US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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09.01.2019

"Terrorism policing: the YPG/YPJ, an ally abroad but a danger at home?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/nora-martin/terrorism-policing-ypgypj-ally-abroad-but-da
nger-at-home?

Nora Martin macht darauf aufmerksam, dass die europäischen Sicherheitsbehörden Angehörige der kurdischen YPG, die in Syrien als enger Verbündeter im Kampf gegen den IS gilt, in Europa aufgrund angeblicher Verbindungen zur PKK immer wieder als Terrorverdächtige behandeln. "While these coalition countries – for the sake of this article, the UK, France and Germany – don’t let Turkey have its way on how they maneuver in the Middle East, they make up for any friction in the relationship however by being vigilant about the YPG/YPJ domestically. These crackdowns on former fighters, whether to please Turkey or not, are a symptom of ever-expanding counter-terrorism powers across the continent. (...) The UK, France and Germany track YPG/YPJ fighters indiscriminately – as they do all combatants coming from Syria and Iraq – but only on occasion decide to take legal or punitive action, like opening court cases, confiscating passports or marking some with easily exploitable statuses. (...) Their selection also reveals the sometimes conflictual, sometimes complicit relationship between the interior, foreign and justice departments – and the expanding ability of law enforcement to play acrobatics in pursuit of whomever they consider politically dangerous, terrorist-listed or not."

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13.12.2018

"Don’t let Russia leave the Council of Europe"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/yuri-dzhibladze-konstantin-baranov/don-t-let-russia-leave-council
-of-europe

Die Krise zwischen Russland und der Ukraine im Asowschen Meer hat die Forderung nach einem Ausschluss Russlands aus dem Europarat laut werden lassen. Yuri Dzhibladze vom Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights und Konstantin Baranov vom Youth Human Rights Movement sprechen sich gegen diesen Schritt aus, da ein Ausschluss vor allem der russischen Bevölkerung schaden würde. "Since 1996, when Russia joined the organisation, for millions living in the country (including nationals of other states), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has been an ultimate hope for justice, which they cannot find in Russia. In this period, almost 2,500 judgements have been delivered to Russia. In 2017 alone, the state paid over 14.5 million euros as just satisfaction to victims. The judgments have had a significant positive impact on Russian laws and judicial practice, despite their implementation being far from ideal and counting to roughly one-third of cases. Should Russia depart from the Council of Europe, the scope of human rights problems in the country will grow exponentially, including a threat of speedy reinstatement of the death penalty."

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07.12.2018

"Is the internet to blame for the rise of authoritarianism?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/digitaliberties/juan-ortiz-freuler/is-the-internet-to-blame-for-the-rise-of
-authoritarianism

In der Debatte zur Frage, ob das Internet zu einer Gefahr für die Demokratie geworden sei, haben sich nach Ansicht von Juan Ortiz Freuler vom Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society drei Lager gebildet. "(...) there is considerable disagreement about the net balance, the breadth and the underlying processes that fuel the internet’s impact on society. But broadly, I have identified three competing camps: the 'denialists', the 'narrativists' and the 'architecturalists'. The denialists deny the internet is responsible for the problems we see today. They believe that the internet is as neutral as a mirror and that if people do not like what the internet is producing, they should look at the deep inequality that is pervasive across their societies. (...) The narrativists claim social cooperation requires a shared narrative and that the internet – where thousands of voices are juxtaposed in a chaotic fashion – undermines this goal. (...) The architecturalists claim that the internet is not a fixed structure and that what is causing today’s anxieties can be traced to relatively recent developments in the architecture of the internet. (...) Each of the three camps has a point. (...) Yet, reality could be bleaker. A handful of private companies control the information that is needed to understand how the online ecosystem works. (...) Should we break up these big companies? Should we allow them to continue growing, but under strict, utility-type rules? Should we do nothing? Whatever we do should be the result of a robust public debate."

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06.10.2018

"On the failures of western-Russia policies and what to do about them"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/torgeir-e-fj-rtoft/on-failures-of-western-russia-policie
s-and-what-to-do-about-th?

Torgeir E. Fjærtoft, norwegischer Diplomat und Experte am Centre for Islamic and Middle East Studies der University of Oslo, empfiehlt den Europäern, sich von ihrer aktuellen Russland-Strategie zu verabschieden und ein Sicherheitskonzept zu verfolgen, das sich an den Prinzipien des Helsinki-Prozesses und an den politischen Vorbildern Willi Brandt und Egon Bahr orientiert. "Neither confrontation nor accommodation work for us with Russia. With the obvious options unfeasible, for the third option we should revisit Willy Brandt’s and Egon Bahr’s successful policies for common security in the early 1970s. They followed certain superintendent policies that would work today with Russia: 1. Dialogue with Russia is not an alternative to a strong alliance between western democracies. It is the other way around. Dialogue will not work without the alliance, and the alliance will not provide security unless we balance force with political dialogue. 2. Proposals will only work if all parties see they enhance their own security. 3. In discussing security, stick strictly to the issues. Do not raise other issues to try to persuade the other side that you are right and they are wrong. Many will reject these principles out hand for being either unrealistic in their optimism or naïve in expecting that they will not make the political climate more oppressive. The recent historical record does not bear these reservations out."

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06.06.2018

"Germany's falling crime rates show the left should drop identity politics"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/alessio-colonnelli/germanys-falling-crime-rates-show-lef
t-should-drop-identity-politics

Angesichts eines trotz sinkender Kriminalitätsraten zunehmenden Unsicherheitsgefühls in der Bevölkerung empfiehlt Alessio Colonnelli linken Kräften in Deutschland, ihren starken Fokus auf die Identitätspolitik aufzugeben. "The left ought to stop doing identity politics; it need not defend every single recrimination by all minorities; it must not justify their extremism or, from time to time, acts of violence. (...) In both Europe and America fewer and fewer people believe in the left. Many, taken up by fashionable post-ideological arguments, don't even bother calling it by its name. If the right says your country is not safe any more, even when evidence tells you the opposite, there's a tendency to believe such a narrative. In the absence of a reliable alternative, this was always bound to be the case. No wonder AfD managed to get into parliament eight months ago."

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05.05.2018

"The crisis of the state in the Arab region and the rise of the Islamic State"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/anoush-ehteshami-amjed-rasheed-juline-beaujouan/cris
is-of-state-in-arab-regio

Die Erfolge radikalislamischer Gruppen im Nahen Osten seien auch ein Resultat der tiefen Krise der staatlichen und sicherheitspolitischen Strukturen in der Region, erläutern die drei Politikwissenschaftler Anoush Ehteshami, Amjed Rasheed und Juline Beaujouan. "The Middle East and North Africa is a competitive, fragmented and highly penetrated regional system. However, it is a place that lacks a security system and is unique for its absence of a region-wide architecture. (...) Thus, the region is characterized by inter-state rivalries and increasingly exposed to identity politics which is manifesting itself in inter-confessional and inter-communal conflicts. Consequently, signs of deep social trauma and crisis of identity and governance at both state and society levels are visible. (...) The region is still lacking alternative political forces able to fulfill the expectations of the people and achieve development and security. Eventually, the Islamic radical groups, such as the Islamic State, seem to have become the substitute for the past political forces in doing this mission."

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16.04.2018

"Russia haunts the western imagination"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ivan-krastev/russia-haunts-the-western-imagination

Der bulgarische Politikwissenschaftler Ivan Krastev ist der Ansicht, dass die westliche "Obsession" mit Russland nicht nur auf die russischen Aktivitäten der letzten Jahre zurückgeführt werden könne. Moskaus internationaler Einfluss sei nur ein Schatten der einstigen Macht der Sowjetunion. Tatsächlich gelte die Sorge des Westens nicht Russland selbst, sondern der Art und Weise, wie Russland heute regiert wird. "Russia is a classic case of how a handful of very rich and politically unaccountable self-enriching rulers have, despite internal rivalries, managed to stay atop the country’s fragmented society without resorting to historically high levels of violence. This political model, neither democratic nor authoritarian, neither exploitative in the Marxist sense, nor repressive in the liberal sense, is an image of the future that should keep us awake at night. In short, what causes anxiety in the liberal west is not that Russia will run the world, but that much of the world will be run the way Russia is run today. What is disturbing is that the west has started to resemble Putin’s Russia more than we are ready to acknowledge."

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28.03.2018

"Why we should not be surprised Trump could do a deal over nuclear weapons with North Korea"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/david-lowry/why-we-should-not-be-surprised-trump-could-do-deal-over-nuclear
-weapons-with-north-korea

David Lowry vom Institute for Resource and Security Studies verweist vor dem geplanten amerikanisch-nordkoreanischen Gipfeltreffen darauf, dass Donald Trumps Interesse an einer Verhinderung der globalen Weiterverbreitung von Atomwaffen lange vor dessen Amtsantritt deutlich geworden sei. "The world was astonished by the news that President Trump is due to meet the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to discuss nuclear disarmament and other security issues on the Korean peninsula. But should the world have been so surprised? On 15 December 2015 Donald Trump said 'The biggest problem we have is nuclear – nuclear proliferation and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon. That's in my opinion that is the single biggest problem that our country faces right now.' (...) [Senior Slate writer Ron Rosenbaum] opined: 'if Trump gets his way with this, the way he does with other deals, it’s not inconceivable that history will look back on the Trump Plan’s acceptance as one of the few hopeful developments in the course of a miserable century.' Trump foresaw the situation when 'hair-trigger' heads of state will have their hands on multiple nuclear triggers. And, Rosenbaum observed, it drove him crazy that nobody in the White House sensed the danger. But Trump has now put himself in a position to do something about it himself with his unlikely atomic summit with the little ‘Rocket Man’."

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18.03.2018

"Foreign aid is a waste of money — unless it’s used for transformation"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/pablo-yanguas/foreign-aid-is-waste-of-money-unless-it-s-used
-for-transformation

Angesichts der in vielen Entwicklungsländern verbreiteten Korruption hält Pablo Yanguas vom Global Development Institute der University of Manchester westliche Entwicklungshilfe, die nichts zur Veränderung der Strukturen vor Ort beitrage, für "Geldverschwendung". "(...) there have been plenty of aid scandals in the past, but instead of helping donor publics to develop a better grasp of the challenges involved they’ve reinforced a survival logic that focuses on quick wins instead of longer-term institutional, economic and social transformation. Take the case of Ireland in 2012, for example, when Irish Aid suspended its entire assistance programme in Uganda after it was revealed that four million Euros that were destined to help rebuild the country’s war-torn northern region had been siphoned off to a personal account by the Office of the Prime Minister. (...) Foreign aid is not a good investment: the risks are generally high and the dividends far too uncertain. No wonder many people in donor countries think it’s a waste of money. At the same time, aid is exactly the right kind of investment to make when it is patient, hands-off and sensitively applied. It can play a crucial role in development by supporting reformers who choose to pursue the greater good against sometimes insurmountable odds."

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23.02.2018

"As Afrin burns, where is the left?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/william-eichler/as-afrin-burns-where-is-left

William Eichler fragt, warum die zivilen Opfer der türkischen Offensive gegen die nordsyrische Stadt Afrin von vielen politisch links stehenden Beobachtern und Aktivisten im Westen weitgehend ignoriert werden. Er führt dies vor allem auf die politisch-historische Verortung der Täter zurück. "The problem cannot be ideological incompatibility. The Kurdish movement as it is currently constituted in Syria and Turkey (not so much in Iraq) represents the most progressive socio-political movement in the region today. Ideologically, they are more in tune with a leftist outlook than groups such as Hamas or Hezbollah, whose opposition to Israel has earned them a free pass within some sections of the 'anti-imperialist' left. (...) Kurds, it seems, have the misfortune of being victims of a 'non-western' power and so their suffering barely registers. It is irrelevant that Turkey is a NATO power. Or a country trying to enter the European Union. Or just an autocratic state with imperial ambitions and a history of persecuting a local ethnic group. For many on the left, it is not 'western' enough to care about and therefore its victims are invisible."

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22.02.2018

"Russian interference in the virtual world is not the problem"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/tom-junes/russian-interference-in-virtual-world-is-not-problem

Der Historiker Tom Junes meint, dass der Einfluss russischer Internetkampagnen nicht überschätzt werden sollte. Die Anschuldigungen gegen Moskau lenkten davon ab, dass die eigentlichen Probleme westlicher Demokratien interner Natur seien. "None of this really threatens the western liberal order. Nowhere has the Kremlin thwarted the west. The threat to western liberal democracies is internal. The longer western elites, policy makers and commentators keep ignoring this fact, the greater that threat will become — regardless of what Russia does or does not do. (...) We should thus be wary of sensationalist stories about Russian disinformation campaigns or the activity of Russian bots and trolls in the social media bubble. The fact that disinformation can be spread via social media does not necessarily imply that this leads to actions by those who are exposed to it. Does this mean Russian interference should not be investigated? No, it should, but it needs to be put in right perspective."

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18.02.2018

"It’s about time we all admit that Putin has prevailed in Syria"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/danny-makki/Syria-russia-assad-putin-Iran-Israel-Mid
dle-East-oil-USA-war

Trotz der immer komplizierter erscheinenden Umstände des andauernden Kriegs in Syrien hält Danny Makki es für ausgemacht, dass Russland, Iran und Präsident Assad ihre wichtigsten Ziele bereits erreicht hätten. "Over two years on from Moscow’s much maligned decision to intervene and prop up its long term Syrian ally, the Russians have been vindicated, insofar as the so-called Islamic State has been defeated and expelled from all Syrian cities, the last of which in Deir-Ezzor broke the back of the terror group. The Syrian army, with assistance from Iranian backed militias, Hezbollah and Russian firepower is now on the victory march towards the remaining opposition strongholds in Idleb, Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and Qunaitra, possibly finishing the military side of the conflict by the end of 2018. (...) Most important of all, Russia saved its only genuine ally in the Middle East, maintaining and expanding its power and military bases whilst sending out a strong message to the world: Russia has a new found appetite for power politics in the Middle East. (...) Russia is also set for a long term economic investment in the country and has secured a long-term foothold in Syria’s energy sector potentially making Syria a future long term transit hub for oil and gas shipments to Europe."

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29.06.2017

"Reconstructing the power vertical: the authoritarian threat in Ukraine"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/mikhail-minakov/reconstructing-power-vertical-authoritarian-threa
t-in-ukraine

Mikhail Minakov, Präsident der Foundation for Good Politics in Kiew, warnt, dass die Ukraine bald dem autoritären Vorbild anderer Regierungen in der Region folgen könnte. "(...) there are no systemic external obstacles to the functioning of the power vertical in Kiev today. Only internal conflicts within the president’s ruling group can slow down (or even revert) the establishment of Poroshenko’s personalist rule in Ukraine. In recent months, three speakers from president’s entourage (...) have promoted giving up political freedoms and the 'naïve European dream', and instead concentrating power in hands of a 'strong state'. If these ideas become reality, Ukraine could turn into just another link in the Eastern European authoritarian belt."

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28.05.2017

"No, the link between terrorism and our foreign policy isn’t simple. But Jeremy Corbyn is basically right."

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/gilbert-ramsay/no-link-between-terrorism-and-our-foreign-policy-isn-t-si
mple-but-jeremy-corbyn-is

Jeremy Corbyn, Chef der britischen Labour-Partei, hat den Terroranschlag von Manchester mit der Außenpolitik und den Militärinterventionen Großbritanniens in Verbindung gebracht. Gilbert Ramsay verteidigt das Argument Corbyns, der dafür in der britischen Öffentlichkeit von vielen scharf kritisiert worden ist. "But what if Corbyn is wrong in his assessment? What if there has been an evolution of the almost meteorological system of interaction between state failure, murderous militias, global media, identity crises in crumbling Western communities, and the ‘long tail’ effect whereby, if a group like ISIS solicits widely enough for killers, someone somewhere is bound to answer the call? What if the complex link between terrorism and foreign wars really has broken? Well then, the only real solution is to properly fund interventions at the level of our own communities, by building robust and trusted partnerships; to do that, and to deepen our cooperation with European and other partners. The need for better community policing is perhaps the single intervention most agreed upon by counter-terrorism experts. But police can’t do it if they aren’t resourced to do it, not to mention the many other public servants supposedly charged with a duty of care under the UK’s Prevent strategy. Theresa May can’t have it both ways."

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17.03.2017

"Why has cocaine production increased since the peace agreement in Colombia?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/pacifista-aitor-s-ez/from-depths-of-colombias-biggest-coc
a-growing-region

Aitor Sáez erläutert in dieser Fotoreportage aus Kolumbien, warum die Produktion von Kokain seit dem Abschluss des Friedensabkommens mit den Farc-Rebellen spürbar angestiegen sei. "Don José, one of the coca farmers of Santa Rosa, one hour away from Tumaco by speedboat, has always known that the plant is illegal, but, he says, with no roads connecting to his land to be able to market other products and job opportunities or interested entrepreneurs in the peripheries of the country, the best alternative is growing coca. 'We are willing to replace crops, as long as there is a real commitment to support us. The government only comes here by helicopter to damage our crops, shoot us and accuse us of being guerrillas', says one of the farmers. (...) As the guerilla Group demobilises, other groups linked to drug-trafficking have moved in to continue the business."

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24.02.2017

"How the everyday use of militaristic jargon makes us more combative"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/transformation/nan-levinson/how-everyday-use-of-militaristic-jargon-makes-u
s-more-combative

Nan Levinson kritisiert die kriegerische Rhetorik in der politischen Berichterstattung in den USA, die auch nach dem Ende des hitzigen Wahlkampfes in vielen Artikeln und Überschriften zu finden sei. "I’m calling out the violent, militaristic, belligerent language, memes, metaphors and images that have become so commonplace in our speech that it’s nearly impossible to get through a routine conversation without resorting to them. (...) Why does this matter, especially now that the voting is over? Well, in addition to a lack of imagination and a surfeit of generals proposed for the next administration, when we talk as if we’re always embattled and as if vanquishing is the only form of winning, this threatens to become the lens through which we see the world. It also makes not just politicians but everyone who sees the world differently from us into the enemy who must be vilified. And look where that’s gotten us."

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11.01.2017

"The seeds of the next Arab Spring"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/kareem-chehayeb/seeds-of-next-arab-spring

Der aktuelle Arab Human Development Report der UNO verdeutliche, dass die Bedürfnisse junger Araber in den Ländern des Nahen Ostens von ihren Regierungen nach wie vor ignoriert werden, schreibt Kareem Chehayeb. Der erneute Ausbruch politischer Unruhen sei deshalb nur eine Frage der Zeit. "It is clear that regimes across the region cannot sweep these critical issues under the rug. The 100 million 15-29 year-olds make up two-thirds of the region’s population – many are intelligent and capable of leading. While the Arab uprisings did not succeed, the report concludes that the popular uprisings indicated their ability to recognize challenges to development, express their dissatisfaction, and politically organize to fight for their demands and achieve them in a peaceful and sustainable way. The report also recognizes the brutal security-oriented state response to these protests and mobilizations. The researchers conclude that while this approach achieves some stability and repels protesters for an indefinite period of time, not taking action on the root causes of these mobilizations will come back to haunt them."

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07.11.2016

"One woman’s brush with Sharia courts in the UK: 'It ruined my life forever'"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/rahila-gupta/one-woman-s-brush-with-sharia-courts-in-uk

In Großbritannien sind islamische Scharia-Gerichte auf lokaler Ebene zugelassen, um z.B. Ehe- oder Finanzstreitigkeiten unter Muslimen zu regeln. Die aus Pakistan stammende gläubige Journalistin Rahila Gupta sah sich gezwungen, in einem Scheidungsverfahren ihrer Tochter vor einem solchen Gericht aufzutreten und berichtet hier über ihre Erfahrungen. "The whole process in the Sharia court at Regents Park mosque was shocking. Lubna was dismissed every time she spoke; I was treated very disrespectfully every time I tried to intervene. They were not interested in anything we had to say, not even the real risks that my ex-son-in-law posed to his children let alone to my daughter. He had beaten my grandson a few years earlier and split his head open. He still has scars on his face. None of the information from the civil proceedings (affidavit, non-molestation orders etc) was admissible in the Sharia Court. (...) I wanted to share these experiences with you so that you can begin to understand how the community judges control women like me. I knew as a widow without a male to protect me I was an easy target. Even in London a big city with millions of people it is very hard to move away from this control."

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15.10.2016

"ETA: is the terrorist group still active?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/diego-muro/eta-is-terrorist-group-still-active

Die französische Polizei hat in der vergangenen Woche ein Waffenlager der baskischen Terrororganisation ETA entdeckt, die ihre Gewaltkampagne im Jahr 2011 offiziell eingestellt hat. Trotz dieses Fundes glauben Diego Muro zufolge viele Experten, dass die ETA kaum in der Lage wäre, ihren Kampf erneut aufzunehmen. "ETA’s window of opportunity to gain some concessions is practically closed, as authorities on both sides of the Pyrenees have little interest in providing ETA with a soft landing strip. ETA has not killed since March 2010 and a return to violence is dismissed by analysts. ETA sympathisers and Basque society at large have moved on and the number of people who support ETA is now marginal. (...) The radical nationalist community that supported ETA came to the conclusion that terrorism was effective in obtaining tactical goals such as producing fear and harm but that it was completely ineffective politically. The Basque case is consistent with existing research on the effectiveness of terrorism that argues that political violence is generally an unsuccessful way for perpetrators to attain their demands."

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21.06.2016

"No, Russia is not preparing for all-out war"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/mark-galeotti/no-russia-is-not-preparing-for-all-out-war

Mark Galeotti schreibt, dass in einigen westlichen Studien der falsche Eindruck erweckt werde, dass russische Militärmanöver als Vorbereitung einer schnellen Mobilmachung für einen Krieg in Osteuropa interpretiert werden müssten. Der Fokus auf eine nichtvorhandene militärische Bedrohung könnte vier tatsächlich vorhandene Risiken überdecken, so Galeotti. "The first risk is that the west — or at least some nations and leaders in the west — are cowed and offer Putin compromises that would only encourage further adventurism. (...) The second risk is that the west becomes obsessed with a mythical military threat and thus distracts itself from the real ones already in play — those from Russian espionage and influence, subterfuge and subversion. (...) The third danger, of course, is the nightmare scenario, that either side overreacts or misreads the situation, sees a direct military threat where none exists, and responds in kind. (...) Fourth and final is the possibility that this confrontational situation becomes an end in itself. Putin appears to have internalised a Manichean, zero-sum sense of his relationship with the west, and this drives so much other policy, from counter-sanctions to political repression. Many in the west likewise embrace — with near-relief — a return to the comfortingly simplistic dualism of the us-and-them mindset of the Cold War."

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30.05.2016

"In Estonia, we should be careful not to overstate the impact of the information war"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vassilis-petsinis/in-estonia-we-should-be-careful-not-to-overstat
e-impact-of-information-w

Vassilis Petsinis erläutert die aktuelle Situation der russischen Minderheit in Estland, die nicht zu einer "alarmistischen" Berichterstattung über Moskauer Expansionsbestrebungen passe. "The younger, as well as the older, generation of ethnic Russians maintain cross-border contacts with the adjacent town of Ivangorod in Russia. Nevertheless, according to the author’s ongoing research, a tiny fraction among them would be interested in moving to Russia. Most local ethnic Russians demonstrate a more vivid interest in moving to Tallinn or to some EU member-state in the west. Moreover, a certain percentage among them may voice complaints over economic inequalities and/or discrimination on the basis of ethnicity. However, in no way does this correspond to irredentist inclinations or a questionable loyalty to the Estonian state. NATO is still viewed through mistrustful eyes, but no one desires a readjustment of the status quo on either side of the Narva river."

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27.05.2016

"Geopolitics versus the political marketplace: the origins of the war in Ukraine"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/mary-kaldor/geopolitics-versus-political-marketplace-origins-of-w
ar-in-ukraine

Mary Kaldor stellt die beiden neuen Bücher "Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands" von Richard Sakwa und "Ukraine Crisis: What it means for the West" von Andrew Wilson vor, die unterschiedliche Erklärungen für die Entstehung der Krise in der Ukraine liefern. "Richard Sakwa’s book is the geo-political reading favoured by Putin that Russia was reacting to the westwards expansion of NATO. The other, from Andrew Wilson, is what I call the 'political marketplace' reading that Russia could not accept a democratic revolution in Ukraine, which would expose the dealings of both Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. (...) The political marketplace reading of the evolution of the crisis in Ukraine, with all its manipulative undercurrents is much more convincing than the more orthodox geopolitical account. Of course, it is the case that NATO expansion was a mistake since NATO is a classic geopolitical organisation. It is also the case that the west violated international law in Iraq, Kosovo and other places. But western mistakes and, indeed, crimes, do not justify Russian crimes."

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15.04.2016

"In the Erdogan vs. Böhmermann crisis, the real comedians are the politicians themselves"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/julian-de-medeiros/in-erdogan-vs-b-hmermann-crisis-real-
comedians-are-politicians

Julian de Medeiros schreibt, dass die Eskalation der Kontroverse um das Schmähgedicht des ZDF-Satirikers Jan Böhmermann möglicherweise weniger auf den türkischen Präsidenten Erdogan als auf die Unzufriedenheit der deutschen Öffentlichkeit mit Bundeskanzlerin Merkel zurückgeführt werden könnte. "(...) that Erdogan’s political style and rhetoric is that of a bonafide bigot is commonly accepted knowledge in Germany, and is no longer even remotely newsworthy. Instead, the deep discomfort at the 'practical' way in which the refugee crisis is being 'managed' by the German political elite, effectively turns these lofty debates on the supposed 'freedom of the press' and the 'freedom of art' into that much hot air, escapism even. (...) in free art, as in free press, the downward spiral is always more fascinating than the death itself. As long as Merkel continues to defend Erdoğan’s political paranoia, she will face the wrath of the German public. In this satirical acting out of Turkish-German prejudices, the politicians are the true comedians."

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15.02.2016

"The rise of Azov"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/denys-gorbach-oles-petik/rise-of-azov

Der schwelende Konflikt im Osten der Ukraine und die politische Krise in Kiew könnten vom rechtsextremen Asow-Bataillon als ideale Voraussetzungen für eine Machtübernahme genutzt werden, warnen Denys Gorbach und Oles Petik. "If we do see regime change in Ukraine, then the Azov volunteer battalion is a likely candidate to take charge of this new 'junta'. Formed from far-right groups as separatist conflict broke out in 2014, Azov was initially created as a special police battalion, and quickly won a reputation for defending the city of Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine. It is now a regiment within Ukraine’s National Guard. But it seems Azov isn’t satisfied with military glory. (...) The past 18 months have seen Azov gain a reputation as disciplined (and decisive) patriots in Ukrainian society, which is increasingly tired of war and dissatisfied with the country’s dire economic situation. Indeed, the economic crisis, international politics and particularly the war in the east have given the government prime justification to carry out reforms in service of demolishing the remains of the social state. In this situation, there is room for the Ukrainian right to make political headway, particularly on 'social issues' such as rising tariffs, pensions, welfare and unemployment."

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05.02.2016

"What we’ve learned from fifty years of Saudi arms deals"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/harry-blain/what-we-ve-learned-from-fifty-years-of-saudi-arms-deals

Nicht nur in Deutschland, auch in Großbritannien gibt es neue Diskussionen über den Waffenhandel mit dem autokratischen Königreich Saudi-Arabien. Harry Blain blickt auf die mittlerweile 50 Jahre lange Geschichte britischer Waffengeschäfte mit den Saudis zurück und zieht folgende Schlussfolgerungen: "1) 'Bribery has always played a role in the sale of weapons' (...) 2) The Saudi Kingdom can successfully intimidate British politicians and officials (...) 3) The British arms industry has extensive political connections (...) 4) British military equipment will be used (...) Leaving aside the moral questions of selling arms to a regime that both brutally suppresses its own people and is seriously implicated in war crimes abroad, a calculating pragmatist may retort that politics is politics, not a morality play. Nations act in their own self-interest: Russia and Iran unashamedly support the Assad regime in Syria; if we didn’t arm the Saudis, someone else probably would. Such arguments are not without a grain of truth, but often ignore the fact that Western officials themselves frequently question whether the Saudi monarchy can be trusted and whether the strategic relationship actually serves British and American interests."

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20.01.2016

"The emergence of social cleansing in El Salvador"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/carlos-rosales-ana-leonor-morales/emergence-of-social-cle
ansing-in-el-salvador

Das von exzessiver Bandenkriminalität und brutaler Polizeigewalt erschütterte El Salvador sei heute das gewalttätigste Land der Welt, schreiben der Politikwissenschaftler Carlos A. Rosales und die Anwältin Ana Leonor Morales aus Guatemala. "According to a year-end report by the Attorney General, gang-related violence accounts for two-thirds of all the homicides committed in the country during 2015. The analysis also reveals a dramatic 74% increase in violence and criminal activity for the year, as compared to 2014. These figures have made El Salvador the most murderous country in the world, with a homicide rate of 90 violent deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants. (...) The state’s absolute incompetence in dealing with the criminal phenomena in El Salvador has forced the government to resort to extra-legal measures to confront the severe citizen security challenges it faces. In a desperate attempt to show results to a frustrated populace, there is strong, well-documented evidence, that state and other social actors are waging social cleansing campaigns and committing gross human rights violations that are taking the lives of innocent young men and women."

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05.01.2016

"Islamic Reformation?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/sami-zubaida/islamic-reformation

Sami Zubaida, Sozialwissenschaftler am Birkbeck College der University of London, beschäftigt sich mit der immer wieder geäußerten Forderung, dass der Islam dringend eine "Reformation" nach europäischem Vorbild durchlaufen müsse. Zubaida erinnert daran, dass der Protestantismus im 16. Jahrhundert keineswegs ein liberales Unternehmen gewesen sei und aus heutiger Sicht durchaus als fundamentalistisches "Original" betrachtet werden könne. "Perceptive commentators, notably the late Ernest Gellner, had long noted the parallels between Protestantism and orthodox Islam. Gellner postulated a mirror-image reverse symmetry on the two sides of the Mediterranean: Christian Europe featured an established church with bells and candles, elaborate ritual and ceremony, opulent church hierarchy, and generally audio-visual aids to worship; as against the austere and literal scripturalism of the dissident Protestants. On the other side, it was orthodox Islam which was literalist, scriptural, austere, as against the audio-visual worship and ritual of heterodox and mystic Islam, in the form of sectarian and Sufi outfits."

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03.01.2016

"Al-Qaeda or ISIS? Al-Shabab's loyalty dilemma"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/yasin-ahmed-ismail/al-qaeda-or-isis-al-shababs-loyalty-dilem
ma

Trotz des rasanten Aufstiegs des "Islamischen Staates" wolle die radikalislamische Al-Shabab-Miliz aus Somalia ihre Beziehungen zur Al-Qaida nicht völlig abbrechen, berichten die beiden Afrika-Experten Yasin Ahmed Ismail und Muhammad Fraz Siddiqui. "Unlike Boko Haram and other smaller jihadi groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIS, there are a number of factors that are influencing this resistance among al-Shabab’s leadership. As previously mentioned, not only has al-Shabab already employed the ISIS model with only limited success, it is unlikely that returning to such tactics against a regionally bolstered Somali government will produce a different result. Furthermore, while al-Shabab could certainly leverage the current ISIS brand, the benefits of this affiliation do not outweigh the decades-long relationship between al-Shabab and al-Qaeda central."

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07.12.2015

"Freedom and control in the surveillance age"

https://opendemocracy.net/wfd

OpenDemocracy hat in Kooperation mit dem World Forum for Democracy (WFD) ein Dossier mit Beiträgen über den Zusammenhang zwischen internationalen Krisen, Terrorbedrohung, zunehmender Überwachung und demokratischen Werten ins Netz gestellt. "Democracies across the world today feel vulnerable to a diverse range of threats, from violent extremism to environmental devastation, economic crises, cybercrime and shifting global power dynamics (notably, the growth of China and Russia’s recent foreign policy). There is an acute and growing tension between the concern for safety and the protection of our freedoms. Since 2001, openDemocracy has probed the passionate and challenging debates that arise from this tension. Now, we are partnering with the World Forum for Democracy (WFD), held in Strasbourg on 18-20 November, to push these questions still further."

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29.10.2015

"Does surveillance mean the death of democracy?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/wfd/manuel-arriaga/segmentation-at-fault

Manuel Arriaga von der New York University hält die Ausbreitung immer neuer technologischer Überwachungsmöglichkeiten nicht für die Ursache, sondern für ein Symptom der heutigen Krise der liberalen Demokratien. "I believe that, when we talk about widespread surveillance and the stupendous technological apparatus enabling it, we are, in fact, mistaking the symptoms for the root of the problem. Technology is undoubtedly sexy, but it is this infantilization of the public — the turning of citizens into fearful, power-delegating children — that is the real issue. (...) It might be a tall order, but, when we succeed in creating an informed and self-governing citizenry, those mighty machines will promptly come tumbling down."

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