His Name Is Aylan

 

syrian-migrant-boy-turkeyHis name is Aylan and he is Kurdish, the small child I see lying face down on a European shore. He died as his family tried to escape Syria, and the images of his tiny lifeless body has sparked an understandable anger across the world.

I feel the same outrage in me, and I know where I want to place that pain and condemnation – at the feet of President Barack Obama.

For the better (or worse) part of six years, Obama has tilted the world to this point, where children float up on foreign shores and families place their fate and belongings in a broken vessel to go anywhere other than where they’ve been.

An hour or so before I saw this picture, I found out that Senator Barbara Mikulski became the deciding vote needed to secure Obama’s Iran deal in Congress. Because the president has been single-mindedly focused on that deal — because he’s been willing to subordinate every other concern in the Middle East to cementing his legacy — we see floods of Arab refugees seeking shelter on European soil. Those who cannot flee are either displaced within the region or become unwilling stars of one of the many horror videos touted by that group with many names and little sovereignty.

There was a time not that long ago when ISIS did not exist and when I had never seen a man beheaded or burnt alive for the world to see. Now images of Yazidi girls sold in slavery pass by my feed alongside memes and selfies. I had gotten so desensitized that I almost forgot that this brutality hasn’t always been part of my existence.

Then I saw that boy, like trash on the beach, with no one to claim him, and I remembered. I remembered how Obama chose to empower Assad, partner with Iran, forgo red lines and destabilize the Middle East.

This is supposed to be the President of humane ideals and progressive values. Yet on his watch young girls are systematically raped in the Levant while the White House spends its time fretting about hookups on college campuses? This commander-in-chief says all options are on the table — yet when Americans are beheaded on screen his response consists of offering  PR advice to the terrorists responsible? Not only can’t I make sense of it, but I cannot fathom where the world will be in the 505 days we have left until this man leaves office.

His name is Aylan. He was three years old and he lost his life because his family decided that the unknown on the other side of that dark ocean was safer than the hellhole their country had become. To me, that is, and will forever be, President Obama’s legacy: That child with his face in the water, and the growing evil that placed him there.

His name is Aylan. And his life matters too.

 

 

There are 137 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Brian McMenomy Inactive
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    Words fail.  As if we needed another lesson about what happens when we refuse to lead.  Very well said, Annika.

    • #1
  2. Frozen Chosen Inactive
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    That picture brought me to tears.

    The only consolation I have is that this sweet child is back in the arms of his Heavenly Father, never to depart again.

    • #2
  3. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Thank you for this post Annika and thank you for telling us his name.

    • #3
  4. Tom Riehl Inactive
    Tom Riehl
    @TrinityWaters

    Pictures speak, and this one at very high volume.  Anguish.

    The blame is correctly placed, thank you.

    • #4
  5. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Looking at these kinds of pictures no longer elicits anger just a heavy sadness and sympathy – Obama has incarcerated America in helplessness.

    All that’s standing between the West and Obama’s Folly, the disaster of Iranian nuclear weapons, is Israel and the Israeli ISD. I don’t know how or if Bibi can take out Iran’s nuclear weapons program .. godspeed to Israel and Bibi.

    • #5
  6. Carsten Koenig Member
    Carsten Koenig
    @atlanticus

    It is an act of desperation to flee across the sea. But people make that decision when the danger of resting is higher than the danger on the sea. This is a tragedy.

    But a tragedy does not start with the final scene. The entire story has to be told. People flee because their life is endangered by a quasi fascist state called ISIS.

    Their is no general will within the West to destroy that tyranny. This is the very reason of that dead boy.

    • #6
  7. Hank Joseph Inactive
    Hank Joseph
    @GarretHobart

    Amen.

    • #7
  8. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Fly as many people out of there as possible. Bring them to America or anywhere else that will take them.

    • #8
  9. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    I’m gonna make a lot of enemies at Ricochet today. So be it.

    These people don’t belong in Europe. Some are trying to get away from ISIS and Assad. But UN refugee rules state that they’re to go to the first available country. Syria and Iraq are surrounded by countries that could take them in. Lebanon. Jordan. Iran. Saudi Arabia. Turkey. The list goes on. All of these countries have either the familiarity of language or religion to the refugees. They’re natural places for them to go temporarily until the fighting stops at home.

    But that’s not what’s happening. They’re going right through Turkey to Europe. Why?

    Money. Benefits. Welfare.

    These people are using the state of their homeland as an excuse to kill two birds with one stone: get away from the fighting/economy, and go to a wealthy western country where they’ll be taken care of in a style that is luxurious compared to their home economies. Further, many are not fleeing a crisis at all. Look at the “migrants” flooding Calais. And worse, they’re flooding into Europe with an attitude of mockery towards native Europeans and a snotty sense of entitlement; “You can’t keep me out. You HAVE to take me. You HAVE to give me money and an apartment!”. In Calais, they laugh as cops try to catch them. In East Europe, they demand passage to richer West/North Europe. It’s about the money.

    • #9
  10. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    I don’t lose it easily but this picture and article have done it.   His life matters too Mr President and you helped kill him.

    • #10
  11. Michael Sanregret Inactive
    Michael Sanregret
    @TheQuestion

    Thank you for this.

    Some people thought Reagan would start a war, with his military buildup and confrontational rhetoric.  Instead he ushered in a decade of peace without firing a shot.  Obama is doing the opposite.  He is reassuring everyone that the US means no harm and is not a threat.  His policy is the opposite of Reagan’s, and the results will be, and already are, the opposite.

    • #11
  12. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Mike H:Fly as many people out of there as possible. Bring them to America or anywhere else that will take them.

    No.

    • #12
  13. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Hey, michelle obama, are you proud of being an American yet? You should be, for look what your husband has accomplished, and you being allowed to suck at the taxpayer’s tit for your little pleasures. Good going girl! Leave your daughters something to be proud of.

    • #13
  14. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    These people were trying to flee to Canada.  They wouldn’t allow them in.

    Why the [expletive] aren’t we letting these people into the United States?

    • #14
  15. david foster Member
    david foster
    @DavidFoster

    There was an article in today’s WSJ about the success Kurdish forces are having against ISIS:

    The black-flagged barbarians scatter like rabbits when the Kurdish Peshmerga attack

    The author, Berhard-Henri Levy, is optimistic about the chances for defeating ISIS.

    Maybe.  I suspect that ISIS will not be defeated unless the US is willing to make at least a stronger air effort, including forward observers and a recognition that some civilian casualties are inevitable.  The alternative will be the continued advance of ISIS and a lot more civilian deaths and other tragedies.

    • #15
  16. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Annika,

    Yes, you are exactly correct. This photograph is the symbol of Obama’s leading from behind for six years. While the self absorbed one himself is taking selfies in Alaska babbling about an imaginary environmental crisis. He is just great at fighting imaginary adversaries. The real ones not so much.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #16
  17. Fake John Galt Coolidge
    Fake John Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Sorry, President Obama is not responsible.

    If he tried anything his ideology would have only made things worse.  We would have more of our bravest die in foreign wars as Obama and HRC blamed youtube videos or tea party terrorist.  Chances are that this child would have died anyway.  That is what happens when idiots and incompetents are allowed to run things.

    • #17
  18. Frozen Chosen Inactive
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    Douglas:I’m gonna make a lot of enemies at Ricochet today. So be it.

    These people don’t belong in Europe. Some are trying to get away from ISIS and Assad. But UN refugee rules state that they’re to go to the first available country. Syria and Iraq are surrounded by countries that could take them in. Lebanon. Jordan. Iran. Saudi Arabia. Turkey. The list goes on. All of these countries have either the familiarity of language or religion to the refugees. They’re natural places for them to go temporarily until the fighting stops at home.

    But that’s not what’s happening. They’re going right through Turkey to Europe. Why?

    Actually Jordan and Turkey have taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees.  My business partner just came back from Amman and he said the place is crawling with refugees.  Jordan is a small country with limited resources and can only handle so many refugees.  Lebanon is not much better than Syria.  Also, Saudi Arabia or Iran are no refuge if you’re Christian, which many of these folks are.

    While your assertion that the refugees are seeking the welfare state in Europe may apply to some, I think that most of these folks just want to get out of the hell hole that is the Middle East.

    • #18
  19. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Annika, what a valuable addition you are to Ricochet, getting the opportunity to know you has been a real pleasure. Thanks.

    • #19
  20. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    James Gawron: This photograph is the symbol of Obama’s leading from behind for six years.

    No it’s not.  It’s a symbol of the barriers we put up against people coming to the United States.  It shouldn’t be that way.  It disgusts me, as well it should disgust any decent person.

    The United States used to be the nation that accepted people yearning to breathe free.  We don’t do that any more.

    How many more black marks does our nation need on its history?

    • #20
  21. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    Douglas:I’m gonna make a lot of enemies at Ricochet today. So be it.

    Hey, me too.

    I saw this pic on yahoo earlier. Now I see we know the name of this child.

    Hmmm.

    Well golly. First off, why do know the name? Has any murdered Christian or Yazidi become internationally famous because they were killed?

    If so, I haven’t heard their name. I also missed the international outrage over the mass murder of Christians throughout the Middle East, the endless attacks on South Sudan by the Muslims from the north, the despicable treatment of the Copts in Egypt, etc, etc, etc.

    Oddly, it seems the only time there is international outrage over people dying the dead are Muslims.

    Why is that, exactly?

    Why the blazes should I be so outraged by the picturesque death of this child, and not the myriad others killed by Muslims?

    This is propaganda, intended to force the governments of Europe to accept every Muslim that can reach their shores, wanted or not.

    If the nations of Europe want to survive, they will decline.

    • #21
  22. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    I believe the US should admit all earnest immigrants who truly seek to adopt our language, our culture,  and the American Dream. As long as they have no access to public funds for a period of 10 or 20 years, and law-breaking leads to swift and permanent deportation.

    • #22
  23. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Xennady: If the nations of Europe want to survive, they will decline.

    They won’t survive anyway. The demographics are virtually irreversible.

    • #23
  24. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Frozen Chosen:Actually Jordan and Turkey have taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees. My business partner just came back from Amman and he said the place is crawling with refugees. Jordan is a small country with limited resources and can only handle so many refugees.

    Good for Jordan and Turkey. No one expects any one country to handle them all. If the UN should be good for anything, it should be good for coordinating the refugees to surrounding border states of Iraq and Syria.

    Lebanon is not much better than Syria.

    Well, it’s not burning right now. It could take SOME people.

    Also, Saudi Arabia or Iran are no refuge if you’re Christian, which many of these folks are.

    What percentage of these people are Christian? Very small compared to most. Saudi could and should take Sunnis. Iran should take Shias. Turkey, Lebanon, and even Israel could take the small number of Christians. Remember, the whole point of the refugee system is that i’s supposed to be temporary. I.E., they go back home after the crisis is over. They should be made to when the time comes.

    While your assertion that the refugees are seeking the welfare state in Europe may apply to some, I think that most of these folks just want to get out of the hell whole that is the Middle East.

    Care for a bet on how many try to stay in the West permanently?

    • #24
  25. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Fred Cole:

    James Gawron: This photograph is the symbol of Obama’s leading from behind for six years.

    No it’s not. It’s a symbol of the barriers we put up against people coming to the United States. It shouldn’t be that way. It disgusts me, as well it should disgust any decent person.

    The United States used to be the nation that accepted people yearning to breathe free. We don’t do that any more.

    How many more black marks does our nation need on its history?

    Blame America, and Americans, first.  Got it.

    • #25
  26. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    iWe:I believe the US should admit all earnest immigrants who truly seek to adopt our language, our culture, and the American Dream. As long as they have no access to public funds for a period of 10 or 20 years, and law-breaking leads to swift and permanent deportation.

    Except we’ll never make those demands. Multiculturalism, the high priesthood of liberalism, demands that we cater to them. Best not to let them come in at all then.

    • #26
  27. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Mike LaRoche:Blame America, and Americans, first. Got it.

    I consider myself responsible for things that I could fix, but do not.

    Our nation is not merely a country for Americans. It is a City on the Hill, a symbol of goodness for the whole world. As and when we can practically fix things, we should.

    This boy died because a lot of things went wrong. Europe has done an awful job, but our expectations of them are low. Had we stayed in Iraq and kept it whole, ISIS would not have been successful. And we could have done it with little or no marginal cost. We left because of Obama’s desperate need to declare it a failure – and then make it so.

    • #27
  28. Hank Joseph Inactive
    Hank Joseph
    @GarretHobart

    Fake John Galt:Sorry, President Obama is not responsible … That is what happens when idiots and incompetents are allowed to run things.

    Douglas:These people don’t belong in Europe …  They’re going right through Turkey to Europe. Why?

    Money. Benefits. Welfare.

    With all due respect gentlemen  —  and you aren’t wrong, so the respect due is substantial  —  there does come a point when a situation is so thoroughly screwed up that the normal connection between the philosophically right thing to do and the morally right thing to do breaks down.  That point is right around when the dead babies start washing up on the shore.

    Fake John:  Which is why I want to hear from leaders not named Obama on this one.

    Real Douglas:  Undoubtedly.  I’ll bet half of them are free-loading scum, just looking for a chance to milk the Germans for some free bratwurst and a haus on the house.   But if even a tenth of these refugees are legit, we can’t ignore that fact that they’re on the road because of us.

    • #28
  29. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Fred Cole:

    James Gawron: This photograph is the symbol of Obama’s leading from behind for six years.

    No it’s not. It’s a symbol of the barriers we put up against people coming to the United States. It shouldn’t be that way. It disgusts me, as well it should disgust any decent person.

    The United States used to be the nation that accepted people yearning to breathe free. We don’t do that any more.

    How many more black marks does our nation need on its history?

    Fred,

    Isn’t your comment a little absurd. It wasn’t the Iraq War that destabilized the Middle East that’s an American left wing fantasy. It was Obama’s Arab Spring policy that undermined absolutely everything and paved the way for ISIS and the disintegration of Syria.

    Shall we take in a billion refugees from a world that we’ve encouraged to spin out of control. Perhaps we should send ships and transport them all to the magic America of infinite resources. Yes there is an infinite amount of other people’s money and resources out there. All we need is the will to expropriate it.

    I think Marx told this lie already. Must we go through it all again just to make the banal idiot in the White House look like he has a clue.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #29
  30. wmartin Member
    wmartin
    @

    iWe:

    Mike LaRoche:Blame America, and Americans, first. Got it.

    I consider myself responsible for things that I could fix, but do not.

    Our nation is not merely a country for Americans. It is a City on the Hill, a symbol of goodness for the whole world. As and when we can practically fix things, we should.

    That’s the problem. I don’t want my country to be a city on a hill or a symbol of anything. Countries are not in the symbolism business. I just want it to be the homeland of the American people, and nothing more than that.

    • #30

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.