The Migrants and the Elites: A humanitarian crisis threatens the future of Western institutions.

Rules on immigration and refugees are made by safe people. These are the people who help run countries, who have nice homes in nice neighborhoods and are protected by their status. Those who live with the effects of immigration and asylum law are those who are less safe, who see a less beautiful face in it because they are daily confronted with a less beautiful reality—normal human roughness, human tensions. Decision-makers fear things like harsh words from the writers of editorials; normal human beings fear things like street crime. Decision-makers have the luxury of seeing life in the abstract. Normal people feel the implications of their decisions in the particular. The decision-makers feel disdain for the anxieties of normal people, and ascribe them to small-minded bigotries, often religious and racial, and ignorant antagonisms. But normal people prize order because they can’t buy their way out of disorder. People in gated communities of the mind, who glide by in Ubers, have bought their way out and are safe. Not to mention those in government-maintained mansions who glide by in SUVs followed by security details. Rulers can afford to see national-security threats as an abstraction—yes, yes, we must better integrate our new populations. But the unprotected, the vulnerable, have a right and a reason to worry. 

Syrian refugees making their way to Greece, Sept. 10.

What a crisis Europe is in, with waves of migrants reaching its shores as the Arab world implodes. It is the biggest migration into Europe since the end of World War II and is shaping up to be its first great and sustained challenge of the 21st century. It may in fact shape that continent’s nature and history as surely as did World War I.

It is a humanitarian crisis. As Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations notes, it will not soon go away, for two reasons. First, the Mideast will not be peaceful anytime soon and may well become more turbulent. Second, “The more that Europe responds the more it will reinforce the supply of migrants. Europe is caught.” If it doesn’t respond with compassion and generosity it is wrong in humanitarian terms; if it does, more will come and the problem grows. “This is now part of the architecture,” says Mr. Haass.

Three hundred eighty-one thousand detected migrants have arrived so far this year, up from 216,000 in all of 2014. Almost 3,000 died on the journey or are missing. The symbol of their plight is the photo of the 3-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, who drowned along with his mother and 5-year-old brother when their boat capsized near a Turkish beach. Just as horrifying is what was found inside a Volvo refrigerated truck stranded on the shoulder of the A4 highway 30 miles from Vienna in late August. Inside were 71 bodies, including a 1½-year-old girl, all dead of suffocation. They’d been left there by human smugglers.

It is a catastrophe unfolding before our eyes, and efforts to deal with it have at least one echo in America, which we’ll examine further down.

According to the U.N. refugee agency, 53% of the migrants are from Syria, 14% from Afghanistan, 7% from Eritrea, and 3% each from Pakistan, Nigeria, Iraq and Somalia. Seventy-two percent are men, only 13% women and 15% children. Not all are fleeing war. Some are fleeing poverty. Not all but the majority are Muslim.

The leaders of Europe have shown themselves unsure about what to do.

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commented 2015-09-14 00:42:25 -0400 · Flag
Tom commented

BBBC further reports that"more than 13,000 migrants arrived into Munich alone on Saturday. Germany’s vice-chancellor said the country was “at the limit of its capabilities”. Germany’s Bild newspaper and Austria’s Kronen Zeitung said controls would be in place on the Bavaria-Austria border. Germany expects 800,000 migrants to arrive this year."

The good news for Germany is that at least the tens of thousands of Muslims migrants will have a place to pray: just as “generously” Saudi Arabia – in lieu of actually accepting any asylum seekers – offered to help Germany cope by building at least 200 mosques. The Gulf state said it would build one mosque for every 100 Middle Eastern refugees who entered Germany. It will be busy building a lot of mosques.
commented 2015-09-13 13:06:39 -0400 · Flag
T.N. commented

don’t really follow Read Ms. Noonan much any more, but she has identified the key feature that once made America a Great Nation, namely, a sense of humility as a Nation and a People, both are now being shredded and replaced with contrived self-consumption, narcissism, infantile logic & reasoning, and of course Victimization !

Humility and Humbleness (a self-regulated restraint, awareness for everything beyond ones own personal interests) served this country well for many years and bestowed great, credible, prestige on this country and citizens, these qualities, attributes, virtues are No Longer at the Center Core of the American Experience and we have all lost, collectively, individually and as a society, let us hope that Europe does a better job of integrating the
new refugee’s (illegal aliens) than we have here, where our Thoughtless government minders have simply abdicated the rule of law and decided let them set up there own parallel societies within our country, you know kinda like Hillary Clinton running her own parallel government operation inside the State Dept. complete with her own personal electronic communication platforms All outside of government protocols.

It is a Freak Show, and a mythical one at that.
commented 2015-09-11 15:20:21 -0400 · Flag
Brian commented

“Seventy-two percent are men”. Why don’t we arm them and send them back to fight for their own country? Based on this article, the 429,000 (381K + 216K X 72%) men would out number the 50,000 ISIS fighters about 8 to 1.