Terrorism Undermining Merkel

The bloody truck attack on Berlin’s Christmas market is a reminder how the West’s destabilization of the Mideast and North Africa now destabilizes Europe and Chancellor Merkel, as Gilbert Doctorow describes.

By Gilbert Doctorow

It took German Chancellor Angela Merkel 10 hours to find the words to respond to the attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that left a dozen dead and scores injured. When she finally spoke and acknowledged that it looked like a terrorist act, she hastened to express the pious hope that it was not the deed of a “refugee.”

Merkel’s hesitant response to the attack on Monday shows why many Germans feel that their country is defenseless against terrorism and why Merkel’s political fortunes may be declining. The failure to promptly capture the assailant – on Wednesday, the search focused on a Tunisian suspect – has compounded public worries that Merkel has largely contained concerns about Islamic terrorism through control over information, not effective preventive steps.

President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The Chancellor has directed the whole state apparatus to serve the purposes of her personal rule, which means to ensure the general public is lulled into a sense of false security. Officials recoil at making any connection between terrorist acts and refugees from the Middle East whom she so warmly welcomed.

To protect her political flanks, Merkel has muzzled the police who are not allowed to say anything that contradicts her political narrative hailing the benefits of multiculturalism. With a pliant German press, she has withheld full information about rapes and other attacks which are alleged to have been committed by immigrants/refugees going back to the rampage by migrants at the Cologne main railway station last New Year’s Eve.

What we see in her rhetoric and in the political correctness she enforces is precisely what Donald Trump called out in his debates with Hillary Clinton — the refusal to deal with “Muslim extremists” or “Jihadists” in the name of avoiding ethnic or religious profiling. But whereas Clinton paid a price at the ballot box, so far Angela Merkel has escaped the voters’ punishment.

Security Gaps

I do not pretend to be a security expert, but ever since the terrorist attacks on Belgium’s National Airport in Zaventem and on metro stations this past spring, I am aware of what was not done to protect us before and what is being done presently. With that perspective, I have a few observations to share from my day trip to Berlin this past Friday for a press conference at the Bundestag.

Images of the suspected bombers of Brussels’ airport on March 22, 2016.

I arrived at Berlin’s Schoenefeld airport and left from Tegel airport, which is more generally used for European flights and is conveniently close to the city center. What I saw at Tegel is exactly the same if not worse than what prevailed at Zaventem before the terrorist attack, only it is further aggravated by the peculiar configuration of Tegel’s departure/check-in facilities which form a semi-crescent served by a roadway for taxis and passenger cars to drop off passengers which would allow a car bomb to wreak havoc.

Moreover, as was the case at Zaventem, the departure area is served by many access doors, none of which is guarded. Police presence inside the terminal building is minimal.

By comparison, in the time since the attack on Zaventem, access roads to the airport have been diverted; there is no vehicular access to the building itself; and passengers on foot now pass through one entrance door only where they are subject to observation. Immediately after, they confront a detachment of four soldiers armed with heavy machine guns and facing in all four directions to ensure that no one can get past them who should not be there.

Whereas in Brussels we now have patrols of heavily armed soldiers posted at various metro stations and passing through trains, what I saw on the Berlin metro last Friday was a situation that antedated our modern age of terror. No police were in evidence on the system, only ticket controllers who passed through the trains and checked my tickets and the tickets of others to ensure we had properly stamped the tickets when we entered the system.

By the same token, we are told that the Christmas market in Berlin had no special police protection. To be sure, government buildings do better. The Bundestag was in session last Friday, and when I got there, I found that the security provisions were operating. We all passed through metal detectors and our briefcases and handbags were x-rayed.

Outside and above us a stationary helicopter was maintaining surveillance of the whole area.  And yet, the checking of visitors was done by unarmed personnel, and I wonder how effective they would be against properly trained and armed terrorists.

In summary, Merkel’s denial of the high risk facing Germany due to her lax policy on immigrants means that more terrorist attacks are likely.  So, what she has been doing to protect herself politically at the expense of everyone else’s personal safety may well be her undoing in 2017.

Gilbert Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.

41 comments for “Terrorism Undermining Merkel

  1. Zachary Smith
    December 25, 2016 at 00:57

    Headline: “Growing signs of state foreknowledge of attack on Berlin Christmas market”

    Considering that I can barely get a grip (sometimes) on US politics, it’s no surprise that I know next to nothing about what’s going on in Germany. Some mighty suspicious things happened in this incident though, and that’s a fact.


  2. Eddie
    December 24, 2016 at 13:18

    A general comment about terrorism attacks: We need to get some sort of ‘proportionality’ regarding our response to these things. Why is it that year-in and year-out, people in the world will put up with LARGE numbers of fatalities from things like traffic ‘accidents’, and it is neutrally reported in the news media (even the word ‘accident’ implies no causative agent… a better phrase might be ‘stupidly careless crash’, at least in most of these instances), but one or two or — as in this case — a dozen people get killed en masse in a terrorist incident (ie; one WE didn’t do, otherwise it would’ve been called ‘unfortunate collateral damaged’) and it causes a MASSIVE media fixation and often major governmental changes. For instance, according to 2013 statistics (ie; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate ) Germany had 3,540 traffic deaths that year, which works out to ~68 deaths PER WEEK. Their proportion of 3.4 traffic deaths per 100,000 people is actually one of the lowest in the ‘western’ world (the US had 34,064 total & 10.4 per 100,000 by comparison), but that’s still 3540 people KILLED, essentially EVERY YEAR. The ~68 people who have died in the past week in German traffic accidents who wanted to live as badly as the 12 people who died in the German terrorist attack, so why don’t we have something like 6 times the media coverage on them, even in the German media?

    The answers to my rhetorical question are probably:
    1.) We’re inured to traffic-deaths. There’s so many of them that they’re just part of the ‘background’, unless we knew the
    victim(s) personally or they were ‘famous’, we don’t pay attention.
    2.) Too many citizens in all countries don’t want their driving habits to be constrained. They want to drive the way they’re
    comfortable driving and don’t want to be controlled.
    3.) The media find it interesting because it’s so unusual/rare and gruesome. It’s ‘man bites dog’ instead of the far more
    common ‘dog bites man’.
    4.) Politicians find it useful to exploit and divert their constituencies with terrorism. It’s so easy to stand up in front of
    your countrymen and say “This was wrong!”, because 99% of the people feel the same, whereas a vast number of
    other political problems have complex nuances and shades-of-grey that often make it hard to find that kind of
    consensus, so it’s low-hanging fruit.
    5.) Political leaders would normally be prime targets for terrorists (rather than the general population), so they want to
    justify the additional expenditures that THEY need for security (ie; secret-service, armored vehicles, etc, etc). I’ve
    often wondered how long the lack of significant gun-control laws would last in the US if our political leaders could
    NOT surround themselves with bodyguards and other state security apparatus.
    6.) Security corporations of all kinds can make a buck (Euro) off of selling scared people ‘solutions’.

  3. Abe
    December 23, 2016 at 01:06

    “Under Merkel’s leadership, Germany jettisoned the cooperative Ostpolitik in favor of a policy of confrontation towards Russia, which eventually culminated in a NATO-backed coup d’état in Ukraine.

    “Instead of preventing the United States from installing a rabid anti-Russian regime in Kiev, the Merkel-led government supported the move, provoking a predictable response from Russia.

    “Merkel’s treatment of Russia has been criticized by former Chancellors Helmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl and Gerhard Schröder as well as large parts of the population, to no avail.

    “Although the overwhelming majority of Germans opposed economic sanctions against Russia, the German government readily agreed to follow Washington’s lead.

    “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden boasted later of ‘America’s leadership and the President of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs.’ […]

    “Merkel denies having supported the Iraq War in an attempt to distance herself from U.S.-NATO actions that have led to the refugee crisis. But her support of these actions is more apparent than ever.

    “In early 2012, just a few months after the United States and its allies launched a covert war on Syria, Germany began working on ‘The Day After.’

    “’The Day After’ was the name of a secret project organized by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), a government-funded think tank with close ties to the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), in close cooperation with the Orwellian-named United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

    “Around 45 Syrian opposition members ‘of all stripes,’ including members of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Muslim Brotherhood, were flown into Berlin to ‘support a democratic transition in Syria.’ Bringing the Islamist participants to the United States would have been difficult. This was one of the reasons why Berlin was chosen as the venue for the project.

    “Germany has supported the U.S.-led war on Syria in various ways […]

    “Four years later, hundreds of thousands of people are dead, more than 6 million are internally displaced within Syria and around 5 million Syrians have fled the country, many of whom are now seeking refuge in Germany.

    “The German Chancellor has been heavily criticized for her handling of the refugee crisis but her role in creating the crisis deserves close scrutiny as well.”

    The Disastrous Track Record of the New ‘Leader of the Free World’
    By Christoph Gerhrmann

    • Abe
      December 23, 2016 at 01:08

      NATO Nightmare: Russia-Germany Alliance

      In this week’s edition of Newsbud Roundtable, Sibel Edmonds and Spiro Skouras are joined by Newsbud Analyst Christoph Germann and Newsbud Senior Analyst Professor Filip Kovacevic. Panelists discuss recent developments in Germany and throughout Europe leading up to the German elections. They analyze the significance of Germany’s role as a US/NATO ally and the potential ramifications of Merkel losing her position as German Chancellor.

  4. Joe Average
    December 22, 2016 at 22:07

    The “Reply option” doesn’t seem to work properly (or the browser plugin NoScript causes erroneous function).

    1. My previous comment (Joe Average; December 22, 2016 at 9:22 pm) is a reply to Josh Stern (December 21, 2016 at 6:18 pm).
    2. My previous comment (Joe Average; December 22, 2016 at 9:48 pm) is a reply to Bill Bodden (December 21, 2016 at 7:37 pm).

    If there’s another comment (Joe Average December 22, 2016 at 9:55 pm) that is not attached to the post of Josh Stern (December 21, 2016 at 6:18 pm) it’s because I tried to repost the first one.

    • Josh Stern
      December 23, 2016 at 16:51

      The software running the blog has a heuristic that holds comments for review time if they have certain features, like multiple links Your link may show up later.

  5. Joe Average
    December 22, 2016 at 21:55

    Nowadays too many people seem to get fooled by each other. A prime example is historian Daniele Ganser. According to the U. S. state department he fell for a long ago discredited disinformation campaign. All his lectures seemed so genuine … (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniele_Ganser) He was even able to solve many mysteries of the past. It’s hard to believe that the “fake news” problem started long before the actual “Russian propaganda” campaign. It’s even more strange that Dr. Ganser came to a similar conclusion as Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: The Syrian war is about two competing pipelines. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy_Jr.; section: Views on US foreign policy in the Middle East)

    P.S.: My first comment was intended to show that Germany – contrary to official perception – is active fighting in Islamic countries. Indirectly Germany assists the drone program by relaying the radio signals to control the drones. This had been going on for years. Personally I doubt the official narratives. Most alternative news outlets seem to be closer to the truth than the deep state wishes for.

    • Josh Stern
      December 23, 2016 at 16:50

      There was an actual investigation and a confession in the Bologna massacre and a court try to take action:


      In RFK case there was an autopsy showing he was shot from the rear at close range.

      Covert and clandestine ops are in the professional, highly funded business of denying involvement in terrorist acts. That IS one of the main things they do. They will make covert denials of involvement as part of that. So getting at the truth is difficult. It’s pointless to take their denials at face value, because we’ve seen so often that heated, endless denials were later disproved by internal documents from intel agencies. Nowadays, with OCR , computers, and search tech one imagines that they are much more thorough about scrubbing their internal files for incriminating bread crumb trails, but the policies remain in place.

  6. Joe Average
    December 22, 2016 at 21:48

    Merkel reminds German citizens always that they’re living in a Free Market Economy. With that said, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Germany is selling to countries that ISIS finds objectionable. Like any good businessman Germany sells weapons to anyone who is able to afford them – at least if Germany gets the permission from the US.

    Is Israel really the arch enemy of ISIS? According to jpost Michael Oren the former US ambassador to Israel said something like “… we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys …”. Aside from this disturbing statement I had read other confusing news. Here’s an example http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3315347/Watch-heart-pounding-moment-Israeli-commandos-save-Islamic-militants-Syrian-warzone-risking-lives-sworn-enemies.html Israel is saving jihadists?!? Are those saved jihadists Al-Nusra or are they Al-Quaida (maybe even ISIS)? (If I’m correct, then Al-Nusra is the new name of Al-Quaida in Syria. With all that name changing outsiders quickly lose track.)

  7. Joe Average
    December 22, 2016 at 21:22

    Nowadays too many people seem to get fooled by each other. A prime example is historian Daniele Ganser. According to the U. S. state department he fell for a long ago discredited disinformation campaign. All his lectures seemed so genuine … (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniele_Ganser) He was even able to solve many mysteries of the past. It’s hard to believe that the “fake news” problem started long before the actual “Russian propaganda” campaign. It’s even more strange that Dr. Ganser came to a similar conclusion as Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: The Syrian war is about two competing pipelines. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy_Jr.; section: Views on US foreign policy in the Middle East)

    P.S.: My first comment was intended to show that Germany – contrary to official perception – is active fighting in Islamic countries. Indirectly Germany assists the drone program by relaying the radio signals to control the drones. This had been going on for years. Personally I doubt the official narratives. Most alternative news outlets seem to be closer to the truth than the deep state wishes for.

  8. Brendan
    December 22, 2016 at 16:14

    This article is very disappointing in the way that it paints a simplistic and inaccurate picture of a politicaly correct Angela Merkel and of criminal refugees.

    It should be remembered that Merkel expressed a completely different view in 2010 when she gave a speech with some politicaly incorrect comments about immigrants. She said then that Germany’s attempts at multiculturalism had completely failed and that Germans had been fooling themselves when they thought that they could live by side and be friends with people from other cultures.

    So why did she do a complete u-turn just a few years later and allow an influx of nearly a million refugees, nearly all of them Muslims from the Middle East? Well, it would be stupid to think that she suddenly converted to political correctness at sixty years of age. And it would be very naive and gullible of anyone to think that she was moved by the plight of all the Syrians fleeing the evil dictator Assad, when plenty of other countries have leaders who are far more oppressive.

    An explanation given by Julian Assange for allowing in so many refugees is that it was a campaign of strategic depopulation against Syria:
    “So the speculation was this: occasionally, opponents of a country will engage in strategic depopulation — which is, to decrease the fighting capacity of a government, you try and get people to flee the country.
    In the case of Syria, it is predominantly the middle class that is fleeing, because it is the most able to flee — it has the language skills, money, some connections, and that’s the engineering class, the management class, the bureaucratic class, precisely the class that is needed to keep the government functioning, and encouraging it to flee Syria — for example, Germany saying that they will accept any refugees and by Turkey taking nearly two (2) million refugees, it does significantly weaken the Syrian government.”

    An additional possible reason for allowing in the refugees was to tempt young men of fighting age away from military service in the Syrian army. Life in an orderly European society is much more comfortable than risking death or serious injury in a war zone, isnt it? And young men are not deterred by the hazardous journey to Europe. They can handle the risks more easily than children, women and older people.

    Whatever the motivation was, it’s very likely the decision to open the German border was made in Washington, not Berlin. Merkel has been a puppet of the US governments for a long time. She even helped to blow her party’s chance to take power when she supported Bush’s war in Iraq. In the 2002 federal election, Gerhard Schroeder’s coalition, which rejected Washington’s fabricated story about Iraqi WMDs, was elected by Germans by a narrow margin.

    Gilbert Doctorow also accuses Merkel and the German police of downplaying the level of crimes committed by immigrants, in particular on New Year’s Eve a year ago in Cologne. The reality is the very opposite – the police and legal system have been hyping up the problem. Police tried to frame three young men for sex attacks in Cologne, but they eventually had to compensated for being locked up for nearly half a year without any justification.

    • Abe
      December 22, 2016 at 19:35

      The “European refugee crisis” (aka the more politically correct “migrant crisis”) is the result of European “cooperation” with Washington’s geopolitical agenda in the Middle East North Africa region (MENA).

      According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the top three nationalities of entrants of the over one million Mediterranean Sea arrivals between January 2015 and March 2016 were Syrian (46.7%), Afghan (20.9%) and Iraqi (9.4%), all the result of U.S. military invasions and U.S.-backed terrorist actions in those nations.

      NATO member state Turkey has been the major pipeline both for refugees entering Europe and for U.S. backed Al-Qaeda terrorist forces besieging Syria and Iraq.

      In March 2016, NATO General Philip Breedlove attempted to blame the refugee crisis on Russia and Syria. Breedlove accused the very nations battling Al-Qaeda and ISIS of “deliberately weaponizing migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve”.

      In fact, Washington has weaponized the refugee crisis, taking advantage of remarkably well timed terrorism “incidents” to motivate European “resolve” to “cooperate” in further aggression against Syria, Russia, and ultimately Iran.

  9. Kalen
    December 22, 2016 at 03:27

    I lost my respect to majority of German people use to be highly educated and professional, who allowed such a political weasel like Merkel in power, a former East German communist youth organization FDJ leader and STASI secret police and CIA agent, got her PhD in physics on communist party recommendation.

    What can you expect from an agent put in power to BETRAY and destroy German nation, turn country of , Kant, Goethe, Fichte, Marx, Heine, Hegel, Wagner, Schopenhauer, Leibniz and more in some liverwurst republic run from D.C.
    What a shame to tolerate this abhorrent pig.

  10. Fergus Hashimoto
    December 21, 2016 at 19:50

    Islamic terrorists can always find an excuse to kill people. If your country hasn’t invaded any Muslim countries, then it’s because one of your citizens insulted the Prophet (Sweden, Denmark), or because you deported foreign terrorists (Thailand), or because Jews live in your country (Argentina), or because your country has an ongoing territorial dispute with a Muslim country (India), or just because (Australia, Canada).

  11. Abe
    December 21, 2016 at 17:01

    “Terrorism Undermining Merkel”

    The headline is accurate but incomplete.

    “Terrorism Undermining Merkel’s ‘Independent’ Foreign Policy Toward Russia” is more accurate because it comprehends the precise timing and purpose of recent terrorism “incidents” in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

    The “Chancellor of the Free World” occasionally allows her toes to wander off Washington’s hard line on Russia.

    Indeed toeing the Washington line got Germany into its current predicament.

    The largest single recipient of new asylum seekers worldwide in 2014 was the Russian Federation, with 274,700 asylum requests, 99% of them lodged by Ukrainians fleeing from the war in Donbass. Russia was followed by Germany, the top recipient of asylum applications within the European Union, with 202,645 asylum requests, 20% of them from Syria, and most of the rest from Albania, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The disastrous conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkan wars, were largely instigated by the United States with substantial EU “cooperation”.

    But terror attacks in Europe (and the United States) are much more than a matter of “what goes around, comes around”.

    Not only is the terror unleashed in Germany, Turkey, France, and elsewhere a direct product of “cooperation” between the US, the EU and NATO member states, and Arab states of the Persian Gulf, notably Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    Terror has proven to be a remarkably effective means of ensuring ongoing “cooperation” in Washington’s geopolitical agenda.

    There’s no such analysis in Doctorow’s lament that there aren’t more heavily armed soldiers patrolling the streets of Germany.

    • Abe
      December 21, 2016 at 21:48

      Germany’s pursuit of an ‘independent’ foreign policy within the European community has been strongly tethered to “cooperation” with Washington. For example, back in the early 1990s under Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher strongly endorsed the plans of the Bush Administration to assure continued U.S. influence in a post-Cold War Europe. After the Persian Gulf War, while the Treaty of the European Union was being drafted in Maastricht, Genscher vigorously lobbying for the breakup of Yugoslavia.

      By the time the Treaty of Amsterdam devolved foreign and security policy to the European Parliament in 1999, NATO marked the second major combat operation in its history: a 78 day bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) during the Kosovo War. The campaign marked the first time in 54 years that the Luftwaffe actively participated in combat operations.

      The 1990s, a new era of “cooperation” in Europe, ended with Germany’s decisive militarization of Ostpolitik, a huge permanent U.S. military base in the Balkans (Camp Bondsteel in eastern Kosovo), and a new Russian leader named Putin who was dealing with CIA-backed terrorist insurgents in the Caucasus.

  12. Bill Bodden
    December 21, 2016 at 16:37

    It is probably too late now, but the players and would-be players getting involved in conflicts around the world would do well to take time out to read the trilogy on blowback by Chalmers Johnson. http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Blowback_CJohnson/Blowback_CJohnson.html As the old saying goes, “Better late than never.” Interventionists claiming humanitarian justification should also consider their “remedy” will probably be worse than the disease.

  13. Joe Average
    December 21, 2016 at 16:37

    Mr. Doctorow,

    usually your articles are very well researched and balanced. This one lacks some additional information. For years now politicians (Schäuble, de Maizière, …) have been pushing for military units (Bundeswehr) being used inside the country (https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article151078291/Schaeuble-fordert-Bundeswehreinsaetze-auch-im-Inneren.html). Until recently that push could be fended off successfully. There was/is a good reason for being against such proposals. Shortly after WW II Franz Josef Strauß – a very controversial politician – had said that “The hand shall fall off that person whoever takes a weapon in his hands.” – “Wer noch einmal eine Waffe in die Hand nimmt, dem soll die Hand abfallen.” (https://www.welt.de/print/die_welt/debatte/article142373143/Dem-soll-die-Hand-abfallen.html). The aforementioned statement had been made in reference to the German population. Despite such a rhetoric in the postwar period Franz Josef Strauß had been one of those politicians responsible for the rearmament of Germany. Since the reestablishment of a a Germany military the purpose of the troops has changed. At first the military should serve for protection only. Since the peace mission of the German military – as NATO member – in the Yugoslav war the solely defensive nature of the troops faded away. If you’re going fast forward to 2016 you’ll realize that the duties of German military (Bundeswehr ) had been expanded significantly. In a few years from now there may be no difference to the assignments of the Wehrmacht during the Nazi-period.

    Did Merkel order police (and press) to be silent on criminal activities of Muslims? Maybe there exist such orders, maybe not. I don’t know, but I know for sure that in right-wing circles this rumor is widespread. Modern Neonazis often are pro Israel (probably only on the outside) and highly anti Muslim. Each and every crime is appalling, no matter if the perpetrators are Neonazis, Muslims, etc.
    What do non Germans know about rightwing crime? How many people know of the list of casualties of the right wing (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todesopfer_rechtsextremer_Gewalt_in_der_Bundesrepublik_Deutschland)? Does anyone know that two young children of refugees got abducted and murdered last year (according to German news media there hadn’t been any political motivation behind those horrible acts)?
    Do non Germany know of the so called NSU (Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund, Nationalsocialistic Underground) and their murderous rampage? For nearly a decade several Muslims had been shot dead in different locations all over Germany. Main stream media had labeled those crimes as “Dönermorde” (doner murders). When the story started to get uncovered everyone acted as if they were shocked by the revelations (politicians and journalists alike). There are so many inconsistencies to the official narrative (documents got shredded by government agencies, several witnesses deceased before they could give testimony, …). The lawsuit is still dragging along in Munich. I guess the trial will end with a slap on the wrist of the only surviving – according to the official storyline – accomplice.
    Do non Germans know about those “pro” groups (pro Köln, pro NRW, …). In the past those groups used to protest against Islam in front of mosques. For doing so, they decided to protest in front of salafist mosques. To cut it short: one hategroup protested against another hategroup. (As far as I know Saudi Arabia financially supports salafits, but that seems to be okay with politicians.)
    Do non Germans know of the existence of a website in German language, called “politically incorrect”. According to German main stream media the users of that web site cheered when Breivik killed the participants of the youth camp of the Social Democratic Party of Norway. They assumed that the shooting spree had been conducted by a Muslim.
    Do non Germany know that rightwingers fear that Muslims might “breed” more than Germans? (I had read some similar statement that had been made before the coming into power of the Nazis. The statement had been relating Europe’s Jewish population.)
    Could all that Muslim scare be a part of a bigger plan? Maybe divide et impera? As long as ordinary citizens are concerned with Muslims (and Muslims are concerned with the danger of rightwingers),big corporations, bankers and politicians can srew over the uninformed population. By the way: it’s no coincidence that there had been a surplus of military supply, which was distributed among US police. The elites/establishment didn’t intend to change anything and had been planning for a civil war. Maybe Trump will be able to delay the inevitable for a few years.

    • Gilbert Doctorow
      December 22, 2016 at 07:45

      Your comments in good part correspond to what mainstream German media were saying directly after the attacks: they they are being unfairly used by the extremists -Alternativ fuer Deutschland – for political benefit. As if the whole muzzling of German society over the immigrant issue and the terrorist risk it has brought home to Germany is not a purely political ploy of Merkel to stay in power no matter what the cost to German society and to the viability of the EU
      Germany suffers from Political Correctness and close-mindedness that is one-to-one with the Hillary Clinton Democrats and their Neocon fellow travelers. Both in the US and in Germany there has been an unholy collusion of Right Center and Left Center to hold onto power without having any coherent policy for its use other than in foreign affaris – for democracy promotion and “values-directed” policy. This means that only at the extremes, whether Right or Left, do you get open and uncensored criticism of the daft policies like open doors to migrants that Merkel put in place.
      You are getting very hot under the collar over neo-fascists but you are willfully exaggerating their numbers in German politics – AfD is something like 10%. 10% not 40%. their chances of taking control or even entering into a coalition are presently nil. The only thing that can inflate their chances is further prevarication and outright lies from Merkel and her confederates.
      The sooner Merkel goes, the sooner Germany can begin to heal itself. She has created a wasteland around herself, destroyed the careers of any potential opponents both in her party and in the opposition. But nature abhors a vacuum and the sooner she goes the sooner real, healthy political controversy can revive, so that the country REJOINS Western democracies.

      • aquadraht
        December 22, 2016 at 16:40

        I agree about what you write about Merkel, her evil genius was intrigue and mobbing of any possible competitor. Yet “Merkel muss weg” (Merkel must go) does not help at all, von der Leyen is no better, only dumber. Anyway, it weren’t bad if she would go, and von der Leyen too.

        Main problem of terrorism risks are neither immigrants, nor refugees, nor domestic Muslims. Main problem are the wars Germany is participating in. There will always be some radical fools to jump into some terrorist adventure, be they from refugees, domestic minorities, or even ethnic white converts. Their fanaticism is fueled by the western crusaders devastating Muslim lands, as they are seeing the western intrusions in the ME.

        Without those wars, there were less radicalization, less Islamism. Islamism has been built up systematically in the Middle East, by Israel to counter El Fatah, by the US, Britain, France, and NATO in general to fight first the Soviets, then Serbs in Yugoslavia, Russia in Chechnya, then to topple secular states in the Middle East and North Africa. Islamism slipped somewhat out of control and created the 9/11 mess, the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan mess, and now the Breitscheidplatz mess. Playing with fire may end up with fingers burnt, or more. Forgive my cynicism, it is my personal risk as I live in Berlin.

        Some things you are telling about “political correctness” are true, but your view of the situation is biased. The core problem with xenophobia is the divide inside the German populace created by neoliberal “reforms” started by the Social Democrat/Green coalitian (who also started the first German war of aggression since 1939). They created, in the words of Schroeder, “the best low wage sector in Europe”, with forced labor at no wage (1€/hr) for unemployed, and drastic harrassment of unemployed making hell out of their lives while at the same time exposing them to contempt. The effect was, in a Chinese proverb “killing the chicken to scare the monkeys”, and indeed those still in employment were intimidated enough to let average wage stagnate at 1993 level for decades while GDP nearly doubled, so did productivity. That enabled German export success, thoroughly ruining south European economies under the Euro rule.

        A populace thus divided has forgotten about solidarity, and has good reason to fear immigration, even more when employers and burgeois “Leftists” embrace it. The lower classes and the unemployed are aware who is footing the bill. Unfortunately, even the Party of the Left embraces open borders policies, ignorantly.

        That is where Germany is rotten to the core: exploitation of workforce, ruin of neighboring countries by mercantilism, demoralization and discrimination of the poor, including the growing number of working poor, als lazy and worthless, and wars outside. AfD will not change that, they are hardcore neoliberals. And some terror is backfiring. Wars are the terror of the mighty and wealthy, and terror is the war of the poor and powerless.

        So far I do not see light at the end of the tunnel. If there is one, it may be the train approaching from the other side ..


      • Joe Average
        December 22, 2016 at 19:56

        Thank you for replying to my comment.

        Partially you’re correct with your remark that Germany suffers from close-mindedness that resembles the one of Hillary Clinton and the Neocons. Your assesment of the collusion of Germany’s Right Center and Left Center is correct. Germany’s problems are similar to those of the US. Despite being “export champion” real wages stagnated and investment in infrastructure and schools had been cut. Right now a coup of selling off the German highways (Autobahn) is going on. Schäuble – whose sole qualification as finance minister seems to be that he had been involved in a financial scandal – tries to privatize the highways. German politicians are using the same trickery to cheat their citizens as their US counterparts are doing. Officially the highways will not be sold, but maintenance and toll collection shall be privatized – to the benefit of insurance companies. What’s better a diversion as to blame the spending for refugees for continuing social cuts? If the “stupid” (mislead) citizenry would see through this charade they might try to imitate the French revolution on German soil. It’s not only the Right Center (CDU) that’s eager on dismantling the welfare state. The Left Center (SPD) had been doing the same for more than a decade. Former Chancellor Schröder even bragged about having created a large low-pay sector in order to be competitive. Sigmar Gabriel was the one who had been pushing hard to negotiate TTIP behind closed doors. Both the Green party and the Liberal party assisted the large Left Center and Right Center parties. No one dared to address the real cause:

        The so called Neoliberlism – that will inevitably lead to Neofeudalism – is what’s hurting the people in Western Countries. There’s an ever increasing wealth gap in the West.

        Since the collapse of the Soviet Union “Neoliberalism” has taken over. A worldwide (financial) war on a multitude of levels is going on. Last year French farmers had been protesting against falling prices. In competition with German farmers they’re disadvantaged. German farmers benefit from low wage workers from Eastern Europe (Poland, Romania, Bulgaria). Each time when the communal set date for the collection of bulky waste nears you can observe many cars with Polish, Romanian and Bulgarian number plates roaming the streets in their treasure hunt. Nowadays everyone is in competition with everyone else. It starts on national level and goes up to the international level.
        Hardly anyone knows of EPA. That’s some kind of TTIP of the European Union and African Countries. European overproduction – produced with state subsidies – is dumped onto African markets so that even African farmers can’t compete and go bankrupt. If the affected African countries try to counter this by imposing tariffs they can be sued (ISDS). You should do a search on the net for Veolia and Egypt you’ll find articles that report on Veolia suing Egypt , because of minimum wage hikes for Egypt workers. There are many more factors that contribute to our actual problems. Basically Germany didn’t and doesn’t need immigrants. German politicians successfully had been scaring the citizens with the dire prospects of an aging population. No one ever mentioned the advances of automation. The main reason that politicians lamented the lack of skilled workers had been to import some competition for locals. The more competition, the bigger the scare to ask for higher wages. On the other hand (servants) are needed to do less skilled jobs – like waste disposal, repetitive jobs, …
        Does anyone remember the term “personnel department”? That’s what “human resources” used to be called before the focus had been relocated to the investor class (aka shareholder value). (Michael Hudson, Mike Whitney, Ellen Brown, zerohedge are a must read to get some insight in finance)
        We – mankind – have perfected the art of disappearing nuisances. When buying Nutella we don’t see a warning label telling us that the palm oil may be from a plantations whose former inhabitants had been driven off the land by large agricultural organizations. There are no labels at the furniture of IKEA as well. IKEA had been buying up large swaths of forests in Romania.

        To sum it up: the refugees are a direct result of Western foreign politics, which in turn are driven by economics. (Germany even supported sanctions against Syria as early as 2010 or 2011.)

        I don’t share your optimism when it comes to the political party AFD. The rhetoric of AFD politicians maybe sympathetically towards Russia, but that’s the only positive aspect of that party at all. The party is Neoliberal to the core and would dismantle the already damaged welfare state even more. One of the founders of a predecessor of that party had been Hans-Olaf Henkel. He belongs to that group of people who blame the poor for being poor. He mentioned the failure of not using redlining. This caused for some trouble with US readers of his statement (read section “Kritik”: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Olaf_Henkel)
        At least some AFD politicians seem to be more outspoken than Merkel. Whilst AFD politicians would like to shoot refugees at the border fence Merkel and other politicians of her coalition considered sinking refugee ships at the coast line of Libya (disappearing nuisances). Merkel is a backstabber like Obama. A quick search on the internet will show up that the US president is also called “Deporter in Chief”. That’s the same way Chancellor Merkel in handling German affairs. On short notice Afghanistan was declared as safe state, so that Afghan refugees can be sent back. She’ll be going to “clean” Germany with less noise than AFD would do. Nevertheless I fear that all her efforts will not prevent a strong AFD. People think of their wallets when they’re voting.

        With regard to Political Correctness: Which kind of Political Correctness are we talking about? The one that I got to know is being used as a weapon to silence dissenting voices. I’m not talking about the pseudo Correctness towards Muslims. Most (so called) “experts” of the main stream media depict Islam as a backwards religion that needs reformation. I am just a Christian outsider who scrutinizes the statements of the “experts”. Many of our Western politicians are babbling something about Christian values and Christian “unity”. Whenever I read such statements I tend to shake my head, because of all that deceit. There is no real unity.
        A short while ago Pope Francis had visited Georgia, which is predominantly Russian Orthodox. According to the news sources that I had read there hadn’t been as many followers as is the case when he visits South America. Whilst the Protestant Church may be more tolerant towards the LBGT community (along with whatever else sexual preferences), the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches are not. Protestants aren’t allowed to be godfather of a Catholic christening. Christian churches have to get along – side by side. That’s it. We in the west are such hypocrites. For years there’s a discussion going on because of head scarfs. Personally I’m against wearing hijabs that cover-up a person completely, but I’m not against simple head scarfs. My own (Christian) grandmother had been wearing a head scarf. (By the way: she had been the one who had the say at home.) If you direct your attention to Eastern Europe and Russia you’ll still see lots of oder women wearing head scarfs. The Correctness is only used when it’s beneficial to further “atomize” the citizenry. I don’t remember anyone pointing out that Muslims regard Jesus as a Prophet.

        People tend to forget that Judaism, Islam and Christianity are based on the same Old Testament. Isn’t the story of Moses bringing the Ten Commandments to the peoples of Israel mentioned in the Old Testament? No religion(!), be it Judaism, Islam or Christianity demands its followers to kill other people. It’s the religious leaders (Pastors, Rabbis, Imams) that had been and still agitate against the other Religions (or factions of the same Religion).

        Before starting to exchange presents tomorrow (the 25st or at 6th January) we should reflect on whose birthday we’re celebrating. If there were somebody coming along in a small car, would we listen to that person or would we chose wait for a leader arriving in a big limousine?

        I wish everyone wonderful Christmas Holidays.

  14. Josh Stern
    December 21, 2016 at 16:20

    When people sincerely wish to make an ultimate sacrifice for some political purpose, there is usually some clear political logic behind it. In the case of many attacks in Europe over the last few years, this was not typically the case. So often the attacker winds up dead, one way or another with no meaningful explanation and a cable is issued from somewhere or other that the worlds best spy & assassination services mysteriously cannot locate “taking credit” – for no coherent reason. Germany is not active fighting in the Islamic countries, NATO is not especially active as a unit, and the logic of Germany pressuring NATO to be less active based on these sporadic attacks is non-existent. Instead, we are supposed to believe in suicidal death cults that hate people who are different, travel to foreign lands, and then do themselves in. Personally, I find that narrative implausible. I look instead for explanations of which groups actually benefit from increased military style security everywhere and increased support for active military interventions.

    That said, the author’s point is a good one in observing that the attacks continue to happen, for whatever reason, so it does make sense to effectively guard high traffic areas. Security conscious officials should recognize that vehicles are being increasingly used as weapons, and take that into consideration.

    If we hear calls soon for only allowing govt. back-doored “smart” vehicles on the roads, that will be another clue…

    • Joe Average
      December 21, 2016 at 16:55

      Germany is active in bringing democracy to Afghanistan. Additionally there are some soldiers on a peace mission in Mali.

      In France authorities used the prior attacks to declare state of emergency and then to clamp down on the protesters of the environmental summit. The state of emergency was also useful in controlling the protests against the unpopular changes of French labor laws.

      • Josh Stern
        December 21, 2016 at 18:18

        These Euro “terrorist IDs” who can’t or won’t speak for themselves are not Afghanis, and it’s super unlikely that they are motivated in any way by Germany’s “foreign aggression”. They are not speaking for themselves. We do not have actual evidence that they are “ISIS-inspired”. And we do not know who is issuing press releases saying “ISIS takes credit”. What we do know is that they are not being captured and speaking for themselves. We do not see their friends saying “I wouldn’t pull off that crime but I see it as valid for X,Y,Z reasons”. We get Jack Ruby security force killing Lee Harvey Oswald terrorist and we learn nothing. And then instant calls for more spending/power for Security/Military forces.

        If the people really are alienated loners who perceive great injustices against their religion or ethnic group, why are they not telling us that clearly and why insist on suicide-like attack as the mechanism?

        There are too many unanswered questions and too many opportunists filling in their self-interested version of the details to allow easy interpretation.

        ISIS? Those guys driving around in open desert areas on trucks with black masks on their heads? And then beheading civilians in public squares or throwing them off buildings. The killer spooks haven’t found them yet but they really want to?????

        It’s a really suspicious setup.

        • Josh Stern
          December 23, 2016 at 16:53

          In the later terror act, the suspect was identified, and not killed at the scene. But, not surprisingly, turns up dead later in a gunfight without us finding out if the dead person claims he was the perp of the terror act or what the motivations were. The pattern continues…

      • Bill Bodden
        December 21, 2016 at 19:41

        Germany is active in bringing democracy to Afghanistan.

        Germany is or was active in selling submarines to Israel. Perhaps, they are also selling war-making equipment to other nations that ISIS finds objectionable.

  15. Dennis Merwood
    December 21, 2016 at 15:23

    Dr Soudy,
    I don’t know about Assad being “a brutal dictator just like Saddam”. But if you are arguing for “Regime Change” in Syria, who do you propose is going to be the new regime?
    It seems to me that the Iraqi and Syrian people were much better of under their dictatorships than what they are now suffering from Anglo-Zionist interventions into their countries.
    Your thoughts Dr.?

    • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
      December 21, 2016 at 17:44

      The SYRIANS are the ones to choose in fair and free elections with International Monitors………….The tragedy of Syria is the same tragedy in other countries and the reason is because the UN is a total failure and cannot arrange for international peace keeping forces to intervene in such situations and stop the carnage………Humanity needs a much better INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM than the one we have now…………..

      • Bill Bodden
        December 21, 2016 at 19:37

        Humanity needs a much better INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM than the one we have now…………..

        There doesn’t appear to be much hope for that as long as global capitalism, Israeli policies, and religious biases are part of the present Middle Eastern tragedy.

  16. Zachary Smith
    December 21, 2016 at 15:18

    To protect her political flanks, Merkel has muzzled the police who are not allowed to say anything that contradicts her political narrative hailing the benefits of multiculturalism. With a pliant German press, she has withheld full information about rapes and other attacks which are alleged to have been committed by immigrants/refugees going back to the rampage by migrants at the Cologne main railway station last New Year’s Eve.

    I hadn’t head of this, but if it’s true Merkel is an even worse character than I’d realized. It was plain for anybody to see the woman was a compete fool to have opened the floodgates to the refugees without any attempt whatever to investigate them and sift out the radicalized young men.

    • aquadraht
      December 22, 2016 at 13:55

      I consider that a rumour mainly spread by German right wingers and xenophobes. In fact, the police is reporting the nationality and/or ethnic background of perpetrators in all cases where it matters, and islamist violence is surely one thereof. The police statistics register whether the suspect is German or foreigner.
      The police statistics also allow to appraise risks from immigration. Last year, roughly a million people entered the country as immigrees or refugees, about two thirds of them males between 16 and 35. In practically all countries, and Germany as well, the male population between 16 and 35 bears the lion share of crime suspects, more than half of all crime and over 70% of severest violent crime is perpetrated by people from this part of the populace.
      As a share of the whole, males of these ages make no more than 10-11% of the whole, roughly 8.6-9 million. This group enjoyed an increase by 7-8% in 2015. Nevertheless, the incidence of crimes has not risen, instead fell among the serious and violent crimes such as murder/manslaughter, rape, robbery, and serious brawls. So, while the refugee wave has caused some financial burden, a strong security problem from the refugees proper cannot be seen.
      Islamist, or any other terrorism is a different problem. In France and Belgium, the perpetrators came from local muslim residents, mainly petty criminals who lived a secular life before they radicalized. Mind we had left and right wing domestic terror problems in the 1970s already, such as brigate rosse/nere and league Pdue in Italy, Rote Armee Fraktion and Wehrsportgruppe Hoffman in Germany, and others in other countries. There is no need for immigrants to start terrorism.
      And as to security measures: There are things in the airports you do not see. In Tegel as well as in Schoenefeld, there is a precinct of the Bundespolizei, the Federal Police. In earlier times their name was Bundesgrenzschutz, Federal Border Guard, which in effect is a paramilitary or even military body, with combat helicopters and armored vehicles. Before the rearmament of West Germany in the 1950s they were the only armed force of Germany. As to the airports, there are even a few armored vehicles in the garage of the Bundespolizei, and not few weaponry.
      About this lorry attack, I am not sure what to do. If the Christmas market would have been barred by concrete elements as done now, this attack would not have been possible. But there are hundreds of squares and boulevards where thousands of people roam everyday, coming from/going to work, shopping, or just walking. Terrorists aiming just to harm civilians will always find a target.
      What worries me more are fishy signs in the incidents. Once more, ID papers were found at the crime scene, once more the suspect was well known to secret services and police, and under surveillance.
      I recall the decade long terror of the NSU (Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund) blown up in 2011 after having killed at least 11 people and committed bomb attacks. The main suspects who died in an extremely doubtful suicide had false passports issued by German authorities, the whole group was under care of the secret police Verfassungsschutz, who destroyed lots of files and records about their cooperation with the Nazi terrorists.
      Personally, I fear the deep state more than a few desperate killers.
      One thing I resent from Merkel’s speech is that she did with no word mention the Polish truck driver who was obviously murdered, stabbed and shot, when he tried to prevent the crime by turning the driving wheel steering clear from the people. Merkel has no empathy

  17. Drew Hunkins
    December 21, 2016 at 13:55

    Look at what the Cheney-Wolfowitz-Perle-Feith war machine unleashed by attacking and obliterating Iraq. It’s also what the Killary Clinton-Obama-Kagen(s) war machine unleashed by attacking and obliterating Libya and then tacitly assisting these violent extremists in Syria. And it’s also what the Carter and Reagan admins unleashed when they armed and financed these fanatics in Afghanistan.

    Sorry folks, but Putin and Assad are on the correct and righteous side of this fight in Syria. The whole notion of an early on rational and non-violent Syrian opposition was always basically a fraud. If anything, this tiny number of more or less quislings would’ve opened up Syria to Western exploitation and pillage, not unlike what’s occurred in Ukraine since Yanukovych’s ouster.

    The Zionist-Saudi Terror Network wants nothing less than the total destruction of all nation-states throughout the Middle East, Horn of Africa, Maghreb, and South Central Asia that have leaders and govt’s that are secular or supportive of Palestinian rights and don’t countenance Saudi Wahhabi lunacy. It’s why they’ve been the staunchest advocates in Washington for all the regime change wars throughout the Middle East which have been detrimental to Big Oil’s goals and objectives and the profit potential of some other giant multinational corporations. This paradigm is the primary reason we’re witnessing this internecine fight right now between our elites regarding the ridiculous and hysterical “Russian hacking” allegations.

    • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
      December 21, 2016 at 14:23

      I agree with some but not all of what you say. You failed to mention Iran and the competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia on who projects more regional power……….I do not know how many Syrians you have spoken with to get a first hand feel for what is going on but I have met many and they almost all consider Assad to be a brutal dictator just like Saddam and his own father before him. Let us not mix between the regional power play and the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian People themselves……….YES, the Zionist-Saudi criminal alliance is a very big problem but the Assad-Iranian- Russian alliance is just as criminal……..the poor people of the region are the real victims of what is going on………But as they say, freedom is not free and those people will have to find their own way to free themselves from the local dictators and the criminal outsiders including the Zionists, American, British, French, Russians and what have you……..The good news is that the filthy game the Europeans played 100 years ago by carving the region between themselves is now destabilizing Europe itself…….kinda “what goes around comes around”………..

      • James lake
        December 21, 2016 at 14:40

        Elections have been held twice since the regime change operation and Assad won both times.
        You may know some Syrians – but you don’t know them all.
        Up against the western backed jihadis- Syria choose Assad.

        As for Merkel she lost sight of what is good for Germany and Europe. The massive influx of migrants was shocking to see and I believe played a part in brexit as in the U.K. We did not want to take any of the people who no one could verify the backgrounds

        • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
          December 21, 2016 at 14:49

          I actually come from the Middle East and KNOW how ELECTIONS are conducted in those countries………Nice try……

          • Peter Loeb
            December 22, 2016 at 08:04

            TO DR. SOUDY:

            I’m white and American…so i KNOW about elections in the US.

            —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 21, 2016 at 15:46

        The recent historical record totally contradicts the false equivalency you try to make between the Assad-Iranian-Russian alliance versus the Saudi-Zionist Terror Network, there’s simply no comparison. It’s the Assad-Iran-Russian coalition that’s fighting a defensive struggle against NATO, the U.S. MIC and Zionist aggression.

        Journalist Eva Bartlett and others who have been on the scene in Aleppo and Syria further destroy your argument about how evil Assad supposedly is. Is he perfect, of course not. But he’s being vilified and demonized as has every single leader of a nation-state who tries to buck the NATO Zionist power configuration. In fact, the Assad family was known to lecture Western Orientalists quite frequently about what you just lamented: the artificial fragmentation of the Arab and Muslim world in the Middle East by the imperialists.

        • Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
          December 21, 2016 at 17:40

          “The recent historical record”!! Really?! Where is that record and who made it a record?! I said my info is based on talking to many SYRIANS. You can love Assad-Iran-Russia all you want but it is the SYRIANS who matter at the end. Yes, NATO,US, Saudis,and Zionists are CRIMINALS but so are ASSAD,IRAN, and Russia………….Of course if one goes to an area of Syria where the regime is in control, Assad will be portrayed as wonderful…………..I think you need to read the comments better before reacting………….

          • Litchfield
            December 21, 2016 at 18:08

            So are you saying that your friends in Syria welcomed the war and all of the foreign actors? The USA, NATO, militants, ISIS, Al-Nusra, head choppers, etc.?

            Just want to be sure I understand what the Assad foes want or under the circumstances prefer.

          • William Heron
            December 21, 2016 at 22:48

            As you come from the ME then you must know that in the Islamic ME there are only two types of government, Islamic theocracies and non Islamic dictatorships, like Assad, Saddam etc. Saddam and Assad will kill all those who oppose them, however, if you don’t oppose them you will have a quiet peaceful life. The same can’t be said about Islamic theocracies, the likes of Saudi aren’t too keen on any religion other than Islam and will lop your head off if you try to convert; this is not unusual in the Islamic world especially in the ME. The are 13 countries where Atheism is punishable by death, 14 if you include Islamic state and they all have Muslim majority populations.
            But, back to Syria. I went there on an independent trip about 15 years ago and it was a wonderful, peaceful, safe country where Christians, Muslims and Kurds all lived and worked side by side. The people you know and who hate Assad fall into two groups, the deluded liberals who think that if Assad is gone they will be able to form a multi parti democracy and the Islamist head choppers like Al Nusra and their affiliates.
            Unfortunately Assad is the best hope Syria has of peace and security for anyone who is not a hard core Sunni Islamist.
            Here is an excellent 20 minute French documentary about women living in Damascus. At present they have a wonderful free life and are able to enjoy it to the full without being told what to do by a bunch of Islamist misogynists. Also, an excellent piece from Der Spiegel.
            You’re either with Assad or with the Islamists, we can guess where your sympathies lie.

  18. Sally Snyder
    December 21, 2016 at 12:23

    Here is an interesting look at how a person ends up on America’s terrorist watchlist:


    Some of the same players who provided the faulty information that led to the never-ending conflict in Iraq are still responsible for providing much of the intelligence for the global security apparatus.

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