Mar 092016
 March 9, 2016  Posted by at 4:30 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Dorothea Lange Missouri drought refugees. Broke, baby sick, car trouble. U.S. 99 near Tracy, CA 1937

“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”
– Groucho Marx

What is perhaps most remarkable about the deal the EU is trying to seal with Turkey to push back ALL refugees who come to Greece is that the driving force behind it turns out to be Angela Merkel. Reports say that she and temp EU chairman Dutch PM Mark Rutte ‘pushed back’ the entire EU delegation that had been working on the case, including Juncker and Tusk, and came with proposals that go much further than even Brussels had in mind.

Why? Angela has elections this weekend she’s afraid to lose.

It’s also remarkable that the deal with the devil they came up with is fraught with so many legal uncertainties -it not outright impossibilities- that it’s highly unlikely the deal will ever be closed, let alone implemented. One thing they will have achieved is that refugees will arrive in much larger numbers over the next ten days, before a sequel meeting will be held, afraid as they will be to be pushed back after that date.

They may not have to be so scared of that, because anything remotely like what was agreed on will face so many legal challenges it may be DOA. Moreover, in the one-for-one format that is on the table, Europe would be forced to accept as many refugees from Turkey as it pushes back to that country. Have Merkel and Rutte realized this? Or do they think they can refuse that later, or slow it down?

Under the deal, Turkey seems to have little incentive to prevent refugees from sailing to Greece. Because for every one who sails and returns, Turkey can send one to Europe. What if that comes to a million, or two, three? The numbers of refugees in Turkey will remain the same, while the number in Europe will keep growing ad infinitum.

Sweet Jesus, Angela, we understand you have problems with the refugee situation, and that you have elections coming up this weekend, but what made you think the answer can be found in playing fast and loose with the law? And what, for that matter, do you expect to gain from negotiating a Faustian deal with the devil? Surely you know that makes you lose your soul?

You said yesterday that history won’t look kindly on the EU if it fails on refugees, but how do you think history will look on you for trying to sign a deal that violates various international laws, including the Geneva Conventions? You have this aura of being kinder than most of Europe to the refugees, but then you go and sell them out to a guy who aids ISIS, massacres Kurds, shuts down all the media he doesn’t like and makes a killing smuggling refugees to Greece?

Or are we getting this backwards, and are you shrewdly aware that the elections come before the next meeting with Turkey, and are you already planning to ditch the entire deal once the elections are done, or have your legal team assured you that there’s no way it will pass the court challenges it will inevitably provoke?

It would be smart if that’s the case, but it’s also quite dark: we are still talking about human beings here, of which hundreds of thousands have already died in the countries the living are fleeing, or during their flight (and we don’t mean by plane), and tens of thousands -and counting, fast- are already stuck in Greece, with one country after the other closing their borders after the -potential- deal became public knowledge.

So now Greece has to accommodate ever more refugees because all borders close, something Greece cannot afford since the bailout talks left it incapable of even looking after its own people, while over the next ten days it can expect a surge of ‘new’ refugees to arrive from Turkey, afraid they’ll be stuck there after a deal is done. Greece will become a “holding pen”, and the refugees will be the livestock. A warehouse of souls, a concentration camp.

The circumstances under which these human beings have been forced to flee their homes, to travel thousands of miles, and now to try and stay alive in Greece, are already way below morally acceptable. Just look at Idomeni! You should do all you can to improve their conditions, not to risk making them worse. Where and how you do that is another matter, but the principle should stand.

You should be in Greece right now, Angela, asking Tsipras how you can help him with this unfolding mayhem, how much money he needs and what other resources you can offer. Instead, Athens today hosts the Troika and Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland. That is so completely insane it can’t escape the protagonists themselves either.

Refugees from war -torn countries are per definition not ‘illegal’. What is illegal, on the other hand, is to refuse them asylum. So all the talk about ‘illegal migrants’ emanating from shills like Donald Tusk is at best highly questionable. The freshly introduced term ‘irregular migrants’ is beyond the moral pale.

As is the emphasis on using the term ‘migrant’ versus ‘refugee’ that both European politicians and the international press are increasingly exhibiting, because it is nothing but a cheap attempt to influence public opinion while at the same time throwing desperate people’s legal status into doubt.

What their status is must be decided by appropriate legal entities, not by reporters or politicians seeking to use the confusion of the terms for their own personal benefit. And numbers show time and again that most of the people (93% in February GRAPH) arriving in Greece come from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, all war-torn, and must therefore be defined as ‘refugees’ under international law. It is really that simple. Anything else is hot air. Trying to redefine the terminology on the fly is immoral.

In that same terminology vein, the idea that Turkey is a ‘safe third country’, as the EU so desperately wants to claim, is downright crazy. That is not for the EU to decide, if only because it has -again, immoral- skin in the game.

All this terminology manipulation, ironically, plays into the hands of the very right wing movements that Angela Merkel fears losing this weekend’s elections to. They create a false picture and atmosphere incumbent ‘leaders’ try to use to hold on to power, but it will end up making them lose that power.

The funniest, though also potentially most disruptive, consequence of the proposed deal may well be that the visa requirements for the 75 million Turks to travel to Europe are to be abandoned in June, just 3 months away, giving them full Schengen privileges. Funny, because that raises the option of millions of Turkish people fleeing the Erdogan regime travelling to Europe as refugees, and doing it in a way that no-one can call illegal.

There may be as many as 20 million Kurds living in Turkey, and Erdogan has for all intents and purposes declared war on all of them. How about if half of them decide to start a new life in Europe? Can’t very well send them back to ‘safe third country’ Turkey.

Be careful what you wish for, Angela.


Home Forums Be Careful What You Wish For, Angela

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    Dorothea Lange Missouri drought refugees. Broke, baby sick, car trouble. U.S. 99 near Tracy, CA 1937 “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like t
    [See the full post at: Be Careful What You Wish For, Angela]


    It appears the whole world is against the only law that really matters – the law of common sense. Of course the people from the war-torn countries should be protected. WHERE IS THE UNHCR? Why weren’t camps set up in a safe part of Syria? Why? It’s not that that organization doesn’t have enough billions of dollars to throw at it. Where were they?

    Every single one of these families should have been set up and protected in a camp, and they should have been supported by the whole world. And you speak of law? When almost every other law has been thrown out the window recently, somehow the precious Geneva Convention is sacrosanct? And what does the Geneva Convention say? That refugees should be allowed to seek asylum in the closest safe country, and cannot be pushed back. It doesn’t say anything about them travelling hundreds or thousands of miles to get to the most favorable countries (Sweden, Germany, Norway, etc.), the ones who are calling them to come, enticing them with benefits (free medical, dental, housing, welfare, eventually family reunification), countries that allow them all of the rights, yet require no obligations from them, such as adopting the customs and habits of the welcoming countries, abiding by their laws, not what they’ve been taught or what it might say in the Koran. Merkel even threw out the Dublin Agreement. Laws and agreements apparently have a way of being changed, ripped up or trampled on when it’s convenient.

    Who really should be taken to court, then jailed, are the leaders of these countries who have gone against what the majority of their citizens wanted, and all to please the business communities. Yes, socialize the costs of the new citizens to all of the taxpayers, yet the businesses reap the benefits. Same old, same old. They all should be tarred and feathered for what they have done, not just to their own citizens, but to all of the migrants who are understandably flocking to where the most benefits are paid.

    Don’t even think about telling me that they’re running to Germany to be safe! That would just be stupid and it would not be truthful – at all. They’re safe in Greece, but since Greece does not pay any benefits, they don’t want to stay there. They want to march forward to where they will benefit. No, a true refugee would kiss the ground of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon. They’d be happy they made it out alive. But that’s not the case here, as they are making their way to where conditions are “most favorable”, not to where it’s “safe”.

    80% of Syrians – 80% – were not living in refugee camps in Turkey. They were living in apartments, working under the table. Only 20% were in refugee camps. Why any of them had to flee their own country is beyond me. The UNHCR should be made to set up camps in a safe zone within war-torn countries so people never have to flee. That way we wouldn’t have to have the argument that they “HAD” to travel thousands of miles because every country they passed through was NOT SAFE. Yeah, right. It appears the word “optimal” is taking the place of “safe”.

    And as Trivium says, why are we not talking about who is causing these wars and going after them? Isn’t it COMMON SENSE to go after who is causing this continual warfare, instead of running after the “effects” like a chicken with their head cut off? Instead of rolling up in a ball and crying that the sky is falling, the sky is falling, they’re not adhering to the law, shouldn’t we be getting to the bottom of what’s going on, who is benefiting, following the money?

    Where is the court of law – call it the War Court – who oversees and heavily sanctions warmongers? Nowhere to be found. Instead we have a bunch of namby pamby laws that try to mitigate the effects of the warmongers’ wars.

    The sick bastards who caused a lot of the problems in the Middle East were the ones who drew up the maps of the countries, ex. Winston Churchill. Had these countries been separated along religious, ethnic, cultural lines, there probably would have been peace. But TPTB wouldn’t want that, would they? They wouldn’t have control. Why aren’t we seeking to draw up new lines: Sunnis, over here; Shia, over here; Christians, over here. Give them their own countries. Israel got their’s, didn’t they? Somehow they see the benefit of having a nation of like-minded people. Somehow they realize that commonality fosters peace.

    When Tsipras got elected, he set free the migrants who had been held in detention, let them travel to northern Europe. He set the precedent. The word went out on Twitter, Facebook that if you got to Greece, you could get to northern Europe. The floodgates opened. The migrants, who had been “safe” in Turkey, decided to chance it. As the Iraqi fellow in my post two days ago said, “Everybody was doing it, so I joined in.” He had been told that you get “this and that” in Europe, but he found out otherwise, so he returned to Iraq with his friend. His story, the reason he travelled, was NOT about safety. It was about being an economic migrant. These people ARE economic migrants.

    This isn’t about safety. This is where what you write does not smack of the truth. If I sensed there was some truth in what you had to say, I would acknowledge it. You can’t bend the truth.

    Truth – the United States and its allies are trying to overthrow Assad of Syria.
    Truth – the United States and its allies are funding and arming ISIS and others.
    Truth – the United States and its allies pretend to be fighting ISIS and others.
    Truth – refugees have had to flee to safe countries (where is the UNHCR?)
    Truth – economic migrants decide to leave safe countries for more optimal countries.

    Let’s at least call it for what it is.


    Raleigh, let me add …
    If the electricity has been destroyed,
    If the water distribution system has been destroyed,
    If the sewage system has been destroyed,
    If the garbage is everywhere,
    If there is no more employment,
    If my car/truck/transport has been destroyed,
    If there is no more health care,
    If there is no food,
    If the roads and building have been bombed,
    If nobody is collecting the cadavers,

    I would find another place for me and my family to live.


    There is no such thing as ‘International Law’. Or rather to the extent that there is it used only at the whim of the US. Post WWII some very upstanding people, mostly Americans,worked on behalf of the US government to put in place the laws and frameworks of law which would serve traditional American and Western values based upon well tenents of moral philosophy.

    However the deep state, the spooks and ‘global strategic thinkers’ were not on board. So the levers or power pushed ‘international law’ when it suited them. To count on such law to mean a thing is a fools errand. The world doesn’t work that way. America is just as capable of doing anything possible to serve the interests of the self declared defenders of The Nation, and enhance their own wealth and power.


    rapier – agreed. Laws are only observed when it is convenient to TPTB. The U.S., Britain, France are in Syria. Why? They haven’t been asked. Who cares! They just do as they please, law or no law. U.S. and its allies are arming ISIS. What? There must be some law against that. I’m sure there is, but it won’t see the light of day because the enforcer of said law is the one doing the crime.

    Turkey is going against its own Constitution and locking up journalists or shutting down newspapers. Erdogan doesn’t care. Who’s going to stop him? (Well, the U.S. might, but that’s for a later chapter in this saga).

    Every country out there knows that the U.S. is trying to take Assad out. Where is the outcry from these countries at the U.N.? I mean, a country is being destroyed (another one!), and still nothing – crickets. Leaders are assassinated, countries are sanctioned, bombed, destroyed, laws broken right, left and center, and yet you believe the Geneva Convention will somehow prevail? I don’t think so. If it somehow does get upheld, if TPTB insist upon it, then it is somehow benefitting them. Otherwise, they could give a shite.

    The only reason Merkel would have taken any of these migrants is because she was told to (most likely by corporate interests). Period. End of story. She and the others could care less about the plight of these people.


    Completely agree with you Raleigh. This is insanity.

    The automatic Earth has been documenting over the past several years how the middle class in western countries is economically disintegrating under the pressure of economic globalization. Political and economic decision-makers have established the primacy of corporations rights and freedom of financial flows over the well-being of a large section of their population. Established political parties and mainstream media have, on the demographic front, been relentlessly campaigning for ever more immigration, legal or not. The stresses on society are growing ever more apparent, the structure is creaking and groaning but the political leadership was always determined to stay the course, considering that there is no alternative. Populations abandoned to their fate have started rebelling, deserting traditional political parties in favor of newly-created populist parties in spite of a relentless mainstream media opposition painting them as beyond the pale. Actually most of them just happen to think that maybe the Euro might not be the key to widespread prosperity, the European Union not the utopia it’s cracked up to be, mass immigration is not helping anyone and may actually contribute to the demise of the welfare state they are fond of.

    It is only under this newly appearing political pressure that the Establishment has started to reluctantly step back some on refugees. Many asserted that there was no alternative, that it was futile to think of preventing refugees from ever entering Europe – but it turns out that putting some mild border enforcement does go a long way. We can see that refugees have little chance to hold jobs in the developped world and we can expect most to be wards of the state forever, creating ghettos of poverty, criminality and resentment. Cologne and the recurring riots in asylum centers and criminality by refugee status seekers have turned the masses against refugees. Sheltering refugees in camps in the Middle-East is a simple and cheap affait. In Germany, France or Scandinavia you cannot accomodate people in a tent, you need housing which the state does not offer its own poor population. Hence Sweden renting luxury cruise ships to find a roof, any roof to put above the “refugees” heads. Add in health care, welfare, translators, language teachers, police, social workers – stabbed to death! – it adds up. Since money does not grow on trees, countries cut help to refugees elsewhere in the world to shelter fewer refugees at a much greater cost in Europe, and endanger their own social safety net as growing deficits create a need to go through austerity. Some program!


    tabarnick – well put!

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