Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The German Problem isn't Getting Better it Seems

I am self-aware that I have an attitude problem towards the present German government. In the top-5 reasons I am what I am today was a response to the useful idiots of the Soviets in the 1980s.

The whole "Better Red than Dead" people with their stupid papier-mâché puppets trying to make the argument that to be free you have to surrender to tyrants ... four decades later, these people still try my patience.

Sadly, Germany is - again - being led by one.

Yeah ... that guy.

 His judgement was poor then, it is poor now.

...but we have to deal with it. As he waited for the eventual Russian victory back in FEB, he slow rolled so he and his childhood buddy Schroeder could ... hell if I know. Just look at them.
I don't know about you ... but I remember those guys and those like them from the 1980s. Useful idiots for the Soviets then, and useful idiots to the Russians now.

Yes, the SPD government has helped Ukraine some, but not as much as many of the rest of the alliance. Then entire German political class of all parties put themselves in this pinch relative to the Russians - they can't help themselves.

There were hints they may have seen the light over the summer, but alas, without steady pressure, systems will regress to the mean.

The mean for Germany seems to be to sell whatever needs to be sold and buy whatever needs to be bought to and from the worst people.

They are not alone here, but in the last 10-months, they seem to have not learned all that much.

Thought Germany was serious about boosting defense spending to the 2% floor?  Think again;
The federal government is massively cutting the planned equipment offensive for the Bundeswehr . Many projects, especially for the naval and air forces, would have to be called off, the Handelsblatt learned from circles in industry and politics.

The background to this is the rapid rise in inflation, which is making planned purchases more expensive. In addition, the Federal Court of Auditors complained that the projects listed in the business plan for the special fund exceeded the budget of 100 billion euros.

"With many projects running for five to seven years, inflation in the dimension creates a serious financial problem," said a person familiar with the proceedings. Among other things, a third tranche of the K130 corvette, new Eurofighters for electronic warfare, new frigates and new self-propelled howitzers, which should be ordered to replace the systems delivered to Ukraine, are at stake. There are talks between politicians and industry about these projects.
What a lost opportunity for Germany to lead; to join her rightful place as a modern nation defending Western principals. Perhaps I expected too much - but Germany has a great history ... but one that has the wrong leaders at the wrong time leading the German people down the wrong fork in the road.

Not just facing Russia, but the latest on China;
Chinese state-owned firm, COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited (COSCO) has gained a foothold in Hamburg, Germany’s largest seaport.

On Sep 21 it was confirmed that COSCO subsidiary, COSCO Shipping Ports Limited (CSPL), will take a 35 percent stake in Container Terminal Tollerort GmbH (CTT). Antitrust authorities have yet to approve the deal.
Again, Germany is not alone here. Too many critical assets from ports to pork were sold to Chinese interests in the USA ... but it is 2022. No one can see the People's Republic of China as a benign presence on the world stage. They already have enough control of European ports.

The West really needs to have an intervention on itself. We all have some work to do ... but Germany should be first on the list.

Finally, as part of this family intervention, Germany and Germans need to hear more blunt, constructive, and plain talk from her European neighbors like Poland's Radek Sikorski
But while we did all that we passed a super law which guaranteed the Polish armed
forces 2% of a growing GDP year in, year out. We insisted that NATO write contingency plans for the defence of Poland and the Baltic States. We bought F-16s and modernized the Leopards that you gave us. We signed the agreement with the United States on building a missile defence site in Poland, so as to give them a bigger stake in Poland’s security.

I cannot tell you how frustrating it was to talk to most Germans about security throughout those years. I will never forget my joint press conference at the conclusion of a successful meeting of the Weimar Triangle with Frank Walter Steinmeier and Laurent Fabius in Weimar in 2014. An unhelpful German journalist directed the last question to me asking whether Poland still demanded the permanent presence of U.S. troops on its territory. ‘Yes, I answered, two heavy brigades would be within the framework of the NATO-Russia Founding Act, which has been our policy for years.’ You should have seen the shocked faces of most of the assembled press corps. I was exposed as a warmonger. And this was after Crimea, in the former DDR, in the country which used to have 15 times as many when you were a frontline state.

The trouble was, of course, that you didn’t consider Poland to be a frontline state because you didn’t consider Russia to be a threat. That’s why there was not even a squeak of concern either among your politicians or in the press when Russia deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad with the range to reach Berlin. I don’t want to rub it in but let’s recall the spirit of those times: according to Pew opinion polls in those years, up to ⅓ of Germans wanted to be in an alliance with Russia against the U.S.!

So, you didn’t listen to our warnings and you got it wrong. On Russia, we’ve been proved right. I don’t expect you to apologize for 30 years of your patronizing tones, I just expect you to listen to what we say now. And what we say is that this is hopefully Russia’s last colonial war. Think France in Vietnam and Algeria, Britain in Malaya and Cyprus or Portugal in Angola. Think of Donbas as Russia’s Ulster. Except that Donbass and Crimea voted for Ukrainian independence at the time of the breakup of the USSR. As a late colonial wars go, It’s going through all the predictable stages. First, denying the separateness of the colony. (But Algeria is as much a part of France as Provence!) Then astonishment: our peasants, our funny-speaking provincials wanting a state? But they’ll never manage it on their own. Then, anger. How dare they, we’ll teach them a lesson. Then finally, when enough people have died on both sides: all right, you’re not worth the trouble, go your own way. 

We all know at which stage Russia is in Ukraine. The war party still thinks that with one last push they can prevail and bring back control. But Russian dissidents have already understood that the empire has been a millstone around their country’s neck. Another year or two and Russia might realize that, being the largest state on earth, it has no shortage of land on which to develop.
History is moving faster than Western leadership. Wake up everyone...wake up.

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