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Italy’s migrant crackdown reveals fractures within the EU

‘Welcome thousands of migrants and then we can talk’

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As German Chancellor Angela Merkel races to find a solution to the migrant crisis in Germany by seeking a pan European solution, oppositional interests become more pronounced. As Merkel admits that a solution will come out of a formal bloc-wide meeting on the matter, Italy’s position on the migrant situation becomes more pronounced, and very much opposed to taking in any more refugees.

A draft declaration intended for this weekend’s informal summit was leaked, which proposes that refugees be sent back to the nation in which they initially filed for asylum, almost costed Italy’s presence at the meeting, but, upon Merkel’s assurance that it wasn’t actually on the table for consideration, Conte agreed to participate.

French president Emmanuel Macron, who has a diametrically oppositional position to that of Italy’s populist government, described Italy’s populism as ‘leprosy’, which was immediately called out by Italian ministers, with Matteo Salvini reportedly responding ‘welcome thousands of migrants and then we can talk.’.

Meanwhile, Merkel is on the ropes about finding some sort of answer to the migrant crisis, as her government coalition is verging on collapse over the issue, potentially in a matter of days.

AFP reports:

Italy doubled down Friday on its new tough stance against migrants, insisting it could not take “one more” refugee and warned the migration crisis could put the bloc’s survival at stake.

Just two days before a mini summit on the issue in Brussels, Italy’s three-week-old populist government dug its heels in on campaign promises to stop the influx of migrants, threatening to seize rescue ships or barring them from its ports.

“We cannot take in one more person,” hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini told the German weekly Der Spiegel. “On the contrary: we want to send away a few.”

The far-right Salvini, who heads the anti-immigration League party and is also Italy’s deputy prime minister, has come to personify Rome’s new confrontational and unbending stance.

It was he who barred the French NGO-run Aquarius rescue ship, carrying some 630 migrants, from docking in Italy earlier this month, triggering an EU-wide row.

On Thursday, he turned his sights to the German NGO, Mission Lifeline.

“The illegal boat Lifeline is now in Maltese waters with its cargo of 239 migrants. For the safety of its crew and the passengers, we’ve asked Malta to open its ports,” Salvini wrote on Twitter.

“Clearly, the boat should immediately be impounded and its crew arrested,” he added.

But a source close to the Maltese government quoted by the Times of Malta newspaper said later Friday that Malta was “neither the coordinating authority nor one competent to carry out rescues”.

Salvini reacted strongly, saying: “If even one person was to get hurt on board this boat… we will hold Malta accountable.”

He also reiterated that the boat would not be allowed to dock in an Italian port.

– Europe’s future ‘will be decided’ –

Just two days before the informal talks on the migration issue — called by Berlin and being attended by some 16 EU leaders — Salvini warned that nothing less than the EU’s future survival was at stake.

“Within a year it will be decided whether there will still be a united Europe or not,” Salvini told Der Spiegel.

Upcoming EU budget talks, as well as European Parliament elections in 2019, would each act as a litmus test for “whether the whole thing has become meaningless”, he said.

Sunday’s talks are supposed to prepare for a full summit next week, where all 28 EU leaders will discuss plans to overhaul the bloc’s asylum system, which has been under severe pressure since the migration crisis exploded in 2015.

Nevertheless, German Chancellor Angela Merkel — who is facing a ferocious political backlash for letting in well over a million asylum seekers into Europe’s biggest economy — played down expectations that a solution could be found quickly.

Speaking on a visit to Lebanon, Merkel said that “we know that no solution will be reached on Thursday and Friday at the level of the 28 member states… on the overall issue of migration”.

Instead, she said, “bilateral, trilateral and multilateral” deals must be reached to tackle the issue.

But Salvini’s uncompromising line found an echo Friday when Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said he was also ready to start turning away migrants if Berlin and Vienna did so, as Germany’s interior minister proposed earlier this week.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer warned on Monday that he would give Merkel a fortnight to find a European deal to curb new arrivals by the June 28-29 EU summit, failing which he vowed to order border police to turn back migrants.

– ‘Never touch Italian soil again’ –

“Italian ports are no longer at the disposal of traffickers. Open the Maltese ports! Open the French ports,” Salvini said earlier on Friday.

And in a Facebook post on Thursday he vowed that “foreign NGO boats will never touch Italian soil again.”

Rome had briefly weighed boycotting Sunday’s mini-summit, but finally agreed to attend after reassurances from Merkel.

Italy had been riled because a leaked draft statement focused more on the redistribution of the migrants once they had arrived in Europe, rather than on securing Europe’s borders.

But the government was placated after Merkel told them the text had been shelved.

Nevertheless, tensions continue to simmer very close to the surface, and tempers can flare up very quickly.

On Friday, Italy took offence when French President Emmanuel Macron likened rising nationalism and anti-migrant sentiment in Europe to “leprosy”.

“One day, he’s saying that he doesn’t want to offend Italy, and then the next, he’s talking about leprosy,” said Italy’s other deputy prime minister and head of the populist M5S party, Luigi Di Maio.

“We may be leper populists. But I take the lessons from those who open their own ports. Welcome thousands of migrants and then we can talk,” said Salvini.

While the migrant issue is one that has plagued Europe for years now, the political conditions in Europe have become such that it is beginning to threaten the unity of the European bloc. The four visegrad countries diluted the authority of the bloc’s policies by refusing to abide by them, Italy has experienced a fruit basket turnover with migration being one of the key topics, and Germany is threatened by conservative voices, backed by the USA, which are putting Merkel’s hold on power within the bloc’s most powerful and economically significant member into question. Now, more than ever, the push to find a soluble solution to the migrant crisis is necessary to securing the union of the 28 member bloc.

 

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Gano1bluewaterBill SpenceRaycomeauLinda Wren Recent comment authors
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Gano1
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Gano1

The EU is a debt ridden migrant infested mess!…………………..Italy has woken up!.

bluewater
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bluewater

I WILL NOT COMPLY

https://youtu.be/55aFy8TrZ0w

Bill Spence
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Bill Spence

Brussels should advise all EU citizens to migrate to North Africa in order to make space for migrants. Just Leave!

Raycomeau
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Raycomeau

Why are these European Countries not calling out USA instead of fighting among themselves. It is the USA wars and “Regime Change” in Latin America which is causing the majority of immigrants. The other irony is that the “refugee immigrants” want to settle into the USA, the actual country which ousted them from their homes! Why is no one dealing with this fact. Is everyone afraid of the USA. I would appreciate many responses, regardless of your views!

Linda Wren
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Linda Wren

For Germany, who incidentally has made billions on the collapse of Greece & have offered to pay the Lebanese ( with Americans help) to ‘keep’ Syrians from returning home. Merkel doesnt have anything to offer to correct the destruction of Europe.

my2Cents
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my2Cents

The EU is a Washington construct. It has not benefited Europe but only the U.S.
The quicker it dissolves the better. The refugee/financial immigrants too are America’s way to create chaos and control Europe. Gladio is actively engaged in creating ‘terrorist attacks’ using the ‘Allahu Akbar’ mantra and blaming the Muslims to keep Europe in its place. The rational population is catching on.

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BBC producer admits Douma attack was false flag that nearly sparked Russia – U.S. hot war (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 176.

Alex Christoforou

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BBC producer Riam Dalati believes that the scenes caught on video from a hospital in Douma, Syria were staged, all in an effort driven by jihadist terrorists and White Helmet “activists” to draw the U.S. and its allies into full on confrontation with Syria, and by extension Russia.

The viral images caused a media firestorm in 2018, showing children allegedly suffering from chemicals, as main stream media channels, like the BBC itself, called for war with Assad.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the BBC producer’s stunning admission, after a 6 month investigation, that reveals the “‘chemical attack” hospital scenes in Douma were completely staged.

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Emotive scenes of Syrian civilians, among them crying, choking, half-naked children, dominated the airwaves in April last year after rebel-affiliated mouthpieces reported yet another “chemical attack by the Assad regime” in the town of Douma. Disturbing reports, including some from the controversial White Helmets, claimed scores of people had been killed and injured.

Mainstream media quickly picked up the horrific (but unverified) videos from a Douma hospital, where victims were treated after this “poison attack.” That hospital scene was enough to assemble a UN emergency session and prompt the US-led ‘coalition of the willing’ to rain down dozens of missiles on Damascus and other locations.

But Riam Dalati, a reputable BBC producer who has long reported from the Middle East, took the liberty of trying to sift through the fog of the Syrian war.

He believes Assad forces did attack the town, but that the much-publicized hospital scenes were staged.

After almost 6 months of investigations, I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in the hospital.

Anticipating further queries, he said no one from the White Helmets or opposition sources were present in Douma by the time the alleged attack had happened except for one person who was in Damascus.

Dalati also says that an attack “did happen” but that sarin, a weapons-grade nerve agent, was not used. He said, “we’ll have to wait for OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] to prove chlorine or otherwise.”

However, everything else around the attack was manufactured for maximum effect.

The journalist said Jaysh al-Islam, an Islamist faction that fought the Syrian army there, “ruled Douma with an iron fist. They co-opted activists, doctors and humanitarians with fear and intimidation.”

Dalati’s revelations could have become a bombshell news report, but instead it was met with a deafening media silence. His employer preferred to distance itself from his findings. The BBC told Sputnik in a statement that Dalati was expressing “his personal opinions about some of the video footage that emerged after the attack but has not claimed that the attack did not happen.” 

After a while, Dalati restricted access to his Twitter account which is now open only to confirmed followers.

Interestingly, his previous inputs did not sit well with the official narrative either. “Sick and tired of activists and rebels using corpses of dead children to stage emotive scenes for Western consumption. Then they wonder why some serious journos are questioning part of the narrative,” he said in a tweet which he later deleted over “the breach of editorial policy.”

In all, Dalati is not a lone voice in the wilderness. The Intercept has recently run a story that also cast doubt on the mainstream coverage of Douma, although it doesn’t doubt that the attack itself happened. While a veteran British reporter Robert Fisk suggested there was no gas attack at all, saying people there were suffering from oxygen starvation. Witnesses of the “chemical attack,” for their part, told international investigators the story was a set-up.

Moscow, which supports Damascus in its fight against terrorists, has long stated the Douma incident was staged, calling for an international OPCW inquiry. Last year, the Defense Ministry presented what it said was proof the “provocation” was to trigger Western airstrikes against Syrian government forces.

This time, the military recalled a similar 2017 incident in Khan Sheikhoun, where an alleged chemical attack took place. The ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday that a closer inspection of footage from that location clearly shows this was a set-up as well.

Now the Foreign Ministry has suggested Dalati is being silenced for voicing inconvenient views, with spokeswoman Maria Zakharova asking on Facebook: “A telling story. How about Western advocates of rights and freedoms? Had they accused BBC of censorship and pressuring the journalist?”

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President Trump schools liberals with National Emergency declaration

President Trump skillfully defeats Democrat naysayers, by increasing support for the border wall prior to declaring a National Emergency.

Seraphim Hanisch

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President Trump signed a continuing resolution to keep the US government fully running through the rest of the 2019 fiscal year. The CR contained a $1.374 bn allocation for US border security, and that money includes and pays for the completion of some fifty-five miles of border fence (or wall, or barrier, or “not-a-wall” depending on one’s preferential phrasing.) He also declared a National Emergency, theoretically freeing at least another $8 bn for the continued construction of the border wall.

Yes, it is a wall. And, yes, it is being built right now. And yes, it will be completed. The President of the United States has made this abundantly clear.

Some news reporters talk about this matter still as though there is in fact no wall now, and that there is no construction in progress on any wall. To that we can say, please watch this:

This section of the wall is going up near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. It augments a very well-designed 18 foot wall stretching from west of Santa Teresa, NM to Tornillo, Texas. If someone wants to cross the border without having to negotiate this barrier they have to go very far off the beaten path to do it. President Trump wants to make it even more difficult; in fact, he wants to have the barrier run the entire length of the US-Mexico border.

This second video says a bit more about the situation:

His campaign to get this has been brilliant in terms of getting the American people informed that there is a problem. How did he do this with a press that hates him?

Easy. He made an issue out of it, knowing that the news media has no choice but to cover the President’s every antic, and in so doing, while seeking fodder for criticism, they actually ended up reporting on the actual problem.

This has been an interesting flow of events:

  • Mainstream news slamming the President’s every statement about the need for a wall
  • The fury of Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles “Chuck” Schumer in their 100% opposition – their own temper tantrum whilst blaming that tantrum on Trump, who actually acted more like a strict parent than a bratty teenager
  • The very public presentations of Border Patrol experts that Trump arranged, the purpose being to listen to their own expert assessment of the actual needs at the border

This last issue marks a need for even the conservative press to have a wake-up call. Daniel Horowitz wrote a piece in The Conservative Review excoriating President Trump’s signing of this present deal as a “sell out”, noting that:

Trump originally demanded $25 billion for the wall. Then he negotiated himself down to $5.6 billion. Democrats balked and only agreed to $1.6 billion. This bill calls it a day at $1.375 billion, enough to construct 55 miles. But it’s worse than that. This bill limits the president’s ability to construct “barriers” to just the Rio Grande Valley sector and only bollard fencing, not concrete walls of any kind.

Daniel’s point is great for rhetoric because, of course, the President originally did promise a big beautiful concrete wall running the entire length of the border.

However, he missed the point about using bollard-style walls that can be seen through – the Border Patrol agents themselves said this kind of wall is to their advantage. A solid wall prevents natural visibility and the agents were getting rocks thrown at them from people they could not see on the other side. A see-through capability means that people approaching the wall on the other side can be seen and tracked.

This marks an example of conservative ideology being too strongly fixed, just as the liberals’ ideology is fixed at the level of a four-year old child refusing to let someone else play with his toys.

They both do not understand that President Trump is not concerned with ideology. He is concerned with useful results, which he got in this deal.

Now about that National Emergency. Is this really the constitutional crisis Trump’s detractors say it is?

Probably not.

It has been widely reported that the US is currently running under some 31 other national emergencies, and that the one President Trump declared makes it number 32. The rhetoric from the news media and Democrats is centered around the idea that no President has ever used this power to get money that only the Congress can allot.

We also probably already know that this is an irrelevant point – the President is in charge of the national security of the nation, and he can and must do what he can to ensure it. The huge numbers of illegal crossings, nearly half a million in 2018 were largely apprehended and released into the United States, rather than deported. Half a million is far less than the 1.6 million that came through in 2000, but it is also not zero. Half a million is the size of the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

The distractors in the Democrat party and media do not want anyone comprehending this fact, so they try to divert and dissuade. But President Trump has not let any of this get past him. In a media event, the President had parents and relatives of people who were murdered by illegal aliens in a direct face-off with none other than CNN’s provocateur-in-chief Jim Acosta, and the reporter was forced to listen to what these family members had to say about their convictions that the president was correct in his:

Trump pointed to angel moms in attendance, asking them for their thoughts.

“You think I’m creating something? Ask these incredible women who lost their daughters and their sons,” Trump said. “OK, Because your question is a very political question because you have an agenda. You’re CNN. You’re fake news.”

Trump told Acosta the statistics he provided were “wrong” and told him to take a look at the federal prison population for proof.

“See how many of them,percentage-wise, are illegal aliens,” Trump said. “Just see, go ahead and see. It’s a fake question.”

Acosta was subsequently confronted by the angel moms in attendance, after the press conference. As angel moms confronted the CNN reporter, he invited them to appear on the network in the background of a live shot.

“There is no attempt whatsoever to diminish what they’ve gone through, or take away what they’ve gone through, but as you heard in that question that I had with the president … it was really about the facts and the data,” Acosta said on CNN following his exchange with Trump. “Some of these folks came up to me right after this press conference … they’re holding up these pictures of loved ones who lost their lives.”

An angel mom then discussed that a previously deported illegal alien murdered her son.

“President Trump is completely correct on this issue, we need to protect this country,” the angel mom told Acosta.

Acosta actually was a victim of his own passions when he went to the border to a place where the bollard wall presently stands and reported that nothing was happening there. It seemed that he was expecting that there were supposed to be angry mobs on the other side trying to get through. However, no one was there, because it is rather pointless to try to get over this wall at this place. Even liberals were forced to acknowledge Mr. Acosta’s strategic miscalculation.

The new national emergency is about getting results. If we were concerned only with smooth and impressive politics, we could only remark on the President’s success in maneuvering the Democrats (not all of them were slavishly going with the Pelosi-Schumer stance) and his ability to do what he does best – getting his message to the American people, and giving them information with which to decide what they want.

This campaign is not over, but this particular battle appears to have been won with a lot of hard work.

Slowly, oh, so slowly, it would seem that the forces of common sense are making some headway in America.

 

 

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“This is America” reveals a shocking vision of the United States

The Grammy Award winning Song and Record of the Year feature the very darkest vision of what America has become.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Grammy Awards are the second of the three most significant musical achievement awards in the United States. Two of the anticipated awards that many fans of this event look forward to learning are the Song of the Year and the Record of the Year.

The Song of the Year is awarded to the songwriters of a given song, where the Record of the Year goes to the artists, producers and engineers involved in crafting the recording (the “record”) of a song. Both categories are huge and both usually go to an artist or organization responsible for a pop song.

It also happens to be that usually the song that is picked is beautiful and in most cases, reflects the character of beauty (whether in music or lyrics or both) for that year.

This year was quite different. Both awards went to Donald Glover, a.k.a. “Childish Gambino” for his song This is America.

This song features a radically different tone than previous winners going back for many years. Though rap remixes are usually less musical, the Grammy winners among these mixes have nevertheless retained some relatively positive, or at least attractive, aspect.

This is America is very different, especially when watched with its video.

Musically, it is genius, though the genius appears to have gone mad. Glover paints a picture of some very positive segments in American life, but then destroys it with his audible form and message that says absolutely nothing positive, but even more so – it doesn’t make sense unless one knows the context.

That context is revealed in the video with frightening images: someone getting their brains blown out (we see the blood fly), a gospel choir shot up with an automatic rifle while they were singing, and cannabis, front and center, being smoked by the artist himself.

This is America?

For Glover, this song and others on his album do seem to reflect that point of view.  Feels like Summer, one of Glover’s other recent songs, also reflects this sense of hopelessness, though it is far more musically consistent. The video gives the most clear contextual information that one could ask for, and while the video is not violent, it features degradation in society, even though the people depicted appear to be trying to make the best of their life situations.

The image Mr. Glover paints of America is a far cry from that which was known to most Americans only twenty years ago, and in fact, in many parts of the country where cannabis is still illegal there is a corresponding sense of positivity in life that is absent in Childish Gambino’s California-esque view of life.

There is a massive change that is taking place in American society. Our music and art reflects this change, and it sometimes even helps drive that change.

The United States of today is at a crossroads.

How many times have we read or heard THAT statement before?  But does it not seem so now? The attempt of identity politics to separate our nation into groups that must somehow fight for their own relevance against other groups is not the vision of the United States only twenty years ago.

Further, the normalization of themes such as drug-use and racism, the perpetuation of one in reality and the other as a mythological representation of how life “really is” in the US is radically bizarre.

In discussions with people who do not live in the United States, we found that sometimes they believed that white-on-black racism really was happening in America, because the media in the US pumps this information out in a constant stream, often with people like Donald Trump as the scapegoat.

But it is not true. Anyone in America’s new “accused class” of white, Christian, European-descent males (and some women who are not feminists), will note that they are not racist, and in fact, they feel persecuted for their existence under the new mantra of “white privilege.”

But it does not matter what they say. The media pumps the message it wants to, and with such coverage it is easy to get to halfway believing it: I know I am not this way, but I guess things are getting pretty bad elsewhere because all of those people seem to be getting this way…

This is the narrative the press promulgates, but upon conversations with people in “those places” we find that it is not true for them, either, and that they may in fact be thinking this is true about us.

Made in America is a visionary song and video. However, the vision is not a dream; it is nothing that anyone in the country would sincerely hope for. Even in Donald Glover’s case – as one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, and as a big success in music, he is far from being one of the “boys in the ‘hood.” In fact, Time Magazine in 2017 named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Certainly his musical work creates a powerful influence, but it also must raise questions, with the main ones being:

  • Are we really like this?
  • Is this what we really want to be as a country?
  • Is this the kind of image we want our children in the US to adopt?

In fact, if Mr. Glover’s work was viewed with care (rather than just as something that is “cool” because the media says it is), it might help us steer away from the cliff that many Americans are in fact heading towards.

We have elected not to link to the video because it is too disturbing for children. It is even too disturbing for many adults. For that reason we are not making it one-click-easy to get to.

Parents reading this opinion piece would do well to screen the video by themselves without the kids around first, before deciding what they want to do. Even though the video is probably something that they have already seen, the parents still stand as the guides and guardians for their children through all the perils of growing up.

These times call for great guardians indeed.

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