Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Immigration, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, Unemployment | Tags: A Continental Crisis, Clash of Civilizations, Islamic Migrants
Europe in enduring a massive flow of migrants, fleeing in terror from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, North Africa, Egypt and Libya, from the Islamic countries in Asia and the Middle East to Turkey, the Greek Islands, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary Austria and Germany. They are coming by the thousands, and it is not clear why the sudden exodus. Europe is unprepared. Their economies are not healthy, there is unemployment, yet heartbreaking images such as this strike at the core of compassion in the West.
Certainly many are fleeing ISIS —the terrorist Islamic State — who have made it clear that anyone in their sway who does not pledge allegiance to their cause is in mortal peril. The barbarity of their executions is meant to strike terror in the minds of those who see it. Look what we do to these people, and what will we do to you? That is the meaning of terrorism, and the purpose.
On the other hand, the preponderance of migrants seem to be young men. Fewer women, no old people; ISIS claims, supposedly, that 4,000 ISIS fighters are among the migrants.The migrants seem to be aiming for those countries with the most elaborate welfare systems. But mostly young men.
The EU has been living in a dreamworld of sorts — formerly warring nations now in agreement on perpetual peace and open borders, one big happy continent. Except that has always been so in the halls of the Union, but not so much in reality. Countries had identities and languages and histories precisely because they shared those particular things. Tribalism is not so far distant. It is, perhaps, the nature of man, and not so easily made over into something else. There has been a lot of pretense there.
The free world has been shaken by the heartbreaking image of a very small Syrian boy, drowned, washed up on a Turkish beach. We are mostly protected from unpleasant sights. Our media is sure that we are not up to facing reality. The horrors that ISIS has dreamed up for mass distribution are blurred or digitized out of recognition. Sorry, you barbarians, your horrors don’t frighten us because we’re not allowed to see them. I suspect that this is a mistake, and it’s better to face reality.
Pictures, however, are often more influential that words. As European nations struggle to decide what they will do about the influx of migrants, that little boy will be there to remind all of empathy and compassion. Some 800,000 newcomers are expected in Germany — about 1% of their population. Even Germany doesn’t have robust economic growth and will have trouble absorbing so many.
Denmark is announcing that they can’t admit any. The Hungarians are building fences. There is talk of using military power to establish safe zones in Syria to contain the exodus. The borders and the fences will return. Europe’s openness has rested on America’s strength. As Bret Stephens says, you can’t have one without the other.
If you are offended by the image, I’m sorry, but I believe our media err in their attempt to “protect” us. It’s not “protective” but just another political lie.
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