Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Friday, 20 November 2015 22:07.
Events in France affect Germany.
There’s only so long that an idiot can keep-on-keeping-on, until all sections of the more rational elements of the establishment begin to question that idiot’s ability to remain politically viable.
We’ve all heard already about how the defence and security sector has found Germany to be a land of absurdity for quite a while now. But that alone is not enough to see someone removed from office. The preponderant political power in a liberal state is the haute-bourgoisie. Economic power precedes political power. This means that understanding the background financial and economic signals and the way that these signals interact with the overt political landscape, enables us to see an event developing from far off, and allows us to adjust our own tactics accordingly.
The Paris attacks have been a nightmare for Merkel because it has awakened criticism not only from German people in the street, but also among opportunistic members of her own party who are seeing now that she is at the weakest she ever has been, and that now is a chance for them to mount a political challenge. But the success of that challenge, when it comes, depends on the acquiescence or at least the sign of a resigned inevitability from financial players who are the stakeholders in the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of Germany.
The time when it would be politically expedient to remove Merkel, would be in December at the CDU conference, where someone would be able to demand that she should hand in her resignation, and twist her arm until she does. Who would be most likely to replace her in such a case? Most likely Wolfgang Schaeuble.
So our big question is: How likely is it that Angela Merkel will be forced to resign in December and be replaced by Wolfgang Schaeuble?
One way to find this out, would be to look at the macroeconomic stances of Merkel and Schaeuble, compare them, then watch and see how the ECB and the large players are behaving, to see if they are making any moves that would suggest that they don’t expect Merkel to still be there by the end of December.
Therefore, it stands to reason, that if you see Mario Draghi at the ECB suddenly deciding to rush through a lot of actions to carry out more expansionary economic policy (something which he certainly ought to do) within a time frame before the end of December, and that if you see big global economic stakeholders ‘forecasting’ interest rates that are even more subterranean than at present, along with ‘forecasting’ more quantitative easing, one of the factors motivating that choice could be that they are positioning themselves for a future in which Merkel is forced to resign. Why? Because it’s easier to carry out those actions before Schaeuble gets in. That way, when Schaeuble gets in, he would have to accept that it is already happening.
So, let’s see what people are saying as of this Friday evening:
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi set the scene for further stimulus in two weeks’ time, saying the institution will do what’s necessary to reach its inflation goal rapidly. The euro fell.
“If we decide that the current trajectory of our policy is not sufficient to achieve that objective, we will do what we must to raise inflation as quickly as possible,” Draghi said in a speech in Frankfurt on Friday. “In making our assessment of the risks to price stability, we will not ignore the fact that inflation has already been low for some time.”
Draghi’s comments underline the ECB’s concern that the inflation rate in the 19-nation euro area, currently 0.1 percent, will slip further from its target of just under 2 percent amid a high degree of economic slack and slumping oil prices. Policy makers are weighing the need for an expansion to the 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) quantitative-easing program that started in March, or measures such as taking the deposit rate further below zero.
The yield on German 2-year bonds slid to a record low of minus 0.389 percent and the euro dropped. The single currency was down 0.4 percent at $1.0689 at 2:47 p.m. Frankfurt time.
“A further stimulus announcement in December is a virtual certainty,” said Marco Valli, chief euro-area economist at UniCredit SpA in Milan. “‘We will do what we must’ leaves little room for interpretation: if they fail to reach target, they do more.”
The ECB’s Governing Council will meet in Frankfurt on Dec. 3 for its next monetary-policy meeting. While Draghi and Executive Board member Peter Praet, the institution’s chief economist, have indicated more easing is in the cards, some governors have expressed unease.
Estonia’s Ardo Hansson, Slovenia’s Bostjan Jazbec and Germany’s Jens Weidmann have signaled since the last meeting that they see no need to ease policy further just now.
“I see no reason to talk down the economic outlook and paint a gloomy picture,” Weidmann said in a speech at the same event as Draghi. “Crucially, the decline in oil prices is more of an economic stimulus for the euro area than a harbinger of deflation.”
Praet said in an interview this week that taking no action in circumstances of such low inflation risks the ECB’s credibility, and has argued that the fall in oil prices is increasingly a sign of weakening demand.
“If we conclude that the balance of risks to our medium-term price stability objective is skewed to the downside, we will act by using all the instruments available within our mandate,” Draghi said. “In particular, we consider the asset-purchase program to be a powerful and flexible instrument, as it can be adjusted in terms of size, composition or duration to achieve a more expansionary policy stance.”
He added that the interest rate on the deposit facility “can empower the transmission” of asset purchases, “not least by increasing the velocity of circulation of bank reserves.”
Draghi said core inflation, which excludes energy and food, is also a signal of too-weak price pressures. The rate was 1.1 percent in October. While that’s the highest reading in more than two years, it’s still barely half the goal for the headline rate.
“Low core inflation is not something we can be relaxed about, as it has in the past been a good forecaster for where inflation will stabilize in the medium-term,” he said. “While core industrial goods will receive support from the depreciation of the euro, an increase in core services inflation –- today close to an all-time minimum –- will depend on rising nominal wage growth. For that to pick up, the economy needs to move back to full capacity as quickly as possible.”
The ECB is currently buying 60 billion euros a month of bonds and intends to do so through at least September 2016. The deposit rate is at a record-low minus 0.2 percent.
There is “little room for doubt that the central bank is not only about to step up its monetary stimulus, but plans to do so decisively,” said Nick Kounis, head of macro research at ABN Amro Bank NV in Amsterdam. “We expect the ECB to step up the pace of QE by 20 billion euros per month, signal that purchases will go on beyond September, and expand the eligible universe of assets to include regional bonds. We also expect a 10 basis-point reduction in the ECB’s deposit rate and guidance that it would be cut further if necessary.”
The euro fell for the first time in three days after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers will do what they must to raise inflation “as quickly as possible.”
The shared currency weakened to almost a seven-month low against the dollar and dropped versus all of its 16 major peers. Draghi said in Frankfurt that downside risks to price growth have increased in recent months. The euro also fell after German producer prices declined more in October than forecast.
“It was clearly meant to stress that the ECB remains active and we’ve seen market responses accordingly—the euro has dropped back,” said Shaun Osborne, chief foreign-exchange strategist at Bank of Nova Scotia in Toronto. “The market is taking on board the message from Draghi that we should be prepared for potentially quite aggressive actions in December.”
The euro declined 0.7 percent to $1.0655 at 12:07 p.m. New York time, after gaining 0.9 percent in the previous two days. It touched $1.0617 on Nov. 18, the lowest since April 15. The shared currency fell 0.8 percent to 130.86 yen.
Draghi said last month that ECB policy makers would review the degree of monetary stimulus at their December meeting. Since then, the euro has weakened almost 6 percent versus the dollar as traders increased bets that officials may extend the bond-buying program or further cut the deposit rate.
German producer prices fell an annual 2.3 percent in October, after a 2.1 percent decline the previous month, the nation’s federal statistics office said Friday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast a 2 percent drop.
“We should be in little doubt that the ECB are again attempting to adjust the monetary policy dial, likely via extending and increasing QE, while another cut in the deposit rate is also on the cards,” said Jeremy Stretch, head of foreign-exchange strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in London. “While far from an explicit aim, easing monetary conditions via a cheaper euro is also a positive by-product of such policies.”
The euro pared its decline as ECB official and Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said he didn’t see any reason to “paint a gloomy picture” of the region’s economy. He warned that the longer ultra-loose monetary policy was in place, the less effective it can become.
Rebecca Patterson, chief investment officer of Bessemer Trust, which oversees more than $100 billion in assets
The biggest risk for Europe in the year? “It’s the refugee crisis,” says Patterson. “I think it’s the biggest challenge to the European Union yet. The horrible terrorist attacks in Paris increased the risk that the refugee crisis could result in a political and/or policy shift, or simply lead consumers to change their spending patterns. Either could weigh on sentiment around European growth and corporate profits.” Patterson is on alert for any such changes but remains overweight European equities and positioned for a weaker Euro, she says. “The Paris attacks sadly shone a light on the European refugee crisis; I assume more investors globally now are thinking more about what millions of immigrants can mean for an economy and respective markets. However, I am still not sure that investors globally have adequately thought through what market spillovers the European refugee crisis could trigger over the coming year.”
Erik Nielsen, chief economist at UniCredit
“Expect further divergence between the Fed and the ECB, with the former hiking rates a couple of times next year and the latter expanding its balance sheet more than it has presently announced.”
Of course, the situation in Germany is not the only reason why the ECB would take the actions that it is going to take, it was likely something that was always going to happen. But the time frame within which it is occurring and the reaction of market participants to that risk event, seems to indicate that a lot of people are paying attention to this. Look at the 3 week and 1 month Euro-dollar volatility term structure, and you can see that they are reacting to European risks and not just to the upcoming 16 December Federal Reserve meeting in the USA:
Also, given that there are numerous arguments for why Mario Draghi did not have to take the earlier-described actions in the short term (one of those being the oil prices argument), and given that he is determined to do it anyway, it would indicate that it is an attempt to get out in front of Schaeuble so as to pre-emptively make it more difficult for Schaeuble to get his way on monetary policy, and it would therefore mean that it is possible to be confident that Merkel is going to be gone by the end of December.
What does this mean for ethno-nationalists? Well, it means that it would probably be prudent to begin altering our rhetoric and policy suggestions with an eye toward a near-term future in which Merkel is not there. This will require some adjustments which would be best made sooner rather than later. We should be particularly vigilant against the idea that the removal of Merkel is a magical solution to all problems. Schaeuble’s disposition is one that presents a slightly altered set of problems to the European Union, and we would need to explore what those are ahead of time and be ready to criticise them when they come.
There needs to be an urgent study of all facets of Wolfgang Schaeuble’s politics. He might be chancellor of Germany very soon.
Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.
Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Tuesday, 20 October 2015 10:10.
Dutch TV subtitle: “The European Union and Turkey together will accelerate Turkey’s accession.”
Even the title of this article does not do enough to convey the scale of the stunningly disingenuous ‘negotiation’ that Angela Merkel engaged in on Sunday. It was not a negotiation, it was Merkel just taking Europe’s queen piece and both rook pieces off of the chessboard and tossing them through the window as Turkish mouths widened in grotesque delight.
As is well known, many of the migrants that are flowing into Europe at Angela Merkel’s own invitation—and because of the perverse incentives created by governments like Germany and Sweden—make their transit through Turkey before arriving in Europe. At the same time, Merkel has been facing an internal party revolt as various opportunists are taking the crisis as a chance to challenge her leadership. Some others are revolting against her because the number of migrants that their regions are being asked to accept are more than their infrastructure can ever hope to efficiently handle.
Under these pressures—particularly the pressure arising from the fact that Merkel’s concept of ‘no upper ceiling to migration’ was bound to clash with material constraints eventually—Merkel then found herself thrust into a negotiation with Turkey. The European Union had attempted to bribe Turkey with 3 billion euros, but the Turks decided that it was not enough.
So Merkel went to Turkey and offered them a faster track toward EU accession and visa-free travel, in addition to the bribe that had been previously offered.
Predictably, Erdogan and Davutoglu immediately decided to retract their side of the pseudo-informal ‘agreement’ as soon as Merkel went home. They have clarified that they actually made no promises to stop the migrants within their territory from travelling into Europe, ultimately. In fact, they have no intention of doing anything to stop the migration wave itself either:
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that an agreed sum of 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in return for Turkey’s cooperation in stemming the flow of migrants in Europe would not be regarded as sufficient.
Speaking on Turkish television one day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Istanbul on Sunday, Davutoglu said that the money would come from the “IPA” fund - money already earmarked for Turkey as an EU membership candidate . He said that Turkey wanted additional cash.
The 3 billion euro IPA fund proposal is no longer on the table, as we have said we will not accept it,” Davutoglu said. “As for fresh resources, we’re talking about a 3 billion euro amount in the first stage. But we don’t want to fixate on this because the requirements may go up, and the assessment for this would need to be done annually.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday offered Turkey the prospect of support for faster progress on its bid to join the European Union as well as an accelerated path to visa-free travel for Turks. This followed the summit in Brussels last week where EU leaders had agreed on a migration “action plan” with Turkey, where the figure of 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) had been discussed.
Chancellor Merkel on Sunday had hailed as “very promising” progress on an EU-driven “action plan” after talks in Istanbul with Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both Turkish President Erdogan and Davutoglu, whose ruling AK Party faces a general election on November 1, appeared keen to avoid any impression of weakness in dealing with European nations. They said earlier the EU had only recently realised Turkey’s value in the crisis.
Davutoglu: Turkey ‘not a concentration camp’
Prime Minister Davutoglu caused further controversy on Monday, saying that his country was “not a concentration camp” and that it would not host migrants permanently to appease the EU.
“I said this to Merkel too. No one should expect Turkey to turn into a concentration camp where all the refugees stay in,” Davutoglu said.
The talks had however resulted in a “positive response” to the government’s request for visa liberalization, he said.
His comments came as the flow of people along the so-called “Balkan Route” into Europe via Turkey continued, with thousands of people streaming Monday into the Balkans, where tighter border controls forced people to sleep in freezing temperatures. More than 630,000 people have landed on Europe’s shores so far this year, most of them making risky sea crossings from Turkey to Greece.
ss/msh (Reuters, AFP)
All of those events were actually absolutely unnecessary from a straight power perspective. Why? Because, while Turkish politicians have a lot of bluster, and while they can deploy the threat of unleashing the migrants, the Turks were nevertheless negotiating from an extremely weak position.
Despite having had historical cultural connections to the regional groups to their west, south, south-east and east, Turkey has spent the past 20 years burning all of its bridges in all directions. In summary—and it is definitely a summary—Turkey’s position looks like this:
Westward, they’ve been unable to make much of an advancement toward European integration, and still have infamously bad relations with Greece over the issue of Cyprus and a variety of other issues.
To their south-east they are faced with an increasingly Kurdish population which is territorially coincident with the ancient land that they refer to as part of ‘Kurdistan’. By the year 2050, both Turks and Kurds will have gone through a population correction—a decline which must take place—but the asymmetric nature of that decline will be characterised by a change in the ratio of Turks and Kurds. The overall number of Kurds will have increased relative to the number of Turks, so that about 50% of the people in Turkey by then will be residing in homes where Kurdish is the first language. The geographic area where those Kurds are and will be living, is a place which also happens to potentially have a significant amount of oil play under it and comprises almost 40% of the territory of Turkey.
Turkey is not some shrewd player. It’s one of the most clownish and absurd players in the world at the moment, and although it has experienced some significant economic growth internally, its foreign policy is a complete shambles and it is nowhere near to being a serious world power.
Should we really believe that Merkel is so stupid that she could not find anything to use to twist the arms of the Turks? The Turks should never have been in a position to be the ones making any demands there.
Any European negotiator who wanted to really play the game the tough way could have given a variety of responses that could twist the arms of the Turks based on the above facts, such as:
“Do you understand the situation you’re in? How about we just don’t talk to you about EU accession ever again, until you remove the remnants of the Turkish Army from Cyprus?”
“Do you understand the situation you’re in? How about we cancel all the NATO events that are on the calendar concerning Turkey?”
“Do you understand the situation you’re in? How about we continue using the National Endowment for Democracy to assist your domestic political opponents so that they can erode your electoral powerbase and replace you with someone who will run Turkey in the way that we want?”
“Do you understand the situation you’re in? How about we just ignore you and hedge against you demographically on a 30 year time frame, cultivating links with Kurds in the eastern part of your country so that we can encourage them to defy Ankara later and block you from having political control over a large section of your domestic energy resource base?”
“Do you understand the situation you’re in? How about we just close the border between Turkey and the European Union, and build a giant fence surmounted by barbed wire and security cameras? The amount that it costs to take care of the migrants for a week is probably the same amount as it costs to build the fence.”
Those kind of responses from a European negotiator, would have been the correct signalling and would have likely produced a much more satisfactory response from Turkey.
Rather than doing anything like that, Merkel instead went in and sat down on a golden throne next to Erdogan, and followed the exact choreography that the architects of Erdogan’s election campaign wanted her to follow. She let Erdogan—a man who literally has been implicated in electoral fraud multiple times and is presiding over a ramshackle failure of a foreign policy—look strong, let him look competent, let him look like he was in charge, and gave him absolutely everything he wanted, absolutely for free.
No one is that absurdly fucking stupid by accident. Merkel had to have been doing that on purpose. That is the only reasonable conclusion that can be reached. It really is.
Furthermore, whose idea was it to send Merkel—a person who actually wanted the migrants to enter Europe in the first place—to have a negotiation with Turkey to try to keep the migrants out of Europe? I would love to know who was responsible for that absolutely stupid idea. Who on earth in their right mind would send Merkel to negotiate for the defence of Europe’s borders while knowing about all the pro-migration actions that she had engaged in prior to that?
Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.
Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Wednesday, 14 October 2015 03:21.
Summary:This interview was with Tomislav Sunic about the migration problem in Europe. Kumiko Oumae was hosting, standing in for Guessedworker, along with DanielS as co-host.
The issues which we covered were:
The idea that part of the reason for the migration wave is psychological rather than strictly structural.
Discussion on whether the words ‘migration’ or ‘crisis’ were really appropriate descriptions of what is happening.
Discussion of weaknesses of Christianity in the face of an enemy.
The relationship between countries in South Eastern Europe.
Cases of religion being used as a cultural-historical identification rather than as a belief system.
The influx of migrants and the terrorist threat posed by them to the European Union.
The advantages which the defenders have over the invaders, given the disparity in average IQ.
‘Better is worse’, and how a deteriorating security situation can be a catalyst for total structural change in the case where all else fails.
I think it was a fantastic interview, I was really honoured to have Tomislav Sunic on our show, and I hope to have him back again as soon as possible. He’s really one of the best ethno-nationalist speakers alive.
Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Monday, 12 October 2015 04:29.
What happens when WNs accept Russian news reports uncritically? They get misled, that’s what happens. Lasha Darkmoon has an article titled “America furious at Russia’s stunning successes in Syria”. It’s based on an article which she took from Fort Russ, which was titled “Russian operation in Syria revealed the real sponsors of terrorism to the world”.
Let’s examine the core claims of Darkmoon’s Russian-derived article.
As soon as the Russian air force began to inflict serious blows, the Americans threw a tantrum fit. This is because ISIL militants had appealed to them for help.
Actual Reality: The Americans ‘threw a tantrum’ because the Russians were bombing everything without any concern for the balance of powers in the areas that they were hitting. This led to ISIL in fact gaining ground in some places such as Aleppo, and even involved instances where ISIL was able to induce the Russians to hit ISIL’s inter-sectarian opponents.
Islamic State militants have scored their most significant advances in the province of Aleppo, the closest they have come to Syria’s former commercial capital in two years, as it becomes increasingly clear that they are taking advantage of Russian airstrikes against the rest of the opposition to march into new territory.
As Russian planes continued to pound rebel forces in western Aleppo and other frontlines in the country, many of the opposition fighters who ousted Isis from the province at great cost last year found themselves pinned down and unable to halt the terror group’s largely unopposed advance towards the city at the end of last week.
“Russian planes are striking the Free Syrian Army and laying the groundwork for Daesh [Isis] control of strategic areas in Aleppo,” said a source from Tajammu al-Izzah, a moderate opposition group backed by western and Gulf states which has been hit by Russian airstrikes. “The truth is that Russia is backing Isis.”
On Friday, taking advantage of the Russian bombing of western Aleppo that has forced the rebels to reinforce their defensive lines there, Isis pivoted towards the south and within hours had taken control of a series of towns and villages to the north of the city of Aleppo, the closest it has come since it was defeated by the opposition.
“Russia entered with the excuse of fighting Daesh and has barely bombed them,” said a religious official serving with Jaysh al-Fateh, a coalition of rebels fighting the Assad government and whose fighters have been targeted by the Russian airstrikes.
“Russia did not come to fight Daesh. Why didn’t they and the American coalition prevent them from advancing in northern Aleppo when they send armoured vehicles through the open desert before everyone’s eyes?
“It is clear that both Russia and the regime are laying the groundwork for Daesh,” he added. “We have a joke here that they all have one operations room.”
The war is more complicated than Russians believe it is. Sometimes, what happens is that one Islamist group is incited to fight against another Islamist group because of competing territorial claims, or doctrinal disagreements, or because they are a front for a state-backed militia group which is using theological justifications for creating infighting within a particular sect. Because of this, radical Sunni Muslims can sometimes be fighting other radical Sunni Muslims.
If Russia simply gallivants into the middle of that situation and indiscriminately bombs everything that looks like an Islamist, they might in fact be upsetting the balance of terrorism—for lack of a better way of putting it—in a way that could unintentionally lead to ISIL gains.
Which appears to be precisely what the Russians have caused with their ham-fisted approach.
More than 50 aircraft were transported to Syria. More than 2000 people were transported in transport aircraft to Syria. And not one of the vaunted NATO radars in Turkey, Bulgaria or the other countries in the region were efficient enough to record all this activity!
Actual Reality: Even civilian observers were able to see the movement of Russian aircraft.
A satellite image has finally unveiled the whole Russian Air Force contingent made of 28 combat planes deployed to Syria: taken on Sept. 21, the photograph shows 4 Su-30SMs, 12 Su-25SMs and 12 Su-24s lined up, in the open air, along runway 17L at al-Assad International Airport, near Latakia, in western Syria.
Six Sukhoi Su-34 aircraft have eventually arrived at Latakia to join the Russian contingent already there.
Images allegedly shot around the al-Assad International Airport clearly show one Russian Fullback about to land at the airbase in western Syria where 28 Russian aircraft have arrived last week.
@ain92ru @pfc_joker @oryxspioenkop They arrived! pic.twitter.com/JCi4bIT4F5
— LuftwaffeAS (@LuftwaffeAS) 28 Settembre 2015
One of the photos taken from the ground shows the six aircraft trailing what seems to be an airliner over Idlib: the larger plane is probably a Russian Air Force Tu-154.
Said to be an airliner/transporter accompanied with 6 fighters crossing over Hama country side pic.twitter.com/cPbjVZssyi
— LuftwaffeAS (@LuftwaffeAS) 28 Settembre 2015
Interestingly, a Russian Air Force Tu-154 using callsign RFF7085 could be tracked online on Flightradar24 during its flight to Latakia on Sept. 28, likely exposing the route followed by the six Su-34s trailing their accompanying Tu-154.
As the below image shows, the aircraft flew in international airspace over the Caspian Sea, to Iran and entered Syrian airspace after flying over northern Iraq: did the Su-34s have all the required diplomatic clearances to fly north of Baghdad or did they simply “sneak” into Syria by hiding under the cover of the transport plane?
Hard to say.
Last week, US officials said that the first 28 Russian combat planes hid under the radar signature on the larger transport aircraft, in an attempt to avoid detection but there are chances that the flights had all the required clearances from the Iraqi Air Traffic Control agencies and were conducted as a standard long-range ferry flight: one tanker/airlifter, using radio and transponder, supporting multiple fast jets.
H/T to @LuftwaffeAS and @obretix. Image credit: Flightradar24.com.
If even random civilians on the internet can see it, that’s probably a sign that their operations are not invisible, and are in fact being meticulously recorded—by civilians. At that point, whether NATO is or is not watching, becomes frankly irrelevant.
This statement seems to be based on a photograph that purports to show Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi with John McCain.
Actual Reality: The man sitting with John McCain is not Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
I’m sure you can all agree that the Russians were not even trying with that one. I’ll be charitable and assume that’s their idea of a joke. The man with John McCain obviously looks nothing like Al-Baghdadi. He is a member of the Northern Storm Brigade, a group which is fighting against ISIL.
There is no perfidy here. We alerted everyone in advance what we were about to do. This included Netanyahu.
Actual Reality: That is true, the Russians did inform Israel in advance. They decided to be courteous to Israel. It’s a really stupid thing to do, given that Netanyahu has no particular reason to keep any of the information secret from ISIL, as it is in Israel’s geostrategic interest to let ISIL carry on wreaking havoc on Syria.
According to Israel Hayom, senior Israeli officials were quoted as saying that “al-Qaeda control over Syria would be preferable to a victory by Assad over the rebels.”
Officials believe that an Assad victory would strengthen Iran, as a weakened Syrian regime would become more reliant on the Islamic Republic. The Iran-Hezbollah-Syria axis would thus become an even greater threat to Israel, the officials said.
“Assad is now Iran,” the officials said, according to Israel Hayom. “Any of these groups would be less problematic for Israel than an Assad regime that is a puppet of Iran,” the officials were quoted as saying.
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether Israel’s calculus on that issue has changed since 2013. By “any of these groups”, that can mean Al-Qaeda which they mentioned, but it could also mean they’d be okay with letting ISIL run around doing things too, because “any” means “any”, right? Who can know for sure?
Russian officials reportedly contacted their Israeli defense establishment counterparts about an hour before the attack, Israel’s Channel 2 reported. Russian government officials also contacted Yossi Cohen, the national security adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office, Haaretz reported, citing unnamed senior Israeli officials.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Putin in Moscow to discuss the security threats to Israel from Syria. During the meeting, the two leaders agreed to coordinate between the Israeli and Russian militaries in order to avoid conflicts over Syria. Putin also told Netanyahu that Syria is not in a position to open a second front against Israel.
So in summary, the only one of those Russian claims which is true, happens to be the most disastrously idiotic one in practice. Apparently the Russians have never heard the phrase ‘loose lips sink ships’, since the loud-mouthed Russians seem to have been perfectly happy to give Israel a whole 60 minutes of warning ahead of each stage of their activities so far.
What really is referred to by the word “xenophobia”?
Xenophobia is no human idea, it is not a political ideology. The inherent notion that individuals from other ethnic groups are different is as old as humanity itself.
That political leaders throughout human history have tried to either foment or stifle this innate team spirit does not change its origin or function. Ultimately, while it has often come to be called xenophobia, it is a kind of defense mechanism of an ethnic group. It has a cohesive function but is also vital to the group’s survival.
It is easy to think today that racism is obsolete in modern societies, and political ideas that multicultural and multi-ethnic societies are something we can decide to create, and then use various integration programs as a tool to make this work artificially.
It is important to remember that “xenophobia” has always been the human diversity condition. Without this desire or sense of distinction and boundaries no ethnic group could have existed for very long before it would be adulterated and perish again.
The world’s major ethnic groups; blacks, whites and Asians, and all its subsets of peoples did not come into existence overnight. It has taken nature tens of thousands, if not millions of years to enrich the earth with the human diversity which we have today. The birth of a new ethnic group has always been dependent on a distinct geographic location. For the purpose of various ethnic groups’ birth and continued maintenance, they have always required “xenophobia”, more properly termed “alien skepticism” or “stranger caution” as a prerequisite.
The principle or the basic human function is exactly the same as in individuals. An individual who is not skeptical or cautious when confronted with a stranger will not survive in the long run. This instinct is basically in all living creatures on earth and is deeply rooted.
The function and conclusion of prejudices
“Alien skepticism” or “fear” of the unknown is a kind of first line of defense. Here comes the concept of prejudice. An individual always makes a first assessment of the foreigner—a judgment before it knows any details for sure. We must also understand that individual assessment, when the unknown has become known, can shift from prejudice to “judgment”, a conclusion based on knowledge.
However, today we are told by the modern political system that prejudice is just ignorance and as soon as this ignorance is gone, the foreigner should be welcomed. In fact, the individual’s or group’s conclusion could be that the foreigner cannot necessarily be given a pass, and may intend to cause us harm.
Racists in every expression of the negative sense, of course, are also those who want to cause an ethnic group’s unity and uniqueness to perish through mixing and division. Many nations and entire civilizations during the history of humanity have vanished for this reason. Either by displacement and extinction or by blending them away out of all recognition.
A true defender of the world’s human diversity turns naturally against both extremes of racism and genocide. Moreover, the criminalization of these two extremes is stated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, saying that not only is performance of these acts criminal but it is also criminal to instigate them. Thus, the express intent or encouragement to try to create a multi-ethnic society, which inherently violates the right to the preservation of the ethnic and cultural characteristics of the group, or displacement or eradication of a people, could fall within the scope of this crime. In the UN declaration it says, among other things, that the following shall be considered as genocide:
“Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life intended to lead to its complete or partial physical destruction; (d) to take measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. “
In the ongoing development of today’s Sweden where a large number of non-European immigrants are coming to the country, a natural segregation process is marked by Swedes who move away from immigrant areas while various immigrant groups cluster together, and those immigrant groups quickly receive a residence permit and can select where in the country they want to stay. In this way the crime referred-to in the last paragraph concerning genocide may be relevant, eg. in cases where parents are not allowed to put their children into any school but are forced to send them to the local multi-ethnic schools where Swedish children in many Swedish schools already are a minority in their own country.
In the next step they might endeavor to create a multi-ethnic society through the use of integration programs, and this could fall within the scope of “hate crimes” because there would be a restriction of the indigenous group’s autonomy.
The general conclusion regarding the question of earth’s ethnic diversity is that the property known as “xenophobia” is a necessary evil. The key instead now is to thwart its extremes. The leading political establishment in general seems to dumb-down and exaggerate the image of our instinct for caution, instincts like defense and self-preservation. This they do, among other things, by trying to characterize as a disease, what is actually an instinct and a function that acts as a guarantor for the conservation of all communities, by using a negative-sounding designation such as “xenophobia”. If there is an “undue fear” of the unknown, its assessment must of course be something that is considered “reasonable” and make sense, and it needs to exist and be expressed.
There has also been a confusion between the fact that ethnic groups are different and should be valued as such, with the idea that ethnic groups are ranked differently, the two are very different things. The most extreme manifestations of the debate would not even concern themselves with the thought that there are different kinds of people on earth.
This is often presented as options of black and white, where either you accept today’s multicultural and ethnic change in Sweden beyond recognition, or you accept hatred and abuse against all immigrants who are in Sweden and the need to advocate a hundred percent purity. Swedes are a generally balanced people and have an absolutely predominant wish for neither of these extremes. Discernment is often the first casualty when debate deteriorates.
Reliance on these extremes and extremists, mainly in politics, business and the media is driving the currently extreme situation. However, what remains and ensures that we can get a more balanced society and social climate in the future, is that our age-old instinct for self-preservation can take on a balanced and natural expression.
Swedes may be very open-minded, but they also have a right to their own preservation.
Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Saturday, 11 July 2015 04:57.
Don’t worry, I’m the kind of foreigner that you’ll like. Hopefully.
Majorityrights began with and has long been committed to freedom of speech, no matter how controversial the opinion, as I can clearly see from the archives. It has been published as an internet magazine with considerable bravery given the political environment and the risks that come from being misunderstood, and has had a pretty diverse set of contributors and viewers. On 14 October 2014, it marked its tenth year in operation, and I hope that its eleventh year coming in just a few months will be as illuminating as ever. As a newcomer, and as an East Asian woman, I feel privileged to be invited to submit articles from my perspective and experience.
Here, on what could be described as freedom of speech’s front porch in its tenth year, we have a good place to talk frankly and honestly as neighbours and allies with common interests. What I’m about to provide is what I see as a necessary polemic against some positions that exist in Majorityrights’ archives and an invitation to conversation as such.
It is said in warfare about the ‘turning manoeuvre’, that when you move into an opponent’s rear in order to cut them off from their support base, you are taking the risk of getting yourself cut off from your own.
A similar manoeuvre has been attempted by many ethno-nationalists in Europe since 2001 on a political level with regards to the War on Terror, through their decision to advance negative attitudes toward it and their decision to develop talking points that reinforce those attitudes. They are refusing to endorse the War on Terror under the belief that this non-endorsement is somehow a ‘good’ angle to protest the political establishment from. It is not good. Those ethno-nationalists are getting themselves cut off because what they are doing actually undermines their own ability to address a severe demographic threat and also undermines their ability to address a persistent international security threat. It’s an unfortunate situation, because it is crucial for people to be able to square the thoughts that are going on their heads with the reality on the ground: The reality of the necessity of overseas contingency operations.
To understand how things reached the stage that they have reached, first a person has to remember how things started out. The world was stunned to see the events that were taking place on television on 11 September 2001. Nineteen Arab men had hijacked airliners, and rather than putting the planes down at an airport and demanding a ransom, they chose to put the planes down by sending them into buildings in New York City.
People seem to have struggled to understand how this could happen.
Over time, a self-hating narrative built up in which the citizens of the North Atlantic were largely blaming their own governments for having allegedly ‘fanned the flames of conflict in the Middle East’ by allegedly ‘supporting radical Islamists’, while simultaneously also allegedly ‘fanning the flames of conflict in the Middle East’ by allegedly ‘opposing Islamists and offending Muslims’. Both of these narratives cannot make sense at the same time, and I would argue that neither of those narratives are true. Furthermore, the apparent implication in both of those narratives is that the North Atlantic should refrain from pursuing its interests in the zone to the south.
That is an idea that should be rejected on the basis that it leads only to paralysis in the political sphere, and a loss of initiative in the military sphere. Groups which argue that the North Atlantic should adopt a passive stance and not assert its interests, and those who place blame onto the wrong people, may mean well, but they do not realise that the narratives they are creating can lead to serious crises which may not have actually been intended by those dissenting groups.