Monday, August 14, 2006

Danish naval ship may be sent to Lebanon

From Berlingske Tidende

Denmark might contribute with a Korvet if asked to participate in a UN-force, supposed to ophold the cease-fire in Lebanon.

If Denmark is to contribute, it is most likely that the navy get's the task, and that it will be solved by sending a korvet to patrol the Lebanese coast to stop gunrunning by sea.

That is the expectation in the administration, since the army is already stretched out with soldiers stationed in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The opposition want the Danish troops in Iraq pulled out and deployed in Lebanon instead, but that idea is rejected by the goverment.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Another "honor" case in Denmark

Danish police have charged three persons of foreign background with threats and kidnapping of a 24-year old female family member, Berlingske Tidende reports (link in Danish). The police believe the girl was kidnapped by her father and is now being held against her will in Syria.

The charged are the girl's mother, her brother-in-law and her ex-husband - who also happens to be her cousin. The family wanted to force the girl to resume married life with her ex-husband/cousin.

The mother is among other things charged, together with her husband, of assaulting the girl on a daily basis and threatening her with a gun. The girl was kept locked up in the familie's apartment in Slagelse from the the spring of 2005 to june 2006.

The girl was then kidnapped to Lebanon and on august 2 forced to Syria.

After several hours of preliminary hearing the prosecuter had to release the family, but the charges are upheld.

This happened in the same town that witnessed the the brutal murder in broad daylight of the 18-year old Ghazala Khan in another so-called "honor" crime.

18-year old Ghazala Khan is gunned down
along with her husband by her own brother
in Slagelse, Denmark last year

If you look at the dates, I don't think it's a coincidence that the girl in question was abductet to Lebanon in June 2006, the very month the Ghazala-trial was taking place, ending with very severe sentenses to nine persons.

After the guilty-as-charged verdict by the jury in the Ghazala-case, Manu Sareen, an integration consultant in Copenhagen said:
'This verdict will send shockwaves through all of Europe, and I'm sure that it will have a preventive effect,' said Sareen. 'Crimes such as 'honour killings' don't stop from one day to the next, but this is a clear signal.'
Not clear enough, one might add.

I'll keep an eye on this story and post any developments.

Poll: "Massive Danish support for Israel"

Good news update:

Berlingske Tidende a large Danish paper has asked Gallup to conduct a poll (link in Danish) on public opinion in Denmark on the outgoing conflict in the Mideast.

It turns out that Israel have great support in the Danish population. (my translation):
The Danes give Israel a firm pat in the back in a new poll concerning the now four-week long war against the Hizbollah militia. 57 percent thinks Hizbollah is to blame for the conflict, while only 37 percent points the finger at Israel.

At the same time nearly half of the Danes - or 48 percent - declare that their sympthies lies with Israel, while the Hizbollah is only backed up by 7 percent, most of whom also vote for the left.

Like I always said: Danes are a sensible people.

(Those able to read Danish can also se my Danish blog on the subject.)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Why we are in Afghanistan

The Danish daily Berlingske Tidende prints a moral booster of an editorial (link in Danish) after a Danish soldier was severly wounded wednesday after being shot in the head and chest. He has since been brought back to Denmark and is still in a coma.

The piece headlined Ethics are good - Politics are better is of course directed at Danish readers, but it could easely be applied to anyone with fellow countrymen fighting in mountains and the desserts. This in an excerpt (my translation):

The sad news of the first seriously wounded Danish soldier from the NATO-force in Afghanistan naturally makes many ponder what Danish soldiers are even doing there. Why is Denmark at war in Afghanistan and other places? That is not only a relevant question, it is a good question, but the answer is not blowing in the wind. For there is an answer.

The war in Afghanistan is a consekvense of 9/11 and the new realization that the western civilization has mortal enimies. This cannot be said too often. Someone out there hates us - our values, our life style, our ironic-sarcastic mentality - even to the extent, that they will do anything in their power to kill or hurt us and our interests.

The easiest thing in the world is to pass UN-resolutions, demanding armistice here and now. But then what? The hardest thing to do is to make a realistic attempt using realistic means. And that is what Denmark and her allies are doing in Afghanistan.

If foreign politics only where a question of morals as some seem to think, then foreign policy would exclusively be about showing the most shining morality. But foreign policy is a mix of moral and realism, ends and means and without the latter, we would be at the mercy of those bragging of their superiour ethics.

Instead of the countless people flying the colors of ethics, we need more democratic goverments realizing that peace does not come through prayers, meek hopes or petitions, but raher through the showing of true guts and political skills.

Denmark have troops in Afghanistan and Iraq because the Danish goverment has realized that we cannot sit and wait for our enimies to come to us. Call it self-defence, call it preemption - it is realism in the form of concrete action, and we owe our soldiers our respect and our gratitude.

Amen to that!