BERLIN/BAGHDAD/MUNICH |

BERLIN/BAGHDAD/MUNICH (Own report) - In spite of continuous danger to the German hostage in Iraq, the German government and industry is maintaining its collaboration with the illegal administration of the occupation. The kidnappers are demanding an immediate end to Berlin's state complicity with the Baghdad administration. Without mentioning this demand, the crisis unit declared that it will attempt to save the life of Susanne Osthoff. At the same time the Economics Ministry in Berlin offered those German firms who are interested, fast business with the torture regime and gave the green light for government export guarantees. The agreements (Hermes Credits) were reached with the neo-colonial governors in the Ministry of Finances in Baghdad. Berlin's credit assurances line the pockets, among others, of the Siemens Company which is present in Iraq with its varied field of products. To mount their business in the country, German investors are using the help of assistants, who know their way around, as is the case of Susanne Osthoff. This activity is understood in guerrilla circles as inimical contribution to foreign parties to the conflict. The unscrupulous exploitation of individual willingness to help to reach the political objectives of the federal government and the German economy has become fateful for the German hostage. more…

Pirates

HAMBURG/BERLIN |

HAMBURG/BERLIN (Own report) - An "absolute success" is how the Foreign Ministry (AA) considers the preparations in Hamburg of operations for interfering in international traffic routes in violation of international law. At the invitation of the German government representatives of 37 European nations participated in exercises within the framework of a "Proliferation Security Initiative" (PSI). Germany is a co-founder of the PSI. This association of organizations presumptuously usurps the right to arbitrarily impinge upon the freedom of movement of the worldwide road, rail and air traffic to apply limitations and to inspect cargoes particularly on the high seas - allegedly as a protection against weapons of mass destruction. This initiative is being accused of being in conflict with international law. The German military is demanding that the government "fully participate" in the PSI operations. The German military is conceded the power of combat engagement - without a parliamentary mandate. more…

DAMASCUS/BERLIN/TEHERAN |

DAMASCUS/BERLIN/TEHERAN (Own report) - Following accusations of profiting indirectly from the war on Iraq, the German foreign minister is now being held responsible for tolerating serious crimes of torture on a German citizen. The torture victim, from Hamburg, was abducted in December 2001 and taken to Damascus, where, on behalf of US authorities, he was submitted to severe maltreatment. In November 2002, officials of the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA, the German federal criminal investigating police), the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV, Germany's domestic intelligence service) and the Federal Intelligence Service (BND, German foreign intelligence) paid a visit to the Syrian torture prison - not to have the abducted liberated, but in order to interrogate him, being in accord with the torture. The victim was then left to his fate. It is unknown, whether the German citizen, Haydar Zammar, is still alive. The operation carried out against Zammar, was supervised by the director of the German Chancellery, at the time, Frank Walter Steinmeier, who has become the new German foreign minister. more…

BERLIN/NEW YORK |

BERLIN/NEW YORK (Own report) - The new German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is announcing a full application of Berlin foreign policy in the European Union over the next few weeks and is asking the EU finance authorities for disencumbering decisions. What arises from Steinmeier's inaugural speech is the fact that Berlin needs funds for the construction of its global hegemonic policy, which is to be subsidised by the discarding of German EU obligations to other parties. The new boss from the outside office explains that further resources for the civil flanking of violent German operations ("cultural policy") has to be prepared like that, while ongoing demanding military disbursements ("continuity" in the "security policy") take place. The offensive which is being heralded by Steinmeier also applies to the German demand for power in the United Nations. Berlin is holding on tightly to its objective of its own seat in the UN security council, in spite of this year's fiasco, in which Steinmeier, who was chancellorship minister up to now, was also very much involved. Acting against the advice of authoritative CDU politicians, the social democrats' UN aspirations brought them to enter into the coalition agreement. The government party's declarations show that the SPD's and CDU's interplay is accumulatively having an effect on German foreign policy's onset of great power. German-foreign-policy.com has published extracts. more…

BERLIN/BRUSSELS |

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) - The newly formed coalition government that recently took office in Berlin, seeks to reinforce German leadership in European affairs by shuffling its foreign policy appointments. As the current personnel chart indicates, the re-staffing of the institutions strengthens EU foreign policy ties to Berlin and the focus on the interests of national influence becomes apparent. German objectives will be channeled through the EU foreign policy staff in Brussels, which forms the nucleus of the central diplomatic service for all of the EU member states. Whereas the previous director of the German staff in Brussels has been transferred to the chancellery in Berlin, the chief of staff for the outgoing Foreign Minister, Fischer, will take up her post in the EU headquarters. In this function, she is due to prompt the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy. Further personnel changes bring geopolitical specialists for Eastern Europe and Northern Africa into the foreign ministry. The newly assigned Minister of State, Gernot Erler is known for his belligerent views. more…

KABUL/BERLIN | | afghanistan

KABUL/BERLIN (Own report) - After yet another death of a German soldier during a bomb attack in Afghanistan, the federal government consistently denies being involved in an armed conflict of international dimension. The soldier, who was part of the occupying army and who was the victim of a guerrilla attack last Monday, is the eighteenth member of the ISAF troop who was flown out from Kabul in a coffin by the German armed forces. Information on the deaths of other members of the German special unit is being kept secret. The denial of the obvious state of war enables foreign policy in Berlin to avoid the regulation of international humanitarian law and to treat opposing combatants like irregulars. Military situation reports, which are available to this editorial, describe the real scale of conflict discussions in Afghanistan. more…

ADDIS ABEBA/BONN | | aethiopien

ADDIS ABEBA/BONN (Own Report) - Despite international protests against massacres of the Ethiopian Police Berlin wants to confer about international cooperation among Germany and Ethiopia at the coming weekend in Addis Ababa. A respective conference was announced by the Goethe Institute in Addis Ababa. Especially development organisations are pronouncing against cooperation with the current Ethiopian government with a hint on the massacres of the governmental repression organs of the country, which claimed at least 50 lives as well as the detention of several thousand members of the opposition party. The Federal Government currently avoids open critique of the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, which allowed Berlin to exert extensive influence in Ethiopia. The German efforts in the country, which is hosting the African Union, is part of an attempt to strengthen Berlin's position all over Africa. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON |

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The German authorities are involved in serious violations of human rights and are aware of systematic torture in the US "war against terror". German-foreign-policy.com found this out from security circles in Washington and Wiesbaden. According to them, the German foreign espionage (Federal Intelligence Service/BND), the federal office responsible for defending the constitution (BfV), which is also operating as a secret service, as well as the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) have first-class information at their disposal from the US secret service office that deals with torture and from the organisation that does their groundwork in third world countries. Last Wednesday, the Washington Post uncovered details of the criminal US system’s psychological and physical destructive measures which deported prisoners are being subjected to. According to the above-mentioned newspaper, suspects are displaced and become victims of terrible ill-treatment in secret prisons ("black sites") which are located in Eastern Europe, among other places. Several sources confirm that the global torture-transport occurs across German territory. Despite German security circles’ knowledge of what is going on and their supposed obligation to intervene, Berlin refuses to put a stop to these serious criminal offences. more…