Chalcedon’s post yesterday is a good one, although I disagree with a fair amount of it. Here’s why.
First, I must say how nice it is to be disagreed with without him being disagreeable. It’s become a most rare thing these days. He’s right, when we scream and shout, and call each other names we can wind up in some very strange, and untenable positions.
And he makes some very valid points.
Yes, the western powers intervened in the middle east, starting at the latest with Sykes-Picot and the partition into arbitrary nation-states. Then when Iran was needed as an all weather supply route to the Soviet Union during the Second World War, we mucked about some more, trying to suppress brigandage, with rather poor success.
Then we get to the oil, also in the Second World War, when to have let it fall into the Axis’ power would most likely have been catastrophic, particularly since much of the area was sympathetic to the Germans. And so on, when the OPEC powers attempted to divide the US from Israel with the blunt wedge of oil production.
In 1980 Saddam invades Kuwait, and with help from much of the world he was removed, and conditions for his survival established, which were never met. So in 2003, we had this report (perhaps mirage) of WMD in Iraq, well, the US definition of WMD includes chemical weapons, which he certainly had, he used enough of them on Iran. Nuclear? Who knows? If we’ve learned anything in the last few years, it’s that our intelligence communities have an agenda – but a lot of yellowcake was found. I’d guess (and I have heard) that the remainder of the chemical weapons went to Syria. Should we have invaded, even with the constant breaking of the cease-fire? I don’t know. I thought then (as did almost everybody in Washington, in both parties) yes. In hindsight, it’s not as clear.
What is clear is that the war was pretty much won by 2008, with the surge, and finally a proper commitment of troops. The next administration, because they didn’t want to be the cop anymore, forced a removal (in America it’s called a bug-out). And that’s when the terrorism and refugees really got started. When we walked away. Well, should have been foreseeable, how long have we been in Germany and Japan after all, and we turned them into rubble before the end. They really knew they had lost.
So, yeah, we had something to do with the whole mess, but then Europe kept telling us to go home, and eventually we said, “OK”. This is what a power vacuum looks like. Europe could have filled it. Oh, I forgot they thought defense was only suitable for the US and UK to pay for. They could go on paying for their welfare states, because Uncle Sugar would take care of them.
Meantime we’ve got some multiple of 10 million illegal immigrants of our own. Frankly, I can’t blame them, if my family was starving before my eyes, I’d jump the border too. And frankly, a lot of the reasons we’re fed up is their continued criminality (some of them, not even close to a majority, in my experience). When you been deported multiple times and then arrested for killing an American, well, it doesn’t go over all that well. So I can’t get too excited that Europe inundated itself with Islamic immigrants. Actions (or inaction) have consequences we’re paying ours, and Europe will have to, as well.
Maybe we should have tried something else, like Britain and the United States, started to do, feed them, house them, even protect them, whatever for a time in their own country. But there was and is a lot of government money available for churches and NGOs that will resettle these people in the west.
Chalcedon comments that refugees aren’t the best-behaved people in the world. That’s certainly true, and as anybody who has read American history knows, immigrants tend to ghettoize themselves for a generation or two. Makes sense, they are more comfortable with people like them. We know that, we saw it with the Irish, the Germans, the Russian Jews, the Italians, the Scandinavians, and many other groups.
What wasn’t acceptable then, and isn’t acceptable now, is thinking you’re going to bring your own law to an established country. And that’s the signal difference with the Islamic immigrants here as well as in Europe. They are guests in our house, and we have a right to expect them to live under our law. That’s where Chalcedon is wrong, they are quite well behaved and lawful, according to Sharia law (and a fairly extreme version of that). But Sharia law is not compatible with European law, let alone the English (and American) common law, with its respect for the individual.
Drawing that parallel may well be lazy thinking, that doesn’t make it wrong, although I’d like to be. They may or may not have chosen to come to Britain, although I’d say they did, they trekked all the way across Europe to come to do so, and were willing to camp out in Calais indefinitely for the chance. I don’t think these are war refugees at all. They are simply economic migrants, looking for the best welfare deal they can get. And lying to do so, there are just too many stories of bearded boys of 13, for it to be anything else. And that is not to say we don’t have a fair number of Islamic refugees ourselves. The trend is accelerating still.
But he is very right, Europe is contracepting and aborting itself out of existence. And he’s also right that that is why Frau Merkel is attempting to replace the electorate of Germany, to keep the Ponzi scheme going till her watch is over. Kicking the can down the road on a grand scale. The rest of us aren’t much better.
I readily (proudly, in fact) recognize our Christian duty of charity, and like so many I do what I can. But it is also a pillar of Islam. Where are the refugees in Saudi Arabia or any other Islamic country?
James Madison long ago wrote that the duty of government is
to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity
None of those legitimate uses of government are met by importing people who will break the law of the land. The duty of the government is to its citizens, not to refugees, let alone economic migrants, that’s why 150 years ago signs were common in US cities, “No Irish need apply”. They persevered, and now they are one of our most cherished nationalities. They did not begin obeying the law in the third generation, they knew that the US law was the law, the moment the stepped off the boat.
So we all have a problem, what is the humane, Christian thing to do? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and let them stay in their native lands. Better yet, teach them to fish, and to sew, and to make cloth, so they can save themselves.
Simplistic? Maybe. But personally, I’m not willing to relinquish control of my country to them simply because they want it. Many people have died over the years for our freedom, many more had their lives ruined. They deserve better of their posterity. After all, Edmund Burke did write,
Society is indeed a contract. It is a partnership . . . not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.