- We’ve lost our faith in God *and* reason Kenan Malik, Guardian
- Pope Francis is beloved, but disaster looms for the Vatican Ross Douthat, NY Times
- What did Karl Marx think about freedom? Daniel Luban, the Nation
- Hungary’s slow, sad decline into dictatorship Matthew Engel, New Statesman
According to distancecalculator.com, it’s 2,123 km (or 1,319 miles).
The distance between Damascus and Abu Dhabi? 2,021 km (or 1,256 miles).
If I had to flee a war zone on foot to a wealthy cosmopolitan city I’d rather go through Turkey and Romania than Iraq and Saudi Arabia, too. The West is on the precipice of a damnable moral failure (link, in case you’ve been living under a rock). In the name of fairness, though, a regional perspective ought to be adhered to.
I have a slight digression. Can anybody here imagine what the plight of the war refugees would be like going through post-socialist states like Romania and Bulgaria if they had not been a part of the EU? Let me put this into context a bit more. In order to join the EU, post-socialist states in Eastern Europe had to reform their political and legal systems in a manner that was satisfactory to the traditional Western states of the confederation. A major aspect of these reforms was making sure that governments have a harder time assaulting individual rights. This clause, or whatever you want to call it, for joining voluntarily the EU was less about a cultural chauvinism on the part of the core EU states and more about tempering the overt racist and nationalistic undertones of the post-socialist societies in Eastern Europe. Context matters, especially when there’s a lot of finger-pointing going on.
Here is a map I’ve edited for you:
The three big red dots represent the cities of Budapest in Hungary, Damascus in Syria, and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Visual perspectives are great. I already added my two cents about what needs to be done, in fact I did so around this time last year.