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Posts Tagged ‘Angela Merkel’

Germany, France press for rapid Greek debt deal

Posted by Admin on January 24, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/euro-zone-finmins-rule-glacial-greek-debt-talks-083938401.html

By Daniel Flynn and Gernot Heller | Reuters – 2 hrs 8 mins ago

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany and France pressed on Monday for a rapid deal between Greece and its private creditors that cuts its soaring debt to sustainable levels and said they were committed to a sealing a new bailout for Athens by March to avert a disastrous default.

Euro zone finance ministers met in Brussels to discuss the terms of a Greek debt restructuring and new treaties that will pave the way for tighter fiscal discipline and a new rescue fund the bloc wants in place by mid-year.

Ahead of that meeting, French Finance Minister Francois Baroinsaid an elusive deal to convince the banks and investment funds that own Greek debt to accept deep losses on their holdings appeared to be “taking shape.”

But his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble warned that any deal must help Greece cut its debt mountain to “not much more than 120 percent of GDP” by the end of the decade, from roughly 160 percent today, something many economists believe will not be achieved by the existing plan.

“The negotiations will be difficult, but we want the second program for Greece to be implemented in March so that the second (bailout) tranche can be released,” Schaeuble told a news conference in Paris with Baroin and the heads of the German and French central banks.

“Greece must fulfill its commitments, it is difficult and there is already a lot of delay,” Schaeuble said.

After several rounds of talks, Greece and its private creditors are converging on a deal in which private bondholders would take a real loss of 65 to 70 percent on their Greek bonds, officials close to the negotiations say.

But some details of the debt restructuring, which will involve swapping existing Greek bonds for new, longer-term bonds are unresolved.

Charles Dallara, the Institute of International Finance chief who is negotiating on behalf of the private debt holders, left Athens over the weekend saying banks had no room to improve their offer.

Sources close to the talks told Reuters on Monday that the impasse centered on questions of whether the deal would return Greece’s debt mountain, currently over 350 billion euros, to levels that European governments believe are sustainable.

“There will likely be an updated debt sustainability analysis that will be discussed at the Eurogroup,” a banking source in Athens said, requesting anonymity. “Talks will continue this week. The aim is to have an agreement by late next Monday.”

In Brussels, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said talks had been “moving well” and expressed confidence a deal could be sealed this week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was no question of extending Greece a bridging loan if talks with the private sector dragged on further.

The euro pushed up to its highest level against the dollar in nearly three weeks on hopes Greece and the banks could overcome differences and seal a successful debt swap.

LAGARDE DEMANDS

Speaking in Berlin not far from Merkel’s Chancellery, IMF chief Christine Lagarde urged European governments to increase their financial firewall to prevent Greece’s troubles from ensnaring bigger countries like Italy and Spain.

She also called on European leaders to complement the “fiscal compact” they agreed last month with some form of financial risk-sharing, mentioning euro zone bonds or bills, or a debt redemption fund as possible options.

Berlin opposes those steps and Merkel told a news conference with the Belgian prime minister that it was not the time to debate an increase in the euro zone’s bailout funds — the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and its successor, the 500 billion euro European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

“I don’t think it is right to do one new thing then do another, let’s get the ESM working,” Merkel said, reiterating that Germany was prepared to accelerate the flow of capital into the ESM ahead of its planned introduction in mid-2012.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who has complained openly that his reform efforts have not been recognized by the markets, is reportedly pushing for the rescue fund to be doubled to 1 trillion euros. Lagarde stopped short of advocating that, saying: “I am not saying double it.”

But she did speak out in favor of folding funds from the EFSF into the ESM to give it more firepower.

The more immediate worry is Greece. Without the second bailout from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund, Athens will not be able to pay back 14.5 billion euros in maturing bonds in March, triggering a messy default that would hurt the entire euro zone and send tremors beyond the 13-year old single currency bloc.

DETERIORATION

Euro zone leaders agreed in October that the second bailout would total 130 billion euros, if private bondholders forgave half of what Greece owes them in nominal terms.

But Greek economic prospects have deteriorated since then, which means either euro zone governments or investors will have to contribute more than thought.

A key sticking point is the coupon, or interest rate, the new Greek bonds would carry. Officials said the new bonds are likely to be 30 years in maturity and carry a progressively higher coupon, which would average out at around 4 percent.

Progress will be presented to the Eurogroup, the euro zone ministers, by Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

“We will listen to the Greek finance minister to hear what models there are,” said Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter as the talks got under way. “It is important to have a long-term model so that Greece has time … We know that the banks are not overly happy, but a crash is far more expensive than such a long-term plan.”

After dealing with Greece, euro zone ministers will choose a replacement for European Central Bank Board member Jose Manuel Gonzales Paramo, whose term ends in May.

The 17 ministers of the euro zone will then be joined by 10 ministers from the other European Union countries to finalize a treaty setting up the euro zone’s permanent bailout fund, the

ESM.

The 27 EU finance ministers will also prepare the final draft of another treaty to sharply tighten fiscal discipline in the euro zone, called the “fiscal compact,” that is designed to ensure another sovereign debt crisis cannot happen in future.

EU leaders are to sign off on both treaties at a summit on January 30, allowing the ESM to become operational in July.

(Additional reporting by Stephen Brown and Alexandra Hudson in Berlin, Leigh Thomas in Paris, Lefteris Papadimas and Ingrid Melander in Athens; Writing by Noah Barkin and Jan Strupczewski, editing by Mike Peacock/Jeremy Gaunt)

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Muslim World Agenda & News Sept 29/11

Posted by Admin on September 30, 2011

http://www.galacticfriends.com/updates/truth-and-growth-education/5789-muslim-world-agenda-a-news-sept-2911.html

Muslim World Agenda & News Sept 29/11

Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germans have failed to grasp how Muslim immigration has transformed their country and will have to come to terms with more mosques than churches throughout the countryside, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily. “Our country is going to carry on changing, and integration is also a task for the society taking up the task of dealing with immigrants,” Ms. Merkel told the daily newspaper. “For years we’ve been deceiving ourselves about this. Mosques, for example, are going to be a more prominent part of our cities than they were before.”

Germany, with a population of 4-5 million Muslims, has been divided in recent weeks  by a debate Over remarks by the Bundesbank’s Thilo Sarrazin, who argued Turkish and Arab immigrants were failing to integrate and were swamping Germany with a higher birth rate.

The Chancellor’s remarks represent the first official acknowledgement that Germany ,like other European countries, is destined to become a stronghold of Islam. She has admitted that the country will soon become a stronghold. In France , 30% of children age 20 years and below are Muslims. The ratio in Paris and Marseille has soared to 45%. In southern France , there are more mosques than churches.

The situation within the United Kingdom is not much different. In the last 30 years, the Muslim population there has climbed from 82,000 to 2.5 million. Presently, there are over 1000 mosques throughout Great Britain – many of which were converted from churches.

In Belgium , 50% of the newborns are Muslims and reportedly its Islamic population hovers around 25%. A similar statistic holds true for The Netherlands. It’s the same story in Russia where one in five inhabitants is a Muslim.

Muammar Gaddafi recently stated that “There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without a sword, without a gun, without conquest. We don’t need terrorists; we don’t need homicide bombers. The 50 plus million Muslims (in Europe )will turn it into the Muslim Continent within a few decades.” The numbers support him.

I think the Muslims are smarter than the Europeans. Muslims will reproduce like rabbits but the Islamic Countries do not need to feed the Muslims.  Send them to European Countries and let the Europeans feed them and bring them up.  Now who is “smarter”??  . (Folks the Asians have a similar agenda . Each country has the responsibility to take care of there own citizens and economies fairly they should not be allowed to impose and burden other countries with there citizens. It is a legal and moral responsibility of each countries governments to protect there own economic stability by honouring there own citizens first and for most and not allow foreign influences to hold sway in any way over our sovereignty especially dark ET Religious programming treachery Tami)

It is odious treachery that brought them to other countries so it is our responsibility to deport any and all threats to our sovereignty way of life and health and safety of our present and future societies. I have been told that most immigration policies like the banking agenda has been based on fraud and criminality so most immigrants will be deported back to there countries of origin. I am not against other cultures I am against willful attempts to undermine sovereignty of countries and destroy there way of life and economies! Tami

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Special report: The West’s unwanted war in Libya

Posted by Admin on April 1, 2011

Flag-map of Kingdom of Libya

Flag Map of Kingdom of Libya

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110401/wl_nm/us_libya_decisions4

By Paul Taylor – Fri Apr 1, 4:27 am ET

PARIS (Reuters) – It is a war that Barack Obama didn’t want, David Cameron didn’t need, Angela Merkel couldn’t cope with and Silvio Berlusconi dreaded.

Only Nicolas Sarkozy saw the popular revolt that began in Libya on February 15 as an opportunity for political and diplomatic redemption. Whether the French president‘s energetic leadership of an international coalition to protect the Libyan people from Muammar Gaddafi will be enough to revive his sagging domestic fortunes in next year’s election is highly uncertain.

But by pushing for military strikes that he hopes might repair France’s reputation in the Arab world, Sarkozy helped shape what type of war it would be. The road to Western military intervention was paved with mutual suspicion, fears of another quagmire in a Muslim country and doubts about the largely unknown ragtag Libyan opposition with which the West has thrown in its lot.

That will make it harder to hold together an uneasy coalition of Americans, Europeans and Arabs, the longer Gaddafi holds out. Almost two weeks into the air campaign, Western policymakers fret about the risk of a stray bomb hitting a hospital or an orphanage, or of the conflict sliding into a prolonged stalemate.

There is no doubt the outcome in Tripoli will have a bearing on the fate of the popular movement for change across the Arab world. But because this war was born in Paris it will also have consequences for Europe.

“It’s high time that Europeans stopped exporting their own responsibilities to Washington,” says Nick Witney, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “If the West fails in Libya, it will be primarily a European failure.”

A FRENCH FIASCO

When the first Arab pro-democracy uprisings shook the thrones of aging autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt in January, France had got itself on the wrong side of history.

Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie had enjoyed a winter holiday in Tunisia, a former French colony, oblivious to the rising revolt. She and her family had taken free flights on the private jet of a businessman close to President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, and then publicly offered the government French assistance with riot control just a few days before Ben Ali was ousted by popular protests.

Worse was to come. It turned out that French Prime Minister Francois Fillon had spent his Christmas vacation up the Nile as the guest of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the next autocrat in the Arab democracy movement’s firing line, while Sarkozy and his wife Carla had soaked up the winter sunshine in Morocco, another former French territory ruled by a barely more liberal divine-right monarch.

Television stations were re-running embarrassing footage of the president giving Gaddafi a red-carpet welcome in Paris in 2007, when Libya’s “brother leader” planted his tent in the grounds of the Hotel de Marigny state guest house across the road from the Elysee presidential palace.

On February 27, a few days after Libyan rebels hoisted the pre-Gaddafi tricolor flag defiantly in Benghazi, Sarkozy fired his foreign minister. In a speech announcing the appointment of Alain Juppe as her successor, Sarkozy cited the need to adapt France’s foreign and security policy to the new situation created by the Arab uprisings. “This is an historic change,” he said. “We must not be afraid of it. We must have one sole aim: to accompany, support and help the people who have chosen freedom.”

MAN IN THE WHITE SHIRT

Yet the international air campaign against Gaddafi’s forces might never have happened without the self-appointed activism of French public intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy, a left-leaning philosopher and talk-show groupie, who lobbied Sarkozy to take up the cause of Libya’s pro-democracy rebels.

Libya was the latest of a string of international causes that the libertarian icon with his unbuttoned white designer shirts and flowing mane of greying hair has championed over the last two decades after Bosnian Muslims, Algerian secularists, Afghan rebels and Georgia’s side in the conflict with Russia. Levy went to meet the Libyan rebels and telephoned Sarkozy from Benghazi in early March.

“I’d like to bring you the Libyan Massouds,” Levy says he told the president, comparing the anti-Gaddafi opposition with former Afghan warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud, who fought against the Islamist Taliban before being assassinated. “As Gaddafi only clings on through violence, I think he’ll collapse,” the philosopher told Reuters in an interview.

On March 10, Levy accompanied two envoys of the Libyan Transitional Council to Sarkozy’s office. To their surprise and to the consternation of France’s allies, the president recognized the council as the “legitimate representative of the Libyan people” and told them he favored not only establishing a no-fly zone to protect them but also carrying out “limited targeted strikes” against Gaddafi’s forces. In doing so without consultation on the eve of a European Union summit called to discuss Libya, Sarkozy upstaged Washington, which was still debating what to do, embarrassed London, which wanted broad support for a no-fly zone, and infuriated Berlin, France’s closest European partner. He also stunned his own foreign minister, who learned about the decision to recognize the opposition from a news agency dispatch, aides said, while in Brussels trying to coax the EU into backing a no-fly zone.

“Quite a lot of members of the European Council were irritated to discover that France had recognized the Libyan opposition council and the Elysee was talking of targeted strikes,” a senior European diplomat said. Across the Channel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, aware of the deep unpopularity of the Iraq war, had turned his back on Tony Blair’s doctrine of liberal interventionism when he took office in 2010. But after facing criticism over the slow evacuation of British nationals from Libya and a trade-promotion trip to the Gulf in the midst of the Arab uprisings, he overruled cabinet skeptics, military doubters and critics among his own Conservative lawmakers to join Sarkozy in campaigning for military action. However, Cameron sought to reassure parliament that he was not entering an Iraq-style open-ended military commitment.

“This is different to Iraq. This is not going into a country, knocking over its government and then owning and being responsible for everything that happens subsequently,” he said. In Britain, as in France, the government won bipartisan support for intervention.

GERMANY MISSING IN ACTION

In Germany, on the other hand, the Libyan uprising was an unwelcome distraction from domestic politics. It played directly into the campaign for regional elections in Baden-Wuerttemberg, a south-western state which Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats had governed since 1953.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, leader of the Free Democrats, the liberal junior partners in Merkel’s coalition, tried to surf on pacifist public opinion by opposing military action. Polls showed two-thirds of voters opposed German involvement in Libya, a country where Nazi Germany’s Afrika Korps had suffered desert defeats in World War Two. Present-day Germany’s armed forces were already overstretched in Afghanistan, where some 5,000 soldiers are engaged in an unpopular long-term mission. Westerwelle made it impossible for Merkel to support a no-fly zone, even without participating. He publicly criticized the Franco-British proposal for a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force to prevent Gaddafi using his air force against Libyan civilians. Merkel said she was skeptical. The Germans prevented a March 11 EU summit from making any call for a no-fly zone, much to the frustration of the French and British.

Relations between France’s Juppe and Westerwelle deteriorated further the following week when Germany prevented foreign ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized powers from calling for a no-fly zone in Libya. Westerwelle told reporters: “Military intervention is not the solution. From our point of view, it is very difficult and dangerous. We do not want to get sucked into a war in North Africa. We would not like to step on a slippery slope where we all are at the end in a war.”

That argument angered allies. As the meeting broke up, a senior European diplomat tells Reuters, Juppe turned to Westerwelle and said: “Now that you have achieved everything you wanted, Gaddafi can go ahead and massacre his people.”

When the issue came to the U.N. Security Council on March 17, 10 days before the Baden-Wuerttemberg election, Germany abstained, along with Russia, China, India and Brazil, and said it would take no part in military operations.

Ironically, that stance seems to have been politically counterproductive. The center-right coalition lost the regional election anyway, and both leaders were severely criticized by German media for having isolated Germany from its western partners, including the United States. The main political beneficiaries were the ecologist Greens, seen as both anti-nuclear and anti-war.

U.S. TAKES ITS TIME

In Washington, meanwhile, President Barack Obama was, as usual, taking his time to make up his mind. Military action in Libya was the last thing the U.S. president needed, just when he was trying to extricate American troops from two unpopular wars in Muslim countries launched by his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Obama had sought to rebuild damaged relations with the Muslim world, seen as a key driver of radicalization and terrorism against the United States. The president trod a fine line in embracing pro-democracy and reform movements in the Arab world and Iran while trying to avoid undermining vital U.S. interests in the absolute monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other Gulf states. Compared to those challenges, Libya was a sideshow.

The United States had no big economic or political interests in the North African oil and gas producing state and instinctively saw it as part of Europe’s backyard. Obama had also sought to encourage allies, notably in Europe, to take more responsibility for their own security issues. Spelling out the administration’s deep reluctance to get dragged into another potential Arab quagmire, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a farewell speech to officer cadets at the West Point military academy on March 4: “In my opinion, any future Defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined’, as General (Douglas) MacArthur so delicately put it.”

Prominent U.S. foreign policy lawmakers, including Democratic Senator John Kerry and Republican Senator John McCain pressed the Obama administration in early March to impose a “no- fly” zone over Libya and explore other military options, such as bombing runways. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on February 28 that a “no-fly” zone was “an option which we are actively considering”.

But the White House pushed back against pressure from lawmakers. “It would be premature to send a bunch of weapons to a post office box in eastern Libya,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said on March 7. “We need to not get ahead of ourselves in terms of the options we’re pursuing.”

While Carney said a no-fly zone was a serious option, other U.S. civilian and military officials cautioned that it would be difficult to enforce.

On March 10, U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper forecast in Congress that Gaddafi’s better-equipped forces would prevail in the long term, saying Gaddafi appeared to be “hunkering down for the duration”. If there was to be intervention, it had become clear, it would have to come quickly.

ARAB SPINE

U.S. officials say the key event that helped Clinton and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, persuade Obama of the need for intervention was a March 12 decision by the Arab League to ask the U.N. Security Council to declare a no-fly zone to protect the Libyan population. The Arab League’s unprecedented resolve — the organization has long been plagued by chronic divisions and a lack of spine — reflected the degree to which Gaddafi had alienated his peers, especially Saudi Arabia. When the quixotic colonel bothered to attend Arab summits, it was usually to insult the Saudi king and other veteran rulers.

The Arab League decision gave a regional seal of approval that Western nations regarded as vital for military action.

Moreover, two Arab states – Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – soon said they would participate in enforcing a no-fly zone, and a third, Lebanon, co-sponsored a United Nations resolution to authorize the use of force. Arab diplomats said Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, a former Egyptian foreign minister with presidential ambitions, played the key role in squeezing an agreement out of the closed-door meeting.

Syria, Sudan, Algeria and Yemen were all against any move to invite foreign intervention in an Arab state. But diplomats said that by couching the resolution as an appeal to the U.N. Security Council, Moussa maneuvered his way around Article VI of the Arab League’s statutes requiring that such decisions be taken unanimously. It was he who announced the outcome, saying Gaddafi’s government had lost legitimacy because of its “crimes against the Libyan people”.

The African Union, in which Gaddafi played an active but idiosyncratic role, condemned the Libyan leader’s crackdown but rejected foreign military intervention and created a panel of leaders to try to resolve the conflict through dialogue.

However, all three African states on the Security Council – South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon – voted for the resolution. France acted as if it had AU support anyway. Sarkozy invited the organization’s secretary-general, Jean Ping, to the Elysee palace for a showcase summit of coalition countries on the day military action began, and he attended, providing African political cover for the operation.

OBAMA DECIDES

Having failed to win either EU or G8 backing for a no-fly zone, and with the United States internally divided and holding back, France and Britain were in trouble in their quest for a U.N. resolution despite the Arab League support. Gaddafi’s forces had regrouped and recaptured a swathe of the western and central coastal plain, including some key oil terminals, and were advancing fast on Benghazi, a city of 700,000 and the rebels’ stronghold. If international intervention did not come within days, it would be too late. Gaddafi’s troops would be in the population centers, making surgical air strikes impossible without inflicting civilian casualties.

In the nick of time, Obama came off the fence on March 15 at a two-part meeting of his National Security Council. Hillary Clinton participated by telephone from Paris, Susan Rice by secure video link from New York. Both were deeply aware of the events of the 1990s, when Bill Clinton’s administration, in which Rice was an adviser on Africa, had failed to prevent genocide in Rwanda, and only intervened in Bosnia after the worst massacre in Europe since World War Two.

They reviewed what was at stake now. There were credible reports that Gaddafi forces were preparing to massacre the rebels. What signal would it send to Arab democrats if the West let him get away with that, and if Mubarak and Ben Ali, whose armies refused to turn their guns on the people, were overthrown while Gaddafi, who had used his airforce, tanks and artillery against civilian protesters, survived in office?

The president overruled doubters among his military and national security advisers and decided the United States would support an ambitious U.N. resolution going beyond just a no-fly zone, on the strict condition that Washington would quickly hand over leadership of the military action to its allies. “Within days, not weeks,” one participant quoted him as saying.

A senior administration official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the key concern was to avoid any impression that the United States was once again unilaterally bombing an Arab country. Asked what had swung Washington toward agreeing to join military action in Libya, he said: “It’s more that events were evolving and so positions had to address the change of events.”

“The key elements were the Arab League statement, the Lebanese support, co-sponsorship of the actual resolution as the Arab representative on the Security Council, a series of conversations with Arab leaders over the course of that week, leading up to the resolution. All of that convinced us that the Arab countries were fully supportive of the broad resolution that would provide the authorization necessary to protect civilians and to provide humanitarian relief, and then the (March 19) gathering in Paris, confirmed that there was support for the means necessary to carry out the resolution, namely the use of military force,” the official said.

When Rice told her French and British counterparts at the United Nations that Washington now favored a far more aggressive Security Council resolution, including air and sea strikes, they first feared a trap. Was Obama deliberately trying to provoke a Russian veto, a French official mused privately.

“I had a phone call from Susan Rice, Tuesday 8 p.m., and a phone call from Susan Rice at 11 p.m., and everything had changed in three hours,” a senior Western envoy told Reuters. “On Wednesday morning, at the (Security) Council, in a sort of totally awed silence, Susan Rice said: ‘We want to be allowed to strike Libyan forces on the ground.’ There was a sort of a bit surprised silence.”

THE VOTE

Right up to the day of the vote, when Juppe took a plane to New York to swing vital votes behind the resolution, Moscow’s attitude was uncertain. So too were the three African votes. British and French diplomats tried desperately to contact the Nigerian, South African and Gabonese ambassadors but kept being told they were in a meeting.

“There was drama right up to the last minute,” another U.N. diplomat said. That day, March 17, Clinton had just come out of a television studio in Tunis, epicenter of the first Arab democratic revolution, when she spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on a secure cellphone. Lavrov, who had strongly opposed a no-fly zone when they met in Geneva on February 28 and remained skeptical when they talked again in Paris on March 14, told her Moscow would not block the resolution. The senior U.S. official denied that Washington had offered Russia trade and diplomatic benefits in return for acquiescence, as suggested by a senior non-American diplomat. However, Obama telephoned President Dimitry Medvedev the following week and reaffirmed his support for Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization, which U.S. ally Georgia is blocking.

China too abstained, allowing the resolution to pass with 10 votes in favor, five abstentions and none against. It authorized the use of “all necessary measures” – code for military action — to protect the civilian population but expressly ruled out a foreign occupation force in any part of Libya. The United States construes it to allow arms sales to the rebels. Most others do not.

Reuters reported exclusively on March 29 that Obama had signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces. The White House and the Central Intelligence Agency declined comment. Clinton said no decision had been taken on whether to arm the rebels.

ARAB JITTERS, COLD TURKEY

No sooner had the first cruise missiles been fired than the Arab League’s Moussa complained that the Western powers had gone beyond the U.N. resolution and caused civilian casualties. His outburst appeared mainly aimed at assuaging Arab public opinion, particularly in Egypt, and he muted his criticism after telephone calls from Paris, London and Washington.

Turkey, the leading Muslim power in NATO with big economic interests in Libya, bitterly criticized the military action in an Islamic country. The Turks were exasperated to see France, the most vociferous adversary of its EU membership bid, leading the coalition. Sarkozy, who alternated on a brief maiden visit to Ankara on February 25 between trying to sell Turkish leaders French nuclear power plants and telling them bluntly to drop their EU ambitions, further angered Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan by failing to invite Turkey to the Paris conference on Libya.

Italy, the former colonial power which had Europe’s biggest trade and investment ties with Libya, had publicly opposed military action until the last minute, but opened its air bases to coalition forces as soon as the U.N. resolution passed. However, Rome quickly demanded that NATO, in which it had a seat at the decision-making table, should take over command of the whole operation. Foreign Minister Franco Frattini threatened to take back control of the vital Italian bases unless the mission was placed under NATO.

But Turkey and France were fighting diplomatic dogfights at NATO headquarters. Ankara wanted to use its NATO veto put the handcuffs on the coalition to stop offensive operations. France wanted to keep political leadership away from the U.S.-led military alliance to avoid a hostile reaction in the Arab world.

The United States signaled its determination to hand over operational command within days, not weeks, as Obama had promised, and wanted tried-and-trusted NATO at the wheel.

It took a week of wrangling before agreement was reached for NATO to take charge of the entire military campaign. In return, France won agreement to create a “contact group” including Arab and African partners, to coordinate political efforts on Libya’s future. Turkey was assuaged by being invited to a London international conference that launched that process.

That enabled the United States to lower its profile and Obama to declare that Washington would not act alone as the world’s policeman “wherever repression occurs”. While the president promised to scale back U.S. involvement to a “supporting role”, the military statistics tell a different tale. As of March 29, the United States had fired all but 7 of the 214 cruise missiles used in the conflict and flown 1,103 sorties compared to 669 for all other allies combined. It also dropped 455 of the first 600 bombs, according to the Pentagon.

For all the showcasing of Arab involvement, only six military aircraft from Qatar had arrived in theater by March 30. They joined French air patrols but did not fly combat missions, a military source said. Sarkozy announced that the United Arab Emirates would send 12 F16 fighters , but NATO and UAE officials refused to say when they would arrive. Britain’s Cameron spoke of unspecified logistical contributions from Kuwait and Jordan. The main Arab contribution is clearly political cover rather than military assets.

CASUALTY LIST

While the duration and the outcome of the war remain uncertain, some political casualties are already visible.

Unless the conflict ends in disaster, Germany and its chancellor and foreign minister – particularly the latter – are set to emerge as losers. “I can tell you there are people in London and Paris who are asking themselves whether this Germany is the kind of country we would like to have as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. That’s a legitimate question which wasn’t posed before,” a senior European diplomat told Reuters. German officials brush aside such talk, saying Berlin would have the backing of its western partners and needs support from developing and emerging countries more in tune with its abstention on the Libya resolution.

Merkel has moved quickly to try to limit the damage. She attended the Paris conference and went along with an EU summit statement on March 25 welcoming the U.N. resolution on which her own government had abstained a week earlier. She also offered NATO extra help in aerial surveillance in Afghanistan to free up Western resources for the Libya campaign.

A second conspicuous casualty has been the European Union’s attempt to build a common foreign, security and Defense policy, and the official meant to personify that ambition, High Representative Catherine Ashton. Many in Paris, London, Brussels and Washington have drawn the conclusion that European Defense is an illusion, given Germany’s visceral reticence about military action. Future serious operations are more likely to be left to NATO, or to coalitions of the willing around Britain and France. By general agreement, Ashton has so far had a bad war. Despite having been among the first European officials to embrace the Arab uprisings and urge the EU to engage with democracy movements in North Africa, she angered both the British and French by airing her doubts about a no-fly zone and the Germans by subsequently welcoming the U.N. resolution. Unable to please everyone, she managed to please no one.

As for Sarkozy, whether he emerges as a hero or a reckless adventurer may depend on events beyond his control in the sands of Libya. Justin Vaisse, a Frenchman who heads the Center for the Study of the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution think-tank in Washington, detected an undertone of “Francophobia and Sarkophobia” among U.S. policy elites as the war began. “Either the war will go well, and he will look like a far-sighted, decisive leader, or it will go badly and reinforce the image of a showboating cowboy driving the world into war,” Vaisse said. The jury is still out.

(Additional reporting by Emmanuel Jarry in Paris, Arshad Mohammed, David Alexander and Mark Hosenball in Washington, David Brunnstrom in Brussels, Lou Charbonneau and Patrick Worsnip at the United Nations, Peter Apps in London, Andreas Rinke and Sabine Siebold in Berlin, Yasmine Saleh in Cairo, Simon Cameron-Moore in Istanbul and Maria Golovnina in Tripoli; writing by Paul Taylor; editing by Simon Robinson and Sara Ledwith)

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GOLIATH IS FALLING DOWN

Posted by Admin on November 15, 2010

Riots at anti-nuclear demonstrations near Gorl...

Previous German Riots

None of the people will be the same again. Germany will surely never be the same again. Their intelligent, creative and effective resistance will never be forgotten.

German protests “a spark from which a new political movement can grow” says academic: Protestors’ heroism wins respect and sympathy of whole country

November 2010 is proving to a watershed. First, the Tea Party Movement in the USA won significant victories in midterm elections; their newly-elected Senator Rand Paul has already started to call for an end to big spending on foreign wars and a soaring national debt and so challenge the Globalist agenda http://www.infowars.com/rand-paul-go…spending-cuts/

And in Germany a protest against the authoritarian Berlin government unequalled in scale and drawing support from all sections of society, has ended with an unparelleled victory. It is true that the nuclear waste which was the immediate focus of the protest finally reached its destination in Gorleben this morning. But what happened in the preceding 48 hours has changed the political landscape.

The Berlin academic Klaus Hurrelmann said the protests were a “spark from which a new political movement can grow.“

How long until a new political movement is born that gives a voice to the people and restores their freedom and rights?

„There is a feeling that those on top just do whatever they want and consider the people to be stupid. We won’t put up with that. We’re going to get involved,“ sociologist Dieter Rucht said, summing up the feeling of the people of Germany.

The police operation against the protestors in Wendland went on for more than two days and night without a break. It took two days and nights for the police to beat clear a path for the transport of nuclear waste to a depot in Gorleben, northern Germany.

The police had to fight for every inch of the railway track, for every inch of the road, for every crossing and for every track through the woods. No one took a step back. And if the police finally cleared the last 4,000 protestors this morning from the road to allow the convoy of trucks laden with Castor containers to trundle into Gorleben depot, it was only because there were a staggering 20,000 police officers, hundreds of police cars, helicopters, mounted police deployed.

But not even the sheer numbers would have been enough in the face of such determined, organised and creative resistance. The police literally had to beat the protestors out of the way and they did so with incredible brutality.

Medical personnel treating injured activists were themselves beaten by the police, reported Gabriele Pelce. Police even stopped medics bringing a woman in Leitstade whose leg had been broken to hospital, forcing her to lie in agony in the freezing cold. Protestors who had climbed a tree where brought down with tear gas and beaten with batons when they fell to the ground. At least 1000 people suffered injuries. The brutality of the police seemed to know no bounds Fingers were smashed with blows. Faces bled from punches to the head.

The police chiefs clearly reckoned that no civilians could or would withstand the assaults with batons, pepper spray and the tear gas, or stand up to such punishment. They thought that the people – school children, students, the elderly protesting on behalf of their children at work– would crack under the relentless harrassment, the threats of arrest and imprisonment, the freezing cold, the tear gas, batons, horses, helicopters, water cannon, dogs as well as the relentless glare of the floodlights that made the wood as bright as day at midnight.

But everyone stood their ground and now the whole country talks about the protestors with deep respsect – a respect that no single politician has been talked about for years.

At stake was not just the nuclear policy of the government, rejected by the overwhelming majority of the people and profiting just a handful of corporations. At stake was the whole issue of whether Germany is still a democracy in which the government follows the will of the people or an authoritarian police state run by corporations and banks for their profit.

As in Stuttgart it was the ordinary people who came out in force to defend democracy. In Stuttgart, it was the students, schoolchildren, the elderly, teachers, doctors, the farmers, lawyers, artists who stood up against particular corporate interests and corrupt politicians.

The protests in Wendland mark another high water mark. Again, ordinary people turned out in force to defend democracy and the principles of freedom with unflinching determination and courage.

The police lashed out wildly at protestors. Yet it was the police who became exhausted and who broke down sooner, their morale in shreds, their nerves worn out. It was the police who ended up discredited for fighting for the coporations like hired mercenaries.

Even Konrad Freiberg from the police union GdP today attacked the decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel to push through the extension of nuclear energy in spite of a legally binding agreement to phase it out as ”a highpoint of fatal political paths of error.”

“It was a huge political error to unilaterally cancel the consensus on nuclear energy that had been formed with so much difficulty,” he said.

Freiberg accused the government of pushing the police into the role of “those who help accomplish the retention of power by politicians.”

He said that the “intransparent, contradictory politics of the government that appears one-sided and favourable [to corporations]” is driving citizens “rightly” onto the streets.

There was something really awe inspiring and amazing in the willingness of so many people from all walks of life to stand together and work together for the common good. Five Greenpeace activists held up the transport by road for hours yesterday by chaining themselves to a steel pipe in the road inside a lorry. Four farmers chained themselves to a pyramid. Every part of wendland, every village, every farm, every inn, every shop became a unit in the line of defence, and bore the brunt of the attack by the corporate-controlled government on the fundamental principles of a democratic state and yet their hearts and nerves did not fail them. 600 tractors skillfully repulsed the advancing columns of water cannon trucks and police cars bringing reinforcements. Other farmers drove sheep and goats onto the road to block the police. The local post office set up a branch close to the main base of the resistance and helped people to send postcards. These were the kind of people that stood in the line of the main attack.

None of the people will be the same again. Germany will surely never be the same again. Their intelligent, creative and effective resistance will never be forgotten.

The protestors showed an astonishing good humour, courage and powers of endurance, singing songs, playing music, sharing food and blankets, buoyed by bonds of solidarity and support from the general public. Thanks to intelligent organisation and logistics, they created in the bleak and muddy woods, turning gold in autumn, an efficient and homely camp with a field kitchen, a pizza oven, and hot soup. There they planned their blockades, pouring over maps, communicating with the world via sms, ready to fight for freedom with an unshakeable committement, incredible resourcefulness and a a readiness for sacrifice that was amazing.

Anyone has had to sleep outside for even one night in subzero temperatures in the rain will understand what spending 48 hours outdoors in the muddy woods of northern Germany means. And then, on top of that, to have to face the massed ranks of the police, see the horses and hear the thuds of the truncheons, the shouts, and with hardly any sleep.

Their protest capturing the imagination and sympathy of the general public has left the government even more isolated and the corproate clique who run the country, whose leading figures belong to bizarre little freemason lodges with eccentric beliefs in some super race that they do not belong to if there were ever such a thing, and who rely on the brute force of the police, and on brainwashing by the the controlled media to push through their agenda in a very precarious position.

The defense of democracy and freedom has come not from the political parties, not from organisation such as Amnesty Internation. This defense againt the globalist totalitarian agenda has come from the ordinary people, who mobilised, who came out onto the streets, and who would not be beaten and intimidated.

The ordinary people were ready to brave the cold and rain, to walk for kilometres through woods, to be beaten by police, and to raise their banners over and over again after they were ripped from their hands, to be assualted with pepper spray, freeze in the night time, sit in blockades, to endure spartan conditions for freedom. Conscious of the risks, knowing the dangers they would face, they had come well prepared, wearing thick clothes, bringing sleeping backs, practising blockades for the time when the police would “lift them”.

The courage and friendly concern of the protestors as they faced the clatter of boots, the thuds of the truncheons, the sound of helicopters high up in the night car, the sirens of police cars has proven so effective that they have brought the police state to its knees. Together these people repulsed the concerted attempt by the corporations to leverage the police forces to ram through their take over of the political structures and economy and establish a Germany where the people are to work and pay taxes, to fight in the armies and kill and be killed for the profits of the corporations and have absolutely no say.

The police know better than anyone how stubbornly the people resisted. The people had to be dragged away into camps, refusing to walk inspite of the fact that they could have walked away and gone home. Thy preferred to spend the night in subzero temperatures out in the open in an improvised prison surrounded by police vehicles than to get to their feet on the orders of the police. They preferred to sleep in the mud and frost in blankets and with no waste or food and suffer hypothermia than to march on the orders of the police. These were people who were ready to endure yet another night in the freezing cold rather than give up to the authoritarian police state.

It is a moot question where so much courage, community spirit and strength was forged. A glance at Tacitus’s book Germania gives a clue. He describes the tribes inhabiting northern Germany in a way that would seem to fit the protestors.

„A region so vast, the Chaucians do not only possess but fill; a people of all the Germans the most noble, such as would rather maintain their grandeur by justice than violence. They live in repose, retired from broils abroad, void of avidity to possess more, free from a spirit of domineering over others. They provoke no wars, they ravage no countries, they pursue no plunder. Of their bravery and power, the chief evidence arises from hence, that, without wronging or oppressing others, they are come to be superior to all. Yet they are all ready to arm, and if an exigency require, armies are presently raised, powerful and abounding as they are in men and horses; and even when they are quiet and their weapons laid aside, their credit and name continue equally high,” Tacitus wrote 2000 years ago.

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