Dear Mr. Tsipras,
With fast internet and global coverage of every thinkable event, we become overwhelmed with instant information from various sources about anything and everything as it happens. Opinions and facts are mixed so fast that we have no opportunity to understand what is true and what isn’t.
It is therefor that I respectfully request you to answer the following questions related to the refugee crisis Greece is dealing with daily:
- How many refugees have arrived in Greece during 2015?
- How many of those refugees are Syrian citizens?
- Are you able to establish how many Syrian refugees have arrived in Greece through Turkey directly?
- Are you able to establish how many Syrian refugees have arrived in Greece through other countries but have passed through Turkey during their journey?
- How many of the refugees who arrived in Greece have been transferred to other EU members?
- Which financial aid has Greece received from other EU members?
- Which material aid has Greece received from other EU members?
- Which organizational support has Greece received from other EU members?
- Which recommendations do you have for the other EU members in dealing with the refugee crisis?
With kind regards,
Until this week, the exchanges between Turkey and Russia were verbal. Rhetoric back and forth, accusations to the other and emphases on the own goals and results. In the view of Turkey, an opponent of the Syrian Government and supporter of rebel forces, Russia was actively attacking the rebel forces which Turkey supports and not attacking ISIS at all. Russia, a strong support of the Syrian Government, accused Turkey of supporting the rebel forces and allowing supplies and financing of ISIS through Turkey.
The majority of these rhetoric cannonades seemed to be focused more on the own local audience than on shirtfronting the other side in a serious manner. Turkey upped the exchange of verbal attacks when it claimed that Russian fighter jets were penetrating its airspace and summoned the Russian Aide over these incidents. Not surprisingly at all, Russian denounced these claims except for one instance in which Russia stated this occurred by mistake. Russia took the verbal battles to the next level by stating that the ISIS oil production and trade it started to attack was mainly distributed through Turkey, which Turkey of course denied in all thinkable ways.
All rhetorical statements for political purposes between 2 parties that obviously support other sides in the same armed conflict. Nothing out of the ordinary, popcorn moments at most. Until Turkey decided to attack a Russian SU-24… Continue reading
Something horrible happened and you’re now afraid of the dark, everyone has to understand that. You can’t just switch on the light in the dark because the light would blind you. So you start to place lights wherever you can so it won’t get dark anymore. But you just can’t place lights everywhere, no matter what you try. There will be darkness, too much darkness and you fear the dark. Night vision gear is the answer to that so that is what you do because you will never be in the dark again, no human being can expect you to remain in the dark after the horrible things that happened to you.
Although you still can’t see everywhere and there is still darkness in many places, at least you can see where you have placed lights and where you can use your night vision gear. But you don’t know where to look, there is so much to see. Too much to see so you bring in more people to have more eyes so you can see, you have to see it all after the horrible things that happened to you. And more light and more night vision gear, because you have to see so those horrible things can never happen again. You need to see more but people still create darkness. So you start to drill holes in their walls because you have to see everything and everywhere. You must see, it is for your own protection and for their own protection. Only those who have something to hide will object to it because those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from you watching them. Everywhere, all the time, no matter what they do, you have to watch them.
You see more and more, there is too much to see and you just don’t have enough eyes and minds to understand everything you see as it happens. So you start to record everything you see so you can look at it later. But it still isn’t enough, horrible things still happen and you can only prevent it by seeing everything. You must see more! You want to use everything that has a camera and be able to see whatever is seen through those camera’s. You force some manufacturers to give you access to the devices they build and with others you just hack your way in. Because you have to see, you have to see everything and only those who want to harm you have something to hide so nobody has the right to object to it. It doesn’t matter if this is legal or not because you do it for the protection of everyone, it is for their own safety. More, you must see more, you must see everything. Bad things have happened so you have to. More, more, more, more, more, until you see everything!
Political Satire is a way of expressing discontent with the political environment by using sarcasm and what can be best described as “dark humor”. Most of the time, Political Satire is used to expose issues by ridiculing them. And that almost always includes ridiculing the responsible politicians. Let’s see this as occupational hazard for everyone who pursues a public career as politician. Political Satire isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and “funny” can also be very confronting and at times even politically dangerous. But hey, it’s Satire, you don’t have to like it.
Freedom of Speech and Political Satire have a love-hate relationship. The stronger the limitations on Freedom of Speech are, the louder Political Satirists will call upon the right to express their opinion. The less the limitations on Freedom of Speech are, the more Political Satire seems to be exploiting the same rights to express what, in most cases, has nothing to do satire or even politics. In fact, that is actually rather logical since there is no real need for political satire when anyone can express whatever is on their minds without having to hide behind satire as instrument.
Satire can also be seen as a side-effect of democracy and an instrument when democracy is less of a given. Satire can be seen as a way of expressing what many think but don’t say because it isn’t “politically correct” and for what it is worth, no one has to like it or agree with it. That’s also part of the game called democracy and freedom of speech.
And then there is Charlie Hedbo… Continue reading
First and foremost, I want to express my sympathies to the family members, loved ones and friends of the victims of Flight 7K9268 in the same manner as I continue to express my sympathies to the family members, loved ones and friends of the victims of Flight MH17. In both horrible incidents, innocent lives were lost and those who are left behind will have to learn to live with memories of the victims instead of the victims being part of their lives. Never again a new memory will be made by the victims, their lives have ended abruptly and the ones who are left behind will have to go through a long and difficult path of healing and mourning.
There is a picture on the internet, showing a 10 month old baby gazing at airplanes before her departure from St. Petersburg. A beautiful young life, impressed by all new impressions like all babies in her age are. Never again will she be impressed by what she sees, never again will she learn and grow. She died on Flight 7K9268 and all we can do is hope that she didn’t suffer during her final moments.
Everyone with the slightest grain of humanity will be moved to tears by this picture of this beautiful child and the realization that her life was lost on that flight, just like the lives of all other victims. This picture of this wonderful beautiful amazed gazing baby has become symbolic for the lives lost, for the pain of their loved ones, for the emptiness caused by the lives which were taken so abruptly.
There was picture of the crash site of Flight MH17, showing a child’s shirt with the print I <3 Amsterdam as it was found spread on the fields immediately after the crash. This picture expressed best what was lost on Flight MH17. Innocent lives, abruptly ended. Leaving their loved ones with nothing but memories and pain.
Both pictures symbolize the impact of these horrible incidents, symbolize the pain of the next of kin, and as such, they are an appeal to everyone who thinks to have the right to report on these incidents in one way or the other. An appeal to understand and accept that under certain circumstances, the desire for attention or to sell copies should or even must be preceded by the respect for the pain and grieve of the loved ones and friends of the victims. The understanding that these pictures make clear how deep the pain is over the lost lives and that each piece of unqualified or unsubstantiated information only extends this pain. Unfortunately, this appeal is unheard by most! Continue reading