TEGUCIGALPA/BERLIN |

TEGUCIGALPA/BERLIN (Own report) - Right up to the putsch, Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya's liberalist opponents were being supported by forces close to the German Free Democratic Party (FDP). Zelaya's rival and current presidential candidate, Elvin Santos, is among them, as well as Roberto Micheletti. Micheletti took over the office of president following Zelaya's kidnapping, last weekend. During the course of his presidency, Zelaya, who, just a few years ago, had himself been supported by the FDP affiliated Friedrich Naumann Foundation, turned his back on the German organization's neo-liberal policy. He turned instead toward the ALBA international alliance ("Alternative Bolivariana para las Américas" or Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) formed around Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba. This has led to hefty power struggles inside his party. His opponents, who up until two weeks ago were being advised by an FDP affiliated strategist, have close ties to the Naumann Foundation. The putsch resolved the conflict to the advantage of the partners in the Naumann Foundation. Following the putsch, the representative of the foundation in Tegucigalpa wrote that Zelaya shares the responsibility for the military coup; he is "more the culprit than the victim." more…

BUDAPEST/BERLIN | | ungarn

BUDAPEST/BERLIN (Own report) - Hungarian rightwing extremists are preparing a resolution to the European Parliament to revise the Beneš Decrees and are demanding German parliamentarians to support them in this effort. The resolution is initiated by a member of the Jobbik Party, who was recently elected to the European Parliament. The Jobbik Party has won 15 Percent of the votes in Hungary. Numerous German politicians support this demand to annul the Beneš Decrees because Hungary and Germany share common ethnic political concepts legitimizing claims against neighboring countries. For years, Budapest has invoked the ethnic "right of blood" ("ius sanguinis"), adapted by Germany, co-opting Slovak and Rumanian citizens ("Hungarians abroad"), thereby escalating international tensions. Since the economic crisis began, rightwing extremists have enhanced their electoral successes in Hungary by accentuating ethnic chauvinist policy. According to recent opinion polls, nearly half of the Hungarian population approve of the fact that their country will also be represented in Brussels by three rightwing extremists. Their organizations are appealing to Berlin, to support their ethnic radicalization. more…

TEHERAN/BERLIN | | iran

TEHERAN/BERLIN (Own report) - In spite of explicit warnings, German organizations are trying to escalate the internal power struggles in Iran. The state-financed Deutsche Welle radio station is one of the foreign broadcasters, whose Farsi-language program is firing the protesters on, with hourly reports on reactions from the west. Party-affiliated foundations, including the German Free Democratic Party (FDP) -affiliated Friedrich Naumann Foundation are offering their partnership to those opposing the central structures of Iran's government. After initial hesitations, the German Foreign Ministry has also begun to openly intervene in the domestic affairs of a fellow UN member nation, making "demands" on the government of a sovereign country. Over the weekend, the chancellery also assumed the position of a challenging partisan in the Iranian domestic power struggles. German press organs are indulging in blood-lecherous anticipation of the "chaos in Teheran." Every intervention in the current power struggles is "highly detrimental," assessed Bahman Nirumand an expert on Iran. It makes the protest demonstrators appear to be "guided by the West, their leaders will be branded as collaborators." Indeed, the current support for the Iranian opposition is essentially motivated by foreign policy objectives. As long as the West had its Shah regime in power in Teheran, the Iranian movement for democracy was repressed, in a bloodbath, with western help. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The German foreign intelligence service is predicting shifts in the global power constellation and is demanding "a geo-strategic debate in Germany." According to a classified Federal Intelligence Service (BND) study, the collapse of the western national economies, whose recuperation is unpredictable, could lead to a drastic acceleration of China's rise and the decline of West Germany's long-term primary ally, the United States. This intelligence service paper is being currently discussed in Berlin and excepts have been leaked to the press to prepare public opinion for possible changes in global policy orientation. "A long-term global crisis" cannot, for the moment, be excluded, assesses the BND, who, if this happens, is anticipating "massive unemployment and movements of migration in unprecedented dimensions" as well as an escalation of nationalism and very serious international tensions. An essential question, for the future global conflict constellations, according to this paper, will be if Russia can be bound to the West or if Moscow will go over to the Chinese adversary. more…

KABUL/BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | afghanistan

KABUL/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Western politicians are using martial announcements to prepare another escalation in the war in Afghanistan. "More victims on all sides" can be expected over the next few weeks at the Hindu Kush, declared NATO's General Secretary. Western combat units are currently being substantially increased. AWACS planes are being sent to optimize flight activity in the combat area. Tomorrow, Wednesday, the German cabinet will approve German participation on these planes. Last May the number of aerial attacks, infamous for their high number of civilian casualties, reached a new record high. According to reports, insurgents have even taken control of the German area of operations in the vicinity of Kunduz and are openly challenging the German occupation troops. Since May, serious battles have been reported. In view of the extension of combat to Pakistan, military experts are referring to a "Southwest Asian warzone" and explicitly drawing parallels to the Vietnam War. more…

HARARE/BERLIN | | simbabwe

HARARE/BERLIN (Own report) - Today's reception of Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, is an element of the German government's participation in the western campaign to overthrow the Zimbabwean president. Since the 90s, Tsvangirai has been groomed by the West, particularly Germany, as the head of the opposition to drive President Mugabe from power. Berlin is accusing Mugabe of presenting himself as an "adversary of the western liberal order." His removal has been on the German foreign policy agenda for the past ten years. With Tsvangirai, after a long struggle, being named prime minister, second to his rival, Mugabe, in a transition government, last February, Berlin and Washington see new opportunities for driving Mugabe from office. Tsvangirai is currently visiting North America and Europe to reach the necessary agreements. Germany wants to support him through development aid financing, sent to Zimbabwe by way of NGOs, strengthening the position of Tsvangirai’s followers. more…

Master Plan

ASHGABAT/BERLIN | | turkmenistan

ASHGABAT/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is intensifying its pressure to obtain access to Turkmenistan's natural gas deposits. Following the conclusion of a basic agreement guaranteeing the RWE Corp., with headquarters in Essen, Germany, access to the Turkmen gas deposits, the German Ministry of Economics and various German companies have intensified over the past few weeks their negotiations with Ashgabat. The objective is to obtain a privileged position for German companies helping Turkmenistan to develop its economy. Not only is this aimed at Germany becoming the recipient for a major portion of Turkmen raw materials, but also at strengthening German influence in the country. Germany's chances are good. A German company drew up the master plan for Turkmenistan's economic development. In addition, over the past few years, German companies have been able to make themselves a name, by accomplishing quite unusual services for the dictatorship in Ashgabat. Human rights organizations raise strong criticism of the state, whose natural gas is to reduce Germany's dependence on Russian resources. more…

Populists

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - Just a few days before the European elections, German government advisors published recommendations for countering reprehensible parties in East and Southeast Europe. In those EU countries "a strong dissatisfaction" with the social development has taken root since the 1989/90 transformations, writes the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). Certain forces have repeatedly been successful in consolidating the anger at the dramatic impoverishment and the social decline, transforming this into popular votes for parties in opposition to the "establishment" loyal to the EU. When they use confrontational and strictly oppositional agitation against the ruling elites, they must be classified as "populist" regardless of their orientation otherwise. Among these "populist" parties are several that have been predicted to make a good showing in the upcoming European elections. The SWP suggests that isolation as well as integration would be means to be considered for their neutralization. But the foreign subsidiaries of German party affiliated foundations will play an important role in setting up loyal party structures. more…

RUESSELSHEIM/DETROIT/OBERWALTERSDORF | | usa

RUESSELSHEIM/DETROIT/OBERWALTERSDORF (Own report) - The US president's brief visit to Germany is being overshadowed by a long-term shift in the balance of power in trans-Atlantic relations. The bankruptcy of the US automobile giant, General Motors (GM), and Berlin's success in forcing it to relinquish its European subsidiaries (Opel, Vauxhall) to a Germany-linked consortium, has led to great losses in the US automobile industry. Getting Moscow involved in the new Opel management and the automobile producer's planned re-orientation toward markets in the former Soviet Union are strengthening the German-Russian special alliance and adding new weight to the breakdown of the nearly 80 years of the German-American corporate alliance. This process corresponds to the constant deterioration in German-American trade relations, while trade between Germany and Eastern Europe, particularly with Russia is steadily growing. The shift in power is being accompanied by a rise of German significance in Europe. The dismantling of Opel's production capacity is mainly affecting plants located outside of Germany. more…

Cotton Club

HAMBURG |

HAMBURG (Own report) - With millions in government "development aid" financing, German textile and commercial companies are forging a purchasers' cartel for African cotton in competition with their US rivals. They seek to take control of several hundreds of thousands of West and South African cotton producers, who will have to commit themselves to produce cotton exclusively in accordance with specific guidelines established by the cartel. Planting gene manipulated cotton is not excluded. The declared objective of this initiative is to outdo the main cotton exporter, the USA and enhance the competitiveness of the German textile business. This new cotton cartel is not only being supported by state institutions, such as the millions from the German "development aid," it is also being promoted by NGOs such as the "German Agro Action" and the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). more…