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]

Monday, March 22, 2010

L.A., May 1st: Spencer and Geller Celebrate St. Geert Wilders, a Loony Prophet from Holland

Pamela Geller* (Atlas Shrugs) and Robert Spencer ** (Jihad Watch), are not the kind of people, Geert Wilders likes to show himself off with. In Europe, that is.
On May 1st, in Los Angeles, he will do, what he avoids doing in Europe: Associate openly with 100% racist loonies, suprematists and war-mongerers.

(Wilders and Pamela, Spencer, Los Angeles, May 2009)

Again. For Wilders' outrageous and hollow hate-speech (I have no time to give you a link) against Muslims, Obama and Liberals in May last year in the same LA, has left his US adorators longing for more. They have produced a one-hour long movie "Islam Rising", featuring Geert Wilders as "the Winston Churchill Of Our Times (Pamela)".
In Europe, Wilders is accepting and cashing passively support, money, adoration, celebration and flattery from nazist, revanchist, ultra-zionist and racist personalities and groups, like
  1. the Vlaams Belang (former Dutch-speaking Nazi-associates in Belgium, getting about 20% of the vote in their region),
  2. the French Front National of Mr. Le Pen (ultra-nationalist, anti-arabian revanchists, 17% at the last French elections),
  3. British and Danish white suprematist groups like SIEO,as well as rightist anti-European movements like UKIP in Britain and a similar party in Denmark,
  4. German Nazi-Nostalgics from the NPD, but also "modern" German, Swiss and Austrian racists, who say that they are inspired by the actual Israeli politics, such as the "Politically Incorrect" hate blog and others.
But Wilders NEVER acknowledges their support and, at the same time, NEVER explicitly dissociates himself from those (hidden) anti-semites, either.
He thinks that he can get away with Likud and Israel Beteinu support, for the Dutch feel guilty about the huge number of Jews, carried away 1940-45 from Holland to Auschwitz with the active and passive help from many among them, and they will not dare to discuss Holocaust.
He also thinks, that he can get away with Daniel Pipes, whom he invited as an "expert" to his Dutch hate-mongering trial. In fact, I think, that Wilders is completely dependent on Israeli-US financing of his agitation. That is why, for instance, he announced his solidarity with an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians (muslim AND christian) from Palestine, NOT in Dutch Parliament, but in Copenhague, so as to satisfy his Israeli-American sponsorers, without provoking an upsurge among the Dutch, who oppose of course nearly all such an outrage.

 Enjoy (above) the trailer of the Spencer-Geller movie celebrating the clown Wilders!

*) Pamela Geller, the looniest blogger ever, her site and her evaluation at
**) Robert Spencer, his site and his evaluation at
Please, join us at the LA information campaign, against anti-semitism, against anti-muslimism and against anti-Holland agitation, at a meeting on May 1st in Los Angeles, time and location to be announced soon!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Clinton and Ashton: US-EU Girl Power Made Netanyahu Climb Down

The three "40+ breakthroughs"
  • Hillary Clinton spent 40+ minutes on the telephone with Israeli PM Binjamin Netanyahu, making it perfectly clear that, this time, the Obama Administration would not accept "No" for an answer to its demands that Israel puts an end to its provocations.
  • In a first show of which impact a united European stand can have on Washington's capacity to effectively change its policies in the Obama way, Catherine Ashton braved Israeli objections and visited Hamas-governed Gaza Strip on a 40+ hours' mission.
  • Combined US and European action made the overconfident rightwing Netanyahu-Lieberman Government give in within another 40+ hours.

Israeli Government gives in and works at damage-control
This morning's Guardian brings a first evaluation: Israel's Binyamin Netanyahu in climbdown over US demands for peace.
The key issue of the clash between the US and Israel was the provocatively announced construction of 1.600 Jewish flats in the contested East Jerusalem area. The Guardian:
He [Netanyahu] did not announce, as the US had demanded, a freeze on the construction of Jewish homes in Ramat Shlomo, in East Jerusalem, the key point at issue.
But diplomats in Washington, Moscow and Jerusalem said Netanyahu had given a private promise that there will be a temporary freeze on any new construction. The work, while not cancelled, is to be postponed for several years.
Substantial negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are still far away. But this could be a turning point. The Guardian points out, that:
Obama and Clinton stand to gain from the Israeli retreat, which will heighten their reputation among the Palestinians and in the Arab world. Obama and Clinton were left looking weak after a similar stand-off with Israel last September when peace talks failed to get under way.
The EU as a whole is in an awkward position concerning the Middle East. They have big security interests at stake, much more important than those of the US.
During the G.W.Bush administrations, a divided Europe had to remain powerless at the side-lines, when its vital interests were put in danger by the 2003 Iraq invasion, by the Bush-supported killing of the remains of the Oslo arrangements, by the ill-inspired Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 and, last but not least, the Cheney-handcrafted 2008 Georgian disaster (where Israeli "advisers" to the Georgian army played a key role).
A story of exacerbated European divisions
Most of the time, Europe was divided. In 2002/2003, divisions between the Blair-led UK and the other bigger EU powers France and Germany, were even exacerbated, as Blair harangued most fresh Eastern European EU-members and, to a still undisclosed measure, Balkenende's Holland, at the side of the US Neocon Iraq scheme. A lasting European rift was avoided, thanks to the stupidity of US post invasion policies in Iraq, that brought soon striking evidence of the underlying fraud and made it clear, how much the Iraq adventure was and is contrary to every possible European interest.
As part of the big powers' Oslo Quartet, the EU did not weigh much upon the steady dismantling of the two-state solution. As a "useful idiot", the EU furnished and still furnishes, the bulk of the international financial support to the Palestinian Authority, only to see its investments repeatedly destroyed by Israeli bombs (harbour, airport).
And Tony Blair again: As a Quartet appointed facilitator of negotiations in the region, what has he done?

During the 2006 Lebanon invasion, the EU found more of a common stand than before. It helped and helps, thanks to the wisdom of many Lebanese leaders, to maintain a shaky cease-fire at the Northern border of Israel. But proposals by the German Foreign Secretary Fischer, to extend the EU peace operation to areas of conflict between Israel and Palestine, fell on deaf ears.
Another result of the US failures, their pro-Likud stubbornness and their open contempt of the NATO allies, has been, now and then, a revival of outdated particular claims in the Middle East from former European colonizers and mandate-holders. France saw an opportunity, for instance, after the murder of Hariri in Lebanon, to reassert some of its former influence there, as the US hopelessly failed in understanding the particular dynamics of that multicultural society. That did not help to forge a common European stand, either.

Georgia: A turning point in retrospect
But Sarkozy's unique and rapid intervention (as he happened to be president of the EU in 2008) in the Georgian conflict, showed for the first time, that the EU can deal independently with its own interests in the wider region, if it acts quick and undivided.
While Cheney himself was desperately stoking conflict in defeated Tbilissi, France made for the EU an honorable compromise with Moscow that the Bush administration had to bow to.
This was exceptionally possible because of the halfheartedness of the US intrigue in Georgia.
For, in a general way, it is a hard fact, that the EU only can progress in its international security policy, if it is not going against the US and/or Russia's.
A united stand of the EU, even at this moment of the still fledgling Ashton mission, will also influence US and Russian positions, like it seems to me, that has happened now by way of the surprising Gaza initiative of the EU's Ashton.

Let us give the two-girls power a chance!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Obama Health Care Reform is at a Tipping Point. For Europe, too

The historical struggle in Washington about Health Care Reform went mostly under the horizon of the European mainstream press, lastly. 

One understands why. The procedure got stuck, last autumn, in the dark alleyways of US decision-making on the federal level. 
For it is complicated to understand, why a Senate and a House of Representatives, both with a comfortable 50%+ majority of Democrats, cannot agree on a set of arrangements that are, since dozens of years, part of the civilization of most EU countries: Collective insurance, guaranteeing access to health care for every citizen.

Most European countries have adopted a mixed system, where state guarantees and tax measures facilitate commercial insurance companies as well as non-profit co-operatives in providing basic health care to every citizen (and, in many instances: even to non-citizen inhabitants). Paradoxically, Great Britain, champion of privatization, is an exception: It has a completely state-governed NHC system. Even Ms. Margaret Thatcher proved unable to change things there...

What the Obama team is proposing in the United States, is nothing more than a first step into a world, where the 20% not-assured- and the 25% insufficiently protected citizens, will get access to a compulsory (yes!) basic protection against being left behind, when they fall ill. 

The conservative-Democrat and Republican foes of the Reform, are divided as for their motives:
  • loss of profit for private insurance companies (representatives sponsored by insurance comps and medicine producers)
  • too much state (federal) intrusion into private citizen responsibilities (libertarians and their ilk)
  • angst for state constraint on decisions on life and death, on abortion and on church-prohibited matters - imagining local "death committees", repayment of abortion charges, advantages for illegal immigrants and making God-abiding citizens pay for other people's sins while caring AIDS patients, for instance (here we find the fundamental Christian Right together with the Libertarians).
President Obama is not only a fine expert of the American Constitution and its guarantee for all citizens to be able to struggle for happiness, but he is also influenced by the Chicago School of Community Development. This School has adopted the view, that (local) emancipation of people in disadvantaged situations is best served, when their aspirations are coupled with advantages for the men and women in power. The result is a, you could say, rather cynical and resolutely NON ideological approach to empowerment. New coalitions are to be built around every step forward to emancipation and more equality.
That is why, in my opinion, President Obama has spent so much effort and time in building a large and diversified majority for his health care plans, leaving behind, under way, many principles of it, in exchange for support from people of whom he hoped that they would find more (immediate) profit in supporting the laws, than in refuting them.
As the American economy and the American private-public relations are different from the same, when you are dealing with a difficult urban neighborhood, this strategy did not work. Even a provisionally Senate-adopted set of laws, full of "pork"*), could not pass the hurdle of a 60% majority in the Senate.
So, to my relief, Obama changed recently his strategy and decided to use legal means at the disposal of the Presidency and the Democrat majorities in House and Senate. There is nothing revolutionary in that. Former president G. W. Bush made his outrageous tax-cuts for the rich also into law in that way. And he had a smaller majority than Obama.
This Rooseveltian (regulating the cisis-ridden economy during the 30's) and Johnsonian (social system and race equality) Obama-operation, is nearing its completion, these days. It is more than due. Liberal support is withering away, and "tea-party" like demagogy is not only on the move in the US, but also in Europe and in Israel.
In Europe, a Wilders does not hide his contempt for Obama (Copenhague and recently in London), an Ulfkotte spreads his venom on German websites, etc. The Israeli Government humiliated the Obama administration with its continuing colonizing policy.
As of March 15, it seems, when we believe Slate magazine, that the Health Care Bill will be rightly and legally forced on Congress:

March 15, 2010: "I have no intention of not passing this bill," says Speaker Pelosi. She doesn't have the votes, as her own whip, James Clyburn, said yesterday on Meet the Press. But pro-life Democrat Bart Stupak told National Review late Friday, "they've been able to peel one or two of my 12," and he sounds discouraged: "It's almost like some right-to-life members don't want to be bothered." That sounds more like five or six. Fox News calculates Pelosi has 211 of the required 216, with many still undecided, while Nate Silver guesses she'll get "between 216 and 218." Nobody has a clue, but the mood is upbeat. Chance of passage: 55 percent.

Slate's "Whipometer" indicates a small but real opportunity that the bill will pass later this month.
The European Stake
The European stake in this titanic fight is big. If Obama looses, he will be weakened in all possible fields where Europeans need the support of the US for policies that differ from those that were pursued by the Bush-Cheney administration: Iran, Israel-Palestinian peace, world-wide regulation of hedge funds and credit swaps, Afghanistan, engaging Russia, engaging the Muslim world, nuclear disarmament and also climate change policies.

More so, a continuous divergence between the US- and European(-Canadian) social systems, would kill the necessary harmonization and cooperation in the globalized world economic and financial field. Only if, what I cannot bring over myself to imagine, Europe would abandon its "aquis" in the social field, a harmonization the other way around, would set the conditions for a (doomed) Atlantic supremacist "white 21st century".

There is much at stake in Washington for Europe, the next weeks!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Wise Man sets the Course for Europe in the World

Due to my travelling to meet Central and East European friends in order to discuss with them the problems of redeveloping urban neighbourhoods in crisis, I missed the newly elected European Council President Herman van Rompuy's historical intervention at the Bruges European Academy.
Here follows a part of it (in English):
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Herman van Rompuy speaking at the Bruges Europe College, March 6, 2010.

Van Rompuy is very well aware of his powerlessness. He was chosen by the Sarkozies, the Merkels and the Browns just because of his lack of sex-appeal and supposed lack of ambition, over candidates like Holland's J.P.Balkenende or Letlands former president.
One thing is sure, read my lips, the man is terribly UNDERestimated.
Listen to his Jesuit-, finely tuned-, rebuttal of sarkozist and insular British policies.
Even Eurosceptic Tony Barber of the London Financial Times admitted graciously, that the Van Rompuy speech had class and substance, compared to the voidness of the actions and words of baroness Catherine Ashton, EU foreign secretary.
A full analysis of Van Rompuy's words is under review.
Please, download and read the full text of the Van Rompuy opinion at Consilium Presidential Service in Brussels (English).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Holocaust education is to encourage reflection, not to encourage a taboo.

Nuremberg U-Bahn station "Walther-Rathenau-Platz, 6 März 2010       Photo: tofoto
T: I: S, (Steinberg Recherche, March 8, 2010.
(All in German)
With thanks to Claudia Karas, the indefatigable Mailerin. And Steinberg, a monument of -often too- Critical Criticism) Walther Rathenau was a philosopher, businessman and minister of foreign affairs in the early Weimar Republic. He was also a Jew.He would now be classified as a Liberal Conservative or a right Social Democrat. All the same, many reasons for revanchists, anti-Semites, PI-ler, Mafiosis und Ulfkotte-people to hate him. So much so that he was murdered in 1922 by three so-called Fememörderern with a hand grenade.
He makes the difference between predetermined conclusions  from superficial analogies from history (or the collective memories) on one hand and, on the other hand, the enlightened thinking, not  the based upon stories attached to prejudice, but engaged to comparison with what is now happening. Stating:
Denken heißt Vergleichen In short: To think is to compare
What we get to hear now too often in the debates about the supposedly necessary exclusion of potential terrorists and enemies of the Enlightenment in "our West", are the prejudiced conclusions of "the" History.
But, THE history does not exist. Only stories do exist. Narratives that communicate what people think or thought that woul be important.

One can make two things out of stories.
  1. To use them, to support any ideas or theories;
  2. To study them, in order to, in comparison with perceptions of current or historical events, create a better analysis.
The first leads to ideological immobility. It will just be instructions for maintaining the taboo of other interpretations than the predetermined ones.
Teaching about the Holocaust is often understood as a canonization of all this, what is said in the name of Judaism and the actual Israeli Government. But real Holocaust Education not only speaks of the suffering of millions of murdered Jews, but informs just as much about the construction of the will to genocide. Thus, of the tendency of acting by irritation and xenophobia.  
Stories about it are from all ages. The Holocaust story is "just" its translation into the industrial age of former pogroms and primitive ethnic cleansings. The First World War sacrificed millions instead of tens of thousands, as we were used to before, as it was an expression of the new industrial age. 
The second leads to free thinking about the ways, exclusion develops.It may be helpful to understand today's exclusion and their reasons. Good Holocaust education thus helps to understand how ideas about genocide do devlop themselves within a non-violent society..
That is why I think that critical historical studies are of importance. Also for Muslim immigrant children in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. They will understand that the Holocaust story is not about a so-called collective guilt of Germans and Muslims, but see it as awarning, never to follow extremists.
And take seriously the warnings of the day.

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