Sunday, February 27, 2022

Should We Care About the Ukrainians?

 Amid all the international statements of solidarity and sympathy for the Ukrainian people, I have heard or read a few voices saying that perhaps we should not care so much about what is happening in Ukraine. They make a number of points.

One point is that this is just a fight between two former members of the Soviet Union. True, but Ukrainians, a very nationalist people, never wanted to be under the Russian thumb. They suffered greatly in the USSR and wish to look westward in their relations.

Others point out the notorious corruption issues in Ukraine, problems that have hurt their wishes to join NATO. Of course, when we talk of Ukrainian corruption, many of us are reminded of the part that Joe and Hunter Biden played in that corruption. Remember when Hunter Biden was inexplicably on the board of directors of the Burisma energy company at the same time that Papa Joe was vice president? Remember when then-Vice President Biden went to Kiev and told the then-Ukrainian president that US financial aid depended on firing the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma? Remember the infamous tape of Joe Biden bragging about getting the prosecutor fired? We all have our corruption problems.

There is also another issue that is raised by some critics of Ukraine. That is the role some Ukrainians played in the Holocaust. That requires some historical background. As stated above, Ukraine suffered greatly as part of the Soviet Union. Rich in natural resources, it was considered to be the USSR's "breadbasket". Under Stalin, collectivization was imposed on Ukraine and wealthy farm owners (kulaks) were persecuted. Farms were taken over by the State, and the result was mass starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s brought about by a man-made famine.

When the Germans invaded Ukraine in 1941, many Ukrainians welcomed them as liberators (as did many in the now-NATO Baltic states). Some Ukrainians offered their services willingly to the Germans. At least one Ukrainian police unit participated in and assisted the Germans in carrying out the infamous Babi Yar massacre in Kiev in September 1941. Over 33,000 Ukrainian Jews were rounded up and massacred at Babi Yar, a ravine located on the outskirts of the city (today a memorial site). In addition, some Ukrainians served as concentration camp guards for the Germans.

Should that history, ugly as it was, justify turning our backs now on the Ukrainian people, a generation that had no part in the Nazi occupation? I think not. If Germany itself were to be invaded by the Russians, our sympathy and our support as a fellow NATO member would go out to them. Today's Germany is not the Germany of Hitler. We should also remember that the US and Canada both have very large Ukrainian communities, especially in Chicago and Toronto respectively.

I am not saying that the US and NATO should go into Ukraine with troops to fight the Russians. It is not worth starting World War III, and Ukraine is not a member of NATO. I support our giving whatever aid is possible to at least make the Russians pay a heavy price for their conquest. There is some hope-slight as it may be- that the Russian military might decide that Putin is leading the country to destruction and remove him by force. 

At any rate, the Ukrainians to this point, have earned the admiration of the world for their willingness to fight against a superior military force and lay down their lives for their country. The same goes for leaders like Volodymyr Zelensky, the president, and Vitaly Klitschko, the former boxer and now mayor of Kiev. They are not fleeing into exile. They are staying to lead the fight. Their chances of surviving are not good.

As for the refugee issue. Some estimates say that as many as five million refugees will be fleeing the country. It appears they will be overwhelmingly women, children, and the elderly. Men of military or fighting age are not being allowed to leave. Should Europe, already flooded with refugees, fake refugees, and illegal migrants from the Middle East and Africa, mostly Muslim nations, accept the Ukrainians? Sweden says they are full of the above groups, and other nations should take in Ukrainians. Western Europe has accepted millions of people who are not assimilating, not contributing to the economy of the countries they end up in, and are causing enormous problems in terms of social welfare costs, increased crime, rapes, murders, gangs, violence, acts of terror, and anti-Semitic attacks upon Jews.

The Ukrainians pose none of those risks. According to an article I posted yesterday, a Polish member of the European Parliament claimed that in recent years, Poland has taken in some 2 million Ukrainians, and there has been no uptick in crime. In addition, the Ukrainian refugees have not been a burden on the social welfare system, preferring to find jobs, work, and pay taxes. They pose no threat of terrorism.

So if I question why Western Europe would accept all these people from mostly Muslim nations in the Middle East and Northern Africa and not want to accept Ukrainian refugees, you might say to me, "Is it not also hypocritical to not want the Muslim refugees/migrants but welcome the (European, white) Ukrainians?" Fair question, but to that, I say go back and read the previous two paragraphs once more. This discussion will, no doubt, lead to many accusations of racism and Islamophobia. I've already gotten that from one or more of my (anonymous) readers. No matter. Pointing out the inconvenient truths in no way suggests that it applies to all Muslim immigrants, but the charges of racism from the left will persist anyway. It is designed to silence those who disagree with political correctness and wokeness. The skin color of the refugees doesn't matter. What matters is what they bring to their adopted countries in terms of belief systems, skills, and character, to say nothing of their ability to assimilate and contribute.

Russia will likely take Ukraine, but it will pay a price in terms of blood, international standing, and sanctions. They will need to occupy her in order to hold onto her. Hopefully, a Ukrainian insurgency will follow. Yes, we should provide support to Ukraine, and we should accept its refugees. The next question is if and when Russia makes moves on Poland and the Baltic states, who are in NATO. You can say, they are not worth it either and we should let them fall as well. But if we allow Russia to take over NATO countries, NATO, for all practical purposes, is finished.

Sweden to Supply Ukraine With Defensive Weaponry

The below article from SVT Sweden describes the Swedish decision to supply Ukraine with defensive materiel. As noted at the end, the SVT text has since been updated and lists what materiel is to be sent to Ukraine from Sweden. The translation is by Fousesquawk.

Caption beneath photo: There is majority support in the Parliament to send defensive weapons to Ukraine. According to plans, the question will be handled by the Parliament Monday.

Information: Sweden will assist Ukraine with defense materiel

Posted today at 06:10, updated today at 6:11

Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (S)* has called a press conference for 6pm today, Sunday. Also participating will be Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist (S). They will provide information on the question of assisting Ukraine with defensive materiel SVT News learned.

* Social Democrats

According to SVT's information, it will concern the question of assisting Ukraine with defensive materiel; at the time of this writing, it is unclear with what (materiel).

There has previously been talk of among others, air defense, ammunition, and grenade launchers.

Armored defense weapons on the wishlist

Ukraine has sent a list to Sweden, writes TT (newsbureau). At the top of the list are 2,000 anti-tank weapons of the Robot 57 type, internationally known as NLAW, Aftonbladet reported Friday. Ukraine's ambassador, Andrij Plachotnjuk, is said to have mentioned this weapon during his meeting with the Parliament's Defense Committee Thursday, according to information (given) to TT.

NLAW(s) are already in Ukraine, a large number having been delivered by Great Britain. The weapon can be handled by one soldier and fired from a distance of 20-800 meters. It can be fired from buildings, also from above, and is, thus, said to be ideal for fighting in complex terrains, such as inside cities.

In the Parliament, there is majority support for sending defensive weapons to Ukraine. According to the plan, the question will be taken up by the Parliament Monday.


The above-translated link has since been updated, and the text has substantially changed. The updated text reports that the defense materiel to be sent to Ukraine consists of:

5,000 (disposable) anti-tank weapons (Panserskott86)

5,000 protective vests

5,000 helmets

135,000 field ration kits

Chechen Islamists Participating in Russian Attack on Ukraine

Hat tip Jihad Watch

This brings back memories of World War II when the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, found refuge in Berlin as Hitler's guest and helped organize a Bosnian Muslim SS unit.

Haj Amin al Husseini on left

Chechen Islamist leader Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of Putin, has reportedly dispatched Chechen fighters to help Russia in its assault on Ukraine and reportedly act as a hit squad against Ukrainian leaders.

On right is Ramzan Kadyrov

Photo: Kremlin

Chechen fighters at prayer reportedly in a Ukrainian forest (photo Daily Mail)

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Poland Criticizes Sweden's Reluctance to Take Ukrainian Refugees

The last thing Western Europe needed was more refugees, but that is what they are getting-this time from Ukraine. And unlike millions of migrants from places like the Middle East and Africa, these are legitimate refugees.

Yet Sweden, which has taken in countless migrants from the aforementioned regions, at great costs both financially and socially (in terms of crime, anti-Semitism, terrorism, and Islamist radicalism) is balking at accepting refugees from Ukraine. 

In the below article from the conservative Swedish site, Nyheter Idag, Polish politician and Member of European Parliament, Dominik Tarcznsky, who condemned the Swedish position, explains the differences between the Ukrainian refugees and the migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

The translation from Swedish is by Fousesquawk.

Polish condemnation of Sweden's unwillingness to help Ukrainian refugees

So-called refugees from Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa are fine. But when a country in Sweden's vicinity is attacked, solidarity is blown away. That is roughly how the top Polish politician, Dominik Tarczinski, describes the Swedish stance that Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced earlier- Sweden's government does not understand the difference between true refugees and illegal migrants from the Middle East, he says to Nyheter Idag.

About a week ago, Dagens Nyheter published an interview with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, where the headline declared that "other counties can take responsibility for Ukrainian refugees". Andersson's reasoning was based (on the fact) that Sweden had earlier taken in large numbers of people from countries in the Middle East and North Africa, which is why there is no possibility of helping refugees from Ukraine.

At the same time, Poland has already taken in more than two million people from Ukraine. And more are expected to flee the country now that Russia has carried out what seems to be a full-scale invasion.

Nyheter Idag spoke with the Polish top politician and EU parliamentarian from the conservative government Law and Justice party. He is deeply critical of Magdalena Andersson's position that other countries should take responsibility for Ukrainian refugees. If there are any refugees that Sweden should help, they are refugees from the region, he says. 

In addition, Tarczynski believes that it shouldn't be any large practical problem for Sweden to take in Ukrainian refugees.

"They pay taxes, and they contribute to the economy. We have not seen any increased crime or other problems with this group. They are peaceful people," he says.

Do Ukrainian citizens live on Polish social aid?

"No, certainly not. We have clear rules. People have to pay taxes for a certain time before there is any possibility of that. It's not that people have these rights just because they set foot in Poland. And there is no need for this; these people gladly take jobs and support themselves."

Migration from Ukraine to Poland took off around 2014 with the Maidan protests, the Russian annexation of Crimea, and the conflicting Donbas in Eastern Ukraine. Since then 8 years have passed and Tarcznski believes that we now (see how it works).

We have had refugees from Ukraine for several years now. They don't try to live off other people's money, pensions, or taxes paid. Our experience goes back almost 10 years when Ukrainian refugees came in large numbers to Poland. There have been no attacks, conflicts, murders, or acts of terror. On the contrary, they pay their taxes and contribute to Poland's economy. 

Sweden earlier criticized Poland for not taking in refugees from countries like Syria and Iraq. What do you think about that?

"Swedish politicians do not understand what a true refugee is. According to international law, you are a refugee until you arrive in the nearest safe country. You are a refugee when you flee from a country in conflict until you arrive in the first safe country."

"Leftist politicians don't understand; they lack education. The Swedish government does not understand the difference between true refugees and illegal migrants," he concluded.

-Chang Frick

Dutch Assistance to Ukraine

Today's Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, is reporting on aid being sent from the Netherlands to Ukraine. Translation by Fousesquawk.

The Netherlands is sending 50 rocket launchers and 400 missiles to Ukraine

Through our Parliamentary editorial staff

38 minutes ago in Domestic-Updated 31 minutes ago

The Hague- The Netherlands is sending more military assets to Ukraine. That is reported by Minister Kajsa Ollengen (Defense) Saturday evening.

"We are now also delivering 3 anti-tank weapons with 400 missiles," said Ollengren. The weapons are for "the defense against the Russian aggression". Together with Germany, the Netherlands is also investigating "the possibility of delivering Patriots (air defense system) to the NATO Battle Group in Slovakia."

The Netherlands is also looking at how humanitarian and financial help can be given to the government of President Zelensky. More clarity on that should be coming in the coming days, it was previously announced.

Sniper rifles

A week ago, the Netherlands pledged 100 sniper rifles with 30,000 rounds of corresponding ammunition, radar, and detectors. The weapons are needed for self-defense, said the D66 minister at that time.

The Ukrainians can also count on 3,000 Dutch combat helmets, 2,000 flak vests, 5 radar weapon locators, 30 metal detectors, 2 battlefield detection radars, and 2 wire-guided detector robots to detect water mines. But Ollegren acknowledged that, as of Friday night, the military material had not yet arrived.

The delivery was delayed by the massive Russian invasion of Ukraine. "We had a different logistical plan, but because of the invasion, by the Russians, that had to change," said the government minister at the time.


"The Netherlands is sending more military assets to Ukraine for the defense against the Russian aggression. We are now delivering 50 Panzerfaust-3 anti-tank weapons with 400 missiles. Together with Germany, we are investigating the possibility of delivering Patriots to the NATO Battlegroup in Slovakia."

The German Joke: 5,000 Helmets for Ukraine

I take no pleasure in posting this article from the German daily, Welt. While other NATO nations are sending military aid to Ukraine, Germany, a country of which I am very fond, is comporting itself in, frankly, an embarrassing fashion. They have sent 5,000 helmets to Ukraine!

5,000 helmets!

It should also be noted that it is Germany who is the main holdout in removing Russia from the SWIFT banking system.

The below article is translated by Fousesquawk. Please note, however, that while I was in the process of doing the translation, the online article was updated. New paragraphs were added, and some paragraphs already translated were deleted. Thus, the German reader will note differences between the translation and the updated article though the facts are not changed. I did think it was important, however, to compare what other European nations are contributing and the German "donation". Thus, this is a partial translation.

Two dozen nations promise military help-Poland calls German helmet delivery, "Joke"

Caption beneath photo: 

In the morning, the Ukrainian president Zelensky reported in with a new video message. His morale seems to be contagious: Many Ukrainians declare themselves willing and want to defend their country with weapons. But the number of refugees grows.

Source Welt/Thomas Vedder

Ammunition, anti-tank weapons, rifles: Germany has ruled out the delivery of deadly weapons to Ukraine-and thus, comes under criticism. Several nations have decided otherwise, and aside from humanitarian aid, have also promised military aid. An overview.

Ukraine is sharply criticizing the German reluctance to deliver armaments. The Polish Minister-President Mateusz Morawiecki, is also urging the (German) government for stronger support. Germany must set aside its "self-centeredness" and its "egoism" and offer the Ukrainian people substantial help, stated Morawiecki on Sunday in Berlin for a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the Lithuanian president, Gitanas Nauseda. "Nothing will stop Putin if we are not determined enough. This is a very historical moment (...) We have no time to lose."

 The previous German armaments aid-military helmets, but no weapons- is far from what is necessary to help Ukraine in its self-defense, criticized Morawiecki. "What kind of help was delivered to Ukraine? Five thousand helmets? That must be a joke."

According to British information, in a donor conference for Ukraine, about two dozen nations have promised "military and humanitarian aid".  Every option is being weighed on how to support Kyiv in its defense against "President Putin's groundless and illegal invasion," the British defense minister, Ben Wallace, announced on Twitter.

From ministry sources in London, the military aid from the donor nations includes ammunition and anti-tank weapons. Great Britain has also offered via, "logistical operations" to get the aid to Ukraine.

Overview of weapons deliveries

To date, Great Britain has made 2,000 anti-tank missiles available to Ukraine. Defense Minister James Heappey, confirmed in a BBC interview, that his country wants to send more weapons. Plans are also in progress to support a Ukrainian government-in-exile and in-country resistance should the Russian troops gain the upper hand, Heappey added.

Denmark announced on Saturday that it would send 2,000 bulletproof vets and 700 medical kits to Ukraine.

The Czech government approved weapons deliveries worth 188 million crowns (7.6 million euros) including automatic rifles and pistols, assault rifles, as well as pistols and ammunition. The weapons would be delivered at a location to be decided by the Ukrainian side,  declared the Defense Ministry. Czechia had previously decided to give Ukraine about 4,000 artillery shells worth about 36.6 million crowns.

The Netherlands intends to deliver 200 air defense missiles to Ukraine. The "Stinger" type missiles should be made ready as soon as possible, the government declared in a letter to the Parliament. The Netherlands had promised to deliver to Ukraine, among others, rifles, ammunition, radar systems, and mine-sweeping robots. The Dutch government also announced that embassy personnel would be moved from the west Ukrainian city of Lviv to Jaroslav in Poland, due to the worsening security situation.


Fousesquawk update: Voila! Germany is now saying they will send weapons to Ukraine in the form of anti-tank and Stinger missiles. That is a welcome development.

Friday, February 25, 2022

John Kerry Worries About the Climate in Russia/Ukraine

As Russian tanks encircle Kyiv, former US secretary of state and presidential candidate (2004) John Kerry has once again stepped out of the shadows and proven what a total boob he is. To him, the current crisis is all about climate. The below article from Fox has a video clip of what he told an Arab interviewer.

Note the look of concern on the face of the female interviewer as Kerry prattles on about the climate and the potential loss of focus on the climate that the Russian invasion entails. Is it because she really cares about the thawing of the region or because she realizes she is in the presence of a lunatic? I suspect the latter.

Much like Joe Biden, Kerry is a clown who always thinks he's the smartest guy in the room, which he is not. He has gotten to where he is not through excellence but mere longevity in the Senate. So now he is Biden's Climate Czar, whatever that is, and he wields power because, after all, he is John Kerry.

And with all the misery in Ukraine and danger that the world faces, this boob is worried about the effect of the war on Climate! You wonder why people like Putin are making their moves now? This is why. Everywhere Putin looks, he sees people like John Kerry, Joe Biden, and the feckless boobs who are running Western Europe. God help us!

Qatar: What an Embarrassment for the World Cup

  Soccer stadium in Qatar "The Toilet Bowl"?

Another outrageous story out of Qatar, where a Mexican national was criminally charged for adultery after making a rape accusation against a World Cup official. She couldn't "prove" the crime, you know, because she could not produce 4 male witnesses as mandated by Islamic law. The alleged victim has fled Qatar to avoid 100 lashes and 7 years in prison. The Daily Mail (UK) has the story.

There are a lot of things outrageous about this Gulf State nation as it prepares to host the World Cup in soccer. In order to hold the Cup, Qatar has had to build several new stadiums, each more obscene than the other, using foreign labor working in 100 degree plus heat in almost slave-like conditions. Like most countries in the region, Qataris seemingly live a life of leisure while foreign workers are imported to do all the work. The selection by FIFA to hold the Cup in Qatar was accompanied by an avalanche of charges of bribery and corruption-something not new to FIFA.

Qatar is also friendly to the Muslim Brotherhood while pretending to be an ally of the West. More typical of their true feelings is the government-supported Al Jazeera news agency, the CNN of the Middle East. Like most everything else in Qatar, Al Jazeera pretends to be a mainstream international news agency. They have a large English-language department that specializes in guest op-ed writers made up largely of leftist journalists and academics from the West-including the US. Disgraceful. 

I have no taste for soccer, so I certainly won't be watching. Even if I were a soccer fan, I would stay away from this obscene circus. This promises to be a replay of the Winter Olympics in China. I would guess that if some brave reporter were to try and interview a foreign worker who helped build one of those stadiums, we would witness him being dragged away by security, much like what happened to that unfortunate Dutch reporter who was standing to close to the stadium in Beijing. And, for God's sake, Dear Press, don't bring up the subject of that Mexican woman who had to flee the country for lack of 4 male witnesses to her rape.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Netherlands: Amsterdam Hostage Taker Dead

Hostage-taker after being hit by police car (De Telegraaf)

"Amsterdam-based daily newspaper Het Parool identified the man as Abdel Rahman A., a grocery delivery worker that has had previous brushes with the law.

However, his motive for besieging the Apple store remained unclear, Dutch media reports said."

It seems odd not to be writing solely about the war in Ukraine, but let's be honest: If you are depending on Fousesquawk to keep you up-to-date on the Russian invasion, I feel sorry for you. I will probably put out some opinions on the matter in the coming days, but all I can offer at the moment are prayers for the Ukrainian people.

In other news out of Europe......

On Tuesday night, an armed man wearing some sort of explosive device took hostages in an Apple store in Amsterdam, which led to a police standoff of several hours. It ended when the last hostage broke free and ran into the street, chased by the hostage-taker. That ended quickly when a police vehicle ran down the hostage-taker.

Today we learn (via NDTV) that the hostage-taker has died in the hospital, and he is partially identified as (surprise surprise) Abdel Rahman A.

The below article from yesterday's De Telegraaf is translated by Fousesquawk. It contains a video of the moment when the hostage-taker was run down by the police car, thus, probably saving the life of the hostage. I have chosen this article because it gives an account of the hostage drama. It should be noted that it was published prior to the death of the hostage-taker.

Hero role for Bulgarian hostage, suspect seriously injured

How the hellish evening in the Amsterdam Apple store played out

-by Masha De Jong

Yesterday (Wednesday) 0:125, updated yesterday 17:07-Domestic

Amsterdam- An armed hostage-taking in the Apple store on Leidseplein Tuesday evening held the capital city in its grip. The precarious situation, which lasted almost 6 hours, was stopped by force by police from the anti-terror unit DSI, by running into the hostage-taker, a 27-year-old Amsterdam resident, with a police car.  Moments prior, a Bulgarian hostage ran for his life from the threat.

It was the climax of a hellish evening, which began around 17:40 with a report to the police of a possible hostage-taking. Upon the arrival of the officers, they were immediately fired on by the hostage-taker.m He was in possession of a handgun and a semi-automatic weapon. That resulted in the situation being assessed as threatening.

The suspect, who is known to the police under the weapons and munitions act, demanded 200 million euros in cryptocurrency. It is not clear if he was known to the GGZ (mental health authorities). The authorities, for the time being, are going under the assumption that the suspect acted alone.


A police force was put together with several helicopters, dozens of vehicles, terror units, and even a specialized Bearcat vehicle.

Because the police suspected that the hostage-taker was following reports on social media, it was decided to be very cautious in providing information about the situation in the building during the hostage situation.

All catering establishments around the Leidseplein, the Holland Casino, and the Stadsschouwburg were evacuated in the following hours. Police Commissioner Frank Paauw announced that during the course of the evening, 70 people were (evacuated).


Around 8:30, a dozen employees of the Apple store, together with a group of police officers, stood by the Vondelpark. They had managed to make it to safety via the stairs in the rear of the building. Two colleagues from the store said that they waited upstairs with several others until they got a sign they could leave. One of them was emotional. "I left America because of this kind of trouble. I experienced it there as well. I thought, never this again. Now I'm sitting in the middle of it in Amsterdam."

Caption beneath photo:  Photo of hostage-taker sent to AT5

Report to AT5

In photos of the hostage situation, you can see how the suspect, dressed in camouflage uniform, is holding a hostage. Also seen clearly is the bomb belt. Investigation has, meanwhile, shown that the explosive material was not yet activated. Reading the letters closely on the bomb belt, the word, "drill" or "exercise" can be read.

During the hostage situation, the suspect himself made contact with the city broadcast station AT5 by sending photos and reports. "This is the hostage-taker.... if the amount is not going to be sent. Is this sent. Is the life of this man (the system?) going to be on your conscience," is the muddled text he sent literally to AT5.

Caption beneath photo:  The hostage-taker has thrown his arm over the shoulder of the hostage during the attack on the Apple store on the Leidseplein.


"We knew that there were people in a closet, fortunately, the suspect didn't know that."

Broom Closet

Four colleagues were later found to have been in a broom closet for hours, close by the hostage-taker. "They were scared to death," the triangle stated in a press conference. "We knew there were people in a closet, fortunately, the suspect didn't know that," said the principal officer of the Public Prosecutor during the press conference. "We wanted to negotiate and exhaust the man to overpower him if the situation arose."

The hostage situation came to an end after 11:30, after the police delivered a bottle of water to the door with a robot. The customer-hostage took off running, with the hostage-taker pursuing him. Once outside, the suspect was run over by a police car. The 27-year-old Amsterdam resident was then taken seriously injured to the hospital, the others involved were unharmed.

The police had not expected the hostage to run away. The Amsterdam police chief, Frank Paauw, called the action of the victim, from Bulgaria, an "act of heroism."

House searches

The police have made two house searches in Amsterdam-West and Center: one in the home where the suspect was registered, and one in the home where he often stayed. During the house searches, data processors were seized.

For the people freed from the building, victim assistance has been activated. On Wednesday, a crisis bus will be on the Leidseplein, to which, anyone who needs aftercare can report.

*Update: According to the Dutch newspaper, Het Parool, the suspect is fully identified as Abdel Rahman Akkad, born in Amsterdam in 1995 reportedly to a Syrian father.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Italy: The North African Crime Wave in Milan Continues

Milan-I Navigli

As we have earlier reported, Milan is now considered to be the crime capital of Italy, thanks largely to its North African immigrant ommunity. Or I should say gangs. Here is another depressing account of how ordinary residents of Italy's 2nd largest city are being victimized by young gangs of migrants, many from North Africa. The below article in Corriere della Sera (Milan's largest newspaper) is translated by Fousesquawk.

*Note: The reference below to "chain gang" refers to their habit of steeling necklaces from victims.

Robberies in Darsena, the "chain gang" and the 16 violent (attacks) in the nightlife: 5 young foreigners arrested in Milan

by Federico Berni

The gang was made up of an  Egyptian, two Tunisians, and two Moroccans between the ages of 18-22: Sixteen (attacks) scored between June and October 2021. Taken from the victims were clothes, jewelry, and telephones. "Especially violent threats and beatings by the gang." 

They raged between the Darsena (waterfront area) and the Navigli (district). Robberies, beatings, threats. Always five against one, violent and unscrupulous along the streets of the Ticino (river) nightlife. Sixteen episodes of robbery between June and October 2021, and probably many more not reported by the victims. Five young men between 18-22, an Egyptian, two Tunisians, and two Moroccans, hit in the past few days with as many measures of preventative custody (three in jail, two under house arrest) issued by judicial authorities to top off investigations conducted by police of the Porto Genova police station.

The gang

The gang of North Africans had raised a certain alarm last summer, especially in the evenings of the weekends. According to what has been ascertained, the victims were surrounded, in order to prevent any possibility of flight. Then, threatened with a knife or shard of a bottle to the throat, they were forced to hand over chains, gold objects, (or) cell phones. "Robberies characterized by particular violence and brutality," say the police.

The beatings

In some cases, these actions resulted in real beatings. One of those investigated was traced to an abandoned farmhouse in Giambellino, where he had found a temporary shelter. Many other incidents, not reported or of which, the necessary elements have yet been found, are still being examined by the investigators. 

*Update: Below is a TV broadcast of the case from Milano-Pavia News. Translation by Fousesquawk.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Sweden: Swedish Students Harassed-School Rector Goes After Reporter-Video

 Earlier today, we translated an article out of Sweden (Fria Tider) in which a Swedish schoolgirl told of being harassed and ultimately driven out of a Swedish school by immigrant students-who actually make up the majority of the school.

Below is a sub-titled video of the report by Swedish journalist Joakim Lamotte. Translation by Fousesquawk.

Harvard and The Asian Dilemma

This article first appeared in Times of Israel Blogs.

Richard L. Cravatts has an interesting article running in the Times of Israel Blogs regarding the latest controversy over Harvard University's admissions policy. Harvard, like many US universities, is seemingly concerned that they have too many Asian/Asian-American students at the cost of fewer students from other minorities, principally African-Americans and Hispanics. So now the question is whether it is proper to discriminate against Asians. Cravatts maintains that this brings back memories of previous discrimination against Jewish students but for different reasons. Cravatts' article can be read here.

In some ways, this reminds me of things I observed while teaching part-time at the University of California at Irvine Extension from 1998-2016. UC Irvine has for years had a high percentage of Asian-American students, just over 50% when I was there and probably still around that figure today. Many of California's universities have a similar number of Asian-American students.

In my view, the above proportion of Asian-American students is one of the more positive aspects of UC Irvine. With few exceptions, they are serious students. Fortunately, UC Irvine has a small Humanities department compared to other universities. The university is known for fields such as pre-med, biology, and engineering which tends to draw more Asian-American students. One of the positive results is that UCI (in spite of its reputation, courtesy of the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine) has less of the nonsense that you see in places like UC's flagship university at Berkeley. Asian-American students are well-liked and tend to focus on their studies.

Yet, in spite of that the UC system including, UC Irvine, has experienced discussion of having too many Asian-American students and not enough of other minorities. What to do?

I should also mention the infamous disruption of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech at UCI in 2010, which was disrupted by students from the Muslim Student Union. I was present at that event, and it was truly ugly. Two years later, a few of the so-called "Irvine 11" returned to speak at UCI. One of the speakers was Osama Shabaik who was, at that time, a student at Harvard Law School. I was present at that event and heard Shabaik tell the audience that the dean of the law school had told him he recognized his name among the applications he was reviewing. The implication, according to Shabaik, was that his participation in the disruption likely played a role in being accepted to Harvard Law. Was that part of Harvard's "holistic" approach to admissions?

I think all decent people want to see more African-American and Hispanic students in our universities, but that should not come at the expense of penalizing deserving Asian-American students. If they are outperforming other minorities, they are also outperforming white students as well. A lot of that has to do with the traditional Asian respect for education, which has been brought from Asia to the US over the generations. Parents are involved with their children's education. That is highly admirable, and all of us, white, black, or brown, would do well to emulate that. It should not be a cause of resentment, and the last thing Asian-Americans want is to be pitted against other minorities. Is it a coincidence that this issue arises at a time when both Jews and Asians are being physically attacked on the streets of our cities-disproportionately if not usually- by other minorities?

Harvard is considered by many to be America's most prestigious university. Yet, it has not escaped the craziness and downright ugliness that have plagued so many other American universities. Among its past professors, you can find characters like Cornel West and Timothy Leary, the latter of LSD fame. 

If Harvard is allowed to discriminate against Asians, where will it stop? Other universities will see it as a green light to discriminate in a similar manner. The issue of getting more African-American and Hispanic kids into college is a process that has to begin years before they reach college age. But that is a whole different discussion. Asian-Americans should not have to be dragged into that discussion.

Sweden: Swedish Students Harassed-School Rector Goes After Reporter

Hat tip Fria Tider

Below is an article from Fria Tider on a report by journalist Joakim Lamotte on school bullying in Sweden.  At the (exclusive) private English School in Västerås, Swedish children report being harassed and beaten by immigrant children from the Middle East and Africa simply because they are Swedish and represent a minority in the school. Furthermore, when Lamotte contacted the school principal, Maud Segerstedt, she hung up the phone and then sent him an email to the effect that she was going to report him to the press ombudsman and the press professional ethics board.

The below article is translated by Fousesquawk. The article contains a link with a video made by Lamotte which we are in the process of translating and will post when available.

Insert photo text.

Emelie-Former student at  Västerås

"They said I was a Swedish pussy"

Joakim Lamotte reported for his reporting on Swedish pupils in minority

Posted 21 February 2022 14:21

Joakim Lamotte spoke to a girl who reported that she was bullied, beaten, and harassed because she was Swedish. Now the school's Center Party principal is reporting Lamotte to the media ombudsman and the presses' professional ethics board.

In Joakim Lamotte's reportage on Facebook, it is described how Swedish pupils at the English School in Västerås are harassed just for being Swedes.

The Swedish pupils at the school have ended up in the minority since a large number of pupils from the third world have applied.

Joakim Lamotte interviews the former student, Emelie, who reports that as a Swede, she was beaten, bullied, and isolated and that in the 7th year, she was forced to change to a school with more Swedish pupils. Those who bullied her come from Iraq, Syria, Kurdistan, and Africa.

"I was bullied because I didn't have a large family, I was bullied because I didn't speak their vernacular. I was pale and green-eyed. I was everything they weren't. I was isolated because I was Swedish. They said I was a Swedish pussy and called me things in their language that I didn't understand," says Emelie in the reportage.

It went on so long that Emelie was forced to spend all the time outside the classes in the school bathroom. She even sat there eating her lunch.

"We finally took Emelie out of the English School. Had we not done so, I don't know if she would have survived this," says Emelie's mother in the reportage.

According to Lamotte, he has heard many pupils from the school with similar reports about how they are bullied and harassed because they are Swedes.

But when Joakim Lamotte contacted the principal, Maud Segerstedt, who is active within the Center Party, she hung up. Then she emailed (him) and stated that she would report Lamotte to the media ombudsman and the press professional ethics board.

"This is completely absurd. A principal's job is to answer reporters' questions when it comes to misconduct in the school. But as usual, certain people in power do everything to shoot the messenger instead of solving the problem," writes Joakim Lamotte on Facebook.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Sweden's Failed Immigration Policy

Hat tip Pettersson's Blogg. Translation by Fousesquawk.

Below is a letter to the editor of Pettersson's Blogg, a conservative Swedish site. The letter is written by Johnny Hornbrink of the conservative Swedish party, Sweden Democrats.

Hate campaign against Sweden is the price for failed integration!

20 February 2022   Pettersson

Letter to the editor- There is now ongoing an extensive hate campaign against our country and the Swedish social services.

The image that is disseminated is that Swedish social services are taking children for unjust reasons, that of secularizing them. Abroad, Sweden is pointed to as a fascist state, (and) hate campaigns against Sweden and particularly social services also contain threats of violence and terror acts.

Photo insert: "To hate Islam is not irrational or a phobia. It is just plain sense"-Mona Walter, ex-Muslim on so-called Islamophobia

According to the Agency for Psychological Defense, this is an organized advocacy campaign against Sweden. The Muslim Brotherhood and violence-advocating Islamist organizations as well as an imam sentenced to deportation are the driving forces behind this anti-Sweden campaign.

The Islamist party, Nyans, also participates in protests against the Swedish social services. The party also intends to make LVU (Law on Protection for Young) one of its election issues, (and) they also say they want to restrict free speech and forbid certain blasphemy. Strangely enough, it appears that no media sees it as being absurd that the party can stand for election in Swedish municipalities while its representatives incite against the country with support from religious minorities, extremists, and foreign power(s)!?

The Islamist hatred against Sweden and social workers is not surprising; that certain Muslims are angry when they cannot raise their children according to their own values and culture is logical.

But what is surprising is that Swedish politicians and journalists who propagate for this multi-cultural society are now everything from surprised to upset when they see its consequences!?

How did this happen here?

The answer is very simple.

What we now see is the result of decades of irresponsible "cultural enrichment" and immigration without requirements from countries with a completely different viewpoint on children's and women's rights, which have led us here.

There is no simple solution to this, but a first measure to greatly increase integration and counter exclusion is to require Swedish language ability as well as knowledge of Swedish social orientation.

It should be obvious to all that Swedish authorities take (custody) of children because they are judged to be in danger, not because the parents happen to be Muslims. Those who choose to move to Sweden should be obliged to learn our language, our laws, and rules, etc. It is embarrassing that this has to be mentioned.

It cannot continue that social secretaries, emergency personnel, teachers, caretakers, and Swedish youth, in short, ordinary people have to be those who always have to pay the price in the form of threats and violence for immigration policies and non-existent integration!

With its "blessed" and uncontrolled immigration, the politically correct establishment has turned our suburbs into a world they themselves don't want to live in. These lost multi-cultural advocates face a tough future since they have closed their eyes far too long. It doesn't help any longer to cry that everyone is racist and that it is all SD (Sweden Democrats) fault. SD did not exist when the experimental mass immigration policy was launched, but just like exclusion and the Islamist party, Nyans, it is a direct result of (the policy)!

Johnny Hornbrink (Sweden Democrats)

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Munich-2022 Version


  "Good news, mein Fuehrer. Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi are in Munich."

Well, this has to be reassuring. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and Barbara Lee have joined Kamala Harris in Munich to meet with our allies and reassure them of.....whatever. President Biden has decided to send his A Team to Munich since, after all, he is the B Team.

  "I have here in my hand, a paper signed by Putin........"

The last farce that took place in Munich was in 1938 when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain "pulled peace out of the fire" with his infamous sell-out of Czechoslovakia. That was the one that saved the world from WW2, if you recall.

This makes Ukrainian President Zelenskiy's decision to leave Ukraine and attend the Munich confab all the more confusing. Maybe this is his way of getting out of town while the getting is good. He certainly doesn't need to be in Munich to hear Kamala Harris and Nancy Pelosi prattle on about "economic sanctions in our time!" What does he think they are going to do, vote Ukraine into NATO?

It's a sad situation all the way around. Having people like Harris and Pelosi going to Munich of all places is just adding to the humiliation.

In Defense of Michele Tafoya

This article first appeared in New English Review.

 Up to this week, my only exposure to Michele Tafoya had been watching her on the sidelines of NFL games on NBC. To be honest, I've never cared for this aspect of football games on TV because they basically consist of, "I talked to coach so, and so, and he said...." I think they add very little to the game other than giving the viewer updates on injuries. To be fair, interviews with players and coaches are seldom very enlightening under any circumstances.

This week, however, I saw Tafoya's interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox where she discussed why she was stepping away from sports and getting involved in other issues that are more important. She spoke about her children being taught in school that race matters in that "people of color" are automatically victims while white people are automatically oppressors, something she definitely does not consider her children to be. She spoke eloquently of her child's best friend, who was black. They were "inseparable"-until the school separated the children into racial "affinity" groups.

I have to tell you I came away very impressed by Michele Tafoya. She spoke with no hate, only sadness and the belief that whites are not the enemy of non-whites. She did make a comment that whites have worked to bring about equality since the Civil War....(I am paraphrasing). I would have amended that to say since the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, but no matter. I happen to share her belief that most whites are well-intentioned in racial matters.

Now comes this op-ed from Shalise Manza Young of Yahoo Sports, attacking Tafoya for her comments and implying that Tafoya is a racist to some degree. Here is the op-ed, which also includes the video clip of the Fox interview with Tucker Carlson.

As for Yahoo Sports, I periodically get blurbs from them via Facebook, and they are uniformly politically correct. In that vein, sports talk shows are also politically correct, including racial matters. Many of the commentators are African-American, which is entirely proper since African-Americans are so well represented in sports like football and basketball. It wouldn't make a lot of sense for white and black commentators to be arguing about race on sports shows from different points of view since it is such an emotionally charged issue.  Thus, any criticism of Colin Kaepernick (who is mentioned in Young's article) is generally left to non-sports venues. 

I have a sense that the Tafoya story is just beginning. My impression of her is that of a decent, nice lady who is very sad that schools are dividing children by race-not just physically by having separate events for them, but by what they are teaching children of all races about race itself. Tafoya has shown remarkable courage by standing up to her children's school, especially already being a public figure, and by going on Carlson's show. Sure enough, she is now being attacked-viciously, I might add. Hopefully, the black athletes and colleagues she worked with will come to her defense. Surely they know very well that she is no racist.

What Tafoya is arguing for is integration, friendship, and unity while her enemies are arguing for segregation, mistrust, and division. This is at the crux of all the controversy going on today across the nation. You see it in Black Lives Matter. You see it on the far left. You see it in Democrat politics. You see it in academia and all the ethnic studies departments in our universities. They are all about division. 

Ironically, the best rebuttal to Young's op-ed attacking Tafoya is the video of the Carlson interview itself, which Yahoo posted with the op-ed. Just what are Tafoya's "ugly truths"? That she regrets her son lost his best friend? Is it an "ugly truth" that Tafoya is against separating people based on skin color? Is it an "ugly truth" that Tafoya loves her country as she expressed to Carlson? Is it an "ugly truth" that Tafoya identifies with the political middle? Is it an "ugly truth" that Tafoya laments that people are afraid to talk to each other?

Shalise Manza Young and Yahoo Sports should be ashamed of themselves for this vicious and unfair attack on Tafoya just because she doesn't toe the politically-correct line. They say more about themselves than they ever could about Tafoya.

And I hope Fox News hires Michele Tafoya asap.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Netherlands: Outrage Over Request Sent to Universities to Disclose Jewish Ties

Utrecht University

On January 24, 2022, a Dutch NGO, The Rights Forum, which is anti-Israel in its nature, sent a public records request to all 14 Dutch universities requesting information pertaining to any and all ties, the university may have with Israel, Israeli universities, companies, or any institutions that support Israel. 

The Dutch-based Nieuw Israelietische Weekblad, a Jewish outlet, has posted the request. It is rather long and not yet translated, but the reader can plainly see the names of numerous Israeli/Jewish institutions listed here.

The request, referred to in Dutch as Wob, for Wet Openbaarheid Bestuur, (translated loosely as Administration Public Disclosure Law or Act) is somewhat similar to our federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

The revelation of the request and the initial response to the request by the university(ies) has caused a commotion among Jewish students and the Jewish community in general in the Netherlands. It brings back memories of how the Nazis took steps to remove Jewish students and professors from the universities when they took power in Germany, a practice they exported to the Netherlands during the occupation in World War 2.

The New York-based, Jewish outlet, Algemeiner, has posted an article on the controversy, which can be read here.

The Algemeiner article also has a link to two notices academic authorities released under the letterhead "Universities of the Netherlands", on February 11 and then on February 15. Those notices are contained here (in Dutch).

Below are translations of the academic responses dated February 11 and 15. Translation by Fousesquawk.

Response of Dutch universities to Wob request, The Rights Forum

February 11, 2022

All 14 universities that are affiliated with Universities in the Netherlands have received  a Wob request from The Rights Forum regarding, "institutional connections of the universities to Israeli universities, institutes, and companies as well as organizations that propagate their support for Israel." Questions and unrest have arisen because of this Wob request. In order to handle this request, all universities that fall under the Wob (should) request a delay from the submitter in the handling of this request.

In the Wob request, questions were asked about institutional cooperation between the universities and the organizations named in the request. It does not explicitly concern cooperation with individual academics. Almost all universities are required to cooperate with the disclosure of requested information. Universities are not allowed to make considerations as to which Wob request they find morally or otherwise undesirable or inappropriate. That is not to say that all requested information must actually be made public in its entirety.  The Wob provides grounds for exceptions, for example, for personal data such as religion or belief. Interested parties, such as specified in the Common Administrative Law Axt, who have reservations over the disclosure of the information should be asked to share their views, or objections against disclosure with their university. These views will be taken into account in the final decision on disclosure.

Additional statement regarding Wob request, The Rights Forum

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

A number of weeks ago, all Dutch universities received a Wob request from The Rights Forum in which information was requested regarding "institutional connections between the university with Israeli universities, institutions, and companies, along with organizations that propagate support for the state of Israel". Also requested was information regarding connections with a  number of specific Jewish organizations.

The handling and dissemination of the Wob request have led to feelings of unrest and insecurity within the universities. We regret this. We stand for a safe educational, research, and work climate for all of our employees and students. We are getting signals that this has come into question due to our approach to the Wob request, and we confirm that a careful assessment of the request is necessary.

Last Friday, we stated that all the universities would request a delay from the Wob submitter. More on this is below.

All universities covered under the Wob will ask for delay (or have already done so) from the submitter of the Wob request, The Rights Forum. This means that no further steps will be taken as to requesting, gathering, and/or sending of information requested in the Wob request.

The universities want to make a careful consideration of whether, and if so, in which manner the request must be handled. This requires considering the (Wob) Public Administration Law, but also the broader legal framework and university principles, such as safety of our employees and students, academic freedom, equal treatment, and countering discrimination. It will be examined whether cooperating with (parts) the request would disproportionately disadvantage the concerned persons (Article 10g, sub. 2 of the Wob).

This consideration must take place in a careful manner, and thus, will take some time. As soon as more is known, we will communicate it via a report.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Statement by Canadian Truckers Convoy

 Hat tip Fredrik

The below video is dated February 15, 2022, and was produced by Canadian activist Jordan Peterson. In this video, Benjamin Dichter a spokesman for the Canadian Trucker Convoy, reads a prepared statement as to what the truckers want.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Europe (3): A View From Italy

This is another in our series of translations from European articles concerning the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. It is the 3rd such translation concerning the EU in general. The article comes from the Italian daily, Il Giornale, and is written by Mauro Indelicato. The translation (from Italian) is by Fousesquawk.

How European money ends up with the radical Islam Muslim Brotherhood

By Mauro Indelicato

The trend of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe is clear: "Secularize their own requests and carry forward associations able to promote "sensitive" themes to the ears (and the pocketbooks) of community institutions. A strategy that is working. That is how, as reported in Libero in the past days, from an inquiry presented to the Strasbourg Parliament by parliamentarians of Identity and Democracy and Conservatives and Reformists, important figures emerged on the funding to groups deemed close to the Brotherhood.

The answer given by the European Commission presents a picture other than reassuring. For example, the news of a comprehensive funding of 170,000 euros from 2013 to 2019 from the EU to FEMSYO. That is the Forum of Youth and Muslim Students, a group deemed close to the Muslim Brotherhood. 

A rain of money justified in part for programs of instruction, at least 125,000 euros, and in part, for the remaining amount of 45,000 euros, for projects relative to programs of integration and equality. In a few words, placing themselves as representatives of social needs of the Muslim community, the members of FEMSYO have managed to extract important funding from the coffers of Brussels.

A situation deemed alarming by the parliamentarians who presented the inquiry. Among these are some deputies of the Lega (League Party-Italy). Susanna Ceccardi, (Lega) member at Brussels and also among the signers, has judged the funding in favor of FEMSYO and other associations close to the Muslim Brotherhood "unacceptable", announcing further requests for clarification.

In fact, FEMSYO is an association that is causing a lot of discussion in France. Marlene Schiappa, French minister of integration and who is not noted for anti-Islam positions, has defined the Forum of Young Muslims as "the pseudonym for Islamism". Also because the association is part of Fioe, the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe. The same one that has promoted initiatives aimed at integrating features of sharia (law) into the legal systems of the Old Continent.

After all, the objective of the Brotherhood is to promote so-called "Political Islam", a very conservative vision of Islam, to be spread also in Europe by all possible means. From politics to Soft Power, created thanks to a capillary network of associations, precisely capable of bringing Islamist demands within European institutions. It is no coincidence that FEMSYO is not the only forum to have benefitted from EU funds in these years. Money has been dispersed, for example, also to the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (Ccif), dissolved in 2020 by the French government after the homicide of Professor Samuel Paty, as according to the Paris authorities, the association was considered to be very close to Islamist circles. 

The rain of money for the Muslim Brotherhood does not represent solely a problem of an economic nature. After all, the groups tied to Political Islam already have many funds at their disposition, the thousands of euros dispersed by the EU are pennies compared to their budget. Much more money arrives from abroad through philanthropic and other private (sources), and besides, the Brotherhood has historically received support from countries like Turkey and Qatar. More than anything, the problem is of a political nature. To pay even one cent to an association immersed in the "grey zone" of Islamism means political recognition to radical groups. Self-inflicted damage for Europe and a danger to the security of all.,

Monday, February 14, 2022

Spain: Fugitive From Italy in Saman Abbas Case Is Arrested in Barcelona

Above: Italian police search farm in Emilia Romagna. Upper right-victim.

For the past year, we have been following the tragic case of Saman Abbas, an 18-year-old Pakistani girl who was allegedly murdered by members of her family in Italy for refusing an arranged marriage in Pakistan.

Today, the latest member of Saman's family, a  cousin believed to be involved in her murder, was arrested in Spain. Though the below article in the Spanish media does not identify him by name, the Italian newspaper, Il Giornale, identifies him as Nomanulhaq Nomanulhaq.

That leaves only the parents, Shabbar Abbas, and his wife, Nazia Shaheen, who have not been arrested. They are in Pakistan.

The below article from the Spanish daily, El Mundo, is translated by Fousesquawk.

Fugitive wanted in Italy for killing his cousin, who refused an arranged marriage, is arrested

The suspect, of Pakistani nationality, participated in the crime with the rest of his family.

It was a crime that shocked all of Italy in May of last year. A family decided to end the life of an 18-year-old woman for refusing to comply with the decision of her parents to arrange a marriage with another relative of their choice living in Pakistan who she did not know; go with them to her land of birth, and live according to the most rigorous rules of Islam. One of the suspects in the crime, a cousin of the victim, was arrested in Barcelona in an operation by the National Police and the Italian Carabinieri force.  

He is facing life in prison for the crimes of unlawful detention, homicide, and concealment of a cadaver and is now in judicial custody awaiting authorization to proceed with his extradition. The events occurred in Novellara, region of Emilio Romagna, when the fugitive directly participated in the crime. According to investigations carried out by the Carabinieri of Reggio Emilia, the accused, cousin of the victim, together with another cousin and an uncle, in addition to having the complicity of the parents of the woman, at the end of their working day, dug a hole with agricultural tools in an unidentified area located behind the shed of the farm where they worked. 

It was their intention to hide the body of the young woman when they killed her the next day, to which the entire family agreed. After the crime, some of the suspects escaped, and in September of last year, (police) managed to arrest the uncle of the woman in Paris, accused of being the material perpetrator of her death by strangulation. This Monday, agents of the National Police detained the cousin, who was hiding in the Trinidad neighborhood of Barcelona.

The death of the young woman provoked a wide debate in the Pakistan Muslim community in Italy over the intergenerational conflict at the root of integration in the West of the second generation of Muslims who challenge some of the traditions like that which the victim opposed.

Ukraine: A Personal Memory

This article first appeared in New English Review.

As I watch the events unfold in Ukraine, I can't help recalling 1994 when I made two trips to that country as a member of DEA's International Training team to conduct a regional drug enforcement seminar in Kiev for drug control police from each of the former Soviet republics. 

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the former Soviet republics witnessed a sharp increase in drug trafficking through their territories and asked the US, through the State Department, for assistance in the form of training. Since my last post of duty with DEA before retiring was International Training from 1993-1995, I was there at a time when our teams were being sent to many of the former republics to advise and train their drug cops. In that role, I had the occasion to visit Latvia, Georgia, and Ukraine. After retirement, in 1997, I went to Moscow as a contract hire to assist DEA's International Training team put on a seminar in Russia. Altogether, it was an incredible experience.

DEA training team in Kiev. I am at far right.

In April 1994, I traveled to Kiev to conduct advance preparations for a seminar scheduled for May-June, a period of two weeks. As team coordinator for this seminar, it was my job to arrange hotel accommodations, a seminar site, simultaneous interpreters, and other logistical arrangements. In Kiev, I was assisted by officers from the Ukrainian police from the Interior Ministry, the US Embassy, and the DEA county attache in Vienna. (There was no DEA office in Ukraine, and liaison was handled by our DEA office in Vienna. The country attache from Vienna was a Ukrainian-American who spoke Ukrainian fluently.)

During the few days I spent in Kiev, I was shown great hospitality by my Ukrainian counterparts. Of course, much of that hospitality came in the form of vodka, but I digress.

L-R, Ukrainian colleague, myself, two officers from Turkmenistan.

Our DEA team with Ukrainian colleague (in middle).

Then in late May, I returned to Kiev with my fellow team members, and we put on a 2-week course of instruction. The students were composed of two cops from each of the 15 former Soviet republics along with 7-8 Ukrainian cops. The hotel we stayed at and where we conducted the school was called the Prolisok, a  resort-type establishment that had been used to house several Olympic athletes during the Moscow Olympics. In the evenings, everybody would gather in the hotel restaurant/bar, and naturally, the vodka flowed, but again, I digress. The Cold War seemed like a distant memory. I remember meeting a young Ukrainian army officer who had fought in Afghanistan. He had stopped by our hotel to say hello. I told him I had been a US Army military policeman in West Germany during the 1960s (during the Vietnam war/Cold War, certainly no comparison between my military service and his), and I invited him to drink with us. He said that he was on duty, but would try and come back later when he was off duty. He wasn't able to make it back, but I was so impressed with this young combat veteran and his professionalism.

Our class

In the classroom. I am at far left standing.

In the evening. DEA team member learning a Georgian dance from Georgian colleague (l)

Over the weekend in the middle of the school, the Ukrainian police arranged a boat trip down the Dnieper River, which flowed through Kiev, to the town of Kaniv, which was the burial place of Ukraine's national hero, the dissident poet, writer, and artist, Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861). We visited the Shevchenko memorial, where he is buried, and my DEA college from Vienna and I shared the honor of laying a wreath on Shevchenko's grave. When I say Shevchenko was a dissident, I mean that he opposed the rule of tsarist Russia over Ukraine. For that, he was imprisoned.

At Kaniv with Ukrainian colleague (l).

There was another site I visited in Ukraine, actually during my advance trip. I had requested the police to show me Babi Yar, the infamous ravine on the outskirts of the city where, during the German occupation in World War 2, over 30,000 Jews were murdered by the Germans.

All these memories are coming back to me now as Ukraine faces a Russian invasion. I think about the counterparts that I worked with, ate with, and drank with, and I worry about their common fate. I also think back about Taras Shevchenko and why he is Ukraine's national hero.

My prayers are with the people of Ukraine in this hour.