August 31, 2016 at 3:30 am #49852
There’s a story on CNN right now that will hopefully persist more than a few days. It raises some interesting questions. The “draw” for the story is the photograph of a reportedly 5-day old baby boy who was just rescued, the story says, from a boat that was literally SRO (standing room only) with zero empty space for anyone else. A rescue effort that routinely patrols the Mediterranean, found the wooden boat with an unknown number on it (I’d take a wild guess at 200± people just from the couple of photos). It was off the Libyan coast. Distance from Libya to Italy is 290 miles at the very closest point, from the western tip of Libya closest to Italy, and then across to an island belonging to Italy – not the mainland. A starting point anywhere else is much further. And that’s just the distance across the water (impossible in those craft and the rubber rafts they’re also using) – there’s also the overland distance from wherever they came from in Africa up TO the Libyan coast.
According to a separate story from early 2015, the refugees come mostly from Eritrea, which is way down the Red Sea, across from southern Saudi Arabia and Yemen. As of this time last year, the price for the smuggling across the African desert and then onto a boat in Libya, was way down to “only” as little as $1600, from a high of around $5000 under Ghaddafi. And the whole idea is to simply get ON a boat (or raft in some cases), and get out off the coast of Libya into international waters, where these “humanitarian” ships would be waiting to pick them up.
So these two articles (and others like them) raise some interesting questions that I don’t have a lot of really solid answers for. But some of the most obvious are, where do these destitute people get that kind of money, what are the circumstances in Eritrea that are so awful that they’d risk their very lives, and why have NGOs and even governments participated in swarming the Mediterranean with rescue ships? It only encourages more. Heck – they’re losing well over 3000 per year just across the northern African desert and the Med. Somehow it seems likely that “business” would dry up for most of the smugglers if they all died at sea (I’m NOT advocating or hoping for that of course!) and relatives back home found that out. Yes, alternative routes might (probably would) be created, but patrolling the Mediterranean for bobbing rafts and slightly larger boats is expensive, and only encourages the process – since everybody’s goal is to be “rescued” once they get off the Libyan coast.
Now back to the lead story – an extremely pregnant woman (whether or not she knew she had twins) makes that journey in the final days of her pregnancy, then gives birth to a couple of surprisingly healthy, and reasonably decent sized baby boys given their twin status, that appear rather advanced for just 120 hours on planet earth. And with eyes wide open, the photo simply seems fishy for a full-term pregnancy with twins. We’ve got a newborn great grandbaby, and the photos at five days aren’t even REMOTELY this alert! He’s awfully good sized to have been a twin, and they both made it, being born under the most awful of birth circumstances, either just before or just after being put on that SRO boat with full 24/7 exposure to the elements (again – standing up).
I can’t help but wonder just what is really behind what looks like massive propaganda, even if those migrants really do exist and really are fleeing horrible conditions in Eritrea and other nearby garden spots. I can’t fully put my finger on it, but something just ain’t quite right with the combined “picture” (including the lead photo of the infant) painted by the two articles. I’m wondering if there are very different perspectives than what I have in my comfortable chair in a developed western country. But something just doesn’t seem quite “right” about the story. Somebody please talk me out of the appearance of propaganda here.
"Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."August 31, 2016 at 11:30 am #49859
The baby in the photo is very small and surely under 5 pounds. Assuming that his twin is also small, in a normal scenario they’d be in incubators for the first few days at least. That and the alertness and I’d tend to agree they could be more than 5 days old.
It seems that the criteria for being a news reporter these days is not so much have the intellect and insight to ferret out the real story but rather passing a political litmus test.August 31, 2016 at 11:36 am #49860
Why would anyone try to do that? Great hair for a 5 day old child.September 1, 2016 at 8:40 am #49868
Short but simple replies from me up in Sweden where a lot of these ‘asylum seekers’ are being placed:
1) The media is labeling everyone coming into Europe as ‘asylum seekers’, this is grossly irresponsible and entirely mis-leading. We have coming here 3 distinct groups:
1 – Asylum seekers – People fleeing war
2 – Economic Migrants – People looking to get to Europe for a vast ‘upgrade’ in lifestyle
3 – Immigrants – People voluntarily moving for a variety of reasons, typically work or relationship related.
Caveat. I fit into category 3. I moved to Sweden form the UK 9 years ago. I have had significant contact with all 3 groups in the last 3 years.
The question: Where do they get the money? Families typically pool all resources for cat.2 to send the healthiest most able member on the journey. Once they have ‘permission to stay’ in the host nation they will immeaditaley petition to have any and all family members brought over as is their ‘right’ (Note it was exactly this aspect that was tackled in the June 2016 law change here in Sweden, for good reason. Still too little too late, but thats another discussion)
The media is completely subservient to the establishment in all these stories, so yes, propaganda and manipulation at it finest. This entire process is politically orchestrated and financially motivated. If you had any idea of the sums involved in ‘caring’ for these ‘asylum seekers’ (ALL in the private sector) You’d understand a large part of the motivation behind it.
$1600 is a low ball figure. i routinely speak to people that paid 5-10,000 Euros ($5500-11,000) to get here…
Here’s the kicker. What would you be willing to pay and endure to get out of a corrupt and poverty stricken country to start a new life in a prosperous society?
Also understand these economic migrants are enticed and lied too (EXTENSIVELY) by the smugglers about conditions to expect when they get here. This causes all sorts of immediate tensions and problems on arrival…
And once folks ‘learn the laws’ they push for increased benefits
Naturally all of this creates anger and frustration in a significant portion of taxpayers (Who are ignored by the authorities and labelled, very openly, as ‘racist’ for questioning policy)
Hope this helps…?September 3, 2016 at 4:10 am #49883
Excellent – thanks so much, Toby.
"Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land."September 3, 2016 at 12:02 pm #49886
Excellent. It sums it all up very well. I have read that the Somalis in the US are particularly adept at seeking out the places that give them the best welfare deal. A friend up in the Lewiston Maine area says the Somalis there have been a total disaster for that community.
Meanwhile those of us protesting Syrian refugees coming to Rutland, VT are deemed racists for objecting. Even our local VT State Representatives and Senators can’t get a copy of the application/justication for making Rutland a host community. Freedom of Information requests are being ignored. The suspicion is that it contains many fabrications that they do not want anyone to see. Were the program to be stopped the sponsoring agency would lose the associated payments they get for each refugee brought in. Follow the money as they say.
I am hoping this coming winter is brutally cold with record amounts of snow and that it lasts well into April. The refugees have permanent residency status upon arrival and are free to move anywhere in the US. Maybe a brutal winter will have them seeking a climate elsewhere that is more like Syria. That said, I don’t wish them on anybody but I really don’t want to see the Islamification of my little piece of paradise. I don’t live in Rutland but it is the only place to shop and seek medical or other services for an hour in any direction. My town doesn’t even have a gas station and so we regularly drive into Rutland for most anything we need.
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