Viktor Orbán: Hungary is at war

Viktor Orbán is in his element. At last we are at war with ISIS. François Hollande said so, and a few hours later French planes bombed important targets in ISIS-held Raqqa in northern Syria. And since in Viktor Orbán’s interpretation it was not only France that was attacked but the whole European Union and thus also Hungary, the prime minister could triumphantly announce that Hungary is also at war. That pronouncement must have buoyed Orbán, who feels best when he imagines himself in a warlike situation.

Right after the terrorist attack in Paris Orbán cancelled a scheduled trip to Montenegro. Instead, he decided to stay at home and deliver a speech today in the Hungarian parliament that he promised would be tempered given the tragic events that took place in Paris on Friday night. Well, the speech didn’t turn out to be low-keyed. On the contrary, most commentators consider it his most brutal attack against the asylum seekers. Or, as András Jámbor of kettosmerce.hu said,”Orbán is waging war not against the terrorists but the refugees.” The speech that was posted with record speed on the prime minister’s website has practically nothing to do with the terrorist attack in Paris or its victims. After announcing that “the European Union was attacked and we are also in danger,” he immediately launched into outlining the nature of this danger. It is not that one day some tourist-filled sections of Budapest will suffer the same fate as Paris. Rather, the real danger is allowing asylum seekers into Europe.

In the speech Orbán justified his decision to close Hungary’s borders in light of the French terrorist attack and criticized the politicians of the European Union who didn’t listen to him. Instead of coming up with practical solutions, “the leaders of some countries to this day are trying to contrive ways of importing masses of immigrants” into Europe. In Brussels the politicians still insist that immigration is “a good thing” while there is more and more proof every day that it is “a bad thing.” Brussels sends “invitations to the migrants” instead of sending the honest message that life here is not at all what they expect.

What kinds of dangers does Europe face with the arrival of these asylum seekers? First, their presence increases the danger of terror attacks, “just as we learned Friday night.” Thus, way before we know much about the people who committed the crime, Orbán draws a direct correlation between the current flow of refugees and the terrorist attack in Paris. Second, this mass migration adds to “the growth of criminal activities” in countries with large immigrant populations. Statistics and opinions vary on that score, but as far as the United States is concerned, immigrants commit fewer crimes than their American-born counterparts. Studies in the United Kingdom showed that the presence of immigrants made no appreciable difference in crime statistics. However, it is true that in some other countries this is not the case. By this evening, Orbán was frightening his listeners on state television with the specter of rape that is awaiting Hungarian women if immigrants are allowed to settle in the country. Third, immigration poses a danger to “our culture, life style, customs and traditions.”

Among Orbán’s objections to immigration from war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria there is a curious item that needs further elucidation. After calling attention to the hundreds of thousands of people who arrive without identification and “without knowing what they want,” he said: “They are coming from territories where military action is going on. Such a thing has never happened before. We allow, nay transport, into Europe people from places that are at war with the European Union.” The only way I can interpret these sentences is that he considers the asylum seekers active belligerents who, instead of being given shelter, should be put into prisoner-of-war camps. Certainly a unique interpretation of the situation.

The next item he addressed was the quota system. As we know, the Hungarian government is dead against any quotas. Viktor Orbán has made that eminently clear. Critics of Orbán’s steadfast refusal to admit even one asylum seeker consider his stance dangerous because the majority of the member states might punish Hungary by excluding it from the Schengen zone, with all the adverse consequences of such a move. Orbán himself sees the danger of this possibility, but he arrives at this conclusion in a circuitous way. He argues that compulsory quotas will not “decrease the pressure of immigration” but will instead increase it. “And if it goes on much longer, this pressure will result in the end of the Schengen system and borders will be reintroduced within the Union.” So, it is not his refusal to cooperate that might lead to the breakup of the Schengen zone but the pressure the immigrants put on the member states.

Finally, Orbán announced that there is no use tinkering with the present political system of the Union. “There is a need for a new European political system.” When it came to specific suggestions, Orbán was unable to provide any practical solutions to the ills of the current setup. Yes, we must defend the borders, culture, and economic interests of the European Union. That’s all the wisdom he could offer. He certainly doesn’t seem to have any ideas about what to do with the almost one million people who are already within the European Union.

Lajos Kósa: "How many people have to die before Juncker resigns?"

Lajos Kósa: “How many people have to die before Juncker resigns?”

Some of the most outlandish comments by Viktor Orbán and Lajos Kósa, the newly elected leader of the Fidesz caucus, came during the discussion period after the speech. For example, Orbán compared dismantling nation states to Nazism. To quote him verbatim: “Yes, we need intellectual originality. This is true. But racial theory and Stalinism came from the madness of European intellectuals. Today the undoing of the nation states, which is the current mad and dangerous idea [of intellectuals], is similar to national socialism or communism.”

Kósa is known for his outrageous statements, some of which have had outsize consequences. It’s enough to remember his irresponsible words on the state of the Hungarian economy during the summer of 2010 when he managed to create a mini financial crisis in the international markets. This time he called upon all European Union leaders to resign. “How many dead people do we need for Juncker to resign,” he asked. And if that were not enough, he also suggested Greece’s expulsion from the Union. I have the feeling that in this new setup it will be Kósa who says what Orbán either can’t or doesn’t want to say.

At the moment Orbán is riding high. The question is for how long.

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exTor
Guest

How could Orbán not cancel his Montenegro trip when presented with an opportunity worth many years of Fidesz corruption. He couldn’t have done better had he actually planned the terror attacks himself.

This article ties well with yesterday’s article and posts that clearly outline that there is no viable opposition to Fidesz and that there can be no real opposition to Fidesz until a political line is marked in the sand.

It will be unpopular, but the Fidesz position on refugees must be countered at every turn. We dont need no Fidesz Lite on this side of the fence.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

@exTor
November 16, 2015 at 6:35 pm

Currently, there are two mainstream political options in Hungary: the corrupt Christian Nationalism of Fidesz and the National Socialism of Jobbik.

Apart from the populist ideologies and slogans that most electors in Hungary find irresistibly attractive and appealing, the success of these two parties is above all a function of (1) an ability to maintain effective party discipline within their organizations, and (2) the vast local networks of supporters and agents of influence that these two parties have been able to build up rapidly right across Hungary over the past two decades, from villages and country towns to even a lot of districts in Budapest, supposedly the citadel of Hungarian left-liberalism.

Until the collection of smaller and larger left-wing splinter groups are able to duplicate and replicate the masterful political strategies of Fidesz and Jobbik, there will be little hope at all for any kind of left-liberal political revival in Hungary.

WesleyVsky
Guest

Your commentaries are wonderful. Thank you.

Guest

Re: Viktor and ‘war’

Shrewd strategy that falls in line with rounding up a sort of consensus signifying approval and rallying of the ‘troops’ which is ….. everybody in uniform or no uniform. This is defense of the realm now. Man the ramparts.

Remains to be seen if Hungary is a worthy target either by future migrants or for that deadly ISIS gaze where the country could be seen as maybe a part of the great Caliphate. But arguably Hungary doesn’t seem to be connected much to ‘outsiders’ anyway so it’s going to be interesting in how the ugly fears being fomented materialize negatively. It would be really something if one scans future border police reports and espies that only rabbits, squirrels and woodchucks are the only ones scrambling through that great fence. Viktor would really have to be disappointed!

petofi
Guest

What Orban is really doing, since we’re at war, is narrowing the area of opposition and disapproval to himself and the government. Acts against Orban/Fidesz/Gov’t are acts of betrayal against the country at a time of war. In years to come, Orbanism will be known as the contagion of Fear let loose to wither the citizenry. Hungary, the first total, totalitarian state…brewed in the basement of the KGB.

Member

In an asylum full of idiots and fools, the biggest and loudest lunatic idiot can be the king. How long? Until a bigger idiot comes around with a story the residents of the asylum like better. (or until one of he doctors decides to give the loud luny a lobotomy)

D7 Democrat (@D7Democrat)
Guest

“By this evening, Orbán was frightening his listeners on state television with the specter of rape that is awaiting Hungarian women if immigrants are allowed to settle in the country.”

Orban and his ilk are hypocrites of the highest order when using the threat of violence against women as a justification of his own bigotry. Hungarian right-wingers (prominent members of Fidesz included) need no lessons from Muslims about how to physically and violently abuse their women-folk.

It is embedded within the Hungarian nationalist culture- women’s place is to cower in the corner waiting for the next kick in the head from their loving husband.

Wondercat
Guest

“It is not [VO’s] refusal to cooperate that might lead to the breakup of the Schengen zone but the pressure the immigrants put on the member states.”

Yes; that seems accurate. The increased attention to border control among EU nations — even before the Paris events — was not his doing. It reflects pressure imposed by would-be immigrants.

webber
Guest
I think Hungary is at war. If NATO’s article 5 on mutual self-defense is activated by France, Hungary is at war. Judging from the discussion on a coalition going on now between NATO countries and Russia, Hungary may well be at war even without the activation of article 5. And judging from the Hungarian PM’s statement, Hungary considers itself to be at war, and has declared war on ISIS. A declaration of war is really all that is needed. So, I would say Hungary is at war. What that means is another question. It might mean very little at all. For instance, in 1904 Montenegro declared war on Japan, to support its ally in the Russo-Japanese War. A few Montenegrins went to Russia to volunteer to fight. Russia and Japan somehow forgot to include Montenegro in their peace treaty in 1905. In 2006, Montenegro and Japan jointly declared the war to be over. So, that “war” lasted a little over 101 years. Hungarians can hope to follow Montenegro’s example. This will be the third time Hungary has been at war in the past two decades. The first was during NATO bombing of and intervention in Serbia in 1999. The second… Read more »
webber
Guest

That’s it – not NATO article 5, but EU article 42.7: ‘The French defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has made a formal request for help from his country’s EU partners, the first time the mutual assistance article in the European Union’s treaty has been invoked.

“In Brussels, I have just invoked Article 42.7,” he tweeted at the EU defence ministers meeting.

The EU’s Lisbon treaty says that in the case of a “armed aggression” EU countries have “an obligation of aid and assistance by all means in their power”.

“France would like to ask its European partners for their bilateral support in the fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria as well as increased military participation from member states in operational theatres where France is deployed,” an EU aide has told AFP.

Despite intense speculation, France has not so far invoked the Nato article 5, which guarantees military support to an ally under attack.’

Isvan
Guest
Webber makes essentially a correct observation about France’s declaration of War against the Islamic State with a capital of Raqqa Syria and its potential implications for other EU nations. If Orban was serious and not just bull shitting as usual he would have immediately called for the Hungarian Defense budget to be increased to at least 2% of GDP, but no this is grandstanding. France’s call to battle against the Islamic State has created or let us say reignited an ideological/strategic debate here in the USA over direct use of ground forces against the jihadists in Raqqa. Its an important debate and both sides have merit to their arguments. The President and his supporters argue that there is an ever tightening circle around the emergent terrorist state centered in Raqqa and the world has to live with periodic terrorist attacks as indigenous forces with western air support and training finish off that entity. On the other side, which I find myself and many retired military officers, the Sec of the Air Force, some intelligence analysts who are deeply divided as a group, along with an array of Republicans and a few Democrats, are arguing for the launch of another ground… Read more »
Guest
Re: ‘No such debate has been ignited in Hungary as far as I can tell’ Interesting. Perhaps Fidesz and the ‘cheerleaders’ just haven’t come to the conclusion whether or not they and the country can handle the consequences and perhaps the likely deprivations to follow? The rhetoric is high and mighty but things can can change when they see what needs to be done. I guess they just haven’t come around to it since again we seem them apparently living in their own hermetic world. When it comes to prosecuting ‘war’ the blinds appear to be down. In my opinion, I think it is inevitable that since ISIS is a physical element it can only be destroyed by ‘boots on the ground’. Air strikes and ‘love’ to the enemy will not do it. Question is will Hungarian troops contribute and make the sacrifice and put themselves and their country in harm’s way? A while back it was noted that allegedly Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. So what with Orban’s dalliance with ‘war’ we probably shouldn’t be surprised that he’ll be on the stump later in the years ahead noting that the battle of that global scourge… Read more »
Guest

@webber
November 17, 2015 at 5:25 am

Because there is a ‘small’ quandary about invoking NATO article 5 in this particular case, as article 5 is invokable against states only, thus invoking it implies recognition of ISIS as a state, which is supposedly a no-no.

And if ISIS is considered merely a temporary geographical manifestation of Islamic jihad, which is a religiously motivated homicidal/lunatic ideology, then there is the other ‘small’ problem that article 5 is not invokable against a religious ideology, however homicidal and lunatic it might be.

That is the problem with arrangements agreed at another time, long, long ago, in another universe: the problem of rapidly mounting irrelevance.

By the way, I had a good chuckle about your point on Montenegro, that other tiny mouse that roared.

webber
Guest
Mike Balint No, Article 5 is not only invoked against states. Allow me to explain that with an example (the only example, actually). So-called “international law” is not on the model of Continental European law systems, it is on the model of Common Law – that is, precedent is what counts. The only time NATO’s Article 5 was ever activated was on September 12, 2001, a day after the 9/11 attacks on the United States, and long before the US invaded Afghanistan. It was not activated against any state. Even when it was invoked, it was clear that the United States had not been attacked by another state. If you think a bit about that, you’ll see that there are quite a few similarities in the situation now. France could activate Article 5 without complaint from anyone. N.b. Russia’s arguments against intervention in Serbia in 1999 were precisely based on the issue of precedence. Russia said it would create an awful precedence – demonstrating that the Russian FM has a complete mastery of “international law” (something one cannot say about some smaller countries with little experience as independent actors on the intl. stage). Russia did not object, in the slightest,… Read more »
Guest

@webber
November 18, 2015 at 2:16 am

OK, understood, and thanks for the info.

Richard Ray
Guest
hajdú béla
Guest

Obviously this story as regards Hungary is a media campaign/hysteria for Orban to gain popularity and scare people so that they don’t worry about terrible public services, corruption and the slowing economy.

It’s one of the first rules of politics: if unpopular then wage a war.

Mind you, Orban has been doing it against the EU for 5 years now.

Now it’s ISIS and the EU together, that’s all.

Luckily neither ISIS nor the EU cares if Orban “fights” them (in words or via undermining the EU’s unity as per Putin’s instructions), so they are the perfect enemies for Orban.

Kikko
Guest
Kingfisher
Guest

These photos have been doing the rounds for a long time, and anyone with half a brain would know they’re fake.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/hillarybinladen.asp

Guest

Snopes is one of my favourite sites (like HS …) – it’s unbelievable what crazy kind of stuff goes around in the ‘net, only to be debunked by them.
But it seems many people really are too stupid to think before they post or comment on these obvious fabrications – just like those reports about “terrorists amongst the refugees”.
This always reminds me of Einstein’s (probably apocryphical) saying:
The universe and human stupidity are infinite – well, scientists are not so sure about the universe, but …

petofi
Guest

It is the height of stupidity and denial to say that there are no terrorists among the refugees…

exTor
Guest

The pix are kinda funny, actually.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Guest

No comment necessary:comment image

Guest

Re: ‘Gyurcsany a hibas’

Hehe now that’s a man who knows a lot about ‘responsibilities!’
A picture says a thousand words.

exTor
Guest

http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/europe/100000004038985/fear-rising-among-refugees-in-paris.html

A 2-minute video showing some refugees
in Paris in the aftermath of Friday’s terror.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member

I would like to repeat a comment I made on the last thread. (Also included some items from webber’s suggestion.)
What nationality was the Unabomber, and the Oklahoma City Bomber, the person who did the Norway attacks in 2011, Tim Kretrschmer (Germany, 14 killed in 2014), Cumbria shooting (2010 Englishman killing 10), Lubimir Harman (Slovakia, killing 7 gypsies in 2010) the Sandy Hook, and the Oregon shooter? Were they all Jihadists?

By the way only this year 415 people in the USA were killed by mass shooters (I am not counting how many were wounded), so those fear mongering, “pretend to be in the know” smart ones on this blog and else, should the EU close its borders for Americans? Should everyone be locked into their apartments as those nice, white, innocent looking mass murderers are actually free to cross the borders?

I am aways astounded by seemingly intelligent people making comments that are based on impulses and not on facts, and getting caught up on a mass hysteria, but then again I could never explain either why the Kardashians are so popular.

http://shootingtracker.com/wiki/Mass_Shootings_in_2015
http://crimeresearch.org/2015/06/comparing-death-rates-from-mass-public-shootings-in-the-us-and-europe/

Guest

Even worse :
Every weekend in the USA more than 100 people are killed.

And almost unbelievable
This year already more than 1000 people were killed by US police …
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/16/the-counted-killed-by-police-1000

Guest

@wolfi
November 17, 2015 at 10:35 am

No doubt absolutely randomly and without any rhyme or reason!

Due to some inexplicable evil, antisocial intention on the part of US policemen, be they white, black or purple. Huh?

I am surprised you do not also mention the over 35,000 roadkill in the US or the thousands dead due to surgical error.

Duh?

Context is everything.

What the hell are US cops supposed to do in a country absolutely awash with guns? Offer themselves up as sacrificial lambs to the next hood that pulls a gun on them?

exTor
Guest

Straight-out logic might bend a few ears your way, Some1, however it cant compete with full-blown emotionalism.

Facts may be facts, but fears are realer.

The scope of this terror simply overwhelms any counterargumentation and decisively trumps it. No mass native shooting in the US (and likely anywhere else in the world) exercised the magnitude of the Paris terror, where three teams of shooters went after their victims.

No shooting in the US has even come close.

The perpetrators were the other. This is critical, for it’s easier to blame outsiders who look different. Columbine was just a pair of fucked-up white teens.

In the US, there is always the bigness of the country to ‘protect’ the citizenry. In other words, the likelihood of getting caught in a dreadful shootout scenario is low in the US.

In Europe, where refugee scapegoating has already started, the fears of another attack are real. There’s a warzone next door in the Levant and people are streaming toward Europe. Who knows who is for real?

This is planet Europe, Some1. Things are different here.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Member

@exTor I hope you seen the numbers of European shooters? That is Europe too. It is not the logic of people we have to be afraid of, it is the propaganda machine, and the nationalistic attitude that uses fear and illogical and unbalanced arguments to “convince” people. Tell to the EU people who were shot in Germany, England and to the victims of Breivik who should they be afraid of. Although you represent a big slice of the EU society, you do not represent all.
My daughter is going to Europe by the way in less then a month. She will be staying in our apartment in Budapest too. When I asked her is she is worried to hopp around, she said she told me that she is more afraid from the lonely crazy ones. (She is studying in Montreal.. École Polytechnique Massacre, December 6, 1989. Do I need to say more?) It seems to me that my young daughter is more reasonable that many well educated Europeans, or Americans for that matter.

exTor
Guest

Wrong time of the year to be coming to BP.
August would have been better for your dot.

Certainly your daughter is correct. The odds
are that things will be okay for her in Budapest.

The thing is, she didn’t experience Paris, so she
will never know that emotion. My points are still
valid. Of course the rightwing and well into the
center will exploit this situation. Hollande is
already proposing tightening citizenship laws.

MAGYARKOZÓ

petofi
Guest

@exTor

“…the rightwing and well into the center will exploit this situation…”

Rubbish.
In your universe, isn’t there such a thing as reacting strongly to a particular situation forced upon oneself?

webber
Guest

petofi
If the FN wins in France, a lot of us will worry that its anti-semitic wing will come to the fore (why wouldn’t it? This is Europe).

petofi
Guest

@webber

“…its anti-semitic wing will come to the fore…”–perhaps: tigers/stripes etc.

But let’s face it, when those Parisian jews where killed not long ago, there wasn’t a lot done. Of course, now, jews are leaving Europe by droves.

But another depressing thing is that low-IQs are taking over the world. Here in Hungary we call them bunkos.
But it’s also the case in the US–Trump as President?
It boggles the mind…

webber
Guest

I doubt, sincerely, that Trump could win the presidency.

He’s like a mirror-image of Labour’s Corbyn in Britain. Corbyn is the Conservatives best candidate. If Corbyn runs, the Conservatives will win again.

If Trump wins the Republican nomination, the Democrats will take the White House again.

Member

I di not say she will not experience Paris. She will experience more than Budapest let’s put it that way. I wrote that she will be staying in Budapest too.

petofi
Guest

@Some1

True you give facts…but some facts don’t impact on totally unrelated situations. Do you mean to say that all terrorist activity, no matter where on the planet, are alike? Nonsense.

The Okhahoma Bomber was a fruitcake who was after the FBI offices in that building. Does that fact have any relation whatever to the downing of the twin towers?

It has to be said, although leaders like Obama (political correctness personified) never do, that we are in a religious war instigated by radical Muslims. Just a gander at conflicts around the globe will show that 95% of them have Muslims on one side. Is this a coincidence?

webber
Guest

Petofi
Yes, we are in a war against radical Muslims, and they are at war with the entire world – the King of Jordan was very good on this.
‘”We are facing a third world war against humanity and this is what brings us all together.”….

“This is a war, as I’ve said repeatedly, within Islam,” he said, stressing the high number of Muslim victims of the Islamic State (IS) group.’

Guest

@Some1
November 17, 2015 at 9:53 am

I think that you are making a categorial error in conflating random acts of violence by unbalanced, isolated lunatics with access to guns and explosives, and repeated, systemic acts of violence by religious fanatics fighting a Moslem revolutionary terror war against Western civilization.

A terror war that is ultimately financed by Wahhabi fat cats on the Arabian Peninsula, and one that so far the West has not found any ways to defeat.

The manifestations of this terror war, waged across virtually the entire world, are therefore incomparably more frightening both to the general public and to governments than random massacres by isolated lunatics, which are seen as relatively rare, unrelated to any mass ideology or religion with mass following, thus not posing a civilizational threat, and are thus adequately contained by ordinary law enforcement.

Under your logic, we might almost conflate the annual thousands of accidental police shootings, the tens of thousands of accidental roadkill and the thousands of victims of surgical mishaps with the random massacres committed by isolated lunatics and the systemic massacres committed by revolutionary Moslem jihadists.

Member

OT: Eva and others, what do you make of this? http://ejpress.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54589&catid=12 I am puzzled.

exTor
Guest

At this juncture, I am opposed to labeling Israeli products as to their sources, eg: West Bank or Golan Heights.

It is clear that Szijjártó is sucking up to Israel, which is using Hungary as a wedge against the EU, which has been trying to pressure Israel to negotiate earnestly with the Palestinians.

MAGYARKOZÓ

petofi
Guest

@exTor

“…using Hungary as a wedge…”–oh,oh…you’re starting to sound like a Russian troll, turning the anti-Russian argument on its head..

Guest
@exTor November 17, 2015 at 11:06 am This whole labelling controversy is idiotic. Currently, that is. After all, it is the easiest thing in the world to declare a product as not made in the West Bank or the Golan, but in Israel “proper,” a few kilometres down the road, on the West side of the Green Line (the 1949 armistice demarcation line). Just like labelling something as not made in Csepel, but in Gödöllő; after all, Israel is that small in area. However, the real reason for the controversy is that the current move by the EU is seen in Israel as the thin edge of the wedge pushing for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israeli products, with the ultimate aim of killing the Israeli economy and thereby (the BDS people hope) destroying the Jewish State, similarly to the manner in which the South African apartheid state was (attempted to be) economically crippled a quarter century ago. As to negotiating “earnestly’ with the Palestinians…. Which Palestinians do you mean? Which murderous party, faction or clan, given that getting Palestinians to speak and commit with one voice is a bit like trying to herd cats? And then, even if that… Read more »
spectator
Guest

There is a significant development!
I’m afraid the most positive result of Szijjártó’s trip: NEW HAIRDO!
Probably some rooster filed for copyright infringement..?
People, be happy, anyway, it’s great!

webber
Guest

Well, it is nice that Szijjarto has started to let the hair on the sides and back of his head grow a little!
He seems to have been a little confused in the statements he made in the presence of the F.M. of Palestine in Ramallah (trying to please everyone?), but, hey, having a new look is disconcerting at first.
http://www.szon.hu/illegalis-bevandorlas-szijjarto-megdobbentoek-es-sokkoloak-az-eu-vezetok-reakcioi/2956207

petofi
Guest

re: Israeli settlement products

If Szijjarto is on your side, there must be something wrong with the side.

Why is Israel adamantly sending settlement products to Europe? Couldn’t they consume those at home, and export non-settlement products? It seems that the Israeli policy is somewhat ‘in-your-face’, and wrong.

In this case, Israelis would’ve been wise to stop sending products quietly, without fuss…but that isn’t Bibbi’s style.

Guest

@petofi
November 17, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Israel will always push the envelope as far as it can, on a suck it and see basis.

This has always been part and parcel of both the spirit and the practice of the Zionist settlement project, settlement being just a nice word for colonization, the essence of Jewish “honfoglalás” – which I personally have no problems with, since how else do you carve out a country for yourself?

After all, if the Arabs had recognized the 1947 UN partition plan, there would be no settlement issue today, and Israel would be a fraction of its present size.

Fortunately the Arabs opted for war, and the rest is history.

And chutzpah (brazen cheekiness, effrontery) is part and parcel of the very spirit of Jews in Israel, particularly of the native born sabras.

So far mostly they have been winning with that attitude, though sometimes they come seriously a cropper with it.

Then they pick themselves up with a cheeky smile, dust themselves off, and promptly proceed with their next hair raising scheme.

Naga
Guest

The single most important issue for the government is on track.

Orban would do any and all things but would never abandon Paks 2.

It is such a bonanza (necessitating Danube dams and other giant “energy storing” dam projects) that he would do literally anything to accomplish it.

Luckily for him, Putin agrees.

http://444.hu/2015/11/17/mar-jon-az-orosz-hitel-2018-ban-indul-az-epitkezes-pakson

petofi
Guest

Putin does not ‘agree’: Putin orders…

webber
Guest

Naga –
Sorry to inform you, but Paks might be OFF!
Read the following news from today –
http://www.bruxinfo.hu/cikk/20151117-brusszel-megint-belepancsolhat-a-paksi-tervekbe.html

spectator
Guest

Today we have learned a few things, anyhow.

Orbán was honest (!) for a couple of second, and now we know, that he doesn’t count himself to belong to the “intellectuals” – and he’s completely right in this respect.
And:
“There is a need for a new European political system” – and there is a need for a new European leader too: “How many dead people do we need for Juncker to resign” – and guess, who is the right person to the role? (Hint: the one with the alarm bell ringing in his head..)

webber
Guest

OT – Very important.
Brussels still MIGHT stop Paks – If BruxInfo has it right, Brussels has found serious problems with the tender, and will ask the Hun. government to respond to objections within two months. If Hungary does not respond, or if the response does not adequately address the objections, a legal process will begin. If that happens, the courts will decide whether Hungary is in violation of EU regs.
So, it seems Lazar didn’t resolve the problem after all, and the Hun. (r. wing?) press that claimed it had inside information that Brussels would soon decide everything was fine was lying (which paper was it? can’t recall – Napi Gazdasag?).
News here:
http://www.bruxinfo.hu/cikk/20151117-brusszel-megint-belepancsolhat-a-paksi-tervekbe.html

webber
Guest

Found it (thanks to Naga’s post, above) – it was 444, or rather a journalist called Peter Magyari who, it seems, has been sucking up government propaganda (“inside sources” he calls it) and vomiting it all back as articles on 444.

Maude
Guest

This might be a strategic leak to the 444.hu people who, although better than Panyi at al, still never do fact checking, just before anEU decision which is probably more equivocal.

That said, the message is that Orban doesn’t give a shit.

So the Commission doesn’t like Paks2.

Will the EU send troops to Hungary to stop the excavators? There you go.

By the time the EU has a binding resolution or whatever, so much will be burnt on the project that people will say, let’s finish it now.

Orban just doesn’t give a shit about Brusselite losers, he just doesn’t care, why should he?

He’s got Putin’s full backing and in Europe that’s the important thing, especially now with Syria Russia is a friend and ally, and all is forgiven for Ukraine. Orban is winning as usual. Thank you very much.

petofi
Guest

@Maude

“He’s got Putin’s full backing and in Europe that’s the important thing…”

Not for long. Another way to see Putin’s adventures in Crimea and Syria is as the last gasp of the wizened lion. With the price of oil continuing to drop worldwide, Russia’s one trump card is shrinking; and the country’s ability to keep afloat ships, and planes in the air, worldwide, has an ever decreasing life span.

webber
Guest

Maude
If the courts find Paks is in violation of EU regulations, Hungary will have to stop Paks. If Hungary refuses to stop Paks, Hungary’s EU funding will be cut off (that is the effect of such a decision in an EU court).

At that point, Orban can decide between EU funding and Russian funding. EU funding doesn’t have to be repaid. Russian funding does.

What decision do you think Orban will make?

I suppose he will tell the Russians that the EU stopped Paks, and it’s not Hungary’s fault, so there should be no penalties.

oib
Guest

Do you know how long it takes until funding is cut off?

And who will take that decision? Because if it’s the Council and/or the Parliament then don’t hope for such a decision.

Orban is a lawyer and he knows that the entire EU is a lex imperfecta. But this is how it was dreamt up. There are no credible sanctions to back up the rules.

Gentlemen do comply, but Orban is not a gentleman so the EU can suck it up.

It will take 3-4 more years at best until there will be a clear, binding resolution. Till then Orban will be preparing and start building.

Orban is most likely preparing the grand bargain with Slovakia and the dams necessitated by Paks 2 are part of the deal. Orban isn’t giving it up just because the EU says it. That’s laughable.

webber
Guest
Good! Let Orban keep going that way. It has been ever so successful for him so far – let’s see, how many cases has he won in EU courts? Zero? One? Two? Can’t recall his press getting very excited about great victories, so it wasn’t many. How many laws has he had to change because they were found to be in violation? Is it ten now? A dozen? Two dozen? You don’t read much about those in his press, either – though the opposition press covers them. I’d guess we are getting nearer two dozen than one, now. The religious law is just now going through re-drafting, because it was in violation. And how quickly do you think Paks will be built? It can be stopped, mid-project. Now THAT would be a financial disaster for Hungary – but if it happens, Orban will have nobody to blame but himself. If Orban is such a great lawyer, why doesn’t he get people to vet legislation BEFORE it goes to the floor of the Parliament, to make sure Hungarian law is in compliance with the EU? It’s sort of a no-brainer – you get your whizz kids to look over proposed legislation… Read more »
webber
Guest

P.S. And where and when did this lawyer, Orban, learn the law? Which system did he have to master? It was Kádár’s “when in doubt, the state is always right” legal system, wasn’t it? That went for relations with the USSR, too (just argue fluently that the state is right, and you pass your exam with a 5 – that goes now at the new Közigazgatási univ., I understand).

Could it be that the legal system Orban mastered isn’t quite applicable any more? I notice he has re-introduced much of the spirit of that system to Hungary – but it doesn’t seem to work in relation to Brussels, does it?

toportyán
Guest
Webber: I think you misunderstand the operations of Fidesz and the mindset of lawyers. There are people who vet the laws, but such substantive objections don’t matter. A lawyer, who is also a politician, like Orban always asks what’s the potential ultimate damage? And how long does it take to get there? How can we mitigate politically in the meantime (in a very divided EU)? Ie. How effective are those laws with which we don’t comply. Orban executed the legal structure of Paks as “best” as he could. It’s actually thought up smartly from his perspective, not from Hungary’s. And even if it turns out that the deal is corrupt and completely useless, Orban’s ass is covered legally: the Parliament decided and he didn’t even vote. If the Parliament says the agreement should be concluded, he has to oblige, he is part of the executive branch, a humble servant of the nation. Sure, the EU may still object, but Lazar solved all the previous objections. So until now the project held up pretty well. Plus, imagine if Orban concluded another – that’s important: public international law mixed with private deals – agreement with Slovakia which would be connected to Paks… Read more »
webber
Guest
toportyán You sound like a typical Hungarian pundit (that was not a compliment). You are repeating misinformation -*Lazar solved all the previous objections.” That has been demonstrated to be a lie. It was something 444 published in two articles by Péter Magyari, based on “inside information” that is apparently wrong. Magyari must have got the story from a Hun. govt. person, and just repeated it without asking Brussels. Magyari acted as a pawn – a tool of the govt. If he knew it, shame on him. If he hasn’t realized it yet, he’s an idiot. Pressure from inside the EU – apparently hasn’t worked for Orban, has it? How many cases has Orban lost again? Even you must admit Orban isn’t great at intl. relations. And if BruxInform has it right, the EU will say that the contract with Russia is in violation Do you think all the pressure in the world will count when a court is determining whether a particular part of a contract violates EU law? I do not. (Slovakia as a defender of Hungary! LOL!!!!) You are, whether you know it or not, just regurgitating Fidesz’s story that all that doesn’t matter, that Hungary will do… Read more »
webber
Guest

P.S.
“In general, the training of a lawyer breeds habits and dispositions of mind which are not favourable to the practice of diplomacy.” Francois de Callieres, De la maniere de negocier avec les Souverains (Paris, 1716) – passage tr. by Harold Nicholson, who adds
“Few persons who have had experience with lawyer-diplomatists will deny the truth of this assertion.”
Nicholson, The Evolution of Diplomacy (London, 1954), p. 91.

zoRRo
Guest
I am not sure if Webber@, or Istvan@ realize that France by triggering article 42.7 of the Lisbon Treaty creates a susceptible and delicate situation. (France instead could invoke article 222 of the EU Treaty, which is a rather vague solidarity clause in case a member state becomes “the object of a terrorist attack”). By doing so France indirectly, i.e. de facto recognizes the existence of daesh as a state that controls territory, population, etc. At the same time, this measure, especially if approved by the EU, would indirectly call into question the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq (thus opening the gateway for the possibility for a more “Autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq”, no-fly zone, etc.) We should keep in mind that France is among the five Permanent Members of the UNSC. FR is already called a Session of the UNSC on this issue. I believe that Paris would like to have a UN resolution under Chapter VII that would be in line with the French statements on aiming for a wide international coalition. That may take some time but no doubt that it would be a game-changer if went trough. (That is why I value French diplomacy.)… Read more »
Istvan
Guest
France is taking the stance that the Islamic State is a rouge nation that can carry out an act of war, I agree that is my impression too. The truth of the matter is French armed forces were given a lot of credit by the RAND Corporation in Mali for Operation Serval see http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR700/RR770/RAND_RR770.pdf But that fight involved only 4,000 French troops at a total human cost for France of seven killed. A full scale assault on IS would result in causalities in the high hundreds without question. To take on IS France would have to put probably 30,000 troops in the field with combined NATO and Russian logistical support. That number is probably within the capability of the French Army. Estimates of the number of fighters in the ranks of the Islamic State are 20,000 to 31,500 fighters between its Iraq and Syria. Many of these jihadists are highly motivated but when faced with thousands of professional soldiers they will crumble. the same as they did when they faced battle ready US Marines and US Army units in Iraq. The golden rule I was taught was in offensive operations you fight the enemy on a 3-to-1 ratio minimum. So… Read more »
Rikard
Guest

Re: ‘It would be a happy day for France if they could take Raqqa and fully revenge these murders’

Maybe the French and others can take a line from an ‘on the ropes’ Henry at Agincourt…’All things are ready if our minds be so’. In war usually where there’s a will there’s a way. And if no will well nothing happens. This is also a kind of problem not only in battle operations but in promoting some different ideas to get some traction in the Hungarian realm. Arguably there’s too much of Orban-Szijjarto ‘light’.

webber
Guest

Zorro
What difference does this so-called recognition make to ISIS?
Zero.

There have been a lot of similar situations over history, of places taken over by rebels of one sort or another, and war waged against them.
Saying “we are at war with them” means nothing more or less than war.
It does not call into question the territorial integrity of Syria (a ridiculous suggestion).
The acknowledgement of Kurdistan does, however. And Hungary has acknowledged Kurdistan exists (I agree with the Hungarian govt. on this – recognition is right)

webber
Guest

P.S. Zorro, do you think ISIS will now get a seat in the UN, or open embassies in other states???! Don’t be silly.
This is not recognition of a state; it is recognition of a problem. There is a large difference.

Istvan
Guest

It could pose a problem relating to prisoners as they could be covered by the Geneva Convention. Which the USA found to be a vexing problem in relationship to the War in Afganistan. I know France criticized us (USA) for our adoption of the position that allowed for imprisionment in offshore bases of captured terrorists outside of the terms of the Geneva Convention. I leave that issue for the lawyers.

webber
Guest

Istvan
I do NOT believe that treating Taleban and Al Qaeda prisoners in accordance with the Geneva Convention would have made the world the slightest bit more dangerous.

Look at the results of the Nuremberg trials, carried out in accordance with the Geneva Convention. Far more people were interned prior to, during, and after those trials than were ever held at Guantanamo.

Member
Dear Webber, apparently you are a very active, knowledgeable and valuable member of this group. Therefore, I wanted to avoid quoting Wikipedia on basics of the international law (I deleted these references from my original contribution). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_with_limited_recognition; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_recognition#Recognition_of_states_and_governments) Calling names is not my stile. Instead let me just confirm that today I still fully stand by my yesterday’s “suggestions”. BTW, I said nothing about daesh having a seat in the UN and there was not a single word suggesting this outcome. I was writing about the intentions of France, not daesh, though I could. Without speculating. Today I would briefly add that the most recent statements of Mr. Obama, Lavrov, PM Cameron (speech in the House of Commons) Hollande planned bilateral meetings just further substantiated the direction of my thoughts. I fully agree with Istvan@ who started to calculate the number, quality and composition of the boots on the ground. The military part though is just one of the very complex issues involved. Today the coalition forces have a very weak (indirect) authorization to target isis in Syria from the air however they have zero legal base to enter Syria (or part of Syria) with ground forces (http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/un-documents/syria/). In an… Read more »
webber
Guest

Read those entries yourself, too. Nowhere in them will you find that saying “We are at war with xyz” means recognition.

A historical example, one that American citizens will immediately recognize:
When most of the United States, under Abraham Lincoln, entered into a state of war with the confederated Southern States, was that a “recognition” of the Confederacy as an independent state?

If you hesitate, remember that one of the primary goals of the war was to stop secession and restore national unity.

There are many, many such examples from history.

Another example: Serbia had a certain war over and in Kosovo in 1998-1999, and was at war with the Kosovo Liberation Army. Though most (not all) EU states recognize Kosovo as independent now, Serbia still does not recognize Kosovo as an independent state, and everyone (incl. states that recognize Kosovo) admit Serbia’s right not to recognize Kosovo.

The declaration of war against ISIS is, as I said, recognition of a problem, not of a state.

Member
Webber, that is my last on this subject. A declaration of “war on terror” is a political statement. It is not the realm of the international law. I agree with you that civil wars are not unique and there are multiple ways and pretexts to intervene. Even unilaterally… Since all this takes place today, let us discard examples that preceded the creation of the UN. I agree with you that Kosovo is a good example in a way that even though this state is recognized by 111 states now worldwide Kosovo is still far away (maybe decades away) from the international recognition, to say nothing of a full-fledged seat in the UN. You have a long list of such entities with very different stages of recognition. Therefore, it is not always black and white. In simplistic terms… Regarding isil both foreign actors have a weak mandate. Russia recently proposed a UNSCR on SYRIA that describes “the war on terror” in vague terms. If such resolution were taken, in practice that would mean authority to take action against each and everyone who fights against Assad. You know, for Moscow they are all terrorists. It deals with Syria only within its “internationally… Read more »
Eliezer
Guest
webber
Guest

Eliezer
Great “defiance”. How many products does Hungary import from these areas? None? One?
.

Guest

@webber
November 18, 2015 at 2:34 am

Touché. :-))

Words are cheap, but in this case also useful for both the current Hungarian and Israeli governments.

For the Hungarians, a demonstration of at once anti-EU and anti-antisemitism credentials, so in a manner of speaking they can have their cake and eat it too (a kecske is jóllakik és a káposzta is megmarad).

For the Israelis, who have no illusions whatsoever about the depth of Hungarian antisemitism, as a nation under siege and in a blood-soaked struggle with the Arabs, any help and support is of course more than welcome, regardless of how tainted might be its source. As they say, beggars can’t be choosers.

Anyway, there are sufficient political similarities between the right wing Christian Nationalism of Fidesz and the right wing Judeo-Nationalism of the Israeli coalition government for the two to actually become bosom buddies in the future.

webber
Guest

It’s
Nesze semmi, fogd meg jól.

On the international stage, Israel is not a beggar. I’m sad to see it if it acts like one.

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