Rescue the migrants, but even better: don’t ruin their countries in the first place.

The terrible witness of people drowning as they strive for better conditions in the West leads to the question: how are they reduced to such desperation, that the lowest-paid jobs and racist humiliation in strange lands are preferable to their lives at home?

Clues can be found in the massive international purchases, aided by corruption, of their lands at home, resulting in forced evictions and destructions of ways of life. Clues can be found in the corrupt, brutal kleptocracies called governments, which we in the West support in exchange for their lands, natural resources and riches. Clues can be found in the wars that rage on, fed by Western arms supplies in exchange for… the same.

Western nations have lost the capacity for self-criticism. Our media are full of outrage at ISIS, at Israel in Gaza, at Putin. When do we reflect on the massive damage done to human societies across the planet by our implantation and support of corrupt, murderous, kleptocratic states; the lust of our arms industries for perpetual war; the stream of murder that is our bombings by aeroplane and drone?

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