Jul 19, 2007

Then Becometh This: Frequent Wind Danish

Then That

Baltic and Nordic Headlines

A press review with summaries of asylum and refugee-related articles in regional media. Thursday 28 to Friday 29 June 2007 -External Relations Unit,UNHCR Regional Office for the Baltic and Nordic Countries, Stockholm (pdf)


Ministry of Foreign Affairs admits its bad practice in the interpreter issue
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs admits having made a mistake in not informing the Minister of Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs about the murder of an Iraqi interpreter working for the Danish troops. On Thursday Tørnæs presented the Ministry’s report on the reasons why the Minister for Foreign Affairs or Minister for Development Cooperation were not informed about the murder in December last year. From now on all murders of earlier employees of the Danish troops will be reported to the Minister of Development Cooperation. Earlier deaths have been reported only if they were directly caused by the service for the Danish troops.
-Berlingske Tidende 28 June 2007

Iraqi interpreters have to were masks when on duty
Several Iraqi interpreters have searched for a refuge at the Danish military camp.
They are afraid to be killed as revenge for having helped the Danish soldiers. When on duty with the Danish troops, the interpreters use scarves, sun glasses and helmets to mask themselves. They wish to receive either asylum or permission to stay in Denmark until Iraq becomes more secure.
-Politiken 28 June 2007
Iraqi interpreters can apply for asylum in Denmark
The government has made a decision concerning the immediate future of the 22 interpreters who have served Danish forces in Iraq. As Denmark prepares to withdraw all its troops in August the government coalition has hammered out a deal with the Danish People’s Party which allows the interpreters to seek asylum in Denmark along with their families. A further 130 Iraqis who have worked for the Danish troops over the past four years will also be offered the possibility of coming to Denmark with their families. The three-party agreement signals a complete turnaround by the Danish People’s Party.
-Politiken 29 June 2007

Also Afghan interpreters wish to get asylum in Denmark
An interpreter helping the Danish troops in Afghanistan says the Danish government cannot provide protection to the interpreters in Afghanistan. According to Essa Habibi the only way to protect them is to give them asylum in Denmark. Spokesperson Mogens Lykketoft from the Social Democrats demands now that the agreement on Iraqi interpreters is extended to include the Afghan interpreters as well.
-DR 28 June 2007

Now This (Still Breaking...)

Denmark has completed the secret evacuation of 200 Iraqis out of Basra this morning.

Iraqi employees (and nearest of kin) of various Danish contingencies in Basra have been covertly airlifted out of Basra this week in three separate Hercules flights. The third and final of the top secret flights will touch down in Denmark this morning (CET).

The operation represents the largest ever evacuation of people out of a war zone by the Danish Armed Forces.

The mission commenced last January when Danish soldiers publicly called upon their government to make provisions for safe haven to Iraqis providing critical services and facilities to Danish operations in Basra.

The presence of the Iraqis within the Danish base west of Basra was believed to be the cause of the recent increase in intensity of attacks against it.

Somebody smarter please, should these be considered tactical or strategic airlifts - or just Euro-desperate airlifts? I'm not buying humanitarian...that's just too mushy heading in to a weekend.


theBhc said...

I agree. It seems too nice. Too good. There is a political angle though. It makes US "policy" look even worse than it already does.

Meatball One said...

G'day thebhc

One might be forgiven for more than gleaning both lagging and leading indicators from this story.

Also, the story kinda has that terrifying "angry monster momma" thing from Aliens going for it, right down to the thrashing villagers/monster frothing at the gate.

The secrecy surrounding what was numerically speaking a relatively minor extraction, and that being but an extraction from the convenient periphery that is Basra: well, that also might have one thinking anew about the stickier aspects of a larger troop withdrawal down thru the gauntlet outta B.

Some classic battle space shaping IOs might be in short order should we embark on any significant numeric reductions of our own ever more marginalized presence - but now I just ramblin

Meatball One said...


BTW, Here's a cute list of "what ifs" from Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.


steve said...

speaking of what-ifs (that's quite a list from the BAS), this week I heard an Iraqi (in Baghdad) on a local call-in show talking about life in Iraq. He went on at great length about the Marshall plan and the millions poured into Europe to rebuild the infrastructure after WWII. To contrast what was deemed important then to what is of concern now, he commented that no such reconstruction efforts (or money for them) were included in the highly-touted Benchmarks--but that the New Oil Law is.