Dark blue is my emphasis. See source for full article, references and comments.Germany on the Brink
Ross Douthat, JAN. 9, 2016
ON New Year’s Eve, in the shadow of Cologne’s cathedral, crowds of North African and Middle Eastern men accosted women out for the night’s festivities. They surrounded them, groped them, robbed them. Two women were reportedly raped.
Though there were similar incidents from Hamburg to Helsinki, the authorities at first played down the assaults, lest they prove inconvenient for Angela Merkel’s policy of mass asylum for refugees.
That delay has now cost Cologne’s police chief his job. But the German government still seems more concerned about policing restless natives — most recently through a deal with Facebook and Google to restrict anti-immigrant postings — than with policing migration. Just last week Merkel rejected a proposal to cap refugee admissions (which topped one million last year) at 200,000 in 2016.
The underlying controversy here is not a new one. For decades conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic have warned that Europe’s generous immigration policies, often pursued in defiance of ordinary Europeans’ wishes, threaten to destabilize the continent.
With the current migration, though, we’re in uncharted territory. The issue isn’t just that immigrants are arriving in the hundreds of thousands rather than the tens of thousands. It’s that a huge proportion of them are teenage and twentysomething men.
In the German case the important number here isn’t the country’s total population, currently 82 million. It’s the twentysomething population, which was less than 10 million in 2013 (and of course already included many immigrants). In that cohort and every cohort afterward, the current influx could have a transformative effect.
How transformative depends on whether these men eventually find a way to bring brides and families to Europe as well. In terms of immediate civil peace, family formation or unification offers promise, since men with wives and children are less likely to grope revelers or graffiti synagogues or seek the solidarity of radicalism.
But it could also double or treble this migration’s demographic impact, pushing Germany toward a possible future in which half the under-40 population would consist of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants and their children.
If you believe that an aging, secularized, heretofore-mostly-homogeneous society is likely to peacefully absorb a migration of that size and scale of cultural difference, then you have a bright future as a spokesman for the current German government.
You’re also a fool. Such a transformation promises increasing polarization among natives and new arrivals alike. It threatens not just a spike in terrorism but a rebirth of 1930s-style political violence. The still-imaginary France Michel Houellebecq conjured up in his novel “Submission,” in which nativists and Islamists brawl in the streets, would have a very good chance of being realized in the German future.
This need not happen. But prudence requires doing everything possible to prevent it. That means closing Germany’s borders to new arrivals for the time being. It means beginning an orderly deportation process for able-bodied young men. It means giving up the fond illusion that Germany’s past sins can be absolved with a reckless humanitarianism in the present.
It means that Angela Merkel must go — so that her country, and the continent it bestrides, can avoid paying too high a price for her high-minded folly.
Here you can socialize and have fun with other board members, and talk about all sorts of topics that are not related to Lyme disease.
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Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/opini ... brink.html
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... tions.html
Dark blue is my emphasis. See source for full article, references, foto's, video's and comments.Terrifying echoes of Kristallnacht: Mayor condemns ‘naked violence’ after far-right thugs rampage through streets of Germany smashing windows of kebab shops
- Anti-refugee rioters went on a rampage in the German town of Leipzig, trashing doner kebab fast food restaurants
- 250 hooligans - part of the local branch of PEGIDA known as LEGIDA - set cars on fire and vandalised shops
- Mayor Burkhard Jung condemned the 'naked violence that took place' and has described 'terror on the streets'
- Scenes of smashed windows in the city are reminiscent of the anti-Semitic Kristallnacht attacks in 1938
By Allan Hall In Berlin and Jenny Stanton and Tom Wyke for MailOnline
Published: 08:50 GMT, 12 January 2016 | Updated: 06:19 GMT, 13 January 2016
The mayor of a German city has spoken of 'terror on the streets' of his city after far-right thugs ran riot in scenes reminiscent of the anti-Semitic Kristallnacht attacks in 1938.
Burkhard Jung, mayor of Leipzig, has condemned the 'naked violence that took place' after doner kebab fast food restaurants were destroyed, cars were set ablaze and shop windows were smashed by around 250 hooligans of LEGIDA - the local branch of PEGIDA, an anti-migrant, anti-EU organization - on Monday night.
The rampage in Leipzig evoked memories of the wave of violence against Jews that erupted across Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 9, 1938.
On Monday, hundreds of anti-refugee rioters caused chaos in Leipzig after a demonstration where they called for asylum seekers to be deported and their nation's borders closed.
The right-wingers broke away from a largely peaceful march in the eastern city to trash the suburb of Connewitz.
At one point the demonstrators, who threw fireworks at police, attempted to build a barricade in a main street with signs and torn up paving stones before they were dispersed.
Firemen had to tackle a blaze in the attic of one building set alight by a wayward rocket fired by the rioters. A bus carrying leftist pro-asylum demonstrators was also attacked and seriously damaged.
'It was naked violence that took place here, nothing more,' Jung said. 'That has been established and there must be consequences.'
Police said they have identified and arrested 211 of the crowd of right-wing hooligans, many of them with criminal records for violence.
'This was a serious breach of the peace,' said a police spokesman, confirming that several police officers were injured in the clashes triggered by simmering anger over the New Year's Eve mass sex attacks against women in Cologne and several other German cities.
'Rape Refugees stay away' was one of the banners carried during the march, the wording above a silhouette of women running from knife-wielding attackers, one of whom resembled a caricature from Aladdin.
When daylight broke in Leipzig, scenes were similar to those that followed Kristallnacht - the name referring to the shards of glass left strewn across cities in the aftermath of the bloody pogroms.
Source: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... -what-next
Dark blue is my emphasis. See source for full article, references, photos, videos and comments.Brussels attacks
The tyranny of Isis terrorism will not always be with us. But history shows that a new militant threat will emerge
Sunday 27 March 2016 06.30 BST
Last modified on Sunday 27 March 2016 09.27 BST
Is this now the new normal? In the capitals of the west, should we simply get used to living with routine fear? Jason Burke sees cause for hope in a weakening of Isis, but cautions that Islamic militancy does not begin nor end with that group’s savagery. He traces the shifts in extreme factions and twisted ideologies, and ponders how terror might next mutate
Walk down a street in London, Edinburgh, Madrid or Paris. Sit on a cafe terrace, or in a pub garden. Check your phone, open a book, or even read a newspaper. Order another coffee, or beer, or fizzy water. Look at those around you, all doing much the same thing.
Nothing you see will tell you that you are facing any immediate threat. You will almost certainly no longer notice the barriers, metal detectors and security guards outside certain buildings in the city where you live or work. All have been part of the landscape for many years, like the reports of violent conflict in distant, dusty countries. There may be a policeman or two more than usual. But little more.
Today, however, after the attacks in Brussels last Tuesday, you will pay particular attention, as you have done after every other attack over the past 18 months or so. You may know that the number of people killed in Britain in terrorist attacks by Islamic militants – 53 – is statistically negligible. Or that the total in Europe – around 400 – is equally insignificant in a population of more than half a billion. But you can’t help feeling a sense of vulnerability all the same. If the bombers can hit one airport or metro system, why not the one you will use, if not today, then tomorrow? You have just become a victim of terrorism, which relies on shocking, apparently random, violence to induce irrational fear of an immediate and ubiquitous threat among a target population.
It is the tempo of the attacks, terrorists have learned, that is crucial. The massive “spectacular” operations, which may bring down a jet or a skyscraper, are still the game-changers. But the existential anxiety terrorists seek to provoke comes from the sense that it is they who have the initiative, and thus can strike where and when they want. The message of the Brussels attack was that, even after the deaths of 130 people in November in Paris, even after the identification of key militants involved in that attack, even with their satellites and sources, our security services, governments and institutions cannot keep us safe.
This then is the new normal. Or at least feels so. It is now almost 15 years since the 9/11 attacks, which killed 3,000 people. A generation across much of the planet – and 95% of casualties in the last decade and a half have been in the Islamic world – has never known life without the threat posed by Islamic militancy.
Which poses an obvious question: if we have seen its beginning, will we ever see its end?
A series of elements led to a new cycle of violence: the toxic aftermath of the Arab spring, the bloody anarchy of the ongoing Syrian civil war, growing sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and many more.
Over previous years, a new, even more extreme school of militant thinking had been forged in the crucible of post-invasion Iraq. It was exceptionally savage and heavily informed by apocalyptic strands of thinking previously shunned by an older generation of militant ideologues.
The old project of regaining the lost power and glory of the ummah, the world Muslim community, and the construction of a “true” Islamic society through violence, came together in the Islamic State. In June 2014, leader abu Bakr al’Baghdadi announced a new caliphate.
Within months, analysts and officials now think, Isis was planning strikes on Europe. Why? One of the challenges posed by Isis is that it combines an irrational world view, a heavily mythologised vision of the past and a twisted interpretation of key Islam texts with rigorously practical strategic decision-making.
To create its Muslim superpower, Isis needs the loyalty of every Muslim in the world, including those in Europe. There is no room for ambivalence. As an editorial in Dabiq, the Isis magazine stated unequivocally in late 2014, the “grey zone” of compromise has to be demolished. The violence of Isis and al-Qaida aims to terrorise enemies, mobilise supporters and, perhaps above all, polarise anyone in between. A divided, decadent Europe, riven by racial and religious fear and loathing, would be weak and fertile ground for recruitment.
Perhaps as early as next year, Isis may begin to fragment in its core territories. Its attraction to a tiny number of European Muslims will vanish. There will be more bombings, and deaths and injuries, in Europe and elsewhere, but in time the threat will ease.
However, there is one more historical observation worth making. Terrorism of one sort or another has been a part of our modern world for 200 years, and every new cycle of violence has been under way well before the previous one has ended. Islamic militancy was growing in the Middle East by the mid-1970s, well before the wave of secular, leftist or nationalist terrorism that dominated attention during that decade began to fade. Al-Qaida was founded in 1988, a decade before gaining global notoriety with strikes on US embassies in East Africa. The origins of Isis reach back to 2004. Few paid it much attention until 2014.
The conclusion is simple. We cannot know what form the next threat will take. But we can be certain that there will be one, and that it is already developing now.
Jason Burke is the author of The New Threat from Islamic Militancy
Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/world ... -nice.html
Dark blue is my emphasis. See source for photos.Terror Through the Eyes of Innocents: The Children in Nice
By ALISSA J. RUBIN and LILIA BLAISE
JULY 16, 2016
NICE, France — It was the first and last fireworks show in this seaside city that 4½-year-old Yanis Coviaux ever saw. He died in the carnage Thursday night. So did Brodie Copeland, 11, who was visiting from the United States.
Haroun El Kamel, 12, survived but might never look at fireworks the same way.
Then there was Laura Borla, 14, who came to see the fireworks with her twin sister and their mother but was separated from them in the chaos. After days of searching frantically for her, Laura’s family learned on Sunday morning that she was dead.
“We miss you already; we will love you always,” her 19-year-old sister, Lucie, said in a Facebook post.
The driver who plowed his truck into crowds at the conclusion of the Bastille Day fireworks in Nice killed at least 84 people and injured hundreds more. The trauma was exacerbated by the presence of a large number of children, whose deaths, injuries and psychological scars gave this attack — like the one in March that killed many children at a park in Pakistan, or the recent slaughter of families celebrating the end of Ramadan in Baghdad — an especially brutal feel and underscored its indiscriminate cruelty.
At least 10 children were killed Thursday night, and at least 35 were treated for injuries at hospitals in Nice. Others were separated from their parents in the chaos, and some no doubt saw and heard things they might carry with them for a long time.
No one who was visiting the waterfront that night could have imagined such a horrific ending. Going to the fireworks on July 14 is an annual family ritual in Nice, a time for picnics on the beach — and, when the beach is too full, for spreading tablecloths on the meridian of the waterfront road known for more than 150 years as the Promenade des Anglais. From there, people have a fine view of the sea and the extravagant fireworks display.
“You have to bring your children because if you don’t, you will pay for it all year — all their friends are there,” said Raja El Kamel, 43, Haroun’s mother, who was with him and a close friend from Sweden and her two children to watch the festivities.
In a city that enjoys a party, the July 14 fireworks are especially beloved because the entire community joins in: Christian and Muslim, religious and secular, but French above all. The presence of large numbers of tourists gives the evening even more of a festive feel.
For 4½-year-old Yanis and his parents, Mickael and Samira Coviaux, the evening was a first. The parents, both truck drivers, live in Grenoble, and this was their first time seeing the July 14 fireworks on the Mediterranean as a family, said Yanis’s aunt Anaïs Coviaux, a law student in Paris, who came to support her brother and sister-in-law after Yanis was killed.
“The children were playing among themselves, and they had their back to the road,” she said. “They did not hear the truck until just one second before it hit. It went up on the sidewalk; it struck Yanis and the mother of one of the other children with them.” The mother also died.
There was no first aid nearby. Finally, Mr. Coviaux picked up his little boy and began walking with him until they found a person with a car who agreed to take them to the hospital. When they passed some firefighters, they stopped and asked them to try to revive him. But the child was dead.
“He was my parents’ only grandson, the only grandson in the family,” Anaïs Coviaux said softly. She explained that her brother and his wife were too distraught to speak. “Yanis loved people,” she said. “He especially liked Sundays when all the family was gathered, and he would say, ‘Mamie and Papi, we are going to have a party.’”
Later, Mr. Coviaux said in an email that “every single person that Yanis met in his short life fell in love with him.”
The entire family gathered on the promenade Saturday to view the last sights he had seen.
“It was important for us to come to the place he died to pay him a tribute,” Anaïs Coviaux said, “because we could not bear to say goodbye to him. We left a picture of him and flowers.”
Identifying children and examining them has been difficult because of the level of trauma and because some were brought to the hospital without relatives, said Sylvie Serret, a child psychiatrist at the Lenval Foundation hospital, which treated at least 30 injured children on Thursday night.
“A lot of the children coming in were in a state of shock; they were not speaking, for instance,” she said.
An emergency room nurse at Pasteur Hospital, Mejdi Chemakhi, cared for several children, including a boy and a girl who had been brought in without their parents. The boy was 4, Mr. Chemakhi said, and the girl was 6.
The boy, Mr. Chemakhi recounted, spoke in a flat tone, apparently in shock.
“My mummy is dead, but my daddy is still alive,” he recalled the boy saying over and over. The boy, expressionless, finally said, “I am tired, I need to sleep, I have no clothes,” Mr. Chemakhi recalled.
“So I took him in my arms and tried to console him,” he said. “You don’t really know what else to do in those situations. It is really important to make them feel safe.”
Later that night, a wounded man was brought to the hospital and told Mr. Chemakhi that he had lost his wife and could not find his children, a boy and a girl. Mr. Chemakhi realized the three belonged together and helped reunite them.
On the Promenade des Anglais on Saturday, there were memorials of flowers and notes, sometimes every few feet, to mark where people had lost their lives. Nathalie Russo, 30, a Muslim who wears a hijab, came with her mother to retrace the steps she and her children, 5-year-old Mayssa and 2-year-old Emine, took on Thursday night.
“My daughter is telling me that she does not want to see fireworks again,” Ms. Russo said, adding, “She kept asking me, ‘How did the bad people get from Paris to Nice?’”
“She thought the man who did this was one of those who attacked the Bataclan,” she said, “and he had come here to do the same thing.”
The Bataclan is the Paris concert hall where 90 people were shot dead by three Islamic State operatives on Nov. 13, when a total of 130 people were killed in and around Paris by terrorists.
Some mothers and fathers who had not been near the fireworks brought their children to see the memorials on Saturday as a way of expressing unity with the community and defiance toward the terrorists.
Nour Hamila, a Nice native who has converted to Islam, made a point of bringing her three children, who are 8, 5 and 3. “I told them not to be afraid because that’s what the terrorists want; we have to support each other,” she said as her 5-year-old son, Mohamed, placed flowers on one of the memorials.
It is harder for those children who witnessed the killings.
For Ms. Kamel’s 12-year-old son, Haroun, the moment is etched in his mind.
“We saw it from far away, a white truck in this black night,” she said. She recalled thinking that the truck did not belong there because the street was closed to traffic.
Her son and her friend’s 12-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter were playing and laughing. Then the driver accelerated and began to veer from one side of the road to the other, “plowing into people,” she said.
Somehow she pushed herself and her son onto the sidewalk as the truck neared. Then it passed, and all she remembers was her son saying, “Mama, Mama, you must come to help the people.”
She looked at the road and recognized a neighbor who was kneeling next to her husband, wailing his name. Ms. Kamel told her son to go with her friend and the other children.
Everything was silent. “There was just this terrible wind,” she said.
“To the left you saw bodies; you looked right and saw bodies; there were strollers, and people trying to save other people.”
After trying to comfort her neighbor, she looked for her son, but by then the crowds were running, and it was chaos. Hours later, when she found him and her friend, her son said, “Mama, did you manage to save the man?”
Ms. Kamel responded that the emergency services had come for him.
“You know, children don’t have a global vision,” she said. “He saw all those corpses, but for him, the one at his feet was supposed to be saved.”
A version of this article appears in print on July 17, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Terror in Nice, Through Eyes of Innocents.