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9/6/15

Europe’s multi-layered hypocrisy on refugees or "Kettle (US) calling the Pot (EU) black" ? - by Anne Applebaum

Picking apart the layers of irony and hypocrisy that surround the European refugee crisis is like peeling an onion without a knife. At a train station in southern Moravia, Czech police pulled 200 refugees off a train and marked numbers on their arms. On its eastern border, Hungary is building a barbed-wire fence to keep out refugees, remarkably like the barbed wire “iron curtain” that once marked its western border. Choose whatever image you want — ships full of Jews being sent back to Nazi Europe, refugees furtively negotiating with smugglers at a bar in Casablanca — and it now has a modern twist.

Sun, a British tabloid, has spent a decade railing against immigrants of all kinds. Not long ago, it told the British prime minister to “Draw a Red Line on Immigration — Or Else.” Now, after the publication of photographs of a dead Syrian toddler washed up on a Turkish beach, it wants him to “Deal With the Worst Crisis Facing Europe Since WW2.” Having just declared that there was no point in accepting “more and more refugees,” poor David Cameron has now declared that, actually, Britain would accept more and more refugees. His aides hurriedly explained that “he had not seen the photographs” when he made the original statement.

More layers of hypocrisy: Although the photographs are indeed terrible, they aren’t actually telling us anything new. Refugees have been crossing the Mediterranean for months. Hundreds have died. Also, if we are disturbed by a dead child on a beach, why aren’t we disturbed by another dead child in a bombed-out house in Aleppo, Syria? What’s the distinction?

Even now, almost all of the slogans being bandied about as “solutions” are based on false assumptions. Nations should accept real refugees but not economic migrants? For one, it’s rarely easy to tell the difference. More to the point, the number of potentially “legitimate” refugees is staggeringly high.

As of July, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees had registered more than 4 million Syrian refugees, of whom well over a million are in Turkey and 1.5 million are in Lebanon, a country of only 4.8 million people. That’s not counting Iraqis, Libyans, Afghans and others who have equally suffered political or religious persecution, or even the millions of displaced Syrians still in Syria. Exactly how many of them will Europe take.

Note EU-Digest : A typical case of "the kettle calling the pot black". No one writes or talks about the fact that this whole migrant drama is the result of  a totally defunct US Middle East policy in which they dragged, or better even, forced Europe to follow ". If only Europe had some independent political leaders with the courage to tell the US to "go and take a hike." Unfortunately most of our European politicians are not looking out for Europe where it counts. 

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-crisis-on-europes-shores/2015/09/04/2fb38864-5319-11e5-933e-7d06c647a395_story.html

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