It's one of those Wednesday afternoon essays that I write after a long walk.
I sat once and watched some German cooking show (I admit it's torture, but sometimes it's a choice of that, a reality show over a German bachelor farmer hooking up with a slutty trailer trash gal, some fake German krimi movie where sixteen murders occur within a twenty-four period, or two Bavarian doctors slobbering all over some Russian countess in a romantic comedy movie)......where the German cook decided to cook up some magnificent French dinner.
The thing was....there had to be at least forty different ingredients on the table, with the guy dazzling you with three separate wines for first, second and third course of the dinner.
Complexity was something that amazed me.....and how it seemed to work in the end. Well....the folks seemed to give hand gestures and murmur French and German words as if they were in some lusty moment of passion.....over the dinner menu.
So you gaze over at the immigration, refugee and asylum episode.....and you just feel like it's a 40-ingredient French dinner.
First, when some idiot says there were 1.1 million applicants to enter the country for 2015....they just aren't all Syrian. And to be honest....if you used the normal numbers (before 2013).....it was pretty normal for Germany to have 200,000 to 250,000 people try to migrate or sneak into Germany.
German statistical folks and political players are always careful not to tell you how many used to pass and get a visa in the pre-crisis period. So you can't be sure. From the 1.1 million.....probably 250,000 were the regular folks who weren't part of the herd.
The statistical folks will tell you that roughly 40-percent of the 1.1 million were from Syria or Iraq. But then they don't want to admit that fake passports started to get noticed after August of 2015, and that maybe some folks (maybe even 40,000 of them) were received and applied the paperwork but did so with fraudulent Syrian passports.
I did notice last night.....some German journalist in Greece talking to the right people, and they had twenty fake passports out there......some American ones too.....ready to go for the right price.
The second big issue is that religious discussion. Nobody says how many are Christians or Muslims from the statistical office. The state governments running the immigration centers will say that certain centers only handle Syrians, and certain ones will only handle Albanians. Oddly, about every week, you hear about a fight between this nationality and that nationality....so the split camp idea sounds good on paper, but it's probably fake.
To be kinda honest, even if you lined up a hundred Syrian guys....you might discover that half of them just aren't that enthusiastic about the Islam business but they keep up appearances because of social settings.
Course, it bothers Germans because so much of German society was built on Christian values. Christmas, Easter, and most of the fests.....all have some element tied into them. They kinda want those elements to continue on.
But then you mention lessening church numbers, fewer churches, and a German will grin for a moment and admit that they've kinda peaked out. The Romans brought Christianity into the region....knocking out the previously accepted Germanic religions (Celtic related). For several thousand years....non-Christian religions existed in the Germanic lands.
The third big issue revolves around education and job background. Syrians are fairly lucky people....Assad and his dad (Assad Sr).....put an emphasis on higher education. You actually find a fair number of Syrians showing up with degrees, or craftsman type backgrounds (mechanics, bakers, logistics, etc). German companies have been enthusiastic for five or six years (taking in Greek, Spanish and Italian unemployed but qualified or educated people).
But then you run into a large segment of folks from northern Africa without much to show.
Adding to the conflict of decision-making.....then you find that folks will claim such-and-such education but be unable to prove the validity of the statement. Because of the war.....there's not a clear way to establish accomplishments.
The fourth issue is the German addition to prove themselves as 'good-Germans'. It's been a preoccupation since WW II and the Nazi business. There's always that frustration about the 'good-American' and the 'good-Brit'.....so knocking either and showing the foundation of the marvelous new German would be helpful. I would take a guess if you marked some German as an "intellectual"....it's about a ninety-five percent chance that he's pro-immigrant/pro-refugee.
In my humble view.....the good-German theme is sells itself easily. You want to save lives....help the hopeless.....feed the hungry.....shelter the refugees....and redeem some respect. It ought to be owed, in some fashion.
The problem is....you twist and slide upon some scale where there is the good immigrant/bad immigrant.....or the good refugee/bad refugee. At some point, you suddenly realize that among the forty people in the room....you've got two or three drug-thugs with no respect for anyone, and two or three people with an overdosed view of some religion with the capability to kill you because of a carton, an open blouse, a refusal to respect them, or some words left over from the 7th century.
At some point, you suddenly realize that from all the neighbors and friends you knew last month who were gleeful and happy over the whole good-German thing....several have a bad taste in their mouth now, and not quiet as enthusiastic as you are. You quietly wonder what changed. It's a bit.....well....complex. And you'd rather it not be that way.