1. The only time the media will actually report on stuff like this is when it’s being practiced by a regime they don’t like, in this case Belarus, which is backed by Putin’s Russia. Don’t ask the media to report on Turkey’s complicity in migrant invasions. And European NGOs that promote similar invasions are treated as heroes and saints. The contradiction is as obvious as it is impossible to discuss.
2. The myth that Putin’s Russia is a model for fighting Islamic terrorism has been spread by Russian trolls for years, but ignores Putin’s numerous statements praising Islam, and claiming that it’s more compatible with Orthodox Christianity, the growing Islamization of Russia’s military, and the willingness of the authorities to cover up Islamic terrorist attacks and even kill critics of Islam.
As I pointed out a while back, there’s nothing new about non-Muslim countries using Muslim terror against each other. The Soviet Union began with it in the Cold War and then the Carter administration decided that it was a great idea.
But there’s a long history to this sort of thing.
Most of us know that our first international conflict was the First Barbary War against Muslim slavers and pirates. But it was the British who found it useful to use the Barbary pirates to clear rivals from the water. Louis XIV of France played a similar role in the Battle of Vienna. For that matter the Muslim conquest of the Middle East heavily depended on their exploitation of Christian rivalries.
Our modern malaise is simply a failure to learn anything useful from history.
This is what an invasion by proxy looks like.
The government of Belarus loosened its visa rules in August, Iraqi travel agents said, making a flight to the country a more palatable journey to Europe than the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece.
It increased flights by the state-owned airline, and then actively helped funnel migrants from the capital, Minsk, to the frontiers with Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.
And Belarusian security forces gave them directions on how to cross into the European Union countries, even handing out wire cutters and axes to cut through border fences.
This is when a regime isn’t even bothering with plausible deniability.
But Belarus has the same relationship to Russia that North Korea does to China. It’s there to play the crazy little yapping dog while its owner in Beijing or Moscow occasionally deplores its behavior, shakes its head, and then quietly hands it a treat.
At the city’s bazaar, Bryar Muhammad, 25, was doing a brisk business on Thursday selling warm clothes.
“Good clothes for Belarus!” he shouted, holding up thick acrylic sweaters and winter jackets pulled from a cardboard box. “For the snow of Belarus!”
Even as young families in Iraq were putting up their homes as collateral to raise money for the journey, evidence mounted that Belarus’s autocratic leader, Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, was orchestrating the migration to manufacture a crisis for the European Union.
The Belarusian state-owned airline, Belavia, had increased flights from the Middle East to Minsk, European officials said. The Belarusian authorities eased the issuance of visas through the state-owned travel agency Tsentrkurort, according to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.
Migrants who reached Minsk were put up in at least three government-owned hotels, according to Latvia’s defense minister, Artis Pabriks, and Franak Viacorka, a senior adviser to a Belarusian opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.
Mr. Pabriks said that Belarusian intelligence agents had been involved in transferring migrants to the borders, and that military buses were used.
Before this, Turkey was doing this kind of thing. But Turkey is immune from its own poison. Belarus, a country with a majority Christian population, isn’t. But that’s never stopped suicidally evil behavior before.
Bayar Awat, an Iraqi Kurd stranded on the Belarusian side of the Polish border, said that Belarusian guards had helped his group reach the border by pointing out a route that bypassed the official border crossing and emerged near a gap cut in the border fence.
“The Belarus police guided us to the forest, then pointed directions to lead us inside the forest to keep us away from the official border crossing,” he said.
On Thursday, a Belarusian soldier was overheard on the phone ordering an Iraqi Kurd to direct a group of 400 to 500 migrants from the Lithuanian border toward the Polish border.
Not all of the migrants have gotten through. Thousands are going to be stuck in Belarus which is the sort of thing that happens when you try to use migrants as a weapon.