Europe, the worst enemy of the US? You cannot be serious? Islamism, Russia, illegal immigrants… whatever, but not Europe! Aren’t we still together in NATO? Don’t we trade huge amounts of currency every day? Don’t we share the same cultural roots, the same civilization, the same vision of the future? Didn’t France give the US her famous Statue of Liberty – “Liberty Enlightening the World ?”
No more. In a sense, Europe is a continent where the “Democrats” have been in power for 30 years, not only in the European nations, but also at the European Union level. In the US the political spectrum still spans a vast range of views between Democrat and Republican, globalist and nationalist, pro-life and pro-choice, pro-gender and pro-biological identity, pro-family and pro-whatever, even today with a President and a Supreme Court now clearly on the right, those divisions and this important separation of powers in the most general sense of the word allow for and encourage vigorous debate. By contrast in Europe, at the “official” level such a spectrum of views does not exist anymore.
In Western Europe, politically speaking, in the press and in universities either you are on the Left, or you are a pariah. If you are a pariah, you are most likely to be prosecuted for Islamophobia, genderphobia, discrimination or some other (what one used to say) “trumped up” charge.
There are several reasons for this, one of which is the difference of political maturity between the Europeans and the Americans. Whereas the American layman (not only the “elite”) understand that their Supreme Court is key to reining in the culture war and ensuring fundamental constitutional freedoms are maintained, the Europeans have done the opposite. In the US the constitutional right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is derived from the people – “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript
Consequently, when Justice Scalia of the US Supreme Court died, the US press was all over it for weeks. Ordinary citizens in the US are aware of judicial roles and their effect on judgements and legal precedents.
By contrast, we now have in Europe two Supreme Courts: the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in Strasburg, and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU, Luxemburg).
In Europe there is not one citizen in a million who is able to name one single judge of the ECHR or the CJEU. The reason is that the nomination of those judges is mostly opaque, purely governmental and without public debate in the case of the ECHR. In the case of the CJEU, appointment is essentially governmental, with the sanction of an EU Parliament ideologically dominated by the Left.
The US has almost always welcomed refugees, and most who historically came to her shores via Ellis Island, went through a legal process for entry, led by the light of the torch of Lady Liberty. In recent years, the subject of illegal immigrants and migrant workers and the vetting of immigrants became hotly debated and was a key issue in the recent election.
By contrast in Europe, the topic of “illegal” migrants is “verboten”. Europe is currently invaded by hundreds of thousands of migrants — most of them arriving under the false pretext of being refugees even according to the UN. One of the reasons is the open-door policy of German Chancellor Merkel, who let one million Muslim refugees enter Germany not only without extreme vetting, but with no vetting at all.
But there is another, more structural cause, to this phenomenon, which is the decision of the ECHR in 2012, the so-called “HIRSI” ruling, file:///C:/Users/Michelle/Downloads/001-109231.pdf which states that the European States have the legal obligation to rescue migrants wherever they find them in the Mediterranean Sea — even at 200 meters from the Libyan coast — and to ferry them to the European shores, in order for these people to have the opportunity to claim the status of refugee. In the HIRSI ruling, the Italian Navy had intercepted illegals in the Mediterranean Sea and sent them back to their point of origin, which was Libya. Not only did the ECHR condemn Italy for this “obvious” breach of Human Rights, the Italians had to pay 15.000 euros (~$17,000 USD) to each of these illegals in the name of “moral damage”… This kind of money is equivalent to more than 10 years of income in Somalia and Eritrea (countries of origin of Mr Hirsi Jamaa and his companions). Somalia’s GDP per capita was an estimated $400 USD in 2016; Eritrea’s $1,300.00. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html
Africans are not stupid. They heard about the HIRSI ruling. They understood that if they could reach the Sea, the European navies would now be obliged to ferry them directly to Europe. Before the HIRSI ruling some people tried to reach the shores of Europe by their own means and hundreds of them tragically died at sea every year. After HIRSI, their objective is now to simply be intercepted! Consequently now hundreds of thousands try to attempt this journey — often with the help of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) like Médecins sans frontière whose activists wait for boats to appear at sea, just off the Libyan coast. So, we now have 5,000 people dying at sea every year, Italy is ‘drowning in refugees’ and Austria is musing about sending battle tanks to its Southern frontier with Italy. That’s the formidable result of the Moral Jurisprudence HIRSI.
To put it bluntly, the vast majority of these European judges — be it the ECHR or the CURIA — are on the Left side of the polical spectrum. In their attempt to be moral and just, the sovereign laws of Italy were dismissed as irrelevant and the rights of the Italian state and ordinary Italians to approve who enters their country were trampled. Americans who want to understand what I am talking about should read the HIRSI decision; it is rather short and a perfect summary of the present European jurisprudence. They will find that the ECHR do not hesitate to accept NGOs as an authoritative part of the process, even quoting their statements as if fact or law. Indeed in Europe, it appears that Amnesty International and the like are a new source of law.
Of course the European people still share common values of Western civilization and there is hope: the Visegrad group of countries do not accept the German diktat to relocate Muslim refugees, some hard-working parts of Western Europe such as the northern Flemish-speaking part of Belgium are pretty much tired of the whole European mess, and Merkel will not embody the essence of Germany forever.
But Americans have to understand that for the time being the Cultural Left is so well entrenched in Western Europe and the EU that their worst ideological enemy is not in the Middle East or in Russia: it is Europe.
Those who gave the Statue of Liberty to America in 1886 “to commemorate the perseverance of freedom and democracy in the United States” willingly trample their own people’s liberties today through courts of appointed, unelected, unaccountable ideologues. The danger is, with the help of international NGOs, the EU will not stop at their own shores.
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Cet article a été publié le 20 juillet 2017 dans une version révisée par le Gatestone Institute. Drieu Godefridi est Docteur en philosophie (Sorbonne – Paris IV) et l’auteur de plusieurs articles sur Palingenesie.com ainsi que de différents essais. Son prochain essai, La passion de l’égalité — Essai sur la civilisation socialiste est à paraître bientôt.
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