Tuesday, September 22, 2015

By Approving Migrant Quota Plan, Arrogant EU Elites Chose To Defy EU Public Opinion.

If we think back to Ukraine's Maidan revolution back in 2013, the Western Media and many political elites jumped on the notion that Yanukovic was facing opposition to his turn towards Russia from the majority of the population.  It was unclear whether or not that was true at the time, but the media presented the protests as the will of the people, therefore deposing of a democratically elected president through street protests was presented to us as fair and democratic.

In the case of the highly polarized debate on the immigration crisis, we cannot be certain whether or not the majority of Europe's population was in favor of today's particular decision on mandatory migrant quotas.  Fact is that we will not see much mainstream media reference to the will of the EU population, even though there are clear signs of widespread popular dissent.  We will hear over and over again how the majority vote at EU level defeated the opposition put up by four former communist countries to these quotas.  EU public opinion will unfortunately be ignored not only by the EU political elite, but also by the Western mainstream media.  They will present this as a case of West Europeans being mainly in favor of facilitating the enlargement of the EU's capacity to take in asylum seekers, against the East, where people are mainly opposed.

The fact that Britain, Ireland and Denmark, all three of which are west European countries were more than happy to exercise their right not to participate in the scheme, will largely be ignored when creating this narrative of the East-West divide.  Nor will the media focus much on the fact that the French government most likely acted against the majority will of the French electorate, given that 55% of people polled in that country were against taking in more asylum seekers.  France will take in the second largest number of asylum seekers under this scheme.  French President Francois Hollande publicly declared that his electorate's opposition does not matter.

Source:  BBC

In Belgium, 61% of people think that there are too many migrants being taken in, yet Belgium voted for the mandatory quota.  There are many other West European countries where the vote of the elite ran counter to majority public opinion on this very important issue.  There were also East European member states, such as Poland, where the population is opposed to the quota, yet its government decided to vote for it.

We may not have an entirely clear EU public opinion picture on the specific issue of the mandatory migrant quota, but we do know that a 57% majority of all EU citizens were against taking in migrants from countries outside the EU, according to the European commission's own survey conducted this year.

So in effect the European Parliament & the European Commission both went against the wishes of the EU electorate, because the mandatory quota plan is meant to expand Europe's capacity to take in migrants.

Now, if the EU masses will chose to take to the streets over this issue and demand a reversal of course, or call for their elites who ignored their will to resign, will the EU elite act in a democratic manner and abide by the will of the masses?  Will they allow for early elections over the issue as Yanukovic offered to do before he was forced to flee?  Fact is that at this point, the EU elites are looking like they will get away with their outright disrespectful act of disregard for their electorate. This may be in part because the European people do not feel as strongly about this issue as Ukrainians did about their choice between East & West.  Or perhaps it will be the case because on this issue, there will be no Nuland action to hand out "cookies" in support of the protests, in other words, there will be no special interest supporting the organization of a protest movement.  Political parties which are opposed to accepting this migrant flow into the EU are simply not strong enough to motivate enough people to devote their time and energy to the cause of preventing the EU elites from imposing their will on the masses.

Most importantly, the EU elites will rely heavily on the mainstream Western media to steer the conversation on this topic away from the most important aspect of it, namely the extent to which the elites are out of step compared to their electorate on this issue.  The conversation will be channeled towards many other directions, making it seem like the topic is being covered fairly and objectively to some extent.  The Western mainstream media can successfully do this, because it does have many decades of built-up credibility on its side.  That credibility is slowly eroding in my opinion, but right now, it still wields tremendous power and influence with the masses.  The EU elites also have a very strong and active left-leaning globalist minority of people in Europe who feel very passionate about open borders and the right of anyone to chose where they live on this planet.  This minority has shown in past weeks a much stronger will to publicly support their view.  Those opposed to the concept of taking in all eligible asylum seekers who simply show up in Europe seem to be content with expressing their disapproval at election time, forgetting that elections will be contested based on many other topics, which will peel away the majority that feels shunned by the EU elites on the topic, leaving a minority of voters who will still feel the need to hold their elites accountable for this. 

We often hear of autocratic governments where the leadership is portrayed to be ruling with an iron grip on the levers of power, with disregard for their citizens.  Some leaders that fit in this category in the present and in the recent past have been deposed by popular movements, such as the color revolutions in Eastern Europe.  Ironically, it seems that it is precisely the leadership which we perceive as being more democratic, which seems to be able to show the middle finger to its electorate on many subjects, including this one and still get away with it.  Makes one think who really holds the reigns of power with an iron grip?   

Friday, September 18, 2015

EU Migrant Crisis Pushes It On Brink Of Institutional & Economic Meltdown.

The current migrant inflow into Europe is starting to severely affect its institutions that are core to EU economic activity such as the Schengen agreement on free movement across borders.
Data from the past few months from the border of Hungary suggests that the migrant inflow continues to grow exponentially. It was 10,000/month at beginning of year, while 100,000/month now.
The only proposed solution, on which EU members haggled for months and continue to do so is un-viable and counterproductive. The time already lost makes odds of crisis resolution unlikely.
One of the most important pillars of the current global world order is the European Union. It is the purpose for the very existence of the NATO alliance. It is occasionally the world's largest economy, depending on the Euro/Dollar exchange rate. EU member states also collectively make up the largest exporter/importer of goods in the world. It is an important pillar in the global advancement of science, technological innovation, and very importantly, human rights standards.
Europe has also become the most unstable pillar of the current world order. It has been plagued by slow economic growth for some time now. In fact, since 2008 the EU economy has registered average yearly economic growth near zero percent. This has resulted in a great deal of disillusionment with the EU experiment among wide segments of its citizenry, which is being manifested in a great wave of increasing support for radical political movements on the left and right side of the spectrum. In some cases, formerly mainstream political parties had to resort to borrowing the radical positions of the rising fringe parties in order to remain in power. If we can draw a parallel to the historical past, I'd have to say that we are looking at a similar trend as we saw in the aftermath of the 1929 economic crash, where in Germany for instance, the centrist political forces were abandoned in favor of the National Socialists and the Communists.
In addition to the economic crisis that the old continent is facing, a series of unexplainable and seemingly illogical policy decisions have further dampened Europe's chances of recovering. The 2014 economical and political confrontation with Russia comes to mind as a very obvious example. There were plenty of opportunities to prevent the conflict, including the day after Ukraine's president Yanukovic was deposed. On that day, the new Ukrainian government decided to do away with the country's minority rights, which inflamed the spirits among the Russian minority, and in my view did more than anything to spark the civil war. The EU should have acted swiftly to condemn that act as soon as it learned of it. It could have prevented the civil war and might have even denied Putin the opportunity to annex Crimea. But as things stand right now, the EU probably lost hundreds of thousands of jobs as a result of the economic confrontation with Russia and shaved a few tenths of a percent from its economic growth potential. It was the last thing the EU needed after almost a decade of economic stagnation.
Now we are looking at a new crisis that threatens the stability of the old continent. This time, it is causing not only economic distress, but is also leading to an ideological and regional polarization that threatens the stability of the EU. At the root of this problem is yet another mistake made by some EU member states in regards to the handling of the refugee crisis. Countries like Sweden and Germany increasingly signaled a willingness to offer asylum to anyone who shows up and makes a convincing claim to be from a conflict zone. Last year, there were hundreds of thousands who risked the Mediterranean voyage on flimsy, overcrowded boats run by people smugglers in order to take advantage of the opportunity. This year, we are looking at perhaps a million and a half people doing this. Let us not forget that this number does not represent the actual number of people who will receive asylum. On one hand, there will be some rejections, but on the other hand there will be family unification for those who are accepted. Taking this into consideration, the actual number of asylum seekers being accepted ends up being much higher.
A million and a half people and then relatives who will follow may be overwhelming for the EU right now, but the trends we are seeing at the Hungarian border for instance are worrying to say the least. At the beginning of the year, there were about 10,000 asylum seekers entering Hungary each month. By last month however, that figure increased to 50,000 and this month it seems that there are about 3-4,000 new arrivals each day on average, which means that there will be over 100,000 new asylum seekers crossing into Hungary this month. It remains to be seen whether more stringent measures will help stem the flow into Hungary, but even if it will, fact is that the route will simply move to another country such as Croatia. After Hungary closed the border and hunkered down behind its newly-built fence, Croatia saw a massive one-day influx of over 5,000 asylum seekers enter in just one day.
Given the German and Swedish policy of considering anyone who shows up from a conflict zone or from a country where they can show that they are facing political repression for asylum and permanent residence, there is literally no practical limit to the potential supply of asylum seekers seeking to move to Europe. Conflict zones in the Middle East alone, such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan collectively comprise a population of over 100 million people. Add to that the many conflict areas in Africa as well as repressive regimes around the world and we have hundreds of millions of people on this planet who are eligible for asylum in Europe, by only showing up. I by no means mean to suggest that hundreds of millions of people will show up, but a growing number are making the journey.
Add to that a growing trend of people assuming a false identity in order to be able to claim asylum under the pretext of being from a conflict zone and there really is no limit to the potential flow of refugees. There have been reports that there is a flourishing trade in Turkey in fake Syrian passports. The Syrian government is also getting in on this by issuing Syrian passportsat various embassies for about $400, with no need to show proof of identity. It has been reported that 10,000 such passports were issued at their Jordanian embassy alone, with similar situations reported elsewhere, such as in Lebanon. There are even those who show up with no identification papers at all. There are many reports of people being caught at the Hungarian border with Serbia, which claim to be from a conflict country, while in fact they came from countries neighboring the conflict zone, such as Pakistani citizens posing as Afghans. Many are not caught however and there is no way to catch them, unless they give themselves away by mistake.
Let us also remember that aiding in this whole process, we also have the people-smuggling networks, which are becoming a billion dollar industry. There is money to be made in the process of facilitating this mass-movement of people across seas and borders. It has been reported that in Hungary alone over 1,000 suspected people smugglers were detained this year. Bottom line, there is an almost limitless pool of potential asylum seekers and the criminal networks to get them to Europe are also firmly in place and growing. Any further invitation to come will result in the tide of refugees rising even higher. Yet, as I shall explain, an invitation for more to come is exactly the proposed solution, in the form of mandatory migrant quotas.
Needless to say that countries like Germany are now feeling overwhelmed by their commitments to take in all those who come, now that the world has heard their message. The proposed solution has therefore become the EU migrant quota scheme, which does very little to prevent this tide from rising. It is however a wrong-headed approach, which is leading to a lot of bad blood across the EU.
In France, for instance, 55% of people oppose taking in asylum seekers, yet their government has taken a lead role alongside Germany in attempting to push for a compulsory system of asylum seeker accommodation among EU members. Needles to say that this is causing a lot of friction given that we have countries such as the Czech Republic, where 94% of people in a recent poll supported the idea of the EU returning all asylum seekers to where they came from. The overall mood of the EU electorate seems to be decidedly opposed to taking in immigrants from outside the EU as a European Commision survey has found. According to the findings, 57% of Europeans are opposed to taking in migrants from outside the EU, while only 34% are in favor of the idea.
The resulting friction caused by an EU population that is largely opposed to taking in the asylum seekers, not supporting some of the EU elites who want to impose a mandatory, permanent quota, while doing little to address the flow of immigrants is already leading to indecision which is tearing EU institutions apart. The mainly EU-based Schengen zone, which allows people and goods to travel through most of Europe without border controls is crumbling as more and more states are putting up border controls. This cannot happen without serious economic consequences. For instance, the Hungarian border with Austria and Slovakia, both of which are now being reinstated is facilitating about $100 billion in yearly two-way trade between Hungary and the EU. Trade between Romania and Bulgaria on one hand and the rest of the EU on the other is also facilitated mainly through those same borders. All the borders that are currently temporarily re-introduced across Europe facilitate a few trillion Euro's worth of trade between EU nations. 62% of all trade done by EU countries is within the European Union. Most of that trade will still continue at an extra cost, but some of it will cease.
Source: Eurostat.
While the potential loss of the free movement of goods is a current problem with grave consequences for the already fragile EU economy, it pales in comparison to the problems it is causing politically. There is increasing acrimony among member countries over the mandatory quota plan, with threats flying over some former communist countries refusing to accept their share. Austria's Chancellor, as well as Germany's interior minister suggested that former communist countries should be pressured into voting in favor of the permanent quota system by cutting EU funds to these countries. Needless to say that there was a very angry response to such coercive and legally questionable ideas being expressed by the German government and Austria's leader. For now Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel brushed aside such statements, suggesting that it is not helpful to make threats, but it certainly highlights the level of friction that this is causing.
The UK situation is also being aggravated by the current crisis. It is likely to hold a referendum on EU membership in 2017 and this crisis and its handling is pushing British public opinion towards the "Brexit" camp. This would mean far fewer net resources for the EU, given that Britain is a significant net contributor to the central EU budget. This comes just as the EU is engaging in increased spending on asylum seekers, which means that cuts to popular EU-funded programs, such as infrastructure projects will happen, and will further alienate the EU electorate.
Aside from the British referendum, we also have a number of national elections coming up, where anti-EU governments have a strong chance of coming to power. Most notably, we have the French presidential elections in 2017, where the formerly fringe National Front party has a real chance of capturing the presidency with Marine La Pen polling ahead of her rivals. Even in Sweden, where the overwhelming majority of the population was in favor of offering asylum to all who show up from places like Syria, the formerly fringe, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats are leading in the opinion polls. An increase in violence and crime in Swedish towns like Malmo, where immigrants make up an ever-larger share of the population is causing the electorate to turn away from its traditionally moderate views.
There is also an aspect of this situation which most Western mainstream media outlets as well as European officials have been ignoring. While all attention has been on the refusal of many countries to accept mandatory permanent migrant quotas, there is also the prevailing opinion of the migrants to consider. I have the benefit of being fluent in both Hungarian and Romanian, therefore I can access news from local sources. Hungary's government has been pointing out for months that none of the 200,000 asylum seekers who entered Hungary want to actually stay in Hungary. They want to go to Western Europe, where living standards are higher and social benefits more generous.
The media and EU officials seem to have dismissed these reports coming out of Hungary, preferring to accuse that country of not providing the asylum seekers with adequate shelter and other help, rather than admit to the fact that their entire argument that these are not refugees but mainly economic migrants is flawed to say the least. The fact that asylum seekers in Hungary refused attempts to house them in camps and be registered in accordance with laws governing members of the EU and Schengen area, was simply dismissed as a refusal by refugees to collaborate with authorities that were accused of not treating the asylum seekers well enough (which is partly true). At the same time however, only after two days of Hungary closing its borders, diverting the flow of migrants towards Croatia, we are already seeing violent and chaotic situations emerge in that country as well. I think, it puts into perspective the lack of objectivity that the Western media as well as EU officials used in their attacks on the Hungarian authorities in the past few months.
In Romania however, where thus far there has been no influx of refugees, the true picture of the situation was uncovered by the Romanian media. As the debate over migrant quotas was raging in the EU, it was revealed that roughly 6-7,000 migrants may be sent to Romania as part of the first quota allocation. Some Romanian journalists from Adevarul (Article is in Romanian) got the bright idea to go to Hungary and talk to some of the asylum seekers in places like Budapest and asked them what they thought of the prospect of being sent to Romania. All the respondents refused the concept outright, all of them citing the fact that they heard Romania is a "poor" country, therefore they are not interested. So, clearly, the overwhelming majority of the asylum seekers are motivated by economic considerations when showing up in the EU, therefore the whole quota system is flawed and likely to create more problems.
I cannot think of a more explosive situation than forcing potentially hundreds of thousands of migrants to locate to countries in the former communist block, where they do not want to be, surrounded by locals who overwhelmingly do not want them there either. In Hungary, they went as far as breaching the camps in order to avoid being subjected to the quota. They all declared themselves for Germany or other Western countries. They resisted any attempts by Hungarian authorities to enforce the laws that bind it as a member of the EU, thus not respecting the laws of the EU, where they wish to claim refugee status. I do not see any positive prospects for hundreds of thousands of these migrants, which will be allocated to the former communist block in the next year or so if the quota system is approved, to simply accept their fate peacefully. They would if they were simply refugees trying to find shelter from violence as most of the Western elite tried to portray them. While many of the asylum seekers are indeed from conflict zones, they are clearly dual-purpose migrants and by the time they reach Europe, they are no longer fleeing war. Ignoring this very important fact cost the EU months of haggling over the quota system, which does not resolve the problem, only intensifies it in the longer term.
The quota system will intensify the problem by sending out the message to potential asylum seekers that Europe has found a mechanism to deal with ever-increasing volumes of migrants, which means that they are less likely to be rejected when showing up. In effect, it will not only be Germany and Sweden inviting them, but the entire EU. The already exponentially-growing flow of refugees will intensify further, overwhelming Europe's ability to cope. That is exactly why Britain's Prime Minister announced that his country will take in 20,000 Syrian refugees, but not from among the asylum seekers who showed up in Europe, but from camps in the Middle East. It is a measure that is not only logical but also humane, given that the ones taking refuge in places like Lebanon are the ones in most need, given that they cannot afford to pay the people smugglers to get them to Europe. A few EU leaders recognize the danger of continuing to offer asylum to all who show up with a valid claim, but unfortunately the EU leadership as well as leaders of many EU countries are choosing to take an ideological rather than a logical position.
Given the political deadlock, as well as the fact that the only proposed solution on the table is deeply flawed for the many reasons I pointed out, this crisis will not only continue, but intensify. EU elites have been very slow to realize that the overland migration route through the Balkans, which started to grow in prominence late last year and is now eclipsing the previously popular Mediterranean route. It already has the potential to bring to the borders of the EU hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers each month. The EU is not prepared to deal with it politically or institutionally. European public opinion puts it at odds with the EU elite, while opposition from some EU countries to taking in refugees through a permanent mandatory quota is causing friction among member states. Now we have border controls re-introduced among member states, being announced on a daily basis. The economic impact that it will have depends on the severity of the border controls, but as of this week, we are now looking at a resulting economic impact, which is set to grow exponentially together with the crisis.
If nothing is done to stop the crisis and the resulting acrimony, as well as the resulting disruptions to the institutions that the EU economy depends on, we could start to see the return of recession in the EU next year, or even sooner. If the quota system will be adopted, it might lead to a return to a semblance of normal life in the EU for a few months, but I expect that it will ultimately lead to an even more severe social, political and economic crisis breaking out within a few months, or within a year at the most, depending on how fast the flow of refugees will continue to intensify. At that point, we will likely become spectators to an EU crisis that will make the Greek "tragedy" look very tame in comparison.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

EU Immigration Crisis: A View To Total Failure Of Leadership.

On September 14'th, there will be an emergency EU meeting meant to deal with the current immigration crisis.  There will be many proposals put on the table, but the prevailing argument will be for a new push for an already failed solution, namely EU migrant quotas meant to fairly distribute the burden, while not addressing the exponential nature of the increase in the flow of asylum seekers. Those EU leaders who support this idea will present it as a must, in order to preserve the "spirit of the EU" as well as to save some of its cherished institutions, such as the Schengen agreement on free travel across borders.

The idea was already rejected once, when the flow of asylum seekers was relatively less intense than it is right now.  Back then it called for the re-distribution of 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece, while in August alone Hungary intercepted 50,000 asylum seekers crossing the Southern border with Serbia.  Many more arrived into Italy, Greece as well as other points of entry into the EU.  It is clear therefore that any EU asylum seeker re-distribution plan will most likely involve a monthly allocation of migrants, which will be in the 50-100,000 range.  EU officials such as Jean-Claude Junker are now proposing an initiative to re-locate 160,000 asylum seekers.  But of course, any attempt to push such an agreement through will avoid spelling out the fact that it will not be a one-time event, but a regular occurrence.  Nor will the supporters of such a scheme touch on the very sensitive subject of the vicious cycle aspect of this proposed solution.

Needless to say that among the tens of millions of people who are currently displaced by conflicts, therefore eligible to be considered for asylum, this will be received as a message of support towards further arrivals.  The floodgates could really open up then, especially now that asylum seekers figured out that they can avoid the dangerous Mediterranean journey and they can travel across land, through the Balkan region.  The ranks of the already numerous legitimate asylum seekers will be further swelled by those hoping to find a better life for themselves by pretending to be from a conflict zone.  People arriving in Hungary are increasingly coming without any documentation.  They mainly claim to be from Syria, but there is no way to verify it.  Furthermore, there is an increasingly flourishing industry growing in Turkey, namely in the production and sale of fake Syrian passports.  Given that anyone who speaks Arabic can potentially pretend to be Syrian, we are looking at a potential pool of hundreds of millions of people who can try to do this.  In effect, the EU could end up taking in more "Syrians" then there were Syrian citizens to begin with.

Taking these factors into consideration, as well as the likely spread of violence across the Middle East and possibly in Africa, which will further exacerbate this crisis, there is the potential of having monthly re-allocation loads in the hundreds of thousands of people.  It will be overwhelming.  It will lead to financial and infrastructural stresses showing up all over Europe.  Such a formidable inflow of migrants will also have the effect of causing a great deal of unease among the European population. We have to keep in mind that the EU is made up of largely homogeneous nation-states, made up of white ethnic groups, with a particular Christian religion being dominant in most countries.  We should also be mindful of the fact that the current birth rate among Europeans is well-bellow natural replacement levels and most people in Europe are aware of this fact.  Within this context, Europeans are already feeling uneasy about the current wave of migrants, because they see it as population replacement of the shrinking native population with a growing foreign population.  An asylum seeker re-allocation program across the EU, which is likely to grow exponentially within a short period of time will give Europeans a sense of being under siege.

Regardless of whether one thinks that Europeans are right or not to feel this way, the reality is that the current situation is making a growing number of them feel this way, which is evidenced by the growing popularity of extreme right-leaning parties across Europe.  The European electorate may see giving their support to these parties as a way to push back.  We also see other, more direct forms of push-back gaining in frequency.  We have seen anti-immigrant demonstrations, as well as acts of arson in places like Germany.

Source:  European Commission.

The European elite is clearly acting against the will of most Europeans on this, as we can see from official surveys.  While a majority of Europeans feels comfortable with immigration within the EU, only one third of people are feeling alright with taking in people from outside Europe.  As things are likely to go very wrong, as long as EU elites refuse to change course, it should not be hard to understand that they are betting their credibility on this, and they are likely to lose it, which will have devastating effects.  European leaders may argue that EU values are at stake here if the requests for legitimate asylum are not honored by the collective EU community.  The continued viability of the EU is in fact what is at stake if this flow of refugees does not stop.  Reality is that Europeans are being asked to accept something that no other country on earth would, simply due to its geographical proximity to the Middle East conflict zones.  For instance, Canada, only takes in about 15,000 refugees per year, which it selects before they show up.  If it were to be asked to take in as many refugees per capita as Germany is likely to take in this year, it would have to take in about 300,000 in order to match Germany's effort.  Despite Canada's reputation as a country that is made up of immigrants and is open to taking in those who are different, due to its already multicultural profile, I doubt Canada's government could ever hope to convince its electorate that this is a good idea.  Yet, this is what Europe's elite is attempting to do.

On September 14'th and leading up to it, many heavyweights of the EU leadership, together with a heavily liberal-leaning mainstream media will try to convince Europeans that the only way to deal with this crisis is to come up with an orderly disbursement of what is likely to continue to be an exponentially-growing wave of refugees.  The fact that just a few months ago, Junker was pushing for a relocation quota of 40,000 asylum seekers, while now he is talking about 160,000 is an indication of just how quickly the problem intensified.  As things stand right now some EU leaders are starting to organize an opposition to the plan.  The Visegrad group made up of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Czech Republic are due to meet in order to form a united opposition to the quota plan. Needless to say however that if need be, these countries can be bullied into submission by the West European elites, who claim to be doing this in the name of their people, even though they clearly do not have their own electorate behind them on this issue.

If this move succeeds, it will at first seem like a viable solution as the migrant flow will be managed much better.  The chaotic scenes out of Hungary will disappear as most arrivals will know that they will be dispersed throughout Europe and will be offered asylum.  Those who will be allocated to the less affluent parts of the EU will grumble some, but in the end they will accept their fate.  The Schengen agreement will appear to be intact at first and the border controls that are popping up all over Europe will disappear.  Then, reality will set in.  In August of this year, Hungary saw 50,000 refugees cross its border with Serbia, which was more than it received all of last year.  If by August 2016, 500,000 will show up in a single month, what will the EU do then?  Raise the monthly asylum seeker re-distribution quota to 500,000?

And how will the EU cope with the likelihood of fake refugees?  And how will it cope with the likelihood that together with the flow of refugees, there will be possibly thousands of radical Islamist militants moving into Europe, undetected amid the sea of genuine and fake asylum seekers?  How will EU authorities cope with waves of possibly coordinated attacks carried out by thousands of cells, which will cause the EU population to lose faith in their government's ability to fulfill their main obligation, which is to keep the population safe?  Before dismissing this as nonsense, let us not forget that there is already evidence that groups such as ISIS identified the current flow of refugees into Europe as an opportunity to infiltrate the European continent.  There is no way of knowing to what extent this may be already happening, or whether it is happening at all.  One thing that is for certain is that even if there were currently hundreds or even thousands of sleeper cells with certain orders already set up across Europe, EU authorities are most likely unaware of it.  They have no way of knowing about it, because the reality is that EU authorities have no way of knowing who most of the people who show up may or may not be.

Reality is that at this point EU elites are relying solely on the assumption that Islamic militant groups will simply forego the opportunity that the current situation presents in order for them to organize attacks against one of the main pillars of the current world order, which they claim to want to destroy in order to set up their Caliphate.  I personally think that they would have to be fools not to take advantage of this opportunity, and I do not believe that they are fools.  I think they are aware of just what a devastating effect a sustained campaign of terror would have on European society, which relies on a very sophisticated network of institutions in order to run smoothly and efficiently.  It in fact takes what may seem very minor disruptions to bring down the normal flow of life in the EU. Failure of the EU elites to safeguard that sophisticated but fragile order might be their last failure.  I don't think they will be given another opportunity to fail after this.

There is only one path that is viable here and that is for the EU elites to make a bold decision to suspend asylum offers for those who just show up.  Come to think of it, it would not be such a bold decision in many ways, because after all, it is the solution that it seems the majority of the EU electorate would be the most likely to support.  It is the solution that is most likely to end the tragic deaths that are occurring constantly.  Recently, a campaign meant to push the EU and its members to take in more asylum seekers was launched, using the unfortunate tragedy of a little boy who drowned and washed up on the Turkish shore, as a means to claim the ethical high-ground.


This picture has been plastered all over the media, and has been sent to many people via petitions that are making the rounds, arguing that because of this tragedy European countries have a moral responsibility to offer people asylum, given the dangers they face in getting to Europe.

For myself, this is a picture that is especially hard to look at, given that I have a little boy of similar age.  The first thing that I thought about when I saw this picture was in fact my little boy, who is today by coincidence also wearing blue shorts and a red T-shirt.  I doubt there are many parents out there who will not think of their own children when seeing this image and be reminded how precious they are to us, therefore how precious all kids are, including the little boy whose family fled from the Syrian town of Kobani.

Those who are making use of this image in order to push for their ideological agenda however are in fact trying to manipulate, by suggesting that those who want to deny asylum to millions of people just like the little boy, are being mean and heartless.  Fact is however, that putting a stop to asylum offers in the face of the growing tide of refugees would have most likely saved the little boy's life. Declaring an open border and a liberal asylum policy will in fact have the opposite effect and only encourage even more people to try to make the very dangerous journey.   More children will die, just like the little boy did, and so will thousands of others who will join the thousands who already perished this year.

 Refusing asylum for those who pay smugglers to enter Europe may seem heartless, but it is the solution that will end the growing human trafficking industry that is now flourishing in the region and is reported to be in fact partially connected to the same militants who caused  this humanitarian disaster in the first place.  This is the first step that needs to be taken in order to bring back some order in the region.  The second step is to help countries bordering Syria cope with the refugee crisis. I personally find the concept of spending tens of billions of dollars per year on people who pay thousands of dollars to smugglers to get them to Europe, while tens of millions of people who do not have thousands of dollars to give to smugglers are not being adequately helped, to be an outrage.  I also think it is an outrage that Israel currently occupies part of Syria, it exploits the resources of the land and colonizes it with Israelis, while Syrian refugees need to look for help elsewhere.  The Golan should be evacuated by Israel as soon as possible and be made a NATO protectorate, where all Syrian refugees should be welcome to live on their own rightful land.

The next step of course, is to put an end to to the brutal militants who are responsible for this tragedy.  Here the US bears more responsibility than anyone else, because it made the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, which unleashed the sequence of events that led to the current disaster.  ISIS needs to go and a military solution needs to be found.  But before that, we need to get the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia the EU and perhaps Iran in the same room in order to come to an agreement which will see these actors no longer pulling in different directions, but coming up with a formula to put an end to the fighting between factions in the region, which is being exploited by ISIS.  All external players need to put their own strategic interests aside in order to stop fueling the conflicts that are tearing the place apart.

Now compare the list of the things that need to be done in order to deal with the crisis, with the intentions of the EU elites who will meet on September 14'th.  If this does not look like failure of leadership, I don't know what does!