Putin to Europe: Take Our Chechens -- Please!

The number of asylum-seekers in Germany from Chechnya is on the increase (g). Chechens are notorious in Russian novels for being the most violent and fractious minority in the empire. The list of terrorist attacks carried out by Chechen Muslim terrorists is rather long (including the Boston Marathon bombing and several attacks at Domodevovo Airport). And this just in, fresh from today's headlines: "CHECHEN jihadists posing as Russian football supporters are plotting to attack English and Welsh fans at the Euro 2016 championships, security chiefs fear":
One of the big fears the French have is the threat posed by Islamic State terrorists from Chechnya and the Caucasus region. They are apparently planning to travel to France among Russian fans. 

“They will almost certainly avoid any stadiums because of the massive security and instead will look to shoot supporters drinking in bars or restaurants. “Their main target is most likely Russians but they will want to kill British fans as well as local French people because in their eyes they’re all enemies of IS.”

Mr Moniquet said large Chechen populations live in Germany and Belgium. Belgian police carried out investigations into extremists on the northern coast and in the city of Leuven last year.

More than 400 Chechen jihadists are fighting in Iraq and Syria while terrorist group Caucasus Emirate, which has as many as 15,000 fighters, pledged allegiance to IS last summer.

A young Chechen man whose family lives in Austria was recently asked during a TV interview what he would do if his sister left the house without a headscarf: "Then I'd kill her."
 
Young Chechen males are notorious in Germany now for being unusually likely to cause problems in migrant shelters. Many are Salafists who insult and attack fellow shelter residents for homosexuality, insufficient Islamic zeal, or apostasy. Just a week ago, there was a mass riot (g) between Chechens and Yezidis in Bielefeld, Germany. Dozens of people from both groups rioted, attacking each other with clubs and knives. Five people had to be hospitalized, some of them with serious injuries. A spokesman for the Yezidis reported that the hostilities started when Chechens attacked the (non-Islamic) Yezidis, calling them infidels. There are dozens of other reports of militant, violence-prone Chechens attacking non-Muslims and minorities in German migrant shelters.
 
Chechen migrants have formed criminal gangs in Austria, and are engaged in gang wars (g) with Afghans to control various rackets, giving them a "disastrous" reputation. A recent newspaper report from Austria, where many Chechen migrants have settled, concluded (g): 
The biggest problem for law enforcement is the Chechens. They are listed as Russian nationals in the statistics. There were 1528 suspected criminals in this group, which was 49.2% of all the suspected criminals among asylum seekers and illegal immigrants in 2014. In the first six months of 2015, 673 Chechens were registered as criminal suspects.
Russia, according to sources cited by the first link above, is intentionally funneling large numbers of Chechens into Germany to further destabilize the country. And, of course, to further re-stabilize Russia by dumping extremists and career criminals onto gullible Western European nations. And no, Germany's getting the criminals, not the persecuted human-rights lawyers. Under 6% of asylum-seekers from Russia get legal recognition.
 
German CDU politicians are now calling for the European Dublin regulations on asylum to be enforced on Chechens. These require asylum-seekers to file asylum claims in the first EU country they set foot in. For Chechens, this is almost always Poland.
 
So Poland would be responsible for housing and feeding thousands of illegal Chechen Muslim immigrants, notorious as the perhaps most violent and unpredictable group among all the various nationalities entering Europe. Plus, all of these people -- largely young males, of course -- will be frustrated that they couldn't make it to Germany. Actually, frustrated isn't the word. Incandescent with rage comes closer. Poland would also have to hire hundreds of new bureaucrats to decide their frivolous asylum claims. And somehow force them into planes for deportation.
 
Can you imagine how Poles will react to their rich neighbor Germany trying to dump this problem from hell onto them?
 
Vladimir Putin certainly can, which is why he may well be urging Chechens to set out for Germany -- the more, the merrier!
 
Once again, Europe is being effortlessly manipulated by politicians who have no illusions about human nature or culture, and who are unabashedly putting the interests of their own people first.

Random Crime by Migrants and Trust in Strangers

Anyone who grew up in the US during the crime wave of the 1970s-1990s learned never to open the door to strangers. If a stranger knocked at your front door claiming to need help, you were supposed to communicate with them through the door, and offer to call help. That's all. Criminals often faked accidents to gain access to homes, then robbed, raped, and/or murdered the occupants. As in this case. Of course these incidents were rare. Certainly 99% of the time, the people knocking at your door genuinely needed help.

But what if you opened the door to the 1%? Humans make decisions based on rare, spectacular, and recent risks. One random crime by a stranger has more effect on society than a thousands crimes committed by people who know each other.

Which brings us to the latest random murder committed by a recent migrant in Germany. The suspect is a Pakistani man who has been in Germany for 3 years. So far, there is no information about why he was allowed to stay that long. He has already compiled a criminal record. A week ago, he gained access to the home of a 70-year-old woman who lived near his migrant shelter in Bad Friedrichshall. He then beat her to death (g), stole property from the home, and left messages in English and Arabic in the home. Police say there is no evidence of any connection between the suspect and victim. DNA evidence ties him to the scene, as well as his possession of property stolen from the home. There were no signs of a break-in, suggesting the woman let him into her house.

Germany who visit the USA are often shocked by how inhospitable Americans are to strangers knocking at their door -- especially when the homeowner shoots at someone he thinks was a threat.

Now that Germany has imported tens of thousands of career criminals and mentally unstable persons from the Middle East and North Africa -- and spread them throughout the country -- Germans are going to have to unlearn their touching trust in strangers. It'll happen slowly, like the proverbial frog in boiling water. But once it's gone, everybody will notice.

Welcome to 1980s America, Germany. You're not going to like it.


Germany's Police and Pols to Women: No Alcohol or High Heels, Stay Home After Dark

Mainstream German politicians are doing something very clever. Slowly and surely, drip-by-drip, they are getting German women used to the fact that they are unsafe in their own country because of violent crime by migrants.

Of course they don't mention the last part. 

They have begun to issue new warnings informing German females about things they are no longer able to do in their own country. One example is the police in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Responding to attacks in which groups of 15-20 young Arab, Turkish and Afghan males surround women and then beat, grope, rob, and/or rape them, police gave advice to women such as scream loudly, take detours around groups of men, tell others to call the police if you're attacked. An article about the police instructions added the following list of behavior guidelines (g) (not from the police).

To women, mind you, not to criminals:

  • Always travel in groups of at least two or three.
  • Wear sneakers instead of high heels, so you can run away.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Drink out of bottles and open them yourselves.
  • Don't just stare at your cellphone, be aware of your environment.
  • In case of attack, don't act like a victim, act like an opponent: choose genitals, joints, eyes, nose and ears as defensive goals, because pain is greatest here.

The CDU Mayor of the Bad Godesberg neighborhood of Bonn, where a 17-year-old boy named Niklas P. was recently randomly murdered by a 20-year-old man of Moroccan extraction who had a criminal record, said casually (g) during a recent neighborhood meeting: "In any case, women should stay out of parks after dark." One of her political opponents immediately spoke up to say: "Bad Godesberg should be safe for everybody at all times."

The mayor of Bad Godesberg, Simone Stein-Lücke, is a woman from the purportedly conservative party in Germany. Yet faced with increases in violent crimes which are directly affecting the lives of her constituents, she decides to impose behavior limitations on the victims. Not the criminals.

Are you beginning to see why more and more Germans are voting for right-wing populist parties?


Crimes in the Times

Whenever I blog about crimes by migrants, most of my German readers shift uncomfortably in their seats. They maintain utter silence about the issue, never commenting one way or the other, and privately wonder if I've finally drunk das Kool-Aid of neo-Nazism. The reason for this is a simple cultural misunderstanding: most educated Germans perceive a strong taboo against discussing migrant crime, but I don't.

Nor does the New York Times. An article about the influence of violent crimes on today's election in Austria begins with this picture of the bruises inflicted on a grandmother when she was raped by a young Afghan male:

AUSTRIA1-master768

By any measure, the string of crimes has been terrible. A grandmother of three, walking her dog, raped along a riverbank. A 10-year-old boy sexually assaulted at a public swimming pool. A 21-year-old student gang raped near the giant Ferris wheel at Vienna’s famed Prater park. A 54-year-old woman beaten to death on the street.

The fact that the crimes were committed by recent migrants from war zones and an immigrant who had lived illegally in the country for years added an especially volatile element to the political climate ahead of the presidential election on Sunday, when Austria could become the first European country to elect a far-right candidate as head of state since the end of Nazism.

...

Ms. Bubits is also the daughter of the woman, now 72, who was raped while walking her dog on Sept. 1. Since the attack, Ms. Bubits said, her mother has gone from being healthy to ridden with anxiety and requiring close attention.

“It goes up and down,” Ms. Bubits said, but “it’s basically as if she was suddenly 90.”

On a visit to her home on Friday, her mother could barely shuffle a few steps without assistance. Ms. Bubits said she and her mother wanted to speak out about what had happened to emphasize that despite the problems many Austrians want to help refugees and make a place for them in their country.

According to court documents, her mother was walking her 13-year-old dog by the Schwechat, a river where refugees and residents often bathe. A young man helped her up a slope, but then, the documents said, “exploited her physical weakness,” threw her to the ground, “held her mouth shut, ripped her clothes and forced her to engage” in sex.

...

“It is all getting whipped up politically,” said Martin Mahrer, a lawyer who is defending one of three young Afghans who have confessed to raping a female Turkish student in a park on April 22. “People now want offenders to be really severely punished.”

Mr. Mahrer said some of these young migrants had arrived from war zones, with completely un-Western views about women.

“They do not respect the same things we do,” Mr. Mahrer said. But, he asked, are foreign offenders less equal before the law than Austrians?

If this article had appeared in German newspapers which consider themselves comparable to the New York Times -- well, actually, it wouldn't have in the first place. Respectable broadsheets don't publish photos of bruises caused by vicious rapists. Only tabloids would stoop so low. Respectable broadsheets don't let victims of crimes by ethnic minorities tell their stories -- that privilege is reserved for victims of right-wing attacks. If respectable broadsheets mention violent crime at all, it is only to tell their readers what things are permissible to think and say about the issue. 

In other words, respectable broadsheets are ignoring a problem that's obvious to everyone living in Western Europe. Serious crime by migrants is a vitally important public-policy issue in Europe today. It is literally changing the political face of Western Europe. Statistics are one thing, but anyone who underestimates the potential explosive impact of random violence against strangers in public places is a fool. And respectable broadsheets are full of these fools, which is why they are so surprised by the rightward lurch in European national politics.


Böhmermann is Guilty

There's only one way in which I care about the Erdogan thingy -- as a pretty interesting legal puzzle. As for all the self-righteous German bloviation about Freedom of Speech, The Whims of a Despot, etc. -- that's all a bunch of hooey nobody except a tiny journalistic elite cares about.

From a purely legal perspective, there's a good case Böhmi should be found guilty and fined. Just so nobody don't get the wrong idea, let me explain that I find the 'insulting foreign leaders' law silly, and believe Germany should have got rid of it a long time ago. I also have doubts about whether a modern legal order needs the category of 'abusive criticism' (Schmähkritik). I am talking here descriptively about German law as it is, not as I might wish it to be.

And under these laws, Böhmi's guilty. The 'insulting foreign leaders' law will obviously be interpreted in light of artistic and political freedom guaranteed by the German Basic Law. But here's the thing: artistic freedom, satire, etc. have limits. German magazines can be and have been punished for satire that 'goes too far' (I'm lookin' at you with admiration, Titanic). The key distinction is whether there is a 'Sachbezug' -- roughly, some relationship to a recognized political or social issue. It's a weighing test: the severity of the insults against the strength of the relationship to a legitimate subject of debate.

Böhmi's 'poem' fails. It wasn't a puppet-show, or a song, or a sketch, or even a straightforward political commentary. It is nothing more than a collection of racist insults that go far beyond what German law permits in any case. Goat-fucker, kiddie-porn devotee, carrier of gang-bang related sexual diseases, etc. All of these insults are illegal in Germany, even when used sarcastically and even when nobody could be expected to believe there was truth in them. That's how German law works. If Böhmi had said these things about a private persons on national television, it is 100% absolutely ironclad certain he would be convicted. There are literally hundreds of cases on exactly this subject. There was only a brief mention of political issues in the 'poem'. Böhmermann himself, as he read the poem, said that it was illegal. He even entitled it 'Schmähkritik' (abusive criticism). Böhmi consciously, knowingly, by his own admission engaged in conduct that is against the law in Germany. 

And if this argument doesn't convince you, let's do a Gedankenexperiment: Böhmi reads a poem about the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin calling him a 'dirty Jew', 'child-murderer', a 'racist warmonger', and a 'fat, malodorous pig'. That is the level of rhetoric directed at Erdogan. Would German politicos and journos be whining about freedom of expression and kowtowing to foreigners? Of course not. Any judge worth his salt, however, will see that these two cases must be treated equally, if the idea of a principle-driven legal system is to have any meaning at all. The issue isn't which foreign leader was targeted, it's what was said.

So he should be found guilty, and I think he will. This is not a case about freedom of expression. This is a case about whether a person who publicly announces he is going to break the law and then does so should be punished. The answer is, and should be 'yes'. The best analogy here is to Joseph Gibbons:

Artist and former MIT professor Joseph Gibbons learned this week that robbing banks, even in the name of art, will still land you in jail. He pleaded guilty to burglary in the third degree this week in a Manhattan court.

Gibbons was arrested in January for a heist staged on December 31 at a Capital One bank in New York's Chinatown. According to court documents, he made his demands for cash in the form of a polite note asking the teller for a donation for his church, and then took $1,000 (see Artist and Former MIT Professor Robs Banks Claiming It's His Art).

In November, Gibbons held up a bank in Rhode Island using the same method, and made off with $3,000.

Both times, Gibbons videotaped the theft. “He was doing research for a film," his cell-mate, Kaylan Sherrard, told the New York Post. “It's not a crime; it's artwork…He's an intellectual."

Gibbons went to jail because freedom of expression does not cover illegal activity. That's just as true in Germany as it is in the U.S. Whether you agree with Germany's restrictive freedom-of-expression laws or not, Böhmi broke them.

 


A Course in Reality for Germans, Vol. IX: Educated People Commit Less Crime

Hey look, it's a new post on this blog!

As most of you now know, Facebook is now the center of my online world. But it turns out that for longer formats with more citations, a blog can still be a useful outlet. So I will be still posting a few things here once in a while.

And now to today's topic: The belligerent naivete of some left-leaning Germans. Specifically, the link between education level and violent crime. I posted on Facebook the following summary of an article (g) about an upcoming rape trial:

A Senegalese asylum-seeker accosts a 19-year-old woman in the small Bavarian town of Mühldorf, Germany (pop. 18,000), steals her smartphone, asks her to kiss him, and calls her a 'racist' when she refuses. He then drags her into the bushes and brutally rapes her four times, leaving her bruised and bleeding. Her DNA was found on his penis, his under her fingernails. He kept her smartphone, the police found him with it. The rape made headlines all over the part of rural Bavaria where it took place.

This is yet another in an ever-growing list of serious sexual assaults committed by asylum-seekers. I posted this because I consider these assaults to be a security issue which should be openly discussed in Germany. Many Germans, however, are still deathly afraid to even mention the issue, lest they be accused of being not nice.

Of course, I was immediately engaged in a debate. I pointed out that Senegal is a stable, democratic country at peace, considered one of the best-governed in Africa. Therefore that this asylum-seeker was almost certainly an economic migrant who should never have been let into Germany. And that if he had been properly excluded, this vicious, life-altering crime would never have taken place.

One of the arguments put forward by left-leaning Germans in the lively, interesting comments thread was: how do I know the rapist wasn't a legitimate asylum-seeker? I then pointed out that the typical profile of a successful asylum-seeker from a place like Senegal would be an artist, writer, activist, professor, or perhaps human-rights lawyer who had angered the regime. And then came the surprising reply: Well, who's to say those people don't commit rapes? I answered, patiently, that of course it's remotely possible, but statistically, violent sexual assaults of strangers are typically committed by people with low cognitive ability, little education, and poor impulse control. 

At this I was accused of spewing hateful, harmful generalizations. As if educated people are more law-abiding than uneducated people! What snobbery!

At this point, you always have to ask yourself whether your interlocutor is serious. Can anyone really doubt that educated people commit fewer violent crimes? But they apparently really meant what they were saying. They had their rigid, ideologically-determined views about human nature, and they were sticking to them, like a creationist stubbornly insisting that mankind lived alongside dinosaurs.

But belligerently naive Germans go beyond creationists: not only did they insist on their ludicrous views, they denounce anyone who doesn't share them as a snob, racist, or both. One of the Germans on the thread actually declared that my views 'made her sick'! 

So I here provide just a few random hits from the 411,000 Google results for the search "crime rate educational attainment." First, a handy summary

A few recent statistics from Europe and the United States highlight the strong connection between education and crime. In 1997, 75 percent of state and 59 percent of federal prison inmates in the US did not have a high school diploma (Harlow 2003).1 In 2001, more than 75 percent of convicted persons in Italy had not completed high school (Buonanno and Leonida 2006), while incarceration rates among men ages 21-25 in the United Kingdom were more than eight times higher for those without an education qualification (i.e. dropouts) relative to those with a qualification (Machin, Marie and Vujic 2011). Finally, among Swedes born between 1943 and 1955, men with at least one criminal conviction had completed 0.7 years less schooling, on average, than men without a conviction; the difference for women was roughly half this size (Hjalmarsson, Holmlund and Lindquist 2011).

Now, a handy chart:

SJI_chart_1a_feb2012 (2)I could go on, and on, and on. But I imagine the readers of this blog hardly need more proof of this obvious constant of human societies.

Only certain Germans do.

 

 


Migrants Are Literally Impoverishing Germany

In 2015, thousands of Georgians joined the throngs streaming unchecked into Germany and filed claims for political asylum. The skeptical among us asked the simple question: "Why Georgians?" Georgia is a stable, peaceful, representative democracy. It has close ties to the West, and its level of economic development and human-rights record are much better than most of the countries in the region.

So were these thousands of Georgians all journalists, activists, and ethnic minorities fleeing oppression? Whenever skeptics like me asked the question, belligerently naive Germans typically responded in the same simple-minded way they did when asked about all the Pakistanis, Indians, Moroccans, Algerians, and Nigerians: they pointed to reports about scattered human-rights abuses in these countries, and immediately jumped to the conclusion that everyone claiming asylum from these countries must be among the groups facing oppression.

After all, everyone who entered Germany in 2015 was a refugee. And refugees are fleeing war and oppression. Therefore everyone who entered Germany in 2015 was fleeing war and oppression. Anyone who points out the flaw in this syllogism is a neo-Nazi.

Now, of course, we know that the majority of people who entered Germany in 2015 just wanted to relocate to a country with higher living standards. And some had even more sinister motives. Like the Georgians. As Die Welt reports (g) most of the Georgians who claimed asylum are professional burglars operating in organized gangs. They are sent into Germany with a mission: file a bogus asylum claim, and while you wait 8-12 months for it to be decided -- all the while being housed and fed by the German taxpayer -- steal as much stuff as you can from the hapless, naive, clueless Germans. 

These gangs of criminals are certainly part of the reason for the staggering rise in break-ins in Germany -- 2015 saw a whopping 18.1% increase (g) in break-ins in my home state alone. The overwhelmed and undermanned police clear a whopping 15% of these cases. Half of the suspects which are identified are not German citizens. No word on how many of the ones who did have German citizenship also had a 'migration background', but we all know how that goes.

And in my neighborhood, the victims of the break-ins are usually the cool, interesting boutiques that make it so lively. Our new Georgian friends know that mall chain-stores have security out the wazoo, so they target small independent stores. A bespoke women's fashion shop near me was cleaned out a few weeks ago. They stole all the clothes. The next target was Unlicht, a store that sells Gothic and medieval clothes, candles, craft brews, incense, and other assorted oddments for your metal lifestyle. The break-in -- in which the professional thieves stole a 300-kg safe -- caused €12,000 in damages (g) and threatens the future existence of this quirky neighborhood fixture.

Now, it's at least possible that both of these break-ins (and the thousands of others) were committed by Germans. When German public television films a crime drama about them, you can be sure that will be the case. But they typical ethnic German burglar is a junkie looking for a fix, not an organized gang with a truck and the tools and equipment needed to break through locked doors and move 300-kilogram safes. I have a sneaking suspicion that our Caucasian -- or Balkan -- friends are behind these professional, organized crimes, and that all the money and gear is funding vulgar McMansions on the outskirts of Belgrade or Tbilisi.

These migrants aren't just passively impoverishing Germany by filing bogus asylum claims and living on state relief. They're actively stealing wealth from entrepreneurs and shipping it to other countries. Which means now even the smallest boutique can no longer rely on the social trust that makes (made?) Germany such a safe and pleasant place to live. Congratulations, Merkel!


The Unstoppable Decline of the SPD

Tombstone

Politico watches the German Social Democratic Party circle the drain (from 38% of the vote in 2002 to 22% today, with no end in sight):

“Questions of fair distribution of money and resources are no longer at the forefront of social democratic politics,” said Matthias Micus, a political scientist at the University of Göttingen.

“Being ‘left’ the way the SPD understands it today is no longer primarily about economic questions, but much more about cultural issues like gender politics, the protection of minorities, or when it comes to cultural diversity or immigration,” Micus said.

However, he added, the traditional SPD electorate — the working class — does not really care about those topics.

“This has led to an estrangement of the SPD from its traditional electorate,” Micus said.

You don't say.


Migrant Assaults Back on the Omertà List in Germany, But Not in Australia

After a brief period of honest discussion in January, the mainstream national press has returned to a policy of silence on sexual offenses committed by migrants. Those offenses haven't stopped, of course, but they are now reported on only in local newspapers and websites.

Nevertheless, sites which aggregate these reports point to what is clearly a significant public-safety issue in Germany. If we ever get reliable statistics on sex assaults in Germany in 2015-16 broken down by ethnicity of offender, we will certainly see a large increase driven by assaults and rapes committed by recent migrants. (Which is why those statistics will likely never be collected.)

Since the national German media are ignoring this public-safety issue, Australia has decided to step in. Here's a relatively balanced but critical story from the Australian NewsCorp website:

GERMANY, Sweden and other European countries are facing growing public unrest amid a wave of reports of sexual assaults since the Cologne attacks.

New York-based conservative think tank Gatestone Institute has compiled ashocking list of sexual assaults and rapes by migrants in Germany in just the first two months of the year.

Drawing only from German media reports, the list documents more than 160 instances of rape and sexual assault committed by migrants in train stations,swimming pools and other public places against victims as young as seven.

German police use terms such as “southerners” (südländer), men with “dark skin” (dunkelhäutig, dunklere gesichtsfarbe, dunklem hauttyp) or “southern skin colour” (südländische hautfarbe) to describe the alleged perpetrators.

Authorities across the country have been accused of downplaying the true extent of the problem by suppressing information about migrant-related crimes, ostensibly due to a “lack of public interest”.

Police are also wary of fuelling civil unrest amid a rising number of attacks on migrants and shelters by right-wing vigilante groups. In response, Germans are increasingly turning to social media to spread information.

A German Twitter account, @XYEinzelfall (“individual cases”), has created aGoogle map to track police reports of crimes allegedly committed by migrants across the region. “Cologne was just the tip of the iceberg,” the page says. “Cologne is every day.”...

However, refugee advocates have warned against tarring all migrants with the same brush, noting that the alleged crimes are rare incidents in the context of the enormous number of migrants who have come to Europe.

More than 1.1 million migrants flooded into Germany in 2015 and the country is expecting 3.6 million to arrive by 2020, according to internal government estimates.

UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women Dubravka Šimonović told Timethat “against this background, we are currently speaking about incidents that must be carefully studied to establish any patterns and links”....

The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) announced that migrants committed crimes at the same rate as native Germans.

“It’s becoming clear that at bottom there is a higher absolute number of criminal cases only because of the increase in number of people living here with the arrival of the refugees,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said at the time.

Mr de Maizière said he had ordered the report in order to provide proof to “dispel rumours about an increase in criminal acts in Germany”, DW reported.

“The majority [of migrants] do not come here with the intention of committing crimes,” he said. “They come to Germany to find protection and peace.”

The same report, which was based on crime statistics from January to the end of September 2015, noted a “marked spike” in crime at migrant centres, which it attributed to overcrowding.

According to BKA, the majority (67 per cent) of crimes committed by migrants consisted of theft, robbery and fraud, while sex crimes made up less than one per cent....

On Monday, police in the Swedish city of Östersund advised women not to go outdoors alone following a string of public assaults and sex attacks in the past three weeks.

Sweden, which has a population of just under 10 million, took in around 163,000 migrants in 2015, making it by far the most generous on a per capita basis.

National broadcaster SVT reports what police area manager Stephen Jerand described as a “worrying trend” of unprovoked violence on women in public places.

Speaking at a press conference, police said they had never experienced crime of this nature in the small city of Östersund, which has a population of just 44,000.

“This is serious,” Mr Jerand said. “We care about the protection of women and that is why we go out and talk about this.”

Police said there had been six reports of attacks since February 20, including a 10-year-old girl who was molested at a bus station in the centre of the city....

It comes after a poll conducted by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet found nearly half of all women in the country are now scared to exercise alone at night.

According to the survey, 46 per cent of women aged over 16 felt either “very” or “somewhat” unsafe when they are alone in the dark, compared with 20 per cent of men.

Almost one third said if they were caught by sunset, that they would rather stay at a friend’s house than try to get home alone.

Speaking to the newspaper, 34-year-old Ellinor Andersson said she carried a bunch of keys in her hand at night, ready to strike out at any attacker.

“I would never go running by myself on a Friday or a Saturday night,” she told the paper. Another said she would never go out alone after 7pm.

Earlier this month, the Daily Mail reported of an all-female, bikini-clad group of ‘vigilantes’ called the ‘Groping Guards’, who patrol swimming pools in Sweden to prevent migrants molesting bathers.

“Swimming pools have become prime hunting grounds for gangs of men looking to prey on vulnerable women,” 24-year-old Siri Bernhardsson told the Daily Mail.

“Loads of women here say they have been touched. We are tired of men thinking they can come to Sweden and molest women. We want to teach these boys how to behave and be left in peace to swim without being felt up.

“It happens in train stations and in swimming pools. This should not be the case in 2016 in Sweden.”

In January, it emerged that Swedish authorities had covered up sexual assaults on teenage girls by mostly migrant youths at a music festival in Stockholm for fear of “[playing] into the hands” of the anti-immigration right-wing party the Sweden Democrats.

In an editorial for the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper at the time, Ivar Arpi wrote: “We Swedes pride ourselves on our unrivalled record on respecting women’s rights. But when women’s rights conflict with the goal of accommodating other cultures, it’s almost always women who are pushed to the side.”

It's almost as if the Australian news media trust their readers to be able to read balanced but direct reports about a sensitive subject without immediately rushing out of their houses to form mobs and hunt down foreigners.


Hegemonic Self-Righteousness

Wolfgang Streeck on Merkel in the LRB. Occasionally too polemical, but an interesting argument:

A master politician like Merkel will never let a good crisis go to waste. It wasn’t just media stories about suffering migrants that led her to invite the refugees in Budapest to come to Germany, no papers required and no questions asked. What Merkel called ‘showing a friendly face in an emergency’ was meant to shame those who, during the euro crisis, had enjoyed the cartoons of Merkel and her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, in Nazi uniform. By opening the German border while the French and British borders remained closed, Merkel could hope to recapture the moral high ground occupied for so long by those accusing the German government of sado-monetarism, or worse.

Another factor was the tight labour market that German employers, still Merkel’s main constituency, were facing, especially after the introduction of a statutory minimum wage was forced on Merkel by her coalition partner, the SPD. Rumours spread in the German press that Syrian refugees in particular, many of them allegedly with degrees in engineering and medicine, had all manner of skills. German economic research institutes predicted a newWirtschaftswunder, while employers promised to invest heavily in training the presumably tiny number of less skilled immigrants. Everybody assumed that most if not all the refugees and asylum seekers – a distinction soon lost in the general excitement – would stay in Germany for a long time if not for good. For Merkel, who in October 2010 claimed that ‘the multikulti approach [had] failed, absolutely failed,’ this was no longer a problem. In fact, it had become a solution: in the first half of 2015, several studies indicated that the expensive measures taken over a decade of Merkel rule to induce German families to have more children had had next to no effect. Early that summer, to avert what was perceived as a looming demographic crisis, Merkel got her closest aides to test the mood in the party and among the general public on immigration legislation, but was met with firm resistance.

Budapest was what the ancient Greeks called a kairos – a lucky moment when a number of birds were positioned in such a way that they could be killed with one stone. Politics, as always with Merkel, trumped policies. ‘Showing a friendly face’ would make it possible for the Greens at the next election in 2017 to do what their leadership has long wanted to do but never dared: enter into a coalition government with the Christian Democrats. Merkel acted exactly as she did on neoliberal reform in 2005 and nuclear energy in 2011: quickly, on her own, and without wasting time explaining herself. Just as she did when she ordered the Energiewende (‘energy transition’) while the law extending the lifespan of the nuclear power plants was still on the books (several energy supply companies are suing for damages), she counted on the opposition parties in the Bundestag – Linkspartei and the Greens – not to ask awkward questions, and they obliged. The members of her party couldn’t complain: they had been backed into a corner by the SPD’s approval of Merkel’s stance, and by their desire not to damage their leader. Once again, a decision ‘that will change our country’, as Merkel herself put it, was made without regard for democratic process or, for that matter, constitutional formalities.... 

There were good reasons for asking questions. The refugees, more than a million of them, who arrived in Germany in 2015, all arrived from safe third countries. Under German and European law, they had to register in the country where they entered the European Union, and then wait to be assigned a legal residence in a member state. Merkel seems to have decided that she could safely ignore all this. When anyone complained that this was both a huge stress test on German society and a giant social engineering project, Merkel regally announced that if she had to apologise for ‘showing a friendly face’, ‘then this is not my country’ – an extraordinary statement for a democratically elected leader to make. In fact, as the Energiewendedemonstrated, she has for some time been governing not like a parliamentary leader but like a president with emergency powers. For some time, inquiries into the wisdom of her immigration policy were answered by her entourage – which in this case included all the Bundestag parties – by claiming that the mere expression of dissent ‘played into the hands of the right’, a potent rhetorical device in Germany. Until Cologne, concern over the government’s handling of the refugee crisis was effectively suppressed.

One problem with hegemonic self-righteousness is that it prevents the self-righteous from seeing that what they consider morally self-evident is informed by self-interest. The self-interest of German export industries, for example, underlies Germany’s identification of the ‘European idea’ with the single European currency. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the national interest that is mistakenly seen as identical to the interest of all reasonable human beings, in Europe and beyond, is necessarily shaped by the political interest of the government and its dominant social bloc in preserving their power. This puts peripheral countries at the mercy of the national power games and the moral and semantic ethnocentrisms of countries at the centre, which are hard to decipher for outsiders – especially with a postmodern leader like Merkel who, free from substantive commitments and constitutional constraints, has perfected the art of staying in power by means of unpredictable changes of course.

As the refugee crisis unfolded, Europe was dragged into the complicated twists and turns of German domestic politics. Merkel early on informed an astonished German public that controlling national borders had become ‘impossible in the 21st century’, and backed this up by aggressively criticising the Hungarian government for preparing to close its borders. After Cologne, of course, the closing of borders suddenly became possible again, and Hungary re-emerged as a model for the rest of Europe, in particular for Greece, which was threatened by Germany with exclusion from the Schengen area if it didn’t seal its borders. German law forbids, or is said by the German government to forbid, sending would-be immigrants away once they have expressed a desire to apply for asylum. So Merkel had to get the Greeks, and Europe as a whole, to observe this principle, lest her German pro-immigration constituency smelled the rat that was heading in its direction. The burden of keeping the migrants out of Europe fell on Turkey, which was supposed to put an end to the illegal trafficking of migrants to Greece – on a country, that is, whose human rights record suggests it may not be particularly careful when dealing with Syrian or any other refugees. Of course, Turkish co-operation had a price, and though Merkel had in the past steadfastly opposed the country’s bid for EU membership, now, having changed tack again and speaking on behalf of Europe as a whole, she promised Erdoğan expedited negotiations on accession as a reward for preventing the Syrian refugees she had invited to enter Germany from entering Greece....

The result of all the equivocation, double-talk and Merkelspeak, this difficult-to-disentangle mix of self-interest and sentimentality, is an immense political and institutional mess caused by the imposition on Europe of German policies disguised as European policies to which, supposedly, there is no alternative. This includes a restructuring of the citizenry through immigration, not just in Germany where it might seem economically or demographically expedient, but also in other European countries where it definitely isn’t. The result is rapidly rising anti-German sentiment in the form of anti-European sentiment, not only among political elites but also, most powerfully, among the electorate.