Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 10, 2018

German Parliament Report: U.S. Presence in Syria Is Illegal

The Scientific Services of the German Bundestag are the equivalent to the Congressional Research Service in the United States. Members of Parliament can ask the services to give their neutral expert opinions on legal questions and other issues. Opinions by the Scientific Services are held in high regard.

Alexander Neu, a Member of Parliament for the Left Party in Germany, requested an opinion on the legality of the military presence and operations by Russia, the United States and Israel in Syria.

The result (pdf, in German) is quite clear-cut:

- Russia was asked by the recognized government of Syria to help. Its presence in Syria is without doubt legal under International Law.

- U.S. activities in Syria can be seen as two phases:

Regime Change

The provision of arms to insurgents in Syria by the U.S. (and others) was and is illegal. It is a breach of the Prohibition on the Use of Force in international law specifically of the UN Charter Article 2(4):

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Fight against ISIS

The U.S. argues that its presence in Syria is in (collective) self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter because the Islamic State in Syria threatens to attack the United States. That, in itself, would be insufficient as Syria is a sovereign state. The U.S. therefore additionally claims that the Syrian state is "unwilling or unable" to fight against the Islamic State.

The Scientific Services says that the claim of "unwilling or unable" was already dubious when the U.S. operation started. This for two reasons:

  • It is not law or an internationally accepted legal doctrine. (The 120 members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and others have argued strongly against it.)
  • The Syrian government itself was fighting ISIS, but it could not operation in large parts of its territory where the Islamic State had taken control. Some argue that this justified the "unable" argument. But ISIS is largely defeated and it no longer has any significant territorial control.

The already dubious legal case for the presence of U.S. (and other 'coalition' troops in Syria) can thus no longer be made. The U.S. presence in Syria is illegal.

- Israel's attacks on Hizbullah and Iranian units and installations in Syria, as well as against Syria itself, are claimed by Israel to be 'anticipatory self-defense' under UN Charter Article 51. But 'anticipatory self-defense' could only be claimed when attacks against Israel were imminent. That case has not been made. The Israeli attacks are thus 'pre-emptive self defense' which is not an accepted doctrine of International Law.

The service was not asked for an opinion on Turkey's incursion into Syria but it notes that claims of 'self defense', as Turkey makes in its fight against Kurdish entities in Syria, are often abuses for Geo-strategic purposes.

So far the Scientific Services opinion.  

The given legal arguments are not new. Other have long reasoned along the same lines and came to the same results.

But Germany is a partner of the U.S. coalition of the willing against ISIS. Its military has flown reconnaissance missions from Turkey and Jordan in support of the U.S. operation under the same legal argument the U.S. made. The German parliament is now unlikely to renew the mandate for the anti-ISIS operation. Other countries will likely follow and end their participation in the U.S. coalition.

While this is will not change the situation on the ground in Syria it does change the international political atmosphere. It also 'rehabilitates' the Syrian government in the European public eye as it can no longer be depicted as an 'enemy.' 

Posted by b on July 10, 2018 at 02:48 PM | Permalink

Comments

This strong statement by German entities against US policies in Syria and elsewhere
illustrates the fact that the US should take note of its shrinking number of allies.

Posted by: CarlD | Jul 10, 2018 3:02:06 PM | 1

Everything the United States has done militarily since 9/11 is probably illegal since nothing but lies and propaganda have justified all of it. We have no control of our government in this country...none whatsoever.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Jul 10, 2018 3:02:40 PM | 2

Since The Exceptional Nation does not consider itself bound by international law or UN resolutions and believes that'might is right', such findings or any kind of international criticism is of absolutely no concern to it.

Posted by: chet380 | Jul 10, 2018 3:12:53 PM | 3

Posted by: CarlD | Jul 10, 2018 3:02:06 PM | 1

This is evident. I am still amazed about the clarity of this document.

There is another small item that makes me think there has been a major policy change in Germany.

Germany not taking part in Nato mission in Iraq - in German but has a bilateral agreement on military training with Iraq.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10, 2018 3:37:36 PM | 4

thanks b... i wish canada would wake up and smell the coffee too... i heard this morning trudeau saying troops would remain in latvia until 2023... what the fuck.. i also heard something about tusk mentioning to trump that the usa has few allies... as chet380 notes above - the exceptional nation doesn't care about any of that either.. the european union and nato are just a tool of the usa to keep it from forming any alliance with big bad russia... that is not exactly how it is presented in hollywood..

Posted by: james | Jul 10, 2018 3:49:40 PM | 5

I think it is refreshing that there is "official" voices of sanity. I hope that the German Government makes a precedent, and withdraws support for the air campaign. That the delusional Unite Crime Syndicate of the Disunited Evil Empire and its brown nosed poodles, do not respect international law, is no news. This Gang of Gangsters respects only force and its own goals, they deserve a prolonged downward spiral, preferably with major part of their corrupt societies destroyed by internal strife.
"As you do to others...."

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 10, 2018 4:20:46 PM | 6

illegal this, illegal that. OK fine, but does anyone really believe this current regime gives a tinkers damn about illegality?

So who's gonna' enforce any law this regime chooses to break, whether at home or abroad?

No one, that's who. Everyone would rather count their money than enforce justice. That's the world we now live in.

The empire of $ is above all laws. Sad...

Posted by: ben | Jul 10, 2018 4:30:58 PM | 7

While this is will not change the situation on the ground in Syria it does change the international political atmosphere. It also 'rehabilitates' the Syrian government in the European public eye as it can no longer be depicted as an 'enemy.'

Wow, European press must be really different than state side. I can't even imagine the NeoCon Times or the WarCriminal Post doing anything like that.

Posted by: UserFriendly | Jul 10, 2018 4:56:08 PM | 8

Don't for get Ben there's more of us than them ! It's in our mind. We're only oppressed if we think we are. In reality there backed up in a corner ! If you add up the country's that are now wise to there games plus the ones wiseing up weekly. The same with the global public. There as powerful as a one legged man in a kicking contest
But of course we won't read that in the paper or see it on tv. Trust me there scared, I'm glad

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 10, 2018 5:12:47 PM | 9

Who are these Germans you talk about? Amerika is its own island and all countries should just stfu and do as we say.

Amerikas policy not mine

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 10, 2018 5:16:20 PM | 10

Congrats to The Scientific Services of the German Bundestag for this report. We need more of this sort of thing.

Posted by: Ash | Jul 10, 2018 5:18:36 PM | 11

Its one of the few parts of our German System, that even top level politics on national level can be compensated at times by competent and brave justices, researchers and others. If that element would also vanish from our post democracy, i guess even the last bit of faith in it would be lost. A the last stronghold of democracy and a potential tipping point to chaos.

I share B's positive assessment of the likely change of the political climate against further illegal missions abroad. But i can only despise the Merkels and all major politicians from right to far left (Looking at the Greens specifically) who didn't give a shit when this research service declared their and the West's narrative of the "russian blocking the investigation of the Skripal case" wrong, and Russias perspective to be true and actions correct:
https://www.bundestag.de/blob/558946/b89eccb15fd1a5b926fa8ca5f2267771/wd-2-040-18-pdf-data.pdf

Only the publicity can force the US-zombie minded neocon/neoliberal brainwashed german political elite.. Without that, sadly such reports alone are not worth much in terms of influencing the elites. They got no moral to be influenced by law. Especially not international law.

But even without a loud public, they can be a great tool when arguing with ppl who are generally skeptic towards any viewpoint that doesn't resemble government propaganda. Even the most authority-believing Germans can be convinced with such solid and well respected sources such as the Scientific Services.

It worth to watch the work of the Scientific Services. They regularly put out such valuable reports. But we the people need to use them!

Posted by: SteLe/TheDarkCornerInUrBrain | Jul 10, 2018 5:20:57 PM | 12

Its one of the few parts of our German System, that even top level politics on national level can be compensated at times by competent and brave justices, researchers and others. If that element would also vanish from our post democracy, i guess even the last bit of faith in it would be lost. A the last stronghold of democracy and a potential tipping point to chaos.

I share B's positive assessment of the likely change of the political climate against further illegal missions abroad. But i can only despise the Merkels and all major politicians from right to far left (Looking at the Greens specifically) who didn't give a shit when this research service declared their and the West's narrative of the "russian blocking the investigation of the Skripal case" wrong, and Russias perspective to be true and actions correct:
https://www.bundestag.de/blob/558946/b89eccb15fd1a5b926fa8ca5f2267771/wd-2-040-18-pdf-data.pdf

Only the publicity can force the US-zombie minded neocon/neoliberal brainwashed german political elite.. Without that, sadly such reports alone are not worth much in terms of influencing the elites. They got no moral to be influenced by law. Especially not international law.

But even without a loud public, they can be a great tool when arguing with ppl who are generally skeptic towards any viewpoint that doesn't resemble government propaganda. Even the most authority-believing Germans can be convinced with such solid and well respected sources such as the Scientific Services.

It worth to watch the work of the Scientific Services. They regularly put out such valuable reports. But we the people need to use them!

Posted by: SteLe | Jul 10, 2018 5:21:14 PM | 13

Definitively a policy shift. Steinmeier seems to have grown a spine.

Steinmeier riet dazu, das Ziel, die Verteidigungsausgaben der Nato-Staaten auf zwei Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts anzuheben, dabei nicht allzu wichtig zu nehmen. Der Wert solle „nicht unser sicherheitspolitisches Denken dominieren“. Mit Militärausgaben in dieser Höhe sei zudem lange nicht entschieden, ob sie der Sicherheit dienten oder nicht, sagte Steinmeier und erinnerte an die Kriege im Irak und in Libyen. –

Unter Verweis auf die westlichen Angriffe dort mahnte der Bundespräsident eine stärkere Beachtung des Völkerrechts an - auch durch den Westen. "Wir müssen sehr achtgeben, dass wir nicht durch politische Interessensentscheidungen einer Erosion des über Jahrhunderte gewachsenen und errungenen Völkerrechts Vorschub leisten“, antwortete Steinmeier auf die Frage, ob die Russen mit ihrer Kritik an doppelten Standards des Westens etwa bei Angriffen in Syrien und Libyen so falsch lägen.

Brief translation: Military spending does not mean that security is served, as the wars in Iraq and Libya prove. The president calls for the respect of international law by the West.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10, 2018 6:24:13 PM | 14

Yandex translation:

"Steinmeier advised that the goal of raising defence spending by Nato countries to two percent of GDP should not be taken too seriously. The value should not dominate "our security policy Thinking." Steinmeier said that military spending at this level was far from a decision on whether or not they served security and recalled the wars in Iraq and Libya. –
With reference to the Western attacks there, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany called for greater observance of international law - also by the West. “ We must take great care not to push through political interest Decisions to Erosion of international law, which has grown and been achieved for centuries, " Steinmeier answered to the question whether the Russians were so wrong with their criticism of double standards of the West, for example in the case of attacks in Syria and Libya."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 10, 2018 6:36:32 PM | 15

All the signals sent to the UAVs in the Middle East are routed through German bases with huge facilities for US and BND operators to work side by side killing in the Middle East or spying on the Chancellor's phone. Illegal wars - normal operating procedure.

I'd like to see Trump close that base but fat chance, Germany is still largely under US occupation.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Jul 10, 2018 6:47:17 PM | 16

They will just have to change the laws so that everything the US and Israel do is legal.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 10, 2018 7:25:06 PM | 17

Oh the magic of numbers...

2% of GDP sounds so ... minimal. Yet US GDP is close to 17 trillion which makes 2% some 340 billion - which for them would be close to 30% of their budget. But how would it sound to Europeans if media reported a Trump demand of 30% of their budgets for defense?

Better yet, the bulk of this spending of course is on arms - so 2% of GDP really means 15-20% of their budget goes direct to US arms manufacturers. Think of how that would sound - live up to your commitment to pay US arms manufacturers 20% of your budget!

In the old days there were caravans of tribute brought to the emperors... At least then it was plain and visible to the population as to the cost of placating the emperor.

Posted by: les7 | Jul 10, 2018 7:42:01 PM | 18

It looks like Germany have woken up to the new era. It remains to be seen but I think they will now start formulation their own foreign policy rather than simply following US foreign policy.
It will likely take a few years before they are only acting on their own foreign policy, but this looks to be the start.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 10, 2018 8:02:48 PM | 19

International law has become quite a fashion in Germany recently

Ostausschuss und Osteuropaverein, die Vertretung der deutschen Unternehmen in Osteuropa, haben die Sanktionspolitik der Vereinigten Staaten scharf kritisiert. „Die angekündigte Anwendung von amerikanischem Sanktionsrecht auf europäische Unternehmen widerspricht den Regeln der Welthandelsorganisation und des Völkerrechts“, sagte der Vorsitzende der Geschäftsführung, Michael Harms. „Es kann nicht sein, dass von Abgeordneten in Washington darüber entschieden wird, welche Geschäftspartner deutsche Unternehmen haben dürfen und welche nicht.“

Brief translation: US sanctions contradict international law. Members of congress in Washington cannot decide which trade partners German companies may or may not have.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10, 2018 8:10:25 PM | 20

@14 karlof1.. thanks for that quote and nice to see you back!

Posted by: james | Jul 10, 2018 8:39:26 PM | 21

An interesting shot across the US's bows - which they will ignore, of course. Taken together with Tusk's strong statement that the US has few real allies, one can believe that discussions have taken place in Europe, and that they are pissed off with US arrogance, and relations will cool. Times are changing fast viz-a-viz the US. Now that US actions have been de facto ruled illegal by Germany, where next for German law makers?

Posted by: cdvision | Jul 10, 2018 8:40:25 PM | 22

Les7m@17

Its more preposterous than that. NATO was originally established as a defensive force against the FSU. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union its only purpose now is for execution the Anglo-Us-Israeli imperialistic geopolitical agenda with wars of aggression. This is why Russia with its 60 billion military budget must be built up into a credible enemy.

EU should just withdraw from NATO and charge rent on US bases within the EU. Of course, this would mean a series of color revolutions instigated by the CIA controlled NGO's or worse so they would not dare.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 10, 2018 8:41:14 PM | 23

Is Germany denouncing the shredding of the “nuclear deal” and the new sanctions against Iran, and defending the right of its business people to trade peacefully with their Iranian counterparts? Are Merkel und Freunde telling tiny-hands Trump to take a long walk off a short pier and working with the wider EU to develop a foreign and military policy that is independent of the increasingly belligerent and nutty U.S. regime as its sovereignty infringing ways?

If the answer is “Nein” or “Warte mal, nicht so schnell!” than this announcement will change nothing. The United States (and its dependency Israel) break international law as a matter of course and simply shrug off any complaints and admonishments from other countries. Pointing out publicly what everybody who is paying attention already knows is not exactly a game changing strategy.

Posted by: Porridge & Lager | Jul 10, 2018 8:49:37 PM | 24

It will be interest to watch Germans view toward the EU as an institution in the coming months. If the EU can be preserved as we move into the great power era, it will emerge as the fourth great power. As such it would most likely not be aligned with the US, perhaps being closer to Russia China. Perhaps this is the reason Trump has been giving verbal support to nationalist political parties in the EU. If the EU disintegrates, it will be one less great power that the US has to compete with.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 10, 2018 9:10:38 PM | 25

You will not hear anything about this in US media or from the BBC

Posted by: GM | Jul 10, 2018 9:23:50 PM | 26

So much for Americas disingenuos Atlantic Charter .
Yes its still valid but abandoned by the "exceptionable Country.

Posted by: Jack | Jul 10, 2018 9:36:46 PM | 27

ot - at least the usa has saudi arabia as it's friend, lol... i see today on the us dept. of state website a background briefing with a senior state official gives us an overview on the level of hate and paranoia that the usa is ramping up with regard to iran.. read it yourself if interested in seeing how far out of reality the us state dept has gone.. i am sure it will please nikki haley and israel though - for what that is worth..

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/07/283983.htm

Posted by: james | Jul 10, 2018 9:37:56 PM | 28

Peter Au @24 says: "If the EU can be preserved as we move into the great power era, it will emerge as the fourth great power."

The EU cannot be preserved and cannot emerge as a great power because the EU is fatally flawed. The fatal flaw is the Euro. As a result of the single currency individual EU countries have been stripped of their sovereignty, i.e. their ability to govern themselves. This is why many of the EU countries are in crisis. The EU either must become a unified country (which will never happen in the current climate), or it must break apart, and return to the individual EU countries the ability to govern themselves.

I believe that the reason that Trump gives verbal support to the nationalists in Europe is that he sees that Europe is being run as a dictatorship, from Brussels, by the same group of international financial elites that have been running the U.S. into the ground for the past 30 years.

Removing these elites (and their deep state) from power is Trump's number one priority, an objective he shares with the nationalists/populists in Europe.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jul 10, 2018 10:06:15 PM | 29

So much of what the US and Israel has done this century is illegal. Syria is just another example.
Perhaps the puppet Trumps given goal is to isolate the United States (and siblings UK and Israel) , while unifying the rest of the world. Basically using the US to terrorize the rest of the world and giving them a common enemy

Trump , Russia, and Israel all want Iran out of Syria and back to Iraq to the east of the Euphrates River. Israel will get the land west of the Euphrates as “Greater Israel”. Iran will happily integrate into the One Belt One Road Initiative. Modern Iran, China and Russia are in a sense creations of the Global Ruling Elite so may be playing a role.

Russia , China and Iran is a fake enemy IMO working with US and Israel to keep American and European electorates financing the building of the NWO via the Military-Industrial-Intelligence-Security Complex until the NWO is a done deal. Maybe thats a crazy idea but its entertaining and somewhat comforting to believe there is a method to the madness

Be interesting to see how it plays out. Its a long game so it may be awhile.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 10, 2018 10:08:23 PM | 30

james, I am starting to think the US working towards an all out attack on Iran. The current US admin's thinking seems to be far from reality in that are due to their fanatical zionism. In what I have been looking at the last few days from Kissinger to others around Trump I see a fanaticism that is not much different to jihadi suicide bombers.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 10, 2018 10:13:23 PM | 31

Pft @ 16 said: "They will just have to change the laws so that everything the US and Israel do is legal."

No law changes necessary. Haven't we all noticed that the empire and their minions just ignore them? Or am I missing the enforcement process?

My original inquiry remains..Who enforces the illegalities at home (U$A) and abroad. Apparently no one.

Posted by: ben | Jul 10, 2018 10:19:08 PM | 32

Pft 29:"Be interesting to see how it plays out. Its a long game so it may be awhile."

Your main theory may be correct..

Posted by: ben | Jul 10, 2018 10:23:42 PM | 33

dh-mtl 28
That's an interesting take. Would you consider Brussels as a center of power or base that a group of financial elites operate from?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 10, 2018 10:25:23 PM | 34

Calling the Law?
Hummm...Better late than never, I suppose.

US-Nato wars, meddling in other countries politics, threatening and/or blackmailing,
regime change, color coups: all that was OK for the European Union ...

until the Orange Man prohibited business with Iran and erected Taxes barriers.

Posted by: Charles Michael | Jul 10, 2018 10:30:45 PM | 35

Peter Au @33

I think that the real base of the financial elites is probably the City of London.

However, they have a large number of EU politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels that are loyal to them. So in that sense, yes Brussels is a center of power.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Jul 10, 2018 10:56:00 PM | 36

Canadian lawyer Chris Black is very good on NATO and Trump's current sales campaign for the merchants of death (as they were once known in the USA):

https://journal-neo.org/2018/07/10/the-american-shakedown/

Posted by: bevin | Jul 10, 2018 11:00:20 PM | 37

@30 peter.. yeah - all in for zionism and the neo cons in the usa aren't much different then the jihadis in there basic fanaticism which they also share with the zionists... if they don't rain hell on the rest of us and the planet, nothing will.. they are all fucked in the head..

@ 35 dh-mtl... a lot of this is indeed about money and the city of london has always been tied at the hip to wall st... that is the close bond between usa- uk - finances and how to screw over the rest of the planet, where ever it can be..

@36 bevin.. good article... yes - pay to be in nato so that the military and financial complex can continue to do the good job they do - robbing canada and every other poodle in the usa's harem can get fucked over perpetuating the us$ supremcy... it is funny trump talking down to nato members like that, but everyone is supposed to go along with it as they incapable of going along on their own without this exceptional leadership provided by the usa, lol..

Posted by: james | Jul 10, 2018 11:19:40 PM | 38

German hypocrisy is astronomical. Righteous indignation is a bitch. Remember Obama spying scandal on Merkel, or fact that Novitchok or whatever was proven to have no link to Russia, or fact the Russia did not interfere in German elections and what? Baseless accusation, sanctions expelled diplomats and other belligerent posturing , all the same phony circus.

Another useless truth for fascist regimes.

Posted by: Kalen | Jul 10, 2018 11:59:32 PM | 39

Nice article, b, thank you.

I have the impression over the last few years that Germany, the most enslaved by the US of the European nations, has also brought to the surface the most revelation (for example concerning CIA control of media) and the most objection to the US in the legal realm. I don't wish to sound condescending when I say that I assumed that Germany had the heaviest chains to cast off, and therefore struggled the hardest in all the available areas to do this.

What was available was the law itself, the rules themselves. Only the theory really was left for Germany to protest in, but this doesn't mean it was without value or achievement.

The law itself - The Law - has been disregarded by the US in countless ways, but it remains in place. Players throughout the world circumvent the rules, and observers say that the rules therefore must mean nothing, and yet the rules remain in place.

Personally, I have a great respect for The Law. It takes its beatings, but when it hits back the result stops the game. No one quite manages to get rid of the law. It endures beyond the short life of tyranny. And it grows in measure over the ages.

The law of the world is still in place, I think, for the most part, and has been sidestepped, sidelined, sideswiped and sided against for some decades, but perhaps as the tide turns and power realities change the law will take our side again for a time?

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 11, 2018 12:29:09 AM | 40

@7 Ben: "So who's gonna' enforce any law this regime chooses to break, whether at home or abroad?"

That statement misses the point. It is exceptionally rare for any international law to be "enforced" when it is violated. Very rare indeed.

When international law is violated the reaction can range from "I'm just going to look the other way" or "I'm going to say harsh words about you, don't take it personally" through to "I am going to shun you because your behaviour sickens me" to "I've convinced all my allies to apply sanctions on you until you comply" and only very, very rarely does it go all the way to BANG! You're Dead.

There is no way that the Germans can threaten the USA to leave Syrian soil, no. Sanctions and/or BANG! You're Dead are not options.

But the Germans can say that until the USA leaves Syria then cooperation between Berlin and Washington is on-hold.
Or the Germans can even say that they find this behaviour unacceptable and, therefore, it is pulling the plug on NATO.
Or something else - take your pick - that forces the Americans to mull if "being in Syria" is worth the damage that this causes to its relations with Germany.

If they decide that, Hell Yeah, It Is!, then the sensible policy for the USA is to keep those troops in Syria.
If they decide that, Heck, No Way!, then the sensible policy is to bring those boys home to a ticker-tape parade.

To me it is a no-brainer that this Syrian misadventure is not worth the damage that it causes to the USA's international standing.

But, hey, that's me. The Orange One may think differently. Maybe he WANTS to pick a fight with Germany.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 11, 2018 1:39:35 AM | 41

For the last two and a half decade it has been a US objective to rail in, dismantle or wreck the EU.
What the US from start thought of as a good idea to counter USSR influence and to keep check the Germans, became unpleasant through the 80ties, as individual European states had become economically stronger in the EU, and did not always follow the US script.
The German reunification was horror come true to them, although it was pleasant when, the USSR crumbled. The were relieved , when they had full support for the 1991 war against Iraq. But dissent grew steadily, the EU became stronger and stronger, suddenly imposing regulations, that severely restricted low quality US produce, bad!

From 2000 it was downhill with relations, they grew steadily more tense, as the EU strictly tried to follow an agenda that would benefit its members. Something had to be done.
I believe the 2008 crisis was engineered to bring down the Euro, because the EU was now areal and present danger to US full spectrum domination. They almost succeeded, but inflicted heavy economic damage on European countries, where the economical weakest almost went into bankruptcy. Remember the EURO was a "young" currency, it did not have endless stamina.
But at least EU saw there true intentions of the hegemon, and started, albeit slowly, to react to to this fact. Decisions and agreements in the EU became increasingly in opposition to US policies.

the Ukraine rebellion, removed every doubt of US intentions; a new major conflict on the European soil, a destruction yet again of Europe, to serve US geopolitical needs, it was not only an reemerging Russia that was perceived as a threat, but also EU, with its aspirations of greater trade eastward.
Any detente in EU towards the Russia - China coop is seen as an existential threat to the US.

I personally, do not in any way doubt, that the US ultimately will use force to stop this, it has troops on European soil, weapons, including nuclear and it does not matter to them if a few European cities disappear, or if a few countries are torn apart by internal strife, political or civil war.

We have to get the US out in one way or the other either break the hegemony back economically, or slowly disengage with it, as it will us no good anymore.

Seen in a historical perspective, the US intentions 50 years ago compared to now, have evolved from something semi- noble to something evil. The original intention of getting Europe on foot again, has been hijacked by a corrupt and greedy cooperations and the MIC, and evolved to a pure egoistic imperial narrative, hell bent on exploiting the world as its own property. This is what we are facing. As is the rest of the world. Russian and China knows this all too well. We in the EU have been the Sleeping Beaty ( Our political class have to some extent) and now must make some very difficult decisions, which may well affect the next century.

As a side comment: The notion that Russia would want a dissolved EU are ridiculous an without merit, it is neither in Russia’s or China’s interest as it would be an enormous hindrance to OBOR; Eu is the anchor at the other end, it is imperial that the EU exists as an entity.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 11, 2018 2:40:44 AM | 42

#41
We have to get the US out in one way or the other either break the hegemony back economically, or slowly disengage with it, as it will us no good anymore.

Agreed. You may not have to lift a finger; the U.S. is doing a pretty good job of self destruction all by itself. Trump, and his hand picked crew, are alienating a good number of countries and he doesn't appear to be slacking off...

Posted by: V | Jul 11, 2018 3:14:55 AM | 43

@41
https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/america-shows-many-signs-impending-catastrophic-collapse-pulitzer-prize-winner-explains

Chris Hedges is pretty good at stating today's reality.

Posted by: V | Jul 11, 2018 3:40:00 AM | 44

@ 43 V

It is difficult to really judge what Trump wants, I think. He is unpredictable. But bringing the US into a more isolationist stance, is probably clever especially if an economic collapse is impending. The whole world will suffer if (when) that happens, but the US most with its massive debt. So, from that point of view, it is sound.

As a socialist I have always regarded the Liberal as "Class Enemy nr. 1" as their objectives are completely non aligned with socialist thinking. Conservatism has some things in common with socialists, albeit American Conservatism is nothing like European.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 11, 2018 4:11:30 AM | 45

Den Lille Abe #42
I assume Chinese leaders know well how China prospered when Da Qin, aka the Roman Empire, was at its peak at the other end of the Silk Road, and how it was good for trade. Therefore, indeed, China knows it can benefit from a blooming, stable and prosperous EU that agrees to a multi-polar world.

On the other hand, I'd disagree with the notion that the US had semi-noble intentions 50 years ago. It's time to drop the rosey lenses and to see WWII for what it was, a 3-ways war between USSR, Axis and the uber-capitalist Anglo-Saxons to rule the world - not, never, to help or save part of it, just to rule it, with Europe as the 1st prize.

And of course liberals are the Enemy. Liberal is, first of all, an economic notion, and economic liberals are the first and main enemy of any leftist, socialist or communist. Nazis might have been considered to be an enemy of equal importance in the 30s/40s, but after 1945 up to now, they are a lesser Evil considering their highly limited weight, influence and power. I'd say even fascism - however wide you cast the net - is a lesser enemy nowadays, and actually always was a lesser enemy than liberals/capitalists ever were - something the special snowflake anti-fas fail to realize, because they have no historical, political, economic or theoretical knowledge and, like the lumpen serving the fascists, Nazis or Stalinists of old, they only rely on primal instincts and not on reason.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 11, 2018 4:39:17 AM | 46

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 11, 2018 1:39:35 AM | 41

The Orange one seems to have conceded Syria to Russia. What the EU can do is lift sanctions off Syria - applying the logic of Bundestag's paper they are against international law, too.

But hey, they have just extended sanctions on Syria for one year.

More broadly, sanctions currently in place against Syria include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments, a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU, export restrictions on equipment and technology that might be used for internal repression as well as on equipment and technology for the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2018 4:39:30 AM | 47

It is getting funny.

The orange one sounds personally offended. Germany is owned by Russia.

Someone should tell him that "Russia" used to be one of the allies occupying Germany and there are actually treaties with regard to Germany.

Yes, I am going to quote wikipedia :-)) which is presumably subverted by Russia

The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany was signed in Moscow, Soviet Union, on 12 September 1990,[1]:363 and paved the way for German reunification on 3 October 1990.[3] Under the terms of the treaty, the Four Powers renounced all rights they formerly held in Germany, including those regarding the city of Berlin.[1] Upon deposit of the last instrument of ratification, united Germany became fully sovereign on 15 March 1991.

The treaty allows Germany to make and belong to alliances, without any foreign influence in its politics. All Soviet forces were to leave Germany by the end of 1994. Before the Soviets withdrew, Germany would only deploy territorial defense units not integrated into the alliance structures. German forces in the rest of Germany were assigned to areas where Soviet troops were stationed. After the Soviets withdrew, the Germans could freely deploy troops in those areas, with the exception of nuclear weapons. For the duration of the Soviet presence, Allied troops would remain stationed in Berlin upon Germany's request.[1]

Germany undertook to reduce its armed forces to no more than 370,000 personnel, no more than 345,000 of whom were to be in the Army and the Air Force. These limits would commence at the time that the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe would enter into force, and the treaty also took note that it was expected that the other participants in the negotiations would "render their contribution to enhancing security and stability in Europe, including measures to limit personnel strengths".[4] Germany also reaffirmed its renunciation of the manufacture, possession of, and control over nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and in particular, that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty would continue to apply in full to the unified Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany). No foreign armed forces, nuclear weapons, or the carriers for nuclear weapons would be stationed or deployed in six states (the area of Berlin and the former East Germany), making them a permanent Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The German Army could deploy conventional weapons systems with nonconventional capabilities, provided that they were equipped and designed for a purely conventional role. Germany also agreed to use military force only in accordance with the United Nations Charter.[1]
...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2018 4:52:19 AM | 48

@ Clueless Joe

I did in fact write : Semi- noble. I did not other than imply that the US would benefit from this too, but the primary objective of the Marshall Plan was to hinder Soviet influence in Europa. It was a benefit initially to Europe, later not so much.
But even considering that, the US malign doing has come more and more into the open, its true objectives only hidden to the most dimwitted and now it does not even bother to hide anything.
I hardly think I ever had any rose tinted glasses on.
The most hideous of the US Gangsters is the she thing Nikki Haley, a Pol Pot/Julius Streicher incarnation.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 11, 2018 5:09:24 AM | 49

I'm a bit surprised. I remeber that the scientific service put out an assessment of the skripal/novichok thing that was contradicting official german policy and I was wondering whether that was an actual out-of-line statement to be followed by massive sackings. Now they've published another one...
My guess would be that these reports are some kind of signal to "the allies" that the german govt is gathering some material that can be used in the future if necessary. The reports may either be ignored (as they have been in the novichok case) and everything goes on smoothly, or the media can dig them up and put them on the political agenda for bargaining with the "allies".
So I don't think that anyone here has "grown a spine" or openly contradicts the merkel regime for the benefit of truth/reason. More like: maybe we can use this one day if we don't want to pay up to the 2% GDP. I expect this report to be buried for now.

Posted by: radiator | Jul 11, 2018 5:14:31 AM | 50

Den Lille Abe | Jul 11, 2018 5:09:24 AM | 49

I don't align with any politic or theory of governance.
I generally agree with socialist policies regarding socialized benefits for citizens; healthcare (single payer) for all (dental, pregnancy, childcare), unemployment benefits, social security for retirees, etc..re: #45
Your comment @49 is spot on.

Posted by: V | Jul 11, 2018 5:33:36 AM | 51

Posted by: radiator | Jul 11, 2018 5:14:31 AM | 50

I think the main issue is Nord Stream II. Plus trade with Iran. Germany's only chance to defend its business interests (that is when they do indeed grow a spine) is international law.

We will begin to hear more about it.

The scientific service is simply scientific.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2018 5:35:27 AM | 52

USA=ISIS
Israel=Saudi Arabia
Jews=Muslim terrorists
Merkel=Putin=Netanyahu=Trump=May
European Union=Rothschilds
You=piece of shit

For making the above happen.

Posted by: Art Best | Jul 11, 2018 5:38:12 AM | 53

Germany is a captive of Russia – Trump
https://www.rt.com/news/432627-germany-captive-russia-trump/

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 11, 2018 5:44:24 AM | 54

Until this informal assessment is acknowledged and ratified by the German Parliament, and used as the basis for a Policy Shift then it will remain an intellectual exercise. However, in the interim it's fun to speculate on the possible motivation(s) behind it. Imo the Elephant In The Room is "Israel" and Zio-AmeriKKKa's bullying and coercion of Germany to toe various pro-Israel lines.

A proposal to undertake a study of this nature in most Zionist-Occupied 'Western' countries such UK, France, Australia, Canada et al would be flung out unceremoniously and the proposer would be publicly vilified and ostracised. So it's interesting that Germany, subjected to as many accusations of anti-semitism as the rest of the world combined, appears to have fewer influential politicians in Zio-AmeriKKKan pockets than any other Western Democracy.

This is potentially Very Bad News for Bibi Netanyahu. When he hears about it he'll be tempted to switch from gloating himself to sleep to crying himself to sleep.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 11, 2018 7:21:34 AM | 55

Trump is throwing anything on the table he considers chips for the US.

Tariffs on German cars, Nordstream II, protection of NATO countries, to achieve .... what?

Russian hardliners suggest they could agree to cancelling Nordstream II if they get all of Ukraine :-))

Rumours are that UAE, Israel, Saudi want a Trump deal with Russia to get "Iran out of Syria" whatever that might mean. Russia is putting - again - S300 on the table.

Iran and Syria would have to agree to any deal. Who is talking to them? Macron?

Trump has opened up a mess of a bazaar. What is international law and what is not is also part of the bazaar.

What a joke.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 11, 2018 7:21:34 AM | 55

There has been a right wing push funded by an international of oligarchs to destabilize Europe and the US - from BREXIT through TRUMP through right wing European populist movements.

The only thing I can think of to motivate them is their hatred of regulation and taxation. Or international law.

Some of them have pet projects. Israel is one of them.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2018 8:33:22 AM | 56

So what is it about then: Well it is about that especially Germany will not allow the US to destroy its industrial base, it will not allow it to dismantle the EU, which has also served German interests, but has mainly served as a "de-tensionfier" in Europe, and brought forward a Franco- German cooperation that Europe was in need of after 3 centuries of wars and turmoil.
Even I as a die hard socialist recognize that Nation States today are increasingly vulnerable to Mega corporations (Does anybody believe Denmark could have made Apple comply to its rules?), the answer is to cooperate in a sort of union-confederacy or as we do now in the EU, with parliment and blah,blah,blah. The alternative is horrible, to become prey to American Neo- Lib plundering!!!
The first I would personally like to see hang is Tony Blair, who ruined the Socialdemocratic movement, with his devious Blairism (Damn him eternally) and his liberalisation of the social democratic Idea, he is a class traitor and should be silenced permanently (Novichok ?)
Most European people here hollering loud, apparently have not got a clue to who protects their few rights! They holler about Banksters , who were bailed out! So what, you imbecile morons, do do want to go begging in the streets? If our industries disappear, they will not come back! You EU haters, F. O. ! Immigrate to Engeland, you can then reside with like minded dimwits, and enjoy zero-hours and picking turnips. And I bet most of the Morons are working class, I wonder how many has actually tried working? Physical hard labour! I have and it was no fun at the end of the week, when you realized how little you had left.
I am a Socialist, will ever be, but have given up prozelyting, 'cause nobody cares and nobody is social anyway, giving away 2 hours a week to training sessions in the footbal club? Very, very few do it. Engaging in grassroots political work? HA ! I can still get angered, when I read elaborate, eloquent comments here, that indicate that this person has never seen a shovel or spanner and is not inclined to do so.
Rant over.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 11, 2018 8:42:46 AM | 57

@47 "What the EU can do is lift sanctions off Syria - applying the logic of Bundestag's paper they are against international law, too."

No, that isn't logical at all.

Syria is engaged in a civil war. It is perfectly legal for the German government to decide that German businesses are not to sell anything to Assad that would assist him in that war.

After all, the Germans are quite within their rights to sell stuff to anyone they want to sell to, just as they are equally within their rights to say "no" to anyone who wants to buy from them.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 11, 2018 9:02:26 AM | 58

Posted on wrong thread. Apologies

The German government hell bent on doing their best impression of Captain Louis Renault in Casablanca:

Renault: Everybody is to leave here immediately! This cafe is closed until further notice. Clear the room, at once!

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

Renault: I am shocked- shocked- to find that gambling is going on in here!

Croupier: [hands Renault money] Your winnings, sir.

Renault: Oh, thank you very much. Everybody out at once!"

KSA Destibilising Arab World BND Warns

Germany Closes Probe Into Balkan Arms Transfers To Syria

Posted by: guidoamm | Jul 11, 2018 9:09:07 AM | 59

#57
Oh boy, can I relate to your wonderful rant.
Dug ditches, machined pump cases, moved freight in wharehouses.
Commercial fished in the North Pacific.
Hard jobs but good life lessons about the reality of work without politics.
Most just have no clue; nothing to be done about that; let it be.
Let the galoots do their worst; we'll survive almost anything.
I do grieve for some, but, not many.
Most dig their own graves with ignorance; about most everything...

Posted by: V | Jul 11, 2018 9:09:57 AM | 60

@ V 60
Thanks V, but it is the truth. Have done the same as you, extended National service, quitting with disgust, political engaged, becoming a journeyman, teacher, doing European peace corps, some rather idiotic experience with armed people in Africa, more manual labor, doing bachelor and masters working at the same time, and now well of with my civil servant job, pensions and what not. And for what? Oh I am very well of personally, but the idea, the arousing about bringing equality came to a slow halt as I realised nobody were interested, neither in starving people, the horror of armed confict, the obligation to fight against oppression, or even to fight for the right to 8/8/8 ,which is a 100 years old.
I hope you have dry land underfoot and get by, rope the sails, a storm IS coming, and dependant on where you live stock up for it. The US might se some "interesting times" us here on the European continent, probably not so much, but probably highly devalued pensions and house prices.
Oh well, I hope the Same people will allow a newcomer...

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 11, 2018 9:42:56 AM | 61

# 61
Thanks. I'll be fine; not in the U.S., but self exiled to SE Asia.
I could see the storm clouds forming and bailed.
Actually, the 2003 attack on Iraq did it for me.
Cheers to you.

Posted by: V | Jul 11, 2018 9:56:11 AM | 62

Den Lille Abe @ 61

I normally don't post here, but I gotta say that I've been seeing more and more people get fed up with the politicians in power. It's not all "doom and gloom" as you seem to be putting it. I wouldn't be surprised if we were at the beginning of the end of the "Han dynasty," metaphorically speaking. All that's left now is some sort of "Yellow Turban rebellion" to begin the long fall. Some sort of revolution.

*Shrugs*

We'll see.

Posted by: SomeGuy | Jul 11, 2018 9:59:58 AM | 63

German Parliament Report: U.S. Presence in Syria Is Illegal

as a no-shit-Sherlock moment, or even as bona fide analysis if you prefer, it serves mostly to propose that the rule-of-law is not really dead (but perhaps just holed up for a while?) in our rickety Arcadia.

file it next to chilcot.

Posted by: john | Jul 11, 2018 10:03:14 AM | 64

Den Lille Abe @ 57 & v
Don't give up the rant !!! We need outrage!
Try mine !!! --- 'soom t and monkey Mark aliens in jars you tube'
Trumps just a political version of Harvey Weinstein Europe say no no no and look what your dealing with on this video ! USA !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 11, 2018 10:07:44 AM | 65

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 11, 2018 9:02:26 AM | 58

My guess would be that for "humanitarian financial intervention" you need the agreement of the UN Security Council.

These "sanctions" involve asset freezes. An unpolite word for this is robbery.

But that is certainly another good question to ask the Bundestag scientific service.

It will be interesting to see if Iran will get its money back from Germany.

I don't think Libya got any money back.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2018 10:21:00 AM | 66

So is this why Trump slammed Germany today at the Nato meeting for doing oil & gas business with Russia and making Russia rich??? Is this dig singling out Germany a response to the report by the German Parliament, or is Trump merely questioning why Germany is a member of Nato while it's making Russia rich? Why is Trump trying to alienate Germany from the rest of Nato?

Trump doesn't have the balls to get the U.S. out of Nato; but he's trying to alienate Germany from the rest of Nato. So now Trump is the enemy of Germny? I'm sure his Zionist backers are smiling.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 11, 2018 10:30:46 AM | 67

Sorry about typo: So now Trump is the enemy of Germany?

Posted by: Circe | Jul 11, 2018 10:34:05 AM | 68

add to 66

The Bundestag paper also clearly states that according to international law it was illegal to arm and train the rebels.

EU supported the rebels by lifting sanctions for them when they occupied the oil wells.

The legality of this would also be a good question.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2018 10:54:08 AM | 69

@67/68/Circe: Trump sees Germany as one of the main enemy's for some reason; Justified or not:

-We are "leading" the EU, therefore a attack on the EU is directed against Berlin

-While our elites are more loyal to "transatlantic values" then the Yankees themselves, only when it comes to business, our politicians have some courage to stand up.
And when the US tries to strong-arm us into buying US LNG for 3 times the price of Russian gas, it is a massively dangerous thing for our economy and consumers (energy prices are already sky high here compared to other EU country's). We also know that the fear of Russia stopping gas delivery's is BS, because even in cold war the soviets NEVER stopped them. And we live and work with Russia in Europe for century's, instead of living on an isolated island.

-With us being an often proudly praised "champion" of export, it hurts the US, and therefore we are the main target for economic war together with china. Irony is: Many uninformed Germans are proud to be a export champion, but the don't understand, that this is only the result of the extremely neoliberal "reforms" of the last 3-4 decades. Meaning forcing lower wages than in other western EU country's, destroying our once world leading social security system (a looong time ago). Even forcing people to work for 900€ after taxes in a MONTH on a full time job at 40+ hours a week.
This is how we are rightfully seen as the country that destroys the wages even in our neighbor country's like Belgium France etc..
So many gov propaganda believing people are happy for being robbed of their social and democratic society, as long as Merkel can present "good" business statistics.

-The huge majority of our people today reject militarism, and the illegal wars that Washington seems to thrive in. And another boost in milliary spending is not debatable, and even political champions of ignorance towards their people like Merkel know that.
But Trumpy wants his ransom money for "protecting" us from Russia, while the majority of us 1) wants the US Army out of our country, together with NSA etc 2) and doesn't see Russia as the threat, but instead the US in that role.

-Merkel. Trump despises her. As Steve Bannon has been quoted on saying Trump can not help himself to make everything personal, he seems to make major policy decisions based on personal impulses and feelings.
But in her case I can sympathize with that. As can many Germans. The majority of her voters i asked say they vote for her because they think they get (financial, not social) "stability" with her.
They fear the next market crash, and prefer to stick with the devil they know. Besides, there is no politicians in any party on a top level who could be a sympathetic, competent, strong and independent, intelligent and charismatic alternative. There is no Willy Brandt, no Helmut Schmidt, no Herbet Wehner, even no Franz Josef Strauß or Helmut Kohl. PPL are depressed, trapped in fear, are realistically see no true alternative.
But with the migrant crisis, that ship seems to have sailed, and with this she dug her own grave... Many count the days where she jump's in it. Trump is surely one of them.

Posted by: SteLe/TheDarkCornerInUrBrain | Jul 11, 2018 11:32:54 AM | 70

SteLe/TheDarkCornerInUrBrain @70

Great comment. Many outside Germany don't know of the neolib polices of the German govt.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 11, 2018 11:40:26 AM | 71

@70 stele - i second jrs comment to you... good and informative comment which helps me understand the situation in germany and europe better.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jul 11, 2018 11:55:44 AM | 72

@58 YR "Syria is engaged in a civil war"

And all this time I thought it was a proxy war by the US/Israel & lackeys to oust Assad & install a West-leaning puppet

Nothing "civil" about it

Posted by: xLemming | Jul 11, 2018 12:10:22 PM | 73

Year right @ 58
What are you some kind of weasel ? couse you got weasel words there and no mistake'

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 11, 2018 12:38:32 PM | 74

Posted by: SteLe/TheDarkCornerInUrBrain | Jul 11, 2018 11:32:54 AM | 70

Angela Merkel is still Germany's most popular politician - as of July 2018.

It also seems that most Germans consider care for the elderly, education and housing more pressing issues than refugees also pensions and climate change.

Minimum wage is presently 1,498.00 EUR per month/ 8,84 Euro per hour, taxes depend on family status, for a single person they would be 75,83 Euro.
If you count all deductions - social insurance including health - you will earn 1.111,71 € per month, you will get more if you have family.

Minimum wage in France is exactly the same. Minimum wage in Greece is 683.76 EUR, minimum wage in Italy does not exist for non unionized jobs.

As soon as your job is unionized you will earn more than the minimum wage. Minimum wage for cleaners is 10,30 Euro in West-Germany, 9,55 Euro East Germany.

PPL are depressed, trapped in fear, are realistically see no true alternative.

I would advise you to stop getting information from the internet but walk outside and talk to people.

This country is still functioning and people are able to fight for their rights when they organize.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2018 12:42:11 PM | 75

@ somebody | Jul 11, 2018 12:42:11 PM | 75

„I would advise you to stop getting information from the internet but walk outside and talk to people.“
If one can learn one thing from the last 3 years - it is more misleading to rely on „social media“ (with certain exceptions, of course) than on MSM. In case the topic is the refugee problem this statement is irrefutably true. A virtual parallel reality.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jul 11, 2018 12:51:13 PM | 76

add to 75

This paper might help:

The Biology of disinformation

The only surefire safeguard against this state of vulnerability is to reaffirm the live, local, social, organic relationships between the people in the target population. This means challenging the value of time spent socializing and entertaining themselves on digital platforms, and giving people enough minutes of non-connected, social experiences each day to anchor live human-to-human connection as the primary form of social engagement.

People with some live experience of local politics,mutual aid, and environmental maintenance will be more resistant to the memetic constructions of the synthetic ideological landscape. They will be more likely to blame low fidelity on technology than one another, and less
likely to accept the false, anti-social premises of angry, sensationalist memes. The less alienated a population is from one another, the harder it is to turn them against one another through polarizing memetics.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2018 12:51:17 PM | 77

So Trump insists on spending 4 % of DPD on defense! He can huff and puff and then he can FO!
No one in Europe are prepared to spend that on useless unproductive military! I sincerely hope this is the end of NATO, and we can kick the US out!
GI's go home!

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Jul 11, 2018 12:59:21 PM | 78

@70

Interesting reply. The U.S. has been no friend of Germany in more ways than one. The regime change wars the U.S. instigated in the Middle East have pushed millions of refugees into Europe and especially Germany. This creates a great burden for the social security system in Germany, Italy and other EU countries, but the U.S. which is the instigator of the chaos took in a minimal fraction of refugees suffering none of the economic hardship. The U.S. is in an economic boom and could have afforded to share the burden of a consequence it created. To add insult to injury, now Trump is inflicting tariffs on Europe and Germany stands to suffer the most as it is the most industrialized in the EU.

Trump also wants to bully and guilt Merkel and Germany away from Nord Stream II to promote American gas production. This would hurt Germany and Russia. American lawmakers are vehemently opposed to this pipeline deal and this proves Trump is acting for the establishment.

If American financial policy was tyrannical and greedy in the past then Trump is on a rampage of financial tyranny and unfettered greed. The hubris he's exhibiting in all directions is staggering. Let's just say that Trump is the ugly American on steroids, a bull in a China shop smashing other economies to benefit the U.S. economy that is skyrocketing.

Posted by: Circe | Jul 11, 2018 1:12:19 PM | 79

Meyssan published his take on the "beginning" of the Syrian War

http://www.voltairenet.org/article201844.html

Here's an excerpt:

"From 4 February 2011, a mysterious account Facebook "Syrian Revolution 2011" (in English in the text) calls to demonstrate each Friday against the syrian arab Republic. Using only the symbols sunnis while claiming to speak on behalf of all Syrians, it rythmera events for several years.

According to Al-Jazeera, 16 February, 15 adolescents (and 8 of their classmates) are arrested in Daraa for having tagged slogans hostile to president al-Assad. They have been tortured, and the local head of Security would have insulted their parents. To this day, when it has been confirmed that some minors had been arrested several hours by police, the torture and the insults have never been established. The videos and interviews released by the press anglo-saxon are terrible, but do not correspond neither to the reporting qatari original, or what could be checked on site.

February 22nd, John McCain, who has his mandate of a senator and his position as chairman of one of the branches of the National Endowment for Democracy [1], one of the secret services of the "Five eyes" (USA-UK-Australia-Canada-New Zealand), is in Lebanon. He entrusts the journey of the weapons in Syria to the mp haririste abu okab Sakr. It also goes to Ersal to establish a future base back of the jihadists.

On 15 march in Deraa, a city traditionally baathist, a manifestation of officials presents various claims which the president and the government meet, march 17, through social measures of scale.

Always in Daraa, a protest of islamists held on Friday, march 18, at the exit of the mosque Al-Omari. The crowd chants " Allah, Syria, freedom ", it being understood that "freedom" should not be taken in the western sense and does not denounce a dictatorship. It is important to understand this term in the sense of the muslim Brothers ' freedom to apply sharia law ". During the event, shots are fired, both against police officers and counter protesters, although we do not know where they come from. It is likely that, as we have seen in Venezuela [2], in Libya and in other countries, the shooters were from a third force that would create an atmosphere of civil war and to prepare for the alien invasion. The events escalate. The courthouse and its records were burned, while a group of rioters left the city to attack, not far away, a center of military Intelligence in charge of overseeing the israeli occupying forces on the Golan heights."

And so hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died, millions injured and displaced, millions still outside the country, all for a Regime Change by ideologues and greedy.

Stopped by Russia, reversed by Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, and Iraqis, and some heroic thousands of Syrian soldiers who fought and died for their nation.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jul 11, 2018 1:13:20 PM | 80

The EU cannot be preserved and cannot emerge as a great power because the EU is fatally flawed. The fatal flaw is the Euro. A
Posted by: dh-mtl | Jul 10, 2018 10:06:15 PM | 29

I am not sure. IMHO, a larger flaw is dropping of the mild protectionism in the last 20 years, the flaw that is shared with USA. You cannot provide full employment with decent jobs by producing only what China and Bangladesh cannot do cheaper. 20 years ago the state of transportation, communication etc. still gave residual advantage to the "home team", but not anymore. Concerning Euro, this is indeed a misbegotten idea, but one may argue that the largest flaw is in execution which was very flawed indeed.

The benefit of Euro was elimination of currency risk in lending to countries with Euro, countries with "small currencies" and less then stellar fiscal policies were experiencing huge swings in interests rates, it was not a paradise that we may nostalgically think off. However, the next component was that some fiscal discipline was impose by European Bank, countries satisfying the criteria were getting low interest rates on their bonds and could borrow to their heart content. This is roughly how Greece and Italy could accumulate very high debts. European Bank blissfully accepted "imaginative" accounting that was assisted by Goldman Sachs (in the case of Greece if I recall).

Overall, banking policy was screwed, and the difference was that this was synchronized across Euro zone. Lemmings are more impressive if they have some central authority.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 11, 2018 1:15:44 PM | 81

Den Lille Abe 78

So Trump insists on spending 4 % of DPD on defense! He can huff and puff and then he can FO!
No one in Europe are prepared to spend that on useless unproductive military! I sincerely hope this is the end of NATO, and we can kick the US out!
GI's go home!

The majority of Americans would agree with you, and wonder why the US is still occupying Germany 73 yrs after the war, and why Nato exists 27 yrs after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact.

Posted by: sleepy | Jul 11, 2018 1:30:26 PM | 82

The US position in Syria is in decline anyway; it's only a question of time. Germany declaring the US occupation illegal won't have much effect.

By the way, there was a Cockburn article yesterday in the Indie: Syria conflict: After series of calamitous defeats, is Isis about to lose its last town?. I'd never heard where this town of Hajin is. It turns out to be on the US bank of the Euphrates, south of Deir ez-Zour. They've never done anything about it, while the Syrian bank has been cleared.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 11, 2018 1:49:51 PM | 83

Today's issue has been about Trump's attack on Germany. Very foolish. As Den Lille Abe and others earlier have pointed out, US policy has long been to take down the EU, as a major competitor. But Obama and predecessors were wise enough to keep it secret, while mouthing off about the close relations of the US with Europe. But Trump lets it out.

The inevitable consequence will be Europe looking for its own solutions for defence. Not difficult as there's no genuine threat from Russia.

Trump's hope of getting Europe to pay for US foreign policy is finished, in my view.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 11, 2018 2:19:14 PM | 84

I see Trump has started to tighten screws on NATO. Now telling allies to cough up 4%.
NATO is an obsolete institution so euros have to either break up NATO or cough up the money if they are stupid enough to go that way.
Compounded to that is the EU, no matter if is due to financial institutions based taking refuge there or because the intact EU is seen as another great power is seen as a threat rather than an obsolete institution.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 11, 2018 2:39:37 PM | 85

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 11, 2018 2:39:37 PM | 85

Trump has cr*pped upon his case by his verbal diarrhoea.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 11, 2018 3:50:35 PM | 86

AT FIRST: To Jackrabbit/71 and to james/72:

Thank you for your kind words! It really means a lot to me! And i dont know everything, but about the dark side of the German society i know pretty much. ;) So If you have questions, shoot. But i always take much time, as it is quite demanding for me to post on the internet with 1000 other problems i have to deal with. So please be patient!
I want to make a blog/Vlog/Youtube channel in the next months, where i will give those ppl a voice that no "normal" citizen will see, apart from some often quite shitty documentarys and such. Meaning homeless ppl, disabled, sex workers, "Hartz4" and workless people, old people collecting empty bottles on the street to get along, junkies, migrants, criminals, you name it..
I hope B will let me post the link when i start, but it will take some time anyway. I still try to save up for a useable camera and other stuff, so it will take some time..


@75/Somebody:

At first, I am not easily offended, but you sure pushed a button here. I will asume that you genuinely want an open and honest discussion, and dont use personal attacks to uplift your self image, so please take the time to understand my point of view. If you dont want to go thorugh that effort, understand that i dont will too in the future concerning you. Until now, i mostly supported your postings and often took some insight with me. I hope you give me the chance to do that in the future with a true and open discussion. In everything else, i am not interested.

I post because i want to provide something special, a different, personal perspective that comes from the life that i live that is very much different than of most AND of most other left leaning ppl.
Meaning: What i posted to here is ALL my own experience and perspective.

I dont base my view on social media; in fact i am not capable to copy anybody s point of view, because i am so different as a person with Aspergers compared to "normal" people.
Combine that with a life that has always been more roller coaster than anything else.

I have seen more extremes in my life than 99%, and that i can bet on. I have been born with Aspergers into a working/middle class family, didnt have anything missing materially, and then learned the opposite, after my step father tried to strangle my disabled sister and my mother.
I then learned the life on the bottom (better said sewer) of society, living in the so called "frauenhaus", working with my mother illegally at the age of 10 to clean rich old ladys toilets, and even then eating only noodles with ketchup for days and sometimes weeks, because my father refused our money, and social sercives refused theirs because of our right on support by my father... At least this would not be possible today, because now social services are required to advance the paternal support.

Despite all that traumas, I had still been a perfect student, always best in my age hands down, with continued offers to skip classes. I had great friends, a great class, the nicest girl in class loved me.. But the breakout of my depression at 10 years turned my life around again.
Since then, i committed suicide in small steps as i call it, not having the guts to jump a rope, but going from alcohol with 12 to heroin with 20.

I came from being an overly intellectual Autist with perfect grades and perspective to literally the lowest person in society in my 200.000 person town together with maybe some other homeless junkies. Even the dealers, the robbers were above me. Even in the eyes of the so called "normal" ppl.
While i had the arrogance of a gifted as a child, i now have deep compassion for anybody, no matter class, race, social standing, political leanings, etc.
I can find a human being and positive sides in every one, while even ppl on the so called left often have no problem to spit down on Junkies, work-less, and middle class ppl. I even have compassion for nazis, because every one of them i met (And as a Punk i had many "encounters" in my youth), are lost souls, often abused as child, now using abuse to compensate.
But i also see the negative in everyone. I am not naive. Life forced me to see the dark potential in everyone. No black and white, but the reality of our human existence.

To the point with the 900€ wages: I can say that this was the wage (To be correct 950€) that was offered me for such a 40h full time job a few years ago. The thing is, for the social class that i cam in today, without a finished college study, or even any learned job, you only get 3 things:
1) some BS "Maßnahme", meaning you "learn" how to write a letter for a job offer, which 95% of the ppl there have done 1000 times. The only reason for such a "Maßnahme" is bullshit statistics. You now are not anymore jobless. Magic! No Joke! No real qualification, no education, of preparation for a true workplace, nothing.
2) You get a 1€-Job. Meaning: Some Kindergarten e.g. run by "Caritas" or any other business where the churches make big € with, pays you 1€ an HOUR (again, no joke) to clean the toilets of such stuff.
You still get mini rent and medical insurance payed, plus around 400€ to "live", and the 1€ an hour on top. Meaning the state substitutes a private company that can save big money paying third world wages
3) You get a full time job at a "Zeitarbeitsfirma". Meaning a Company, which hire you, but rents you out to another company.
The company where you work pays a normal wage, but the "Zeitarbeitsfirma" takes a major part of it for their "services" (a total joke).
So in the end, after all expenses, you are paied around 100€-150€ more than "Hartz IV", which is the total minimum every German has a right on.

I have seen the "Hartz IV" System from DAY 1! Through my first homelessness with barely 18 years old, through many friends, and many ppl i have helped to survive in the system. I regularly help others with their paperwork, go with them to the mandatory BS appointments in the "ArGe", and have seen dozens and dozens of different cases over around 15 years.
I DONT USE SOCIAL MEDIA, I HAVE TO LIVE THIS FUCKING LIFE!

DO YOU?!

If you want to understand this system, i have a true and deep inside view into it. As opposed to nearly all todays young ppl on the left, who claim to fight for a social society, but spits on those that are in need. Those so called left ppl, that support open borders and dedicate 100% of their political work for refugees, but 0% to anybody else.

Opposed to that i think, that it is WRONG to play migrants against "native" ppl. I have compassion for my afghan neighbor, regularly defend him from our nazi bastard neighbor grandma, lend him electricity, Internet, food, whatever. But i ALSO help those, that the politics (and many so called left ppl) SHIT on, and now take revenge by voting AFD.
And more often than not, i CAN change their view. As opposed to those SJW idiots that can only scream "nazi" when someone who is socially and economically dead votes AFD.
Those SJW typed destroy democracy, and they only strengthen the far right believes instead of defusing them.

Why i want Merkel to go: Many ppl here on the "left" say everyone who is against Merkel, is a Nazi. Its unbelievable, but they do, especially in the green party. They are often the same who are most russophobe, are for US illegal wars, and are neo-liberals.
Being attacked by those ppl is an honor, not something negative.

But to my personal reason against Merkel: She is a snake. Like BoJo, she has virtually NO strong believes, values, a program, whatever. She said herself she went to CDU because there was a guy she wanted to .... You know.
She has backed every crime of Kohl, the CDU, has screamed for us to go into Iraq with Bush, is a Neo-liberal hawk, and has shifted around 180 degrees more often then most of her colleagues, which is pretty hard already.

That now some ppl claim her to be a moral figure, and that she somehow is pro refugees is LAUGHABLE!

I have seem her with her CDU buddys making far right anti migrants propaganda, when in the 90 and early 00 the refugees where murdered, whole family burned. Only we few punks and Antifas were fighting them, while we saw especially the CDU supporting the Nazi gangs raping and murdering refugees and us (a friend of a good friend of mine was shanked to death in the Ruhrgebiet when i was 16, which greatly impressed me for my whole life. This was WAR, and Merkel was on the side of the Nazis, while we and the refugees couldn't go out of our door alone and without a knife of other weapon.

To the changed public view on immigration: You can cite statistics all you want, i can cite others where a near absolute majority sees the immigration politics as a major problem, that is essential to be solved.
Do you really believe, a majority would prefer open borders? Or would be willing as Claudia Roth said, to take in each and every refugee on the whole world (She truely said that and thinks this is would be doable)?

This major part of the public doesnt want to be lied at anymore. They understand that many asylum seekers lie and are in truth coming for economic reason. And its certain when you look at the whole society, not ultra left extremist bubbles, that most German citizens are not willing to pay for economic gains of say someone from east Eu countrys.

Especially when they have been told, that our German state has not the money to properly support or own disabled, homeless, workless and old ppl.

Many ppl understand, that the German political elites have only used immigration as a tool to force lower wages, put pressure on the job market, etc.
Franz Josef Strauß, the famous right winger from the CDU has been deeply involved in the very first waves of the so called "Gastarbeiter". And Merkel and other elites play the same tactic ever since. But if you trick the public into a politic like with the "Gastarbeiter", where the public has been told they would all go home later on, you can not demand them to full fill that politic. Life doesnt work this way. In a democracy you need the public to make honest decision, and accept those, even if you dont support them yourself. Everything else is a dictatorship. Even if it has the best of intentions and values.

Most ppl are pro asylum, but only when laws are respected (only ppl who are politically prosecuted in their own country have a right on asylum, see the Grundgesetz/Constitution), when it is done controlled and reasonable, with control to exclude radicals, and everyone who is not able to live up to our constitutional standards and therefore integrate-able.

Another point to the in your view good social standard here: I could live in the Netherlands, and after a few years i would already get the minimum pension, which was more then 1000€ (1200€ when i remember correctly) some years ago when i had the offer.
Compare that to my mother, who worked since she was 15, and had worked herself up to leading a the photographic department in a high profile advertising agency in Düsseldorf before she went on mothers leave. While she had to work the most shitty jobs after my stepdad did what he did, she again worked herself up through hard years, again leading the sales department of a encashment/collection agency.
After a total of 45 years of work, she now gets 1050 € pension. If she hadnt just payed of her credit, she would be done. This all for literally working herself to being disabled, with fucked up spine, shoulders, arms etc.

Then being scammed by the SPD crime of "Riesterrente", where at the time the so called "social democrats" crippled the general state pension system, and pushed the ppl into the arms of shady insurance companys. All this does leave a bitterness, that will someday break out and take its toll.

And yes, there are many ppl who still think everything is okay. We have become a "Ellenbogengesellschaft", where there is zero social solidarity, and the left voting Green who drive with their Tesla to the Bio market truly believe they save the world, but ignore 20 Million to 25 million of their compatriots (Who are diretly in threat of poverty or are below the poverty line already).

We now are on the way that from all new jobs, most are either "befristet" which only go some months to prevent the worker to gain their rights, or are from "Zeitarbeitsfirmen" (Which is the modern western equivalent of economic slavery i can say from first hand. How destructive on a psychological, financial, social level this is, there are many documentarys and reports on the matter if you want to see behind the curtain).

The real financial and social situation of most Germans is in constant decline since AT LEAST the early 90s. Child poorness is on an all time high since the Weimar republic, as is the housing crisis. Another problem i personally have to live with, as there is no flat to find for years for me.
So i have to live in a Ghetto like high rise, broken pluming, drug dealers, regular attempts at break ins.. But when there is one of the rare flats available that are at least barely payable for me, there are 30+ ppl on the open house day, and there is always someone with a much bigger budget, often offering cash just to grease the deal. No chance.

And yes, the country is still working. But it did even in the darkest times. And what is working? The solidarity has been destroyed, big parts of the left are pushing for illegal wars and neo liberalism, the traditional partys have betrayed, their voters and are zombified into caricatures of themselves...

The Media is on a huge decline in trust.. Never seen before in our BRD.

Crisis everywhere, expect those with the cash and/or social position to be ignorant towards those developments. And thats mostly the same in many western countrys i guess.

Only the trust in the justice system and the Verfassungsgericht and Police remains high. Most other institutions are more distrusted then trusted.
PPl have seen to many scandals, while they themselves feel the rising pressure of a turbo capitalistic globalisation of neoliberalism, where countrys, their people and democracy are being fed to the global elites of business, security and political deep state establishment.

Again, as i posted in the first post, the ppl are in collective fear. They dont vote Merkel because they think she would be someone which they share values with. Some may do, but mostly its about one simple thing:

The CDU has ALWAYS since ADENAUR used the scare tactic. They ALWAYS say: "Keine Experimente!"
Meaning: "You vote left, you get Chaos. You vote us, we give you stability. No matter what, in 4 years, you will still have your small salary, your car, etc."

If you would know even ONE BIT of German after WW2 politics, you know its true. Thats the main recipe for success in Germany, and the CDU has made this to perfection. And Merkel too.

The Financial crisis of 2008 and the Dotcom bubble and even the 1920 crash still have a MAJOR part in the German psyche. Unconscious or not.
This together with the illegal wars, the Islamistic Terror, now the migration crisis, the financial fear, the social fear, all this influences the major part of the "normal" ppl, aside from those that are so financially and socially well that those issues dont have potential to affect them directly.

The tide is turning, and i fear the migration crisis is a tipping point for many ppl out there, the straw that broke the camels back. Thats the reason i say we need to take those ppl seriously, and discuss and convince them, instead of shaming them in the terroristic SJW style. If you want to promote democracy, you got to LIVE democracy. Even and especially for those who think different then we do!

We need to get those ppl back into our democratic system, we need to push the major partys back to respect their voters and mission, we need to be a society aiming for solidarity again, and integrate everyone in our system.

Thats what i want to continue to work for, even when its on such a small mini scale that i do for 15 years.

Peace.

Posted by: SteLe/TheDarkCornerInUrBrain | Jul 11, 2018 11:32:54 AM | 70

Angela Merkel is still Germany's most popular politician - as of July 2018.
It also seems that most Germans consider care for the elderly, education and housing more pressing issues than refugees also pensions and climate change.
Minimum wage is presently 1,498.00 EUR per month/ 8,84 Euro per hour, taxes depend on family status, for a single person they would be 75,83 Euro.
If you count all deductions - social insurance including health - you will earn 1.111,71 € per month, you will get more if you have family.
Minimum wage in France is exactly the same. Minimum wage in Greece is 683.76 EUR, minimum wage in Italy does not exist for non unionized jobs.
As soon as your job is unionized you will earn more than the minimum wage. Minimum wage for cleaners is 10,30 Euro in West-Germany, 9,55 Euro East Germany.
PPL are depressed, trapped in fear, are realistically see no true alternative.
I would advise you to stop getting information from the internet but walk outside and talk to people.
This country is still functioning and people are able to fight for their rights when they organize.

Posted by: SteLe/TheDarkCornerInUrBrain | Jul 11, 2018 4:57:01 PM | 87

@86 Donald is in a foul mood lately. Lashing out at everybody. Makes me wonder if he's getting his oats.

Posted by: dh | Jul 11, 2018 5:05:38 PM | 88

87 Try "Asperger Selbsthilfegruppe" Your Area in Google. The Internet is not good for you.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2018 5:21:21 PM | 89

Given that we are discussing the purpose of NATO, does anybody know what happened to the actual Libyan gold that was to back the Pan-African Dinar?

Reputedly 143 tons of gold and an equal amount of silver, do we know where it went?

https://thefreethoughtproject.com/declassified-emails-reveal-natos-true-motive-topple-gaddafi-stop-creation-gold-backed-african-currency/

Posted by: Castellio | Jul 12, 2018 11:36:33 AM | 90

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