Geert Wilders Falls Short In Election, As Wary Dutch Scatter Their Votes

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

Geert Wilders, a Rising Anti-Muslim Voice

This is Geert Wilders, a far-right Dutch politician with aspirations to be the next prime minister of the Netherlands. He has compared the Quran to “Mein Kampf” and has called Moroccans “scum.”

By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER on Publish Date March 13, 2017.  

THE HAGUE — The far-right politician Geert Wilders fell short of expectations in Dutch elections on Wednesday, gaining seats but failing to persuade a decisive portion of voters to back his extreme positions on barring Muslim immigrants and jettisoning the European Union, according to early results and exit polls.

The results were immediately cheered by pro-European politicians who hoped that they could help stall some of the momentum of the populist, anti-European Union and anti-Muslim forces Mr. Wilders has come to symbolize, and which have threatened to fracture the bloc.

Voters, who turned out in record numbers, nonetheless rewarded right and center-right parties that had co-opted parts of his hard-line message, including that of the incumbent prime minister, Mark Rutte. Some parties that challenged the establishment from the left made significant gains.

The Dutch vote was closely watched as a harbinger of potential trends in a year of important European elections, including in France in just weeks, and later in Germany and possibly Italy. Many of the Dutch parties that prevailed favor the European Union — a rare glimmer of hope at a time when populist forces have created an existential crisis for the bloc and Britain prepares for its withdrawal, or “Brexit.”

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“Today was a celebration of democracy, we saw rows of people queuing to cast their vote, all over the Netherlands — how long has it been since we’ve seen that?” Mr. Rutte said.

Alexander Pechtold, the leader of Democrats 66, which appeared to have won the most votes of any left-leaning party, struck a similar note underscoring the vote as a victory against a populist extremist.

“During this election campaign, the whole world was watching us,” Mr. Pechtold said. “They were looking at Europe to see if this continent would follow the call of the populists, but it has now become clear that call stopped here in the Netherlands.”

GRAPHIC

How Far Is Europe Swinging to the Right?

Right-wing parties have been achieving electoral success in a growing number of nations.

OPEN GRAPHIC

According to an unofficial tally compiled by the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation, the country’s public broadcaster, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy was likely to capture 33 of the 150 seats in Parliament — a loss of seven seats, but still far more than any other party.

Mr. Wilders’s Party for Freedom was expected to finish second, with 20 seats (an increase of eight); and the right-leaning Christian Democratic Appeal and the left-leaning Democrats 66 were tied for third, with 19 each, the broadcaster reported.

In the Netherlands, the results betrayed a lingering distrust of turning over the reins of power to the far right, even as its message dominated the campaign and was likely to influence policies in the new government.

Yet there are limits to how much the Netherlands, one of Europe’s most socially liberal countries, will be a reliable predictor for Europe’s other important elections this year, including next month’s presidential elections in France.

Mark Bovens, a political scientist at Utrecht University, noted that Mr. Wilders and other right-wing parties, despite their gains, did not drastically cross traditional thresholds.

“The nationalist parties have won seats, compared to 2012 — Wilders’s party has gained seats, as has a new party, the Forum for Democracy — but their electorate is stable, it has not grown,” Mr. Bovens said.

Mr. Bovens pointed out that an earlier populist movement led by the right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn had won 26 seats in 2002, and that Mr. Wilders’s won 24 seats in 2010. If Mr. Wilders’s party rises to 20 seats, as the early returns seemed to indicate, it will still be lower than the previous high-water marks.

“And some of the traditional parties have moved in a more nationalistic direction, taking a bit of wind out of his sails,” he said. “You see the same strategy in Germany.”

The German governing coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, which is facing a stiff election challenge of its own this year, was clearly buoyed by the Dutch result, its foreign ministry sending a warmly enthusiastic message via Twitter.

Photo

“The Netherlands, after Brexit, after the American elections, said ‘Whoa’ to the wrong kind of populism,” said Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, speaking to an enthusiastic crowd. CreditCarl Court/Getty Images

“Large majority of Dutch voters have rejected anti-European populists. That’s good news. We need you for a strong #Europe!” it read.

In the Netherlands’s extremely fractured system of proportional representation — 28 parties ran and 13 are likely to have positions in the 150-seat lower house of Parliament — the results were, not atypically, something of a dog’s breakfast.

Mr. Rutte’s party lost seats, even as it came out on top, and will need to join forces with several others in order to wield power. Virtually all parties said they would not work with Mr. Wilders in a coalition — so toxic he remains — though his positions are likely to infuse parliamentary debate.

“Rutte has not seen the last of me yet!” Mr. Wilders wrote on Twitter, and indeed his anti-immigrant message, which dominated much of the campaign, was not likely to go away.

It came into particularly sharp relief on the eve of the election, when Turkey’s foreign minister sought to enter the Netherlands to rally support among Turks in Rotterdam for a referendum to increase the power of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Dutch officials refused him landing rights.

Mr. Wilders, who has seemed to relish being called the “Dutch Donald Trump,” has been so extreme that some appear to have thought twice about supporting him.

He has called for banning the Quran because he compares it to Hitler’s work “Mein Kampf,” which the Netherlands banned, and for closing mosques and Islamic cultural centers and schools.

Election turnout was high, with polling places seeing a steady stream of voters from early morning until the polls closed at 9 p.m. Of the 12.9 million Dutch citizens eligible to cast ballots, more than 80 percent voted.

Some polling places ran out of ballots and called for additional ones to be delivered. There were so many candidates listed that the ballots were as voluminous as bath towels and had to be folded many times over to fit into the ballot box.

Photo

Supporters of the Green Party reacted in The Hague on Wednesday.CreditRobin Van Lonkhuijsen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The percentage of the vote that a party receives translates into the number of seats it will get in Parliament. If a party gets 10 percent of the total votes, it gets 10 percent of seats in the 150-seat Parliament, given to its first 15 candidates listed on the ballot.

The election was a success for the left-leaning Green Party, led by 30-year-old Jesse Klaver, a relative political newcomer, whose leadership at least tripled the party’s seats, making it the fifth-place finisher and potentially a part of the government.

Mr. Klaver ran specifically on an anti-populist platform and worked hard to turn out first-time voters.

“In these elections there was an overwhelming attention from the foreign press, which is understandable because Brexit happened and Trump was elected, and because France, Germany and maybe Italy will be holding elections,” Mr. Klaver said. “They asked us: Will populism break through in the Netherlands?”

The crowd shouted: “No.”

“That is the answer that we have for the whole of Europe: Populism did not break through,” Mr. Klaver said.

Another striking development was the first-time election of former Labor Party members, all three of Turkish background, who formed a new party, Denk (which means “think”). It will be the only ethnic party in the Dutch Parliament and is a reminder that Turks are the largest immigrant community in the Netherlands. There are roughly 400,000 first, second, or third-generation Turkish immigrants in the nation.

The big loser was the center-left Labor Party, which was expected to drop from being the second largest party in Parliament, with 38 seats and a position as Mr. Rutte’s coalition partner. The party was expected to win only nine seats.

In past elections the impact of extremist right-leaning parties has been largely blunted by a political system that for more than a century has resulted in governance by coalition.

This year’s election may give the Netherlands its most fragmented government in history. Some political analysts believe it could take weeks or months to form a government and that the governing coalition will be fragile.

In Belgium, which has a similar political system as the Netherlands, it famously took nearly a year and a half after inconclusive elections in June 2010 to form a government.

Turk President Er- Dog’ The Dictator Dares To Threaten EU Countries About Democratic Values?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

By Ercan Gurses and Humeyra Pamuk | ANKARA/ISTANBUL

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned the Netherlands that he could take further steps in a deepening diplomatic row, while a government spokesman in Ankara said economic sanctions could be coming.

Incensed by Dutch and German government bans on his ministers from speaking to rallies of overseas Turks, Erdogan also accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of siding with the Netherlands in the fight between the NATO allies.

Turkey suspended high-level diplomatic relations with the Netherlands on Monday, banning the Dutch ambassador from the country and preventing diplomatic flights from landing in Turkey or using its airspace.

Those steps were taken after Erdogan branded the Netherlands “Nazi remnants” at the weekend for muzzling his ministers.

“The cabinet took action yesterday but there are many other things that could be done against the Netherlands,” Erdogan said in a speech broadcast live on television.

“We will show those who think they can get away with an apology that they are making a mistake,” said Erdogan, who is campaigning for an April 16 referendum on boosting his powers and has been looking to the large number of Turks living in Europe to help secure victory.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus later told broadcaster CNN Turk that economic sanctions could be in the works.

“Pressure will continue against the Netherlands until they make up for what they did. We’ve started with the political, diplomatic sanctions, and economic sanctions may follow,” he said.

Erdogan has threatened to take the Netherlands to the European Court of Human Rights over the ban on his ministers, which both the Dutch and Germans have imposed citing fears of unrest.

Dutch police used dogs and water cannon on Sunday to disperse hundreds of protesters waving Turkish flags outside the consulate in Rotterdam. Some protesters threw bottles and stones and several demonstrators were beaten by police with batons, a Reuters witness said. Mounted police officers charged the crowd.

SAARLAND, BELGIAN BANS

The small western German state of Saarland said on Tuesday it would ban political campaigning by foreign politicians.

“Internal Turkish conflicts have no place in Germany. Election appearances which put at risk domestic peace in our country must be banned,” State Premier Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said in a statement.

“The atmosphere that has been created by Nazi comparisons and insults must not be allowed to escalate,” she said.

The Belgian city of Antwerp said it would not allow a politician from the nationalist MHP party to speak at an event, although Ali Guler was still set to appear on Sunday at a Turkish restaurant in Genk, in the east of the country.

While Turkish law forbids election campaigning abroad and in diplomatic missions, ministers are circumventing the ban by holding what they say are cultural events with Turkish citizens.

Erdogan has said that those who oppose the referendum, are aligning themselves with terrorists. He has also accused European states, including Germany, of harboring terrorism, an allegation they deny.

SHARP WORDS FOR MERKEL

EU states are also unhappy with what they see as an increasingly authoritarian tone from Turkey and the spat is likely to further dim Ankara’s prospects of EU membership.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn called on Turkey to moderate its language and avoid further escalating the dispute.

Erdogan renewed his attack on Merkel after she criticized his “Nazi remnants” jibe against the Dutch.

“The countries that have embraced this thuggery have lost all their credibility. The Chancellor of Germany has come out and said she supported the Netherlands. We know that you are no different from them,” Erdogan said.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Turkish sanctions, while “not too bad”, were inappropriate as the Dutch had more to be angry about.

Ankara’s foreign ministry said the European Union was exercising democratic values selectively.

“It is very grave for the EU to hide behind member country solidarity and stand by the Netherlands, which has clearly violated human rights and European values,” it said.

(Additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu, Ece Toksabay and Tulay Karadeniz in Ankara, Daren Butler in Istanbul; Toby Sterling in Amsterdam; Madeline Chambers in Berlin and Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Jon Boyle and Toby Davis)

So Turkey’s Sunni Dictator Er-Dog-an Calls European Countries Nazi Because They Won’t Allow Him To Rule Them

 

So the Sunni Dictator Dog of Turkey, the man who has ruined the lives of his people with his hate and his ego has the gall to call the governments of Germany and the Netherlands Nazi’s. When he first took power in Turkey the country and it’s people lived in relative peace with its neighbors and within its own borders. Turkey was the crown jewel in the Middle-East of the countries that had a majority Islamic population as far as people of various religions being free to worship as they pleased. There were many Gothic Churches that were hundreds of years old that dotted the landscape of this beautiful restive country. Now by my understanding of the many different articles I have read over the past few years several of these landmark Churches have either been destroyed or turned into Sunni Mosque.

 

Since Er-Dog-an has been in power he has through his policies created a situation where it is rather common for the people to have to try to survive car and truck bombs as well as suicide attacks on not just Turkey’s police and military personnel but on the civilians themselves. He had created tensions with Russia and with Israel before recently correcting this error, at least publicly. I say publicly because if you honestly think that Russia’s President Putin or Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu consider him a friend or that they trust him you are being quite delusional. He has spent his time in power doing mainly one thing and that is to gain more power and control over every aspect of life within the borders of Turkey. He has invaded his Shiite neighbor Syria and is not welcome in Iran or Iraq. Yet personally I believe that one of his biggest most arrogant and stupid policies has been his constant assault on the Kurdish people. The Dog has made it very plain that he wants nothing to do with peace with this huge ethnicity of people that live in the eastern part of Turkey. He could have peace with them if he wasn’t so darn greedy. The Kurdish people simply want their own homeland and being they already had settled in the eastern part of Turkey it would have been easy to have had peace with them by simply letting this small part of Turkey be officially theirs. Then the two Nations could have easily become good neighbors, brothers, sisters and trading partners. There would have been peace this way and many people who are now dead would still be alive. He has been playing the EU against Russia card trying to see how much he can get from both sides. He cared so little for his countrymen that instead of sealing off their border with Syria and not allowing millions of refugees to enter Turkey at all he let them in then has used them as bargaining chips with the EU trying to extort money and EU membership from them.

 

Now this egomaniac Dictator dares to call the governments of Germany and the Netherlands Nazi’s because of their policies that he personally doesn’t like. Think about this for a moment please, why is he slandering the leadership of these two countries? In Rotterdam they are going to be having elections very soon and Turkey has a huge number of Turk people living there now and there was going to be a big rally that the Turk Foreign Minister was going to address and the government decided to not let him show up. What is going on is very simple, if the Turk population grows to a high enough level they can then have more control of the laws passed in that country. If a minority population can gain control of a foreign country and they are loyalist to their home Dictator, this Dictator can have a huge effect on being the defacto Ruler of that Nation. Do not be naive, the people who believe in the teachings of ‘the prophet’ Mohammed know that they are ordered to infiltrate Infidel countries and when they have sufficient numbers to attack from within and to take control of the country and then to convert everyone there to Islam. The easiest way to take control of a Democratic country is through the ballot box, then if that doesn’t work, take it by force. Europe is starting to wake up and many of the people of Europe’s Nations are realizing the dangers they are having now and that it will only get much worse if they allow Islamic believing people to settle in their country. It is obvious why this Sunni egomaniac used the slur of Nazism toward Germany because the pain of their past but when this horse’s behind referred to the Netherlands the same way he showed his ignorance and his hate as well as pure stupidity. The worse thing that has happened to the Nation of Turkey since world war two has been allowing this madman to continue breathing within their borders. I say this because as he proves constantly like this upcoming referendum to give him alone even more power to rule as a King or a god would, he is only interested in making as many people as possible bow to his power, even Nations outside of Turkey’s current borders. If the EU Leaders in Brussels ever allow Turkey or any Islamic Nation to become part of the EU, that will be the kiss of death for their Countries and their way of life, and their very lives.

Netherlands Bars Turkish Foreign Minister’s Plane From Landing

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

The Netherlands bars Turkish foreign minister’s plane from landing

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compares the Dutch to Nazis in a rally Saturday in Istanbul.

Story highlights

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was set to address political rally in Rotterdam
  • Turkish President has provoked controversy with his comparisons of allies to Nazis.

(CNN) The Netherlands barred a plane carrying Turkey’s foreign minister from landing to stop him from addressing a political rally Saturday in Rotterdam.

The Dutch government announced that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight permit was revoked amid concerns over public order at the expected large gathering of Turkish expatriates.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted angrily to the news, comparing the Dutch government to Nazis.
Addressing crowds at an opening ceremony in Istanbul, Erdogan said: “They are timid and coward. They are Nazi remnants and fascists.”
Earlier this week Erdogan had angered German Chancellor Angela Merkel by making similar remarks about Nazism in her country.

Turkish referendum

Cavusoglu was due to address Turkish expatriates in Rotterdam to win support for an April 16 referendum vote on the Turkish Constitution.
Pushed by Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, these sweeping constitutional changes would grant new powers to Turkey’s President and transform the way the country is governed.

Erdogan: Germany using 'Nazi practices'

Erdogan: Germany using ‘Nazi practices’
Turkish politicians have sought to address rallies in European cities and towns with large populations of Turkish expatriates, but the authorities in several countries have blocked their plans.
Around 1.5 million Turkish nationals living in Germany are eligible to vote in the referendum, according to Turkish news agency Anadolu.

Increased tensions

In the latest twist in the row, Cavusoglu angered the Dutch by threatening “severe sanctions” if he were banned from traveling to the Rotterdam rally.
“If the Netherlands cancels my flight, we will impose severe sanctions on them that will affect it economically and politically,” the foreign minister said in remarks in a TV interview on CNN Turk.
He added, “If tension will increase (between the two countries) because of my visit, then let it increase.”
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: “Many Dutch people with Turkish heritage are voting in the referendum on the Turkish constitution. The Dutch government has no objection to meetings in our country in order to inform them about that.
“But these meetings cannot contribute to tensions in our society and everyone who wants to contribute to an event must comply with instructions from the authorities so that public order and security can be guaranteed. It should be noted that, in this respect, the Turkish government does not want to respect those rules.”

Negotiations failed

Rutte said there had been discussions with the Turkish authorities to try to find a way to hold a smaller-scale meeting in a Turkish Consulate or Embassy.
However, he said, a public threat of sanctions made by the Turks before the negotiations were complete made it impossible to find a “reasonable solution” — so the Netherlands banned the foreign minister’s flight.
The Dutch will vote Wednesday in national elections in a campaign that has focused heavily on the issue of immigration from Muslim countries.
Far-right presidential candidate Geert Wilders praised the decision to bar the Turkish minister from speaking in Rotterdam, taking credit due to the influence of his party, the Party For Freedom, or PVV.
“Great! Thanks to heavy PVV- pressure a few days before the Dutch elections our government did NOT allow the Turkish minister to land here,” Wilders wrote.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Dutch charge d’affaires Saturday following the decision to bar Cavusoglu’s flight.

Turkey’s Dictator Erdogan Chastises Germany About Democracy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

 

Erdogan compares German cancellation of meetings with Nazi period

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday German actions in stopping political meetings of resident Turks that were due to be addressed by Turkish officials “were no different to those of the Nazi period”.

German authorities withdrew permission for two meetings in German cities last week that were part of a government campaign to win the 1.5 million-strong Turkish community’s support for sweeping new powers for Erdogan going to referendum in April.

“Germany, you have no relation whatsoever to democracy and you should know that your current actions are no different to those of Nazi period. When we say that, they get disturbed. Why are you disturbed?” he said at a rally in Istanbul.

(Reporting by Ece Toksabay; writing by Ralph Boulton; editing by Louise Heavens)

Iran Is Allowing Russian Bombers To Use Their Airspace And Military Base For Refueling

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

Iran allowing Syria-bound Russian planes to use airspace-report

Iran has again allowed Russian planes to use its airspace during recent operations in Syria, a senior Iranian security official was quoted as saying on Saturday.

In August, Russian aircraft for the first time used an Iranian air base to conduct strikes in Syria. The Russian military said its fighters had completed their tasks, but left open the possibility of using the Hamadan base again if circumstances warranted.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry said then that Russia had stopped using the base for strikes in Syria, bringing an abrupt halt to the deployment that was criticized both by the United States and some Iranian lawmakers.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s National Security Council, on Saturday told the semi-official news agency Fars: “Their (Russians’) use of Iran’s air space has continued because we have a fully strategic cooperation with Russia.”

“In the recent cases, Russian fighter planes have only used Iran’s airspace and have not had refueling operations,” Shamkhani added.

The agency said Shamkhani was commenting on media reports that Russia’s Tupolev-22M long-range bombers had used Iranian airspace and a base in the country on their missions in Syria, where both Tehran and Moscow back President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

It was not immediately clear if the recent missions were linked to Russian air strikes on Thursday that accidentally killed three Turkish soldiers during an operation against Islamic State in Syria, according to the Turkish military.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

Anywhere America Steps Back: China’s Communist Government Steps Forward

 

THE WEEKEND ROUNDUP 

A new rift in world affairs appears to be opening up: a division between pro-globalization Asia, with China in the lead, and the transatlantic nations that have turned against globalization.

“President Xi’s appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week,” I write in a blog post this week, “comes at both an auspicious and inauspicious moment. It is an auspicious moment because President-elect Donald Trump has all but announced America’s withdrawal from the world it has largely made over recent decades — and from which Asia has most benefited.” Since Europe has become inwardly absorbed with anxieties over terror attacks, immigration and failed integration, I continue, “that leaves China as the one major power with a global outlook. Ready or not, China has become the de facto world leader seeking to maintain an open global economy and battle climate change. In effect, President Xi has become the ‘core leader’ of globalization.”

“The inauspicious aspect is the reverse,” I go on to say. “The general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party is speaking to the converted from the pulpit in the foremost church of the global elite that gathers annually in Davos. Aligning with the global business elites in such a high profile manner places China even more squarely in the negative sights of the populist wave sweeping the Western democracies. It affirms in their minds that China is the main enemy of the working and middle class in the West.” China’s increasing show of force in the South China Sea this week in response to what it sees as provocations by the incoming U.S. administration also does it little favor in Western eyes.

Alexis Crow makes the counter-case that globalization continues to be beneficial to the West, saying trade is closely correlated with economic growth. “Increased wages in Southeast Asia boost demand for goods from new economy sectors in the West,” she writes. She also notes, as a case in point, how Chinese investment is creating thousands of jobs in Ohio.

Writing from Vladivostok, Artyom Lukin wonders how heightening conflict with China, as Trump tilts toward a closer embrace of Moscow, will play out. “Given Trump’s obvious hostility to China and his friendliness to Russia,” he writes, “Moscow may move into the apex spot of the triangle, having better relations with Beijing and Washington than they have with each other.” As Lukin sees it, Russian President Vladimir Putin may well seek to, “position himself as a sort of mediator between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.”

Based on his experiences with Putin, Alexey Kovalev offers some advice as a Russian journalist to his American colleagues who this week faced their first press conference with Donald Trump. “Facts don’t matter. You can’t hurt this man with facts or reason. He’ll always outmaneuver you. He’ll always wriggle out of whatever carefully crafted verbal trap you lay for him. Whatever he says, you won’t be able to challenge him.” He welcomes his American colleagues to “the era of bullshit.” Fearing this is only the beginning of what’s to come in the battle between Trump and the press, Howard Fineman writes, “It’s not a video game. It’s Washington in the Trump era, and we’ve just seen an unsettling preview.”

Many Africans are also wondering how a Trump presidency that is hostile to China will unfold for them. As Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden report, while America’s role in the world is growing uncertain, China is becoming more predictably favorable. As the year opened, China outlawed its domestic ivory trade and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is making a visit to Africa his first overseas trip of the year. China has also committed $60 billion in financing for African projects.

Writing from Singapore, Parag Khanna takes another tack entirely, suggesting that an America caught up in the turmoil of a populist backlash might learn a thing or two not only from other successful states like Germany, but from China as well. America, Khanna observes, “is caught in a hapless cycle of flip-flopping parties and policies while overall national welfare stagnates. Populism has prevailed over pragmatism.” He further remarks that, even in the West, there is grudging admiration for, “China’s ability to get things done without perpetual factionalism holding up national priorities, such as infrastructure.”

The populist drift in both the U.S. and Europe deeply concerns the Human Rights Watch organization, Nick Visser reports. “They scapegoat refugees, immigrant communities, and minorities. Truth is a frequent casualty,” he cites the watchdog’s director, Kenneth Roth, as saying. Nick Robins-Early looks at the trend of populism in Europe, noting that this year will be a test for the far-right, specifically in France, Germany and The Netherlands.

Writing from New Delhi, Swati Chaturvedi fears the consequences of the anti-Muslim and anti-woman hate speech that seems part and parcel of a Hindu brand of populism taking hold in India today. “Trolls,” she says, “are the goons of the online world. … lies and violent words can have deadly consequences in the real world.”

In an interview, former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr sees opportunity for the regime in a Trump presidency where others see only trouble. “Khamenei’s supporters believe not only that Trump will maintain the Vienna nuclear agreement,” he says, “but also that his policies in Syria and the Middle East will maintain the interests of the regime.”

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, also has a positive spin on the negativity surrounding President-elect Trump. He thinks Americans are more than capable of rising to disruptive challenges of new technologies behind so much political anxiety today. Wheeler argues that the slogan “‘Make America Great Again’ became a surrogate for ‘Make me secure again amidst all this change.’ Great swaths of the electorate sought stability in a world where everything seemed to be changing.” Wheeler reminds his fellow Americans that they’ve been here before: “Like today,” he says, “the technology revolution of the 19th century produced a longing for stability. But instead of retreating, Americans pushed forward to build a new security around new concepts. Universal education, employee rights, governmental offsets to abusive market power and other initiatives targeted the new problems. The result was the good old days many now long for.”

Writing from Geneva, Richard Baldwin sees a double blow to the labor market – in both rich and poor countries ― of both offshoring and robots. “Rapid advances in computing power and communication technology,” he contends, “will make it economical for many more people to work remotely across borders.” As medical costs rise in the rich countries, for example, Baldwin expects to see more and more “telesurgery” where the patient and doctor are divided by hundreds of miles.

In this world so afflicted by hatred and violence, Turkish novelist Kaya Genc also sees a way to unite amidst division, finding beauty and peace in the quotidian event of a winter snowfall. “Snow saved Istanbul,” he writes this week from his beloved hometown on the shores of the Bosphorous. “As flakes fell from the sky, the city was relieved of its status as the new destination of international terror. … There was a hint of something chilling in the air, and I felt relieved that it was not man-made.” 

The Book Of Revelation: Chapter #6

 

Revelation: Chapter #6

Chapter #6, this is where the beginning of the ‘Great Tribulation’ period here on the Earth begins. When the Apostle John was in Heaven (in his Spirit) these are the events that he beheld. Now, as Jesus (Yeshua) broke each of the Seven Seals of the Book that had been bound in Heaven that no one else could break, John witnessed the events upon the Earth as each Seal was broken. There are only 17 verses in this chapter, so I am going to type them down for those who do not have access to a Bible. After we read these 17 verses we will then break down each of the events so that we can have a better understanding of what we are being told.

“And I (John) saw when the Lamb (Jesus) opened one of the Seals and I heard what was like the noise of thunder and one of the four Beasts said to me, come and see.”

“And I saw and beheld a White Horse, and He that sat on him had a bow; and a Crown was given to Him; and He went forth conquering and to conquer.”

“And when He had opened the Second Seal, I heard the second Beast say to me, come and see.”

“And there went out another Horse which was Red, and power was given to Him that sat upon this Horse to take peace from the Earth so that people would kill one another. And there was given to Him a great sword.”

“And when He had opened the Third Seal, I heard the third Beast say to me, come and see. And I beheld, and lo there was a Black Horse. And He that sat upon him had a pair of scales in His hand.”

“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four Beasts say, a measure (1 quart) of wheat for a penny (1 day’s wages). And three measures (3 quarts) of barley for a penny ( day’s wages). But see that you do no hurt to the oil or the wine.”

“And when He had opened the Fourth Seal, I heard the voice of the fourth Beast say to me, come and see.”

“And I looked and beheld a Pale Horse: and His name that sat upon him was Death, and Hell followed with Him. And power was given unto them over one-fourth part of the Earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with wild beasts of the Earth.”

“And when He had opened the Fifth Seal, I saw under the Altar the Souls of them that were slain for the Word of God and the testimony which they held.”

“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long, O Lord, Holy and True, until you judge and avenge our blood on those that dwell on the Earth?”

“And White Robes was given to every one of them. And it was said unto them that they should rest (be quiet) yet for a little season (while),  until their fellow Servants also and their Brethren, that would be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

“And I beheld when He had opened the Sixth Seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the Sun became black as sackcloth hair and the Moon became as blood (turned red).”

“And the Stars of Heaven fell on to the Earth, even as a fig tree casts away her untimely figs, when she is shaken from a mighty wind.”

“And the Heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”

“And the Kings of the Earth and the great men and the rich men and the Chief Captains (military leaders) and the mighty men and the bondmen (slaves) and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and under the rocks of the mountains.”

“And (these people) said to the mountains and the rocks, fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sits upon the Throne (The Holy Father/Yahweh), and from the wrath of the Lamb (Jesus/Yeshua).

“For the great day of His wrath has come; and who will be able to stand?”

Okay friends, that is the 17 verses of this chapter. I will now do my best to point out the definitions of some of the things written in this chapter that might be stumping a few of you. Folks, chapter six is the dividing point within the book of Revelation. But before we get into this break down I would like you to look up something that the Apostle Peter wrote in the book of Second Peter chapter #1  verse # 20 “Knowing this first, that no Prophecy of the Scripture is of any interpretation.” I am no different from many millions of you in the reality that God’s Holy Spirit indwells me, as He does you. All Scripture is given by the Holy Spirit, we all form the “Body of Christ” and like any body, it has many parts, many different gifts. Peter is speaking that no one Prophecy stands as an island unto its own. All Prophecy is given by the Holy Spirit and all Biblical Prophecy stands together as one unit, they are all pieces that fit together as in one puzzle, or one Book. If you think back into the different Prophecies within the Old Testament they fall into place, Prophecy is about the things that are yet to happen, about the future. Prophecy is not about the past, that is simply called History. Revelation is a Book of Prophecy, we are being told what the final chapters of the Earth and humankind is. I want to make this point as clear as I can, in the Book of Revelation chapters 6 through 20 are about events that are yet to happen.

Now, let’s start with that First Seal. The rider of this White Horse is the Antichrist. He is a fake ‘Saviour’, the people will be begging for help from anywhere they think they can get it. Wanting to be rescued from all the bloodshed and famine they will want peace at any price and they will ‘elect’ their own destroyer. Right now this world we are living in is ripe for the Dictators who are being elected freely by the people themselves. Look at the current leadership in Turkey, the Philippines, the so-called democracies in the Arab World. What about the current situation here in the U.S.? Friends, there will be no peace here on this Earth because the powers that be, the super rich, the super powerful survive through the chaos they themselves create. When they just promote one of their own to the Throne of their countries, it is just the same evil for the people, just with a different face.

The Second Seal, the Red Horse of War. The fake peace that the Antichrist of the First Seal was just a ruse, we all know the story, a politician promises the people one thing, then they get hold of the reigns of power and what the people get is a ruthless power-hungry Dictator. In the first Book of the New Testament, the book of Matthew please read chapter 24 verse 2. This is where Jesus tell His Apostles that where they were at, the Temple in Jerusalem, that there will be a day when not one stone will be left upon another. A lot of folks believe that the destruction of the Temple happened when the Romans destroyed the Temple in  A.D. 72. Folks, the people who teach this are wrong, the event that the Lord was speaking of had nothing to do with the Romans. The reason I know this is simple, have you ever heard of the Wailing Wall or the West Wall which is at the Temple Mount? Friends, this is part of the West Wall of Solomon’s Temple, there are many stones, one upon another still in existence. The event that Jesus was referring to, has not happened yet. For your own thoughts, what is powerful enough to level Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to where there would not be one stone left upon another? To me, the answer is obvious, is it really a secret to you? I believe an event like Israel deciding to go ahead with the plan to build Synagogues on all four corners of the Temple Mount would infuriate the Arab World and if one of them has nukes (Iran), they would use them on Israel, this is the only thing I can think of that could cause the event of which Jesus spoke of. What kind of “peace” do you think the world will be in when this happens?

The Third Horseman, when Jesus broke the Third Seal the rider of the Black Horse came forth. The Black Horse represents ‘mourning’. There are a few paragraphs of Scripture I wish you to read so that you will understand better what I am saying. These Scriptures are Jeremiah 4:28 and Malachi 3:14. After the arrival of the Third Horseman there will be a world-wide famine. Please read Lamentations 4: 8-9 “There appearance is blacker than coal; they are not known in the streets (they look so bad they can’t be recognized): their skin clings to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick. Those that are killed with the sword are better off than those that will be slain with hunger. For these wither away, stricken through for want of fruits of the field.” Famine and disease will be the norm in these times. The wealthy will still have their wine and their oil in these times just as it has always been throughout human history. Those whom have the most will be the least, and the last affected, just as it has always been. Yet these events, will be on a global scale, every Nation on Earth will be infected.

The opening of the Fourth Seal: The Rider of the Pale Horse. The Pale Horse represents plague and pestilence. When Jesus was upon the Mount of Olivet He spoke what has become known as the Olivet Discourse. Please read Matthew chapter 24: 5-8. Please take the time to read and understand these words the Lord spoke about the four Events are the Horsemen. These events are about to happen with the opening of the Fourth Seal, these events folks will kill a full one-fourth of the whole world’s population. If you used the population of the Earth today as an example, that would be about one billion seven hundred million people would die. Remember the Lord’s words concerning this matter: “Except those days be shortened, there would be no flesh saved, but for the Elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” These “Elect” that the Lord is speaking of are the ones who have been left on Earth after the Rapture who have decided to turn to God/Jesus and believe in and to follow after the Lord and His teachings. Most people when they fall upon hard times and I do mean very hard times, tend to curse God and to turn their back on God and walk away from Him, a few do just the opposite, they turn to God in these times, these are the ones being spoken of here. If you honestly think about it, if the Rapture happened today, would even 10% of the people who say they are Christians be taken up with the Lord at that time? Do you remember in the “Left Behind” movie where even the ‘Preacher’ got left behind? If we do not have faith, it is impossible to please Him!

The opening of the Fifth Seal and the prayers of the martyred Saints. The Souls mentioned here that are under the Altar of God. These are the Souls of the people who have been murdered for their doing of God’s word, their teaching and living according to God’s word. These are those who lived during the time frame of the ‘Old Testament’. Please open your Bible to the Gospel of Luke and read chapter 11:50-51. Our Lord spoke on this matter “That the blood of all the Prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation. From the blood of Able (Adam and Eve’s son) unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the Altar and the Temple. Verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation.”

With the opening of the Sixth Seal, the Lord’s ‘Day of Wrath’ has come. But the good thing is for those still upon the Earth, this is the beginning of the end of the Tribulation period. These events though are horrifying just in reading them. Please reread chapter 6 verses 12-14, also please read Revelation 20:11 and the Old Testament Prophet Nahum 1:5. Friends, it is easy to see how pathetic and weak humans are and will be upon the Lord’s return. Folks, the Demons and Satan Himself have already learned this horrible lesson but we humans have self-induced blindness toward the word of God. We humans are walking hand in hand with the very same Demons we have chosen to worship and to serve and those that do so will be their servants in Hell for ever and ever. Folks, what we don’t know can and will do more than just destroy us in this life.

The Seventh Seal does not get opened until the beginning of the eight chapter so for you who want to read ahead and have any questions, go ahead and do so. I am never ever going to tell a person to not read the Bible. I wish that all humans wanted to see, understand and believe in God’s teachings to us. I do believe that time is running short for the human race, for me personally I know that because of my health that my time left here is very short. We all very badly need to turn our lives over to God. We all have flaws, we all make mistakes, none of us are perfect and God knows these things about us. Our lives come down to faith, what do we put our faith in? If we put our faith in our Creator, if we live our lives according to His teachings of love then we have no need to fear the events that will happen to us after this life is over. Lord willing I will speak with you soon when I do my best to breakdown chapter seven. Shalom

Gunman Identified In Istanbul Nightclub Attack, Turkish Authorities Say

 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Gunman identified in Istanbul nightclub attack, Turkish authorities say

Story highlights

  • Authorities detain 20 alleged members of ISIS in connection with Sunday’s attack
  • ISIS claimed responsibility on Twitter, but CNN can’t independently verify it

Istanbul (CNN)Turkish authorities said Wednesday they have identified the gunman who killed 39 people in the New Year’s nightclub terror attack in Istanbul.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu announced the development but did not name the suspect or provide his nationality.
Nightclub attack: Full coverage
  • Victims from 14 countries
  • Dozens killed when gunman opens fire
  • Authorities have also detained 20 alleged members of ISIS in connection with Sunday morning’s attack at the Reina nightclub, state-run news agency Anadolu reported Wednesday.
    Counterterrorism officers arrested the suspected militants at four addresses in the Bornova and Buca districts of the Aegean province of Izmir, according to Anadolu. Eleven women were among those arrested.
    Anadolu said those detained are thought to have lived with the attacker in the central Anatolian city of Konya.
    Anadolu also reported that an array of military hardware was discovered during the raids, including night-vision equipment, a sniper scope, an ammunition belt and other items. Twenty children found at the addresses were taken into temporary care.
    Altogether, at least 36 people are being held in connection with the nightclub shooting, though the gunman who carried it out remains at large.
    ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted to Twitter, but CNN cannot independently verify it. The terror group boasted of carrying out the first major terrorist attack of 2017.

    Suspect seen in selfie video

    On Monday, police released a video that the suspected gunman apparently took of himself in a market near the nightclub.
    The “selfie video” featuring the man in Istanbul’s Taksim Square was first posted on a pro-ISIS Telegram account before Turkish media broadcast it, said Laith Alkhouri, a director at Flashpoint, an American business risk intelligence company tracking terrorist and cyber threats.
    Alkhouri told CNN that such a release suggests the attacker was part of a network supportive of or linked to ISIS, and that he had shared the selfie footage with the terror group before or after the attack.

    Growing threats

    On Tuesday, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told lawmakers that Turkish security forces had prevented 339 major terror incidents in 2016 — 80 of which came in the final three months of the year.
    In his speech to parliament, Soylu cited attacks launched by the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, as well as those by Daesh, the Arabic term for ISIS.
    Anadolu quoted Soylu as saying that “313 of the incidents were planned by PKK, 22 by Daesh and four by radical leftist groups.”
    He said that 247 improvised explosives and 61 bomb vehicles had been seized in 12 months.
    He also revealed the capture of 23 suicide bomber suspects as well as 42 terrorist group members who were preparing for attacks.
    Both ISIS and Kurdish militants have launched attacks in Turkey, which is reeling from a failed military coup in July.
    On Wednesday, Anadolu reported that authorities arrested four people, including a woman, in connection with a December 17 car bombing that killed 13 soldiers and wounded dozens in the central city of Kayseri.

    Victims from 14 countries

    At least 11 victims in this week’s attack on the upscale nightclub were from Turkey, according to Anadolu, while at least 27 victims hailed from 13 other countries, including Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Canada.
    Dozens of people were hospitalized. A handful of the injured were in critical condition.

    Expert: ISIS may have trained Istanbul gunman

    Expert: ISIS may have trained Istanbul gunman 02:23
    Witnesses described how the New Year’s Eve celebration turned into a bloodbath.
    “We were having fun. At first we thought it was a fight, then there was a lot of gunfire,” Yunus Turk told CNN.
    “After the gunfire, everyone started to run toward the terrace. We ran as well. There was someone next to me who was shot and fell on the floor. We ran away and hid under the sofas.”

    It’s Was Okay To Kill Them, They Were Sinning

     

    This is a short editorial about the New Year’s massacre at a nightclub in Istanbul Turkey. Even though it is my belief that the President of Turkey Mr. Erdogan is the single biggest reason for the turmoil in Turkey because of his policies, I do not wish to make this particular article about his personal evils. This article is about people like the person who was the shooter and anyone who had prior knowledge of his actions or post knowledge of his whereabouts who have not turned him into the police.

     

    The Demonic Sunni Islamic group in Syria who calls themselves ISIS as well as many other names has taken “credit”  for the murder of those 39 people in the nightclub as well as the 40 whom were injured. Credit, think about the theology behind that statement. In a civilized society when someone murders a person or persons, they try to keep it quiet, they don’t want the police to know that you murdered that person or persons. Civilized is the key word in that last sentence. A civilized culture, it does not appear that the Arabian Desert of 1,400 years ago was a civilized culture.

    Isis says that this nightclub was a target because it is a place where Pagans/unbelievers celebrate their Pagan holidays. CNN reported this morning that 24 of the 39 dead were actually believers of Islam, that is about 2/3, they didn’t give the numbers on the wounded. In reality ISIS sent one of their Demonic goons to a nightclub to kill as many people as possible, reality is that somewhere around 2/3 of the people in that club worshiped the same ‘God’ as the ISIS folks do. But you know, that is okay. Do you know why it is okay? It is okay because those ‘Arab’ folks in that nightclub were sinning. These people were drinking alcohol, listening to music and dancing, with infidels (unbelievers) no less, so they obviously were openly sinning. You know, ISIS was only carrying out the Commandments of Allah, so, they were putting themselves in the place of God as God is the only one who has the right to pass judgement on people like that. Who knows, these Muslim people who were murdered may have turned their lives around and started following the strictest versions of Islam later this year or later in their lives. But the gunman and ISIS decided to ‘play God’ and execute them now, before they had a chance to change their ways. It is the gunman and ISIS who put themselves in the place of God by executing these people, thus condemning them to Hell forever. The gunman and ISIS decided it was up to them to be the Judge, Jury, and the Executioner for these people. Who knows, maybe even people of other religions that they murdered would have changed their religions and have started worshiping Allah before they died, but they, the ‘God players’ didn’t give them that chance. Obviously it was okay to kill them, they were sinning. I guess that this means that the ISIS folks are perfect and never sin themselves, we know this because otherwise they would all be dead now from suicide.