03 September 2015


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Margaret Steinfels

Abdullah Kurdi, the father of the two boys, tells the story of the death of his wife and two sons. The photo (cannot post here) of that little body in the arms of a Turkish policeman is enough to make you weep.



Rear Admiral (upper half) (Ret.) John Kirby brings to mind the old Soviet modismo, "suck d---s and read newspapers and you, too, can be a commissar." pl


I would only substitute 'spew' for 'voice'. Our country is becoming 'A Confederacy of Dunces.'


Despite my handle, I am not Greek, but I have lived here many years. This refugee crisis has hit here very hard with many refugees showing up on the shores of Greek islands in the Aegean. There are 200,000 this year, and the authorities cannot handle them. Greece is currently in a crisis with austerity and elections upcoming this month on Sept 20. We have spent five months hosting relatives and friends on their holidays who seem to have no idea of the situation, but they are in holiday-mode. Nonetheless, I intended to go to Lesbos to volunteer to help three months ago but realized I would be more of a nuisance than a help since I am not trained for that. My efforts to donate to aid organizations were thwarted by the currency controls imposed. I remain amazed that Gen. Petraeus seems willing to embrace al Quaeda: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/01/politics/david-petraeus-al-qaeda-isis-nusra/

I am also amazed at the indifference of my tourist friends and relatives who have come. I am even more amazed at the indifference in the US to what my country has wrought and expects Europe to deal with.

This might give some sense of the urgency here: http://www.ekathimerini.com/201174/article/ekathimerini/community/veteran-aid-worker-expresses-frustration-with-handling-of-migrant-crisis-in-greece



IMO Petraeus is sold out to Wall street money. pl



Have we not insulted and scorned the Confederates enough without comparing them to these specimens of pond scum? pl

Babak Makkinejad

I agree.


FB Ali

It seems to me that Turkey is encouraging its Syrian/Kurdish refugees to leave for Europe via Greece.

This refugee migration is only one part of an ongoing human movement out of the ME and Africa - it is strange how the daily desperate crossings of the Mediterranean from Libya have suddenly 'ceased' (at least as far as the media are concerned).

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of an ongoing process as climate change adds to the pressures on the populations of poor and poorly-governed states, forcing them to move in the struggle to survive.


And he is very short in stature..not what you expect after seeing him on TV.

A. Pols

I don't think BabelFish was using Confederacy in that way...


A. Pols

I confess to an ironic response to my cousin. pl


It is a strategic tragedy and tactical folly that we so throroughly violate our most sympathetic and simpatico allies in the Levant. The Kurds, not unlike the Berbers, are the most secular and openly pro American people in the region. Be they PKK or religiously oriented, young or old, Kurds I have met in almost 3 decades in Europe are open and friendly to the US and it's ideals. It is repulsive that they are so used and abused by policymakers, from GHWB to the present. Hard to believe that such a morally repugnant choice is strategically justifiable.


I think you missed Babelfish's allusion to a great American novel: The Confederacy of Dunces.
And to perpetuate the allusion, I will now pull my earpads down from my hunting cap over my ears to block out any more news of the modern world, which is a place I despise.
Indeed, I will hunker over a drink at a bar, be profusely and hilariously morose, and castigate the modern world in all its insanity.
A true genius I am; born in the wrong century...

Babelfish will know why I lament. (FWIW, it's been years since I howled over this tome; I hope that I recall the main bits with reasonable accuracy. Babelfish will offer correction if I'm amiss.)

I found the book an absolutely hilarious read: wickedly funny, and IIRC, set in New Orleans, most unfortunately in the unruly, tumultuous, and ludicrous 1960s.


Oh dear, I fear that perhaps I should use a new moniker: humorlessLeftCoaster 8^(


Reader. etc.

Some of you are sadly literal. pl


Sadly one confederacy rises again and again....

Babak Makkinejad

These Kurds that you talk about, on which planet do they live?

The Yazidis - a Kurdish people - lunched a 24 years old woman in broad daylight because she had dared to fall in love with someone outside of her community.

In Europe and North America, all these foreigners will tell you what you want to believe in - they themselves are as medieval as Saladin.

If you want to help Kurds, you would advise them to drop their stupid and generational efforts to carve a fiefdom out of existing old and established states and not to feed the lives of their youth into the furnace of war.

Kim Sky

The minute that the US betrayed the Kurds -- yet AGAIN. I have been grieving!

We know that X-amount of US military personnel will take this hard, as the CIA sure did in 1998, with Warren Merrick and James Woosley... Merrick was setting up a private fund to help the Kurds back then, perhaps this photo is just such an opportunity to demonstrate this betrayal. US policy is just plain painful.


I hope this does not come off as callous. But I fear it will. There are 1000 photos (a million, in theory? A billion?) a day--if one had time to look at them--that would "make you weep". And how is that to be calculated in when forming policy responses to given problems?

Margaret Steinfels

Not callous. And true, thousands of photos. Maybe no policy changes. But. Remember the Vietnamese girl with napalm burning on her back. Now a three-year old, Aylan Kurdi. It could galvanize the EU ptb to create a system; it could make the rest of us send money to agencies caring for refugees; it should shame our national security poo-bahs.

Not particularly in favor of weeping as an instrument of national policy, but sometimes it melts hearts of stone.

The Beaver


Nicely put.

The same can be said about the Canadian PM and some of his cabinet . Blame Assad and "what we call" ISIS.

Here is a good example of one of his yes men:


And this chap was once the DSRSG at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (4 years), job he jumped to after overseeing Canada's diplomatic, defence and development efforts in Afghanistan as Ambassador for two years



The News Hour interview last night reported the children as wearing life jackets and being excited about a 30 minute boat ride. This body does not have a life jacket on. The question needs to be asked who took it off and when. The second question is if Turkey is so unsafe for these refugees why is it safe enough for Europeans and Americans to travel to?


And it was well done and had me smiling as I read it.

Margaret Steinfels

If you believe what you hear on the Newshour......



Believe only in the relative sense. The event is tragic however I think this entire media blitz smells to high heaven.

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