Watching live footage of the “refugees” arriving in Munich, it is difficult not to be struck by how non refugee-like they look. Many are well shod in expensive-looking western sneakers, wearing Adidas and other western name-brand clothing, fingering their smart phones. Mostly men of, as they say, fighting age. What few women we do see appear mostly fashionably dressed with healthy and happy looking babies.
It is de rigueur at the moment to express unconditional sympathy for those currently streaming in to Europe from, we are told, mostly Syria, to the point where it is probably risky to even entertain questions about the “rest of the story.” Indeed, I have been among the first to write sympathetically about their plight and to lay the blame on the disastrous US-and-allies foreign policy of regime change. But it is hard to avoid this strange feeling that on many fronts this story is not exactly as it is being covered in the western mainstream media.
When one thinks of desperate refugees seeking a safe exit from a war zone, pictures like this and this and this generally come to mind. This is not to say that those landing in Germany are not legitimately fleeing a disaster area, but only that there is something that seems odd about the whole thing. But of course to suggest such is to tip-toe into the dangerous waters of “conspiracy.” Nevertheless, let’s delve into several of the narratives…
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is risking a shoulder injury so vigorously is she patting herself on the back over accepting limitless numbers of these people. As quoted in the NY Times:
Merkel told the Funke consortium of newspapers that ‘the right to political asylum has no limits on the number of asylum seekers.’
‘As a strong, economically healthy country we have the strength to do what is necessary’ and ensure that every asylum seeker gets a fair hearing, she was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile the Hungarian government is being relentlessly demonized for initially refusing to allow the thousands who landed in Budapest to immediately continue on to Austria and Germany — even though Hungary held up transportation at the insistence of the same German government that is now singing its own praises over its about-face decision to begin accepting them! According to EU law, the first EU landing country is responsible for registering the migrants and is forbidden from allowing them transit without proper authorization.
Of course you would never know this if you relied on mainstream media reporting for information. As this particularly vituperative and mendacious Associated Press article mis-reports:
Hungary’s nationalist government had spent most of the week trying to force migrants to report to government-run refugee centers, but thousands refused and demanded free passage chiefly to Germany.
Nowhere did these “reporters” bother to mention that Hungary was following German and Austrian demands as well as EU law. The story line was to demonize Hungary for “mishandling” the crisis and to sing the praises of Germany and Austria for welcoming the migrants:
In Berlin, German officials said they felt it was necessary to take responsibility given Hungary’s apparent inability to manage the challenge.
Hungary has long been in the US and EU crosshairs over its prime minister Viktor Orban’s lack of enthusiasm over ever-increasing western sanctions on Russia and willingness to participate in Russia’s South Stream oil pipeline project. The severe black eye Orban is suffering in the western media over Hungary’s handling of the refugee crisis could spill over into domestic agitation for a change of government. Already the political opposition is organizing protests against the Orban government over its handling of the crisis.
This should serve as yet another lesson to Hungary of what happens when it follows the dictates of Berlin and Brussels. Imagine the humiliation felt by elected Prime Minister Viktor Orban when the unelected president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced his arrival at the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga, Latvia this year by laughing that “the dictator is coming.” Juncker then raised a hand in what almost looked like a Nazi salute, said “hello dictator” to Orban, and slapped him in the face in front of all the other EU leaders. Humiliation.
One might have thought 40 years of following the dictates of Moscow would have instilled a bit more independent spirit into the Hungarian political class.
Meanwhile, well-dressed “refugees” are pouring into a Germany no-doubt still struggling with the burden of its history and all-too-eager to come out of a summer of crises and scandals (Greece, etc.) smelling like a rose. The media line is set and is not to be challenged: poor refugees poured into Europe because the west failed to “do something” about Syria, evil Hungary prevented them from escaping to the good life in Austria and Germany, and, finally, Austria and Germany in their great magnanimity opened their doors and pocketbooks to rescue humanity.
Prediction: The anti-Assad narrative will increase as the media blames him for the refugee crisis (even though most were actually fleeing ISIS) and without outside interference (à la Russian efforts to forestall US and UK bombs in 2013), we may well soon see a direct western military intervention in Syria. But that may be too much conspiracy for those limited to reading Associated Press and NY Times coverage…6:05 pm on September 5, 2015