G7 summit: War of words erupts between US and key allies

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

G7 summit: War of words erupts between US and key allies

Photo from the G7 summit of the leaders, tweeted by the German government on 9 June 2018Image copyrightAFP
Image captionThe final communique had been intended as a face-saving agreement after a bad-tempered summit

A war of words has erupted between the US and its G7 allies, hours after the group had put on an apparent show of unity at the end of a tense summit.

US President Donald Trump and two of his advisers lashed out at Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, accusing him of engaging in “bad faith diplomacy”.

Germany’s Angela Merkel said Mr Trump’s decision to reject a joint communique was “sobering” and “depressing”.

That statement had sought to overcome deep disagreements, notably over trade.

In recent weeks, trading partners of the US have criticised new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports imposed by the Trump administration.

So how did the latest spat unfold?

In a news conference after the summit, the Canadian leader reasserted his opposition to the US tariffs, and vowed to press ahead with retaliatory moves on 1 July.

“Canadians are polite and reasonable but we will also not be pushed around,” he said.

Media captionTrudeau: “I don’t want to hurt American workers”

Mr Trump responded by tweeting en route to his next summit, in Singapore, that he had instructed US officials “not to endorse the communique as we look at tariffs on automobiles”.

He said the move was based on Mr Trudeau’s “false statements… and the fact that Canada is charging massive tariffs to our US farmers, workers and companies”.

His top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, and trade adviser, Peter Navarro, then took to the Sunday morning news shows to further attack Mr Trudeau.

“He really kind of stabbed us in the back,” Mr Kudlow said, while Mr Navarro said: “There is a special place in Hell for any leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door.”

Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland responded by saying Mr Trump’s argument for imposing tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium was “absurd and frankly insulting to Canadians”.

Mr Trump has cited national security as his reason, telling a news conference on Saturday that “to have a great military you need a great balance sheet”.

Canada, she said, is “the closest and strongest ally the United States has had. We can’t pose a security threat to the United States and I know that Americans understand that”.

Other G7 partners also seemed stunned by Mr Trump’s reaction, and pledged to support the communique.

Media captionWho left their mark on President Trump at the G7 summit?

French President Emmanuel Macron said international co-operation could not be “dictated by fits of anger and throwaway remarks”.

“Let’s be serious and worthy of our people,” a statement from the French presidency said. “We make commitments and keep to them.”

What is in the joint communique?

In the communique after the summit in La Malbaie, Quebec province, the group of major industrial nations – Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany – had agreed on the need for “free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade” and the importance of fighting protectionism.

Other agreements reached include:

Mr Trump’s twitter attack on Mr Trudeau came minutes after the communique had been published.

What are the tariffs?

On 1 June, the US imposed a 25% tariff for steel and 10% for aluminium on imports from the European Union (EU), Canada, and Mexico. Mr Trump said the move would protect domestic producers that were vital to US security.

The EU then announced retaliatory tariffs on US goods ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to bourbon. Canada and Mexico are also taking action.

Media captionDairy wars: Why is Trump threatening Canada over milk?

What is the G7?

It is an annual summit bringing together seven major industrialised nations which represent more than 60% of global net worth between them.

Economics tops the agenda, although the meetings now always branch off to cover major global issues.

Russia was suspended from the group – then called the G8 – in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

On Friday, Mr Trump made a surprise call for Moscow to be readmitted but German Chancellor Angela Merkel said other members were against the idea.

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US & Canada

Should Europe Breakup With America Because Of One Mentally ill Fool?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTE)

 

ORDER FROM CHAOS

Europeans want to break up with America. They’d do so at their peril

James Kirchick

Editor’s Note:Eulogies for the transatlantic relationship are irresponsible and premature, writes Jamie Kirchick. Though Trump has certainly made America more unreliable, the United States and its European allies still share the same fundamental values and interests. Europeans can start to unwind the transatlantic alliance, but they do so at their peril. This post originally appeared in the Washington Post.

Donald Trump ascended to the presidency challenging the basic precepts of America’s relationship with Europe: NATO, he proclaimed, was not only “obsolete,” but Washington should make its security commitment contingent upon alliance members paying “their fair share.” The European Union was not an ally but a competitor that had been “formed, partially, to beat the United States on trade.” Against the express wishes of every European government—including, at the time, Britain’s—Trump cheered along Brexit and conveyed ambivalence as to whether the European Union should continue to exist. While he derided German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the 2016 campaign trail, he had nothing but nice things to say about Russian President Vladimir Putin, leader of the continent’s primary security threat. And as for the liberal values Europe and the United States share—respect for human rights, a free press, religious and ethnic pluralism—Trump was indifferent if not outright hostile.

Over the past year and a half, Trump has taken many steps to rankle Europeans: He pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and threatened to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel. But it was the president’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal that has led many to declare the transatlantic relationship dead. “RIP the Trans-Atlantic Alliance, 1945-2018,” wrote James Traub in Foreign Policy; “Time for Europe to Join the Resistance,” read the headline of a Der Spiegel editorial; writing for The Washington Post, former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt branded Trump’s decision a “massive assault” on Europe; Donald Tusk, president of the European Council and a rock-solid transatlanticist, openly wondered, “with friends like that, who needs enemies?” And in a New York Times opinion piece titled “Europe Doesn’t Have to Be Trump’s Doormat,” two former Obama administration officials, barely concealing their sour grapes, floated the idea of European governments recalling their ambassadors from Washington and expelling American diplomats from their own capitals.

These eulogies for the transatlantic relationship are irresponsible and premature. Though Trump has certainly made America more unreliable, the United States and its European allies still share the same fundamental values and interests. Moreover, such sweeping declarations ignore the extent to which the European project owes its very existence to the beneficence, sacrifice and tutelage of the United States, and still relies upon Washington for its security.

Europeans can start to unwind the transatlantic alliance, but they do so at their peril.

Declaring the bond between America and Europe kaput exaggerates both the severity and suddenness of the current predicament. Europeans bemoaning, in the words of one German journalist, that in the White House there’s a “subversive on an extermination mission,” fail to appreciate just how little his election was about them. Nor was it attributable, in the main, to the unorthodox foreign policy views he expressed on the campaign trail, alarming as they were. Few Trump voters were animated by the failure of many NATO members to apportion 2 percent of GDP for national defense; cared about Britain leaving the European Union; or saw “getting along” with Russia as a top priority. What animated them were Trump’s hard-line views on immigration, promises to resist the changes wrought by globalization and willingness to flout the “politically correct” norms of both parties in establishment Washington.

Future historians may look back on Trump’s presidency as having marked a decisive, downward-turning point in America’s global leadership role. But it is far too soon to declare something so extensive and enduring as America’s seven-decade-long political, economic, strategic and military relationship with Europe dead just because of one man’s election.

Pakistan And India: Can There Ever Be True Peace Between Them

(This article is courtesy of the Pakistan Observer News Paper)

A mature policy towards India

Masood Khan

Tension between India and Pakistan, and the hostility that goes with it, is a ‘constant’ not a ‘variable’. This is what our history of the past seven decades has manifested. This evaluation is neither negativist nor pessimistic. It captures a reality and a trend that has proved to be enduring.
Of course, from time to time nations have transcended their past to seek peace but conditions are not ripe for such a breakthrough between India and Pakistan. Pakistan would not abandon its stance on Kashmir, India would not address it the way Pakistan wants, and India would continue to use its new-found diplomatic space and economic prowess to isolate and undermine Pakistan. India would not let go of its accusations of terrorism against Pakistan to delegitimize the Kashmir issue and Pakistan’s nuclear programme. The UN, in this fight, will remain a bystander and India would use its clout with the US, Europe and the Gulf states to diminish Pakistan’s outreach and deny it opportunities to develop its economic and military strength.
Pakistan has secured itself by acquiring nuclear capability and its economy is showing promise. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) alone has given a big boost to Pakistan’s economy and the good news is that many global investors are also taking keen interest in Pakistan.
Pakistan has also pursued a very sophisticated and constructive policy towards India in the past several years. The crux of the policy is: try to engage but do not compromise on the core principles.
But quite a few of Pakistan’s flanks remain vulnerable involving the Indian factor. In Afghanistan, India’s influence, among others, hampers normalization and reconciliation and that has a direct bearing on Pakistan. Indian commander Kulbhushan Jadhav’s arrest confirms that India has been using Iran’s territory to plan and execute terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan. In the US, Indian lobby has become so powerful that, in many areas, it holds a veto over the United States’ Pakistan policy. This past week, for instance, pro-India US legislators have been objecting to a sale of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan. The voices are American; but the agenda is India’s. Delhi is making new inroads into the Gulf region among the nations disaffected with Pakistan because of its rather balanced position on Iran-Gulf relations. It is also working constantly on China to dilute its positions in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the UN Security Council that seem to help Pakistan; and India has protested to China for taking the CPEC through Gilgit-Baltistan. India is demonstrating its ability to hurt Pakistan beyond South Asian borders and shrink its space.
In the first few months of 2016, some new patterns have emerged. After the terrorists attack, the Pathankot airbase in India, there wasn’t a general break-drown though this scuttled the proposed talks between foreign secretaries of the two countries. Pakistan’s Joint Investigation Team to look into to the leads on the Pathankot incident was received in India but the team was given limited access defeating the very purpose of the visit. After the arrest of Jadhav, a serving Indian naval officer, Pakistan did not cut off communication with India. Ranking foreign ministry officials have been meeting on the sidelines of multilateral conferences. So a model of grudging, cautious cooperation, albeit fragile and brittle, seems to be emerging.
Pakistan should take the following steps to deal effectively with the emerging scenarios:
One, it should not take its strong ties with China for granted. There should be no complacency in promoting and expanding ties with our closest strategic cooperative partner. The onus for sustaining and strengthening the relationship is not just on China, but on Pakistan too. Pakistan should have its own people to people contact policy towards China so as to give depth to our ties.
Two, do not neglect the US. Though, over the decades, we have lost ground in Washington, the situation is not irredeemable. Pakistan too should use its expanding Diaspora community in the US. A new base has been furnished by the recent high-level bilateral contacts to broaden our relationship to non-security areas. In that realm, development of the Knowledge Corridor will be most productive.
Three, through quiet diplomacy repair the damage in the Gulf region and the Middle East. The Gulf countries, though annoyed, still have a bond with Pakistan that would not be snapped, ever. In the Arab Street, Pakistan is seen as a beacon of hope for the Muslims. Besides, today we need Arabs, tomorrow they would need Pakistan, for sure, for economic progress and linkages.
Four, Pakistan should explore two new corridors. One should go through Iran branching off to Turkey, the Caucuses, and Europe, in the west, and to Central Asia and Russia, in the north, the other should be our corridor to Africa, the most underutilized potential of our external policy.
Five, we should realize that Afghanistan will take a long time to settle down. This year and in 2017, we should brace for a civil war that would have adverse consequences for Pakistan. The Afghan factions would continue to drag Pakistan into their fights and then berate it for all their troubles. So Pakistan should take a very patient and resolute approach. Afghans are now saying that they do not need Pakistan for facilitating peace and reconciliation process; all they want is that we start military operations against Afghan Taliban. At least one Afghan official has said that Afghanistan would send its own squads for attacks on Pakistani soil. This may not just be bluster.
Six, with India we should continue to give signals for engagement in a dignified manner. The prospects of resolving problems with India are very slim. There would be escalation whether or not we like it, but we should never let it spin out of control. We need a period of relative calm till 2030 to develop economically and militarily. This is a critical transformative phase in our history as a nation. We should not let it be disrupted by tensions with India; and we should not squander this precious opportunity.
Investors are coming to Pakistan; they should not flee.

Lost World Of Shipwrecks Have Been Found In The Black Sea Off Of Bulgarian Coast

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIME’S, SCIENCE SECTION)

An image of the well-preserved medieval ship found at the bottom of the Black Sea, one of more than 40 wrecks discovered. Photogrammetry, a process using thousands of photographs and readings, produced a rendering that appears three-dimensional.Credit Expedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP

The medieval ship lay more than a half-mile down at the bottom of the Black Sea, its masts, timbers and planking undisturbed in the darkness for seven or eight centuries. Lack of oxygen in the icy depths had ruled out the usual riot of creatures that feast on sunken wood.

This fall, a team of explorers lowered a robot on a long tether, lit up the wreck with bright lights and took thousands of high-resolution photos. A computer then merged the images into a detailed portrait.

Archaeologists date the discovery to the 13th or 14th century, opening a new window on forerunners of the 15th- and 16th-century sailing vessels that discovered the New World, including those of Columbus. This medieval ship probably served the Venetian empire, which had Black Sea outposts.

Never before had this type of ship been found in such complete form. The breakthrough was the quarterdeck, from which the captain would have directed a crew of perhaps 20 sailors.

“That’s never been seen archaeologically,” said Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz, an expedition member at the Center for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton, in Britain. “We couldn’t believe our eyes.”

A photogrammetric image of a ship from the Ottoman era that most likely went down between the 17th and 19th centuries. The discoverers nicknamed it the Flower of the Black Sea because of its ornate carvings, including two large posts topped with petals. Credit Expedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP

Remarkably, the find is but one of more than 40 shipwrecks that the international team recently discovered and photographed off the Bulgarian coast in one of archaeology’s greatest coups.

In age, the vessels span a millennium, from the Byzantine to the Ottoman empires, from the ninth to the 19th centuries. Generally, the ships are in such good repair that the images reveal intact coils of rope, rudders and elaborately carved decorations.

“They’re astonishingly preserved,” said Jon Adams, the leader of the Black Sea project and founding director of the maritime archaeology center at the University of Southampton.

Kroum Batchvarov, a team member at the University of Connecticut who grew up in Bulgaria and has conducted other studies in its waters, said the recent discoveries “far surpassed my wildest expectations.”

Independent experts said the annals of deepwater archaeology hold few, if any, comparable sweeps of discovery in which shipwrecks have proved to be so plentiful, diverse and well-preserved.

A photogrammetric image of the stern of the Ottoman-era ship showing coils of rope and a tiller with elaborate carvings. A lack of oxygen at the icy depths of the Black Sea left the wrecks relatively undisturbed.Credit Expedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP

“It’s a great story,” said Shelley Wachsmann of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University. “We can expect some real contributions to our understanding of ancient trade routes.”

Goods traded on the Black Sea included grains, furs, horses, oils, cloth, wine and people. The Tatars turned Christians into slaves who were shipped to places like Cairo. For Europeans, the sea provided access to a northern branch of the Silk Road and imports of silk, satin, musk, perfumes, spices and jewels.

Marco Polo reportedly visited the Black Sea, and Italian merchant colonies dotted its shores. The profits were so enormous that, in the 13th and 14th centuries, Venice and Genoa fought a series of wars for control of the trade routes, including those of the Black Sea.

Brendan P. Foley, an archaeologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, Mass., said the good condition of the shipwrecks implied that many objects inside their hulls might also be intact.

“You might find books, parchment, written documents,” he said in an interview. “Who knows how much of this stuff was being transported? But now we have the possibility of finding out. It’s amazing.”

Experts said the success in Bulgarian waters might inspire other nations that control portions of the Black Sea to join the archaeological hunt. They are Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Dr. Foley, who has explored a number of Black Sea wrecks, said the sea’s overall expanse undoubtedly held tens of thousands of lost ships. “Everything that sinks out there is going to be preserved,” he added. “They’re not going away.”

For ages, the Black Sea was a busy waterway that served the Balkans, the Eurasian steppes, the Caucasus, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia and Greece. It long beckoned to archaeologists because they knew its deep waters lacked oxygen, a rarity for large bodies of water.

The great rivers of Eastern Europe — the Don, the Danube, the Dnieper — pour so much fresh water into the sea that a permanent layer forms over denser, salty water from the Mediterranean. As a result, oxygen from the atmosphere that mixes readily with fresh water never penetrates the inky depths.

In 1976, Willard Bascom, a pioneer of oceanography, in his book “Deep Water, Ancient Ships,” called the Black Sea unique among the world’s seas and a top candidate for exploration and discovery.

A photogrammetric image of a Byzantine wreck, dating perhaps to the ninth century. Superimposed is an image of one of the expedition’s tethered robots that photographed the lost ships.CreditExpedition and Education Foundation/Black Sea MAP

“One is tempted,” he wrote, “to begin searching there in spite of the huge expanse of bottom that would have to be inspected.”

In 2002, Robert D. Ballard, a discoverer of the sunken Titanic, led a Black Sea expedition that found a 2,400-year-old wreck laden with the clay storage jars of antiquity. One held remnants of a large fish that had been dried and cut into steaks, a popular food in ancient Greece.

The new team said it received exploratory permits from the Bulgarian ministries of culture and foreign affairs and limited its Black Sea hunts to parts of that nation’s exclusive economic zone, which covers thousands of square miles and runs up to roughly a mile deep.

Although the team’s official name is the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project, or Black Sea MAP, it also hauls up sediments to hunt for clues to how the sea’s rising waters engulfed former land surfaces and human settlements.

Team members listed on its website include the Bulgarian National Institute of Archaeology, the Bulgarian Center for Underwater Archaeology, Sodertorn University in Sweden, and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research in Greece.

An illustration of what the research team believes the medieval ship found in the Black Sea looked like during its heyday. Credit Jon Adams/University of Southampton/Black Sea MAP

The project’s financial backer is the Expedition and Education Foundation, a charity registered in Britain whose benefactors want to remain anonymous, team members said. Dr. Adams of the University of Southampton, the team’s scientific leader, described it as catalyzing an academic-industry partnership on the largest project “of its type ever undertaken.”

Nothing is known publicly about the cost, presumably vast, of the Black Sea explorations, which are to run for three years. The endeavor began last year with a large Greek ship doing a preliminary survey. This year, the main vessel was the Stril Explorer, a British-flagged ship bearing a helicopter landing pad that usually services the undersea pipes and structures of the offshore oil industry.

Instead, archaeologists on the ship lowered its sophisticated robots to hunt for ancient shipwrecks and lost history.

In an interview, Dr. Pacheco-Ruiz of the University of Southampton said he was watching the monitors late one night in September when the undersea robot lit up a large wreck in a high state of preservation.

“I was speechless,” he recalled. “When I saw the ropes, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I still can’t.”

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Dr. Pacheco-Ruiz said the vessel hailed from the Ottoman Empire, whose capital was Constantinople (today Istanbul), and most likely went down sometime between the 17th and 19th centuries. He said the team nicknamed it “Flower of the Black Sea” because its deck bears ornate carvings, including two large posts with tops that form petals.

In an interview, Dr. Batchvarov of the University of Connecticut said most of the discoveries date to the Ottoman era. So it was that, late one night, during his shift, he assumed that a new wreck coming into view would be more of the same.

“Then I saw a quarter rudder,” he recalled, referring to a kind of large steering oar on a ship’s side. It implied the wreck was much older. Then another appeared. Quickly, he had the expedition’s leader, Dr. Adams, awakened.

“He came immediately,” Dr. Batchvarov recalled. “We looked at each other like two little boys in a candy shop.”

Dr. Batchvarov said the wreck — the medieval one found more than a half-mile down — was part of a class known by several names, including cocha and “round ship.” The latter name arose from how its ample girth let it carry more cargo and passengers than a warship.

Dr. Adams said the remarkable color images of the lost ships derived from a process known as photogrammetry. It combines photography with the careful measurement of distances between objects, letting a computer turn flat images into renderings that seem three-dimensional.

He said tethered robots shot the photographic images with video and still cameras. The distance information, he added, came from advanced sonars, which emit high-pitched sounds that echo through seawater. Their measurements, he said, can range down to less than a millimeter.

A news release from the University of Southampton refers to the images as “digital models.” Their creation, it said, “takes days even with the fastest computers.”

Filmmakers are profiling the Black Sea hunt in a documentary, according to the team’s website.

Another part of the project seeks to share the thrill of discovery with schools and educators. Students are to study on the Black Sea, the website says, or join university scientists in analyzing field samples “to uncover the mysteries of the past.”

The team has said little publicly on whether it plans to excavate the ships — a topic on which nations, academics and treasure hunters have long clashed. Bulgaria is a signatory to the 2001 United Nations convention that outlaws commercial trade in underwater cultural heritage and sets out guidelines on such things as artifact recovery and public display.

Dr. Pacheco-Ruiz said the team had so far discovered and photographed 44 shipwrecks, and that more beckoned.

Which was the most important? Dr. Adams said that for him, a student of early European shipbuilding, the centerpiece was the medieval round ship. He said it evoked Marco Polo and city states like Venice. The ship, he added, incorporated a number of innovations that let it do more than its predecessors had and paved the way for bigger things to come.

“It’s not too much,” he said, “to say that medieval Europe became modern with the help of ships like these.”

People Brag About The Killing Of Other Humans: What Has This World Become

People Brag About The Killing Of Other Humans: What Has This World Become

 

I was born in the mid 1950’s in the state of Virginia, spent most of my ‘growing up years’ in northern Illinois. I got my morals from my Mom, got my whippings from my Dad and learned of the world we all live in from Walter Cronkite. I saw President Kennedy murdered on T.V. and first found out whom Dr. Martin Luther King was, when he was murdered. (I was 11). Our families all watched Vietnam unfold before our eyes each evening along with body counts. We learned that yes, some of our Leaders have been little more than crooks and that our government will murder and lie. I grew up in a generation where when a person or group commit a murder, especially a multiple murder, they stayed quiet about it, they didn’t want anyone to find out it was them.

 

Fast forward to reality to this real world that we all live in. The examples I am going to use are just from this past few days. We see multiple terrorists attacks it seems each day around the world some where hundreds at a time have been murdered and it seems that the world isn’t even hardly noticing each one because there are so many. The only time it really strikes home is when the attack is literally close to home. Have you noticed that in today’s terror cells it is about getting all the ‘credit’ for their deeds. They use these video attacks of mass murder as advertisement to attract other fighters and to attract more financial donors. Have you noticed how often now that it happens that a group of murderers like Al-Qaeda make an attack inside their sphere of influence that another group like al-Shabab will do the same in theirs, ISIS the same and so on? They all get on their versions of social media and brag about haw many they murdered that day. Hell of a commercial for recruits and money isn’t it? Worse yet is the amount of people whom want to join these groups. Folks, the hatred for all things western by the people whom believe in the fundamentals of Islam is a very great hatred.

 

Even against the wishes of Hollywood, mass media and the idiots in D.C. America is starting to wake up as we are seeing reality in the lessons most of Europe is learning the hard way at this time. The whole world must learn the lesson that Islam is not like any other religion on Earth, Islam teaches total elimination, then total domination over everyone and everything. This is why so many of these murderers are so proud of their handy-work. When people believe that ‘their God’ congratulates and honors you the more people you can kill before you die, folks that is a sick ideology as it is a sick theology. But folks, it is the reality of the world that we all are sharing today.  It is now up to everyone to keep the fires of hatred squashed and tapped out before their hatred of you and all you have ever loved, gets stamped out. It is the truth that in huge sections of society today that all which is good is counted as evil and all that is evil is counted as good.

 

Hungary’s Viktor Orban is widely expected to win Sunday’s election

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Hungary’s Viktor Orban is widely expected to win Sunday’s election. Why is he so popular?

 3:10
Is Hungary’s election the country’s last chance to avoid autocracy?

Hungary is in the midst of a divisive election that will decide if the country’s anti-immigrant prime minister gets a third straight term in office. 

 April 7 at 3:30 PM 
The rally was a curious blend of kitsch and gravitas: plastic flags, unwieldy crucifixes and pop lyrics extolling the virtues of blood and soil. But this is Europe in 2018.

Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, mounted the podium to the sound of screams and raucous applause. In the same city where Hungary once crowned some of its kings, he delivered his final pitch to voters before Sunday’s election: a familiar litany against migrants, the European Union and George Soros, his favorite billionaire punching bag.

For months now, so much of Orban’s rhetoric has focused on how faraway bureaucrats and boogeymen have subverted Hungary’s national interests to line the coffers of what he couches as an international financial conspiracy, a rhetorical line some see as little more than a modern remake of an anti-Semitic trope. Yet it would be a mistake to cast his victory on Sunday — almost a foregone conclusion — merely as an internal assault on the European consensus, even if that is the result.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers a speech in Szekesfehervar, on Friday, his last before Sunday’s election. (Ferenc Isza/AFP/Getty Images)

In the minds of many of Orban’s supporters, Sunday’s election is less a rally against the E.U. as it is a battle of European visions. And to them, the best way to ensure the future of Europe is to support the man who has transformed their country into the single E.U. member state that perhaps least resembles a 21st-century Western democracy.

Despite Orban’s bluster, Hungary is not a particularly Euroskeptic nation. In advance of the Brexit vote in June 2016, polls showed that Hungarian voters, second only to Poles, were the most supportive of Brussels in the entire 28-state bloc. More recent analyses suggest that that support has waned, but they also show that Hungary’s trust in the E.U. as an institution is average, and more than half of the population favors introducing the euro.

“Yes, Hungary is part of Europe,” said Nandor Holl, a 20-year-old business school student who said he hopes to enter politics some day. He was at Friday’s rally here with his friends, proudly sporting a banner for Fidesz, Orban’s right-wing party.

“My country is very important to me, and I choose it first, but I feel it’s important to keep Europe as an entity,” he said. “Honestly, I think the Hungarian government wants the same — but just to save it from migrants.”

Orban’s opponents — including former members of the party he now leads — see his tenure as a troubling turn toward an “Eastern-style” autocracy incompatible with contemporary European values of transparency, tolerance and democracy.

To them, Orban — who in the last eight years in power has overhauled the constitution and cracked down on Hungarian media, among other things — is more in line with Russia’s Vladimir Putin than he is with the continental cohorts of Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron. And Sunday’s election represents an existential choice.

“The question is which direction we will go in the next four years,” said Peter Akos Bod, who served as trade minister in Hungary’s transition government in 1990 after the fall of communism, and later as the president of Hungary’s central bank.

“The election will determine whether Hungary consolidates itself as a democracy or whether it aligns with Putin and the ascendant authoritarians of the 21st century,” said Michael Ignatieff, the president and rector of Budapest’s Central European University, an institution backed by George Soros that Orban has repeatedly threatened.

But Europe means something different to Orban’s supporters. To them, he incarnates a nostalgic vision of a Hungary, and a Europe, that is culturally homogenous.

“It’s difficult to say, as I cannot speak for everyone,” said Gabor Bodi, 49, a physical therapist who was at the rally, when pressed to define the appeal of Orban’s vision. He was holding a crucifix several meters tall that towered above the crowd. “But as you can see, I am carrying a cross.”

Nostalgia is an Orban specialty, and appeals to a vanished white, Christian past have long been a mainstay of his rhetoric, including at the rally:

“We freed ourselves from bonded slavery.”

“We stopped the first big wave of migration.”

“We proved that the Christian culture and way of life is not part of the past. On the contrary, we can bring it and we must bring it with us into the future.”

But sociologists say the emphasis is deeper than that.

Orban’s line plays on a collective memory of foreign invasion by Turks, Austrians and Russians, said Imre Kovach, an expert on domestic social dynamics at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest.

Much the same is true in Poland, another E.U. member state run by right-wing populists that has sought, through the passage of a widely condemned “Holocaust law,” to end what leaders see as the deliberate attempt to shame the nation on the part of western critics.

“Hungarian identity is a very European identity, but I do think that it’s really different from, say, a French or German,” Kovach said. “They just don’t have the same image of what ‘Europe’ means.”

The difference, he said, is the experience of postwar history. Hungary, like Poland, experienced nearly 50 years of communist rule after the end of the World War II. For many, the end of communism was seen as a moment when the country would be granted a long-denied sense of autonomy — an autonomy that’s not always recognized in the European Union.

“From a historical point of view, when Hungarians had to make a decision about siding with the West or the East, they always chose the West,” Kovach said. “But the 20th century’s events were not for the Hungarians — we lost so much, so many territories, so many people’s lives.”

Orban rarely shies away from this history. When he does wade into it, the subtext is often the sacrifice Hungary made in defending a continent that has never properly expressed its gratitude.

“We also know our own history,” he said in an October speech, at a Danube regional strategy summit. “Those who wanted to gain a foothold in Europe always came across this route. And Hungary was the last defensive line, if you like, a gate to and for the West.”

Many of his supporters say they have received the message loud and clear.

Rudniczai Janosne, 60, is a retired office worker who braved the crowds to come to the Szekesfehervar rally. She struggled to find the words when asked why she found Orban’s message so captivating.

“When I hear his voice, when I see the Hungarian flag, or when I hear the anthem,” she said, “the top of my head gets faint. Tears come to my eyes.”

Gergo Saling contributed to this report.

Humanity, Christianity and Islam

Humanity, Christianity and Islam

 

This letter to you today is my attempt to get folks to deeply consider the humanity crisis going on throughout Europe, but for now I am referring to the European countries that border the Mediterranean mostly. There is also the request by the Pope for all Catholic Parishes to take in one of these war refugee families. Not just Catholic people and not just towns that have Catholic Churches in them, but all people of every country had better look long and hard before excepting Islamic ideologies into their communities. We must all decide if we want any people, even nice nonviolent people coming into our local community that will absolutely bring their religious beliefs and life styles with them. This is not a race issue at all, it is a life or death issue to every citizen in every country, every town.

 

Here in America there is a bitter battle in the press, politics and on main street America about our porous borders especially along our border with our southern sister Mexico. The same open borders plague our northern border with our frozen sister Canada but the issue is more complicated, it is also an economic, security, jobs, taxes, language barriers, race, crime and drugs issues. It is poorer people in general who are trying to get into America from the south while there is no such rush from Canada because they have and infrastructure which creates jobs while most of the countries to our south do not. The issues southern Europeans are facing is many, including all of the ones I just mentioned that America is having.

 

The biggest issue on the board right now for the whole world to address is how to get these wars stopped as soon as possible so that people can quit fleeing their war-torn homelands. Hopefully then they can start a migration of these believers in Islam back to their home countries so that they can live under Islamic law in their own countries there if they want it so badly, not in Paris Texas, London Kentucky or Moscow Ohio. Most polls taken in Islamic countries show that 90-92% of the people polled said they did want Sharia to be the law in not only their own country but in all countries. In Islam since the religion began in about 630 A.D. there have been two main sides in Islam and for almost 1,400 years now the two have been trying to kill all of the other clan, as well as everyone else on earth. The Shiite and the Sunni both want the same hatred to be forced on everyone on earth or they are supposed to kill you if you refuse to not just convert to Islam, but to be strictly adherent to its teachings (Sharia Law).

 

Okay Christians now we have a dilemma on our hands. I do mean the term Christian to all the people on the planet who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The teachings of Jesus tell us to be kind even to those who hate us. The world has a problem with this Islamic migration and this is something that the world must stop quickly. We as Christians are supposed to help these people out if we can, help with such things as food, shelter and water. We are not obligated to allow the teachings of those who only wish us all dead to be spread like the poison Islam is among our neighborhoods. All this accomplishes by letting in a custom that is not only completely different from any other that you have most likely ever come across. Only an idiot would allow this ideology to move in next door to them, worse yet the spare bedroom. Islam is not a harmless peace-loving religion no matter what the goof ball George W. Bush gives lip service to.

 

Reality is that terrorism is not going to stop because hate is not going to ever stop, nor is ignorance. Just as Jesus said that He hates the sin but He loves the sinner, I do not want any violence toward anyone. Islam is not the only danger to the whole civilized world but it is the largest issue facing the world today. I wish no harm to anyone who believes that Allah is God, I only hope that they live long enough to see the error of their teachings and convert to the love of Jesus instead of the hate of Allah.

 

Back about 7 years of so ago when the ‘Arab Spring’ started there was a lot of hope in the Arab world that they would be able to shake off the Dictators that had been ruling them and setting up more ‘free’ societies. Yet when the people overthrew their Tyrants they didn’t get the freedoms that they had hoped for. Even though the majority of their populations are believers of Islam many hoped that they could have democracies where they themselves could vote in their Leaders, they should have known better. What they got was feud’s between differing fundamentalists Islamic Sects and Tribal warfare, not freedom. Today you have many countries within the ‘Islamic World’ that are totally ‘lawless’ like Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and huge parts of Egypt. This does not take in the reality that is a living Hell for the people who are trying to survive in places like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon (because of Hezbollah) the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (because of Hamas), Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the Middle-East almost all of the more ‘stable’ living conditions are in countries with Royal Families ruling them. I can not blame anyone who lives in an Islamic country for trying to escape to a ‘Western’ civilization yet the reality is if they migrate to the West, they want to then set up Islamic communities. If these people want to do that, then they need to stay in their home countries and deal with their own ‘religion’ caused disasters there instead of bringing it with them to another country. One of the things that all of Europe needs to do is now that the war in Syria is about over these countries need to deport all of these immigrants back to their homeland as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. The first that should be deported should be the males ages 17 -65 who can go back to their homeland and start rebuilding their homes and infrastructures so that they can then welcome home their wives and children.

 

Maybe Russia, China, Europe and the U.S. should work together to eliminate such worldwide threats together and completely. O, but then that would create the (holy war/jihad) that crazy people like the “Supreme Ruler” of the Islamic State of Iran crave. Here is another thought for you though right now, the Islamic hoards are crushing the economies and neighborhoods of Europe. How they (Europe) handles this crisis will depend on if the Europe that we have known for six-hundred of so odd year’s stands as we know it or crumbles into a constant war zone. Another reality is that this Islamic hate filled doctrines already has 18 million foot soldiers living in the U.S. so we, the U.S. are by no means exempt from their Jihad. This hatred is sad and sickening but never the less, it is reality folks, for everyone on earth.

The Matches Are Lit, The World Is Burning

The Matches Are Lit, The World Is Burning

 

What is it that we westerners do not get about what the rest of the world is experiencing around us? Do we really think that our children will live in a world that is safer than the world we grew up in? If you would, please lend me your ear for a few moments. Hopefully the things you read will help to broaden your understanding as to why I chose the title that I have for this conversation with you.

 

Do you remember the so-called “Arab Spring” of a few years ago? O what a beautiful thing this could have been for this region of the world plus the vibrations it could have caused around the world, this shaking off of dictators. But the people of the region have learned it seems that a military strong man is the only way to keep other religion based dictators from taking their place. Back during the first Gulf War than American President George H.W. Bush knew the importance of keeping the dictator in Iraq in power. It seems that his son George W when he took power of the Office had not learned at his dads feet, or, was it ego that made him make up a story so he could attack Iraq and remove Saddam? There are many American people who I have come across who believe that “we the people” are paying fat pensions to at least three international war criminals (President, V.P., Secretary of Defense). Criminal or not because of their actions the whole world is crawling with the Asps they helped unleash on all of humanity.

 

In this real world that hopefully the politicians will soon join us in, it does not matter if you are a republican, democrat, independent (like me), or none of the above. Hopefully soon partisan party politics can be shelved and they and the national media outlets can become more concerned about current imminent physical threats to our people. This threat is to all of our non-strict Muslim cultures, to their property, their religions, and their very lives. There are tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of fellow brothers and sisters who because of being misguided who simply want you to get off of the face of the earth, “their earth”. A life where only loyal followers of Allah will be allowed to live a non-slave life, if you are allowed to live at all, doesn’t that sound exciting? America our location on the globe no longer gives us an immunity from other continents griefs. When it comes to ideologies land or water give us very little protection any longer.

 

By mans laws here in the States any person can choose to be of any faith they wish, or of no faith system at all. Mans laws write in a few laws governing people’s physical safety though that should be a no brainer, besides what actual religion would condone attacking or killing other people? Then these laws of civil society for all must be enforced if a humane society itself is going to be able to exist, or it will be erased.

 

Within the religion of Islam are two main sects, the Sunni, and the Shiite. These two sects have existed on this planet for almost 1,400 years now, and it seems that they have hated each other right from their earliest roots 1,400 years ago. For the few year’s a large Sunni militia called ISIS by western media has murdered and plundered their way into power covering hundreds of miles of land belonging to two adjoining Shiite nations, Syria and Iraq. ISIS is like several other high-profile Sunni groups like Boko Haram, and al-Qaeda in that they want to bring strict Islamic law to the middle-east, then the world. Their difference by what we hear in the West is that ISIS is the most violent and most strict toward adherence to Islamic fundamentalist theology, Sunni theology.

 

By what I have heard and read from the media throughout the years is that within Islam the Sunni are about 80% and the Shiite the other 20% of the Islamic faith. So when you take into account the hatred between these two groups is it any wonder why the Mullahs in Iran want the ability to nuke other nations?They can say it is a defensive weapon though knowing very well that it is a preemptive strike weapon also. Then it comes down to a trust factor, or a stupidity factor, how much you are willing to trust their “Supreme Ruler”  and others just like him with the lives of everyone on earth?

 

For those of you who don’t already know it the word Islam by definition means submission, as in absolute submission to the will of Allah. I have another question for everyone, what kind of religion is it that tells its followers to kill everyone who will not obey? Why would anyone ever listen to a “prophet” who orders either worldwide conversion, or worldwide extermination? Here in the States we have as a nation been blessed, lucky, and just plain good at shutting down larger terror cells who wished to kill us and our families. But folks there are supposed to be at least 18 million Islamic believers inside our borders with us. If only 1% of this population is a true believer of Islamic teachings that equals 180,000 soldiers implanted waiting on their orders to kill as many infidels (non-believers) as they possibly can. America, when they strike, not if, what are you going to do? Are you going to fall apart and burn into ashes? Only time will tell, or, a person could simply read the play book on-line if you are not allowed a paper copy, it’s called the Bible! For those who don’t understand it, the end times are spelled out very well in its last book, the book of Revelation. The human race has a simple choice of living and possibly dying for the winner or, living for a short time but in slavery to the biggest loser in the history of all eternity.

 

The matches are lit, for now several large Islamic hate groups are fighting each other all over the Middle-East in an attempt to kill each other. If all of those efforts to kill each other were being directed at western targets as they soon will be, what then? If the two main Islamic factions were to quit fighting among themselves they would then join forces in their hatred for everything and everyone that is not Islamic. Every nation, every people on earth, you, your culture, your religion, your country, you are currently being measured for bagging. America (and every other nation on earth), folks, life is about to change more rapidly toward the negative than any sane person could ever want. The question is simple, are we going to fold as a culture, and as a Nation, when more horrible things start happening on our soil? By these horrible things I do mean markets and grocery stores being blown up, bridges blowing up, churches being shot up and our school children being massacred live on CNN? This is the reality that the whole world is facing, we as a people must all decide how we are going to react to this reality when it comes busting into our own homes, because folks, it is coming, soon!

 

 

This Is How You Stop Returning Domestic Murderers

This Is How You Stop Returning Domestic Murderers

 

When or if the governments of the civilized world decide to protect their own citizens from demonic followers of Islam then they must have the guts and the will to do exactly what I am about to tell you. The world is at war right now and it is a war between good and evil and we humans are the casualties of it. When you and everyone you know and love are direct targets of pure evil then you will either fight to your death or it will absolutely be you and yours who will die instead. It does not matter if you do not believe in something or not, for this something to kill you. Even if you do not believe in such things as a God or the Devil and Demons those who do believe in and follow the teachings of evil will still kill you. But this is not going to be a sermon to you at all but I do know that the harsh events that I am going to speak about now must be followed if we/you wish to keep these mass murders out of our own communities.

 

I know that what I am going to lay out as a program of self-defense will not prevent every single act of violence by those who hate us but it will help keep many acts of terrorism off of our shores. This program goes for everyone on the planet who wishes to live in peace with freedom not just Americans and Europeans.

These things must be done immediately for our own protection and the protection of our families.

#1) When a person leaves our country and the security agencies track this person to an Islamic conflict zone the government of that person MUST immediately cancel that persons pass port/Visa so that they can not legally enter any country and their citizenship must be immediately canceled. With no Passport/Visa it will make it legally impossible for them to get a ticket on a plane or on a ship.

#2) All security agencies around the globe must be immediately notified about this person so that they can be arrested on sight.

#3) It must be public knowledge for these people to know and the free world must follow through with the policy of/if they are ever spotted in their former country that they will be shot on sight, no exceptions.

 

These people are coming back as trained murderers and they are here to kill you and everyone you have ever cared about. They do not give mercy and they must know that they will not be given any mercy if they ever step foot on our countries soil. Is this harsh, yes it is. It comes down to the question of if you wish to stay alive or not or if you wish to have any freedom or not. I always prefer no evil, no blood shed, no hate, no anger, but in the real world pacifists will die young and they will take the ones they love to their grave with them. I do not believe that any of these suggestions will ever come to pass because our governments (politicians) do not have the guts or the intelligence to help save their own citizens. There is a slight possibility that some of the countries in Europe (like France) might possibly implement these policies but not here in America, our so-called leaders are simply to weak.

Romania WWII: The White Squadron

(FROM GOOGLE+: MEMORIES OF LIGHT)

The White Squadron

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26 November 2014

In the pages prefacing Daniel Focşa’s writing, “The White Squadron”, Neagu Djuvara praises the author’s idea to reinstate, in historical order, the heroic deeds from the time of the war, “obscured or twisted until yesterday, so that, most of the times, the new generations completely ignore them”.

Being one of the infantrymen who walked their boots through hundreds of miles of dust or mud all the way to Odessa, Neagu Djuvara pays tribute to aviators, which he considers super humans not daring to compare himself to: “And when it comes to women aviators, my admiration is even higher”. Although regarded with wonderment or even disbelief, “there were a few extraordinary characters, like in the novels”, says the well-known Romanian historian, diplomat, philosopher, journalist and novelist, inciting us to marvel at the proverbial scenes, at the risks these heroines took, at the challenges and physical suffering they went through all the way to Kuban or above the hell of Stalingrad and read this book as a novel.

We open, therefore, a serial-story columns through which we try to pull out from the old chest-of-drawers true stories about the history of aviation, unique and savory details coming straight from the source, which come from the very ladies who wrote the legend of the White Squadron, hoping that these testimonies will inspire younger generations…

In 1938, the political atmosphere in Europe was increasingly tense – the armies of the Third Reich were marching, USSR threats, simultaneous and combined with those of Germany’s, resulted in frequent incidents caused by Soviet Russia at the border, pushing the Romanian Army to take important measures. Among other things, at the military maneuvers which took place in the fall of that year, in Galaţi, five aviatrixes (Mariana Drăgescu, Virginia Duțescu, Nadia Russo, Marina Știrbey and Irina Burnaia) had been invited to participate, for the first time, to be put to test and see how they would manage under war. It was about simulating dogfights, liaison missions against the clock, night flights – a sort of playing in the air, would say some; but it was one as serious as possible. And the fact that these women managed admirably the two weeks of exercises determined the headquarters to declare them fit for mobilization.

At the end of these maneuvers, Marina Ştirbei, daughter of Prince George Ştirbei and cousin of the more famous aviator Constantin Cantacuzino, revealed to her flying comrades her intention of setting up a squadron of sanitary planes with female pilots only. By that time, she had won a certain number of aviation competitions in the country and had even put her talent to the test, covering over two thousand miles in a raid that took her all the way to the Scandinavian countries. She would keep her word and, as the war became a certainty, Marina Ştirbei submitted a memorandum for the creation of this squadron to the Ministry of Air. It was approved on June 25, 1940, and so, the highest rated female pilots took a step forward, joining the army as lieutenants and getting access to Polish manufactured RWD-13 airplanes.

The squadron was registered in the Romanian Army documents under the “Sanitary Squadron” title and its purpose on the Eastern Front was to transport seriously wounded soldiers, who needed immediate surgery. In April 1942, the squadron will be renamed “Easy Transport Squadron 108”, but entered public consciousness as “The White Squadron”, a nickname disputed by several authors, which, in fact, belongs to the Italian journalist Curzio Malaparte, the author of the book “Coup d’état: the technique of revolution”. While he was researching on the Romanian front, he was inspired by the color of the Polish aircraft, originally painted white, with the red cross on the fuselage and the wings, which is why soon enough they have earned the reputation of air ambulances. Because the Soviets did not respect that these were sanitary planes and bombarded them, the small RWD-13 were painted in camouflage colors later on.

During World War II, Romania was the only country in the world that had sanitary airplanes piloted by women, although Marina Ştirbei’s idea had started from Finnish paramilitary Lotta Svärd group, made up exclusively of women, auxiliary to the army.

The “White Squadron” aviators were not exactly fighters, but their missions in hostile airspace were as dangerous as possible, always being stalked by antiaircraft artillery, by the isolated shooters and, especially, by the sharks of the air which had, however, much better equipped devices than theirs. They made quite an impression at the time and even became, in 1944, subject and inspiration source for the Romanian-Italian artistic movie “Squadriglia Bianca”, directed by Ion Sava, starring Claudio Gora, Lucia Sturdza-Bulandra and Mariella Lotti, former King Michael’s girlfriend. With or without this movie, there was still not enough done to reveal the true value of this adventure called “The White Squadron”. Moreover, after the communist regime was installed, the fate was so unfair to these daring girls, so famous during the war that not only they entered complete anonymity, but they even ended up in prison, or in the best case they were removed from aviation and marginalized.

It seems, therefore, natural to dig in the past and bring their admirable front experience to the light. The first page of our serial is dedicated to Mariana Drăgescu, so make sure you do not miss it in our next edition.

Translated by Ancuţa Gălice

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