How Dare We?


How dare we in Europe wrangle endlessly over
taking in desperate migrants fleeing the bombs and disintegration of their own
societies? Societies, I might add that have been made chaotic largely by
Western interventions.

How dare we dither and discuss and speculate from
the safety of our well-fed capitols of political ignorance while they (who have
not lost their lives getting here) pile up in concentration camps, ignored and sullenly
tolerated? Have we forgotten so soon our own bleak history of social and
military injustice?
As a sort of
disclaimer, I admit to being American but I have lived in Prague for some 22
years and take that as license to say we
when discussing Europe. Beyond that, I have resided here and there for all or parts
of nine decades and perhaps have a sense of history beyond that of the currently
memory deprived.

Back to
America for a moment (back to the future?). 
The United States is arguably the greatest power in the world, although
it often uses that power foolishly. But it is a young country by European
standards, so I trust you’ll give it the same break we allow our restless
teenagers.
Yet it became that
great power by its willingness to accept immigrants, largely from Europe. We
took in the misfits of the world and allowed
them to prosper. And prosper they did, often over generations living at the low
end of society and America prospered as well. Any biologist knows that
cross-pollinating succeeds and protected species decline. Europe badly needs cross-pollination
for both economic and social purposes.
In that spirit,
America saved a destroyed Europe by its Marshall Plan, the first time in the
history of warfare that a victor rebuilt the vanquished. Offered to the Soviet
states as well, Stalin declined and we all know how well that turned out.
So here
stands Europe (and America) in 2015, declining those who flee the death and
destruction almost entirely the result of failed Western diplomacy and
war-making. How dare we?
It’s
politically impossible we claim, while looking furtively away from a disaster
of our making. Horsefeathers! It’s an
abrogation of duty. 
Three things are said to be essential to human happiness
and welfare: something to do, something
to love and something to hope for
. Europe and America are currently denying
all three to these devastated human partners
from the Middle East and Africa.
We are all partners on this wounded planet, as
anyone who has travelled widely will confirm. Look into the eyes of these
children and their suffering parents and explain to me and yourselves just what
is to be done while we talk foolishly of ‘solving’ Syria and ISIS. This is here and this is now.
The European Union is
home to just over 500 million citizens. If it should choose to take in five million migrants that number would simply
amount to one percent. Could one percent possibly sink the European boat? Look
each migrant and his or her child in the eye and make that case—they know about sinking boats.
(Guardian UK) The
prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have
rejected any quota system for accepting migrants. The four EU leaders said the
bloc’s approach should include “preserving the voluntary nature of EU
solidarity measures.”
Essentially, the
Czech Republic ‘volunteers’ to take near to none. How dare we? Meanwhile, Czech doctors, lawyers, IT specialists and
university graduates are migrating out
of the Czech Republic and if you ask them why, the answer is ‘for a better
life.’
Migrating
out for something to do, something to
love, something to hope for—it’s a universal call. Yet from the comfort of our
humblest homes, from the warmth and solace of family we take to the streets to
abuse those who have nothing to do,
nothing left to love and nothing to hope for
.
Look at
your own history and that of Europe. Look into your children’s eyes and ask
yourself how dare we?

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