In Sebastian Junger’s memorable book, we learned that weather systems, which usually work to cancel each other out, can in that once-in-a-century circumstance combine to create a perfect and awesomely destructive storm.
The same can be true of political and historical forces that we are compelled to conclude have combined to create the perfect refugee storm now rapidly destroying the European Union.
The immediate cause is, of course, the so-called civil war in Syria. It’s not a civil war because Russian and Iranian forces have long since replaced the Assad regime’s forces as one side’s primary belligerent against the Saudi-led effort to overthrow Assad. The risible new “truce” so expertly negotiated by John Kerry does not include Russian air forces in it, so the most devastating part of the fight will continue uninterrupted.
Vladimir Putin couldn’t have foreseen the exodus of people from Syria, but his forces are continuing the pressure that caused it. The fighting around the city of Aleppo alone has produced as many as three hundred thousand refugees, most of whom are gathered on the Syrian-Turkish border. Putin sees the opportunity to destabilize Western Europe by pushing more refugees into its borders. It’s a very useful (to him) byproduct of his military intervention in Syria.
But those events aren’t the root cause of the perfect refugee storm. The causes are the weakness of southern European governments, the dedication to multicultural theology in Europe, the refusal of Muslims to assimilate, and the structure of the EU which makes impossible any unified approach to the crisis.
If Europe were somehow inverted — if Germany and Denmark were on the southern border instead of Italy and Greece — those nations would be able to absorb and limit the number of refugees coming in. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel now realizes that the flow has to be limited, though she has done nothing to stop it. Denmark is now seizing refugees’ valuables to pay for the welfare benefits they will have to receive.
But Italy and Greece, not Germany and Denmark, are the primary landing places for the refugees. Both of those governments have failed economically and are too dysfunctional and weak militarily to do more than just watch the refugees walk across their borders and continue north to more economically successful nations.
By most estimates, more than one million refugees entered Germany last year, and hundreds of thousands more have gone to other EU nations. According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of immigrants who crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe between January 1 and February 1, 2015, was 11,834. In the first two months of 2016, that number was 76,263, more than six times the flow last year.
The Schengen Agreement, which allows free travel among the EU nations, prevents its signatories from controlling the flow of people among them. Earlier this month, the EU gave Greece ninety days to fix the problem at its borders. That’s tantamount to telling a hunchback to “straighten up.”
Europe’s dedication to multiculturalism is perhaps the biggest reason that the refugee crisis threatens the entire continent. Italy, France, Germany, and the rest of the EU (and America under Obama) are too weak to admit that multiculturalism has failed, so they do not defend themselves against the refugee onslaught.
Multiculturalism boils down to a false humanitarianism coupled with the intense belief that no culture is better than another and that all people have the same values, ambitions, and goals.
Examples of the intensity of the EU nations’ belief in multiculturalism aren’t hard to find. Earlier this year, a jury of linguists in Germany decided that Gutmensch was the ugliest word of the year. It’s a new term for “do-gooder” and was condemned because it belittles altruism and tolerance. Those are the core tenets of multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism runs aground in the face of Muslim ideology. Many Muslims may wish to assimilate in their adopted lands, but they are stopped cold by their basic ideology. Their values, beliefs, and goals in life are not the same as Europeans’ and Americans’.
Their religion’s insistence on separateness is exemplified in the banlieus of Paris and the statements of Muslim leaders. Many people wish to forget that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said in a 2008 speech that Muslim assimilation in Western societies was a “crime against humanity.” Last week, Erdogan threatened to open Turkey’s borders so that another one million refugees could flow into Europe.
When a nation admits millions or hundreds of thousands of Muslims, it has to do so knowing of their refusal to assimilate. Inevitably, that nation that — or dozens of nations — is Balkanized and destabilized. That destabilization begins at the economic level and can (and will) result in the fall of governments. Multiculturalism has failed in Europe just as it is failing here.
The EU has, unsurprisingly, failed to create a unified response to the refugee crisis because the EU’s structure prevents it from admitting the failure of multiculturalism, which is a primary EU tenet. The EU’s governing body, the European Commission, cannot act without agreement among its strongest members, and they don’t agree on even the most basic level to defend their nations against the flood of refugees.
The EU is a pseudo-government that cannot function in times of crisis. Couple that with the EU members’ refusal to invest in — or even believe in — their own defense and you have the result we see today.
The EU is drifting into an irreparable condition, though it may totter along for years. Governments such as Hungary’s are determined to stop the flow of refugees and have erected border fences, effectively killing the Schengen Agreement. There is much worse to come for the EU, but the future of a few of its members — particularly the U.K. — may be more promising.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a public referendum on Britain’s exit from the EU. It will be held later this year. Cameron has been scrambling to get an agreement preserving British sovereignty against its continued erosion by EU laws that give “human rights” to terrorists and may subject the London center of banks and stock exchanges to external limits and taxation.
But the minuscule accommodation by EU members to Cameron’s attempts to limit the EU’s powers is an empty-handed political gesture. It only permits Britain to veto EU laws if it can get a majority of other EU members to agree. That’s not sovereignty, it’s servitude. It’s roughly the equivalent of mandating that the American colonies petition King George III to change his laws instead of rebelling in 1776.
Cameron, nevertheless, is campaigning for the UK to stay in the EU. British voters will have their say and the outcome is anyone’s guess.
There is another perfect storm brewing across the Atlantic. The multiculturalists in America — like Obama, Clinton, and Sanders — will do the same to the United States that the EU is doing to its members.
If only we had a president who would stand against them successfully and insist that we maintain our culture, our values, and our beliefs against the onslaught of illegal immigrants and those admitted legally from terrorist-ridden countries, we could avoid the EU members’ inevitable fate. But that’s one very big “if.”