Refugee crisis in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic

The proverb “taking the bit between one’s teeth” is especially relevant in our present-day neoliberal and global capitalist system. As you know, to ride a horse, one needs to put a bridle on the horse. The bit allows the rider to control the horse. When a horse sets its jaw against the bit or grabs it with its molars, the rider loses control. Over the last decade, the international capitalist system has taken the bit between its teeth.

In the last century, ferocious and unrestrained international growth and competition represented by multinational corporations have replaced the West’s developmental and colonialist capitalist culture.

In the 1970s, development was still occurring in the international arena. During serious humanitarian crises, such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the civil rights movements in the United States and the Bosnian War, states came up with resolutions that at least eased the conscience of humanity.

In the last quarter-century, however, the international struggle between global powers devastated the internal peace and order of smaller countries. For the last 20 years, Afghan people have been living mostly as refugees. Caught in the crossfire between the U.S. and Iran, at least 2 million Iraqi people have also become refugees.

Yemen has been devastated by the struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. While the warplanes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates bombard civilian populations, Iran continues to arm the Zaydis and raise militia forces for its own regional interests. Almost 1 million children in Yemen have been deprived of clean water and healthy food.

Supported by various Western intelligence organizations, dozens of terrorist organizations in Africa continue to wreak havoc on the continent. Although leading U.S. companies, such as Google or Microsoft, could resolve the problem of hunger in Africa, they continue to turn a blind eye while hundreds of thousands of African people remain at risk of starvation.

People worldwide have lost interest in the long-standing humanitarian crisis in Palestine. Similarly, nobody seems to pay much attention to the fact that China transformed a whole province in eastern Turkistan into an open-air prison.

Meanwhile, half of the Syrian people have become refugees, fleeing a country where crimes against humanity have become common occurrences. In Idlib, 4 million Syrian people would have become refugees, if Turkey had not intervened in the Syrian crisis.

Considering all of these recent developments, it is obvious international law and institutions have become null and void. The U.N., the Geneva Conventions, international courts of human rights and international civil society institutions are, to put it mildly, ineffective. Oppressed peoples of the world have long been deserted.

In the Turkish-Greek border, tens of thousands of refugees struggle to cross the Greek border in pursuit of a better life on the European continent. Violating both the international and the European laws, the Greek government “welcomes” these refugees with gas bombs, plastic and real bullets.

In our fight against the recent coronavirus outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the unrestrained capitalist system and the egoistic policies of nationalism are harmful. We must learn lessons from our mistakes and act with solidarity not only to overcome the coronavirus pandemic but also to resolve the refugee crisis.

Source: Daily Sabah

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