sestdiena, 2013. gada 12. oktobris

Lampedusa dying to enter your living room

Don't even think you can stop them. New arrivals on Lampedusa. Photo: cnn.com
The Lampedusa-type tragedies one after another, African dictators' adamant denial of failing their countries, and the obvious vulnerability of socially weak, poorly managed and overpopulated areas and countries to climate change in the South (or the Equator belt rather) leave practically no choice for the wealthier and generally much better organised North (including, in fact, the extreme South, such as Australia and the most developed societies of South America).

We like to believe we can choose between a hard and a soft solution of the migrant problem. Accommodating the immigrants among ourselves, sharing our environment with them, letting them basically in our living rooms. Or, if we are not very comfortable with the hard--hard for us of course--solution, we can choose to "buy" ourselves our comfortable homogeneity by financing improvements in the countries of the migrants' origin.

I am quite certain the latter is very much of an illusion or rather self-deceit. I don't want to speculate about global diplomacy and international cooperation. However intricate it may seem, the North is to deal with international terror nurtured in the Equator belt waging endless wars in their own countries and killing innocent people elsewhere, deal with endless influx of immigrants, people trafficking and tradegies. Courting third-world dictators internationally, the North is dealing with real blood domestically.

We like to think the North is paying billions of US dollars and euros for modern infrastructure, wiser policies and better life in many poor and struggling societies of the Equator belt. In fact, the money is feeding those same dictators who mismanage their countries forcing millions to seek modern infrastructure, wiser policies and better life beyond Lampedusa.

They are willing to risk their lives to leave behind their
mismanaged countries. Photo: Mauro Seminara/AFP/Getty
We are wrong so much in our beliefs and the dictators we are feeding are failing their countries to such extent that the poor seekers are willing to risk their lives, ready to die and are dying to leave behind what we in the North are paying for in their countries ravaged by wars and lawlessness. Isn't that enough for us to wake up?

If not, just listen to the guys at the African Union summit these days. They are saying the International Criminal Court singles out and discriminates against African leaders. The warlords in power are not only asking "why us, are we any worse than the other ones?", they are directly denying they are to blame for "anything worse", for their countries' mismanagement. What improvements would it be wise to expect?

I think the North needs to invest into increasing its capacity of letting immigrants inside, not keeping them in the waters off Lampedusa. As the news of late prove letting them die does not discourage them. The North should rather use its taxpayers' money to build larger facilities, even villages for immigrants, train and educate them, teach them proper skills for living and working in the North before actually letting them in the living room. We have to realise that the immigrants are here to stay, not just to wait out a war or a crisis in their former home country.

Much closer cooperation and very strong moral support would definitely help those most competitive emerging economies to become new hubs of global development--and labour migration. I'd rather see that going hand in hand with the acknowledgement of the need for a global police function. No sovereignty should protect a failed state that causes suffering to their people. Suffering has no sovereignty.

Lampedusa, or the mass influx of desperate and poor people despite severe hardship and fatal risk, happens every day. It happens to us. Even if we don't exactly witness it on the streets we are walking. Even if the Latvians strongly believe that, of all countries, Latvia would be the last place an immigrant from Benin or Bangladesh would consider as his final destination. The offer of this brokerage, by the way, proves just the opposite. And it might not be the only one promising "new life" and presenting innocent Latvia as a very desirable final destination.

See more images of the 2011 Lampedusa crisis here


Wake up. Don't even think you can stop them. Lampedusa is knocking on your door and taps at your heart. No seas, no frontiers, no EUROSUR, no preambulas and other sorts of moronically isolationist--that Latvia currently chooses to champion--or wishful thinking are able to protect us from what's inevitable.

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