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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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12.10.2015

"Ankara bombing and the end of the Turkish Republic"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/umut-ozkirimli/ankara-bombing-and-end-of-turkish-republic

Umut Ozkirimli, Politikwissenschaftler an der schwedischen Lund University, sieht den blutigen Terroranschlag in Ankara als vorläufigen Höhepunkt eines seit zwei Jahren andauernden Niedergangs der türkischen Republik. "This does not mean that the territorial integrity of the country will be forfeited. But the anger that pits half of the society against the other is too intense, the divisions that run through various ethnic, religious or ideological groups are too deep to paper over. Moreover, as I have alluded to above, the quest of the Kurds for the full recognition of their identity and rights, especially in the context of the developments in Iraq and Syria, is in the long-run irreversible. Whatever the results of the forthcoming November 1 elections (assuming that they will be held), Turkey will embark on a long and possibly painful journey to a 'less unitary', less centralized system."

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23.09.2015

"The European refugee crisis: Bulgaria’s wake-up call?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/alice-nicolov/european-refugee-crisis-bulgaria%E2%80%99s
-wake-up-call

Alice Nicolov berichtet über die bulgarische Reaktion auf die aktuelle Flüchtlingskrise. Bisher führe die Hauptroute der Migranten am Land vorbei, die Krise sei deshalb von der Öffentlichkeit weitgehend ignoriert worden. Die Festnahme von drei mutmaßlichen bulgarischen Flüchtlings-Schmugglern in Ungarn habe eine politische Wende eingeleitet, die sich von der Reaktion der Nachbarländer Bulgariens unterscheide. "Whilst it is true that in Bulgaria the people have not been out protesting with 'refugees welcome' signs, there has been a shift in the Bulgarian psyche. There is sympathy for the refugees, but also the recognition that Bulgaria simply cannot afford to help the refugees on its own. With a unified European response, however, Bulgaria is willing to play its part. Bulgaria is also keen to distance itself from countries like Hungary and Slovakia, whose refugee policies are at odds with Brussels’ and Germany’s ideas on how to handle the crisis. As such, at today's EU summit, Bulgaria will push for a pan-European solution."

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15.09.2015

"Russia’s military buildup in Syria could benefit the anti-ISIL coalition"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/ahmed-e-souaiaia/russia%E2%80%99s-military-buildup-in-syria-
could-benefit-anti-isil-coalition

Nahostexperte Ahmed E. Souaiaia hofft, dass die USA das russische Angebot einer stärkeren Kooperation in Syrien annehmen werden. Die bisherige amerikanisch-saudische Strategie eines gewaltsamen Regimewechsels habe sich als folgenreicher Fehlschlag erwiesen, es sei an der Zeit für neue politische Kompromisse. "This approach will necessarily mean that Kurdish regions, Shia towns and cities, and tribal communities (`asha’ir) will emerge as self-governing, semi-autonomous regions within Syria. This kind of solution would preserve Syria’s state institutions, offer Syria’s minorities a degree of self-rule, and fight genocidal warriors. A Saudi-western solution preconditioned on the removal of Assad and his generals will cause the disintegration of Syria, the permanent displacement of millions of Syrians, and the spread of violence to neighboring states. In the end, peace in Syria depends on a gradual devolution of power along with diminished use of violence by non-state actors. It cannot depend on using those non-state actors simply as tools for regime change."

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04.09.2015

"Fighting the wrong battle: Central Europe’s crisis is one of liberal democracy, not migration"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/michal-simecka-benjamin-tallis/fighting-wrong-battle-cen
tral-europe%E2%80%99s-crisis-is-o

Die ost-und mitteleuropäischen EU-Länder haben sich gegen Verteilquoten bei der Aufnahme von Flüchtlingen ausgesprochen. Nach Ansicht von Michal Simecka und Benjamin Tallis ist diese ablehnende Haltung das Symptom einer tiefergehenden Krise der liberalen Demokratie in diesen Ländern. "CEE’s liberal elites need to overcome their countries victim mentalities and the inferiority complexes of transition, re-framing frame the migration debate in a narrative of the strength and resilience, rather than the vulnerability of European values. They need to address rather than ignore popular concerns and must dispel the xenophobes’ migration myths. The media can take inspiration from the German tabloid Bild and politicians should point to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bold and principled stance on migration as positively - as they do when it comes to prudent macro-economic management."

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24.07.2015

"Ukraine’s left: between a swamp and a hard place"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/denys-gorbach/ukraine%E2%80%99s-left-between-swamp-and-hard-place

Politisch links stehende Parteien seien in der heutigen Ukraine an den Rand gedrängt worden, berichtet der ukrainische Journalist und Aktivist Denys Gorbach. "(...) surveys show that the overwhelming majority of people in Ukraine are tired of radicalism and violence: thus, 'ultra-radical' political forces can appeal only to a minority. Anarchist organisations are aware of this, and opt for different tactics: without hiding their radical programme, anarchists believe their main goal is to help raise the consciousness of workers and build organisational structures. As Maidan showed, without organisation, there’s no point thinking about more ambitious aims."

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19.06.2015

"Lithuania needs to listen to its Poles before the Kremlin does"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/inga-popovaite/lithuania-needs-to-listen-to-its-poles-be
fore-kremlin-does

Die georgische Journalistin Inga Popovaite berichtet, dass die Regierung Litauens von der polnischen Bevölkerungsminderheit erwarte, sich weitgehend zu assimilieren, was von einigen Polen strikt abgelehnt werde. "One thing is clear: current majority attitudes towards ethnic minorities, embedded in a lack of trust and political will to cooperate on both sides, is in line with Kremlin’s interests. A potential way out is a law on minority rights, which Lithuania hasn’t had since 2010. The last project was proposed by the AWPL, and wasn’t favoured by the majority of Lithuanian politicians, as it foresaw giving more linguistic rights to national minorities, including bilingual topographical names in minority regions. This part was later deleted, but the voting has been delayed several times. Another legal measure that could bring Lithuanians and Poles closer together, is the highly debated law on the spelling of names in official documents, as its amendments have a potential in solving the 'W problem' in favour of Poles by allowing the original spelling based on Latin alphabet."

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18.05.2015

"Europe’s migration crisis: central Europe’s dangerous game"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/benjamin-tallis-michal-simecka/europe%E2%80%99s-migratio
n-crisis-central-europe%E2%80%99s-dangero

Die aktuelle Flüchtlingsdebatte in Europa beschäftige sich vorrangig mit der Mittelmeerregion, schreiben Benjamin Tallis und Michal Simecka vom Centre for European Security am Institute of International Relations in Prag. Tatsächlich könnte Europa aufgrund des Ukrainekonflikts bald auch im Osten eine neue Migrationskrise drohen. Die Regierungen der Visegrad-Staaten, die sich in der aktuellen Debatte leider "unsolidarisch" verhielten, könnten deshalb bald selbst auf europäische Solidaritätsmechanismen angewiesen sein. "The migration crisis presents an opportunity for Visegrad countries to step up, demonstrating they are ready to bear the costs as well as enjoying the benefits of integration. Regardless of whether the Commission's plan for binding quotas survives in its current form, they should volunteer to take part in the scheme, as the Irish government chose to do. It would be a smart political move, lending further moral weight to their call for safeguarding the rights of Polish or Hungarian migrant workers."

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06.05.2015

"Media serfdom in Ukraine"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/otar-dovzhenko/media-in-ukraine-set-free-to-be-slaves

Angesichts des großen Einflusses der Oligarchen auf die Medienlandschaft in der Ukraine könne von wirklicher Pressefreiheit bisher keine Rede sein, meint Otar Dovzhenko, der an der School of Journalism der Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv lehrt. "Despite the pluralism supposedly reigning in the news (a no-go subject for one channel is a scoop for another), the war between the oligarchs narrows the field of information. Journalists choose stories and information according to the interests of their publications’ owners. (...) The problem isn’t just the oligarchs, however. To the outside observer accustomed to Western standards, Ukrainian journalism is awful. Professionals here are few and far between, and popularity is bought with money. In some cases, literally (...) The audience for new media remains modest, but they enjoy some advantages – flexibility, understanding of modern media trends, willingness to orientate themselves to the creative minority, rather than the masses."

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29.04.2015

"France’s Intelligence Bill: legalising mass surveillance"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/digitaliberties/f%C3%A9lix-tr%C3%A9guer/france%E2%80%99s-intelligence-bill-
legalises-mass-surveillance

Félix Tréguer von der Pariser Bürgerrechtsorganisation La Quadrature du Net hat sich das geplante französische Überwachungsgesetz angesehen, das der Regierung zufolge die Überschreitungen der amerikanischen und britischen Vorbilder vermeiden soll. Tatsächlich sei das Gegenteil der Fall: "The notion that France’s surveillance apparatus is defined in opposition to the American and British models just does not hold good once the text is examined in detail. Quite the contrary: we see similar technical, legal and procedural devices being used to subject whole populations to surveillance, while sheltering the reason of state from appropriate checks and balances. (...) If the government were to get the approvals of the Parliament and the French constitutional court despite this near-unanimous opposition, it would be yet further evidence of the profound crisis of a political system determined to distort the truth if necessary, to break away from the rule of law."

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27.04.2015

"'Tragedy' and responsibility in the Mediterranean"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/mariagiulia-giuffr%C3%A9-cathryn-costello/crocodile-tear
s-tragedy-and-responsibility-i

Nach dem Sondergipfel des Europäischen Rates zur Flüchtlingskrise im Mittelmeer kritisieren Mariagiulia Giuffré und Cathryn Costello die Handlungsvorschläge der EU-Führung in ihrer detaillierten Analyse als "enttäuschend" und "besorgniserregend". "Our elected politicians let us down when they fail to acknowledge our role in this tragedy, that EU laws deny safe access. We can make efforts to reduce loss of life at sea, to support protection where most refugees live. But we should not imagine we can prevent those seeking refuge by targeting smugglers. The EU is willing to engage in extensive and costly external efforts to thwart refugee mobility. The means it proposes should give us pause: using police and military means to suppress mobility will itself lead to human rights violations, as will cooperation with repressive regimes. We are responding to those fleeing war and repression with more of the same."

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20.04.2015

"Why we need a feminist foreign policy to stop war"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/jacqui-true/why-we-need-feminist-foreign-policy-to-stop-war

Jacqui True, Politikwissenschaftlerin an der Monash University in Melbourne, lobt die von der schwedischen Außenministerin verkündete "feministische Außenpolitik" als wichtigen Schritt in die richtige Richtung. Die schwedischen Waffenexporte zeigten aber auch, wie schwierig die Durchsetzung dieser Politik in "neoliberalen Zeiten" sei. "Even with a 'feminine' social democratic government in power, the fable shows just how hard it is to address the unregulated global arms trade - one of the root causes of conflict - when it is so lucrative and inseparable from most transnational business and global trading relationships. Moreover, the fable reveals the spontaneous solidarity of a diverse group of captains of industry and of state power, nearly all men, who support the accumulation of profits over people’s lives and basic freedoms. This is patriarchy at work – and a feminist foreign policy worth its salt needs to confront regimes of masculine hegemonies and the unequal entitlements that hold such hierarchical political economic orders together at every level."

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12.04.2015

"NSA and the Stasi – a cautionary tale on mass surveillance"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/thomas-coombes/nsa-and-stasi-%E2%80%93-cautionary-tale-on-mass-surveillance

25 Jahre nach der Auflösung des Ministeriums für Staatssicherheit der DDR hat Thomas Coombes das Berliner Stasi-Museum besucht. Angesichts des überwältigenden Eindrucks von der umfassenden Überwachung der DDR-Bevölkerung sei es mehr als bedenklich, dass heutige Geheimdienste mit sehr viel weniger Aufwand sehr viel mehr Informationen über die Bürger sammeln. "The most emotionally-charged discovery for many visitors to the Stasi museum is finding out whether the secret police had a file on them. (...) We don’t yet know what impact mass surveillance of our internet use will have on today’s digital societies. But by its very existence, the Stasi museum shows the chilling effect surveillance can have on free expression. As a result, few Germans take their right to privacy lightly. There are important lessons for us to learn from this. The question is, in 25 years will millions be asking the NSA or other intelligence agencies for our files, to see if and when they snooped on our private lives?"

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11.04.2015

"What if the Saudis win? Avoiding massive sectarian bloodshed in Yemen"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/steven-zyck/what-if-saudis-win-avoiding-massive-sectarian-bloodshed-in-yeme
n

Ein militärischer Sieg der von Saudi-Arabien angeführten arabischen Allianz in Jemen würde zu einem blutigen Massenmord an Schiiten führen, fürchtet Steven A. Zyck. Die Saudis unterstützten militante sunnitische Milizen, die die schiitischen Huthi-Rebellen nicht nur besiegen, sondern vernichten wollten. "These groups – AQAP, IS and conservative Sunni militias – together view the Houthis as religious heretics defacing Islam who, accordingly, need to be slaughtered, not merely defeated in battle. And if Houthi-aligned military units are destroyed or convinced to abandon the Houthis – and if the Houthis are on the run and relatively defenceless – Yemen’s estimated 8 to 10 million Zaydi Shias will likely face vicious attacks. (...) Houthis in particular and Zaydis more broadly will be easy targets for their enemies, and it is easy to imagine a situation in which thousands upon thousands of Zaydi Shia men, women and children face the sort of fate that Shia soldiers faced in Tikrit at the hands of IS. The Saudis won’t pull the triggers – AQAP, IS and various Sunni militias will do that – but they and their Sunni and American allies will be politically and morally culpable."

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02.04.2015

"Why Russia watchers should listen to Glenn Greenwald"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/philip-evans/why-russia-watchers-should-listen-to-glenn-greenwald
-0

Philip Evans fordert, dass westliche NGO-Vertreter in nichtwestlichen Ländern wie Russland den Kontext ihrer Arbeit stärker beachten sollten. Es sei z.B. unangemessen, die Regierung in Moskau für die Verfolgung von Demonstranten und Aktivisten zu verurteilen, ohne anzuerkennen, dass ähnliche Vorwürfe auch gegen die eigenen Regierungen vorgebracht werden könnten. "None of this is to minimise the threats which activists and journalists face throughout the former Soviet Union or to crassly and naively suggest that everything is the same the world over. There is a genuine difference between being denied the opportunity to protest in a shopping centre (or even having one’s communications monitored) and being repeatedly tortured while languishing in prison for years. (...) this is about more than just improving the work of the regional specialists. Context is important also because it is potentially the key to galvanising global constituencies around seemingly distant 'local' issues, thus improving the chances for genuine change in countries like Russia."

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30.03.2015

"Saudi Arabia’s big mistake in Yemen"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/edward-burke/saudi-arabia%E2%80%99s-big-mistake-in-yemen

Edward Burke nennt mehrere Gründe, die dafür sprächen, dass sich Saudi-Arabien mit der Militärintervention in Jemen übernommen habe. "First, they have already lost one war against the Houthis. In 2009 the Houthis killed more than 100 Saudi soldiers after Riyadh bombed Houthi positions along the border. Chastened, the Saudis backed off. This time around, it is doubtful that Saudi Arabia has the stomach to comprehensively defeat them. Second, President Hadi is, from a military point of view, beyond saving. (...) Third, the other big winners out of Yemen’s collapse are al-Qaeda and Islamic State-linked jihadi extremists, who have seen their funding increase, including from private donors in the region. (...) Finally, Saudi Arabia’s key ally, the United States, will negotiate with the Houthis; it will not negotiate with Yemen’s jihadi movements. (...) If a nuclear deal is signed with Iran in the coming months, then Saudi Arabia will come under increasing pressure to compromise with the Houthis so that the US and its allies in the Gulf can concentrate on the jihadi threat."

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21.03.2015

"Explaining the jihadi threat in Tunisia"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/fabio-merone/explaining-jihadi-threat-in-tunisia

Fabio Merone analysiert nach dem Terroranschlag auf ein Museum in Tunis die Besonderheiten der radikalislamischen Bedrohung in Tunesien. Er glaubt nicht, dass es sich nur um eine "importierte" Bedrohung handelt und plädiert deshalb auch für eine politische Lösung. "While a real anti-terrorist strategy is necessary, because other attacks may be predicted in any of the many countries (Arab or western) involved in this clash of forces – nevertheless, it is vital that a separation is drawn between the international jihadi dynamics of the situation and the specific national crisis, that instead cries out for a political solution. (...) It is not clear what a security reaction may achieve more than the arrest of yet more people without any clear link to violent action. A political solution will be needed sooner or later, which includes the political recognition and institutionalisation of a significant part of Tunisia’s Salafist movement."

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17.03.2015

"Rethinking Eurasia's future"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/nicholas-ross-smith-zbigniew-dumie%C5%84ski/rethinking-eurasia%27
s-future

Nicholas Ross Smith und Zbigniew Dumieński, Politikwissenschaftler an der University of Auckland, halten die aktuelle Konfrontation zwischen Europa und Russland keineswegs für unausweichlich oder gar "natürlich". Keine der beiden Seiten könne diesen Konflikt "gewinnen". Smith und Dumieński erläutern stattdessen die Vorzüge einer aktuell utopisch klingenden engen eurasischen Kooperation. "The idea of a super-state emerging in Eurasia, incorporating the member states of the EU and Russia, along with neighbourhood countries such as Ukraine and Belarus, is currently ludicrous. The EU experience vividly shows the limitations of integration and the resilience of the nation-state. However, if you allow yourself to indulge the idea of an economically, and loosely political, union of states from 'Lisbon to Vladivostok', then it quickly becomes clear why it would, on the one hand benefit the countries of Eurasia and, on the other, challenge America’s international primacy."

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05.03.2015

"What has gone wrong with reform in Ukraine?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/andrii-ianitskyi/what-has-gone-wrong-with-reform-in-ukraine

Der in Kiew lebende Journalist Andriy Ianitskyi beklagt, dass politische, wirtschaftliche und soziale Reformen von der ukrainischen Regierung immer noch verschleppt würden. Ein wichtiger Grund sei die politische Instabilität und die ständigen Machtkämpfe innerhalb der Regierung. Neue Maidan-Proteste könnten nicht ausgeschlossen werden. "Without encouragement from abroad, protests on social issues are unlikely to reach the heights of 2014. Equally, separatists in eastern Ukraine cannot open any new offensive without support from Russia. In the case of military aggression, Ukraine risks losing control of Mariupol, a major port on the Azov coast. Mariupol houses several major industrial enterprises with significant export contracts. The sabotage of Ukrainian enterprises behind enemy lines is also a possible scenario, especially in the Kharkiv region, which borders Russia and which possesses military factories. Mass protests in Kyiv could be a cover for an armed revolution, or, at the very least, an attempt to destabilise the situation."

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25.01.2015

"EU and the Arab world: 'cooperation' to fight terror is an excuse"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/maged-mandour/eu-and-arab-world-%27cooperation%27-to-fight-t
error-is-excuse

Maged Mandour hält die Strategie der EU, im Namen der Terrorabwehr mit autoritären Regimen im Nahen Osten zu kooperieren, für "bizarr". Die Repressionspolitik dieser "moderaten" arabischen Regierungen habe nicht nur zum Erstarken radikalislamischer Terrororganisationen geführt, die Regime profitierten sogar von dieser Bedrohung. "Rather than support autocrats in the Arab world, the EU should attempt to de-securitize its discourse and to understand the reason for this radicalization, treating the issue as first and foremost a societal rather than security problem. The EU has decided to create boogiemen to chase, and monsters to slay."

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12.12.2014

"Human rights law makes a difference"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/openglobalrights/michael-o%E2%80%99flaherty/human-rights-law-makes-differen
ce

Michael O’Flaherty mit einer Antwort auf Eric Posner, der internationale Menschenrechtsgesetze in einem früheren Beitrag für openDemocracy als ineffektiv kritisiert hat. "International human rights law is far from perfect and cannot offer some sort of messianic solution to all of humankind’s woes. It is a fallible normative framework that is saddled with very weak enforcement mechanisms, is widely disregarded and its institutions ridiculously under-funded. It may even be that we have too many rights – there probably is an overabundance of instruments, sometimes poorly drafted and occasionally eccentrically interpreted. But problems and constraints such as these are no reason for a wholesale rejection of the system. Instead they are the basis for sustained effort towards its strengthening."

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01.12.2014

"Beware the terrorist lurking in your bookcase: are British citizens being prosecuted for thought crimes?"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/richard-mcneil-willson/beware-terrorist-lurking-in-your-bookcase
-are-british-citizens-bei

Durch die weitreichenden britischen Antiterrorgesetze könnte bald schon der Besitz der falschen Literatur ausreichen, um als Terrorverdächtiger überwacht und sogar verurteilt zu werden, warnt Richard McNeil Willson. "According to section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000, it is an offence to 'possess an article in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that this possession is for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism'. This is not confined to materials used directly in violent acts but can include more abstract objects. (...) In 'Possession of Articles' (2008), lawyer Graham Virgo makes the point that this legislation is problematic because the degree of 'remoteness' the item has to a potential act of terrorism is poorly defined: 'a purpose connected with' an act of terrorism could include a plane ticket to Pakistan, a credit card used to book the flight, or even the defendant’s passport. As such, he concludes, 'are we not getting perilously close to criminalising thought crimes?'"

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28.11.2014

"The 'return' of nuclear weapons"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/nikolai-sokov/%E2%80%98return%E2%80%99-of-nuclear-weapons

Die Krise in der Ukraine dürfe nicht ohne Berücksichtigung der Atomwaffen der beteiligten Konfliktparteien beurteilt werden, meint Nikolai Sokov vom "Wiener Zentrum für Abrüstung und Non-Proliferation" (VCDNP). "The current crisis unfolding in Ukraine has brought the issue of nuclear weapons back into sharp focus. In recent years, nuclear disarmament has proved unexciting. The unilateral reduction of the US nuclear weapons stockpile under George W. Bush failed to draw serious attention. The impact of Barack Obama’s speech in Prague, which promised greater efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons was short-lived (and included the telling caveat that the goal was 'not in [his] lifetime'). Unfortunately, we have learned, yet again, that it takes a crisis to get public and politicians to pay attention to nuclear weapons. Sadly, these sorts of crises tend to make nuclear weapons look more attractive and useful instead of increasing calls for their elimination."

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22.11.2014

"The geostrategic consequences of the Arab Spring"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/zaki-samy-elakawi/geostrategic-consequences-of-arab-spring

Der Arabische Frühling habe die politische Realität im Nahen Osten nachhaltig verändert, schreibt Zaki Samy Elakawi, Politikwissenschaftler an der Complutense University of Madrid, in seiner ausführlichen Analyse. Er erläutert drei fundamentale Konsequenzen der Umwälzungen: "There are three fundamental geostrategic implications shaping the future of the balance of power in the Middle East. The first geostrategic consequence of the Arab Spring is the appearance of people as the main catalyst for these nations' internal dynamics. (...) The second geostrategic consequence is the proliferation of weak states. (...) The third consequence is the densification of geopolitical disputes crystallized in latent conflicts. The implications will have a great impact on the relations and power structure in the Middle East. It is crucial to recognise the rivalry and the power struggle among Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey, which will shape the region in the coming years. (...) On a systemic level, the Arab awakening is creating a new socio-political and economic reality in the region, transforming the balance of power, not because some states have become stronger, but rather because other states have become weaker and more fragile."

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17.11.2014

"Only the Syrian Army is able to fight ISIL: so let’s back it"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/kamal-alam/only-syrian-army-is-able-to-fight-isil-so-let%E2%80%99s-back-it

Angesichts der Entwicklung der vergangenen Wochen und Monate ist davon Kamal Alam überzeugt, dass die syrische Armee des Assad-Regimes als einzig ernst zu nehmender Gegner des Islamischen Staats angesehen werden müsse. "Whether we look at Kobane, Sinjar or Abu Kamal, it was the Syrian military which threw its weight behind helping the Armenians in Der Azour. It must be now be clear to western defence chiefs that there is only one credible fighting force on the ground capable of fighting ISIL and that is the Syrian military. The Syrians have held all the aces up their sleeve; the Kurds, the Lebanese, the Iraqi tribes and indeed their own prisoners who were released in accordance with an amnesty granted by President Bashar al Assad. For good or bad, their strategy has worked."

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22.08.2014

"The BRICS and Gaza"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/guy-burton/brics-and-gaza

Guy Burton, Politikwissenschaftler an der University of Nottingham, analysiert die Position der BRICS-Staaten Brasilien, Russland, Indien, China und Südafrika im Gaza-Konflikt. "Examining the BRICS is important for several reasons. Although they differ greatly in terms of their economic size (...) and political orientation (...), they have become a shorthand for describing those countries which are emerging as 'rising powers' within an increasingly multipolar world. In addition, they have developed common strategies and actions over the past decade, including regular summits and, most recently, the creation of a mutual financial instrument. Despite these common activities, there has been no attempt to coordinate foreign policy objectives. And this is evident in the way that the five have individually responded to the violence inflicted on Gaza over the past month."

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04.08.2014

"Gaza: The Jewish Right and the Muslim Right"

https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/meredith-tax/gaza-jewish-right-and-muslim-right

Meredith Tax schreibt, dass der Gazakrieg der politischen Rechten auf israelischer wie palästinensischer Seite in die Hände spiele. "The Israel-Palestine conflict is the gift that keeps on giving for both the Muslim and Jewish Right; each can use it to justify their militarism and their hatred of the other. (...) The Jewish Right says that the people of Gaza elected Hamas and are therefore implicated in its missile attacks on Israeli civilians. The Muslim Right says that the people of Israel elected Netanyahu and are therefore implicated in Israel's assassinations, carpet bombings, deprivation of water, and slow starvation of Gaza. But collective punishment is a war crime, no matter who does it. While Israel's ability to kill civilians is greatly superior to that of Hamas, both sides have their war criminals. The relationship is symbiotic."

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14.05.2014

"State surveillance in Europe"

http://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/joining-dots-on-state-surveillance-in-europe

openDemoracy stellt in dem Dossier "Joining the dots" die staatlichen Überwachungsmethoden zahlreicher europäischer Länder vor. "A public debate on mass surveillance and intense transatlantic intelligence cooperation has yet to take place in Europe, as legitimate indignation has been reoriented towards secondary discussions about Merkel being tapped or Edward Snowden's persona. The hypocrisy of European governments - many of which adopted a posture of firmness towards US intelligence practice while discretely putting every effort into joining the Five Eyes network, out of fear of lagging behind - has attracted little attention. In our new 'Joining the dots' series, we aim to expose mass surveillance practices throughout Europe, and give some hints as to how we can fight back against this breach of our most elementary liberties."

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04.05.2014

"If Kerry fails, dissolution or collapse of the Palestinian Authority becomes inevitable"

http://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/khalil-shikaki/if-kerry-fails-dissolution-or-collapse-of-pale
stinian-authority-become

Das Scheitern der aktuellen Friedensverhandlungen im Nahen Osten könnte zur Auflösung der Palästinensischen Autonomiebehörde führen und Israel dazu bewegen, die Einstaatenlösung einseitig durchzusetzen, schreibt Khalil Shikaki. "Regardless of the alternative [Israel] chooses, Palestinians are likely to complicate matters greatly for Israel in an effort to force it to end its occupation or face a Palestinian anti-apartheid struggle. Palestinian reaction to Israeli measures will have an impact on the ultimate solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the means adopted to achieve it. The two-state framework might suffer a significant blow leading to increased demands for other solutions such as the one-state solution."

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16.04.2014

"US position over Iran’s ambassador generates confrontation with UN"

http://www.opendemocracy.net/bob-rigg/us-position-over-iran%E2%80%99s-ambassador-generates-confrontation-
with-un

Die US-Regierung verweigert dem neuen iranischen UN-Botschafter aufgrund dessen angeblicher Verwicklung in das Geiseldrama von 1979 bisher die Einreise. Sollte die UNO diesen Bruch der sonst üblichen Traditionen akzeptieren, wäre das Vertrauen in die Integrität und Unabhängigkeit der Organisation tief erschüttert, meint Bob Rigg. "When Congress and the White House empowered themselves to exclude a person designated as the Permanent Representative of Iran to the UN in New York, they were unthinkingly challenging the very sovereignty and independence of the UN, and were buying into a fight with the General Assembly. Even governments that normally kowtow to the US will be compelled to align themselves against the US on this issue of fundamental importance to the UN. The many members of the UN who are sick and tired of American exceptionalism will support Iran because, if this precedent goes unchallenged, it can later be invoked to inhibit or block their right to choose their own diplomatic representatives."

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