Friday, June 20, 2008

Supporting Their Own

Just as I was watching the ending of the Croatia-Turkey matchup at Euro 2008 (I won't give it away, but let's just say few saw that coming), this photo arrived in my inbox:

I don't know the source. I don't know where it was shot (though I presume somewhere in Germany, judging by the license plates) or when exactly. The caption was, "In Germany, support for their own."

As a commentary on immigration, integration and multi-culturalism in Europe, this picture is certainly worth a thousand words.


Red Card said...

The Turkey - Germany semi final is going to be awesome!

Gray Falcon said...

Oh, absolutely.

Though I don't think either the Turks (in Germany) or especially the Germans would riot if their team loses. Such fandom is more at home in, say, Bosnia.

To the commenter from Timisoara, whose post I haven't published yet: I don't mind posting your email address, but it may get harvested by a spambot, so it's up to you whether you want to include it or not. I appreciate your comment, though.

weylin said...

I'm a first time poster although I have been following your blog for the last few months. I really appreciate what you are doing and wanted to thank you for that. I used to think that I was the only one who had this view on the happenings in the Balkans, so it's people like you who really keep me sane in this world.

Thank you for posting the picture. With regards to what you said about not expecting rioting, I'm not sure I can agree with you. Turks (especially teenagers) have a reputation here for picking up fights for no apparent reason, so in fact everybody is starting to get really nervous about the match tomorrow (which might very well give them a reason). My mother works as a grade school teacher in an area in Berlin that is for the vast majority inhabited by Turks and Arabs, and she and her colleagues already said (half jockingly though because they know it's not that easy) that they consider not going to work on Thursday - no matter what the result will be as it's almost impossible to say which scenario would be worse. And especially in these regions my fellow Germans (unfortunately) should not be underestimated either.

Now, I definitely don't know how it is in Bosnia like you mentioned and all in all the situation in Germany should be okay, but specifically in the major cities I personally wouldn't count on a quiet night - especially if emotions are running high and alcohol is involved..

Gray Falcon said...

Thank you, Weylin. I honestly don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that; usually I'm more cynical (and realistic). When I think about it some, between the unassimilated Turks and disaffected Germans, there's bound to be some cracked skulls on Thursday. The photo itself says it is pretty much inevitable.
Ah, the joys of multiculturalism...

J P Maher said...

This is the license plate (US)/ number plate (UK)/ PKW Kennzeichen for the city of SOLINGEN.

(Home of the Srbosjek 'Serb-cutter' designer knife of the Croatian death camp Jasenovac).

erdega79 said...

speaking of supporting their own and attacking others , what to make of the pro israeli who just as fanatically support albanian "muslims" as they support the jews in the middle east . Can Nebojsa or anyone else provide some more info about Michael J. Totten than is immediatelly available on google ?

Gray Falcon said...

Julia Gorin has already taken Totten to task (see and there isn't much to add to her comments.

One thing I would like to add is that a lot of foreign reporters covering Serbia tend to speak to "prominent public figures" that in fact represent a Serbophobic fringe. For example, Totten's guide to Serbia was "Liberal Democrat" Filip David. Others either validate their prejudice or soak it up outright from the likes of Natasa Kandic, Vladimir Gligorov, Sonja Biserko, Borka Pavicevic... (the list is, unfortunately, very long). That would be like a foreign reporter trying to make sense of America by talking to Jeremiah Wright.

Now the question is, do the Tottens of this world give these people a chance to smear their country because they don't know better, or because they do? I'm betting on the latter.

erdega79 said...

sorry for coming in late. I see through google that Julia Gorin has some piece on Totten and I found it a bit objectionable. She calls him "otherwise respectable " which is very wrong since he is the most hardline anti serbian, pro israel, pro imperial neocon and he writes without any respect or depth and gets published in NYT and wall street jouranl among others for a reason and he calls himself "independent" which is obviously false . Anyway Julia Gorin portrays herself as jewish pro Israeli and neutral or even pro serbian but I find that quiet untenable as a solid foudation since by definition same people who are pro israel are anti serbian so this link can't be based on principles. Her talk about "jihadism" is also tiring since albanians aren't supported by any real muslims but by westerners and zionists who seem to have an interest to push islam against serbian and christian people. I see that she does cover Totten and Lantos and Engels and other pro israelis and anti serbian activists over time but she doesn't make an israeli link to their anti serbian orientation but simply refers to jihad or simply unexplained happening. She may be honest, I know she writes since nineties about Serbia and I don't know her personally but her points aren't clearing up the situation and aren't touching up on any of her fellow jews or any outsiders but it's us serbs who get fooled by supposedly good side of our enemies who tell us that they are not our enemies when it suits them.

Gray Falcon said...

So, jihad isn't the problem, it's "those damned Jews"? Is that why the same people who've targeted Serbs over the past century - Germans, Ustasha, Muslims, Albanians, Hungarians - also targeted Jews? Is that why Israelis are by and large sympathetic to Serbia? (Their government less so, but it looks after its own interests. There's nothing wrong with that; we should try it ourselves sometime.) You assert that somehow we ought to blame "the Jews" but I can't see any sort of actual argument to support that, nor have I seen any evidence over the past two decades or so to corroborate it.

Red Star said...

I have difficulty following this thread as well. Why would Israel promote Islamic interests via Kosovo, (even spuriously) when Serbia is mainly Christian - to advance Zionist ambitions? This is too arch even for me

I can see something to GF's argument that Kosovo is backed by the US and its minions (Euro-NATO). I take it as a foothold in the Balkans for bases and influence - this because Turkey will sooner or later push US bases out of there.

But I also suspect, as usual, the US has an eye on Russia, and is intent upon its destruction for various political/ideological/and economic reasons. Serbia has always been a loyal gateway from Russia and to Russia. The US has noticed.

Doesn't Anna Karenin end up with Prince Someone pissing off to Serbia, as a convenient exit? - as usual there's a war on there (a bit like British cads being exiled to Australia)