Here’s hoping that President Obama has found time on his current overseas trip to read the Washington Post carefully. Because if he does, he would realize that opponents of admitting more Middle East refugees into the United States have been utterly and completely correct, and that from now on, the only remaining supporters are either willful know-nothings and guilt-drenched-to-the-point-of-being-suicidal bleeding hearts – along with politicians determined to pander to them.
What’s ended any serious debate over the refugee issue are the results of a Post investigation published yesterday. It offers overwhelming evidence that significant numbers of terrorists have indeed hidden in the tides of migrants streaming from war-torn Syria, Iraq, and the like into Europe, and that in the last few months alone they’ve helped carry out the horrific attacks in Paris and Brussels.
The Post article, by Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet, doesn’t mean that Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s Muslim ban or similar religious litmus test proposals are good or practical ideas. It also makes clear that Europe’s efforts to vet the migrants were marked by the kind of incompetence not yet displayed by American national and homeland security authorities, and that the Europeans were also simply overwhelmed by numbers that not even the most utopian U.S. politicians have been talking about.
But no fair-minded reader can possibly end the piece confident that Americans can be adequately protected against enemies that have seized thousands of passports from embattled Middle East countries, that use the latest technology to doctor them – and that recruit from failed states like Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen that lack any serious record-keeping capacity.
The key finding in the article: “[O]ver the past six months, more than three dozen suspected militants who impersonated migrants have been arrested or died while planning or carrying out acts of terror. They include at least seven directly tied to the bloody attacks in Paris and Brussels. “
In addition, the authors claim to have interviewed an ISIS commander, who told them that “We have sent many operatives to Europe with the refugees. Some of our brothers have fulfilled their mission, but others are still waiting to be activated.”
The Post article isn’t the first to detail the exploitation of the refugee crisis by terrorist groups. In February, Germany’s domestic intelligence chief stated that European governments have “seen repeatedly that terrorists are being smuggled in, camouflaged as refugees. That is a fact that security authorities must always seek to recognize and identify.”
Yet the president is clinging to his goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees by October 1 – even though only some 1,200 have been settled so far.Mr. Obama hasn’t backed away from his claim that opponents of his policies are fear-mongering (not to mention “scared of widows and orphans”). Indeed, if not for the pushback, it’s likely that he’d press for letting in even more migrants.
Supporters of greater refugee quotas – including the president – are right to note that the United States faces a variety of terrorism threats, including those from home-grown radicals of all faiths who arguably are at least as dangerous. They’re also right to note that, whether you favor religious litmus tests for admissions or not, they’re all too easy to fool or evade.
But as the Post article documents, the admissions backers are profoundly wrong — and reckless — to use these arguments as excuses to maintain or increase American admissions. For if U.S. leaders are already hard-pressed to protect the public from existing dangers, multiplying these threats in any way is simply unconscionable.