Merkel struggles to address the real problem
Reading the accounts from Cologne about the throngs of Arab men sexually assaulting women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, my first thought went to Lara Logan who suffered a similar fate in Egypt during the “Arab Spring.” Lara is continuing to suffer from the unspeakable abuse she endured and was again hospitalized early in 2015. My second thought went to the Second Amendment.
As the evil that was perpetrated on over a hundred women (in Cologne alone) sinks in, the governments in Germany and throughout the western world—reports of similar attacks in Finland are emerging—are feeling more pressure than ever to address the refugee crisis and their own policies.
Der Spiegel has published a lengthy and thoughtful article entitled “Chaos and Violence: How New Year’s Eve in Cologne Changed Germany.”
For some, the events finally bring to light what they have always been saying: that too many foreigners in the country bring too many problems along with them. For the others, that which happened is what they have been afraid of from the very beginning: that ugly images of ugly behavior by migrants would endanger what has been a generally positive mood in Germany with respect to the refugees.
As inexact and unclear as the facts from Cologne may be, they carry a clear message: Difficult days are ahead. And they beg a couple of clear questions: Is Germany really sure that it can handle the influx of refugees? And: Does Germany really have the courage and the desire to become the country in Europe with the greatest number of immigrants?
These are good questions . . . questions that should have been asked and answered honestly beforehand. As they were not, Germany, along with the rest of Europe, must now deal with their lack of foresight, planning, and leadership. Extending compassion is great, but when it endangers and harms your own citizens, a line must be drawn because the lack of compassion towards the victims of these mass sexual assaults if far more stunning (and shameful) than a more balanced and manageable admittance of refugees would have been.
The German media, apparently, was not only slow to pick up on the Cologne story but also hasn’t been reporting incidents of sexual abuse that have been happening throughout Germany for over a year.
Der Spiegel continues:
On Tuesday, the station issued a public apology for the lack of coverage. “It was a lapse in judgement that the 7 p.m. evening news show didn’t at least mention the incident,” Theveßen wrote on Facebook. Such an open admission of error by a senior manager at a public station in Germany is rare, but Theveßen’s act of repentance did little to calm the doubters.
. . . . More than 2,000 users have thus far commented on Theveßens post, with most of the missives of a horrifying nature — a collection of conspiracy theories characteristic of the far-right. One user named Johannes Normann, formerly a regional leader for AfD, wrote: “Does ‘our’ news have to be first cleared by our trans-Atlantic ‘friends’? After all, they ‘ordered’ the ‘Islamic mass-immigration.'”
Another user, Julien F. Weikinnes, wrote: “What would have happened if 100 Pegida followers had raped 300 Muslims? There would probably have been a breaking news alert and a live story from the Cologne train station.”
. . . . Ercan Yasaroglu, a social worker from Berlin, was appalled when he heard about the attacks in Cologne. He was furious and dismayed, but he wasn’t surprised. “What happened in Cologne has been happening here in Berlin for a year, but on a smaller scale,” he says.
The German media, much like our own, is suspected by many Germans to be actively suppressing the truth about criminal acts by Muslim refugees.
All established media have been confronted with the same phenomenon. In Germany, there is a stable minority that is convinced that the country’s broadcasters, newspapers and magazines are controlled by dark powers and have agreed to suppress bad news about foreigners so as not to endanger the political project of welcoming refugees.
It sounds like the role of the media in Germany is rather similar to our own in that it props up failed “progressive” policy and ignores anything that calls their worldview into question. If they don’t print it, it never happened. Or something.
The Daily Mail reports along similar lines:
Another deeply worrying aspect of the New Year horror in Cologne also emerged this week.
Many Germans, including some of the victims themselves, have accused authorities of a conspiracy of silence over the assaults to stop criticism of the mass immigration policy pursued by Mrs Merkel and her politically-correct supporters. The mainstream media in Germany has, until recently, toed the Government line; a top public broadcaster, ZDF, recently refused to run a segment about a rape case on its prime-time ‘crime-watch’ show because the ‘dark-skinned’ suspect was a migrant.
The programme’s editor defended her decision, saying: ‘We don’t want to inflame the situation and spread a bad mood. The migrants don’t deserve it.’
Watch the following BBC report:
Many Germans are now regretting their support for Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy.
The attacks have sounded the alarm bell in Germany over the consequences of mass migration. A country dogged by guilt over its Nazi past, it has enjoyed its recent role as saviour of Europe, welcoming in foreigners from the war-divided Middle East and Africa’s poverty hotspots.
When the migrants began arriving in their thousands each day last summer, there were welcoming parties across the country. ‘We love refugees!’ proclaimed banners outside reception centres.
Yet that warm hospitality is now being replaced by fear, as a society renowned for its good order begins to buckle under the strain — and to worry if it has made a mistake.
It was, quite clearly, a mistake. The question now is: what are the governments of Germany and Europe going to do to fix it. The answer, so far, appears to be “more of the same.”
All this is raising questions from ordinary Germans, and this week provoked confessions from their political masters. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere admitted the New Year crimes against women by such large numbers of men from a migrant background were a ‘new departure’ for the country.
Mrs Merkel said: ‘Everything must be done to identify the guilty parties without regard to their background or origins. We must send clear signals to those who are not prepared to abide by our laws. Questions arise over whether some groups are subscribing to misogyny.’
Her words were clearly carefully chosen to avoid specifically linking migrants with these attacks against women. But the truth is the mass assaults have clear echoes of the sex crimes in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in Egypt in 2011, during celebrations welcoming the so-called Arab Spring, when groups of men violently harassed women.
The Daily Mail also reveals another troubling trend that we’ve seen in both the UK and in France: the police are complicit in the criminal acts of immigrants if by nothing more than their silence and looking the other way.
The Cologne police force has also been accused of deliberately hushing up the New Year scandal. It issued an official press release the following day describing the celebrations as ‘exuberant, but mostly peaceful’. The release has since been retracted, and last night it emerged that police chief Wolfgang Albers is to resign.
Broadcaster ZDF had to apologise for a ‘cover up’ after it failed to report the Cologne story for three days, even though it knew about it.
Meanwhile, Merkel has been sounding an awful lot like Obama on the topic, insisting that there is not “evidence” that Muslim refugees were involved in the attacks. This turned out not only to be false but that she knew full well that it was false.
And until Thursday, a week after the attacks, there had been silence from Mrs Merkel’s ministers about the backgrounds of the perpetrators. Initially, they insisted there was no evidence that new migrants were involved in the violence.
A leaked police report which emerged 48 hours ago showed this was far from the truth. It revealed that one of the Cologne attackers said: ‘I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly: Mrs Merkel invited me.’
The report by a senior officer added: ‘When we arrived [at the square] our vehicles were pelted with firecrackers. On the cathedral steps were a thousand people, mainly of immigrant background, who were indiscriminately throwing fireworks and bottles into the crowd.
‘Women literally had to run the gauntlet through the mass of drunk men in a way you can’t describe ….many came to officers shocked and crying to report sex assaults. We were unable to respond to all the offences. There were just too many.’
Another unnamed officer told a Cologne newspaper that 14 of those questioned on the night were from Syria and one from Afghanistan.
‘That’s the truth, though it hurts to say it,’ he added. ‘They had definitely only been in Germany for a few days or weeks.’
The BBC reports that Merkel is planning to tighten the deportation policy on “immigrants” who commit crimes and those who are on probation.
Mrs Merkel, speaking after a meeting of her Christian Democrat party leadership in Mainz, proposed tightening the law on denying the right of asylum for those who have committed crimes.
Under the new plans, those on probation could be deported too.
“When crimes are committed, and people place themselves outside the law… there must be consequences,” she told reporters after the meeting.
Under current German laws, asylum seekers are only forcibly sent back if they have been sentenced to at least three years’ imprisonment, and providing their lives are not at risk in their countries of origin.
Addressing Merkel’s growing political challenges, the BBC writes:
Angela Merkel’s challenge is to reassure an increasingly pessimistic public that she has a long-term plan. The chancellor showed compassion when she welcomed more than a million refugees and migrants into Germany in 2015. Now she is under pressure to make clear there are limits to German tolerance.
Anti-immigration campaigners have seized on the Cologne incident as an example of what they see as the failure of the country’s asylum policy. The prominence of the far-right Pegida movement was fading. It is now using the attacks as a propaganda tool.
On the other side of what is a widening chasm, established Islamic groups here have expressed fears that the actions of a few may jeopardise the future of many.
With tension rising and tolerance waning, Germany’s doors remain open, but many here are increasingly asking: For how long and at what cost?
Merkel may have been Time‘s “Person of the Year” for 2015 for—in no small part—her reckless and incompetent policies regarding refugees, but it looks like 2016 will be more than a bit challenging for her political life and her disastrous policies.