BERLIN (Own report) – Germany’s defense minister reaffirmed that Berlin is basically ready to participate in military aggressions, such as the recent western attack on Syria. “We could also fulfill the contribution from the air that Great Britain had made in this case,” said Ursula von der Leyen, but “we weren’t asked this time.” She made this declaration in full knowledge of the fact that the Reference and Research Service of the German Bundestag – like numerous other legal experts – had classified that attack a clear violation of international law. According to the expert assessment of the parliamentary jurists, it was a “retaliation” patterned after military interventions preceding the First World War. Legality was not the justification for those attacks, but rather a subjective political moral legitimation. Claiming “legitimacy,” other countries may also decide to engage in military aggressions, warn experts. Admitting such a change of paradigm would cause “more, rather than less human suffering.”
The likely next President of The United States might want to check in with journalists who were beaten by the Putin regime, such as Yuriy Yatsenko, who testified before the US Helsinki Commission. Trump is a great businessman and can certainly make great business deals, but national security and his awareness of how much of a psychopath Putin is might be his weak points — especially the latter.
On the economy, he also might be too little, too late, come 2017. If you’re wondering when the economy is going to crash and want to play the “estimate a date” game, try 2008. America has been in free-fall ever since. It’s only when you hit bottom that the fun beings. Having said that, one can only hope he can handle the tasks ahead of him, because no matter who gets in, they’ll likely preside over the worst era in America’s entire history — maybe world history due to the magnitude of the incoming crisis. As the adage goes: It’s not a matter of if, but when. The Obama administration is kicking the economic can down the road for the next President, and likely leaving a few poison pills behind to hinder the next President’s ability to act.
If what’s in the article regarding the attacks in Russia interests you, then more on Putin, Yeltsin and the KGB’s (FSB) links to the deliberate apartment bombings in Moscow (and three other cities) can be found under the following previous post:
Vladimir Putin’s praise of Donald Trump as “a very outstanding man, unquestionably talented” has been reciprocated by Trump’s calling Putin “a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond” that they “would get along very well.” Trump has shrugged off warnings of Putin’s perfidy by citing lack of proof that Putin “kills journalists, political opponents and …invades countries.” Only the naïve would know there will be no such proof when the Kremlin controls prosecution, justice and the secret police. Putin’s hybrid warfare and its plausible deniability complicates proof of crimes against the international order, despite obvious Russian military engagement in Georgia and Ukraine. Continue reading
A German parliamentary inquiry has been told that German intelligence fed America’s NSA filtered data from an Internet hub in Frankfurt, after clearance from Berlin. The “Eikonal” project ended in 2008.
A witness told a German parliamentary inquiry on Thursday that America’s NSA was fed filtered data from an internet exchange point in Frankfurt, after an OK from the Chancellery in Berlin.
The Eikonal project leader within Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency – identified only as S.L. – said the exchange’s own operator had legal doubts, but was convinced once confirmation came from the-then chancellery. Continue reading
BERLIN (Own report) – In light of the pending incorporation of the Crimea into the Russian Federation, German politicians and media are stepping up their Russophobe agitation. The public’s “understanding for Moscow’s alleged motives” regarding the Crimea, remains “strikingly high,” complains a leading German daily. This reflects the view that Western global aggressions are either “not better or even worse.” In this context, a leading German newspaper, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” has discontinued a Russian PR insert, which it had begun carrying following a lucrative European-Russian economic conference. Another leading publication, the weekly “Die Zeit”, has “apologized” for having printed differentiated articles about the Ukraine. The author, a freelance journalist, had also earned his living, doing editorial work for the above-mentioned Russian PR insert. Last week, the leading German Green Party’s candidate for the European parliamentary elections tabled a motion for a gag order on former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, who had criticized the EU’s Ukrainian policy. This motion, to restrict his right of freedom of expression, has been ultimately rejected by the European parliament, however, not by her Party. Continue reading
BERLIN (Own report) – In the few months leading up to the one-hundredth anniversary of the beginning of World War I, a new debate, over who was responsible for starting the war, is gaining momentum in Germany. As relevant publications – such as the bestseller, “The Sleepwalkers” by the historian Christopher Clark – show, “a shift in paradigm has taken place” in scholarship, according to a recent press article: “The German Empire was not ‘responsible’ for World War I.” The debate strongly contradicts the recognition that, even though Berlin did not bear it alone, it bore the primary responsibility for the bloody escalation of the 1914 July Crisis. This insight, which was derived particularly from the analyses of the historian Fritz Fischer in the 1960s, is now being massively contested. Historians are strongly criticizing remarks, such as those by Christopher Clark, who, working closely with government-affiliated academic institutions, is denying German responsibility for the war. According to Clark, “the Serbs” are supposedly a priori “the bad guys” of the pre war era, while he openly displays his preference for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The denial of Germany’s main culpability for the war is “balm on the soul of educated social sectors, grown more self-confident” at a time when Berlin’s political power is again on the rise. Continue reading
And now we see the Èlysée Palace has buckled under pressure and capitulated to the (upcoming) Fourth Reich.
PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Berlin is loudly applauding French President François Hollande’s adaptation of Germany’s model of austerity. His announcement of a cutback in public expenditures to clearly favor business, could “only be seen as good news,” declared Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. German media point to the fact that Hollande has announced measures that – in certain aspects – are modeled on Germany’s “Agenda 2010,” which had been developed by the Federal Chancellery under the auspices of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, at the time, Federal Chancellery Chief of Staff under Gerhard Schröder. It had enabled Berlin to consolidate its economic predominance over Europe. Whether Paris will be able to imitate the German austerity policy is unsure. Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy had tried, but he lost the presidential elections in the spring of 2012. Notwithstanding, in Berlin further steps to cut back on social welfare achievements are again in discussion. Yesterday, German President Joachim Gauck complained that the term “neo-liberal” has a negative connotation, which must be changed. Continue reading
Germany lays out its ambitions for the next four years, including a plan to ‘strive for an ever closer associate of European forces, which can evolve into a parliamentary European army.’
Germany wants to create a new European army, according to one of the latest documents to come out of its coalition agreement. The coalition paper on foreign affairs and defense, published November 19 and approved by the coalition panel led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calls for Germany to face “up to its international responsibilities” and “stand ready if contributions to the resolution of crises and conflicts are expected.”
The paper explains that in order to “be prepared for the mission of the future,” the EU must work together. Wherever “useful and possible” there should be “a sharing of national military capabilities in the EU … as well as … a greater division of labor,” the report said—adding that the same thing applies to NATO.
But its most striking statement was: “We strive for an ever closer association of European forces, which can evolve into a parliament-controlled European army.” Continue reading
With the planned Nabucco natural gas pipeline in southern Europe hitting snag after snag, Russian natural gas giant Gazprom is considering the construction of a second Baltic Sea pipeline to go with the just-finished Nord Stream. With unconventional natural gas from the US flooding the market, however, the strategy is not without risk.
Seven years later, it is now clear who won the duel. When the government of Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schröder came to an end in 2005, both he and his foreign minister, Green Party éminence grise Joschka Fischer, embarked on second careers as energy lobbyists.
Schröder is in the service of Russian energy giant Gazprom — as chairman of the board of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline on the Baltic Sea floor. The pipeline went into operation six months ago and now natural gas from Siberia flows through the 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) of pipe to the German city of Greifswald.
The construction of the second Baltic pipeline would be a triumph for Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the same time, though, the strategy being pursued is nothing short of audacious. Indeed, Gazprom is seeking to expand its infrastructure at a time when the natural gas business is undergoing radical change worldwide. The market for the fuel is losing what has long been its most salient feature: scarcity.
Full article: Gazprom Hopes to Build Second Baltic Sea Pipeline (Spiegel Online)