German Chancellor Angela Merkel began her speech at the Munich Security Council on Saturday the 18th of February by acknowledging that “the European Union right now is in a very difficult situation due to the result of the British referendum … which is very regrettable”.
While she called upon the EU bloc “to do more to integrate our military capacity”, she also admitted that it could not fight terrorism without the help of U.S. president Donald Trump.
“Let me address this very openly. The Europeans alone could not cope with fighting international Islamist terrorism. We need the strength and the power of the United States of America, and their support,” she said.
“I say this because the external borders of the European Union, in a way, are the border that actually separates us from Islamist terrorism, and that very much has an influence on Europe. “
“So co-operation with the United States of America is most important for us, but what’s also very important to me is that Islamist, Muslim states have been incorporated in this coalition, because I think those countries, first and foremost, have to give a contribution.”
However, according to Ms Merkel, working with such states is the only way “we will be able to convince people that it is not Islam that is the problem, but a falsely understood Islam, and the religious authorities of Islam have to find strong language in order to delineate themselves and distance themselves from this fundamentalist and terrorist version of Islam.”
She added, “We cannot do this, we Christians, it has to be done by the Islamist clergy and by the religious authorities.”
After claiming that Western governments are powerless to tackle Islamic extremism, the Chancellor surprisingly followed that up by stating Europe has an obligation to open its borders to even more migrants.
“We have a responsibility. The European Union has a responsibility to bear, accepting those refugees.”
“Just think, Cyprus, after all, is a neighbouring state to Syria, so you see the external borders of the Union are the borders that separate us from those areas where people amass in great numbers … We cannot simply say it’s got nothing to do with us; we have to deal with this issue.”
It is worth pointing out that Cyprus does not in fact share a land border with Syria, being an island nation some 315 miles from the Syrian coast. But that’s none of my business. With regard to the Chancellor’s desire to welcome more so-called refugees, I would like to quote the famous childhood adage,
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Perhaps Ms Merkel was absent from preschool the day that phrase was taught.