Since February 2009 , this blog and Huib's 3 other Euroblogs are together at:

- In Europa Zu Hause [DE]
- L'Europe Chez Soi [FR]
- At Home in Europe [EN]
- In Europa Thuis [NL]

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And what about our Germans? Shouldn't they adopt torture too?

Ulfkotte and his works

Ulfkotte.jpgWell, here we are in the land of Udo Ulfkotte. Mr. U.U., before the 11th of September 2001, was convinced, that terrorist actions were mostly due to covert actions of Israel (Gencode "J"). After that date, he changed dramatically his orientation. Europe is victim to an Islamist conspiracy, and left-leaning authorities are their objective or subjective accomplices. Ulfkotte inspires with his so-called "informations" on Islam a whole community of German nationalists and supremacists, who leave their ideas on the comment pages of "Politically Incorrect" and other Hetzblogs.

Although he is under suspicion in Belgium (Antwerp) and in Holland (Amsterdam) of distributing knowingly false informations about immigrants in those cities and the attitude of communal authorities, he continues to publish false information about those EU partners, and declines to correct them, even if evidence is sent to him.

Ulfkotte did not yet give an opinion on the torture issue. Under US pressure, some German authorities let it be known, that they are in favour of, for instance, waterboarding, as a means to deal with presumed terrorists. We are waiting for Ulfkottes verdict. Can we return to Nazi times, and do with captured people everything we want, or is the German Constitution still upright? As soon as "Akte Islam" pubishes its opinion, we 'll keep you informed.

Sarkozy Plan about European guilt: Adoptions galore!

Sarkozy and his Holocaust Adoption Plan

1191208-1355221-thumbnail.jpgI am brooding about a proposal to my French readers, to make 81-91 year old Frenchmen forcibly adopt a Jewish French child who was a victim of the 1941-44 holocaust. In my opinion, that would be much more to the point, than French president Sarkozy's idea to impose such a forced "adoption" non all French children at the age of 11. Our octagenarians were in their twenties and thirties, when they could have done something (more) against the deportation of more than 100.000 Jews from France to the Nazi extermination camps.


It is their shame, allowing for the positive exceptions, that French railwaymen rode without problem the trains of death to their destinations, it is their problem, that the "rafle" of the vélodrôme d'hiver could happen, it is they who should question themselves, how the Drancy concentration camp could function unhampered in the Paris suburbia. That problem is not solved yet. In stead of charging symbolically innocent children (35% of them from immigrant parents) with that guilt, they should do wise, to end their "refoulement", make peace with their conscience and then, yes, only THEN, talk with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in order to demand them to oppose resolutely and without compromise, without subterfuge, and always, genocide and racial discrimination.

Isn't that a better idea than Sarkozy's? I appeal to Mr. Kouchner, for here we are in an evident situation of "devoir d'intervention". The Government, he is a member of, seems to be going to culpabilise French 11-year olds, for something, they are not reponsible for at all. And, in the case of the 35% immigrant children, even their fathers and grandfathers are completely innocent of. This is a form of state-brainwashing, that cannot stand his high humanitarian principles. I do not imply, that the holocaust history should not be taught to French children. Not at all. More attention than now should be given to it. But, please, do it in a historical context, that children of that age can understand!

Other European Countries should Join!

And, thinking about contexts, why should the French Government limit itself to genocides that were perpetrated under foreign leadership? Why, for instance, not force French who are in their fifties and sixties, to adopt, each individually, an Algerian child, that has been a victim of French torture, rape and blind killing during the colonial war from 1954-1962 in that country? An estimated one MILLION Algerians met their death under French intervention. There are a sufficient number of victims in stock for that age-group. And I, for myself, I wouldn't exclude the Jewish victims of Muslim revenge in Oran or in other cities. Nor the poor pieds-noirs who were forced out of the country after the French defeat.

I do not forget the people in their seventies. For them, a Vietnamese child, victim of the French intervention after 1947, that ended so tragically in the defeat of Dien Bien Phu, is the one to adopt immediately.

Summing up: If the principle of Sarkozy's adoption plan is accepted, there is much work to do. Algerian victims and their torturers have to be identified. The same for the Vietnamese.

Then, after the French setting an European example, the British will adopt massively Indian, Burmese, Boer, Egyptian, Persian, Pakistanese, Sudanese, Chinese, and I do not know who else as adoptive children. I do not forget my Dutch and Belgian contemporaries: The former will adopt each an Indonesian child, victim of the so-called "Police-Actions" 1946-1949, while the latter will tend to a Congolese child, raped and mutilated in the wars, the Belgians helped to bring about in their former royal colony.

And why not the Spanish (republican -and non-republican- victim children from the thirties civil war), the Italians (Ethiopian children, victims of the Mussolini invasion) and the Portugese (from all former colonies under Salazar)?

And the Germans, what do we do with our dear Germans? The elder generations have mostly died. The younger ones are pro-Israelian and pro-American. They do not want a new holocaust, even the most right-wing among them. The Germans, they are against the Turks, or the Islam, generally. Allowing, again, for the notable exceptions. Our advice to the Germans is in the next post...

Kosovo - a Precedent?

Kosovo - a precedent?

1191208-1355199-thumbnail.jpgI was against the US-NATO war against Serbia when it was fought, in March-May 1999. It is not that I am a friend of Milosevic, far from that. But restoration of the freedom the Kosovar Albanians had under Tito, could have been realised in many other ways. Launching a war of destruction against the Beograd youth who guarded the bridges over the Duna river, against the automobile workers of Kragujevac and bombing the civil airport of the Montenegrin capital, is certainly not my idea of humanitarian intervention. It was more the style of US interventions under the Monroe doctrine in Latin America.

Europe shouldn't have allowed it. Even if you do NOT condemn the way that war was fought, you cannot be happy with its results, from an European point of view. European states should not be dependent on ethnic homogeneity. it is impossible: Ethnicities are mixed among each other in a pattern that reflects centuries of history. A state is judged by its capacity to guarantee and to implement equality of all its citizens before the law and by how it supports cultural freedom for all groups of people who live within its borders.

That is how Europe deals with Hungarians in Slovakia and Rumenia. That is, what Europe demands from Turkey, when we speak of Kurds and Armenians. That is, what Spain allows the Catalans and what Britain allows the Irish in Northern Ireland. That is, why everybody with a sense of civility, opposes a divided Cyprus. And that is, why dividing Belgium into two states, is so disastrous.

After 1999, with the Serb sovereignty over Kosovo confirmed by the security Council of the UN, there were plenty of opportunities left for the EU, to impose a civil construction upon Kosovars as well as Serbs, that would have preserved a federal Serb state with internationally guaranteed minority rights. But the UN rulers of the occupied province, beginning with the maverick Kouchner (now French foreign secretary under Sarkozy), denied the Serbs and the Balkan nations in general, what was already then accepted European standard. In a not so far away future, Dayton (compromises about Bosnia, 1995) and the independence of Kosova (2008), will be seen as fatal errors that may have caused new wars and ethnic cleansings.

Europe and the Belgian Collapse

Belgian Collapse?

my, how wrong I was, when I wrote last November, that the Belgian surrealist magicians were about to solve the national crisis! (Toto le Psycho: "Plan B s'exécute"). There is no plan. Government Ministers are on permanent strike [NL].

Today's Arte television digs into the stubborn Flemish idea of independence. Some marginal Flemish leftist tells them, that it is simply a Flemish employers' illusion. He says they think they will get more profit when the Walloons are out and the obedient catholic Flemish workforce would be alone to confront them. I hadn't thought at that scenario. It is somehow too fantastic, but I am not convinced that it is completely wrong, any more.

Those Flemish entrepreneurs, do they forget, that without Brussels, which is not Flemish, but not Walloon either, their economic power will be more and more illusionary? I cannot believe that. But how could we explain then, this course to a destruction of the Belgian state, which they do not oppose?

I am a Dutch-European Belgian, of Brussels conviction, to paraphrase a Flemish Brussels intellectual, interviewed by Arte, tonight. I cannot tell my new compatriots how to act. I risked a series of suggestions about my city, Brussels, who is to be the orphan of any possible compromise between Flemish and Walloon provincials. In line with my anti-autoritarian tradition, I proposed last week, that the Brussels people themselves create a full-fledged region-community (the
last one multilingual) and leave the other two quarreling regions alone. (Et si les Bruxellois créaient leur communauté à eux?, Toto Le Psycho [FR]). The Dutch version is here. They earned some not unfavourable comment on Medium4You, the Brussels BloggersBlog.

But there is no new 1830 in view. The Brussels people are not (yet) in a mood to defy their two new egocentric rulers. I do not see, however, another way out.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Late Dutch Revenge for the way, the big Powers made a fool of them in Srebrenica

Why do the Dutch and the Belgians block an SAA?
A Fistful of Euros wonders, why the Dutch dare (together with the Belgians) to block a Serbian Accession Agreement to the EU. The SAA was intended to help the less extremist Serbian factions to accept (grudgingly) Kosovar independence, and to open a fast track to Serbian inclusion into the EU.
Mladic and Karadzic in 1994/95

For both intentions, it is a lame compromise: Even moderate Serbs will not agree, in a foreseeable future, with the breaking of the 1999 UN guarantee of the territorial integrity of Serbia, including Kosovo. They are supported by Russia and by a number of EU members who fear irredentist claims in their own countries. And, less important, but significant, by a growing cabal of extreme right-wing American/European anti-Islam activists. The latter warn against the creation of another "Islamic" state on European soil, like Ariël Sharon of Israel already did in 1999.

On the other side, there is no argument about the necessity and unavoidability of a Serbian membership in the EU. Neither in the most Eurosceptic circles in the EU, nor in Serbia itself. Serbian EU-membership will come, sooner or later. But not now.

The SAA was a wrong signal:
It will not help more moderate nationalists to win today's presidential elections. Perhaps it would even have weakened Tadic and his followers. Serbian frustration over coming European support for an independent Kosova will anyhow have the upper hand over hopes to be in the EU soon.

A commenter, Ivan Nicolic, on A Fistful of Euros, has quite another view:
So, what do we get? We get that the Dutch are blocking democratic Serbia that had nothing to do with Srebrenica, moreover that was fighting against Milosevic, the same person that was giving assistance to those who are accused to be guilty, and yet, asking from Serbia to be responsible for arresting and delivering those two to the Tribunal in Hague, although they are citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Maybe some argument could be found for Mladic, because for some time he was hiding in Serbia, but for Karadzic there is no basis at all to connecting him to Serbia.
Correction: Former JNA General Mladic is a citizen of Serbia, is living publicly in Belgrade and meets there regularly with old comrades from the Yugoslav Army in public places. From time to time, when there is a surge of pressure for his arrest, he goes into hiding in Montenegro.
Nikolic' conclusion on the Dutch move:
And why? Because the Dutch need to wash them selves in their own eyes, not taking into consideration that they could cause even more damage.
Well, I think, that the Dutch accepted the horrible truth about Srebrenica, too late, but nevertheless some five years ago, when the Report on the Srebrenica mission that was commissioned by the Dutch Government, provoked its downfall (April 2002).

Americans and EU-big powers made a fool of the Dutch Srebrenica batallion
Apart from their own failures (politically and military), another, important, circumstance came then finally into the open: The big powers had intentionally left the Dutch Government in the dark about the arrangements they had made with Milosevic and Karadzic/Mladic, about giving up the UN-protected Muslim enclaves (like Srebrenica) to the Serbian Bosnians as a precondition for the ceasefire that was to end the armed phase of the Bosnian conflict later in 1995.

That is why I took the liberty to comment today on the Fistful-site, as follows:
In my opinion, the Dutch Government is taking revenge for the scandalous way, it was kept uninformed of the big countries’ arrangement with Milosevic/Karadzic in the spring of 1995, i.e., to give the latter green light to do away with the (UN-protected) Muslim “enclaves” in Serbian Bosnia, like Srebrenica.
Frustration about the NATO allies, who did not come forward with the promised air support, is still great in the country.
The whole affair has been documented by Frank Westerman (1996,in Dutch), the 2002 Dutch government-commissioned report by the Amsterdam Institute of War-Documentation (English version at the Dutch Government website) and most recently by Florence Hartmann (Paix et Chatiment, November 2007, French), the former porte parole of Carla Del Ponte (TPIY).

The Dutch, while officially referring to the TPIY procedure, are unofficially saying to the Brits, the French (and the US): “Milosevic died, before he could be brought to confirm the 1994/5 deals with you about Srebrenica at the The Hague Court. Give us Mladic, who you helped to protect for more than 17 years, and who is freely walking around in Belgrade, and we’ll see!”
A slightly different French version of this opinion is on: L'Europe Chez Soi, Toto Le Psycho and HUIBSLOG. The Brussels Medium4You Blog Journal also carries that French version, where it provoked some interesting comments.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Bulgaria: Children's Homes and Local libraries

Children abuse and neglect

Back in Brussels, yesterday night, I set foot in a country, shaken by the reporting (originally by the English BBC, and reissued by the Flemish-language public TV) about one of the Bulgarian "orphanages",where not only poor orphans, but also children with a mental handicap and children from criminal families are being stowed away, subject to abuses and neglect.
The Bulgarian children's home in question happens to be located in the region I visited last week. Like a number of similar ones, it is located in a village or small town. Many children are of Rom (Tzigan)origin.
(Derelict apartment buildings in NE Plovdiv, central Bulgaria - the families of the abanoned children live in houses like those)

I do not know, if the situation was better before the year1989, when In Romania (where the same scandal existed) and in Bulgaria the state-controlled system was replaced by rather rude configurations of capitalism. The Bulgarian "home" in question is located in the southern part, at the feet of the Rhodopes Mountains. Ethnic and cultural minorities live there together.
A small economic upsurge is going on in the region,because of growing tourism and of settling of Western Europeans, who buy properties (very cheaply) there. More and more, the (changing)local population is becoming outraged at those scandalous institutions in their midst. I saw the arrestation of a monitor of one of those homes reported on Bulgarian television. The man was accused of sexual abuse of little Rom girls. I think, that there is some hope, that the combination of foreign and national outrage will help, to do away with the scandal. A Belgian Government delegation is visiting Bulgaria and the homes at this moment. Tonight Bulgarian TV showed the Belgians being received in a model institution, that has nothing in common with the home the reporting was about. (Thanks for the tip to my Plovdiv friends).

What the local libraries could do
Another reason, why I am talking about this, is, that we had to say "no" to an eventual participation of the local libraries system in that Bulgarian region within the network I was speaking of in the preceding Log. The reason for that is possibly as sad as the children's home scandal is. The local library system is so under-equipped, that it should first be helped to put up some very basic infrastructure and training. Only then, could it think of developing the skills and the methods the Network is about. There is not enough staff and they are underpaid. The staff get training in software, but there is virtually no hardware and no internet.

Why is there a link between bad care for marginalized children, located in poor regions, and local libraries? That is what I intend to explain to some local librarians, colleagues of the Bulgarian ones, here in Belgium. It runs like this:

Regenerating communities is done by a transversal approach. Why? It is easy to figure out: If, for instance, you renovate the apartment buildings, after one year they will be again in a bad state, if you do not do something, at the same time,about unemployment, schools, etc. If children are not well fed, if they remain constrained to their beds the whole day long, better schools will not help. Programmes by the local library will help the people concerned, to see these connections. It is not (only) a police or a criminal matter. Ethnic and racial prejudices could block efforts to find solutions. That is why a four-year programme for equipping local cultural centers and their librarians with the tools to do their work, is one of the essential transversal measures to be taken.

My second trip to eastern Europe has left me with at least two huge tasks here in Brussels.
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