Willy Claes: we're dangling on the tail

Willy Claes, former Secretary General of NATO, in Canvas's news program tonight, on different subjects:

On terrorism and intelligence in Belgium:

"We're behaving ourselves like little amateurs."

"Belgian Security Services are simply understaffed."

"Do you seriously think we know anything about what goes on in Belgian mosques?"

"We're just dangling on the tail."

On Europe or, more in particular, Belgium's overall attitude towards things:

"There's no doubt about it that there are still, in Washington and London, people who want to bring things into account. This is not forgotten, and consequences will be presented to us."

"What is the exact attitude of Europe towards Iraq in fact? There are as much opinions as there are states. We [Europe] should hurry to come forward with a common policy towards Iraq. We're losing all credibility."

"A small country like ours shouldn't go around with a pointing finger, one has to know where to stop. If there's one thing we can do, it's building bridges between memberstates [in view of a common policy].

Too bad he's retired.

21:39 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

NYT uniformly pessimistic ... in WWII

Via FormerBelgian, excerpts of history which may teach us a few things:

Ghosts of Occupations Past -- "We can lose the peace"

Inspired by the Life magazine from Jessica's Well and the Saturday Evening Post posted by Instapundit, I went off to the library. The New York Public Library has a database of New York Times articles dating form 1857.

In the span of an hour, I found many articles dating from late 1945 and 1946 about the occupation of Germany. They were uniformly pessimistic. I would like to post them here. Due to copyrights, I will only post excerpts.

I think this is the first post where The CounterRevolutionary started his collage of articles. Go up from there.

20:55 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


London protestors, hear this ... .

ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- At least 25 people were killed and 390 others injured after at least two explosions rocked Istanbul, CNN Turk quoted local officials as saying.


Q: Does this prove the terrorism we're up against is international?
A: I should think so!

Q: Is there any chance attacks like the ones President Bush talked about in his speach yesterday will occur in Europe, like London for instance?
A: There's no doubt about it!

Q: Does this mean any country that does not fall within the grace of the terrorists is a candidate for carnage?
A: That seems to be the point the demonstrators in London are missing, yes!

Q: If the bombers of the Istanbul synagogues appear to have bombed their own people, does this say anything about the historical mistake Europe made not to participate in the War Against Terror?
A: Well of course!

Q: What does it say about this stupidity?
A: It says the global terrorism we know today is everywhere, without being hindered by bounderies or nationalities! It says the World should fight terrorism, not the Nations Of The Willing alone!


13:17 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |



No, this is not a drawing made by a bored teenager with a lot of aggressive energy in his body. Yes, it's a piece of art made by the so-called "20th hijacker", Zacarias Moussaoui. On the second page of this two-page "document", there's a line that says

After All ANTRAX can be used to ERADICATE Wicked Anglo Satan Parasites.

[I have the distinct impression Moussaoui gets a lot of his inspiration from movies ("Natural Born Liars") or TV ("Criminal Nasty Network"), and the above collection of words also translates to "WASP", on which I cannot really put my finger, but I'm almost certain it has something to do with the L.A. Police Departement.]

Thank you, Eugene over at The Volokh Conspiracy to show me where I can find creations like this one.

Browse around in these documents and form yourself an opinion on the culpability of this smart-*ss who's trying to defend himself while making the world turn a little slower just by trying alone; my stomach's already tied in knots just by looking at all of this. Go here to find more of the same stuff.

Additional: this one's where I got my title. I'd love to see a psychological profile of some sort on this man.

Additional2: (see comments) WASP = White Anglo-Saxan Protestants, thanks DoF, it just didn't fall into place. A Google for 'wasp' also pointed to things like 'Wind Atlas Analysis and Application Program' ... stupid me ... .

13:07 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (2) |  Facebook |


Post-historical E u topia

Misty and dull here. Just the right weather to remember terrible days in history, with men and woman fighting in the damp, cloudy, freezing hell of Flanders Fields.

On a visit to Scotland 10 years ago, me and a friend of mine would go to a pub in Ullapool regularly, called "The Ferry Boat Inn". It was one of the last stops when you were going to the most Northern point of the English Isles. After Ullapool, there was nothing but lochs, moors and rocks.

One evening, an older man came to sit next to us on a barstool. We started talking and I noticed he had a pin on his vest that I couldn't recognise immediately. When asked, he calmly said "Oh, I was in Belgium you see. Lost a lot of friends then ... ."

Offering him a drink, which he refused, I told him "we had a lot to thank him for", while my friend opposite of me nodded (he was a history buff, with enough brains to know what sacrifices the fights around Ieper, or Ypres, had taken and what they had meant for our country and others).

Until today, I clearly see in front of me the blink in this veteran's eye, from the tears that were starting to well up, while he briefly stared in my face. He got up from the stool, saying "Thank you Sir, thank you very much" silently, almost whispering, opened the door and went.

Mark Steyn has an excellent peace on a bisexual prince, Ikea and poppies, Remembrance Day and the Great War, one small quote here:

After September 11, I wondered rhetorically (in The Spectator) what are we prepared to die for, and got a convoluted e-mail back from a French professor explaining that the fact that Europeans weren't prepared to die for anything was the best evidence of their superiority: they were building a post-historical utopia - a Europe it would not be necessary to die for. Or as Robert Kagan's recent thesis puts it: these days Americans are from Mars, Europeans are from Venus.

More on the poem 'In Flanders Fields' and John  McCrae, the man who wrote it.

In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

17:24 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |


Journalism in Belgium, the sequel

Over at Live From Brussels, Maarten Schenk has gotten into a discussion  with Belgian newspaper Gazet Van Antwerpen. Basically he's contesting them using the term "end of war" falsely: Bush never said "the war was over", he said "major combat operations were over".

Let's hope they listen to what Maarten is saying, but viewing this I'm inclined to think they're either deaf or bad in maths:

... Results of a public inquiry indicate that a majority of the Americans (51 percent) disapprove of Bush's policy on Iraq. The inquiry was done on demand of ABC and The Washington Post.

[Translation and italics mine, the original article is here]

Why not say it was a huuuge majority, like in "huuuge European efforts to help Iraq", or "huuuge efforts in Belgium to keep news fair and balanced"? More on that last bit later ... well maybe, I'm starting to rant already.

Feel free --or in case you're a Belgian, do not, seeing we're living in a society with parallels to the former Soviet Union-- to write a rant yourself to the paper: here's the page where you can find their contacts, I suggest you use this e-mailaddress, that's the one for the Belgian news, just to pull their legs, heheh ... . Or better yet, where it says "Informatie redactie GVA", there are a whole lot of them grouped together, use them all! Should keep them busy for the second half of the week. If you want to do it politely, use this one.

23:08 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |



Via Christoph C. Cemper (seems like a very informative blog!):

Link goes to a bigger picture. Just thought it was a great cartoon, very visual and original, anyone know who it's from?

08:23 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |


An old man with a gu ... sleepingproblems.

Quote of the week, on Belgian TV-channel VTM:

"The average age of the Belgian soldier is about ten years more as compared to an American soldier."

Signed: Willy Herteleer (one wonders if that's his friend in front of him here, standing first from left), former Chief of Staff of the Belgian (a)(A)rmy.

The answer was given in a very fast response to the question as to what Belgium might do to help rebuild Iraq. 

Herteleer is also remembered as the first army boss in history to openly admit "not to be able to motivate" his warriors into fighting a war in Iraq.

With an army like this, who needs enemies ... .

[Note to self: do not make a habbit of thinking about national defense before going to bed]

09:19 Gepost door Flint | Permalink | Commentaren (1) |  Facebook |