KABUL/BERLIN/BAMAKO | | maliafghanistan

KABUL/BERLIN/BAMAKO (Own report) - Berlin is legitimizing German military intervention by alleging it is to combat the causes of fleeing. The Bundeswehr must undertake operations in Mali, "so that people will no longer have to flee the violence and hopelessness," claimed Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, early this week during her visit in Mali's capital Bamako. She is using the current refugee crisis in Germany to arouse sympathy for the Bundeswehr's interventions. However, with its aggressive foreign policy, Germany is actively helping create the causes for people to flee. A prime example is the Federal Republic of Germany's Afghan policy since the 1980s. Together with other western governments, Bonn had exacerbated the Afghan civil war with its support for the Mujahidin. Millions of Afghans had to flee the country and Afghanistan has never recovered from its political, economic, and social devastation. The Bundeswehr's deployment in Afghanistan, which began in 2001 and whose main mission was ended last year, has provoked a new wave of refugees. more…

BERLIN |

BERLIN (Own report) - With last weekend's arson attack on a refugee home, the bombing attempt on a supporter of refugees and the siege of a refugee hostel by a hostile mob of locals, Germany's recent wave of racist violence has taken on a new quality. It is only fortunate that no one was murdered in these recent attacks. At the same time, attacks on refugee housing are becoming dramatically more frequent. Already during the first half of 2015, the number of attacks has reached that of the entire year of 2014. For years, observers have been warning that initiatives against refugee hostels are firmly taking root locally and are increasing their abilities to mobilize. The political establishment and the media have regularly provided legitimization to the anti-refugee campaign, using racist clichés, for example, in the debate around the SPD politician Thilo Sarrazin's publications or with their derogatory insinuations about migrants. Last winter, the campaign against refugees was mobilizing tens of thousands for the "Pegida" street demonstrations. Moreover, in spite of the escalation of anti-refugee violence, the slander continues. more…

ANKARA/BERLIN | | tuerkei

ANKARA/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin has reacted to Turkish air strikes on the "Islamic State" (IS) and the PKK, with both praise and sharp criticism. After several IS attacks on Turkish territory, Ankara halted its support for the IS last week and launched air strikes on the organization in northern Syria. For years, the West, including Berlin, had been benevolently observing how Ankara had been granting assistance to the IS - as an aspect of the war against the Bashar al Assad government in Syria. Ankara is now following the change of course, initiated last year by the West, when it declared war on IS. Berlin's sharp criticism of Turkish air strikes on PKK camps in northern Iraq must be seen in the context of Turkish plans to invade northern Syria, which would lead to a confrontation with Kurdish forces affiliated to the PKK. Germany clearly rejects such an invasion because either it would strengthen Ankara, which recently has been regularly opposing Berlin, or it would turn another EU-bordering country into a theater of armed conflict - between the Turkish armed forces and Kurdish units. more…

BERLIN/LUANDA |

BERLIN/LUANDA (Own report) - Parallel to the escalating crises in Greece and Ukraine and the participation or involvement in various wars in the Arab world, the German government is intensifying its efforts to enhance its political and military influence on the African continent. German companies are seeking lucrative business opportunities in booming Angola at the "Angola/Germany Economic Forum" ending today in the country's capital Luanda. Despite its persistent efforts, so far, German trade relations with Angola have not achieved a real breakthrough, whereas Berlin has already made progress in its military cooperation with Luanda. In late 2014, both countries signed an agreement on a "partnership" in military policy followed by a joint military exercise in March 2015. Angola is considered useful as an ally for implementing Germany's geo-strategic interests in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has been massively upgrading its military apparatus and thereby become a challenge to South Africa's claim to continental hegemony. more…

TEHRAN/BERLIN | | iran

TEHRAN/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is rushing to renew economic ties with Iran and to engage in reshaping the Middle East by dispatching its minister of the economy to Tehran. The nuclear agreement, signed last Tuesday with Tehran, offers German companies the opportunity to normalize their trade with Iran, which was once among the most lucrative in the Middle East, but had sharply declined due to sanctions. Exports in the double-digit billions are expected. Meanwhile experts are calling for realigning power relations in the Persian Gulf under western leadership to establish a balance of power between Saudi Arabia and Iran. This would prevent the hegemony of either and offer the West favorable opportunities to influence developments in the region. Comprehensive German arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the weakening of Iranian positions, particularly in Syria, would form the basis of this desired balance of power. According to experts, the EU could play a leading role in reshaping the region, if resistance in the US Congress, at the last moment, does not block the nuclear deal. more…

BERLIN/ROME/PARIS | | griechenland

BERLIN/ROME/PARIS (Own report) - In several western and southern European countries, the agreement on Greece reached in Brussels signals a looming collapse of the continental post-war order and Germany's revival as an ostentatious dictatorial power. Whereas social-democratic observers do not exclude an attenuation of the contradictions, southern European conservative media are among those who speak of a revival of German hegemonic ambitions, which had largely determined or triggered the First and Second World Wars. The consequences of the French-Italian submission during negotiations in Brussels are generating those fears, because Paris had not succeeded to and Rome had not even seriously attempted to thwart the German dictates of sovereignty over Greece. Both, Italy and France are aware of the dangers of becoming the next victim of German financial dictatorship. They are competing for admission in a northern European core Europe, whose membership will be decided by Berlin, in the case of a possible collapse of the European Union. Current events are directly linked to German foreign policy endeavors in the 1990s and the territorial expansion of Germany's economic basis through the so-called reunification. more…

DAMASCUS/BERLIN | | syrien

DAMASCUS/BERLIN (Own report) - With its foreign policy, Germany is largely contributing to starvation and armed conflicts on several continents, thereby forcing millions to flee - also toward Europe. This becomes evident, when one looks at Berlin's policies regarding various countries in Southeast Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Political interference and even occasional military interventions have, in many cases, subverted nations and forced their populations to seek refuge. German policy toward Syria is a good example. According to official statistics, the Federal Republic of Germany has granted asylum to more than 100,000 Syrian refugees. A brief analysis published in 2012 by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, indicates that the German government, in its choice of political support for the insurgency against Assad's government, had consciously accepted the risk of creating the war conditions that would force these refugees to flee. The German government is condoning, still today, its close allies' assistance to jihadist organizations, such as the "Islamic State" (IS), in spite of the IS having again forced countless numbers to flee. Berlin continues to insist on maintaining the embargo on Syria, even though for years observers have been admonishing that this creates unbearable living conditions for the entire population. Critics are calling for an immediate end to the embargo. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) - At Berlin's insistence, Greece will not receive debt relief and will be forced to submit - contrary to the Greek population's "No" last Sunday - to Germany's austerity dictate, or exit the Eurozone. This is what the Eurogroup decided at its summit yesterday evening. Debt relief, as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls had been still considering yesterday afternoon, is out of the question, announced German Chancellor Angela Merkel following the meeting in Brussels. Athens will also have to present detailed austerity proposals by Thursday. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker explicitly declared, "if the Greek government is not doing what we expect" a "Grexit" will be initiated. According to insiders, cash will be available at Greek banks only for another two days. By withholding ECB emergency funding, Greece can be driven into collapse, at any time. Just prior to the summit, leading economists signed an appeal to Chancellor Merkel, asking her to stop the "never-ending austerity" - to no avail. In the meantime, even Washington has intervened in the debate. A special EU summit, convened for Sunday, will take the final decision on Greece's future. more…

ATHENS/BERLIN/PARIS | | griechenland

ATHENS/BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) - Germany’s imposition of its austerity policy suffered a first serious defeat in yesterday’s Greek referendum. Over 61 percent of the Greek voters rejected an agreement with the creditors that would have provided for a continuation of the German austerity measures. This defeat is all the more serious for Berlin, because German politicians had massively interfered in the Greek referendum debate. The decision whether there will be new negotiations - and if so, under what conditions - must now be taken. Whereas many Greeks celebrated the rejection of the austerity dictate yesterday evening, German politicians declared that it is "difficult to imagine" new negotiations with the government of Prime Minister Tsipras (the German Minister of the Economy, Sigmar Gabriel). Greece is heading toward a Grexit and a "humanitarian catastrophe" (Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament). Paris however is risking conflict with Berlin. Yesterday evening, the governing Parti Socialiste (PS) took a clear stand "against the austerity measures," which has "shriveled Greece's Gross Domestic Product and driven a large number of Greeks into poverty." Today’s meeting between the German chancellor and the French president may produce the first decisions. more…