William Soil July 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm
Syria is now over the flames of war, under the shadow of the wings of death. The current and future heroes of Syria are being hunted like animals, black hooded, murdered in the streets and piled into mass graves while the rest of us sit and debate what should be done, and how, and by who. Syrians stream over borders now, as humans, fleeing from unimaginable horrors. They are protected under international law, the international law that ensures human rights. These laws are the product of two world wars. These laws are the only shred of hope that emerged from a world reduced to rubble and bones and born into the third world war, the cold war, and yet, these international laws, they were written and they have survived.
I sit in the early hours of Monday morning, watching the story of the Allied bombing of Germany on SBS, completely absorbed in my own mind. We will sit and debate films, of which Downfall was the greatest, Saving Private Ryan second, Beneath Hill 60 third.
How quick we are to forget, to smooth over, to distance ourselves from modern history. How silly it seems on one hand to accept U.S troops on our soil, and embrace the US defence posture as their outer perimeter while simultaneously, wantonly, abhorrently, recklessly trying to ignore the most important pieces of international law to ever have existed.
But of course, after months and months of the most vacuous political climate in my lifetime, of a bland and strangled media littered with the odd honest diamond shining out of the rough, Australian’s are demanding action, right now, yesterday, real action, we are standing up for it.
The central illusion in all of this is that faith can be restored in a hollowed out democracy that does not represent it’s electorate by subverting the international protections that exist to ensure each human being is treated as such, a human being, it can’t. Now even the staunchest politician right of the Greens are guilty of commodifying asylum seekers to votes, to public approval.
The Australian people are expected to support a policy which infringes on human rights. Never mind the razor wire, the SERCO guards, the sewn lips, the suicides, the roof tiles or the riots. If not for the protection of people from other lands, if not to honour the lives lost, who fought under this flag and who equated the fight, the carnage, the apocalypse of the second world war to some kind of fight for a better world, then oppose offshore processing to ensure that our own people be considered human beings, with human rights in any future conflict.
Let the complexities of the situation in Syria stand as an example to complacent entities who may rest on the assumption that future conflict is an impossibility because Captain Team Police Force America will ride in on a drone and save the day regardless of reality. It won’t.
Once it seemed each person left of Costello was against offshore processing. You want to save lives? Embrace the Ellis plan, take the whole queue, now.
If Australia cannot abide the most important pieces of international law to ever have existed, what is to stop the next nation state closing borders to the Red Cross, dropping cluster bombs, laying land mines or hey, writing people off as subhuman and loading them into ovens?
Stop the boats, take the queue. Otherwise the tears cried by so many, the blood shed, the 60 million people that died in those world wars are all for naught and the tears cried by our current stock of politicians can only be interpreted to be tears cried for the slide of civilisation into a new dark age of inhumane obscenity.