Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Europe's Refugee Crises

The other day, someone commented to me what a horrible situation was the refugee crises in Europe, and asked me what I thought. I initially told them that, not to be cynical, but the refugees were not simply seeking safe-haven, but instead were crossing numerous safe-haven countries to reach two in particular--Britain and Germany--because those countries had the best welfare benefits. I also pointed out that the Sunnis and Shiites had been killing each other for at least a thousand years, so not only is this something we cannot change, but we have no duty to intervene. I conceded that we (the U.S.) should be willing to accept Christians and Yazidi since, obviously, they will not be terrorists and will more easily acclimate to American culture. But other than that, I saw little reason for our involvement.

There are many pundits that suggest that we (speaking of the West generally, or Europe or the United States more particularly) "own" the Syrian crises and, for that reason, should do more to alleviate the crises. Piers Morgan, whose shamelessly seeks to use dead children to further his pet views, claims that the Syrian crises is because of "the appalling, shockingly misguided decision by the United States and its chief ally Britain to invade Iraq in 2003 – the war that started the region’s slide into barbarity." He claims that "we have a moral, ethical and legal duty to help them."

Both of his points are incorrect: we didn't cause the war, and we certainly don't have a moral, ethical or legal duty to do anything. The Syrian civil war is the result of the so-called "Arab Spring," with Syrians protesting and then fighting against the Assad regime, which quickly morphed into a sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites, funded by other Muslim states. We don't know how much the Western powers have been involved in the war, but the most recent complaints are that Obama stood by and did nothing--i.e., we did not meddle or interfere. Moreover, Morgan does not consider the moral and legal duties to citizens of Europe and the United States; he does not concern himself with the lives of the soldiers that he would so cavalierly throw into the meat grinder, the fiscal cost of further meddling in the Middle-East or accepting millions of refugees, or the cost to Europeans or Americans by accepting the serpent into our bosom from welcoming large numbers of refugees.

Other, less histrionic, commentators have suggested that we could have avoided this crises by intervening in Syria. (See Ron Radosh's piece at PJ Media, Fred Hiatt's editorial at the Washington Post and Michael Gearson's column at the Washington Post). Michael Goodwin, at the New York Post, doesn't go so far as to suggest that we can make room for these "refugees" because there are too many ("Millions, perhaps tens of millions,..."), but suggests that the crises is the result of appeasement. Perhaps so, but this is merely crying over spilt milk. The issue is what do we do now, if anything?

Some, such as Richard Fernandez, argue for armed intervention, to reshape the "human  environment" causing the Syrians to flee to Europe. There are several questions that would need to be answered before beginning such an undertaking. First, are these "refugees" truly seeking safety, or are they simply a horde of welfare warriors? The answer is critical, because the answer will tell you which "human environment" must be adjusted: the one in Syria, or the one at the welfare offices in Germany and other EU countries.

In answering this question, Peter Grant notes:
The problem with refugees in Europe is, fundamentally, the same problem that we have with illegal aliens in the USA. The "refugees" have already escaped the horrors of war in Syria, or Iraq, or Eritrea, or wherever. They've gotten out of the combat zone. What they're now doing is traveling through many other countries in search, not of safety, but of economic improvement. They aren't so much refugees from crisis as they are economic migrants looking for a better way of life.

They see the 'entitlement society' of Europe or the USA, with its no-strings-attached benefits, as an economic Nirvana. They can arrive in a strange country and be given housing at public expense, an allowance on which to live that in many cases exceeds the wages or salaries they were able to earn in their home countries, free education for their children, publicly-funded health care . . . the list goes on and on. That's why these "refugees" aren't stopping in the first safe country they come to. They want more than safety. They want money.
Pamela Geller likewise notes that the majority of the so-called refugees are young, fit, males. Elsewhere she notes; "These are not necessarily 'refugees'; indeed, most are not refugees at all – they are opportunists from various regions, mostly North Africa, using the chaos in Libya/Syria to gain entry into Europe."

Daniel Greenfield writes:
The Syrian refugee crisis that the media bleats about is not a crisis. And the Syrian refugees it champions are often neither Syrians nor refugees. Fake Syrian passports are cheaper than an EU politician’s virtue and easier to come by. Just about anyone who speaks enough Arabic to pass the scrutiny of a European bureaucrat can come with his two wives in tow and take a turn on the carousel of their welfare state.

Or on our welfare state which pays Christian and Jewish groups to bring the Muslim terrorists of tomorrow to our towns and cities. And their gratitude will be as short-lived as our budgets.

The head of a UNHCR camp called Syrian refugees "The most difficult refugees I've ever seen. In Bulgaria, they complained that there were no jobs. In Sweden, they took off their clothes to protest that it was too cold.

In Italy, Muslim African “refugees” rejected pasta and demanded food from their own countries. But the cruel Europeans who “mistreat” migrants set up a kitchen in Calais with imported spices cooked by a Michelin chef determined to give them the stir-fried rabbit and lamb meatballs they’re used to. There are also mobile phone charging stations so the destitute refugees can check on their Facebook accounts.

It had to be done because the refugees in Italy were throwing rocks at police while demanding free wifi.

This is the tawdry sense of entitlement of the Syrian Muslim refugee that the media champions.
The second question is: can we affect any change on the ground in Syria, or whatever other flash spots will arise? Although David P. Goldman supports some form of military intervention, he also notes that "Syria’s civil war was not an isolated occurrence: it was one of many fissures in an Islamic civilization which has ceased to function from the Indus River to the Mediterranean." Greenfield writes:
What is happening in Syria is a religious civil war fought over the same ideologies as the ones practiced by the vast majority of the refugees. This is an Islamic war fought to determine which branch of Islam will be supreme. It is not a war that started last week or last year, but 1,400 years ago.

We can’t make it go away by overthrowing Assad or supporting him, by giving out candy or taking in refugees. This conflict is in the cultural DNA of Islam. It is not going anywhere.

This war is not our fault. It is their fault.

There are Christian and non-Muslim minorities who are genuine refugees, but the two Muslim sects whose militias are murdering each other are not victims, they are perpetrators. Just because Sunnis are running from a Shiite militia or Shiites from a Sunni militia right now doesn’t make them victims.

The moment that their side’s militia wins and begins slaughtering the other side, the oppressed will become the oppressors. Such shifts have already taken place countless times in this conflict.
This is not simply a matter of overthrowing Assad (or, conversely, defeating those that seek to overthrow Assad). A meaningful intervention would require fundamental changes to not only the economies and governments of the Middle-East, but their cultures.

The third question is: do we have the will to pursue an effective intervention? Again, turning to Goldman, he observes "that would mean containing Iran’s ambitions and crushing the Sunni jihadists at the same time. Blood would spill, and not all of it local."

If nothing is done in the Middle-East, the battleground will be Europe. Letting the "refugees" in will be taking a serpent into the bosom of Europe. Says Goldman:
At this point the floodgates of European sympathy opened, and Germany declared that it would accept 800,000 fugitives, including many from the world’s most brutal war zones. From a security standpoint it is foolhardy in the extreme: 250,000 people have died in Syria’s civil war since 2011 because other people killed them, mostly with small arms or improvised explosives (such as the government’s notorious “barrel bombs”). Such killing is a labor-intensive affair, and requires the participation of many thousands of killers. It is isn’t only that ISIS (and other jihadists) are able to smuggle to Europe as many of their operatives as they care to, as ISIS itself purportedly boasts. The refugee population itself is flush with killers from both sides fleeing the war. The presence of small children does not obviate this; killers have families, too.

The Arab Gulf States accept very few Syrian refugees out of security concerns which are entirely legitimate. Thousands of Syrian migrants fought either with the Assad regime (allied to Iran, the nemesis of the Sunni Gulf States) or ISIS and al-Qaeda (which want to overthrow the Saudi monarchy).

The social pathologies that this brutal and brutalized population bring Europe will change Germany in a predictably nasty way. Even worse, the open door policy will attract an order of magnitude more such refugees, as the Interior Minister of the State of Bavaria, Joachim Herrmann, warned yesterday.
Greenfield similarly observes:
The refugees aren’t fleeing a dictator. They’re fleeing each other while carrying the hateful ideologies that caused this bloodshed with them.

We aren’t taking in people fleeing the civil war. We’re taking in their civil war and giving it a good home.
Goldman suggests that Europe will have to make itself into a fortress to stop the immigration:
Europe will have scenes of horror on its border: barbed wire, tear gas, rubber bullets, malnutrition and epidemic disease in tent camps swollen by millions of desperate people. It will also have acts of terrorism by refugees already inside its borders protesting Europe’s future refusal to accept more.
 Greenfield suggests that the necessary response can be much more mild:
The Syrian refugee crisis is a voluntary crisis. It would go away in a snap with secure borders and rapid deportations. The fake Syrians would stay home if they knew that their fake passport wouldn’t earn them a train ride to Germany’s Hartz welfare state, but a memorable trip to the Syrian Civil War.

Even announcing such a policy would lead to a rapid wave of self-deportations by finicky refugees for whom Bulgarian jobs, Italian food and Swedish weather aren’t good enough.

Plenty of Syrian refugees returned on their own from the Zaatari camp in Jordan when they saw that there weren’t enough treats for them. They went back to Syria from Turkey and even Europe when they didn’t find life to their liking. If they were really facing death back home, they would have stayed. There were no Jews going back to Germany during the Holocaust because they couldn’t find jobs in New York. Nobody goes home to a genocide. They go home because they were economic migrants, not refugees.

The crisis here is caused by the magnet of Western welfare states. Get rid of the magnet and you get rid of the crisis. Stop letting migrants who show up stay and there will be no more photogenic rafts filled with “starving” and “desperate” people who pay thousands of dollars to get to Europe and then complain about the food and the weather. Put up border fences and the “hikers” will go back home.

Keeping the doors open intensifies the crisis. It’s the sympathy of the bleeding hearts that leads to dead children whose parents are willing to risk their lives for their own economic goals. The left creates the crisis and then indicts everyone else for refusing to accept its solution that would make it even worse.

The “humanitarian catastrophe” in which the migrants use their children as photogenic human shields would go away if the doors were closed to everyone except real refugees who were not part of this war. The only thing that taking in fake refugees does is attract more of them and that empowers the left which uses dead children for its power and profit at more places than just Planned Parenthood.

Slovakia has announced that it will only take in Christian refugees and that’s the right thing to do. Christians are the real victims of this Muslim conflict. The vast majority of the refugees, many of whom aren’t even Syrians, aren’t. The rest of Europe should use Slovakia’s refugee policy as a model.
I don't believe that Western intervention will produce any positive results unless we are willing to accept that we will have to kill a lot of people, and occupy--truly occupy and enforce our own laws and customs--territory for an extended period of time. Since the West is incapable of doing so, armed intervention will be largely useless, except to separate one group from another (e.g., protecting the Kurds from ISIS). And nothing being done in Syria will stop future migrations from Pakistan, or Bangladesh, or Africa. Similarly, except for limited groups that will more easily be assimilated or absorbed, it will be suicide for the West to accept large numbers of refugees.

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