The follow-up post details the “family counseling” programs identified to “de-radicalize” terrorists that, actually, a US Ambassador recommended in a May, 2, 2016 speech on “The Global Threat of the Islamic State,” mentioning that the Germans have some experience in this area, thanks to their work de-programming the Nazis — and that practitioners have a lot to teach other countries on how this is done.
The parallels with behavioral modification and socialization according to federally-approved value programming already in place within the US targeting batterers, family violence, family lack of unity (i.e., “reunification”), preventing child abuse (really?), preventing poverty through promoting marriage and fatherhood.
On the Strong Cities Network site, I found a (broken) link to what looks like a tour of the US to learn “CVE” techniques — from someone, obviously, in the following U.S. Cities, which apparently is starting something intended to be an ongoing program. Notice the language “Practitioners” and “CVE”
The SCN International Visitor Leadership Program
The U.S. Sate Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs organised the first Strong Cities Network IVLP from 27 February to 19 March, 2016. Exchange visitors travelled to Washington, Los Angeles, Denver, Columbus, Indianapolis and Chicago where they connected with U.S practitioners and gained insight into local CVE strategies.
[The link showing this IVLP (under “Activities”) is not active.]
I see that the IVLP was created back in 1940 – it’s not new. What’s new is the “Strong Cities Network IVLP” tour. This tour and that program is under the US Department of State.
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.
It’s been around since 1940, meaning it was launched (so to speak) right as World War II was underway, and before the US joined the Allies (Pearl Harbor: Dec. 7, 194). Visitors do not apply but are nominated by US embassies within other countries. The visits have specific themes. This is currently (website anyhow) housed under the US Department of State’s “Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs” mandated by a 1961 law to promote peaceful relations through cultural understanding…. But the IVLP apparently predates that..
Each year nearly 5,000 exchange participants come to the U.S. on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP, including more than 335 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government.
Launched in 1940, the IVLP helps strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world and cultivate lasting relationships by connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term visits to the United States. The majority of IVLP exchanges include visits to four U.S. communities over three weeks, although projects vary based on themes, Embassy requests and other factors. Participants meet with professional counterparts, visit U.S. public and private sector organizations related to the project theme and participate in cultural and social activities.
There is no application for IVLP. Participants are nominated and selected annually by the staff at U.S. Embassies around the world. For those who live in the United States, there are many opportunities to get involved at the community level. Visit the Global Ties U.S.website for a list of community organizations in 45 states and information about local activities.
I just searched (several times, and they have more than one search link) this U.S. Dept. of State/Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs — and “IVLP” is a program underneath this bureau) website for any reference to “Strong Cities” (several — but not the network), “Strong Cities Network” (not found) and finally “Countering Violent Extremism” and found 16 results (short videos, this is mostly promo, not much real information) and only 12 results — NONE of them referencing this 2016 spring tour of the US. Here’s are two to make a note of, but neither labeled “Strong Cities.”
- [P2P or “Peer-to-Peer”] In partnership with EdVenture Partners and the U.S. Department of State, 23 Universities around the globe were invited to create digital campaigns to counter violent extremism.
FINALLY — searching the web under the title “SCN International Visitors Leadership Program” I found a link under the other website, and clicking through, Secretary of State John Kerry’s March 1, 2016 remarks on this. Why wouldn’t this be posted more readily available in the logical place — either under “countering violent extremism” — on a list of recent IVLP exchanges as one of them labeled Strong Cities? Instead, it’s under the direct US Dept. of State Website. I also notice NOT ONE MAJOR MEDIA MENTION came up in my first three pages of search results on this:
Remarks at the Strong Cities Network International Visitors Leadership Program for Municipal Leaders and Countering Violence Extremism Experts Event
Secretary of State
March 1, 2016
His first example is from Windsor, Canada, and eventually he gets down to promoting the Strong Cities Network…as an all-purpose remedy to keep young people on track:
The fact is that the battle against violent extremism does not begin on some distant battlefield, but it’s in our own neighborhoods and in classrooms and workplaces and houses of worship, and homes.
And we’ve learned that lesson in bitter ways. We’ve learned it pretty realistically. There are many, many countries – ours included – that have young people, by and large, almost always – who have been seduced into believing that somehow life is better blowing people up and living according to the dictates of someone else rather than the choices that you yourself make. And what people learn very quickly when they get sucked into one of these enterprises is how deprived and stark and horrendous life itself can be. We know this because we know people who are survivors who’ve escaped, and regrettably, too many people are executed summarily when their captors – mental captors, physical captors – learn that they are in fact disaffected and perhaps contemplating escape.
So we know these lessons. We’re learning them. And the question is whether or not we’re going to apply them in a thoughtful way in order to protect ourselves for the long term.
Windsor, Canada learned this very much in a firsthand way last year. Two of their native sons, both in their 20s, had gone to Syria in order to join the terrorists of Daesh. And when Windsor learned this, the citizens of that community were upset; but they were also determined that they weren’t just going to be upset. They were going to do something about it. They were going to try to prevent that kind of tragedy from happening yet again . . . .
So this is a challenge that we have all come here today to try and meet, and I want to particularly congratulate everybody who has picked up this baton to take up the challenge of a Strong Cities Network. That’s what we need.
We want cities across the globe to help each other to make use of the tools and the capabilities that are available to protect citizens. We want to create more opportunities to learn from one another about what works best in building resilience to radicalization. We want to exchange ideas, best practices. …. The idea is here to tailor these things to pick the best practices from various places and make them fit….
And we are encouraging national governments to recognize the value of inter-urban collaboration to help cities work together to prevent violent extremism from ever taking root.
The fact is that the Strong Cities Network and other initiatives like it are regrettably – well, I shouldn’t say “regrettably” – are absolutely essential, because even if we didn’t have the challenge of violent extremism, we ought to be doing these things to connect people to their community, to get people connected one to the other. It would still be important in terms of just keeping people out of trouble, out of jail, helping people to find the right path for education and for a future.
Again, the Title “says it all” in who is supposed to connect — Municipal Leaders and CVE Experts. Not the public, necessarily, through normal governmental channels, but the US Department of State taking opportunity to hop, skip, and jump targeted cities to inject the concept of best CVE practices. The CVE experts names are not referenced in the remarks, are they??
Remarks at the Strong Cities Network International Visitors Leadership Program for Municipal Leaders and Countering Violence Extremism Experts Event
The ONLY other reference to this “SCN IVLP” on the ECA (Educational and Cultural Affairs) website of the USDepartment of State — a small description under major other graphic, distracting and “bulletin-board” postings, was this one, February 29, 2016 (after the tour already began). As you can see, this title makes no reference to the CVE experts as the first one did, so it must be a kind of warm-up event, and it is in the form of a Press Release:
February 29, 2016
Secretary Kerry Welcomes City and Local Leaders in the Strong Cities Network [readmore link takes one off the “ECA.state.gov” website]
Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
February 29, 2016
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will host international municipality and non-government organization leaders at the U.S. Department of State on March 1, as part of the “Strong Cities: Building Community Resilience to Radicalization and Violent Extremism” professional exchange program.
The Strong Cities Network is a global network of local authorities united in building social cohesion and community resilience to counter violent extremism.
Secretary Kerry will be introduced by Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall. The Secretary will speak at 8:45 a.m. in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the Department of State. Following the remarks, there will be presentations from Strong Cities members from Montgomery County, Maryland. The participants are in the United States as part of the International Visitor Leadership Program.
Following their time in Washington, D.C., they will travel to Los Angeles, Denver, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Chicago to meet with state, city, and local leaders. The participants are arriving from Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Morocco, The Netherlands, Norway, Tunisia, Turkey, and The United Kingdom.
The program is a lead-up to the inaugural Strong Cities Network Summit May 11-12, hosted by Antalya, Turkey with support from the city of London.
The Secretary’s remarks will be open to the press. The remarks will be streamed live on www.state.gov.
In what version of the US Constitution is the Secretary of State supposed to be presiding over and engaging in forging political connections, emphasizing the international, with local MUNICIPALITIES within the various states? ??? And sharing tools to be applied on ALL residents (permanent or transitional) of the cities, and their children — but which only cities who join (for free — not including what freedom of the residents is sacrificed in the process, without their consent…).
So I think you can see about what direction my reporting might be going in…. from a blog reporting on technical assistance and training materials in a different context, as well as the not-for-profits (NGOs) that, working with governments, seek to institute these to defuse domestic violence, intimate partner violence, child abuse, and so forth, within the USA.
To be honest, last week kind of wore me out working on the “SFFI – CFFPP – JustGive, Inc. – IronPlanet, Inc. – ZOPB – Texas DoT’s $1B GrandParkway Project – US Gov’ts Big Banks Bailout|SunTrust (while Fixing Fragile Families?)” & the “Do You Know Your Social Science PolicySpeak? Can You Name Some University Centers|Key Professionals |BIG Foundation Sponsors|Related Networked Nonprofits| and A Basic Timeline Since at least The Moynihan Report?” posts, and two days of updates to the first one. I have just about begun to dream in IRS-Form-990 and “copy and paste” from corporate filings mentality…after working, sometimes, a full day on a project.
ADDENDUM — and some Rhetorical Questions:
<>Another situation locally (in Northern California)– and within the family court reform field generally– has come to my attention which demands a prompt response on this blog.
<>Meanwhile, in Minnesota – for coverage of the latest mother convicted for felony parental interference (and only avoided jail on the spot because a contingent of supporters was in the courtroom and bail was raised — prior bail had been $1 million, outrageously) in Minnesota — see “Red Herring Alert” posts on the Grazzini/Rucki case. Sometimes I comment on those posts.
Disclaimer: I am following this case and blog (and related organizations/movements in Minnesota) for particular reasons, and referring to it is not a statement of agreement with any political discussions which may occur there separately, or all sites it refers to. Which is my way of saying, I’m not a Focus-on-the-Family, or in any other way, right-wing Republican, nor do I like what many organizations who are, tend to do, organizationally. I see progressive organizations (such as “JustGive, Inc. or CFFPP!) doing their own brand of the similar things, and I keep (stubbornly? foolishly?) hoping that enough of people might so see through it, that they start teaching others to track the nonprofits involved on their OWN side of any cause, so as to make good choice for “with whom to hang out on-line.”
Are mothers protesting violence and threats against their children (to the tune of continuing claims “false allegations!”) or in the presence of their children, REALLY “violent extremists” who need to be “countered” with threats of jail, jail, or bankruptcy through ongoing litigation, defamation in the press and in court, and complete destruction of any normalcy???
Should also anyone who offers solace, social/psychological/physical support to any mother whom the state or the local family court bureaucracy/officials have determined should be “taken down” (USA-style), be subjected to the same punishment, including felony charges as these “dangerous,” dissenting from violence against themselves and their children mothers? Does the concept “civil disobedience” if necessary to preserve life and prevent injury NEVER apply to unmarried, or divorcing/divorced mothers? Not that this necessarily was —
In the Grazzini/Rucki case, parental interference DID take place, but an affirmative defense towards it in the state law (link posted recently over there) existed.
Meanwhile — although I did not go this route and do not recommend it — three other involved adults (and one of the Red Herring Alert bloggers) are themselves facing felony charges for felony parental interference. I instead made a point of obeying the family court orders to the letter of the law, and look where that has gotten me, and both my children, to date, when the other side wasn’t of the same “proclivity” and law enforcement (as to existing court orders) just wasn’t interested — and in a system for which fatherhood.gov (HMRF funding) and access/visitation grants were created to produce exactly the type of outcomes they are indeed producing….
One reason some of these programs (Strong Cities and its “International Visitor Leadership Program” skipping across oceans and this continent to learn “CVE” techniques from local “practitioners”) is so no one has to, really, deal directly with feedback IN THE USA from “the common man” (and woman)” on whom these techniques are developed and refined, or look them in the eyes.
//LGH, post intro updated & clarified July 30, 2016.
Today’s, July 29, 2016’s, Wall Street Journal, Print Version, page A8, under “World News” — in additon to the front page, has an entire page on terrorism, lead article with photo: “Merkel Stands Ground on Refugee Policy : German leader rejects calls to close border after Islamist attacks by asylum seekers.” by Anton Troianovski and Ruth Bender, Berlin (print version has more people in the photo, with caption ….after Sunday’s suicide bombing in Ansbach.”
There are plenty of maps of migrant movements available on-line. One: Mapping the Syrian Refugee Crisis Across Europe in Pictures (Sept. 2015, in “Wired.UK”), Sept. 11, 2015 by Katie Collins:
…There’s no doubt, however, that Germany has been leading the way when it comes to taking in asylum seekers — it is estimated the country will take in 800,000 refugees this year, and unlike many countries it is welcoming them with relatively, if not universally open arms. A map published by Germany’s Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development showing population decline across Europe goes some way to suggesting why this might be.
Both the Independent and the Washington Post point out that Germany has an economic motive for accepting new arrivals, given that the country’s population is slowly declining and also ageing. Germany’s Federal Statistical Office predicts that by 2060 only half the population will be of working age and tone in eight will be 80 or over. The overall population will likely have shrunk from 81 million from 68 to 73 million.
While many Germans may be welcoming refugees as a matter of principle, the reality of the situation is also that the country is lacking skilled workers and stands to benefit economically from welcoming newcomers, many of whom are young and educated. This is in contrast to the UK, which already has one of Europe’s most diverse populations and is set to become the continent’s most populous countries by 2060 due to fertility and immigration rates.
Another: this amazing map (interactive) from “Lucify.com/The Flow Toward Europe” takes a while to load. I put my cursor over the top-left “menu” to get the regional (Europe, North Africa, MiddleEast and some others) to load. It shows moving indicators throughout the region until you cursor over any single country (for example, Syria, Turkey, or any other) at which point the labels and (as you watch) numbers start moving. Data based on the UN sources, it says. Instructions:
The map below shows the flow of asylum seekers toEuropean countries over time.
Each moving point on the map represents 25 people. That corresponds to approximately one busload with every other seat taken… Hover over countries to show details. Click on a country to lock the selection. The counts shown on hover represent the number of people who have left or arrived in a country since 2012.
The line chart displays the total rate of asylum seekers over time. Hover over the chart to move the map in time.
Munich, Nice . .. other places recently….
A map, for visual reference — I know many people (myself included) can get geography-blind on relative size or even locations of these influential countries. For some reminders…(with Germany obviously not even shown on the top left, above France…).
TURKEY, SYRIA, IRAQ, IRAN,AFGHANISTAN, etc.
By Iakovos Aldhadeff 11/19/2015: “A New Role for Russia in Syria?”
A very nice article from the Wall Street Journal, about Russia’s new role in Syria, titled “U.S. Eyes Russia-Iran Split in Bid to End Syria Conflict”, November 2015. According to the article, after the Paris terrorist attacks of November 2015, there is an increasing pressure on the United States and Europe to cooperate with Russia in Syria against the Islamic State and ISIS. France is very active in diplomatically pushing for a coalition between France, United States and Russia against ISIS in Syria. (Further down on article)…
“U.S. Eyes Russia-Iran Split in Bid to End Syria Conflict”, November 2015. http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-eyes-russia-iran-split-in-bid-to-end-syria-conflict-1447895357Map 5 Oil (black) and Natual Gas (red) Fields. [in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea Basins] (Legend reads “(black) OilField, (brown) Giant Oil Field and (red), Major Gas Fields)..
From wordpress blog “Ikal.files.wordpress.com/2015/11… Iakodos Aldaheff, posting.
Wall Street Journal, Friday July 29, 2016, cont’d…
Other articles on the same topic fill the rest of that same 7/29/2016 WSJ page A8, and similar titled articles (some dated Spring 2015, some fall 2015 re: Merkel’s stand) the search results: “Lapse Hindered Hunt for Church Attacker” …” French Media Balk at Showing Terrorists in Media ” …”and at the bottom, labeled “ANALYSIS” by Julian E Barnes in Brussels and Benoit Faucon in London, “Threat to Europe from Islamic State takes varied forms.” with call-out under the photo: “FBI Chief Says Defeated Extremists Could Flee to U.S.”
(citing an on-line 7/28 article, link as above:):
FBI’s Comey Warns ISIS Fighters Could Spread to U.S., Western Europe If Defeated in Middle East ‘Greater than any diaspora we’ve seen before,’ director says of possible outcome
By NICOLE HONG July 28, 2016 5:47 p.m. ET 73 COMMENTS**
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey warned of a potential consequence of a future Islamic State defeat in the Middle East: a migration of the group’s fighters to Western Europe and the U.S.
In a speech at Fordham University on Wednesday, Mr. Comey said counterterrorism officials are focused on the prospect of hundreds of Islamic State fighters surviving the battlefield and flowing into Western Europe to commit attacks like the recent ones in Brussels and Paris. The ease of travel would also make the U.S. vulnerable to this threat, he said.
“This is an order of magnitude greater than any diaspora we’ve seen before,” Mr. Comey said. “A lot of terrorists fled out of Afghanistan in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This is 10 times that or more.”
Mr. Comey said violence inspired and directed by Islamic State is the greatest current threat to the physical safety of Americans. Trying to stop such attacks is even harder than finding a needle in a haystack, he said.
“We have to figure out which pieces of hay may become a needle because there are troubled people consuming that propaganda all over the world,” he said.
**Most comments critical or sarcastic. One said, “Good thing we didn’t attack the Nazi’s in Europe or they might have all come over here..” ..
Read the rest of this entry »