“Biting the Syrian Bullet”

BERLIN/DAMASCUS/MOSCOW (Own report) – The director of the Catholic relief organization, Caritas-Lebanon, has voiced strong criticism of the West’s policy on Syria. The West, together with its Middle Eastern allies, should finally stop equipping Syrian insurgents with military hardware, Paul Karam, Director of the Caritas-Lebanon declared. It must also stop the constant flow of citizens from European countries coming to join the Salafist terrorist militias in Syria – at the expense of the tormented civilian population. Dmitri Trenin, the foreign policy expert of the Moscow Carnegie Center, explains why the West continues to try to overthrow the Assad government, in spite of a growing demand to put an end to the reign of terror of the “Islamic State.” According to Trenin, in the course of the Syrian War, Russia succeeded in inflicting serious political setbacks on the West. The West, for its part, is doing its utmost in the Syrian War to crush Russia’s influence in the Middle East. In Germany, the call for western military intervention in Syria is again being voiced. Continue reading

Conflict over Natural Resources

BERLIN/LIMA (Own report) – The Catholic relief organization Misereor is sharply criticizing the new “Raw Materials Partnership” accord, concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and Peru. Misereor writes that it fears “an aggravation” of the already growing “social conflicts developing around mining projects” in this South American country. This recently signed raw materials treaty grants German companies privileged access to Peru’s resources. The German government has now “signaled the Peruvian government” that “the expansion of the raw materials sector takes priority” over social and ecological regulations affecting that sector. The “raw materials partnership” is one of the measures Berlin is implementing within the framework of its “raw materials strategy” adopted in 2010, to be able to stand its ground in the global competition for access to the most important natural resources – particularly in relationship to China. Peru is an important source of metallic raw materials for Germany. The guarantee of raw materials is more important to Berlin than Misereor’s misgivings. Continue reading