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World

by Jean Ortiz

An “invasion” of migrants? I disagree.

Translated Monday 31 August 2015, by Philippa Griffin

I disagree because what we are witnessing is as far from an “invasion” as conceivably possible. We see instead fragments of desperation, human journeys made as a choice of last resort, crises too numerous to count. And all thanks to economic and geopolitical domination by a handful of “Western” bastards, devotees of the IMF, eurocrats, pension managers, filthy-rich shareholders for whom ‘enough’ is never enough, CEOs who think that the world revolves around their bank account, all of whom still profit from their most prized possession – their former African colonies.

The thousands of migrants (I prefer, in fact, to speak of “refugees”), side-effects of our capitalist society, are not simply baby animals – though our society certainly would probably treat them with more compassion if they were. They are our fellow creatures, our brethren. Most are fleeing war – our own dirty wars instigated in countries where “The West” has unscrupulously pillaged for centuries, countries which have now effectively imploded (Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan). Why such meddling - for humanitarian reasons? Yes, if you think such reasons include exploitation of oil and precious metals, pursuit of neocolonialism and geostrategic interests, or allowing multinational corporations to sink their claws into territories not their own...

Undeniably, Europe faces the most severe migration crisis since the Second World War. Yet our neo-liberal systems – effectively just twenty-first century imperialism – allow us to hide the blame neatly under the carpet. By July 2015, thousands of “non-whites” had stormed the EU borders – an entire 340,000! A simply unmanageable figure! True, 340,000 of the world’s people die of hunger every ten days. But what a unfair comparison: hunger, of course, is not a man-made problem. In this case, 340,000 is a veritable tidal wave! These people will destroy our social security systems, impose upon us their African culture, threaten our western way of life, force us to mix outside of our comfort zone, to learn the languages of savages...
This “tidal wave” can be summarised as follows: a mere 42 Libyans have obtained refugee status in France since 2013 (compared to 350 in Sweden); 1,500 Syrians applied for refugee status in France in the same year (compared to 21,000 in Germany). According to OFPRA (the French Comission for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Peoples) and the UN High Commission for Refugees, France processed 65,000 migrant applications in 2014, against Germany’s 202,000. Clearly, the situation could not be more different from the horror stories which the gutter press would have us believe, stories of hysteria, xenophobia, a climate of prevailing hate... To date, 10,000 refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean. And yet, we have as good as asked: could they not have simply learned to swim? Let us remember again and again that these “immigrants” bring to our country far more than they take. The political right and the so-called left attempt to create an obnoxious climate of stigmatisation, whereas in reality, 80% of asylum applications in France are refused, and those without documentation represent only 0.6% of the entire population. Many are desperate to work (and would even go so far as to be willing to renovate the Assemblée Nationale!). Let us not fall into the facile trap of demonisation, just as we have done for young people in our urban estates. We are of the same blood – all French people are, to an extent of mixed heritage, which serves only to enrich our society. Above all, refugees are simply men, women, children – like us, like you. The current crisis allows the right and the so-called left to push their point remorselessly, for no greater reason than for the advancement of the ‘divide-and-rule’ ideology and for electoral gain.

Chancellor Merkel, that warm-hearted and round-bellied politician, has called upon European nations to ‘show clear solidarity’. From the mouth of an expert...or rather not, the two-faced politician. Many treacherous refugee journeys begin on the shores of Greece, a country towards which the Chancellor has of course displayed a good deal of consideration and love.

Enough. Let us turn now to serious debate. As a member of the Communist Party, I have always held altruistic values; values of sharing, of mutual assistance, of social justice, of universal humanity...Why should we not say that France will become a beacon of hope for the world, if we took in these refugees, willingly absorbing their distress? Who cares if this goes against common opinion? The Earth belongs to us all. No wall, no barbed wire will stop the world’s most desperate to attempt the impossible for a morsel of bread. I know that the ideal is to attain a society which is just, sharing and fair – and France should lead the way. But in the meantime...for as long as the principal concern for billions of arrogant and cynical people is the CAC40 (the chief French stock market index), as long as these people continue to permit financial speculation, staggering profits for ‘the chosen few’, as long as resources are monopolised by a handful of priveleged scoundrels, as long as MEDEF (France’s largest employer federation) continues to lie in bed with Emmanuel Macron (French Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry), I refuse to condone any argument that “France cannot solve all the world’s misery”. I know that I will be accused of excessive goodwill, of an ecumenical and unrealistically ‘angelic’ mindset, of undue international solidarity. I know that I will be accused of launching an ‘in-draught’ of communist sentiment. In what way, however, is this superior to the prevailing xenophobic stench? In fact, what does it matter? Every time a man’s dignity is compromised, it is all humanity who is dragged through the mud.

French politicians everywhere – you exude selfishness. Where are your Christian values?

There are times when sacrificing your principles sacrifices what it means to be a human being.


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