Is Europe Losing Control Over Its Destiny?
“One critical cause of Europe’s illegal-immigration spike is the growing chaos across the greater Middle East. This spreading anarchy derives, in substantial part, from Barack Obama’s deliberate policy of ‘leading from behind’ by reducing U.S. attention to and involvement in the region. When America’s presence diminishes anywhere in the world, whatever minimal order and stability existed there can rapidly evaporate….
“For years, the central cause of population movements into Europe was economic: North Africans crossed the narrow Strait of Gibraltar or headed to France or Italy. Turks and Arabs entered through Greece and Eastern Europe. Once into the European Union, thanks to the Schengen Agreement, travel barriers are now almost nonexistent, and, as in the United States, illegal aliens can essentially travel freely….
“Spreading terrorism, armed conflict and collapsing political authority in the Middle East are now powerful causal factors equaling or exceeding continuing economic disparities. Europe fears being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people on the move, thereby losing control over decisions on who to admit and who to turn away. These concerns are legitimate, but there are deeper risks as well. Mirroring worries in Washington, there is a serious and rising Islamicist terrorist threat hidden within the tides of people seeking refuge.
“The lesson for the United States is that reducing our global influence does not increase international peace and security. Quite the opposite. Obama’s retreat from the Middle East, whether in the aftermath of Libya, his disinterest in the Islamic State’s continuing rise, or his surrender to Iran’s nuclear-weapons program, are all part of the larger pattern. Europe’s illegal immigration problem is our problem as well.”
Writing for the New York Observer, Arthur Chrenkoff wrote:
“As an unseasonably hot European summer gives way to autumn, the continent is experiencing a mass movement of people not seen since the aftermath of the Second World War. Unlike the end of the war, however, none of the masses currently on the move is European. As hundreds of thousands of people continue to arrive on Europe’s doorsteps and throng her roads and railway lines, many conservative commentators see a more apt, and more ominous, historical parallel in the Völkerwanderung or ‘wanderings of the peoples’ that foreshadowed the fall of the Roman Empire some sixteen centuries ago. Europeans have long historical memories….
“As we reflect on the vivid media images of boats and trains overflowing with desperate humanity, it is important to keep in mind two points: 1) The majority of the 350,000-400,000 immigrants who have arrived in Europe so far this year (these are the known numbers; no one knows how many enter undetected) are not Syrians. In fact, less than a third are, with the rest originating in a miscellany of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian countries. 2) The majority seem to be single, healthy-looking young men, which traditionally suggests economic motives for migration, rather than the fear of death or persecution.
“What is happening in Europe at the moment is not so much, or at least not predominantly, a refugee crisis but a crisis of European immigration policies.”
Chrenkoff summed it up this way:
“The control over one’s own borders is one of the most important characteristics — and responsibilities — of a modern state. Countries lose control over their destinies and even cease to exist when they lose control over who gets in.”
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.
Source: Gatestone Institute , September 13, 2015