A Proxy War

DAMASCUS/BERLIN | | syrien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) - German government advisors are warning against further military reinforcement of the Syrian rebel militias and are insisting instead on finding common ground for an agreement on Syria with Russia and Iran. The situation of the civilian population is already catastrophic and will become even worst, according to the most recent analysis of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). According to the paper, whereas the Syrian civil war has developed into a proxy war between the West on the one hand and Teheran and Moscow on the other, there is no perspective of finding a domestic solution independent of the external powers. Some western forces view the neutralization of the regime in Damascus, an ally of Teheran, as the prerequisite for war on Iran, which is why Teheran supports Damascus at all costs. The SWP points out that political structures still exist in Syria, that are seeking a political solution, but they are still being ignored by the West. The think tank warns that if an escalation to the conflict cannot be halted, the country risks disintegrating into splinter fiefdoms under individual warlords for a long time to come. more…

BARCELONA/BOLZANO | | italien

BARCELONA/BOLZANO (Own report) - Despite his recent electoral setback, the secessionist-minded prime minister of Catalonia is keeping Europe's debate on the Berlin-supported secessionist movements alive. In Catalonia, whose intensive efforts to secede from Spain has recently been supported by Germany, mainly those forces, which had been even more adamant in the struggle for Catalonia's secession, have benefitted from the prime minister's unexpected setback. At the same time, secessionist forces in other European nations have received a boost - for example in the German-speaking regions of Italy, where budget cuts, imposed by the German austerity dictate for combating the crisis, have escalated the conflict between South Tyrol and Rome. The principal parties in South Tyrol have now gained Austria as its "protective power," thereby removing the conflict from Italy's hands. Efforts to convince Vienna to grant Austrian passports to German-speaking North Italians, alongside clearly secessionist demands are being intensified. Initial target dates for secession are already being pronounced. more…

WROCLAW | | polen

WROCLAW (Own report) - German right-wing extremists are politically exploiting government funded cultural events for the German-speaking minority in Poland. According to reports, members of the "Silesian Youth" recently established contacts in neighboring Poland during this year's "Cultural Festival of the German Minority" in Wroclaw. The "Silesian Youth" have been classified as right-wing extremist. Several of its leading members had been active members in currently banned neo-Nazi organizations. Another association of German right-wing extremists also called for participation at the festival. Earlier, "Silesian Youth" activists marched in a demonstration in Katowice demanding "autonomy for Upper Silesia." The Saxon regional section claims to be secretly taking care of former German cemeteries ("Evidence of German Presence in Silesia") as well as systematically expanding its relations to the German-speaking minority - in cooperation with a "relief organization" under the direction of a former activist of the neo-Nazi NPD. more…

DAMASCUS/ANKARA/BERLIN | | syrientuerkei

DAMASCUS/ANKARA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German Bundeswehr is possibly on the verge of a deployment directly at the Syrian border. According to reports in the media, today, Turkey will officially request that NATO station "Patriot" surface-to-air missiles on its southwestern territory, supposedly as protection from Syrian combat jets and missiles. The German government has agreed to participate with up to 170 military personnel. As a matter of fact, the stationing is planned not only for the territory, where, for quite some time, conflicts with Kurdish separatists have been escalating. According to concrete plans drawn up by top-ranking Turkish and US officers and presented to the White House, they also lay the groundwork for establishing a no-fly zone over Syrian territory. The objective is to create conditions, over the next few weeks, allowing the recently - in Qatar - founded Syrian exile leadership to leave exile and become established in northern Syria, which requires security from aerial attacks. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - The German government's recent Arms Export Report - like its predecessors - discloses the key global front lines of Berlin's foreign policy. If intervention to "maintain peace throughout the world" is not possible, "trustworthy partners" must be "supported" in doing this, declared the German chancellor recently in reference to engaging foreign countries to advance German global policy. This is explicitly also referring to "arming" allies. The most important recipients of German weaponry include the dictatorships at the Arabian Gulf - which are to be pitted against Iran - and several Southeast Asian countries - being armed in confrontation to China. The Sultanate Brunei Darussalam is leading the list of those receiving a special kind of arms, formally classified as "weapons of war" in the official statistics. Brunei and China are in a dispute over islands in the South China Sea. The "Arms Export Report 2011" again demonstrates that allies will be supplied arms, even if they brutally suppress domestic protests, such as Bahrain or Berlin's partner Saudi Arabia. more…

BERLIN/CAIRO |

BERLIN/CAIRO (Own report) - The German foreign minister is pleading for a "strategic partnership" between the European Union and the Arab League. During a meeting of foreign ministers of the two organizations, yesterday in Cairo, Guido Westerwelle noted that lately, the association of Arab states has been "assuming a growing amount of regional responsibility," which is why cooperation should be reinforced. Observers have been pointing out for quite some time that following the overthrow of the secular regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, the dictatorships on the Arabian Peninsular have seized leadership of the Arab League, and are using their newly acquired margin of maneuver to reinforce Islamist forces throughout the Arab world - including those among Syrian insurgents. They are cooperating closely with the West - which hopes to set them against Iran and uses Islamist associations in other countries, for example in Egypt. The losers are the secular forces, which, since 2010, have been in rebellion to overthrow their repressive, western-collaborating, secular regimes and who are now confronted with repressive, Islamist allies of the EU and USA. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - German government advisors are recommending the expansion of so-called mobility partnerships to control migration into the EU from Africa, Asia and Latin America. According to a recent study published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), more attention should be focused on selective recruitment of personnel from outside of Europe, because of the expected drop in Europe's labor force in the coming decades and the already existing lack of "skilled personnel in many member countries." This would be facilitated through "mobility partnerships" initiated by Brussels in 2005. A selective search for personnel could be combined with agreements that "partner countries" "accept to repatriate" their citizens, once their work visas expire and to otherwise cooperate with the EU in implementing measures to prevent undesirable migration. According to the SWP, the so-called mobility partnerships are also benefitting development, because those who were selected to work in Europe would - upon their desired repatriation - use the knowledge and skills acquired in Europe in their countries of origin. The study's author is currently employed in the German Ministry of Development. more…

WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | usa

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - The German Foreign Minister has called on the new US administration to consolidate transatlantic economic relations. "Europe and the USA" should "soon reach an agreement on concrete negotiations for a transatlantic free trade zone," proposed Guido Westerwelle. This could bring new "growth." Experts are estimating billions in possible added profits. Regarding its strategic consequences, the foreign minister claimed that the close cooperation would strengthen the "basis of common interests" in the global competition. Berlin's initiative was provoked by Washington's explicit announcement that, in the future, it will mainly focus on East and Southeast Asia, rather than on Europe. The German government is reacting with an expansion of its own Asian activities, while simultaneously insuring its alliance with the USA in global policy. Berlin is also making demands that are more extensive. Foreign Minister Westerwelle calls on Washington to assume the German austerity policy as its own model for fighting the crisis. more…

PRIŠTINA/BERLIN | | jugoslawien

PRIŠTINA/BERLIN (Own report) - The European Court of Auditors (ECA) is making serious accusations against the German-EU Kosovo occupation policy. According to the ECA's report published Tuesday, not much can be seen of the "rule of law," that the EU for years has been pretending to establish in the region that had seceded from Serbia in violation of international law. Instead, levels of general corruption and particularly of organized crime remain "high." This has "not changed considerably" since the occupation began in the summer of 1999, writes the EU authority. NATO invaded that south Serbian province in the summer of 1999. Under its control and with Berlin's active support, the KLA mafia gang led by Kosovo's current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, became the strongest local power. The ECA report, once again, shows the consequences of Berlin's repeated reversion to elements - such as the KLA - in the framework of strategically motivated military operations. With their help, wars can be won, but their social qualities are diametrically opposed to a humane development in the region targeted by German interventions. more…