Fighting for the Truth About Refugees – and Losing Ground

25 June 2018: The split on what was once known as The Left over refugee-related issues continues and grows. I have just parted ways with a person who shares a great many of my views on very many issues, but who delighted in showing me an article from Zerohedge putting an anti-refugee spin on crime statistics from the country where I live, Germany. It was titled “Why Trump Was Right” (about an alleged big increase in crime in Germany since 1 and a half million refugees were admitted into the country beginning in 2015). The article uses carefully selected facts and statistics to misrepresent part of the truth based on a relatively small number of certain types of crimes which did in fact increase, within the overall statistics which show a substantial decrease in crime in Germany in recent years — which means that no, Trump was notright but was lying as I and many other writers have since pointed out. Like Trump and like our growing number of neo-Nazis in Europe, those who published this article choose to play down the far greater growth in violent crimes againstmigrants and immigrants (about 1,000 in Germany alone last year and close to 2,000 in the previous years) by local thugs and racists. They choose rather to focus on the statistics that support their wish to force refugees to remain in places where their lives and safety are seriously threatened, so that wein the Global North can hang onto and defend our privileges based on being born in a certain place. If you choose to support that misrepresentation of the facts about the most desperate and disadvantaged people on this planet, you will find a growing number of allies on what was once The Left, but your days on my friends list will be numbered, like those of a somewhat well-known writer who was once my friend, until I discovered that he was unwilling to criticize certain famous Holocaust-deniers. The End. Finito. Schluss. Goodbye and Get-The-Fuggowdaheah.

“Those who see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed by the masses.” (Plato)

Headline in The Guardian “ ‘Xenophobic and racist’ : Elena Ferrante warns of danger to Italy from Matteo Salvini” … But this hardly even generates controversy anymore … advocating all sorts of horrible treatment of refugees has become mainstream politics in Europe, it’s quite the fashion to warn of the fascist “populist” danger, while satisfying the demands that are driving it with new laws and walls … “Last week, Salvini refused to allow a boat carrying more than 600 refugees and migrants to dock in the country. This week, he pledged to conduct a census of Italy’s Roma community and expel those living in the country illegally, a policy that critics say is reminiscent of the country’s fascist past.” (even the now-imperial-bootlicking GUARDIAN doesn’t like this person, ooooooh he must be nasty) Headline from THE INDEPENDENT: “Hundreds gather at New York airport to meet children separated from their families”. I’m very glad to see that there are a few things which can still get enough Americans outraged to bring some change. But we should be JUST AS OUTRAGED about the way their parents are treated, and this did not start with the Orange One. Most US liberals and Democrats did not lift a voice or a finger in protest when the Obama administration deported twice the number of immigrants as Bush II, and contracted detention centers with the nasty prisons-for-profit company CCA. Right, Obama did not crow on TV about “rapist migrants” and all of the accompanying lies, he just smiled charmingly and did the dirty work quietly. NO HUMAN IS “ILLEGAL”.

21 June 2018: when I see Libya referred to as a “failed state” in the presstitute media I get very angry … it did not “fail”, it was destroyed by three members of NATO, with a huge resulting ongoing contribution to the refugee crisis which is tearing Europe apart.

“A new study of the security situation in Libya between 2012 and 2018 by Airwars and the New America Foundation has identified hundreds of civilians credibly reported killed and injured by domestic and international airstrikes – but with no accountability for those deaths from any belligerent.” (Of course, these deaths are in addition to the estimated 40,000 civilians killed in the bombing campaign in 2011 by the USA, UK and France).

20 June 2018: Headline, THE INDEPENDENT – “US Withdraws from Human Rights Council”

There is no greater Orwellian bullshit on this Earth than Trump and Nikki accusing other countries of hypocrisy on the subject of human rights. As usual, she only mentioned Communist or Socialist countries on her villains list: friends of the US who commit mass murder of prison camp inmates (Israel) or friends who torture and chop off heads (Saudi Arabia) are either portrayed as innocent victims of slander, or are not mentioned at all. But Nikki the Oblivious sees absolutely no hypocrisy in US policy.

19 June 2018: As German Chancellor Angel Merkel appears headed toward being forced out of office by anti-refugee forces trying to reclaim racist-xenophobic-anti-refugee voters deserting the mainstream parties for the far-right Alternative für Deutschland, I posted this in social media: ‘ Once again I am forced to make this announcement: again I am seeing people from my friends list (who think they are Lefties) supporting anti-refugee polemic, crowing about good riddance to Merkel (who may soon lose her job over her policies on migration and refugees) because she has “ruined Europe”, thinly-veiled anti-refugee stuff based almost completely on ignorance and lies. She is a loyal servant to US imperial-neoliberal chicanery and for that reason and many others I strongly oppose most of her policies, but letting in 1 million desperate refugees in 2015 was a rare act of courage for her, and the conspiracy theory that she did it to get a bunch of cheap labor for German industry is delusional bollocks. Most German industry — aside from the auto industry, for which there is no shortage of German workers — is medium-sized business requiring highly-skilled technical knowledge, it does not fit this simple-minded fear about “taking our jobs and our stuff” (an affluence based on centuries of stealing resources from, colonizing, and even enslaving the Global South anyway). Once again: it is largely US wars which are responsible for the European refugee crisis, not Angela Merkel. Turning back those masses of refugees who were coming North through Hungary and Austria in 2015 would have created a gigantic humanitarian catastrophe even bigger than the one that the crisis itself represented. If you are even leaning toward any of that anti-refugee stuff, which neo-Nazis and other right-wingers will love you for, take yourself off my list before I see it, please.’

19 June 2019, headline: “Damning New UN Report says three people will become displaced in the time it takes you to read this headline” … my comment: “68 million and increasing rapidly. We make them homeless then we turn them away, and some even demonize them. We are the demons.

18 June 2018 headline, “Trump attacks Angela Merkel for giving sanctuary to refugees” … of course Trump does not mention that she has been reversing that policy ever since 2015 and has supported drastic new restrictions of Germany’s asylum laws. She has also authorized her government to send planeloads of rejected asylum seekers from Afghanistan back to that war zone, where they have been dumped several times right up the street from the scene of massive ISIS suicide bombings. My comment to this article and headline was: “What a brain-dead, delusional fool. THE UNITED STATES IS RESPONSIBLE for much of the refugee crisis here in Europe, as I have written often on this page and in my articles. A huge percentage of the million and a half refugees Germany has taken in since 2015 are fleeing US wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Maybe now Europeans will defy the taboo and start saying that out loud. This is the most cynical, lying, forked-tongue shit I can imagine. This dickhead is truly permanently out to lunch, and what he knows about “European culture” would fit on the head of a pin and still leave room for his fat ugly ass – although his own grandfather was an “illegal” immigrant from Germany. He says “crime is way up in Germany” — a brazen lie, it is down substantially (see the article I attached as a comment) — he is repeating neo-Nazi lies verbatim”.

18 June 2018, headline in THE INDEPENDENT: “Worst water crisis in India’s history predicted to get much worse” … The future has arrived. More and more people in the Global South will be forced to head North, and building walls like the United States and the European Union are doing will only make matters worse. The world must work together to deal with this, starting now. Please do not waste water.

ARUNDHATI ROY: ‘One of my books of essays is dedicated to “those who have learned to divorce hope from reason”. So being unreasonable is the only way that we can have hope. I am often among people who battle every day, but when you’re in there with them it’s not all grim. These are people who have their backs to the wall and are fighting for survival, but so much of the time they spend laughing at stupid things. ‘

16 June 2018, headline on the German government’s foreign language site DEUTSCHE WELLE: “Germany’s reporting on asylum-seekers exposes ‘latent racism’” …  “ … I am very happy to see this article on Deutsche Welle, the German government’s foreign language service. I have been outraged by this coverage connecting refugees to crime in the German public media for two years now, based on a very few incidents … they almost never report on the massive number of attacks on immigrants by neo-Nazi German thugs, about 1000 in 2017 alone.

Media Analyst KAI HAFEZ: “I think the climax of this negative shift in the perception of refugees was New Year’s Eve in Cologne, 2016. From that point on, we’ve had this constant, negative framing of the refugee crisis in a lot of the big media in Germany.
“We’ve had around 100 talk shows about refugees and almost none about the automobile pollution crisis. There’s a huge imbalance in the coverage. In my personal opinion, this change in the mainstream media is actually very much connected to the general push to the right in German politics. Rather than following the right-wing trend, they’re actually creating it to a certain degree. (ACTUALLY, TO A HUGE EXTENT) … We are only interested in refugees and migrants when it comes to big problems like terrorism and crime. There are exceptions to the rule, but a large part of it is negative. And the problem from an ethical point of view is that the ethnicity or the religious background of a person usually is not connected to the crime. Statistically, migrants in Germany are not more criminal than the rest of the population — so why identify a person in terms of ethic background?

“So no, in many cases [the German press code regulation] is not adhered to and we see a constant violation of such norms and media ethics in our daily reporting. We have a loss of professional control; we have a loss of professional values — for many reasons: Journalists’ training backgrounds differ too much sometimes, we have a commercialization that is fueling fast-handed analysis and there is sometimes sloppy journalism. For example, many of the incidents that were assumed to have taken place during the 2015/16 Cologne New Year’s Eve never happened.”

16 June 2018: After hearing a report in Germany’s national public radio network Deutschlandfunk about illegal fishing by EU ships off the coast of Senegal which is making it impossible for many locals to survive, I wrote:


“Like European agricultural policy — which is flooding Africa with European food and making it impossible for small farmers there to survive — massive illegal fishing in African coastal waters by Europeans, using modern technology with which independent African fishermen cannot compete, is contributing to the refugee crisis in Africa and Europe. The EU makes it ever more difficult for many of these people to survive at home. Then, when they try to come to Europe to find work, they are rejected as ‘economic migrants’. The Global North has been sucking the lifeblood of the Global South for centuries, and it continues to this day”.

25 June 2018: Headline, THE INDEPENDENT: “Trump says immigrants should be deported immediately with ‘no judges’ … to which I respond: The race to deprive refugees and migrants of their chances for survival and even of their legal rights is accelerating in the USA and the EU. Obama suspended Habeas Corpus in the USA — for everyone of course, not only migrants — and now the Orange Demon wants to end due process for refugees. Neo-Nazis, racists, and nationalist wall-lovers are ecstatic.