Shall we try to figure out what the refugee story is all about?
Specifically, if it has anything to do with Europeans', or Westerners' racism?
In that perspective, let us imagine that the refugees are not Syrians but Swedes — blonde, blue-eyed souls with fellow European and Christian roots.
Wouldn't that prove that the animosity towards the mainly Arab and/or Muslim refugees is all about racism?
Be honest, dude: Wouldn't I be eager to help if the refugees turned out to be of fellow Scandinavian stock?
The answer is as follows:
What if the world were shocked by the photo of a drowned Swedish child on a beach in the Mediterranean?
How would I react then? Wouldn't I feel empathy for the Swedish child? And for his family?
Here is my first reaction. My reaction would be anger, followed by the question, "Why didn't he simply cross the border?" Why didn't the family first come to Denmark, a neighboring country, aren't we neighbors of theirs good enough for them (for those sonzabitches)?! What's that dead kid doing down in the Mediterranean?
Well, here is where it gets interesting: it turns out that in this imaginary scenario, the governments of Denmark, Norway, and Finland have barred their countries entry for the Swedish refugees.
Reverting to reality, the Syrian refugees have been denied entrance to their brother countries (and the Devil take the Umma). Indeed, the five wealthiest Gulf Nations have so far refused to take a single Syrian refugee. Why? Because Gulf nations argue that accepting large numbers of Syrian refugees is a serious threat to the safety of [their] citizens because terrorists could hide themselves among civilians (shookhran to Glenn Reynolds).
Let us ask the obsessed racebaiters this: is it racist to listen to Arab people?
Or perhaps it is racist to listen to Arabs when smarter-than-thou, more-compassionate-than-thou, more-humanistic-than-thou Western leftists have more soothing (or self-serving) things to tell you?
The second issue is linked to the first.
If the refugee problem is due to an earthquake or to a tsunami that has hit some part of the Swedish seaside, then the best solution, the ideal solution is to bring food, and medicine, and other aid to the region in question — exactly like what happened in the real-life case of an Asian tsunami 11 years ago — or, barring that, take in refugees across the border (not a half continent or more away).
In that case, I know the refugees (including the pretty Swedish lasses) will not particularly want to stay and that (not that I have anything in particular against them — especially the pretty Swedish lasses) they will want eventually, at one point or another, to go home.
But what if the refugee problem is due to tyranny and to war — civil war?
Imagine that under Daniel Westling's soft demeanor, the man has turned out to be a tyrant (petty or otherwise), one who has overthrown the Swedish king and the king's daughter, his (Prince Daniel's) own wife. King Carl 16. Gustav and Crown Princess Victoria have been unceremoniously thrown into a dark dungeon with the rest of their family and self-proclaimed King Daniel has sicced disloyal elements of the Swedish army on the people. Arrests and murders galore ensue.
In that case, taking in refugees may certainly be one solution, but wouldn't the best response, the ideal response, be something else? Wouldn't it be the overthrow of the tyrant Daniel?
The best thing here would be the Swedes overthrowing King Daniel themselves, isn't that correct? But next to that, wouldn't the ideal solution be foreign military aid and intervention to bring that about, with or without foreign troops?
(But even here, another question arises: are our hypothetical Swedish refugees simple victims, or are they — in line with what the gulf states are claiming about the real-life Syrian refugees — maybe extremists aching for a monarchy under Prince Carl Philip (Victoria's little brother) or hard-line Lutherans wanting a Protestant "Caliphate"?)
The tale of not of Swedish, but of Danish refugees during World War II — when a great number of them came from German-occupied Denmark, streaming into neutral Sweden. (The memes also — as in FaceBook post above — tell of 1.5 million Swedes who emigrated to the United States in the 19th century.)
But the Danish refugees — who did not number in the tens of thousands, or in the millions, far from it — were settled in camps. Not concentration camps, like the Germans' death camps, of course, but refugee camps, which, you may be surprised to know, is something entirely common and entirely acceptable.
You cannot have hundreds, or thousands, of citizens simply loosened into a community. And particularly when there are fighters among them. Today, we know that the Second World War's resistance fighters were good guys, but how sure could one be of that during the war? Plus, aren't there always bad apples in a barrel? In any case, even if they are good guys, a host nation will want to have armed men and women under some sort of control.
More to the point, and even when the warrior element is discounted, they will even want to have unarmed men and women under control. You can't simply have new bakers and shoemakers and so on suddenly integrate themselves into a community, with pre-existing bakers and shoemakers and so on. So refugee camps are quite a normal response to any refugee situation.
Moreover, the solution to the Danish refugee problem was not to bring relief to the Danes in Denmark; it was not to allow Danish refugees to settle in Sweden. The solution was to get rid of the occupying force — so that the refugees could go back; the solution was to overthrow the Nazi government of Adolf Hitler.
If the Danes could not do that, the solution would have to carried out by external forces, forces led by men like Roosevelt, and by men like Churchill.
But see, many of you are not going to like where this conversation is going…
Indeed. Here we are getting to the man who has been the most hated man, the most despised man, most ridiculed man in recent memory.
Needless to say, you know who I am speaking of.
No, t'is not Vladimir Putin. T'is not an Iranian ayatollah. T'is not Assad. T'is not Fidel (or Raúl) Castro. T'is not Saddam Hussein.
Of course we are talking about George W Bush.
Remember the 2000s? Remember when we were pretending that "a rather unremarkable brush war" (Iraq) was the worst thing ever (thanks to Ed Driscroll). (And we still do.)
Remember 2008? Remember when we would finally — thank God! — get rid of the stupid cowboy?
We were all so glad to get rid of Dubya in favor of a man of peace, a man who promised to end wars, a man who earned the Nobel Peace Prize just for winning the election.
Finally, a visionary of unlimited intelligence who noticed that all the foreign policies of previous presidents was so much saber-rattling.
Finally, a man who realized that by simply talking to foreign autocrats, one could bring peace for our time.
You got the U.S. president you were pining for!
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate "ended" the war in Iraq in 2011, and Iraq hasn't had (or has hardly) suffered any violence since then.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate (and Hillary Clinton) hit the reset button with Russia in 2009, and Vladimir Putin hasn't bothered anyone (or has hardly bothered anyone) since then.
During the Bush years, every bad thing that occurred, domestically or internationally, I was told repeatedly (with a grim face, dark eyes, gnashing teeth, and sputtering rage), was "on Bush's watch".
Now that one Barack Obama is in the White House, there is never any sputtering rage accompanied with the "it's on Obama's watch" line.
Nobody has noticed!
Millions of refugees heading to Europe are on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.
Russian and Iranian troops flowing into Syria (and, more generally, into the Middle East) is happening on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.
Vladimir Putin's invasion of Crimea happened on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.
Russian planes, ships, and subs buzzing the borders of NATO member countries are happening on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.
Iran unleashed, with a $150 billion bonus, is on the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's watch.
(Is it any wonder that the Washington Posts' Fred Hiatt says that This may be the most surprising of President Obama’s foreign-policy legacies: not just that he presided over a humanitarian and cultural disaster of epochal proportions, but that he soothed the American people into feeling no responsibility for the tragedy.)
The post-war era of peace that you praised so much, 70 years old now (coupled with obligatory rabid anti-Americanism throughout), is likely coming to an end — a very bloody end.
Thanks to the pacifist visionary you have been pining for.
(Update: Thanks for the instalink, Sarah Hoyt)