Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Dr. Oliwer Hartwich: "Germany and Merkel are often praised for ´saving´ refugees. The opposite is true"

New Zealand based political and economic commentator Dr. Oliwer Hartwich strongly criticizes Angela Merkel´s refugee policy:

Germany and Merkel are often praised for “saving” refugees. The opposite is true. They have lured refugees onto a dangerous route and into an economic situation that offers few of them any positive perspective. They have encouraged these poor Syrians to give all their savings to dubious people traffickers and board unsafe boats. And along this route, thousands of refugees have drowned and died.
As Sir Paul Collier, the Oxford economist and former World Bank Director, said it would have been much better to deal with Syrian refugees in those safe countries bordering Syria: Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. If it had wanted to do something good, Germany could have helped to pay for these camps. But it did not.
By the way, this solution is actually the one prescribed by international law under the Geneva Convention and the Dublin Regulation. There has long been the “first country of asylum” principle. This means that countries are expected to take refugees fleeing from persecution in a neighbouring state.
Germany has no border with Syria, and there are plenty of safe countries between Germany and Syria. Even Austria is relatively civilised. Germany should have never signalled its willingness to accept all Syrian refugees.

Read the entire article here

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Weak OSCE observers in Ukraine only in action during banking hours - without binoculars!

The Putin sponsored war against Ukraine goes on uninterrupted, while the OSCE cease-fire observers - nicknamed the "deaf, dumb and blind" by locals - limit their weak presence to banking hours:

AVDIIVKA, Ukraine — As the afternoon shadows grow long, nocturnal creatures begin to stir. A stray cat rises from a nap, stretches and trots off to hunt. Overhead, swallows swoop and screech in the deepening twilight.
Soon, the human inhabitants of this town in eastern Ukraine set about their evening rituals.
Green-clad soldiers strap on their helmets and load their guns, while white-clad European cease-fire observers pocket their notebooks, climb into their cars and drive away. And then the fighting starts.
This improbable routine between soldiers and monitors with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe plays out nightly, illustrating the glum quagmire of the Ukraine war, now entering its third year.
“I never see them here at night,” said Tatyana Petrova, whose apartment looks over a parking lot that is a frequent listening post for the monitors. “In the evening, I look out and they are gone, and then the concert starts.”
“We call them deaf, dumb and blind,” said the Ukrainian military nurse who ordered the observers out of her field hospital. She offered only her nickname, Romashka, a typical practice for soldiers here. “They know nothing. They see nothing. They are too soft.”
On a recent afternoon in Avdiivka, whose prewar population of 35,000 people has decreased by about half, monitors wrapped up at the close of business at 5 p.m., as usual. By and large confined to their hotels after dark, monitors say they pass the time watching television, surfing the internet or chatting with colleagues. They can listen for violations from inside the hotels.

The Russians even have forbidden the "deaf, dumb and blind" to use binoculars! :

Emblematic of the group’s weak hand, one key mission of observers stationed at two crossing posts on the Russian-Ukrainian border has conceded to Russian pressure not to use binoculars, lest the observers observe too much.

Read the entire New York Times article here.