Orbán is isolated, US Vice President Biden ignores him

On November 18, 2015, the US Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration, Anne Richard, met Hungarian Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi at the State Department in Washington DC. There was no Hungarian press coverage, Ms. Szemerkényi didn’t brag about a “turning point” in US-Hungarian relations, she remained quiet. I have a feeling that Ms. Richard had some unkind words about Hungary’s appalling treatment of refugees, although she probably phrased it politely and expressed “concerns.”

US-Hungarian relations have deteriorated since Ms. Szemerkényi arrived to Washington.

A couple of weeks ago her boss, Viktor Orbán, viciously attacked his Croatian counterpart. He said that Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic was an envoy of the Socialist International, whose members believed the current influx of migrants was “a good thing”. Mr. Orbán questioned Mr. Milanovic’s legitimacy by saying: “We don’t consider what the Croatian prime minister says to be the opinion of the Croatian people.” He added “When they hear the Croatian prime minister, I ask Hungarians not to hear a Croatian man but an envoy of the Socialist International who is supposed to attack Hungary.”

On November 25, Vice President Joe Biden flew to Croatia’s capital of Zagreb to have talks with Prime Minister Milanovic. The US thinks that he is indeed a legitimate leader not just a Socialist mouthpiece. Biden was attending the annual summit of Southeast and Central European leaders with the refugee and migrant question on the agenda. Although he was just next door to Hungary, a 30 minute plane ride, he did not visit Budapest.

US Vice President Joe Biden and Croatia's Prime Minister Mr. Zoran Milanovic on November 25 in Zagreb.

US Vice President Joe Biden and Croatia’s Prime Minister Mr. Zoran Milanovic on November 25 in Zagreb.

American politicians ignore Mr. Orbán in the refugee issue. Why?

One of the issues Biden has to deal with is Hungary’s new “Iron Curtain”, a fence to stop, or rather divert the flow of refugees. Countries have built border fences before but Hungary’s fence is different. It uses super sharp razor wire and some say that the old Communist Iron Curtain was less harmful than this deadly new fence at the borders with Serbia and Croatia. Mr. Orbán has stated: “We do not want a multicultural society” and he found the solution.

Not barbed wire - razor wire was used in building Hungarian border fence.

Not barbed wire – razor wire was used in building Hungarian border fence.

Razor wire is not available in Hungary, it is imported from Germany. It is not a barbed wire, it has razor-like blades to cause life-threatening injuries to refugees and animals. In an interview with French radio Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, said that Hungary’s fence building is “extremely harsh. Hungary is part of Europe, which has values, and we do not respect those values by putting up fences that we wouldn’t even use for animals”. Mutanox, a Berlin-based company has refused to deliver razor wire (also called “nato wire”) because Hungary is misusing it. “Mr. Orbán takes it in stride that people could hurt or even die from it,” Mutanox executives explained.

Animals that become entangled in Hungary's razor wire fence die a slow and cruel death.

Animals that become entangled in Hungary’s razor wire fence die a slow and cruel death.

Vice President Biden has said of the refugees: “To turn them away and say there is no way you can ever get here would play right into the terrorists’ hands…. They want us to turn our backs on Muslims victimized by terrorism. But this gang of thugs peddling a warped ideology, they will never prevail. The world is united in our resolve to end their evil.”

Mr. Orbán doesn’t share universal human values anymore. Hungary’s refugee policy plays right into ISIS hands. Not surprisingly, Orbán-controlled Hungarian media has not reported about Vice President Biden’s trip to neighboring Croatia.

György Lázár

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *