US-Soldaten in Afghanistan



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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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"The rise of the Sweden Democrats"

In Schweden könnte bei den Parlamentswahlen am 9. September mit den Schwedendemokraten eine rechtspopulistische Partei zur stärksten Kraft werden. Der schwedische Student Hugo Brundin schreibt, dass dies auf die Migrationsprobleme des Landes, vor allem aber auf das empfundene Versagen der politischen Eliten zurückzuführen sei. "(...) the mainstream parties have slowly begun to adopt a more restrictive stance on immigration, all the while maintaining a blockade against the Sweden Democrats. When the SD entered parliament in 2010, all the other parties refused to work with it. Even having discussions with SD representatives is enough to have a politician publicly shamed. And while parties have no obligation to work with them, this may well have compounded the sense that the SD is the only real alternative. The rise of the Sweden Democrats is not primarily about a return of nativism. Much like the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump, it is the story of a people increasingly fed up with elitism and political correctness. It isn’t the racism of the public that has brought the SD to where it is today, but the delusion, dishonesty and hypocrisy of the elite."

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"'Trump is a Russian plant': birtherism for liberals"

In den USA sind viele liberale Kritiker des Präsidenten offenbar davon überzeugt, dass Russland Donald Trump mit Hilfe kompromittierender Informationen steuere. Nach Ansicht von Tom Slater ist diese These genauso überzeugend, wie der unter Konservativen lange Zeit verbreitete "Birther"-Glaube, dass Trumps Amtsvorgänger Obama nicht in den USA geboren sei. "This is madness – dot-connecting and wild claims of McCarthyite intensity. And it is incredibly revealing. For all the coastal-elite talk of Trump ushering in an age of fake news, post-truth and mudslinging, in which faith in democratic institutions is being undermined and once important principles are being compromised by partisan prejudice and weaponised bullshit, this is precisely what some liberals are doing with the Russia issue. They are peddling hyperbole and dodgy theories to try to undermine a democratically elected president. And in doing so, many Trump-hysterics on the liberal-left are becoming the very thing they once claimed to hate."

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"Russian football fans are human after all"

Patrick West stellt fest, dass sich viele der von britischen Medien verbreiteten "Horrorgeschichten" aus dem Vorfeld der Fußball-WM in Russland als falsch herausgestellt hätten. Er empfiehlt Journalisten, künftig wieder stärker zwischen einer Regierung, deren Politik völlig zu Recht kritisiert werden könne, und der Bevölkerung zu unterscheiden. "Russia 2018 was meant to be a disaster. The country was too big and morally unfit to host the tournament, we were told. It was run by a dissident-poisoning, Assad-supporting, Crimea-annexing president. Its people were bent oligarchs, neo-Nazi skinheads, television propagandists and homophobic xenophobes whose hooligans were so psychopathic that they didn’t even need to get drunk to start a fight. (...) We have become accustomed to negative stories about the Russian regime of President Putin, most of which are justified. Yet by indulging ourselves for years in this anti-Russian narrative we have forgotten to draw the distinction between the Russian government and the Russian people. Anti-Russian rhetoric is much like anti-Americanism: a lazy, smug Mock The Week-style moralising and smirking has led us to conflate a foreign country’s government with its populace, or a minor section of that populace."

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"No, Islamophobia is not the new anti-Semitism"

Brendan O'Neill hält es in diesem Beitrag zur Debatte über angebliche antisemitische Tendenzen in der britischen Labour-Party nicht für angemessen, Antisemitismus mit Islamophobie gleichzusetzen. "(...) it is wrong, and historically infantile, to speak about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the same breath. This isn’t to say that there is no anti-Muslim prejudice. Of course there is. Some people are deeply suspicious of Muslims and even view them as the despoilers of our apparently hitherto pristine European civilisation. And some Tories – very minor Tories – appear to have shared memes or articles that contain such views. That’s bad. But anti-Semitism is different. Anti-Semitism is older. It is far more entrenched in certain European circles. It is far more historically given to mass acts of violence, from pogroms to extermination. And – the really crucial bit – its re-emergence always tells us something important about the destabilisation of society and its descent once again into irrationalism, conspiracism, scapegoating, and fear of modernity."

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"The ugly trade in Palestinian pain"

Brendan O’Neill bezeichnet die Zusammenstöße zwischen Palästinensern und israelischen Soldaten an der Grenze zu Gaza als "blutiges Theaterstück", das von der Hamas mit Blick auf das westliche Publikum inszeniert worden sei. "It is becoming increasingly clear that Hamas pushes Gaza’s people into harm’s way because it knows their suffering will strike a chord across the West. (...) Writing in the New York Times last week, Matti Friedman, a former AP desk editor in Jerusalem, touched upon this trade in Palestinian horror. He said that during his years reporting from the Middle East he even developed a certain respect for Hamas’s 'keen ability to tell a story'. Hamas’s great insight was to recognise that the vast majority of the Western media wanted 'a simple story about villains and victims', says Friedman. Most Western reporters and commentators weren’t interested in nuance and certainly not in any reading of events that might seek to understand the Israeli position. No, they wanted stories of 'dead human beings', made dead by ‘unwarranted Israeli slaughter’, says Friedman. That is, they want a morality tale, in which all complexity is chased out in favour of providing readers with a binary story of good guys and bad guys, and providing themselves with the moral kick of feeling like the exposers of simplistic terrible horrors – all executed by Israel, of course."

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"Germany and the perils of online censorship"

Steve Bremner betrachtet das Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz in Deutschland als warnendes Beispiel für die negativen Folgen des Bemühens, sogenannte "Hassreden" im Internet durch neue Formen der Zensur zu bekämpfen. Es gebe bereits mehrere Fälle, in denen die Internetunternehmen Twitter und Facebook vorsorglich vermeintlich kontroverse Beiträge und Accounts gelöscht hätten, um gesetzlichen Sanktionen zu entgehen. "How has this situation arisen? How has it come to pass that private companies are regulating and censoring online speech? Because a supposedly liberal Western government, afraid of being seen to attack free speech itself, has outsourced the role of censor. In Germany, social-media companies are now responsible for purging what the government deems undesirable material, without ministers having to dirty their own hands through acts of direct state censorship. (...) But expecting social-media companies to filter the material generated by their millions of users is near enough impossible. And more importantly, it means curbing speech, encouraging private companies to censor not just illegal material, but also legal material, just to be on the safe side. The result is sanitised social media. This might well suit many of our political leaders, but it should appal those of us who believe in freedom of speech."

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"We need to talk about Muslim anti-Semitism"

Über den islamischen Antisemitismus wird auch in Großbritannien diskutiert. Oberrabbiner Ephraim Mirvis habe das Problem auf einer Konferenz in selten offener Weise zur Sprache gebracht, schreibt Hardeep Singh. "'The threat to Judaism and Jews from the world of Islam is one which can only be cured from within the world of Islam. And the leaders of Islam have to take a stand.' It is very rare for British Jewish leaders or groups to draw attention to anti-Semitism among certain Muslims. But Islamists do seem to have a special antipathy towards all things Jewish – starting with Israel. And this is increasingly becoming a problem among British Muslims more generally. (...) If any good is to come of this, perhaps the Chief Rabbi’s speech will provide the necessary oxygen for a much-needed and wider public debate about Islam and anti-Semitism. The question is which of our elected leaders and faith leaders will be courageous enough to put their heads above the parapet? Perhaps they would all just prefer to keep ‘shtum’."

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"The West’s virtue-bombing of Syria is a disastrous mistake"

Brendan O’Neill wirft den westlichen Regierungen vor, sich mit den Raketenangriffen in Syrien praktisch an die Seite des "Islamischen Staates" und anderer radikalislamischer Rebellengruppen gestellt zu haben. "Consider the impact that America’s UN ambassador Nikki Haley will make with her comments saying the US is 'locked and loaded' to attack Assad again if there is another chemical attack and that this next Western strike would signify that his time was up. She is doing the bidding of ISIS and the others. She is signalling to them that Assad’s days are numbered. She is saying, 'He’s on his way out, so push a little harder'. And she is positively incentivising the use of chemical weapons by Islamist groups. Because they now know that if there is one such chemical attack, then Assad’s regime will be bombed again and the West will declare him illegitimate, finished, over. And they also know from the events of recent days that the origins of such a chemical attack would not be thoroughly investigated before Western military action against Assad was taken. What do they have to lose? With one statement, Haley makes the Syrian war bloodier, Syrians’ lives harder, the Islamist insurgency cockier."

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"The myth of Cambridge Analytica’s power"

In der Diskussion über die illegale Auswertung von Facebook-Daten durch das Unternehmen Cambridge Analytica werde der Einfluss der Vorgänge auf das Abstimmungsverhalten von Wählern in den USA und in Großbritannien maßlos überschätzt, meint der Soziologe Frank Furedi. "It appears that political advisers and strategists across the political spectrum now endow the subliminal and indirect effects of social-media messaging with far greater power than clearly stated and forcefully advanced arguments. This is testament less to the force and influence of Big Data than to the failure of the political imagination. (...) Experience shows that cultural values cannot be mobilised artificially. Propaganda messaging may have an influence at the margins of a debate and influence those whose values are in doubt. But people’s fundamental attitudes to moral issues are unlikely to alter as a result of micro-messaging. To achieve a cultural realignment in society is possible. But it requires an effective challenge to the legitimacy of the prevailing moral regime. That demands the public display of alternative cultural resources that might give a new meaning to human experience. Harvesting Facebook data may help strategists discover where people stand on cultural issues, but it will not provide them with the moral resources necessary to change those stances."

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"Trump’s new world dis-order"

Unabhängig von den Erfolgsaussichten eines Gipfeltreffens zwischen Donald Trump und Kim Jong-Un findet Tim Black es bedenklich, dass die US-Außenpolitik heute scheinbar keiner diplomatischen Strategie, sondern den Launen des US-Präsidenten folge. Dies sei problematisch, da den versöhnlichen Signalen Trumps möglicherweise aus heiterem Himmel aggressive Aktionen folgen könnten. "This whimsical, unpredictable, ungoverned mode of governing means that even when seeming to stabilise world affairs, as diplomatic engagement with North Korea surely should, Trump is simultaneously proving a destabilising force. Because everything he does, thoughtlessly and on impulse, necessarily creates a profound sense of uncertainty, of irrationality right at the heart of geopolitics. Trump may be conciliatory today, but what is to say he won’t be ramping up sanctions and campily storming out of a summit tomorrow? Yet, in many ways, what is more troubling than Trump, and his ungoverned way of governing, is the state of the state that has allowed him to flourish. There seems to be a lack of diplomatic nous, of guiding interest or strategy, or of even just good counsel."

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"The jingoistic fear of Russia is out of control"

Brendan O’Neill hält die Reaktion britischer Politiker auf den Fall des vergifteten Ex-Spions Sergej Skripal für "hysterisch". "In mere days, before we have proof of Russian state involvement, before we know the full facts of who was behind this attempted murder, virtually every section of our political and media elites was hollering for confrontation, demanding punishment of the Russian beast, and wailing, yet again, about the threat this warped eastern entity poses to Western stability and democracy. (...) Such has been the fever pitch of anti-Russia sabre-rattling over the past couple of days that even to ask 'Shall we wait for all the facts?' is to risk being shot down, being accused of ‘Putin apologism’, being branded an enemy of Britain and friend of Russia."

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"Why the ISIS Brits should not be tried in Britain"

Sollten britische IS-Kämpfer, die in Irak oder Syrien gefangen wurden, in Großbritannien vor Gericht gestellt werden? Luke Gittos ist der Ansicht, dass Extremisten dieses staatsbürgerliche Anrecht verwirkt hätten. "There is no law setting out what we should do with people like the ‘ISIS Beatles’. There is no precedent. Relying on due process to decide what to do is mad, precisely because there is no due process in this circumstance. We owe these men nothing, especially not a criminal trial. Their actions took place in the context of war. They left their communities and declared war on the country that raised them. Actions that take place in a warzone are not ‘crimes’ that can be judged in the same way as actions that take place in peacetime among citizens. To pretend they are demonstrates moral confusion and disregard for the content of the idea of citizenship. (...) Frankly, if we are certain these men are the ‘ISIS Beatles’, then in my view it would be quite moral to take them outside and shoot them. You may disagree. But this is a moral debate, not a legal one. To rely on due process to answer these complex moral questions demonstrates a reduction of ‘due process’ to blind legalism."

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"Don’t panic: the end is not nigh"

Die Weltuntergangsuhr der Forscher vom Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, die in der vergangenen Woche u.a. wegen der US-Außenpolitik unter Präsident Trump vorgestellt wurde, sollte nach Ansicht von Rob Harries nicht zu ernst genommen werden. "(...) the board’s main focus is the apparent breakdown of the international institutional order; Donald Trump’s warmongering rhetoric; the US rejection of the Paris Agreement on climate change; and an apparent ‘loss of public trust in political institutions, in the media, in science and in facts themselves’. (...) The Bulletin’s decision to move the clock hands in 2018 suggests that the clock represents Western liberals’ own fears rather than an unbiased evaluation of the current likelihood of humanity destroying itself. The clock is no longer a useful metaphor to imagine the threat to humanity; rather, it is a metaphor for the fears of international elites that feel increasingly isolated and insecure."

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"The rise of the terror amnesia industry"

In seinem Rückblick auf das Jahr 2017 kritisiert Brendan O’Neill, dass die britische Öffentlichkeit zunehmend passiv auf die Terroranschläge der vergangenen zwölf Monate reagiert habe. Es sei erschütternd, wie schnell z.B. der Anschlag vom 22. Mai in Manchester vergessen worden sei. "This Orwellian encouragement of forgetting, this cultivation of emotional passivity in response to radical Islam, this top-down demonisation of concern about Islamist terror as a species of 'Islamophobia', is the reason why even something as horrific as the Manchester attack, the targeting of our next generation, of girls, does not live in the collective memory in the way it ought to. The speed with which the Manchester horror evaporated from the national consciousness was one of the most disturbing political events in Britain in 2017. (...) The response to Manchester was chillingly passive. It was made clear very quickly that the role of us citizens was not to think hard about this attack, far less rage against it, but rather to express sadness online, maybe sign a real-world book of condolence, and then move on. It was as if a natural disaster had struck Manchester, rather than a conscious religious assault on our fellow citizens and the freedom they were enjoying."

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"We need to talk about killing terrorists"

In Großbritannien gibt es derzeit eine Debatte über den Umgang mit britischen IS-Kämpfern in Syrien und Irak. Verteidigungsminister Gavin Williamson hat sich dafür ausgesprochen, dass IS-Kämpfer getötet werden sollten, bevor sie nach Großbritannien zurückkehren können. Menschenrechtsexperten haben dagegen gefordert, sie als Terrorverdächtige zu verhaften, in Großbritannien vor Gericht zu stellen und möglicherweise zu rehabilitieren. Nach Ansicht von Luke Gittos ist die Vorstellung, dass IS-Kämpfer die gleichen Rechte genießen wie andere britische Bürger, "blinder Legalismus". "The distinction between citizens and returning terrorists is a vital starting point for any discussion about how we tackle terror. We need to ask if it is necessarily immoral to detain someone without charging them when there is evidence that they have been fighting for ISIS. In relation to citizens accused of terror offences in the UK, there is a well-developed moral case that detaining them without charge is wrong and leads to injustice. This case has been developed across centuries. But this tells us little about how we should treat returning ISIS fighters. These are new circumstances. Claiming that ISIS fighters should automatically benefit from all the rights of a British citizen is a kind of moral evasion."

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"Britain First: a monster of the left’s own making"

US-Präsident Trump hat über Twitter Videos der antiislamischen Gruppe Britain First geteilt und ist dafür in Großbritannien u.a. durch Premierministerin May deutlich kritisiert worden. Nach Ansicht von Brendan O’Neill sind die Twitter-Aktivitäten Trumps eines US-Präsidenten unwürdig. Gruppen wie Britain First seien allerdings vor allem das Resultat der Einschränkung der öffentlichen Debatte über den Islam. "(...) you made this monster. Britain First is a mess of your unwitting creation. You, and your censorship, and your cowardice, and your pathologisation of concern about Islam, and your treatment of any questioning of mass immigration as tantamount to a hate crime, created the space for these new, 'edgy' right-wing movements to take root and expand. In making certain things unsayable, you paved the way for these largely virtual loudmouth outfits to say: 'We will say the unsayable.' Britain First is a cast-iron example of how the chilling of public debate never, ever fixes problems or disappears people’s concerns or prejudices; it merely warps them, and often worsens them, and forces them to take root elsewhere."

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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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