Hopeless

Daud Miraki | CHICAGO | | afghanistan
(Daud Miraki)

CHICAGO german-foreign-policy.com discussed the current situation in Afghanistan with Dr. Daud Miraki. Dr. Miraki is a sociologist living in the United States and is dealing with developments in Afghanistan, particularly the delayed effects of NATO's use of munitions with depleted uranium. His website is www.afghanistanafterdemocracy.com. more…

LHASA/BEIJING/BERLIN | | china

LHASA/BEIJING/BERLIN (Own report) - German politicians have announced an escalation of the chancellor's Tibet offensive. According to comments made by the Prime Minister of Hesse, Roland Koch (CDU), Angela Merkel's meeting with the Dalai Lama is only the beginning of large scale interference into China's internal affairs, that also should incite other Western states to give up their reservations. Berlin considers the moment particularly favorable for activities to weaken Beijing, because as the host of next year's Olympic games, the People's Republic is restricted in its capacity to retaliate. Berlin's Tibet activities are part of a cross party general consensus and are in line with old traditions of German foreign policy, that, already in the 1930s and 1940s, considered Lhasa as an important base for interfering in Central Asia. The German-Tibetan contacts, that were established at the time, have not only outlived World War II, but are still functioning today, as german-foreign-policy.com reports in the second part of its series focused on strategies of attrition. more…

Prestigious

YANGON/BERLIN | | china

YANGON/BERLIN (Own report) - The German Foreign Ministry is watching with "sympathy" the mass demonstrations against the military regime in Myanmar (the former Burma). The protest in that Southern Asian country, initially ignited a few weeks ago by the dramatic rise in the costs of gasoline and food, has not subsided and is now turning into open support for the pro-western opposition. The opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and forces close to her, including the exile government, based in the USA, have close contacts within the EU, among others to the SPD affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation. A spokesperson for the foreign ministry declared, that Berlin is expecting Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest to be lifted. Germany would welcome a regime change, because of the close cooperation between the military government and the People's Republic of China. Myanmar has a long coastline between Bangladesh and Thailand and offers Beijing free access to the Indian Ocean - not only for its trade but also for its military. For years, German political advisers have been pointing out, that Myanmar is broadening China's scope of action, therefore, counteracting Berlin's interest in seeing the People's Republic weakened. more…

BEIJING/LHASA/BERLIN | | china

BEIJING/LHASA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German chancellor is reinforcing Berlin's special relationships to Chinese separatists, in spite of Beijing's massive protests. The Dalai Lama had talks in the German Chancellery, for the first time, Sunday, Sept. 23. He is the leader of a self-proclaimed Tibetan exile government, with its headquarters in India, which is calling for the secession of Tibet from the Peoples Republic of China or at least special rights in accordance with the German model of "autonomy." The Dalai Lama is a western ally, helping to weaken Beijing and hamper its rise to the status of world power. For decades he has been enjoying the cross-party sympathy in Germany and is receiving support from conservatives, liberals and Greens alike. Still his meeting with Angela Merkel has been met with criticism, because business circles fear retaliatory actions on the part of the Chinese government will have a negative effect on their business. German strategies of attrition against Beijing, their historical precursors in the first half of the 20th century and the scenes of current measures, are the themes of a series of articles that german-foreign-policy.com began Monday Sept. 24. more…

ERBIL/TEHERAN/COLOGNE | | irakiran

ERBIL/TEHERAN/COLOGNE (Own report) - Germany is supporting armed separatists in Western Iran, in their struggle against the Iranian government. In spite of repeated protests from Teheran, a leader of the Kurdish secessionist movement is continuing to recruit insurgents in Germany - in plain view of German intelligence services. The separatists are held responsible for the killing several hundred Iranian soldiers. A professor of the Bundeswehr Academy in Munich is pleading for supporting the insurgents: Iran should be weakened and "if necessary disbanded". German aid to Kurdish insurgents is complementing German contacts to the Kurdish autonomous government in Iraq and is strengthening Berlin's role in the framework of a possible ethnic reorganization of the entire Middle East. Plans to this effect were drawn up by the US military quite a while ago. Currently Masoud Barzani, president of Iraq's "Kurdish Autonomous Region", is the most aggressive proponent of Kurdish secessionism. For a long time, he has also been the contact person for German foreign policy experts, and has already met with Angela Merkel on various occasions. more…

To Corner

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - With his resolute plea for German Army (Bundeswehr) intervention in the domestic affairs of the country, the Minister of Defense, Franz-Josef Jung, (CDU) is advancing strategies of the German military elite (the "strategic community"). He announced last weekend that the Air Force could be ordered to shoot down hijacked passenger jet liners - if necessary in violation of the German Constitution. This demand corresponds to considerations being advanced since some time by the Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik in Berlin (BAKS, Federal College for Security Studies) which include also plans to alter "essential sections" of the Constitution. To reach this objective, the BAKS has been working for years to establish a network in the various ministries, enterprises and the media. And the chancellery is helping. President Horst Köhler is supportive of these activities. On September 14 at the Bundeswehr’s Leadership Academy, in Hamburg, he demanded hat the military elite intervene more than previously in debates on German security policy and "efficiently corner the leadership personnel of the state, the economy and the society". Berlin's projects would signify a radical militarization of life in the society. more…

BERLIN/WIESBADEN |

BERLIN/WIESBADEN (Own report) - In the course of a conference on the roles played by several founding fathers of the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) during the Nazi dictatorship, BKA President, Jörg Ziercke, warned against drawing comparisons between the methods of state repression during the Nazi regime and repressive measures taken by the police today. Those who today apply "terminology used by the Nazis or in the German Democratic Republic" - "i.e. 'preventive state' or 'surveillance state'", according to the BKA President, is trivializing the "suffering of the victims". With this statement, he is attempting to remove the obvious continuity of the unprecedented extension of police surveillance from its historical context. Critics are convinced that NS continuity within the BKA cannot be limited to merely biographies of some of its leading officials: they are accused of serious war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is much more to be found in the BKA's organizational structure, which is based on the Nazi Reich's Criminal Investigation Office, whose traditions are still in evidence and can be seen for example in the BKA'S collaboration with globally ostracized torture regimes. Recently, another leading police official, Ulrich Wegner, the founder of the GSG 9 special police force, admitted that he has Nazi role models: he owes "important impulses" to the Wehrmacht's "Brandenburg" division. That division helped carry out serious war crimes. more…

Ever Ready

ALGIERS/BERLIN | | algerien

ALGIERS/BERLIN (Own Report) - The dispatching of a German submarine to the port of Algiers underscores the German government's military interest in Algeria. Berlin permits the training of Algerian soldiers in Germany and would like to incorporate this North African country into the NATO through so-called anti-terror measures. Germany is also supplying its military partner, Algeria, with large quantities of arms. Cooperation at the level of the intelligence services and police should soon be formalized and sealed in a treaty. The government of Algeria, predominated by the military, has been waging a so-called war on terror against Islamist rebels for the past 15 years. Algeria's repressive organs are accused of serious crimes. In a conversation with german-foreign-policy.com, Salima Mellah, of the Algeria Watch human rights organization, reported that at the beginning of this year, for example, an Algerian prisoner was tortured to death, even in July, people were disappearing. "The 'death machine' that began to be set up in 1992, has not been dismantled" says Ms. Mellah: "Though it is no longer as intensively applied, as it had been ten years ago, it is ever ready to be put into action again." more…

LIMA/BERLIN |

LIMA/BERLIN (Own report) - German business associations are demanding better access to the South American mining industry. In the coming weeks, corresponding initiatives will focus primarily on Peru, one of the world's largest producers of copper, silver, gold and zinc. In business circle discussions about profit opportunities for German companies, one hears that "investments in mining projects in the Andes are becoming increasingly attractive because of the rising world market prices of metals." Moreover, Berlin is hoping to acquire a greater quota of Peruvian metal exports. That Andean state is currently already one of Germany's most important copper suppliers and, in the future, is supposed to account for even more to cover the growing needs of German industry. To improve Germany's competitive standing, Berlin is insisting on the conclusion of a free trade agreement between the Andean states (among them Peru) and the EU. Whereas the protest against the social and ecological consequences of the mining boom is growing stronger within the Peruvian population, the German Chancellery intends to underscore German claims with Angela Merkel's visit to Lima. more…

BERLIN/SINGAPORE | | singapur

BERLIN/SINGAPORE (Own report) - With the objective of better structuring its Asia policy, the German foreign ministry convened a four-day conference of all the heads of German missions abroad, which opened on September 3 in the presence of the secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Ten Southeast Asian countries - most of them competitors or political adversaries of the People's Republic of China - are members of the ASEAN economic alliance. The ambassadors conference in Berlin will also hear a talk given by the German ambassador to Singapore. The city-state Singapore is the driving force of the ASEAN group and Germany's most important economic base in the region. Singapore's army is heavily equipped with offensive weapons and Germany has been supplying arms for decades. According to the German defense minister, Germany and Singapore are "natural partners" in military policy. This Southeast Asian country's government is striving intensely for closer EU relations - against Beijing. more…