Nimrods of Berlin

Tuesday, January 31, 2023 1:31 PM

Cunning is a poor substitute for sagacity.—La Rochefoucauld

Dear Friends + Interlocutors,

I've just read on Bloomberg that Berlin is sending a hundred-plus advanced, German-built Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine. On closer reading, it appears that most of the Leopard-2’s will be transported from other NATO countries, not directly from Germany.

That is one hundred too many tanks, in my view. They will add fuel to the fire, to an unnecessary and avoidable conflict endangering the whole world, a war engineered by our Neocon/Neoliberal crusaders in Washington who have already done enough damage to humanity. 

Next it will be U.S. F-16’s and attack helicopters and God knows what else. This is open-ended madness, akin to Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Only worse, because nukes are potentially involved. Are we allowing ourselves to be fooled yet again? Yes, we are.

In Berlin, things are getting strange and dangerous. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been cajoled, browbeaten and shamed into “unleashing the Leopards” by the bizarre German Green Party, his coalition partner. To be fair, the crackbrained characters in Washington were the deciding factor.  

The Greens are led by the zero-experienced, Alice-in-wonderland Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s girlish Foreign Minister, who has unilaterally declared war on Russia. She would be a laugh, if circumstances were not so serious.

She has been assisted by liberal-minded media commentators and by hyper-ventilating officials in Poland and Ukraine. For example, Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister and former ambassador to Berlin, Andrii Melnyk, has proclaimed, according to the Financial Times,

“This German angst, this absolutely irrational fear that delivering Leopard tanks would provoke Russia to escalate this war, is just ridiculous.”

Get the picture? Sounds like Melnyk is taking his talking points from U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham.

Scholz also received a riot-act telephone call from Jake Sullivan, warmonger-in-chief at the White House. Cornered, Scholz said he would be agreeable to unleash the Leopards, but Washington should provide him cover. He suggested that the U.S. join in the fun by sending Ukraine the jet-fueled Abrams M1 tank.

Joe Biden had previously refused such a request by Ukraine out of fear it might widen the war beyond Ukraine’s borders. Jake Sullivan together with Antony Blinken, warmonger-in-chief at the State Department, expeditiously upgraded the Biden teleprompter.

Accordingly, Biden announced that 31 M1’s will be sent to Ukraine. But when? Rather vague on that point. Down the road, to join the long war ahead to which we are all invited. No congressional vote or debate on this provocative move. The Imperial Presidency reigns supreme.

Such is the latest unsavory, suicidal development in Zeitenwende, Germany’s new policy as outlined in Olaf Scholz’s ground breaking Foreign Affairs article entitled, The Global Zeitenwende: How to Avoid a New Cold War in a Multipolar Era.

You can find it in the current January/February issue. It has been warmly welcomed by the Washington foreign policy establishment, The Blob. Indeed, the manifesto seems to have been produced for Washington consumption.

Veteran Russia-watcher Gilbert Doctorow has written a withering critique of the article which is worth noting. He states:

“It is interesting that the manifesto speaks about avoiding a New Cold War when it is patently obvious that we are in the midst of exactly that and should count ourselves lucky that it has not yet escalated to a hot war that quickly becomes nuclear war.”

Evidently, Scholz’s Zeitenwende is meant to break with and be successor to Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik which Germany embraced for half a century.

Coincidentally, just the other day I came across a Financial Times clipping from February 10th, 2022. The article is entitled, Germany is in urgent need of a courageous new Ostpolitik. The author, Timothy Garton Ash, is a well-respected Oxford professor of European studies.

Ash deplores Germany’s export dependence on China as well as its energy dependence on Russia. But why? And who asked him? Is there something horrible with world trade and prosperity? Doesn’t Ash want the German economy to succeed? Apparently not, if Russia also benefits.

His views are gushingly pro-Brandt, lukewarm on Scholz, and he is decidedly horrified with the independent-minded Gerhard Schröder who wants peace and commerce with Russia. You may recall that Chancellor Schröder rejected the Cheney Regency’s demand that Germany support the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Perhaps Ash is now pro-Scholz, even though Scholz remains keen to expand Germany’s trade with China. And why not? Isn’t Uncle Sam dependent on China’s trade and manufacturing? It’s that kind of world.

On February 27th 2022, Olaf Scholz gave a speech to the Bundestag in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The speech also served, in effect, as a response to Ash’s FT op-ed. It was here that the German Chancellor first used the term Zeitenwende.

He proclaimed, inter alia, “We are living through a watershed era. And that means that the world afterwards will no longer be the same as the world before.” True enough. Thanks for letting us know. Things are going downhill fast.

The problem is, Scholz has the wrong attitude and the wrong prescription to ameliorate and rectify the situation. His blinkered anti-Russian policy—carried out in tandem with the crazy German Greens and the Neocon/Neoliberal lunatics in Washington—may well beggar the German economy and expand the Russo-Ukraine war.

A retired German General has recently said as much. Major General Harald Kujat is the latest German officer to publicly warn against what is happening under the Zeitenwende banner. Read his interview here in German in the Zurich publication Zeitgeschehen im Fokus. You won't find it in Bloomberg or the FT or the NY Times.

Then there is the George Friedman talk in Chicago from seven years ago. He is the founder of Stratfor who gave a lecture before the Chicago Council of Global Affairs …..Have you seen it? The talk is loaded with common sense insights which pass as erudition. He leaves the impression he is letting you in on something.

For me the juicy part comes at the end, with a question from the audience. Start at 1:07 in the video.

“…Is it in the U.S. interest to dispense with Russia as a European power?…Im curious how you foresee the architecture once it  implodes? What will happen? Its a frightening scenario

Answer: For Russia, the status of Ukraine is an existential threat…The issue to which we don’t have an answer is, what will Germany do? We don’t know the German position…the Germans themselves don’t know…

For the U.S. the primordial fear is German capitol, German technology…Russian natural resources, Russian manpower…the only combination that has for centuries (sic) scared the hell out of the United States [Say What?]… Whoever can tell me what the Germans are going to do, is going to tell me about the next twenty years of history…think about the German question….”

Now can you understand why Washington blew up the Nord Stream II pipeline from Russia to Germany? Does this not constitute a military attack on Russia by the U.S.?