Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Sunday, 19 February 2017 20:34.
Wow, such a breadth of choice
The Germans are non-ironically having an election in which Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz are the two front runners.
The choice seems to be quite simple.
Either you vote for Angela Merkel’s CDU and face the death by demographic replacement which will surely arrive by the year 2050 as things continue as they are, or alternately you vote for Martin Schulz’s SPD and face the death by demographic replacement which will surely arrive by the year 2050 as things continue as they are.
There are some policy disagreements that they have on other issues and usually I would actually go to the length of highlighting them and describing them, but when it comes to the issue of Germany it frankly doesn’t even matter anymore. After all, if Germany is going to seriously cease to exist as a nation then making projections about a nation which will not even be populated by the same people would be a pointless exercise from the perspective of ethno-nationalism. It is extremely sad.
In any case, let’s see how the situation looks in the polls at present, for this thoroughly pointless election:
Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) have slumped to second place in an opinion poll conducted by the Emnid institute, with the Social Democrats (SPD) in the top spot for the first time since 2006.
The SPD’s climb comes after the party picked the former President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, as its candidate for chancellor.
Emnid’s poll of 1,885 voters found that the SPD would get 33 percent of the German vote, while Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, would get 32 percent.
Schulz’s party has gained 12 points in the last four weeks, according to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
The SPD’s surge in the polls will add more pressure on Merkel, as she seeks her fourth term as chancellor within an uneasy CDU/CSU alliance. Merkel has faced tough criticism from the sister party over the controversial decision to temporarily open Germany’s borders to refugees in 2015.
This the latest in a series of polls that shows SPD’s rapidly rising popularity among German voters. Emnid’s poll chimes with separate findings by Politbarometer, a long-standing German election poll from German broadcaster ZDF, which showed Friday that only 38 percent of voters would like to see Merkel carry on her job as chancellor and that 49 percent preferred Schulz.
But Germany hasn’t completely fallen out of love with Merkel. ZDF’s poll also found that 71 percent of Germans think that the current chancellor is doing a good job, despite her party’s drop in popularity.
German elections are scheduled for September.
Such vibrant campaigning
Meanwhile, the way that Martin Schulz is conducting his campaign has drawn criticism from Wolfgang Shaeuble, a very strange-looking criticism at first brush:
Martin Schulz, the German center-left’s candidate to be chancellor, is behaving like U.S. President Donald Trump, according to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.
“If Schulz calls upon his supporters to chant ‘Make Europe great again‘ then that’s almost literally [like] Trump,” Schäuble told Der Spiegel in an interview published Friday.
He said Schulz, a former European Parliament president, was acting in a “populist way.”
Schäuble said Schulz needed to “think a little [bit more].” He warned that in times when there is a surge in populist movements, politicians should be careful with their language.
The SPD’s move to nominate Schulz as their candidate for chancellor in the September 24 federal election led to a surge in party membership applications. Opinion polls show that backing Schulz helped the party to its highest approval rating since 2013.
At first a person would think, “Hmm, something is very wrong here, in what important way does Martin Schulz resemble Donald Trump, aside from the use of a similar campaign slogan?”
Surely Schaeuble is just a ridiculous old man who is approaching senility, and he has begun to make even less sense than usual in his statement?
Nevertheless I decided to actually give Schaeuble’s statement some thought. Could I manage to find some unintended ‘sense’ in Schaeuble’s seemingly nonsensical statement?
After about twenty milliseconds of deep thought – which in neurological terms is basically ‘instantly’ – I arrived at the answer. First, take a look at this quote concerning Schulz:
[...] Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, is a close friend of mine. On most issues connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict we disagree. He is closer to the Israeli mainstream, and his positions resemble those of Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog. He once told me, during a frank and stern conversation, “For me, the new Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.” [...]
Secondly, take a look at this quote concerning Trump:
President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday morning ripped the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel and pledged to end the “disdain and disrespect” for the country.
“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. [...]
If you look at it from that angle, then Schaeuble accidentally spoke a kind of truth in the midst of his babbling, somehow.
There indeed is a resemblance between Schulz and Trump. From the perspective of Jewish Zionists in the global sense, the two individuals are almost completely identical.
Posted by DanielS on Sunday, 12 February 2017 08:49.
TomDispatch: “Is President Trump Headed for a War with China?” All Options Are “On The Table” - Rajan Menon, 12 Feb 2017:
Forget those “bad hombres down there” in Mexico that U.S. troops might take out. Ignore the way National Security Adviser Michael Flynn put Iran “on notice” and the new president insisted, that, when it comes to that country, “nothing is off the table.” Instead, focus for a moment on something truly scary: the possibility that Donald Trump’s Washington might slide into an actual war with the planet’s rising superpower, China. No kidding. It could really happen.
Let’s start with silver-maned, stately Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state. Who could deny that the former ExxonMobil CEO has a foreign minister’s bearing? Trump reportedly chose him over neocon firebrand John Bolton partly for that reason. (Among other things, Bolton was mustachioed, something the new president apparently doesn’t care for.) But an august persona can only do so much; it can’t offset a lack of professional diplomatic experience.
That became all-too-apparent during Tillerson’s January 11th confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was asked for his view on the military infrastructure China has been creating on various islands in the South China Sea, the ownership of which other Asian countries, including Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei claim as well . China’s actions, he replied, were “extremely worrisome,” likening them to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, an infraction for which Russia was slapped with economic sanctions.
The then-secretary-of-state-designate — he’s since been confirmed, despite many negative votes — didn’t, however, stop there. Evidently, he wanted to communicate to the Chinese leadership in Beijing that the new administration was already irked beyond measure with them. So he added, “We’re going to have to send China’s leaders a clear signal: that, first, the island building stops and, second, your access to those islands is not going to be allowed.” Functionally, that fell little short of being an announcement of a future act of war, since not allowing “access” to those islands would clearly involve military moves. In what amounted to a there’s-a-new-sheriff-in-town warning, he then doubled down yet again, insisting, slightly incoherently (in the tradition of his new boss) that “the failure of a response has allowed them to just keep pushing the envelope on this.”
All right, so maybe a novice had a bad day. Maybe the secretary-of-state-to-be simply ad-libbed and misspoke… whatever. If so, you might have expected a later clarification from him or from someone on the Trump national security team anyway.
That didn’t happen; instead, that team stuck to its guns. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made no effort to add nuance to, let alone walk back, Tillerson’s remarks. During his first official press briefing on January 23rd, Spicer declared that the United States “is going to make sure we defend our interests there” — in the South China Sea, that is — and that “if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yes, we are going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.”
And what of Trump’s own views on the island controversy? Never one to pass up an opportunity for hyperbole, during the presidential campaign he swore that, on those tiny islands, China was building “a military fortress the likes of which the world has not seen.” As it happened, he wasn’t speaking about, say, the forces that Hitler massed for the ill-fated Operation Barbarossa, launched in June 1941 with the aim of crushing the Red Army and the Soviet Union, or those deployed for the June 1944 Normandy landing, which sealed Nazi Germany’s fate. When applied to what China has been up to in the South China Sea, his statement fell instantly into the not-yet-named category of “alternative facts.”
Candidate Trump also let it be known that he wouldn’t allow Beijing to get away with such cheekiness on his watch. Why had the Chinese engaged in military construction on the islands? Trump had a simple answer (as he invariably does): China “has no respect for our president and no respect for our country.” The implication was evident. Things would be different once he settled into the White House and made America great again. Then — it was easy enough to conclude — China had better watch out.
Standard campaign bombast? Well, Trump hasn’t changed his tune a bit since being elected. On December 4th, using (of course!) his Twitter account, he blasted Beijing for having built “a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea.” And it’s safe to assume that he signed off on Spicer’s combative comments as well.
In short, his administration has already drawn a red line — but in the way a petulant child might with a crayon. During and after the campaign he made much of his determination to regain the respect he claims the U.S. has lost in the world, notably from adversaries like China. The danger here is that, in dealing with that country, Trump could, as is typical, make it all about himself, all about “winning,” one of his most beloved words, and disaster might follow.
A military clash between Trump-led America and a China led by President Xi Jinping? Understanding how it might happen requires a brief detour to the place where it’s most likely to occur: the South China Sea. Our first task: to understand China’s position on that body of water and the islands it contains, as well as the nature of Beijing’s military projects there. So brace yourself for some necessary detail.
As Marina Tsirbas, a former diplomat now at the Australian National University’s National Security College, explains, Beijing’s written and verbal statements on the South China Sea lend themselves to two different interpretations. The Chinese government’s position boils down to something like this: “We own everything — the waters, islands and reefs, marine resources, and energy and mineral deposits — within the Nine-Dash Line.” That demarcation line, which incidentally has had ten dashes, and sometimes eleven, originally appeared in 1947 maps of the Republic of China, the Nationalist government that would soon flee to the island of Taiwan leaving the Chinese Communists in charge of the mainland. When Mao Ze Dong and his associates established the People’s Republic, they retained that Nationalist map and the demarcation line that went with it, which just happened to enclose virtually all of the South China Sea, claiming sovereign rights.
This stance — think of it as Beijing’s hard line on the subject — raises instant questions about other countries’ navigation and overflight rights through that much-used region. In essence, do they have any and, if so, will Beijing alone be the one to define what those are? And will those definitions start to change as China becomes ever more powerful? These are hardly trivial concerns, given that about $5 trillion worth of goods pass through the South China Sea annually.
Then there’s what might be called Beijing’s softer line, based on rights accorded by the legal concepts of the territorial sea and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which took effect in 1994 and has been signed by 167 states (including China but not the United States), a country has sovereign control within 12 nautical miles of its coast as well as of land formations in that perimeter visible at high tide. But other countries have the right of “innocent passage.” The EEZ goes further. It provides a rightful claimant control over access to fishing, as well as seabed and subsoil natural resources , within “an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea” extending 200 nautical miles, while ensuring other states’ freedom of passage by air and sea. UNCLOS also gives a state with an EEZ control over “the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations, and structures” within that zone — an important provision at our present moment.
What makes all of this so much more complicated is that many of the islands and reefs in the South China Sea that provide the basis for defining China’s EEZ are also claimed by other countries under the terms of UNCLOS. That, of course, immediately raises questions about the legality of Beijing’s military construction projects in that watery expanse on islands, atolls, and strips of land it’s dredging into existence, as well as its claims to seabed energy resources, fishing rights, and land reclamation rights there — to say nothing about its willingness to seize some of them by force, rival claims be damned.
Subi Reef, being built into an artificial island-landing strip in 2015
Moreover, figuring out which of these two positions — hard or soft — China embraces at any moment is tricky indeed. Beijing, for instance, insists that it upholds freedom of navigation and overflight rights in the Sea, but it has also said that these rights don’t apply to warships and military aircraft. In recent years its warplanes have intercepted, and at close quarters, American military aircraft flying outside Chinese territorial waters in the same region. Similarly, in 2015, Chinese aircraft and ships followed and issued warnings to an American warship off Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands, which both China and Vietnam claim in their entirety. This past December, its Navy seized, but later returned, an underwater drone the American naval ship Bowditch had been operating near the coast of the Philippines.
There were similar incidents in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2013, and 2014. In the second of these episodes, a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane, which had a crew of 24 on board, less than 70 miles off Hainan island, forcing it to make an emergency landing in China and creating a tense standoff between Beijing and Washington. The Chinese detained the crew for 11 days. They disassembled the EP-3, returning it three months later in pieces.
Such muscle flexing in the South China Sea isn’t new. China has long been tough on its weaker neighbors in those waters. Back in 1974, for instance, its forces ejected South Vietnamese troops from parts of the Paracel/Xisha islands that Beijing claimed but did not yet control. China has also backed up its claim to the Spratly/Nansha islands (which Taiwan, Vietnam, and other regional countries reject) with air and naval patrols, tough talk, and more. In 1988, it forcibly occupied the Vietnamese-controlled Johnson Reef, securing control over the first of what would eventually become seven possessions in the Spratlys.
Vietnam has not been the only Southeast Asian country to receive such rough treatment. China and the Philippines both claim ownership of Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal/Huangyang Island, located 124 nautical miles off Luzon Island in the Philippines. In 2012, Beijing simply seized it, having already ejected Manila from Panganiban Reef (aka Mischief Reef), about 129 nautical miles from the Philippines’ Palawan Island, in 1995. In 2016, when an international arbitration tribunal upheld Manila’s position on Mischief Reef and Scarborough Shoal, the Chinese Foreign Ministry sniffed that “the decision is invalid and has no binding force.” Chinese president Xi Jinping added for good measure that China’s claims to the South China Sea stretched back to “ancient times.”
Then there’s China’s military construction work in the area, which includes the building of full-scale artificial islands, as well as harbors, military airfields, storage facilities, and hangars reinforced to protect military aircraft. In addition, the Chinese have installed radar systems, anti-aircraft missiles, and anti-missile defense systems on some of these islands.
These , then, are the projects that the Trump administration says it will stop. But China’s conduct in the South China Sea leaves little doubt about its determination to hold onto what it has and continue its activities. The Chinese leadership has made this clear since Donald Trump’s election, and the state-run press has struck a similarly defiant note, drawing crude red lines of its own. For example, the Global Times, a nationalist newspaper, mocked Trump’s pretensions and issued a doomsday warning: “The U.S. has no absolute power to dominate the South China Sea. Tillerson had better bone up on nuclear strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories.”
Were the administration to follow its threatening talk with military action, the Global Times added ominously, “The two sides had better prepare for a military clash.” Although the Chinese leadership hasn’t been anywhere near as bombastic, top officials have made it clear that they won’t yield an inch on the South China Sea, that disputes over territories are matters for China and its neighbors to settle, and that Washington had best butt out.
Posted by DanielS on Monday, 06 February 2017 04:54.
This is the kind of reach a European-Asian Alliance is capable of, even while heavily burdened: imagine what we could accomplish if we were not saddled by the YKW, their Abrahamism (Judaism, Islam and Christianity), complicit right-wing arrogation and liberal irresponsibly - pinning us down with the irresponsible among us, their consequences; as well as in obsequiousness toward, and over-burdened necessity to defend against, African aggression and bio-power, Muslim colonization (“Hijra”) and terror.
Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 02 February 2017 05:54.
TNO, “Germany: 99.9% of Invaders Will Stay”, 2 Feb 2017
Contrary to German government claims that “refugees” will go home once there is “peace in their countries,” new statistics show that only one out of every 1,000 invaders granted “asylum” are ever refused permanent residence.
According to an investigation by Die Welt newspaper, “almost all refugees are allowed to stay permanently” in Germany, even those who were only initially granted “temporary subsidiary protection.”
The investigation revealed that the latest figures from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) proved that in 99 percent of cases, once anyone had been recognized as a “refugee,” they could remain permanently in Germany.
According to the Geneva Convention, the report continued, “asylum and refugee protection are granted for a limited period of three years.”
However, after the expiration of this period, those granted “protection” are then almost always given indefinite leave to remain, Die Welt revealed.
..after which time they are in position to spread to other parts of Europe.
Posted by Guessedworker on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 12:31.
Austria’s chancellor Christian Kerr has announced that the Islamic veil will be banned and new Muslim immigrants will have to sign an “integration contract” committing to uphold “Enlightenment values”. These and other measures are designed to shore up political support in the wake of the very near miss of Norbert Hofer in last year’s messy presidential elections and continuing good polling by the FPÖ.
However, as I noted last September in my piece on incrementalism, liberal politicians don’t renounce their dedication to the race project. Herr Kerr’s publicly stated motivation is to avoid “giving 600,000 Muslims in Austria the feeling that they are not part of our society.” He doesn’t want to so inconvenience Muslims that they leave. He wants the race project to continue. He will always want the race project to continue.
This, of course, is the inevitable consequence of nationalist parties straying from their fidelity to kind, at least in terms of their political positions and statements. Ask the Establishment a simple question and, in time, it will make all the right noises without much difficulty. Rutte is doing it in Holland. Fillon is doing it in France. The Establishment is untroubled by its own hypocrisy and, anyway, nothing much will actually change. Muslims will sign on the dotted line. They will adapt a little, on the surface. But they will become politically astute. They will develop a narrative of victimhood. There will be demonstrations by women in bin bags. They will push the authorities to see where the boundaries are. The boundaries will not hold. The “integration contract” will fall into disrepute.
Years will have been wasted ... precious years in terms of the changing demographics ... because nationalists did not dare to advance nationalism with honesty and eloquence (and, perhaps, because they had no non-Nietzschean understanding by which to do so). Instead, they chased after power in a liberal polity, and believed in the deceiver incrementalism as a provider of real change.
Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 26 January 2017 05:47.
“Don’t be surprised if the money he used to buy-up American real estate came from U.S. foreign aid” - TT. Pictured, Trump signalng 181 dimensional chess with Pakistani-American real estate tycoon, Sajid Tarahas, founder of ‘Muslims for Trump.’
BBC, “Trump’s Hindu, Sikh and Muslim power brokers”, 24 Jan 2017:
When Indian-American industrialist Shalabh “Shalli” Kumar donated close to a million dollars to the Trump campaign, many in the community dismissed it as a poor investment.
But today, Mr Kumar is the go-to guy not just for Indian-Americans chasing opportunities in the new administration but apparently for the Indian officials seeking contacts with Trump aides.
A leading Indian TV channel NDTV introduced him as “the man with a direct line to Trump” on their show. Another top-ranking Diaspora website, The American Bazar, has called him “the most influential Indian-American power broker” in DC.
And Kumar isn’t complaining about this new celebrity status. “I would like to be the bridge between the two sides,” he told the BBC. “I have arranged two big meetings between Indian officials and leading figures in the Trump team.”
A majority in the Indian immigrant community have traditionally supported Democrats and Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric seemed to have further alienated many.
Kumar says he and his Republican Hindu Coalition mobilised Hindu Indian-Americans votes in swing states like Florida.
Their message? Trump was the anti-terrorism candidate, and would help India and US see greater collaboration in defence, energy and manufacturing.
Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric did appeal to some Hindus, but whether that actually swayed the community at large is unclear.
Kumar is not the only one whose stock has soared with a Trump victory.
Pakistani-American Sajid Tarar, who is a Muslim, and Sikh-American Jesse Singh, sided with Mr Trump at the peak of his anti-Muslim barbs. They were pilloried by their own communities for doing so. One exit poll suggested more than three-quarters of Muslims voted for Clinton.
Mr Tarar’s Facebook inbox used to be swamped with negative messages, calling him a “disgrace to Pakistan and Islam”.
But on the morning of 9 November, his phone wouldn’t stop ringing. Mr Tarar had more than 80 messages congratulating him on Mr Trump’s victory and how he had made Pakistan proud.
He says the Pakistan embassy reached out to him to facilitate a call between Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the President-elect.
“I sent out a few emails and the call happened,” says Mr Tarar, a real estate businessman.