Tuesday, November 8, 2016

UPDATED: Five Minutes to Midnight

This entry is being written as the results of the U.S. Presidential election are streaming in.  It certainly promises to be a roller-coaster ride, just as the entire year leading up to the election has been.  In reality, the outcome of the election is not as important as it is made out to be.  If Mr. Trump wins, many of his grand plans will be severely stymied by the Congress, even if both the House and the Senate emerge Republican-controlled.  If Secretary Clinton prevails, she will encounter similar obstacles.

The election is but an exiguous piece in a much larger puzzle, which concerns the survival of the Western civilization.  Europe, Canada, and Australia--and, if Clinton has her way, America, too--are being inundated with millions of migrants.  Carefully vetted immigration is to be encouraged and, indeed, it is precisely on the talents, diligence, and sheer numbers of immigrants that the Western civilization emerged to be dominant and prosperous.  However, it hardly requires much divination or analysis to understand that permitting the importation, wholesale, of millions of individuals who live and breathe tribalism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, nepotism, polygamy, and other habits that the West abjured eons ago will end in conflict.  Certainly, some of those migrants will renounce their cultural values and nomos, and they will do so of their own accord and--lamentably--contrary to the exhortations of the assorted bien-pensants in the West.  The latter still persist in their preposterous belief that all cultures are equally valid or, worse, that the Western values should defer to minority norms in the name of "diversity."  These days, one observes, everything is relativized and open to debate; every absolute of old must be challenged.  While it is assuredly laudable to question and to doubt, leering to the extreme of discarding everything once cherished is foolhardy and outright foolish.  Rule of law is better that authoritarian caprice.  Equality of the sexes is better than institutionalized misogyny.  Democracy is better than autocracy.  Separation of church and state is better than theocracy.  Ultimately, individualism (including individual human rights) is better than collectivism.  Therefore, the prevailing precepts upon which the Western civilization rests are better than those practiced in, say, the Near East: be it Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran or Yemen or the supposedly more enlightened Lebanon, Morocco or Malaysia.

While some migrants, accordingly, will embrace the liberal democratic values of their new host states, many will not.  Those who do not will do one or both of two things: Withdraw to their self-imposed ghettos and procreate or bomb and shoot up the rest of the population.  Even if they do merely the former, they will only do so until their numbers grow sufficiently to engage in the civil unrest that inevitably arises with ghettoization.  In either case, civil strife is unavoidable.

Once that societal upheaval materializes, two scenarios can come to pass.  A section of the population (commonly derided as "nationalist" by the soi-disant opinion-formers) may decide to proverbially take matters into its own hands.  The people being insulted for wearing certain apparel, harassed for drinking alcohol, assaulted, attacked and killed may well reason that they can no longer rely on the authorities to protect them and so resolve to do so themselves.  The authorities, such as there are and will be, may accept that, without resolute measures aimed at filtering out the destabilizing elements in the society, said society faces an imminent collapse, and they may or may not assist the popular uprising.  Alternatively, the governments may use the societal instability as a pretext for arrogating to themselves enormous powers, such as not seen in decades, even centuries.  Such governments--bigger and stronger than for many a generation--would ineluctably engage in blanket repression of the general population, migrant and nonmigrant, under the guise of restoring and maintaining public order and security.  Put simply, what today happens at airport "security" would be extended to almost every facet of life.  One needs to be only a casual student of history to know that suppression of dissent can successfully last for only a limited time before the population revolts.  That would in turn trigger the first course of events detailed earlier.

The upshot of the foregoing is that, unless the migrant invasion of the West is not stanched immediately, the question of war is going to be a matter of when rather than if.  Whatever the corollary of that war, it would shake the Western world to its core and undoubtedly abrogate the West's cultural, political, economic, military, and other dominance.  While some elements in the West--particularly among the elites--may exult at such a possibility, they would do well to reflect on whether they would rather live in Pakistan, Venezuela, Congo or Laos than in their comfortable ivory towers in the West.

This being an international law platform, it behooves to examine the role legislation and jurisprudence might play in the above context.  The answer is: enormous.  International law pertaining to refugees and human rights is hopelessly anachronistic.  It was designed decades ago and was not envisioned to cater for scenarios such as the one unfolding in the United States and in Europe at this time.  The laws on the books were passed in order to protect the most vulnerable, destitute people fleeing for their very lives: women, children, and the elderly escaping by the skin of their teeth an almost certain death and ensconcing themselves, mostly temporarily, in the nearest shelter they could find.  Those laws did not foresee millions of healthy young men storming national borders thousands of miles from their domiciles because they heard welfare and other freebies would be doled out there.  Nor were those laws meant to provide for the fact that a fair many of the said millions would endeavor to change their new host lands into the image of the decrepit third-world despotisms and theocracies whence they came.

With that in mind, it is high time for alterations of the relevant laws to be effected without delay.  The most salient and pressing of these are:
  • The refugee law has to be clear that an asylum application lodged anywhere other than the nearest safe state to the asylee's will be automatically denied and followed with an immediate deportation.  That means that e.g. an Afghan can only hope to receive asylum in Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan, but not Sweden, Germany or even Turkey.  An Eritrean--insofar as Eritrea can be deemed unsafe at all--can get asylum only in Djibouti, Ethiopia or Sudan, not in Italy, Greece or England.  In practice, since the European Union does not border any state that can be considered unsafe, all asylum applications made in an E.U. member should be ipso facto rejected, with extreme prejudice.  The same applies to the U.S.
  • Dovetailing off the previous point, deportations of failed asylum seekers have to be rendered at the time the refusal is issued.  There should certainly be an appeals process--except when the rejection is based on the grounds from the first point--but it cannot be dragged out for months and years, all the while allowing the asylee to roam around at will.
  • Human rights cannot be invoked by a failed asylee as a means of circumventing the refugee law and stay in the host country.  It very frequently happens that someone whose asylum claim has been rejected then launches a suit preventing his or her deportation on the basis that, say, they already formed a family in the host state or that, though their life might not be in danger in their home state, they might nonetheless get arrested there and wind up in a prison without a T.V. and Xbox in the cell.
  • Technicalities must likewise not preclude the operation of the law, the foremost of which is an asylee lacking identity documents or a failed asylee's home state refusing the accept them.  Those two arguments thwart both processing of asylum applications as well as deportations in alarming numbers of cases.  States that refuse to admit failed asylees have to be subjected to extreme pressure, including economic and other sanctions, with a view to making them amend their ways.
  • Similarly to the preceding point, political correctness must not be permitted to impede investigations into the validity of asylum claims.  An asylee professing to be underage (which attracts more lenient treatment as well as conferral of more generous entitlements) has to undergo whatever tests are necessary to ascertain the veracity of his or her claim regarding age.  It is unforgivable that, as recently reported, 29-year-olds are admitted into a country as "child refugees" because conducting examinations into their age would be "intrusive" and breach their "right" to "privacy."  Similarly, those not in possession of identity documents must be interviewed and interrogated, with skepticism and at length, to determine where it is they come from.  Making false claims about one's background has to be disincentivized.
  • While their claims are being processed, asylees must be housed in secure accommodations.  They cannot be allowed to wander around the country (or, indeed, the whole Schengen area) together with their flashy sneakers and latest smartphones, all the while being in receipt of hundreds of dollars of monthly maintenance.  Further, those accommodations have to conform to the domestic legal standards, meaning that incidents such as that reported recently in Denmark, where an asylee was allowed to live as a married couple with his underage "wife," must not occur.
  • Asylees who are successful and thus legally become refugees do so on the understanding that (1) their stay in the host country is temporary, and (2) their status applies exclusively to them.  That means that there is no pathway to citizenship, but only to permanent residence, and even that only after the best part of a decade has elapsed.  Moreover, a successful asylee cannot be permitted to "bring in" (i.e. sponsor) any current or new family members to the host country.  It is egregious that a single asylee--even before having his/her asylum claim approved--is allowed to bring in a half a dozen family members, too, on the grounds of family unification. 
  • Refugees, although their sojourn in the host state is temporary, are to be expected to fully integrate with and practice the host state's cultural, social, and legal values.  That, in the West and many other places, includes, but is not limited to, speaking the language, abandoning the burka, abjuring the sharia, earnestly looking for work, participating in the civil life, respecting and promoting individual liberties (including in and for own family's), etc.
  • Migrants rescued from dingy, sinking ships on the high seas, most often in international waters, should be given basic immediate assistance, such as some food provisions, blankets, and clothing.  They should then be sailed back to the shores they had set off from and left there.  There is no justification for transporting migrants who shipwrecked a few dozen miles off the coast of Libya 500 miles to Italy.
  • Probably the most commonsense point of all: An asylee who commits any legal infraction--even jaywalking, let alone rioting or rape--is, if need be, incarcerated, and deported with a lifetime immigration ban.  The sight of hordes of asylees who (1) illegally snuck into a country thousands of miles away from their home, (2) are lavished with munificent benefits paid for by the host country's taxpayers, (3) show overt disdain for the host state's citizenry and culture, and then (4) engage in rioting, sexual abuse or terrorist activities is enough to make anybody's blood boil.
The antecedent constitute the bare minimum necessary to save the Western civilization from not only civil war with the battalions of migrants and their descendants but also from the populism, jingoism, virulent nationalism, xenophobia, and bigotry that will inevitably arise betimes if such measures are not taken.  The measures above, and the sentiments behind them, may sound callous.  I personally do not blame the asylees for trying all kinds of tactics to make it to the West.  I know that if I had been born--through no fault of my own--in a part of the world where I knew I would never have any prospects for a better life regardless of whatever I did, I might well essay to go elsewhere by any means necessary.  I also do not blame the terrorists and other enemies of the civilized world for exploiting the refugee and other laws to form a fifth column in our midst and attack us.  As they say: All is fair in love and war.

I do, however, blame the Western governments for not patching up those laws and commissioning other methods of combating illegal immigration. 

Just as it is not the fault of a Honduran, Pakistani, Sudanese, Syrian or Senegalese that they were born where they were, neither is it ours.  Nor is it our fault that we happen to live in much nicer and all-around better places.  Life is unfair and just because not everyone can partake in the quality of life and other privileges we in the West have does not mean we, too, should be stripped of them by allowing ourselves to be swamped by millions of people who share neither our demographics nor--far more importantly--psychographics.
 
©2017 Michael L.S.

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