I have been a big fan of Denmark as a result of the NATO book. The Danes did more with what they have than any other country, served in the North as well as the South (see chapter six). Their former Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen was a very good, vocal Secretary General of NATO.
Anyhow, it is incredibly disappointing to see that Denmark is thinking of funding its refugee expenses via the jewelry and cash that could be seized from the refugees. This is awful, awful, awful. The image that comes up, of course, are the piles of assets seized from Jews and others sent to Nazi concentration camps.
This is quite a betrayal of history as the Danes did an outstanding job of protecting their Jewish population during the war.
Of course, this should not be that surprising given the rise of xenophobia in Denmark. Indeed, one of the key bits to the Danish story for the Afghanistan mission was that the minority coalition had to rely on the Danish People's Party for support, and the DPP is very much a xenophobic party. What has changed since we wrote the book is that the DPP finished with the second highest number of votes and of seats, and mostly at the expense of the Liberal Party (right of center).
When xenophobes govern, they make awful laws. The rise of the far right in Europe has long been a concern, but it has gotten far worse in the past few years. The good news out of France, that the National Front lost in the most recent elections, is some consolation. But then again, with the outbidding in the GOP, Americans cannot be smug about any of this.