Archive for the ‘Integration’ Category

The mis-handling of refugees and the decline of the EU

By Jan Oberg

- who speaks to PressTV about The Jungle camp in Calais and children gone missing since it was destroyed.

EU’s so-called refugee crisis – and what should and must be done

Commenting on PressTv on July 22, 2016 after yet another tragedy in the Mediterranean.
But how much did the media cover that in comparison with the Nice tragedy – and Hollande’s killing of 120 innocent civilians as revenge for Nice (which at the time was not known to have any connections to ISIS or similar)?

Udsigten fra månen…

Af Claus Kold

Fra Månen kan man ikke se Danmark, lige meget hvor godt man kigger. Det kan man ikke, fordi Danmark er en kulturlig konstruktion, som er inde i danskernes hoveder, og som derfor ikke kan ses. Man kan heller ikke se Rusland, USA eller Indien.

Disse stater er nemlig også kun inde i hovederne på de mennesker, der tilfældigvis er født og opvokset i det, de har valgt at kalde fx Israel. Danmark er m.a.o. en tilfældighed. Det kunne lige så godt ikke eksistere, eller ligge et andet sted eller danskerne kunne tale et andet sprog, som de godt nok ville kalde dansk, men som ikke lød dansk – for os, de rigtige danskere.

Stater og statssystemer har ikke altid eksisteret, og op gennem tiden har de, der eksisterede, haft meget forskellige form. De har været religiøse, familieeje, enemandsvælder, étpartistater – i dag er det dominerende ideal territorialt afgrænsede demokratiske stater, hvor befolkningerne helt principielt skal inddrages i beslutningsprocesserne. De forskellige demokratiske stater, der udgør hovedparten af det internationale samfund i dag er dog langt fra ens, og det kan derfor være svært for staterne at forstå hinandens motiver og handlinger.

Til det tilfældige system af tilfældige stater hører lige så tilfældigt menneskeskabte systemer som politik, territorie, økonomi, sikkerheds- og forsvarspolitik, konkurrence, etc. Systemer som kunne være anderledes, men som i dag er bundet til sine egne logikker, som de er blinde for og derfor ikke sætter sig ud over. Systemer kan typisk ikke se og tænke ud over sig selv. Blindheden er farlig, for der tegner sig i stigende grad et billede af at disse tilfældige menneskelige systemer står i kviksand og kæmper med hinanden, uden at opdage at de synker dybere og dybere i, ligesom det heller ikke opdages at konflikterne ikke er nødvendige men systemskabte, kulturlige. Der er nok af globaliserede udfordringer: global opvarming, udryddelse af plante- og dyrearter, krige, terror og flygtninge.

Det statslige system, vi lever med i dag, blev til under helt andre befolkningsstørrelser, livs- og forbrugsformer, økonomier og teknologier end dem, der dominerer i dag. Overfor de globale udfordringer er disse stater på samme tid for store til hverdagens små problemer og for små til de globale udfordringer. I deres forsøg på at forholde sig til globale udfordringer, betjener politikere sig således af forældede instrumenter, og forsøgene på at forholde sig til de globale problemer falder tilbage på politikerne, der fremstår som utroværdige, som musikerne på Titanics stadig mere hældende dæk. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo # 368: Reflections after Brussels

Lund, Sweden, March 29, 2016

Recommended reading…

The general post-Brussels mainstream media discourse has shown the same profile as virtually all others since September 11, 2001:

• Emphasis on who did it, the circumstances where it happened and how the crime was carried out;

• The fate of the victims, the mourning of the nearest relations and the memorial;

• Much larger coverage than more devastating attacks outside the West.

• Absence of relevant and intellectually challenging questions related to the big WHY – Why do some people hate us so intensely, willing to die for it?

• And absence of discussions about possible historical causes and action-reaction perspective – the only reason offered is that they are evil people/Muslims and evil acts must be met with force – Francois Hollande who never misses an opportunity to puff himself up talks about all of Europe being hit – 35 people killed out of 508 million to be precise.

• The underlying, tacit ‘narrative’ of course is that we Europeans are simply innocent victims – more important, that is, than the roughly 1 million Iraqis who died thanks to the European participation in 13 years of sanctions and an illegal war and occupation led by the US. And, as is well-known, victim psychology often legitimates disproportionate responses – to be seen.

• Finally, the complete loss of perceptive proportions in a war that has resulted so far in 350.000 dead Syrians, 4,6 million Syrian refugees and 6,6 million Syrian internally displaced and destruction of yet another Middle Eastern country and its culture – among other things thanks to arms trade to all fractions and thousands upon thousands of bombing sorties – the far majority of which orchestrated by the US/NATO/EU countries over the last 5 years.

We believe there are different perspectives that deserve our attention – based on complex analyses, a moral standpoint and an intense desire to help stop this – for all self-defeating – vicious spiral.

We invite you to browse these and share them in your circles: Read the rest of this entry »

Reflections on the Brussels attack

By Richard Falk

Prefatory Note
A much abbreviated version of this post was published in Al Jazeera English on March 24, 2016. Although the essential analysis is the same, the reasoning here is greatly elaborated. The themes addressed and the policies proposed are advanced in a tentative spirit. Debate and reflection are urgently needed with respect to the political violence that is being unleashed in various forms in the West and non-West.

This latest terrorist outrage for which ISIS claimed responsibility exhibits the new face of 21st century warfare for which there are no front lines, no path to military victory, and acute civilian vulnerability. As such, it represents a radical challenge to our traditional understanding of warfare, and unless responses are shaped by these realities, it could drive Western democracies step by step into an enthused political embrace and revived actuality of fascist politics.

Already the virulence of the fascist virus dormant in every body politic in the West has disclosed its potency in the surprisingly robust Trump/Cruz run to become the Republican candidate in the next American presidential election.

Perhaps, the most important dimension of this 21st century pattern of warfare, especially as it is playing out in the Middle East, is the will and capacity of violent extremists to extend the battlefield to those perceived to be their enemies, and to rely on acutely alienated Europeans and North Americans to undertake the suicidal bloody tasks.

The British Independent struck the right note in its commentary, Read the rest of this entry »

Merkel’s selfie – and what about terrorists coming in as refugees?



Jan Oberg’s comments on the Merkel selfie, lack of EU refugee management and answers what to do if there are terrorists coming among the refugees


TFF PressInfo # 367: Will the EU become a criminal union tomorrow?

By Jan Oberg

The EUropean Union – a criminal? The EU that has peace as it’s top goal and received Nobel’s Peace Prize? The EU with Schengen and Dublin? The EU with “European” values, humanism and mission civilisatrice that tells others how to live in accordance with international law and in respect for human rights?

We live in times where little shall surprise us anymore. The answer to the question – will EU become a criminal in international law terms? – will be answered on March 17 and 18 when the EU Council meets to decide whether or not to carry through the agreement with Turkey about how to handle refugees.

Amnesty International knows what it is all about. AI uses words such as “alarmingly shortsighted”, “inhumane”, “dehumanising”, “moral and legally flawed” and “EU and Turkish leaders have today sunk to a new low, effectively horse trading away the rights and dignity of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

And “By no stretch of imagination can Turkey be considered a ‘safe third country’ that the EU can cosily outsource its obligations to,” says Iverna McGowan, Head of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

When Amnesty International expresses itself this way, we should listen very very carefully. I do and I’ve signed Amnesty’s Open Letter to Swedish prime minister Löfvén protesting that Sweden too may join this inhuman and law-violating agreement with Turkey. Hurry up, it is tomorrow!

Behind every refugee stands an arms trade, stands militarism. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo 359: Why anti-refugee policies in Denmark? Part 3/4

By Jan Oberg

Article 1/4

Article 2/4

But why?

One can point to many reasons for such a tragic development in an otherwise decent, wealthy and hitherto well-respected country.

• It’s become too easy to go to war. The generation of politicians who might have a sense of war are long gone. If you take property owned by people who have fled thousands of kilometres because their life opportunities have been smashed and who carry just what they could grab in a hurry and carry – you simply have no idea of what life is like in a war zone. Neither do you see any need for advisers.

• Only a small percentage of Danish politicians have any international experience, no special competence, in international affairs – in sharp contrast to the 1970s-80s.

• Knowledge, broad civic education and cultured manners have been replaced by marketing consultants, styling experts, and fast politics salesmanship.

• Politics nowadays attracts a different kind of people than before. They fight more for their power positions than for an ideology, values, norms or a vision of a better world – all of which is totally outdated in today’s politics.

• Politics is a job or profession, not a calling based on deepy held individual values and visions about a better society for all.

• Anyone mentioning ethics or existential responsibilities would be ridiculed. And neither do media people raise such dimensions. An expert in ethics is hardly ever invited to the TV debates.

• Since the end of the Cold War, there has been no international balancing factor to take into account – the US/NATO and EU could do virtually what they pleased, riskfree violations of all good norms and international law – and implicit, if not intended, humiliation of Russia.

• The social democratic party developed from a working class solidarity movement to a middle class power elite losing on the way all ideals, ideology and solidarity with disadvantaged classes domestically and internationally. It lost its narrative and party identity as a social transformation agent for the better sometime in the 1980s. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo # 358 – Denmark, Decency and Decay (2/4)

By Jan Oberg

Or, where there is a will, there is a way

The first part of four here

2001 – the ‘war on terror’

The war on terror was initiatied after 9/11 – Afghanistan 10/7. Denmark went along without thinking. The idea came from Washington, so what was there to think about?
At the time about 400 people were killed in international terrorism per year; today the Global Terror Index informs us that 32.000 people are killed in terrorism. It must be the stupidest war in modern time and the majority of the victims are found in the Middle East, not in Europe and not in the US.

But we bomb – and create more terrorism. And more refugees. Politics having become anti-intellectual and devoid of ethical considerations, few connect the dots. Fewer see Denmark’s own co-responsibility for causing the problems and even fewer see the moral responsibility of taking care. No, steal their belongings.

Iraq

It was prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen of the liberal Party, Venstre (meaning left but it’s neo-liberal right) whose government made Denmark an occupying power in Iraq over four years (2003-2007). By any standards the most serious foreign policy blunder of Danish foreign policy since 1945.

Asked recently on Danish television how he felt about the tragic situation in today’s Iraq he answered that – well, we stretched out our hand to the Iraqi people but unfortunately they didn’t take it.

No remorse there, Mr. Always Right. But quite a statement when you are a non-convicted war criminal having joined a project that killed about 1 million Iraqis during war, occupation and 13 years of sanction. The Danish politicians and people are still, it seems, unable or unwilling to understand the dimensions of this blunder – which is one reason they also don’t understand today what it means to be a refugee.

Muhamed carictures

It was under his leadership – or lack if it – the Muhamed caricatures became a diplomatic disaster. He refused to meet with Muslim leaders in Denmark and also ignored a letter of concern from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the global voice of Muslims with 57 member states and 1,6 billion people.

Probably no one in the PM’s and foreign minister’s office had a clue what the OIC was.

But he did know who Khadaffi was when later, rewarded for his good deeds by the US and catapulted to S-G of NATO, he spearheaded the coalition member states’ violation of the very limited UN mandate, their destruction of that country and the killing of Khadaffi. Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo 357: Denmark, Decency and Decay (1/4)

By Jan Oberg

Or, where there is a will there is a way*

Once again Denmark appears in the international community and media for the wrong things, this time for a law package with three main, draconian anti-refugee laws. One legalises stealing – that’s what it is – valuables owned by refugees upon arrival if they exceed US$ 1450; the second cuts down on the already meagre daily benefit and the third extends the family reuinion period from 1 to 3 years.

81 MPs voted yes, 27 No, 1 abstained and 70 MPs were absent. The main argument is that Denmark wants to “signal” that asylum seekers should go elsewhere. Otherwise marketing-conscious politicians have overlooked that there are millions upon millions out there who are not asylum seekers and they get an extremely bad impression of Denmark. Like they did when Denmark put ads in Middle Eastern newspaper some time ago to deter potential refugees.

The three laws – of which the first clearly provokes memories of what the Nazis did to the Jews – are just a peak point in a long (mal)development of Denmark’s foreign policy. It can be characterised by incremental absence of ethics, solidarity, compassion, empathy and sound human judgement – all concepts outside the domain of ‘real’ politics – combined with increased interventionism, militarism and lofty contempt for international laws.

By passing these laws, the country’s parliamentarians – with a few exceptions – have soiled the image of the country abroad even more and for a very long time ahead, one must fear.

It is not unreasonable to assume that terrorists will pay attention to this development which is de facto targetting refugees which are almost 100% Muslims.

Many Danish citizens including myself now recognise that ‘Dane’ rhymes with ‘Shame’. This trend in Danish policitics doesn’t happen in our name.

Once upon a time

Denmark used to be known and appreciated around the world Read the rest of this entry »

 

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