The two faces of Hungary

Today I would like to share two pieces of writing. One is an article written by Professor András B. Göllner, whom you already know from his astute comments on Hungarian Spectrum. The article originally appeared in Canada’s National Post, a nationally distributed newspaper based in Toronto. The other is a letter addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel and signed by 43 well-known Hungarians deeply concerned about their government’s behavior. The letter was first published in Népszabadság. These concerned people might be in the minority, but they are the conscience of the nation during these difficult times.

* * *

András B. Göllner: Hungary facing a slow slide into despotism

Last week, Hungary’s nationalist strongman, Viktor Orbán, read the riot act to his diplomats. At a meeting in Budapest, he ordered them to go on the offensive in the Western media and come to the defence of his government’s approach to stemming “the Muslim tide” that is sweeping across Europe from the South.

In his speech, Orbán declared that he will not allow Hungary to become the victim of multiculturalism and promised to do whatever is necessary to ensure that Hungary remains a country populated only by white-skinned Christians. He told his listeners that Western media outlets, including those in Canada, are government mouthpieces that purposefully distort the truth about his country’s handling of the migrant crisis. He ordered his ambassadors to set the record straight. A few days later, his ambassador to Canada, Bálint Ódor, took up the challenge by writing an open letter to the news editors of the CBC and to Canada’s major newspapers, including the National Post. (The full text of the letter is available on the website of the Hungarian Embassy in Ottawa).

rendorseg roszke

In his letter, the Ambassador says that he wants to help our national editors to become better informed. He unfortunately starts off by telling them a monumental lie. He claims that 150,000 of the 160,000 aliens entering Hungary had asked for political asylum in his country. The fact is that hardly any of them did so. Most wanted nothing but to get out of Hungary as fast as their feet could carry them.

Everyone knows that Europe and the world are facing a refugee crisis of epic proportions, sparked by a meltdown in global conflict resolution. No one expected that Hungary, a small and poverty stricken country directly in the path of the tide, should have to solve the problem on its own. But everyone expected that in the process of struggling with the crisis, Hungary would uphold the values that are the sacred trust of the UN and of such bodies as the European Union. The latter expectations are now totally shattered.

The last time Hungary embarked on a racially motivated immigration policy, it was an ally of Nazi Germany.

Through a series of hastily passed laws that will go into effect on Sept. 15, Hungarians and any foreign nationals on the territory of Hungary will face the following conditions. Anyone entering Hungary illegally, regardless of his/her circumstances, will be classified as a felon and face a three-year prison term. Any Hungarian citizen who assists an alien will also be charged. Hungary has erected a 175 km long, four-meter-high razor-tipped fence along its southern border with Serbia. Anyone who climbs over this fence and survives will be faced by members of the Hungarian armed forces, who have been given orders to kill if necessary to arrest trespassers. Hungary’s security forces have been given the power to enter anyone’s home in search of aliens — no warrants are necessary. Those who may offer safe haven to a refugee could have their homes confiscated, and may face imprisonment. The security forces have been given unlimited powers to tap telephone lines, to inspect Internet correspondence, to censure the media that glorifies the felons. A new law is also on the table that will force all Hungarians to possess a face-recognition ID. Their personal data will be entered into a national data bank that can be freely utilized by the country’s security forces without any judicial oversight.

What Prime Minister Orbán is doing today is not unprecedented, but the circumstances under which he is doing them are novel. The last time Hungary embarked on a racially motivated immigration policy, it was an ally of Nazi Germany. Today it is a member of a community — the European Union — that doesn’t allow such discrimination. But this new turn in Hungary is part of a much more serious Volta Face. According to respected constitutional expert Kim Lane Scheppele of Princeton University, “The Hungarian government’s disregard for the rights of refugees in EU law presages its disregard for the rights of its own citizens in the coming surveillance state.  Over the last five years, the Hungarian government has eliminated all checks on its power and now it is using the refugee crisis to usher in a police state.”

Last year, in a highly publicized speech, Hungary’s Prime Minister declared that he will remodel Hungary’s political system according to the Russian and Chinese templates. It seems that he is staying the course and is doing his utmost to court the support of Harper’s Conservatives for his enterprise. A few weeks ago, the Orbán government gave over $100,000 to “The Victims of Communism” memorial in Ottawa, a pet project of the Harper government. The letter from Hungary’s ambassador to our national media is part of this manipulative exercise, and so far, the strategy seems to be working.

 

* * *

The letter of 43 Hungarian intellectuals to Chancellor Angela Merkel

Dear Chancellor Merkel,

We, citizens of the European Union who are signing this letter, are concerned. We are concerned for the thousands of refugees from civil wars around Europe who, as hostages of a failed refugee policy of the European Union and as pawns of a national government that is increasingly escaping any political control, are bound to face, in inhuman circumstances , a most insecure future in Hungary. For the Hungarians with a European sensibility who, for twenty-five years have taken pride in being the first to cause a fissure in the Berlin Wall, this situation is shameful and humiliating.

For several months the Hungarian Government, through billboards and telecasts, is continuously stirring up fear of and hostility against the refugees, thus smashing the stone tablets of European fundamental values. The activity of these politicians aims at criminalizing from the outset, through razor wire fences and administrative strictures, those who seek asylum with us, at creating a pretext for their deportation, and at endearing themselves with far right voters. The Government made a further dangerous step toward this political dead end last Friday when, with the help of the far right MP’s, it obtained authorization to introduce, beginning on the 15th of September, a kind of state of emergency under the pretext of the refugee crisis. This measure would permit the deployment of the army against the refugees. This constitutes a clear mockery of the democratic political system and a vain sabre-rattling. Certainly, these politicians who are openly reneging on solidarity and humanity are Hungarian, but they are also your party allies in the European Parliament. For several months they have been acting in Hungary as if the European People’s Party had announced the Caliphate of xenophobia and the Shariah of intolerance and national self-centeredness.

Resisting the hate campaign of the Hungarian Government, the citizens of Budapest have given proof of their European dignity; through spontaneous civil initiatives they are sharing their modest income and free time with the refugees who, for several weeks by now, have been camping in the train stations. Volunteers are sharing information, looking for interpreters, playing with traumatized children, caring for the sick – often wounded by the Hungarian razor wire fence, while Government politicians are playing their disastrous games on the European floor. Our daily experience teaches us that in these political circumstances we cannot expect from the Hungarian State either a fair assessment of applications for refugee status or a successful policy of integration of the refugees. When, on Wednesday, Mr. de Maizière emphasized the need for the elaboration of common European standards of refugee policy, he spoke from the very heart of all European citizens, including us. All of us are for a proportionate sharing of the burdens. The Hungarian Europeans have sufficiently proven their willingness through donations and their voluntary work in the transit zones. However, until there is a political agreement on the aforementioned standards and they are engraved through practical work of enlightenment in the marble tablets of the hearts and also until their practical implementation is overseen, we cannot entrust the refugees in Hungary to the inhuman machinery of a procrastinating bureaucracy that, from the outset, is aiming at their deportation. Were we doing so, they would remain the hostages of political intrigues.

We, the signatories of this letter, ask you to work on the unique European solution that this historical moment offers. Please help us keep our faith in a common European house and help the refugees of the civil wars to travel to Germany. Do not expose these miserable people to the Hungarian razor wire fence politics.

Sincerely yours,

Ágnes Aczél, sociologist
Judit B. Gáspár, psychologist
Tamás Bulkai, engineer
Margit Bulkai, engineer
Dr. Gábor Demszky sociologist, former Mayor of Budapest
Orsolya Dobrovits, art historian
Sára Gábor, university student
Balázs Galkó, actor
László Garaczi, writer
József Gehér, advisor
Balázs Györe, writer
Eszter Kállay, university student
György C. Kálmán, university professor
Mihály Kiss, educator
Mihály Kornis, writer
Dr. Ilona Kovács, university professor
József Kőrössi Papp, poet
Júlia Lángh writer, journalist
Júlia Lázár, high-school teacher, poet, translator
Júlia Lévai, publicist
László Miklósi, history teacher
Mihály Nagy, university student
András Nyerges, writer
Anna Perczel, architect, president of ÓVÁS! Association
István Perczel, university professor
Péter Perényi, CEO
Viktória Radics, writer, literary critic
Zoltán Radnóti, rabbi
András Schuller, doctoral student
Anna Soproni, physician
Ferenc Szijj, poet
István Sziklai, history teacher
Ádám Tábor, writer
Gáspár Miklós Tamás, philosopher, former director of the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy of Science
József Tillmann, university professor
Ildikó Tóth, translator, interpreter
Erika Törzsök, sociologist
Annamária Uzelmann, CEO
Károly Vajda, associate professor
Péter Várdy, retired associate professor (Twente)
Anna Wessely, art historian
Gábor Zalai, real estate developer

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Chris from Bullgaria
Guest

ISIS has already won, and you know why? Not because it is more civilized than us. It is because ISIS is openly accepting thousands of European “refugees” in its lines, but Europe does not accept Arab refugees in cultural universe. I am saddened of what is happening in Hungary. I am center-right leaning, but I am ashamed of this guy – Orbán calling himself a right wing politician. It is a barbaric step and where are the thousands of thousands protesting Hungarians on the street protesting against their goverment’s mismanagement of the crisis? Does it mean that most Hungarians support Orbán’s policy agains human rights of refugees?

Paul
Guest

I’m afraid it does.

The average Hungarian, whether Fidesz or not, saw the ‘flood’ of refugees, saw the ‘camps’ at the railway stations, and were worried, even frightened. Orbán has ‘fixed’ the problem for them.

gdfxx
Guest

” It is because ISIS is openly accepting thousands of European “refugees” in its lines”

Give me a break. ISIS is accepting those, who are willing to participate in their murderous enterprise of killing everyone who disagrees with them. These are not refugees, these are fellow terrorists.

Chris from Bulgaria
Guest

You somehow missed to read behind the lines.
Everybody’s having a reason to go from the one camp to the other. Therefor I wrote “refugees” (not refugees), because in their minds they are escaping the infidels. They are going to the Mideast in order to fight who is gonna lead the war against the infidels from the West – the shia, or the sunny sectarian fraction. The is already a clash of cultures performing in front of our eyes. Most of these guys, running away from the Mideast do not want to go to war with the infidels, they do not want to participate neither on shia, nor on sunny’s side. They just want to save their lives in Europe. And they are tear gas sprayed for welcome. We are loosing the battle between our culture and sectarian Arab world, because we are turning even our Arab friends (which are not too many) against us. Tomorrow these refugees may go back to Syria or Iraq and join ISIS, because they got rejected by us.

gdfxx
Guest

I don’t give a damn about what the ISIS people think. They are murderer terrorists. And those who join them are the same. The refugees/migrants are not showing up at Europe’s door because they disagree with one or the other terrorist party. They are there because they are running away from being killed or because the political/economical situation in their country does not allow them to make a decent living.

By the way, some “experts” predict that Syria will become empty soon. Is the civilized world willing to accept the majority of the population of any country, because a small minority took over and wants to kill everyone else? Wouldn’t it make more sense to go after that minority, even by getting all the refugees armed and sent back to fight for their country?

Chris from Bulgaria
Guest

“Wouldn’t it make more sense to go after that minority, even by getting all the refugees armed and sent back to fight for their country?”
This one is not a bad idea, but what if they do not want to fight? If they do not think that they belong to the barbarian “civilisation” of Assad or ISIS? Should you force them back to go there to die in the hands of terrorist thug Assad or in the hands of terrorists ISIS?

tappanch
Guest

“He claims that 150,000 of the 160,000 aliens entering Hungary had asked for political asylum in his country. ”

According to the fresh statistics of the Immigration Authority (BÁH), they registered 171,920 people this year.

[out of the 201,000 police “captured” and released or 350,000 that must have passed through Hungary. The latter number is my estimate based on some known statistics]

I think registration is the same as accepting the asylum application.

http://szegedma.hu/hir/szeged/2015/09/egy-nap-alatt-94-kerelmet-nyujtottak-be-a-tranzitzonakban.html

tappanch
Guest

Orban: If the qualified majority accepts European quotas, then it is law, and we will accept it.

http://www.delmagyar.hu/belfold_hirek/ha_torveny_lesz_a_kvotarendszer_elfogadjuk/2445546/

tappanch
Guest

I just saw a video clip about what happened today at the border gate.

Hungarian police opened the gate (probably to some women and children)
without communicating with the crowd,

The very happy crowd misunderstood this and rushed in,
then police used force to keep everybody out.

The moral is clear:

police should be able to communicate in foreign languages.

tappanch
Guest

Most other videos show the revenge attack of the crowd, not the first scene.

The migrants must have felt deceived by Hungarian police, but I think police made a professional error by not communicating before they opened the gate in the first place.

An
Guest

Yes, tappanch, I actually linked the article about this on the other thread earlier.

http://444.hu/2015/09/16/felreertesbol-indult-a-roszkei-randalirozas/

In any case, it takes very little for things to escalate in a desperate crowd.

tappanch
Guest

Yes, this is exactly what I saw on the clip, except “Viszont amikor közel értek a menekültek a határhoz” is not precise – the crowd was already inside Hungary, because they rushed in through the opened border gate.

I really hope this was a professional error on the part of the Hungarian police, and not a deliberate provocation to create violent response.

Guest

Re: ‘Moral is clear : police should be able to communicate in foreign languages’

And if they were trained for crowd control it might be good from extensive social psychology research to revisit the idea that ‘frustration leads to aggression’. Good to perhaps understand the nuances associated with that state of affairs. I wonder how Hungary itself fares on that continuum. We can immediately see how writers and individuals themselves are expressing frustration with their pens, signatures and thoughts.

Bowen
Guest

@ Tappanch – most videos from the international press I’ve seen (Euronews, BBC, Guardian) clearly show the refugees pressed up against a fence, one or two throwing a water bottle, and then being sprayed, indiscriminately. Then, after a large crowd of people has run back from the fence, a few angry refugees begin picking up stones and throwing them at the police in anger.

tappanch
Guest

Gate was opened
Crowd surged in in happily (lots of women and children at the front)
Police started to beat and spray the people
The area between the gate and the original police line was cleared of refugees.
Angry migrant men attacked the police with stone (this is what is shown on most videos) from outside the gate.

Bowen
Guest
tappanch
Guest
Member

Look at the mann with the bleeding head and a child! Orban, you are a disgrace to humanity. You are not serving the Hungarian people but the human race and supposedly God. Shame on you!

hooshomen
Guest
Reality Check
Guest

A fundamentally good man. Listening to his recent interviews, it makes me wonder what could have been. http://www.atv.hu/videok/video-20150916-gyurcsany-ferenc-eb

tappanch
Guest
Paul
Guest

Brilliant!

Paul
Guest

Slightly OT:

I’m not sure where I picked this up from (it may have been on here):

http://organikusok.blogspot.hu/2015/09/a-gorog-vamosok-osszesen-14.html

In our regular weekly argument about Hungary, my Fidesz supporting wife said didn’t I know that the so-called refugees were being armed and were really terrorists, intent on attacking Europe? It turned out that this blog was the original source of this ridiculous story (which, although clearly ridiculous, is now spreading rapidly amongst Fideszniksz – and is being believed, unquestioningly).

As I so often seem to be saying – this is what we’re up against.

Here’s the actual story:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/greek-coastguards-seize-huge-shipment-of-arms-and-ammo-bound-for-libya-10488719.html

István
Guest
Paul it is completely possible that the Hungarian government believed that some refugees had weapons and convinced themselves of their own distortions. Earlier today AP reported that Hungary filed a formal note of protest to the Serbian foreign ministry over allowing armed migrants to gather at the border. At any rate the refugees are now apparently gone, off to Croatia and beyond. The national,police can get a hot meal and the TEK can go back to practicing for terrorist attacks. If the refugees don’t get blown up by land mines left over from the last war then they face Croatian law. On Tuesday, the Croatian government said people who entered its country illegally would be given only two choices – claiming asylum there or being returned to Serbia. I am not sure that is what the refugees are looking for. I wonder if these refugees know the lands they are drifting into and the horrendous massacres that took place there not so long ago. There are not really many friends of Moslem people along the Serb Croatian border. Have they ever even heard of the Ustaše? They are walking through some blood soaked lands, God bless them on their trip… Read more »
petofi
Guest

If true, this may be the most reprehensible act of the Hungarian government yet: apparently, the storming of the gate by migrants/refugees was the last in a sequence of events. First, the Hungarian police, without announcement of any sort, went to open the gate. Then, when the refugees massed to enter, they suddenly shut it in their face.

To bait a hungry, thirsty, group like that–presumably for the pr value of the resultant images–is beyond contempt.

D7 Democrat (@D7Democrat)
Guest

It is possibly that it was complete and rank incompetence.
“Governance through “Cruelty and Idiots”, after all, is the sadistic dictator’s motto.

tappanch
Guest

Many refugees/migrants have been taken to Bezdan from Horgos by bus. From Bezdan they can cross the Danube bridge into Croatian Baranja. From there they can go either to Hungarian Baranya (no fence there) or inland Croatia. But there are lots of mines between Croatia and Croatian Baranja, they have to be careful not to go off road.

http://index.hu/belfold/2015/09/15/menekult_lezart_hatar_roszke_valsaghelyzet_menekultvalsag/a_szerbek_a_magyar_hatarrol_buszoztatnak_horvatorszaghoz/

tappanch
Guest

Voilà ! 42 refugees showed up in a small village in Hungarian Baranya this afternoon . Index.hu

tappanch
Guest
Bowen
Guest

One of the problems yesterday may have been caused by the Hungarian police not speaking any foreign language. The Guardian posted a video of aid workers pleading with the police (in English) not to fire at the refugees. But anyway, the police sprayed the aid workers with tear gas. It seems that the Hungarian police simply acted primitively and indiscriminately, under orders from Szijjarto, of all people.

In complete contrast, on the Croatian border, this from the BBC:
“[refugees from the Serb/Hungary border are] walking down a dirt farm track which takes them through fields of corn to a waiting line of Croatian border guards.
Many people pause at the sight of police vans. But guards wearing baseball caps greet them in English saying – don’t be afraid. UN and Red Cross officials are also in the fields, reassuring people they’re only being driven to waiting buses to take them to the capital Zagreb for some rest and to register.”

tappanch
Guest

Report from the smugglers’ town, Izmir, Turkey:

http://index.hu/kulfold/2015/09/17/izmir03/

tappanch
Guest

Gold scandal:

State agency validated brass as gold for a private company. The company, which is owned by the former owner of the Papa and Szombathely soccer team, sold brass as gold for 30 BILLION forints!

http://www.napi.hu/magyar_vallalatok/aranyhamisitasi_botrany_magyarorszagon_hazudott_a_hatosag.603091.html

http://index.hu/gazdasag/2015/09/17/hazudik_a_hatosag_az_aranybotranyban_a_napi.hu_szerint/

tappanch
Guest

Croatian police say 5,650 migrants have entered Croatia so far.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/17/us-europe-migrants-croatia-idUSKCN0RH0SM20150917

tappanch
Guest

Orban just raised the salary of his nomenklatura :

The 2 million a month maximum in the state-owned sector was raised to
3 million in general,
4 million in the energy sector,
5 million in the financial sector.

http://www.kozlonyok.hu/nkonline/MKPDF/hiteles/MK15129.pdf

http://nol.hu/gazdasag/milliokkal-emeli-emberei-fizeteset-a-kormany-1563579

http://444.hu/2015/09/17/meg-kellett-tolni-az-allami-cegvezetok-beret-ugyhogy-megtoltak/

Chello player Hungarian
Guest
Chello player Hungarian

Let’s face it: Orban has won again, big time. He did it again. The liberals lost. Even Gyurcsany doesn’t want to put him behind bars, Gyurcsany gave it up, got to love Orban and Gyurcsany thinks Orban is all legit.

The Western idiots just keep paying him while he’s using them as a punching bag. Even Mr. Seehofer says that Orban is a cool, important European leader.

Orban will rule Hungary for decades to come and the liberals just need to suck it up.

He is beloved by the people, in the polls he is more and more popular and certainly the most popular politician. He is a real leader. People adore him for his unerring genius. He really is just unable to commit political mistakes. He protects Hungary and cuts utility prices, again and again, while the communists only increased prices, repeatedly.

István
Guest
In today’s issue of Népszabadság there are additional descriptions of yesterday’s events. The article quotes some of the refugees shouting Allah Akbar at the Hungarian police. Yesterday as I have noted in another post Népszabadság had a story about the action at the fence that included a depiction of two refugee children being tossed over the fence and retrieved by Hungarian police. I don’t know the truth of either depiction, but I do know if Népszabadság is framing their reports like this what must the Jobbik reports look like. None the less the Népszabadság report did incite one reader to comment as follows (my translation) “Several people called Allah Akbar! Shouts to inspire their peers. This is good! This is a must! Every Christian’s heart leaps in joy at this and their is happiness in the bosom of the floods, that after four hundred years finally they have arrived again the Islamic invaders!” Let us all be clear that the catastrophe of Mohacs (Mohácsi vész) lives hundreds of years later. Géza Ottlik in his book School at the Border written 65 years ago got it right on how Hungarians celebrate survival in the face of defeat. Somehow this aspect of… Read more »
Nádas
Guest

In Budapest yesterday, and probably elsewhere in the country, residents found a very slick 20-page brochure in their mailboxes from the the Hungarian government touting their successful reforms: “A Magyar Reformok Működnek!” [The Hungarian Reforms are Working!]

This is a collection of posters and billboards that have been appearing around town over the past several weeks, crowing about “greater economic growth than in the EU,” growth of the minimum wage, how helpful the new family tax breaks and mandated reduction in utility rates are, free meals for pre-schoolers, “more police, less crime,” and toward the end a photo of an attractive young woman saying, “We don’t want illegal immigrants!”

Besides wondering how much this brochure cost the taxpayer, one can’t help but be amazed at this government’s inventiveness and relentlessness in praising themselves. Kalapot le.

George Stone
Guest

“Let’s see whether the other journalists present heard this call or not.”

Eva – I’ve been reading this blog for years without commenting and thanks for the lovely job you usually do but this is really too much.

I was at Keleti helping people during the four day period when no trains were running west and before the volunteers got organized. I spent a lot of time talking to these people. If you think none of these people would be shouting Allahu Akbar you’re living in a complete dream world. You’re falling into the I refuse-to-notice-facts-that-don’t-fit-into-my-worldview way of thinking that any liberal-minded person should be ashamed of.

It would be very convenient for people that are horrified by the humanitarian aspects of this crisis if these refugees were all enlightened intellectuals. I am sorry – this is just not the case. Just because one side of this debate only acknowledges truths that are convenient for themselves does not mean that we need to do the same.

Bowen
Guest

@ George Stone
“I was at Keleti helping people during the four day period when no trains were running west and before the volunteers got organized.”

Really? Good for you, if you really were at Keleti for four days. However, if that’s true, then you would surely be aware that volunteers were highly organised during (and before) this period, highly active, and the communication networks (albeit in closed Facebook groups) were extremely effective in getting help to people.

Something a bit suspicious about your post, I’m afraid.

Guest

@ George Stone Hi George very good first comment and I agree with every word you wrote. Especially with the beginning “thanks for the lovely job you usually do”, and this part “I refuse-to-notice-facts-that-don’t-fit-into-my-worldview way of thinking” That is the reason why it is so difficult to accept that the person we normally hate some rare times can do something reasonable.

Member

@ G Nagy: May I ask who is “the person we normally hate” in this scenario, and what is the “reasonable” thing this person doing at these “rare times”?
Thanks for clarifying!

JGrant
Guest

First of all, may I remind everybody that not only terrorists and jihadists shout Allah Hu Akhbar. This is a patriotic/religious expression along the lines of many other Christian or Jewish or other religious slogans. Even in a situation like this it does not signify – at least not for me – anything other than a frustrated and angry shout at hundreds of police who may have just tricked me. So even if it has been shouted, which is doubtful, only the extreme right would use it as a sign of terrorists present.

Secondly, do not accuse Prof Balogh of saying or writing what she did not! She just mentioned that as no reputable media has quoted that shout it is suspect and she would like to have corroboration. It looks a if she was spot on with her suspicion.

Finally, (slightly off topic) I have just discovered this, which is only available in Hungarian, but should it prove really true I am sure it will be covered here on this blog and/or translated into English. Very interesting and I am inclined to believe it is true. What do you all, that can read Hungarian, think?

http://vastagbor.atlatszo.hu/2015/09/17/a-vagatlan-kotcsei-beszed/

Laszlo5
Guest

Good old days when it was Meciar and Milosevich who were the ones not “szalonképes” or salonfähig or in English presentable, acceptable in a salon. Pathetic losers.

Now Orban is completely legit and he loves it. Winning is the best thing in politics.

Webber
Guest

Where is Orban legit.? In which foreign capital is he welcome? Remind me please, how many times has he been to the White House? And how warmly has he been received in Brussels?
You’ve lost it.

Welt
Guest
The fundamental legal-practical thing about the refugees is that they are Homo Sacer like the people held at Guantanamo. They are entirely outside the legal system, they have no rights whatsoever and the police may do whatever they like with them. The refugees at the border are bare life, biological but legal non-entities, like animals or inanimate objects, nothing more. Nobody will and can protect these people, one can be sure that Mother Russia would veto any Security Council resolution. Unless the US wants to drone bomb Hungary, nobody can do a thing. They can suck it up. Actually the world should be thankful for the mercifulness and restrain of Mr. Orban, he could have well fired into the crowd in order to defend the border. But he is not the bad dictator everyone thinks he is. He has a very human side — but the borders are sacrosanct. Fidesz and Jobbik thanked the sacrifice of the police and the army displayed when protecting the nation against the flood of jihadists. by remaining mute apparently the leftists would want the jihadis to defeat the Hungarian servicemen. When our sons and daughters in uniform put themselves in harm’s way, however, the… Read more »
Bowen
Guest

The Guardian have released new footage of yesterday’s events on this page.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/sep/17/refugees-trapped-in-serbia-attempt-to-storm-hungarian-border-video

The video is extremely worthwhile. The refugees are chanting “Open, Open … Open the door, Open the door” (not “Allah Akhbar”).

It also clearly shows the TEK forces savagely beating a group of people, and gun shots while women are screaming. It shows TEK taking a child away.

It is damning.

I am very glad there were so many journalists of quality there yesterday to record what happened.

gdfxx
Guest

I watched the clip. I saw a mob and when they started to push, police showed up in force. The children were taken away in a civilized way, I think their relatives who brought them into that mob should be ashamed. I saw a lot of police massed up against the screaming mob, but I did not see anyone being savagely beaten.

It was crowd control. These policemen were told to keep the border closed. They did it under difficult circumstances.

I saw people on the other side asking for water and food. I feel their pain and suffering. But is it the role of the Hungarian police to provide water and food to masses of people on the other side of the border? Where are the Serbian humanitarians?

Istvan
Guest
The footage linked by Bowen only shows one policeman raising a club above his head and coming down. I don’t know if that constitutes a savage beating, but I was a blue helmeted UN peacekeeper in a riot situation in Africa. We explicitly instructed our troops to use clubs to thrust and not to raise them above their heads to beat the crowd back we were moving. If you are being pushed back its a different issue, but the Hungarian riot police were moving forward fast. I would also say in relation to my peacekeeping experience Pakistani troops used long canes and were taught incorrectly to beat people rather than to thrust to move them back. My critique is the Hungarians used bad technique and could have pointlessly hurt people by bringing their clubs down on refugees heads. But i have to assume very few refugees received head trauma from clubs used by Hungarian riot police, because you bleed profusely from that type of injury and I have yet to see video or still shots of refugees bleeding like that and with all the media there I would bet that would have been caught. Below is a video from today… Read more »
Randomize
Guest

There is one clip on youtube watched by more than 400,000 people which cast doubt that Laszlo Petra actually kicked (gáncsolt) or tripped the kids and his father.

And there is one seen by almost 1m people which shows how the “jihadist hordes” attacking the sacred border fence.

Fidesz-Jobbik are very adept at using the modern media (the left wing has no clue and still thinks that 5,000 printed copies of 168 óra will do) and this know-how already worked in Russia, it will work again in Hungary.

Christopher Adam
Guest

Re: the Allah Hu Akhbar story. Whether or not it’s true, here’s a perspective…I just returned from Israel last week. At Ben Gurion Airport, on my way back, I was chatting with the bartender at a wine bar, who had recently completed his stint as a soldier in the IDF. He recounted a story about an Arab Israeli doctor who was stuck in a traffic jam and had barely any time to catch his flight. As his taxi pulled up to Ben Gurion and he got out, he shouted Allah hu Akhbar, because it is as common a phrase in that culture as “thank God” or “thank goodness” is in ours. Soldiers, cops and snipers quickly assembled around him, he was pushed to the ground, but relatively quickly people understood what happened and he was eventually able to board a later flight that day.

The American right-wing Breitbart News site is reporting that this phrase was, indeed, heard in Röszke. Even if it was, I would suggest that we not read too much into it.

Guest
Re: ‘ When our sons and daughters in uniform put themselves in harm’s way, however, the nation must stand united behind them’ You know I’d think no one would argue with that point. The Hungarian issue there I’d say is that the police execute and do not legislate ‘defense’. Considering the difficult situation relating to the country’s shaky democratic orientation I indeed hope that the rendorseg has the wherewithal to defy being robots when a time occurs when decisions made by leaders puts the country in harm’s way on many levels. If some say ‘it can’t happen here’ well right there ….point to ponder. How many degrees away is the country away from ‘dictatorship’? No doubt directly proportional to the state of law-making and the treatment of minorities and the great driving urge to keep power. A while back Turkey was considered the ‘sick man’ of Europe. Hungary arguably also looks to be ill while trying to be Europe’s ‘hard-man’ now. I have to suggest Viktor has been up late reading and executing Vlad’s primer for guiding a state in this new illiberal age. I watch to see how far this will go and morph into. It wouldn’t be good… Read more »
George Stone
Guest
The volunteers were there but not in great numbers and didn’t have great quantities of material to distribute. The situation was completely catastrophic for three days. I’ve never seen anything like it. In response to media coverage more volunteers arrived, contributions started to pour in, and, most important, trains began to run west again. Now – as when I’m speaking to Hungarian adults with university educations who ask me quite seriously if I think this story may be true that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were built by the Russians after the war as part of The Conspiracy – let’s try to establish some facts that are likely to be true about an event which we haven’t directly witnessed based on the application of critical thinking to facts we can agree on. I think we can agree: There are many boys in this crowd – teenagers or barely out of there teens. Boys – as some of us may have noticed – have a tendency to do stupid stuff. Like shout something at a demonstration – something that they think is really cool, but which is politically hugely counter-productive. And I hope you accept this not very improbable surmise, based… Read more »
bowen
Guest

I didn’t know the Syrian crisis was due to overbreeding. Interesting.

Im glad you had the chance to chat to people and observe the hungry ‘packs’ of kids at Keleti. Interestingly, when I was there, the volunteers were all exhausted, utterly overworked, and hadn’t a second to waste.

Bowen
Guest

Oh and the crisis at Keleti didn’t end when trains started going west. It ended when a thousand people decided to walk away, following which, Budapest laid on 100s of buses.

Small factual point, for your future reference

An
Guest

European societies had the same attitude toward children good hundred years ago (before contraception and when poverty was more widespread). It is a general attitude in more traditional societies (and it makes sense in those) Interestingly, as people started to live better, middle-class lifestyles in Europe and North America, child rearing practices changed (people started to have fewer children).

You are assuming that the attitudes about children won’t change among immigrants … for generations to come. It may or may not be true, but I don’t think that by resettling in Europe these families will be totally unaffected and unchanged in their customs and behaviors, especially generations down the line. Cultural adjustment is usually a two-way street, in which both newcomers and the host country are affected in some ways. I think the fears of Europe being overrun and overtaken by a different culture is exaggerated at this point (the EU has 500 million people!), but the adjustment for both parties probably won’t be easy and conflict-free.

tappanch
Guest

“How likely do you think it is that a 17 year old from Deir el Zour has ever spoken to a non-Muslim, let alone a professed atheist?”

I am laughing! You managed to find the wrong town in the neighborhood… Deir az Zour actually has a large Armenian Christian population.

That is why Da’esh could not conquer it yet.
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tappanch
Guest

As you can also see, Nusra is nowhere in Eastern Syria. It is only in the NW (the white area)

tappanch
Guest

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An
Guest

George Stone, I assume you speak Hungarian. The following link does a good job of addressing some of the fears a lot of Europeans have about Muslims in Europe.

http://pendulum.blog.hu/2015/09/16/mitoszok_es_tenyek_a_muzulman_bevandorlasrol

Tyrker
Guest

It’s not so much about what they were chanting, but what they were hurling across the border – i.e. stones, glass bottles and wooden objects. You can even see some of these in the footage posted by Bowen, even though he meant it as proof that Hungarian forces were “savagely beating a group of people.”

Index’s video shows the stone-throwing much more clearly:
http://index.hu/video/2015/09/16/konnygazfelho_roszken/

George Stone
Guest
In response to Bowen – A lot of ordinary people just showed up with food and distributed it. A drop in the ocean, but the refugees were happy enough to have it in the three day period of maximum chaos. I was curious about the refugees – they were curious about me – more specifically they were curious about how they should get out of there and where they should go when they did. I found the rumors about how well the refugees were informed greatly exaggerrated. (“And Norway where is that?” – I had a 2007 Interrail map of Europe that made me hugely popular.) As to when the crisis ended – there were new people constantly arriving. I was there with friends last Sunday evening – that was September 14th. I was looking (unsuccessfully) for a family small enough to sneak past my neighbors. I remember the look of quiet terror on the faces of some new arrivals coming down the stairs into the aluljáró around midnight – father carrying a sleeping two year old, small delicate mother following with a sleeping child that seemed about the same age but who seemed bigger against the mother’s smaller frame,… Read more »
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