Remembering Alan Kurdi

For all those Facebook friends out there who are determined to explain to me the virtues of their particular candidate for president or the immorality of their opponent please take a good long look at this picture. I’m sure you’ve seen it once or twice since it became a viral image last September. The picture is of a three year old Syrian boy whose name was Alan Kurdi. Alan, his brother and his mother all drowned of the coast of Turkey, the end of their desperate attempt to escape the living hell that Syria has become since it was targeted for “regime change” by American foreign policy.

While this policy was implemented, in this particular case, by President Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton it is essentially the same policy carried out by former administrations and is truly bi-partisan in nature. Indeed there are countless thousands of Alan Kurdis buried in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Honduras, Nicaragua, Syria, and Yemen

We hear the left side of our political apparatus extoll their commitment to the poor and marginalized and the right declare their “pro-life” bonafides while our sitting President, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has presided over eight years of continued and expanding warfare. I am encouraged to reject the “immoral” Hillary Clinton because of her stance on abortion by a cadre of politicians who have no trouble consistently voting to deny health care, food, and clean water to living children.

Somehow there is always enough money to buy more bombs, subsidize more multi-national corporations, and build more prisons but there is never enough to feed the hungry, heal the sick, or house the homeless. Somehow we have a moral imperative to save the unborn but have little or no compassion for the likes of Alan Kurdi lying dead on a Turkish beach because of some geopolitical chess game between the United States and Russia.

So you will have to excuse me when I say that the answer to all this is not some pompous, racist, misogynist asshole who’s solution for American foreign policy is to bomb the shit out of the “terrorist” and kill their families. But the answer is also not in the continuation of the same policies that perpetuated the continued orgy of death and destruction in the service of capitalism and hegemony.

In 2012 I voted Green and I will probably do so again, not because the candidate is flawless but because point by point, issue by issue, their platform is more “pro-life,” than any other. Not just one particular type of life but all living creatures and environments of our world. Vote for whoever you want but don’t try to sell me on some supposed moral high ground or American exceptionalism that doesn’t really exist.

Michael "T. Mayheart" Dardar ( was born in the Houma Indian settlement below Golden Meadow, Louisiana. He served 16 years on the United Houma Nation Tribal Council. He currently works with community-based groups advocating for the needs of coastal indigenous communities in south Louisiana. He is the author of Istrouma: A Houma Manifesto. Read other articles by T. Mayheart Dardar, or visit T. Mayheart Dardar's website.