(15b) Europe and immigrants

As a result of increased immigration into Europe, certain Europeans are starting to show their real face. On the one hand, European countries and the EU are urging Turkey to open its borders so more Syrian migrants can enter Turkey to escape war but on the other hand, Europe is doing everything possible to close its own borders, even threatening own member states such as Greece with removal from the Schengen zone if the country is unable to keep the refugees (= people who escape war) out of Europe. If Greece is removed, Europe will achieve what it fears, i.e. that the immigration crisis may result in the end of the Schengen zone while already individual EU countries decided to close their borders to prevent migrants from entering their territory. Some countries don’t even seem to be able to accept that Greece, one of the poorest countries in Europe, isn't able to close its border (without using violence). Still, although Europe forced heavy austerity on Greece, it is amazing that many Greek are still prepared to help the refugees while another section supports the extremist party Golden Dawn. Still, Greece may still be forced to use violence to stop more migrants from entering Europe or face expulsion from the Schengen area so its economy may further collapse. As the Greek PM already showed in the past, one day he may agree for tougher actions to remain in the EU although weakness doesn’t seem to gain Greece much. Of course, if Greece may use violence, European politicians will probably condemn Greece for using it. I understand very well we fear mass immigration into Europe because in the past this caused the collapse of kingdoms and empires. And thus countries are blaming other countries for not stopping the refugees who only try to escape death by psychopaths. I think we should have helped those people at the start of the crisis five years ago when it became clear people couldn’t fight the monsters without help.

And thus, although the EU helps Greece and other EU countries a little with the refugee crisis, the EU was first prepared to donate €3 billion to Turkey but later even doubled that amount. In return for this money, Turkey needs to stop the flow of migrants towards Europe while each migrant (who risk their life) arriving in Europe and send to Turkey will be replaced with one from Turkey; in addition, the EU will also fast-track visas for Turkish citizens. This deal already resulted in Turkey using force as it tries to stop people entering Europe by sea while the EU remains silent when e.g. journalists are silenced. I wonder, if Turkey can't stop the migrants entering Europe, will we give nothing and how will Turkey respond in that case (already President Erdogan complained Turkey didn't receive anything yet)?

And because of our inaction in Syria and Iraq to protect people, Russia decided to pretend to fight Daesh (= Isis or IS) while it helped Assad so he can remain in power by bombing almost indiscriminately everyone except Assad’s army and Daesh. As a result, problems for the Syrian civilians further increased and many more had to flee, further increasing the refugee crisis in Europe while Russia will not welcome them. As Russia helps Assad by bombing mainly opponents of Daesh, to me it again suggests part of Daesh (except the foreigners?) and Assad are the same. And then suddenly, Russia decided to pull its forces out of Syria (with the agreement of Assad), so what will happen next? Russia and Syria demand that Assad can remain in power and already some Western politicians are questioning whether the West was correct to oppose Assad who, each time terrorists attack European countries, claims we should have supported his fight against terrorists while Syria has always been one of the main financers of terrorism throughout the world and barbaric towards its own people, the reason why people started demonstrating and Assad responded by attacking them. And contrary to what people claim, airstrikes work, first when the USA carried them out against well-defined targets and the opposition gained and now after Russia bombed certain areas and as a consequence Assad could retake some areas, including Palmyra, damaged by Daesh although many things remain intact. This again may suggest Daesh didn’t really intend to destroy the antics but tried to scare us in believing that Daesh is really barbaric – a tactic used throughout history. As Europe doesn’t really want all these Syrian refugees in Europe, I can imagine that Europe may decide that when Daesh seems to be defeated, there is no longer the need for Syrians to flee Syria and thus should return while, if troubles continue, Europe may one-day bomb Syria indiscriminately as Russia did and send soldiers to stop the flow of refugees. Better but slower is targeting specific places after gathering intelligence to destroy as much as possible the enemy with few civilian casualties as the USA does. Nevertheless, if the opposition groups weren’t fighting each other but focus on their target, Russia may have been too late with its bombing.

Human traffickers

Europe is also blaming human traffickers for the problems the refugees face. This I find difficult as the problems are due to a president who refuses to leave office or groups fighting each other to fill power vacuums. And although probably a large number of these traffickers indeed act with the intension of enriching themselves, they still allow people to escape the violence in their country although many refugees die during the risky trip. And now Europe puts more pressure on countries to stop those traffickers and even talks about a policy of not saving people whose boat sinks in the hope it will discourage people fleeing war, claiming this will save human lives. But for many staying in the region means death or having to join war groups. By comparison, also Hitler condemned and killed Germans and others who hide Jews and tried to smuggle them out of Germany.

And not all human traffickers are criminals, as many risk their own live to save people from abusers. Of course, during the trip people can die during an accident. And I am not blind for the fact that some traffickers may be part of terrorist groups so they get money to continue their dirty war while intend to bring troubles to Europe and thus weaken it. To say it mildly, that whole region is a shithole where people from different groups have their own agenda and many do not differ from the leaders they are fighting in the way they would handle power and rule people. Therefore, instead of Europe trying “to save people’s life” by stopping them crossing the sea, we could help them by sending ships so they can cross safely the sea and be located in countries until the end of the war. In this way, traffickers will earn little. Of course, then the refugees are here but as we helped them, many would be grateful.

And thus, our reaction becomes flawed so that helping people makes you a trafficker and criminal who needs to be arrested. But this is what certain people want to do: help people escape war. Also here some people want to help refugees and I admire them for this as I have too little trust to house someone but also don’t want to give up space; in addition, it is also cheaper for governments if citizens help. Politicians should not condemn people who are prepared to sacrifice something of their own wealth to help others by claiming it will attract even more refugees. But even saving people's life can now result in threat of prison sentence (although later they were released on bail).

Also the USA marine may start patrolling before the Libyan coast to help the EU to keep refugees out of Europe. And thus, because of our unwillingness to help people fleeing their government and other groups, we pretend to save lives by trying to keep people in war zones so they either have to join the fighting groups that will grow stronger or try to survive between those groups, but in both situations may be killed. I am not in favour of interventions in the politics of other countries unless it is obvious people need help to avoid death. And in the case of Syria where a president is even bombing hospitals after a peace agreement, we should demand he leaves office as it is obvious after years of war that he will not stop murdering until he is gone. The minimum we could do is installing a no-fly zone above Syria and surrounding areas to protect people as we did before above Iraq to stop attacks on the Kurds. Also the murdered politician Jo Cox called for actions to stop a genocide.

Troublesome elements

I am convinced that most migrants hope to find freedom and peace in Europe while if there was no civil war they wouldn’t have bothered leaving their country, families and friends. But certain elements are causing troubles such as harassing women although also before women complained about harassment by certain elements born here. Some of those men are idiots and don’t respect women but I am sure a few know perfectly well what they are doing and that this will further stir troubles. Others (the same groups???) are terrorising people and cause panic in the hope anger in society towards refugees will further increase although until now the killers were mainly born here and often had problems with police (do they want to proof they are prepared to die for their god?). And thus, I agree when a Flemish politician said after Brussels’ terrorist attacks that he is angry with the attackers as they were born in a society that gave them much. And although they probably had to face some racism, the multicultural society was growing. Therefore, I do not agree with people who criticised this politician as that seems to suggest the bombers were right to be angry; instead we should explain why they should not be so deadly angry. And thus, when one-day some may attack people with a different appearance out of fear and/or revenge and/or racism, refugees will no longer be able to come and have to join either Daesh, the Syrian army or another group in their region. Indeed, the goal of those murderers in Syria and surrounding regions is that more people will join them in their fight, even children, so that in the end, only evil may remain in that region so it can be destroyed although we should remember many of those people were forced to fight or die. It never had to come this far if we were prepared to help the people after it became clear the evil done by both Assad and Daesh. By refusing to help the people in that area, troubles are now spreading along the region as well as into Europe while Russia can act as the country that helped. Until now, some adults killed in the West, but why does Daesh raise children to kill? One day we may even distrust children who we should consider as innocent. And this is no fiction as e.g. Boko Haram in Nigeria uses children in it desperate act to win. Allow evil to grow and it will engulf everyone. Also in Hitler’s time children had to join the Hitler Youth just as today children are forced to join groups or die.

And thus the possibility that extreme right gains power who may stop more migrants entering Europe increases, certainly when refugees become angry in their desperation to enter Europe. To try to prevent their rise, other parties may start to introduce the policies of extreme right. But if extreme right wins, they will probably cause similar problems as what they blame the migrants are doing to women but also to men they don't like. An example, at the start, PM Merkel seemed to be correct: as she refused to help people under attack in their home country, she allowed them to find refuge in Germany. But she is finding it harder to do so as 1) a growing number of Germans are angry that she allowed too many refugees in the country, certainly after a small group of men misbehaved and 2) the exploitation of these accidents by extreme right in the hope it further marginalises the refugees and this may further anger them and us. But at this moment pressure on PM Merkel decreases as countries close their border so refugees find it more difficult to reach Germany (while Europe condemns Mr Trump when he wants to do the same in the USA). In addition, she is putting more pressure on Turkey, Greece and other countries to stop the migrants (so those countries do the dirty work while she looks clean). If she was sincere to allow refugees in Germany, she could have sent planes to Greece to fly refugees into Germany and release the pressure on that country instead of allowing that people are sent to Turkey. But I acknowledge, allowing even more refugees in Germany may be the end of her career. If only Germany had helped the USA such as enforcing fly restrictions above Syria, people would be protected from air strikes and fewer needed to come to Europe

And thus, to avoid any "miscommunication" and conflict, I think it is very important to inform migrants upon their arrival in (European) countries what is expected; whatever certain so-called politically-correct people may claim when they say we should not patronise those people. Foreigners need to know and understand the laws, rules and values of the countries they enter, certainly when cultural differences are so big. They have to understand that women, LGBT people, … need to be respected (although even some people born in our society don’t always respect others as the violence during Euro 2016 shows). When they know what is expected, it should be made clear to the migrants that when they misbehave and don’t agree with our values, they should expect punishment, including the possibility of being send back because then they agree with the policies of the people they fear in their own country. On the other hand, if they behave as I am convinced most will, then we should help them. Thus, it should not be that hate-preachers are allowed to walk around freely in our society while integrated people are sent back (one of the reasons why the UK wants to leave the European Human Rights Convention. Indeed, those who prevented the removal of people spreading hate carry a huge responsibility). Therefore, migrants need to be clearly informed what is expected. In addition, I find it difficult to understand that certain peace-loving people still don’t understand that sometimes to have peace, one needs to fight. Or is racism the reason why they don’t want to help? Just as in the 1930th the refusal to stop Hitler because people didn’t want to risk war although he violated international laws and human rights resulted in WWII, the refusal to help people in countries where pure evil rules results in frustrated and angry refugees while we too feel unsafe. On the other hand, in countries where dictators were removed, gratitude would be expected but war was what we got. And imposing a no-fly zone or drone strikes can be sufficient without sacrificing soldiers while local people can fight for their own freedom.

In addition, society needs to inform here why joining Daesh to fight against Assad is wrong. Although Assad kills his own people and needs to be removed, Daesh is committing atrocities. Already the UK has programs via Muslim groups to inform youngsters why they should not join Daesh; maybe other countries have the same. And it is good the Muslim community is involved but I think this should happen openly and not via secret programs because that will cause distrust after it becomes public. When openly, not only preachers but also schools, TV, radio and the internet can be used to educate people about human rights, why Daesh is evil as its fighters kill innocent people, that many gay people are good as they embrace diversity, that women should be respected in the same way as men, about respect for other religions and races and about the advantages of progress in science but also emphasise that our society helps the refugees and thus they should respect us. And during these short programs that explain our human rights records, also people born here will be educated as some have also extreme views. Of course, certain elements will still go and fight on the wrong side but that indicates society doesn’t need them. And we are stronger than Isis as governments can block websites that promote murdering people while we can publish openly why it is wrong to support those views. But also, when these people see we oppose Assad, they may not feel the need to fight him.

Certain actions by countries to discourage refugees from coming

I am amazed although not surprised by the actions of a number of what many people considered are civilised countries such as Switzerland (one of the richest countries in the world that does everything possible to please the wealthy via its banking system while it houses many UN institutions) and Denmark. To me, these countries are acting in an unacceptable way although I am sure other countries may also consider this and other actions. They are forcing refugees to give up their valuables upon arrival in the country to compensate for the cost of accepting them (I am sure the rich who come to Switzerland don’t need to hand in their valuables and may even receive tax reductions). I find this immoral and think it may create more troubles. Indeed, those people lost almost everything and arrive with only a few possessions they now have to give away (while we accuse traffickers for demanding fees). Then they may or may not stay as refugees with some help from the government. It will be difficult to restart their lives from zero while they are probably not allowed to gain and thus these people will have to survive on little but understandably are not allowed to beg or steal (food) as politicians warn against becoming criminals or they face arrest and return to their country. If they steal (to survive), the possessions we confiscated will most likely not be returned and thus if they return to their war-torn country, they will have nothing except being radicalised against the West. At least the people smugglers do what they promise: provide transport away from dangerous regions although people can die.

Norway plans to send refugees back to Russia, the country from which many enter Norway, even when Norway is a very rich and almost empty country with plenty of space so refugees could stay until the end of the wars after which I am sure most will return because Norway is too cold compared with Syria and Iraq. Only money is needed so the refugees can be housed and fed; and the EU (and UN) should help.

Further, some countries are erecting wires along their borders, making it harder to enter Europe and as a result the numbers of refugees in Greece continue to rise as they can’t leave the country while people (although fewer) continue to risk their life in the hope to reach safety although some are now deported to Turkey, what many now can consider as their saviour and much closer to their own values.

UK

I think certainly the UK and its PM, Mr Cameron, are hypocrites. Indeed, PM Cameron, since coming into power has continuously blamed immigrants, both from Europe but also from elsewhere. For instance, he called the Syrian refugees "a bunch of migrants" at Holocaust Memorial Day while during that day we should reflect upon a previous dark period and our (in)actions towards Jews that resulted in a refugee crisis. He is telling the EU and its member states to stop the migrants coming to Europe and demands the closure by France of refugee camps near Calais. After France started to destroy those camps, Belgian politicians were complaining they now had to stop the migrants going to the UK via Belgium while they discouraged Belgians to help refugees. Only after when people were outraged when pictures showed the death body of a little Syrian boy did he agree reluctantly to allow a small number of refugees into the UK. Indeed, as opposition leader he joined a more right-wing group in the European Parliament and now it seems this was not by mistake. (Also Charlie Hebdo magazine showed its real face when their cartoon commented on this boy although they deny any racism).

But then the PM organised a conference in London to collect billions in pounds so it can be used for "Syrians who want to go home and rebuild their country. I intend to help them" as he wrote in his opinion piece. It sounds innocent but can also be read as using the money to send the refugees home using the money from donor countries. And thus for Syrians and other refugees it seems the UK is on their side so they want to reach that promised land while other EU members are only trying to stop refugees from entering the EU and reaching the UK. But in reality, mainly other countries are helping the refugees while the UK demands actions to ensure they are not coming to Europe for our wealth as those who only love money can only imagine people are coming to profit and not to escape monsters in their own country. I predict this may be one of the ways how the UK will ensure the EU will agree to reforms the UK demands in order to remain in the EU. Already PM Cameron wants to lead by sending the Royal Navy to help to stop that migrants may die when they cross the Mediterranean Sea by not saving them when their boat collapses so fewer will come in future.

I repeat: I think we should have helped the people in their own country, if only by having introduced a no-fly region so Assad can’t attack his own people from the air. After Russia’s “intervention” by air even more people had to flee their country, partly because of Russia’s air bombings but also because Assad benefitted from those strikes and gained land (although does Daesh pretend it retreats?). This illustrates ground troops are not always needed as indeed the American drone attacks managed to halt the progress of the Syrian army and Daesh without sacrificing American soldiers when new technologies combined with intelligence information are used while many European countries (except maybe the UK) have invested little in new technologies and thus now face the consequences. And of course, innocent people die but many more are killed by Assad and Isis (or the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan) and propaganda can be used to explain this. One day, Europe may go to Syria and other places to bomb and stop the refugee exodus while we may send ground troops so soldiers may die. And this may happen when the USA may one-day stop to defend other countries, either because of internal problems or because they become fed-up that we always criticise them as some American politicians already seem to suggest. Even President Obama hints that many of America’s allies are not doing enough and depend too much upon the USA both financially and militarily, even when troubles are close to Europe and affecting the continent. Even measures as internet surveillance to find criminals are criticised. Of course, in the hands of the wrong people the wrong persons (such as human and animal rights activists) will be targeted. But be sure, when necessary these measures will be introduced in a hurry without any control of Parliaments so they can no longer block these programs on the excuse our privacy needs to be protected while only criminals benefit.

Concluding remarks

Don't misunderstand me: I don't want too many refugees in our streets as indeed their way of life is too different from ours. I also prefer not to have strangers in my house as I like to live on my own while meet friends in pubs. But, to be honest, in 2015 only over a million migrants reached the EU and thus with all our wealth it should be possible to help them, certainly because before governments were prepared to pay billions to corrupt bankers so they profited from the financial crisis. And by helping the refugees, many would be grateful while we should also explain our way of living. And although I understand that people fear such a huge influx of people with a different lifestyle, certainly after some terrorist attacks (and thus they should be informed about our values or people should stay in the region with the madmen), I can't understand those people who don’t even show mercy towards children who flee a warzone. Maybe we should at least allow the children in, just as before and during WWII; many of the parents would be sad but equally relieved their children are in safety. But even helping child refugees can cause problems in some countries. On the other hand, maybe certain people anticipate that children may kill one day although by taking in children they escape Isis’ teachings. Equally, I understand that right-wing extremists are not much different from what they call criminal migrants as they too have little respect for women and people who are different while like a fight as the troubles at Euro 2016 demonstrate. Indeed, over the past 20 to 30 years they have done everything possible to poison our relations with people from foreign origin, even when born here while most people were moving in the direction of embracing everyone. And thus, if ever extreme right gains power, it is very well possible here too people will not be able to move around and escape to other regions.

Much of this is deliberate as I started to mention at the start of the financial crisis. Some powerful individuals from all three major religions want troubles, hoping they may gain if they win the battle for power in Jerusalem and hope to rule the world. Even here racists, often in the name of their religion, do whatever they can to anger people from other backgrounds in the hope more people will fear them while most people were accepting a multicultural society. It can all be read on the internet. And as major events due to climate change and El Niño and La Niña can be expected (the weather starts to behave strange so the oceans are warming and thus ice at the poles is melting while coral reefs dying, all of this contributing to disruption of food production leading to rebellion but also other unusual events), people may turn to religion and violence so hell may decent upon earth. Still, when religious fundamentalists become more extreme, more people may again turn away from God so only the most extreme individuals will end up before the gates of Jerusalem.

One should almost believe Donald Trump for saying that dictators (such as Saddam Hussein) are needed to keep people under control in that region while we should not forget those leaders supported terrorists. But also closing borders is already happening while people may one day demand torture to get information and even a return of the dead penalty after more terrorist attacks. And that because in the Middle East many groups of people want to rule and even remove people from this planet in the hope they will remain as the chosen one. But those who want to sit on that throne but are not chosen will be rejected. A pity many innocent people are victims of these mad people who show little mercy to anyone.

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