The headlines have been full of reports of the ship lost at sea off the coast of Libya, filled with as many as 900 people seeking to reach Europe. Nearly all are feared drowned.
It turns out that this is just a sample of thousands of refugees who have set out to cross the Mediterranean in the past year alone. Some have been rescued, mainly by the Italian navy, most have been lost at sea.
The migrants come from as far away as Syria, now wracked by a civil war abetted by the United States and the Saudis, who aim to overthrow the dictator Assad. The great majority though are from The Camp of the Saints Best Price: $19.95 Buy New $78.00 (as of 07:40 EST - Details) northern and sub-Saharan Africa. They congregate in Libya, which has become scene of complete lawlessness and a haven for rings of human traffickers who exploit the desperate migrants.
Although no one has cared to mention it so far, this is a perfect example of blowback.
Until 2011, Libya was ruled by the erratic strongman, Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi displeased the western powers, principally Britain, France, and the United States. They supported anti-Gaddafi rebels, going so far as to bomb and devastate his forces. In October, he was captured and executed.
The US Secretary of State at the time, Hillary Clinton, has had an interview taped, available online, where she happily laughs, “We came, we saw, he died.”
The downfall of Gaddafi’s tight authoritarian regime was the necessary condition for the massive refugee crisis we see today.
For many of us, this crisis will bring to mind the book of the French writer, Jean Raspail, The Camp of the Saints. It was published in 1973, the first edition in English appeared two years later. All Against the State: An ... Best Price: $5.02 Buy New $5.52 (as of 11:35 EST - Details) the Great and the Good savaged it as hateful, xenophobic, and foolishly paranoid. As you know, our own Charles Burris has stated, “It is unquestionably the most powerful novel I have ever read.”
Raspail was a prominent figure in French literary circles, a contrarian in that milieu, who proudly proclaimed himself “a man of the right.” What he elegantly describes in his demographic dystopia is the end of the West.
A huge flotilla is approaching the French Mediterranean coast, with a million of the huddled masses from the slums of Calcutta, seeking a better life for themselves in the affluent West. Half-hearted attempts to block their passage are denounced by the Great and the Good as unchristian, sheer hateful racism.
The flotilla lands, and in the novel’s central metaphor, the Ganges comes to Provence.
Provence, a land so pleasant and attractive that the Romans, who covered it with villas and towns, roads and aqueducts, called it simply the Province.
The current inheritors of this ancient terrain are abashed, guilt-ridden over their affluence. The envious invaders, on the other hand, are adamant and single-minded. Aided by a fifth column, the Great Wars and Great L... Best Price: $10.30 Buy New $14.00 (as of 09:05 EDT - Details) multitude of Third-Worlders already present as servants and laborers, they take over the homes and estates of the French, who flounder and retreat before them.
Now the floodgates open, and masses of the underprivileged and oppressed stream into France and then across western Europe. The Europeans are psychologically defenseless. Their priests and pastors, their elite academics and media spokesmen, all the Great and the Good have convinced them. They know themselves to be guilty of centuries of ruthless imperialism and racist oppression, of having wreaked death and destruction throughout the world. The white race is indeed, what Susan Sontag called it: “the cancer of humanity.”
The last holdouts are the Swiss. But threatened by The International Community, Switzerland finally surrenders and opens its borders.
Radio Luxembourg plays Mozart until it, too, like every other independent voice, is forced to close down.
A very sad and depressing book. But some say a very prescient book as well.