Showing posts with label ESDP/CSFP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ESDP/CSFP. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Islamophobia as an international security problem

The West's religious and political extremists and radicals. While the focus is on the small number of Middle East religious radicals who are rioting in new Arab democracies,  the serious and growing threat from anti-Muslim radicals and Islamophobic extremists is multifaceted in nature. This threat ranges from free roaming violent radicals, like Anders Breivik and the English Defense League, to advances made by "political parties" in European nations, like Geert Wilders and the PVV.  All of this activity by Islamophobic radicals is well funded by wealthy, but equally radical Israeli interests, perhaps with the Likud Party.

We could have told you about the Islamophobic extremists and radical elements that are responsible for the creation of the "Innocence of Muslims" hate film - and it should be clear to the world now how dangerous these elements are.  What should be made clear to the world is how these Western extremists and radicals abuse their freedom of speech rights to provoke violence and international crisis.

Promotion of a  New World Order according to Samuel Huntington. There is going to have to be adjustments in foreign and security policies of national governments and in the policies of international organizations (like the European Union) to deal with this (not so new) anti-Muslim radical and Islamophobic extremist factor on the international community. The world community needs to anticipate that the element will abuse free speech rights to provoke trouble, just as Jyllands-Posten abused its free press rights when it published the "Danish cartoons" and when Geert Wilders and Theo van Gogh abused their free expression rights to make anti-Muslim hate films.

There are those people from largely the Anglo-American conservative right hope to stoke up another Cold War, this time between the West and the Islamic world. We can see their desired New World Order is along the lines of Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" thesis, or "Clash" thesis. Clash thesis is a world ordered along the "faultlines" between largely religiously based "civilizations."  We have the notion that Greece (and probably Serbia) are with "Orthodox civilization"  (watch for calls to throw Greece out of Europe - its the "Trojan horse" for Russia). We have the notion of "Confucian civilization" dominated by China. But - more importantly - we have "Islamic civilization" and "Western civilization."

The largely Anglo-American conservative ilk would like to maintain hostile relations with especially Muslim majority countries of "Islamic civilization." This level of hostile relations is supposed to replace the Soviet Union.  In the opening pages of his book Huntington argues that "enemies are essential to identity" and "hating what we are not is to love who we are."  America, according to Huntington, needs to look for monsters to slay in the Muslim world.

[youtube id="zl3YU5XcmVM" w="300" h="250"]

We have to realize that Islamophobia is present in Ray Kelly, the NYPD commissioner, as well as Geert Wilders, down to Robert Spencer.  Paul Ryan showed up at a "values summit" that was full of extremists, including Frank Gaffney.  So- Islamophobia is not just for the fringe, but has been allowed access to mainstream politics. Islamophobia is what much of Orthodox terrorism studies are based on, including the celebration of the discredited "NYPD radicalization model." We must deal with Islamophobia and those who wish to promote "Clash" thesis as some kind of New World Order. This world order divided by Islamophobia and "hate of others not like us" will be one that promotes constant conflict and crisis. We must work against it and favor a world system that strives to work on respect, mutual understanding and peace.

And - the promotion of Islamophobia and using it to sabotage America's relationships -- are un-American!

The "Muslim rage" was actually small.  We must first come to realize that only a small percentage of "Muslims" protested the "anti-Islam film." Some observers are of the opinion that the Western media needs to be more responsible when covering events in the Middle East -- and that the "Muslim rage" was exaggerated:

What is disheartening is that some of the media coverage of the protests embodies the worst form of sensational journalism. There were headlines and stories that made it seem as though millions of Muslims across the world had taken to the streets, with Muslim countries in riots and businesses closed.

In Indonesia, a nation of over 200 million, several hundred people took part in protests. Just a few months ago, 50,000 Indonesians bought tickets to see a Lady Gaga concert before it was canceled. So, what does this say about Muslims in Indonesia?

In Egypt, a nation of over 80 million, about 2,000 people protested on Friday. Of those protesters, a few hundred were arrested by the police.

In Lebanon, no protests occurred until Monday. Why? Because the pope had been visiting the country, and the leader of Hezbollah, which the U.S. has labeled as a terrorist group, didn't want to do anything to interfere with the pope's historic three-day visit.

A small number of protesters should not define the entire Muslim population of over a billion. The media should know this and report the truth accordingly.

The U.S. media -- and we're not just talking about Newsweek or Joe Scarborough -- need to act in a more responsible way. It appears that our media are more focused on ratings than facts and accuracy. While the media jump on the story and then quickly move on to another story, their impact in defining a people and a culture can be lasting. Let's hope the wave of #MuslimRage responses prompts the media to think twice before they react.

There are now those in acedemics who work with statistics and who are now assessing just how many took part in "Muslim rage" riots. The numbers are small - by the exaggerating of the size and scope of the protests shows how irresponsible the Western mass media can be, and future reports are forthcoming.  Given that these riots were - indeed - small, Islam had nothing to do with these small riots and Muslims are not collectively to blame for violence!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption=""Muslim rage" riots were small. People are currently studying the size of them."][/caption]

The need now to calculate Islamophobia into foreign and security policies. In terms of security, there should be NO reaction of Western agencies to "Muslim rage," since the riots and protests were actually very small. But - we will see some call by Western security agencies (there might have already) to "look out for lone wolf jihadists upset over this video." What a load of poppycock!

In terms of security, it is the promotion of Islamophobia by various actors that needs to be calculated into the foreign and security policies nations and international actors. It should be clear to the world that Islamophobia is now a global problem, and has been for some time.  We must realize that those that promote Islamophobia and create Islamophobic media do so with the hope of sabotaging relationships between especially the US and the "Muslim world."  This film and its publication in Egypt may have served the purpose of dividing Egypt and the Middle East world from a growing relationship with the US and the Western world. The other purpose of giving this film publicity was to destabilize young and vulnerable Arab democracies.

So - the need here is to immunize the growing relationships between young Middle East countries and Western nations, the US and the European Union.

Islamophobia used as a dividing tool by radical right-wing political leaders, media pundits and fringe groups alike will have to be calculated into foreign and security policies of states and international organizations. Governments and political leaders should adapt the mentality of building positive relationships with the Arab and Muslim countries that are based on respect and mutual understanding - and this can only be done through a long-term relationship with Arab and Muslim countries based on respect and mutual understanding.  Western nations, the US and European Union, should continue to work with and support young Arab democracies and work to immunize the relationships against those who wish to use Islamophobia to sabotage relationships, just as al-Qaeda elements work to sabotage relationships.

We should also work to make Islamophobia in the media just as taboo in Western society as anti-semitism and racism.  This is happening, but slowly, and those who promote Islamophobia are well funded and sometimes well connected (Geert Wilders and Frank Gaffney). Governments should take courage to form public and private partnerships to combat Islamophobia -- and private groups should be made ready for action in the form of letter writing and boycotts of those who are are involved in the promotion of Islamophobic speech.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Islam is not to blame for Middle East violence; free speech also applies to Muslims

Islamophobic radicals and extremists provoke violence, they find it fun. Like the hate merchants that they are, this violence in Yemen,  Egypt and the murders in Libya are partly to be blamed on those Islamophobic radicals and extremists who produced this video in the first place.  These radicals know full well what they are doing - and what the results would be - and it is right that good people everywhere condemn them and their "free speech." These radicals get some kind of twisted pleasure out of provoking other radical and extremists in the Middle East - and who created this outrageous movie is also a mystery, but it's believed to be a person by the name of Sam Bacile,  a Coptic Christian.

Now - while they argue that these hate merchants have "freedom of speech and expression" - let us first talk about also those in the Western world, living among Western security and police forces, who do not have the same level of "free speech" as these video producers. As I have written here before, if you wear a beard, robes, become a devout Muslim and express so-celled "anti-Western views"  - all supposedly protected by the First Amendment and the ECHR - YOU will be branded as "radicalized" and place on watchlists, watched by police and intelligence services, which could also include tampering with your freedom of movement, especially in the use of passenger air travel. [Faulty and biased terrorism studies field behind NYPD’s radicalization model].

No religious Muslim expressing "anti-Western views" should be placed on a watchlist anymore than this film-maker should be placed on a watchlist.

The provocation of violence when it is known that violence will occur - is never allowed from either the political Left, as well as Muslim communities - yet these producers of this knowingly proactive film have caused riots. As of now, it should be suspected that at least al-Qeada elements wanted to attack our embassy in Libya on the anniversary of September 11th - and the upheavel over the "Innocence of Muslims" video may have been used as cover and a coincidence. There may be elements of Gadaffi's army that may have participated in this attack against our embassy. [ Libya pledges to help US catch American officials' killersEgypt's Mursi condemns embassy attack, protesters clash ] "Western partner" Turkey also condemned the violence:
"Turkey has consistently emphasised that terror has no religion or nationality, and is a crime against humanity. Turkey continues to believe that the effective combating of terrorism requires the unity and the solidarity of the international community."

We must understand that Islam is not responsible for these murders and Muslims are not collectively guilty.  The fact remains that the violence is a from a few people in the country - and not accepted by governments or the larger public.  The majority of Libyans are outraged by the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three other Americans. Hundreds of Libyans turned out to protest against terrorism in their countryMohamed Magariaf, the Libyan President, is involved in finding the perpetrators.

What Arab and Muslim countries can and must do - fight for human rights for Muslims. It would be a better project, as I have said before, for Arab and Muslims nations to engage in the first for human rights and religious freedoms for Muslims living in the Western world. This is actually a better alternative that taking away anybody's freedom of speech. What is also possible is for pressure to be placed on YouTube (a private entity) to remove this video and create posting policies the prevent the posting of this type of proactive videos that are bigoted, hateful and cause violence. Those of use who use Internet services like YouTube know that there are policies against bigotry, hate and violence - and perhaps thsi video should have been removed. We know that often these services are slow and non-responsive to users who violate Term of Use policies.

"Western partner" Turkey really needs to step up and speak out in the OSCE and CoE against the civil rights and human rights abuses against Muslims by Western security and law enforcement. It is actually a better fight to fight for equal speech, political and religious rights that allowed this film to be posted without ramifications against the film-makers. It is a better fight to fight back against biased TSA agents, biased law enforcement training materials, abolition of the NYPD "radicalization model." It is a better fight to fight for freedom for Muslims than fight to restrict the freedoms of others.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Turkey’s righteous anger

It is deeply troubling to think of the prospect of Russia arming the Assad regime. However, Russia could argue that the Western/NATO nations give armed support to the Georgian tyrant, Mikheil Saakashvili. So, Bashar al-Assad is Russia’s tyrant to support and arm. We have yet to see international norms develop that bring rebuke upon nations that support tyrannical regimes, like Assad in Syria, with weapons.

The shooting down of Turkey’s unarmed aircraft without warning– in international waters or not – is an act of war by the Assad regime against Turkey. Over the past couple of weeks, Syrian soldiers and officers have been defecting to Turkey – and the Assad regime has accused Turkey of “harboring terrorists.” (yes – that old accusation of “terrorist!”) The 550 mile long border between Turkey and Syria is already a hotspot of Syrian military actions against rebels, who hold towns along the border. The liberal flow of rebels and refugees along the border is a source of tension between Ankara and Damascus.

The blatant shooting down of the unarmed Turkish plane is probably the Assad regime attempting to flex muscles and give the international community warnings.  Bashar al-Assad stated that his country is “in a state of real war.” “When we are in a war, all our policies . . . need to be directed at winning this war." Assad believes that the "war" is a conspiracy led by the United States and its allies - or with the defections - the Assad regime is about to implode?

[youtube id="CGpfGByNboc" w="250" h="200"]

Turkey is right to be angry, as the downing of its jet is a unacceptable, as stated by NATO - and act of war. While the EU wants a "restrained response" from Turkey, Ankara has every right to take some sort of action. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that every Syrian military element that approached the Turkish border will be treated as a threat.  Shortly after this speech, Turkish media reported that Turkish military elements have been deployed to the Turkish-Syrian border.

"Our plane was targeted not by mistake but deliberately, entirely in an act of hostility. At a time, place and method defined by itself, Turkey will make use of its rights that derive from international law and firmly take necessary steps against this injustice.”

Yes - Turkey has every right to retaliate and that should be one of its options. Now - people who say that they are "sick of war" and want to disarm every nation are quite ignorant of the reality of a dangerous international system. This danger is no better illustrated that through the brutality of the Assad regime against its own citizens.  The ability to stand up to the provocation of having you airplane shot down by the tyrannical next-door neighbor is a part of defending your own nation's security.  It is very important from a national security standpoint to not appear weak and stand militarily strong. These appearances are very important for the security of a nation - as well as the trust of the nation's people toward leaders to keep them safe from outside attack. National security is the first business of states - and to appear timid and not offer any kind of response to armed provocation just invites more trouble.

NATO SecGen Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that this incident shows  "is another example of the Syrian authorities’ disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life." Agreed - and for Turkey to be next to this regime is, indeed, a threat to Turkey's national security. Turkey is not only right to retaliate, but right to take actions that defend its own security with such a dangerous next-door neighbor. Turkey's actions in its own defense are simply not the same as the Bush administration's invasion and occupation of Iraq - and those who see it that way are dead wrong! Military power and its use are intended for just this situation, the situation of defending your nation from the bully next-door.

Could NATO be pulled into actions against Syria? Yes it could be pulled into a conflict, but only under certain conditions. If Syria were to start attacking Turkish military assets in Turkey (artillery shelling over the border into Turkey) this could invoke Article Five of the North  Atlantic Treaty (NATO's founding treaty) whereby "an attack on one is an attack on them all" :

Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

This article is the main security guarantee of the NATO Alliance and is no longer confined to just "Europe or North America" or "the North Atlantic area."  This applies to an attack on any NATO Member State - which includes Turkey. When a state "joins NATO"  there is a "Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty" document for the joining state. Here is part of the text for Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of Greece and Turkey of 1951 (emphasis mine):
If the Republic of Turkey becomes a Party to the North Atlantic Treaty, Article 6 of the Treaty shall, as from the date of the deposit by the Government of the Republic of Turkey of its instruments of accession with the Government of the United States of America, be modified to read as follows:

For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:

  1. on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France, on the territory of Turkey or on the islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer;

  2. on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.

There would have to be a "finding of an Article Five" by NATO's North Atlantic Council (NAC), which is the governing body of the Alliance made up of civilian ambassadors.  The last and only time Article Five was invoked was after the 11 September 2001 attacks against the US. It is quite easy to see that shelling over a border into a NATO member nation is, indeed, an armed attack, but given the anti-Muslim bend in some NATO member countries (ex. the Netherlands) there could be foot dragging in the NAC that was not seen when Article Five was invoked after the 11 September 2001 attacks against the US by the Afghanistan-based, al-Qaeda  group.

While the Netherlands is and always has been a staunch and active supporter of the NATO Alliance as an Atlanticist nation, we could see real foot dragging by the Dutch even if Syria attacked Turkey outright.  It could get ugly in the NAC with these anti-Muslim nations...and the Dutch could be forced to choose between their Islamophobic "clash of civilizations" mentality toward Turkey or the honor and standing of their beloved NATO Alliance.

If we say that Article Five is invoked, we have the additional question into just which NATO members would be willing to risk their forces in an armed defense of Turkey.  Contributions can be airspace fly over rights for its military aircraft up to to military units, but given that anti-Muslim bend in some NATO member nations, many may not want to risk their military units to defend Islamic Turkey.  Turkey might just be on its own and perhaps joined by few Arab nations.  This would be a shame and an embarrassment for the NATO Alliance if such a reaction occurred in the event of an armed attack against Turkey...


NAC Statement on the shooting down of a Turkish aircraft by Syria

Turkey threatens military retaliation along Syria border, drawing defiance from Assad

Three top Syrian officers defect to Turkey. How bad for Assad?

EU ministers urge restraint from Turkey

NATO chief condemns Syria over jet downing

Turkey Says It May Target Any Syrian Forces Nearing Border



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Answering EUobserver's "unbiased view" on Serbia: Jeton Zulfaj's "EU must open its eyes to Balkan realities"

Article used here is from EUobserver, by Jeton Zulfaj, EU must open its eyes to Balkan realities.

It has been the view of this author that Serbia has gotten a very bad shake from the European Union, and that includes the 2008 "Kosovo independence" debacle, which was pushed by the United States. The truth is, as I discuss on pages 37-38 of  The EU’s Europeanization as a Security Policy , EU officials were against "Kosovo independence" from the start.  The US-pushed "Kosovo independence" not only almost cost time and efforts working with Serbia, it dramatically demonstrated how much the Americans maintain hegemony over European affairs and tamper with European affairs almost at will well over 2 decades after the fall of Soviet communism. One of the dubious (anti-Serb) excuses for "Kosovo independence" was "not wanting to be ruled by Belgrade anymore," as if Slobodan Milosevic was still President of Yugoslavia.

In the article above, written by a Kosovo Albanian grad student, Jeton Zulfaj,  contains a number of things that are biased and lack understanding of the EU's mode of Europeanization toward Serbia. The use of Europeanization is a stabilizing mode of relationships that the EU enters with various countries, and not just with those nations with a conflict history that are now looking for EU membership, like Serbia. (On pages 11-12 of my thesis paper I offer several definitions for Europeanization from several authors.)

First, we have Zulfaj's apparent thesis question: How realistic is the EU belief that Balkan countries are moving down the path to becoming stable, liberal democracies?

Be patient with Europe! The EU "does not seem to understand the urgency of the situation" because Europeanization is a process that is about relationships, relationships that take time and can have setbacks. The relationship with Russia has been one where Russia has been selective in the areas of cooperation and in the depth of cooperation with the European Union.  These relationships move at various speeds and need patience and persistence, and they DO work in time, as changing national identities can take a l-o-n-g time to accomplish. Even though Russia has stated that it has no intentions to join the EU, various relationships in various areas at various levels have improved, slowly, Russia's progress as a democratic society.  The long patient work of the EU can have setbacks - but it works in the long term - and the EU has received a lot of rewards for the efforts. The first misunderstanding of of the whole idea of "Europe" comes here :
On his death in 1898, Otto Von Bismarck is quoted to have said that "If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans."

He was right. A decade or so after his death a silly thing in the Balkans was followed by World War I. Today, after a century of wars and conflicts, the Balkans are still far from political stability, but these days the instability is more likely to hurt the Balkan countries themselves than to provoke a wider conflict.

The EU does not seem to understand the urgency of the situation, even though it has hundreds of diplomats and officials posted to the region.

Zulfaj does not tell us why the situation is urgent and does not give us direct examples. The fact of EU membership and accession is that to "join the club" you have to play by the EU's rules - and only the EU's rules. If you are going to argue against EU membership for a candidate state, like Serbia, you should and must do it from the perspective of acquis communautaire, or not adapting it in full.

Also -- this type of notion feeds into the notion of victimization held by various Balkan peoples, especially the Serbs toward the Ottoman Empire, the Croat Ustashas and the NATO Alliance.  Zulfaj shows this victimization notion of his own through out his essay in the form of finger-pointing, a common mode of blame used by all Balkan peoples against each other, toward the Serbian people as a whole and their new president, Tomislav Nikoli.  The whole idea of the European Coal and Steel Community was to put conflicts behind and and work together, not just to decide what to do about the Saar region after WWII. Putting and end to the centuries of finger-pointing might take time to do in the Balkans, as is has for the rest of Europe.

The EU promised that Serbia's membership would not be tied to Kosovo's status! From the start of the US-forced "Kosovo independence"  in 2008, the EU has maintained that the status of Kosovo is not a part of Serbia's EU membership.  Among some of Zulfaj's recommendations, we have this highly counterproductive one:
... it should recognize Kosovo's independence and openly tell Serbia that unless it recognizes Kosovo it will not get into the Union.

NO - for the sake of peace - NO! EU officials promised that "Kosovo recognition" is NOT a condition for Serbia's membership and maintaining this promise is important to beat back the nationalists that Zulfaj is so concerned about. It would be absolutely counterproductive and open old wounds to force Serbia to recognize "Kosovo."   In fact, if the EU were to force "Kosovo recognition" on Serbia -- it would make the nationalists stronger and even more radical. Being a "liberal democracy" has nothing to do with the "status of Kosovo" and Zulfaj suggests that those other EU Member States that have not "recognized Kosovo" (Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain) be called out for it - but they are sovereign states too, and have the right to NOT recognize other "nations" as "states" in the international system.
In Serbia, the clear shift toward nationalism shown in Sunday's elections is a wake-up call that people still think borders can be redrawn on ethnic lines. It shows that the spirit of the "butcher of the Balkans" - the late Slobodan Milosevic - is alive and kicking and that Russian influence in the region is as strong as ever.

This is such a silly accusation! Allow me to remind the readers there has been a clear shift toward nationalisms, of one type or another, across Europe and Serbia is not an exception.  In fact, a finding of my thesis study was that EU neglect of Serbia causes a rise in nationalism. The EU has been dozing and not fully awake to the rise of the radical right across Europe, but time will only tell if Tomislav Nikoli's positions present a serious setback for Serbia as an EU Member State.  He probably will not be the new Milosevic.  As I have argued in past posts - the EU should have helped maintain the national identities of Member States, as well as candidate nations, that have pro-Europe orientations and helps avoid anti-democratic nationalisms.

Another thing that should also stop is connecting Serbia's relationship with its relationship to Russia. This is Cold War thinking and has no place in modern Europe. Serbia should not be put into the "the EU or Russia" dilemma,  but should have relations with Russia and the EU - and there is NO need for Serbia to chose, but engage in both relationships.

Now- I do realize that some at EUobserver, with its anti-Serb bias, are probably not happy with the idea of Serbia in the European Union, but Serbia has worked long and hard for EU membership and overcome some rather large and often unfair obstacles to get its accession treaty.  However, Zulfaj many have realized that "Kosovo independence" means that it will be quite a long time before Kosovo - especially as an "independent nation" - will see EU membership. Kosovo would have been better off remaining with Serbia, as it would now be a part of the European Union.  This is why "independence" for Kosovo was such a horrible idea in the first place and one the Kosovars will eventually regret.

In my world, Kosovo would be in the European Union as soon as Serbia's accession treaty enters into force.


See media articles:

Serbia's EU membership should not be bound to Kosovo

"Kosovo not condition for EU accession talks date"

Tomislav Nikolic Sworn In As Serbia's President


Works from this Author:

Kosovo needs Serbia

Europeanization for the Common Man. How to see the EU in an International Crisis: “Much to do about a statement” -

Coal, Steel and Reconciliation: The Development of the European Community and Union

The EU’s Europeanization as a Security Policy - The author’s Master’s Capstone paper that is a study of the process of Europeanization with two nations the EU is associated with: Serbia and Russia. ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research is to discover and explain the security aspects of the European Union’s relationships in the post-Cold War world. This study uses variations of social constructivist-based theory to explain Europeanization. Europeanization is a socialization process connected to European Union membership and association. This study uses an applied method developed by Roy Ginsberg that measures the relationship of a target actor to the European Union during an international crisis. It has been found that close association and membership aspirations enhance security and stability in the European Union’s relationships with target actors thereby bringing about quick resolutions to international crisis. The European Union is an effective security actor and Europeanization is an effective security policy tool.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Egypte geweld: Waar is de Nederlandse regering?

Het geweld in Egypte heeft geen religieuze uitleg, maar democratische aspiraties. Er zijn meldingen van 35 mensen gedood in het laatste geweld in Egypte tussen politie en demonstranten. Egyptenaren eisen het einde van het militaire bewind. Demonstranten werden geslagen door de politie en soldaten, getroffen door traangas en rubberen kogels. De demonstranten hebben wederom genomen om Tahrir Square, zoals ze deden het afgelopen voorjaar, in opstand te komen tegen wat zij geloven is een verschanst militaire raad.

Egyptenaren zijn gefrustreerd door het plan dat de militaire raad zal vasthouden aan de macht, zelfs na parlementsverkiezingen van volgende week verkiezingen. De militaire raad zei dat het zal stoppen met de macht na de presidentsverkiezingen, die de raad gezegd kon worden 2012 of 2013. Egyptenaren willen in de richting van civiele bestuur zet voor en de militaire raad en veldmaarschalk Hussein Tantawi te beschuldigen van het willen vasthouden aan de macht. Het leger wil de grondwet veranderd om het leger af te schermen van verantwoordelijkheid. Het leger heeft gesloten zijn oren aan de eisen van de mensen voor een einde van de militaire heerschappij en een snellere overgang naar democratie en een burgerregering.

[youtube id="5Q52fyVius4" w="250" h="250"]

Dit geweld op Tahrir Square heeft niets te maken met het feit dat de Egypte is vol met moslims. Ook is het geweld verlaten vele doden, en hun religieuze achtergronden zijn onbekend. Er kunnen een Koptische christen, (of twee of drie), die is gestorven in deze nieuwe geweld, zoals koptische christenen deden stierven langs de kant van collega-islamitische burgers in de revolutie afgelopen voorjaar. We moeten ons afvragen waar de Nederlandse overheid is nu op deze frisse geweld. Dit is belangrijk, omdat uitspraken van de Nederlandse overheid over deze niet-sektarisch geweld zal ons vertellen over de Nederlandse activisme met betrekking tot Egypte en de Arabische lente. Is het Nederlandse beleid over democratie en mensenrechten voor alle Egyptenaren - of alleen met behulp van de af en toe geweld tegen koptische christenen om "clash" ideologie te verspreiden en up roer islamofobie, zowel in binnen-en buitenland?

We kunnen gemakkelijk lezen de veroordeling van de Europese Unie over de meest recente geweld tegen demonstranten. We lezen duidelijke uitspraken van de EU dat het geweld moet stoppen en dat Egypte, zoals Catherine Ashton verklaarde:
Ik heb mijn bezorgdheid in het verleden over de noodwet en de aanhoudende militaire processen. Ik herhaal dat de interim-autoriteiten en alle betrokken partijen de cruciale taak van het luisteren naar de mensen en het beschermen van hun democratische aspiraties te hebben.

De Nederlanders missen de Arabische lente. We kunnen niet lezen wat de verklaringen van de Buitenlandse Zaken (Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken) anders dan Uri Rosenthal zegt zelf dat hij is 'mild optimistisch "over Egypte en de Arabische lente. In feite zijn er nu kritiek uit sommige diplomatieke wijken ten aanzien van de marginale en de nutteloosheid van het Nederlands buitenlands beleid. De reacties van de Nederlanders aan de Arabische Lente is een dergelijk voorbeeld. Bijvoorbeeld het gebrek aan reactie uit Den Haag om de nieuwste geweld in Egypte en de sterke reactie op geweld tegen koptische christenen vertelt ons dat religieuze achtergrond van de Egyptische slachtoffers van de militaire politie geweld is berekend in het Nederlands buitenlands beleid.

In het afgelopen jaar, hebben de Nederlandse gemarginaliseerd zich van de rest van hun internationale partners. In het verleden heeft Nederland gepleit en leiden op het gebied van de mensenrechten activisme, maar dat nu afhankelijk is van de religieuze en nationale achtergronden van slachtoffers van schendingen van de mensenrechten. Hier is waar Nederland uitgehouwen uit een positief niche voor zichzelf als een kleine Noordzee natie.

Een ander deel van deze marginalisering komt voort uit het feit dat het internationale systeem niet ziet zich opgesplitst in religieus besteld "beschavingen" die voortdurend in conflict. Het uitzicht dat "de islam is onvergelijkbaar met de democratie" en "moslims kunnen niet leven naast hun buren" zijn standpunten, die niet alleen niet gedeeld door andere internationale actoren, maar de meeste vinden een dergelijke gedachten worden dweepziek en weerzinwekkend.

Wat triest is dat de Nederlandse zou een productieve en constructieve rol in de Arabische lente hebben gespeeld. De Nederlanders zouden hebben bevorderd democratische praktijk en de rechten van de mens, in plaats van gebruik van rechten van de mens om islamofobie en de "clash" ideologie te promoten. De Nederlanders zouden hebben dynamiet de positie van de EU op een twee-staten-oplossing voor het Midden-Oosten Kwartet. Het bevorderen van vrijheid en democratie-onafhankelijk van de "beschaving verwantschap" - is waar de Nederlandse zou kunnen hebben geleid de Arabische lente. Wat de Nederlandse zou hebben gedaan zou ook geholpen hebben steel het geweld in Egypte, maar we zullen nooit zeker weten.

Zie ook:

Egypt violence flares; scores dead -

At least 24 killed in Cairo clashes -

Egypt: more violence despite EU appeals -

Netherlands to beef up border surveillance -

Ambtenaren in NRC: Rosenthal is niet diplomatiek genoeg -

Rosenthal wil niet dat ambtenaren zich anoniem uitlaten in de pers -

Monday, October 10, 2011

Young Arab democracies need European Union help

Violence in the young Egyptian democracy. After the protests by Coptic Christians and their Egyptian Muslim allies was attacked, leaving many deaths, it is right to demand the protections of religious minorities. Yes, it is right to demand the protection of Egypt's Coptic Christians from violence by a few religious extremists.  We must also understand that the Coptic Christians have Muslim allies in Egypt. [EU summit on Arab Spring overshadowed by deadly Egypt violence]. We must also understand that a nation new to the idea of a pluralistic society will feel some growing pains. It is also possible that the minority of religious fanatics are taking advantage of the often rough and chaotic period of transition for Arab nations.

The Netherlands should neither be seen nor heard! What is not acceptable is to blame all Muslims - all 1.5 billion - for the violence of a few in a nation that is new to democracy. There should be NO comprimise with those who want to turn religious violence of a few into an excuse to promote Islamophobic and "clash of civiliations" thesis in foreign policies.

Yes - I'm talking to YOU Uri Rosenthal, the Dutch foreign minister, who has been (ab)using the situation of Coptic Christians  to promote Islamophobia and "clash of civilizations" in the international system. This latest violence is NOT by all Muslims and Islam itself is not responsible for violence against Christians living in "Muslim countries." The proper response would be to use this religious violence as a teaching moment for the young Egyptian democracy, not a chance to promote more Islamophobia and "clash of civilizations." This is also not an excuse to call for group blame and guilt against all 1.5 billion Muslims, who are innocent people who also have human rights just as worthy of protection as the Coptic Christians.

Mensenrechten zijn voor iedereen (niets Moslims)? If human rights "are for everyone" we must not leave out human rights for Muslims. Human rights in the Arab spring must not be abused for the advancement of just religious minorities and for the purpose of promoting conflict with religious and national groups. The young Egyptian democracy needs our help and guidance, not condemnation for the actions of a few religious radicals. We especially need to tell the Netherlands that it's input is not welcomed if it promotes "clash of civilizations." Human rights are not just for Coptic Christians, but for Muslims too, and helping young and struggling democracies in the Middle East must be without preferential treatment for Coptic Christians, but promote human rights for everyone.

As you know, I'll be watching Dutch foreign policy on this one. Any hint of group blame against Muslims or attempt to abuse human rights activism to promote Islamophobic and "clash of civilizations" will next prompt a letter in protest! [Minister Rosenthal verontrust over geweld Egypte ]

Let's see if the Dutch Foreign Ministry can promote human rights for Muslims around the world. Let's see if the Dutch can improve the human rights situation for Muslims living at home!

What is needed is a set of rational policies to bring young Arab democracies along that is without Islamophobia. Only the EU is up to this task. The EU needs to first leave out the Netherlands (until we get regime change in the Hague) and pursue a policy of helping the young Egyptian democracy, as it is for Tunisia, and work for pluralist nations with respect for the human rights of all, not just politically correct religious minorities.  The EU is the best solution to help young Arab democracies that have religious fanatics that wish cause violence. Help Egypt improve its security practices and police its own religious fanatics.  The EU is also capable, where the Netherlands isn't, to leave out the Islamophobic and "clash of civilizations" policies and practices. The EU has a vast experience in bring up new democracies, from the former Soviet Pact nations to Serbia. The EU can and must do this and only the EU is up to this task in the Arab Spring.


Statement by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on the violence in Egypt

EU ministers say Egypt must protect minorities

Egypt hangs man convicted of killing Copts in 2010

Catherine Ashton EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission European Parliament Strasbourg



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Uri Rosenthal proves me right on Dutch foreign policy

I have always thought that European foreign policy should not be based on agreement of all Member States, the so-called unanimity rule, as one trouble-making Member State could ruin needed EU common positions and its place in the Quartet.

Well - it has happened and it has happened in another way that I predicted: The Netherlands as a trouble-making nation. I also predicted that the Netherlands,  under the influence of "clash of civilizations" ideas, the Lukid Party and Fortuynism, would meddle and try to change European Union policy with regard to Middle East peace process. It comes as no surprise that the Netherlands is now playing trouble-maker nation in its renewed obsession for protecting and providing cover for Israel.

The Netherlands is a radicalized nation with foreign policies that are becoming equally radical to the Islamophobic culture and national identity. Dutch foreign policies with regard to "Muslim" nations, in particular, but Middle East especially, take ideas found on crackpot, Islamophobic blogs, like Atlas Shugs and JihadWatch. There are those in the Dutch government that have long wanted to implement  mean-spirited, hateful radicalism of Pim Fortuyn, as well as the Samuel Huntington "clash of civilizations" thesis in foreign policy.  Fortuyn was a pro-Israel fanatic and believed that "Israel would disappear." Fortuyn was a big fan of Huntington and there are many Fortuyn sympathizers in the Brown Coalition.  Fortuyn also believed that democracies in "Muslim" nations (Turkey) were "fakers" and not real democracies. From this radical basis for foreign policy in place, we shall see that a foreign policy based on these ideas promote conflict and divisions, and could even provoke terrorism and violence.

I also expect the Netherlands to use its security and intelligence against members of the international legals institutions located in The Hague. Also, I would go as far as to say that the radicals in the Brown Coalition would seek to revoke working permits to those on the international legal institutions in The Hague. The Netherlands belongs now to the Islamophobic radicals, Geller, Spencer, Pipes and the destruction of this once great model nation of justice and human rights is almost complete. Pim Fortuyn is smiling from his place in Hell!

What could happen is that the European Union Member States could become so outraged by this and future bad behavior of the Netherlands could cause the Dutch to be isolated and even stigmatized. I also recommended that the international community, as well as the EU, should be prepared to isolate and even exclude the Dutch from future policy discussions and decisions.

[caption id="attachment_2029" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Fortuyn- Celebrating new Dutch foreign policy from his place in Hell?!"][/caption]

Ways need to be found to get around the troublesome Dutch, as I can tell you that the Dutch will be making even more pro-Israel, Lukid Party trouble in the European Union in the future. Unless we find a way to get rid of this current radicalized regime in The Hague or exclude the Netherlands totally from EU processes - the part the EU plays in the Quartet will be hamstrung or even sidelined altogether!

We should STOP ignoring the Netherlands and work together for regime change. Until we can get regime change in Netherlands, we can expect even more obnoxious and heartbreaking trouble for the future. Expect more obsessively pro-Israel policies, cover for Israeli violence and settlement building. Also expect the Dutch to  promote policies that seek conflict and crisis with Arab and Muslim nations.  What is needed is an end to "clash of civilization" and Fortuynism government positions and policies. Until we get regime change in the Netherlands and throw out this current radicalized government - we have more trouble ahead.


Europe Fails to Unite on Palestinian Question

EU opinions multiply on Palestinian UN upgrade

Rosenthal dwars met Israël

Uri Rosenthal zal problemen voor de EU en voor de vrede maken!

Ik heb altijd gedacht dat het Europese buitenlands beleid niet gebaseerd moet zijn op instemming van alle lidstaten, de zogenaamde unanimiteitsregel, als een probleem maken van lidstaat kan nodig het beleid ruïne.

Goed - het is gebeurd en het is gebeurd op een andere manier dat ik het voorspeld: Nederland als een probleem maken van natie. Ik voorspelde ook dat Nederland, onder invloed van de "botsing der beschavingen", de Lukid partij en Fortuynism zou bemoeien en proberen te veranderen EU-beleid met betrekking tot het Midden-Oosten vredesproces. Het komt niet als een verrassing dat Nederland nu moeite-maker natie te spelen in haar obsessie voor de bescherming en het verstrekken van dekking voor Israël.

Nederland is een geradicaliseerd natie met buitenlandse beleid dat steeds even radicale aan de islamofobe cultuur en nationale identiteit. Het Nederlands buitenlands beleid, in het bijzonder, maar het Midden-Oosten in het bijzonder, nemen ideeën gevonden op bizarre, islamofobe blogs, zoals Atlas Shugs en JihadWatch. Er zijn mensen in de Nederlandse regering die lang hebben willen kleingeestig, haatdragende radicalisme van Pim Fortuyn, evenals de Samuel Huntington "botsing der beschavingen  in het buitenlands beleid te implementeren. Fortuyn was een pro-Israël fanaat en geloofde dat "Israël zou verdwijnen." Fortuyn was een grote fan van Huntington en er zijn veel Fortuyn sympathisanten in de Bruine Coalition. Fortuyn geloofde ook dat democratieën in "islamitische" landen (Turkije) werden "fakers" en geen echte democratieën. Vanuit deze radicale basis voor het buitenlands beleid in de plaats, zullen we zien dat een buitenlands beleid op basis van deze ideeën conflict en verdeeldheid te bevorderen, en kan zelfs uitlokken van terrorisme en geweld.

Ik verwacht ook dat Nederland om de veiligheids-en inlichtingendiensten te gebruiken tegen leden van de internationale Legals gevestigde instellingen in Den Haag. Ook zou ik gaan zo ver om te zeggen dat de radicalen in de bruine coalitie zou willen werkvergunningen te trekken met die op de internationale juridische instellingen in Den Haag. Nederland behoort nu tot de islamofobe radicalen, Geller, Spencer, Pipes en de vernietiging van deze eens grote natie model van justitie en mensenrechten is bijna voltooid. Pim Fortuyn is een glimlach van zijn plaats in de hel!

Wat er kan gebeuren is dat de Europese Unie de lidstaten kan zo verontwaardigd over deze en toekomstige slechte gedrag van Nederland kan ertoe leiden dat de Nederlandse te worden geïsoleerd en zelfs gestigmatiseerd.Ik heb ook aanbevolen dat de internationale gemeenschap, evenals de EU, moeten bereid zijn om nog te isoleren en uitsluiten van de Nederlanders van toekomstig beleid beraadslagingen en besluiten.

We moeten manieren vinden om zich te ontdoen van de problemen maken Nederlanders, zoals ik kan u vertellen dat de Nederlanders nog meer pro-Israël, Lukid partij benauwdheid zijn besluitvorming in de Europese Unie in de toekomst. Tenzij we een manier vinden om zich te ontdoen van deze stroom geradicaliseerde regime te krijgen in Den Haag of volledig uit te sluiten in Nederland uit EU-processen - het deel van de EU speelt in het Kwartet zal zijn verlamd, of zelfs helemaal buitenspel gezet!

We moeten stoppen met het negeren van de Nederland en werken samen voor regime change. Totdat we kunnen een verandering van regime in Nederland te krijgen, kunnen we nog meer onaangename en hartverscheurende problemen verwachten voor de toekomst. Verwacht meer obsessief pro-Israël, te dekken voor de Israëlische geweld en de bouw van nederzettingen. Verwachten ook dat de Nederlandse t beleid bevorderen dat conflict-en crisissituaties te zoeken met Arabische en islamitische naties. Wat nodig is, een einde te maken aan 'clash van de beschaving "en de overheid Fortuynism standpunten en beleid. Totdat we een verandering van regime in Nederland en gooi dit huidige geradicaliseerde regering - hebben we meer moeite vooruit.

Zie ook:

Europa slaagt er niet in zich te verenigen op Palestijnse kwestie

EU meningen vermenigvuldigen op Palestijnse VN-upgrade

Rosenthal dwars met Israël

‘Nederland blokkeert gezamenlijk EU-standpunt Midden-Oosten’

Rosenthal blokkeert oplossing Midden Oosten

Opheldering Rosenthal over blokkade EU-standpunt Midden-Oosten

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On this Europe day - remembering (again) the US-EU hypocrisy

One of the major rants on Yellow Stars blog since 2007 has been pointing out the US-EU "partnership"  and its "exceptionalism" of utter,  glaring hypocrisy. This year is NO exception to ranting about the hypocritical exceptionalism of the US-EU "partnership" - but we now it can be done with the further enlightening developments of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the goings on here in Wisconsin with the loss of democracy, questionable elections, threats against basic good governance.As Catherine Ashton celebrates May 9, Europe Day, as an American and Wisconsin resident I see the glaring hypocrisies, and you can't hide them.

[youtube id="G8iQ9pNlJO4" w="250" h="200"]

When in comparison to the EU's activity in the rest of the world, we see "American exceptionalism" in what the EU allows the US to get away with (and helps cover up) that would not be allowed from other regions of the world. The most noted example is in the area of human rights, the CIA rendition program participated in and covered up by Member States' leaders, creating what Human Rights Watch has called the "human rights blackhole" - and attempts to now extend this blackhole to Europe. (see - CIA Abuses: EU Report Condemns European Complicity-HRW) Also - when it comes to the United States - human rights and basic justice seem to fad away, which the EU says nothing about.1.

The increasing right-wing radicalization of both European and American politics, which is threatening to undermine social safety nets and education for American children, social nets for American disabled, poor and elderly.  This has resulted in a deep social-economic inequality in the United States, equal to Ivroy Coast. Two links for Catherine Ashton on economic inequality in America, as opposed to Haiti:

  1. Power in America: Wealth, Income and Power, by G. William Domhoff

  2. Don’t Ever Bet Against America’s Wealthy, by

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And - speaking of Ivory Coast, which shares economic inequality with the United States, the EEAS of the EU defines as a "key issue" in poverty reduction as creating social cohesion though restoration of Ivory Coast's social, health, water and sanitation infrastructure after the conflict in the country. The EU has now pledged "full support for a swift and sustainable recovery of the country" in the form of an social-economic aid package for the country's humanitarian problems. The EU froze the assets of the Gbagbo's regime, including banks and oil industry - would the EU also do the same against the Koch Brothers regime here in the US?2. It is clear that unjust and abusive regimes equal to Ivory Coast in the US (as here in Wisconsin) can never be sanctioned by the EU. It is doubtful that there will be any EU asset freezes against the Koch Brothers anytime soon.  There will be no EU sanctions against the Scott Walker regime in Madison for undermining the human rights of Wisconsin workers, even though Egyptians and we Wisconsinites were fighting against the same types plutocratic regimes.I'm still waiting for the EU to criticize the conduct of the "missing votes" in over in Waukasha County that were "found" by an overly partisan, county clerk with a track record of election irregularities (see JoAnne Kloppenburg To Seek Statewide Recount In Wisconsin Supreme Court Election - Huffington Post, Fraud Possible in Waukesha County, But it Would be Easily Detectable- UpptyWis, Waukesha County Clerk’s Reliability in Question Since August 2010- BlueChedder). Is the EU  and OSCE going to send observers to observe the conduct of up -coming recall elections here in Wisconsin?[youtube id="L4j1EcVFqCg" w="250" h="250"] ...while the United States is a de-industrializing and undeveloping nation - where the government seeks to deny and take social services and education from its own people!Any EU aid and advocacy for us here in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan? Nope - I doubt it...and while Catherine Ashton states that the EU supports democratic reforms in Egypt, reforms in Haiti, and the like...let's see the EU also support reforms in American states with heartless governors that seek to take away human rights, social safety nets, destroy public education, and impoverish their own people for the tax breaks of the wealthy few ... yes ... let's celebrate the EU's activism on the world stage ... happy ... Europe Day!

Europe's militarization of natural human migration

[caption id="attachment_1591" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Gaddafi ran against Europe's "immigration threat?" "][/caption]

Migration is as natural for human beings as walking on two feet...and humans have been migrating and moving for thousands of years. Migration in past eras was undertaken for reasons of human needs.  However,  in the modern age, natural human motivations for migration, (secure basic needs), is being viewed as threatening and even criminal activity.  Natural human motivations for a basic needs  are now placed among security issues. Nowhere is this criminalization of the natural human activity of migration more evident than in the European Union (see International Migration, Health and Human Rights).

Human migration as a European security problem. Viewing  human migration for safety and economic security as a criminal activity and security issue could be the motivation for new European interests to undertake military activities outside Europe. At the beginning of March of this year, France's European minister,  Laurent Wauquiez, "warned against Libyan migration" and that "we must defend our  frontiers  on a European level."This secutitization and criminalization of immigration began in largely during Franco Frattini's tenure as an EU commissioner of Justice and Home Affairs.  The fact that Italy is also an enthusiastic supporter of military action against Libya to partly "stem the immigration emergency" is not an accident and Frattini is probably leading this charge in Italy. In August 2010, Gaddafi demanded 5 billion euro to keep out "Muslim invaders." In the backdrop of European military action against the Muammar Gaddafi regime is Islamophobia, as well as outrage over the money demand - and amplified in the larger view of "illegal immigration" as a security threat to Europe.It is NO accident that both Frattini and Sarkozy are Islamophobes, who occasionally come out of the closet...

Racism and Islamophobia behind "immigrant emergency." This secularization and criminalization of migration is also a result of most European democracies allowing racist and hateful "political parties" access to national ballots and national elections.  So some of this of pressure from racist and Islamophobic, crackpot "political parties" is a result of wide-open election systems that provide unhindered ballot access.  The motivations of Sarkozy's military actions with regard to Libya are said to be motivated by the resurgence of LePen's National Front "political party" (even after LePen has been convicted of hate speech).Europe's main problem is not Gaddafi killing his own people, nor the enforcement of a UN Resolution to protect civilians. It's the "threat of immigrants," described in racist tones of "turning Christian Europe black"and the "immigration emergency" that has "been caused" by military action in Libya," along with "support for democracy"  and the tearing down of basic European instruments, like the Schengen Treaty, to "address this emergency."It is NO wonder that France and Italy - the two combatants in Libya - now want to review the Schengen Treaty ...Europeans now have entered a new level of military and security policy with the open military action against Gaddafi's Libya for purposes of "stemming illegal immigration."  European soldiers will now bleed and die "fighting" a natural human activity is now viewed as a military threat. "Fighting" so-called "illegal immigration" is like fighting the flow of water in the rivers and seas (IOM Response to the Libyan Crisis).

The "security problem" is not Europe's, but among the migrants. Immigration to rich Europe is prompted by the same deprivation that has always prompted humans to migrate. That is, to address basic human security needs of  food, shelter and a meaningful life. To view the desire to fulfill these basic needs as "criminal" and "threatening" is inhuman, as well as outrageous!It is the lack of basic human security - both in terms of human needs and despotic regimes - that cause humans to migrate.The answer is to address the real human needs that cause humans to migrate. Migrants are neither criminals or enemies, but real humans with real and legitimate needs - and these needs must be addressed without criminalization or military force. The European use of force against  Gaddafi's Libya is probably for more than just "democracy and protection of civilians," but a war against the natural human activity of migration - and we must all be frightened!

Also see:Is the EU policy on illegal immigration securitized? Yes- of course! - D Van DijckThe securitization of migration: Whose justice and whose security? - KF Aas European Union as a Gated Community - Henk van Houtum and Roos Pijpers European Union and the securtization of Migration - Jef Huysmans


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Good for France, UK, and US against Gaddafi

It was a desire to obtain international legitimacy through the United Nations  that President Obama wanted to wait to join efforts to put Gaddafi in a box. This is, unlike Bush's invasion of Iraq, one of the many things that separate actions over Iraq and now Libya. The fact that actions against Libya are based on UN Resolutions means that there is NO question of the legitimacy of these overdue actions against Gaddafi's henchmen.It is also right that ANY leader of ANY nation that kills peaceful protesters and declares he will "show no mercy" against own citizens has lost legitimacy among leaders of civilized nations.It was right for the United States join the in efforts - largely lead by France - and contribute America's "unique capabilities," which includes especially precision strike, Tomahawk missiles and satellite intelligence. The UN Security Council sanctioned no fly zone is NOT illegal, nor is it an "invasion."  This is only a no fly zone and destruction of anti-air sites is needed to make that no fly zone safe for patrol aircraft. That is why Tomahawk missiles are used...and the US has the best technology and capabilities in this area. The UN Security Council sanctioned no fly zone is NOT illegal, nor is it an "invasion." It is right for other UN member states to join in the efforts to put Gaddafi in a box and prevent him from hurting his own people.President Obama has declared that America's role is limited and that leadership of this rightful action belongs to others. This is, again, not an invasion and is more of a peace-enforcement action that has international legitimacy through Security Council Resolution 1973 - which makes the actions of the coalition 100% legal. This is only a no fly zone. It is hoped that Gaddafi will get the message and be put in a box.As stated in the last post, Gaddafi's invasion of Benghazi will result in massive human rights abuses. A no fly (and no drive zone) against Gaddafi's henchmen is a largely symbolic gesture, and real help for the pro-democracy rebels would include tank-killing helicopters (like the AH64 or Tigre), along with training and weapons for the rebels. Now - let's hope we are not late to turn things around for the pro-democracy rebels.

Friday, March 18, 2011

When is the time for the EU to act?

The Lisbon Treaty was supposed to bring about a more vigorous CSDP and enhanced cooperation for the European Union in the area of defense and crisis management. The most demanding missions were for the Member States with the most capabilities to fit the missions. Also - the EU has a past history of cooperation with the United Nations in Africa, mostly in the Congo. The purpose for such enhanced cooperation is for crises like Libya, where massive human rights violations are taking place. The purpose of this was to allow flexibility in crisis responses (see Lisbon Treaty, French Defense ministry - Impact of Lisbon Treaty on CSFP and ESDP - EU Treaty of Lisbon: Permanent structured cooperation, Grahnlaw - Defense for Europe that is strong and independent! )There are those observers that believe that Libya could become another Somalia, which has not had a functioning government in 20 years and country is now the source of instability, terrorism and crisis. We also could see the Pro-democracy Rebel forces beaten, their members rounded up and slaughtered by Gaddafi's forces. We could also see the EU, once again, sitting on the side-lines as people are slaughtered - as we did in Bosnia and Rwanda. It is absolutely right on for MEPs, like Guy Verhofstadt, to be "sick" and pointing out that the EU appears to have not learned nothing from history.  Even the Greens and normally pacifistic MEP groups favor some type of "no fly zone" and its enforcement.

Now - if Gaddafi's forces take Benghazi, there will surly be a slaughter of pro-democracy forces. The crazed dictator has threatened to "show no mercy" toward Benghazi and "turn lives into hell" against anyone who attacks his country. But we cannot allow this madman any further gains and stop him from slaughtering his own citizens. The MEPs have a right to be upset by how the EU has fiddled - and the EU is normally very good at learning from mistakes.The EU has welcomed the UN Security Council's resolutions against this crazy dictator - which authorizes the use of force to protect civilians. The one country that appears to be forceful is France, as it is vigorous about the EU defense capabilities, followed by the UK. Italy has offered its air bases. Norway and Canada have pledged assets. The excuse from Germany for not joining in efforts to stop Colonel Gaddafi, who praised Germany, was that the military intervention would "have considerable risks" (dugh!).  (No-fly zone ‘necessary to avoid more bloodshed,' Euronews - Former French air chief envisages quick and 'symbolic' strike, EUobserver -UN clears France and UK to strike Gaddafi - Security Council authorizes ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians in Libya).

Now that we have a cease fire - let's enforce the peace. After the Security Council pass Resolution 1972 and 1973 and air forces were on the way, Colonel Gaddafi "decided" to call a cease fire. Gaddafi may have buckled to the international forces coming against him, but he may also be buying time. France and Britain are now cautious, but reports now are that Gaddafi's forces continue to bomb and attack positions. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister stated that "the international community will not be fooled." (Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister - Libya offers cease-fire after UN no-fly zone vote).

Now - having Security Council resolutions in hand should make this easier for the European Union! We must insure that Colonel Gaddafi is now stopped from killing his own citizens and is ejected from power. We can know that the international legal order is now investigating Colonel Gaddafi and his henchmen, and swift justice is demanded. There have been crimes committed against the Libyan people and their protection from further violence. Sanctions need to help drive Gaddafi out of power. The rule of law and democracy must be established without occupation of the country. An economy must be recreated that provides jobs and demobilization of Rebel forces.The European Union can provide a large measure off all of the above, as demonstrated, and in the end we can avoid the fate of Somalia and finally  respond to the hopes of freedom and democracy of people in the Middle East and Africa.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Will EU take the next step in Libya?

Stop the killings! The first order is to stop the killings of Libyans by pro-government forces. There has been suggestions (which anybody can see) that human rights violations and crimes against humanity have been committed in the Libyan conflict. Who ever has to be held accountable for violence against civilians needs to be a latter concern, for post conflict investigations.A no-fly zone has to be put into place, but military force now appears to be more likely against pro-Gadhafi forces. The use of force needs to have the support of the international community, and this is achieved through the Security Council. We have France, the UK, perhaps the US - and the Arab League - supporting at least a no fly zone. We may need more and it's the Arab League that is in the best position in the region, but the League will also need support.Beyond just sanctions, the European Union is in the best position, as it is, unlike NATO, best equipped for aid support and post-conflict reconstruction. The EU can also supply not only peace support, but also military forces to do the dirty work, like NATO, and provide military support for Arab League, and at the least, support a no fly zone.The EU's military and defense policy has been evolving to this point, where a crisis-conflict is in need of peace enforcement. So far, the EU's military missions have been just peace support and not peace enforcement, but always with the blessings of the Security Council. There is no reason why, with the Security Council's backing, the EU cannot be called to support a no fly zone, aid the rebels, and perhaps put boots on the ground in Libya.Arab League backs Libya no-fly zone: FranceArab League To Hold Crisis Talks On LibyaEU Moves to Impose Added Sanctions on LibyaBritain and France push for Libya no-fly zoneEU to freeze assets of top Libyan firms

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Murfreesboro to Munich: Western security and Cameron's Islamophobia

Freedom of religion returns to Tunisia. One of the areas of society that has been liberated from Ben Ali regime is religious practice. The US-Western supported regime banned the practice of religion, especially Islam, as the religion was viewed as impeding the development of a secular state.  As a result, mosques were closed and women were forbidden from wearing the headscarf. It seems that faithful Muslims were labeled "extremists" and "Islamist terrorists" under the Ben Ali regime. Humm...sounds familiar, doesn't it?Now - people in Tunisia are cleaning out mosques and other houses of worship - and Muslim women are proudly wearing the hijab. Faithful Muslims were jailed under "anti-terrorism" laws as the Ben Ali regime feared gatherings of Muslims, especially young people. Thousands of "moderate" Muslims were imprisoned, as is the case in other Western sponsored dictatorships in the Arab-Muslim world. In Egypt, journalists, democracy and human rights activists continue to be jailed by the US-European backed Mubarak regime. In Tunisia, women are not only enjoying the freedom of Islamic dress, even as it is being taken away in "liberal democratic" Europe.Many people are now waking up to the idea that the maintenance of autocracies in Arab-Muslim countries, especially around Israel, is a form of "security and counter-terrorism practice" for the US and Europe.

This "security and counter-terrorism practice" included the denial of basic human rights, like freedom of speech, and brutal policing practices for "suspected Islamist radicals," which often swept up people with no violent ideological beliefs.However - this squashing of human rights and basic freedom extends into the Western world too and is destroying our liberal values, freedoms and cherished national identities (Netherlands). The most noted example are the calls to ban burkas, even headscarves, and attacks on the basic freedoms of  long-established Muslim communities, stretching from Murfreesboro to Munich. Accroding to Michael Leonardi of Counterpunch (emphasis mine):
There has been muted and meek response coming from Europe in response to the uprisings for an end to dictatorial rule and for economic and social justice in Tunisia, Egypt and across the middle east. This weak response can be credited to a tsunami of Islamophobia that has swept through the western world since the Bush administration's propaganda campaign to win support for the perpetual war on terror. In Europe Muslim extremists are the boogeymen in the collective closet. The citizenry of Fortress Europe and the United States shudders in alarmist fear over often fabricated threats from intelligence programs geared toward ingraining the myth about the arab terrorist lurking around every corner. Irrational fears of the immigrants coming from North Africa and the Middle East to rape and destroy the traditions of Western European culture permeate European society as the NATO allies in Europe have continued to successfully perpetuate these misconceptions about Muslims and arabs even after Bush's departure.

Those that claim to be defending "our liberal democratic values" from non-existent "European Islamist terrorists," like David Cameron, are actually the real threat to our liberal democratic values. Look for calls from the likes of David Cameron to continue to use the threat of non-existent "European jihadists" to continue to squash freedoms and liberties (our liberal values) of Muslims living in the Western world. Both the external, as well as internal security policies of the US and Europe are aimed at squashing the human rights of Muslims the world over - and based on the radical and extremist Fortuyn-Wilders ideology that "Islam is an ideology" that is a "threat to our liberal values."Squashing freedoms and liberties in the name of "security" and "counter-terrorism" here in the West! One of those embracing Fortuyn-Wilders radical ideology is David Cameron, and now multiculturalism is the new "security threat."  From the democratic revolutions erupting in the Arab-Muslim world, we start to see clearly that sponsoring dictatorship and squashing religious and cultural expression for Muslims from Murfreesboro to Munich is based on Islamophobia. The demonizing of multiculturalism as "ground for jihadists" is part of this Islamophobia-based security and counter-terrorism paradigm.The next step in making multiculturalism a "security threat" is to label those citizens in minority groups in Western counties that continue to practice their religion and observe cultural norms of dress, diet choices, music and celebrations - will be labeled "radical and extremist." This is what British PM David Cameron thinks he will do, continue to label ethnic and religious minorities as "security threats" through demonizing multiculturalism.It's clear David Cameron is the real threat to our liberal democratic freedoms and right to practice our own culture. People like Cameron think that they'll label ethnic minorities as "radical and extremists" for their choice of dress, foods, music - and so on - he has another thing coming, as Islamophobia as security policy is being discredited as anti-freedom and utterly against the norms and values of our liberal democracies. The time of oppressing others with Islamophobia myths in the name of "counter-terrorism" and as sick security practice is coming to an end and Cameron and like-minded "security experts" will find themselves exposed as the real threat to our whole way of life, not phantom "jihadists" who are "taking advantage of multiculturalism."The truth is that David Cameron needs to put up or shut up: What "Islamist terrorism in Europe" is being spawn by multiculturalism? The truth is that multiculturalism has NEVER produced a single "jihadist" or "Islamist" terrorist.

How young Arab-Muslim democracies can help fight self destructive Euro-American Islamophobia. The truth is that the likes of David Cameron, along with Geert Wilders, and other radical, extremists in the Euro-American and Lukid Party are the ones that are threatening and destroying Western culture and "ou liberal democratic values."  The sad aspect of the use of Islamophobia as a security paradigm is that Dutch culture and national heritage of religious tolerance and openness has been utterly decimated by Islamophobic myths of  "Eurabia" and "Islamisation of the Netherlands" spread by "heroes" Fortuyn and Wilders.Now - should Arab-Muslim democratic revolutions produce liberal democracies, with full freedoms - as they appear to be headed for in Tunisia and Egypt, then this could be a powerful platform with which to challenge Euro-American Islamophobia.  This means that young Arab democracies must become secure from religious extremists and anti-democratic policies. It is only from this moral high-ground can Arab-Muslim democracies challenge Euro-American Islamophobic radicalism and extremism in the international communities, especially at the United Nations. Only with legitimate liberal democracy and peaceful international activism can Arab-Muslim democracies challenge Islamophobia as a "security and counter-terrorism" paradigm. Should Arab-Muslim democracies spring up based on "our liberal democratic values," Islamophobes like Geert Wilders and David Cameron can face a very lonely and isolated future, indeed.

Monday, January 31, 2011

EU on side of democracy protesters in Egypt?

The revolution in Egypt has nothing to do with Islam - and everything to do with democracy. There is a wide representation of interests groups involved in the Egyptian revolution, with democracy-minded Mohamed ElBaradei as the movement's leader. Here in the US, there is the Islamophobic and knee-jerk reaction that "Islamists" and the Bearded Boogieman are driving this democratic revolution.Given that Egyptians have lived under Mubarak regime tyranny, which includes brutal police forces - it's would be hard for another autocrat, including a religious radical - to win a free election in Egypt. The Egyptians are fed up with autocrats!There is simply not a reason to not support freedom and democracy in Egypt and Arab-Muslim countries other than Islamophobia and hypocrisy.  The naysayers will be those in the "counter-terrorism expert" (nuthouse) community - who will indulge in their usual obsessive, compulsive Islampohobia disorder. When you watch American news channels - you see the usual crackpot nonsense centered around the disorder of Islamophobia.I don't want to watch craziness on American TV- but Al Jazeera - where the democracy protests are quite awesome to's like East Europe 1989 all over again.Yes - it is time for Europe to lead the calling for democracy in Egypt. We now see statements from European Union and European countries advocating "reforms" and free elections. According to Al Jazeera, France and Germany are calling on free and fair elections for Egyptians. For Europeans, the mass protests in Egypt are reminiscent of those in East Europe in 1989 and recently in Ukraine against communism. Yes - it's time for the EU to step up and advocate free elections - which are consistent with European values - beyond just calls to refrain from violence and demands to turn the Internet back on...From Germany:
The German government stands by those who are calling for democracy and civil and human rights ... Nothing can return to the order of the day; nothing will be as it once was. 

This is a good start from an EU Member State, but Mr. van Rompuy issued a much better statement in favor of a democratic Egypt:
I am deeply troubled by the spiral of violence leading to a situation which makes dialogue even more difficult. The respect for fundamental human rights, such as the freedom of expression, the right to communicate, and the right of free assembly, as well as social inclusion are constituent elements of democracy which the Egyptian people, and in particular the young, are striving for. 

On Monday (today) the Council intends to put Egypt on the top of of its agenda.  The impasse between the protesters and the Mubarak's regime can be solved by EU patience - and that is what is needed to topple this stubborn dictator.  EU foreign policy can be advanced for European interests though advocating democracy - and shepherding it - in the Middle East. Let's see if the EU can leave behind that Islamophobia craziness of the "counter-terrorism" madhouse and advocate freedom, democracy and collective prosperity for Egyptians.