Europe is more than just the EU; Europe is heritage transmitted, shared and protected. All politicians will be judged in the light of this responsibility: Culture and values will take centre stage.
To what extent is Europe responsible for the calamity that is Syria? Suddenly one talks of Syria as Europe’s backyard. Nonsense. Syria is the Levant. It is Turkey’s backyard, not ours. We do not have responsibility for what transpires in Syria. The US used to, before Obama abandoned the Middle East.
So what is our responsibility? It is humanitarian, to a certain extent. But not unconditionally. Governments are still beholden to their own people. Someone has been whipping the refugee-migration to a frenzy, and one of the most euphoric has been Germany’s Angela Merkel.
The Germans have demonstrated Wiedergutmachung. They suddenly became the country everyone strove to reach, and the Germans could not resist the temptation to bask in the sun as the most benevolent country.
Merkel once more told off the disgruntled, the worried and fearful; they were a bunch of xenophobes and worse.
It was over-the-top humanitarianism.
Then another face of Merkel emerged: The pragmatist, who is advocating taking Bashar al-Assad into the fray to reach a solution. It is the height of cynicism and bad judgment.
On the one hand – hubris-humanitarianism – on the other reaching out to the ruthless dictator who made the war of extinction possible.
This is Europe’s leading politician. Flogging Greece, welcoming hundreds of thousands of refugees and then extending a hand to the butcher who forced them to flee.
This is a symbol of a collapsing European house. A Europe that no longer has any direction or sense of where it is going.
«Europe» is a state of mind, it means a special kind of responsibility, especially for a German. Merkel should know that she is welcoming hundred of thousands of migrants who harbour an instinctive, reflexive hate towards Israel and Jews.
Last summer there were IS-flags flying over European cities. An imam from a salafist mosque in Aarhus, Denmark, stood in a mosque in Berlin and proclaimed that all Jews should be killed.
Rather than multicultural and diverse, Europe is becoming a hothouse of resentments, prejudices, parallel societies and hate towards Jews. Germany will be held accountable, as will every European country. Instead of foresight and wisdom she abandons herself to the politics of instant gratification.
This is not the hesitant, probing Merkel we are used to. It is instead the jumping out of the window-German we have seen in the past.
Someone made a serious rejoinder: Germany’s freedom is not for Merkel to give away. It was paid for by millions of citizens of other countries. That is a valid point. Germany is in one sense still a trustee, it is still in the shadow of the past. The emancipation we have witnessed is to indulge under momentary pressure. That kind of goodness comes cheaply. Real goodness must contain a certain resistance based upon the stubbornness and recalcitrance of the world.
The more and longer European politicians indulge, the harder it will be to rein in the situation. Witness the latest reimposition of border controls.
Europe is reeling, from the sheer force of the masses streaming out of a muslim world that is imploding. The Middle East is becoming a huge gravitational field. Neighbouring countries are protecting themselves through callousness, but Germany, Austria and Sweden seized upon the moment to prove themselves better than anybody else. They even had the gall to ask other members to share the burden.
The willingness to work with Assad proves that the morality on display was cut off from any mooring in a sound judgement. Shoring up Assad would feel like betrayal for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians now streaming into Europe.
Humanity without reason is solely emotional, it is not even moral in any consistent use of the term.