By Pepe Escobar and cross-posted from Counterpunch.org
From a failed attempt to clear the Calais jungle to the appalling situation at the Greek-Macedonian border, the EU crumbles under the strain of a massive refugee crisis. Even the Kafkaesque Brussels Eurocrat construct admits it – off the record, because official EU must always project a mythical image of unity: “We are on the edge of an abyss”.
Across the EU and amidst Russian intellectual elites, scenarios proliferate on the imminent collapse of Western civilization, as a huge number of refugees cannot be properly assimilated. In Russia, this process is examined with extreme concern because it happens not far from Russia’s western borderlands, and involves what the Kremlin traditionally defines as our partners.
But what if this European slow motion debacle was not enacted as a Mad Max dystopia, but rather brought about by a tsunami of Muslims ultimately displaced by Western-engineered wars?
Behold Fortress Europe
It was only six months ago that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government took a huge gamble in adopting a so-called “humanitarian” refugee policy; call it the civilized face of the otherwise politically tainted R2P (responsibility to protect) concept, which was ruthlessly manipulated for the invasion and destruction of Libya.
Six months later, we have swarms of refugees stranded all along the Balkan Route – and progressively encircled/trapped by strict border controls, the disappearance of social benefits, creeping fences and walls, and the practical extermination of the Schengen accords. The Merkel gambit is over; Fortress Europe is back with a vengeance.
Can you hear the sound of a basket of myths crumbling? Here are a few. The notion of “European solidarity” – not to mention egality and fraternity. The notion that EU members would accept a sensible, harmonious, proportional distribution of refugees. The notion that Europe would not reject, deport and repatriate people fleeing from war zones. The notion that Turkey would protect the EU from the crisis.
The Balkan Route, for all practical purposes, is now sealed off to refugees while Ankara, for its part, is slowly building a wall along stretches of the Turkish-Syrian border – not as much to really contain them (after all Ankara must keep open the Jihadi highway), but as a propaganda coup
Germany’s humanitarian refugee policy is in tatters and corroded by self-doubt; only two weeks ago Chancellor Merkel was wondering whether she should pursue «our European-Turkish approach» or whether the EU should order the absolute sealing off of the Greek-Macedonian border, pure and simple.
And that leads us close to the heart of the matter – which is of course Turkey.
The majority of German conservative politicos want Merkel to seal off German borders to refugees, while Merkel still believes in the Hand of Providence; help from «European partners» – which won’t come – and most of all from Ankara.
And that’s exactly where Turkey’s Sultan Erdogan wants her to be; as a supplicant, not as the leader of the number one European economic power…