Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe identifies three waves of migration to western Europe in the post-war period. Initially, migration to Britain and France came from their former colonies, to assist in the reconstruction in the 1950s and 1960s. Other western European countries also invited people from elsewhere to assist with reconstruction. Secondly, a wave of east European citizens arrived in the late 1990s and 2000s due to the expansive reach of the European Union. Murray’s book was written in the wake of the third and most recent migration wave in the past decade which was exacerbated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement on the last day of August 2015 welcoming refugees from the war in Syria.
In contrast to Merkel’s decision to allow Syrian refugees into Germany, Murray notes that countries who were fuelling the war in Syria were not as hospitable as European nations. As he writes,
“Throughout the Syrian portion of the refugee crises alone, next to nobody blamed the countries actually involved in that civil war – including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Russia – for the human cost of the conflict. There was no wide European call for Iran to take in the refugees from the conflict, anymore than there was any pressure to insist Qatar take its fair share proportion of refugees.”[i]
Let’s take Murray at his word and put aside that there were reports of British support for the so-called Syrian rebels as early as 2012. If one reads between the lines of this excerpt and unpacks what he refers to as the “Syrian portion”, then we come face to face to the other portion of the migration crises. Namely, the one spurred by the NATO led campaign to remove Colonel Ghadhaffi from power in Libya. The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ which began with the relatively peaceful overthrow the governments of Tunisia and Egypt in early 2011 was followed by an uprising in Benghazi, in eastern Libya which quickly turned into an insurgency. Western media concocted scenarios on how Ghadhaffi was on the verge of carrying out massacre after massacre if the West didn’t intervene. Continue reading