When firebrand Dutch politician Geert Wilders proposed two months ago that Muslim refugees should be kept in "asylum camps," he received light-hearted condemnation from politicians in Europe, who increasingly fear that they need to swing to the political right in order to placate their base. Today, after more than 300 dead and wounded right here in the Low Countries, there is no more light-hearted condemnation of Mr. Wilders' proposals to place Muslims he deems dangerous in government camps.
The late renowned jurist Antonin Scalia warned before his death that we were "kidding ourselves" if we thought that internment camps wouldn't be built to house Muslims as the War on Terror drags into a two-decade-plus conflict. Scalia issued that warning in light of US history, as American citizens of Japanese descent were placed in internment camps for the duration of hostilities between the Japanese Empire and the United States, with George Takei -- who played the character of Hiraku Sulu in Star Trek -- having spent part of his childhood interned with his parents.
The French government, in extending the state of emergency past the three months initially allotted in the wake of the Paris attacks in November of last year, has stated that the war against the Islamic State is one that requires continuation until the Islamic State is defeated, with the government telling the French people that "security doesn't threaten liberty; terrorism threatens liberty," in words that would have made US founding father Benjamin Franklin roll in his grave.
Hundreds have been placed under house arrest, and there are reports that thousands more have been secretly detained.
The recent attacks in Belgium will likely enshrine the state of emergency into the French Constitution, and other European nations will take drastic measures when the next attacker[s] kills scores of "non-believers," with the only question in the mind of many Europeans being: "Where will they strike next?"
The Polish government has stated that it is no longer willing to accept refugees, and the trend in Eastern Europe is for governments to build walls, construction which has sped up at a geometric rate in the past few days.
Authorities are preparing for the next attack, and the attack following that one, and so forth, with the members of DGSE and the Dutch AIVD now openly suggesting to elected representatives that no level of increased security save for turning Europe into a police state and destroying the Schengen system of open borders, which is already collapsing with rising walls in Eastern Europe, could prevent the next terrorist attack; and politicians are heeding those fears.
The far-right has surged tremendously in recent days in the Low Countries, and elected representatives now know that the only way they can prevent the rise of more nationalistic, anti-European Union parties is by preventing the next terrorist attack. Police state tactics won't work for lone wolves who self-radicalize and can pick up a knife, as evidenced by the knife intifada in Israel, so liberal politicians are now, very much like President Franklin D. Roosevelt, telling themselves that interning suspected Islamic State members is more humane in the long run since it will prevent the breakup of the European Union, or far right governments berlinizing the borders of a once united continent.
FDR gave the American people social security, medicare, and a laundry-list of other liberal advances, but he also left us with a dangerous precedent, one which is now being promoted in the councils of European governments. The Dutch government already has secret facilities which Google Maps is not even allowed to photograph; we may soon learn that construction work at those locations is hiding what may be the worst crime since the World War II.