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September 15, 2015

Europe’s Refugee Crisis

The refugee crisis bedeviling Europe has dominated headlines for the past week. European nations are struggling to manage the flood of humanity and they have responded in varying ways. Last week, President Obama committed America to taking in 10,000 more refugees from Syria, but there are hints the figure could be closer to 100,000.

Europe’s Refugee Crisis

The refugee crisis bedeviling Europe has dominated headlines for the past week. European nations are struggling to manage the flood of humanity and they have responded in varying ways. Last week, President Obama committed America to taking in 10,000 more refugees from Syria, but there are hints the figure could be closer to 100,000.

Here are some brief observations on this crisis:

  • The media are focusing on women and children, but according to one U.N. report, 72% of the “refugees” are men. That is totally different from any refugee experience in modern history.

  • Many are leaving camps in Turkey, where there is no fighting. Given that the vast majority are men, some now question whether these refugees are actually migrants looking for work.

  • In a brilliant column, Walter Russell Mead writes that the current crisis represents the collision of two great failures: The failure of the Islamic world to adequately govern itself and the failure of Western Civilization to adequately define and defend itself.

  • Some European voices are beginning to question the wisdom of admitting millions of Muslims. Most of those voices are coming from Eastern Europe, which experienced a long occupation under Soviet communism. In recent years, these nations have begun reasserting their Christian roots. Now they are asking fellow Europeans if they have thought about the consequences of this mass migration.

  • Hungary is a good example of this. It has launched an emergency project to build a border fence, protecting it from the influx coming through Serbia. They are going so far as to take prisoners out of the jails and turning them into chain gangs to finish the fence as quickly as possible. 

By the way, Israel is also building a security fence to protect its people. 

These steps are not outrageous. This is by definition what a nation does to protect its territorial integrity and its citizens. Nations, not those trying to enter them, decide who and how many get to enter.

British “Progressives” Turn Hard Left

Britain’s Labour Party has taken a dramatic hard left turn with the election of Jeremy Corbyn to be its new leader. Corbyn is an avowed socialist — and much worse. Consider this description from National Review’s John Fund:

“He wants to leave NATO, has provided frequent excuses for Vladimir Putin’s excesses, opposes Britain’s nuclear deterrent, and supports unlimited migration by refugees into Britain… . Last month, Channel 4 News asked him about having referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as his ‘friends.’ … Britain’s oldest Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Chronicle, has accused Corbyn of associating with ‘Holocaust deniers, terrorists, and some outright anti-Semites.’”

While it is tempting to think that there is no way Corbyn could ever rise any further in British politics, becoming prime minister of Great Britain, it is astonishing to realize he has already come this far. 

Poll Position

The political season continues to astonish. Perhaps the least surprising thing that happened in recent days was Rick Perry dropping out of the race. In a statement late Friday afternoon, the former Texas governor said, “We have a tremendous field — the best in a generation — so I step aside knowing [the Republican Party] is in good hands.” 

Meanwhile, polls out of early key states show that establishment candidates continue to struggle. For example, a new CBS poll finds Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leading former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 10 points in Iowa and by 22 points in New Hampshire. No, that’s not a typo — Sanders leads Clinton 52% to 30% in the Granite State.

On the GOP side, the CBS poll finds Donald Trump leading in Iowa with 29%. Ben Carson is second with 25%, followed by Ted Cruz at 10%. No other candidate received double digit support.

In New Hampshire, Trump has a huge lead — 40% to Ben Carson’s 12%. No other candidate received double digit support. And the candidate many assumed would be the nominee, Jeb Bush, was tied for fifth place at 6%.

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