9 April 2018   Leave a comment

Viktor Orbán has won a decisive and historic third term as Hungary’s Prime Minister.  His party, Fidesz, won 133 of 199 seats in the Parliament, enough to guarantee a two-thirds majority and the ability to alter the country’s constitution.  Orban ran on a platform excoriating migrants, the European Union, and George Soros.  Here is a part of Orbán’s final campaign speech on 6 April as translated by the Budapest Beacon:

“They want to take our country away. Opposition parties in the service of foreign interests want to come to power. They want to give power to opposition politicians in the pay of foreigners so that they can demolish the fence and accept from the hand of Brussels the compulsory settlement quota, and in this way turn Hungary into a country of immigrants in order to serve the financial and power interests of their clients.”

“Tell everyone that they want to settle the first ten thousand migrants in Hungary yet this year. Tell everyone that they have made a pact with everyone from (DK chairman Ferenc) Gyurcsány to (Jobbik chairman Gábor) Vona. Tell everyone that immigration is the blight that slowly but surely devours our homeland. Tell everyone that we have to support migrants. If the settlement (of migrants) takes place, in vain will there be economic growth, there will be nothing with which to support families or to pay pensions. Tell everyone that mass migration threatens the everyday security to which we are accustomed. With mass migration comes a greater threat of terror. It is as clear as day that where there is mass migration, women are threatened with violent attacks.”

In his victory speech to the people of Hungary, Orbán used the rhetoric of nationalism to interpret his victory:

“The reason we came together here is to demonstrate the seriousness of our intentions, the strength of our determination, and the firmness of our resolve. We wanted to stand here where one thousand years ago the Hungarian temple of heroes stood.  We wanted to stand here where the Christian kingdom of Hungary was born. Where the founders of the country understood the gravity of their mission and their work and fulfilled their mission. We wanted to assemble here where the chapter of the Christian statehood began that continues to this day.  This is where we really feel what is at stake in the struggle before us on Sunday. When we stand in this place we must withstand its gaze and we must subject ourselves to its status.  Their country stands before us. Three dates: 1001 – The coronation of Szent István.  1688, the liberation of the (Buda) castle from the Turkish occupation. 1938, the 900th anniversary of the death of Saint István.  What they founded, and for which they fought, what they defended and retain, we also need to retain and defend and, when the time comes, give over to our children and grandchildren.  Hungary is our home. We have no other.  We need to protect it. We need to defend it.  Because without it we are homeless orphans and beggars in the big world.”

The European Union and liberals all over the world are concerned about the significance of Orbán’s victory. The Financial Times describes the campaign in these terms:

“His was a nasty campaign. It was fought on a venomous blend of anti-Muslim, anti-migrant rhetoric, wrapped up in a barely concealed anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. The latter targeted Mr Orban’s pet hate, the Hungarian born financier George Soros, whose foundation promotes openness and tolerance. In more veiled fashion, the campaign also targeted the EU and its founding values.”

Viktor Orbán

 

We are beginning to get more information about the chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria.   Nothing is yet conclusive but the physical evidence indicates a chlorine-like agent.  The US and its allies are pushing for an investigation of the incident by the UN, and Russia has invited investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to visit the site.  But there is a great deal of hostility in the UN Security Council meeting that is going on as I write this post.  The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, made this statement in the Security Council: “The Russian regime, whose hands are all covered in the blood of Syrian children, cannot be ashamed by pictures of its victims.”  US President Trump said that the US, in consultation with its allies, will decide upon a response within 24 to 48 hours.   Since the US response to a similar chemical attack last year–which consisted of 59 cruise missiles–apparently did not deter Syria from further use of those weapons, it is difficult to imagine what kind of military attack could succeed in preventing another such attack.  But US credibility is on the line right now with negotiations with North Korea and Iran coming up in less than a month, and it would be very difficult for the US to back down from its inflammatory rhetoric.  Tom complicate matters further, Israel struck a military base in Syria at which Iranian militias were reportedly based.  Things seem to be spinning out of control.

Posted April 9, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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