It is with deep sadness I witness what is taking place in Europe today. I have a connection to the Continent since I spent my army time stationed in Germany (1966-1968) as well as five years in Milan, Italy (1982-1987). I have deep affection for both countries, especially Germany where I return time and time again principally to the town where I was stationed (Erlangen). I wrote a book on the history of Erlangen which enabled me to make many friends there, academics with the university, archivists, historians, and local politicians.
I hate to see what is happening in Germany, Italy and most of the rest of Europe. To be sure, Europeans share in the blame. To be blunt, they did not go about immigration in the right way. First, they needed manual labor. In the 1960s, I was able to see the Italian workers in Germany. If anything, they were the most successful. Today, many of them have become entrepreneurs. It is not an exaggeration to say that in many towns, there are more Italian restaurants than German.
Then came the Turks. They came in droves to Germany, and to be sure, they faced discrimination. Decades ago, a German writer with a swarthy complexion posed as a Turk and worked as a laborer. He wrote a book called, "Ganz Unten" (At the very bottom) about how badly he was treated by Germans around him. Many Turks still remain in Germany and many have set down roots, but it hasn't been easy. They also had to tend with the minority who were involved in drug trafficking.
But all that was nothing compared to what is happening in Europe today. Countries decided they not only needed labor, but more diversity and sheer numbers of people who would work to support their aging populations. Europeans tend not to produce enough offspring to keep themselves going. Thus, they needed more people. The problem is that they forgot about the idea of assimilation. They proceeded to import people largely from Muslim nations in the Middle East and North Africa, who were not willing to assimilate and adopt the liberal, egalitarian values that the Europeans professed especially when they conflicted with Islamic teaching. Thus, countries like Sweden, Holland, Norway, France, the UK, and Germany found themselves with an unassimilated population living in ghettos, which were dangerous to enter. Riots and crime became common. Sweden has become the rape capital of Europe. And now we have the specter of ISIS, which has attracted many European-based Muslims who go back and forth bringing terror to their own nations-witness France and Belgium in particular. Meanwhile Jews living in European cities cannot walk the streets wearing Jewish garb lest they be assaulted, insulted, or spit on-not by Europeans, but by Muslim immigrants. For Jews in Europe, it is the 1930s again. They are emigrating in droves.
In the UK, the demands of the aggressive Muslims, led (up to his recent imprisonment) by Angem Choudary, have the British government cowering as they demand sharia law and have set up sharia compliance patrols near mosques.
Now, with the wars raging in Syria and Iraq, we have refugees and those posing as refugees. They are flooding Europe, as well as the migrants coming from Africa fleeing poverty and looking for a comfortable welfare state in Europe to support them. Indeed, many if not the overwhelming majority of the "refugees" are young, military-age men unaccompanied with any wives or children ("widows and orphans" as President Obama likes to call them). In Italy, Muslim worshipers create makeshift mosques that spill out onto the streets with overflow worshipers blocking pedestrians and businesses as they do their prayers. In Milan, residents have seen the basements of their apartment buildings turned into make shift mosques with worshipers coming at all hours to pray.
Put all that together and what you have is a perfect storm raging in Europe. France is dealing with rioting migrants living in tent cities first in Calais, now in the heart of Paris, terror from ISIS, and violence all around. Germany is flooded with migrants, and sexual assaults are through the roof. Just this week, Germany is grappling with the rape and murder of a young girl, Maria Ladenburger, in Freiburg. The alleged killer is a 17-year-old Afghan who arrived unaccompanied. Coincidentally, the victim's father is a high-ranking EU official, and Maria and her family had been active in helping refugees in Freiburg.
Europeans are outraged, but their political leaders will not listen to them. Those who speak out face the possibility of being prosecuted, fined or imprisoned for engaging in "hate speech." Dutch politician Geert Wilders, arguably the most courageous man in Europe, is once again being prosecuted for hate speech and will probably face a fine of 5,000 Euros for speaking the truth. In Austria, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf was prosecuted and fined for similar speech. Nevertheless people are organizing and demanding that their governments stop the inflow and take measures to protect them from the out-of-control crime and threat of terrorism. The most notable group is PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer gegen die islamizierung des Abendlandes or Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West), originally formed in Dresden,Germany with branches now spreading to other countries. Naturally, they are branded as racists and neo-Nazis by the political elite and leftists.
What is particularly outrageous is the unwillingness of the political class and the police to crack down on the miscreants. They are afraid of being called racists, and hate speech laws in Europe are strong. (There is no such thing as the First Amendment in Europe.) Germany especially is ever-mindful of its past, and is very reluctant to take any police measure that would bring back accusations of acting like Nazis. Chancellor Angela Merkel, in particular, has taken the lead on admitting refugees and migrants. She has been tone deaf to the protests against what can only be termed an insane immigration policy.
Many feel that Europe is lost and will become majority Muslim sometime in the mid-21st century. If the demographic current trends and policies continue, I agree. What can stop it?
For one thing, Europe still has elections. If the voters are angry enough - and I think they are - political change may be coming. Most of the Western European countries have rising conservative parties that want to stop the immigration flood. France has just had a primary election which resulted in the center-right Republicans' choice of Francois Fillon, who will challenge Marine Le Pen next year for president. Fillon is considered a liberal, but has been speaking very strongly about Islamism and the threat it poses. The current president, Francois Hollande, announced he will not run again. (I wouldn't either if my approval rating was 4%.)
In Germany, Merkel is running for re-election next year. I cannot imagine she would be successful.
In the Netherlands, Wilders' Vrijheid ("Freedom" Party) is very strong and could rise to power next year. God grant that Wilders would become prime minister of the Netherlands. In the UK, Nigel Farage's UKIP party is also quite strong. Need I mention Brexit, which Farage championed? Even in ultra-liberal Sweden, you have the rising Sweden Democrats under Jimmie Åkesson, a charismatic young leader still in his 30s.
The future of the EU is in doubt with Brexit, the possibility of a Le Pen government in France, and this week's resignation of Matteo Renzi in Italy following the failure of his referendum to cut down the size of the Italian parliament.
Another good sign is that the Eastern European nations are showing more common sense. They don't want the mass inflow of people and they say so.
So if rightist parties in Europe can sweep out Merkel and the rest, will all this madness stop? Will all these hundreds of thousands of migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, and future jihadists be sent packing? It will be a massive undertaking. Here in the US, we are talking about whether Donald Trump can really deport 11 million illegal aliens - and most of them are simply working. But if Europe wants to preserve its civilization not to mention its security, safety and freedoms, they must remove as many as they can - certainly the ones who are up to no good or who simply want to come and live off welfare. If that fails, the only thing that would stop this invasion is World War III.