Editorial: Reporters and refugees have an unspoken arrangement: children are to be brought forth when the cameras turn on to both benefit the refugees and the media. Refugees seek to advertise their plight for the greatest degree of sympathy specifically throughout Europe and generally worldwide.
Media benefit in the increased drama and emotional appeal to further a preset narrative. American and international media broadcast these images with the implication that the typical compassionate Western response should be to allow additional refugees sanctuary.
That children are experiencing hardship is an undeniable truth. As is often the case, however, we are being fed a partial truth. There is much more to the story.
My role with NATO brings me frequently to Europe and recently to the Mediterranean, most notably to Greece and Spain. I have analyzed the refugee issue from a multi-national perspective, interviewed allied officers, and advised partner nations on interdiction policies and procedures. There is a perceptual gap between what is happening and what is being presented in media.
1. Many of the Syrian refugees are single, able-bodied young men. Rather than attempt to defend their homeland from ISIS, they have chosen to flee. Before the EU began letting them in, the young men were often at the border fences throwing rocks at the guards.
2. Many of the “Syrian” refugees are not even Syrian. When news began to spread that Germany was permitting refugees, people from all over the world began to pour in and mix with the migrant waves. From official reports, it is also known that ISIS has captured American passport machines.
3. Most of the Syrian refugees have no documentation and we have very limited access to their government records, which means running their background checks is essentially useless. There is no plausible way to sift the wheat from the chaff. For the industrious migrant, however, the lack of documentation is easily solved: for €500 a complete package of fake documents and ID can be procured.
Perhaps most troubling is the lack of concern for our national security as expressed by media outlets and various politicians.
The latent danger embedded within Islamic fundamentalism is clear and present. I do not believe that sponsoring large numbers of unknown Syrians is a safe direction for our nation.
At the same time and speaking as a father, I want to help families in need. Unlike the false dichotomy being presented by the media, there are other ways we can assist Syrian families without exposing ourselves to potential risk: my solution is for NATO to establish secure areas within Syria where the bad guys are kept out and the peace – and therefore families – stay safe.
I also support the states, including Oklahoma, in their effort to thwart the influx of Syrian refugees into the US while leveraging our military strength as a source for good. We can implement meaningful assistance to help Syrians without risking our citizen’s safety.
About the author:
Broken Arrow native LCDR Joe Newhouse, MA, PMP, graduated Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and became a Navy jet pilot who flew combat missions in the Iraq War.
Newhouse currently runs his own real estate company and continues national service in the Navy Reserve as an advisor to NATO. He is fluent in 2 foreign languages and holds formal designations as Int’l Affairs Officer and Joint Strategic Plans & Policy Officer. He is a former aide to Rep. Jim Bridenstine (OK-1).
Joe Newhouse’s views are strictly his own and do not constitute endorsement by the Dept. of the Navy or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Newhouse is an announced Republican candidate for OK State Senate (Dist 25), click here for his campaign web site and click here for the Facebook page.