Drowning off Lampedusa

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Drowning off Lampedusa
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No doubt everyone's seen the shocking and sickening pictures of refugees, of men, women and children floundering and drowning in the sea as they try to get into Europe. The ICT has an article on its website on this which clearly represents an internationalist position and a denounciation of the horrors of capitalism. I was going to post on the ICT website but, in my opinion, they want to much information in order to log in.

Like everyone else, I was shocked by the original pictures from Lampedusa some years ago when half-drowned refugees just about waded onto a tourist beach where they they were embraced, fed and looked after by Italian and European tourists on holiday. The incongruity of the situation was startling, well-fed healthy looking tourists with all the accroutements of holiday relaxation surrounding them and these poor, bedraggled people with nothing but the rags they just about stood up in. Nevertheless the expressed solidarity and compassion from the holidaymakers was heartwarming.

There have been reports in this latest episode that a Libyan gunboat fired on the refugee vessel and that this caused it to capsize. There have been reports in the last months that Nato ships on war manoeuvres have deliberately ignored drowning refugees. There's no doubt that capitalism uses migrants to depress wages and generate profits and this is done throughout the EU (and elsewhere) while these same migrants are demonised and subject to all sorts of abuses. So while I support the ICT piece I think that it tends to overestimate the deliberate "management" of this situation and underestimate the element of growing chaos and instability that this and other aspects of trafficking represents. The ICT article says that these refugees are fleeing civil war and poverty. More precisely, they are fleeing imperialist wars and instability mostly generated by the powers that they are fleeing towards. I think that this is an important distinction for communists to  make. Britain, France and other countries of the EU (and the US) have been arming anti-Assad forces with (amongst others) Libyan weaponry and fighters and then these Syrian, Itaqi, Somali refugees and others are trafficked through Libyan instability and chaos towards fortress Europe. I didn't make a note of it, but there was a UN report a couple of days ago that said most refugees were fleeing war, and for the  great part, this is imperialist war and instability.