The death of modern Europe
The EU’s open borders will lead to its downfall
We are witnessing the slow but accelerating death modern Europe. When the verdict of history is rendered, historians will record the cause of death as the curable but untreated diseases of terrorism and uncontrolled immigration.
On Jan. 7 and again on Nov. 13, France suffered major terrorist attacks perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, that have killed and maimed hundreds. Long before these attacks, Paris and its environs became home to more than a million Muslims, the largest concentration of them in Europe. The xenophobic French haven’t found it easy to live with the many Muslims who don’t want to assimilate into their culture.
Now, for the second time in less than a year, ISIS terrorists have entered France and connected with sympathetic Muslim terrorists already there. With apparent ease, the terrorist cell acquired automatic weapons and explosives sufficient to mount coordinated attacks by three teams that killed or injured almost 500 people.
At this writing, one of the terrorists has been identified as a Syrian “refugee” who entered the European Union through Greece. Another reportedly was Egyptian. Under the EU’s “Schengen Agreement,” open borders within the EU is mandated, making passage between the member nations completely uncontrolled.
Thus, the terrorists would have had no difficulty in entering France from their reported Belgian hideout. Wherever they entered the EU, they would not have encountered any serious effort to vet and refuse admission to those believed to be dangerous.
That’s because there is no way to effectively vet these people. Nations from which they come — Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan and several others, lack and wouldn’t share anyway — the reliable fingerprint database and records of criminal behavior and intelligence regarding ties to radical Islam necessary to weed out the likely terrorists and criminals. No European nation, or the United States for that matter, has the capacity to gather enough intelligence information on most — far less all — of these individuals to enable any real screening and rejection of those with terrorist ties.
President Obama plans to admit 10,000 SyrianMiddle Eastern refugees to the United States next year. Congressional Republicans should block that plan forthwith, but you can take it to the bank that they won’t.
The ISIS attackers of Nov. 13 took advantage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s exercise in noblesse oblige. Others are sure to emulate them.
In early August, Mrs. Merkel said that anyone fleeing Syria who could make it to Germany would be welcomed. Thus began a trickle that became a wave of 10,000 people a day. Germany is expected to admit nearly a million refugees this year of about 2 million arriving in the EU. According to the EU, another 3 million are expected next year.
It is one thing to make a grandiloquent gesture to welcome the downtrodden. But it’s quite another to invite into your country people who want to wage war against your people, your culture and your nation’s religions.
The EU nations, as I have written before, are militarily incapable of stopping the flow of refugees. And they are unable to agree on any means of dealing with them once they’ve entered the EU’s borders.
Many EU members and bordering states have tried to block the flow of refugees through their territories. But Greece and Italy — among the primary entry points — haven’t made any effective efforts.
After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, emulating Mr. Obama’s many such statements, France’s socialist President Francois Hollande proclaimed that the terrorists would be brought to justice, treating them as criminals rather than a national security threat. In the hours after the Friday attacks, Mr. Hollande declared a state of emergency and ordered his nation’s borders closed.
France’s borders probably won’t remain closed for long (if they can be closed at all) because Mr. Hollande, like Mrs. Merkel, is a fervent believer in the EU. We shall see if he is serious in his pledge to retaliate against ISIS. He was right in saying the attacks were an act of war. He promised that France “will be merciless toward the barbarians of Islamic State group.” Maybe, but how?
France lacks the ability to project sufficient force for enough time to sustain any military campaign designed to defeat ISIS. For that, it will need the United States, which has only mounted an ineffective air campaign. The last time France asked us to join it in a war was in 2011 against Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya. Mr. Obama intervened and succeeded only in removing a nonthreatening dictator and replacing him with a terrorist safe haven.
Mr. Hollande’s plea will come at inopportune time because, just a day before the Paris attacks, Mr. Obama said that America’s aim had always been to contain ISIS and that we’d succeeded. Even before the attacks that statement was risible.
Mrs. Merkel has no serious domestic opposition. Stories from the German countryside, such as that of the tiny village of Sumte, population 102, are multiplying. Sumte reportedly has been told that it will have to accept 750 of the Syrian-Middle Eastern refugees. There have been violent anti-refugee protests in Berlin. The more common those protests become, the weaker will be Mrs. Merkel’s — and the EU’s — political power. The political forces being unleashed will, sooner or later, break up the EU.
The lesson for us — in the midst of our own immigration crisis — is clear. No one born outside this country has a right to emigrate to the United States. The EU is failing because it has lost its willingness to protect itself from terrorism and to control its own borders. Under Mr. Obama, the same can be said of us. Jed Babbin served as a deputy undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration. He is a senior fellow of the London Center for Policy Research and the author of five books, including “In the Words of Our Enemies.”