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Are We Missing the Big Stories?

James Joyner asks on the Atlantic Council's website: "NATO: A Fat, Bloated, Job Creation Project?"

So, the senior defense policymakers of the two most significant military players in Europe think that the tiny portions of their tiny defense budgets going to NATO is mostly wasted?  Now, perhaps having spent the last three years ensconced at a pro-NATO think tank has clouded my judgment but this strikes me as A1, above-the-fold, banner headline news.   At very least, it deserves a sidebar or off-lede treatment of its own.   But the average news consumer would surely have stopped well short of that point in the stories, once the writers started delving into the arcana of budgeting history.

What do you think? Should this be front page news?

Moreover, should this be big news at this time of the year? "Terror Alert: Hamburg Islamist Speaks of Threat of Attacks in Germany"

German officials are investigating apparent statements by a Hamburg Islamist recently arrested by US forces in Afghanistan about attack scenarios for terror strikes in Germany and neighboring countries. Ahmad S. is one of a number of Germany-based Islamists thought to have traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2009.

The biggest Germany related story in the Huffington Post is our new and young First Lady. Seven photo stories of Bettina Wulff within three weeks. OMG. I am disappointed by the Huffington Post, but I should have known better. Oh, and don't get me started on the media brouhaha for all these professional provocateurs like Thilo Sarazzin, Geert Wilders, and Terry Jones, who are selling stuff.

ENDNOTE: I am sorry for the light blogging these days. Atlantic Review misses big transatlantic stories. You can change that. Write a guest post. Send your submission to "ar-team AT" Thanks!


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Kevin Sampson on :

Though they may indeed be selling something, Sarrazin and Wilders also seem to have considerable public support.

Zyme on :

Indeed, it is an exciting time we live in: Everyone is discontent. The social democrats lost public support after they initiated a procedure to exclude Sarrazin. Sarrazin has left the central bank while the latter in exchange dropped all charges of racism against him. Which is in turn considered a disgrace by the funny guys from the jewish central council who would have preferred Sarrazin to be burned in public. In the meantime the political class slowly realizes how far away they have moved from the public. Sarrazin has started a tour through Germany where he will continue to present his book to interested readers. There seem to be quite a lot, as it is the No.1 bestseller here. Each and every one of his presentations is a challenge for the police, as supporters and opponents clash. One of the events even had to be cancelled for security reasons. And now it is the Conservatives' turn. Traditionally the political home of displaced Germans, prominent representatives of these have drawn public focus on the fact that Poland mobilized its forces first and also annexed part of Czechoslovakia. These guys then were defended by the leading figure of the displaced union, Erika Steinbach. The mere discussion of this fact of course is perfectly suited to endanger the increasingly rusty guild-cult in our country, so she is the next pariah for the laughing stock calling itself political class. As a consequence she stepped down from the board of the conservative party and further increased fears that a party to the right of the Conservatives might soon establish itself (polls investigating this trend show that such a party could count on around 20 % of the electorate right from the beginning). Oh and not to forget, the jewish central council of course also demands her to be burned :D But one thing at a time. Let's first see how many muslims across the world manage to kill each other because in a totally different part of the world a few books are set on fire. The first casualty is already counted: Angry Afghan demonstrants in front of the German camp in Faizabad managed to upset the guards and one of the mob turned out to be dead. Competition for the Darwin Awards is going to be tough this year!

Pat Patterson on :

First I have to ask if that really is Zyme? Second the Germans had already mobilized as had the Russians before the Poles annexed part of what is still Poland when the Czechs renounced their claim in 1958. In fact the PM of Czechoslovakia welcomed the Poles as he figured they would serve as counterweight to the increasing belligerency of Germany and the Soviet Union. And the reference to the Jewish Central Council is mysterious to say the least.

Zyme on :

It is not mysterious Pat. These guys simply want to have a veto on who is allowed to participate in senior political positions and who is not. They represent slightly more than 0,1 % of our population. Would you want such a minority to have such an influence?

Marie Claude on :

Si si, it's Zyme humor ;-) uh, "chacun sa merde", we've our lot with Sarkozy's ! the Pole, Kaczinski isn't in rest: "Poland is a Russian-German playground, where Poland’s national interests succumb to those of its mightier neighbors"

Zyme on :

Thank you for the link Marie, I didn't know the Poles are still active on that. Did you look at the link in your article? It explains why "the tables have turned" :D I have a free version of it here: And this is really lovely to read! For example: "One would think that as part of its stated policy of improving relations with Warsaw, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government would seek to repair intra-EU mistrust on energy security. But Germany will have none of that. Part of its plan to make Nord Stream worthwhile is to sell gas to the Poles—that is, Russian gas, but from the opposite direction. The LNG terminal (Polish effort to be able to receive liquified gas via ships) therefore, is in direct competition with what Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorsky has called the Molotov-Ribbentrop pipeline. So, just before the start of the terminal's construction, Berlin issued a formal complaint, saying its placement is a cross-border issue and may violate the Espoo Convention, the same environmental agreement used by Poland and Germany's other neighbors to protest against Nord Stream, delaying its construction for several years. The tables have turned."

David on :

@Zyme, You now have the opportunity to become one of the charter members of "Die Freiheit" party. (I wonder if this was inspired by "Junge Freiheit"?)

Pat Patterson on :

Is this the export version of David's, "If you disagree with me you're a racist or now an anti-Semite...?"

David on :

No. Some, like you, are merely ignorant. Die Freiheit party is not anti-Semitic, but rather Islamophobic. Soon there will be a Wikipedia article in English about it for you to cut and paste.

Pat Patterson on :

Then why bring up Junge Freiheit which is considered far right and anti-Semitic by the German security forces?

Zyme on :

Good question Pat! In the meantime - you still havn't answered mine: Would you want a minority representing 0,1 % of the electorate to have a veto on who is allowed to participate in senior political positions and who is not?

Pat Patterson on :

Sorry, I thought it was rhetorical. No, absolutely not. I'm in good company here as the founders had a fear and loathing about factions. But what they worried about the most was a minority overruling the majority. A little tough on the minority sometimes but your example is similar to the Church of England taxing all North American colonists a tithe even if they were members of other Christian denominations or not even Christian.

Pat Patterson on :

The point, before I got lost in the Church of England is that factions or pressure groups may perform a service by noting some injustice but that doesn't mean that the majority must accede to their demands.

Joe Noory on :

Surely, once you're done undercutting the concept of Freiheit so long as it's a useful political straw man, are you in this invention of yours that we're all now instantly a dreaded part of, going to have to learn to be a blindly arrogant as you?

Joe Noory on :

NATO's main job is to be ready at a moment's notice to kill people and break things. Strategic alliances are first and foremost a deterence instrument whose strength is in its' ability to use the rest of the alliance as a force multiplier. Festoon it with thinktanks, goofy grad students assuming that total western nuclear disamamant is bright, bufoons who actually believe that NATO should "combat carbon" because massive tidal waves are coming all at once to be a strategic threat to us, but none of our enemies... ...externalize it to death, and it is guaranteed to remain for many if not most involved a fat, bloated, make-work excercise. But that's nothing new to those nursed on the idea that idealism largely academia driven matters, a label with an international-seeming stench to it, and infinite funding are a universal good.. after the fashion of so many UN activities. After all, if you can invent a subject, or better yet "a cricis", then you've got a meal ticket. NATO, on the other hand, must be prepared to fight real wars, bring in real aid, real doctors, real ships... one way one could certainly destroy it is dessicating it of it's substance.

Pat Patterson on :

Lately I thought some in NATO viewed their responsibilites as telling others not to break things or else. Then they send a note to the SC about those bad guys who refuse to play by the new rules.

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