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Archive for the ‘diplomacy’ Category

Do Yourselves a Favor – Turn a Blind Eye to Who I Am

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My false feathers - too beautiful to be rejected!

My false feathers - too beautiful to be rejected! (courtesy justrecently.wordpress.com)

As early as in summer 2010, it apparently dawned on several German scientists that then defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg had, to say the least, been sluggish when writing his doctoral thesis. A postgraduate had written an essay about inconsistencies in Guttenberg’s work, and offered it to several professors – but neither of them was interested, reports “Die Welt”.

And why should they? If you show similar misdemeanor, umm, sluggisnhess, as a sales clerk, you’ll be fired, and it may take you years before someone will employ you again. If a small bugger tries to fiddle his dissertation and gets caught – I mean, if he works so negligently -, he can kiss all his academic ambitions good-bye, and rightly so. But when you are a defence minister, and some gripers simply don’t allow you to look  the other way anymore, you’ll give the ex-minister a job in a North-American think tank.

If Guttenberg wants to return into politics is a question he hasn’t yet answered, even though he gave a long interview to the chief editor of “Die Zeit”. But you bet that he is working towards that goal.

“Der Spiegel”‘s Jan Fleischhauer is making fun of Guttenberg, and compares him to former protestant bishop Margot Kässmann. Guttenberg’s “apologies” sound pretty much like Kässmann’s, he believes, and the religious effect makes such apologies so powerful, Fleischhauer adds with more than just a shot of irony. “How can you not forgive them?”

One problem that Fleischhauer doesn’t touch upon though is that a true confession would have to include a detailed description of how the fake, umm, sluggish approach had been conducted. But there are no such details.

There are two things to learn from this: there is one kind of law applicable to upper classes in Germany, and one for the lower. When Helmut Kohl flatly refused to name the gentlemen who had provided his political party with illegal donations, he wasn’t even taken into coercive detention.

Guttenberg’s “apology” to the German public amounts to this: “I’m so sorry, but my life will be destroyed, if you aren’t prepared to forget what I have done. After all, I must become federal chancellor. There is no other way!”

If that’s the chancellor the German people really want, they will get exactly the government they deserve. If his lack of character and substance isn’t obvious enough, any man will be good enough to lead this country.

The current government, led by Angela Merkel, might still be way above what should be good enough for this country.

There seems to be a Dolphin Submarine on Offer…

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Dolphin submarine

Dolphin submarine (Wikimedia Commons)

Israel may not get this one, reports DER SPIEGEL, and Taiwan could use one (or many) of these diesel-electric (and fuel-cell propelled) submarines.

If only the technology would stay in Taiwan. With some help from Taipei, China might re-engineer that thing within ten years. The KMT and the CCP are said to be very close. Almost like brothers. And the Taiwan Strait is a flash point. China told the German government so.

But what are we supposed to do with that thing? Putting it into a thema park?

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October 31, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Simply Put, “Genocide”

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Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Wikimedia Commons): wish you were here.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (Wikimedia Commons): wish you were here.

I’m wondering if Ankara can see their demand for an Israeli apology – or severance of diplomatic ties – through. Does the Turkish government need something that would confirm and justify their own hubbub, in the face of the Turkish public at home? A face-saving operation from Tel Aviv?

Maybe Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s prime minister, and many of his fans, have become too used to their own rhetoric. “The incidents in China are, simply put, a genocide”, His Excellency reportedly said last year. And in the books of many other “critics” – not Erdoğan’s, to avoid misunderstandings -, there is “genocide” in the Gaza territory. If there is any nation that never committed one, it is, for sure, Turkey itself. “After all, a Muslim can never commit genocide.”  Allah be praised!

Just two estimates – from the CIA Factbook:

Category Gaza Turkey
Death Rate 3.36 deaths/1,000 population 6.1 deaths/1,000 population
Infant Mortality Rate 17.71 deaths/1,000 live births 24.84 deaths/1,000 live births

Granted – no information that stems from the Middle East should be taken without a pinch of salt – but if this spells genocide in Gaza, it must be a human right to be on the receiving end.

Written by taide

July 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm

From Tehran, for a Clearer Picture

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Iran has supplied sophisticated radar to Syria that can monitor Israeli air force sorties and threaten its ability to attack Iranian nuclear targets by surprise, Reuters quotes the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ quotes – unnamed by Reuters – Israeli and US officials.

A spokesman for the Syrian embassy in WashingtonAhmed Salkini, denounced the allegation as “classic Israeli PR stunts aimed at diverting the world’s attention from the atrocities they are committing in Gaza and other occupied territories”.

The tech transfer was reportedly carried out about a year ago. In 2007, Israeli fighter jets bombed a Syrian site that the Israelis said housed a nuclear reactor in the final stages of construction. The BBC points out that there has been a UN ban on Iran since 2007 to sell or supply weapons to other countries.

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad travelled Venezuela, Cuba, Brazil, and Argentina last week. MercoPress (Montevideo) writes that Syrian communities are very strong and economically influential in Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina, advocating the establishment of “a new and more just international order” by including Brazil in the U.N. Security Council.

On June 29, Radio Damascus, in a commentary, noted that

The countries currently visited by president al-Assad – Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and Cuba – all adopt stands that support the just Arab cause. At the same time, their stands confront the policies of hegemony, war, and terrorism in the whole world. Those states have suffered a lot from the American policies and interference in the affairs of states and peoples. The previous American administrations supported dictatorial regimes, and supported them against their peoples.

Now, Damascus apparently believes, it is time for America to support Syria’s dictatorial regime. And no more distractions, please.

Written by taide

July 1, 2010 at 2:30 pm

What’s next for Poland?

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Merkel, Putin: what's next for Poland?

Titanic Magazine, Merkel, Putin: what's next for Poland?

Postcards

Titanic Magazine »

Written by taide

April 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm

The real Statement on Dalai Lama, Obama

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JR claims to be a China expert. But this time, he has fallen for a crude piece of anti-China propaganda. Did he really believe that the government of China was still living in the woods, throwing fortune cookies with weird messages inside at Chinese and foreign journalists?

This is what the Chinese foreign ministry actually said. (All websites which quote spokesman Ma Zhaoxu otherwise are silly fakes):

We obviously don’t encourage foreign leaders to meet with the Dalai Lama. Such meetings aren’t conducive for our policies on Tibet, and we initially hoped that our American partners would take our domestic tasks and interests into account here. But if president Obama believes that a meeting with the Dalai Lama is a must for him, we have to respect his decision. After all, the Dalai Lama travels from India, not from our country.

I’d just like to say that such meetings do nothing to make America look more virtuous. We here in Beijing don’t think of ourselves as morally superior. The way we took control of Tibet in the 1950s and after isn’t a glorious point in our history, and we acknowledge that the way we govern Tibet needs a lot of improvement. Suggestions from anyone are welcome, provided that they are meant to help the Han Chinese and the Tibetans to improve their lives as Chinese citizens. But the American president and the American public must understand that Tibet is part of China, just as any U.S. state is part of the United States. As long as all sides are credibly committed to this position, our minds are open to their comments and contributions from inside and outside China.

We do what we can to gradually improve the lives of the Tibetans, just as we are working for the improvement of all Chinese citizens’ lives, no matter of which nationality they are. We do  not only take into account what we think is best for the Tibetans, but we also listen to the voices of the Tibetans themselves. Thank you, next question.

Concerning Hakan Kivanç

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Searchwords for this blog suggest that there is a strong interest in Turkey’s former Consul General in Düsseldorf, Mr Hakan Kivanç. It appears that he is no longer in charge there. The German foreign office’s website states that Mr Firat Sunel is Consul General in Düsseldorf now.

Written by taide

December 17, 2009 at 11:50 am