The Italian foreign minister fretted a few months ago that the crisis in Libya could send as many as 800,000 refugees teeming across Europe.
Just this morning, 290 immigrants landed on the island, Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reported.
An old dinghy boat has made landfall on Lampedusa escorted into port by the vessels of the Guardia di finanza. On board were 290 persons, including 27 women and 9 children, all of Sub-Saharan origin, who departed from Libya 3 days ago.
AGI optimistically reported that the arrivals are nothing to worry about. “This arrival of migrants occurred after 2 days of pause following the flurry of arrivals that on Saturday had boosted the overall number of migrants present on the island to 2,140 persons.”
On Saturday, seven boats carrying 1,450 illegal aliens landed in just two hours in the middle of the night.
Gadhafi’s Human Weapon
In May, the New York Times reported that the Gadhafi regime is sending the migrants, and that some 9,000 had arrived.
The Libyan dictator opened the floodgates, apparently, because NATO and the United States are backing the rebels trying to overthrow him.
In 2008, the Times observed, Italy paid Gadhafi $5 billion to stop the illegal migrants from leaving his shores. That worked, but now, Gadhafi has decided to open the refugee spigot. The Times reported in May that “the size of the ships arriving in Lampedusa from ports near Tripoli — some carrying as many as 800 passengers — is taken by Italian officials as another sign of Libyan complicity, or at least permission.”
The Italians say Libyan police are not stopping the boats from leaving, but the Libyans say they simply can’t control their coasts given attack by NATO aircraft.
Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi of Libya said that NATO’s military intervention had prevented Libya from patrolling its coasts, as it had done under the 2008 treaty with Italy.
“We say to Europe that we can no longer do what we used to do,” The Guardian newspaper reported Mr. Mahmudi as saying. “And that’s because NATO has ruined our coastal defenses.”
An Italian immigration researcher wrote in a newspaper that Libya was, the Times reported, “helping to organize boatloads of immigrants to Italy from a military port near Tripoli. The newspaper said he had been trained by the Italian authorities in coastal patrols under the treaty.”
Gadhafi has played a crucial role in keeping a plug in African migration to Europe. As The New American reported in March, quoting Speigel Online, Gadhafi “has enjoyed a cynical role as Europe's border guard against African immigrants.” In December, Gadhafi warned that “Europe will become black” if he permitted' refugees to leave his country, Speigel Online reported:
Gadhafi in recent years has played up his role as a bulwark against African immigrants to Europe. Italy and Libya began joint naval patrols in 2008 to stop boatloads of illegal or trafficked immigrants from crossing the Mediterranean, and last year Libya signed a €50 billion deal with the European Union to manage its borders as a “transit country” for sub-Saharan Africans.
Thus did Frattini issue his warning. Nearly a million illegals from Libya could flood Europe if the Gadhafi regime collapses.
Now, more than 10,000 illegals who sailed from Libya have landed. The Times reported that they are from “Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Somalia, in addition to Senegal and other countries. Most were young men in their 20s and 30s who had been working in Libya but had fled because they had lost their jobs or feared for their lives in the unrest.”
They claim they left Libya voluntarily. Most of them are Muslim.
The real victim of this human tsunami is Lampedusa and its people. It is Italy’s southernmost point, just 113 miles from Tunisia.
When the Tunisian government collapsed in January, a flood from that country began, eventually overwhelming the island with some 25,000 illegals. The Africans trashed the island, stressing its food and water supplies. Italy transported them to the mainland and issued them temporary residency permits that allowed them to fan out across Europe.
That caused France to close its border, causing a crisis with the European Union’s Schengen zone of free travel.
The frightening flood of humans from Africa resembles Jean Raspail’s apocalyptic novel The Camp of the Saints, which envisions one million Indians storming the shores of France after a trip on the “Last Chance Armada.” The wave of illegals destroys France and the West.
Photo: Migrants on a boat cheer as they approach the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, Italy, March 7, 2011: AP Images