Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wrapped Up in Spin

According to Danish papers this morning Egypt gave Denmark an opportunity to get out of the cartoons crisis in an honorable way, but the Danish government did not use it.

At the end of November the Egyptian minister for foreign affairs wrote a letter to all contry members of the UN general Assembly and to General secretary Kofi Annan. In the letter the Egyptian foreign minister wrote: "We do not expect any country to take legal or disciplinary steps against a newspaper.... On the other hand we had expected an official Danish declaration underlining the need, and even the obligation to respect all religions...." Similar letters were sent to the EU and the OSCE. This is contrary to the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's claim that he cannot take legal action against a newspaper, considering the type of political system in Denmark. Fogh continues claiming that the ME ambassadors expected him to take legal action against the Jyllandsposten.

As you often see with the liberal government in Denmark: Complicated matters that require some concrete action have been wrapped up in spin. Is it really possible that anybody can expect a smug little country to act in any way other than empty retoric?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yeah, but, Cosmic Duck, those letters were sent after the cartoons were published in an Egyptian newspaper already which occurred in October.

Knowing the situation of the Coptic Christians in Egypt, moreover, the Egyptian government should perhaps have started respecting their old traditional religious minorities before they are justified to make any demand on any other countries.

Call that hypocrisy.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

It is terrible what has happened to the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I won't defend that.

What is regrettable about this case is the fact that Anders Fogh Rasmussen made a big mistake in misunderstanding the letter from the ambassadors and then turning it into at struggle for freedom of speech. He opts for the easy way out instead of dealing with the problem at hand. I'm also ready to fight for freedom of speec at any time. But that is not the point here.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen has done irreparable damage to Danish and European interests by his clumsy way of handling this conflict. Furthermore, it is a conflict that he himself is responsible for. He has helped to build up the creeping islamophobia in the Danish society by being the puppy of Mr. Bush in foreign policy and of Pia Kjaersgaard in domestic policy.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmic Duck: I'm not a Dane but anyway I'm against the Danish participation in Iraq. The whol invasion made me very angry in 2003. However, what saddens me in your blog is that you seem to blame Fogh Rasmussen for everything. I'm not his admirer (and if I had the right to vote in Denmark, wouldn't vote for him), yet... How should I put this. You only look for failures in what the government has done, yet the government's mistakes are minor here. The real cause of the problem are despotic Middle East government and brainwashed people there, I stress, the vocal minority.

What do you think of Flemming Rose's equation that asking him whether he regrets publishing those cartoons is as asking a rape victim whether she regrets going to a disco on Friday evening in mini skirt? Yes, that's risky behaviour but it no way justifies the rape!!!

What my main point is is that it's ridiculous, disgusting and makes me nauseatic to see that here governments who show very little care for human rights are demanding something from other countries they're not at all willing to allow to their own citizens.

Do you at all feel sorry for example for the 12 cartoonists and their families who will need police protection perhaps for years and will be looking behind their backs for the rest of their lives because retarded imams have promised to may $$$ for their heads? Whatever JP or AFR have done is very very marginal compared to what the opponents have done.

We can of course discuss whether all the PM's moves were right or not, that's our democratic right. However, this whole mess is just as disgusting as the KGB butcher Putin preaching respect for minority rights to the Balts when he's slaughtering his own citizens in Chechnya and trying to halt NGO activities. C'mon it's called bullying if you threaten more or less well-having small nations with force. And that's as disgusting as big guys bullying a small guy in the schoolyard.

You've got the freedom to see things from any perspective you want, yet I'd love to see more balance here. Any time you criticize the PM for something, think how his most vocal opponents in this crisis have handled / would have handled the same issue at home. I didn't mean other Danish politicians here but for example the governments of the eleven ambassadors. Now I have to remind you of that every time you write something ;).

10:44 AM  

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