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Migrants Face Fortress Europe’s Deadly Moat

Migrants Face Fortress Europe’s Deadly Moat

Background Fallacies

The argumentum ad misericordiam which is known also as appeal to pity is the fallacy that addresses emotions and feelings, introducing solid evident to support the claim. By provoking pity, the arguer strives to persuade a listener or a recipient of the message to accept the claim or conclusion. For example: “Boyfriend: You shouldn’t break up with me. Girlfriend: Why? Boyfriend: Because the thought of losing you hurts so much” (Van Vleet 24). The example shows the way a boyfriend appeals to his girlfriend’s feelings and emotions, which could make her change her mind. Although this is not the logical reason for staying with the person, simply feeling pity for her boyfriend could be a valid argument to agree to stay with him. Consider other examples which could provoke pity and make the assumption more powerful and persuasive: “Come on, I need you to life for me. If you don’t life I will lose my job, my wife, and my kids” (Van Vleet 24). The case is even more emotional and sentimental because it provokes pity and remorse.

The emotional dimension of argumentum ad misericordiam is essential to define the consistency and validity of the argument. In this respect, Van Eemeren Garssen and Meufells focus on the empirical study to define the nature of the fallacy and the frequency of its use (150). The fallacy introduces several stages of reasonable and unreasonable explanations. There is also a persuasive example of fallacy explained: “A: This paper is only worth a D. B: You can’t do that to me, I spent more than a month working on it” (Van Eemeren et al. 150). The example provides an explanation that the paper should receive a higher mark because of the enormous efforts made by the writer. Aftermath, the author explains that second example is ambiguous: “The city council should leave the Bronx in fact. B: No, it’s about time the city council started demolishing that ramshackled are. A: But we can’t do that to all the old people who have lived there all their lives, can we now?” (150). Therefore, the attention should be paid to this example to differentiate between various tactics of appeal to pity.

Another example of fallacy is the use of irrelevant facts or red herring. By using this approach, the author can distract a reader’s attention and introduce a new set of facts which do not relate to the topic of discussion. This fallacy is usually used to make the audience be less concentrated on the major debate. The attention could also be distracted from someone’s crime or guilt, as it is presented in the following example: “Wife: I cannot believe that you forgot Valentine’s Day again. Husband: Did I tell you how beautiful you look in that dress?” (Van Vleet 23). This example is the simplest one because it is aimed at distracting woman’s attention by making her compliments. Red herring approach is frequently used in the courts by lawyers to distract the jury from real facts and make them believe in other facts. For instance, the argumentation could be displayed in the following example: “Professor Conway complains of inadequate parking on our campus. But did you know that last year Conway carried on a torrid love affair with a member of the English department?” (Walton 139). In this way, it is possible to lead the jury and the court in the wrong direction.


The article under analysis is called “Migrants Face Fortress Europe’s Deadly Moat”, in which the author reports about the death of 1200 people in the Mediterranean. The victims included predominantly migrants from Mali, Syria, Eritrea, and Somalia, who set out from North America in hope to reach European shores. The author also focuses on the political aspects of the tragedy, pointing out the opinions and assumptions made by the European politicians. In the article, the attention has been paid to the criticism of the policies in Europe regarding migration procedures. Specifically, the majority of political agents and governmental authorities are not willing to encourage the migration process. In response, they have developed a three-fold strategy that strives to militarize border controls, outsource controls, and criminalizing migration in general.

Further in the article, the attention has been paid to the analysis of the EU security strategies and the problem of increase in migration rate. Apparently, the author attempted to make a connection between the tragedy on boat and the European government’s reluctance to provide permission on migration. In fact, the authorities assure that these security measures have been taken purely for protection of the nation’s integrity and for reducing the rates of illegal immigration. Additionally, the border controls initiatives have been taken into the deepest consideration to define the problem of African Migration. The point is that France and Britain are concerned with migration from Libya and, as a result, their forces have been directed at air attacks. Similar expansion activities are related to Morocco. In the light of the tragedy that happened in the see, the major approach to managing security issues and border control have been reconsidered. Specifically, Malik pays attention to European policy’s failed strategy that promised to destroy smugglers’ boats. Apparently, this is the most essential and argumentative part of the article revealing the author’s assumption regarding the nature and reasons of the disaster. Mentioning multiple interventions of the European Union, along with the airstrikes and marine military equipment, explains the connection between numerous disasters in the sea and the strategic framework chosen by the European government.

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In the end of the article, the author concludes that Europe has created serious barriers, along with the moral borders, which complicate the communication and commercial relations. More importantly, the barricades did not allow other countries and European countries in particular to find a consensus regarding the genuine values and human rights. The Mediterranean region will continue to suffer from human death unless some changes are introduced to the European policies regarding migration.

Response and Application

The article that has been chosen for analysis is called Migrants Face Fortress Europe’s Deadly Moat and starts with the bright example of argumentum ad misericordiam which is also known as the appeal to pity. The author starts with the enumeration of countries from which the people migrated and who suffered from the boat incident. Additionally, irrelevant facts have been used in the text to distract the readers from the fact and enhance the position of the disaster. The emphasis has been placed on the level of poverty in the countries from which the victims originated: “Fleeing war and poverty, most had paid large sums to traffickers” (Malik). There are also persuasive facts named by authorities, such as European politicians: “Who is to blame? European politicians point the finger at traffickers” (Malik). There are many other fallacies which emphasize the topic and introduce almost all types of argumentation to prove the blame. The analysis of the article and the choice of fallacies are appropriate because of the topic of the research.

The use of irrelevant facts refers to the author’s description of European border control strategies, which are somehow connected with the tragedy in the Mediterranean. Specifically, the author writes, “When the European Union treats immigration as a problem of criminality, it is not just the traffickers who are targets. In 2004, a German ship rescued 37 African refugees from a dinghy” (Malik). The second sentence does not relate to the first one much. However, the author puts them together to distract the audience’s attention and emphasize the negative consequences of the security framework, which makes the entire argument ambiguous. Both approaches used in the article enhance the author’s main idea regarding the irrelevant security reforms introduced by the European government.

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In general, the article has interesting assumptions, statistical analysis, rhetoric approaches, and use of fallacies. The topic of discussion disclosed in the article is important nowadays in the lights of human rights protection and equality. Therefore, the European community should reconsider the priorities and define new steps in social, political, and cultural development of the continent. Specifically, the author introduces a range of approaches and fallacies to persuade the audience that the tragedy in the sea is not an accident, but a consequence of the irrelevant protection policies introduced by the European authorities in an attempt to strengthen the border control.

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The use of argumentum ad misericordiam and red herring is justified because it manages to fully uncover the essence of the moral and ethical problems of the migration process. It also introduces the problem of racial discrimination, poverty, and humanism. In this way, the author can also provide valid conclusion regarding Fortress Europe, as well as regarding political and economic shifts to be carried out in the nearest future to meet the international standards of human rights protection. The article is a valid example of how the argumentation and the use of fallacies can unveil the genuine purpose of a specific mission conducted by the European governments.