President Obama welcomed leaders of the Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland to a summit in Washington on Friday. The president seemed to flatter the Nordic countries in his opening remarks, saying, “We’re honored to welcome not one nation, but five — our great Nordic friends and partners. … They are extraordinary countries. And most importantly, for our purposes here today, they are extraordinary friends.”
But Obama’s flattery is now in question with some of his other comments.
Speaking of the importance of the Nordic states’ partnership, Obama said, “They have been extraordinarily important for us in shaping and maintaining an international order that is rule-based, that is fair, that is just.” It was unclear what the president meant — a world government system at work? — but his musings continued: “There have been times where I’ve said, why don’t we just put all these small countries in charge for a while? And they could clean things up.”
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The president’s reference to relinquishing control of the U.S. to Nordic countries might not be well received within the world’s most powerful democracy and is problematic for a variety of reasons.
For one thing, the Nordic nations have their hands full with their own messes, namely terrorism in their homeland.
Daniel Kochis of Real Clear World wrote of the Nordic countries’ supposed peaceful existences, “beneath the picture of bliss lurks a malicious and difficult societal problem: An alarming number of Nordic citizens are involved with the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS. Many have traveled to the Middle East to fight for the terrorist group. Others commit their violence at home.” In early 2015, he wrote, “a Danish terrorist of Palestinian ethnicity killed two and injured five in twin attacks against a cafe and a synagogue in Copenhagen. Though he never set foot in Iraq or Syria, the attacker, who was killed in the act, had sworn allegiance to ISIS in an online post.”
Kochis said Denmark “has one of the highest per capita rates of citizens fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Danish security services estimate that 115 Danes have gone there to wage jihad, and they caution the number may be higher.”
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He detailed how the exception has now become the norm in many of the Nordic countries: “300 Swedes, 70 Norwegians, and 60 Finns are believed to have traveled to Iraq and Syria to wage jihad. For countries with small populations, these are big numbers. How can some of the supposedly happiest places on Earth bring forth such a disproportionate amount of people willing to join one of the most abjectly evil groups on earth?”
Kochis pointed to Muslim immigrants’ “failure to assimilate” into the democratic free societies in which they reside as the main cause of the domestic and international terrorism originating both inside the Nordic countries as well as from the external pressures of Islamic State externally.
Obama’s stateside resettlement plans for refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East have been defiantly opposed, as Western Journal has reported, by at least 27 governors, and numerous politicians in Washington. But despite the objections, the Obama administration’s Office of Refugee Resettlement threatened those states with implicit criminal prosecution. In a letter written to opposing states, the office wrote, “Any state with such a policy would not be in compliance with the State Plan requirements, applicable statutes, and their own assurances, and could be subject to enforcement action, including suspension and termination.”
It’s unclear which mess the president was referring to the Nordic countries “cleaning up,” but one might soon be created here in the United States with the resettlement of as many as 200,000 refugees by the end of the year.
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