Essential Reading to Understand The Headlines

Friday, December 9, 2011

Germany Aims to Impose its Will on a Weakened Europe

If someone in Europe outside of Germany in the 1950s or even earlier that that time travelled in the year 2011, he or she will be terrified of what is happening now. Germany is doing or has probably done what it cannot do in WW1 and WW2 and that is to be able to have control on its neighboring European countries and this time seemingly with the cooperation of long-time geopolitical rival.

This week Germany has relegated the UK to the sidelines and able to impose its policies in the Eurozone.

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"Europe’s worst financial crisis in generations is forging a new European Union, pushing Britain to the sidelines and creating a more integrated, fiscally disciplined core of nations under the auspices of a resurgent Germany."

"The agreement was a clear victory for Mrs. Merkel, and it prompted a sharp rally in stock markets in Europe and the United States.

"The European Union emerged in its current form in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a French-German idea to bind the region in the aftermath of the Soviet collapse. It is now being reinvented by a united Germany that has grown disillusioned by what it considers as debt-happy neighbors and is no longer reticent about wielding its economic and political clout."

Source: The New York Times
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In the history of Europe, the nations now involved in this drama has always been afraid of a United Germany.  the The Berlin Wall came down about 20 years ago which is a good thing, now Germany is united and a European power. This may sound ok to to ohers since Germany is a democracy anyway and a progressive country. But to the man who time travelled from the 1940s this could be chilling stuff.

In fact a year ago today, present German Chancellor, Angela merkel admitted that multicultarilism is an utter failure.

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"Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democratic Union party, Merkel said the idea of people from different cultural backgrounds living happily "side by side" did not work."

Source: The Guardian
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For the time traveling European man, this is German nationalism rearing its ugly head again. But in this case, I can hardly blame Germany this time since radical Muslims have indeed abused the generosity of Germany and has been used it to be a base to plan terror attacks.

This is not a knack on the German people and the present leadership but the environment is ripening that another push for German nationalism is in the offing and history has shown it has not been very good for Europe whenever Germany goes to this route.  We should be very careful of the next generation of leaders that come out after Merkel. The seeds are beginning to be planted again when Germany may see no way but to impose its will once again.


Huawei's Deception on the Iranian Issue

The Wall Street Journal just recently posted a news item about China's Huawei seemingly moving away from Iran as a place for business. But actually even just browsing a few words it will show that it is no-news item at all. So-called activists hailed this "momentous" decision as if it was some sort of milestone victory for peace loving people all around the world.

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"Chinese telecommunications- equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. said it will scale back its business in Iran, where the company provides services to government-controlled telecom operators, following reports that Iranian police were using mobile-network technology to track down and arrest dissidents."

"Shenzhen-based Huawei will "voluntarily restrict its business development there by no longer seeking new customers and limiting its business activities with existing customers," according to a statement Friday on the company's website."

"Activists hailed the company's decision, noting it was the first time a major Chinese company had decided to scale back its business in Iran."

Source: WSJ
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What it these so-called existing customers are the trouble makers in the first place and are the one using Huawei products to advance or assist Iran's monitoring of dissidents? The tools are there to begin with and Huewei will keep on doing supplying more to the Iranian regime since they are a present customer.
It seems this is just some double talk to appease everyone, the activists and the Iranian government.

Republican Candidates Talk About the Israeli - Arab Conflict While Sarkozy Makes Some Excuses

ROMNEY, GINGRICH, SANTORUM STAND OUT IN REPUBLICAN JEWISH COALITION EVENT http://bit.ly/rwMh0b

Gingrich: ‘We need a dramatically rethought strategy for the Middle East’ | JTA - Jewish & Israel News http://bit.ly/vTAaDR

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TREATS ISRAEL AS THE PROBLEM — NOT OUR BEST ALLY : How to pray at this critical time. « http://bit.ly/vchuqV

Sarkozy says anger with Netanyahu caused by France's exclusion from Shalit release - Haaretz http://bit.ly/tr1XMu

Ayalon slams Palestinian refugee double standard http://bit.ly/v8DxZ7

IFCJ: Ethiopian Jews' Incredible Journey http://bit.ly/sYDv7W

Iran Boasts of Drone Capture and Seen As Responsible for 1998 US Embassy Terror Attack

Iran responsible for 1998 U.S. embassy bombings - The Washington Post http://wapo.st/sMZ6Gv

Iran may downgrade ties with EU states over decision to recall ambassadors - Haaretz http://bit.ly/s38lGy

China, Russia want to inspect downed U.S. drone - Tehran Times http://bit.ly/w2yVrb

Ethiopian Police And Muslim Students Demolish Church « Persecution News http://bit.ly/syR1vJ

Pakistan president in Dubai with heart condition - Channel NewsAsia http://bit.ly/ta1vi1

Turkey announces new Syria sanctions http://bit.ly/ucFXpt

Clinton, Armenia and Bulgaria Defy Putin

Putin accuses Clinton of instigating protests; call for wider demonstrations Saturday http://bit.ly/sMWz7U

Armenian Premier: No Plans To Join Russia's 'Eurasian Union' http://bit.ly/rD98pV

Bulgaria: Russia Calm after Bulgaria Quits BA Pipeline, Will Seek Damages - Press - http://Novinite.com http://bit.ly/tMw9yp


Medvedev: Russia's Stances towards Syria based on Historical Relations | DayPress http://bit.ly/s1M9tH

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Warning the EU - Beware of the Nord Stream Pipeline

Russia's Nord Stream Pipeline will provide the EU with much needed gas and will be fully operation by 2012.

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"The two 1,224-kilometre offshore pipelines are the most direct connection between the vast gas reserves in Russia and energy markets in the European Union. When fully operational in the last quarter of 2012, the twin pipelines will have the capacity to transport a combined total of 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year to businesses and households in the EU for at least 50 years."

Source: The Nord Stream Website


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In 1982 US President Ronald Reagan warned about this Europe's dependence on Russian gas for their economic well being.

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"We tried to persuade our allies not to go forward with the pipeline for two reasons. One, we think there is a risk that if they become industrially dependent on the Soviet Union for energy—and all the valves are on the Soviet side of the border—that the Soviet Union can engage in a kind of blackmail when that happens."

"The second thing is, the Soviet Union is very hard pressed financially and economically today. They have put their people literally on a starvation diet with regard to consumer items while they poured all their resources into the most massive military buildup the world has ever seen. And that buildup is obviously aimed at the nations in the alliance. And they, the Soviet Union, now hard-pressed for cash because of its own actions, can perceive anywhere from 10 to 12 billion dollars a year in hard cash payments in return for the energy when the pipeline is completed—which I assume, if they continue the present policies, would be used to arm further against the rest of us and against our allies and thus force more cost for armaments for the rest of the world. And for these two reasons, we tried to persuade our allies not to go forward."

Source: American Presidency Project: Ronald Reagan: The President's News Conference 
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The warning and the logic is simple. Now the EU is again aiming to strenghten a Russian premier who longs for the return of the Soviet Union. When will we ever learn?



Iran Captures US Drone + Putin Gets Rattled = Dangerous Formula


Iran has shown that it can take down a US drone. How it did it remains a chilling mystery. But Israel sees something more eery in these events as described by Debka.

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"The Obama administration's decision after internal debate not to send US commando or air units into Iran to retrieve or destroy the secret RQ-170 stealth drone which fell into Iranian hands has strengthened the hands of the Israeli faction which argues the case for striking Iran's nuclear installations without waiting for the Americans to make their move."

"Senior Israeli diplomatic and security officials who followed the discussion in Washington concluded that, by failing to act, the administration has left Iran not only with the secrets of the Sentinel's stealth coating, its sensors and cameras, but also with the data stored in its computer cells on targets marked out by the US and/or Israeli for attack."

Source: Debka.com
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Israel's confidence in the Obama administration's resolve to help them is getting low at this point. If it does not sense the urgency of protecting its own internal secrets what makes Israel think that US soldiers will be made to fight a very dangerous war in Iran in aid of Israel, which has been a favorite whipping boy of the mainstream leftist media.

Another distrubing piece of news today is of Putin accusing the United States of initiating protests in the USSR. Whether true or not, it just shows that this conflict is again in the periphery of either nations. The Kremlin does not like this perceived attention from the US. Since its strength is nowhere near the past USSR, it may want to deflect the focus of the Americans to volatile conflicts. What could be more volatile now than an Israeli-Iran conflict. Russia could go back to the formula of influencing the Arab world to go to war again against Israel just like in 1967. Such a conflict will be easier to star, just flip a switch and its 1967 again but this time just scarier.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Putin's Party Now Leads in Election But McCain Warns of Unrest

McCain warns Putin of approaching “Arab Spring” | RIA Novosti http://bit.ly/veGPnr

Russia Moves to Quell Election Protests - NYTimes.com http://nyti.ms/uVkl61

Greeks approve tough 2012 budget | The Australian http://bit.ly/tWSh3c

United Russia leads with 49.3 percent in latest vote count http://bit.ly/tKhcPI

US Reaches Out to Iranian Online While Appeals to China and the Euro Zone

US Opens ‘Virtual Embassy’ for Iran « VOA Breaking News http://bit.ly/tN0vuR

Australia expands sanctions against Iran | JTA - Jewish & Israel News http://bit.ly/tUxKvN

US seeks 'transparency' in growth of Chinese military power - The Times of India http://bit.ly/vC3TMH

Eritrea blames U.S. for expanded U.N. sanctions | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters http://bit.ly/tRrf5f

Hillary Clinton meets Syrian opposition members http://bit.ly/u6V7ow

CTV News | S&P warning puts screws to euro zone ahead of summit http://bit.ly/sMBeCv

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Germany Criticizes Russia - A Return to the Old World Order?

Germany and Russia fought one of the most violent battle of World War Two to the bitter end. It has been a long time since the Cold War when Germany and Russia has something to argue about and yesterday, Germany struck the opening salvo.

"German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said his country had noted with concern the reports received from election observers sent by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)."



"'They show that the Russian Federation still has a way to go to fulfill all of the OSCE standards,' he told the meeting."

"'We encourage the Russian Federation, also when considering the next elections in Russia, to move in that direction,' he told the conference, referring to March's presidential vote."
Source: Reuters

Germany's statements shows of getting into Russian domestic issues. It is one thing for the US to criticize the Kremlin but for Germany to so could open old wounds and scary historical geopolitical realities. In two world wars Germany and Russia have been suspicious of each other which lead to vicious battles. In both instances, Europe has found a United Germany and a Russian country under communist leadership. We must remember that Putin longs for the days of the Soviet Union.

We are far away from a scary scenario but careful observation must be made. Europe is reeling now from an economic crisis and Germany could be the strongest nation to come out of it while repression is slowly getting back in Russia along with the leadership of Putin. The developments are becoming eerily similar to the days of the first half of the last century.

Balance of Power Moves to Asia as US Makes New Alliances

U.S., India, Japan to meet after Obama's Asia pivot | Reuters http://reut.rs/sKdR7I

India, China, US snub EU's plan on binding treaty - Hindustan Times http://bit.ly/s4oXeR

Afghanistan to Need Financial Support Until 2024 - ABC News http://abcn.ws/w2aVLv

Iran Captures A US Drone and Threatens Hamas to Stay in Syria


U.S. Military Sources: Iran Has Missing U.S. Drone | Fox News http://fxn.ws/sA0oqN

Iran threatening to cut Hamas funds, arms supply if it flees Syria - Haaretz http://bit.ly/uZBYi6

Iran Revolutionary Guard raises alert ahead of possible strike, report says - Haaretz http://bit.ly/uSQOXn