The media and pro-migration politicians said that there was no way to protect Europe’s border against so many migrants and that building fences would not help us.
Now, Greeks are holding thousands of migrants back on the Turkish side of the border, behind a fence that has proven very effective.
They claimed it was impossible to stop boats from landing on Greek islands, such as Lesbos.
The Greek Navy is successfully stopping migrant boats, showing just how possible it is with the right will and proper equipment.
We were also told that Hungary’s approach to the migrant crisis, such as building a fence and halting all illegal migration, was against European values.
Now, in silent astonishment we hear European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praising Greece for being the “shield of Europe”.
The moral superiority game that the European elites demonstrated so perfectly five years ago is over. But for those promoting sound migration, there can be no sense of real vindication until Europe ensures this can never happen again.
Europe’s only option is to follow the Greek model, which was first championed by the Hungarians, a model symbolized by the ugly word “wall”.
But in reality, the word “wall” is a neutral word, and walls have served a valuable function throughout history.
Of course, a wall can be perceived as a symbol of tyranny and slavery, such as the case as the one erected in Berlin. But for the most part in history, walls have served a noble goal, such as the Limes Germanicus or the Great Wall of China, which served as shields against barbarians on the frontier of civilization.
When the border of civilization in Europe fell at the end of antiquity, the so-called Dark Ages followed for several hundred years.
In a time of peril, the wall represents a realistic solution, in tandem with other smart security measures, to one of Europe’s most vexing problems.
Walls may have not necessary in the 1990s, but they are necessary now. Times are changing.
The Middle East, North Africa and the Sahel countries are in the center of ethnic and religious tensions, ubiquitous corruption and nepotism, combined with dreadfully run economies that cannot and do not secure decent livelihoods for their rapidly growing populations.
Any spark could easily ignite the region, whether due to falling oil prices, a fluctuation in world food prices, or a prolonged drought. Ongoing wars along with religious and ethnic tension have already led to the collapse of many governments.
Our capability to get these countries on their feet is no sure thing.
Yes, it would be better to solve problems on the spot, and we try to accomplish that very goal. After all, it is in our best interest to stabilize the Middle East.
The simply reality is we just cannot do it.
We can deliver a thousand tons of rice anywhere in the world, but we cannot build institutions, reconcile ethnic strife, ensure security, and deliver sustainable economic growth.
We cannot create another Marshall Plan for several hundred million people who are simply not like Germans, Dutch or Italians after World War II. We do not know how to do this because it is difficult to imagine the conditions in those countries, which have historically very little to speak of in terms of democracy or human rights. Many have governments still dictated by sharia law.
Furthermore, we have also lost the ability to proceed realistically and pragmatically. Bureaucratic structures and endless decision-making processes make it nearly as impossible to build a highway in the Czech Republic as it is to build a state in Afghanistan.
All of these inconvenient realities points to the necessity of a wall, and that is unfortunately about all we can do.
The current situation has no ethically unambiguous solution. Migrants trapped on the border between the Greek and Turkish police can arouse compassion. At the same time, it is clear that opening the border would have disastrous consequences.
It is tragic, but in Turkey, these refugees face no immediate threat to life and their situation is certainly much better than the situation of three million refugees in South Sudan.
The four million refugees in Turkey certainly do not live in refugee camps. Actually, only 2 percent of this number of refugees live in such conditions.
According to the current United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) data, the remaining 98 percent live in cities or suburban areas. Most refugees have been living in Turkey for years, having normal lives, working, and sending their children to school. In some cities, they make up a quarter of the population, just as Ukrainians make up about a quarter of the population of some Polish cities.
Almost one and a half million Syrian refugees have credit cards and a monthly income financed from the EU resources to cover their basic needs. This does not mean that being a refugee in Turkey is easy, but it is unfair to only show just the images of refugees in freezing temperatures huddled by fires.
In the end, we either choose a wall or we will be importing a disaster Europe will be unable to face. Now, all we need is the will to build one.