Refugees, Western Governments and Me

“WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

Smedley D. Butler, War Is a Racket

I just finished a week volunteering at the Dunkirk refugee camp in North France and I feel I need to blog about my experience, my reasons for helping and my position on the causes. This is a blog on macroeconomics and in my opinion all refugees today are economic refugees, as War is really just about economic control as Major General Smedley eloquently describes in his book.

Firstly I want to congratulate ‘Utopia56’ for the exemplary job they have done in making this camp liveable, even a place of dignity for the refugees. Further, a thanks to all my colleagues that give up time in their lives to help these poor displaced people. This is a point in my life I will never forget and that’s thanks to the organisations, volunteers and very grateful refugees. In my experience the refugees are decent people, just trying to make it in a crazy world, where for some reason people from a foreign land have caused them so much harm, forced them to leave friends and family, their home and country.

To say they are just looking for a ‘free-ride’ in the west is just offensive, ridiculous and reductive. Whoever holds this position is either ignorant, intensely stupid or arrogantly holds an agenda. The west tries to control the world and it’s resources, gets rich by exploiting countries in their own interest and then condemns people for trying to come to where all the resources are, just in pursuit of a better life. It is arguably the most ironically hypocritical circumstance in the history of humanity and it really gets me vexed.

My experience

I spent nearly a week in the camp, working with the organisation Utopia56. I worked 12 hour days, cutting vegetables, distributing food, cleaning the camp (involved clearing rubbish bags and providing new ones), Standing at entrances to the site for security, handing out donations, laundry, making things with wood, we also dug a trench for refuse water (under the guidance of a professional builder).


There is much more to do, but mostly I spent my time in the ‘bike workshop’ because I’m pretty good with my hands, basically a heap of old bikes and bits, try to make a bike from the pile. Also, help the kids that come along to fix up their bikes. This I found most rewarding, I started one morning trying to make a toddler girls bike out of the scrap, and by 5pm, with the help of a very capable Iraqi guy, it was ready to go. A young girl was ecstatic with it.

Over all, the work was not hard and the hours were long but rewarding. The refugees are very grateful for your help and are always happy to see you and say ‘hello my friend’ with a smile and are eager to learn about you/your culture. They are honest, decent people trying to make a living for themselves in desperation while still remaining positive, graffiti like ‘still I am positive’ and responses to ‘how are you’ with ‘I am surviving my friend’ are common. If you’re reading this and are concerned, I highly recommend sparing a week or more of your life helping (follow the link above).

Bottom line, it will take a lot more than a few bombs to destroy these people, they’re strong, you can’t win you crazy psychos, there’s people like all those volunteers I worked with there that are concerned for them and that will fight you every step of the way, keep your warmongering to yourselves. Plotting in your silly board rooms, tied up in your stupid looking suits.

My Reason for helping

Let me state; the governments of the west do not represent me, I condemn NATO expansionism, terrorism in all it’s forms and complicity to War. I went to Dunkirk to try to show those people, in what little way I could, that I am concerned for their well-being and apologise for the actions of the people that are/or have managed to gain control of me. I’m Irish and even though Ireland is not part of NATO I feel the same level of disdain and responsibility, for example we shouldn’t be allowing U.S planes to stop in Shannon en-route to bomb. I am also a EU citizen but more importantly a human of Earth, whatever is causing these problems to my brothers and sisters must stop. I am partly responsible for it, and so is everyone else. Our collective apathy is as bad as the actions.

My position

Imperial agendas, economic hegemony and hence NATO expansionism is the cause of this, NATO is the 21st century empires war department, and the refugee crisis in Europe is nothing more than a symptom of Imperial agendas by sociopaths. NATO’s purpose pre-Russian empire collapse was to protect against Russia. Now what are they doing? Expanding to the east of Berlin ever more. ISIS is a direct result of this, and it suits their agenda.

Continuing War is profitable as resources can be extracted more easily and the home-population can then be more easily lead, preferable to them in an ever-increasing autocratic manner. Study anything by Noam Chomsky on expansionism for a very well articulated explanation of this.

Further, a position I agree with as it seems logical, noted by respected and knowledgeable people like Ken o Keefe, Gearoid O Colmain and George Galloway, to name a few, is that ISIS is funded by the very people who claim to be fighting them, perpetuation of war is the agenda, it’s profitable!

It seems logical to me that If they really wanted to destroy ISIS they could. NATO is by far the most powerful force, probably ever. It’s ridiculous to think ISIS could contend if not supported and if NATO used its full arsenal. The result is refugees, displaced families, death and suffering. All in the name of profit. It sickens me but it’s just another symptom of a sick system, rotting at its core.

Addendum (27-05-2016)

It came to my attention that this is not obvious to some, so let me put it in to clarify: Obviously, the situation is very complex and it’s reductive to state that every problem is due to NATO expansionism or imperial agendas. The internal struggles of the region have a part to play, so does religion, so does a myriad of other things that I can’t even begin to comprehend. The Kurdish majority in the camp is probably due to some form of racial oppression but again….pandoras box. My point is that, imperial agendas in that region are to blame for a lot of the instability and as a ‘westerner’…I feel…VEXED about and somewhat responsible.

An analogy to conclude

Imagine a rotting tree please. The dying leaves at the bottom of the tree are the refugees or homeless; the few healthy ones are at the top, sucking all the nutrients. The twigs are jobs, holding the leafs, were more and more become skinnier and weaker, barely holding the leaf. The branches are corporations (globalisation), with a sole interest in broadening itself in complete disregard for the leaves and the Tree as a whole. The Trunk is a Nation, a Free-market capitalistic nation for example- ever growing, disregarding the replenishment rate of the nutrients. The roots are in competition-providing the tree with nutrients that are acquired at the expense of the other roots and trees, greedily disregarding the soils replenishment rate.

The soil is the environment or society as a whole.

If we want healthy & happy leafs, who don’t risk their lives trying to make there way to the top (where all the nutrients are) and who have strong twigs with responsible branches, a prudent trunk and concerned roots. We need only stop intoxicating the soil with poor values, educate in a proper manner. Provide nutrients to the roots that teach cooperation and altruism. How? Intends to be discussed in this blog.

Thanks for reading ‘Waxy wick: another candle in the dark- shedding light on the abundant nonsense & posing solutions’ new blogs each week.

Comments welcome, follow me @gavgluaisteán or check out my youtube channel ‘what’s the craic?-Gluaisteán’ for some savage banter.



  1. Jason · May 26, 2016

    Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page
    layout and design. Great choice of colors!


  2. Stephanie · May 27, 2016

    Well talked. Happy to see that you’re like me, not able to stop thinking about them, what they went through, how the world forget to care, how large their smile is when you say a single word in kurdish. Some of them had a father, a grandma who was already a refugee in olden days. Today I received a new from Ibrahim, a guy from Iraq who was since a long time on European roads and wanted to give up to try UK: the OFII (French immigration organisation ) has sent him and 8 other men from Dunkirk to a small town, Limoges, in the center of my country. I wander: wI’ll they regret the time when they were all together, 800 people from Kurdistan in the extreme north of France? Or will they manage to start a life, 8 foreigners not French speaking in a very rural area?
    This camp has definitely changed me. Let’s go back there Gav!


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