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I lived in Antwerp for 4 months. I felt as if it was a combination of modernity, history and yet, rot. This helps explain the feeling.

Regards, Ivan


1 posted on 06/04/2005 12:37:45 PM PDT by MadIvan
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To: Deetes; Barset; fanfan; LadyofShalott; Tolik; mtngrl@vrwc; pax_et_bonum; Alkhin; agrace; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 06/04/2005 12:38:10 PM PDT by MadIvan (You underestimate the power of the Dark Side - http://www.sithorder.com/)
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To: MadIvan

"Heart of Darkness" is based on Leopold's Belgian Congo.

More recently, there were the child sex murders of Marc Dutroux, which were covered up for years by the Belgian authorities. Probably a lot of Belgian politicians were involved with Dutroux's activities, participating in some sort of child sex ring. It's hard to find any other explanation for why the case was handled the way it was.

http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/s/121/121484_belgian_sex_beast_faces_life_in_jail.html


3 posted on 06/04/2005 1:04:30 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: MadIvan

If it's a duck......

Europe’s main problem is aristocracy and a feudalistic sentiment amongst its citizenry. Nothing will come of such a system except to MAINTAIN what exists. If Bill Gates were born in Europe, he would have to open a bar or restaurant to survive.


5 posted on 06/04/2005 1:12:15 PM PDT by kipita (Rebel the proletariat response to Aristocracy and Exploitation.)
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To: MadIvan
Yet, somehow, this peculiar family (the Saxe-Coburgs - ed.) has managed to create a structure in which they not only perpetuate a reign over a country which only exists as a political, rather than a genuine national entity, but also make a lot of money doing it. [emphasis added]

Sounds like liberal politicians to me. Get involved in government and make yourself a lot of money.

6 posted on 06/04/2005 1:38:10 PM PDT by TheGeezer
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To: MadIvan
The pattern is there: a state is being constructed with limited democratic credentials, no basis in actual national feeling (which Dr. Belien states, leads to it having no moral credentials), and is operating on the basis of bribery, namely in the form of subsidies. He suggests that the only thing it lacks is a monarch of the Saxe-Coburgs’ dubious repute to hold it together. He also suggests that the productive nations of the EU, namely Britain, will suffer the fate of Flanders: namely that of being the cash cow, should further European integration succeed.

Wow. So this is the precedent, eh?

7 posted on 06/04/2005 1:48:42 PM PDT by GVnana
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To: MadIvan

EU High Commissioner for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana:
Russia, EU should respect ex-Soviet republic's interests



10 May 2005. Russia and the EU should respect not only each other's interests, but also the interests of each other's neighbors, including the former Soviet republics, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana said in an interview with Interfax on Tuesday, when asked whether the EU recognizes Russia's leading role in the post-Soviet space.

The EU and Russia have good, deep relations and they have the opportunity to address the new situation on the European continent, especially after EU enlargement, Solana said.

Touching on the EU's position on resolving the so-called frozen conflicts in Transdniestria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh, Solana said Russia, the European Union, and the OSCE have commitments on these issues, and it would be much easier to find a solution to these conflicts together.

Solana has denied allegations made by a number of analysts that one of the terms for Ukraine to join the EU is its withdrawal from agreements on building a Common Economic Space with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

He said these allegations are absolutely wrong, and the Ukrainian people are entitled to decide their foreign political preferences and choose which associations to join on their own.

Ukraine has good relations with both Russia and the EU, and it is an important neighbor for both, Solana said.

However, Ukraine's accession to the EU is not a matter of the near future, Solana said. The EU and Ukraine recently launched a neighborhood cooperation mechanism, and they need to see how it will work, he said.

The European Union is not considering sending any troops to the Russian-Georgian border or to any other country, Solana told Interfax.

However, the EU is willing to give the Georgian leadership advice and train Georgian police, security forces and border guards to enable them, among other things, to counter terrorist threats effectively, Solana said.

The European Union will keep weapons exports to China under strict control if it lifts its 16-year-old embargo on arms sales to the Asian country, Solana said.

He told that lifting the embargo would not lead to any quantitative or qualitative increase in EU weapons sales to China from the pre-embargo level.

He said the EU had sought to normalize its relations with China because the latter is a large and powerful country.

Solana also said the EU had taken into account Japanese and U.S. objections to the EU lifting its arms embargo against China.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will take up the Iranian nuclear program if Tehran refuses to hold more talks on it with Britain, France and Germany, Solana said also.

Solana expressed fears that terrorists could get hold of nuclear weapons that Iran may develop. At the same time, he said the EU is willing to cooperate with Iran in the civilian use of nuclear energy.


11 posted on 06/04/2005 5:16:05 PM PDT by STD (Evil White Man)
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To: Peach; Mo1

interesting ping


12 posted on 06/04/2005 7:17:24 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (Does my American flag offend you? Dial 1-800-LEAVE THE USA!)
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To: MadIvan
This catalogue of nightmarish proportions is brought home by Dr. Belien’s suggestion that rather than Belgium becoming more European as the European Union has strengthened, rather, the European Union is becoming more Belgian. The pattern is there: a state is being constructed with limited democratic credentials, no basis in actual national feeling (which Dr. Belien states, leads to it having no moral credentials), and is operating on the basis of bribery, namely in the form of subsidies. He suggests that the only thing it lacks is a monarch of the Saxe-Coburgs’ dubious repute to hold it together. He also suggests that the productive nations of the EU, namely Britain, will suffer the fate of Flanders: namely that of being the cash cow, should further European integration succeed.

I don't get it. Queen Elizabeth II is a Saxe-Coburg. The British branch of the family changed its name during World War I. And, well, if the Saxe-Coburgs couldn't manage to bring Europe together economically and politically during the 1800's when they not only sat on the throne of the Belgians, but Great Britain, Portugal, Bulgaria, their own duchy, etc., it's pretty silly to think this EU thing would work any better.

I guess I'll have to read the book to see if Dr. Belien rehashed old gossip or found some new dirt on King Leopold I.

14 posted on 06/04/2005 11:38:37 PM PDT by Victoria_R (Should I mention Leopold I was fascinated with that "mob rule" rule in America and capitalism?)
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To: MadIvan

Great article. Whenever I hear some Belgian politician condemning Israel or threatening to put Ariel Sharon on trial I recall the Belgian "colonization" of the Congo, possibly the greatest act of genocide prior to the 20th century. Such moralizing hypocrisy.


17 posted on 06/05/2005 4:08:30 AM PDT by jalisco555 ("Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us and pigs treat us as equals" Winston Churchill)
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