The news about illegal immigration into Italy and Southern Europe is stunning. Here are some illustrative headlines from recent news accounts: “Welcome to Italy: this is what a real immigration crisis looks like,” declares the British Spectator magazine, which adds that Italy is being “invaded.” And here’s another scary story: “How the migration crisis is shaking Europe at its core.” After all, it’s only 100 miles or so from Tunisia, in Africa, to the Italian island of Sicily—an easy trip in almost any kind of vessel. And so if, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, have a look and decide for yourself.
Yes, there’s an African invasion of Italy—it’s a mostly peaceful invasion, but still, as the Brits say, “invasion” is the right word for it—going on every day in the Mediterranean, as much of the population of Africa (home to 1.1 billion people, about half of them Muslim) seeks to transplant itself to Italy (population: 59 million) and the other social-welfare havens of Western Europe (population: less than 400 million.) If this “human wave” story isn’t getting that much attention here in the U.S., the reason could be that the international news networks, starting with the BBC, are too politically correct to get worked up over the ongoing story, while most conservative news outlets are too small, or too parochial, to really pay attention.
Moreover, given the rising tide of violence in the Islamic world, it’s not clear how long this human wave will stay peaceful: Just on Friday, gunmen killed dozens of Western tourists in Tunisia. On top of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the anti-Semitic violence in France over the last few years, also on Friday, there was a Jihad-style beheading in Southeastern France, near the Italian border.
At one time, of course, the Italians dominated the entire Mediterranean Sea; the Romans of the Empire Era called it Mare Nostrum, “Our Sea.” But then the Romans became, well, Italians; as the Italian minister of health said recently, reviewing the country’s drastically shrinking birthrate, Italy is a “dying country.” Mighty Europe, once home to so many conquerors and imperialists, became the European Union, the hub of political-asylum lawyers and welfare-check-dispensers. And so today, the impetus in Italian politics is not to stop the immigrant flood; instead, it is to channel the flood elsewhere in the European Union. Hence the headlines on the political response tend to be, “Italy in emotional plea for EU help on migrants.”
But of course, it’s never that easy, because the illegal immigrants—or “migrants” as they prefer to be called—bring with them communicable diseases that Europeans had once wiped out, as well as economic deprivation.
Four decades ago, the Frenchman Jean Raspail wrote about such human inundations in his dystopic novel, The Camp of the Saints. More recently, an astute observer here at Breitbart News picked up on the key themes of the book. So it is grimly and darkly amusing—“unamusing” is surely a better word—to see the campo dei santi scenario playing out in Italy: Pope Francis, naively good-hearted fellow that he is, works hard on his theories of “climate change,” while all around him in Italy we see the realities of demographic change.
And so, through a politically toxic combination of myopia and ideology, the demographic invasion of Italy and Europe continues.
Let’s look ahead a few decades: What will happen when Italy is majority Muslim? That is, when the historic accomplishments of the Italian people are just that—history? Remember the old comic book/TV series, Tales From the Crypt? Well, sometime relatively soon, there could be a new updating; call it Tales From the Crypt—of Dead Countries. This new show would include lessons in statecraft from Italy—what not to do. Yes, it would be ironic: The country that gave us the empire-builders of Rome and also the craftiness of Machiavelli would now provide the world with an object lesson in how a political regime can will itself to be destroyed.
But as we look ahead, we can see challenges for the rest of us, even those of us in faraway North America. For example, what will be the psychic toll if and when the Muslims of Italy start defacing or destroying the cultural and artistic treasures of their new home? It’s worth noting that the cultural destruction practiced by ISIS in the Middle East is not a new phenomenon; the Muslim impulse to destroy or transform Western creations is, indeed, long-standing. For example, when the Muslim Turks captured the Christian city of Constantinople in 1453, they not only changed the city’s name to Istanbul, but they also converted the majestic Hagia Sophia church into a mosque.
So it could happen to Rome, and if it did, it would put a hole in the heart of every Christian.
Happily, there’s some ample precedent for ambitious preservation.
In the 1950s and 60s, Western countries rallied to save ancient Egyptian treasures from being flooded by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. That is, thanks to Western generosity, great treasures of antiquity were literally moved to higher ground within Egypt or else to museums in the West. Thus at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City, visitors can be awed by the sizable Temple of Dendur, saved from the rising waters. It was impressive that the Pharaohs built it way back when, and it was impressive, too, that the Americans saved it from drowning.
Now, thinking ahead, we can see that it will be relatively easy to move such great artworks as Michelangelo’s Pieta sculpture. But there’s a problem: It will not so easy to move the entire Sistine Chapel to safety, to say nothing of St. Peter’s Basilica, which is nearly 500 feet high and covers six acres in Rome.
So as we can see, rescuing such a structure from jihadi vandals would be no small task. If physically preventing Muslims from taking over Rome is not an option, then we will have to think about physically moving the Vatican—and that will be hard. As we ponder the formidable engineering challenges of an Aswan-type relocation for the See of St. Peter, here’s a thought, perhaps more suitable for the 21st or 22nd century: How ‘bout a Star Trek style transporter beam? You know, that would pick objects up and move them to another location, as seen, imaginatively, in the popular TV/movie series? Wouldn’t that be a neat way to save the physical glories of Rome, Florence, Venice, and the rest of Italy?
Okay, so there’s some work to be done, since such a transporter-beam since it doesn’t exist yet. But if there’s ever a virtuous incentive to fruitful thinking, surely this is it. In fact, plenty of scientists say that it’s possible. Michio Kaku, a professor at the City University of New York and a well-known science pundit, has predicted that we would develop a transporter beam technology, for real, within 100 years. And that would be just about when we need it to save Rome.
And while we’re thinking like this, we might think to ourselves that the sooner we can create such a transporter-beam, even a small one, the sooner we might also start profoundly improving medical treatment. That is, we could apply the ray to the bodies of patients to remove tumors and other growths. And wouldn’t that be nice, and easy, compared to surgery?
Historians of technology have long observed that many of our most beneficial inventions have come about because scientists and inventors wanted to serve God. Well, here’s another chance to serve both God and Man: If we want to save our patrimony in the Vatican in a century or so, let’s get to work now on a transporter beam. And maybe, along the way, the scientific effort will yield up the cure for cancer that we so desperately need.
So let’s get cracking! In seeking to save the treasures of our past, we could, in fact, be saving our own lives in the future.
We might not be able to stop the radical Muslim takeover of Italy. But maybe someday in the not-so-distant future, thanks to future miracles of technology, tourists will be able to visit the Vatican in, say, Orlando or Las Vegas. And who knows: that enticement might serve to cheer up visiting cancer patients as they make a speedy recovery from the onetime killer disease.