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I merely point out that the one of the looniest politicians on earth seems to come from what a 2006 survey found to be the happiest place on earth, and I don’t mean Disneyland. What that oddity says about the global success of the "Karl Rovian" strategy of "wedge politics" I will leave for others to discuss. But the argument that the outcome of the Second War of Schleswig (fought in 1864) and the Peace of Westphalia (established in 1648) should both be renegotiated does seem to prove that if you tell happy people that they should be unhappy they will always believe you. It is proof that the famous Dane Soren Kierkegaard was right when he warned that humanity is absurd because, "...they have freedom of thought, (and) they demand freedom of speech." And that could be Democracy’s fatal flaw.

By almost any objective measure life in Denmark is pretty good. The unemployment rate is 3.1%, well ahead of the United States, where it is currently at 5%. The expected life span is close to that in the United States – 76.5 years for men and 79 years for women – and the real GDP annual growth rate is about 1.3% while inflation remains a modest 2.5%. And better yet, the private possession and use of Marijuana is legal in Denmark, and so is prostitution. It sounds a little like heaven on Earth to a hedonist. And to a hedonist, where else would heaven be?
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And yet Mr. Soren Krarup, an ex-Lutheran minister and a leader of the moderate-conservative "Dansk Folkeparti" (DDP) has been a successful politician in this paradise for almost 40 years by preaching dissatisfaction. While he is fiercely patriotic this morose Dane also finds much in his native land that makes him unhappy, such as when Margrethe II was about to ascend to the throne of Denmark in 1972. Krarup warned that ruling was "...like going to war, it’s a man’s job." Margretthe may have gotten the last laugh - she has been universally popular and loved for 35 years – but having been so wrong once failed to dissuade Soren Krarup from continuing to lead his supporters to their discontent. Like the founder of his faith, time may prove Soren Krarup incorrect, but he never doubts that he is never wrong.
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Krarup's political career took off in the 1980’s after he set up the "Committee against the Foreigners Act", and warned, "For more than a thousand years, we in this country, have built up a nation founded on a common religion, a common language, a common history and a common culture. ..Of course we can receive guests. And indeed we should open our doors to those that are in need...but...There are differences between Danes and foreigners, and differences between Christians and Mohammedans. All these differences must be recognized and respected." And this was while the "immigrant problem still consisted of less than 4,500 people out of a population of over 5 million. But if this strikes you as chillingly like a passage from "Mein Kampf", you have not missed the point. As Kierkegaard reminded us, "Concepts, like individuals, have their histories", which must also be respected.
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Back then the DDP highlighted the cost of "supporting" the immigrants, and called for a "tax revolt"(sound familar?). As another party leader put it, "How can a Mohammedan be "integrated" into our culture unless we ourselves cease to be integrated? It’s impossible, by nature. A fantasy of this sort can no doubt be generated in the square heads of politicians and planners; but here in the real world people are either Mohammedans or Christians. And here in Denmark we are Christians." And after 9/11/2001 this was what passed for "moderate conservative" in Denmark.
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There are now some half a million immigrants and their descendants living and working in Denmark, about 10% of the population. And Soren Krarup is more powerful than ever. His DDP is the third most powerful party in Denmark, now controlling 25 seats in the179 seat national legislature, and more importantly they are a member of the ruling coalition. The youth wing of the party ran an ad in 2001 which identified, "Gang rape, & savage violence" as "The promises of a multi-ethnic society" and Krarup warned (he’s always warning about something!) "Muslim immigration is a way for Muslims to conquer us, just as they have done for the past 1,400 years." He has repeatedly compared the "hejab", the head scarf worn by Muslim women, to the Nazi Swastika, and helped make it illegal for any Danish citizen under 24 to bring a "foreign" wife into the country. And he has now called for a rewriting and renegotiation of history. Or, as Kierkegaard said it, "Once you label me, you negate me."
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Krarup recently told the Danish news service Ritzau that the Swedish provinces of Skane, Bleking and Halland should be "returned" to Denmark because those are her "natural" borders. They have not been a part of Denmark for 350 years! And in the South, where he was born near the German border, Krarup says the border should be set as far south "as there is a Danish majority". It is a phrase that echoes Hitler’s call for the "return" of the Studetenland Germans in 1938 at Munich. And Krarup thus dismisses the results of a 1920 election held specifically to determine where such Danish majorities existed, and despite the provinces around the vital German port of Kiel offering financial support with Denmark. But if Krarup is aware of any similarity between himself and Hitler, he is not publicly admitting it.
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Maybe Soren Krarup is the idiotic fool he appears to be. But that is the same assessment that many politicians made of Hitler - politicians he later eliminated. Krarup is one of the racist scoundrels who claimed that cartoons specifically created to insult Muslims were merely a matter of "freedom of speech". They were not. They were a propaganda ploy. And Soren Krarup is more propagandist than politician. He is a hate filled enemy of democracy. And he is the loonniest politician in Europe.
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But not by much. - 30 -

Posted by KAMuston

Originally posted to KAMuston on Sat Jan 05, 2008 at 01:32 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We have one in the Netherlands (7+ / 0-)

    And then there's a similar party in Belgium, one in Germany, one in Switzerland...

    Welcome to reality in Europe.  So many Americans have no idea that this is not some sort of utopia here.  European rightwingers can out-racist American Republicans easily.

    I think the Republicans are more subtle about it than the crazies over here, though.  Mostly.

    •  Asia (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cliss, Lujane

      There are long-standing racist attitudes between China, Korea, and Japan as well.  Racism is endemic to the world.  The grass may always be greener on the other side but the people over there are pretty much bad news, if you know what I mean.

      Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2006/03/solar-video.html

      by gmoke on Sat Jan 05, 2008 at 02:36:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prediction: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Detlef, sara seattle, Lujane

    if there is any kind of instability in 2008 (by instability here I'm referring to economic uncertainty, a rise in unemployment that kind of thing).
    Mainly based on the US credit crisis, which we are currently exporting to Europe.
    As economies start to wobble, watch Mr. Krarup soar in popularity.  As jobs disappear, watch racial violence intensify.  Expect shootings, ethnic polarization as communities struggle.

    Not just in Denmark. Expect to see LOTS more, in particular Germany which I believe has 10 million foreigners, also France with a very large, young muslim population that feels displaced.

    Expect it.

    •  the police are warning about possible riots here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sara seattle, Cliss, Lujane

      around the 25th of this month, thanks to this (that's the head of the very, very racist party, and they're airing his anti-Muslim film on regular TV here, 10 minutes of pure, unadulterated hatred).

      As for shootings, it's pretty hard to get hold of guns in Europe, although people do pull it off.  It's just much, much, much more difficult than other countries.

    •  Can I nitpick? :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      Concerning Germany, around 7.2 million foreigners as of Dec 31, 2006 (latest available statistics). Probably a bit more by now.
      (That´s not counting foreign citizens who got naturalized. Is that the right word? Getting German citizenship.)

      Citizenship of foreigners in Germany
      (in German, only showing largest groups)

      However if you look at that statistic you see that
      while Turkish citizens are the largest single group (1.7 million), they are still eclipsed by EU citizens (if added up). Italians for example are the second largest group with 500,000+.
      We even got a 100,000 American citizens living here. :)
      (Not counting military personnel I believe.)

      So your 10 million number is about 20% too high and it includes lots of EU citizens.
      And how to say it without sounding racist myself?
      The actual number of "distinctly foreign looking" foreigners in Germany is probably closer to 3 million.

      Mind you, I´m not saying that there aren´t and won´t be any tensions/violence. We do have our examples.

      I just don´t see any "intensified racial violence".
      Didn´t happen in the early 2000s when unemployment rates actually reached double digit numbers.
      The welfare state - while struggling - thankfully provided enough help to avoid that.

  •  The problem in Europe with racism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss, Lujane

    is going to be the timebomb that will be ticking.

    I am continously amazed when I am in Europe - the racism that is used by so many there in everyday conversation blows my mind.

    It is worse than anything I have ever heard in the States.

    and unless Europeans start doing something about it -- riots will be normal occurances.

    Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

    by sara seattle on Sat Jan 05, 2008 at 02:02:25 PM PST

  •  It is common knowledge ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmoke, Cliss, Lujane

    that EU is more racist than US - for immigrants.

  •  Damn. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmoke, Cliss

      I was hoping this diary was about birds.

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