December 31st, 2016

Merkel’s New Year message expresses Europe’s immigration contradiction in a nutshell

Angela Merkel tried to have it both ways in her New Year’s message to the German people.

First, she talked about the terrorist threat:

Islamist terrorism is the biggest challenge facing Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said in her New Year message.

Referring to the deadly truck attack in Berlin by a Tunisian asylum seeker, she said it was “sickening” when acts of terror were carried out by people who had sought protection.

So, unlike our own president, Merkel does not minimize the terrorist threat, and she apparently calls it by its name: “Islamist terrorism.” (I say “apparently” because I don’t have a transcript of her speech and anyway I don’t speak German, so I’m relying on the report in the linked article.)

However, she also was careful to say this:

“As we go about our lives and our work, we are saying to the terrorists: ‘You are hate-filled murderers, but you do not determine how we live and want to live. We are free, considerate and open’,” Mrs Merkel said.

What does “considerate” mean? It almost makes me want to learn German, to understand her mentality here. Does it mean “polite”? “Working and playing well with others”? What does that mean, when speaking collectively?

And “open”? As in “committed to open borders”? Or “refusing to take proper security precautions”?

Merkel followed up with this:

…[T]he chancellor said images of the devastation in the Syrian city of Aleppo, where Syrian government forces have forced out rebels after months of fighting, showed how “important and right” it was for Germany to take in those fleeing the conflict.

Actually, it does no such thing. First of all, Germany has no way to tell who is actually fleeing the conflict and who is along for the ride and pretending to be fleeing the conflict. Secondly, just because a person needs to flee a conflict doesn’t mean that western European countries need to take that person in; there are plenty of Muslim countries who can do so (Turkey was doing quite a bit of it, for example, as was Jordan).

Thirdly (and probably most importantly), if Merkel would like Germany to remain “free, considerate, and open,” it had better take in people who are committed to freedom, consideration, and openness in a society. Those things are not particularly characteristic of the culture, religion, and society from which Syrian refugees come, and it’s an error of extreme magnitude to pretend that isn’t true or that it doesn’t matter.

So there’s a contradiction here.

I would assume that Merkel (and other European leaders who say much the same thing) knows it, too, but that she’s caught in a bind. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the strength of her belief that the power of the German people’s goodwill—their consideration and openness, and all those other kindly virtues—will prevail, and that if they just wish it hard enough, and are considerate and open enough, it will all work out.

17 Responses to “Merkel’s New Year message expresses Europe’s immigration contradiction in a nutshell”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Can Merkel’s commitment to doing the ‘right’ thing be doubted? Clearly if regretably, she’s willing to sacrifice the German people upon the altar of her ideology. After all, any suffering is in a good cause and who better to decide for the rabble than their betters?

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    Actually, since she’s up for re-election, I think the “rabble” will get to decide.

    She is responsible for letting all these refugees in, including some terrorists. She may think she has to stand by it, and here she’s trying to thread the needle. But the people will decide (as they did in Britain and in the US) whether to repudiate her or not.

  3. Ann Says:

    Re that “We are free, considerate and open”, the German government website translates it as “We are free, compassionate and open”.

    The exact German phrase in her speech is “Wir sind frei, mitmenschlich, offen”, which Google translates as “We are free, human, open”.

  4. blert Says:

    She’s as above advice as Adolf.

    BTW, do keep in mind that these so-called refugees are not being given a path to German citizenship. That would be a daunting project for even German-Americans to obtain.

    Europe just does not recognize birth-right citizenship. Instead, ‘guest-workers’ can stay in-country based upon their documents. These provide for perpetual non-citizen status.

    Koreans living in Japan — their family heritage going back centuries within Japan — are still non-citizens.

    The Swedes are deporting about half of all refugees — before 12 months is up. The latest Swedish project is to park new refugees// migrants up near the Arctic Circle — in Swedish army tents. Nope, no making that up.

    Since the vast bulk of their refugees are coming from equatorial climates — whoa — are they in for a shock.

    Muslims universally shun German foodstuffs, too. There have been riots over the matter. Think of it as the “Sepoy Mutiny of the Hijrah”

    The German scheme for employers and employees is highly controlled by the German government. As a rule, all long term positions are to be routed through the government — almost like the postings seen in the US for civil service jobs.

    All employee wannabes must also route their interest through the German government. It vets their application. eg Any American PhD is discarded, it can’t count in Germany. Ditto a Pakistani MD. It gets zeroed out, too. All advanced, high income jobs are reserved for native born Germans that have attended GERMAN universities and colleges. Limited reciprocity occurs with other European powers, but don’t get your hopes up.

    With the above in mind, you can understand why only 55 souls out of 1,000,000 have found employment in Merkel’s Germany. 50 of them are employed by the post office — to read Arabic addresses to the MENA, no doubt.

    ALL of their advanced degrees — get automatically zeroed out — per the long standing rules. Yes, a fair number of the migrants actually do have college educations — Syrian educations. Translated into German: they’re as useful as a high school sophmore… ready to enter a German apprenticeship program.

    All other so-called refugees are on the dole.

    Similar stats exist across all of Europe.

    The British do have one advantage, they’re largely importing trouble from English speaking Pakistanis. Yes, that’s the same nation that birthed the Taliban, and hid Osama so as to shake down America for Big Loot. ( Al Capone couldn’t have topped their achievement.)

    In Italy, ‘refugees’ lament that they are housed in open air prisons, as in, they get wet when the rain comes.

    And to repeat, ALL Muslims hate European foodstuffs. This is one of their TOP complaints the moment they get a shout at the microphone.

    There are plenty of H1-b Muslims and Hindus in my town. (Intel) You’d not believe what they’ve done to lamb pricing at the local grocer.

    No small number of these Muslims were farmers. Their farming talent is totally useless in Europe.

    The only humane solution is to ship these invaders back — gratis.

  5. blert Says:

    When Americans read about Europe, they conflate American birthright citizenship with the European schemes.

    What everyone should understand, any of the European powers can revoke ones ‘papers’ — at will.

    Being a guest worker is no guarantee that you can vote.

    If the Europeans ever cut off the dole, you’ll see riots — and an exodus.

    Economically speaking, Muslims don’t bring anything to the table… not in Europe.

    ( Don’t get tripped by apostate ex-Muslims pretending to be faithful. All devout Muslims are on hijrah, virtually the highest form of aggressive jihad — against the kafir. )

  6. Baklava Says:

    I don’t know anything other than what I read about Europe and Germany.

    Axe that.

    I see with my own eyes in the Information Age because people post videos of the “no go” zones and harrassment they receive.

    I can’t fathom how anybody thinks that is any way to raise kids.

  7. JTW Says:

    “The exact German phrase in her speech is “Wir sind frei, mitmenschlich, offen”, which Google translates as “We are free, human, open”.”

    Ann, Google is wrong. “Mitmenschlich” means compassionate or humane (depending on context).
    Literally “with-humanish”, iow “taking others into consideration”.

    She once again focused solely on the migrants, not on her own people, except insofar as to proclaim that Germans should place the feelings and needs of migrants above their own.

  8. Ann Says:


    So which would you say was closest to her meaning in this instance — the German government website’s “compassionate” or the BBC’s “considerate”? My English-language brain sees a difference in those words.

  9. Philip Says:

    I started to put down some thoughts on the Chancellor’s address, then realized that they were growing out of control, so I dusted off my own blog page and put it there. But I’ll just narcissistically put a precis here.

    I find a lot to admire in Chancellor Merkel’s New Year’s speech, honestly. I have some disagreements with it, too, but I find it interesting that she can still speak optimistically about things and is trying to take the long view. She admits that it’s hard to do these days.

    But at the same time that she is a diehard optimist when it comes to the ability of the German social market economy to meet the crises and changes of the time, as she says, better than any other economic system in the world. And she emphasizes the values of German democracy throughout. She’s – I wouldn’t quite say begging, but let’s say almost imploring people not to give up on parliamentary democracy or the European idea.

    I think Chancellor Merkel has in this speech missed or glossed over some of the real reasons for that dissatisfaction – not totally, but at the same time clearly not giving enough honest attention to those reasons to satisfy the average AfD member, I would imagine. I think she does to some extent want to have it both ways, as you put it, but maybe not in the sense that you mean it.

    In my reading of it, her wanting it both ways is in the sense that on the one hand, as I said, Merkel remains optimistic about the robustness of German society and so on. But on the other hand, there is a certain pessimism about the ability of Germany to stand economically or otherwise as a truly independent country, for example. This is coupled with a certain grim hanging-on attitude when it comes to making the European project work over the long term.

    At least she doesn’t seem to me to do what His Majesty at 1600 Pennsylvania would have done in her place – just continue to wave off all worries, criticisms, fears for the future of one’s country as just a “false choice” and give objectors the back of his hand.

    But she focuses on the problem of terrorism too exclusively, I think, as the source of this disquiet. I get the feeling from the German commentators that I read that they’re motivated much more by the little things that, cumulatively, make a bigger difference than the occasional spectacular terror attack. I’m not convinced that Merkel understands this yet. In that sense, I think she’s laid herself wide open to the criticism of being ostrich-blind.

    Still, I give her some credit for her continuing faith in what she honestly considers to be good German values – though that faith comes at a significant cost to her people at this point.

  10. Philip Says:

    (I forgot to note that my comments are based on the German text only. In connection with the questions around the proper translation of ‘mitmenschlich,’ for example, I thought this pertinent.)

  11. blert Says:

    Philip Says:
    December 31st, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    You’ve skipped past the fact that ALL European nations don’t recognize birth-right citizenship.

    Each nation has its variation… but…. even American-Europeans have a HARD time becoming citizens.

    Does ANYONE bring that up in the MSM ?

    NOPE !

    The Swedes, the Danes, the Brits, the Germans, the French ALL want the moral superiority of being Americans. Not ONE of them wants to pay the citizenship price.

    THAT’S reality.


  12. blert Says:

    It’s a true, brutal, and non-PC FACT that Muslims can’t STAND the kafir.

    Weirdly, the MORE that the kafir help them out — the MORE the Muslims disrespect and HATE the kafir.

    Such charity is ALWAYS explained away, by the imam, as supplication.

    Which Muslims have entirely ‘covered’ by their “scriptures.”

    We’ve been through all of this before:: Jews trying to deal rationally with Nazis.

    But, there was NEVER any rational dealings with the Nazis.


    What is the difference between Wahhabis and Nazis ?

    Absolutely, no-one knows.


    What is the difference between ISIS and Nazis ?

    Absolutely, no-one knows.

    What is the difference between ISIS and KSA ?

    Absolutely, no-one knows.


    Who (institutionally) hid Osama bin Laden for Y E A R S ?

    So that Islamabad could shake down Washington // the kafir/ / for enough lucer to ramp up their atomic program ( with Red Chinese $$$ and plans ) to surpass BOTH France and Brtain ?

    That such astounding expenditures mean that Pakistan LACKS the ability to provide fresh water to its own farmers… !

    Yes, jihad demanded that Islamabad deny countless hydro-power projects — so that hate would fill the guts of Pakistanis — not food — not rice — not electric power, nor fresh water. THIS even though few nations have the hydrology of Pakistan.

    { It’s fantastic … near to Peru … the most astounding of the entire planet. ]

    Yes, NO Pakistani project of import has happened since the Carter administration. ( Considering the delays … probably the Ford administration. ]

  13. Philip Says:

    blert Says:
    December 31st, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Philip Says:
    December 31st, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    You’ve skipped past the fact that ALL European nations don’t recognize birth-right citizenship.

    I “skipped past” it because it wasn’t relevant to the subject at hand. Did you perhaps mean to direct that at someone else?

  14. blert Says:


    It’s dead on target.

    It means that the titanic issue of ultimate politics is unresolved….

    And very reversible.


    When Americans admit refugees, the presumption is that they have every shot at becoming American citizens. Indeed, there is the presumption that they will.

    This is NOT true anywhere else.

    Virtually all other nations regard such refugees as entering a social ‘parking lot.’

    This is a “news flash” to modern Americans.

    Even Cuba will admit of political refugees. But only of a trickle. As new citizens ? Nope.

    It’s just as well, they’re (American) criminals, with rare exception.

  15. Frog Says:

    Ach, ja, Phillip deems “the Chancellor” a kind-hearted, optimistic and mitmenschlich soul. More of us, including many Germans, would consider her action re “migrants” tyrannical and hurtful, both in the short and the long terms.

  16. neo-neocon Says:


    In Germany, legal immigrants—and particularly their German-born children—are not completely barred from becoming citizens. Here’s the way it works:

    From 1990 the [naturalization] law was steadily tightened each year to limit the number of immigrants, requiring immigrants to prove language skills and cultural affiliation…

    Children born on or after 1 January 2000 to non-German parents acquire German citizenship at birth if at least one parent:

    has a permanent residence permit and
    has been residing in Germany for at least eight years.

    In order to retain German citizenship, such children are required to take affirmative measures by age 23, after which their German citizenship otherwise expires. These affirmative measures may include proof of the applicant’s link to Germany, which comprises either of the following:

    resided in Germany for at least eight years during their 21 first years of life
    has attended a school in Germany for at least six years
    has graduated from a school in Germany
    successfully finished vocational/ professional training in Germany

    These requirements are fulfilled in the vast majority of cases. If they are not fulfilled, the applicant can alternatively prove that he or she does not hold any foreign citizenship other than in a European Union member nation or a nation such as Morocco, Nigeria, or Iran whose domestic law provides that citizenship in it cannot be lost…

    Between 1995 and 2004, 1,278,424 people obtained German citizenship by naturalization. This means that about 1.5% of the total German population was naturalized during that period.

    That is followed by a chart that states that, between 1995 and 2012, about 670,000 people of Turkish origin became German citizens, 66,500 Iranians, a very similar number of Serbians and Montenegrans, about 34,000 Afghans, 43,000 Moroccans, and large numbers from several other Muslim countries. All of these totals are larger than the number coming from any European country and getting German citizenship.

    The newest arrivals (since the Syrian war) are not citizens yet, of course; the multi-year waiting period has not been fulfilled yet. But they and their children will be eligible later on.

    Also, by the way, it says in that Wiki article on German naturalization that “refugees and stateless persons may be able to apply after 6 years of continual residency.”

    More here.

  17. Mike Perry Says:

    Quote: “We are free, considerate and open,” Mrs Merkel said.

    Merkel—obviously not at risk herself given the level of security that surrounds her and other more obvious reasons—is ignoring the enormous loss of freedom that young German women now face, particularly after dark. All the pretense in the world can remove the very real risk they face.

    Nor that freedom cannot be restored by flooding a few special events (Cologne on New Years Eve) with cops. It can only be maintained by expelling and keeping out likely offenders. When deeds are indefensible, the mere risk of committing them is sufficient reason.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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