The Washington Post yesterday ran a piece about the confrontation at the border, with a picture of a crying girl and a headline that focused on the suffering of children:
But making decisions about immigration based on sobbing children leads to disastrous results.
In July 2015, Angela Merkel confronted a sobbing Palestinian girl who wanted to study in Germany. Merkel said girls like her could not stay in Germany. There were too many people who wanted to stay, and Germany could not handle it:
The incident made international headlines. The phrase #MerkelStreichelt (Merkel strokes) trended on Twitter. Merkel was criticized in all parts of the globe. Just weeks later, Merkel announced that Germany could handle a huge influx of immigrants, with the famous line “Wir schaffen das” (“we can manage that” or “we can do this”). I need not belabor how disastrous that declaration was.
Few (if any) seem to have noticed how directly Merkel’s three-word declaration derived from her confrontation with the young Palestinian girl. Here is a transcript of the key moment when Merkel said the words that caused the tears to flow:
und wenn wir jetzt sagen „Ihr könnt alle kommen und ihr könnt alle aus Afrika kommen und ihr könnt alle kommen“, das, das können wir auch nicht schaffen.
Which roughly translates as:
“if we now say, ‘you can all come here and you from Africa you can all come and you can all come’, we cannot manage that.”
Do you see the parallel there? Merkel told the little girl “das können wir auch nicht schaffen” (we can’t manage that) and, after being pilloried by the international community, changed it to “Wir schaffen das” (we can manage that). The Wikipedia entry for “Wir schaffen das” does not mention the connection. This POLITICO article about the phrase does not mention the parallel. But it’s clear. All you have to do is look.
I hate having Donald Trump as president. I think he is corrupt and criminal and moronic. I could go on. But …
… but at times like these, the silver lining of his presidency becomes clear: that he can be seemingly impervious to the criticism of Big Media, and their attempts to emotionally manipulate the public through images of children being harmed.
Well, except for the bombing of Syria.
Although he emphasised he was not part of the White House administration, Eric Trump said he could tell his father was “deeply affected” by the images of injured children in the aftermath of the chemical weapons attack, in Idlib province, north-east Syria.
“I stay out of politics and I stay out of the administration but you can tell he was deeply affected by those images of the children,” he said.
But, you know, other than that.
[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]