What I Saw
To the memory of Kazimierz Moczarski
I saw prophets tearing at their pasted-on beards
I saw imposters joining sects of flagellants
butchers disguised in sheepskin
who fled the anger of the people
playing on a block-flute
I saw I saw
I saw a man who had been tortured
he now sat safely in the family circle
cracked jokes ate soup
I looked at the opened mouth
his gums – two bramble twigs stripped of bark
I saw his whole nakedness
the whole humiliation
a solemn meeting
many people flowers
someone spoke incessantly about deviations
I thought of his deviated mouth
is this the last act
of the play by Anonymous
flat as a shroud
full of suppressed sobbing
and the snickering of those
who heave a sigh of relief
that again it has worked out
and after clearing away the dead props
the blood-drenched curtain
……– Zbigniew Herbert from Report from a Besieged City
Reading Herbert’s poems of late I’m reminded of other times and scenarios of dark and terrible defeats which seem to be repeating themselves in our world today. UNHCR warns that time is running out for Europe to resolve refugee emergency. Watching on as Croatia who only yesterday welcomed the refugees has announced closure of its borders:
“We cannot register and accommodate these people any longer,” Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic told a news conference in the capital Zagreb.
“They will get food, water and medical help, and then they can move on. The European Union must know that Croatia will not become a migrant ‘hotspot’. We have hearts, but we also have heads.”
Migrants and asylum seekers are being held in abysmal conditions in the two Roszke migrant detention centers on the Serbian border, Human Rights Watch said today after obtaining footage from inside the camp and interviewing persons currently and formerly detained there. Hungarian police intercept asylum seekers and migrants entering via Serbia and detain them for days for registration and processing in conditions that fall short of Hungary’s international obligations
The European Union’s migration chief rebuked Hungary on Thursday for its tough handling of a flood of refugees as asylum seekers thwarted by a new Hungarian border fence and repelled by riot police poured into Croatia, spreading the strain.
This is no longer a blame game, and yes I can understand the overwhelming difficulties for the common people both of the countries involved and the refugees themselves but it appears things are devolving into chaos. Europe is leaderless and cowardly, unable to come together and resolve this crisis. So instead its falling into chaotic devolutionary limbo that can only mean trouble for all involved. This is absolutely stupid. I don’t blame the individual countries and their citizens, but I do blame the EU leadership that seems to be playing out its idiocy like the imbeciles they are. The tough measures being proposed in Germany can only be followed by other countries, who have already followed this Right Wing agenda of command and control exclusion and siege mentality. Smaller countries like Croatia are overwhelmed due to German leadership stupidity and moronic advertising of welcomes that are no longer there. Whether the refugees should have come or not is a mute point now, their there. So the EU as a whole either needs to come up with a humanitarian plan as an economic entity or Western Civilization is truly at an End.
In an impassioned appeal at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Jean-Claude Juncker told European lawmakers that it was “high time to act.”
“The refugee crisis will not simply go away,” he added, noting that some 500,000 refugees have entered Europe this year, many from conflict-torn Syria and Libya.
“We are fighting against Islamic State. Why are we not ready to accept those who are fleeing Islamic State?” he said.
Noting that many Europeans were refugees at one time or another, Juncker continued, “It is high time to act, to manage the refugee crisis, because there is no alternative. No rhetoric — action is what is needed for the time.”
Germany has proposed a law requiring passports and papers, etc. As if people were able to get such things from a war torn country? As if “Oh, by the way, we didn’t mean just come: make sure you have your papers in order are we’ll be throwing you out again!” So people who might have left Syria without papers due to whatever insane circumstances will now be left in limbo to suffer whatever miserable fate comes their way? Send them back to the south entry points of already overwhelmed countries like Greece – who are already bankrupt and plowed under by the bankers of Germany?:
The proposed German law would provide food and a ticket to return to the first European Union country the asylum seeker entered, instead of housing and cash benefits. That could mean far fewer people would win protection in Germany or elsewhere in Europe, since countries such as Hungary are generally declining to award refugee status. In addition, asylum seekers deemed to be withholding vital information — such as their passports or proof of their country of origin — would be denied benefits. Asylum seekers also would need to remain in crowded reception centers for six months, rather than three, before earning the right to subsidized housing. Those who failed to comply with orders to leave Germany could be subject to forced removal without advance notice. It was unclear whether the proposed German law, which must be approved by Parliament before it can take effect, would continue to make exceptions for Syrians fleeing civil war.
“This draft counteracts the new German welcome culture,” said Karl Kopp, spokesman for the pro-refugee organization ProAsyl. “It contains a toughness and populism that is not acceptable.”
As German Interior Minister Thomas de Mazière spent the better part of an hour patiently answering questions from high school and college students. Most of them were about development and asylum policy, with the students voicing extreme criticism of the policy whereby economic refugees are treated differently from those trying to escape political persecution. Finally, de Mazière had had enough. “Now I want to say something,” he said, leaning forward in his leather chair and staring directly at one of the students. “We’re sitting high and dry here, but try going to an area like Rosenheim (near Munich), where … a gymnasium has to be requisitioned (as temporary housing). Try talking about refugee policies with the parents of school children there.” The specter is one that has faced many German communities in recent months as the country has dealt with a fast-soaring influx of refugees.
As one academic admitted Where, then, does this leave us? A mix of realpolitik and vision is needed. The broader international community has to accept that simply resettling the majority population of entire countries within the EU is not a viable strategy. Temporary refuge, however, ought to be granted on the largest scale possible. Should its member-states fail to do so, the EU will expire in moral and political bankruptcy, at which point it won’t matter much whether its leaders manage to paper over the union’s seemingly endless fiscal crises.
I don’t see the EU doing much when its emergency session on the 14th was a muddled reaction at best with no clear cut proposals. What’s happening in the EU reminds me of my own country’s dismal ability to deal with our own relations with migrants and refugees from Central America and Mexico which are for the most part run by the vast underworld Drug Cartels.
Our leaders in Washington are in the bed with Corporate cronyism and sit on the fence doing nothing to actually resolve our own issues much less do anything to help in the Middle-East. And too boot most of this current crisis is a direct result from Washington failed policy, which probably was started by our own stupidity and oil mongering elite along with their buddies in Washington as slaves to corporate money. America’s empire of stupidity seems silent while they watch on in Washington while the EU sinks into torpor and chaos. As the world turns…
What I feel for is the common people both in the countries and the refugees themselves who are caught in the middle of this mess. The regular people didn’t ask for this, yet their leaderless nations seem to be unable to do anything to affect change or even agree on what to do and instead seem to be playing out blame games with each other rather than acting…. what’s sad is that if history serves as a sounding board this will only turn ugly in the coming days…. inaction breeds reactionary forces and a dark passionate embrace of terror… is this the future of humanity?