<$BlogRSDURL$>

2004-03-24

Der Falter on terrorism and the Swedish economy 

Attracted by the headline on the cover ("Terror - How to fight unlawfulness without breaking the law"), I bought the Viennese weekly Der Falter yesterday. The lead article is a disappointment. For example, the authors don't discuss whether international law must not be broken at all or whether there could be special circumstances where this should be considered. So instead they enumerate what policing measures could be taken - hardly any that are not already in place, it seems - and discuss is the division of responsibility between a secret service and a police force. But most of their article is about the question of how tasks in the European fight against terrorism should be distributed between the European nations and EU institutions, what should be done by Europol and what by national police and so on. For example, apparently a proposal by the Austrian interior minister to set up a "European CIA" has gained traction in Brussels.

Unfortunately, these EU-institutional questions are of hardly any impact in the real world. The fact that the discussion in Europe becomes focussed on them (see also the blog entry for 22 March by presidential candidate Ferrero-Waldner) is just a sign of the general cluelessness about what to do, which in turn is provoked by the general reluctance to take a more active approach to the issue.

It would seem that a few things need to be done now. The muslim communities in Europe, and also the muslim states, must be reassured that Europe continues to be interested in pluralism, dialog and engagement, including the Palestinian question. But at the same time, Al-Kaida and everybody who either supports it or is neutral towards it must be declared enemies of all European states. Terrorism supporters must be arrested by all means. Terrorism sympathisers must be evicted, always on an individual level, and never extending the forceful attitude to an individual's family or community.

In the same issue of Der Falter, an article about the success of the Swedish economy, which is explained by the genereous welfare provisions rather than - as is allegedly common - by the active innovation policies of the Swedish government. Again, a rather typical short-circuited argument. Could it not be that the Scandinavian countries have reached a more advanced state of social development, where individuals are better educated, more open to rational argument, less prone to intellectual laziness, and eventually for THESE reasons more effective as economic actors than the compromising, all too comfortable central Europeans?


0 comments:
Post a Comment

Back to Main Page
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?