The death of mod­ern Europe

The EU’s open bor­ders will lead to its down­fall

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Jed Bab­bin

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.”

ILLUSTRATION BY GREG GROESCH/THE WASH­ING­TON TIMES

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