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No Politeness Please

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It was a heroic death in the truest sense: Marie Colvin, war correspondent of the London Sunday Times, defied all dangers in order to report about the scandalous deeds of the Assad regime in Syria.

She fell victim to a rocket attack on the specially designated press compound for foreign journalists. Every once in a while I had interesting talks with this experienced journalist. During our last meeting we compared the mindset of a fanatic jihadist of al-Qaeda or Hamas calibre with SS henchmen or German Army 'volunteers' in occupied Europe and found that with regard to individual cruelty and delight, even lust in torture and killing, there was no difference.

The harrowing pictures of murdered children and victims of torture in Homs and other Syrian cities label the executioners of the Assad regime as true scum of the earth.

Even so there are still voices in the 'free West' that plead for mitigation when judging these enemies and for understanding of, even politeness towards these extremists.

In the latest edition of the leading socialist intellectual British weekly paper New Statesman, Hans Blix, former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, advocates in his article a more polite tone and more accommodating approach in negotiations with Teheran.

In a week in which yet again mutilated corpses and unconscious wounded lie on Syrian soil; in which in Egypt's elections the Muslim Brotherhood gained an absolute majority and the even more radical Salafists 29% of the vote, John Pilger writes: "Israel, America's hitman, is now widely recognised as the world's most lawless state." A British court refuses the extradition to Jordan of a notorious al-Qaeda ringleader because it might be possible that he cannot expect a fair trial. The mere monitoring of this individual is costing the British taxpayer 100,000 pounds a week.

The stance of the democracies towards the Syrian crisis - and also the undoubtedly difficult dilemma of the Iran question - reminds me as a contemporary of the 1930s of the false hopes, but also the cynical manoeuvring of those who propagated a bigger understanding and far-reaching concessions in the dealings with 'Herr Hitler', in order to transform him into a reliable partner.

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