During an interview Saturday, Former U.S Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, discussed Europe’s open borders policy. He speculated about whether the problems Europe is experiencing with terrorism could translate to the U.S., if authorities here don’t address the issue correctly.
Bolton says the open borders policy in Europe is a problem because many don’t acknowledge that the people coming into their countries have a “hostile ideology.” He wonders if citizens are just weary of civilization and don’t understand that they are being confronted with an ideology that is very different from their own.
“Some European leaders acknowledge, but I think the bulk do not,” Bolton said. Bolton believes that after the fall of communism, a complacency set in, leading to the belief that there was no more ideology to be concerned with.
He said that with Europe’s open border policy, the migration of large numbers of people from North Africa and the Middle East was facilitated, and they were able to move around, untraceable.
The problem, according to Bolton, is that as conflicting ideology is translating into terrorist attacks, many governments and people won’t acknowledge that normal law enforcement techniques aren’t able to respond adequately.
“It really is a war that’s being waged against them,” Bolton said. “I don’t think it’s something that they’ve taken into account.”
“That’s why week, after week, after week we say we’re shocked and surprised again at another terrorist attack in Barcelona, and in Finland,” he explained. “As long as you view it as something that’s unusual, and that you can’t account for and don’t understand, you’re going to be shocked and surprised for a long time.”
Bolton said the unwillingness to treat the acts against them as a war is the reason Europe faces more of these attacks, to date, than the U.S. “If you don’t treat this on a ‘war’ footing, the odds of being able to anticipate and stop attacks before they occur will go down,” Bolton said.
Bolton addressed concerns that an increase in monitoring the activities of terror prone individuals is an invasion of privacy.
“I honestly think the so-called threat to our privacy is greatly exaggerated,” Bolton said. He said some of the techniques that have been used and criticized are trying to zero in on communications between terrorists or suspected terrorists.
“The vast bulk of whats going on really doesn’t affect people’s privacy at all. When it comes to individual surveillance, our 4th amendment still requires a court warrant,” Bolton explained. “The debate is completely out of control.”
He said that people who call focusing on one group “profiling on the basis of religion or race” miss the point.
“It’s more about where they’re coming from,” he said, not their race or religion. If they come from drug producing country, authorities would worry about drugs.
If the focus is on terrorism, it is not an example of an attack on religious freedom to look closely at a specific individual, he says. Its about where a person comes from, and whether that country is prone to terrorism and extremism.
“This is all part of the focus on the terrorist threat,” he said.
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