consequences such as mass refugee migration and terrorist attacks. Europe of the future should be a place where people can look to for guidance, not influence. We should be building schools, not training camps, hospitals, not triage tents, and homes, not internment centres. Our media must be one that tells the truth, not flashes of influential titbits that will excite or anger its viewers momentarily. Our government must be driven by the institutions of peace and security. We also need to educate others in the art of sustainability. Bring equality to those we have stolen from over the last two to three hundred years. Giving our former colonies back to its native inhabitants was never enough and we are still feeling the effects of it today. We need to stay out of their business but help when required.

Ken Sweeney
Committed to idea of supporting aspiring writers and journalists. Serial podcaster.

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