Thursday, 3 September 2015

The summer of our incontinence

Virtually every news outlet on this continent has had the same picture of a dead Syrian child beached upon the tourist sands of would-be Europe. A local outlet poses the question, "If this doesn't get us to act, what will?" An American version remarks on the failure of Europe to have a unified policy.

It makes perfect sense that this poor kid came from where he did. War creates refugees. More war creates more.

You cannot insist that a war against an enemy abroad is critical for peace & security at home and at the same time say that you have nothing to worry about when you accept hundreds of refugees from that very war zone every day. If either of these two messages taken alone is irrational, combined they are incomprehensible when it's maintained that there is a constant insidious threat from those who would slip through the fingers of state security and do untold harm to its citizens. Basically, the absurd unstated whole is: We are flooding our continent with terrorists.

Make no mistake. People are being asked by the same ruling governments throughout Europe and the US to accept the implications of all three messages simultaneously. Recapping, they are:

1)  Terrorists want to infiltrate your country and kill you.
2)  The war on terror is necessary to your way of life.
3)  This summer's taking in of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers is a challenge, but those who say it is anything else are scare mongers.

If such consensus is plausible, the dissension it breeds is even more so.

There are a couple of necessary distinctions: To the extent that is has, Europe bears the brunt of this immigration, but it also has established parliamentary parties who, quite rationally, accept the increased immigration and reject the war on terror.

In the US, on the other hand, of the two parties firmly rooted to the exclusion of everyone else, the governing party from the president & his current and former state secretaries to deviant-candidate Bernie Sanders ask you to believe all three, while the opposition — most notoriously mocked for being know-nothing reactionaries — displays a consistency of reactionary belief: They publicly reject a lenient immigration policy. You can bet if you replaced the numbers of Mexicans with Syrians or Kurds seeking asylum, they'd reject them outright.

So who is rational?

Apparently, when you consistently aggregate & feed these three messages, not only can you expect a stronger irrational response to them, you can count on it.