Choosing Freedom or Terrorism

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R), France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L), Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (C), EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Britain’s Foreign Secretary arrive for a meeting of EU/E3 with Iran at the EU headquarters in Brussels on May 15, 2018. – Iran’s foreign minister said on May 15 that efforts to save the nuclear deal after the abrupt US withdrawal were “on the right track” as he began talks with European powers in Brussels. (Photo by Olivier Matthys / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MATTHYS/AFP/Getty Images)

From the Free Beacon, in the biting off more than you can chew department.

European countries are currently examining a range of options to counter the reimposition of harsh U.S. sanctions on Iran in a bid to continue doing business with the Islamic Republic, a move that is being met with chilly reception on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are already putting in place measures to ensure that any European nation caught skirting U.S. sanctions faces harsh repercussions, according to a new policy paper being examined by lawmakers and viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

European Union members are seeking to reimplement an old law known as the blocking statute, which orders European companies to ignore U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The move sets up a showdown between the United States and Europe over the future of business dealings with Iran in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to walk away from the landmark nuclear deal and reimpose wide-ranging and severe sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Iran opponents on Capitol Hill are already moving to respond, according to multiple sources who shared with the Free Beacon a newly developed policy memo that maps a plan for the United States to potentially sanction the European Investment Bank, or EIB, and cut its access to the U.S. financial system. The policy paper was written by Richard Goldberg, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“There is no statute that can save a European company from losing its access to the U.S. financial system,” the policy memo states. “European companies will not be willing to violate U.S. sanctions even with the revival of the blocking statute.”

European companies will be forced to make a choice between doing business with Iran and retaining access to the U.S. financial system.

“French President Emmanuel Macron Thursday conceded that European companies should be allowed to decide for themselves what to do without an EU order,” the memo notes. This suggests that whatever blocking statute is announced Friday will be largely symbolic.

Well, they can do what they want, I suppose, but it looks from here like a foolish move to anger the United States rather seriously in order to trade with the failed state of Iran.

But look, there’s more!

The Trump administration could invoke the 2013 Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act, a wide-ranging law that could be interpreted in such a manner that would sanction European companies for providing material support to the globe’s foremost state sponsor of terror.

The law “requires the president to block the assets of any person who knowingly provides financial or material support to any activity related to Iran’s port operators, its energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors, and any Iranian company or official listed on Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals list,” according to the policy memo, which is being examined by multiple offices on Capitol Hill. “The Trump administration could interpret this section to apply to any EIB director who votes to provide such support—and to any member of the Management Committee who implements it.”

Administration insiders familiar with the United States’ efforts to ensure European nations cut ties with Iran told the Free Beacon the EU is fighting a losing battle to counter new U.S. sanctions.

“The Europeans are acting more like a Heaven’s Gate cult, locking arms and willing to eat the apple sauce rather than break off business with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” said one source familiar with the strategy. “Treasury this week designated the governor of Iran’s central bank—does any European country think Treasury can’t designate their own central bank governor too?”

The real point here is that Israel is facing an existential threat, and Israel is very nearly as close an ally as Great Britain. If Germany and France want to anger the US real quick, well they found their issue. And it’s not Donald Trump, or at least not only Donald Trump, it is also the Congress, and yes, the people.

I said last week in a comment on a British blog, the Iran deal has the potential of being an issue where Europeans will have to decide between Iran and the United States permanently. One hopes they decide wisely, but one would be wise to not bet on it. Their delusions of importance seem to not only continue but to grow.

 

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The Use of Power

You remember last month we talked here about how a couple hundred Russian mercenaries got handled very roughly when they attacked a camp that contained American advisors. It seems we put on quite the air show for them beyond the artillery response. Everything from Apaches all the way to B-52s. Seems people noticed

From Business Insider via Warsclerotic comes the story.

Since the US-led effort against the Islamic State has reclaimed almost all of the terrorist group’s territory in Syria, 2,000 or so US forces remain in control of the country’s rich oil fields.

And though Russia, Syria’s government forces, and Iran’s militias all oppose that remaining US presence, there’s little they can do about it.

A small US presence in an eastern town called Deir Ezzor has maintained an iron grip on the oil fields and even repelled an advance of hundreds of pro-Syrian government forces— including some Russian nationals believed to be mercenaries — in a massive battle that became a lopsided win for the US.

Russia has advanced weapons systems in Syria, pro-Syrian government militias have capable Russian equipment, and Iran has about 70,000 troops in the country. On paper, these forces could defeat or oust the US and the Syrian rebels it backs, but in reality it would likely be a losing battle, according to an expert.

“They have the ability to hurt US soldiers — it’s possible,” Tony Badran, a Syria expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Business Insider. But “if they do that,” he said, “they’ll absolutely be destroyed.”

In Badran’s view, even if Russia wanted a direct fight against the US military in Syria, something he and other experts seriously doubt, the forces aligned with Syria’s government don’t stand much of a chance.

The real saving grace is that nobody, not Russia, not Syria, not even Iran really wants to fight the US. That expert is correct, they could kill some American soldiers, and from what I’ve seen of Trump as Commander in Chief, they won’t like what happens next.

We talked about how America makes war, long ago, here. It’s a devastating combination when given enough latitude to fight the war, not make reporters and other such riff-raff happy. It looks like the President understands that.


Some of the British have their priorities straight. Also from Warsclerotic comes a report that a British woman was killed recently in Syria. She was Anna Campbell and she was a volunteer with the Kurds.

Anna Campbell, from Lewes, East Sussex, was volunteering with the US-backed Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) – the all-female affiliate army of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) – in the besieged city of Afrin when the convoy she was travelling in was struck by a Turkish missile on 16 March.

A very brave woman. I think Teresa May should be contemplating why that woman wasn’t in the British army, and maybe asking Turkey just what the hell they think they are doing rather than worrying full time about some Russian spy that got almost killed.


Stacy McCain makes the point very clearly, why the hell do we care what Europe does?

If you’re old enough to remember the debates that preceded the Iraq War, a key point was the posture of our so-called “allies” in Europe. Many liberals argued that if European countries didn’t support the U.S., we couldn’t go to war against Saddam Hussein. In effect, liberals wanted to give Europe a veto over U.S. foreign policy. Americans had to endure the humiliating spectacle of our leaders basically begging France to join the anti-Saddam coalition, only to be rebuffed in the end.

Without regard to the specific issue of Iraq, however, that debate called attention to the general uselessness of our so-called “allies.” How many armored divisions can France put in the field? How many brigades of combat infantry can Belgium or Portugal deploy? How many attack helicopters and fighter aircraft do Spain and Italy have? If you scrutinize Europe’s military preparedness, you realize that even if they had wanted to join the U.S.-led coalition in smashing Saddam, they didn’t have very much operational equipment and manpower to contribute to the effort.

Consider the current condition of the German military:

Germany has come up short once more in meeting its military obligations to NATO. Leaked readiness data indicates that a key component of the NATO rapid reaction force, which Germany is to supply in 2019, is nowhere near ready to perform duties German said it could handle. The German armored brigade that was promised for 2019 is not able to fulfill its duties. Only about 20 percent of the armored vehicles (Leopard 2 tanks and Marder infantry vehicles) are fit for service. German military aircraft continue to have the lowest readiness rates in NATO and Germany continues, as it has for over twenty year, to promise the situation would be fixed but it never is. When the Americans press Germany to meet its NATO obligations (which includes spending at least two percent of GDP on defense) there are promises but no performance.

(Hat-tip: Austin Bay at Instapundit.)

Can’t even keep an armored brigade working, so much for the vaunted German army, once rated the best army in the Warsaw Pact and in NATO. They have become the joke that Italy was in the twentieth century, simply a drain on their allies. Willing to fight to the last Briton (and American). There’s an army ISIS could probably take on, even in their current depleted state, particularly since undoubtedly their 5th (and probably 6th, 7th, and 8th) column is already in place.

I don’t think post-Brexit Britain has too much to worry about from the continent. You’ll notice that Stacy doesn’t mention Britain in that story, I’d bet his reason is the same as mine. Whatever the faults of the British government, and it has many, it is one of the two most reliable allies we have and has been for many years. Yes, the other is Israel. It is also the only other power that can reliably project power around the world, in much the same manner as we do.

I also think it is time to case the NATO standard, and ally ourselves who believe the same things we do and let the rest fend for themselves, we’ve rescued Europe three times in a hundred years and that is enough.

Land of the Formerly Free

British police stand guard at the entrance to the US Air Force base at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, Britain December 18, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Radburn

A sad one today, that I hope will anger our European readers, it surely would in America. From The Daily Caller via The Daley Gator.

Northumbria Police in Britain warned online users that anyone who posts “offensive” and “potentially criminal” comments about grooming gangs will be tracked down and prosecuted.

The police force launched an investigation on Facebook comments posted to its Facebook page in response to stories about the Operation Shelter scandal. During the scandal, white British girls were groomed and sexually abused by gangs made up of mostly Muslim Pakistani men in Newcastle. 18 men were convicted over the sex crimes.

So that tells us plainly that if you are in Britain and you call a Muslim a Muslim and/or you refer to the government especially the police not doing their jobs and covering up that fact, you will be prosecuted. Not the kind of thing a free country does.

According to Chronicle Live and Breitbart, police reviewed every comment on the page after a member of the public complained that the posts made references to the convicted criminals’ race and religion—two of which were then recorded as racially aggravated public order offenses.

The police decided that there were eight comments that required action and have since tracked down six people responsible for posts “deemed to be offensive and potentially criminal.”

The story goes on to state that they all are remorseful. Well, I suppose I would be as well, if I had a police constable standing on my doorstep. Not that this is new, back in 2013 I wrote about a Baptist preacher in Norwich who dared to hand out Christian tracts at Norwich’s gay pride parade. He too was threatened very seriously with prosecution. You can read about it here, including documents.

While many of the groomers’ sex crimes against young girls were, by their own admissions, racially-motivated, Judge Penny Moreland allowed the convicts to receive lesser sentences because she believed the victims were targeted “not because of their race, but because they were young, impressionable, naïve and vulnerable.

So, even if the judge was correct, and these crimes were not racially motivated, which she is not by the perpetrators own words, because you are young, impressionable, naïve, and vulnerable, not to mention a working-class white, you are no longer equal under the law. Well, that seems to me to be what she explicitly said.

By the way, the grooming in Rotheringham, and elsewhere is still going on, in the very sight of the British police and government. Quite a few elsewheres, in fact, if what I read is true.

Note that I am referring to the government here, which is so corrupt that it is afraid to do its basic job, providing for the common defense, for fear that someone will call it racist. Well, you know what, the way it is selectively enforcing the law is, you got it, racist.

There was an article published yesterday, that said that without the Constitution, the United States would become “a sh*thole”. The author has much right in that assertion, and the proof is Britain.

Things are, of course, even worse in Germany, but that is not any great surprise, is it?

What was it that that old white Brit, Thomas Jefferson wrote one hot and muggy day in Philadelphia? Oh yeah, this.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Too bad that Her Majesty’s Government has forgotten their heritage, for those words stirred, in Britain, no less than in what would become America, fully a third of the population, including Burke, William Pitt the Elder, and Charles James Fox to support the colonies in Parliament. May they once again stir the hearts of freedom-loving Britons.

If I’m honest, if they don’t I foresee a time when Britain will be just another slave state, or in the current cant, a sh*thole, because that is the direction they are going.

Scamming the Citizen

Well, I don’t like to say, “I told you so,” but I told you this would happen. From PowerLine.

It’s been a tedious chore to track the slow motion train wreck of Germany’s energiewende, or “energy revolution.” Climatistas here have long touted Germany as the model we should follow. Think of it a renewable energy uber alles.

Well there’s a problem, and you don’t even need to know German to get this headline from two days ago:

Benny Peiser (a German native) at the Global Warming Policy Foundation to translates.

Irregular and unpredictable wind and solar power is increasingly becoming a problem for Germany’s power grid. Utility company Tennet TSO spent almost a billion euros last year on emergency interventions to stabilize the national grid.

That’s what the company announced earlier this week. The costs were thus about 50% higher than in 2016 (660 million euros) and around forty percent higher than in 2015 (710 million). Tennet is responsible for the electricity supply in an area that extends from Schleswig-Holstein in the north to Bavaria in the south of Germany and accounts for around forty percent of Germany’s total area. In particular, Tennet is responsible for important north-south transmission routes.

The reason for the increase in emergency interventions is the rising number of solar projects and wind turbines in Germany. The share of renewable energy increased from 29 to 33 percent of the electricity supply last year. Wind and solar power are irregular and often unpredictable. This makes the network increasingly unstable.

But hey, anything to save the world, amirite? Well, perhaps, not so much.

German parties agree to scrap 2020 climate target – sources

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s would-be coalition partners have agreed to drop an ambitious plan to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, two sources told Reuters on Monday — a potential embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Negotiators for her conservative bloc and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) told Reuters the parties had agreed in exploratory talks on forming a government that the targeted cut in emissions could no longer be achieved by 2020.

As usual, it turns out to be “Anything to keep the cronies in power, so the gravy train doesn’t stop.” Business as usual, in other words, and the average citizen (German in this case) take the hindmost. Such lovely elites. As Steve asks, “How does one say epic fail in German?” His suggestion is Alles kaput. That works for me.

And that is exactly what offends me with the whole scam that climate change has become. There may have been some actual evidence back at the beginning that we do have an effect on the climate, but we’ll never know.

The whole thing has become a scam for statist government, universities more worried about a buck than intellectual rigor, and capitalists without the drive to deal with competition looking for corporate welfare. Who is the loser in this scheme? As always the mark, the sucker of the con, is the citizen, the fool who pays for all the private jets going to the conferences in Swiss ski resorts, who pays for building stupid windmills all over the place, and eventually sits shivering in dark, because the electricity is off (ask a Brit who remembers the seventies!). Likely to starve too since transportation costs will rise as well.

Welcome to their Brave New World.

Trolling Londonistan

BBC

James Delingpole has an article up at Breitbart. It’s an outstanding one, not unusually for Delingpole, He’s one of the few Brits who get published who understand us, and understands Trump, and why he’s president. Yes, there are others, and we’ll try to introduce you to a few of them going forward. But Delingpole is special.

President Trump has offended pretty much the entirety of Britain’s political and media establishment up to and including the Prime Minister, the Mayor of London and the Archbishop of Canterbury.[…]

In a moment I shall explain why the president is right and his critics are wrong. But first a brief recap of what the fuss is all about. […] [Three tweets. Neo]

One depicted a bearded Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.

One showed an Islamist mob pushing a teenage boy off a roof and then beating him to death.

One showed a white Dutch boy on crutches being gratuitously beaten up by a man described in the video caption as a “Muslim migrant”.

Prime Minister Theresa May; Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; and many other politicians professed themselves to be appalled by this. As was BBC news, which made this horror its lead story.

But it wasn’t the sadistic brutality on any of the videos that bothered them. It was the fact that the person whose tweets the President had retweeted, Jayda Fransen, is the deputy of a nationalistic, anti-immigration political party highly critical of Islam called Britain First.

According to Prime Minister Theresa May this was a grave mistake.

She said:

I am very clear that retweeting from Britain First was the wrong thing to do.

“Britain First is a hateful organisation. It seeks to spread division and mistrust in our communities. It stands in fundamental opposition to the values that we share as a nation – values of respect, tolerance and, dare I say it, common decency.”

Some politicians went further.

London’s Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, sought to use Trump’s tweet as an excuse to promote his ongoing campaign to prevent the President being granted a State Visit to London.

Chris Bryant – a Labour MP better known as “Captain Underpants” because he posted “sexy” photographs of himself on a gay dating site wearing nothing but his white briefs – accused the president of “supporting and condoning fascism”.

Every time I read crap like this, I think it must be very uncomfortable living with your head where the sun don’t shine. But that’s Britain’s ‘ruling class’ these days. If you had the impression they really got their knickers in a twist, well you would be correct. Funny how the truth works, ain’t it? And by the way, whenever I read ‘right wing extremist’ in a European context, I laugh and say, “Oh, somebody who tells the truth.”

Virtually none of my colleagues, even in the conservative media, has a good word to say about him. They think of him in all the usual leftist cliches: that he’s crass, vulgar, dumb, brash and so on. They think that those few of us who defend him – like me, Katie Hopkins, Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Pryce-Jones, Daniel Johnson and a handful of others – only do so because we are attention-seeking loons.

What they misunderstand about Trump is the scale of his ambitions and the true nature of his mission.

As I argue in this week’s Spectatorhe represents the same revolt of the masses against the liberal elite we saw with Brexit. His mission is vital:

That mission, domestically, is to Make America Great Again. But his ambitions, I believe, are even greater than that. As he outlined in his brilliant Warsaw speech, he sees himself as the defender of not just the free world, but of western civilisation itself.

‘We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand-new frontiers. We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honour God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression. We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the centre of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything.’

I think he does, too. Remember what America is, where the entire world, came together in freedom. This is where a black Eskimo is possible. When our people came here, they left behind the ancient quarrels, and signed on to an experiment, in freedom and justice. And we rarely forget the justice part.

It might seem a stretch to argue that Trump’s recent trio of trolling retweets of Muslims-behaving-badly videos have much to do with this noble mission.

But cometh the man, cometh the hour. President Trump is no ordinary leader and he most certainly does not play by the conventional rules.

A key facet of his modus operandi is the way he manages to bypass a generally hostile media and speak directly to his constituency – essentially ordinary people who’ve had just about enough of politically correct nonsense – using social media.

Yep, exactly. Hey, British guy (or gal) in the street, especially outside the M25 (not to mention Germans, Poles, Frenchmen, Czechs, and all the rest) our President is talking directly to you, just as he does us. And his message, is your message, and it is our message, as well, our elites simply don’t understand (or don’t care, take your choice) about us, understand us, or share our values, but our president does. Think about that, that is another gift of the American people to the world. An American leadership that will push back for our values. Yes, we will MAGA, but Delingpole is correct, more than that America hasn’t given up and will defend Western Civilization.

Read Mr. Delingpole’s article. Good stuff!

 

Beobachte den Osten; the German Outlook

FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

Yesterday, we talked about the British, through the eyes of Katie Hopkins, one of the best spokespeople for the people like us amongst the cousins. But what about the Germans? They are an even bigger economy and the mainstay of the EU, yet Mütti Merkel cannot seem to form a government, in fact, her problems parallel those of Mrs. May, and speak to why Hillary! failed so badly. All three countries (and France, as well) have specific problems but there are also commonalities. Much of this comes from PowerLine but also from where Steve sourced his: The New York Review of Books. Timothy Garton Ash writes in It’s the Kultur, Stupid this…

[L]ike all contemporary populisms, the German version exhibits both generic and specific features. In common with other populisms, it denounces the current elites (Alteliten in AfD-speak) and established parties (Altparteien) while speaking in the name of the Volk, a word that, with its double meaning of people and ethno-culturally defined nation, actually best captures what Trump and Le Pen mean when they say “the people.” In Angst für Deutschland, her vividly reported book about the party, Melanie Amann, a journalist at the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, notes how some of its activists have appropriated the slogan of the East German protests against Communist rule in 1989: Wir sind das Volk—We are the people. Like other populists, Germany’s attack the mainstream media (Lügenpresse, the “lying press”) while making effective use of social media. On the eve of the election, the Alternative had some 362,000 Facebook followers, compared with the Social Democrats’ 169,000 and just 154,000 for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Its criticism of globalization is familiar, as is its angry and self-congratulatory denunciation of political correctness. Typical of all European populisms is a negative attitude toward the EU in general and the euro in particular. The Alternative started life in 2013 as an anti-euro party. Although overall German support for the EU is still very strong, a poll conducted for the Bertelsmann foundation in the summer of 2017 found that 50 percent of those respondents who identified themselves as on the “right” (carefully distinguished from the “center-right”) would vote for Germany to leave the EU, if Germans were offered a Brexit-style in-or-out referendum. This is a remarkable finding. Unlike Brexit, Germexit would be the end of the European Union.

Yep, that is remarkable, 50% of the right in Germany would vote to exit the EU. But I don’t think that is the main takeaway here. I think the main takeaway here is that so many of its supporters come from the former GDR, the old Deutschedemokratischerepublik, or East Germany. Like the Poles, the Czechs, and the other east Europeans, they know how socialism works (or doesn’t) and they aren’t buying into it again. We Americans have always fought off the worst effects, and the British some of them, but the east ended up with the very worst, subject to the Soviet Union and they haven’t forgotten. I’m guessing that in Germany like the rest, the kids simply can’t (or won’t) believe what their parents and grandparents tell them, but it is all true, in all its grim majesty.

In Germany, I think it worse because teaching much of any real history about the Nazi era is mostly verboten, much as if we didn’t teach FDR’s presidency.

Unlike in Britain and America, economic factors play only a small part here. It’s not just that Germany as a whole is doing well economically. In a 2016 poll, four out of five AfD voters described their personal economic situation as “good” or “very good.” This is not a party of the economically “left behind.” It gathers the discontented from every walk of life, but those who predominate in its ranks are educated, middle-class men. A leading CDU politician told me that the angry protest letters he gets from defectors to the Alternative will typically be from a doctor, businessman, lawyer, or professor. This strong presence of the educated upper middle class distinguishes German populism from many other populisms.

Among the leaders of the party, they are visibly represented by its other designated “leading candidate,” Alexander Gauland, a seventy-six-year-old former CDUfunctionary who almost invariably wears a check-patterned tweedy jacket and dark green tie. He is one of those elderly conservative gents who look so English that you know they must be German. Then there is Beatrix von Storch, a shrill and tiresome minor aristocrat with neoliberal, Hayekian intellectual pretensions. (Her maternal grandfather was Hitler’s finance minister—but we are not responsible for our grandfathers.) As for Alice Weidel: this former Goldman Sachs and Allianz asset manager, white, blonde, always neatly turned out in business attire, lives just across the border in Switzerland, in a same-sex relationship with a Swiss filmmaker of Sinhalese heritage and two adopted sons. These are not the German equivalent of the American rust belt manual worker, or of what is known in England, with liberal condescension, as “white van man.” (The van is white as well as the man.)

Here he is blinded by his own prejudices. In my experience, neither the rust belt manual worker nor ‘the white van man’ is typical, the support for Brexit and Trump extends far beyond these illiberal stereotypes, and the blindness of our so-called ‘betters’ is one of the main reasons they are losing. In fact, I find that they are exactly parallel, the most productive parts of society are the ones most frustrated by the dangerous silliness of the elites, who have rarely had a real-world job.

In any case, an interesting pair of articles. And something rare, an encouraging report from the continent.

Once again, America, partnering with England, shows Europe what freedom looks like and how to achieve it. Perhaps we will be able to say, with William Pitt the Younger:

[B]ut Europe is not to be saved by any single man. England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example.

Beobachte den Osten

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