Massenbach-Letter: NEWS 23/05/14


Udo von Massenbach

Guten Morgen.

Cancer prognosis: The model would make clear the need to establish preventive measures long before a cancer becomes clinically apparent. (Prof. Bjoern Bruecher, Richmond, VA, USA)

· «Europäer sind dumm und naiv geworden»

· Gallup: Democratic Party Still Seen More Favorably Than GOP * Both parties face "upside down" net favorable ratings

· CFR: Curtailing the Subsidy War Within the United States

· What Will Happen to Syria’s Christians?

Massenbach* What Will Happen to Syria’s Christians?


The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. This opinion piece is cleared for public release; distribution is unlimited.


The Syrian civil war is widely understood to have a strong sectarian component. In this conflict, Bashar Assad’s Alawite–dominated regime is seeking to crush an uprising led by majority Sunni Arabs. The Alawites are a branch of Shi’ite Islam and have been supported by Shi’ite allies including Iran, the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, and Iraqi Shi’ite militias. Various Sunni Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, support different branches of the rebels. Yet, Syria is also a country of numerous ethnic and religious minorities, and the Syrian civil war is traumatic for them as well. Syria, unlike a number of other Arab states, has a large and significant Christian population of around 2.2 million (including internal and external refugees). Some Christians in western Syria have joined the war against Assad, but these people are in the minority within their community. Rather, Syrian Christians are, in most cases, sympathetic to the secular minority Assad regime which traditionally has given them security, although not democracy. The problem for these Christians is that most of them would prefer the Assad regime over Islamic radicals like the al-Qaeda linked Al Nusra Front, but they do not wish to move so close to Assad that they inevitably would be punished to the same extent as pro-Assad Alawites if the Islamist rebels eventually manage to win the civil war.

The Assad regime is directing a great deal of propaganda toward all Syrian minorities, predicting that they will suffer greatly if rebel forces win the war. Regime leaders routinely suggest that Christians will be slaughtered by Islamists in territory that they control. Assad also portrays himself as the protector of Christians. The Syrian propaganda machine claims that regime military forces have made a special effort to protect churches in contested areas, maintaining that they would otherwise be burned by the “terrorists” fighting the regime. Some of this propaganda is crudely melodramatic, but it may have some impact, especially when Syrian Christians consider the fate of their co-religionists in post-Saddam Iraq. The Christian community in Iraq was estimated to be between 800,000 and 1,500,000 in 2003, but subsequently declined to between 450,000 and 600,000 after a campaign of intense harassment by Islamic extremists who emerged as an important force in Iraq after 2003 and forced many Christians to emigrate.

Sadly, mistreatment of Syria Christians by Islamic extremists is not simply Assad propaganda. In areas of Syria controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, an al-Qaeda spinoff that no longer takes direction from al-Qaeda central), the group has imposed the 7th century status of “dhimmi” on Christians under their control. This status requires the Christians to pay a special tax (the jizyah) in order to live under ISIL rule. They are not required to live under ISIL’s harsh form of Islamic law (except for modesty codes) but cannot worship outside of churches, cannot display the cross, and cannot build new churches. They also cannot refurbish or repair existing churches and monasteries, although some of these have been very badly damaged in the civil war. Those Christians who are unwilling to accept these provisions have to leave the area or face execution.

Unfortunately, dhimmi status is probably the best treatment that Syrian Christians can expect from radical Islamists like ISIL and the Al Nusra Front. Worse alternatives are possible. Unverified but plausible reports from the Christian town of Massloula maintain that extremists have told Christians that they can either convert or be beheaded. A better documented incident occurred in June 2013 when Father Francis Murad, a Catholic priest was beheaded by Al Nusra jihadists for supposedly cooperating with the Syrian military. The jihadists documented this murder with grainy footage posted on the Internet, and the Vatican confirmed Father Murad’s identity. Later, in August 2013, around 40 Christian men in the pro-Assad stronghold of of Wadi al-Nassara were reported massacred by jihadists, but the details here are also difficult to verify. It might also be noted that none of these acts are out of character for the radical extremists of the Islamic resistance. In one November 2013 instance, ISIL fighters found rebel combatant Mohamed Fares Marroush in a hospital and mistakenly assumed he was a Shi’ite. Marroush was then dragged in a half conscious state out of the hospital and beheaded. ISIL later apologized for this act when it was discovered the Marroush was a member of Ahrar al-Sham, a rebel group that was at that time fighting beside ISIL. ISIL minimized the incident, claimed an honest mistake, and suggested that forgiveness was the appropriate response. Ahrar al-Sham remained outraged.

The problems faced by Syrian Christians are therefore quite compelling. Unfortunately, these problems are only a small subset of the overall tragedy of Syria, where the United States is often unable to understand, let alone positively influence, the ongoing civil war. The Lebanese civil war lasted 15 years, and there is no reason to believe that the Syrian civil war will be shorter. The fate of all Syrian minorities may therefore remain a complicating factor for Western policy toward Syria for some time to come. Assad strongly asserts that his government is better for the minorities than Islamist alternatives, and his propagandists constantly seek to amplify this claim. But Assad is also a monster whose forces kill civilians with indiscriminate bombing and artillery fire. He is also willing to use starvation as a weapon. It is beyond the ability of outside powers to suppress these ancient hatreds, but the World must not forget minorities such as the Christians in Syria. One proposal that deserves study is the appointment of a special U.S. envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East and South Asia. Also, the United States is one of the largest suppliers of nonlethal aid to the moderate Syrian opposition and must continue to insist that forces receiving our aid have no involvement with Islamist radicals. The United States also needs to emphasize our commitment to minority rights to our close Arab allies who are supplying the non-jihadist Islamic resistance. Finally, the United States must denounce fiercely any anti-minority and anti-Christian violence against civilians, no matter who engages in it.


The views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. This opinion piece is cleared for public release; distribution is unlimited.


Strategic Studies Institute – U.S. Army War College Russian Military Transformation – Goal In Sight?

May 05, 2014 … The Russian Armed Forces have been undergoing major structural reform since 2008. Despite change at the most senior levels of leadership, the desired endstate for Russia’s military is now clear; but this endstate is determined by a flawed political perception of the key threats facing Russia.

This monograph reviews those threat evaluations, and the challenges facing Russia’s military transformation, to assess the range of options available to Russia for closing the capability gap with the United States and its allies …

This monograph was completed 6 months before the Russian military demonstrated its new capabilities in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine in early-2014.

Presciently, the authors had concluded with a warning that close attention to Russian military transformation and its eventual aims was essential both for Russia’s immediate neighbors, and for the United States.

The Strategic Studies Institute therefore recommends this Letort Paper not only to scholars of Russia, but also to policymakers considering the range of challenges which the U.S. Army may be expected to face in the coming decades …

Deep and persistent challenges, including those of manning, funding, and procurement, mean that many ambitions for the Russian military will not be achieved in the short- to medium-term. All the same, it is undoubtedly the case that post-transformation Russia will have a very different force available from the one that went into action in Georgia in 2008, and one that is more effective, flexible, adaptable, and scalable for achieving Russia’s foreign policy aims …

The current transformation of the Russian armed forces marks the final demise of the Soviet military, with a decisive step away from the cadre unit and mass mobilization structure inherited from the USSR. This transformation is intended to meet threats as they are perceived from Moscow, not from any other capital.

According to Putin, “The changing geopolitical situation requires rapid and considered action. Russia’s armed forces must reach a fundamentally new capability level within the next 3-5 years.” … 2011 saw the beginning of a more smooth and stable transformation process. This qualitatively new phase affected all areas of military … Although Russia will probably not be able to reach all of the ambitious goals of its reform programme for the Armed Forces, there is little doubt that its overall military capability will have increased by 2020 …

Critically, it can be expected that the military’s role as a tool in Russian foreign policy … will still be at odds with what is considered normal behavior in international relations in 21st century Europe …



Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* Cancer prognosis:

The model would make clear the need to establish preventive measures long before a cancer becomes clinically apparent.

Cancer is a complex and heterogeneous set of diseases with no simple definition [1]. A century ago, tumor growth alone was considered the fundamental derangement, and tumors were classified and described in terms of their growth rates: (1) slow, (2) moderately rapid, and (3) rapid [2]. Today, carcinogenesis is thought to be triggered by mutations [3] and an inhibition of growth suppressors, which, in turn, gives rise to the cell proliferation, tissue invasion, and risk of metastasis [4].

Epistemology of the origin of cancer: a new paradigm

Björn LDM Brücher and Ijaz S Jamall

· Corresponding authors: Björn LDM Brücher (b-bruecher – Ijaz S Jamall ijamall

Author Affiliations

1 Theodor-Billroth-Academy®, Munich, Germany

2 Theodor-Billroth-Academy®, Richmond, VA, USA

3 Theodor-Billroth-Academy®, Sacramento, CA, USA

4 INCORE, International Consortium of Research Excellence of the Theodor- Billroth-Academy®, Munich, Germany

5 INCORE, International Consortium of Research Excellence of the Theodor- Billroth-Academy®, Richmond, Virginia, USA

6 INCORE, International Consortium of Research Excellence of the Theodor- Billroth-Academy®, Sacramento, CA, USA

7 Bon Secours Cancer Institute, Richmond, VA, USA

8 Risk-Based Decisions, Inc., Sacramento, CA, USA


Carcinogenesis is widely thought to originate from somatic mutations and an inhibition of growth suppressors, followed by cell proliferation, tissue invasion, and risk of metastasis. Fewer than 10% of all cancers are hereditary; the ratio in gastric (1%), colorectal (3-5%) and breast (8%) cancers is even less. Cancers caused by infection are thought to constitute some 15% of the non-hereditary cancers. Those remaining, 70 to 80%, are called “sporadic,” because they are essentially of unknown etiology. We propose a new paradigm for the origin of the majority of cancers.

Presentation of hypothesis

Our paradigm postulates that cancer originates following a sequence of events that include (1) a pathogenic stimulus (biological or chemical) followed by (2) chronic inflammation, from which develops (3) fibrosis with associated changes in the cellular microenvironment. From these changes a (4) pre-cancerous niche develops, which triggers the deployment of (5) a chronic stress escape strategy, and when this fails to resolve, (6) a transition of a normal cell to a cancer cell occurs. If we are correct, this paradigm would suggest that the majority of the findings in cancer genetics so far reported are either late events or are epiphenomena that occur after the appearance of the pre-cancerous niche.

Testing the hypothesis

If, based on experimental and clinical findings presented here, this hypothesis is plausible, then the majority of findings in the genetics of cancer so far reported in the literature are late events or epiphenomena that could have occurred after the development of a PCN. Our model would make clear the need to establish preventive measures long before a cancer becomes clinically apparent. Future research should focus on the intermediate steps of our proposed sequence of events, which will enhance our understanding of the nature of carcinogenesis. Findings on inflammation and fibrosis would be given their warranted importance, with research in anticancer therapies focusing on suppressing the PCN state with very early intervention to detect and quantify any subclinical inflammatory change and to treat all levels of chronic inflammation and prevent fibrotic changes, and so avoid the transition from a normal cell to a cancer cell.

Implication of the hypothesis

The paradigm proposed here, if proven, spells out a sequence of steps, one or more of which could be interdicted or modulated early in carcinogenesis to prevent or, at a minimum, slow down the progression of many cancers.


Cancer is a complex and heterogeneous set of diseases with no simple definition. A century ago, tumor growth alone was considered the fundamental derangement, and tumors were classified and described in terms of their growth rates: (1) slow, (2) moderately rapid, and (3) rapid. Today, carcinogenesis is thought to be triggered by mutations and an inhibition of growth suppressors, which, in turn, gives rise to the cell proliferation, tissue invasion, and risk of metastasis.

Mutation and polymorphism

Over the past several decades, the theory that somatic mutations are the primary trigger for carcinogenesis has become the predominant paradigm to explain the origin of most cancers. In fact, the German surgeon and cancer researcher, Karl-Heinrich Bauer (1928), on observing mutations in plants and animals, offered the then plausible biological explanation that cancers were likely caused by mutations. Some rare cancers have indeed been shown to involve mutations, most notably the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage that ensues from exposure to non-lethal doses of ionizing radiation. The Watson and Crick discovery, aided by Rosalyn Franklin’s X-ray diffraction study of DNA, achieved in large measure by “theoretical conversation…little experimental activity”, served to elucidate the three-dimensional structure of DNA and gave credence to the concept that damage to DNA molecules can lead to cancer.

Although some 50 years ago, Ashley stated that cancer may be the result of just 3 to 7 mutations, and since then, others have proposed different possible numbers of critical mutations, the number necessary to cause a normal cell to change to a cancer cell is not yet known.

The clinical and laboratory evidence suggests that carcinogenesis requires more than mutations since, in order for a cancer to develop, the DNA repair mechanism would have to be absent, defective, or inefficient, as seen, for example, in children with Xeroderma pigmentosum. Somatic mutations are increasingly questioned as drivers of carcinogenesis, and some cancers are not associated with any mutation. Furthermore, the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes is also involved in the cell transformation process. In this context, one group of researchers has suggested illuminating the process by comparing genomes among different species for example, those of a mouse or rat to those of the naked mole rat, which is resistant to cancer. In recent years, the contribution of chronic inflammation to cell transformation has been revisited, although the mechanism of inflammation and its importance have yet to be elucidated. Long thought to play a role in the development of cancer, inflammation is again under scrutiny, in light of recent data.

Until recently, the source of cancers was thought to be (1) hereditary, (2) infectious or (3) sporadic.

Hereditary cancers occur in 5 to 10% of all cancers and in some 8% of breast and ovarian cancers, which are associated with genetic changes as BRCA1 or BRCA2; the equivalent figure for colorectal cancer is between 3 and 5%.

Some 15% are thought to be caused by infection, a ratio perhaps misleading, as it is about 60% of gastric cancers and as high as 80% of hepatic cancer. The remaining cancers (70-80%) are considered sporadic, a euphemism for “unknown cause”. Only 15% of sporadic cancers are traced to somatic mutations, but a carrier is not automatically afflicted, although his risk for the associated cancer may be greater than 50%. Intra-patient heterogeneity and variability have always hampered the search for uniform and effective therapies, and heterogeneity remains a huge impediment to assigning one origin to many different types of cancer.

Fully 99.9% of all mutations that occur within the coding regions of the genome are not understood, nor have they been investigated. Additionally, the number of mutated genes and mutations per cancer are, a small percentage of mutations in a coding region varies greatly: 97% of mutations are single-base substitutions and about 3% are insertions or deletions. Furthermore, of the reported single-base mutations, 90.7% are missense changes, 7.6% are nonsense, and 1.7% involve splice sites located in non-translated regions that immediately follow a start or stop codon. The number of mutated genes varies, with a smaller number of somatic mutations observed in the population of younger patients with a cancer than that of older patients with the same cancer. The number of observed mutations varies among tissues of the source cancer: tissue of cancers with high rates of cell division, such as the colon, exhibit more mutations per cell than that of cancers in slowly dividing tissues, such as the brain.

The enormous variability of mutations, combined with the fact that more than half of these occur even before the cancer phenotype is established, leads to an elevated “noise to signal” ratio in the exon sequencing data. Mutations are assumed to occur over long periods of time – even as long as several decades. Because of the long time frame, it is reasonable to assume that the data from sequencing vary greatly according to the time of sample collection. Investigation to understand mutations is of significant importance to understanding even more profound underlying biological processes.

Genetic polymorphism is also important for understanding the processes, as two or more different phenotypes may exist in the same individual. Biologists usually investigate certain point mutations in the genotype, such as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or variations in homologous DNA by restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs), with chromatography, chromosome cytology, or by exploiting genetic data. Neither the mechanisms nor the distribution of different polymorphisms among individual genes are well understood, although the latter is considered a major reason for the evolutionary disparity that survives natural selection [28]. Polymorphisms are necessary to understanding biology – including tumor biology – but are not be the key to solving cancer genomics.

The reasons why polymorphisms are not a viable route for unraveling cancer genomics are multiple: (1) We do not understand how polymorphisms reflect a disease or respond to a treatment, or even if they react in coordination with other polymorphisms in other genes. (2) On 23 July 2013, the number of SNPs published in the Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Database (dbSNP) was 62,676,337. (3) Human beings have 23 paired chromosomes (46 in each cell) and, according to data from the Human Genome Project, humans probably have 21,000 haploid coding genes with approximately 3.3 × 109 base pairs. (4) Chromosome 1 of the 46, with its 249,250,621 base pairs, has 4,401,091 variations [31]. (5) The mutation rate is estimated to be 10-6 to 10-10 in eukaryotes, a piece of data that could permit a calculation of the possible combinations. (6) However, the number of pseudogenes – about 13,000 [30] – and (7) the wide variation of transposable (mobile) genetic DNA sequences complicate such a calculation. For example, Alu has about 50,000 active copies/genome, while another, LINE-1 (=long interspersed element 1), has 100. (8) To the best of our knowledge, mobile genetic elements – classified under CLASS I DNA transposons as LTRs (long terminal transposanable retroposons) and non-LTRs, such as long interspersed elements (=LINEs) and short interspersed elements (=SINEs), and CLASS II DNA transposons – account for more than 40% of the total genetic elements.

In addition to these eight reasons, we note that neither the genetic information nor the different cells alone influence biological processes; the extracellular matrix (ECM) is essential for cellular differentiation and thus influences that differentiation directly, as well as providing stabilizing ligament fibroblasts. Moreover, only 50% of patients with disseminated tumor cells and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) develop clinically evident metastatic cancer, and only 0.01% of disseminated cells and CTCs develop metastasis. Even the fact that cancerous cells have been observed in vitro without inflammation or fibrosis does not account for the vast majority of cancers for which mutations cannot explain their development.

Normal cellular processes that damage DNA include the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), alkylation, depurination, and cytidine deamination. The magnitude of DNA damage affected by normal cellular processes is enormous, estimated at approximately ten thousand depurinated sites generated per cell per day; an even greater number of alterations results from ROS. This DNA damage is continuously monitored and repaired; over 130 DNA repair products have been identified. In normal cells, DNA replication and chromosomal segregation are exceptionally accurate processes. Measurements of the mutagenesis of cells grown in culture yield values of approximately 2×10-10 single base substitutions per nucleotide in DNA per cell division, or 1×10-7 mutations/gene/cell division. An even lower number has been demonstrated in cultured stem cells. Taking into account this very low frequency of mutation, the spontaneous mutation rate of normal cells seems insufficient to generate the large number of genetic alterations observed in human cancer cells. If a cancer arises in a single stem cell, then the spontaneous mutation rate would account for less than one mutation per tumor. That discrepancy led to a hypothesis, as yet unproven, of a “mutator phenotype,” which – by envoking genomic instability – might account for the greater number of somatic mutations observed.

These sobering considerations reflect the complexity of biological processes. We think it unlikely, logically and computationally, to find the needle – the origin of cancers – in this huge haystack. After depending on the somatic mutation paradigm for some 85 years, these considerations justify contemplating a paradigm shift. Biological processes as well as cell-cell communication and signaling are themselves a multidimensional musical opera in different acts, which are played differently by different symphony orchestras rather than by a soloist. Even the composition of the music, which is needed before it can be played, is not well understood.

We propose an alternate hypothesis for the origin of the majority of cancers. Our paradigm postulates that cancer originates following a sequence of events that include (1) a pathogenic stimulus (biological or chemical), followed by (2) subclinical chronic inflammation, from which develops (3) fibrosis with associated changes in the cellular microenvironment. From these changes, (4) a pre-cancerous niche (PCN) develops, which triggers (5) deployment of a chronic stress escape strategy (CSES) with (6) a normal cell-cancer cell transition (NCCCT) (Figure 1). In this paper, we justify our hypothesis by showing why it deserves consideration as the explanation for the genesis of most cancers.



Politics: From Vision to Action

Barandat* Walter Russell Mead: The Return of Geopolitics –

The Revenge of the Revisionist Powers May/June 2014 … So far, the year 2014 has been a tumultuous one, as geopolitical rivalries have stormed back to center stage … The United States and the EU, at least, find such trends disturbing. Both would rather move past geopolitical questions of territory and military power and focus instead on ones of world order and global governance: trade liberalization, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, the rule of law, climate change, and so on. Indeed, since the end of the Cold War, the most important objective of U.S. and EU foreign policy has been to shift international relations away from zero-sum issues toward win-win ones. To be dragged back into old-school contests such as that in Ukraine doesn’t just divert time and energy away from those important questions; it also changes the character of international politics … China, Iran, and Russia never bought into the geopolitical settlement that followed the Cold War, and they are making increasingly forceful attempts to overturn it. That process will not be peaceful, and whether or not the revisionists succeed, their efforts have already shaken the balance of power and changed the dynamics of international politics … When the Cold War ended, many Americans and Europeans seemed to think that the most vexing geopolitical questions had largely been settled … To fight the West successfully, you would have to become like the West, and if that happened, you would become the kind of wishy-washy, pacifistic milquetoast society that didn’t want to fight about anything at all. The only remaining dangers to world peace would come from rogue states … Russia … could jump on the modernization bandwagon and become liberal, open, and pacifistic, or they could cling bitterly to their guns and their culture as the world passed them by. At first, it all seemed to work … After 9/11, President George W. Bush based his foreign policy on the belief that Middle Eastern terrorists constituted a uniquely dangerous opponent … President Barack Obama built his foreign policy on the conviction that the “war on terror” was overblown, that history really was over, and that, as in the Clinton years, the United States’ most important priorities involved promoting the liberal world order, not playing classical geopolitics … Obama planned to cut defense spending dramatically and reduced U.S. engagement in key world theaters, such as Europe and the Middle East. All these happy convictions are about to be tested.

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall … the world is looking less post-historical by the day. In very different ways, with very different objectives, China, Iran, and Russia are all pushing back against the political settlement of the Cold War … all three countries … agree that U.S. power is the chief obstacle to achieving their revisionist goals … Putin … has been remarkably successful at frustrating Western projects on former Soviet territory … Obama now finds himself bogged down in exactly the kinds of geopolitical rivalries he had hoped to transcend … Chinese, Iranian, and Russian revanchism haven’t overturned the post–Cold War settlement in Eurasia yet, and may never do so, but they have converted an uncontested status quo into a contested one. U.S. presidents no longer have a free hand as they seek to deepen the liberal system; they are increasingly concerned with shoring up its geopolitical foundations …

The tide of history may be flowing inexorably in the direction of liberal capitalist democracy, and the sun of history may indeed be sinking behind the hills. But even as the shadows lengthen and the first of the stars appears, such figures as Putin still stride the world stage. They will not go gentle into that good night, and they will rage, rage against the dying of the light.


«Europäer sind dumm und naiv geworden»

von Désirée Pomper – Der Bund warnt vor globalen Machtverschiebungen und der Isolierung Europas. Zu Recht, sagt US-Autor und Sicherheitsexperte Eric T. Hansen.

Herr Hansen, laut dem Sicherheitsbericht der Schweiz 2014befindet sich Europa zunehmend auf verlorenem Posten: Die Einflussnahme Russlands auf dem europäischen Kontinent wächst, die USA orientieren sich zunehmend an Asien. Stehen wir wirklich so unter Druck?
Auf jeden Fall. Russland rüstet auf. Seit 2011 läuft ein auf über 500 Milliarden Franken dotiertes zehnjähriges Rüstungsprogramm. Und Wladimir Putin hat in der Ukraine ja soeben demonstriert, dass er auf EU-Regeln pfeift. Gleichzeitig wenden sich die USA zunehmend von Europa ab. Sie haben keine Lust mehr, weiterhin den grossen Beschützer zu spielen.

Warum nicht?
Die Amerikaner haben das Gefühl, die Europäer sollten jetzt selber auf sich aufpassen. Man habe schliesslich seine Pflicht getan während des Zweiten Weltkriegs und des Kalten Kriegs. Sie konzentrieren sich jetzt auf Asien und Südamerika. Es wird Zeit, dass Europa Verantwortung für sich selber übernimmt.

Europa scheint mit dieser neuen Situation allerdings etwas überfordert…
Sie macht Europa Angst. Europa ist wie ein Teenager, der noch zu Hause lebt, von Mama und Papa beschützt und finanziert wird und gegen den Kapitalismus wettert. Jetzt aber muss er sich in der grossen weiten Welt behaupten, einen Job suchen, vor dem Chef kuschen und sich überlegen, ob er sein Geld für ein Bier ausgibt oder Amnesty International spendet.

Die EU hat also den Bezug zur Realität verloren?
Ja. Viele Europäer haben verlernt, wie die Welt funktioniert. Sie haben sich daran gewöhnt, dass sie sich in Krisensituationen auf die USA verlassen können. Während die USA ihnen den Rücken freigehalten haben, konzentrierten sich die Europäer auf ihren Wohlstand und entwickelten eine starke Moralpolitik. Ihr Ziel: Das Böse aus der Welt zu schaffen. Dazu gehören die Banken, die Manager, der Kapitalismus und die Globalisierung. Dabei vergisst man, dass dies doch die Grundlage für den Wohlstand ist, ohne die es Westeuropa so gar nicht gäbe.

Warum ist Moralpolitik in Europa im Vergleich zu den USA so stark?
Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg wollte sich die jüngere Generation von den Nazis distanzieren. Es gab einen starken Schwenker zum Moralischen. Werte wie politische Korrektheit, Toleranz und soziale Gerechtigkeit wurden extrem wichtig. Es gibt die politische Erwartung, dass die Welt ohne Konflikte funktionieren muss. Viele Europäer denken, dass wir nur nett zueinander sein müssen, und alles ist gut. Der Mensch wird als moralisches Wesen verstanden.

Was ist so schlimm daran?
Ich mag die europäische Moralvorstellung eigentlich. Sie ist im Grunde gut. Aber wenn man sie verabsolutiert, dann ist das naiv. In gewissen Situationen muss man mittels Machtpolitik klar seine Interessen vertreten. Sonst passiert das, was jetzt der Fall ist: Russland annektiert Stück für Stück Teile Europas und Europa schaut zu. Viele konnten sich gar nicht mehr vorstellen, dass es auch in Europa Länder gibt, die Macht ausüben wollen. Doch genau das ist nun passiert. Putin hat die Regeln gebrochen und demonstriert, dass er auf die EU-Regeln pfeift. Jetzt weiss Europa nicht, wie es damit umgehen soll. Viele Europäer sind so stark auf Moralpolitik gepolt, dass sie die Grenzen nicht sehen. Europa hat vergessen, dass man für seine Interessen auch kämpfen muss. Europa ist dumm und naiv geworden.

Immerhin war Westeuropa in den letzten 60 Jahren an keinem Krieg beteiligt – im Gegensatz zu den USA.
Es reicht nicht, stolz darauf zu sein, die letzten 60 Jahre keinen Krieg gehabt zu haben und mit Anti-Kriegs-Plakaten an Demos zu gehen. Das ist eine Haltung, aber keine Politik. Es führt nur dazu, dass man ein gutes Gefühl hat, es ist pure Selbstbeweihräucherung. Aber man bewirkt nichts. Die EU verkennt, dass sie auch eingreifen muss, um Frieden zu schaffen

Sie verklären die Machtpolitik. Schliesslich haben Grossmächte wie die USA mit ihren militärischen Interventionen nicht nur Gutes bewirkt.
Natürlich übertreibt es das Land mit Interventionen. Doch die USA haben viel Gutes bewirkt. Sogar die Irak-Intervention, die ein Fehler war, hatte eine positive Wirkung. Ich glaube, dass die demokratischen Aufstände im ganzen arabischen Raum nicht möglich gewesen wären, wenn man nicht gesehen hätte, dass auch ein Diktator gestürzt werden kann. Während des Kalten Krieges haben die USA so lange Druck gemacht, bis die Sowjetunion zusammengebrochen ist. Oder Nigeria: Europa fühlt sich nicht verantwortlich dafür, Antiterroreinheiten zu entsenden, um die von Islamisten entführen Schulmädchen zu retten. Das sollen die USA regeln. Europa sieht sich als Ausnahme. Niemand erwartet etwas von Europa.

Aber ist es denn nicht besser zu kuschen, als mit Machtpolitik auf das Gebaren Putins zu reagieren und so ein Blutvergiessen zu provozieren?
Das stimmt historisch nicht. Als Hitler expandierte, wollten die Briten abwarten und schauen, was passiert. Das Resultat war, dass Hitler einmarschierte. Die Europäer haben die Einstellung: Menschen sind eigentlich gut. Wir müssen ihnen einfach mehr zutrauen. Diese Einstellung kann verheerend sein.

Was für eine Stellung wird Europa in 20 Jahren haben, wenn es keine Machtpolitik betreibt?
Westeuropa ist reich und wird reich bleiben. Es wird weiter Autos produzieren und diese auch verkaufen. Aber es stagniert kulturell, wirtschaftlich und politisch. Alle sehnen sich nach dem Europa des 19. Jahrhunderts, als es noch politische Führerfiguren und Ideenreichtum gab. Europa wird vollends von der Weltbühne verschwinden. Man muss sich fragen: Ist es wirklich das, was man will? Und was haben wir jetzt für Politiker an der Macht? Die Europäer beschreiben sich selber als rational und sachlich. Gleichzeitig wählen sie Führer, die grenzwertig sind: einen korrupten Berlusconi, Sarkozy, der sich wie ein Rockstar aufführte, Hollande mit seinem linken Populismus. Einzig Angela Merkel scheint vertrauenswürdig.

Und die Schweiz?
Die Schweiz war schon immer auf Wohlstand statt auf politischen Einfluss gepolt. Viele Schweizer wollen einfach ihren Reichtum geniessen. Doch was hat die Schweiz der Welt geschenkt? Lassen Sie mich Orson Welles zitieren: «Italien hatte unter der dreissigjährigen Herrschaft der Borgias Krieg, Terror, Morden und Blutvergiessen, aber es gab uns Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci und die Renaissance. In der Schweiz hatten sie Bruderliebe, 500 Jahre Frieden und Demokratie. Und was brachte das? Die Kuckucksuhr!»

Die Kuckucksuhr stammt nicht aus der Schweiz. Aber bleiben wir dennoch bei der Schweiz: Am 18. Mai stimmen wir über den Gripen ab. Als Befürworter der Machtpolitik sind Sie sicher der Meinung, dass die Schweiz eine Luftwaffe braucht, oder?
Ja und nein. Es kommt darauf an, wie sich Europa entwickelt. Entwickelt sich die EU zu einer starken Union mit einer richtigen Zentralbank und einem gemeinsamen Aussenministerium, dann würde sich eine eigene Luftwaffe erübrigen. Zerfallen die Länder aber in abgeschottete Nationalstaaten, dann braucht die Schweiz ein starkes Militär mit einer Luftwaffe. Sonst läuft sie Gefahr, von den Nachbarstaaten abhängig zu werden.

Und welches Szenario ist wahrscheinlicher?
Ich zweifle inzwischen daran, dass die EU es schafft, ein starkes, geschlossenes Europa aufzubauen. Man hat Angst vor einer starken EU. Ist man stark, würde man zu einem ernst zu nehmenden Gegner – auch für Russland beispielsweise. Die EU-Länder ziehen es aber vor, sich hinter dem Kleinstaat zu verstecken.

Für wie wahrscheinlich halten Sie einen weiteren Weltkrieg?
Für sehr unwahrscheinlich. Wenn Russland die Ukraine angreifen würde, würde keiner der Alliierten die Ukraine verteidigen. Das Land ist einfach für niemanden wichtig genug. Gegen einen weiteren Weltkrieg sprechen die wirtschaftlichen Verflechtungen zwischen den Grossmächten. Diese sind einfach zu stark.–23479347



Suter* Becoming a German citizen pays for female immigrants

Posted on May 16, 2014 by IZA Press

Today there are ten million immigrants living in Germany, accounting for 13 percent of the whole population. At the same time, immigrants often seem to perform relatively poorly in the labor market. This is also true for Germany, where even second-generation migrants face lower employment rates and earn substantially less than natives.

In a new IZA discussion paper, Christina Gathmann and Nicolas Keller analyze whether a more liberal access to citizenship can improve the economic integration of migrants by estimating the effect of becoming a German citizen on the labor market performance of migrants. For identification, the researchers use changes in the German immigration law. From 1991 until 1999 immigrants younger than 23 had to live in Germany for eight years in order to become eligible for citizenship. Older immigrants needed 15 years in the country. So for siblings who were 14 and 16 years old when they arrived in Germany in 1983, the younger one could have become a citizen in 1991, while the older one would have had to wait until 1998. From 2000 on, the waiting period was reduced to eight years for everyone.

The authors find that especially women gain from naturalization, while the effect for men is negligible. Moreover, returns are also larger for more recent immigrants, but essentially zero for traditional guest workers. Gathmann and Keller demonstrate that the wage and employment gain for naturalized women can neither be explained by becoming eligible for certain governmental jobs nor by improved language skills. Instead, these women switch from jobs with temporary contracts to those with permanent ones, and work at larger firms, both of which is typically associated with higher earnings.

Read abstract or download discussion paper.



Middle East

Surprise Rotation of Saudi Defense Officials

An unexpected and unprecedented series of changes in the kingdom’s military leadership raises questions about future Saudi strategy.

A series of royal orders issued today in the name of King Abdullah at the stated request of his heir apparent and defense minister, Crown Prince Salman, has radically changed Saudi Arabia’s political and professional military command. Perhaps most newsworthy is the appointment of Prince Khaled bin Bandar as deputy defense minister. Out goes the thirty-seven-year-old Prince Salman bin Sultan, who was just appointed to the role last August after replacing a lesser royal who had assumed the post four months prior.

This and other announcements came as U.S. defense secretary Chuck Hagel was in Jeddah for the first consultative meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s "joint defense council," which was attended by top defense officials from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. Hagel’s awareness of the imminent changes is unclear. The announcements were made after the concluding luncheon attended by Prince Salman bin Sultan, still identified at the time as deputy defense minister. Two days earlier, the prince had an official meeting with visiting U.S. assistant secretary of state Anne Patterson. Officially, he has now been "relieved of his post at his own request"; whether he was involuntarily sacked is so far unknown, as is the palace’s intention to give him another official role.

The new deputy defense minister is a sixty-one-year-old former U.S.- and British-trained commander of the Royal Saudi Land Forces who has been serving as governor of the crucial Riyadh province since February 2013. Other appointments include a new assistant defense minister, a new chief and deputy chief of the general staff, and new commanders for the air force and navy.

At the very least, it is surprising that the kingdom would make such changes on the day of a major regional defense conference, where they likely confused local military allies and the U.S. delegation alike. The changes suggest that Saudi Arabia may be reconsidering its regional strategy. Riyadh has been increasingly apprehensive over what it apparently considers a poor interim nuclear deal with Iran, and it has been determined to deliver a major setback to Tehran by forcing the overthrow of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

The changes could also reflect the kingdom’s internal power game. King Abdullah (age 90) has apparently been trying to undermine seventy-seven-year-old Crown Prince Salman’s claim to the throne, such as by forcing the appointment of a deputy crown prince, Muqrin (70), in March. None of the crown prince’s sons were promoted today, but the king’s son, Prince Turki, was named the new governor of Riyadh province.

In addition, today’s changes will revive speculation about last month’s resignation by intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former long-serving ambassador to Washington. The departing deputy defense minister is Bandar’s half-brother and perceived alter ego, and the two men had been crucial operators in the Saudi campaign to train and arm opposition fighters in Syria.

Whatever the case, the new appointments are sure to have a significant impact on Saudi military capabilities and policies — though quite what impact is unclear. There is some evidence that the kingdom has reduced its support for jihadist fighters in Syria this year. And yesterday, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal offered to host his Iranian counterpart in Riyadh for negotiations to resolve differences between the two countries. Yet it is almost certainly too early to say that the kingdom is softening its tough approach to Iran, especially after its unprecedented April 29 parade display of Chinese-supplied missiles capable of hitting Tehran — a gesture that followed the largest military exercise in Saudi history, involving 130,000 men.

Simon Henderson is the Baker Fellow and director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at The Washington Institute.





CFR: Curtailing the Subsidy War Within the United States

Each year, U.S. state and local governments spend tens of billions of dollars to lure or retain business investment. The subsidies waste scarce taxpayer dollars that could better be used to strengthen public services such as education and infrastructure, or to lower overall tax burdens to create a more favorable investment climate. No state wants to dole out such subsidies, but most fear losing jobs to competing states if they refuse. States should take steps to curb subsidies, beginning with greater disclosure and cost-benefit analyses, and building up to a multistate agreement that creates strong disincentives for continuing subsidies. Existing international arrangements provide models and tools for achieving this.

The Problem

State and local governments use targeted subsidies to attract or retain specific businesses. The subsidies can be in the form of tax breaks, cash payments, generous loan terms, or discounted public services. There is no formal accounting of these subsidies in government budgets. The best data so far, compiled by the New York Times, puts the national total at more than $80 billion annually, which is equal to 7 percent of state and local tax revenues. The number of subsidy packages has fallen since the 2008 recession, but the number of new "megadeals" signed per year costing at least $75 million has doubled. In 2013, Washington State granted a subsidy package to Boeing worth $8.7 billion—by far the largest to a single company in U.S. history. Surprisingly few states make serious estimates of the potential cost of these incentives, and few cap the total benefits, potentially leaving state and local governments exposed to large losses.

Rarely do the benefits of these subsidies exceed the costs. In highly mobile industries, like film production, the subsidies do lure business from other states, but any job creation is short-term and film crews are usually imported. In many other industries, subsidies have less influence on location decisions; manufacturers, in particular, require local networks of suppliers and employees with specialized training. Local governments usually lack the sophistication to negotiate successfully with big companies, so they end up subsidizing businesses that would have invested in the state regardless. Public money is wasted that could have gone to lower the overall corporate tax rate or to more productive investments like education and infrastructure—assets that matter more for most business location decisions than one-off tax breaks.

Although many states dislike the subsidy wars, efforts to curb them have usually failed. After an especially cutthroat subsidy fight for a Boeing plant in the early 1990s, for example, Illinois governor Jim Edgar led an unsuccessful campaign to persuade states to call a truce. Governors in the New York City metro region agreed to a "nonaggression pact" in 1991 to refrain from running ads aimed at luring away businesses from each other. Within months, however, New Jersey violated the terms and the deal collapsed. Some counties in metro areas, like Dayton and Denver, are cooperating to limit subsidy competition. Kansas and Missouri are considering a halt within Kansas City, which straddles both states. These are exceptions, yet there is also clear understanding of the folly of subsidy wars; forty states have restrictions on local municipalities using state funds to entice jobs away from another part of the state. The U.S. Congress could curtail the subsidy war, but has chosen not to do so. Historically, Congress has been reluctant to interfere in what are seen as state-level prerogatives.

International Models for Controlling Subsidies

The federal government’s refusal to intervene in controlling state subsidies is ironic because the United States has led international efforts to get all countries to reduce subsidies that distort business location decisions. The 1994 agreement that created the World Trade Organization (WTO) restricts most "specific" subsidies, or those available only to particular enterprises or industries, and requires signatories to report all subsidies. The language distinguishes targeted subsidies for certain companies or industries, which can be challenged by other countries, from broad tax cuts or other forms of government support like research-and-development spending, which are permitted. The WTO has a dispute settlement mechanism for resolving complaints that allows for trade sanctions against violators. The United States has launched disputes in several cases, such as European subsidies to the Airbus consortium. The U.S. Trade Representative has declined to dispute other subsidies, however, such as Canadian incentives that have lured filmmakers from California. Other countries have also challenged U.S. subsidies. In a 2011 case brought by the European Union (EU), the WTO ruled that some state tax breaks for Boeing were illegal trade subsidies, though they have yet to be repealed. The executive branch has the power to require state and local governments to enforce such WTO rulings, but it has been cautious about exercising it.

The United States also led negotiations through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) dating back to the 1970s that produced agreements to limit government subsidies to exporters through official export credits, such as those offered by the U.S. Export-Import Bank. There was no formal enforcement mechanism, but in practice if one country violated the OECD rules and offered financing on overly generous terms, the United States or other countries would match those offers in an effort to discourage violations.

Europe is well ahead of the United States in controlling such subsidies. The European Union tightly regulates business subsidies by member states with its "state aid" law. Member states can only give individual businesses a subsidy under certain conditions—for example, if the subsidy benefits a region that is economically depressed or if it serves an environmental purpose. Most subsidies are preapproved by the European Commission (EC), which carries out a cost-benefit analysis on a case-by-case basis. The EC regularly tallies and reviews existing subsidies, and localities have to list subsidies online, along with the companies that are significant beneficiaries. Member states found in violation of the state aid law can face fines and other penalties.

None of these systems is perfect. The WTO and EU state aid rules still permit a wide range of subsidies, and the dispute settlement process in the WTO is excruciatingly slow. The OECD arrangement on export credits has been weakened because big emerging countries like China and India have refused to participate. Despite the problems, each of these systems has established clear expectations that such subsidies should be discouraged and instituted rules for enforcement.


Reducing wasteful state subsidies to businesses will require a series of steps, starting with greater transparency and moving incrementally toward more enforceable rules. These measures would reverse a growing competition spiral in which states try to outbid each other for investments, and could provide a modest boost to state revenues.

  • The Obama administration should require state and local governments to report all subsidies to a federal data warehouse, and make that data publicly available. The United States is already required to report these subsidies to the WTO, but administrations have done little to press the states for greater disclosure, even while demanding greater transparency by foreign governments. Such disclosure would make subsequent steps easier by highlighting subsidies for public scrutiny. An office in the Commerce Department that already collects some subsidy information to report to the WTO should be directed to collect and publish the data.
  • States should require regular cost-benefit analyses of all business subsidies above a certain threshold. A new law enacted last year in Rhode Island, for example, requires the state to regularly reassess each of its tax incentive programs to determine whether such investments would have occurred regardless and how much of the economic benefit accrued to the state. The federal Commerce Department should also do its own independent analyses of the costs and benefits of state subsidies.
  • States should revisit the idea of a compact to limit subsidies targeted at specific companies or industries. The place to start is with regional cooperative agreements since it is within a regional economy where subsidy competition can be most intense and destructive. The enforcement mechanism should initially be informal and modeled after the OECD export credit arrangement. If one state violates the pact’s terms, others would be free to match (though not exceed) the subsidy offer. And in the case of nonparticipating states, or other countries offering subsidies to attract investment, member states would also be free to match any subsidy offers. This avoids the competition escalation spiral and gives other states little reason to cheat because they will gain no advantage.
  • The federal government should challenge more foreign business subsidies through existing WTO rules to prevent other countries from taking advantage of greater restraint by U.S. states. The United States should press for new, tighter subsidy rules in the WTO, building on a 2007 U.S. proposal in the Doha Round. U.S. efforts to curb its own state-level subsidies would add credibility to that proposal. The federal government should also require states to comply with WTO rulings on subsidies, enforcing through the courts if necessary.
  • A successful voluntary system could create an appetite for a more robust federal role. The government, for example, could reward states by increasing federal development aid to those that adhere to subsidy rules, or restricting aid to those that do not, much in the way it uses federal dollars to encourage education reforms.

The politics will not be easy because of corporate opposition, but there are potential gains for both parties. Democrats should favor reducing corporate subsidies that rob state governments of revenue. Republicans should support ending government interference that distorts competition in the market; most subsidies go to big businesses, for example, rather than smaller ones, and the savings could be used for broader tax breaks that benefit all businesses. Restricting subsidies through state-to-state agreements also means that each state can decide voluntarily whether to participate. At a time when governments at all levels are straining to stretch every dollar out of tight budgets, there are strong incentives for such cooperation.



Gallup: Democratic Party Still Seen More Favorably Than GOP * Both parties face "upside down" net favorable ratings

by Andrew Dugan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans view the Democratic Party more favorably than the Republican Party, even though both parties have a net unfavorable rating. Democratic Party favorable ratings have held steady since last June, while Republican favorables have increased slightly from their all-time low last year. Still, if the Republicans‘ current favorability ratings hold, they will be the lowest ever for either party in an election year.

These ratings are based on a Gallup poll conducted April 24-30, 2014, in which the Democratic Party had a favorable rating of 44%, compared with 34% favorable for the Republican Party. Views of both parties have not changed markedly from the last update in December 2013, and the Republican Party’s favorability has improved only modestly from the all-time low of 28% observed during the October government shutdown.

Overall, the GOP has a net favorability rating of -25 (34% favorable and 59% unfavorable), and this score has been negative since April 2011, averaging -15 percentage points. More broadly, the GOP has suffered from mostly negative or low positive scores since October 2005, about a year into President George W. Bush’s second term, when his approval rating began to sink. The GOP boasted mostly positive net favorable scores prior to that, except for late 1998 and early 1999 during the Clinton impeachment vote and subsequent Senate trial.

The Democrats‘ net favorable rating stands at -6 (44% favorable and 50% unfavorable), marking the fifth consecutive poll, dating to June 2013, in which Americans have viewed this party more unfavorably than favorably. The Democrats‘ net favorable rating throughout Barack Obama’s presidency has alternated between episodes of positivity, such as in 2009 and in late 2012, and negativity, such as throughout 2010 and 2011. Prior to Obama’s presidency, the Democratic Party had nearly always been viewed more positively than negatively — averaging a 15-point net favorable rating between 1992 and 2008, despite holding Congress or the presidency for no more than half of that time. In political polling parlance, both major political parties are currently "upside down" with the American public, meaning they have net negative approval ratings.

It has been almost a decade since Americans simultaneously viewed both parties more favorably than not, in July 2005.

Party With Higher Favorables Not Always Election Winner

The Democrats currently lead their Republican rivals in overall favorable ratings, but even if they are able to maintain this position throughout the 2014 midterm election cycle, it hardly augurs success for the party. There have been several instances in the eight elections from 1996-2012 (the 1998 midterm contest is excluded) in which the more popular party has failed to dominate the November elections.

Election results appear to more clearly favor one party in years when a majority of the country sees that party but not the other in a favorable light. This happened in 2006 and 2008, when the Democrats enjoyed majority average favorable ratings, while about four in 10 Americans had a favorable opinion of the Republican Party. Both elections were Democratic sweeps, with the 2008 elections giving Democrats control over both Congress and the White House for the first time since 1994.

The Republican rout in the 2010 midterms was not foreshadowed in the party’s 41% average favorable rating that year, which was essentially no better than perceptions of the party in the election years of 2006 and 2008. However, views of the Democratic Party in 2010 had tumbled from the 2008 average by 11 points, indicating growing disenchantment with the ruling party. Even though the Democrats‘ 2010 average favorable rating was an insignificant two points higher than the Republicans‘, Republicans won the House handily and gained Senate seats.


The Democratic Party maintains a slender lead in favorability over the Republican Party, but both parties are "upside down" in net favorability. The fact that the public does not see either party positively suggests both parties will likely face some difficulties in convincing voters to give them their support this November. But for now, the Republican Party may have the most reason for concern: if its favorability rating hovers in the range in which it currently resides, this will be the lowest favorability rating either party has ever held in an election year. Given the GOP’s big hopes this fall — including claiming a Senate majority — this low rating could cast cold water on these lofty objectives.



see our letter on:

Wir wünschen Ihnen ein angenehmes Wochenende. Ihr Team.

Udo von Massenbach – Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster – Jörg Barandat – Edith Suter



1471-2407-14-331-Epistemology of the origin of cancer- a new paradigm.pdf