A Dagger Through the Heart of Liberal EuropePosted: November 15, 2015 | |
Paris 2014: Jihadist Attackers Strike the Softest of Soft Targets.
Peter Foster writes: The Paris attacks that killed at least 128 people on Saturday night will put renewed pressure on Europe Schengen agreement and threaten the “very essence” of the European way of life, as far-right parties seek to capitalise on the attacks, analysts have warned.
With Paris now enduring this second major terror bloodbath in under a year, questions are now being asked about how much longer both Europe’s open border system and vision of a tolerant, multi-cultural society can survive.
“With Paris in lockdown and France closing its borders, we can see all too clearly that what is at stake here is the very essence of our way of life in Europe,” said Davis Lewin, the deputy director of the Henry Jackson Society, a conservative think-tank.
Attacks threaten viability of Schengen agreement and the vision of tolerant, multi-cultural society that is ‘essence’ of Europe, analysts warn.
Designed to facilitate the free movement of goods and labour that is the economic life-blood of the continent, the Schengen system has also enabled the easy transfer of both weapons and, potentially jihadist fighters, across those same borders.
Following the attacks, Francois Hollande, the French President also re-imposed border controls in a bid to ensure that none of the Paris terrorists or their support network in France were able to escape, as occurred after the Charlie Hebdo atrocity.
Even before the Paris attacks, Donald Tusk, the EU president, had warned that Europe faced a “race against time” to save the 20-year-old system, which is seen as one of the Union’s most concrete achievements.
In the last few months Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have all re-introduced some form of border controls in order to try and regulate the flow of migrants – many from Syria and Iraq – as they flooded into Europe.
The security risks posed by open borders were highlighted by both the Charlie Hebdo attack and the botched Thalys train attack earlier this year, when in both cases the weapons used in France had been smuggled in from Belgium.
Continental Europe is reportedly awash with automatic firearms orginiating from the Balkan wars of the 1990s and the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Belgium, a country with a population of 11 million, has around 900,000 firearms in circulation.
More broadly, analysts warn that the Paris attack also has the potential to fuel the on-going rise of Europe’s Right-wing parties who have warned of the posed by uncontrolled migration – both in terms of immediate security but also to Western’s Europe’s culturally liberal way of life….(read more)