TEHERAN/BERLIN | | iran

TEHERAN/BERLIN (Own report) - Demands to change Western policy towards Iran are being heard in Berlin. An influential policy advisor is calling for the EU and the USA to replace their sanctions and war threats with a policy "mixture comprised of détente and deterrence" - as formerly used in relations with the Soviet Union. Berlin should offer Teheran "a strategic partnership" - in anticipation of possible developments. This policy change could be implemented in accord with Washington, if the Democrats win the presidential elections. These demands are being expressed by influential think tanks. They correspond to those of German companies, whose business with Iran has suffered a setback under the sanctions. Business consultants are beginning to worry that their strong business position with this Middle Eastern nation could be surpassed by the People's Republic of China. Arrangements made during the Iranian Vice-Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari's visit to Germany in April, took these concerns into account and are seeking to insure German influence in Iran. For the time being, the German government is maintaining the intense pressure on Iran. A new round of sanctions are not to be excluded, declared German Foreign Minister Steinmeier. more…

Spy Culture

BONN |

BONN (Own report) - Within a few weeks, another German company expanding abroad, the Deutsche Telekom, has been accused of engaging in illegal spying practices. This enterprise, in which the state is still a shareholder, has been spying on its own personnel as well as journalists and even possibly placed foreign shareholders "under surveillance," according to press accounts. The Telekom accessed telecommunications data for which even police investigators would have needed a court order. Recently the discount food chain Lidl, was criticized for its wide-scale spying on its personnel. It was made public that the Siemens Corp. in Munich is aiding German intelligence agencies in wiretapping actions against its clients. The various spy scandals extend beyond domestic significance, because these companies are accelerating their foreign expansion, thereby becoming more influential in applying these methods. Siemens has subsidiaries in 190 countries around the world, Lidl has twice as many stores abroad as it has inside Germany. The Telekom, which is cooperating in a "security partnership" with German government repressive agencies, is targeting new acquisitions and seeking to become the world market leader in telecommunications. more…

Accomplices

BERLIN/TRIPOLI/BENIN CITY | | nigeria

BERLIN/TRIPOLI/BENIN CITY (Own report) - With Germany participating, the EU's Frontex border security agency has renewed their pursuit of refugees and migrants off the coast of Libya. As reported by news agencies, it has launched its "Operation Nautilus III," in which European ships patrol also within Libyan territorial waters. Refugees and migrants picked up during the operation will be handed over to Tripoli. Libyan repressive forces have been accused of serious violations of refugees' and migrants' human rights. With this new Frontex operation, Germany is again taking part in measures that will force refugees and migrants, seeking passage to Europe, to take even more desperate routes, thereby compounding the widespread deaths on the EU's outer borders. Numerous women are also among these victims. The Germano-European border policy does not offer a possibility for legal entry and thereby forces a growing number of women into the hands of sexual slave traders, supplying the European prostitution market with women coerced into prostitution. In her discussion with german-foreign-policy.com, the publicist, Corinna Milborn, who investigated the sale of Nigerian women inside the EU, stated that the German state, through its border policy, should be considered as a de facto "accomplice" to sexual slavery. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING | | chinausa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) - On Monday May 19, the Dalai Lama will terminate his visit to Germany after having met with the German Minister for Development and given a speech in Berlin. This time, following interventions from business circles, the German government has restrained its anti-Chinese provocations. Neither the chancellor, the foreign minister, nor the president were disposed to meet the Tibetan "god-king" during his current visit. German business representatives had warned of a sharp decline in their business with China, which had tripled over the last eight years, making German industry quite dependent on the People's Republic of China. But, Western states, including Germany, are still continuing their anti-Chinese activities - not at the highest state levels, but through financial and organizational aid for Tibet initiatives and their campaigns around the world. Berlin as well as Washington are using state financed front organizations: Washington the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Berlin foundations affiliated with political parties. They were behind the torch relay campaign that - without ostensible state help - mobilized the Western public against China. more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN/YANGON |

WASHINGTON/BERLIN/YANGON (Own report) - A military intervention in Myanmar is supposed to help create a precedence for an institutionalized right to armed interventions in other countries. This is demanded by Western pressure groups supported by prominent German politicians. They are calling for the application of the "Responsibility to Protect", (R2P) concept that began appearing in Western documents in 2001, and was discussed for years in the UN - in spite of the resistance put up by states opposing Western hegemony. Disregarding their opinion, the UN General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon has appointed an "R2P" special advisor to promote the institutionalization of this right of intervention. It justifies using military means in cases ambiguously defined as "crimes against humanity." It is currently alleged that this crime is being committed, if, in the aftermath of a natural disaster, a government refuses to allow all of the offered relief personnel into its country. It is not necessary to have the authorization of the UN Security Council. De facto, this right of intervention can only be applied by the major Western nations with powerful armed forces. An influential German officer assisted in the elaboration of their concept. He also declared recently that nuclear first-strikes were admissible. more…

NAYPYIDAW/BEIJING/BERLIN |

NAYPYIDAW/BEIJING/BERLIN (Own report) - Tuesday May 13, the EU Commissioner for Development departed for negotiations with Myanmar amid German/French threats of a military intervention. His objective is to achieve a comprehensive open door policy for European relief workers in that country, among them also German government personnel. The activities, officially alleged to deliver aid to the victims of the natural disaster, are in fact part of a campaign against the government in Naypyidaw. Even though the German government had supported the military government for decades - including with arms deliveries for crushing Chinese-backed communist insurgency - since the end of the 1980s Berlin has been promoting a regime change in Myanmar, because Beijing had reached a compromise with the military and strengthened its standing in the country. The activities against Myanmar supplement the anti-Chinese campaign around Tibet and there are indications that it could escalate August 8, 2008, when the Olympic Games are due to open in Beijing. New protests are also planned for the 20th anniversary of the Myanmarian uprising of 1988. Foreign policy circles of the USA are already contemplating military attacks on targets in Naypyidaw. more…

NAYPYIDAW/PARIS/BERLIN |

NAYPYIDAW/PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) - Under the pretext that Myanmar has refused to accept the conditions for deliveries of relief supplies set out by western nations, Berlin is using the natural disaster in that country for a new attack on international law. Several German ministers have declared that a "humanitarian intervention" may well be carried out, even in violation of Myanmarian sovereignty. Troops could also be deployed, says a leading German international jurist. Natural catastrophes are supposed to justify military operations anywhere in the world. French and US warships are already underway to this former European colony. Berlin is again using a humanitarian pretext to strengthen the German position in this geostrategically important country. Myanmar is of importance to its Asian neighbors because of its coastline. It provides China access to the Indian Ocean. Transit through Myanmar should facilitate trade with Europe and the Middle East, including also Chinese importation of raw materials. Already last year an intervention against Myanmar was being discussed in EU circles. more…

BERLIN/KHARTOUM/KIGALI | | ruandasudanfrankreich

BERLIN/KHARTOUM/KIGALI (Own report) - With new initiatives, Berlin is reinforcing its intervention in Sudan. While sending German police officers to Darfur on mission, and to Africa for preparation training, the German government is preparing new military projects with Rwanda for this west Sudanese region engulfed in civil war. This was reported by the press in Kigali. The German plans are accompanying parallel US activities. The United States is using its military partner Rwanda for the containment of Islamic forces in Africa and therefore is training and arming Rwandan troops. Ethiopia is joining the Transatlantic front by dispatching troops to Darfur. The loser is France, whose attempt to shore up its own influence in this East African zone of conflict through an EU intervention in Chad is doomed to failure. According to high-ranking French officers, there will probably be no prolongation of the mission. Testimony from those involved suggest that a French "aid organization's" kidnapping of Chadian children was part of the power struggle between Berlin and Paris for predominance in determining the Africa policy of the EU. more…

ESSEN |

ESSEN (Own report) - The Eon Corp. in Duesseldorf celebrated new milestones at its general assembly on April 30 while ecologists were protesting. The corporation's annual consolidated sales reached nearly 69 billion Euros last year - a new company record, which surpasses the gross domestic products of several smaller EU member states. The protests were particularly directed against the company's energy production, which relies for more than a third of its electrical energy on highly polluting coal power stations and nearly half on high-risk nuclear energy. Eon will extend its engagement in the nuclear sector. Just a few days earlier, the company signed an agreement with Siemens and the French Areva companies, that foresees cooperation in the building of new British nuclear power stations and the servicing of the power stations already in operation. Eon's chances of profiting from French president Nicolas Sarkozy's nuclear offensive are enhanced with this accord. Since taking office last summer, Sarkozy has initiated numerous controversial projects with Arab countries. Germany's Siemens Corp. will also benefit. Siemens still owns one-third of the shares in the Areva NP reactor branch and the German government would like for this to be of long duration. more…