Today another tragedy is in the news - hundreds of Libyans - estimated at upto 700 - have drowned to death when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean sea.
These people were escaping the chaos of Libya trying to get to the stability of Europe. This is not the first such incident, but many Libyans have made the calculation tha the situation in Libya is so dangerous, these risks are worth taking.
The news reports will treat this latest even as a tragedy, but those who read about it won't get a sense of what is happening or our responsibility.
I am not talking about our responsibility as Muslims, or even our responsibility as humans. I am talking about our responsibility as Britons. Most people reading this will be from the UK, but we will not know our own culpability and responsibility for such tragedies.
There has been a politician who has touched upon this truth but this politician is not someone many readers of this blog post will generally agree with or hold with any respect - UKIP leader Nigel Farage has spoken up about Britain's culpability, while Nick Clegg has defended British Actions. It is east to look at the messenger and ignore the message, but in this case I think it is important to see what has actually been said and see if it matches reality.
In the wake of the Arab spring when protests and chaos took hold in Libya - probably with covert support from western intelligence agencies - Britain and France rushed to get involved "to help the people".
The then leader of Libya Gaddafi's actions were indefensible and I was one of those that was swept up in the marketing of intervention, to help the people. It has later transpired through leaks that Gaddafi made contact with the western military offering to step aside before the intervention took place but he never recieved a response to his offer.
A UN resolution was passed allowing foreign intervention to protect civillians, which was ultimately used as the airforce of the rebels and used to create regime change.
As Nigel Farage put it:
...The fanaticism of [former French president] Sarkozy and Cameron to bomb Libya - and what they've done is to completely destabilise Libya, to turn it into a country with much savagery...
Libya is still dealing with these events. We may have forgotten here in the UK, but the Libyans are dealing with this on a daily basis.
The UK and France carried out Aerial bombardments to destroy the Libyan army and allow the rebels to take over. But it didn't stop here - western intelligence agencies also got involved to try to control the outcome following the fall of the old regime.
This has all lead to multiple "governments" fighting each other and a former CIA backed general waing war and bombing Tripoli.
Once again turning back to Nigel Farage:
"There were no migrants coming across from Libya in these quantities before we bombed the country, got rid of [the then Libyan leader] Gaddafi and destabilised the situation."
Ofcourse, when speaking he is oly speaking of the harm come to the Libyan Christians and not the whole population, but what the Christians are suffering, the whole population is suffering. It is convenient for him to focus on a segment of the Libyan population he thinks his supports can sympathise with:
...to turn it into a place where for Christians the situation is virtually impossible...
"I have not got a problem with us offering refugee status to some Christians from those countries."
This is not the first western intervention and likely not the last intervention into the lives of people living in the middle east and surrounding areas.
We destroyed Iraq. We bought chaos to Syria. We are responsible for supporting Saudi Arabia, Israel, and a handful of other despotic regimes in the region.
Most britons will be shocked to know, or more likely not believe or accept, that an estimated 4 million Muslims have been killed by western intervention since 1990.
Libya remains in chaos, a lot of its infrastructure destroyed and the level of chaos and barbarism is at such a level that many are willing to risk death to get to a place with greater safety.
This is a country that only 4 years ago had infrastructure, education, wealth and stability. 4 years ago the majority of its residents did not need to flee, seek asylum or risk death in such ways.
The Gaddafi regime did not give its citizens freedom, but it did provide much else, giving them higher living standards than surrounding countries.
We have destroyed this country, we have done this to the people, we have responsibility over the people killed in Libya and those fleeing Libya.