Refugees, Immigrants, and Invaders: Drawing the Boundaries


Every good person wants to show compassion for victims of brutality… and manipulative people know that about good people.

My time constraints have lately been severe—but I am about to choke intellectually on the recent abuse of the word “refugee”.  I might add “spiritually”, too, for Pope Francis seems to have piled plenty of soggy, smoke-producing timber on this dull fire.  Pardon me, then, if I attempt to clear a narrow way through the suffocating fumes.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Flight to Arras was translated into English and published in the United States before the French version had time to appear: that had been the plan from the start.  (Amusingly, the latter sold for months before the Nazis and the Vichy Regime got around to banning it.)  The book’s main intent, after all, was to convince Americans that France’s drôle de guerre wasn’t really a laughing matter, and that freedom-loving Frenchmen had done their level best to resist the Blitzkrieg machine’s lethal efficiency.  Part of the reason that French forces crumpled like paper was refugeeism.  As a reconnaissance pilot, Saint-Ex had a spectacular view of the countryside’s roads.  They were virtually all impassible: refugees could not be dissuaded from the futile gesture of attempting to flee the German advance.  Many starved or otherwise perished in a nightmarish traffic-jam of carts and wagons.  They would have been far better advised to sit at home and watch Panzers roll through their streets, terrifying yet not immediately deadly.  As it was, the outnumbered and under-equipped French army could not even move from A to B in the congestion.  The intelligence that Saint-Exupéry brought back after severe personal risk was inevitably useless by the time it trickled through to an ever-shifting headquarters.

That’s the face of true refugeeism: panicking mothers and grandparents trying to get their babies and a few prized possessions out of harm’s way until the danger passes while the men rush off to fight.  The refugee wants first of all to preserve her children—which requires keeping herself alive, of course—and second of all to return home as soon as possible.  Refugees are families on a forced vacation with one suitcase and no food.

Now, some of the Syrian refugees no doubt satisfy this description.  A great many do not.  I offer the following observations collected over the past month:

1) Hungarian police were reporting two weeks ago that half of the intruders they had arrested for trying to tear down border barricades were from Afghanistan.  That means that the “poor souls” in question had crossed a distance roughly comparable to the continental United States, and had obviously not done so on foot but rather thanks to costly transport bankrolled by… by some party interested in filling Europe with Afghans.

2) German sources report that the percentage of males among refugees between the ages of 16 and 30 has persistently hovered at close to 80 percent.  That means that the composition of this human deluge contains remarkably few women of childbearing age and hence, one must suppose, few intact families.

3) Photos of refugees posted on Internet news sites are often cropped, if not completely staged, for maximal pathos; but the rare few (or not so rare, if you bypass formal press material) that are blunt snapshots of reality confirm my second observation. Most show a high density of young, able-bodied males among the new arrivals.  Easily visible, as well, are young people with smartphones, and almost all of the “exiles” are quite well clothed.  Some are reported to turn away food which fails to satisfy their ethnic requirements.

4) Petty thefts, assaults, and rapes are skyrocketing wherever the “homeless waifs” betake themselves.

5) Naturally, one must look to Internet voices like German blogger Peter Helmes for such information as supports Observation 4.  Mainstream outlets are suspiciously replete with condemnations of rechtsextremist critics (the German MSM never refer to the Right without appending “extremist” to the same word) and with fulsome stories about a dutiful haute bourgeoisie gathering at train stations to greet the new guests.  Yet even the EU’s most propagandistic outlets cannot produce wide-angle photographs that belie the glaring prominence of young males among the invading mass.

Based upon these observations and the distant testimony of Saint-Exupéry, I volunteer a couple of remarks.  First, true refugees eventually go home—and the sooner the better, as far as they are concerned.  They have no desire to start a new life. They want their old life back as soon as it may be safely reclaimed.

Second, if refugees do not intend to return home (as is clearly the case when some of them travel thousands of miles), they become immigrants.  To a brief visitor fallen upon hard times, I may seek to adjust my family’s schedule and its dining habits.  To a permanent lodger who moves in on me unsolicited, I will lay down the rules of my household and expect to see them obeyed.  A young man, in particular, who chooses to forsake his land rather than to stand and fight for it must plainly not hold its customs and manners in high esteem.  Having intruding into my homeland, he must therefore assume the obligation of learning my customs and manners.  I recognize absolutely no duty whatever to clear a space for his ways—ways which he himself has already disparaged by abandoning when they desperately needed his defense.  If you love your country when it is under assault, then you flee beyond its borders only to regroup and plan a counter-attack, as Saint-Exupéry did when he chose exile in New York (and eventually returned to die on a mission scarcely over half a year before the Third Reich’s surrender).  If you expect to remain in my house, then you must abide by the rules of my house. If you love your forsaken house too much to respect mine, then go back and fight for your old house.

Need I add that these “Syrian refugees” show every intention of remaining in Europe—and, soon to come, America—while showing no intention of modifying their thoroughly non-Western religious and cultural beliefs?  They will not be assimilated.  Few have any desire to be assimilated.  On the contrary, there is good reason to suppose that the young men among them—certainly those from Afghanistan—have been sent on a mission of disruption and conquest.

My own religious faith does not compel me to look to Pope Francis for guidance, fortunately (though I was never reluctant to look to John Paul II in such a way).  To him and to all too many Protestant ministers cut from the same cloth, I would protest that the individual soul is saved or lost on the basis of its individual determinations.  Acts of mass charity are well suited to grandstanding, since they allow the thrilled participant to enjoy the very highest opinion of himself without exposing his own refrigerator to being raided.  The notion of collective responsibility, however, seems magically to evaporate when our exhibitionist saint (whatever his church) is confronted with the little girls whom the objects of his charity have raped, or with the sullen social parasites that his silken safety net has enabled, or with the civil unrest that his community’s forced dose of Stone Age intruders has stirred up.  Until one of the underprivileged kids you volunteered to help has kicked in your back door and walked off with a few grand’s worth of your stuff, maybe you should tread a little lightly in the matter of being society’s conscience.

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