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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

ERIC ZUESSE -- Ship the Statue of Liberty Back to France

Ship the Statue of Liberty Back to France
ERIC ZUESSE | 04.02.2017 | OPINION

Ship the Statue of Liberty Back to France

Today’s America is a mockery of it. Lady Liberty weeps now. So, let’s ship her back from whence she came, and maybe Europeans will like the symbolism of it.  After all: we got it from Europe, just like we got the immigrants from there.
Donald Trump might not be able to get Mexicans to pay for his wall that the U.S. is building to keep Mexicans out, but would Europeans pay to receive back this symbolic statue, which France gave to an America that deserved it, but that no longer does?
This monument for compassion, and against bigotry, is now merely a metaphorical sore thumb here, but maybe France would be happy to receive her back, and perhaps millions of Europeans will proudly pay to see her, touch her, and stand at her base, to welcome her back to Europe, which ironically consists of the same countries from which almost all of America’s immigrants used to come, before France had gifted the U.S. with Lady Liberty, back on 28 October 1886.
America’s Department of Homeland Security reports that, for the latest available data-year, 2015, the U.S. granted asylum to 69,920 people. By law since 2012, an annual limit had been established for refugees into the U.S.: 70,000.

During that same year in Europe, there were 1,322,825 applicants for asylum, and 69% of them were granted asylum.
Eurostat’s asylum statistics display vastly bigger figures than America’s, for the vast majority of the vastly smaller countries of Europe, as Eurostat described:
For first instance decisions, some 75% of all positive decisions in the EU-28 in 2015 resulted in grants of refugee status, while for final decisions the share was somewhat lower, at 69%. …
The highest share of positive first instance asylum decisions in 2015 was recorded in Bulgaria (91%), followed by Malta, Denmark and the Netherlands. Conversely, Latvia, Hungary and Poland recorded first instance rejection rates above 80%. …
The highest shares of final rejections were recorded in Estonia, Lithuania and Portugal where all final decisions were negative…
The number of first time asylum applicants in Germany increased from 173 thousand in 2014 to 442 thousand in 2015… Hungary, Sweden and Austria also reported very large increases (all in excess of 50 thousand more first time asylum applicants) between 2014 and 2015. In relative terms, the largest increases in the number of first time applicants were recorded in Finland (over nine times as high), Hungary (over four times) and Austria (over three times), while Belgium, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland and Sweden all reported that their number of first time asylum applicants more than doubled. By contrast, Romania, Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia and Latvia reported fewer first time asylum applicants in 2015 than in 2014.
Germany’s share of the EU-28 total rose from 31% in 2014, to 35% in 2015, while other EU Member States that recorded a notable increase in their share of the EU-28 total included Hungary (up 6.6 percentage points to 13.9%), Austria (up 2.2 percentage points to 6.8%), and Finland (up 1.9 percentage points to 2.6%). Conversely, France and Italy’s shares of the EU-28 total each fell nearly 5 percentage points between 2014 and 2015, to 5.6% and 6.6% respectively. …
Syrians accounted for the largest number of applicants in 12 of the 28 EU Member States, including 159 thousand applicants in Germany (the highest number of applicants from a single country to one of the EU Member States in 2015), 64 thousand applicants in Hungary and 51 thousand in Sweden. Some 46 thousand Afghan applicants were recorded in Hungary, 41 thousand in Sweden and 31 thousand in Germany. A further 54 thousand Albanians, 33 thousand Kosovans and 30 thousand Iraqis also applied for asylum in Germany; no other EU Member State received 30 thousand or more asylum applicants in 2015 of a single citizenship. …
In 2015, there were 593 thousand first instance decisions in all EU Member States. By far the largest number of decisions was taken in Germany, … constituting more than 40% of the total first instance decisions in the EU-28 in 2015. In addition, there were 183 thousand final decisions, with again the far largest share (51%) in Germany.
The much larger country, United States, under its new President Donald Trump, is promising to cut sharply the number of annually admitted refugees, downward from its present meager 70,000.
On a per-capita basis, Europe is taking in seven times as many refugees as the U.S. does. Both America and Europe are widely expected to reduce, not to increase, the acceptance of refugees.
So: Does the Statue of Liberty still represent America — or does it instead represent only an America that once was, but no longer is?
Those were figures from 2015, when the U.S. was bombing throughout the year in Syria (where it was, in fact, an invader), and when Russia (which was no invader, but instead was invited in by Syria’s government, to help it prevent an overthrow by that U.S.-Saudi alliance) started bombing there only late, on September 30th of 2015. Mainly, Syrians were fleeing both from jihadists who were trying to take over their country, and from American bombs that were supporting those Saudi-financed jihadists. (And, overwhelmingly, the residents there were fleeing from what Obama euphemistically called ‘rebel controlled areas’, to the areas that were still under the Syrian government’s control.)
The second and third largest sources of refugees into Europe during that year were Iraq and Afghanistan, two countries that America started bombing in 2001 in retaliation for the Saudi royal family’s 9/11 attacks inside America. The new Trump Administration is retaliating against refugees from seven countries, on account of the 9/11, and also other, jihadist attacks, which likewise weren’t perpetrated by people from any of these seven: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. In fact, at the very moment of that U.S. announcement about those seven countries, the Saud family were not only supporting both Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, but were dropping American-made bombs onto Shiites in Yemen. And Trump was terminating refugees both from Syria and from Yemen, thus cutting off any escape to the U.S. for those victims of U.S. aggression against those two countries that the Saud family and the U.S. aristocracy want to conquer. Will Europe take these refugees in?
U.S. aggression combines now with a tightening closed-door policy, and neither reality fits the Western myth. So, might Lady Liberty be crying also because of Western lying? She has become alien to this country as a misfit here, as being both a refuge and a model for the world. She no longer belongs in this country, in spirit. She might as well be officially included on President Trump’s banned list, a resident alien that’s being returned to sender. Maybe if Trump sends her back to France, he’ll try to negotiate with France’s leaders, some sort of price that they will be billed — not, of course for creating the statue (since it was created by the French), but, like he plans to get Mexicans to pay for building his wall to keep them out. 
How far will Trump go in his ‘politically incorrect’ new form of ‘Americanism’?

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