Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sex in sport

USA paranoia, Europe and Muslims in Europe

The following column by ÖMER TAŞPINAR makes sense to me. A sharp analysis about the situation of Muslims in Europe and how the USA is so paranoid about these Muslims, if they are all jihadists. I don't agree with him that Europe is an aging, beautiful and peaceful museum. There he is only talking with some dedain.


If you are an American policy maker focusing on Europe, the job sometimes gets quite boring. For the US government, the top foreign policy priorities these days are far away from the old continent.

Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the trouble spots, where the action is. Europe, on the other hand, appears to be an aging, beautiful and peaceful museum without much relevance to global strategy. In fact, Europe's relevance to American foreign policy seems mostly confined to two issues. The first is Russia and the question of how Moscow would react to another round of NATO expansion, probably to Georgia and potentially Ukraine.

The other one is Muslims in Europe. In fact, this issue is perhaps even more important than Russia because it directly relates to America's nightmares about terrorism. No wonder that in their latest assessment of how the world will change between today and 2025, US intelligence agencies had only one big point to make about Europe: The concentration of Muslims in some cities could lead to "tense and unstable situations, especially if economies lagged." The report also argues that Muslims in Europe would "value separation in areas with Muslim-specific cultural and religious practices." This bleak view of angry Muslims in Europe is becoming a cliché in American debates. If you watch TV programs in the US about Europe you get the sense that second-generation Muslims in Europe are all engaged in radicalism and that Europe has now become a jihad factory thanks to their growing numbers.

And there is moorrreee

Did the Dutch ambassador apologise in Indonesia? NO

The Dutch ambassador to Indonesia attended Tuesday's memorial service for those who died in the 1947 massacre at Rawagede on West Java, in which almost every man in the village was killed.

It was the first time a representative of the Dutch government has attended the annual event, and comes at a time when pressure is mounting for an official apology for the killing.
The massacre took place during the five years of guerilla war which preceded Indonesian independence when Dutch soldiers executed some 431 men and boys from the village.
In his speech, which was in Indonesian, Nikolaos van Dam referred to earlier “sincere apologies from the Dutch government.” Until now, the official Dutch line has been to say “sorry” for the massacre.
But in the Dutch version of the speech, the words apology or excuses do not appear. Instead, the word “regret” is used.
After his speech, the ambassador said the words could be taken as an apology. “For me, [apologies and saying sorry] are the same,” he said.

Batara Hutagalung, who is behind efforts to get the Dutch government to apologise properly, said the ambassador sent out a mixed message. “Was he speaking about apologies or about regret?” Hutagalung said. “He says they are the same thing, but they are not.”
In 2005 when the then foreign minister Ben Bot spoke about the massacre, he too used the word “regret”.

The Dutch government acknowledged in 1969 that a mass execution had taken place at Rawagede during Indonesia’s struggle for independence, after revelations by a former Dutch soldier on the scale of the atrocities perpetrated by the Dutch army in its former colony.

Day Opening - December 10

The way how American governments looks at democracy.