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"Europe and the great migration"


Helene Guldberg stellt das neue Buch "The Unsettling of Europe: The Great Migration, 1945 to the Present" von Peter Gatrell vor, der Ursachen und Konsequenzen der großen Migrationsbewegungen in Europa seit dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs analysiert hat. "Today, the debate about migration and immigration is often presented as a moral one – with one side valuing 'tolerance' and 'openness' and the other cast as 'racist' and 'xenophobic'. We urgently need to move beyond these shrill, faux debates, and explore the effects of migration more honestly. The Unsettling of Europe is a welcome contribution to this debate, because it does what so few other studies do: focuses clearly on the forces driving migration, and on the effects of migration on those who are uprooted."

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"How the left gives cover to Muslim anti-Semitism"


Der britisch-libysche Autor Alaa al-Ameri wirft der politischen Linken in Großbritannien vor, islamistischen Kräften eine Opferrolle zugestanden zu haben, die es erlaube, Kritik an antisemitischen "Arbeitslehren" des Islamismus als "islamophob" abzuwehren. "There is also a deliberate reluctance to accept that Islam has its own distinct history of anti-Semitism, and that this history has always been deeply embedded in the Arab conflict with Israel, whether in its secular or Islamist incarnations. In seeking to protect Muslims using the misnomer of ‘Islamophobia’, we are often protecting the ability of Islamists to mainstream their worldview, including anti-Semitism. (…) white-nationalist anti-Semitism is used to distract from Islamist anti-Semitism. Because white nationalists have no more love for Muslims than for Jews, people with Islamist-inspired anti-Semitic views and sympathies can hide among the victims, often with a handy list of 'intersectional' identity tags to bolster their credibility. Given the woke worldview of the modern left, these identity tags are all that is required to mobilise support from non-Muslim leftists, who reliably come to the aid of Muslim anti-Semites with cries of 'Islamophobia'. (…) We need to end this curious process by which the discussion of Islamism has been made radioactive but the discussion of Israel is deemed so moral and urgent that it can lead some to give cover to anti-Semites."

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"Open borders and social democracy don’t mix"


Rakib Ehsan vom Centre on Radicalisation & Terrorism der Henry Jackson Society in London schreibt nach dem jüngsten Labour-Parteitag, dass die von der Partei vertretene Migrationspolitik der offenen Grenzen kaum mit ihren ebenfalls bekräftigten sozialdemokratischen Zielen vereinbart werden könne. "In comparison to many other countries, Britain has a relatively high minimum wage and a generous welfare state, which of course includes a publicly funded healthcare system. The scrapping of restrictions to accessing the NHS, social housing and the benefits system would only serve to act as ‘pull factors’ from a migration perspective. This proposed extension of social rights was combined in the motion with the absurd proposal to give all non-UK nationals with residency rights the right to vote in General Elections. This would fundamentally erode the very notion of British political citizenship. If anyone in the world can become a member of Britain’s democratic community with such ease, citizenship is rendered meaningless. (...) The economics of social democracy can only be truly sustained if it is complemented by a sensible immigration system, along with a broader political culture that fosters community cohesion and cultivates a strong sense of national identity. Labour’s current path will ultimately lead to self-destruction."

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"Trump and Ukraine – let the voters decide"


Sean Collins meint, dass es besser wäre, US-Präsident Trump durch die Wahl im nächsten Jahr aus dem Amt zu entfernen. Bis dahin sollten die Demokraten Trump für sein Verhalten bestrafen, ohne die Kluft zwischen dem politischen Establishment und den Wählern weiter zu vertiefen, z.B. durch einen formellen Tadel des Kongresses. "Democrats act as if the only alternatives are impeachment or do nothing; to not impeach, they contend, would be to condone Trump’s actions and set a bad precedent for future presidents to abuse their executive powers. But the choice of how to respond is not that simple. For a start, Congress can – if the case is ultimately proved beyond doubt – pass a resolution formally to censure Trump. That would make clear Congress’s opposition and serve as a visible black mark on the president’s record. But more to the point, voters should be the ones to decide Trump’s fate. (...) it will appear to voters that the choice has been taken out of their hands. The message will be clear: we, the elite in Congress, don’t trust you, the mass of American people, to make the right decision. Impeachment will be viewed by many as a move by the political establishment to overturn the result of a democratic election, just because they didn’t like the man who won."

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"Egypt: the Arab Spring persists"


Tim Black stellt fest, dass Ägypten heute autoritärer regiert werde als unter der Militärdiktatur des 2011 gestürzten Präsidenten Mubarak. Umso bemerkenswerter sei die neue Protestbewegung, die sich offen gegen den vom Westen unterstützten Präsident Sisi richte. "The protests were nowhere near as large as they were eight years ago. But the very fact they are happening at all is highly significant, given the apparatus of state repression now marshalled against the people. It seems that even Sisi himself was surprised, as well he might have been, given he had outlawed all unauthorised demonstrations. (...) Not that Sisi is likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. This very public challenge to his authority is likely to provoke a severe response, with his regime coming down hard on the protesters and their families. What’s more, Sisi will be doing so with the backing of regional allies such as Saudi Arabia, and Western powers, from the US to the EU. (...) So Egypt’s incipient protest movement is up against a considerable opponent. It faces not just the brutal state apparatus of Sisi, but also those regional and global powers who have a vested interest in propping it up. But, as the Arab Spring itself showed, even if only momentarily, the people are never impotent."

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"The unravelling of the international order"


Phil Mullan verweist auf Analysen, denen zufolge die Instabilität der internationalen Ordnung kein Resultat der politischen Initiativen Donald Trumps, sondern lange vor dem Amtsantritt des US-Präsidenten erkennbar gewesen sei. Ein wichtiger Faktor sei der relative wirtschaftliche Niedergang des Westens und die resultierende Zunahme internationaler Spannungen. "Depressed national economies compete more aggressively. The failure to overcome the West’s generalised economic slowdown increases competitive friction not only between individual businesses, but also between Western nations. There is a shared impetus to mitigate domestic economic decay through greater orientation to the world market, and this generates rivalries between the advanced industrial nations. Different nations increasingly find their firms going after the same export markets, the same sources of cheap inputs, and the same locations for profitable investments. Expanding state support to their respective businesses creates friction between nations. These economic rivalries are compounded by a weakened capacity to manage international relationships. When political and social troubles spread at home, as is all too evident today, nations scapegoat others for their own problems. (...) While the US pursues provocative tactics, and the EU takes a more preservationist approach to the old rules-based trade system, their aim is the same: stopping China from achieving global dominance."

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"Where’s the solidarity for Sri Lanka’s Christians?"


Rakib Ehsan hält es für auffällig, wie unterschiedlich internationale Reaktionen auf die Anschläge gegen christliche Ziele in Sri Lanka im Vergleich zu den Reaktionen auf den rechtsextremen Terrorakt gegen zwei Moscheen im neuseeländischen Christchurch ausgefallen sind. "The differences in tone and nature between the condemnations of the Christchurch and Sri Lanka terrorist attacks are striking. After Christchurch, there was no hesitation about stating the religious backgrounds of the victims and directing emotion and affection towards Muslim communities. Politicians took no issue with categorising the events in Christchurch as terrorism. In contrast, the words 'terrorism' and 'Christianity', along with their associated terms, have so far failed to feature in much of the reaction to the attacks in Sri Lanka. What is evident is not only a clear reluctance to specify the religious background of Christians who were killed in Sri Lanka, but also an absence of heartfelt solidarity with Christian communities across the world, which continue to suffer grave forms of persecution on the grounds of their faith."

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"Why Bibi keeps winning"


Daniel Ben-Ami erklärt, dass die Wahlerfolge von Premierminister Netanjahu nicht zu erklären sind, wenn man ihn nur als "Rechtspopulisten" charakterisiert. "There are several reasons why what could loosely be called Bibi-ism is in the ascendant. First, some form of nationalism was always going to appeal to Israeli voters. (...) Second, and related to the point about nationalism, is the reality that Israel does indeed face an existential threat. In that respect Netanyahu is correct. (...) Countries led by other populist leaders – such as the US, Russia, Brazil, India and Hungary – face nothing similar. (...) Finally, there is perhaps the most difficult question of all: the lack of a discussion of peace with the Palestinians in the Israeli elections. On one level it is straightforward. There is no pressure on Israel to come to any accommodation. (...) Although the Palestinians certainly suffer from some discrimination at the hands of the Israelis, the treatment by their supposed friends is even worse. Palestinians are no longer viewed as a grouping that has a right to control their destiny. Instead they are viewed as an identity group whose main goal is to be the recipients of Western pity. (...) Although [Netanyahu] can be justly criticised for many of his policies towards the Palestinians, he is far from alone in creating their plight. On the contrary, the Western critics of nationalism have created a climate in which Palestinians are cast as the ultimate victims of global affairs. And as a result, Palestinians’ own aspirations for national self-determination are taken away from them."

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"New Zealand’s ghoulish opportunists"


Ein Teil der westlichen Medien nutze den Anschlag von Christchurch auf "zynische" Art und Weise, um die eigene politische Agenda zu verfolgen und Islamkritiker jeder Art anzuprangern, meint Brendan O'Neill. Es sei auffällig, wie unterschiedlich die gleichen Kommentatoren auf islamistische Anschläge reagiert hätten. "Following Islamist barbarism in Europe and the US in recent years (...) the instruction from our betters has been the same every time. Don’t get angry, they say. Don’t exaggerate the threat of terrorism, they counsel. And don’t dare suggest that any book or idea, whether it is the Koran itself or pamphlets handed out at more questionable mosques, contributed to this attack. (...) This time the response could not be more different. Now we are actively invited to feel anger. Now we are told we must look for the source material that inspired this hateful individual and then condemn it and censor it. Now we are told that we must organise against the new fascism. (...) That, in essence, is what we are witnessing in response to New Zealand: a recognition among certain observers and activists that this racist atrocity can be used to boost their narrative. Their narrative of identity, of Muslim victimhood, of censorship, of social control. Islamist atrocities, on the other hand, harm their narrative."

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"New Zealand: the barbarism of identity politics"


Brendan O'Neill weist nach dem Anschlag von Christchurch darauf hin, dass der rechtsextreme Täter in seinem mutmaßlichen Manifest einen radikalen Ethnonationalismus vertreten und sich selbst immer wieder als "Weißen" bezeichnet habe. "The killer seems to see himself as little more than a cultural being. In his seeming manifesto he professes commitment to the warped ethos of ethno-nationalism and continually refers to himself as white. He can see no identity for himself beyond the one he inherited by birth. (...) The identitarian impulse has catastrophically divided society. It has nurtured cultural and racial conflict. It has given rise to a grotesque game of competitive grievance. It has had an inexorably fragmentary impact, ripping the social fabric. We are now actively invited to think racially, behave racially, conceive of ourselves as little more than white men or black women or whatever, and to engage with people through a racially and culturally heightened perspective: check your white privilege, watch your microaggressions, stay in your cultural lane, etc. It would be remarkable if such a depraved culture did not help to nurture new forms of violence. New Zealand confirms that identitarianism is now a scourge of the violent right as well as the woke left. The only person to blame for the massacres in New Zealand is the man who carried them out. No identitarian politician or activist or commentator is responsible for this. But if we want to limit the attraction of such violent identitarian thinking, such vicious cultural paranoia, we must urgently make the case for a new humanist politics in which your character and humanity count for more than your skin colour and your heritage."

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"Kashmir and the fatal legacy of partition"


Tim Black erklärt die tieferen Ursachen der gefährlichen Konfrontation zwischen Indien und Pakistan und weist dabei neben dem postkolonialen Erbe beider Länder auch auf deren Rolle in den geopolitischen Strategien anderer Mächte hin. "(...) the interminable, nascent conflict in Kashmir is not just Pakistan’s and India’s problem. Firstly, it implicates the US. The Pakistan Islamist militias, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed, which are responsible for many of the terror attacks in Kashmir and in other Indian cities, including the Mumbai terror attack in 2008, were largely and unwittingly cultivated, if not created, during the 1980s by the Pakistani military in cahoots with the US. (...) After 9/11 and the US-led 'war on terror', the picture became even messier. (...) Secondly, America’s decision to distance itself from Pakistan, and shift its affections towards India, has not only inflamed tensions between India and Pakistan — it has also brought China’s role in perpetuating the ongoing antagonism into focus. (...) The problem is that in pursuing certain objectives through Pakistan and to a lesser extent India, international actors unwittingly end up perpetuating a conflict between the two, be it creating the conditions for an Islamist insurgency, and Muslim resentment, in India, or through supporting the one (Pakistan) to keep the other in check (India)."

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"How to deal with Shamima Begum"


Luke Gittos spricht sich in seinem Kommentar zum Fall Shamima Begum dagegen aus, die junge IS-Anhängerin, die aus einem Flüchtlingslager in Syrien nach Großbritannien zurückkehren will, als "Opfer" zu behandeln. "Article after article has described her as a ‘victim’. Deploying the language of childhood sexual abuse, some have claimed she was ‘groomed’ into joining ISIS. Some have seriously argued that she must be ‘traumatised’ by her experience of seeing removed heads. Some have gone so far to say that her morally confused ramblings in front of the camera have something valuable to say about Western foreign policy. (...) Begum should not be treated like a normal criminal. No one who flees the UK to join ISIS deserves the dignity of an ordinary criminal trial. Criminals transgress the rules of the community they live in. Begum is a traitor. She left our community and elected to join an organisation that aims to destroy our community, to destroy Western values. She should not be treated as if she has merely broken a criminal law."

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"ISIS: the threat is still homegrown"


In der Debatte über die Bedrohung, die vom "Islamischen Staat" nach der Zerschlagung des IS-Kalifats für den Westen ausgeht, erinnert Tim Black daran, dass islamistische Terroristen in Ländern wie Frankreich und Großbritannien in der Regel im Westen geboren und aufgezogen wurden. "It’s a simple but important point: Islamist terrorism in the West comes from within Western society, not without. It is a nihilistic rejection of Western culture and society, perpetrated, largely, by young men who live much as other young men in the West might. Salman Ramadan Abedi, the Manchester Arena suicide bomber, partied, drank vodka and smoked marijuana. Ohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who drove a truck through a Bastille Day parade in Nice, boozed, took drugs and enjoyed casual sex with men and women. These young men wear sportswear, watch TV and play videogames, take drugs and drink. Yet they simultaneously avow a loathing of this life. And it is a loathing, a self-loathing, that, in a sense, mirrors Western society’s own self-loathing – of consumerism, of materialism, and so on. They don’t become jihadists because they are Muslims, or because their parents might be from Libya or Iraq. Rather, they become jihadists because they loathe their society, and ultimately themselves."

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"Shamima Begum is something worse than a criminal"


Brendan O'Neill zeigt kein Verständnis für die junge Britin Shamima Begum, die sich vor einigen Jahren dem IS in Syrien angeschlossen hat, heute mit ihren Kindern in einem Flüchtlingslager lebt und auf eine Rückkehr nach Großbritannien hofft. "(...) we are not talking about burglars or drug-dealers here. We are talking about traitors, quislings, modern-day Lord Haw-Haws. This is an entirely different order of offence to a crime against property or against a person. This is a crime against all persons, against all Britons. Rehabilitation has nothing to say here. Redemption is not the aim. A society that feels sympathy for its own traitors is a society that has truly lost the moral plot. (...) Perhaps we should devote serious resources to going to fetch these people, not out of some sense of obligation to them as citizens of the UK, but as a demonstration of our deep commitment to tackling the crime of traitorism. Bring them back? Okay. And then let us do what all nations ought to do when confronted by large-scale traitorism: subject these people to military trials and treat them as the very thing they travelled thousands of miles to become – enemy combatants."

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"A tale of two Venezuelas"


Das Bild Venezuelas im Westen sei stark vom dort tobenden "Kulturkampf" geprägt, meint Tim Black. Rechten Kulturkriegern erscheine das Land als "sozialistisches Höllenloch", bei vielen Linken gelte es dagegen als "antikapitalistisches Leuchtfeuer". "The Western left has long dismissed its own working classes as reactionary, excessively materialistic, and, well, none too bright. And so it clung, parasite-like, to an image, a mirage, of Venezuela, drawing ideological sustenance from Chavez’s oil-bloated state as a tick does from a cow. (...) In return, Western right-wingers damned Venezuela with as much ease, and as little care for the facts, as their domestic opponents praised it. As the earlier achievements of Chavismo, the rising literacy rates and falling poverty, began to be undone by the ensuing economic and political crisis, the glee of right-wingers at the ruination of Venezuela was palpable. Today it is at a sickening pitch. (...) Both left and right have turned Venezuela from a particular crisis into a general example, a socialist archetype to be either condemned or venerated, depending on one’s allegiance in the culture wars."

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"Removing your hijab can get you killed – even in the West"


Spiked hat sich anlässlich des in 140 Ländern unterstützten "World Hijab Day" am 1. Februar mit der Aktivistin Yasmine Mohammed unterhalten, die mit ihrer Twitter-Aktion #NoHijabDay muslimische Frauen unterstützen möchte, die die Kopfbedeckung trotz religiöser und staatlicher Zwänge ablehnen. "Last year was the first year that I responded to World Hijab Day, which was set up by Islamists in the US. I posted a video of myself burning the hijab, in solidarity with the women in Iran, Saudi Arabia and all over the world who would like to remove this cloth from their heads. For many women in Muslim-majority countries, to do so could not only mean ostracism or abuse from your family and community, but also could mean being imprisoned or killed. This is not unheard of in Western countries, either. In Canada, there was a 16-year-old who was killed for removing her hijab."

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"The US is betraying the Kurds all over again"


Tim Black stellt fest, dass der Sieg kurdischer Truppen über die letzte IS-Bastion im Osten Syriens in der westlichen Öffentlichkeit kaum registriert worden sei. Zugleich habe die US-Regierung bestenfalls verhalten auf die Ankündigung einer neuen türkischen Offensive gegen die syrischen Kurden reagiert. "All this bodes ill for the Kurds in Syria. Given what has gone before, with the US constantly letting down the Kurds in Syria when Turkey attacks, this looks like set to be another slow-motion betrayal – a case, once again, of the US encouraging the Kurds with one hand, while shaking Turkey’s iron fist with the other. The Kurds deserve better. In the shape of the Peshmerga in Iraq and the YPG in Syria, they have proven themselves one of the few forces willing and able to roll back ISIS. And they have done so because they are motivated by the dream of what was promised at the end of the First World War – a Kurdish nation state. Having long suffered at the hands of their current host states, and having demonstrated a capacity for self-determination, it is a dream that should at long last be made a reality."

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"Western war games in Ukraine"


Tim Black hält die westliche Debatte über die Krise im Asowschen Meer für einseitig. Viele der geäußerten Vorwürfe gegen Russland seien durchaus gerechtfertigt, allerdings werde die ukrainische Rolle bei der Verschärfung des Konflikts häufig heruntergespielt. Auch die Verantwortung des Westens selbst werde kaum thematisiert. "(...) it is a myth that the West has been too passive, too inactive, in its recent relationship with Russia. Quite the opposite, as Poroshenko’s appeals to the West for more support indicate. Because this conflict is already a low-level, war-gaming one between NATO members and the EU on one side and Russia on the other. That is to say, the West has already been too active in the Ukraine conflict. It has already engaged in a decades-long, half-baked provocation of Russia (...). It is telling that a European Parliament study in 2017 concluded that 'the era of geopolitical choice for Kiev is over'. In other words, it chose the West. Yet, in many ways, that is the wrong way round. It would be more accurate to say that NATO and the EU chose Ukraine. And in doing so, they have sowed the seeds of a conflict they now wilfully and myopically blame on Russia."

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"Asia Bibi and the legacy of partition"


Tim Black betrachtet die islamistischen Proteste gegen den Freispruch der wegen Blasphemie angeklagten Christin Asia Bibi in Pakistan im historischen Kontext der Gründung des Landes. "Over the past 10 years alone, radical Islamist groups, enjoying the tacit support of certain political parties, have launched attacks against churches and other places where Christians might gather, while institutions and organisations continue to discriminate, reserving the most menial of tasks for Christians. So why is there such animosity towards Christians (and other religious minorities) in Pakistan? The answer lies, in part, in the tensions inherent in the foundation of Pakistan in 1947. Birthed in the moment of liberation from British imperial rule, Pakistan was to be a secular state. Yet, as everyone knows, that moment of liberation was also the moment of the partition of the Indian sub-continent along religious lines, with India designated a home for Hindus and Pakistan a home for Muslims. So while Pakistan was secular in form, its content was Islamic. This has often meant that the Pakistani state has ultimately relied on Islam, and, nestling alongside it, anti-Indianism, for its coherence, its identity. Which means that the state’s relationship with religious minorities is always potentially, latently antagonistic."

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"The abandonment of Asia Bibi"


Brendan O'Neill fragt, warum der Fall der pakistanischen Christin Asia Bibi von der politischen Linken im Westen weitgehend ignoriert wird. "Bibi, after all, comes across as an ideal person for those of a genuinely liberal or leftist persuasion to get behind. She’s a woman. She’s a farm labourer. She is part of a persecuted minority (Christians in Pakistan). And she has been subjected to awful punishments and deprivations merely for saying something. In a different era, Asia would have been a cause célèbre in certain Western circles. But not today. Why? Because many in the West now agree that the thing Bibi is alleged to have done, and for which she has been so severely punished, is indeed immoral – that is, mocking Muhammad. (...) in the West we don’t call it blasphemy. We call it ‘Islamophobia’ or ‘hate speech’. Across Europe, blasphemy laws, most enthusiastically aimed at those who blaspheme against Islam, have been rehabilitated in the guise of clamping down on ‘phobic’ speech. (...) This is why Western progressives cannot give full-throated support to Asia Bibi – because, at root, they agree that what she did was wrong."

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"Bolsonaro is not a fascist"


Anlässlich der Berichterstattung vieler westlicher Medien über den Sieg des politisch rechts stehenden Kandidaten Jair Bolsonaro bei den brasilianischen Präsidentschaftswahlen hat spiked einen Essay von Brendan O’Neill neu veröffentlicht, der den aktuellen Gebrauch des "Faschismus"-Begriffs in der politischen Debatte kritisiert. "Weissman and Orwell would be horrified by the fascist mania of 2017. There is no circumspection. Orwell was worried that the word would lose its ‘last vestige of meaning’ if people insisted on applying it to everyone they disagreed with  –  and that has happened. The word is now used with an ahistoricism and thoughtlessness that are genuinely alarming. (...) It is a fantasy to claim fascism has made a comeback. And it’s a revealing fantasy. When the political and media elites speak of fascism today, what they’re really expressing is fear. Fear of the primal, unpredictable mass of society. Fear of unchecked popular opinion. Fear of what they view as the authoritarian impulses of those outside their social, bureaucratic circle."

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"Trump is not inciting violence"


Wendy Kaminer widerspricht der These, dass die politische Rhetorik des US-Präsidenten direkt für den Anstieg rechtsextremer Gewalt in den USA verantwortlich gemacht werden kann. Donald Trump habe mit seinen Äußerungen einiges zum "miserablen" Zustand der politischen Debatte beigetragen, daraus könne jedoch kein "kausaler Zusammenhang" zur Gewalt abgeleitet werden. "The logic of inferring a direct causal relationship between his language and the violence of others is the flawed and potentially censorious logic of trigger warnings. But absolving Trump of incitement doesn’t absolve him of any responsibility for the angry, abysmal state of our political discourse, and it doesn’t deny the power of speech to shape people’s attitudes and ideas. (...) When Trump’s critics sharply criticise his rhetoric on immigration and other volatile issues, when they accuse him of potentially dangerous fearmongering, they’re simply countering his speech with their own. It is not his fault, however, if they fail to persuade voters – the ultimate arbiters of political truth, responsible for deciding who or what to believe."

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"Why the West will forgive Saudi Arabia"


Tim Black bezweifelt, dass der Khashoggi-Skandal das Verhältnis des Westens mit Saudi-Arabien langfristig beeinflussen wird. Bereits jetzt sei erkennbar, dass Regierungsvertreter nur darauf warten, eine offizielle Erklärung der Saudis akzeptieren zu können. "They want to believe that this was not a state-sanctioned execution, that their man, MBS, had nothing to with it. Indeed it was President Donald Trump who, a week ago, first mooted the theory now being regurgitated by the Saudi regime: namely, that it was a bunch of rogue Saudi agents whodunnit. Trump even admitted yesterday that ‘I would love if [MBS] wasn’t responsible’. (...) It is a good look to come out against the killing of dissenting journalists. Yet it remains just that – a look. Beneath the blustering moralising from those now suddenly awake to the not-very-liberal reality of an absolutist monarchy there is little to suggest the West’s relationship with Saudi Arabia will fundamentally alter. (...) Make no mistake, Western elites are only too comfortable with their moral hypocrisy, casting (and sometimes crushing) some despotic states as evil, terroristic and tyrannical, while clutching others very close, arms deals and investment vehicles in hand."

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"Sisi: the West's favourite dictator"


Tim Black wirft westlichen Regierungen vor, das autokratische Regime von Ägyptens Präsident Sisi weitgehend kritiklos anzuerkennen oder sogar lobend hervorzuheben. "The double standards are striking, but not surprising. For a start, Egypt is deemed a strategic ally by Western nations in whatever the latest iteration of the decade-long 'war on terror' is now called, the logic of which Sisi himself uses when crushing domestic opponents on the grounds that they are terrorists. Egypt is also important economically, especially for Britain, which is the largest foreign investor in Egypt and responsible for 40 per cent of its foreign investment. And, above all, Egypt in 2011, in the democratising throes of the Arab Spring at its height, frightened the West. Or, more accurately, Egyptian people, and who they might vote for, frightened the West. That they eventually did elect Morsi, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood leader, confirmed those worst fears. (...) Under Sisi, Egypt is farther away than ever from the aspirations of the Arab Spring. And closer than ever to Western states."

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"The West has no moral authority in Syria"


Tim Black erinnert daran, dass es sich bei der Mehrheit der syrischen Rebellen in der Idlib-Provinz um radikalislamische Extremisten handle. "This is not Russian or Syrian propaganda. It is estimated that in the Idlib province right now, there are 70,000 rebels, dominated by the Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) faction, which is in control of about 60 per cent of the the province. HTS is actually a rebrand of the earlier jihadi militia al-Nusra Front, which, up until recently, was affiliated with al-Qaeda. This is why the Idlib province was described last year as 'the largest al-Qaeda safe haven since 9/11'. Not by Assad or Putin, but by Brett McGurk, the senior US envoy to the international coalition then fighting ISIS. McGurk’s assertion was backed up by the UN envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, who admitted last week that 'no one doubts that Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda are terrorists… and terrorists identified by the UN need to be defeated'."

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"Chemnitz and the politics of fear"


Sabine Beppler-Spahl wirft sowohl den rechten Demonstranten in Chemnitz als auch ihren Kritikern aus dem linken politischen Spektrum in der aktuellen Debatte über Einwanderung und Integration "politische Übertreibung" vor. "There is no question that right-wing groups from across Germany, not just Saxony, have jumped on this particular knife attack in an opportunistic way. And yet the other side, those criticising the far right, is equally guilty of exacerbating the situation. By presenting the whole of Saxony, and everyone who is concerned about immigration, as a ‘neo-Nazi darknet come to life’, they have also engaged in fearful politics and have avoided addressing the real issues and concerns. The events of last week confirm there is an unresolved tension around the issue of immigration. Yet the liberal-left just doesn’t want to hear of it. (...) prohibitions and bans won’t help. If people feel that the only space in which they can voice their concerns is on a rowdy protest, then something is seriously wrong."

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"It's now the US v Turkey"


Der aktuelle Streit zwischen den USA und der Türkei ist nach Ansicht von Tim Black die Folge eines tiefer gehenden Konflikts, der auf die westlichen Interventionen im Nahen Osten zurückzuführen sei. "(...) this trade war, and the Brunson fiasco that underpins it, is part of a longer-running, deeper antagonism that has developed between Turkey and the West. And it has developed, in the main, because of the West’s clueless interventions in the Middle East, in particular in Syria where it has actively backed Kurdish forces Turkey considers a threat to its internal security. And worse still, Kurdish forces that the West then effectively abandoned to their fate at the hands of Turkish military after ISIS had been rolled back. And perversely, by clumsily turning itself against Turkey, the US, with its Western allies in tow, has not undermined Erdogan. Far from it. It has reinforced the autocratic tendencies of his reign (...). One suspects, given Turkey’s refusal to back sanctions against Iran, and its ever-growing proximity to Russia, that Turkey has already recalibrated its foreign relations. The old postwar alliances really are coming apart now."

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"Barcelona, one year on"


Brendan O'Neill kritisiert ein Jahr nach dem Terroranschlag von Barcelona, bei dem ein Attentäter mit einem Lieferwagen 13 Menschen tötete, dass der gewalttätige Islamismus im Westen von vielen nach wie vor nicht ernst genug genommen werde. Der Kontrast zur Reaktion auf den Tod einer Demonstrantin in Charlottesville wenige Tage vor dem Anschlag sei "alarmierend": "Charlottesville was instantly institutionalised as a turning-point event. It was folded, in mere days, into a 21st-century political narrative about a resurgent far right (an overblown threat) and the need for a more serious, anti-fascist left. It became a morality tale, swiftly. And it remains a morality tale, one year later. After violent Islamist attacks, in contrast, we are warned against doing anything like that. Don’t look for lessons. Don’t make it a moral issue. Don’t politicise it or get too angry about it, because apparently that is what ISIS wants. This urge to moralise small neo-Nazi protests in the US while de-moralising, depoliticising and fundamentally defusing the problem of Islamist extremism has to be explained. What drives this double standard? It is fear. Cultural fear. Fear of us, the masses, and what we will get up to if society green-lights an honest discussion about the radical Islamist problem. And fear for Muslims, whom too many on the left infantilise and treat as incapable of hearing robust discussion about problems in their communities."

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"The destruction of Yemen"


Tim Black macht den Westen für die humanitäre Katastrophe in Jemen mitverantwortlich. Die von Saudi-Arabien angeführte Militärallianz könne im Krieg gegen die Huthi-Rebellen auf Unterstützung aus den USA und Europa zählen, während die Opfer und die systematische Zerstörung der zivilen Infrastruktur des Landes kaum Beachtung fänden. "'The world’s worst humanitarian crisis', as the UN calls it, is what Western powers downplay. And they do so at the same time as they ostentatiously moralise about Russian actions in Syria. The hypocrisy is shameful. Yemen is being destroyed and its people brutalised. And it is happening not in spite of Western intervention, but largely because of it."

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"The myth of a New Nazism"


Der Historiker Udi Greenberg, Autor des Buches "The Weimar Century: German Émigrés and the Ideological Foundations of the Cold War", erläutert in diesem Interview, warum er Vergleiche rechtspopulistischer Bewegungen von heute mit dem Faschismus der 1930er Jahre für unangebracht hält. "Militante Demokraten" könnten angesichts dieser falschen Parallelen wie ihre Vorgänger in den 1940er Jahren zu dem Schluss kommen, dass der Demokratie nicht mehr zu trauen sei. "They came to the conclusion that fascism proved that democracy could not be trusted. And that for democracy to survive, the state had to curtail some freedoms. This line of thinking, this idea of militant democracy, which proved very influential in the US, led to the creation of very undemocratic, unaccountable institutions like the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council in the US. It was an ideological tendency that also led to the dramatic limiting of political horizons in postwar Europe. (...) The reason this recent development on the left stood out for us was that too many on the left today make the same argument as the militant democrats – both contend that technocracy is the best means to preserve democracy. So, if the masses are not to be trusted, then you have to transfer as much power as possible into the hands of technocrats, who know what’s good for the masses, who will make the right call. And you have to shield technocrats from democratic accountability precisely to make those calls."

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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Zahlen und Fakten


Kaum ein Thema wird so intensiv und kontrovers diskutiert wie die Globalisierung. "Zahlen und Fakten" liefert Grafiken, Texte und Tabellen zu einem der wichtigsten und vielschichtigsten Prozesse der Gegenwart.

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