Fogh Rasmussen by Lars Refn

The big news story in Denmark for the last few weeks has been whether or not our prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, would get the job as NATO's new secretary general.

All 26 countries agreed on Fogh Rasmussen except for Turkey. Apparently the Turks were still mad over -- wait for it -- the Mohammed Crisis. Yes, the Turks have never been able to forgive Fogh for telling them back in 2006 that a prime minister in a free country does not have the right to throw "blasphemous" cartoonists in jail.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan from the Muslim party AKP told how he had received phone calls from leaders of Muslim countries who had urged Turkey, Europe's only country with a predominantly Muslim population, to veto against Anders Fogh Rasmussen for the post as NATO's secretary general.

In return for allowing a staunch defender of free speech to become secretary general, Turkey has made an unspecified number of counter-demands, like having a Turkish vice-secretary general, closing down the local Kurdish ROJ-station in Denmark and, oh yes, apologizing to the "Islamic world" for the cartoons, which may in fact happen today in Istanbul.

Lars Refn, no fan of Fogh Rasmussen himself, made this drawing of Fogh with a Turkish fez:

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Hi Laura

I listened to the interview. Jytte Klausen certainly sounds as if she knows what she's talking about.

I only have two complaints. One is when she speaks of "anti-Semitic drawings from the 1930s and subsequent anti-Semitic drawings in Europe which still exist". Well, maybe there "still exist" anti-Semitic drawings in Europe, but I think the number is dwarfed when compared to the number of anti-Semitic drawings publsihed routinely by news papers in the OIC countries.

The second part, is about the 11 ambassadors and chargé d'affairs who wrote to prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. In the interview they say "he didn't respond to it", but this is wrong. Fogh Rasmussen sent back a letter explaining why a Prime Minister doesn't control the press. The thing that angered them was that he didn't hold a meeting with them. But if they had known anything about diplomacy they would have known to contact the Minister of Foreign Affairs and not the PM.

Other than that it was a splendid interview.
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