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Terror Shaken Germans Look For Leadership and Get a”Nafri” Debate

January 3, 2017

Anis Amri was A North African

Twelve families have been holding funerals and burying their dead from the Christmas Market truck attack just a few streets away from me in Berlin. Among them this young and vibrant woman from Italy. When I look at Fabrizia’s face, there is something so familiar. So alive. So aware. She reminds us, smiling somewhat shyly, we could have been among the dead. Or that she could have been our daughter, our sister, our wife, our friend. The victims are all too often forgotten. We need to stop doing that. We need to look at their faces. Again and again and again.

The man who killed her was, according to police, a North African. German media are still ablaze with questions about how they failed to arrest him before he killed and maimed so many innocents. Anis Amri was a rejected asylum seeker from Tunisia and had migrated to Italy and then to Germany. He was even under police surveillance, as are dozens of other North African men, as a terrorist threat.

Forgetting the Victims of New Year’s 2016

Instead of clear answers and a rigorous policy debate about the heightened threat we are all facing from radicalized Islamists like Amri, Germans are being treated to a fake news debate about police in Cologne using inappropriate language.

They have referred to young men from North Africa like Anis Amri as „Nafris.“ The Greens are up in arms.

The debate began in Cologne, where North African gangs ran rampant one year ago. It was sparked by an offended Green politician, upset that police used the designation „Nafri.“

It’s short for „North African.“ German officialdom is prey to neologisms, and this one refers to culprits, mainly from that region, who individually and en masse assaulted, robbed, groped, and even raped, hundreds of women last year in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

Cologne was not alone

A similar catastrophe befell female partygoers in other Geman cities, including Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich, as well. No other metropolis though saw the sheer level of depredation that Cologne did. We still have no comprehensive number, nor do we have a nationwide assessment of what happened that night one year later. That, not an inappropriate use of language, is the true national scandal. That is the true outrage. And that is the background to both the neologism and its use by police.

Who’s being insensitive here?

If this neologism is insensitive, so too is the failure by politicians and the media to acknowledge the role North African men had in the assaults of New Year Even 2016.

It is insensitive to the women of Cologne who were injured, robbed, assaulted and raped.

It is insensitive to their families and friends who have suffered with them, and continue to do so.

It is insensitive to the officers that night, who lacking support from their superiors, risked their own safety to help the victims and were injured in the process.

It is insensitive to the emergency teams, overwhelmed by the level of violence and the number of victims.

It is an insensitivity that, at this hour, is misplaced and mocks the suffering of so many not only in Cologne.

Here in Berlin, our thoughts are still very much with the victims of the murderous attack carried out by a North African.

The North African Jihadist Network?

A possible network of jihadist supporters is being investigated right now. Could it extend all the way to the large North African community in Cologne? Is there a connection between the criminality we saw in Cologne and the radicalization of North Africans? It appears there is. Amri spent four years in prison on charges like assault and arson before he murdered a dozen people in Berlin.

„Nafri“ – The Smokescreen

The debate about „sensitive language“ is a smoke screen to protect grave Green policy mistakes and is little more than pandering to the base. It needs to be called out as such. But far worse, it keeps us from rigorously discussing the Islamist and criminal threat we are facing from North African men who are here with no chance of asylum and who have yet to leave voluntarily or be deported. These individuals are a drain on our public coffers, and the worst of them are a threat to public safety and even our lives.

These are unpleasant facts. The debate will be difficult. It is overdue.

The Chancellor indicated she understood this in her New Year’s address, but there is still a widespread lack of determination to confront political Islam and the criminal world that harbors and feeds it.

Denying the facts and posing on some imagined moral high ground with issues of linguistic nuance amounts to cowardice in the face of the enemy. If you doubt we are facing a committed and implacable enemy, come with me to the sidewalk in Berlin where they still haven’t managed to scrub away the blood.

The Wrong Message

This contrived debate belongs to another era. It reeks of the 80’s. The Greens will discover that at the ballot box soon enough. The Free Democrats had a similar disconnect with the public five years ago and are hoping to return from their wanderings in the wilderness. They’ve learned their lesson – security is their new holy grail. The Greens will look back at this moment in befuddlement and wonder why voters worried about their physical safety abandoned them en masse them for the CSU, FDP and the AFD.

Cologne’s police chief has performed the expected ritual abasement and apologized for the term. He shouldn’t have. It sends the wrong message and removes the focus from the true victims. And it undermines the work being done by the police in Cologne.

And what about the North African jihadists and common criminals the police are trying to protect us from? They will see this disingenuous debate as yet another sign of our lack of unity in confronting them. It will serve to embolden them.

We must start the debate now as to how to return all North Africans with no legal right to be here to their home communities as humanely and as quickly as possible. The debate may have already started. Anything less is too grave a risk to all of us, including those who come here as our guests – like Fabrizia.

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Did Russia help out the Trump campaign?

December 11, 2016

 

putin

© 2014 Global Panorama, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Barack Obama, in the fading days of his tenure as head of the world’s indispensable nation, has, in effect, called into question the legitimacy of America’s bitterly contested elections.

He’s alleging foreign interference by none other than his nemesis, the man who thwarted his „red lines“ in Syria and caught him back footed in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin.

It was a claim also put forward repeatedly and forcefully by his former heir apparent, HRC. „The Woman the World Thought Would Rule,“ Hilary Rodham Clinton, began making the charge once a Trump victory seemed possible.

You don’t have to be a Republican to raise the possibility that Obama’s charges against Moscow are politically motivated.

New Hope for the Restoration

Even after Green candidate Jill Stein’s failed recount, millions of Democrats continue to hope for a deus ex machina to put their choice in the White House. Half the nation, vengeful and sullen after an acrimonious election that handed them a defeat, want a Restoration.

The new charges against Moscow coming from the White House give hope to those who believed a recount could, in the end, nudge Clinton into the Oval Office.

Clinton, after all, did win the popular vote.

There are questions about counting  irregularities in some districts.

And some electors to the Electoral College have indicated they may change sides.

Could the sum of these parts, together with the new claims by Obama, keep Donald Trump from claiming the office of the president ?

The possibility is not as outlandish as it sounds.

 

caveat-emptor

Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware

Until you closely examine the latest documents and  individuals that soon to be Citizen Obama has quoted that call the election into question.

They do not hold up to scrutiny.

The source is Politifact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning bastion of liberal press freedom. There According to Politifact:  “Based on the evidence, it seems highly unlikely that actions by the Russian government contributed in any decisive way to Trump’s win over Clinton.” There’s also a word of caution, though.   Researchers point out that “policymakers should still be concerned about the possibility that a foreign government might have attempted to meddle in a domestic election.” So the conclusion is, we need more evidence and more openness before we can make a decision.

 

constituon-new

 

„A First, a First! My Kingdom for a First! „

Here in Berlin, where we enjoy neither the shield of the 1st Amendment nor the Anglo-American tradition of a fair and free press rooted in the toppling of an empire two centuries ago, „unnamed sources“ are viewed with less suspicion. Not just in Germany, but across the Continent at large, which has lurched from one Empire to the next, an American-style free press remains a distant dream. Let me fill you in on France’s new speech law  regarding pro-life sentiment. Unthinkable for Americans.

And so the German press, led by what has been a reliable source for many, the FAZ, gave the front page of ist digital edition this weekend to unnamed sources in Berlin claiming the Russians „could“ influence the German elections in September 2017. The release of this story coincided with the statements from the White House. It was a strong tailwind from the German capital, which is home to a Chancellor Brack Obama has referred to as „my closest friend and ally.“

Here’s the original link in German and one in English. It cites „unnamed sources in the Chancellery, the Interior Ministry, and intelligence community“, They claim  Russia is planning „a disinformation campaign“ and possible „cyber attacks on computer infrastructure.“

Timing is Everything

Was the timing of the Berlin announcement coordinated to bolster and   corroborate the unnamed sources in the US intelligence community ? The German report certainly gives added weight to the idea that  Russia is committed to undermining US elections, and western elections in general.

It’s a question that a vigorous and skeptical press must ask.

And does it not, ironically, amount to the German government or its intelligence arms, stepping in and trying to influence the outcome, if not the aftermath, of the US election ?

Either intentionally, or unintentionally ?

As Obama claims Russia sought to influence the election itself, we find Germany in effect weighing in on the side of Obama and the Democrats in this still very messy affair.

It would have served German interests better for these „unnamed sources“ to have remained silent or to have laid out an iron cast proof for their claims.

Otherwise, they are nothing but rumors seeking to serve one of two parties in what is for them, a foreign affair.

The Stakes are too High

If Obama can prove Russia influenced the vote, or simply call the validity of the vote into question, could that tip the scales in the final weeks before Trump’s inauguration for a second vote ? Could the election even be deemed null and void ? The prospect is daunting and horrific. America would be ripped apart by a second election.

So where is Barack Obama going with his charges ?

The stakes are too high not to name the sources.

Do so Mr.President – or remain silent. The same applies to German intelligence officials.

A free people can not see a smooth transition of power jeopardized  by statements that in a court of law would be tossed out as baseless rumors.

And so we must view them.

It’s not a matter of believing the Russians more than our own intelligence services.

It is about demanding a high standard of transparency befitting a country that calls itself „free“.

The Road Ahead : Ari Please Phone Home

Are Obama’s comments paving the way for the smooth transfer of power and an atmosphere of reconciliation?

Hardly.

And as to intelligence reports being used, misused or commissioned to achieve political ends, we have only to recall American journalism’s catastrophic failure in confronting the false claims of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in 2003.

Years after the error or deception as you see it,  then Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleisher, mockingly called American journalists covering the administration’s outrageous claims, „complicit enablers“ of the unjustified war on Iraq. Their shame hangs heavy upon them still.

 

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis paid for that free pass by the press with their lives. The effects of that ignominious conflict are still being felt today in the form of Islamic State and the migration crisis.

Looking at the evidence on hand at the moment,  my response is the same as when German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fisher confronted US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld just before the Iraq War. The issue in 2003 as now was CIA intelligence reports. My assessment  :

Excuse me, I am not convinced.“