Europe’s welfare states are currently flooded with refugees. Many of these refugees are fleeing the chaos of assorted civil wars in the Middle East, primarily in Syria, Libya and Northern Iraq. Naturally, it would be utterly inhumane to simply send such refugees back to where they have come from. How could one possibly look oneself in the mirror after sending people back to territories controlled by ISIS, or bombarded with barrel bombs by Assad’s air force?
Refugees after crossing the Austro – Hungarian border at Nickelsdorf today.
This has Europe’s political class in a bind. The migration of people would pose no problem in a free society of property owners. Every property owner could decide for himself whether to accept refugees. In a free society communitarian enclaves would surely exist as well, and it is absolutely certain that private charity efforts would be orders of magnitude greater than in a society in which the State has arrogated all social responsibility to itself. It is hardly conceivable that migration would ever become a major bone of contention in such a society. It is quite different in welfare States with a severely hampered market economy.
In such states, migration will always be cause for highly emotional disagreements, because citizens know they will have to pay for it all involuntarily – and the costs are exceedingly large. The political and bureaucratic classes, who themselves are parasitizing society’s wealth creators, are of course not directly affected by the decisions they are taking in this context. The eurocrats employed in Brussels will continue to receive their generous salaries and perks, no matter what. However, a number of politicians are likely to face problems in domestic elections, and as we will discuss further below, the outcomes won’t necessarily be desirable. While the political and bureaucratic classes are unlikely to lose out, for a number of reasons it is absolutely certain that the citizenry at large will.
Here is an assessment of the current crisis by Paul Joseph Watson, who raises a number of interesting points:
Paul Joseph Watson discusses the refugee crisis
A few additional comments to this: The vast bulk of economic refugees arriving in Europe does end up firmly attached to the teats of the European welfare state (as an aside, economic refugees are at present indeed exploiting the fact that the number of genuine war refugees is exploding; there is e.g. a brisk trade in fake Syrian passports in places like Turkey and Cairo). As the European press reports, in Norway it takes on average seven years before a successful asylum seeker finds a job. 85% of Muslim immigrants to Switzerland become recipients of social welfare. Practically all refugees from Chechnya, Afghanistan and Somalia residing in Vienna are receiving “needs-oriented basic welfare provision” (in this case, approx. $9,950 per person per year, plus extras like a top-up for heating costs in winter). Meanwhile, a recent Oxfam study asserts that 50 million Europeans no longer can afford to pay for proper heating in Winter.
Obviously, refugees will greatly prefer to go to places that promise such free goodies. None of the refugees that have landed in Hungary want to stay there – they are all eager to go to Germany or Sweden, where the greatest welfare benefits beckon. Sweden’s extremely politically correct politicians are best described as complete lunatics. No other country in the world accepts as many immigrants per capita. Large areas in Swedish cities have become “no go zones” and crimes such as rape are literally off the charts (5 of 6 rapes are committed by foreign nationals, so this problem is directly connected to Sweden’s generous immigration policies).
Asylum applications per capita -Sweden leads by a huge margin
Rape in Sweden – attempted (yellow bars) and completed rapes (gray bars)
Returning ISIS jihadists who want to take some time off or retire from the exhausting business of beheading, crucifying or blowing up their innocent victims can expect a welfare benefits package in Stockholm that is reportedly actually better than the one Sweden’s own soldiers stand to receive. Luckily Sweden’s evidently mentally challenged political class is at the very extreme end of immigration lunacy in Europe. Bad luck for native Swedes, but not indicative yet of Europe as a whole.
As Watson notes, the main beneficiaries of mass immigration of people who invariably end up on the welfare rolls are leftist parties that promise even more welfare benefits – at least once these people get a vote. However, one should not forget that the immediate political beneficiaries are extreme nationalist parties, such as e.g. France’s Front National. Considering the FN’s mercantilistic and economically illiterate economic policies, this is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire – as we mentioned above, society at large is bound to draw the short stick in any case.
Let us also briefly look at a video from a refugee camp in Hungary, in which migrants are engaged in some sort of protest. As you will notice, there are indeed a great many able-bodied young men on display, whose battle cry turns out to be “Allahu Akhbar”. We don’t know the context and what exactly they are protesting against, but images like these are not likely to comfort Europe’s “silent majority”:
Migrants protesting in a Hungarian refugee camp
Watson is also correct that ISIS has threatened to use the refugee crisis to smuggle fighters into Europe – the result of the US and Europe deciding to poke this particular hornet’s nest (ISIS previously had no interest in Europe except as a place for recruitment). Indeed, ISIS claims to have already smuggled “thousands” of jihadists into Europe, hidden among genuine refugees (obviously, it is not very difficult to smuggle them into Sweden, but now it has presumably become quite easy to smuggle them into the rest of Europe as well).
It is unknowable to what extent this is simply propaganda designed to create fear, but it is certainly imaginable that ISIS would consider sending the odd extremist abroad to provide vengeance services on its behalf. One should stop to once again think of the “cui bono” question in this context. Who will benefit if Islamist radicals commit terror attacks in Europe? Quite obviously it won’t be Europe’s citizens. But the Deep State all over the world is absolutely certain to benefit greatly, as both its powers and funding are likely to be expanded further.
Let us briefly consider what Edward Snowden’s revelations about ubiquitous (and evidently at least partly illegal) surveillance by the NSA and the GCHQ have so far achieved. We would be tempted to say “nothing”, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. In reality, they have resulted in the “legalization” of practices that would leave the former Stasi of East Germany pale with envy. Every terror attack will further cement the status of a system that appears inherently prone to abuse like few others. Recent examples include Australia, where a total surveillance apparatus with practically zero oversight is coming into force this October (judicial warrants are no longer required for “authorized agencies” to spy on practically every aspect of a citizen’s digital life). Even tiny Austria is planning to institute 10 new spy agencies (!) with “vast new surveillance powers”, by all appearances with even less oversight. So the “cui bono” question is not too difficult to answer.
A Few Oddities
Incidentally, we have been wondering why the refugee crisis is exploding to such an extent right now. Why not a year ago already? After all, the civil wars in Libya, Iraq and Syria have been raging for quite some time. A number of explanations suggest themselves. Word has probably gotten around that European welfare states are a worthwhile destination. Moreover, ISIS is gaining more and more ground in Syria and with Damascus surrounded, the collapse of the Assad regime is coming ever closer – and keep in mind that Assad is the only guarantor of security for Syria’s Christian and Shi’ite minorities. If we were among them, we’d have packed our bags a while ago already.
What else is different to before? One thing is the recent expansion of war in the region by Saudi Arabia (which is committing war crimes on a grand scale in Yemen with Western connivance – something the Western mainstream press is more or less silent about) – a country that incidentally is not prepared to take in even a single Syrian refugee (!). The other is Turkey’s decision to suspend the peace process with the Kurdish PKK and go on the attack all over the Kurdish region. Perhaps though there are also reasons we don’t know about (yet). In any case, it is odd that the crisis is suddenly coming to a head like this.
Here is another oddity we have come across: there are US based sources creating web sites like this one that is telling Germans to openly break the law and smuggle refugees into Germany. According to the “whois” registration entry the web site belongs to an organization with a US address. Originally the “whois” entry mentioned the Ayn Rand Institute, but after we sent an email asking for comment, this was scrubbed (it is possible that the institute’s name was misused – its German chapter has commented elsewhere that the institute “had nothing to do with the site”).
Here are two articles in the German press on the topic (you will have to use Google translate for an English version): “US web site Fluchthelfer.in openly calls for smuggling asylum seekers into Austria and Germany” and “Was the Ayn Rand Institute abused by “Fluchthelfer”? We cannot comment on this further, because we don’t know enough, but it is an oddity we thought we would mention (perhaps some of our readers know more about it?).
Lastly, we fully agree with Mr. Watson that it is Western meddling in the Middle East and North Africa that is ultimately at the root of the crisis. Note that we are not just saying “US meddling”, as the European vassals were all eager to participate in bombing Libya to bits and arming assorted “approved” parties in the civil wars in Syria and Iraq.
However, as German historian Michael Lueders argues, it is not just the arming of jihadists in Libya and Syria that has set off recent events, but it ultimately all goes back to the more distant past. Lueders not unreasonably argues that if one considers the situation properly, then the putsch instigated by the CIA and Mossad in Iran that deposed the democratically elected Iranian prime minister Mossadegh in 1953 (an early example of a “colored revolution”) is what eventually brought “political Islam” into its own.
Former Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh
The Islamic revolution against the brutal regime of the Shah in Iran was led by Shi’ite clerics, but it did establish the general principle that the best chance the political opposition in Muslim countries ruled by authoritarian despots had was to make use of Islam and religious institutions. In short, Sunnis were inspired by the success of the revolution in Iran as well. Secular dictators like Ghaddafi, Saddam and Assad were able to keep a lid on the would-be Islamic revolutionaries by buying off the clerical authorities in their countries and entering into an uneasy truce with them (the same holds true in Saudi Arabia, where the House of Saud is in alliance with Wahhabist clerics).
Naturally, these secular dictators weren’t and aren’t exactly the nicest people either. However, the West, and especially the US, has managed to thoroughly destroy the good image it once enjoyed among Arabs. After WW2, the US in particular was widely regarded as an honest broker and trustworthy ally. Decades of bombing and invading Muslim countries have created the exact opposite perception. Ironically, nothing was gained by these interventions, unless one regards total chaos as a “gain” (we suspect the Deep State is quite happy, but objectively it is an unmitigated disaster). Oh well, at least the US has just generously offered to increase the number of Syrian refugees it plans to take in from 7,000 to 10,000. Ms. Merkel will undoubtedly be relieved.
It is difficult to be objective about such an emotion-laden topic. It is clear that genuine war refugees need and deserve help, especially if one considers that the West had a hand in creating their status. On the other hand, it is high time to stop doing the things that result in such crises. We are continually amazed at US politicians who denounce the recent agreement with Iran (which objectively is very tough on Iran, not to mention that both US and Israeli intelligence services have agreed for some time that Iran has discontinued trying to build a nuclear bomb sometime back in the early 2000ds already – Google for the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran). What is the alternative? Even more chaos in the region by attacking Iran as well? That would be stupid beyond belief.
Photo credit: Leonhard Foeger / Reuters
Lastly, European politicians should be aware that the established parties are in danger of being routed by far-right fringe parties in coming elections (unfortunately libertarian ideas enjoy very little political support in Europe, so protest votes as a rule tend to either benefit the extreme nationalist right or extreme leftist parties). They should also try to make a plan that goes beyond just “throwing the doors wide open” as Mr. Watson has put it above. And lastly, they should resist the temptation of handing even more unrestrained power to the spook agencies when fresh attacks by fundamentalist radicals occur. So far ubiquitous surveillance hasn’t netted any benefits we are aware of, but it certainly harbors numerous dangers for a supposedly free society. Admittedly we remain quite pessimistic on all counts.
Charts by: UNHCR, Vox Europe, Affes statistics