This New Year’s Eve was a lot less fun in Europe than in previous years as violence and threats of violence put a damper on the party atmosphere. Fireworks were cancelled in Brussels for fear of an imminent terrorist attack which precipitated the arrest of two members of a North African motorcycle club. In Munich, two train stations were evacuated when officials received intelligence of an imminent ISIS suicide attack. And in three German cities — , and Cologne — mobs of men, reportedly of “Arab or North African origin,” allegedly attacked female partygoers.
This is the new Europe. It’s not going to get better.
Cologne stood out among the cities plagued by predatory mobs for the sheer quantity of mayhem on display. As many as a thousand men allegedly robbed, groped, and even raped women in and around the main train station and gothic cathedral. One hundred seventy criminal complaints were made, 120 of which had a “sexual angle.” Thirty-one men, a tiny fraction of the estimated one thousand, have been arrested. Eighteen of them are “asylum-seekers.” Not a single widow or orphan was found among them, and apparently none was named Hans or Franz.
The government’s response had been, shall we say, inadequate. On January 1st, a police press release called the New Year’s Eve celebrations “peaceful,” which suggests an official cover-up. When the government was finally willing to admit that something had happened, they still seemed to be in damage control mode. Ralf Jaeger, the Interior Minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia said that, “What happens on the right-wing platforms and in chatrooms is at least as awful as the acts of those assaulting the women.” Oh, I see — so the people expressing their outrage online are at least as awful the wild hyenas perpetrating sexual violence. He isn’t sure if the online commenters are more awful but they must be equally awful. A more absurd false equivalence has never been drawn.
But the award for the most obtuse public official in this whole affair (besides Angela Merkel of course) goes to Cologne’s pro-asylum mayor, Henriette Reker, who just couldn’t stop putting her foot in her mouth. She originally said that there was “no reason to suspect that they are refugees.” We now know that many of them are, but can we blame her for not wanting to jump to conclusions? Yes. You’d have to be a fool to think that among the thousand or so men, all of whom were obviously not far removed from the Middle East or North Africa, there wasn’t a single one of the 1.1 million “refugees” admitted in 2015. Police officers report that one of the hooligans said, “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs. Merkel invited me.” Another man is said to have torn up his asylum papers in front of police and bragged that he could get more in the morning.
Mayor Reker also angered the public with remarks that she surely meant to be helpful but were nonetheless alarming. She told women that they should follow a “code of conduct” if they wanted to avoid being sexual assaulted and advised women against succumbing to a “celebratory mood” — which I think used to be allowed on New Year’s Eve. As a strategy for not getting sexually assaulted Frau Reker told women to stick together with girlfriends and to “make sure yourself you don’t look to be too close to people who are not known to you, and to whom you don’t have a trusting relationship.”
And some people think that mass immigration reduces social cohesion! Wherever did they get an idea like that?
Not only are Reker’s suggestions insulting but they’re also ineffective. One alleged victim of sexual assault, an 18-year old female who gave her name only as Michelle, says that she was out for the evening with ten of her girlfriends when they encountered a pack of drunken men that she estimates to have numbered between twenty and thirty. What were eleven young women going to do against thirty men?
Then there’s the racism angle. Reker’s comments weren’t overtly racist but “dog whistles” never are. It sounds as if she’s enjoining white German women to avoid swarthy Middle Eastern males. That’s raaaaaacist! It also happens to be pretty good advice though it wouldn’t have prevented this attack and the suggestion would also be a lot easier to follow if the swarthy Middle Eastern men weren’t in the white German women’s country in the first place. As more and more refugees arrive, it will be increasingly difficult to find any sanctuary from these shady characters. They will be everywhere, if they aren’t already.
The real tragedy of Reker’s “code of conduct” is the sense of resignation that hovers over it like a noxious cloud. Though the mayor says that such a thing should never happen again, her advice suggests that women should understand that extra precautions have to be taken in the new Germany, soon to be the post-German Germany. If women didn’t already understand this we can only blame their leaders and their media who assured them that Germany could absorb a practically limitless number of immigrants without changing its character. Poor girls, how could they be so naïve? They actually believed they could go out on New Year’s Eve, even allow themselves to enjoy the “celebratory mood” as they had on previous New Year’s Eves, without being ravaged by drunken animals.
But those days are over. This is the New Normal.
I’ll bet that a lot of those women miss the Old Normal. I do, too. I spent three years living in Germany and came to love the city of Cologne. I’ve been to the train station many times and I think I even slept on a bench there overnight once, though I slept in a lot of train stations so I can’t be sure. These days I wouldn’t dare sleep at the Cologne train station and I’m not even a girl.
It wasn’t always this way and no one should have to accept it as a fact of life. But maybe we do have to accept it. It would take an enormous feat of political will to turn back the tide of immigrants, even to pre-2015 levels, which were already substantial. If Chancellor Angela Merkel is any indicator, the political will to really do something about this problem is lacking. In response to the sexual attacks in German cities, she said “But we must accept that the number of criminal offenses committed by young immigrants is particularly high.” Yes it’s true that immigrants’ criminality is off the charts, something she might have mentioned before committing her country to unprecedented immigration, but does that mean Germans have to accept it? The chancellor who let them all in says yes. Tomorrow’s Germany will be more Muslim than today’s and, let’s not sugarcoat it, more dangerous. So get used to it.
Resignation has already swept across neighboring France where Islamization is even more advanced. Their New Year’s Eve wasn’t exactly tranquil either; across the country, 1,067 automobiles were set ablaze. Torching cars has become something of a New Year’s Eve tradition among France’s Muslim minority. It’s a nice tradition, don’t you think? Americans sing Auld Lang Syne and kiss at midnight, French Muslims burn Peugeots. That’s just their culture — please don’t judge.
While 1,067 smoldering cars may sound like a lot, the French are getting used to it. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls was pleased that the number wasn’t higher, calling it a “positive result.” Government statistics indicate that 1,193 automobiles went up in flames the previous New Year’s Eve, so Valls is calling it a win. Obviously, Manuel Valls is a glass-half-full kind of guy but dour old pessimists like me still think France has a slight problem.
This is how societies die. Little by little, they adapt to barbarism, constantly making small concessions until it all seems normal. With the passage of time people forget that it had ever been different. They even convince themselves that nostalgic memories of the “good old days” are mere figments of some racist’s imagination. They never happened!
More immigrants are coming next year. Brace yourself for New Year’s Eve 2016.