Along the time continuum we are presented with endless opportunities to plan and prepare and this article will address my view of Germany missing or at least putting off just such an opportunity.
A Facebook acquaintance who is someone I vaguely knew long ago via my younger brother now lives in Hamburg, Germany and recently provided real-time updates during G20 summit in his lovely city along the Elbe River. He more recently commented on a knife attack in that beautiful city I’ve had the privilege of visiting many times over the years.
“Some crazy guy just attacked a bunch of people here in Hamburg with a knife. Killed one of them, then shouted Allah Akbar. I can’t believe this.”
Expansive and broad statement, “I can’t believe this.” What can’t you believe?
Are you unable to reconcile the fact that religious fanatics irrespective of faith will turn to violent expression when, in a moment of enlightenment, they determine their messaging platform is not fit for purpose?
Is it difficult to believe that an immigration system and attending vetting protocols are overwhelmed – especially in 2015 – by millions of pilgrims who are no doubt fleeing collapsed social and government structures and, therefore, allows a few malcontents to slip through that net?
Or is it harder to believe that 2 years on that same system and attending protocols are still not providing a level of safety any law-abiding German citizen might reasonably expect or desire?
I believe that Chancellor Merkel’s government’s intentions were kind-hearted and benevolent but hope against all hope that her decision to open the doors to her country absent what in this writer’s mind is the lack of a proper plan to vet and integrate millions of pilgrims, and that decision’s eventual impact on rest of Europe, will not become a regrettable world-history milestone, an example of how Germany got it horribly wrong.
There stands between Germany and the point of departure for these pilgrims 17 countries who I am sure were not properly consulted when for the best humanitarian reasons Germany announced that all migrants were welcome.
What I cannot believe is that this compassionate and humanitarian act by Germany was not accompanied by sufficient thought as to how Germany, and the 17 EU countries standing between Libya and other pilgrim departure points and Germany, would vet and process let alone accommodate this massive influx of migrants in such a short period of time.
Along the time continuum we are presented with endless opportunities to plan and prepare and Germany in this instance seemingly delayed planning and preparation in advance of their guests’ arrival and now, further along the timeline, Germany might plan and prepare for how they’ll simply keep their population safe.
And finally, I acknowledge with much regret that all of the foregoing points back to the moment in time when America decided to completely withdraw from Iraq, leaving a leadership vacuum, and singularly failing to plan and prepare for events beyond that milestone.