19 June 2016   Leave a comment

The world is preparing for the Brexit referendum in Britain next Thursday.  There are many reasons to believe that those in Britain who are leaning toward the “Leave” constituency are remarkably similar to the voters who favor Donald Trump in the US.  Indeed, rather than being a referendum on the EU, many voters in Britain are looking at the question in terms of a nationalistic and isolationist view of Britain’s place in world politics. 

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had an interview with the German magazine, Bild, and in it he criticized NATO for taking “bellicose” actions toward Russia.  His comments rupture the NATO narrative that its build-up in the Baltic states and Poland are simply defensive responses to Russian threatening behavior.   The interview exposes the split between western and eastern European perceptions of Russian intentions and the hard-line stance toward Russian actions in Ukraine.

Dina Temple-Raston, the counter-terrorism expert for US National Public Radio, gave an interview on the background of Omar Mateen, the shooter in the Orlando LGBT massacre.  In the interview, Temple-Raston gives a number of reasons to believe that Mateen fits the profile of a typical mass-shooter in the US and that there is very little in his background to suggest that he was in any way “radicalized” by Daesh (the Islamic State).  Speaking of the investigators who are probing into Mateen’s background and motives, Temple-Raston points out that they:

“say they’ve yet to find any indication that he became noticeably more religious, which is one of the indicators of radicalization. He still was going to the same mosque. The way he dressed didn’t change. His relationship with his family hadn’t changed in any way. And these are all typically warning signs that parents and friends and educators are told to look for if they’re worried someone they’re close to is radicalizing. I mean, this isn’t science, but in this case – so far, anyway – it doesn’t appear that any of those precursors were there.”

It may be the case that both the shooter and those who are politicizing the shooter have motives that do not fit with the narrative of “radical Islamic terrorism.”

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Posted June 19, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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