Showing posts with label Middle East. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Middle East. Show all posts

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Russia is RIGHT! NO to attacks against Syria!

"I don't know where we got this odd notion that every time we see something bad happen in the world, we should bomb it" - Congressman Alan Grayson
First of all - I'm a fan of Russia (and proud of it!) and Russia is looking very much like the good actor when it comes to Syria. At the same time, President Obama is starting to look like Bush - rushing off to bomb another country over the protests of the international community. Once again, the American government thinks that a problem or issue can simply be dealt with by bombing first without thinking through the consequences, or making attempts to work within the international system as it exists.

 The first question is: Who exactly was responsible for the nerve chemical attack that killed civilians in Damascus? It does not have to be the Assad regime that used chemical weapons, as the rebels have also used chemical weapons. The Syrian rebels are losing badly, and have been reduced to foreign jihadists from al-Qeada, and are quite isolated. Could they have something to do with this chemical attack (the use of chemical attacks is nothing new in Syria) or even had a mishap while carrying chemical weapons? There are now reports that the rebels were the ones responsible (VoR):
“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack.”
 See also: Is It Possible The Syrian Rebels (Not Assad) Used Chemical Weapons? - NPR - Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack Carried Out by Rebels, Says UN (UPDATE) - Syria chemical weapons attack blamed on Assad, but where's the evidence? -CBS -

Any US attack against Syria will blow up in Obama's face, both at home as well as abroad. It will also pose a retaliation threat against Israel and perhaps lead to attacks against US ships and bases in the Middle East. The opposition against the Assad regime has said that any attack will just embolden and entrench the dictator. Such an attack can also blow up into a wider war with Iran getting involved to help its ally Syria. Russia could get involved - and we could see $10 a gallon gas and economic shockwaves. For the "enforcement of norms" in a far off civil war that has NO ramifications to US security, the backlash of a US attack against Syria could be huge and costly for the world, America included!

What the Obama administration needs to learn is that enforcement of international norms requires an international consensus and working with international institutions are the only means to resolve issues and enforce norms. There is the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations, but many times "justice" is not really achievable according to a powerful country's satisfaction. The international system as it exists now (and not as we want it to be) needs to be engaged over Syria, and this engagement could also have positive effects on the international system itself. Ideally, actors that use weapons of mass destruction against civilians should be punished, but this many not be the case when the actor is protected by more powerful actors (Russia and China). If a US ally used such weapons against "terrorists," for example, there would be protests in the international system, but no actor in the international community could go after the the US ally militarily - and the US ally would be protected by the US.


 Russia needs to push back in the form of raising its voice and pushing the UN- which it is doing - against unilateral military attacks against Syria. Putin has rightfully demanded that the US produce any and all evidence that Assad was responsible for this attack to the Security Council. GOOD FOR PUTIN! Obama is becoming isolated as even France is now holding back and the UK will not join, with NATO firmly on the sidelines. Americans also oppose attacks against Syria and most demand that Obama consult with Congress before any attack. We need to keep pushing this...  It's now time for Americans to call their members of Congress and demand that they say NO, NO and NO to any military actions against Syria! I intend to do just that! 
See also: US, UK should show Syria chemical weapons intel to Russia - ex-British Navy chief - RT

We need to keep opposition to any attack against Syria - and push Obama further into isolation. Any attack will have horrible effects on Obama's popularity at home, especially with his own political base, and the Republican Party, which is now dominated by right-wing extremists and getting unpopular by the day, will gain new political life. For the rush to "enforce norms" in a far off civil war, Obama will put in jeopardy all the work here at home toward a more just and fair economy and society for all Americans! What a sad situation and what poor decision making on the part of the Obama administration!

Could this very, very stupid decision to attack Syria on the part of the increasingly isolated Obama administration also be some attempt to get back at Russia for the Snowden affair? We should be looking out for some measure of vengeance against Russia, as America is a country that takes vengeance on rivals. If it is, it will be very costly for Americans, Syrians and the rest of the world!

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.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Egypt violence: Where is the Dutch government?

The violence in Egypt has no religious explanations, but democratic aspirations. There are reports of 35 people killed in the latest violence in Egypt between police and protesters. Egyptians are demanding the end of military rule. Protesters were beaten by police and soldiers, hit by tear gas and rubber bullets. The protesters have taken once again to Tahrir Square, as they did this past spring; to revolt against what they believe is an entrenched military council.

Egyptians are frustrated by the plan that the military council will hang on to power even after next week’s parliamentary elections. The military council said it will give up power after presidential elections, which the council said could be 2012 or 2013. Egyptians want to move toward civilian governance before and accuse the military council and Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi of wanting to hang on to power. The military wants the constitution changed to shield the military from responsibility. The military has shut its ears to the demands of the people for an end to military rule and a quicker transition to democracy and civilian rule.

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

This violence at Tahrir Square has nothing to do with the fact the Egypt is full of Muslims. Also, the violence has left many dead, and their religious backgrounds are unknown. There could be a Coptic Christian, (or two or three), that has died in this new violence, as Coptic Christians did died along side of fellow Muslim citizens in last spring’s revolution. We should ask ourselves where the Dutch government is now on this fresh violence. This is important, as statements from the Dutch government about this non-sectarian violence will tell us about Dutch activism with regard to Egypt and the Arab Spring. Is Dutch policy about democracy and human rights for all Egyptians – or just using the occasional violence against Coptic Christians to spread “clash” ideology and stir up Islamophobia, both at home and abroad?

We can easily read the condemnation from the European Union over the latest violence against protesters. We read clear statements from the EU that the violence must end and that Egypt, as Catherine Ashton stated:
I have expressed my concern in the past about the emergency law and the ongoing military trials. I reiterate that the interim authorities and all parties concerned have the crucial task of listening to the people and protecting their democratic aspirations.

The Dutch are missing the Arab Spring. We cannot read some statements from the Buitenlandse Zaken (foreign ministry) other than statements from Uri Rosenthal that he is “mildly optimistic” about Egypt and the Arab Spring.  In fact, there are now criticisms from some diplomatic quarters regarding the marginal and uselessness of Dutch foreign policy. The reactions of the Dutch to the Arab Spring are such an example. For example, the lack of reaction out of the Hague to the latest violence in Egypt and the strong reaction to violence against Coptic Christians tells us that religious background of Egyptian victims of military-police violence is calculated in Dutch foreign policy.

Over the past year, the Dutch have marginalized themselves from the rest of their international partners. In the past, the Netherlands championed and lead in the area of human rights activism and here is where the Netherlands carved out a positive niche for itself as a small North Sea nation. However,  that activism now depends on the religious and national backgrounds of victims of human rights abuse. 

Another part of this marginalization stems from the fact that the international system does not see itself divided up into religiously ordered "civilizations" that are in constant conflict. The views that "Islam is incomparable with democracy and Muslims cannot live next to their neighbors" are views that are not only not shared by other international actors, but most find such views to be bigoted and repulsive.

What is sad is that the Dutch could have played a productive and constructive role in the Arab Spring. The Dutch could have promoted democratic practice and human rights, rather than use human rights to promote Islamophobia and "clash" ideology.  The Dutch could have provided dynamite to the EU's position on a two-state solution for the Middle East Quartet. Promoting freedom and democracy- regardless of "civilizational kinship" - is where the Dutch could have lead the Arab Spring.  What the Dutch could have done could have also helped stem the violence in Egypt, but we'll never know for certain.


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 -

Rosenthal’s rechtse PVV-hobbies berokkenen Nederland grote schade -

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wise Egypt: Egypt denies visa to PVVer !

The implementation of “clash” viewpoint in Dutch foreign policy. We need to watch Dutch foreign policy closely to see what the implementation of "clash of civilizations" looks like in a nation's foreign policy. This week we have such an example when Egypt denied an entrance visa to a PVVer, Raymond de Roon. The PVVer was supposed to be a part of some kind of Tweede Kamer trip to Egypt.

First of all, the basic tenants of Samuel Huntington's "clash" view are that the world is starkly divided into religiously defined "civilizations" and that conflict between them should be encouraged. For example, Russia, Greece and Serbia belong to "Orthodox civilization," whereby Greece is NOT a part of “Western civilization.” Taking a strict realist view, Huntington believes that these religiously defined civilizations will always be in conflict and war against each other, as the international system “is always in chaos.” The "Islamic civilization" can never be "democratized" and will always oppose “Western civilization.” Egypt, like Turkey and Morocco, can never be regarded as “democratic,” so as long as these nations are full of Muslims. Huntington's "clash" is intended to be just a viewpoint, but we can suspect that the Anglo-American right wing is trying to shape the international order to the image of Huntington's "clash." This reshaping is taking place in the Netherlands especially, in Dutch foreign policy, in the Brown Coalition with Geert Wilders as "kingmaker" and the PVV Brownshirts playing a hidden role.

As in past posts, the only purpose of Uri Rosenthal's interests in Egypt is to gain Islamophobic propaganda using the situation of the Coptic Christians. From the view of “clash,” Egypt is “a part of Islamic civilization.” Therefore, Egypt can never be a democratic nation that respects the human rights of non-Muslims.” This is why Rosenthal and the Brown Coalition seek to promote religious conflict in the international system under the banner of “human rights for Christians in the Islamic Middle East.” We can safely assume that Raymond de Roon is a part of these efforts to promote religious conflict with "Islamic civilization" and not to promote human rights and a democratic future for all Egyptians, including the Coptic Christians. Conflict can be the only relationship that the Netherlands can have with Egypt.

It was absolutely right for the Egyptians to deny Roon an entrance visa. The only purpose of the Tweede Kamer visit, with PVVers in it, is for propaganda purposes. The Coptic Christians are not the only ones in need of human rights protections in Egypt, but all Egyptians of various religious faiths died for a democratic future of peace and security for all Egyptians. The recent actions of the Dutch foreign ministry and PVVers appear to be counter-productive and for the promotion of religious conflict, not genuine human rights and democracy for all Egyptians. The Egyptians know what the real purposes of the Tweede Kamer visit were supposed to be, and it’s not human rights, but conflict through the lens of Samuel Huntington and Pim Fortuyn based notions of religiously defined “civilizations.”

Expect Geert Wilders continue to scream, in his usual infantile fashion, and continue to levy silly accusations against the Egyptians, like “radicalized of the worst type” and “Muslim Brotherhood terrorists.” We can first expect the usual accusations of “against freedom of speech” and “we respect freedom of speech.” Remember – and don’t forget – that “freedom of speech” is the first weapon of division and demonization used by Geert Wilders, the PVV and their supporters. All opponents of Geert Wilders “hate freedom of speech” – even as the PVV Brownshirts have been loose in the Netherlands over the past year, threatening others who dare speak critical of Wilders and the PVV.

Also, expect accusations that the Egyptians “don’t respect human rights.” This is an unfair accusation, as Egypt is in a democratic transition from a dictatorship under Mubarak and this transition does not happen overnight, and will not be without setbacks. All religious faiths were persecuted under Mubarak, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and it will take time and guidance for Egyptians to find their democratic feet. The Dutch government should know this, and it is from the recent Islamophobic activities of the Netherlands in the international system that we can see the real purposes of the Tweede Kamer and the Dutch foreign ministry.

It is shameful to have the PVV involved in this Tweede Kamer trip - and good for the Egyptians! The Netherlands in the past would have played a great role in the promotion of democratic transition, but not with the Brown Coalition. In the past, the Netherlands would have engaged in human rights promotion for all Egyptians. Now, we have a Dutch government and Tweede Kamer that is more interested in promoting religious conflict, both at home in its openly, Islamophobic counter-terrorism strategy (the AIVD) and aboard in its foreign policy and abuse of human rights activism in relation to the Arab Spring. The PVV has no real productive interest in human rights other than promote conflict and hate of Muslims. With this latest move of an attempted propaganda trip by the PVV Brownshirts of the Tweede Kamer, we can not only see the promotion of Huntington-Fortuyn notions of religious conflict, but that the old and admired Dutch human rights activism is now wasted and gone. What a sad loss for both the world and the Dutch nation!

See Dutch articles:

Egypte weigert PV V'er visum, werkbezoek Kamer afgezegd

Egypte weigert PVV'er visum, werkbezoek Kamer afgezegd

Kamercommissie komt Egypte niet in vanwege PVV'er


Wise Egypte: Egypte ontkent visum voor PVVer !

De implementatie van de "clash" standpunt in het Nederlands buitenlands beleid. We moeten het Nederlands buitenlands beleid goed in de gaten om te zien wat de uitvoering van de "botsing der beschavingen 'ziet eruit als in een land buitenlands beleid. Deze week hebben we zo'n voorbeeld toen Egypte geweigerd een ingang van visum voor een PVVer, Raymond de Roon. De PVVer moest een deel van een soort Tweede Kamer reis naar Egypte te zijn.

In de eerste plaats, de basis-huurders van Samuel Huntington's "botsing" uitzicht zijn dat de wereld staat in schril is verdeeld in religieus gedefinieerd "beschavingen" en dat conflict tussen hen moet worden aangemoedigd. Bijvoorbeeld, Rusland, Griekenland en Servië behoren tot "Orthodoxe beschaving ', waarbij Griekenland niet is een onderdeel van" de westerse beschaving. "Taking een strikt realistische weergave, Huntington van mening dat deze religieus gedefinieerde beschavingen altijd in conflict en oorlog worden tegen elkaar , zoals het internationale systeem "is altijd in chaos." De "islamitische beschaving" kan nooit worden "gedemocratiseerd" en zal altijd verzetten tegen 'westerse beschaving."Egypte, zoals Turkije en Marokko, kunnen nimmer worden beschouwd als" democratisch ", dus zolang deze naties zijn vol van de moslims. Huntington's "botsing" is bedoeld om er maar een standpunt te zijn, maar we kunnen vermoeden dat de Anglo-Amerikaanse rechts probeert de internationale orde vorm aan het imago van Huntington's "botsing". Bij deze omvorming plaatsvindt in het bijzonder in Nederland, in het Nederlands buitenlands beleid, in de bruine coalitie met Geert Wilders als "kingmaker" en de PVV bruinhemden het spelen van een verborgen rol.

Evenals in de afgelopen berichten, het enige doel van Uri Rosenthal de belangen in Egypte is het verkrijgen van islamofoob propaganda met behulp van de situatie van de Koptische christenen. Vanuit het oogpunt van de "botsing," Egypte is "een deel van de islamitische beschaving." Daarom, Egypte kan nooit een democratisch land dat de mensenrechten van niet-moslims respecteert. "Dit is de reden waarom Rosenthal en de bruine coalitie proberen te bevorderen religieuze conflict in het internationale systeem onder de vlag van de "rechten van de mens voor christenen in het islamitische Midden-Oosten."We kunnen veilig aannemen dat Raymond de Roon is een onderdeel van deze inspanningen om religieuze conflicten te bevorderen met 'islamitische beschaving' en niet om de mensenrechten en een democratische toekomst voor alle Egyptenaren, inclusief de Koptische christenen te bevorderen. Conflict kan de enige relatie die Nederland kan hebben met Egypte.

Het was waar voor de Egyptenaren te ontkennen Roon een entree visum. Het enige doel van de Tweede Kamer te bezoeken, met PVVers erin, is voor propaganda doeleinden. De Koptische christenen zijn niet de enigen die behoefte hebben aan bescherming van de mensenrechten in Egypte, maar alle Egyptenaren van verschillende godsdiensten is gestorven voor een democratische toekomst van vrede en veiligheid voor alle Egyptenaren. De recente acties van de Nederlandse ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken en PVVers lijken te zijn contra-productief en voor de bevordering van religieuze conflicten, niet echt van de mensenrechten en democratie voor alle Egyptenaren. De Egyptenaren weten wat het echte doel van de Tweede Kamer te bezoeken moesten worden, en het is niet de mensenrechten, maar conflict door de lens van Samuel Huntington en Pim Fortuyn op basis van ideeën over religieus gedefinieerde "beschavingen".

Verwachten dat Geert Wilders nog steeds te schreeuwen, in zijn infantiele manier, En blijven domme beschuldigingen heffing tegen de Egyptenaren, zoals "geradicaliseerd van de ergste soort" en de "Moslim Broederschap terroristen." We kunnen eerst de gebruikelijke beschuldigingen van verwachten "tegen de vrijheid van meningsuiting" en "wij respecteren vrijheid van meningsuiting." Remember - en niet te vergeten - dat "de vrijheid van meningsuiting" is het eerste wapen van de divisie en demonisering worden gebruikt door Geert Wilders, de PVV en hun supporters. Alle tegenstanders van Geert Wilders "hate vrijheid van meningsuiting" - zelfs als de PVV bruinhemden zijn in Nederland te verliezen in het afgelopen jaar, bedreigende degenen wier taal is kritisch over Wilders en de PVV.

Ook verwachten beschuldigingen dat de Egyptenaren 'geen mensenrechten te respecteren. "Dit is een oneerlijke beschuldiging, zoals Egypte is in een democratische overgang van een dictatuur onder Mubarak en deze overgang niet over een nacht ijs, en zal niet zonder tegenslagen. Alle religies werden vervolgd onder Mubarak, waaronder de Moslim Broederschap, en het zal tijd en begeleiding voor de Egyptenaren te nemen om hun democratische voeten te vinden.De Nederlandse regering moet dit weten, en het is van de recente islamofobe activiteiten van Nederland in het internationale systeem dat we de echte zin van de Tweede Kamer en het Nederlandse ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken te zien.

Het is beschamend om de PVV bij deze Tweede Kamer reis hebben - en goed voor de Egyptenaren in Nederland in het verleden zou hebben gespeeld een grote rol in de bevordering van de democratische overgang, maar niet met de Bruine Coalition. In het verleden zou Nederland zijn bezig met bevordering van de mensenrechten voor alle Egyptenaren. Nu hebben we een Nederlandse regering en Tweede Kamer, dat is meer geïnteresseerd in het bevorderen van religieuze conflicten, zowel thuis als in haar openlijk, islamofobe strategie voor terrorismebestrijding (de AIVD) en aan boord in zijn buitenlands beleid en misbruik van de mensenrechten activisme in relatie tot de Arabische lente. De PVV heeft geen echte productieve interesse in mensenrechten andere dan de bevordering van conflicten en haat van de moslims. Met deze laatste stap van een poging tot propaganda reis door de PVV bruinhemden van de Tweede Kamer, kunnen we niet alleen de bevordering van Huntington-Fortuyn noties van religieuze conflicten, maar dat de oude en bewonderde Nederlandse mensenrechtenbeleid activisme is nu verspild en verdwenen.Wat een triest verlies voor zowel de wereld en de Nederlandse natie!

Zie ook:

Egypte weigert PV V'er visum, werkbezoek Kamer afgezegd

Egypte weigert PVV'er visum, werkbezoek Kamer afgezegd

Kamercommissie komt Egypte niet in vanwege PVV'er


Thursday, September 29, 2011

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 15, 2011

Islam has nothing to do with violence against the Coptic Church in Egypt!

The reality is that for a nation that is new to democracy, the whole idea might take some time to grow and the growing pains that result could be violent. This is what is happening in Egypt now - and NO rational and reasonable person should expect a nation like Egypt to become like a Western-like democracy overnight, with freedom of religion and elections tomorrow.  The sectarian violence in Egypt has nothing to do with Islam or religious conflict, but with fall of the old Mubarak regime and a certain level of chaos that is to be expected in transition. Allow me to also point out that transitions to democracy for Russia and former Soviet countries also took a certain amount of time.  Russia is still transitioning to a democracy over 20 years after the fall of communism, and Egypt should not be viewed as any different.Allow me to also point out that all religions, Christians, Jews, along with "unorthodox" Muslims, suffered persecution under the Egyptian "state of emergency" laws that first were in place in 1981. Members of the "radical" Muslim Brotherhood were also persecuted and imprisoned during the Mubarak regime (see also Document - Egypt: Ongoing violations of the right to freedom of belief, AI).  All religions were state police surveillance under Mubarak regime and attacks against Christians were ignored (see also Egypt’s Parliamentary Elections – a challenge to the Emergency, The Human Rights' Brief - ).

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It was the ignorance and indifference of the early January 2011 attacks on Coptic Christian churches that actually brought Egyptians out in is a show on interfaith unity,  after the bombing of a church and during the democratic revolution. There are indications that sectarian violence between a minority of criminal elements in Egyptian society have been used to as security threat to re-enforce security state (Copt Blast Aftermath: When Will the State of Emergency Protect Egyptians?, AI-USA - Egypt's Copt Crisis is One of Democracy, AINA - FEATURE-Egyptian revolution brings show of religious unity, AlertNet).

Egypt needs democratic instruments and institutions to address security problems. Since Mubarak stepped down, there has been a lack of public order, which has lead to wide-spread criminal activity in the form of petty crime and even brazen daytime attacks on hospitals and police stations. The lax security is not just in dealing with petty crime but with sectarian tension. The lack of security has meant that religious extremists of all sides have sown fear and strife in the void. (Egypt vows to tackle religious violence - Egypt vows crackdown on 'deviant groups' - Al Jazeera) There first needs to be public order established, where those who engage in criminal acts, no matter their religious background, are brought to justice. This needs to be in the form of the rule of law and civil rights enforced by courts that are cornerstones of modern democratic societies.  The reality is that we are not at this point in Egypt, but the sectarian violence should be used as an opportunity to grow this type of democratic society.Human Rights First has suggested the "long-standing" failures of the Egyptian Government, but the military government has not been in power too long. The international community must be encouraged to move democratic reforms along to remain legitimate - and any attempt to thwart or suppress the Egyptian people's aspirations for a democracy will make their government by generals illegitimate. Mohamed Elmenshawy of Huffington Post advocates a "Bill of Rights" for Egypt, but some basic lessons in democratic nationhood need to be given to the Egyptians first:
I spend two weeks in Cairo last month witnessing serious and heated debates over Egypt's political future, and Egypt's cultural identities. While democracy, free election, and electoral process are among major subject of these debates, a serious talk about basic rights and liberty for all Egyptians is still missing.The Egyptian revolution did not stand behind an ideological framework or guidance. Therefore, the serious debate over the makeup of the future Egyptian constitution, specifically with regards to the role of Islam and the meaning of citizenship, caused fracture and concern between Egypt's minority and majority in the same time.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Told ya so! Dutch foreign policy going Islamophobic!

Yep - I told you so...the radicalization of Dutch foreign policy. I hate to say this, but I told you so...yep...the radicalization of once proud and admired Dutch foreign policy.  In the November 24, 2010 post on Chasing Dirt (Uri Rosenthal’s statements about NATO and Dutch foreign policy) I discribed how Dutch foreign policy would radicalize toward the crackpot Islamophobia of Geert Wilders and Pim Fortuyn, with the pet-dream of Wilders being the Netherlands leading the Western world in a (genocidal) war against all Muslims to eradicate the "ideology of Islam." (also see - Hypocritical Netherlands crows about Burma elections!)This is especially needed if PVV extremists get their hooks in deep into foreign and security policy - and I would also advance the idea that we will see Dutch foreign policy gradually attempt to portray predominantly Muslim nations and states as "dangerous, radical nations" and the presence of Muslim populations anyplace in the world as "security issues."  To the extent that these crackpot ideas will be pushed will indicate how deep the hooks PVV extremists have into the country's foreign and security policy.  Today, Dutch foreign policy is now being slowly molded on crackpot Islamophobia of Wilders-Fortuyn and living up to my predictions...

Why? National identity built on domestic politics is reflected in foreign policies and the Netherlands is now (sadly) sliding into a crackpot Islamophobic identity. A few authors, Peter Katzenstein, Ronald Jepperson, among others, have argued that domestic politics can have effects on the national identity, which can be  reflected in the foreign policy and security interests of states. "Identity" as a collective construction of culture, norms - enacted domestically and projected internationally.  The legitimacy following elections successes of Islamophobic radicals and extremists in the Dutch  political system, with radical Geert Wilders as the hidden minister-president of the Netherlands, is now resulting in a crackpot Islamophobic foreign policy.The manifestation of pro-Israel and crackpot Islamophobic, Dutch foreign policy. First of all, the Dutch intelligence "spy service" - AIVD - went Islamophobic a long time ago... Now - sadly and with disgust - the traditional Dutch advocacy for human rights for all people of all religions now appears to have succumb to crackpot Islamophobic myths about Muslims and Islam of Fortuyn-Wilders, as has immigration policy. At one time, Dutch foreign policy activism once embraced the idea of human rights and freedom for all who aspired, including helpful aid for them. These human rights activisms have been label "Leftist projects" by the radicals like Wilders and his misfits of the PVV, including PM Mark Rutte.Besides the trips that Wilders and Rosenthal have taken to Israel - it comes as no surprise to this Author that Rosenthal wants a closer relationship with Israel (Israelis have probably sponsored the extremist PVV and radicalizer Geert Wilders and I believe that this is a slow take over of the Netherlands by Israel.)  It was right for the Dutch Buitenlandse Zaken to protest the execution of one of its citizens by Iran, but the spat with crazy, radical Iran will provide an excuse to create an image of "a typical Muslim country with Islamic ideology."  We need to watch the Netherlands relations with Iran, as they could cause international problems. We have PVV radicals in the Dutch foreign ministry and they will cause problems - mark my words on that ! On the surface we see Mensenrechten voor iedereen (human rights for everyone), but dig a bit deeper in individual documents of late, we see otherwise. The first of many manifestations crackpot Islamophobic, foreign policy desires for various countries out of the Tweede Kamer to the foreign ministry.  The apparent view from the Tweede Kamer is that Dutch promotion of Godsdienstvrijheid (religious freedom) should defend religious freedom for only Christian minorities in Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, and not advocate religious freedom for everyone. This exclusive call to defend religious freedom for Coptic Christians only also called for the EU to get involved in human rights for religious minorities in Arab, predominantly Muslim countries, but, again, only for Coptic Christians.Egypt became the sharp focus again after the attacks against Coptic Christian in late 2010, as questions from Wilders and other PVV radicals indicate. Not only did the PVV radical mistfits in the Tweede Kamer want to make trouble, but other parties, like the CDU and SP also decided to join in... These questions are phrased to make "radical Islamists" look like a normal social group for places like Egypt - and appear to want to portray Muslim lands as "dangerous and uncivilized," as well as Muslims as "vicious animals," using the attacks on Christians as a pretext. (see also (NL)-  Antwoord kamervragen aanslag kerk in Egypte - beantwoording kamervragen Van Bommel aanslag kerk in Egypte).There is nothing wrong with international activism for the religious freedoms of religious minorities - but the rights of religious minorities need to be defended in the Netherlands too.

Geert Wilders and Uri Rosenthal with egg on their faces...but the Netherlands will pay dearly! Wilders and other PVV radicals, including Uri Rosenthal, are absolutely wrong about the "threat" against Coptic Christians in especially Egypt. These exclusive concerns for Coptic Christians that ignores the widely reported unity between Christians and Muslims, including in the Egyptian democratic revolution -  demonstrates the crackpot foreign policy that is coming to being in the Netherlands.The reality on the ground in Egypt is that after the attack on the Coptic Christians - Muslims demonstrated their solidarity with their Christian brothers by attending Coptic Christian Mass as human shields. In the democratic revolution, both Egyptian Jews and Christians stood by as Muslims openly prayed in Liberation Square - far out of government sanctioned mosques. Part of Fortuyn-Wilders crackpot Islamophobia is that Muslims "hate freedom of speech" and Islam is "incomparable with democracy." Notice - the the reaction in the Arab Muslim world to the Danish cartoons. Really? Well- Egyptian democratic activists (probably mostly Muslims) held a mock funeral for a journalist who was shot dead by police.

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Imagine that...the reaction in the Dutch foreign ministry ... to Christians and Muslims coming together... it must be truly shocking and threatening - in fact - it would not be surprising if the radicals in the Dutch foreign ministry were intentionally  ignoring this Muslim -Christian unity!Maybe the attacks on Coptic Christians did bring Egyptians together, as reported in the Washington Post (READ this Geert Wilders!) :
And the courageous acts belie the notion of an unreasoning and irrational Muslim "street" in Egypt run by religious thugs. Rather it is a reminder to the world that we are all called to be moral agents and stand up for the religious freedom of our neighbor, Jew or Gentile, Copt or Muslim.When an Egyptian Muslim housewife will leave her spoon in the pot and attend a Christmas Mass to protect the very life of her Coptic neighbor, the cause of religious freedom takes a bold step forward.

(see -  Egyptian Muslims act as "human shields" for Coptic Christmas mass, Washington Post - Egypt's Muslims and Christians join hands in protest, BBC - Egyptian Muslims and Christians Rising Up Together, Huffington Post - Images of solidarity as Christians join hands to protect Muslims as they pray during Cairo protests, Daily Mail - Spencer Proven Wrong by Muslim-Christian Unity in Egypt, SpencerWatch) Well, the Mubarak regime only allowed Islamic worship in government sanctioned mosques, and Muslims that did not believe in the "official Islam" were oppressed and jailed. The Mubarak regime also persecuted Jews, as well as thwart the needs for Christians to build churches. The truth that crackpot Dutch foreign policy is out of touch with is Muslims were also denied religious freedom and persecuted in the countries listed in the document - Antwoord Kamervragen naar aanleiding van geannoteerde agenda van de Raad Buitenlandse Zaken 31 januari 2011. (see - Expert: Egypt's Mubarak Resignation Good for Coptic Christians, Christian Post - Religious Freedom in Egypt, Hertiage Foundation - Set My People Free to Worship Me Group Seeks Religious Freedom, Real Courage - US: Egypt 2nd in religious freedom violations - Egypt: Historic Change Brings Hope for Human Rights, HRW)One of the ill-side effects of this crackpot foreign policy based on hateful myths about Muslims and radical Islamophobia  - in the face of growing democratic revolutions in Arab-Muslim countries - will isolate and exclude the once great Dutch foreign activism from the international community. Not only this, but crackpot foreign policy will, if allowed to advance further, create conflicts and make the Netherlands look anti-democratic and opposed to human rights and freedom Muslim people. Dutch foreign policy will look like a sick, sore thumb, and will be a laughing stock - and hamstring the ability of the country to take part in international efforts to solve real issues and crisis.Wilders and other PVV radicals, including Uri Rosenthal, will destroy Dutch foreign and security policy as surly Pim Fortuyn destroyed the once proud and admired Dutch national identity that made the Netherlands a once great nation - and it will take the Dutch people decades to recover their once great international activism after Rosenthal and the PVV radicals are cleaned out of the Dutch foreign ministry!

References and further readingBloom, William. 1993. Personal Identity, National Identity and International Relations. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge Ma.Hellema , Duco A. 2009. Dutch Foreign Policy. The Role of the Netherlands in World Politics. Republic of Letters.Jepperson, Ronald, Alexander Wendt and Peter Katzenstein, eds. (1996) The Culture of National Security. Columbia University: New York.

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.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Muslims opposed to democracy! Really? Tunisia, Egypt...yea right!

In 2006, Gallop posted the results of  a survey of people living in 10 Muslim countries regarding their views about democracy and Islam - Muslim respondents stated that they admire " political freedom, liberty, fair judicial systems, and freedom of speech" - and want the incorporation of Sharia law into a democratic system, in the belief that both can work together (also see CFR's MIDDLE EAST: Islam and Democracy).
A recent in-depth Gallup survey in 10 predominantly Muslim countries, representing more than 80% of the global Muslim population, shows that when asked what they admire most about the West, Muslims frequently mention political freedom, liberty, fair judicial systems, and freedom of speech. When asked to critique their own societies, extremism and inadequate adherence to Islamic teachings were their top grievances.However, while Muslims say they admire freedom and an open political system, Gallup surveys suggest that they do not believe they must choose between Islam and democracy, but rather, that the two can co-exist inside one functional government.
[caption id="attachment_1418" align="alignleft" width="198" caption="Day of Anger (By Muhammad Ghafari from Giza, Egypt, Wiki)"][/caption]The apparent democratic revolutions that hold the prospect of spreading across the Arab world are not really a surprise for those of us who know the truth, that Islam is - indeed - comparable with democracy and a free society.  Also - these democratic revolutions are mainly inspired by frustrated youth and college students who see their job and future prospects bleak in their own countries ruled by sometimes US backed autocrats.  Arab parents often save and sacrifice to put their children though college - only to have them graduate to unemployment.  This Author is also quite pleased that these democratic revolutions appear to be social-democratic revolutions (also- euronews-Protests from Tunisia to Jordan ).Rather than take their frustrations out by running off to join the death cult of al-Qaeda, these young people want to fight for a better economic, social and democratic future.  This crisis demonstrates what can happen when an out-of-touch government, coupled with economic frustrations and lack of a meaningful future can do to a nation of real human beings. They are fearless against the police, as there is no better choice for them but fearlessness -and some are now dying. This is a true fight for freedom and a social democratic future - and not one that appears to include unregulated capitalism.An old US policy practice of strategic interest first. We should also remember the practice of American policy from the Cold War of providing support for leaders, even dictators, that are of strategic interest to the US.  This practice during the Cold War was often in Latin America, where the only importance to the US was that the leader's loyalty was toward Washington and not Moscow. Since the bipolar, East-West, international system has long past - nations around the world can chose their loyalties and interests, which are often regional (ex. African Union).In the "war on terrorism," the US fears that an Islamist, religious fanatic - a "bearded boogieman" - could be elected to power or a US-described "terrorist group" could be the largest party in parliament, like HAMAS in the Palestinian Authority. Democracy in Muslim countries is a scary thought for the US, even as the US has Muslim democracies (Turkey and Morocco) as strategic and non-NATO allies. Could choosing a social-democracy replacement, similar to a European country, over autocracy and unregulated capitalism also be unacceptable to the US?(see - President Obama, say the 'D-Word', Al Jazeera)The Ghost of Pim Fortuyn should now be put to bed! The democratic revolutions in Arab-Muslim countries is blowing a huge hole - further discrediting the Fortuyn-Wilders myths about Islam and the intentions of Muslim people around the globe.  The old arguments from Pim Fortuyn are  that Islam is comparable with democracy, and, therefore, immigrants from non-western, especially from Muslim countries, cannot "assimilate and integrate" into democratic societies.  Wilders then furthers these hateful, insane myths of Fortuyn in that "Islam is an ideology" that "cannot coexist with personal freedom and seeks to destroy democratic society." This "Islam is an ideology, not a religion" is the main myth from which Western Islamophobes on both sides of the Atlantic seek to deny religious freedom for Muslims. Look at the arguments against the Muslim community center in Murfreesboro and we should be concerned that these myths are also believed by government officials!Yet - we now have people occupying positions in Western governments - from local to national - that actually believe in these hateful, insane, Dutch-created myths that have NO basis in research-established facts! The Netherlands' immigration policy is crafted on these myths and the country's Buitenlandse Zaken (foreign ministry)  now appears to poised to make crisis and issues in Arab-Muslim nations the "product of Islam," even if the crisis and issues are NOT related to Islam (The current crisis in Egypt is multifaceted and has more to do with economic issues and an stubborn autocrat refusing democratic reforms).Well - we see from the existence of democracies in predominantly Muslim countries and support for democracy in surveys - youth fighting and dying in "the Arab Street" for a better future in a social -democratic society -  all of these should put Fortuyn's miserable ghost to rest.  The insane myths about Muslims and Islam created in the Netherlands and exported through the Western world - are just hateful, insane myths with no basis in facts that we can see before our eyes in Egypt.Now - we should cheer on the democratic revolutionaries, and those of us who have read the research on Muslims' views on democracy had the feeling that this would might and could happen. We should be glad it is, and hope for a more free and democratic future for suffering Arab peoples - now let's get out of the way!.(also see - EUbusiness, EU invites Tunisian foreign minister to Brussels - Human Rights Watch, Live Updates From Egypt - Obama urges reform in Egypt, Al Jazeera - Al Jazeera English: Live Stream )

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The EU and the US in confronting Iran

When there appears to be yet another instance of Please America First, on the part of European foreign policy out of the office of the British national, Cathrine Ashton, we must take serious note. If we are to work toward an independent European Union, especially in its foreign policy, we must look deeply into EU actions, while comparing them to European values and normal EU policies. For the sake of European values and the Union's credibility in the world - it is imperative that the Union stop this policy of "Please America First and to Hell with the consequences."  [Top U.S., EU Diplomats Plot Iran Strategy - EU Council press conference]Is the EU – again – following the US with regard to Iran?[caption id="attachment_600" align="alignleft" width="216" caption="Iran sanctions. More "Please America First" from the European Union? "][/caption]The Security Council resolution of June 9 - SC 1929 - demonstrates concern over Iran's continued enrichment of uranium to 20% and the construction of another facility to enrich even more uranium, in violation of its obligation to previous UN agreements and the IAEA Board.  Iran is apparently playing some kind of "hide it" game with inspectors. The Security Council is supportive of a diplomatic solution - but indicate that nations involved - "China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States" - are "willing to take further measures" (notice that the EU is not mentioned, but the UK is ... as well as other EU Member States). [2010 Security Council Resolutions]Other possible measures against Iran in Res 1929 also include against its banks and sea-shipping. This could include inspections of cargo of ships for implements that could be used in a nuclear program. There is also a line that declares that States are not compelled to take actions in excess of Resolution 1929, including threats and use of force.EU sanctions against Iran. Lady Ashton and the Council have called their version of EU sanctions against Iran as a "package."  This should be regarded as an offensive use of this term - so it will not be use here. The July 26 Council press statement indicates the desire on the part of the EU to "achieve a long-term settlement that would rebuild international confidence in Iran's nuclear program" and the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. The Council's reflection on Resolution 1929, and a desire to act within this resolution - plus actions against individuals and banks. The statement of the press release:
"The Council recalls that the European Council has repeatedly underlined its deepening concerns about Iran's nuclear programme and in that regard, welcomed the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1929 introducing new restrictive measures against Iran.In accordance with the European Council Declaration of 17 June, the Council has today adopted a Decision implementing the measures contained in UN Security Council Resolution 1929 as well as accompanying measures, with a view to supporting the resolution of all outstanding concerns regarding Iran's development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programmes, through negotiation.
There does appear to be in interest in addressing Iran's other concerns - perhaps security from Israel - which should include Israel's recent violent behavior and the genocidal views of the ruling Lukid Party toward Muslims and Arabs.Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere stated that he hopes that the EU's actions against Iran are "well balanced." Some of the sanctions include oil industry revenues that could help support the population and include a list of people banned from entering the EU. The EU sanctions DO appear to follow those imposed by the US Congress. Foreign Secretary William Hague was highly pleased with the Council's "new tough sanctions" against Iran.Is the EU - again - following the US with regard to Iran? Even as they supported sanctions in the Security Council (they would have had to), both Russia and China have business with Iran in the oil industry.  Given that Resolution 1929 holds no obligations for further measures and just "calls upon" States to take certain actions Imposing sanctions against Iran's oil and banking industry are options in 1929 and the EU's choice to enter this American -led area have been called disdainful and counterproductive by Russia. [Iran nuclear sanctions by EU unacceptable, says Russia - Iran nuclear sanctions by EU unacceptable, says Russia (BBC) - US Congress backs new sanctions against TehranRussia Blasts EU Over Iran Penalties]With regard to the EU following the US down that well -worn Please America First road, Russia's foreign ministry said:
This not only undermines our joint efforts to seek a political and diplomatic settlement around Iran's nuclear programme, but also shows disdain for the carefully calibrated and co-ordinated provisions of the UN Security Council resolutions.
[caption id="attachment_583" align="alignright" width="174" caption="EU policy decisions should ALWAYS be based on European values!"][/caption]Agreed! It is the viewpoint of this Author that both Russia and China should go ahead with their investments in Iran's oil and banking sector, no matter what Iran's final position is with regard to EU -US sanctions. We should remember that similar sanctions against Iraq were a disaster and resulted in suffering of the Iraqi people. The maintenance of deadly sanctions against Iraq in favor of "regime change" was the policy of the US - and thousands died, especially children. We must remember that sanctions, especially against economic activity and industry - have little effect on the government or the military, but innocent civilians who also lose their jobs, as most of the resources go toward government and military functions. [Review of Iraq Sanctions and Washington's Iraq Policies - UN Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq - Iraq sanctions, Wiki]When the European Union follows the US down these roads - it's usually the European Union that comes up egg on its face. This is due to the fact (yes, the fact!) that the European Union and the United States operate from different values that are simply not compatible. Brutal and even murderous behavior toward "enemies" is US policy - but hard diplomatic work within respect for innocent human lives and avoids suffering to achieve a meaningful settlement for all parties is the usual mode of operation for European Union foreign policy. While these measures of sanctions against Iran are indeed allowed under Resolution 1929 - they do follow the US and could inflict suffering against the Iranian civilian population.  Both the EU and the Security Council need to be reminded the strong need to avoid economic sanctions that caused so much suffering in Iraq.!We must also remember the loss of credibility and embarrassments when the European Union and its Member States follow Washington's policies, often in open violation of European values, the Treaties, including the European human rights conventions and laws: CIA renditions and secret prisons, involvement in the Iraq invasion, participation in torture, extraditions back to American prison brutality, breaching banking data privacy, participation in American watchlists and "no fly" lists, Kosovo "independence," NATO expansion - and perhaps even in efforts in especially Ireland in undermining passage of the Lisbon Treaty.Would the Union - acting alone and with its great foresight - want to impose a regime of sanctions against the Iranian people that have proven in the past to actually be more devastating against the civilian population, especially children?Well - acting alone and with its own set of values - as an independent European Union -- NO!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Turkey’s 9-11 and Europe’s place in the world

FIRST OF ALL - there is an evil ilk that we share this planet with, the American-European  far-right, American neoconservatives, Israeli Likud Party, and Geert Wilders types, that want a Cold War with the estimated 1.57 billion Muslims on the planet. This evil ilk promotes the notion that Islam is “an ideology” like communism.  This evil and  hateful ilk promote a robot-like image of Muslims as “radical, deviant, violent, cold blooded killers” that want “to Islamifiy Europe and America” with a harsh sharia law. This ilk also seeks to label peaceful, human rights activists, using their free speech rights (people like me), as “silent jihadists” and “supporters of terrorism.” This ilk includes Geert Wilders, Benjamin Netanyahu, Daniel Pipes, talkshows hosts like Dennis Prager and Micheal Savage. Organizations include the the Likud Party, Tea Party, the English Defense League and, of course, the (anti-)Freedom Party of Wilders.

Now – we ask ourselves why Israel and Netanyahu would be so stupid and foolish as to send commandos in the middle of the night to commit such violence on board of an aid ship?Simple – Arabs and Muslims are not human beings. They are “radicalized animals” that want “to destroy our civilization with their murderous ideology of Islam.” Second those that support and advocate for them and “their stealth jihad” (like human rights) are “aiding terrorists in their terrorism,” and are, therefore, also “terrorists.” What is clear is that this hateful and violent ilk is placing itself outside civilized conduct and are actually opposed to human rights – from Gaza – to the Netherlands -to the UK – and on to US, in the name of “fighting” phony and politically defined “jihads” and under the crackpot notions of “Islamification” and that “Muslims and Islam are dangerous.”Given that this ilk wants a Cold War against all Muslims in Muslim countries – including democracies like Turkey – it comes as NO surprise that this ilk and their Likud puppets in the Israeli government want to drive Turkey from its traditional NATO and European allies.The attack on the Freedom Flotilla that killed 9 people and saw hundreds of innocent people, many of them notable artists, parliamentarians, diplomats, Nobel Peace Prize winners,  “arrested” by Israeli forces in international waters.  This “felt like 9-11″ to Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and indeed this major event has the same level of international condemnation.  Like the Taliban, Israel feels that it can conduct criminal conduct with impunity and with protection by the United States. Israel remains in defiance of the United Nations in the strong call to remove the blockade from Gaza.

Indeed – this attack on an aid ship gained just as much world condemnation as the September 11th attacks on the US. Very few, if any, members on the civilized international community have sided with Israel, just as only Saddam Hussein was the only one smiling after America’s 9-11 .  The few people  that sided with Israel were the usual delusional nutcakes that view Muslims as non-human “terrorist” robots and leftists and human rights activists as “terrorist sympathizers.”  This includes crackpot attempts by outlets like Fox News to paint the Nobel Peace Prize winners, former UN diplomats, parliamentarians, noted human rights activists and journalists in the freedom Flotilla as “terrorists trying to bring weapons to HAMAS.” SECOND OF ALL- will the European Union final show that it’s not an appendage of the United States – stand on its own -and stand up against the impunity of Israel?Will the European Union use its normative power to curb Israel’s lawlessness and criminal behavior?

This is a classical battle between the nationalism of Israel and “big powers” like the US that protect Israel – and the will of the international community to impose law and order. What the United States is doing in protecting Israel is to excuse murder and violations of international law. Notice who is in defiance of the civilized community of nations and law and order – it’s the US and Israel.  Because of this relationship, Israel feels emboldened – much like a violent criminal who has bribed the police and judges. The EU should consider the association agreement it has with Israel. This can be suspended or changed until Israel’s behavior changes. The EU is a normative power, that is, its relations are also aimed at promoting respect for international laws and norms. In this regard – the EU – once political will is gained – can put the screws to Israel.The international community has called Israel’s blockade of Gaza a possible violation of international law, as well as the killings of aid workers on board the Freedom Flotilla. The stated major aim of the current Euro-Mediterranean Agreement between the EU and Israel is human rights, but trade is also a major feature. Refusing to submit to international law and standards of conduct, as well as an impartial international investigation, should be enough to start incrementally putting the screws to Israel though its agreements with the Union. [list of EU agreements with Israel]What the EU as a normative power should do and are typical practices for the EU:

  • Provide support for international legal institutions to impartially investigate the actions of Israel, both in Gaza and the killing of aid workers on the Freedom Flotilla;

  • Demand that Israel cooperate in an independent-international  investigation though threats of incremental suspensions of  benefits of the relationship to Israel;

  • Suspend and revoke EU agreements with Israel, also on the national level;

  • Help get sanctions with other international organizations until Israel complies and opens aid to Gaza.

  • Draw closer to Turkey and join the international community, especially the UN,  in its investigations of Israel;

  • Also – work to put an end to the same violent Islamophobic bigotry that fuels Europeans, like Geert Wilders, and far-right parties, like the PVV.  This calls for exposing the “Islamification” myth and attempts to label human rights activists (and anybody on the left) as “jihadists” and  “supporters of terrorists.”

There are officials in the EU that believe that Turkey’s active role in its region will help its membership bid. So far, as we can figure out (but not the insane that believe that “all Muslims are evil”) that Turkey is acting like a civilized member of the international community. Turkey is pushing sanctions against Israel – and this call is being heard by others. From peace groups to writers, including the crew on the Rachel Corrie, the call is starting to bring sanctions through European Union on Israel. Turkey should work though the EU also to bring pressure on Israel.  This is the perfect time for Turkey and the EU to form a deep friendship in its mutual concerns about Israel’s impunity and lawless conduct.Below in the video, we see MEPs calling on the same actions against Israel advocated by this Author and a growing number of others….[see also]International legal institutions are also framing responses, as we can see from the statements out of the ICC Review Conference at Kampala. Yes – the international legal institutions – and they need to operate and start an investigation into Israel’s conduct independent of the Security Council.
This tragedy is the result of the prolonged impunity granted to Israel by the international community, despite Israel’s documented, persistent disregard for international and humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and its violation of fundamental human rights, including the right to life. Many of these violations also entail criminal responsibility; however, so far no concrete action has been taken and impunity is a long standing feature of Israel’s illegal occupation policy. [read full statement

Well – if there is any time for international legal institutions to bring law and order and end Israel’s impunity – it’s now. If there are blocks in both the UN, from the US, and the Council (the Czech Republic) then alternative means to establish law and order need to be found. We have the defenders of Likud-controlled Israel, but we also have the lack of political will. What is needed, according to one observer, is for civil society to bust Israel’s blockade of Gaza city – which the UN has repeatedly asked Israel to left.Now – the Rachel Corrie, an Irish ship, is heading for Gaza with1,000 tons of cement and 20 tons of educational materials and toys, along with vital medical supplies. The Irish government has told the Israelis to keep their hands off the ship while in international waters. We should hold all those who are embarking with this great courage to face Israeli violence as heroes that must be given the highest honors!