The Netherlands will hold a general election on June 9th, and the next two months of campaigning are likely to prove the most contentious and dangerous election season in decades. The articles below describe the apprehension felt by the Dutch security authorities at the very real prospects of political violence between now and the election.
Needless to say, the greatest threat of violence will be directed at Geert Wilders, the leader of the anti-Islamization party PVV. I can’t read the original Dutch, but based on these translations, I get the feeling that if anything happens to Mr. Wilders, the ruling elite believes he will have only himself to blame.
Many thanks to our Flemish correspondent VH for translating the articles and comments. First, from Spits Nieuws:
Chance of violence during elections
The election campaign increases the likelihood of political violence in the Netherlands, as the Dutch National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism [NCTb], Erik Akerboom, warns. The strongly polarized and intense debate on Muslims contributes to this.
“Against the background of the forthcoming parliamentary elections and the possible consequent changes in the political power balance in the Netherlands, there is some risk that the Netherlands in the coming months will be confronted with politically motivated violence,” writes Erik Akerboom. This violence may come from radical Muslims, but also from the far right corner or from individuals.
Akerboom points to the risks of a sharp election debate about Islam. In his view, extremists exploit fragments of the discussion to portray the Netherlands as a country which is hostile to Muslims. ‘‘There is a heavy reaction to this, especially on the Internet’’, Akerboom maintains. “We keep a close eye on these reactions.’’ However, the risk of attacks by Al Qaeda in the Netherlands is, for the present, limited.
And from Elsevier:
NCTb fears attack on Wilders: additional measures
During the election campaign, the Netherlands faces an additional risk of a terrorist attack. For that reason Eric Akerboom, the National Coordinator for Counter-terrorism [NCTb], is taking extra security measures.
The NCTb fears an attack on Wilders. He said this in an interview this week with Elsevier [printed edition]. Akerboom points out that the PVV of Geert Wilders may become the largest party.
“The minute people may think their belief is in danger, risks arise. I think back to the assassination of Pim Fortuyn in May 2002. The discontent in such a situation may be discharged on the politicians who are icons of the electoral swing.” Akerboom expects that “the tone of the Islam-debate will sharpen during the campaign.” He warns that political polarization becomes a breeding ground for violence.
– – – – – – – – –
During the election campaign, the NCTb will deploy extra security guards. The presence of so many “in-ears” may form an additional stress factor. Akerboom, however, plays this down: “Security is aimed at having everything proceed with as little disturbance as possible. We have a professional duty to put as little burden as possible on the democratic process.”
From the comments on the Elsevier article:
If anything happens to Geert, the fences are down. If not: will the last Dutchman then switch off the light please? [Bandobras; April 7, 09:15]
This scenario was totally free, unselfishly but exclusively arranged for you by the politically correct, established order in a never ending indirect call to “put an end” to the risk that is called Wilders. If anything were to happen to Geert Wilders, a disaster will descend on the Netherlands, as I predict. You can not continue desecrating a million and a half people with impunity. Vote Geert Wilders! [Peter de Goede; April 7, 09:17]
“The left” can but hope that nothing goes wrong with Mr. Wilders. For if in addition to Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, a third political assassination were to take place, then of course hell will break loose. Then all the brakes are off and there will finally be big trouble. Because it of course it cannot be that you, as leftist elite, have worked towards this point for decades, and then come forth out of the battle unharmed. The now infamous “Wir haben es nicht gewusst” [“We did not know”, WW2 reference] clearly does not apply here. People like Bos, Cohen, Kant, Pechtold, Halsema, Vendrik, Hamer [politicians of the PvdA, Socialist Party, D66, GreenLeft — translator], and another dozen more will have a lot to answer for. Then there will be nothing peaceful and tolerant in this society. Then it is revolution. This time not from the left but the right. [Parlevinker; April 7, 09:38]
If that is the case, then the fight against the free world is of great interest. It is sad that the leftist parties in the preliminary phase always kick against the PVV. I’m curious to see which party will take the part of the PVV and strongly condemn the possible assassination of Mr. Wilders. If they do not do that during the campaign time, then I dare to claim that they will be happy if Mr. Wilders gets hurt. I think back to Pim [Fortuyn], who had good intentions for the Netherlands, only the other parties destroyed him. I hope they will be wise this time and condemn this sharply, otherwise all hell will break loose in the Netherlands. I want to call the other parties to take a stand and condemn this. Or else it will become a mess after June 9, 2010. For those other parties then are also complicit in an attack. [Gompie Heide; April 7, 09:43]
If Akerboom thinks the PVV can become the biggest party, then the club of opponents of Wilders knows that it will call the wrath of the majority of the Dutch people upon them. My advice to those who have plans to put an end to life of Wilders: the group you intend to represent (of whatever corner) will be the victims of such an attack. Wilders represents A REALLY LARGE GROUP of people who use their democratic means to make their voice heard, and you should better not make them angry. The bucket is filled to the brim. Do not become the last drop! […] [Willem VI; April 7, 10:00]
[…] If Wilders is murdered, what happens will be what always happens: nothing. The Dutch are the hobbits of Europe: they live in their little provincial world, while outside the great world rages. They are not heroes, no revolutionaries, they are just Dutch who long for the summer, in which they can make Europe happy with their caravans. [Suzanne Grinwis op woensdag April 7, 10:54]