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Total number of comments: 48 (since 2014-05-28 20:57:03)

astras

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  • Turks Threaten al-Assad if he sends Army to Defend Syrian Kurds
    • A report on german TV showed two busses filled with elderly volunteers arrive in Afrin. One was interviewed and he claimed to be part of a rescue operation by the syrian people against the turkish aggression.
      The volunteers didn't exactly look like a big help.

  • Plummeting Tourism to US, costing $10 bn., blamed on Trump Slump
    • This is actually true. I have heard from many people that they have cancelled their trips to the US, because they don't want to visit the 'Trump-country'.

  • Israeli Prosecutors Throw Book at Palestinian Child Protestor
    • The western media are trying very hard to downplay and trivialize this.
      On german tv they mentioned over and over again, that the teen, who was pictured with a smug look on her face, was more a victim of 'palestinian propaganda' than of anything else! And of course the soldiers behaved very professional!

      It just makes one want to puke.

  • German Poll: Trump a bigger Challenge than N. Korea, Russia or Syria
    • This poll shows why Merkel has such a hard time staying in power at the moment. All her policies directly contradict the publics wishes.
      Merkel wants to stay as buddy-buddy with the USA as much as possible and she favors a very confrontational approach towards Russia. She also wants to stop Macron's european reform ideas at all costs and certainly is not happy about the loss of her most important allies when it comes to austerity policies: The tories in the UK.
      Also she will try to hold on to her idiotic 'refugee-deal' with Erdogan, no matter how criminal Erdogan behaves.
      I'm afraid she will weasel her way into another term, though.

  • Merkel barely holds on as Neo-Fascists enter German Parliament
    • It's a pity. The utterly idiotic right-wing populist AfD has become the strongest party in east germany. This party gets millions in donations from industrial lobby groups, e.g. the 'entrepreneurs for the protection of the constitutional state and entrepreneurial freedoms'. The AfD's entire campaign was more or less stolen from Trump or the brexit morons. All about 'us' against 'them'. 'Them' being the establishment, the muslims and the left. The actual policies the AfD offers are: No more unemployment aid, government spending only for security and of course protecting the enviroment is a communist plot to damage the industry! Why anyone with half a brain could vote for them is beyond me. By the way, the parties popularity has surged by the level of attention they got from the media.

  • Germany: We Europeans must Depend on Selves, not Trump's USA
    • Merkel said this during a campaign appearance in a bavarian beer tent. And even there she was very, very careful with her statement. Or in other words: Don't believe it.
      Merkels take on Trump is the take she has on each and every problem she has ever been confronted with: Just wait till it somehow gets better. Trump won't be president forever afterall and maybe sanity will return the white house one day.
      When it comes to the US, Merkel is the most subservant german chancellor in history. Her remarks are an attempt to appease the unusually strong criticism of the USA in recent weeks. But expecting her to make any changes, or, in the words of Edward Snowden, start a new era, is laughable. Merkel is the embodiment of the status quo.

  • What will new French President Macron do about Syria & ISIL?
    • The french involvment in trying to overthrow Assad never made much sense and is not an important subject of public debate in France.
      So, yes, he probably has no plan for any of that and he most certainly has much more urgend matters to attend to.

  • It was ISIL, not Hackers, who Hijacked French Election
    • According to the french newspaper Liberation it was not the russians, but in fact a sleazy trump supporter who did the hacking.
      link to liberation.fr

      That would make sense, since the trump fans and the idiotic brexit crowd in the UK are shouting their heads off, hoping to get Le Pen elected.

  • Trump feuds with Merkel, EU, BMW, NATO, China, CIA but not with Putin
    • Actually Merkel wasn't all that courteous...she announced that the transatlantic alliance wasn't 'carved in stone'. In front of a bunch of managers from the german industry she promised to 'go to war for TTIP' (I suppose not literally, though).
      The fact is: The german government simply considered a Clinton victory a done deal. They never dreamed of Trump winning. Merkel repeatedly made fun of Trump during the election. Now Trump is president and Merkel didn't even have his phone number in order to congratulate.
      The german government has just lost a very important asset of it's foreign policy, namely Clinton who would have introduced the industries pet project TTIP and would have continued a hostile approach towards russia.
      Now the german government has no clue what will happen next and is most likely in a state close to panic.
      Merkel will eventually do what she always does: Do nothing and hope things will somehow get better.
      Not sure if this will help, though. Interesting times...

  • Demonization of Putin as "Personally" behind Clinton Hack is old Propaganda Technique
    • This is all nonsense made up by the Merkel-government who is scared of the coming elections. Trust me, there is no hint of truth in any of that.

  • Will Turkey leave NATO for Sino-Russian Shanghai Cooperation Council?
    • Meanwhile is quite obvious, that Erdogan never intended to become part of the EU.
      He only exploited EU business opportunities and perversly the EU kind of protected him from the turkish military. The officers were reluctand to remove him, since that would stop the talks with the EU. Till it was too late...

      Ever since he has removed the military threat he is showing his true colors. As he once exclaimed: 'Democracy is only the train we ride on, till we reach our destination.'

      The biggest problem is the idiotic german chancellor, who has given Erdogan a means to blackmail the EU by threatening to cancel her 'refugee deal.'

      It would be best to abandon Turkey, move the military assets to another country and sanction the hell out of Erdogan. The refugees from syria can easily be stopped by closing the balcan-route.

      By the way, that is not my opinion, but basically what you hear on the floors of the EU institutions these days.

  • Merkel: Migrants did not bring Radical Terrorism to Germany
    • There are quite a few theories for explaining Merkel's behavior.

      One suggests, that Merkel mostly tried to polish up her image by allowing the large number of refugees in.

      Merkel was pictured with a swastika and a hitler moustache in just about every european news paper, because of the austerity measures she is imposing on europe. So she tried to show that she is actually nice by opening the borders. She reportedly said she wanted to 'shame' the countries who wanted no refugees at all.

      And she calculated the green opposition party would be jubilant, thus opening another option for power and a way out of the hated 'grand coalition' with the social democrats.

      On top of that, her advisors had been telling her that germany needs more migrants to battle the aging of the population. But attempts to start projects in that direction never got of the ground, mostly due to the resistance of her own party.

      Thus Merkel might have considered the refugee crisis a golden opportunity and took a wild gamble by single handedly opening the borders. Without approval by the parlament...

      She might have seriously underestimated the challenge to deal with an HUGE number of refugees being thrown at local offices that have been starved from funds for years, thanks to the idiotic austerity policies.

      She might have overestimated the willingness of the public to accept the situation.

      Her hopes that other countries would pitch in once she had simply created the facts were in vain.

      This might cost her her office, actually already would have, if it wasn't for the media who defend her on every corner.

      A lot of the problems that occur now are indeed 'homemade'. Distrust of politicians, whose 'reforms' have only hurt the majority of the population (especially those who were not well off to begin with) is wide spread.

      For a lot of people the refugee thing is the last straw. And for right wingers an easy way to garner support.

      We are living in interesting times.

  • Islamophobia Kills: German Munich shooter admired Breivik, Killed Turks
    • Indeed. Actually the US news networks were the only once in the entire world who at once reported this as another ISIL attack.

      CNN even produced an 'eye witness' who spoke about the killer yelling 'allahu akbar'. No other news channel in the entire world reported this! And of course it turned out to be complete nonsense.

  • Purge of teachers and academics bulldozes through Turkish education
    • It seems people didn't think Erdogan was serious, when he declared before he was elected:

      'Democracy is only the train we will ride on till we reach our destination. The mosques are our barracks, the minarettes our bajonettes, their domes our helmets and the believers our soldiers.'

      It seems he made it clear from the very beginning that he wishes to create some creepy theocracy.

  • Did Trump-Style Islamophobia break up the European Union?
    • The university of Liverpool had the idea to have Prof. Michael Dougan give a short lecture on the whole subject (about twenty minutes). It is also freely available on youtube.
      link to youtube.com

      Had just ONE TV-station bothered to take something like this in their broadcast, there might never have been a BREXIT....

    • There might be a positive side to this. Yes, of course the UK will get poorer and may even break up about this, but who cares...

      Merkel has just lost her most reliabel allie for her disastrous politics of austerity that have been ruining Europe for a decade now.

      Unless she finds a way to weasel out of this, there is a real chance for change now.

  • Thousands Protest Drone Wars at US Air Force Base in Germany
    • Informed Comment has a bigger article on this event than basically all of the german media.

      In Germany the media either ignored the protest completely or tried to denounce it in mini-articles (two or three sentences) as the work of 'crazy exteme leftists' or 'sleazy neonazis'.

  • Curtains for Trans Atlantic Trade Deal? Greenpeace Leak Exposes Corporate Takeover
    • If only it this would sink this TTIP nonesense for good. But i'm not very hopeful.

      Merkel has blissfully ignored a petition signed by a million citizens against ttip and has repeatedly ignored some of the largest demonstrations in the history of Germany against ttip.

      Right now she is working overtime to sign the deal 'as soon as anyway possible' even if the negotiations aren't finished yet.

  • US confused over Russia’s real intentions in Syria
    • Well, with Obama the US might be reluctant to be drawn into a war, but that will change dramatically with a president Hillary or (god forbid) some republican.

      There is a lot of potential for desaster there.

  • Trumpism & Europe's Refugees: Poland says it cannot coexist ‘with Middle East people’
    • The EU in general is turning more and more into a disaster. It was a crazy elite project from the very beginning.

      The politicians pushed this gigantic experiment through, though the majority of the people in the different countries were less than thrilled.

      Warnings were ignored, critics branded as 'nationalists'. The enlargement of the EU was pushed ahead, wide ranging reforms put in place, even though no one had even the slightest clue of what lay ahead.

      Now this strange creation is being rattled and shaken to the core.

      Huge economic problems, for which there still isn't a solution in sight and now this.

      It looks like the EU's days are numbered.

  • Erdogan Threatened Europe with Refugees, now Demanding US abandon Syrian Kurds
    • Well, she has turned from her first stance completely and now supports the turkish government, regardless how criminal that government acts if only they keep the refugees away.

      This seems more than a little opportunistic, but is consistent with the morale flexibility she has displayed many times before.

      Her refusal to close the borders might have more to do with the protests of the german industry against closing them.

      Why she put herself in that position in the first place? My guess is, she simply had no idea what she was getting herself into.

    • This is too cute. The Merkel government has announced, there should be no criticising of any sort, when it comes to our good allies in Istanbul.

      Merkel is busy cuddling up to Erdogan day and night and has basically demanded everyone else should although ignore Erdogans all out war on Kurds, human rights abuses, idiotic meddling in syria, etc...

      The german head of state sees in Erdogan the only person who can give her what she holds most dear in all the world: Her staying in power... -.-

  • Western Invasions can't fix the Middle East because they wrecked the Middle East
    • And they can't stop messing....

      The german government has decided to jump the fray and is now supporting and arming (big style) the kurdish 'president' Barzani. They support Barzani, knowing full well that this man is only in power through basically a coup and in spite of Baghdads explizit objections.

      In fact there has been a diplomatic row with the shia government in Baghdad over this, but the german government has announced they don't trust the shia one bit and might even welcome a kurdish state (ruled by an ever grateful Barzani).

      The hasty decision to send a few planes to syria seems to be borne from the hope to make germany a relevant player in the region.

      And if it amounts to nothing the move will at least have demonstrated solidarity with france (who is still mad about germanys 'beggar thy neighbour economic policy) and stopped the constant anglo saxon nagging (you aren't bombing anyone!).

      Still, I think the italian response to the whole affair (we won't send troops, thanks, but we have better things to do) might have been the wiser approach...

  • Why did Turkey dare shoot down a Russian Plane? The Proxy War in Syria
    • The german government leaked that NATO is pretty upset about the turkish attack. But it seems the sultan doesn't care about that at all.

      Turkey is busy sending more troops (tanks and planes) to the theater. i'm afraid Putin will not simply back down and risk losing all credibilty.

      This doesn't look good at all...Erdogan seems a very irrational guy.

  • Did Daesh/ ISIL's Paris attacks bolster al-Assad? Spain calls him 'lesser of evils'
    • Well, at least in Germany the mainstream media are working overtime to prevent any kind of realpolitik.

      The newspapers are being flooded with articles warning against stopping the american regime change nonsense, even though that is what started all the problems in the first place...

      It looks like the facts will force the european politicians to act. They were fools to go along with the regime change in the first place. It is extremely unlikely that the regime change will occur soon and it won't have any desirable consequences if it does since the with the complete breakdown of the syrian state the chaos will only increase.

      Politicians in the US don't care for one minute about that. They don't have to deal with millions of refugees and their country is far away enough to be save from IS terror attacks. Thus they will just go on letting the conflict continue.

      In other words european and american interests are not the same here. In fact there has never been a better chance for nato to break up. It would be wise to realize that.

  • Germany seeks Talks with Russia over Syria as Putin conducts Naval Maneuvers off Tartous
    • Don't think Russia or the US really care about Assad. It's more a battle over the seaport. Russia will not easily let go of it's only access to the mediterranean sea.

      The West startet to throw weapons and money to the dubious syrian opposition because foremost the US politicians saw the uprising as a golden opportunity to weaken both Russia and Iran. So this is strictly a geoplolitical powerplay fought with the lifes of other people.
      The fact, that shortly after the uprising started members of this 'syrian opposition' were flown to Berlin in order to participate in 'simulations' to prepare them for the day after Assads defeat only shows how deluded western politicians were.

      It might have been possible to pressure Assad to stop cracking down on protesters, but that never was the goal. From the beginning it was: Assad has to go!
      Unacceptable not just for the dictator himself, but also for the sizable number of Syrians who support him and are afraid that a change in power would lead to a crackdown on them.
      Only now, that europe feels some negative consequences from this disaster are some european politicians beginning to speak up. Should have done that earlier...

  • Clinton Calls For Tougher Response To Russia On Syria, Ukraine
    • And this horrid person is going to be the next president. Obama seems to have a sense of realism and worked hard for the Iran deal. But Clinton is going to swing everything back into full war mode.

  • Russia Ramping up Military Involvement in Syria?
    • The german media is already screaming holy murder about that. The current spin is: Russia is to blame for all the refugees, since Russia 'irresponsibly escalates' the conflict by helping Assad...

      Quality media. For sure...

  • Those forced to Europe are mostly Regime Change Refugees
    • I recently listened to a talk on the topic from a german analyst, Michael Lüders. link to youtube.com

      He more or less concludes that the opposition in Libya and Syria simply never had the political power to control their country.

      In Libya Gaddafi would still be in power, it was the western bombs who did him in. But the opposition is way too weak to fill the power vacuum he left behind, the result is chaos and civil war.

      In Syria the opposition has never been able to be a serious challange to Assad, who has simply fortified his position by retreating to the core regions and left hard to controll places alone. This has led to unpredecented chaos and allowed the socalled islamic state to gain a foothold.

      In his talk, Lüders critizices the downright foolish decesion by western politicians (and here mostly us-american politicians) to start wars in places they know nothing about, based only on a rather naive world view (good guys vs bad guys).

      He argues the socalled islamic state is mostly an iraqi organisation and in order to deal with it, sunnis would have to get their share of the power.
      Also Assad will not go away, his people will support him, come what may, since they know, they will be butchered if they lose the grip on power. Thus, attempts to overthrow him will most likely continue to fail.

      Lüders argues only a drastic change in western politics has any chance to stop the mass exodus.

  • European Islamophobic Networks influenced Roof to Kill in Charleston
    • True. Intelligent people know that. But Sarrazin is a dumb racist. And a millionaire now, thanks to his best selling book full of nonsense and bigotry :(

    • In a nutshell, Sarrazin argues that muslims are genetically inferior to christians and jews. He seems unaware of the idiocy to attribute religions to genes.

      He claims, that muslim immigrants will be the downfall of europe, since you 'don't mix a proud lipizzaner horse with a dull belgium cold blood horse', etc, etc.

      His 'proof' is the low social status of migrants. He expresses fear, that muslims 'multiply' so much, they will outnumber the 'valuable' part of the population soon, unless 'something is done.'

    • Yes! Very true! The public has to stop tolerating these haters. It is irresponsible beyond believe, when especially conservative politicians do not just defend that lot, but often start mouthing the same nonsense.

      Breivik's insane manifesto was heavily influenced by the disgusting hate book of Thilo Sarrazin, who made millions from his book and didn't have to face any consequences at all. Breivik also quoted ad nauseum one of the big shots of the 'intellectual anti-islamist'-scence, the columnist Henryk M. Broder, whose only comment was: 'So what? I sleep well at night.'

      These people are intellectual arsonists and need to be opposed.

  • Iran's Khamenei weighs in on Baltimore: 'Hollywood-style Policing'
    • Of course it is right to criticise the the US police and justice system. But one suspects Khamenei does it only to distract from the human rights abuses of his own regime.

      Western politicians on the other hand remain mute on abuses in the US and scream holy murder about what is going on in countries they don't like.

      That leads to the sad conclusion that politicians are nothing but a bunch of lousy hypocrites, regardless wether they are wearing suits and neckties or robes and turbans.

    • Khamenei the compassionate? After the protest of the so called green movement was gunned down that is slightly hypocritical...

  • Roots of Militancy among some Muslim Youth: What can be Done?
    • Oh sure, the endless CSU tirades against 'criminal refugees who only want to abuse our social welfare' have had NO impact whatsoever....

      By the way, they are making the road toll in a law. Hopefully, the EU will stop it.

    • How wise and considerate of Merkel...

      Yet, when her coalition partner comes up with silly ideas, like 'immigrants will be required to speak only german in their own home!', you hear no word from her.

      She even allowed the nonsensical 'german road toll for foreigners!' to become a law.

      I'm afraid the article is right. The fixation politicians have with quickly gaining a few votes by bashing muslims and immigrants in general will only make things much, much worse.

      But what else should they talk about? Afterall, they are busy destroying social services and showering their rich cronies with money. Better people are mad at foreigners than realizing what is really going on...

  • Why Europe must stop blocking Palestinian membership of the Int'l Criminal Court
    • Surely sound advice,but it assumes that the EU is guided by reality. Unfortunately it is guided by the narrow horizon of some hillbilly mind from some backwater east german province: The miraculous Angela Merkel.

      She will continue to block, unless the US government tells her to stop.

  • Putin, Blocked by Europe, turns to Turkey for Gas Pipeline
    • Some people in greece would agree to this sentiment.

      In an interview, whose link I have unfortunately forgotten, a greek veteran said: 'Once the germans came with tanks and bombers and we fought bravely. Now they come in business suits and we have no clue what to do.'

    • Greece cannot initiate a program for anything, since that would require the government to spend money. Greece is under surveylance of the 'Troika' and has to implement the most insane austerity program ever, so this is sadly not an option...

      Same is up to a point true for all southern european states.

      The german austerity dictate is again bearing fruits...

  • Turkish Pres. Erdogan says Women not Equal to Men: "Their System is Different."
  • If Germany Drops Coal, can the Industry Survive?
    • That is unfortunately true. There has been a slight increase in the use of coal. But not so much out of necessity, but out of monetary reasons.
      one source: link to manager-magazin.de

      Coal is currently very profitable, due to the very low price of'emission certificates' in the european union. The idea of the emission certificates was created to encourage the use of less coal. But the opposite has happened. The certificates are so cheap, it pays to just keep an old coal plant active, instead of investing in technologies more friendly to the climate.
      source: link to spiegel.de

      The additional energy from coal is not consumed by Germany, but exported. In fact electricity exports have gone up four times, while Germany itself has become more efficent in its electricity consumption.

      By the way, that is the background of the article by Jake Richardson. The german government is about to admit, that something is not working out right, thus the plan to somehow shut down coal plants and reform the whole certificate trade.

    • In 2006 nulear contribution was 31%, coal was 45%, renewables only about 4%.

      Source:link to google.de

      There were no new coal plants build to compensate for the nuclear ones, everything has come from reneables.

    • In 2012 nuclear plants contributed 16% of the overall energy production in Germany. 45% came from coal, 22% from renewables.
      Source: link to bund.net

      No idea what the figures where this year. I guess renewables contributed more.

      No case can be made to keep the nuclear power plants, since they produce waste that in itself presents a major problem, while not producing a large enough amount of energy to justify the risk of them being around.

  • Why is this Man Smiling? Iranian Officials say Confidant of US Deal on Nuclear
    • The Iranians shouldn't be too optimistic. A deal with US depends on who is in charge in US-politics.

      What if more radical elements in the US gain more influence again? The entire discussion about Irans nuclear program was only an excuse to find a reason for a war anyway.

  • Obama needs Europe in responding to MH17 Crash, but NSA Spying a Bar
    • Interesting aricle. A lot of europeans feel just as threatened by what is seen as US warmongering, as by what is seen as the russian reaction to it.

      This is amazingly not just a view expressed by a minority, but is even deeply ingrained in the elites.

      In germany, members of Helmut Kohl's old conservative cabinet loudly complained about the US attempt to sabotage the russian-european relations by the 'uncalled for coup' in ukraine. And scolded Merkel for going along with it.

      But at the moment still a little less than half of german citizens consider the US a good ally.

      The disaster with the airplane will most likely not change that. The media sees it as a 'tragic mistake', that simply occured in the fighting between seperatists und kiew forces.

  • German who spied on Parliament for NSA recruited by CIA
    • Merkels piece was most likely translated by someone working for her party, the CDU.

      No idea why she insisted on being so much in favor of the Iraq war and basically parotted even the most outrages claims of the Bush administration. Could be, that she simply failed to understand the public attitude towards the whole thing. She usually sucks at reading the public.

      Merkel was allowed to go to university in East Germany and could go to Russia in order to study. In East Germany, people could not choose their jobs, but the communist party decided that. If you could study, your parents had to be very well connected. Merkel was also very active in the youth movement and already a politician when the wall fell.

      It is quite possibly, that Kohl accepted quite a few east german politicians (mostly from the 'pseudo opposition), because he considered them easy to control. Maybe he had knowledge about their shadowy past. The real dissidents almost exclusively refused to join his party.

      There is an (unconfirmed!) rumor, that some US secret service 'rescued' tons of documents from the stasi and returned only a few to Germany, thus possibly gaining means of blackmailing Merkel. But this might also just be a wild conspiracy theory.

  • Far-right rises in European Parliament elections, but is it a 'Euroquake'?
    • Sadly, this election might indeed mark the end of the european union, or better, the complete loss of any legitimacy it might ever have hoped to have.

      The 'heads of government' of the individual member states refuse the recognize the election. It is mostly the UK behind that, but the others are also not unhappy with giving the european parlament not more powers.

      Why on earth did we have these elections in the first place? Better forget about the whole project...

  • Jim Carrey: Fox 'News' is "A media colostomy bag... a public health issue" (Video)
    • This has even a quite creative, clever text. The first time I see Jim Carrey do something more than just pull silly faces.

      I also like the interpretation of gun nuts as paranoid loonies in an anxiety state.

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