Thursday, June 09, 2011

Camp of the Saints: The Blame Game

Sicily refugees #1

Only one boatload of migrants has arrived in Italy since my last report. This one had fifty-two culture-enrichers on board, and landed on the coast of Salento, right at the tip of the “heel” of the Italian boot.

As is generally the case with arrivals on the Italian mainland, particularly in Apulia, the refugees did not originate in North Africa. Since they are Afghans and Iranians, it seems likely that they came in through Anatolia, via Greece or the Balkans.

According to AGI:

Boat With 52 on Board Intercepted Near Apulia

(AGI) Lecce — A boat carrying 52 immigrants was intercepted off the coast of the Salento area in Apulia. Police helicopters and patrol boats spotted the 15 meter long vessel around 10 miles from Santa Maria dei Leuca as it sailed towards the coast; the boat was accosted by coastal patrol and escorted to the port in Otranto. The immigrants, among whom were 3 women and 9 minors who are presumed to be of Iranian and Afghan nationality so far, were then taken to the Don Tonino Bello reception centre in Otranto for identification procedures.

The total number of refugees arriving in Italy since the beginning of the year remains at something between 39,000 and 40,000. This latest addition does not affect the total enough to warrant an update of the Cultural Enrichment Thermometer.

The rest of tonight’s articles concern the political wrangling, infighting, and blame-slinging among various European nations. We’ll begin with another follow-up on the migrant boat that sank a week or so ago off the coast of Tunisia:

Update Regarding Migrant Boat Sinking Off Tunisian Coast

Tunisian authorities continue to recover the bodies of victims from the migrant boat that capsized off the coast of the Kerkennah islands last week. TAP reported that 26 additional bodies were recovered on Sunday, 5 June. Poor weather conditions on Sunday made recovery operations difficult. According to TAP, 577 persons were rescued from the boat and 200 to 270 persons are believed to have drowned. There are conflicting media reports regarding the numbers of confirmed deaths. Some reports indicate that at least 150 bodies have been recovered in addition to the 26 bodies reportedly recovered on 5 June.

The boat, named The Wave, ran around last week, probably on Wednesday, 1 June. The boat did not capsize until after rescue boats had arrived on the scene. Tunisian coast guard and local fishing boats were involved in the rescue efforts. The rescue boats did not have the capacity to rescue all of the migrants from the stranded migrant boat and some people jumped into the water and others moved to one side of the migrant boat causing it to capsize. Media pictures show the vessel in an upright position with some rescue boats already on scene. A France24 video report contains cell phone video shot immediately after the boat capsized. (See pictures below.)

UNHCR and IOM staff have conducted interviews with some of the survivors. According to UNHCR, the boat left Tripoli on 28 May with up to 850 people on board. The passengers were primarily from West Africa, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The crew was recruited on an ad hoc basis and had little or no maritime experience. The France24 video report states that survivors said Libyan military assisted them in leaving Libya. The boat became lost after leaving Tripoli and on Wednesday, 1 June, it ran around near the Kerkennah islands. UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said that the boat “capsized as desperate passengers rushed to one side, seeking rescue by the Tunisian coast guard and fishing boats that had approached the vessel. Many fell into the water.” IOM staff reported that at least one survivor said that during the boat’s voyage some people were thrown overboard alive. The boat reportedly had run out of food and water.

I recommend a visit to the original blog post to see photos of the boat in the process of capsizing.

Now it’s time to assign blame for this and other migrant-related disasters. Who do you think is responsible for all the injuries and deaths that befall the Mediterranean boat people? Hint: it’s not the Patagonians.

From The Times of Malta:
European Governments Blamed for African Drownings

There was a need to radically increase air surveillance along the Libyan coast and further out to spot any fragile vessels at sea and safely prepare a rescue, The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg said.

In his latest human rights comment published today, Mr Hammarberg said that the imperative principle of “rescue at sea” must not only be respected for those close to a sinking ship;

“In view of the ongoing military operations it would be difficult to argue that there are no resources for such reconnaissance activity.

“Indeed, the escalation of the armed conflict has contributed to the acute situation of the sub-Saharan migrants.”

Mr Hammarberg said that European governments and institutions have more responsibility for this crisis than they have demonstrated so far.

“Their silence and passivity are difficult to accept.

“When preventing migrants from coming has become more important than saving lives, something has gone dramatically wrong,” he said.

The commissioner pointed out that least another 150 persons drowned, while others were saved this week. In a similar tragedy in May, about 600 persons lost their lives and there were other reports about missing vessels with migrants on board.

It likely that the death toll for this year has now reached 1 400, or perhaps even more.

Mr Hammarberg said that the drowning tragedies in the Mediterranean were not a new phenomenon; there have been many such incidents over recent years.


“Gone are the days when Gaddafi co-operated with European governments — in exchange for generous aid and investments — to prevent even the most desperate asylum seekers from reaching Europe,” Mr Hammarberg said.

A recurring feature of the “Camp of the Saints” crisis is the squabble between Italy and Malta over which country is doing its duty towards the refugees, and which is shirking. The Italian foreign minister says that Malta is standing on the sidelines, doing nothing:

Malta ‘Just a Spectator’ In Migrant Exodus – Frattini

Italy yesterday lambasted Malta for being “just a spectator” to the exodus of immigrants from Libya seeking refuge in Europe, further stoking the simmering dispute between the two countries.

The Italian government also claimed it was gathering evidence that the Libyan government was behind the current crossings of irregular migration towards Europe.

The latest accusations against Malta were made by Italy’s Foreign Affairs Minister Franco Frattini during an interview published in the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera.

He said Italy had to report Malta to the EU as he claimed the island was not doing its part to save the lives of hundreds of immigrants crossing its vast search and rescue area (SAR).

“We had to report Malta as in many instances the Maltese authorities are just looking at the problem and not giving any help when immigrants are in Malta’s SAR waters,” Mr Frattini charged.

Insisting Italy was prepared to do all it could to save lives, Mr Frattini said the Italian government had ordered its rescue services to intervene and save lives in all circumstances, even in faraway seas and in areas which were not directly in its responsibility.

Brussels has not reacted to Italy’s accusations against Malta, saying only that the two countries should continue to collaborate on rescue missions in the Mediterranean.

Malta and Italy have been at loggerheads in the past years over the interpretation of international maritime rules connected with SAR operations.

Mr. Frattini also points a finger at Col. Muammar Qheddafi, correctly assigning responsibility for the bulk of the crisis to the Libyan dictator. Col. Qadafi deliberately unleashed a flood of refugees on Europe, particularly Italy, in revenge for the NATO air war:

In his interview, Mr Frattini – a former European Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs – also upped his ante against Libya saying the Libyan regime was behind the current migration flow.

“We are gathering evidence that the Libyan regime is behind this wave of illegal immigration as a reaction against Europe on the Nato intervention. People arriving in Lampedusa from Libya are saying they were forced onto boats and that they had not paid anything to cross over to Europe,” he said.

According to Mr Frattini, if these allegations are true, there could be a case against Libya before the ICC for crimes against humanity.

Malta has a thing or two to say in response:

Malta Replies to Frattini Over Migrant Rescue Row

Home affairs and justice minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici has hit back at Italy’s foreign minister Franco Frattini who accused Malta of ‘not doing its part’ to save the lives of migrants fleeing Libya.

Mifsud Bonnici stressed that Malta always adhered to its international obligations and coordinated search and rescue operations.


In his reply, Carm Mifsud Bonnici said that Frattini had not been factual in his statements.

“Had he been so, the Armed Forces of Malta would not have rescued 1,530 people since the Libyan crisis started, including a group of 76 persons who escaped from Misurata on a fishing trawler last week.”

The above paragraph is useful, giving us a working total for the number of culture-enrichers to arrive in Malta since January. Italy has received upwards of 40,000 migrants during the same time period, so it’s understandable that the Italians find the 1,530 picked up by Malta to be paltry in comparison.

However, consider the relative sizes of the two countries. Malta is a tiny island, with a land area of 122 square miles, which is just over one tenth of one percent of Italy’s 116,304 square miles. If the Italians had taken in a proportionate number of refugees, their camps would contain about 1.46 million temporary detainees by now.

So the Maltese may have a point.

While stressing that Malta had “taken note” of Frattini’s comments, he insisted that the Maltese government “serenely awaited” any communication from Rome or other relevant authorities to prove the above by answering in full and stating the facts.

Issues between Malta and Italy over migrant rescues in the Mediterranean have continued over the past hours, with the Northern League Venetian governor and fisheries minister Luca Zaia stressing that “Catholic Malta cannot afford to leave migrants die at sea.”

Our final article moves a bit farther afield, to the United Kingdom. The British are concerned that the North African culture-enrichers who have made it to France may be passed on to Great Britain.

The British Home Secretary says that her country will decline to accept them:

UK: Keep Your Arab Spring Migrants, May Tells France

Theresa May promised “strong practical action” yesterday to prevent migrants fleeing the turmoil in North Africa from reaching Britain.

The Home Secretary, visiting France to inspect cross-Channel border controls, said there was no evidence yet that refugees from the Arab Spring had arrived in this country. But she added: “We do need to look ahead to what might be happening in the future.”

Thousands of migrants from Tunisia and Libya have crossed by sea to Italy, with many heading for France. Italy handed more than 25,000 Tunisians temporary permits to travel, effectively giving them unobstructed travel around much of the European Union.

Ms May has said that the Government is not prepared to “share the burden” of accommodating the new arrivals. “We need lasting practical co-operation and not burden-sharing,” she said. “We very much feel we need to be working with countries in North Africa, like Tunisia, to provide practical support through the EU for them to be able to exercise border controls on their borders.”

Ms May, after holding talks with her French counterpart, the interior minister, Claude Guéant, said joint operations between Britain and France had cut the number of people trying to get to this country from Calais.

“Continued pressure from illegal immigrants in France is a joint problem for both the UK and France and as such requires a joint solution. We are committed to continuing to ensure the border is impenetrable,” she said.

France has had to take in very little of the “Arab Spring” surplus up until now, so any portion that reaches Britain will be minuscule. For the foreseeable future, Italy will bear the brunt of the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

For readers who are new to our “Camp of the Saints” series: the title refers to the apocalyptic refugee scenario described in Jean Raspail’s novel The Camp of the Saints.

For previous posts about the Mediterranean refugee crisis, see The Camp of the Saints Archive.

Hat tips: AC, C. Cantoni, and Fjordman.


Anonymous said...

I'm a little surprised they're going for Italy. They could have overwhelmed Cyprus instead and functionally conquered it for Islam.

Baron Bodissey said...

randian --

They would not be able to live well on the infidel's dime on Cyprus. That's the difference.

If they overwhelmed Cyprus, they would exhaust its resources very quickly, and soon be reduced to raiding one another to live (unless the UN stepped in with lots of aid, of course).

Italy is not the destination of choice. It just happens to be a Western nation of relative wealth and is the easiest to reach. The ultimate enrichment targets are Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and Sweden.

Word goes out through the ethnic networks about which places offer the fattest living for the least effort, and the enrichers tend to head for those places.

Ideology doesn't have to be involved, except for the universal no-frills core principle that every Muslim takes in with his mother's milk: "It is my right to take from the kafir as much as I can get, without ever having to give anything back."

Anonymous said...

Baron: "Mr. Frattini also points a finger at Col. Muammar Qheddafi, correctly assigning responsibility for the bulk of the crisis to the Libyan dictator. Col. Qadafi deliberately unleashed a flood of refugees on Europe, particularly Italy, in revenge for the NATO air war."

Yes, but.... Who deliberately unleashed a flood of refugees on Libya? The problem predates our formerly 'helpful' Colonel who dealt with his own refugee crisis by making money off of refugees created by the wars commenced on behalf of Allah by the 'religion of peace' in Africa.

Anonymous said...

"and escorted to the port in Otranto. ...., were then taken to the Don Tonino Bello reception centre in Otranto

Gee, I should get such an escort and reception the day I visit Italia.

as to the boat sinking off the coast of Tunisia....

it was an unfortunate incident,yes, but why is it Europeans are so eager to take the blame?

It was :

1- Full of adults who knew what they were doing and decided to take the risk

2-Loaded with people beyond the boat's capacity


It was right at Tunisia- and the port police allowed them to set off - and probably saw what happened and did nothing.

So, if any people are to blame, it's the Tunisian themselves!

Baron Bodissey said...

Egghead --

I take exception to the use of the word "deliberate" to describe the actions of anyone in this crisis except for Col. Qaddafi.

The million or so sub-Saharan migrants in Libya were there for the same reasons that others have come to Europe: they came to a wealthier country in search of an easier way to make a living. Gadafi and the Libyans employed a lot of them as laborers, domestics, etc., and penned the excess up in camps under horrible conditions.

But nobody "deliberately" unleashed them on Libya. They ended up there because they had the misfortune to be born in dysfunctional African countries, and Libya -- nasty as it was -- offered a better opportunity.

Western Europe is even better than that, of course. It's the land of Milk and Social Benefits, where the kafir's wealth is there for the taking.

Ghadafi had been extorting money from the EU to keep the dregs penned up. When the current war started, he announced that he would unleash the riff-raff upon Europe, and that is exactly what he did.

Anonymous said...

Hi Baron: I do so LOVE to have a good discussion, so I googled "Libya Sub-Sahara African refugees" just for fun and up popped three quite good scholarly citations for us to consider regarding the root cause of Libya's - and thus Europe's - Sub-Saharan refugee problem.

I do think that it is hypocritical to consider the refugee problem as it affects Europe without looking further down the line to the root cause of WHY millions of Africans feel the need to risk their lives to migrate anywhere whether it be Libya or Europe.

Based on my recent reading, I posit that Libya's sub Saharan refugee problem is substantial and completely unsustainable and is caused by 1) European brain drain of skilled Sub-Saharan Africans, 2) past world isolation of Libya resulting in Libya gravitating toward better relations with Sub-Saharan Africa with the result of open border agreements, 3) Libyan standard of living being higher than that of Sub-Saharan Africa, 4) Muslim-initiated wars and conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa causing people to try to escape war-torn regions, and 5) famine in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Anonymous said...

From 30 September – 1 October of 2004, The Council of Europe sponsored the Regional Conference on “Migrants in transit countries: sharing responsibility
for management and protection” at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul (Turkey) where Hassen BOUBAKRI presented a paper entitled "Transit migration between Tunisia, Libya and Sub-Saharan
Africa: study based on Greater Tunis."

Here are two relevant passages:

Regarding increased migration to Tunisia and Libya: “All this in a period that has also seen the escalation, in Africa, of inter-ethnic conflict, civil wars and humanitarian crises: in Sudan, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Great Lakes regions, etc. and, more recently, in Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria and in Sudanese Darfur.”

I googled the name of each of these countries plus Muslim 2004, and each country had a healthy Muslim population in 2004. My personal interpretation is that the labels of ethnic strife and civil war are a nice way to say that African Muslims commenced violent Islamic jihad on their non-Muslim neighbors - causing a mass movement of people to Libya which accepted those immigrants.

“The principle of the free movement of people, however, is enshrined in the agreements signed between Libya and most of its partners in Sub-Saharan Africa, as part of Libya’s policy of rapprochement with Africa and the setting up of the African Union, a
project in which Libya has played an active part. The international embargo imposed on Libya between 1992 and 2000 prompted it to look to its African “roots”, by developing a policy of co-operation, alliances and substantial development aid for the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Anonymous said...

Source for Council of Europe post above

Anonymous said...

In 2006, Martin Baldwin-Edwards wrote a paper entitled "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: North Africa as a region of emigration, immigration and transit migration for the REVIEW OF AFRICAN POLITICAL ECONOMY.

Here are the relevant passages:

“Libya has a rather different history of migration policy. Owing to the development of its oil and a high per capita GDP, it was always a destination country for labour migrants. Some limited temporary emigration occurred, mostly of businessmen and students to Malta and Egypt (NDI, 2005: 27); since Libya removed formal travel restrictions, there has been increasing travel by young people to Italy and Malta. However, the Libyan diaspora is very small. On the other hand, the number and proportion of immigrants in Libya is high: estimates range from 1.1-1.4 million (NDI, 2005) up to 1.8 million, of which only 600,000 are legal workers (EC, 2004: 5). With a total recorded population of around 5.5m, this means that the immigrant/population ratio is of the order of 25-30%. The majority of temporary workers traditionally have come from Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, although more recent visafree entry for all of Africa resulted also in large numbers of sub-Saharan Africans (NDI, 2005: 29).”

“North African economies cannot be described as doing particularly well, with Libya’s per capita GDP the highest at $3,5002 for 2002, Tunisia at $6,800 (PPP), Algeria at
$5,800 (PPP), and both Egypt and Morocco at $3,800 (PPP) (UNDP, 2004). However, in comparison with the majority of African countries even North Africa looks prosperous, and it is moreover closer to Europe and therefore a stepping stone to a better life. Thus, in recent years, North African countries have attracted significant numbers of African and also some Asian migrants: most fail to cross the Mediterranean and reach the European continent and remain in very poor conditions
in North Africa.”

Anonymous said...

Another relevant passage:

"As discussed above, Libya has a large illegal immigrant population – of which a great part is sub-Saharan. In 2003, Libya expelled some 43,000 migrants, of which 38% were Egyptian, 15% Nigers and over 33% sub-Saharan (EC 2005a: 38). For 2004, the verbal statement made to the EP delegation by the relevant senior public official, stated that 75,000 had been repatriated, of which 17,000 were Nigers, 11,000
Ghanaians, 7,000 Nigerians, 5,000 Egyptians and 3,000 Sudanese (EP 2005: 9). However, it is thought that most of the illegal immigrants residing in Libya are not transit migrants, but simply looking for work. Given the lack of basic immigration infrastructure, there is no mechanism to distinguish between different motivations or types of migrant."

Again, I googled the name of each of these countries plus Muslim 2006, and each country had a healthy Muslim population in 2006. My personal interpretation is that the motivations of many migrants involved the fact that African Muslims commenced violent Islamic jihad on their non-Muslim neighbors - causing a mass movement of people to Libya which accepted those immigrants.

Anonymous said...

Two more relevant passages:

"Overall, there does not appear to be a significant brain-drain from North Africa [Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya]. Data for sub-Saharan countries show a different pattern, with ratios ranging from 25-40%, suggesting a problem of emigration of the highly skilled from the rest of Africa."

"The World Bank database is not published in full, but some partial datasets are shown in tabular form (World Bank, 2006b: ch. 5). One indicator of a serious problem with skilled emigration, is the proportion of a country’s skilled workforce which has emigrated. North Africa is not prominent in the list, but several African countries are: Gambia (63%), Sierra Leone (53%), Ghana (47%), Liberia (45%), Kenya (38%), Uganda (36%), Angola (33%), Somalia (33%). Morocco is shown as having lost 17% of its skilled workforce: presumably the other North African countries are below 15%, the lowest proportion shown in the table."

Here we see the disturbing trend that Europe (and the West) have systematically skimmed the best and brightest people from Africa (all in the name of recruiting diversity to Europe) while leaving the less skilled and non-skilled common African mired in Muslim ethnic conflict and civil war - which surely lead to man-made famine to join whatever famine naturally occurs.

In my opinion, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: North Africa as a region of emigration, immigration and transit migration" is the best of the three papers and is a great read.

"Between a Rock and a Hard Place: North Africa as a region of emigration, immigration and transit migration"

Anonymous said...

The last article that I will cite is only available as an abstract unless you have a subscription which I lack. :)

The State, Refugees and Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa by John K. Akokpari is an article first published online: 16 DEC 2002 from
International Migration, Volume 36, Issue 2, pages 211–234, June 1998.

John K. Akokpari states, “Once refugees and migration are induced, the effects are felt by the refugees themselves, the home governments as well as the host country. Refugees undergo traumatic experiences, the home government suffers from brain drain, and the host country is compelled to stretch its resources beyond limits to accommodate the new arrivees. While refugees further abuse the environment, illegal emigrants may resort to drugs pushing and prostitution (in the case of females) as part of their innovative survival strategies.”

The State, Refugees and Migration in Sub-Saharan Africa

Anonymous said...

To wit, war/jihad = immigration = crime = human suffering.

To say that Libya should be able to prevent and/or absorb as many - or really more - Sub-Saharan African immigrants than all of Europe is currently straining under and complaining about is far-fetched to say the least.

Europe had a GREAT deal when the Colonel was willing to mitigate (for a price) the European and African immigration problems CAUSED by Muslim jihad.

The idea that Europe and the United States would seek to completely dismantle Libya's well-defined role in immigrant mitigation is yet another sign that our Caliph-in-Chief and his international Muslim Brotherhood is intent to extend the ummah into Europe - starting with the hated Rome as the seat of the Papacy.

Has it occurred to anyone at all that the Libyan 'war' is a false front to enable Western leaders to continue mass Muslim immigration?!

Just as the European leaders began to meow that they would curb legal Muslim immigration, well now, all of a sudden, we have a joint American/European initiative to oust the Colonel - an initiative that European leaders point blank knew would result in even greater mass Muslim immigration because Libya was the cornerstone of European immigration policy to prevent mass African Muslim immigration - which both the Colonel and the European leaders well knew.

But, there's no New World Order or Muslim conspiracy or anything like that - yeah, no planning at all - people aren't that mean or devious or smart or something like that - right, it's all just a coincidence - just a bunch of Sad Sack (google it) Muslims who all happened to show up at the same time to eat us out of house and home - we won't let thoughts of a multi-stage conspiracy bug us.

War (dare I say jihad) is ALWAYS a way to deliberately unleash Muslim refugees on other countries - at least in modern times.

All the better for the ummah if Muslim refugees can legitimately claim the need for humanitarian relief from terrible ordeals - ordeals initiated by Muslims on behalf of the ummah.

It's a win-win for the ummah. The ummah gets to conquer the old country and send Muslim refugees as a forward force into new countries.

More Muslims are also a win-win for the New World Order which plans to implement draconian police states to contain the civil violence imported with every Muslim refugee.

Sagunto said...

Egghead -

You win.
And you may throw in Beelzebub for good measure, I don't mind ;-) Still like your style and dedication.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I try hard....

I greatly admire you, the Baron, Hesperado, and Zenster.

I am trying to get everyone to see that we are all in the middle of a complicated geo-political chess game with sophisticated players who are quite good at obscuring their strategy from the common observer. Many moves are planned ahead with the object to win the game. We are lowly pawns in the larger chess game, and our kings are fully willing to sacrifice us in the quest to win the game.

Zenster said...

Egghead: We are lowly pawns in the larger chess game…

Thank you for your generous and encouraging praise, Egghead. Still, please never forget that even a lowly pawn can traverse the board to become a most powerful piece.

All of our labors here at Gates of Vienna carry each of us forward towards goals that few others anticipate with any accuracy. We may yet see one of us become America's own Geert Wilders.

Let us all hope that it will not happen too late. Would that Winston Churchill were still alive to guide the lot of us.

Watchful said...

Takuan makes an interesting point which, from my observations, is true. When some Jewish leaders have taken a "multi-culti" action that they are aware is against the best interests of Jews, they feel that this just demonstrates how moral and ethical they are.

[Now you Jew haters, please don't try to claim that I'm saying that all Jewish leaders act in this fashion, or in any other fashion, all the time]

Like all Liberals, they feel that they are highly moral, ethical people who support the Good (even if many don't really believe in Evil anymore) by extending a helping hand to others in need, both within and outside the United States. Jews probably give more to charities than any other group with the possible exception of the Mormons who are tithed.

This point of view is consistent with--some would say exemplifies--what many consider to be one of the best, most transcendent aspects of Christian civilization and culture.

'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.'" -Matthew 25:41-45

I agree with Takuan, as high-minded and uplifting as this may be, it is now leading us toward disaster.

There is a time and place for everyting. Everything has its season.

In the 1960 book "The Morning of the Magicians," authors Louis Pauwels and Jacque Bergier pointed out that that if one takes any one of the major ideas underlying Western Civilization and distorts it by abrogating or denying other important ideas, one can create a monster.