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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Observing Sweden - Immigration: Part 1

 Observing Sweden - Immigration: Part 1

This will be a series, once a week I think, on Sundays, maybe. I am not Swedish, but a permanent resident in a small town of 50 thousand . . . was 50 thousand, more than that now. My opinions are purely my own, as an observer who does not speak Swedish and with little understanding of the county’s politics. Yet, I am here, and in the middle of it, an off center immigrant myself.


I recently saw a politically correct comment on Facebook, re: immigration. Someone explaining an incorrect analysis for what is going on. “It’s not an invasion,” they said. This caught my interest. The ‘invasion’ word has crossed my mind at times. I was inspired to look it up.

Invasion: A military offensive in which large parts of combatants of one geopolitical entity aggressively enter territory controlled by another geopolitical entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a territory, forcing the partition of a country.”

So, immigration’s not aggressive. Maybe passive aggressive – something more powerful than aggression–Surrender. “Please, just take me in. Give me a place to live, a job, a life. Don’t let me drown!” There’s no defense. You can’t say no. We can fight wars, kill millions, but we can’t say no to this. The picture of the dead child on a beach, this lifeless poster boy who captured hearts of millions. Of the thousands of photos of immigrants, this is the one we will remember. “We’ve got to do something!” Over two thousand have drowned at sea.

It’s not an invasion, but there are casualties, and soldiers, and barbed wire, and resistance. I think Europe has done very well, so far, but welcome mats are starting to be taken off the porch.

Change and social tensions.

I watched French politician, Jean-Marie La Pen being on ‘Hard Talk,’ last week. He is 87 now.

“Let’s face it, your an old man,” he was told, and then accused of too much ‘looking back’. He wanted France to remain French in personality, to be as it has been. Not hard to understand. Most people do not welcome big changes in their lives. We like to know what’s going on, and what is coming up, a dependable status quo.

But it’s not an invasion. Let’s call it in an infusion that will change things, now and in the years to come, far distant futures.

I was in Sri Lanka in the eighties, when the Tamil Tiger Liberation terrorists were killing people. They were Tamil Nadu, Hindus the English brought over from India to build the tea plantations. Years passed, and generations of Tamil children were born as the plantations were built. Then the English went home in 1948, and the Tamil, Hindus were stuck on an island of Ceylonese Buddhists, without passports or civil rights. India didn’t want them back. The Tamil Nadu region had more poverty than it could handle, and did not want more.

Papers were shuffled between India and Ceylon (by now Sri Lanka), for years. Agreements were signed, then broken. Four decades later a boat load of Tamils got chopped up with machetes on a ferry coming over from India. The Tamils retaliated by slaughtering a bunch of Buddhist Priests. The Tigers were born, with religion a driving force between on both sides. The Tigers were the first to blow up an airliner, a plane load of Germans on their way home. The plane was still on the runway, in the process of taking off.

It can’t happen here, of course. But it’s hard not to see similarities, and possibilities if things go sideways. This mass infusion’s happening so fast. Does anyone have time to look ahead for twenty five or thirty years?

 Next Week: What’s Not News In Sweden

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