The European Union’s foreign and defense ministers were scheduled to convene in Brussels on Monday morning to finalize the new mission, which will include a formidable naval force to combat human trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea after a spate of shipwrecks that killed hundreds of would-be migrants.
Beginning in June, the ambitious program will deploy surveillance aircraft and warships off the coast of Libya, where most of the ill-fated vessels have set sail. Ahead of the meeting, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that “the highest priority is to rescue the migrants in peril at sea,” and that she expected there to be significant progress in addressing the problem after Monday’s meeting.
It’s an unusual step for an organization that often prefers political and financial solutions, but the EU hopes to identify, intercept and possibly sabotage the traffickers’ ships in an effort to quash this particular “business model.” However, the program approval may be pointless unless the EU is successful in winning a UN resolution backing military action against the smugglers.
Ah, the U.N., you remember them: a goo-goo organization set up by the Western powers after World War II and now completely taken over by a collection of rag-tag Third World imaginary countries untied in animus against the very same West that builds them guns and flush toilets.
The plan has also met with some opposition in Germany despite the fact that German boats have already been sent to rescue the migrants and then sink the traffickers’ vessels. Some say the sunken vessels present a maritime hazard, and others, like Development Minister Gerd Müller, say that the whole plan presents “too many risks and doesn’t solve the actual problem” of migrants trying to reach Europe by any means available. In a rare moment of agreement with Christian Social Union (CSU) lawmaker Müller, the opposition Green and Left parties said a military mission was the “absolutely wrong way,” to handle the crisis, according to Green leader Simone Peter.
Ah, the Germans. Having had the bejesus beaten out of them in WWII, they’ve reverted to their pre-Bismarckian stereotype of cowardly drunkards. In war, you shoot spies, saboteurs and infiltrators; in peace, you put them on welfare.
The problem with this “solution” is that it begins to address the symptom — human smuggling — but not the disease. And we all know what the disease is.