After Paris, a human crisis?
Two global phenomena are evolving rapidly toward a human crisis never seen before. One is the massive exodus of refugees from poor or war-torn countries to rich countries in Europe, and the other is the brazen terrorist attacks in the heart of European capitals like Madrid (2004), London (2013), and now Paris (2015, the Charlie Hebdo office in January and six sites in the city last Friday). These two opposing megaforces, if they persist and intensify, may cause a social meltdown in Europe. There is a two-way human migration—the larger Muslim group to Europe and the lesser Jewish group to Israel.
The attacks in Paris last Friday seem to mark the beginning of the end, and has a biblical character. After Charlie Hebdo, about 800 Jews in France migrated to Israel upon the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They were mostly from the business elite and brought with them billions of dollars. The massive capital flight will shrink the French economy and prop up Israel as a world power.
The carnage in Paris may double the migration of Jews to Israel—the return to the promised land from the millennium-old diaspora or “scattering” of the Chosen People, which started with the 500-year Babylonian exile, Jahweh’s punishment for His people for abandoning Him. The number of refugees from war-torn countries swelled after rich European countries welcomed the earlier ones with open arms, and has reached avalanche proportions. The same may happen with the migration of Jews to Israel, if terrorist attacks on Jews continue. The Book of Revelation prophesies that when the scattered Chosen People return to their promised land, it will mark the beginning of tribulations and the “end times.”
The humanitarian heart of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in welcoming refugees with open arms is slowly crumbling from a mutiny among her own people who refuse to accept more refugees. The same is true in France, Spain, Italy, Britain and the Netherlands in varying intensities. There is now a reluctance, a hesitancy, to be humanitarian in the face of the flood of refugees. The refugee phenomenon is dividing European governments and leading to some sort of bureaucratic civil wars.
There is a growing fear that terrorists, especially Islamic State members, would emerge from among the refugees, infiltrate host countries, and intensify attacks. Even if the rich countries decide to close the gates now, it may be too late. Refugees in the millions have been accepted, and there may be a terrible “war from within” that will destroy the social order. It would be worse than a tsunami killing hundreds of thousands of people.
The IS has marked two recent milestones—the attacks in Paris that resulted in 127 dead and 180 injured, France’s greatest tragedy since World War II and Europe’s since the Madrid carnage in 2004, and the downing of a Russian commercial plane, in which hundreds were killed, in retaliation for the intense and effective Russian bombings of IS enclaves in Syria. The IS is showing signs of despair. The more desperate it becomes, the more vicious its vendettas are. The more it is cornered, the more it bares its fangs.
After the attacks in Paris, France will never be the same. The carnage elevates anti-terrorism to new heights. The French ask: How can we possibly install security facilities in thousands of restaurants and nightclubs all over the city? They will certainly do so at concert halls and sports arenas, but will these matter? Terrorists may target new unguarded places at another night when everyone is asleep. “Oversecurity” will simply harass the public—a form of victory for terrorists: that they are able to agitate their enemies on a daily basis even in their absence. The intense coverage of last week’s attacks serve as effective propaganda for IS followers worldwide.
But even if France is able to successfully retaliate against the IS in Syria, even if her allies the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union help, even if the IS falls, terrorism is not solved entirely. Already, the anti-IS forces are mobilizing for a counterattack. Russia, the other anti-IS nation, has a different agenda. Whereas the West wants the vicious Bashar al-Assad out, Russia wants him in, because if the West succeeds in replacing the Shiite Assad with a Sunni ruler, the next step is to neutralize Shiite Iran, the ultimate goal of the United States and Israel. If Assad is simply replaced by an opposition Shiite regime, they would not have a stepping stone toward Iran.
Russia will go to war for sure to defend Iran because it is the critical buffer for the Russian border. The Russians fear US “encirclement,” so it is fairly easy to say that the war in Syria now may lead to World War III tomorrow, if Iran is eventually attacked.
World wars are preceded by intense polarization. In World War II, it was the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Russia versus Germany, Italy and Japan. Today, World War III is brewing with Russia, Iran and China versus the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Israel, fueled by the Sunni-Shiite war in the Middle East, which is a tool of the West to weaken the Arabs.
Bernie V. Lopez ([email protected]) has been writing political commentary for the last 20 years. He is also a radio-TV broadcaster, a documentary producer-director, and a former professor at Ateneo de Manila University.
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