Leaders like Cameron, not Hungary, caused refugee crisis

Richard Sudan
Richard Sudan is a London-based writer, political activist, and performance poet. His writing has been published in many prominent publications, including the Independent, the Guardian, Huffington Post and Washington Spectator. He has been a guest speaker at events for different organizations ranging from the University of East London to the People's Assembly covering various topics. His opinion is that the mainstream media has a duty to challenge power, rather than to serve power. Richard has taught writing poetry for performance at Brunel University.
A mother breastfeeds her baby in front of piles of rubbish at a migrant collection point in Roszke, Hungary September 11, 2015. © Laszlo Balogh
I’ve seen a lot of anger directed at Hungary over the last few days. There’s been a lot of criticism of the government, and close scrutiny of the words of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

I’m not a fan of the Hungarian government, and I don’t like the wall being built between Hungary and Serbia. I’m even less of a fan though of the politics which led to this dire situation in the first place.

Whatever you think of the politics in Hungary, it is not to blame for the refugee crisis. The same liberal media which is quick to criticize the Hungarian leadership, is not so quick to criticize those who are directly responsible for helping to cause the civil wars that continue in the lands which people are fleeing from and who, in the face of it, are calling for yet more war, and unbelievably so.

Over the last few days there seems to have been a lot of focus on Hungary and other so-called EU gateway countries, with all kinds of accusations and finger pointing having taken place. The crisis is said to be a European problem by some, a Hungarian one by others, or perhaps a German one depending on your view.

The conversations and chatter in the media continue, and all the while the British government is quietly contemplating bombing Syria, in a move which beggars belief. It’s clear then, why attention is being shifted away from war-mongering Cameron toward another distracting scapegoat.

The liberal media and the government, both want to bomb Syria, and both are resolute and steadfast in blaming anyone but the British state for its hand in causing the refugee crisis. That really tells you all you need to know.

ISIS is the problem, Assad is the problem, and now this week, we are being told that Hungary and other nations on the border of the EU are the problem.

There are right-wingers in Hungary, sure, and worse, just like in the UK. There are racist football hooligans in Hungary just like here in the UK. Of course. But the brush Hungary is being painted with, and the picture painted of Hungarians by virtue of the criticism leveled at the government, is not a fair one.

Most Hungarians just like most Brits, are decent people, and instinctively want to help people who need help.

I’ve seen the headlines focusing on the actions of a Hungarian journalist, and rightly so. But what I’ve also seen with my own eyes, and haven’t seen in the papers, are the stories of the many Hungarian groups and individuals doing their best to ease the difficulties of those refugees in Hungary living in desperate conditions. There is a reason for this. The authorities in Hungary are far from perfect, but they are doing their best under testing circumstances. Britain’s own policy towards immigrants and refugees at home and abroad however, is one which most definitely can be called right wing, hypocritical and ultimately fascist and racist.

But this side of the coin isn’t being focused on by the MSM, because it’s easy to criticize one country, and a journalist kicking refugees in a field, and to focus on the images of dead bodies washing up on shores than it is to deal with the uncomfortable truth about the root causes of this crisis - illegal war, and the role Britain continues to play in perpetuating the current one in Syria.

But the war to destabilize Syria waged by the West is ultimately largely ignored and downplayed, while other parts of the crisis are sensationalized for political ends through much of the MSM- let’s make no mistake about it.

Much of the distasteful fetishisation of this very real human tragedy, far from helping the situation, is sadly being used to try and prolong it, and unbelievably and heartbreakingly so.

The images of a little dead Syrian boy, being used to garner support for more war and bombs - the very circumstances which made his family flee their country in the first place - is one such example. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron. © John Giles

David Cameron’s reaction to the red top neo liberal outcry, crocodile tears, and outpouring over the picture of Aylan Kurdi was straight out of the Sun newspaper’s playbook.   What did he do? As a result last week he pledged that Britain would offer to help to more Syrian refugees. And this week Cameron has pledged to create more Syrian refugees, by calling for Britain to bomb Syria.

He wants to bomb Syria he says, to defeat Assad and ISIS, but this is illogical. In actual fact, as most acknowledge, if he really wanted to defeat Islamic State, Britain would support the Syrian army, and also Kurdish forces, and stop the support of terror squads in the region concerned only with undermining the legitimacy of Syria as a sovereign nation.

And furthermore, it is not the West’s business to remove Assad or the Syrian government. How Syria is run is a matter for the Syrians to decide. Calls of dictatorship and unsubstantiated claims against the government are one thing. As a Brit I loathe David Cameron, and I am sick of the unelected head of state, the Queen, remaining in power by virtue of the family she was born into. But were an outside entity to enter Britain and try to take over the government, with sponsored and trained militia from other countries, I would be against them.

This is precisely the situation in Syria. I’ve spoken to many Syrians who are against Assad. The fact they are against him does not mean they want their country destroyed or invaded and, does not mean they want NATO bombing their country or sending in death squads to fuel sectarian violence.

Cameron says many pretty and flowery words to the camera, about refugees and democracy, but the actions of the British state and its policy regarding Syria have been clear. It has been well documented by some in the MSM that Britain and the US have supported terror groups in Syria, concerned only with creating a sectarian bloodbath in the country. It is not the safety of Syria they are concerned with, but its destruction, the same as with Iraq and Libya.

Britain and its allies have the objective of undermining the leadership in Syria, and installing a government more suited to their interests. It’s that simple. It isn’t rocket science. Cameron’s words on Syria therefore are meaningless and empty.

It is the aggressive policy from nations like Britain, which is ultimately the driving force behind so many people leaving Syria, in a bid to reach Europe.

As long as policies like this persist from Western leaders, the instability in Syria will continue, and it is this instability which has led to the so-called refugee crisis. I say ‘so-called’ because refugees fleeing wars our governments help create and continue to perpetuate, is not a crisis, it’s an inevitability so long as Western foreign policy, parroted from leaders like David Cameron, continues.

So long as Britain maintains its aggressive policies in the Middle East, scenes like those I saw at Budapest train station and inside the refugee camp recently, will continue.

These people have nowhere safe to go. What else are they supposed to do? Sit around waiting for the bombs to fall? Most of us would leave as most have.

Rather than trying to build walls and criticize individual leaders, we should try to understand something: when the better option for people is to leave their home and make a perilous journey across the sea in which there is a 40 percent chance of death the world and humanity really is in a sorry state of affairs. Not only should Western leaders be welcoming these people, leaders like Cameron should be waiting and ready to apologize to them for destroying their countries and should stop blaming other nations for the problems predominantly caused by London, Paris and Washington.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.