The old adage about if you can’t beat them, then join them, is being given an interesting experiment in Holland as the city of Eindhoven is suggesting a plan by which it would have a plantation to grown cannabis and then supply local coffee shops where the sale of such drugs is perfectly legal. The Netherlands has long been famous for its lax laws which allow for the possession of less than 5 grams of marijuana and its sale in coffee shops. Rob de Gijzel, mayor of Eindhoven says, “It’s time we experimented with a system of regulated plantations so we can have strict guidelines and control on the quality and price.”
There are concerns on the increasing strength of unregulated cannabis. There is hope a government controlled policy and ownership of cannabis will deal a death blow to criminal elements. Criminalizing human behavior never works.
European powers in the 19th century not only created artificial “nations” in Africa, they also created one in Europe named Belgium which was put together by combining Dutch and French speaking people. Historically, French areas were more economically advanced due to the presence of coal mines, but in recent years the high tech world has centered in Dutch speaking sections of Belgium The result is a divided nation in which Dutch speakers appear to seek separation from the economically backward French areas. Belgium has a new political crisis after Prime Minister Yves Leterme resigned when it became clear his effort to broker the Dutch and French speaking issue has been unsuccessful. “It appears,” he said, “that the communities’ conflicting visions of how to give a new equilibrium to our state have become incompatible.” King Albert II is attempting to figure out a solution.
There is increasing evidence Belgium is simply another piece of evidence of how post industrial developments either foster or fracture cohesion within nations. The Dutch speaking area do not wish to continue subsidizing the economically backward French areas and the French areas resent the shift which now places them in a secondary position within a society in which they historically were the more economically advanced. Welcome to the 21st century.
Hundreds of Aghans protestors burned Dutch and Danish flags and demanded the ouster of troops from their nation who are fighting to protect Afghanistan aganst the Taliban. They wer angry at cartoons published in Danish newspapers that allegedly insult the Prophet Muhammad and an upcoming picture in the Netherlands which atacks the Koran. The crowd which had gathered in the capital of Logar province said: “We demand the government kick the Dutch and Danish troops out of Afghanistan because they are the ppuppets of Christianity.” Aleem Siddique, spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan urged calm saying, We believe in the importance of oveercoming misunderstanding and animosities betwen people of different beliefs and cultural traditions through peaceful dialogue and mutual respect.”
United States and NATO forces have been fighting for seven years in Afghanistan to foster democratic values, but apparently the basic belief of free speech or the concept of a free press are foreign to many people in Afghanistan. In neighboring democratic Pakistan, Foreign Ministery spokeman, Mohammaed Sadiqu said there was a difference “between freedom of expression and license to insult.” I hate to tell the people of Afghanistan who don’t want Christians around that if Christians left their nation, it would be up to them to defeat the Taliban.
Muslim newspapers throughout the world continually depict Jews in demeaning ways but apparently there is license to insult Jews since that is merely freedom of expression. Danish newspapers have a right to print cartoons and a Dutchman has a right to make a film. If Muslims don’t like the cartoons or film then have nothing to do with them. It would be a powerful message if Muslim clerics denounced the continual insults directed at Jews in the Muslim press and media.
Posted in Asia, Europe, Human Rights, Islam, Military, Muslims, Peace, Politics, War, World News
Tagged Afghanistan troops, Danes, Dutch