In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland after the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, and the Dormouse had used the china and soiled the linen during their Mad Tea Party, they moved down to the table to clean cups and linen. The Mad Tea Party has now reached Europe’s doors.
After castigating the Obama Administration for “chosing to do almost nothing” in Syria:
The refugees are fleeing horror shows across North Africa and the Middle East, but especially the Syrian civil war that is now into its fifth year. Committed to withdrawing from the region, President Obama chose to do almost nothing. Europe, which has a longer Middle Eastern history than America and is closer, chose not to fill the U.S. vacuum.
the editors of the Wall Street Journal turn their fire on Europeans:
Europeans who dislike an America they think is overbearing should note what happens when the world’s policeman decides to take a vacation and let the neighbors fend for themselves. In the modern world of instant communications and easy transportation, the world’s problems will wash up on the wealthy West’s shores one way or another. If Europe isn’t prepared to handle nearby crises, militarily if necessary, be prepared to accept the refugees.
The reality is that “world policeman” is a job that nobody wants any more. Under a Westphalian order there is no need for such a function. It is only under the post-Westphalian order that so many in Europe and the United States have longed for (with most of the rest of the world rejecting the premises of a Westphalian system) that we’ve been urged to take on that mantle, one that we are peculiarly unsuited for. The world’s largest economy will never be considered an uninterested party and “world policeman” demands an uninterested party.
The United Nations can’t fill that role. World government requires world consensus and if there’s a single lesson that should have been learned over the last twenty or thirty years it should be just how far from world consensus we really are. They continue with advice for Europe:
Absorbing refugees also requires a robust economy that Europe hasn’t had in years. Most refugees want to go to Germany, but even Germany is growing at a mere 1.6% annual rate. Unemployment looks low (4.7%) but the labor force participation rate is very low, about 60%, according to World Bank figures. For the rest of Europe, the ability to absorb a refugee influx is even worse.
Without economic reform to produce a growth economy, migration on the current scale is going to strain Europe’s welfare state and further encourage the rise of extreme anti-immigration parties like the National Front in France, Golden Dawn in Greece, Jobbik in Hungary and the Pegida movement in Germany. It will also begin to threaten such pillars of the modern European Union as its Schengen policy that allows passport-free travel and migration. Schengen has been a crucial economic safety valve that allows young people in particular to move for economic opportunity when their native country is in recession.
Where in the world would they get the idea that Germany has any interesting “absorbing” refugees? They haven’t absorbed the Turks and in some cases they’ve been in Germany for generations. The Middle Eastern and North African people who inhabit France’s banlieu’s haven’t been absorbed despite, in many cases, having been born French citizens.
And with advice for us:
All of which underscores that the migration crisis is far more than a humanitarian issue. By all means Europe needs to do more to end the immediate human suffering. So does the U.S., which could in particular accept Syrian Christians who are targeted for extinction by Islamists.
Does the United States really want more Christians? I could have sworn it was the opposite.