It falls to Germany to save the Iran nuclear deal and try to prevent a devastating new Middle East War, argues Daniel Lazare.
By Daniel Lazare Special to Consortium News
In the wake of Donald Trump’s thoroughly unsurprising decision to scuttle the Iran nuclear accord, two countries that may be most in the hot seat are Germany and Russia. The big question now is whether their mutual discomfort leads them to find common cause.
Angela Merkel’s plight is especially painful. Not only are Germany’s extensive business links with Iran at risk thanks to Trump’s decision to re-apply sanctions, but the German chancellor’s political fortunes have taken a beating thanks to years of American incompetence in the Middle East.
In Libya, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton devoted two weeks during the 2011 Arab Spring to persuading Qatar to join the anti-Gaddafi coalition, only to stand by and watch as the oil-rich emirate seized the opportunity to distribute some $400 million to murderous Salafist rebels spreading anarchy from one end of the country to the other. The result was a failed state that soon turned into a jumping-off point for hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees making their way to Germany and other parts of the European Union.
Remarkably, Clinton did the same thing a few months later in Syria by teaming up with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other Arab gulf states to fund what would soon become a full-scale Islamist invasion. The upshot: more murder and mayhem, more refugees, and more terrorism when ISIS – funded by the Saudis and Qataris according to no less an authority than Clinton herself – decided to extend its jihad to Paris, Brussels, Nice, Manchester, Barcelona, and Berlin starting in November 2015. As if that weren’t enough, Washington irritated its German partners by opposing the Nord Stream II natural gas pipeline, a Russo-German project headed by ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, and then, under Trump, by pulling out of the Paris climate accords last June.
A bruised and battered Merkel thus saw her share of the vote shrink by more than twenty percent in last September’s German federal
election while the anti-immigrant Alternative für Deutschland saw its portion more than double. Now, Trump’s decision to dump the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the Iran nuclear agreement is formally known, is making matters much, much worse. First, Israel took advantage of the move to launch its biggest attack on Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, raising prospects that Middle East chaos may be poised for yet another upsurge. Then US Ambassador Richard Grenell showed what America really thinks of its German partners by tweeting: “As @realDonaldTrump said, US sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy. German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.”
Grenell, a former Fox News commentator, sounded like an all-too-typical American boss barking an order at an unpaid intern. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn described the tweet as an “impertinence” while Andrea Nahles, leader of the center-left German Social Democrats, said: “It’s not my task to teach people about the fine art of diplomacy, especially not the US ambassador. But he does appear to need some tutoring.”
Quite right. But Germany is not the only one feeling the pain – Russia is too. It is allied with Iran in support of Syria’s embattled president Bashar al-Assad, yet has somehow managed to maintain good relations with Israel. This is why Putin invited Benjamin Netanyahu to be his personal guest at this week’s May 9 Victory Day celebrations in Moscow where the Israeli prime minister joined Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in laying a wreath on the Soviet Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. When Putin paid tribute to the Soviet troops “who saved Europe and the world from slavery, from the horrors of the Holocaust,” by defeating Nazi Germany (quote begins at 2:00), there was no doubt as to whom he was addressing.
But the celebration also featured a traditional Red Square military parade featuring not only unmanned robo-tanks and Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighters, but mobile batteries of anti-aircraft missiles. Less than twelve hours later, Netanyahu showed his thanks by destroying at least five Russian-made anti-aircraft batteries as part of the assault on Syria. According to the Israeli military, Israel notified Russia of the impending attack via “deconfliction” procedures in place since September 2015 – which means that Russia more or less assented to the destruction of its own defense systems.
It’s Up to Germany
This can’t go on, especially with Israel intervening ever more heavily on the side of pro-Al Qaeda rebels whom Russia, Iran, and Syria are trying to repel. The more the battle intensifies, the more impossible Putin’s position will become.
The man needs back-up, but from where? The answer lies in the other signatories to the JCPOA – China, the UK, France, and Germany. But the first is preoccupied with events in the Far East, the second is in political disarray, while the third is a joke thanks to the preening and arrogant Emmanuel Macron. That leaves Germany. If it provided Russia with even a modicum of support, the upshot could be a major shift in the way the deadly game of Middle East politics is played.
Germany has real clout with regard to the Jewish state. It is Israel’s biggest trading partner in Europe and, after the US, its second largest trading partner overall. It is an important cultural and scientific partner, while Berlin, in one of history’s more delectable ironies, is now home to one of Israel’s largest expatriate communities, some 15,000 Jews and Arabs who find life in the German capital freer and more vibrant than back home and, as a consequence, have peppered it with Hebrew-language kindergartens, a Hebrew library, a Hebrew literary magazine, a Hanukkah market, and Iranian-Israeli techno parties.
The same goes for Germany and Iran. As Gary Leupp recently pointed out in Counterpunch,Germany comprises sixty percent of EU investment in the Islamic state where it sells machinery, metals, chemicals, and agricultural products. With Daimler recently signing an agreement with Iranian Khodro to produce Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles, its investments are currently increasing at a rate of around about twenty-five percent per year.
Amid inflation, a currency crisis, and a growing strike wave, Iran is grateful for such business and desperate for more. So when Germany talks, it listens. Syria, much of which resembles postwar Berlin after a half-dozen years of imperialist assault, would listen as well if Germany gave it half a chance. Indeed, it would be so grateful for the slightest olive branch that Damascenes would no doubt take to the streets in celebration.
Walking on Eierschalen
So a joint Russo-German diplomatic offensive could provide the basis for a genuine realignment. Needless to say, there are a thousand and one reasons why this won’t occur. Germany walks on eggshells when it comes to Israel for obvious historical reasons and is therefore reluctant to do anything that might anger the Jewish state. It routinely defers to the US, which midwifed the German Federal Republic in 1949 and provided it with a veneer of political legitimacy in the ensuing decades. Public intellectuals like Jürgen Habermas have made careers out of arguing that Germany’s future lies in deeper and deeper integration with the liberal west, while NATO and the EU insure a deepening western orientation as well.
If Germany were to turn in the other direction, the protests would be deafening not only in Washington, Paris, and London, but in Berlin. They would be even more so in Poland, the Ukraine, and the Baltics where local nationalists, many leaning in an increasingly fascist direction, have come to rely on unbroken western support.
It would be a dangerous leap into the unknown on the part of a country that couldn’t be more risk averse. But Germany may have no choice. Trump is nuts, American power is receding more rapidly than anyone would have thought possible two or three years ago, while western liberalism is crumbling as well. Hardliners are in control in Washington where Republicans and Democrats compete to see who can be more obsequious to Israel and more hostile to all things Russian. The same goes for Tel Aviv and Tehran where, thanks to Trump, the hardliners are equally in the saddle.
If there are two countries that know what can happen when the crazies are in control, it’s Russia and Germany. But now that history has placed them in the same boat as it approaches the cataracts, Putin, for one, is rowing madly. Will Merkel lend a hand with the oars?
Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique, and his articles about the Middle East, terrorism, Eastern Europe, and other topics appear regularly on such websites as Jacobin and The American Conservative.
From ‘The Duran’ today, Frank Sellers: “Russia, EAEU Draft Free Trade Deal With Iran”, talks which have been in works since 2015. China will be an important part of this Eurasian Economic Union plan development.
Quote of the day, flashback from General Charles de Gaulle: “You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination.”
Better to tell it like it is or seems to be, than to pretend that it is like you’d wish it to be.
Why write an article about ‘what will Germany and Russia do?’ if the answer is…..nothing? Leaving you to your incontinence,
Lazare would have done well to have read Enrico Carish’s article here on CN, or this one by Thierry Meyssan:
http://www.voltairenet.org/article201124.html (part one of this article is also very interesting).
Russia is in a very delicate position, and should not be faulted for taking a restrained approach. Putin himself has demonstrated he’s canny enough of a strategist to realize that it’s far more profitable to let a blustering opponent make the first move, which creates all sorts of options/openings for effective counters.
The opinions coming from VoltaireNet, Strategic Culture, and MoA indicate that the Israeli offensive was adequately countered; hence Lieberman’s “Mission Accomplished” retread. I myself get the feeling that Netanyahu’s presence at Russia’s Victory Day celebration was an opportunity for Putin to make clear that Russia will go only so far in accommodating Israel’s “right to defend itself,” as far as action in Syria is concerned. Those faulting for Russia for not acting more decisively seem to have forgotten that Russia has its own concerns with US/NATO provocations on its very borders. When push comes to shove, defending the Motherland will come first (and rightly so). At the very least, credit should be given to Russia for attempting to resolve this clusterfluff that US/NATO have been creating over the past 17 years through bona fide diplomacy, as opposed to the latter’s militarized neo-imperialism.
As for the leadership in Germany and France, they realize that their hold on office is tenuous as was indicated by the now usual allegation of “Russian meddling” in their respective recent general elections, in which neither Macron (who is widely, and probably accurately perceived as another Clinton-esque phony) nor Merkel received mandate-type vote majorities.
If I had to make a prediction, I’d guess that ultimately Germany and France will realize that sticking with the US on its present course would not be in their best interest (Merkel has stated once before that Europe as a whole should start looking out for their own priorities), rather than continuing to kowtow to DC.
Nice assessment robjira, of the situation. Joe
You honor me, Joe; many thanks.
Yes. On the whole, I very much agree with your assessment robjira. I just find it amazing that Putin, so far has handled the ongoing political events in Russia, Europe, and the World so well, and so fairly, for over a decade now that the World should be thankful to him. Such a Statesmanship is very rare in the World Leaders, for some time now.
The next two months are going to be very crucial as the World Cup is approaching in a month. I am afraid, the West, U.S. , U.K., and Israel may start some mischief in Ukraine, on the Russian border. But for now Germany and France seem to be reluctant to go that far – the World, and especially Europe is soccer crazy; effects of disrupting the event may be unpredictable in an already increasingly polarized European National populations.
Dave, one has only to do a compare/contrast of whom the US currently has in top political positions with their Russian counterparts to realize whom the adult professionals in the world room are.
And yes, we can only hope that US/UK (you make the keen observation of France and Germany’s hesitations) will only go so far as using similar, clumsily obvious shaming/taunting to what was observed during the Sochi Olympic games. But given the respective incompetency with which both the US and UK are governed, there’s also valid concern that someone may try to pull something stupid, like what was initially pulled in the Maidan (some have expressed hope that cool headed generals might keep the current prez from going too irrational, but it was what amounted to a mutiny under Obama when US generals ordered attacks on Syrian positions just as US/Russian coordination was getting under way, and might’ve actually helped shorten the conflict there; and Trump is far more easily led than Obama was).
Just what is it about peace that effin US capitalists find so gd anathema to profitability?
I agree that while this is an excellent article by Mr. Lazare…he does make the mistake of buying into the Israeli propaganda about the effectiveness of its strike on Syria…for which it has provided no proof…
A similar braggadocio was heard during the 2006 war with Hezbolla…until the Israelis turned tail and ran home…
I do understand that many Western observers are surely frustrated with Putin’s seemingly meek stance in the face of brazen aggression by the US and Israel…
However we must keep in mind that Syria and the Syrian people are winning in this momentous war against imperialism…no victory is ever easily earned…we need look only to WW2 and the unfathomable Soviet losses in the early going…which later turned to victory…
It could be argued that the US [and puppets] and Israeli missile strikes against Syria are a sign of desperation…this is all they can do…
I believe at the end we will see Putin and Assad standing victoriously in this epic battle…
Of course this article is about the Iran crisis…but this is weaved closely into the Syria question as Israel is very upset about Iran’s presence in Syria…
That is a question for another article but I believe Mr Lazare has offered an excellent submission here…Germany and Russia are natural allies and trade partners and both their peoples want peace and stability…
He is right to point out how quickly American power is unraveling…and we should not ignore the effect of brazen insults like that of the US ‘ambassador’ and his pro-consul diktat…
Indignities and insults can sometimes be the cause of great geopolitical upheavals all by themselves…
‘…Opium was a mere incident to the dispute … the cause of the war is the kowtow—the arrogant and insupportable pretensions of China that she will hold commercial intercourse with the rest of mankind not upon terms of equal reciprocity, but upon the insulting and degrading forms of the relations between lord and vassal.
…as John Quincy Adams observed on the causes of the Opium Wars…
We may be seeing today that Germans and French may be tired of of the US demand for kowtow…
“A quadripartite ‘axis of evil’ that includes Israel, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates is moving its military assets, conducting softening-up military action, invading and occupying foreign territory, and waging economic warfare in preparation for a military campaign against Iran and its allies. Weeks before Donald Trump scrapped U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran, false propaganda about Iran was being promulgated by Israeli intelligence. Trump illegally pulled the U.S. signature from the agreement at the urging of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, neocon National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and three wealthy Jewish Trump campaign contributors – Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus, and Paul Singer. […]
“The Amad Project was represented by Israel as Iran’s continuing nuclear weapons program, a notion that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors consider to be a fantasy of the Israelis. A spokesman for the Azerbaijani foreign ministry told the Azertag news agency, “We are absolutely convinced that this piece of information [the Project Amad archives] has nothing to do with the truth and is a complete fake.” […] There is now a strong suspicion that Israel convinced Trump that the Amad forgeries were real, which led him to his pullout from the JCPOA.
“In recent weeks, forces of the United Arab Emirates invaded and occupied Socotra, a pristine group of islands that are claimed by Yemen and sit in the middle of the strategic Arabian Sea. Socotra’s airport and seaport are important for Israeli forces as an intermediate staging area for a military attack on Iran. It is believed that, along with a UAE force of armed military personnel, tanks, and armored troop carriers that seized the airport, seaport, and government buildings on April 30, were foreign mercenary forces of the private firm Reflex Reponses Management Consultancy LLC (R2), run by Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a political associate of Trump and brother of U.S, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. R2 is based at a military base called Zayed Military City, located outside of Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital. […]
“The UAE military occupation of Socotra coincides with the creation of the U.S. Special Operations Command (Forward) Yemen within the ‘Yemen Area of Responsibility.’ Prince’s R2 personnel have been identified mingling with U.S. military personnel in Aden in South Yemen, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somaliland, and Seychelles.
The UAE’s Joint Aviation Command is led by former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Toumajan, promoted to the rank of major general in the UAE armed forces. Known as ‘General Steve,’ Toumajan has been involved with Prince’s R2 in supporting UAE military operations in Yemen on behalf of the Saudi-led coalition and in Libya in support of the U.S.-supported forces of longtime Central Intelligence Agency asset, General Khalifa Haftar. Prince and Toumajan serve their master, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahayan. Like his Saudi counterpart, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud, Zayed has forged an alliance with Israel in pressing severe sanctions against Qatar, which is seen as too friendly with Iran, and cooperating in ratcheting up tensions against Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
“With the connivance of Mossad, which specializes in forgeries and fake news stories, as seen with the ‘Amad Project’ and Niger yellowcake uranium sales to Iraq, Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) and Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) tried to destabilize Qatar by concocting a false story [that] claimed that Qatar’s emir was consorting with Iran against Saudi Arabia. The bogus news story was reportedly the brain child of Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States. Otaiba enjoys warm relations with the Israeli Mossad, as well as with Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner.
“The ultimate aim of the axis of Trump, Netanyahu, MBS of Saudi Arabia, and MBZ of the UAE is to coordinate a military strike against Iran with the goal of ‘regime change.'”
The New ‘Axis of Evil’ Forms Up Against Iran
By Wayne Madsen
Why isn’t Hillary Clinton being tagged in this. She’s one of the Biggest War Mongers.
This is Trump’s show, not Hillary. She has no power.
What in the world have you been smoking, elmerfudzie? Obviously, it’s American propaganda! The only country to drop the atomic bomb on another nation is USA. The US should be the global policeman? You spout the American “exceptionalism” rhetoric very well for the overlords.
Jessika, this issue has little to do with exceptionalism. The fact is, world war two brought our nation to such military and economic heights that no single country, not even now (for as long as the dollar lasts, that is) can boast of an ability to project military force, by land, sea and air, anywhere in the world. This is a default condition spawned not by us but by European bankers who thought they could have a controlled and profitable (major) war, using Her Hitler as their stooge. To this very day, the EU is paying and paying for their lack of vigilance.
In the wake of the last world war, the far east and Europe were so devastated by loss of property and life that every nation in 1946, turned to us for help with the possible exception of Russia (during the last days of that war, even the Russians received American armaments (freebees by the way)
The Nazis too were working on the A-bomb, heavy water experiments and so on, plus the fact that they also had the V-2 rocket. Through the many heroic sacrifices by a combined effort of British and American Air Forces Her Hitler didn’t get to nuke London and Moscow, which he would have done immediately and without reservation..you’d be talk-en German now. Never forget why we have our current position in the world. By a combination of default and human sacrifice we were, in effect, the only nation left standing with both feet on the ground.
Hail !! to the Russian people, brave, ingenious, self sacrificing, not a second world, but a first world country in every sense. This greatness, proven over and over again during the last world war. They lost twenty seven million because of European bankers and their profit crazed schemes. Problem is, their banking philosophies and blood lust were exported from Europe and brought here to the USA… Lord have pity! Oh great Neptune’s ocean, wash this blood from my hand!
Daniel Lazare, the USA is notably the only nation in the western Occident that truly understands what Europe continues to hope for; political ways of dispute resolution ruling over and above, pragmatism. That sort of fumbling and delay with an endless stream(s) of smiles and handshakes, only served to precipitate world war two. When it comes to Europe, the US, is, in effect, outside the fish bowl looking in. Over the last one hundred years or so, we have witnessed a parade of Neville Chamberlain types, waving their pieces of paper, all pipe dreams of one sort or another.. I tell you solemnly; treaties, agreements, UN resolutions, International Courts of Justice, will NOT stop the greatest threat to humanity-nuclear proliferation and it’s partner in crime, technocracy. Be it Iranian mullahs or North Korea, proof’s in the puddin’ as the expression goes. If Kim Jong un fails to dismantle and hand over his nukes ( I guess they are, all his) or if Ali Khamenei begins to “breakout” and start a nuclear weapons program, those Iranian facilities and or nuclear weapons storage , as in the case of North Korea, will be bombed into rubble. This will be no easy task, with many a GBU-43’s to mini nukes applied against the targets, whatever t takes…JFK foresaw this monstrous problem and when he pointed at Israel’s Dimona as a proliferation issue, he was murdered. Well, that sort of Zionist “pragmatism”, I suppose, was justified for the sake of Israel’s survival?, however this will not be tolerated or repeated again, elsewhere. Donald, our favorite orange haired dice roller, will fix the threat of what can only be perceived as an imminent danger to humanity.
By now, everyone realizes, that International MIC corporations have, indeed promoted and caused many an unnecessary conflict(s) for the sake of profit and their stock holders portfolios. That said, the nuclear proliferation issue stands out as a truly legitimate, raison d’ e’tat for and I hate to say it, unleashing another “kinetic action” ordered by our POTUS and ideally, ratified by congress!
After years and years of watching fumblers, I’m still baffled, and don’t know why it is, that we’re the only nation in the world willing to step up to the plate, and fix what’s really broken. As a global community, we should should never tolerate an ever expanding number of nuclear weapon armed states. This would only increase the likelihood of world war three.
Yeah…it’s about time some of those eastern Occidentals held up their end. You tell’em, Elmer, don’t hold back.
elmerfudzie – one can only hope your comments were intended as satire – if not they’d be more deeply appreciated at MSNBC or another MSM propaganda site.
Gary, your comment detracts from important points in my commentary by (cleverly) steering the reader to an MSM connection-allegation. Frankly, I don’t care what the MSM folks do, say, promote or ally themselves with.. I never log into their stuff and that’s what it is, stuff!.. to stuff the brain with junk- Let me sum it all up, if any nation, anywhere, decides to become a new nuclear (weapons) power, they can count on merciless bombardment by the USA with or without the help of NATO, Russia, Israel or our Pacific allies. We are resolved, as a nation, to stop nuclear proliferation, no excuses, diversions (especially nuclear material!) and no trade-offs. Once again, by default, the USA is the one and only power in this world, that can make such a credible threat. The long term military and political instability created by allowing both Israel and Pakistan to go nuclear, must never be repeated again !
If the US was against nuclear proliferation, why does it have so many nukes of its own?
Why is the US talking about selling nukes to the head-chopping regime in Saudi Arabia, if it is anti-proliferation?
Why does it not make is massive subsidies to Israel contingent on Israel signing the NPT and allowing inspectors to Dimona, if it is anti-proliferation?
Maybe you should go back to hunting wascally wabbits if you are so incapable of evaluating basic reality.
Elmer, North Korea’s acquisition of a nuclear weapons has apparently caused peace to break out on the Korean Peninsular.
And Pakistan and India, who hate each others guts, but both have nuclear weapons, have been at peace.
And the US will not initiate a nuclear war with Russia because of mutually assured destruction.
Maybe if Iran can also acquire a few nuclear warheads its Zionist neighbor will think twice about starting WWIII.
And the World will become a more peaceful place.
Maybe if Iran can obtain the same nuclear deterrent capabilities as Israel..
Then no more American kids will die fighting proxy wars in the Middle East for their Zionist Masters.
Dennis, the logic in your commentary escapes me. This is the proverbial problem of “monkey-see-monkey-do” If Iran, at some point in the future, gets away with manufacturing atomic arms then one or more of the GCC countries will follow suit, for (generally) the same reasons. I freely admit that, in the past, mistakes were made. Our Intel failed to catch Zionist diversions of fission grade Uranium from our stateside reprocessing facilities and failed again to convince President Reagan to stop A.Q. Khan’s network. Reagan would tell the world, over and over again, re certifying, year after year, that Pakistan had made no inroads to atomic weapons research or production, it was a big lie and he knew it. The brilliant JFK saw all of this coming down and as early as 1960, he made a point to take positive action but to no avail. JFK was murdered and the head honcho of murderers, LBJ took over the oval office seat-by rifle fire, of course. LBJ cheerfully looked the other way, permitting the Israeli bomb to become reality. As for the personage of LBJ, destruction was in his very soul and he went about stoking new middle east wars beginning with the hope that the USS Liberty would sink and proceeded to fires in the far east as well (Vietnam). Nixon and Reagan failed to learn anything, from such a succession political and intelligence errors. In point of fact, they both compounded the proliferation issue.
Further, it would be suicide for Israel to use nukes, for any number of reasons; widespread radioactive contamination to friend and foe alike (including devastating EMP effects), a strong resurgence of world wide anti-antisemitism that would make Hitler blush in his grave and a militant rise of the BDS movement all over European and American campuses, just to name a few repercussions for Israel to weigh in. This is why the ugly and thankless job of keeping Iran in line, begins and ends with the USA whether or not we decide to use a conventional deterrent or go nuclear…the blame will be ours for better or for worse for our collective future(s)
You seem to be operating under the delusions that 1)Iran wants nukes 2)Iran is a threat.
These two delusions alone make clear that you have been severely misinformed.
John, the only delusion I see here was a decision by the Iranian government to promote electrical generation with nuclear power. A nation waist deep in oil and second only to Russia in gas reserves needs the dirty Uranium/Plutonium cycle just to generate it’s domestic energy needs? ? ! Thorium 232 reactor ores would have been politically, economically and militarily far more logical and financially practical. Thorium 232 is very abundant, it cannot produce fissionable Uranium or Plutonium for bombs and financial costs are much lower for reactor shielding and permanent waste storage. This technology was well known and feasible prior to constructing either the Bushehr or the power plants at Yongbyon (North Korea). The choice to construct a Uranium 235 reactor core is the secret desire to (eventually) find a reason for “breaking out” in order to fabricate a nuclear arsenal.
Thanks, John, for succinctly stating the obvious. Iran decided in 2003 to never have a nuclear bomb and has never attacked anyone.
if what you say is true then israel must be forced to turn over all their nuclear weapons and destroy their ability to make more.
after all why should any country need wait for iran to get them if israel already has them?
but…more to the point…..you are just a stooge an apologist for israel.
blaming LBJ for israel terror attack of the uss liberty…shows your hand.
yes…he covered up israel war crime but he certainly didnt order it done.
the rest of your hogwash is clearly seen by all here too.
FB, please avoid personal attacks. Publish your ideas, opinions and factual evidence with an objective CONSORTIUMNEWS readers share, that is, to learn from one another, hold intellectual discourse, make and exchange specific points for for sake of productive argument
how about you disarm first?
While I personally feel that Europe will eventually side with the U.S., mainly because of market share being the U.S. towers over Iran, but then again… what do I know. Here is how Der Spiegel’s editorial Klaus Brinkbaumer sees it. (Be sure to check out the front cover of Der Spiegel)
There are lots of strange things developing with the world’s reactions to Trump’s walking away from the JPCOA. For instance, why isn’t Russia going to equip Syria with S300 missile defense systems? Does Russia feel that Syria is well off with their current S200 systems? Does Putin deep down inside support Netanyahu’s view of Iran? Will Russia remain neutral up against the U.S. destroying the JPCOA? So many questions, with so much left unanswered.
Although I feel Germany and France will eventually come around to side with the Trump Administration, only because that’s what the Europeans do when it comes to choosing sides where America is involved, but there’s always a first time for everything… right?
I have felt for a longtime to how Europe would be wise to keep itself independent of U.S., or of any other concern of outside state entities. Already we see that between the happenings in the Ukraine added to the overflow of refugees coming out of the Middle East that Europe is most definitely feeling the pain from all of these American conspired events. In comparison the U.S. suffers very little to nothing of the effects of these wars and saber rattling events, as Europe does. Europe would do itself a favor, if by some chance it could convert over to the China OBOR program, and replace the American loss with that. This maybe easier said than done, but can Europe go it alone without expecting any loss of revenue? That will be where Europe will need to hang its decision on. Lastly Europe could be a powerhouse of strength if it were to take the ‘pivotal’ position it surely seems to have.
And from the French.
Joe, the EU standing up against the US is long needed. Yet, as you say, may not happen this time either.
However, doesn’t it seem that there is a movement in how things are evaluated in Europe?
I will add another article to your list:
“Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European politics and business. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.” He may not always agree with the general CN sentiment, but he is almost always very well worth reading, imo.
Even the appearance of views like these in msm tells something.
Isn’t this and many other moves by Trump in good accord with PNAC and exceptionalism? Was it really very different under Obama and will it be much different under the next president? Undermining Europe including the agreement on NATO expansion with Russia began even under Bill Clinton. Divide and conquer. Brexit may be good news for US neoconservatives in this respect, too. The complete amorality of US interventions (sadly supported by the EU – stupidity or lack of spine) and the ethics they reflect are imo foreign to European thinking. There must come a reaction.
Gazeta.ru reported the other day that low level official and commercial delegations from France and Germany have visited the Crimea, a small but welcome sign of common sense, and a step in a better direction.
Another one from Bershidsky:
For an explanation of how things work when the U.S. decides it wants war read what moonofalabama has to say.
The referenced open blog just describes how well things organized, when the US, oops, Israel decides to go to war. It’s been working for the last decade or so, there’s no reason to believe that it won’t at this time. Just like in the case of previous invasions and/or constant bombing of “renegade” countries by Israel/allied forces and UN did nothing, the UN will not protest against invading Iran.
The stage is set, pretty much ready to roll and unlikely that it’ll take years to start the war in Iran. Russia has no interest in interfering with the upcoming war, based on its actions or rather inaction during the last couple of weeks. At the moment, it’s not known why Russia did not step up to the plate, but doing so may backfire for Russia. Especially, when its number is up for the chopping block…
There is an opinion of thought that says, that Russia is patiently waiting to see where the chips may fall. If this is the case, then Russia taking the quiet road is a superb strategy.
Could Russia be saying one thing while preparing for another thing. Like saying they won’t supply Syria with S300 missile systems, but then they do supply them under the cover of night? Does Putin take offense that all the while he stood with Netanyahu celebrating Russia’s Victory Day, that Bibi launches an attack on Syria/Iranian positions? When you come to think of it, Putin has been very quiet on this American rejectionl of the JPCOA.
There are many things to watch, and much to comprehend. We will need to study this carefully as the days, and week, go by. Joe
Joe, based on a military intelligence report I read a few days ago, Russia has been secretly moving armaments into Syria under the cover of an electronic blackout. I believe I read this information on a site called “Military Watch”.
This would make sense given that Russia may be playing a very careful strategic game to ensure it will have the upper hand in any confrontation.
People who are complaining that Russia has not “stepped up to the table” with the recent Israeli air strikes on Syria do not understand how really good military strategy and tactics work. It is more like watching an Olympic fencing match, which is actually a bit boring than that of watching Riggs and Murtaugh fending off the bad guys on Fox’s, “Lethal Weapon”.
How quickly it’s forgotten…
In 2014, Europe faced a similar predicament, following the Ukrainian crisis. The Obama administration rolled out sanctions against Russia, that were clearly not in the economic interest of the EU countries. Germany and others protested at that time as well, prior to grudgingly agreeing to the sanctions.
What makes people think, that it’ll be different at this time with the sanctions reinstated against Iran?
Yes, good point and you are probably right, although
it has been pointed out that the EU arguments against the Iran sanctions sound hollow against the EU’s support for the sanctions against Russia. The EU could abolish their sanctions against Russia to be consistent. :)
Not a chance of a German-Russian agreement on the Iranian nuclear deal. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is perfectly aligned with the United States (“Syria is not Auschwitz”, Der Spiegel), and Vladimir Putin has no intention to take on the United States on the Iranian nuclear issue (“The Skripals will most likely never be allowed to talk”, The Saker).
Quote from the article:
“According to the Israeli military, Israel notified Russia of the impending attack via “deconfliction” procedures in place since September 2015 – which means that Russia more or less assented to the destruction of its own defense systems.”
It’s hard not to interpret this as Russia has no interest in protecting Iran and for that matter, Syria. Especially in light of allied forces missile attack couple of weeks ego to which, Russia more or less also assented to.
Couple these lack of protections with the news, that Russia has made a u-turn and says no S-300 missiles for Syria after Netanyahu visit couple of days ego with Putin. In which case Russia protecting Iran against Israeli and allied forces attack seems unlikely. Especially, when EU will grudgingly go along with the sanctions against Iran and may throw a bone to Russia, in the form of easing sanctions against Russia. Once Iran is destroyed, those eased up sanctions against Russia will be reversed, of course…
Putin is on a slippery slope and might be too late, by the time he wants to put on the brakes. While I appreciate Putin’s effort to avoid WWWIII, it’s the existence of Russia that he’s putting at risk…
One truly wishes Germany would grow up and out of the past. History is what it is: history
Reality on the other hand is dynamic and even dialectical amongst sentient species lives.
It is time equally so that Israel grow up. And stop stooging the world at large with their endless whining on about their exceptionalism
which leaves Iran. The Jewish State wants to annihilate it. Which is so typical of their war mongering
so that one ends up having to defend Iran!
But Amerikan[sic] democracy has been hijacked by the Knesset”s Zionist Trolls as the US rolls over and gets shafted
time to stop this nonsense
and use realistic alternatives instead of Biblical ones for starters
I’m making a betting book and giving 1000 to 1 odds against Europe not complying with the Yanks orders. Any Takers ?
I’ll take that, put me in the book for a 100…
They would have to agree as a group to resist the Empire. It would be a turning point for the world. If they don’t resist, then they are revealed to the world, and to their own people, as the powerless vassals they have been all along. Trump has put them in a fine dilemma! They are even now huddling to try to come up with some half hearted cop out that says yes and no at the same time. It’s hard to be decisive, when for years you have practiced obedience to the Empire’s dictates.
I think that this bet is too aggressive. On one hand, the prospect of complying with the writ from Washington is very unpleasant. Comply or not, American treasury will again slap multi-billion fines, and financial companies are most vulnerable: they have myriads of transactions with shell companies with very thin profit margins (that add up), so they cannot investigate them much more than checking credentials, and it is always possible to claim that they facilitate sanction violations. For that matter, US agents could create some shell companies for that specific purpose.
The only defense would be counter-sanctions on USA, EU companies collecting compensation that EU would get back in some form, say, tariffs. EU officials have experience in trade wars, and even in the specific field of resisting sanctions.
That said, their is an ingrained masochistic yearning for the master who provides protection and administers punishment to the naughty. Thus 1000 to 1 odds are excessive.
If Merkel is involved it’s a disaster.
These are the usual dreams of a handful of left-wing liberals who dare to open their mouths. This characterless woman has constantly deceived and lied to Germany. In Washington a real baboon could sit on the chair and German politicians would also crawl up his anus.
“The decision to end the agreement is based on American domestic political considerations rather than any real analysis of what the intelligence community has been reporting. Deep-pocketed Iran-hating billionaires named Sheldon Adelson, Rebekah Mercer and Paul Singer are now prepared to throw tens of millions of dollars at Trump’s Republican Party to help it win in November’s midterm elections.
“Those possessed of just a tad more foresight, to include the Pentagon and America’s European allies, have strongly urged that JCPOA be continued, particularly as the Iranians have been fully in compliance, but there is a new team in Washington. America’s just-confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not exactly endorse the ludicrous Israeli claim made by Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks ago that Iran has a secret weapons of mass destruction program currently in place, but he did come down hard against the JCPOA, echoing Trump in calling it a terrible agreement that will guarantee an Iranian nuclear weapon. The reality is quite different […]
“The failure of the JCPOA is not about the agreement at all, which is both sound and workable. There is unfortunately an Israeli-White House construct which assumes that Iran is both out to destroy Israel, for which no evidence has been revealed, as well as being singularly untrustworthy, an odd assertion coming from either Washington or Tel Aviv. It also basically rejects any kind of agreement with the Iranian government on principle so there is nowhere to go to ‘fix’ what has already transpired.”
Trump’s Pyrrhic Victory: the US Opts for a Path That Can Only Lead to War
By Philip M Giraldi
Daniel Lazare has a very good take on the importance of Germany tipping the scale in today’s volatile MiddleEastern climate. But does Merkel have the courage to insert some sanity into the situation. Macron obviously does not.
The Germans and FRENCH must step up and rebuff the reneging on this international agreement by the Trump admin. It’s time for them both to stop acting like US (and Israeli) lap dogs and get into the driver’s seat on this matter–even if it means threatening the solvency of the EU. Both countries have enough investments in Iran (and Silk Road Initiative) to turn their respective countries into a deep recession, which will likely bring down the entire EU–if the sanctions are allowed to go through. Additionally, don’t expect Russia to stand idly by as they control much of the gas to Western Europe as well.
The bell is tolling for the Germans and French to step up to the plate to uphold international law. Vacate NATO Now!!!
Agree! Also, high time for Germany to seek treatment for deep-seated Holocaust neurosis, announcing to warmonger and psychopath Netanyahu the end of her generosity. For many years I favored a strong co-operation between Germany and Russia in all areas of commerce, science and civil endeavors and a loosening of Germany’s servitude to the US. I am wary that Merkel may not be up to the job.
Disclosure: I am German citizen with residence in the US for the past 30 years.
“Also, high time for Germany to seek treatment for deep-seated Holocaust neurosis, announcing to warmonger and psychopath Netanyahu the end of her generosity. For many years I favored a strong co-operation between Germany and Russia in all areas of commerce, science and civil endeavors and a loosening of Germany’s servitude to the US.”
Yes. I agree with you completely on that. It is time for Germany to take the leadership role in the World independently. With its unique position as one of the top productive economy in the World today and its remarkable cultural and intellectual history, the time to end its servitude to U.S. is long overdue. It is true that U.S. is a big market for Germany, but so will be China, Brazil, India, Russia, and the rest of the World combined.
While I agree practically totally, the road is a tricky one.
Germany has done excellently and exerted lots of influence by being so peace-loving and non-militaristic.
Germany needs to find agreement with France and other major EU countries in order to make a change work, and not stir opposition and distrust.
Germany and the EU need get Poland and the Baltic and some other countries on board, which may not be easy given their bend to trust the US, and US divide and conquer policy. The EU needs to cooperate with Russia.
The EU needs to get back on track.
I am sick and tired of the APPEASEMENT of other countries toward the US. The US has flagrantly violated signed treaties and initiated wars of choice resulting in the deaths and displacement of millions. HOW MANY MORE INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN MUST DIE? Doing business with this rogue nation at this point makes one complicit in the crimes. Russia, China, and the EU as well as other nations can no longer justify complacency.
Tim, I agree
There is nothing stopping other nations refusing to trade with the “rogue” US nation.
Do it. Put sanctions on the US.
What is stopping these countries being complicit in this crime?
The only explanation is surely that they agree with US foreign policy.
They are all also “rogue” nations.
Only time will tell?
Since the first colonists began their destruction of the Americas, Europeans have applauded.
How that the US has turned against Europe (along with the rest of the world) they face a quandary.
Do they continue to play lap-dog, or do they stand up?
I’m hoping they stand up … but I am NOT optimistic.
The US swagger hides its shaky economic situation, the country is rotting internally, and the world’s largest debtor nation is telling the rest of the world what to do? I like KiwiAntz’ statement that Trump has ripped the mask off the United States to reveal the ugly bully. May the other nations stand up for themselves and not be held hostage by the US and Israel.
Yes, and their swagger is also falsely seated in a notion of military superiority. Today’s missile technology held by both Russia and China make our carrier groups into sitting ducks. However, while it seems that China and Russia keep hoping to wage peace based on mutually beneficial agreements, the USA wants the whole pie and would rather blow up the whole world than have to share. Hopefully Germany, at least, will wake up to this and rethink their alliance with an obvious bunch of sociopaths.
The rail line with London to Beijing connections through Moscow, Madrid, Tehran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the Russo/Korean pacific is almost as important as the new arctic sea routes.
We play chess with masters. Is that correct Mr. Trump? You show Iranians the meaning of life? Meesterr Trump.
They will set up defenses. No one will pay attention to the fool on capitol hill who sees the sun going ’round as the world it goes down.
Iran has many centuries of experience and relations with Russia, Turkey, Germany and China. It has peace with the Philippines, Hawaii and the west coast of north America. No one should do anything. The US is collapsing. It is like a rattlesnake. Ready to strike anything that moves. We are all down wind from each other so who ever pentagonian crazies decide to attack is upwind,
Be calm. If the US snarls at you; back away and say, “Good dog, good dog.” If that doesn’t work you are in donald’s deepest doo doo.
The one, positive thing to come out of all this mess is how Trump has systematically destroyed any credibility & facade of respectability that the US formerly had? The mask has well & truly come off for all the World to see & the “ugly American” mentality with its arrogant & pigheade, ignorant attitude has now been fully exposed from under the Trumps orange tinted, buffonted hairdo? This is the true America, Trump should be applauded for this nutty expose’ as he’s done the World a huge favour, everyone can now see for themselves, that it is America who is the real enemy & Global threat to World Peace & no one else! Trump & his American Empire has singlehandedly shown its true face & contempt for the rest of the World & taken a big steaming dump on it, militarily & economically, there’s no hiding that fact anymore? Europe & the rest of the World need to wake up to this fact & take measures to stand up to this Global bully & Terrorist Nation called the USA? And who does America think it is, that it can threaten the World with its Military & use of economic & financial terrorism?? The World previously stood up & defeated another Global bully called Nazi Germany, thanks to Russia & now we are facing a bigger threat called the United States of A**holes!
RE: “Europe & the rest of the World need to wake up to this fact”
They are already wide awake and well aware of the 800 lb gorilla in their bedroom.
RE: “take measures to stand up to this Global bully & Terrorist Nation called the USA?”
They are cowering in their beds with the covers pulled over their heads.
RE : “who does America think it is, that it can threaten the World with its Military & use of economic & financial terrorism?”
America and Israel think the are the Exceptional Nations, the Chosen Peoples, aka the “Boss of all Bosses”.
Consortium News moderators, while do you continue to allow this poster to spew this bile in the comment section? It is an ad hominen attack on millions of Americans who did not vote for the current President to call our country the United States of A**holes. And extremely offensive.
Dennis, I disagree. No moderators. Let people express themselves. When we Europeans say ‘Americans’ it is self-explanatory that we don’t mean all 320 million Americans. We mean the majority of Americans who voted this immature sucker to become their president, provided we trust US election outcomes [I don’t]. I live in the US and I can assure you I hate to watch this ignorant, exceptionally arrogant and violent populace telling the rest of the world what to do and how to behave.
Like you I live in the United States but I was born here.
It pains me terribly to see how ignorant most Americans are to the world around them. And I don’t blame the many people from other nations who are abhorred by the US government’s actions and can’t help but wonder as to what is exactly wrong with the American populace. At least the Europeans are willing to close down entire industries with strikes.
Most days I want to simply wretch…
On the other hand there are many Americans who are attempting to do something about the entire political morass the US is bound up in currently. But most of these people are going about it all wrong as their activism is based on the endeavors in the 1960s when there were some rational people left in all levels of government. Now there isn’t, so such endeavors are for the most part a complete waste of time.
The most serious problem the citizens of the United States are now facing is that it has come to the point where no political solution is feasible without something miraculous occurring within the political system. Without that, what is left is violent revolution as some Americans are starting to call for. However, psychologically this is very difficult thing to expect from a people who have never known serious deprivation to their own country other than that which has been self-made…
I think a vast majority of the Americans who voted trump are honest, hardworking, and decent people. The people were fed up with the political leaders as they are. So, they voted for Trump who had some good ideas, and was an outsider. It is not Trump only out there who acts like that, there are all these other political, media, and government figures who are even worse.
With all these wars, destruction, bullying of the Nations which is going on, I can see why a very few of the commentators get carried away, and use harsh words sometimes out of frustration. I don’t think they mean any offense to the people or the country. On the whole the debate in comments section is very informative and decent.
The population in the country has been brainwashed.
Dave my friend, what an outrageous statement.
So 320 million people have been brainwashed eh?
Every single one of us!
Including my two medical doctor daughters who were beside themselves when Trump was elected.
They are nor A**holes.
Same for all the commenters on this blog who are disgusted with their countries foreign policy.
To call all Americans A**holes is childish, offensive, and unhelpful.
America has been a great cause for good in many areas.
You would not be typing on the internet if were not for American inventiveness.
Spewing this bile is the refuge of people with nothing constructive to offer.
And Dave…the majority of honest, hardworking, and decent people did not vote for Trump.
He became President with a minority of votes due to the foibles of our Electoral College system.
Trump ran on an antiwar platform.
His opponent was a warmonger with the blood of millions (of women) on her hands.
The majority of Americans voted for the better of two evils.
They were not brain washed.
Just lied to.
That Trump in office has bent to the wishes of the neocon A**hole warmongers is a tragedy.
But if we wanted to argue at the level of our Kiwi friend..
We would do better by going down to the local biker bar.
There was at least one other (in most cases two other) candidates on the ballot, besides Hair Fuhrer and the Red Queen. Both of these other candidates were anti-war candidates, and both were exponentially more intelligent than the Big Cheeto.
If Americans were not brainwashed (at least over 90% of them), then why do few Americans even acknowledge that they had choices other than Killary and Drumpf?
Thank you Adrian E. for the data compiled in recent polls. I hope one day soon that the will of the German people becomes the road map that the German Government follows. I also hope the same for my country (US).
Interesting, but Germany hasn’t the inclination nor the guts to side with Russia against the US or Israel. And, Putin is deluding himself if he trusts Trump, Netanyahu, Merkel, May, or Macron who constantly call Russia an enemy.
Germany is an absolutely beautiful country. It’s everything Americans would wish for, if they knew any better. Everything works. The water is safe, the streets are clean, there are no public eyesores, and if poverty exists, it’s invisible. For the most part, everybody plays by the rules. Yes, there are problems, but compared to the US, they are practically insignificant. Mass migration may be having a detrimental effect, but I haven’t been back for years and can’t provide first-hand observations. Germany is also what any student of military history would quite frankly call an “occupied nation”. You can spot signs for exits to US military facilities all over the autobahn. They are not conspicuous, but they are there. The economic contribution these facilities make to Germany are no doubt gargantuan. I can’t speculate how big, and I doubt that even Congress has a good handle on the size of the US footprint. If there were a war between Russia and the US, Germany would be what students of military strategy call a “target rich environment”. It would be the US’s logistical “rear echelon” in traditional linear battle planning strategy, and consequently a valuable strategic objective. If push came to shove, Russia would not want to devastate Germany. But in the hypothetical role of Russia’s supreme military commander under threat of military invasion, most “war gamers” would obliterate it immediately. And, Germany knows that.
So, it is doubtful that Germany will do anything other than attempt to sit on the fence. Don’t expect Germany to buck the empire. Just a guess, but I’d say it ain’t gonna happen.
Thanks FG, you have an interesting perspective on this. Most of us, like Germany, are caught in situations that we find hard to change. It’s easy to blame others for not making changes, but then we have to look at ourselves.
Germans bucking the empire
great comment. Guess what was the only country in the world, after world war 2, to make financial reparations? Germany. Germany has really supported Israel since the 1960’s. Munich 1972, an aberration. Why does not the USA make reparations to everyone and every country we have violated? Chile, Guatamala, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Libya, Palestine, Cuba, Congo, Yemen, Sudan, Iran …Heck this country is incapable of acknowledging the plunder of the Natives, and the enslavement of black people. We are along way from where Germany is.
You may be correct, F.G. Sanford. Germany, my country, is a very precarious situation and probably unable to withstand the US pressure. I bet if Germany indicated that she is mulling over leaving NATO or even requesting to reduce the US military presence in the country a bully like Trump would slam Germany with embargoes and sanctions and even confiscate the gold that Germany stupidly left sitting in Fort Knox. Forget about Congress, this corrupt, nasty, warmongering assembly of criminals; there is no longer a real opposition in the US to restrain an out-of-control psychopathic president. Well see… I fear for the worst.
If the Middle East continue to be in chaos as it has been for the past four decades, the disasters would not befall on America which is protected by the oceans on both coasts, the Eurasia countries will have to bear those war cost of one failed state after another while America will be able to continue to divide and conquer each and every European countries along with Russia.
My impression is the US is overheating. It is in an eternal war with humanity that requires operating at the economic intensity and debt to gnp as was experienced at the end of ww2. The capitalist system design is grow faster and faster to infinity on a finite planet. The US is running into friction from a degraded environment where all the free lunches are already eaten and what is left is wanted by everyone else.
Hell will freeze over before Angela Merkel, a fully owned CIA asset, takes a singly baby step in foreign policy. In no shape or form has she ever put Germany’s national interest before those of the banks, the US, or the EU. The only question is how long she will huff and puff before bending to the orders from Washington.
I am sure she can handle things, Donald J Trump not likely, he is beholden to his money masters. See, Merkel is not a money power jerk like trump. Big difference. Merkel does care, djt wants to be Putin, no rules, no laws, I win. Winning is everything to djt. Merkel, not so much.
The country that is going to defy the holocaust is gong to be Germany? It’s laughable.
What does defy the holocaust mean? How can one defy the holocaust? Do you mean deny? Your comment does not make sense.
and what is gong?
I believe the German people are more aware and smarter than Mr. Lazare gives them credit for. Unlike the US where unfortunately most people have no concept of history or geography, Europeans have continuously lived what we only read about in history books. Of course some factions in Germany would protest, but if Angela explains what needs to be done to protect the German and European economy, I think the majority would be with her, and Lazare forgets to mention that most of the EU especially UK and France would be with her along with a number of very wealthy (hence powerful) companies here in the US who, I assume, if they are still sane, are appalled at what Trump has wrought.
I like the possibilities presented by the author of this article. If I were the German Chancellor I would take the lead and align with Russia, Iran, and by extension China. Embrace the Silk Road initiative and put Germany in a position to reap the economic and geopolitical benefits of this new alliance. Give NATO the boot and build a new security agreement with your new partners. Trump has already threatened to place sanctions on European corporations doing business with Iran. Merkel needs to find some courage and call his bluff. Germany is the economic powerhouse in the EU. By taking the lead, she could convince other EU countries to do likewise and thus break free from US control and domination. Put down a marker in the ME and stop the axis of evil ( US, IS, KSA) from going to war with Iran. The empire is in decline and needs a slap in the face. Now is the time for Germany to stop being a US lap dog. I realize that this is wishful thinking on my part. However, war with Iran would create ever more refugees fleeing to Europe to escape the chaos and destruction. How many millions this time? The US also plans to force the EU to by its gas even though it will be 50% more expensive than gas from Russia. When will the EU stop being a loyal subject to the Kingdom of the United States? Merkel needs to grow a pair.
@Daniel Lazare: Very well thought article, but as a German I have to admit that German politicians did everything to please US politics and wreck relationships with Russia. With our new foreign minister Heiko Maas and defense minister von der Leyen, eager to even further demolish what is left in contacts to Russia and blindly following the Israeli and US hardliners I am very pessimistic that Germany will be willing to save our peace. Even if it would be needed more desperate than ever. So sad.
I am afraid you are correct, Bernard. It’s a shame. I am embarrassed over Germany’s meekness. But its a gamble… what would Trump do if Germany were to realize it’s time to show a spine.
Politics and economic realities make for strange bedfellows sometimes. The former enemies Russia and Germany are being pushed together by the ever pushy would be US hegemon. The future of Europe lies in Eurasia and the BRI projects. Merkel is holding onto a losing hand – she needs to throw it in, before Germany gets sucked down the drain the US Empire is circling.
“If Germany were to turn in the other direction, the protests would be deafening not only in Washington, Paris, and London, but in Berlin.”
Of course, a complete reorientation of Germany is not likely, and even more moderate steps in that direction could lead to some protests, but a majority of Germans would probably support such steps. Surveys have consistently shown that Germans are in favor of improving relations with Russia, and this is also the case for a recent survey (http://wiese-consult.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Russland-und-der-Westen_130418.pdf in German) for which 2025 citizens were surveyed.
– Only 23% of Germans supported the expulsion of diplomats after the accusations related to the Skripal poisoning, 69% were against it (even though a plurality of 46% believes that Russia was responsible, 28% think Russia is not responsible and 26% say they don’t know).
– 55% of Germans are in favor of reducing and lifting existing sanctions against Russia, 26% want to keep them in the present form and only 13% want more sanctions.
– 50% of Germans think that mainly the US is responsible for the current increase in tensions between East and West, 25% think Russia is mainly responsible, 7% think mainly EU countries are responsible, and 8% blame everyone equally.
– Only 17% are afraid of Russia, 83% say they are not.
– 79% of Germans believe that Donald Trump is a bigger threat to world peace than Vladimir Putin.
– 63% of Germans think Western countries should do as much as possible to allow Russia to feel as a part of Europe, only 26% think the differences between the EU and Russia should be emphasized
– 94% of Germans think good relations between Germany and Russia are important
– only 6% of Germans think the primary goal of German foreign policy should be a maximally close connection to Western countries and a clear distance from Russia, 89% are in favor of an independent European foreign policy that also takes into account Russian interests
– The new foreign minister Heiko Maas favors a harsher position towards Russia than his predecessor Sigmar Gabriel. 20% approve of this, 68% disapprove.
– Only 19% of Germans think it is right that parts of SPD want more distance towards Russia and a closer integration in the Western camp than with earlier detente policies, 71% disapprove.
Earlier surveys had similar tendencies, and this one is even clearer than I had expected. Unfortunately, I also think it is unlikely that the German government will change its foreign policy to a degree that would be necessary for dealing with aggressive US and British policies, but if it did so and looked for more cooperation with Russia, it seems that this would be supported by an overwhelming majority of Germans.
As far as I know, also in other EU countries, such as France, Italy, and Spain, surveys show attitudes towards Russia that are much more friendly than current EU policies. Of course, that would be different in Poland and the Baltic states, but these are a relatively small part of the EU (albeit one that is exploited by the US for dividing Europe). The establishment in the media and in politics has banked on hostility towards Russia, but in Germany, it does so with very little popular support.
Thanks for this very interesting comment!
Very good that you emphasise the US (successful) effort to split the EU by utilising the loyalty of Poland and the Baltics to the US. Sadly, the other day Sweden and Finland signed a military cooperation agreement with the US. If Merkel means business with her talk of the EU taking care of its defence without US help, she needs to hurry. Isn’t France the first to join in this initiative? The EU is being divided and conquered.
Thanks for this info!
Adrian E. – Very informative comments. Thanks.
It has been proven that US economic and political objectives regarding Iran are diametrically opposed to the other Iran nuclear deal signatories. It is hard to know what will they do about it but I think they should severe ties with Washington once and for all. Nobody says that it will be easy. Nonetheless, no country should be US lackey.
The US not only wants to split the EU it also assures that should it come to war with Iran [which may lead to Armageddon with Israel pouring oil on the fire] another long train of millions of refugees will stream to continental Europe and overwhelm people’s willingness and resources to take care of them. I tell you the US is the Devil in disguise.
Mr. Lazare doesn’t seem to see any way out. Neither do I. Any resolution will have to involve the US ceasing to be the world’s biggest asshole. And that ain’t likely to happen.
I agree Jeff. I believe that the Iran signatory deal countries must begin a more independent path from US. Otherwise, they will be nothing more than vassals held under US bondage for good. The decision is theirs.
It is obvious that both Germany and Russia should try to distance themselves from US policies that are in detriment of both countries. US has demonstrated once more his total disrespect when it comes to consulting its partners. Only time will tell.
Dan Lazare offers a very important, thoughtful article here, homing in on a truly important question.
It is helpful to remember that things DO change, sometimes even when the odds seem very much against such change. German politics are less hidebound than the misnomered “two-party system” and the ascendant “one-percent” in the U.S. Equally important, German citizens and politicians are, generally speaking, far better educated than the nincompoops and arms merchants that party machines offer U.S. voters to choose between. So there IS hope for Germany, in my view.
One VERY significant factor in all this is China. In the Iran context, I understand China depends greatly on Iranian oil. Of even greater importance, in my view, is an overarching new reality: the de facto MILITARY alliance between Russia and China. China fully supports Russia on key issues like Syria and Ukraine, as well as Iran.
If there are significant military clashes in central Europe and/or the Middle East, I think it likely that China will do some saber-rattling of its own in the Taiwan Strait and/or the South China Sea. Secretary Mattis may indeed be a mad dog, and it is the height of irony that he should emerge as the grownup in the room. The real question is whether he mad enough to NOT put the brakes on Israeli military attacks on Syria. If he is, or if he simply salutes like a docile Marine, he is likely to help Bolton, Pompeo, and Trump unleash the mad dogs of war — perhaps on two fronts.
At the height of the Sino-Soviet conflict in the Sixties and Seventies, the Soviets and the Chinese traded shots across their long border and verbal barbs calling each other “great-power chauvinists.” Sadly, that is what the U.S. has now become — in spades. And, dangerously, there seems to be no awareness among Trumps advisers that the U.S. is no longer the unrivaled hegemon.
Indeed, the alliance that the U.S. has inadvertently helped bring about between Russia and China, which used to be at each other’s throats, is an alliance that Washington IS NOW REQUIRED to share power with. It is to be hoped that the U.S. does not learn this the hard way by continuing on its current misbegotten path toward fostering armed conflict. Dan Lazare is right; this has got to stop, before Mattis feels he has to salute to an order to send Marines up the cliffs on the Iranian side of the Persian Gulf.
Quick, someone tell Fox and Friends. Maybe they can get through to Trump, before he does something — or encourages Israel to do something — really dumb to upset the new strategic apple-cart. It is a international balance very different from what the post-WWII world has known up till this time. Better to come to that realization sooner than later.
Ray I hope your okay. Here is something you might find interesting. Apparently Russia is not going to arm Syria with the S300 missile system.
Again hope you are doing well. Also the next time I see you on tv I want to see you remain upright, and coherent… I curse those dirty dogs for how they treated you the other day. Best wishes. Joe
Ray, I’m going to do what I can here in Germany to encourage what Daniel Lazare recommends. He’s right about the pitfalls but we (here and there) have to remember that the majority of the population (also here and there) are on our side, and totally opposed to the reckless policies of the US regime. Solidarity with France is important but so is our solidarity as sane people. As always, it’s a question of how to organize. It really tore me up to see you handcuffed on the floor the other day — alone! That should never happen. We don’t all have the personal courage that you have (bless you for it), but all the more reason for us to get together and do things together. Your example, and also this article by Lazare, are giving me plenty of motivation right now and I hope others are similarly inspired.
I am wondering if you have approached Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity to try to get on their shows. I know Tucker has had Stephen Cohen on, so maybe Fox’s overlords would permit you to speak. It’s worth a shot.
p.s. Like the others, I hope you’re ok after getting roughed up so brutally. Those cops were total scumbags to beat up on an old man. You made them show their true colors for the whole world to see.
Ray it is so good and very important to hear from you here at CN. Thank you for briefing us about where you think we stand internationally. Thank you for all that you do; we are inspired by your honesty and sincerely…
Thank you, Ray, very good to hear from you.
Like the others, Ray, Thank you.
For being who you are and doing what you do.
The video of you being abused by the Capitol Police was reminiscent of when Killary had you attacked for standing quietly when she was giving a speech on how Egypt needs to respect peaceful protest.