Moral Basis

PRAGUE/BERLIN | | tschechische-republik

PRAGUE/BERLIN (Own report) - Seventy years after German troops invaded Czechoslovakia, German media are using the Munich Dictate to demand that the West take a more aggressive approach to foreign policy. They allege that the "Agreement", that ceded important parts of Czechoslovakia to the German aggressor, concluded in the night of September 29 - 30, 1938 between Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and the British and French heads of government, has become a popular "metaphor" for western accommodation to "totalitarian power". While the debate continues as to whether this "metaphor" applies to Russia's relations to Georgia, which would justify a German offensive against Russia, Berlin is still hanging onto aspects of the Munich Dictate. Even though this Dictate is today "null and void", its signing has had consequences that are still valid, is an opinion heard in the German capital. They also form the basis for the relocated Germans' claims on the Czech Republic. A consultant of the advisory board of the Federal College for Security Studies agrees: "Hitler's approach in 1938" was not devoid of "a moral basis". more…

KABUL/ISLAMABAD/BERLIN | | afghanistanpakistan

KABUL/ISLAMABAD/BERLIN (Own report) - German Defense Ministry reports have made known that the German government is buttressing the extension of the Afghanistan War to Pakistan through millions of Euros for embedding civilians in military operations. According to these reports, Berlin and Brussels are earmarking large sums for "civilian-military" combat accessories ("Comprehensive Approach") in Pakistan. This is because of Washington's efforts to extend its combat activities to the other side of the Afghan/Pakistani border and enlist Islamabad's armed forces for counter-insurgency operations on Pakistani territory. Berlin is modeling its supplementary civilian projects along the lines of NATO's "civilian-military" activities at the Hindu Kush. The war is escalating. Washington has announced that it will make significant increases in troop levels and is demanding higher levels of personnel and financial engagement of its Western allies. There is talk of payments of around US $20 bil. The escalation of the war is also being propelled by the incessant rise in the number of civilian casualties. According to statistics furnished by the United Nations, Western military forces and their Afghan auxiliary troops are responsible for the deaths of more than 570 non-combatants since January. more…

VIENNA/COLOGNE | | oesterreich

VIENNA/COLOGNE (Own report) - A crisis-induced wave of fusions among European airlines companies offers a taste of the possible concentration of economic power that could develop out of the Western financial crisis. Lufthansa, a German corporation, is among the top beneficiaries. The airlines company is preparing the takeover of smaller competitors and is seeking to replace the current number one in the business, Air France-KLM. Its aim is to buy airline companies in Northern and Southern Europe and companies serving destinations in Eastern Europe and Africa. Only a third European airlines company, British Airways, can still compete. All others are being bought out or relegated to a marginalized existence. The current wave of fusions has been caused by the crisis in air travel. Features specific to this business sector (the acute rise in the price of kerosene), had already led to a stronger concentration than in other business sectors. But they are also beginning to feel the effects of the global financial crisis. In the struggle for takeovers, Lufthansa is benefiting from special relations, from exclusive contacts to Moscow, created for German businesses by the German see-saw policy. more…

BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | usa

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - German banks and insurance companies are fighting for an appropriate portion of the multi-billion dollar US Government emergency bail out plan. On the weekend, the government confirmed its plan to expropriate at least US $700 billion from American taxpayers to prop up bankrupt private US institutions. This announcement included a restriction: Only US financial enterprises should benefit from these $700 billion. Foreign investors that have also been affected, through their deposits in US institutions, among them prominent German businesses, are initially excluded. Through the crash on Wall Street, they suffered a loss in the three digit millions. In Germany these losses led to serious capital shortage in regional banks, which in turn are canceling credits for medium sized companies. Insolvency and layoffs are resulting. Up to this moment, the government circles of several western allies have been intervening in Washington, demanding an equal share in the expropriated funds for their private national banks. According to economic experts of the government, this crash will shrink Germany's projected growth to a mere 0,5 or zero percent, whereas a few months ago, this growth was estimated to reach over two percent. Western economy is in the grip of the worst financial crisis since the 1929 Great Depression. In view of the US financial "meltdown", German military circles remark, not without satisfaction, that the USA has surpassed its "power policy peak", sounding the knell of the "American century" even in the military field. more…

COLOGNE/ANTWERP/VIENNA | | oesterreich

COLOGNE/ANTWERP/VIENNA (Own report) - At an international congress to be held in Cologne over the coming weekend, right-wing extremist parties, from several EU nations, will seek to consolidate their cooperation. The chairman of "Pro-Koeln," which is organizing the congress, announced that the "intermediate" objective is the founding of a "European right-wing party." Among the participants are organizations from Belgium (Vlaams Belang), the FPÖ (Austrian Freedom Party - AFP) and the Italian (Lega Nord). The European right-wing party, whose German partner is yet to be determined - even the Nationalist Party of Germany (NPD) is in consideration - is supposed to field candidates for the European parliamentary elections and constitute a parliamentary group once elected. The campaign focuses on the fight against Islam. This campaign is using the animosity prevalent also outside of right-wing extremist circles that is being strongly fomented in the context of the "war on terror." This could "possibly lead to an electoral success of the prospective right-wing party," according to Alexander Haeusler, an expert on right-wing extremism in a discussion with german-foreign-policy.com. The new structure, to be extended to all of Europe, is based upon the old tradition of collaboration with Nazi Germany. more…

BERLIN/DUBLIN | | irland

BERLIN/DUBLIN (Own report) - A German EU politician is demanding the subordination of all EU governments to a common PR strategy. It is "a scandal" that "the Council of Ministers and therefore the governments of the EU" have "refused to establish a common communications concept with the European Parliament and Commission" declared the member of the European Parliament (MEP) Jo Leinen of the SPD party. This criticism arose from the attempts to induce the population of Ireland, using intensive propaganda, to vote "Yes" to the Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum. These PR measures must be carried out in all EU nations, because resistance can be expected everywhere, insists Leinen. In the meantime, the schedule for the next steps in the process of implementation of the Lisbon Treaty is becoming concrete in Dublin. This foresees a repetition of the referendum next year. Berlin is pushing for an early date, before the European parliamentary elections. The core European states' pressure, demanding a precipitated second referendum, is causing serious controversy in Ireland. The vast majority of the population rejects the revision of their last June's "No". more…

BERLIN/LUANDA/BEIJING |

BERLIN/LUANDA/BEIJING (Own report) - The continuous loss of status in favor of Beijing in the struggle for Africa's raw materials is the focus of the ambassador's conference that began Monday, Sept. 8. As announced by the Chinese Ministry of Trade, the People's Republic of China will have a fifty-percent increase in trade with Africa this year. This - with its continuously strong rate of growth - doubles the German-African trade volume, which is practically stagnating. The growing German backlog, showing Berlin's current measures to be ineffective, has incited the Foreign Ministry to take new steps that include focalizing German efforts on the continent's energy sector. Berlin's endeavors toward the oil producing nations of the West African Gulf of Guinea, such as Angola, are exemplary. Because of its wealth in raw materials, Washington considers Angola to be within the direct sphere of US interests. The country is seeking to navigate a tight course between the great powers and is sharing its resources evenly between China and the United States. Berlin, demanding its share, is harassing Beijing, and is intensifying its own activities in the country. Angola is threatened to become the stage for western rivalries with the People's Republic of China. more…

WARSZAWA/BERLIN |

WARSZAWA/BERLIN (Own report) - Faced with an increase in racist and war propaganda, German citizens' initiatives are calling for an "Alliance of the Generations". The European wide networking of nationalist and right-wing extremist circles, the serious economic crisis and a lack of systematic activities to commemorate the past are contributors to the steadily rising "level of racist violence", write the initiators in their current position statement. In spite of numerous state programs, anti-Semitic attacks continue in Germany and neighboring countries. The authors propose to publicly confront the "denial and forgetting taking place in our societies" and to conclude a practical alliance between the last survivors of the German policy of extermination and younger generations. They announce a close cooperation with former deportees, including those from Poland. The "Train of Commemoration" will promote this alliance during its next tour through Germany. It is also planned that the train will stop in different places during its tour through the neighboring countries. more…