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West must recognise its role in this unfolding calamity

The mounting refugee tragedy unfolding before our eyes is an alarm call not just for Europe, but for the United Nations.

The international community needs to focus on how best to accommodate these courageous people and identify and remove the causes of conflict exacerbation so that hope can grow that their homelands can be made peaceful and habitable again.

Voters in the West need to recognise fully the part that our countries have played in the evolution of the long-unfolding calamity.

Did their representatives at the UN make any effort to gain support for concerted action to restrain the politically influential power strategists and the arms dealers of the world, who make fortunes exploiting division and providing their vile products to men in conflict? Did we turn an indifferent eye to the deaths of an estimated 200,000 Iraqi children caused by Western sanctions? Did we rail at the deaths of many thousands more civilians by allied bombings?

Did we actively question the official motives and justification for the bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya? What part did such actions play in the more recent, furious and savage rise of Isis? Those who took the largest part in the "war on terror" seem to be the very ones doing least to help the desperate families.

It appears that the UK is actually resisting the EU-wide quota plan. Has the splendidly protected USA offered to take its proportionate share of war refugees? Or will its foreign involvement in these countries turn out to be a paranoid and cynical one-way street?


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