Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I've not seen this week a piece which so brazenly sprinkles myths and misinformation into a scaremonger piece.

"It is a sign of the times, he thinks, that the country where he settled 17 years ago is about to say goodbye to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch politician who has sharply criticised the Muslim tradition in which she was raised. Having got into trouble because she once fibbed to the Dutch immigration authorities, Miss Hirsi Ali is moving to America."

Completely untrue - but it's now reality in the foreign press. The correllation is made that because there was a ruckus on her immigration procedure, she's leaving.

The truth of course is even sadder, which is why I'd say the quoted law professor Ellian about cynism in Europe is partly correct (but is also reported with any form of context). Hirsi Ali has struggled to continue her political careers, but was constantly hindered - lack of security, lack of safe lodging, (ridiculous) opposition of neighbours against the tenancy of Hirsi Ali. The Netherlands, as a country, has discarded her. Note that minister Verdonk, after her spat with Parliament about Hirsi Ali's nationality (still unresolved), is still supported by some 80 percent of the Dutch population. (It makes me howl.)

And that, of course, were just the two first paragraphs.

I need something to calm the heartburn now.

by Nomad on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 06:02:49 AM EST
I'd say Miss Hirsi Ali lied rather than fibbed about her origins when she applied to stay in the Netherlands as maintained by Ellian in the article. His use of the word 'fib'  is a piece of transparent spin. Other people have been extradited from the country for precisely the same kind of deception, only they didn't have friends in high, high places. That's what this story is about: and the nasty politics of her party. If she was 'constantly hindered' in her political work --- however she may have regarded her inflammatory behaviour in the horrible Van Gogh episode  among people who absolutely can hardly even deal with the smallest personal insult, namely, the Netherlanders --- is something I can't judge. Surely it is odd that she would have hardly be able to find a place to live in the country. But all in all I have no fear that Miss Hirsi Ali will not be able to take care of herself: she moved from Somalia to Kenya, from Kenya to the Netherlands, from the PvdA (left of centre) to the VVD (right of centre)in the wink of an eye when she was literally promised a seat in parliament and a portfolio after only twelve years in the country, and her latest metamporphosis from the VVD to an extreme rightwing organisation with which Dick Cheney feels entirely at home. She is extraordinarily resourceful, intelligent and self-assured.

About the Economist's cover: CANCEL!. The sales in the little old U.S. of A. will doubtless soar. The schadenfreude about the riots around Paris was right up the right wing's alley. Ditto idem the murder of Van Gogh in Amsterdam. 'You see, we told you so!' The Economist, you see, has a very heavy, lethal axe to grind: Anglo-American is best.

by Quentin on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 07:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anglo-American is best, assuming you forget that the 7/7 attacks were planned and executed by British-born muslims, and that (as was pointed out in a poll in a recent breakfast) British muslims feel the most alienated from their home country in all of Europe.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 07:13:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, of course, among other things. The Economist can only talk the talk. When it comes to the walk it conveniently ignores realities.
by Quentin on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 09:42:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It even conveniently ignores the facts in other parts of the same newspaper - or even in other parts of the same article.

That's the most damning indictment. They reach conclusions that are contradicted by the very same article. Reality does not matter. We create our own reality.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jun 25th, 2006 at 11:09:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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