17. Violence in the EU: the Canary in the Mine

March 26, 2016

In the violence last year in Paris and last week in Brussels, we are being provided with a clear foreshadowing of what is in store for us if we fail to come to grips with our own immigration problem.  Populist support for that Trump idiot reveals this problem to be one that is crucially important to everyone except Republican and Democrat politicians.

     What is happening in Europe this month is clearly the result of two main factors:
     1)  With the Schengen agreement, 26 European nations gave up sovereign control of their “internal” borders within the EU, neglecting to notice that the nations with portals and borders facing the outside world had no capability whatever to identify, screen and manage the flow-rate of immigrants from the Middle East and elsewhere.  Once inside countries with the weakest external portals, immigrants are free to move throughout Europe and into any EU country without further impediment or control.
     2)  European liberals managed to sell the maudlin story that Western nations somehow were morally obligated to admit, and not to limit the number of refugees from war in the Middle East, which in reality included millions of economic migrants.
     Rather than integrating into existing cultures, which is contrary, even anathema to their religious ideology, a huge number of Muslim immigrants self-selected to become ghettoized in nearly every European country, but especially in France, Belgium and Germany, bringing with them their imams, a significant fraction of whom preached a radical form of Islam.
     It follows that this led to several thousand young men and women traveling to train with and fight for ISIS in Syria, regularly returning with murderous plans for the very hosts who had rescued their families initially.  This dynamic has resulted in subsequent attacks in Paris, Brussels and elsewhere.
     France has a competent anti-terrorist police organization that will have an uphill battle because of the sheer number of  known radicals already in Europe.  Belgium’s puny police organization has no way in hell to track even a small percentage of the dangerous people it has already admitted tacitly by voluntarily giving up its sovereign borders.
     According to recent news there is a growing populist movement in Germany, France, Belgium, and the Scandinavian countries which will attempt to reverse the permissive policies that allowed this problem to flower, but it may already be too late to implement any effective changes.  For several months they have been unable to seal the major leaks in the EU’s external borders, despite a lot of hand-wringing and finger-pointing.
     Meanwhile in the U.S. we are paralyzed by pathos and political correctness, liberals outraged over the mere idea of simply stopping immigration until we are able to screen, count and evaluate applicants for entry, and to track them once they are here.  Yet if we fail to notice that the canary has died in Europe, we risk having a full-blown repetition of the EU story within our own borders.
     Americans tend to think of their freedoms as absolute, but freedom of religion    in a democracy does not mean that you can kill your unmarried daughter because she smiled at a man, or became romantically or sexually involved.  Freedom of speech does not mean that you can yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
     Imams are free to preach Islam, but they cannot advocate the violent overthrow of the government or incite people to riot, or to shoot, bomb and kill non-believers.
     Unless we actively detect, disallow and apply legal sanctions to that kind of radical (and already illegal) advocacy in the mosque, we in this country will also face a rising tide of violence, fully commensurate with the teachings of Muhammed as I read them in the Koran, as more and more young people are converted to violent Islamism.
     Unless we take down the ISIS recruiting web-sites they will poison the minds of those whose youthful forebrains are not yet sufficiently developed  to resist their toxic arguments.
     FYI:  Here is the latest analysis from Stratfor.  I have lost the specific URL, but the political think-tank, Stratfor, does permit reprinting with attribution:
Stratfor Analysis
     The March 22 [Ed. 2016] terrorist attacks in Brussels come as the European Union is still reeling from the November Paris attacks and scrambling to solve the migrant crisis. More important, they come as nationalist forces are challenging key principles of the Continental bloc, including the free movement of labor and the Schengen Agreement, which eliminated border controls among several member states. The atmosphere of fear and suspicion that is sure to follow will only worsen these social, political and economic crises.
     The first outcome of the Brussels attacks will be a fresh round of debate over EU border controls, in particular those in the Schengen zone. The Schengen Agreement came under fire at the start of the migrant crisis in early 2015. The Paris attacks escalated the controversy, particularly because the perpetrators moved between France and Belgium without detection. Consequently, France and other countries enhanced their border controls. The European Commission has since said that it wants all border controls in the Schengen area lifted by the end of 2016. However, the latest attacks — and the potential that more will follow — will make this difficult.
     Several governments in Western Europe will likely soon announce new national security legislation, improved controls on fighters returning from conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as enhanced intelligence sharing with their neighbors. EU members will also resume discussions on how best to combat terrorism abroad in troubled nations such as Libya and Syria. Europeans will become more willing to contribute to the coalition against the Islamic State, possibly with more weapons and training for the Iraqi military and Kurdish militants, increased deployment of combat aircraft and participation in NATO surveillance missions in Turkey.
     Another casualty could be the recent, tenuous agreement between Turkey and the European Union to limit the arrival of asylum seekers in Europe. Renewed awareness of the threat of terrorism among EU member states will bring focus on the bloc’s external borders, possibly justifying deeper cooperation with Turkey. But the attacks could also reignite anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe and increase popular demands on EU governments not to grant visa-free travel to Turkish citizens — a key stipulation from Ankara for cooperation on migrant issues.
     Anti-Muslim sentiment could also lead to more support for nationalist parties across the Continent. France’s National Front already receives substantial support in electoral polls. In Germany, the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party recently achieved record performances in regional elections and is currently the country’s third most popular party. Both France and Germany will hold general elections in 2017, in votes that will happen against the backdrop of the immigration crisis and the multiple terrorist attacks. In both cases, the mainstream parties will be under electoral pressure from their nationalist rivals. As a result, they will likely adopt some elements of nationalist party platforms. The same can be expected in other Northern European countries such as the Netherlands or Sweden, which also have relatively strong nationalist movements. Political parties and groups that want the United Kingdom to leave the European Union could also use the recent terrorist attacks to justify greater isolation from the Continent.
     Lastly, the Brussels attacks will hurt European economies, though likely only for a short time. In the coming days, some people in Belgium and other Western European countries may decide to avoid travel or densely crowded areas, such as cafes and shopping malls, out of fear of another attack. It will temporarily stifle domestic consumption and the tourism sector. For most Europeans, the threat of terrorism is by now a part of their daily lives. Beyond national politics and economics, the long-term impacts of the attacks will affect the very fabric of the European Union.