We Did Not Cause the Refugee Misery

The following op-ed by Henryk Broder about the immigration crisis in Europe was originally published in Die Welt. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

We Did Not Cause the Refugee Misery

by Henryk Broder

The problem of refugees should be solved where it originates — in accordance with the principle of who caused it — and with the aid of organizations responsible for “Islamic solidarity.”

Recently, the actor Benno Fürmann was a guest on “aspects” — the cultural magazine show on ZDF (German Television II). Not to promote a new film or a new book, but to report on his trip to the island of Lampedusa, whither he had traveled to put a face on an action by Amnesty International. His face.

Fürmann was not pleased by the reporting about the people “who are chipping away at our status quo.” He does not see “this humanism we talk so much about and do so little for.” Lebanon has taken in one million Syrians; and all of Europe just 140,000. These numbers are out of proportion to the fear that is being “stirred up” against the refugees. This, he said, cannot go on. “As Germans and Europeans, we are to blame.”

Then, in a video clip, the internal European statistics are given. “In Sweden, 1,960 refugees per 1 million residents are taken. In Germany, 470 per 1 million residents.” That was what Benno Fürmann meant when he spoke of “lack of support.” “What we are doing is not good enough, considering how well off we are right now and what we are capable of doing.”

According to estimates by the UN refugee aid organizations, the civil war in Syria alone has “forced almost ten million Syrians to flee.” In a population of 21 million, that means that almost every second Syrian has had to flee from the violence committed by one side or the other. Three million are living/camping in neighboring countries — in Turkey, in Lebanon, in Jordan and in Iraq. Approximately seven million of them are wandering around in their own country. It is a once-in-a-century catastrophe — a genocide.

The “Peaceful Solution” Was Not a Good Idea

How many of these people should “we” take in so as not to be guilty of “lacking in support” as Benno Fürmann puts it? A million? Two million? How about all of them? What would be appropriate and sufficient, measured on the scale of how well off we are and what we are capable of doing?

Genocide is not a natural event with deadly consequences — not an earthquake, not a volcanic eruption, not some accident where a ship collides with an iceberg. It is a drama in several acts with an announcement and a prelude. Should the, let us say, “performance” be interrupted in time, there would be neither a bloody crescendo on the battlefield nor an epilogue in refugee camps.

Seen that way: Over three years ago, when the civil war began, “we” — Germany, Europe, NATO, the USA, the UN — had the choice to intervene or observe. And “we” decided to wait and watch, out of fear that an intervention would set off a “spiral of violence” and lead to a “firestorm.” President Obama talked about “red lines,” which he instantly forgot. The spiral of violence began and now we have the “firestorm,” which has left us aghast. How could it come to this?

The advocates of a “peaceful solution” are dumbstruck. More and more moralists are being heard from, who say we are guilty “as Germans and Europeans.” Unfortunately, they neglect to say guilty of what and in regard to whom. Even if it is possible, with a strain, to make the case that without the Holocaust carried out against the Jews, Israel would not have been founded, and therefore “we” are somehow complicit in the fate of the Palestinians (“victims of the victims”), there is no justification at all for assigning us guilt for the Syrian civil war.

Likewise in Iraq, where Shi’ites and Sunnis are maintaining a thousand- year tradition by fighting each other. The fact that several hundred German citizens have joined the army of the Islamic State could possibly justify a minimal attribution of guilt. All there is, is a general duty to help people in trouble, as the captain of a ship is obliged to take shipwreck survivors on board, to drop them off at the next harbor.

In dealing with the victims of wars in Iraq and Syria, the principle should be: You break it, you fix it. Unless, that is, you make “colonialism” and “arbitrary borders” responsible for all the ills of the world and fantasize that, without colonialism, heavenly conditions would prevail in Africa and the Middle East.

At some point, societies as well as individuals will mature and be responsible for their own actions. Especially if they have declared themselves states, elevated “sovereignty” as a principle, and have a seat in the UN, in the WHO and in the Universal Postal Union.

Naturally the law of causality is more difficult to enforce on the international stage than in the law governing corporations and other associations. But there are organizations that would be in a position to intervene if one of their members could not cope with a situation.

What is the Arab League Doing?

For example, The Arab League, founded in Cairo in 1945. Twenty-one African and Asian nations belong to it, including Syria and Iraq. Among the tasks of The Arab League is “Furtherance of the relationships of members in the political, cultural, social and economic areas,” which can certainly be interpreted as an obligation to help in emergencies.

Then there is the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), previously the Organization of the Islamic Conference, an amalgamation of 56 states “in which Islam is the state religion, the religion of the majority of the population or the religion of a large minority.” It was founded in 1969 in Rabat, Morocco. The original concern of the Organization of the Islamic Conference was freeing Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque from the Israeli occupation. Its platform was expanded in 1972.

The foreign minister of the OIC issued a charter in which “Promotion of Islamic solidarity and political, economic, social, cultural and scientific cooperation among member states” was named the top goal. Further, the intent was to support Muslims in their efforts to achieve “dignity, independence and national rights.”

In 1969, the “Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam” was agreed upon, which deviated in one essential point from the UN’s “General Declaration of Human Rights” of 1948: Sharia would be the basis for interpreting human rights. And human rights in general were thus relativized.

It is difficult to judge what The Arab League and the OIC are accomplishing today. It looks as if they are holding pompous conferences and calling for resistance against the rampant Islamophobia in Europe.

So it is that much more incomprehensible that they should encourage victims of the wars in Syria and Iraq in their dangerous flight to an Islamophobic Europe, instead of taking them in themselves. Even if they are not able to put together a pan-Arabic army to pacify Syria and Iraq, they should at least take the lead in the acceptance and integration of the refugees. It would be a tailor-made task for the countries of The Arab League and the OIC. Thus far, only Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan have been prepared to do that.

This kind of temporary solution would be better for the refugees. It is more than doubtful whether they will ever be able to return to their homeland. Settling them in Europe would be risky — not just climatically and culturally — and would be beneficial only for the aid industry.

Europe is not managing its self-made problems. The euro is approaching its limits, economic production is decreasing, social tensions are increasing. Only two of the eighteen euro countries are still credit-rated “triple A” — Germany and Luxembourg. Even Finland, Holland and Austria were recently downgraded.

Anyone Can Make His Cottage Available

The only ones who spread any confidence are Brussels bureaucrats like Martin Schulz, who believes that the problem can be solved by a “reform of our immigration laws.” Aided by an “allocation formula” for regulating the acceptance of immigrants among the countries of the EU.

But we are dealing not with immigrants, but with refugees. And they know exactly where they want to go. Not Bulgaria, Poland or Romania…not even Greece or Portugal or Spain, but Germany and Sweden, and for good reasons, which have to do with social welfare legislation.

It is not necessary to be as extreme as Australia, attempting to scare off potential refugees by convincing them that they would not feel at home there. But we should think about urgently asking the Arab League and the OIC to take on the problem, to solve it regionally and permanently. Where it started.

Anyone who does not find that to be sufficient is free to offer his cottage in Bogenhausen or in the Grünewald to a refugee family. And guarantee that he won’t worry about them for the next ten years.


Photo 1:   A refugee camp for Syrian Kurds on the Turkish border
Photo 2:   United under a photo of the Kaaba in Mecca. A meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah in August

26 thoughts on “We Did Not Cause the Refugee Misery

  1. The author should understand that the ‘Christian white male’ is guilty until proven innocent, this is the ‘prime directive’ of the federation.

    Think of a new National Socialism but on a worldwide scale, but for Jews and Slavs, substitute the ‘Christian white male’ ( It is difficult to see the problem clearly when you ARE the problem, because YOU caused all the wars, and YOU stole all the resources….).

    So what will be the final solution to the ‘Christian white male’ problem? Well, we get the white male ‘Judenrat/papacy’ to collaborate by collating and assigning all white Christian males to economic ‘debt’ ghettos, we then bankrupt/liquidate each ghetto piecemeal, and in turn, replacing the ‘Christian white males’ with the more desirable brown or black pagan males.

    Problem solved, world peace reigns…..

    • MC-

      You are exactly correct about the Christian white male as the ultimate bogeyman.

      I expect that I, and my ilk will retain this status for the non-white, non-Christian world long after we pass from this Earth.

    • I think it was the “Internet Aristocrat” who said that “white males are the new ‘niggers’.”
      Completely agreed. Let’s just call this what it is: population replacement. Which is the only safe way to replace a Culture and destroy resistance – to ‘breed-out’ the resisters. A game that despots have always known how to play.

      • Unfortunately this is not common knowledge, as far as I can see, as History is no longer taught in schools!

    • …and elderly Anglo-Celtic white males are the worst offenders, 500 years of guilt is encoded in our DNA.

  2. The author talks of the West failing to stop this sectarian genocide in Syria when it started. Lets not forget how it started. Like the other Arab spring nations Obama et al were supporting “Freedom Fighters” against the current regime. Just like Morsi’s bunch in Egypt however the anti-Assad “Freedom Fighters” were devout sunni muslims. The West (particularly Obama) armed these lunatics leading to the situation we are in now.
    If the West wants peace in the Islamic world it needs to focus its attention on Saudi Arabia and Qatar – the root cause of violent, expansionist Islam – these are the nations behind the financing of sunni propagandising, demographic genocide of Western nations and terrorist activity – including 9/11.
    These nations are not our friends, they are merely playing a “clever”, long sighted war against us.

    • Let’s not forget the second rank of Sunni nations that fund the expansion of Islam.

      Algeria, which could be a fine nation if it’s elite weren’t stealing nearly all its wealth, can’t afford to put up a decent hospital. Heck, they’re even behind on the president’s hospital bills in Paris.

      However, they still seem able to fund the construction of a number of mosques in France with no issues. Funny that.

    • I’d say we will have to go back to Anno Domini 634-64 to find the root of the problem in Syria. That’s when the first mohammedans invaded Christian Syria.

      I think we can say that this early invasion laid the ground for today’s extended problems, in Syria and as a consequence, in Europe, and the rest of the civilized world.

  3. Whilst no reasonable person could disagree with the thrust of the author’s arguments that Germany and Europe are not responsible for the Syrian refugee issue and are under no moral obligation whatsoever to “do more” – I would argue “do anything” – his article inadvertently is misleading in several respects.

    Millions of displaced Syrians have quite understandably made their way to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan because these three countries share long and highly porous borders with Syria. They are not inviting them in out of the goodness of their hearts.

    “Even if they [the Arab League and the OIC] are not able to put together a pan-Arabic army to pacify Syria and Iraq, they should at least take the lead in the acceptance and integration of the refugees. It would be a tailor-made task for the countries of The Arab League and the OIC. Thus far, only Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan have been prepared to do that.”

    The last sentence conveys that Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are accepting and integrating Syrian refugees – in the case of the first two this is woefully incorrect.

    Whilst one in four people in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee, the Lebanese government has enacted a raft of measures to not only deter further border-crossers, but make life really difficult for those already there.

    ”The new policy, implemented this year, requires Syrians entering Lebanon to obtain visas — before they could come and go with ease — and the process for renewing residency permits for those already here is impassable [sic] for many, aid workers and Syrians warn. Unless they are sponsored by a company, Syrians now have to provide several documents, including a signed pledge not to work and a rental agreement from their landlord. Without these, they can be arrested and detained in prison for, refugees say, weeks at a time.”For the full article see:”New restrictions in Lebanon mean Syrian refugees live in fear” http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/17/us-mideast-crisis-lebanon-refugees-idUSKBN0N819Z20150417

    Lebanon is not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and has not allowed the United Nations to set up formal camps. It has not “accepted” the Syrian refugees. It has not established any refugee camps – refugees privately club together to lease land from farmers and make do as best they can. Lebanon has no intention of “integrating” Syrian refugees and after the 15 year civil war triggered in 1975 by the presence of a mere 400,000 PLO refugees forming a state within a state, who could blame them?

    As for Turkey, a recent report stated that the Turkish processing centres for Syrian refugees seeking asylum are resourced at such a level that given the numbers of such refugees in Turkey it will take until 2024 to process their applications. Does the Turkish government expect the million plus Syrian refugees to hang around for eight years to have their asylum applications processed? Of course not.

    The Turks no doubt fully expect and fervently hope that they will move on in the interim – move on to EU countries, first stop Bulgaria or Greece then onto Germany or Scandinavia. We can be certain that the Turks will not be making any special effort to stop Syrian refugees crossing the borders out of Turkey.

    As for Jordan, it will, quite understandably not being an oil-rich state, be looking to the Western world for massive aid funding until such time as the Syrian refugees are able to return.

  4. It looks like Die Welt is probably the only newspaper worth anything in Germany. Big thanks to Henryk and JLH. I found this article very helpful as it connects many dots (like many on GoV (: ) and also apart from pointing out problems provides proposed solutions.
    Slightly off topic: I was considering starting change org petition on asking UK gov or PM to deploy Gurkhas 2nd Batalion (or other able troop) from SE England to support 15(!) French policemen guarding fences in Calais but I’m not sure how to go about it (I have been involved with Counterjihad for 15 years in UK and Poland and don’t want to reveal my real name due to possible ‘brown shirts’ Antifa intimidation). If you want to contact me or help- please indicate the will to do so in your comment, perhaps The Barons can also help?

  5. I have two perspectives.

    One is that the US has indeed initiated or participated in actions resulting in the present crisis. We deposed Saddam Hussein in Iraq and more importantly, systematically destroyed the institutions of social control: the army, police, and government bureaucracy. We armed and supported rebels against the Syrian government, resulting in the Islamic State territorial gains. We sponsored the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya, throwing the country into anarchy and making it a center of weapons procurement for Islamic rebels and a jumping-off point for boat people headed for Europe. We tried to institute an Islamist government in Egypt, fortunately failing.

    Need I go on?

    The point is, Muslim societies in the Middle East have to have a strong dictatorship or aristocracy or monarchy to offset the horrors of Islamic rule. When the US heedlessly disrupts these mechanisms, it causes chaos.

    Does that mean we’re responsible for the refugees? It’s a moral question, but my reply is, we do not destroy ourselves expatiating our sins. We do not admit refugees into our countries, and we do not accept perpetual responsibility for supporting refugee camps whose inhabitants become progressively less fit for participation in any society whatsoever. Lebanon pretty much destroyed itself by generously admitting the “Palestinian” refugees who had been kicked out of Jordan.

    I’m afraid we live in a Darwinian world, and not everyone can be sheltered and saved. We can’t take back what we did, but we can certainly refrain from doing further harm in the future.

    The future of the Middle East seems to be mostly tribal enclaves now. I hope the US makes it a principle to not interfere unless US security is directly involved, as it most definitely is in the case of Iran developing nuclear weapons. If that issue is settled, we can allow Iran and Saudi Arabia, Shi’ite versus Sunni, to duke it out conventionally, and absorb each other’s energies in their deadly rivalry.

    • I certainly disagree with you on so many levels, RonaldB. First let me say that I am an Iranian ex-pat and I want to tell you my perspective on these issues as an outsider to Western culture:

      As I have observed, you, Westerners now for close to 20 year that I have lived amongst you, I have learned that you are a people that think you are responsible for all the things that go on in the world.

      You are obsessively solution oriented people, which means you think for any problem that we have in this world, there must be a solution and you implement various solutions to international problems that you see around you. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.

      You also are a highly responsible people and when even the slightest thing goes wrong you are very angry and indignant about it and you quickly want to find the one responsible for it and punish him. You quickly look for someone to sue.

      Being a guilt oriented culture (as oppose to shame and honour oriented) also you are very quick to take responsibility when you feel (real or imagined) that you did something wrong and quickly start to beat your chests in a public mea culpa and engage in a proverbial self-flagellation.

      All of the above make you incapable of understanding people from my neck of the woods and yours and our tendencies have made a really toxic combination on the world stage.

      Why? Because we in the Middle East are a very irresponsible and fatal lot. When things go wrong for us (as they often do) we never fuss over why they went wrong too much. We expect things to go wrong all the time as part of the natural process of things and when they do we don’t try to find the guilty party to sue him. Analysis and self reflection and making sure it will never happen again and stuff like that are highly alien activities to us.

      Unless of course what went wrong causes us shame and embarrassment, in which case we will do anything possible to deflect blame from ourselves, especially if we have a hunch that it actually was our fault. We will make a lot of noise, give lots of excuses and engage in a lot of blame shifting. We role up in fetal position and pretend that we are actually the prime victims of what went wrong, all the while knowing full well that we have caused the damn thing to go wrong ourselves!

      All of that dysfunctional behaviour is highly exacerbated if there is a willing person (or country or culture) who is gladly taking all the blame for our behaviour on himself and has the peculiar tendency to totally disregard our role in what went wrong.

      Now this toxic mix applies to the politics and wars in the Middle East and in the 3rd world in general in this following way:

      We in the Middle East have a problem for example we have a brutal dictator like Saddam.Then you see that we are suffering and people are being tortured in his prison and you wonder how you could help. Then Saddam invades Kuwait. You decide, enough is enough and attack and free Kuwait, but you decide not to go all the way in and remove Saddam. Then Saddam, angrier than ever lashes out even more at his own people and kills2 lots of dissidents and gases the Kurds.

      Now all of this becomes your fault, because you didn’t finish the job and didn’t remove Saddam. Then Saddam continues his bad behaviour and now he is even trying to develop WMDs. This time you say, enough is enough and you go in and remove him. You offer democracy and financial aid on a plater to the Iraqis. Now in post Saddam Iraq Shias and Sunnis start to fight and chaos starts to reign and no matter how much you try you cannot properly pacify the country. So now all of this chaos becomes your fault. Everybody says that you should not have intervened and removed Saddam because even though he was brutal, he was keeping everyone in line and preventing Shias and Sunnis from killing each other. So now what do you do? You say OK! Enough is enough, we leave and won’t intervene again because we just made a mess. So you pull out your troops, and now what? The Shia vs. Sunni fight exacerbates and even war and chaos spreads to the rest of the region. In Syria you decided not to intervene and now ISIS has taken over. So now you assume that the rise of ISIS was somehow your fault as well. But had you actually intervened and tried to put a regime that was a bit more manageable than ISIS, you would have been blaming yourself for having installed a puppet regime who would predictably torture everyone and make people miserable and want to leave their country. Damed if you do, damned if you don’t seems to be the destiny of any policy that you pursue in the 3rd World.

      People are still blaming the West for not having intervened in Rwanda in the 90s when 800 thousand people where killed, while simultaneously blaming the West for intervening in Iraq, Somalia and elsewhere.

      In all of these blame and regrets one thing is missing, assigning responsibility to the people of the 3rd world themselves, who are actually the primary causes of the chaos and mayhem in their own countries, as if we are passive objects that if you push the wrong button in us we will inevitably act in a certain way. West was NOT at fault for the genocide in Rwanda! The Rwandans were! West is not at fault for the chaos in the Middle East, we Middle Easterners are! We are the one’s who have a bloodlust and long to shed each other’s blood for silly reasons. Your “failure” to stop us from destroying ourselves IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!! We are a confusing and hard to deal with lot! Please get that!!!

      In dealing with us, people of the Middle East, you have had, and will have one long series of lose-lose options. There are no win-lose options! None! When dealing with irresponsible and bloodthirsty cultures you cannot have good outcomes, no matter how much you wreck your heads and try to come up with a policy that would work and bring peace and prosperity to us! It will not happen! We are the ones who have to change and do some self-reflection and soul-searching in order to maybe,… just maybe, learn to be a bit more civilised!

      Meanwhile, all that I ask of you is that, whether you decide to intervene or not in our affairs, keep your expectation of the outcome low, accept no responsibility for the outcome, put the blame for the negative outcome of what ever policy you pursued where it belongs (on us!) so that we won’t have the chance to save our face despite our countries being in an embarrassing mess, and feel like victims when we should be soul-searching, and for the sake of anything that you hold holy and dear, please don’t wreck your nice and orderly and civilised societies and advanced cultures, by taking millions of refugees, in order to save us from the mess thad has nothing to do with you and came about despite your best efforts, that we have caused with our own hands, and given half the chance, we will cause in your countries as well as soon as we settle down here, or even sooner!

      Thank you!

      • As my son says, “Ask a Muslim a Faustean question and you get a Magian reply.”

        Clever lad.

        • Did you mean to say: “Ask an EX-muslim a Faustean question and you get a Magian reply”? I have never received a moderately honest reply” from an “active” muslim, let alone a “magian” one 😉

      • ritamalik,

        Thank you very much for your long and detailed insight. I think you nailed it on the head. I’m very happy you wrote.

        I do have a couple of observations. I do indeed have the syndrome you described so well: I think that brutal as he was, Saddam would have kept the Sunni and Shi’ite gangs from killing off each other and the Christians. What you are saying is that even if that were true, we have to assign the primary guilt to the Sunni and Shi’ite gangs themselves, since they are the ones to carry out the barbaric acts.

        That is true enough, but I still think that while we should not discount your insights, the West can still learn from its actions, and following its own ethics, at least not make the situation worse. My example is that instead of completely destroying the Iraqi structures of social control after we deposed Hussein, we should have simply allowed another Ba’athist dictator to arise.

        But, your unique insight is that even if that were totally true, it is still the primary responsibility of the killers. We simply loosened the threat of horrible treatment by the dictator for engaging in sectarian murder.

        I agree with you totally that we should in no circumstance allow refugees from that area into the country, guilt or no guilt. Paradoxically, reading what you wrote makes me think that cutting off all immigration will lose us a great deal, as I think you are a great asset to whatever culture you’re in.

        I agree with almost everything you say: except I think it’s a moral obligation of our countries to put effort into avoiding doing harm to innocent, or even guilty people, when possible. This is for us; it’s not for you. It’s part of who we are.

        I am definitely interested in what you have to say.

        • Hi RonaldB,

          Thanks for you reply. I too agree that removing Saddam was a really bad idea. My point was not to deny the fact that Westerners (being totally unfamiliar with our mentality in the ME) often act like bulls in a china shop. But still to say that we implemented a bad or imperfect idea which didn’t work as expected (while of course didn’t have any way to know the outcome before hand), is different from saying: “Oh! It is our fault! We are guilty! We ruined their country and therefore we are responsible for the mess”

          Let me give you an illustration. You are a surgeon doctor. A patient with a serious cancer tumour in his body comes to you. After testing everything and studying as much as the medical science allows you at this point in time you decide to attempt a radical intervention and make a last ditch effort to save the patient’s life or improve his quality of life by performing a sensitive surgery on him.

          Now during this surgery you discover that the problem was much greater than you had realised, you try your very best to make the best of the operation, but the stage of the sickness has been so radically underestimated by what you could see from preliminary tests that now you realise that not only you cannot make the patient feel any better, but very likely he will be feeling even worse after the operation and he will probably even die soon.

          Now after having done this good-faith effort to help the patient only an ambulance-chaser would try to sue you for malpractice and blame you for what went wrong because of the negative outcome. It was not your fault that the cancer was so aggressive and the available medical technology was not able to estimate its aggressiveness correctly.

          Hindsight is always 20/20 and I must say even those people who were anti-war in 2003 for example were not opposing it for the right reasons. I have never heard any anti-war activists say that: “You know? Saddam is bad and a monster, but these Shiites and Sunnis have fought each other for 1400 years and he is keeping them in line, so if we intervene and remove him there will be chaos! Those savages deserve no better ruler than Saddam and maintaining a democracy is way beyond their capability!”

          No,no,no! The anti-war whining went something more like this: “US is an imperialist country who is trying to exploit the poor, peaceful Iraqis and steal their oil! The US is only going to war to enrich Halliburton and the Military Industrial Complex. Bush lies about WMDs, blah blah blah….”’

          So non of those fools have any reason now to say “We told you so!” because they never said Iraq would be chaos because of Iraqi barbarity, but they claimed that poor and peaceful Iraqis will be exploited for US greed. NOT the same thing at all!

          But of course as I said hindsight is 20/20 and these days everybody claims that he was against the Iraq war!

          Now… since you Westerners are incurably a solution oriented people I just tell you one good solution:

          Try to learn the mentality of our people thoroughly, when you try to intervene in our affairs, so that you don’t make so many naive miscalculations. Just like the medical professionals who try to improve the diagnostics technology so that when they do interventions they would do them more wisely and effectively and have a better chance at containing the problem.

          But as I said in my previous post, keep your expectations realistically low. Cancer is cancer after all! Don’t think that our problems can be totally solved, so that you would start to blame yourselves when they are not totally solved, but instead be content with manageable containment of the problems. And don’t act like ambulance-chasers towards yourselves when things don’t go as planned, and don’t self-immolate in order to save us from the mess that we created, whether in the form of constant interventionist costly wars, or leting in massive number of immigrants.

          • Good observation about the “anti-war” people. There are two problems I’ve seen with the people who claim to be anti-war:

            1) the core of the group is actually communist and only opposes war against communism or whoever it is they like. If communists or someone they like goes on the offensive then they are totally silent or they oppose stopping it.

            2) the rest of them fall for (again) the narcissistic notion that whether war takes place or not is totally determined only by their own country/bloc, their government can unilaterally declare peace, and there will never be any war! This group gets manipulated by the core.

            Since there is no simple rule for resolving all conflicts of interest, I don’t buy into the idea that anyone is really “just anti-war”. In reality, everyone is pro some ideology which could be excessively aggressive or excessively naive.

      • Yep, I have noticed the collective western narcissism which used to manifest itself as imperialism (“we are superior, so lets invade all these mismanaged areas as bring our superior order to those places”) and now tend to manifest as some sort of colonialist guilt which works like this:

        We are superior, all powerful, and everything revolves around us, so if there is a problem in the world then we are guilty because either:
        1) we didn’t do anything to stop it or
        2) we must have caused it ourselves

        This attitude is common at universities where every single conflict or problem anywhere is blamed on “colonialism”. In other words, white people must have caused all problems.

        About 2 years ago met a girl who was an “International Studies” major about to graduate She was from a wealthy family, and had even lived in different countries. I asked her why she majored in international studies. Did she want to work for the state department? No. She wanted to go negotiate peace between groups in Africa. She had been there to see the dead bodies. She started talking about some essay she had written and I mentioned: “you know, these sorts of conflicts have been going on there for thousands of years.” She immediately had nothing more to say, probably because this would involve a politically incorrect discussion about how every problem in Africa might not be caused by white people, but various cultural problems might be present there.

        I imagine that the people in Africa that she was talking about would be laughing their [nether regions] off at the idea of some white princess showing up to negotiate peace. I mean, what does some white girl have to do with anything? Then if she did show up they’d be thinking this person has nothing to do with this, but maybe we can exploit this situation somehow to better achieve our objectives, crush our enemies, etc. With no structural-functional understanding of what was going on, her Marxist conflict theory beliefs would just be exploited by people who didn’t buy into such ideas except as something else to exploit.

        Anyway, the psychology of this person, after sufficient indoctrination, was probably something like:
        1) I’m white and wealthy
        2) everything happens because of white wealthy people
        3) therefore everything is my fault
        4) therefore I should fix it and go negotiate peace in Africa

        This narcissistic causality belief is typical of very young children, but westerners seem to have embraced it at a cultural level. Whether the idea is one of conquering the world or saving it, both are based on the narcissistic notion that the whole world is somehow the responsibility of white people.

        The other thing that is going on is that major powers like the U.S., China, and Russia are fighting it out with each other. So if some sort of action is desired somewhere in order to combat Russian influence, it becomes easy to use “we need to save the people of X!” as a casus belli that the average western citizen will accept. People in smaller countries are always ending up stuck in a conflict between major powers who either don’t know what they’re doing, don’t care, or both aside from how it affects the other major power.

        • Very well said! The notion of “The White Man’s Burden” is quite alive and kicking! And it is so true that it is a narcissistic notion. The Westerners feel a little bit too self-important and paternalistic.

          Back in the colonialists’ days they felt like parents to the 3rd World just as they do today. The only difference is that back then they used the uptight, heavy-handed, ultra-disciplinarian Victorian parenting methods on us, but now in the modern day they use “attachment parenting” and “self-esteem boosting” methods of child raring and they never ever spank! And they act like possessive and smothering parents of today, who don’t want to let their children grow up and face the world and be independent because the parents themselves have become emotionally too attached to them!

          And of course when we turn out spoiled rotten and act up and throw tantrums they blame themselves for having been bad parents for not having given us enough attention, or toys, or something else!

          I so wish Westerners would stop thinking that we are somehow their children and their responsibility, but would GENUINELY treat us as equals, not only by respecting us, but also by assigning to us the due responsibilities that a genuinely equal and well respected partner is expected to shoulder!

          If they do that there is a slight chance that we might grow out of our infantility! Otherwise there is absolutely no hope! Dear Westerners, Thanks for your concern, but PLEASE LET US GROW UP!!!

      • I think many of us already know everything you’ve said but don’t say it for fear of being call politically incorrect. Thanks, though.

    • i disagree Ronald. i have no say or control over what My government does, therefore i have no guilt or responsibilty for these refugees. send them all back.

  6. “Lebanon has taken in one million Syrians…”

    What he forgot to mention is that Lebanon (like Turkey) is part of the problem. The libanese Hisbollah has its fighters in Syria and is taking sides with Assad, just like Turkey was or still is helping the IS.
    So its just fair that they also take the refugees they did help to produce.
    And dont forget, its the international community (ie. the West) that also pays for these refugees there, and of course they wont get much of social wellfare, in contrast to what they get in European countries – so its not that much of a financial burden for Turkey or Lebanon.
    And those refugees are from the same cultural Background, often speak the same language (in contrast to Europe).
    Besides, how many refugees have found shelter in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, VAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi) etc.pp. All these countries also share almost the same culture, language and religion. All these countries are rich, have enough jobs to offer, and have enough space – and all these countries are involved in one way or the other in Syria and Iraq.

  7. Thank you for your insights ritamalik. I am glad I do not have the white guilt syndrome.

  8. Up front I want to say that I always read JLH’s translations and that I greatly appreciate that he brings German viewpoints and articles to English-speaking readers.

    That being said I have a few comments to the translation and also to the content of this article: I read it first in German from ‘die Welt’ and was a bit dismayed when I came to the second-last paragraph where Mr. Broder wonders whether one should not “EINDRINGLICH BITTEN” the Arab League and the OIC to solve this problem. “bitten” is in German the polite word for “begging”, as asking an undeserved favour, and implies an emotional response, whereas the English translation of “ASKING” means asking a question which deserves an answer that is rational. Mr. Broder finishes the paragraph with saying that the problem should be solved where it was “GENERIERT”, which means where it was created and assumes a responsibility, the translation says “WHERE IT STARTED” which merely states a location and no author of the problem. Therefore in my opinion in the first instance Mr. Broder takes the more submissive stance compared to the English text and in the second statement Mr. Broder asks for accountability whereas the translation only states a fact. That is my observation about the tricky subtleties of translating.
    BTW I totally agree with Mr. Broder’s article and also love the further explanations on this topic by ritamalik in the next post.

  9. ursula G: Thank you for your comments. Let me start with the second word, “start” instead of “was created.” You are right, I could have put it differently, but I chose the easy and familiar formula.

    The other words are a little more complicated for me. Broder–with his self-described history as a Polish Jew who moved to Germany with his family when he was young, and therefore has some experience of adapting to an alien environment, but has no patience for those who whine for more privileges–is one of my favorite reporter-journalists. He is irreverent, tough and straightforward. He will lambaste anyone from Salafists on the street corners to the official Jewish council in Germany. Although hardly an authority on his work, I was probably at least as shocked as you when I encountered EINDRINGLICH BITTEN. It was so atypical that my first reaction was that I had read it wrong. Then I wondered if he was so desperate to appeal to the dunderheads in the reading public that he threw in a little PC. Finally, I wondered if it was sarcasm–that would fit what I knew of his work. But I saw no contextual evidence of any of these, so I punted and used “ask” which in this case was not an interrogative, but a synonym of “request.”

    Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

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