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Author Topic: European matters  (Read 49911 times)
ccp
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« Reply #200 on: February 28, 2017, 07:14:49 AM »

The left is just as vile in Europe as here I guess.  Prob funded by Soros:

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/02/27/german-carnival-attack-trump-decapitated/
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 10:54:15 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #201 on: February 28, 2017, 09:17:01 AM »

The left is just as vile in Europe as here I guess.  Prob funded by Soros:

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/02/27/german-carnival-attack-trump-decapitated/

Interesting bit of projection. Who is decapitating people?
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 10:54:00 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #202 on: February 28, 2017, 12:52:18 PM »

"Who is decapitating people?"

The latest allies of the LEFT.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #203 on: March 04, 2017, 10:50:12 AM »

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/europe-visa-free-travel-americans-european-parliament-vote-a7609406.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #204 on: March 05, 2017, 11:36:14 AM »


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39140100
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DougMacG
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« Reply #205 on: March 15, 2017, 12:58:52 PM »

The incumbent, Mark Rutte, is considered to be from the free market conservative party.  I don't think of the Netherlands as a free market country so I don't really know what that means.  "Our ability to create jobs, our future growth, is built on the free market. It's built on open borders." - Mark Rutte
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People's_Party_for_Freedom_and_Democracy

 The top challenger is Geert Wilders of the 'Freedom' party who has made a name with bold talk against Muslim immigration.  They have been coalition partners as well as rivals.  I can't comment on the Dutch immigration problem without bias; I was knifed by "immigrants" on my last Holland visit.  I came out of it better than Theo Van Gogh did: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/03/world/europe/dutch-filmmaker-an-islam-critic-is-killed.html

Regarding Wilders, it's about time someone spoke up about the problem. Whether he is the best candidate, I don't know.   Wilders has lost support in the last poll, but everyone seems to know after Brexit and Trump, polls on these matters have been amazingly unreliable.

This will be interesting to watch.

https://www.ft.com/content/6bc14dee-0909-11e7-97d1-5e720a26771b
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #206 on: March 19, 2017, 11:53:39 PM »

http://thefederalistpapers.org/us/trump-doesnt-mince-words-tells-germany-to-pay-up
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #207 on: March 26, 2017, 02:43:18 PM »

https://matadornetwork.com/life/9-american-habits-i-lost-when-i-moved-to-germany/1/
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G M
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« Reply #208 on: March 26, 2017, 03:01:29 PM »


Yeah, this article will be very out of date soon.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #209 on: March 26, 2017, 03:35:42 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bTKSin4JN4
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G M
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« Reply #210 on: March 26, 2017, 04:31:07 PM »


https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/724800/Syrian-refugee-Ghazia-A-four-wives-23-children-320000-benefits-germany-Montabaur-Twasif

Perhaps they should try that on these "Germans".
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #211 on: April 11, 2017, 09:13:24 AM »

Behind Le Pen’s Ideological Face Lift
The National Front leader peddles Holocaust revisionism.
April 10, 2017 8:54 p.m. ET

Marine Le Pen has spent years trying to clean up the French National Front’s image as a party of cranks, anti-Semites and apologists for the Nazi-collaborationist Vichy regime. Then the mask slid back down on Sunday as the far-right Presidential nominee reminded the world that Holocaust revisionism still lives in the Front.

Ms. Le Pen in an interview said that “France isn’t responsible for the Vel d’Hiv,” a reference to the rounding up of more than 13,000 Jews—including some 4,000 children—in July 1942. Nazi occupiers, with the help of the Vichy regime of Marshal Pétain, crowded the victims into a cycling stadium before dispatching them to concentration camps. The majority were sent to Auschwitz.

Ms. Le Pen lamented how such historical events had been used to teach French children to be ashamed of the French past. She added: “If there are people responsible, it’s those who were in power at the time. It’s not France.”

This is an historical evasion. Many French fought the Nazis, but the scale of French collaboration was vast, with some 350,000 French citizens purged or punished postwar for collaboration. Current French President François Hollande and the center-right former President Jacques Chirac have accepted state responsibility for the Vel d’Hiv episode and apologized.

Ms. Le Pen’s remarks suggest backtracking and revisionism, which is why they drew condemnation from France’s Jewish leaders as well as Israel’s foreign ministry.

The comments echoed the National Front of Ms. Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie. Mr. Le Pen in 1987 described the Holocaust as a “detail in the history of World War II” and more recently suggested that “Mr. Ebola” could solve the world’s “demographic” problems.

Emmanuel Macron, the centrist independent who is Ms. Le Pen’s main Presidential rival, noted, “Some had forgotten that Marine Le Pen is the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen.” With the first round of voting less than three weeks away, Ms. Le Pen is alerting voters to what has—and hasn’t—changed in her party.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #212 on: April 19, 2017, 01:11:49 PM »

Insights on the thinking of Theresa May calling early elections:

1.  A new election declares void any challenges to the last election.
2.  Head off the shrinking of the number of seats in parliament that would hurt Tories.
3.  May needs a greater majority to get things done domestically.
4.  Leverage against a new Scottish independence vote.
5.  Increase May's legitimacy to govern.  Gain power to execute Brexit.
6.  Hit the opposition while they are in disarray.  

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/elections/2017/04/four-thoughts-theresa-mays-general-election-decision

« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 10:24:42 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #213 on: April 23, 2017, 01:36:26 PM »



http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/183350/frances-toxic-hate-4-le-pen-2?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=b1851de1db-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_04_23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-b1851de1db-207194629

Not often discussed-- the attitude/alliance with/money from Russia thing raises serious questions. 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #214 on: April 25, 2017, 09:59:13 AM »

The globalist ideal has been tabled by events.  Neither Macron nor anyone on his ideological team has any idea how to solve France or Europe's problems.

"Macron's is a remarkable achievement, because he represents optimism." - Where have we heard this before?

The trouble with Emmanuel Macron
 
James Poulos
 Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images
April 23, 2017
Emmanuel Macron, a French technocrat running an independent presidential campaign to put political distance between himself and his fellow established elites, edged out insurgent nationalist Marine Le Pen in the most closely watched French election of many Americans' lifetime. Macron nabbed nearly one-fourth of the vote in an 11-candidate field, followed closely by Le Pen. Now he'll face her one on one in the May 7 runoff. But the partisans of the West's mushy middle — favoring more liberal globalization, more financial and economic regulation in lieu of political agency, and no social unrest in the bargain, thanks — are already popping champagne.

"It's a political earthquake in this country and in Europe," one respected journalist told CNN. "Macron's is a remarkable achievement, because he represents optimism."

Yes, fellow Americans, this is how bad it's gotten abroad: Squeaking out a first-round win by symbolizing a future of niceness now strikes the status-quo-ites as the beginning of a world made new.

The reality is considerably grimmer. How dire it was, throughout the French campaign, to watch centrists left and right insist that only they could beat back the forces of "extremism," that catchall term which has served the West so poorly in organizing its resources against foes foreign and domestic. The continued rise of populist, nationalist, and, yes, even communist parties in Europe has shown just how extreme a reaction established neoliberalism has provoked in its failings to date — inadequate, costly efforts, by turns ham-handed, shambolic, and impotent, to manage everything from the Eurozone crisis to the immigration debacle.


Yes, it's all been a tall order; yes, the ruling (or is it managing?) classes should have seen it coming. And yes: However well-intentioned and authentic the likes of Macron and Co., who probably grasp how truly bad it can get in Europe, their ilk are still locked into policies guaranteed to further aggravate political extremism left, right, and Islamic. They think their political stalemate with Le Pen and her fellow travelers is a victory. Really, it spells a fiercer culture war.

The real story of France and Europe laid bare by Macron's whisker of a win is that simply no consensus exists among today's adult generations about how to refashion a future for Europe. Right now, there is really no question that the globalist center's ideal "future" has been tabled indefinitely by events. There's not even any falling back on an "end of history." History is skipping like a bad record, glitching over the same travails. An open-ended financial and economic predicament with no rational solution and no mores deep enough to cauterize the wound and start fresh. A continuous low-grade panic attack of police action and surveillance, struggling undermanned and under cultural constraints to prevent just enough terror attacks and abuses, whatever that magic number may be. A complete forfeit of any plan to push EU regulatory unification toward the singularity point that the European project had always envisioned, however abstractly, as its justifying goal.

Neither Macron nor anyone on his ideological team has the first inkling of how to surmount or steer clear of these impasses.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #215 on: April 27, 2017, 12:30:15 AM »

Not wild about Marine's economics , , ,


By Matthew Dalton
April 26, 2017 4:34 p.m. ET
11 COMMENTS

AMIENS, France—French presidential candidates on Wednesday turned a Whirlpool Corp. factory threatened with closure here into an impromptu stage for an ideological battle over how to revive the country’s declining industrial might.

Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen has made the plant’s looming closure a national rallying point for her antiglobalist, euroskeptic campaign. The Michigan-based appliance maker announced in January it would close the plant and move production to Poland, a European Union country where wages are a fraction what they are in France.

Her rival, centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, held a scheduled meeting with Whirlpool union delegates behind closed doors in the center of Amiens. For 45 minutes he argued for his economic program, preaching the importance of free trade and of guarding France’s place in the EU.
National Front candidate Marine Le Pen smiling with people in front of the Whirpool factory in Amiens on Wednesday.
National Front candidate Marine Le Pen smiling with people in front of the Whirpool factory in Amiens on Wednesday. Photo: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Shortly before his meeting was over, Ms. Le Pen showed up in a surprise visit 2 miles away at the Whirlpool plant itself and criticized Mr. Macron for not being there with the workers.

“I’m here exactly where I belong, among Whirlpool workers who are resisting wild globalization,” she said in the plant’s parking lot. “There are millions of unemployed today, and there will be millions more tomorrow under the economic model Mr. Macron wants to impose.”

In a last-minute decision, Mr. Macron’s team took him to the factory, where he made his way through a crowd chanting “Marine for president” to present his case to workers. “After the closure of borders, what is there? The destruction of thousands of jobs that need them open,” Mr. Macron shouted over jeers and whistles as clouds of black smoke from tires set alight by the workers enveloped the parking lot.
Related Stories

    Le Pen’s Bid to Lead France Hinges on Low Turnout (April 25)
    How a Macron Presidency Could Bring About ECB Tapering (April 24)
    Le Pen’s Rise Fueled by Industrial Decline (April 20)

Wednesday’s sparring in Amiens, in France’s economically struggling north, shows how France’s withering industrial regions have become a key battleground in a presidential race that has become a referendum on the EU, free trade and open borders.

Polls show Ms. Le Pen’s candidacy facing long odds. With less than two weeks until second-round balloting on May 7, an OpinionWay survey published Wednesday showed she would lose 40% to 60%.

Still, first-round results suggest the country is more divided than ever over the EU. Votes for the main euroskeptic candidates, primarily Ms. Le Pen and far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon, accounted for nearly half of the tally on Sunday.

The anger against the political establishment in industrial areas like Amiens is one result of France’s industrial decline, which governments of the left and the right have been powerless to stop. French industrial production is 10% lower than it was when France adopted the euro in 1999.
Emmanuel Macron: France's Next President?
He was relatively unknown in French politics. Now, he could become the youngest ever president of France. Who is Emmanuel Macron, what does he stand for, and could he win? WSJ’s Niki Blasina reports. Photo: Getty Images.

Although the Whirlpool plant is in his hometown region, Mr. Macron has been reluctant to weigh in on the looming factory closure. “My silence is a refusal to manipulate the situation,” he said on French television earlier this month.

After meeting with workers on Wednesday, he criticized Whirlpool for not negotiating with the unions in recent days. Workers have been on strike since Monday because the company’s management hasn’t started talks over severance and other issues associated with the plant’s closure.

“Our top priority remains to enable the emergence of a viable and sustainable solution for the Amiens site,” Whirlpool said. The company, its workers and the French government are looking for investors to buy the site, a process required under a law passed in 2015 to stem France’s industrial losses.

Ms. Le Pen has pledged to impose a 35% tax on Whirlpool and other companies that move production out of France. She also said the government would step in to buy the plant if she is elected and no other buyer has been found.

    ‘We’ve voted left-right, played Ping-Pong for 20 years. Finally, we’ve seen they’re the same. We’ll try the National Front.’
    —Whirlpool worker David Gallo

Mr. Macron sought to warn the workers surrounding him on the parking lot of the risks of withdrawing from the EU and imposing tariffs at French borders, as Ms. Le Pen has proposed. Another major employer in the region, Procter & Gamble Co. , whose Amiens plant exports across the EU, would see its business suffer, he said.

“If Ms. Le Pen is elected, that [other] plant closes,” he told reporters.

Afterward, David Gallo, who has worked at Whirlpool for more than 20 years, said Mr. Macron was well-spoken but had failed to convince him.

“He’s been trained to speak,” Mr. Gallo said, “that’s not the problem. The question is what he will do.”

Mr. Gallo, who voted for conservative Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012, said he wants to give Ms. Le Pen a chance. “We’ve voted left-right, played Ping-Pong for 20 years,” he said. “Finally, we’ve seen they’re the same. We’ll try the National Front.”
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DougMacG
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« Reply #216 on: April 27, 2017, 08:42:07 AM »

Not wild about Marine's economics , , ,

Likewise. I find myself pulling for her to shake up the system but I don't agree with her economics.
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G M
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« Reply #217 on: April 27, 2017, 09:20:16 AM »

Not wild about Marine's economics , , ,

Likewise. I find myself pulling for her to shake up the system but I don't agree with her economics.

Yes, but the French love them some socialisme. The economic damage means they just haven't tried enough.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #218 on: April 28, 2017, 09:16:19 PM »

The Man Who Saved Europe the Last Time
Konrad Adenauer restored democracy to Germany and helped unify a devastated Continent.
Konrad Adenauer (second from left), Sept. 21, 1949, with the high commissioners of the occupation (left to right), America’s John J. McCloy, Britain’s Sir Brian Robertson and France’s André François-Poncet.
Konrad Adenauer (second from left), Sept. 21, 1949, with the high commissioners of the occupation (left to right), America’s John J. McCloy, Britain’s Sir Brian Robertson and France’s André François-Poncet. Photo: Bettmann Archive
By Henry A. Kissinger
April 28, 2017 6:10 p.m. ET
6 COMMENTS

The attribute of greatness is reserved for leaders from whose time onward history can be told only in terms of their achievements. I observed essential elements of Germany’s history—as a native son, as a refugee from its upheavals, as a soldier in the American army of occupation, and as a witness to its astonishing renewal.

Only a few who experienced this evolution remain. For many contemporary Germans, the Adenauer period seems like a tale from an era long transcended. To the contrary, they live in a dynamic established by Konrad Adenauer, a man whose lifespan, from 1876 to 1967, covered all but five years of the unified German national state first proclaimed in 1871.

Devastated, impoverished, partitioned, the Federal Republic came about after World War II by the merger of the American, British and French zones of occupation, containing just two-thirds of Germany’s prewar population. Five million refugees from Germany’s prewar territories needed integration; they agitated for the recovery of lost territories. The Soviet occupation zone, containing 18 million people, was turned into a communist political entity.

The Federal Republic’s advent capped a century of discontinuity. The Empire after Bismarck had felt beleaguered by the alliances surrounding it; the Weimar Republic after World War I had felt abused by an imposed peace settlement; Hitler had sought an atavistic world dominion; the Federal Republic arose amid a legacy of global resentment.

The newly elected German Parliament chose Adenauer as chancellor by a margin of just one vote on Sept. 15, 1949. Shortly afterward, on Nov. 22, 1949, he signed the Petersberg Agreement with the three Allied high commissioners, conferring the attributes of sovereignty on the Federal Republic but withholding its premise of juridical equality. The center of its mining activity, the Ruhr, remained under special Allied control, as did the industrial Saar region along the French border. Adenauer’s acquiescence to these terms earned him the sobriquet from his opposition “Chancellor of the Allies.”

In his first formal encounter with the three high commissioners, on Sept. 21, 1949, Adenauer demonstrated that he would accept discrimination but not subordination. The high commissioners had assembled on a carpet; to its side, a place for Adenauer had been designated. The chancellor challenged protocol by stepping directly onto the carpet facing his hosts.

From this posture, Adenauer heralded a historic turning point. The new Federal Republic would seek, in his words, “full freedom” by earning a place in the community of nations, not by pressure or by seizing it. Calling for an entirely new conception of foreign policy, Adenauer proclaimed the goal of “a positive and viable European federation” to overcome “the narrow nationalistic conception of the states as it prevailed in the 19th and 20th century . . . in order to restore the unity of European life in all fields of endeavor.”

Adenauer’s conduct reinforced his rejection of European history. Tall, erect, imperturbable, his face immobile from an automobile accident in his youth, he exuded the serenity of the pre-World War I world that had formed him. Equally distinctive was his sparse speaking style. It conveyed that unobtrusiveness and performance, not exhortation or imposition, were to be the operating style for the new Germany.

Winston Churchill had made a comparable proposal for Europe two days before in Zurich, but Churchill was not in office then. Governing amid defeat and division, Adenauer had proposed an indefinite (possibly permanent) partition of his country while integrating it into a nascent European structure. The country whose nationalism had precipitated two world wars would henceforth rely on partnership with its erstwhile enemies.

The turn westward proved fundamental. The choice of Bonn as the new capital, located in the westernmost part of Germany, with close links to Western Europe, was symbolic. Adenauer convinced the Parliament to select Bonn because, as he said sardonically, he wanted the capital to be in the wine region, not amid potato fields, and not least because his home village of Rhöndorf (population of about 1,000) was not suitable for a capital.

It required all of Adenauer’s personality and stature to implement these visions. Opposition came largely from the Social Democratic Party, which, while pro-democracy, insisted on a national policy of neutrality. The opposition included vestiges of German conservatives, one of whose spokesmen was Heinrich Brüning, the chancellor whose overthrow in 1932 had opened the way for Hitler.

Adenauer proved adamant. He made democratic regeneration his first priority as the precondition to integration into Europe. A renewed reputation for reliability was essential. Maneuvering between the superpowers would destroy confidence and repeat historical tragedies.

Adenauer’s foreign policy was founded on the moral imperative of democracy. He envisaged a relentless progression toward the twin goals of a security partnership with America and political integration with Europe.

The Petersberg Agreement of 1949 was followed by negotiations over European defense, spurred by the Korean War and the Soviet military buildup in Central Europe. As NATO was forming, Adenauer urged the European nations to pool their efforts into the European Defense Community. After the French Assembly rejected this concept, Adenauer in 1954 agreed to the Paris Accords, which ended West Germany’s occupation, affirmed its sovereignty, and opened the way to its national membership in NATO. The culmination was Adenauer’s 1955 visit to Washington. When the German national anthem was played as he visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Adenauer described it as the most moving moment of his life.

European integration followed a comparable, in retrospect inevitable, sequence. From France and Germany’s 1951 agreement to establish the Coal and Steel Community to the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which established the European Economic Community, Adenauer, working with wise French leaders, overcame one of world history’s once-hereditary national animosities.

Within the space of six years, Adenauer had moved his country from an outcast to an equal member in political and security arrangements unprecedented in European history. This was made possible by a spirit of American creativity which, in the Marshall Plan and the origination of NATO, overcame America’s pre-World War II isolationism.

The U.S. became Germany’s principal link to security through NATO, and to economic recovery through the Marshall Plan. France, as the link to the European Community, played a comparable role. In America, John Foster Dulles symbolized the relationship; in France, President Charles de Gaulle. They both represented to Adenauer elements capable of stabilizing the inevitable storms the future might hold. In that sense, Adenauer viewed Europe as a potential corrective to the fluctuations into which global responsibilities and a certain inherent restlessness on occasion drew the U.S. When, in 1956, Guy Mollet, France’s prime minister, stressed a gap between the obligations of NATO and American conduct in the Suez Crisis, Adenauer defended the existing structures as flexible enough to recover shared vitality: “Europe will be your revenge,” he said.

I had the privilege of hearing Adenauer’s vision in several conversations with him over a 10-year period. His courtesy and serenity were his most memorable traits. Our first meeting took place in 1957, shortly after a Soviet ultimatum threatening Berlin. Adenauer concentrated on the nightmare of everyone privy to nuclear planning: whether any U.S. president would actually bring himself to unleash the catastrophe on which NATO nuclear strategy was based. Since the official answer was formal but the actual one would depend on unknowable contingencies and personalities, he raised the question at every subsequent meeting.

Another major issue preoccupying Adenauer was geopolitical evolution. Did I realize that a break between China and Russia was imminent? The West should prepare for that contingency and not provide too many temptations to its adversaries by its divisions. He construed surprised silence as assent and, on his first visit to the White House in 1961, repeated the prediction, adding, to an astonished President Kennedy: “Professor Kissinger agrees with me.”

In 1962, as part-time consultant to President Kennedy, I was asked during a crisis to reassure Adenauer about America’s determination and capacity to defend Berlin and support Germany. I had been briefed to present details of some nuclear capabilities and deployments on a personal, presidential basis—information which, at that time, was shared with only the U.K.

As I began my presentation of the political issues, Adenauer interrupted: “They have already told me this in Washington. If it did not convince me there, why would it convince me here?” I replied that I was an academic, and a government employee only a quarter of my time. Adenauer was nonplussed. In that case, he replied: Let us assume you will convince me three-quarters of the way.

But when I presented the military briefing, Adenauer was transformed—partly because of the enormous gap in the West’s favor that it demonstrated, but above all because of the confidence President Kennedy had shown in him. It turned into the warmest of all my meetings with him.

A moving aftermath followed some decades later. I received a letter whose sender I did not recognize. He had served as an interpreter during that conversation (though German is my native language, I generally conduct official conversations in English because my vocabulary is more precise, especially on technical matters). Adenauer had given me his word of honor not to distribute the nuclear information I had shared with him. The interpreter informed me that he had, in fact, given a full record of my briefing to Adenauer, who had instructed him to destroy the nuclear portion out of respect for his word of honor.

The historic German-American partnership that began with the Adenauer chancellorship proceeded from almost diametrically opposed starting points. Adenauer assumed office at probably the lowest point of German history. The U.S. was at the zenith of its power and self-confidence. Adenauer saw his task as rebuilding Christian and democratic values through new designs for traditional German and European institutions. America had equally grand objectives and, at times, pursued them with insistent certainty. For Adenauer, the reconstruction of Europe was the rediscovery of ancient values; for America, the implementation of prevailing ones. For Adenauer to succeed, it was necessary to stabilize the soul of Germany; for America, to mobilize existing idealism. Occasionally there were strains, especially when American optimism overestimated the scope for more-fragile structures and divergent historic memories.

The Atlantic relationship between Bonn and Washington transformed, however, the shattered world it inherited and helped create a half-century of peace between major powers.

This system is now under stress from simultaneous upheavals on several continents. Can it heal a fractured world by rediscovering the conviction and creativity with which it was built?

Mr. Kissinger served as national security adviser and secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford. This is adapted from an April 25 speech to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Appeared in the Apr. 29, 2017, print edition.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #219 on: May 05, 2017, 02:45:38 PM »

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/05/05/forget-trump-forget-brexit-a-le-pen-win-on-sunday-could-be-the-wests-biggest-shock-this-century-analysis.html

Everyone says it won't happen...
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G M
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« Reply #220 on: May 05, 2017, 08:57:41 PM »


President Hillary Clinton unavailable for comment.
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G M
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« Reply #221 on: May 06, 2017, 03:34:54 PM »

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/emmanuel-macron-email-hack-leaks-election-marine-le-pen-russia-media-ordered-not-publish-commission-a7721111.html

Emmanuel Macron hacked emails: French media ordered by electoral commission not to publish content of messages
Journalists could face criminal charges for violating laws preventing influence on vote

Lizzie Dearden @lizziedearden 2 hours ago629 comments
   
   
   
   
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Mr Macron's En Marche! party said he had been the target of a "massive" attack Reuters
France's electoral commission has ordered media not to publish contents of Emmanuel Macron's leaked campaign emails to avoid influencing the election.

It warned news outlets in France that journalists could face criminal charges for publishing or republishing the material, under laws that came into effect at midnight forbidding any commentary liable to affect the presidential race.

There were fears the hack could swing Sunday’s final vote, where Mr Macron was expected to comfortably beat far-right candidate Marine Le Pen.

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Le Pen v Macron: The debate in 60 seconds

READ MORE
Emmanuel Macron's campaign says it has been hacked
As much as 9GB gigabytes of data were posted on a profile called EMLEAKS to an anonymous document sharing site under two days before the final vote.

While French election rules forbid the media from publishing the emails, they also ban Mr Macron or his team from commenting on or denying any allegations.

His En Marche! party said it had “been the victim of a massive and coordinated hack” on Friday evening, adding that it had “given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information”.

A spokesperson said the communications only showed the normal functioning of a presidential campaign, but that authentic documents had been mixed on social media with fake ones to sow “doubt and misinformation”.

“This operation is obviously an attempt at destabilising democracy, as has already been seen in the US during the last presidential campaign,” he added.

“The ambition of the authors of this leak is obviously to harm the En Marche! movement within hours of the second round of the French presidential election.”

French Presidential Election
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En Marche! previously complained about attempts to hack its emails, blaming Russian interests in part for the cyber attacks despite denials from the Kremlin.

Officials said it had been the target of failed attempts to steal email credentials dating back to January, identifying a hacking group operating in Ukraine.

READ MORE
Young French voters urged to embrace 'the lesser of two evils'
Macron launches legal complaint over offshore account allegations
Le Pen accused of using 'fake news by Russians' during election debate
Vitali Kremez, director of research with US-based cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint, told Reuters APT 28, a group tied to Russia’s military intelligence directorate, was behind the leak.

The collective, also known as “Fancy Bear” and “Sofacy”, has been linked to cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee during the US election, the White House, German Parliament, Nato and French media.

Last month, APT 28 hackers registered decoy internet addresses to mimic the name of En Marche!, which were used to send corrupted emails to hack into the campaign’s computers, Mr Kremez said.

“If indeed driven by Moscow, this leak appears to be a significant escalation over the previous Russian operations aimed at the US presidential election, expanding the approach and scope of effort from simple espionage efforts towards more direct attempts to sway the outcome,” he added.

Far-right American activists are believed to be behind early efforts to spread the documents on social media, before they were picked up by Ms Le Pen’s supporters in France.

The leaks emerged on 4chan, where an anonymous poster provided links to documents on Pastebin with the message: “This was passed on to me today so now I am giving it to you, the people.”

The hashtag #MacronLeaks was spread by prominent Twitter accounts including that of Jack Posobiec, a pro-Donald Trump activist and employee of the far-right site Rebel TV.

The cyber attack came after repeated allegations of Russian interference in elections across Europe and the US, with Mr Macron previously targeting state media including Russia Today and Sputnik for spreading “fake news” to damage his campaign.

The two government-owned news outlets has announced legal action against Mr Macron over his allegations, which came after the politician denied unsubstantiated reports of an alleged offshore bank account.

Margarita Simonyan, the editor of both RT and Sputnik, said: “We are tired of their lies. We will sue them.”

Mr Macron has filed a legal complaint over the reports, which were raised by Ms Le Pen during a heated television debate.

The Paris’ prosecutor’s office said no one was named in the complaint, which has triggered an inquiry into the suspected spread of false stories aimed at influencing the election.

Vladimir Putin has dismissed allegations of interfering in foreign elections including the US and Germany, hitting out at unproven "rumours".

“We never interfere in other countries’ politics and we want no one to meddle in ours,” the Russian President said during a tense press conference with Angela Merkel.

“Unfortunately, we have seen the opposite happening for years. We have seen attempts to influence political processes in Russia through the so-called NGOs and directly.

“Realising the futility of such efforts, it has never occurred to us to interfere."
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DougMacG
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« Reply #222 on: May 08, 2017, 03:04:52 PM »

Macron won, 66-34.  Though I found myself pulling for disruption versus more of the same, Le Pen and her party really gave nothing much to identify with.

Her party was recently associated with holocaust denial? and anti-semitism?  Her own economics has nothing to do with mine, how do you side against free trade?

The objection with 'Europe' / EU from my point of view is about being governed by afar, by bureaucrats.  If I were French, I would oppose loss of sovereignty, not oppose trade.

France has and unemployment rate of 10% while younger workers have an unemployment rate of 20%.  Sadly, his election will do nothing to improve that.  Le Pen likely wouldn't have fixed that either.

Macron winning means that no better candidate or party was on the ballot.  France isn't a conservative country.  The left reforms by changing their name.  The conservative / right needs a new political economic paradigm as well.
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G M
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« Reply #223 on: May 08, 2017, 03:37:01 PM »

Macron won, 66-34.  Though I found myself pulling for disruption versus more of the same, Le Pen and her party really gave nothing much to identify with.

Her party was recently associated with holocaust denial? and anti-semitism?  Her own economics has nothing to do with mine, how do you side against free trade?

The objection with 'Europe' / EU from my point of view is about being governed by afar, by bureaucrats.  If I were French, I would oppose loss of sovereignty, not oppose trade.

France has and unemployment rate of 10% while younger workers have an unemployment rate of 20%.  Sadly, his election will do nothing to improve that.  Le Pen likely wouldn't have fixed that either.

Macron winning means that no better candidate or party was on the ballot.  France isn't a conservative country.  The left reforms by changing their name.  The conservative / right needs a new political economic paradigm as well.

"Sexual abuse survivor elected to France's highest office!"

The french deserve to get what they voted for.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #224 on: May 08, 2017, 03:47:19 PM »

"The french deserve to get what they voted for."

True, but WE would be better off with a better France.
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G M
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« Reply #225 on: May 08, 2017, 04:06:11 PM »

"The french deserve to get what they voted for."

True, but WE would be better off with a better France.

Sure we would, but cheese eating surrender monkeys gotta be cheese eating surrender monkeys.

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« Reply #226 on: May 14, 2017, 08:43:12 AM »

There is also the matter of the Russians opening lending her campaign millions of dollars.  Surely this should be a very big deal?  Surely this should have bothered her many well-wishers here in the US due to her immigration/defense of French culture stance?  But it did not , , ,
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« Reply #227 on: June 29, 2017, 01:21:38 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/06/29/czech-republic-passes-constitutional-right-to-bear-arms/
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« Reply #228 on: June 29, 2017, 01:25:39 PM »


Very nice! Good for them!
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« Reply #229 on: July 05, 2017, 11:48:51 PM »

http://www.speroforum.com/a/JNUGTRROXW20/81215-Austria-blocks-migrants-with-armored-vehicles?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EJFXXTUNLE46&utm_content=JNUGTRROXW20&utm_source=news&utm_term=Austria+blocks+migrants+with+armored+vehicles#.WV3AmnokSGA
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« Reply #230 on: July 09, 2017, 10:25:49 AM »

https://heartiste.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/bestmerkelmeme.jpg?w=500&h=277



https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10306/childless-europe

Europe's Childless Leaders Sleepwalking Us to Disaster
by Giulio Meotti
May 6, 2017 at 5:00 am
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10306/childless-europe


As Europe's leaders have no children, they seem have no reason to worry about the future of their continent.

"Europe today has little desire to reproduce itself, fight for itself or even take its own side in an argument". — Douglas Murray, The Times.

"'Finding ourselves' becomes more important than building a world." — Joshua Mitchell.

There have never been so many childless politicians leading Europe as today. They are modern, open minded and multicultural and they know that "everything finishes with them". In the short term, being childless is a relief since it means no spending for families, no sacrifices and that no one complains about the future consequences. As in a research report financed by the European Union: "No kids, no problem!".

Being a mother or a father, however, means that you have a very real stake in the future of the country you lead. Europe's most important leaders leave no children behind.

Europe's most important leaders are all childless: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron. The list continues with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

As Europe's leaders have no children, they seem have no reason to worry about the future of their continent. German philosopher Rüdiger Safranski wrote:

"for the childless, thinking in terms of the generations to come loses relevance. Therefore, they behave more and more as if they were the last and see themselves as standing at the end of the chain".


Living for today: Europe's most important leaders are all childless, among them German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) and Mark Rutte (right), Prime Minister of the Netherlands. (Image source: Minister-president Rutte/Flickr)
"Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide", wrote Douglas Murray in The Times. "Europe today has little desire to reproduce itself, fight for itself or even take its own side in an argument". Murray, in his new book, entitled The Strange Death of Europe, called it "an existential civilisational tiredness".

Angela Merkel made the fatal decision to open the doors of Germany to one million and half migrants to stop the demographic winter of her country. It is not a coincidence that Merkel, who has no children, has been called "the compassionate mother" of migrants. Merkel evidently did not care if the massive influx of these migrants would change German society, probably forever.

Dennis Sewell recently wrote in the Catholic Herald:

"It is that idea of 'Western civilisation' that greatly complicates the demographic panic. Without it, the answer would be simple: Europe has no need to worry about finding young people to support its elderly in their declining years. There are plenty of young migrants banging at the gates, trying to climb the razor wire or setting sail on flimsy boats to reach our shores. All we need to do is let them in".

Merkel's childless status mirrors German society: 30% of German women have not had children, according to European Union statistics, with the figure rising among female university graduates to 40%. Germany's Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, said that unless the birth rate picked up, the country would have to "turn the lights out".

According to a new study published by the Institut national d'études démographiques, a quarter of European women born in the 1970s may remain childless. Europe's leaders are no different. One in nine women born in England and Wales in 1940 were childless at the age of 45, compared to one in five of those born in 1967.

French politician Emmanuel Macron has rejected French President François Hollande's assertion that, "France has a problem with Islam". He is against suspending the citizenship of jihadists, and keeps insisting, against all evidence, that Islamic State is not Islamic: "What poses a problem is not Islam, but certain behaviours that are said to be religious and then imposed on persons who practice that religion".

Macron preaches a sort of multicultural buffet. He speaks of colonialism as a "crime against humanity". He is in favor of "open borders", and for him, again against all evidence to the contrary, there is no "French culture".

According to philosopher Mathieu Bock-Coté, the 39-year-old Macron, who is married to his 64-year-old former teacher, is the symbol of a "happy globalization freed of the memory of the French lost glory". It is not a coincidence that "Manif Pour Tous," a movement that fought the legalization gay marriage in France, urged voting against Macron as the "anti-family candidate". Macron's slogan, "En Marche!" ("Forward!"), embodies the globalized élites who reduce politics to an exercise, a performance.

That is why Turkish leader Erdogan urged Muslims to have "five children" and Islamic imams are urging the faithful to "breed children": to conquer Europe. Islamic supremacists are busily building a clash of civilizations in Europe's midst, and they depict their Western host countries collapsing: without population, without values, and abandoning their own culture.

If you look at Merkel, Rutte, Macron and others, are these Islamic supremacists so wrong? Our European leaders are sleepwalking us to disaster. Why should they care, if at the end of their lifespans Europe will not be Europe? As Joshua Mitchell explained in an essay, "'finding ourselves' becomes more important than building a world. The long chain of generations has already done that for us. Now let us play".

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.
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« Reply #231 on: August 30, 2017, 08:42:57 AM »



Stratfor Worldview


Aug 29, 2017 | 20:20 GMT
Europe: EU Members Push to Extend Border Controls



Despite the declining flow of migrants entering Europe illegally, some EU member states are pushing to keep in place the temporary border controls implemented to reduce migration, arguing that they are needed to combat terrorism. Border controls are currently allowed inside the border-free Schengen area, between Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. But they are set to expire Nov. 11.

Though the European Commission said an extension of the controls is not possible after Nov. 11, it suggested a "compromise solution": EU member states could apply to enact border controls by proving that open borders would pose a serious threat to public order and security. This would allow Europe to retain border controls — this time using terrorism, rather than migration, as justification.

And European leaders have mounting evidence to prove that terrorism is a serious threat to the Continent. Recent attacks in Spain, France, Germany and Belgium won't soon be forgotten. On Aug. 25, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said that border controls should be extended because the threat of terrorism is "even more acute" than illegal migration. Similarly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is campaigning for the German federal elections in September, called for border controls to remain in place until security authorities determine that they are no longer necessary.

When it comes to lingering migration concerns, European leaders are opting to work with African leaders to address the problem at its root. France hosted a summit Aug. 28, during which European and African leaders signed a broad roadmap on managing migrant flows through the Mediterranean. The European leaders decided to continue with their strategy of providing money and resources to migrants' countries of origin, since this is much easier for the bloc to do than reforming its migration rules.
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« Reply #232 on: September 07, 2017, 05:40:12 AM »



Revisiting Europe, the Heroic Delusion
 
By Jacob L. Shapiro
The European Union is what political philosopher Leo Strauss might have called a “heroic delusion.” It is a noble dream, a dream that the only thing necessary for peace in Europe is shared prosperity. And for a time, the EU was living the dream. The hardships of the 2008 financial crisis, however, showed what a flimsy basis shared prosperity was for the EU’s future.  Much of the infighting we observe today within the EU is a last-ditch effort by some to give the EU the types of powers it would need to forge an effective and politically sovereign entity. They are unlikely to succeed.

Take the bureaucratic spat between Poland and the European Commission. The two have long been at odds over the current Polish government’s desire to reform Poland’s judicial system in a way that gives it more power to select and remove judges. The latest chapter in the saga began Aug. 28, when Poland’s Foreign Ministry released a statement rejecting the commission’s critiques of Poland as “groundless” and sent a 12-page document of legal reasoning to Brussels to underscore the point. The European Commission fired back Aug. 31, with the deputy head of the commission saying the body would not drop the issue and would seek all means at its disposal to bring Poland to heel. The same day, in an interview with Le Point, French President Emmanuel Macron said Poland’s policies were “very worrying,” saying they call into question European solidarity and even the rule of law itself.

This kind of back-and-forth isn’t all that unusual for bureaucracies such as the EU’s, but it ignores the inescapable dilemma: The Continent is populated not by Europeans but by several vastly different nations. The inability or unwillingness to understand as much was apparent in the rest of Macron’s interview in Le Point. When asked how he would revive Europe, his first answer was, “I believe in Europe.” To believe in Europe is to confess that the existence of “Europe” as a political entity is based not on fact or shared interest but on hope. Hope is a good thing, and there is a time and a place for it. But hope is not what defines lasting political realities.

Not a Country

I don’t mean to deride Macron for suggesting a collective identity. Community, after all, is important. Humans formed them because the world is dangerous and volatile and, for better or worse, they have come to identify with them. After Hurricane Harvey, for example, Americans of all ethnicities, genders and political persuasions donated their time, money, thoughts and prayers to those in need. They did this because no matter their differences, they share an elemental bond of being American.
 The French and European Union flags stand next to each other during a meeting of the French and European Commission presidents. AURORE BELOT/AFP/Getty Images
The problem is that the community Macron is talking about doesn’t really exist. At one point in the interview, the French president spoke of Europe regaining its sovereignty. The interviewer pushed back, noting with surprise that France’s pro-EU president would speak of sovereignty in his first major interview with the press. Macron, ever the believer, responded that he envisioned Europe as a continent “of the dimensions of American and Chinese powers.” Strictly speaking, Macron is right about Europe’s potential. The EU has a gross domestic product of around $16 trillion. That’s just a bit less than the GDP of the United States ($18.6 trillion) and almost a third larger than China’s ($11.2 trillion). Taken together, the EU has more than 500 million residents, making it the third-most populous country in the world after China and India – if it were a country.

The EU, however, is not a country, and it is not about to become one. If Europe were a country, German tax dollars would be allocated toward paying down Greece’s debt. If Europe were a country, its military would be deployed in Poland to defend its borders from Russia. If Europe were a country, rules would apply equally to all: France wouldn’t get to ignore European budget deficit rules and then single out Poland as a black sheep for violating democratic norms because of its judicial reforms. If Europe were a country, a Romanian would be willing to die to protect a Spaniard. I have no doubt that there are people of goodwill in all these countries, none of whom wish to see harm visited upon others. But there’s a difference between passive hope for all to live in peace, and active sacrifice to protect members of the same community.
This sense of community is alive and well in most pockets of Europe. And it has to be. In the era of the nation-state, governments are legitimized in part by their ability to represent and protect a particular nation: a group of people who speak the same language, who grew up in the same place, and who feel that if one of their own is under attack, then the nation is under attack. Even the most stalwart supporters of European integration feel a deep sense of national pride in their own countries. France, Germany and the other Western European states represent the very cradle of nationalism itself, and even the most passionate of EU supporters don’t want to surrender their national identities.

And yet the leaders of these countries cower in the face of their nationalists, no doubt a consequence of the Continent’s sordid history. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago that there were those who sought to conquer Europe with Panzer divisions instead of neoliberal trade regimes. But perhaps there is more than just fear of the past at work here. Perhaps there is also a yearning for the past too. Perhaps Western European countries are nostalgic, wistful for a time when individual European nation-states ruled the world, and cognizant of the reality that the only way that can come to pass again is if all of Europe’s vast geographic, military and economic resources are harnessed and directed toward the pursuit of one goal as opposed to 51 sets of different goals.

Hands Tied

And therein lies the difficulty of talking about Europe. So diverse is the Continent that it’s often more useful to think of it regionally: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe. (Useful doesn’t mean perfect. There are negative connotations associated with “Eastern Europe,” for example, as being considered retrograde or backwater. You might get into knock-down, drag-out fights in bars in places like Prague and Budapest if you suggest to a local that you are visiting eastern, and not central, Europe.) But even if these designations help to broadly explain sometimes-inexplicable dynamics, they still belie just how complex Europe really is. Countries such as Hungary and Poland, which we at GPF categorize as Eastern Europe, have been pushing back against the EU in recent years. Supporters of greater EU integration often try to single Hungary and Poland out as exceptions rather than as harbingers of future trends. They don’t see, for instance, that Hungary and Poland’s refusal to take the refugees the EU wanted them to take in 2015 wasn’t exceptional but was a sign of things to come (think of how much anti-EU sentiment over refugees shaped Brexit). They say, as Macron said last week, that Poland does not speak for Eastern Europe, that Hungary’s government does not speak for the true desires of the Hungarian people. They say that the masses of Europe are pro-European, and that Brussels is charged with safeguarding Europe’s cherished principles of tolerance, equality and freedom, and that if everyone would just follow the rules Europe would rule the world once more.

And they’re right, insofar as Poland does not speak for Eastern Europe. Hungary does not speak for Romania. But France and Germany don’t speak for Eastern Europe, either – the only times in history when they did was at gunpoint. Consider also the perspective of a country like Poland. Poland has roughly two-thirds the population of France. But in economic terms, Poland’s GDP is just under 20 percent of France’s. While Western Europe was rebuilt after World War II with American dollars, Eastern Europe languished behind the Iron Curtain. Now, Eastern Europe is emerging – more self-confident, more defensive of its independence, the most economically dynamic region in Europe. The government in Warsaw does not oppose the EU in principle. It wants to be treated fairly and reacts harshly when it faces what it sees as Brussels’ double standards.

The EU was not built to create a liberal democratic Europe. That was just its ideological raiment. The EU was created to tie Germany’s hands behind its back (and to tie Germany’s and France’s hands together) so that the Continent wouldn’t rip itself apart as it had in World War I and World War II. Countries like Poland are not willing to cede sovereignty to an institution that has no reason to care about them, other than a sheet of paper that says it should. Why would Poland want to leave its fate in the hands of a committee constituted by very few Poles that largely discounts Poland from its decision-making? Rightly or wrongly, Poland speaks for Poland, and Polish voters hold the Polish government accountable for how well it speaks for them.

The nobility of the EU’s dream does not have to die with the EU. Peace is never an eternal state of affairs, but perhaps it will last longer if countries treat each other as they are, and not as they would want them to be. Perhaps not. The only thing that is certain is that the future of Europe will be defined as it always has been: by decisions made in London, Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest, Belgrade, Rome and other national capitals. The EU may issue as many statements as it wishes, and no doubt will threaten to throw all the articles of the Maastricht Treaty at European countries of whom its bureaucratic institutions do not approve. Poland is the target now. That’s because Poland is changing Europe’s balance of power whether Brussels approves or not, and no amount of indignation, whether justified or not, about Polish judicial reforms can stop that train.
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« Reply #233 on: September 27, 2017, 12:44:08 PM »

Poland Challenges the European Identity

By George Friedman

I am writing this from a hotel room in Warsaw, surrounded by memorials to Frederic Chopin, the great Polish composer and champion of self-determination for the Polish people. This is a particularly appropriate time to be here, since Poland is locked in a battle with the European Union over the question of Polish national self-determination – more than two centuries after Chopin was born.

The issue comes down to this: Poland elected a government that pledged to change the direction in which the country was moving. The new government was of the right. It opposed the policies and institutional stance of the previous, left-of-center government. The previous government had embedded its followers in various institutions, such as the courts and national radio, as governments tend to do. The new government saw itself as facing a hostile judiciary and state-owned media. And so it sought to change the management of the state-owned media and “reform” (in its terms) the judiciary.

When it tried to change personnel in both institutions, the opposition charged that these actions violated the constitution, that the government had overstepped its bounds and that it was trying to repress critics. The government countered that the opposition was trying to thwart the new government from ruling. It had been elected by a substantial majority, and it had clearly expressed its policies during the elections.

Politics as Usual

So far this is politics as usual. Examples of it abound. In the United States in the 20th century, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, facing a Supreme Court of entrenched conservatives, tried to expand the court’s size and pack it with his own supporters. He lost. In Britain in the decades after World War II, the state-owned BBC had a monopoly on broadcasting and had been staffed by Labour governments. Conservative governments accused it of being hostile to them, and attempts to change the staff were met with accusations of censorship.

These sorts of arguments are endemic to democracies with government bureaucracies. The public mood changes but the bureaucracies’ ideology remains intact. A battle ensues. Competing factions all point to dire consequences if their views don’t prevail, but a viable if not altogether acceptable solution is normally found.

What makes the Polish situation different is the threatened intervention by the European Union bureaucracy and the vocal hostility of Germany to the new government’s policies. This includes threats to suspend Poland from participation in some EU functions and various hostile claims about the Polish government.

This not only raises the stakes but also goes to the heart of liberal democracy. At the core of liberal democracy is the right of national self-determination. Self-determination, according to theorists of liberal democracy like Locke and Montesquieu, involves some sort of democratic process, a concept with a wide variety of institutional structures, all of which have at their core some sort of electoral process. There is no question that Poland’s current government was elected in a legitimate vote, and in that sense, it represents the determination of the people. The implicit claim made by its opponents is that in implementing this mandate the government violated the Polish Constitution. I am reminded of Andrew Jackson’s response to a Supreme Court ruling with which he disagreed, when he suggested that the court should have to enforce its own ruling because his government wouldn’t. Jackson undoubtedly violated the essence of the U.S. Constitution, but the republic survived.

Deviation

Given that Poland’s government emerged as an act of self-determination, and given that the actions it has undertaken are not unprecedented in the annals of liberal democracy, it is strange that the EU and Germany should be so aggressive in raising an alarm over Poland. There are a number of reasons. First, the EU has a core ideology. One part of it is a commitment to free trade. The other is a commitment to a social order that is primarily secular, that seeks to overcome national distinctions and that is intolerant of intolerance. By this I mean that it embraces the doctrine that the state must not only permit variances in private life but be prepared to enshrine them in a legal system of compulsory tolerance. The combination of a commitment to free trade and a commitment to private choices being enshrined as part of public policy inevitably finds certain varieties of liberal democracy unacceptable. Nationalist exclusivity, erosion of secularism by religiosity and a reluctance to turn private freedom into something explicitly celebrated by the state are rejected.
Polish President Andrzej Duda attends a press conference to announce his projects of judicial reforms after he blocked controversial parliamentary judicial reforms on July, in Warsaw, Poland, on Sept. 25, 2017. WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The Polish government’s misfeasance is not really about courts or broadcasting. Rather, it is about Poland deviating from the EU’s ideology. The Polish government has opposed unlimited immigration into Poland by Muslims, arguing that it would change the country’s national character. In other words, Poland has elevated national distinctions to a level unacceptable to the European Union. It insists that there is a Polish nation and that others with differing values cannot become part of it.

There is the additional question of secularism. Poland is a Catholic country, not only in the sense that many practice that religion but in the deeper sense that Polish history is bound up with Catholicism. This is true for all of Europe (adding in Orthodox and Protestantism), but for Poland this bond is far fresher. The destruction of communism in Poland, and to a great extent in Eastern Europe in general, was deeply dependent on the Polish Catholic Church, which encouraged and protected the resistance movement against communism and against the German occupation that preceded it.

When Catholicism was seen as an anti-totalitarian movement, the Europeans celebrated it. When it was discovered that the Catholic Church was not just a nongovernmental organization demanding human rights but was also truly Catholic – a religion – Europeans cooled to it. When the Catholic Church, always deeply embedded in Polish political life, pursued positions on private life unacceptable to the EU’s ideology and was entwined with the new government, the hostility jelled.

Benefits of Membership

The Polish government represents a fundamental challenge to the EU. The EU promoted an ideology in which national distinctions were to subside and be replaced by a European ideology. Since 2008, resistance to the priority of Europeanism over national identity has increased. This is what motivated the Brexit. Poland and some other Eastern European countries have been particularly unwilling to abandon their national identities. In Poland’s case, this national identity was tied to public religiosity – a religion unwilling to be confined to the private sphere and unwilling to accept the EU’s views on the state’s affirmation of a variety of behaviors.

The EU’s ideology became more problematic after 2008 as the economic benefits of membership declined. The EU has sought to protect its moral and social principles in the face of this decline. The Polish government directly challenges this ideology. If the idea of Europeanism weakens and the idea of the nation rises, while Europe fails to return to its pre-2008 prosperity, then the moral principles binding the EU will wither.

There is a reason Eastern Europe – Poland and Hungary, in particular – are championing this. Poland was sovereign for about 20 years during recent centuries. It lost its sovereignty to Germany and Russia. Losing it again to the EU, whose economic promise is in question and which demands the right to judge and guide Poland’s internal life, seems like a bad deal. Eastern Europe has struggled for its sovereignty for a long time. Sovereignty means not bending your knee to a greater power.

But for the EU, Poland and Hungary are mortal challenges. They have defined being European in a certain way. Poland and Hungary are reclaiming their right to their own national identity. The spread of the idea of national identity over EU values leaves the EU as an economic relationship, an elective affinity based on what the EU brings to the table. The EU is configured to judge its members. If the Polish (and British) disease spreads, the members will be judging the EU.
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« Reply #234 on: September 27, 2017, 01:13:29 PM »

"The Polish government’s misfeasance is not really about courts or broadcasting. Rather, it is about Poland deviating from the EU’s ideology. The Polish government has opposed unlimited immigration into Poland by Muslims, arguing that it would change the country’s national character. In other words, Poland has elevated national distinctions to a level unacceptable to the European Union. It insists that there is a Polish nation and that others with differing values cannot become part of it."

Unlike the wonderfully diverse western european countries, Poland doesn't have massive rapes and jihad attacks. Funny how that works.
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« Reply #235 on: September 29, 2017, 10:47:19 PM »

Reality Check
By Jacob L. Shapiro
A Fight Spain Can’t Win

Catalonia’s referendum is an existential threat to Spain as we know it.


The autonomous Spanish community of Catalonia plans to hold an independence referendum on Oct. 1. The Spanish government intends to prevent that referendum from taking place ¬– by any means necessary. Ironically, Spain’s crackdown, while predictable, exacerbates the very threat Spain is trying to subdue. Whether or not Madrid’s heavy-handed approach prevents a declaration of independence, in the long term it will only push more Catalans toward the conclusion that their future lies not with Spain but with themselves. Spain, the European Union’s fourth-largest economy, sits on the verge of a major political crisis that it has no way of solving.

Nations Within Nations

This standoff is only the latest expression of an issue between Madrid and Barcelona that is almost a millennium old: the Catalan people’s desire to rule themselves.

Present-day Catalonia has a culture, language and history that is unique and all its own. It has preserved this identity despite losing multiple wars for self-rule, and despite periods of intense suppression. Catalonia’s desire for independence played a major role in the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, another conflict in which Catalonia ended up on the losing side. Francisco Franco’s rule and repression of Catalonia after the war did nothing to dim Catalonia’s identity, or for that matter any of the identities of the various nations that today make up the Kingdom of Spain.

Franco died in 1975, ending 36 years of military dictatorship. Three years later, Spain adopted its current constitution by a popular referendum in which over 91 percent of voters cast their ballots for ratification. But that constitution did nothing to solve Spain’s fundamental problem: Though it claims to be a unified nation, Spain is made up of several different nations, of which Catalonia is just one. Section 2 of the Spanish Constitution’s Preliminary Title says, “The Constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards; it recognizes and guarantees the right to self-government of the nationalities and regions of which it is composed and the solidarity among them all.”


 

Students gather as they demonstrate against the position of the Spanish government to ban the self-determination referendum of Catalonia during a university students strike on Sept. 28, 2017, in Barcelona, Spain. DAN KITWOOD/Getty Images

This is, of course, a contradiction. First it says Spain is one unified nation. Then it says it’s the responsibility of that one unified nation to preserve the right to self-government of the various nations that comprise it. Nations are not composed of other nations. The concept of the nation is that a group of people share a history, language or principles in common, and that these unique attributes make them different from all other groups of people. The great political organizing principle of our time is that unique groups of people should govern themselves. Spain is, in effect, trying to take a group of nations and create one nation out of them.

With that in mind, Catalonia’s referendum is an existential threat to Spain as we know it. Consider that today, Spain is divided into 19 autonomous regions. Catalonia is one of the most autonomous – it is one of the few regions to have its own police force, for example. If Catalonia were to leave Spain, not only would roughly 20 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product disappear overnight, but it would also raise the possibility that other autonomous regions might be interested in national self-determination too.


(click to enlarge)


Countdown

It is little wonder, then, that the Spanish government, unable to halt the referendum through political means, has in recent weeks responded with force. It has arrested Catalan politicians, put Catalonia’s 17,000-strong Mossos d’Esquadra police force under the control of the Spanish Interior Ministry, dispatched additional Spanish police to Catalonia, and carried out police raids to seize ballots and other referendum materials. Spain’s president declared that his forces would do “all that is necessary” to prevent the vote from taking place.

From Madrid’s perspective, it had little choice in how it could respond. It doesn’t matter that more polls indicate a slight preference among Catalans to remain part of Spain rather than to leave. More polls indicated a slight preference for “remain” over “leave” in Brexit too. The polls are too close for Madrid’s comfort, and Spain won’t leave its future to chance.

It’s a lose-lose situation. Letting the referendum proceed could spell the slow and painful dissolution of Spain as we know it, but cracking down only strengthens the argument for Catalan independence. In fact, though the polls have indicated that the referendum is a toss-up, they’ve been unambiguous about one thing: Many Catalans who are against independence also believe that the choice is ultimately theirs, not Madrid’s, to make.

At a certain point, the referendum will stop being just an internal Spanish issue and will become a European one. Indeed, prominent voices within Spain have already sought Brussels’ help. In a Sept. 28 op-ed for The Guardian, Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau wrote that although she personally opposed independence, the Spanish government had gone too far. She therefore appealed to the European Commission to intervene and mediate between the Spanish and Catalan governments so that the two sides could come to a “negotiated and democratic solution.” Catalonia is not the only would-be new nation-state in Europe, and from Scotland to Kosovo, eyes are trained on Brussels, awaiting its response. When it looked like Scotland might try to leave the United Kingdom after Brexit, the EU ignored the issue. It will be much harder for Brussels to look the other way if Catalonia votes for independence or if Spain cracks down even harder than it already has in the lead-up or aftermath of the referendum.

A spokesman for the Catalan government on Sept. 25 described the Spanish government’s most recent attempts to block the referendum as being no different from the ways in which authoritarian regimes in China and North Korea govern their respective countries. That is an exaggeration – Catalan ministers aren’t being executed by anti-aircraft batteries or facing a Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. But the Spanish government is undeniably using force to prevent the referendum, and whether Oct. 1 or sometime later, there is probably more violence to come. That is because from Madrid’s perspective, the nobility and legitimacy of the Spanish nation is under attack from hulking giants. The trouble for Madrid is that it is not under attack from giants. It is tilting at Catalans. And it isn’t a fight Madrid can win.


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G M
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« Reply #236 on: September 29, 2017, 10:54:37 PM »

Fracturing/collapsing nation-states isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, expect it to spread globally.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #237 on: October 02, 2017, 06:29:42 AM »

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/spain-torn-apart-as-850-hurt-in-catalan-referendum-riots-3glprtngh
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DougMacG
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« Reply #238 on: October 04, 2017, 09:14:44 AM »

G M:
Fracturing/collapsing nation-states isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, expect it to spread globally.
------------------------
"Catalonia to move to declare independence from Spain on Monday
by Reuters"
http://news.trust.org/item/20171004112122-805c3
-------------------------

It makes me wonder, what is Spain without its strongest region.  What is Spain without Barcelona, losing a good deal of Mediterranean coast bordering on the south of France, tourism, agriculture, employment?  Catalonia is one of the richest regions in Spain.

https://www.marketplace.org/2017/09/29/economy/big-reason-catalonia-wants-secede-economic-richest-regions-in-spain
http://www.euronews.com/2017/09/29/six-charts-on-how-catalonia-compares-to-the-whole-of-spain

As the most prosperous of Spain's 17 regions, Catalonia houses roughly 19 percent of Spain's economy, benefiting from tourism, exports, manufacturing, and industry.
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/21/heres-how-bad-economically-a-spain-catalonia-split-could-really-be.html

As GM suggests, what other regions of what other countries will follow.  

Is Spain even a country?  Or is EU the country?

In some ways, aren't we generally better off with smaller, self-governing jurisdictions that make voluntary agreements for security and trade with our neighbors?

Muslims want Iberian peninsula back.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/we-re-coming-to-take-back-spain-isis-video-says-hpjhjrc9d
Does this make the rest of Spain more vulnerable?  The parts closer to and touching north Africa?
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 09:23:43 AM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #239 on: October 04, 2017, 01:32:48 PM »

IIRC Spain's birth rate is around 1.1 or 1.2, which essentially is a demographic death spiral.

I did seminars in Cartagena for nine years running, and have done seminars in Barcelona and Madrid as well.  The last of them was around 2011 (?) and IIRC the unemployment rate was in the 20s and for the young in the 40s.
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ccp
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« Reply #240 on: October 04, 2017, 04:21:37 PM »

Like California separating from US.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #241 on: October 06, 2017, 09:10:29 AM »

Like California separating from US.

Yes.  An even bigger part of Spanish economy than Calif is to US.

Other independence movements in Europe.  Scotland obviously and 6 others:

http://theduran.com/7-independence-movements-in-europe-that-have-the-potential-to-destroy-the-eu/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #242 on: October 09, 2017, 03:46:50 AM »

http://www.dw.com/en/finland-wins-admirers-with-all-inclusive-approach-to-defense/a-40806163
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