Category: Germany
Iran fulfills all nuclear deal commitments, subject to world’s most robust verification – IAEA
| October 13, 2017 | 9:09 pm | China, Donald Trump, France, Germany, IAEA, Iran, JCPOA, Russia, UK | No comments

https://www.rt.com/newsline/406636-iran-nuclear-deal-iaea/

Iran fulfills all nuclear deal commitments, subject to world’s most robust verification – IAEA

The international atomic watchdog has confirmed that Iran is fully implementing all of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “As I have reported to the Board of Governors, the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented,” the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, said Friday. The head of the agency also stressed that Iran is subject to the “world’s most robust nuclear verification regime” and that so far the IAEA has “had access to all locations it needed to visit.” Earlier, US President Donald Trump announced that his administration will not re-certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement. Signed in July 2015 between Tehran and the P5+1 ( China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany) the deal was designed to gradually lift sanctions against Tehran in exchange for limiting Iran’s nuclear program.

Germany and Russia’s Bond of War & Peace
| September 28, 2017 | 7:50 pm | Germany, Russia | No comments
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Russian President Vladimir Putin as he arrives for the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017

Germany and Russia’s Bond of War & Peace

© REUTERS/ Kai Pfaffenbach
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Finian Cunningham
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https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201709281057788030-germany-russia-war-and-peace/

No other countries on the Eurasian continent suffered so much from war than Germany and Russia. But perhaps out of this mutually painful experience of horror and loss, the two powerhouses can in partnership forge a new geopolitical direction.

A new direction that would turn simmering conflict and saber-rattling into plowshares in order to cultivate international peace and prosperity.

Nazi Germany’s aggression towards the Soviet Union inflicted at least 27 million deaths during the 1941-45 war; Germany was likewise laid to ruins, with up to six million of its military personnel — some 90 percent of its total war losses — killed by the resurgent Soviet forces.

Death, disease, destitution and mass starvation scarred both nations. More than any other country, Russia and Germany know the full horror and suffering of war. Therefore, it is incumbent on both to do everything to ensure that such violence should never be repeated.

This week, Germany’s ambassador to Russia, Rudiger von Fritsch renewed the bond of friendship between the two nations. In a meeting with Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Upper Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the German envoy said: “There is no alternative to good relations between Russia and Germany.”

He added that Germany and Russia “share responsibility for the destiny of the Eurasian continent”.

A truer word could not be spoken.

However, there is a special onus on Germany to find its independence in foreign policy and to build a strategic partnership with Russia. Not only for the sake of Germany, but for the European Union and the wider Eurasian continent.

To be blunt, Germany has for too long allowed its natural relations with Russia to become warped under the sway of an overbearing transatlantic dominance by Washington.

Recall that when the US-led NATO alliance was formed in 1949, its first general secretary, Britain’s Lord Ismay, candidly described the purpose of the organization thus: “To keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

This mentality of divide-and-rule has served well an Anglo-American agenda of giving Washington an overweening presence and role in determining European affairs, in particular in the latter’s relations with Moscow.

But Europe has paid a heavy price for its transatlantic thrall to Washington.

As Germany’s recent elections have shown, the country has become bitterly divided over the issue of massive influx of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats were re-elected, but only after incurring big electoral losses to the anti-immigrant newcomer party, Alternative for Germany. Merkel is now tasked with cobbling together a coalition government in the aftermath.

Widespread popular rancor over large-scale immigration has also strained the cohesiveness of the European Union. The backlash against the EU from populist parties is felt in Britain, France, Holland to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The political stresses being felt both inside Germany and across Europe are arguably the direct result of the EU being a bystander to decades of American-led illegal wars in the Middle East. European powers stand accused of being complicit in these US wars which have destabilized whole nations and set off the phenomenal mass migration towards Europe.

If European powers had shown more independence and acted to avert US-led wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and elsewhere, it seems reasonable to posit that the anti-immigrant politics which are tearing at the social fabric within Germany and Europe would not have arisen. In other words, it was precisely Europe being in thrall to Washington’s policies that have created so much of the bloc’s current turmoil.

The same can be said about American agitation for NATO’s expansion and force buildup around Russia. The ensuing tensions between Russia and Europe have grown out of all proportion to the objective circumstances. Russia has repeatedly said that it has no intention to threaten the borders of any European state, yet this specter has been continually whipped up by the US-led transatlantic axis.

The most recent example of this was the Western media hysteria surrounding Russia’s Zapad 2017 military defense exercises in Belarus at the end of last month. NATO officials and pro-transatlantic politicians like Britain’s Michael Fallon were warning of an imminent Russian invasion of the Baltics. As it turned out, the Zapad exercises passed without any such incident, and were seen to be a defensive drill, exactly just as Russia had been consistently maintaining. But you see how the American-dominated Russophobia was irresponsibly stoking European alarm and tensions with Moscow.

If only German leaders could make the full transition to independence in foreign policy. And abandon the futile, unnecessary antagonism with Russia.

Former German defense minister Willy Wimmer can see through the nonsense. Why can’t others? In a media interview from three years ago, Wimmer rejected the Washington-led narrative that Russia instigated the Ukraine crisis. He has the balanced insight to see that it was the US and European allies who destabilized the country with an illegal coup against an elected government in Kiev in February 2014.

The American and European economic sanctions that have been imposed on Russia during the past three years over alleged Russian interference in Ukraine are baseless, as Wimmer points out. These sanctions have rebounded to damage Europe’s economy to a much greater extent than America’s because of the extensive bilateral links between Europe and Russia.

Now the Trump administration is moving to impose more sanctions that would be detrimental to Europe’s vast energy supplies from Russia. The obvious ulterior motive here is for the Americans to replace Russia as the energy exporter to Europe — at much higher financial costs to the European governments and citizens.

Germany has reacted angrily to those latest US sanctions, saying they constitute undue interference by Washington in European affairs. It’s about time that Berlin woke up to reality. The issue epitomizes the bigger geopolitical picture of how Washington meddles in European-Russian relations for its selfish interests.

American unilateralism is pushing the world towards more conflict. Whether it is to do with North Korea, Iran, China, or between Europe and Russia.

As the strongest power in the European Union, Germany has a special responsibility to promote diplomacy and peaceful resolutions. Berlin must forge the greater partnership with Moscow to create a vital counterbalance to reckless American unilateralism.

Germany and Russia’s shared experience of war and suffering is a powerful incentive for the two nations to lead the way forward for Europe and the world in the pursuit of peace. America’s relatively unscathed experience in suffering war is perhaps why its leaders are often gung-ho about starting wars.

For this to happen, Germany must find the political courage and independence to reject Washington’s inordinate influence. Chancellor Merkel is known to have little regard for Trump and his loose-cannon policies. Her fourth term in office is an auspicious time for Berlin to radically rethink the transatlantic dependence on Washington.

As the German envoy said earlier: “There is no alternative to good relations between Russia and Germany.”

Indeed, the future of peaceful relations in Eurasia and the world may depend on it.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Merkel’s Refugee Folly Fuels Historic Gains for Right-Wing Nationalism
| September 26, 2017 | 7:51 pm | Analysis, Germany, political struggle | No comments
Christian Democratic Union CDU party leader and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts during a news conference at the CDU party headquarters, a day after the general election (Bundestagswahl) in Berlin, Germany September 25, 2017.

Merkel’s Refugee Folly Fuels Historic Gains for Right-Wing Nationalism

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Angela Merkel’s victory in the German elections has been widely perceived as a defeat due to the gains of the nation’s right-wing Alternative for Deutschland (AfD), which enters the Bundestag as the third largest party on 13 percent of the vote behind Merkel’s Christian conservative CDU, and Germany’s mainstream left opposition SPD.

Up to this point, Germany was a country and society in which the historical memory of Hitler and the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s had ensured that any politics even the slightest bit suggestive of the re-emergence of the hard right could never gain serious traction. That such a politics now has under Merkel’s watch marks a low point in her political career, constituting a stain on her legacy as she embarks on her fourth term as Chancellor.

It is hard to imagine that if not before she now has no cause to regret her decision to open Germany’s borders in the face of the refugee crisis that exploded across the Mediterranean into southern Europe in 2015. Millions of men, women, and children arrived in all manner of boats, making the perilous and in far too many cases fatal journey across the Mediterranean from North Africa, desperate to escape the chaos and mayhem engulfing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Somalia courtesy of Western foreign policy.Merkel, in what her supporters in Germany and admirers outwith the country considered to have been an outstanding act of humanitarianism, decided to open Germany’s borders in early September 2015 in the face of opposition within Germany and across the EU; especially within transit countries such as Hungary, whose Prime Minister Viktor Orban soon earned himself a deserved reputation for severity in the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. The result of the German Chancellor’s open-door policy was the influx of over a million asylum seekers into Germany by the end of 2015.

Migrants heading to Germany during a snow shower at the German-Austrian border near Wegscheid, Germany, Saturday Nov. 21, 2015
© AP Photo/ Armin Weigel/dpa
Migrants heading to Germany during a snow shower at the German-Austrian border near Wegscheid, Germany, Saturday Nov. 21, 2015

Amid the current anti-migrant and anti-refugee climate which predominates in Europe — much of it rooted in legitimate concerns over security and understandable fears surrounding terrorism, but much of it rooted in racism and xenophobia — the German Chancellor’s decision to allow such large numbers into Germany in such a short space of time was, in hindsight, politically disastrous.

In a February 2016 article carried in Der Spiegel, we learn that “Conditions for refugees [in Germany] are already rapidly deteriorating. Social benefits are being reduced, limits are being placed on family reunification in a way that will lead even more women and children to make the dangerous journey by boat to Europe. The number of countries designated as safe will be increased, allowing for the easier rejection and deportation of asylum applicants. And there will be a forced repatriation of Afghan nationals — to the very country that Western troops were unable to pacify and is now sinking into civil war.”

What Merkel and her supporters have just learned, after shedding one million votes to to other parties, including most significantly the AfD, is that Germany is no longer immune from the resurgence of nationalism and the racial, religious, and ethnocentric politics that have been sweeping across Europe and the West in recent years.

AfD board members celebrate with baloons during the election party of the nationalist 'Alternative for Germany', AfD, in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, after the polling stations for the German parliament elections had been closed
© AP Photo/ Martin Meissner
AfD board members celebrate with baloons during the election party of the nationalist ‘Alternative for Germany’, AfD, in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, after the polling stations for the German parliament elections had been closed

The AfD, which among its campaign pledges included a vow to stop what they described as an “invasion of foreigners,” is a party that would appear to have made peace with Germany’s Nazi past, even though its officials and supporters deny any association with Nazi ideology. Its success is astounding considering the party was only established in 2013 — initially to protest the bailout of indebted EU countries such as Greece before morphing into an anti immigration party, filling the space in German politics opened up by the backlash to Merkel’s open door policy of 2015.

In may respects the AfD resembles UKIP in the UK and Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France, saddled with the label of neo-fascist and racist by their detractors, while themselves claiming to stand for traditional values and strong borders in order to prevent their respective countries being “overrun” with migrants and refugees. The main locus of their ire is Islam and Muslims; this in the context of events in the Middle East and concomitant rising tide of terrorist attacks across Europe in recent years, including Germany, that have been carried out in the cause of Salafi-jihadism.

With Germany home to the largest Muslim population in Europe, at 4.8 million, and with the growing traction of the extreme interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism, not only within Muslim countries in the Arab and Muslim world but also Muslim communities in countries like Germany, the ingredients for the growth in support of anti-Muslim political formations such as the AfD have been in place for some time.

In December 2015, Germany’s SPD Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel (now Minister of Foreign Affairs), gave an interview to a leading German newspaper in which he railed against Saudi influence around the world and within Germany’s Muslim community: “Wahhabi mosques are financed all over the world by Saudi Arabia,” he said, before continuing, “In Germany, many dangerous Islamists come from these communities.” The German minister’s words of warning of Saudi influence, unprecedented for a major European politician, tied in with a German intelligence report claiming that there were 7,900 Salafists living in Germany.Returning to the 2017 German election results and though, as with the support enjoyed by UKIP in Britain, culminating in Brexit, and Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France, which enjoyed historic gains in the French elections earlier this year, many will attribute the AfD result to a protest vote against the mainstream parties, complacency when it comes to the emergence and growing traction of the ideologically-driven right would be folly.

After all, if European history teaches us anything it is that where fascism is concerned, “A cloud no bigger than a man’s hand can be the harbinger of great storms to come.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.

German Elections 2017: Declaration by the German Communist Party on the results of the Bundestag elections

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

German Elections 2017: Declaration by the German Communist Party on the results of the Bundestag elections

 https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/09/german-elections-2017-declaration-by.html
On the occasion of the 24th of September elections in Germany, the German Communist Party (Deutsche Kommunistische Partei) issued the following statement:
 
The result of the election represents a shift to the right with all dangers entailed with it. The AfD is a racist, nationalist force, a hinge to the frank Fascists, becoming the third-strongest party in the Bundestag with 13 percents. It is the strongest Party in Saxony and the second strongest in all East Germany. CDU, SPD, Green and Left Party lost voters to the AfD.
The 13 percent of votes for the AfD correlate to the results of the so-called “Sinus” studies, which since the 1980s show that 13 percent of the (West) German population have a “coherent right-wing world view”. Accidentally or not? Anyway, the “submarine” named “Neo-fascism”, once in the sixties in the form of the NPD, unignorable came out again.
 
The election results of CDU and SPD are on the lowest level ever. The traditional social-democracy is in a deep crisis. The FDP was able to establish itself again with those who are on the winners’ side of redistribution from the bottom up. The Greens maintained their results. “Die Linke” has achieved a small plus, but its loss of votes and meaning in its former home countries – on the territory of the GDR – continues. It lost about 500,000 votes to the AfD. The much too early self-determination on an alliance with the SPD and the Greens without clarification of the “red lines” or the most important essentials of such an alliance promoted the loss of profile and reputation, especially in the political conscious left-wing electoral potential.
 
If a coalition of CDU, FDP and Greens actually is going to form the government, this will, above all under the the pressure from the right by the AFD, be an intensification of the aggressive, social-mossback course of German imperialism.
 
The SPD, which is with Agenda 2010 and Hartz-IV responsible for the social descent of masses and enabled the deployments of wars of German imperialism, gives no reason of hope for a real opposition policy. At least not for an opposition policy against war and social cutting, as urgently needed.
 
The result of the election expresses, above all, the great inconsistency in mass consciousness, but also in class consciousness. Many people, especially in the deindustrialized eastern parts of Germany, are rightly concerned about their social perspective and the security of their life situation. This uncertainty has brought non-voters back to the polls. They wanted to reject the policy of the great coalition of the CDU and the SPD. They have refused this policy. They believed in the false and demagogic promises and slogans. By choosing the AfD, which makes no secret of the fact that it stands for a social-reactionary, splittic, racist course, they chose a “way out”, which will soon be directed against themselves. 
 
The left forces in Germany were not able to give convincing answers to the legitimate perspectives of fear. We remain at the same time on the position that perspectives of fear are not racism, but can become the breeding ground for racism if there are no comprehensible paths for successful struggles for peace, social rights and democracy. This requirement results for all the left from this election result. 
 
The result of the DKP with 11,713 votes is very low and not satisfying for us. It is also the receipt for the fact that we did not take part in a Bundestag election campaign on our own since 1989. Our run on the Bundestag election was right, not because we were hoping for election returns, but because we strengthened the DKP and made its substances more well-known. We have carried “red on the road” and will continue to do so. In the medium and long term, this is the right way to change mass and class consciousness and link it to the right opponent. 
 
The DKP will therefore continue to be on the road with its action program for peace, work, solidarity, and show where the money for education and a health care system that does not make the patient and the employee sick is to take from: from the military budget and the super rich. It will continue to fight for disarmament, the end of all foreign operations of the Bundeswehr and for peace with Russia. It will continue to fight for the reduction of working hours with full pay and staff compensation and job creation in the public sector. 
 
The DKP will continue to name monopoly capital as the main antagonist and call for joint struggle – knowing that change will be achieved on the road and not with the ballot. Let‘s fight for common interests regardless of worldview, age, origin, and gender – in short, solidarity – is what the rulers are most afraid of. Solidarity is our asset – on strike, the prevention of a foreclosure in the neighborhood or a blockade of neo-fascist demonstration. Solidarity is also our asset to the AfD. 
 
CC of the German Communist Party (DKP).
Essen, Germany.
25/09/2017.
Ramstein Air Base anti-drone protests: The Germans taking on the US military
| September 10, 2017 | 9:04 pm | Germany, Israel, Struggle for Peace | No comments

http://www.dw.com/en/ramstein-air-base-anti-drone-protests-the-germans-taking-on-the-us-military/a-40432117

Ramstein Air Base anti-drone protests: The Germans taking on the US military

A week of protests against the US drone program drew some 5,000 protesters to its most important air base in Europe. DW’s Kathleen Schuster met with several of the people taking on the world’s most powerful military.

Protests at the Ramstein US army base in Germany (picture-alliance/Sputnik/V. Melnikov) “To be or NATO be”: Protesters hoped to capture the attention of the transatlantic military alliance and the German government

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The US Air Force base at Ramstein is reportedly a hub for coordinating Washington’s global drone war. Although the revelation has stirred controversy in Germany, Berlin has little political leeway to challenge the US. (05.04.2014)

At first it’s difficult to reconcile the week’s itinerary at the “peace camp” — yoga, reggae, poetry slam – with the gray-haired audience gathered in this dusky room.

Taking up every seat and windowsill, the crowd of at least 150 listens intently as each speaker outlines how the US government is leading an ‘illegal war” in their backyard. The city is Kaiserslautern, the Air Force base in question is Ramstein and the war is that waged by US’s drone operations, which they say violate German law.

“Our government must review and prohibit the drone war,” Otto Jaeckel tells the crowd to loud applause. He called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to take action: “Ms. Merkel and Ms. von der Leyen bear personal responsibility here!”

Under the banner of “Stop Ramstein Air Base,” a nationwide campaign has drawn peace activists from across Germany and other countries to Kaiserslautern, calling for the base to be shut down.

The audience of protesters comprises mainly of the over-50 crowd, however. The ethics of using drones are the draw for these activists, but for the local organizers, the problem with Ramstein Air Force Base runs deep. To them, drones are just one symptom of a larger problem they’ve been warning about for years.

Read also: A guide to military drones

Silent partner in a silent war

Already controversial for its extrajudicial killing of several thousand suspects on foreign soil, revelations that Ramstein played a vital role in the US’s drone program sparked a frenzy among German politicians and peace activists in 2013.

Upon parliamentary inquiry, the German government said it had no information about the program. Only later did Angela Merkel’s government confirm that no drones were being directed or flown from US’s most important air base in Europe – which is, incidentally, also the headquarters for NATO’s Air and Space program (AIRCOM).

Ramstein does, however, house satellite relay stations, which whistleblower Brandon Bryant, along with subsequent media reports, allege are key to drone operations. According to these revelations, the signal sent from drone operators on Creech Air Force Base in Nevada travel via transatlantic fiber optic cables to Ramstein, where they are then transmitted to satellites positioned above the Indian Ocean — thus allowing them to strike targets in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia by way of drones.

The founding principles of post-war Germany were “never again war, never again fascism,” Konnie Schmidt told DW.

“It’s not only the right, but the duty of every German” to rebel against a government violating these principles. “That’s our inheritance.”

Read also: Berlin powerless to challenge US drone ops at Ramstein air base

In 1983, Germany's then-capital, Bonn, saw massive demonstrations against the atomic weapons held on US bases in Germany (picture-alliance/dpa/H. Wieseler) In 1983, Germany’s then-capital, Bonn, saw massive protests against the atomic weapons held on US bases in Germany

‘Living on a powderkeg’

Schmidt, like many of the peace activists of his generation, marched against the Vietnam War. Revelations during the 1980s of atomic bombs, Pershing-2 ballistic missiles and the storage of poisonous gas at nearby US bases unleashed another wave of peace protests still well-known in Germany today.

The native Ramsteiner, now a retired teacher at 69, shares a similar story to other local activists of how he became aware of the US military presence near Kaiserslautern.

“I’ll put it this way: my mother was very conservative and so was my father. And my mother always said, if things heat up, we’re the ones sitting on the powder keg.”

Ramstein airshow catastrophe in 1988 (picture-alliance/dpa/Füger) Ramstein airshow disaster in 1988 claimed 70 lives

For Erika Christmann, 73, the key moment was in August 1988. Almost 30 years later, she like most locals still shudders at the mention of the air show disaster.

Billed by critics at the time as a display of militarism, the spectacle turned deadly when three Italian fighter jets collided while trying to perform a stunt. The collision left 70 people dead and more than 1,000 injured.

“It’s difficult to talk about,” she says, taking a long pause, her rainbow necklace expanding and slowly relaxing around her neck. It’s hope that people are waking up and deep anger about what people do to each other in the name of security that keep her going.

US Air Base Ramstein (Getty Images/AFP/J.-C. Verhaegen) Activists take issue with the existence of the base and the activities carried out there – and thus want it shut down

US ‘protector image’ in question

Indeed, the man credited the most often in local peace activities is Wolfgang Jung, 79. The vivid memories of a childhood shattered by WWII have left the 79-year-old impatient with the military’s agenda.

Along with his wife, the native Ramsteiner documents information about the controversial military base on his own website, Luftpost.de. The log has annoyed many politicians, he says gruffly, then letting a rare smile escape.

The air base scares him for a number of reasons. Although he sued the German government for allowing the US to use Ramstein in its drone operations  a suit he ultimately lost because he personally was not affected by the drones, three different courts ruled — he considers Ramstein’s function as the headquarters of NATO missile defense more dangerous.

He still has hope of informing the public that a continued US military presence doesn’t protect Germany. On the contrary, it puts Germany in the middle of any missile scenario. “They could be dead within five minutes.”

Protests in Ramstein (picture-alliance/V.Melnikov) This was the second year in a row that the Ramstein protest drew thousands

Withdrawal unlikely

Even after years of protest, Jung, like Schmidt and Christmann, consider a US withdrawal unlikely.

The area counts roughly 22,000 military and Department of Defense personnel in total. With family members, it’s 54,000, the largest concentration of US citizens outside of the US.

Local residents and officials see an economic benefit to hosting American troops. Not only do 7,000 German civilians work for the US military, but the housing sector alone brings in an estimated 220 million euros annually, according to a German parliamentary report about Ramstein’s effect on the local economy.

State officials do not have data on how much the military community contributes to the economy annually. However, the 86th Comptroller Squadron in its 2013 Fiscal Report put the number at $2.26 billion (€1.87 billion), according to the same parliamentary report. Other estimates, for example by the Handelsblatt in 2016, have put the number as low at $1 billion.

Nevertheless, the three have no intention of giving up their decades-long fight. This time it’s a call on the German government to prohibit the drone program.

Or as Jung put it: “I’d like to make the most of the few years I have left and not suddenly sink into an atomic crater, you know?”

Untold Story of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
| August 23, 2017 | 9:02 pm | Germany, USSR | No comments

Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, far right, General Secretary of the Communist Party Josef Stalin, second from right, and German Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, third from right, pose together after signing the German-Soviet non-aggression pact in Moscow, August 23, 1939

Untold Story of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

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Ekaterina Blinova
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https://sputniknews.com/politics/201508231026098760-molotov-ribbentrop-pact-untold-story/

The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, inked by the USSR and Nazi Germany on August 23, 1939, is now used by Western “experts” and mainstream media to accuse the Soviet Union of “colluding” with Hitler and “betraying” his would be French and British allies, but evidence suggests otherwise.

On August 23, 1939 the USSR and Nazi Germany singed a Treaty of Non-aggression, also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact; the document still triggers fierce debate, prompting the West to accuse the USSR of “colluding” with Hitler on the eve of the Second World War.Furthermore, since 2008 on this day European countries mark “European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism.”

“It’s an annual event [August 23], anxiously awaited by western Russophobic propagandists, to remind us of the iniquitous Soviet role in starting World War II. Nowadays of course when the mainstream media say “Soviet,” they want you to think about Russia and its president Vladimir Putin. Western “journalists” can’t make up their minds about Putin: sometimes he’s another Hitler, sometimes another Stalin,” Professor Michael Jabara Carley of the University of Montreal emphasizes in an article for Strategic Culture Foundation.

Curiously enough, Western “experts” and mass media remain silent about the fact that most major European powers had signed similar treaties with Adolf Hitler earlier than the Soviet Union did.

The Grand Alliance that Never Was

For instance, Poland, the avowed “victim” of the Soviet-Germany non-aggression pact, had inked a non-aggression treaty with Nazi Germany on January 26, 1934.

“During the 1930s Poland played a spoiler’s role. It was a far-right quasi-dictatorship, anti-Semitic and sympathetic to fascism. In 1934, as the USSR raised the alarm about Hitler, Poland signed a non-aggression pact in Berlin. Who stabbed who in the back?” Carley asked rhetorically.

While pointing the finger at the USSR for moving into territories of “Poland” (when no state of Poland existed any longer after German invasion of September 1, 1939) some Western historians are again demonstrating a peculiar form of amnesia, apparently forgetting that these very territories — Western Ukraine and Western Belarus — were annexed by Poland during the Polish-Soviet War (1919 — 1921). The war was unilaterally unleashed by Warsaw against the USSR, torn and devastated by the civil war.

In general, the USSR returned its own territories — with the exception of the small piece of Bukovina — that were grabbed by other European players during the chaos of the Revolution of 1917 and the Civil War of the 1920s, Russian historian, politician and diplomat Nataliya Narotchnitskaya noted in her book “Za Chto i S Kem My Voyevali” (“Who We Were Fighting and What For”).

“Until 1939, Poland did all it could to sabotage Soviet efforts to build an anti-Nazi alliance, based on the World War I anti-German coalition of France, Britain, Italy, and in 1917 the United States… In 1934-1935, when the USSR sought a mutual assistance pact with France, Poland attempted to obstruct it,” Carley emphasized.

German ambassador, Hans-Adolf von Moltke, Polish leader Józef Piłsudski, German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and Józef Beck, Polish Foreign minister meeting in Warsaw on June 15, 1934, five months after signing the Polish-German Non-Aggression Pact.
German ambassador, Hans-Adolf von Moltke, Polish leader Józef Piłsudski, German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and Józef Beck, Polish Foreign minister meeting in Warsaw on June 15, 1934, five months after signing the Polish-German Non-Aggression Pact.

But what about Britain and France? Surprisingly, in the 1930s neither London nor Paris hastened to join the USSR’s anti-German coalition. Carley pointed to the fact that it was Maksim Litvinov, the Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs, backed by the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, “who first conceived of the ‘Grand Alliance’ against Hitler.” However, “Litvinov’s coalition became the Grand Alliance that Never Was.”

Conjuring Hitler: European Elites Played Into Nazi Hands

Historians agree that European conservative elites viewed Adolf Hitler a less “evil” than Soviet Russia. Moreover, according to American economist Guido Giacomo Preparata, for the British and American establishment Nazism was seen as a driving force that could dismantle the USSR, thus far finishing what was started by World War I — complete dissolution of the former Russian Empire.”To Churchill, [Stanley ]Baldwin [the UK’s prime minister] would thus sum it up in July 1936: ‘If there is any fighting in Europe to be done, I should like to see the Bolshies [Bolsheviks] and the Nazis doing it’,” Preparata wrote in his book “Conjuring Hitler: How Britain and America Made the Third Reich.”

Meanwhile European and American elites were not only unwilling to establish any alliances with the Soviet Union, but also poured money into Nazi Germany’s economy, facilitating the rise of the Nazi war machine.

Prestigious British arms manufacturer Vickers-Armstrong supplied heavy weaponry to Berlin, while US companies Pratt & Whitney, Douglas, Bendix Aviation, to name but a few, provided German firms — BMW, Siemens and others — with patents, military secrets and state-of-art airplane engines, Preparata pointed out.

The Munich Betrayal of 1938

The final accord of this game was the Munich Agreement signed by the major powers of Europe (Britain, Germany, France, Italy) excluding the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, on September 30, 1938, that permitted Nazi Germany to annex northern and western border regions of Czechoslovakia.

Embarrassingly, British archival documents released in 2013 exposed that the UK not only betrayed Czechoslovakia by allowing Hitler to invade it, but also voluntarily handed over nearly $9 million worth of gold that belonged to Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany.  The Czechoslovak golden bullions were immediately sent to Hitler in March 1939, when he seized Prague.

The Munich Betrayal of September 29-30, 1938 is the actual date of the beginning of the Second World War, Director of the Center for Russian Studies at the Moscow University for Humanities and the Institute of System Strategic Analysis, historian and publicist Andrei Fursov underscores, citing Churchill’s letter to Major Ewal von Kleist, a member of the German resistance group and emissary of the German General Staff, just before Hitler’s seizure of Czechoslovakia:

“I am sure that the crossing of the Czechoslovak frontier by German armies or aircraft will bring about a renewal of world war… Such a war once started, would be fought out like the last [WWI] to the bitter end, and one must consider not what might happen in the first few months, but where we should all be at the end of the third or fourth year.”

And that is not all. Incredible as it may seem, the British government actually prevented a plot aimed against Adolf Hitler in 1938. A group of German high-ranking military officials planned to arrest Hitler at the moment Nazi Fuhrer ordered the attack on Czechoslovakia. Inexplicably, the British political establishment not only refused to help the resistance but ruined its plans.

In his essay “Finest Hour Regime Change, 1938: Did Chamberlain ‘Miss the Bus’?” British author Michael McMenamin narrated: “there is no historical doubt that the German resistance repeatedly warned the British of Hitler’s intention to invade Czechoslovakia in September 1938… In response, however, the Chamberlain government took every diplomatic step it could… to undermine Hitler’s opposition.”

Whatever Chamberlain’s motivation was, instead of beating the drums over Hitler’s aggression in Europe, on September 28, 1938 he “proposed [Fuhrer] a five-power conference between Britain, Germany, Czechoslovakia, France and Italy, where, Chamberlain assured Hitler, Germany could ‘get all essentials without war and without delay’,” McMenamin wrote citing official documents, and added that Chamberlain also turned a blind eye to the fact that Germany excluded Czechoslovakia from the conference.

From left to right are: Reichsmarschall and President of the Reichstag Hermann Goering, Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano and Italian Fascist Leader Benito Mussolini shaking hands with Prime Minister of Great Britain Neville Chamberlain during the Four Power Conference held in autumn 1938 in Munich, Germany. Others not identified
© AP Photo/ Hoffman
From left to right are: Reichsmarschall and President of the Reichstag Hermann Goering, Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano and Italian Fascist Leader Benito Mussolini shaking hands with Prime Minister of Great Britain Neville Chamberlain during the Four Power Conference held in autumn 1938 in Munich, Germany. Others not identified

After the four powers agreed to accept German occupation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland before any plebiscite and coerced the Czechs to go along, Chamberlain and Hitler inked the British-German Non-aggression Agreement, the author underscored.

Interestingly enough, Professor Carley narrated that during the Czechoslovak crisis Poland (the would-be “victim” of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) demanded that if “Hitler was to get the Sudeten territories, Poland should have the Teschen district [in Czechoslovakia]. In other words, if Hitler gets his booty, we Poles want ours.”

So, who colluded with whom? Who were the betrayers?

Why Is West Demonizing Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact?

According to Andrei Fursov, in Munich the four powers created a “proto-NATO bloc” that was actually aimed against the USSR. Czechoslovakia’s industrial complex was meant to facilitate the growth of the German military might and ensure its ability to launch a big war against “Bolshies” in the East, in order to extend the German Lebensraum. And European elites were interested in this war, expected to exhaust both Germany and Russia.In light of this, the only move to undermine this plan and postpone its realization was to conclude a similar non-aggression pact between the USSR and Germany. Furthermore, the delay helped the Soviet Union to accumulate its resources in the face of an inevitable invasion from the West.

Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, seated, signs the German-Soviet non-aggression pact in Moscow, August 23, 1939, a few days before the outbreak of World War II.
© AP Photo/ German War Department
Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, seated, signs the German-Soviet non-aggression pact in Moscow, August 23, 1939, a few days before the outbreak of World War II.

Michael Jabara Carley cited Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, who said on October 1, 1939, in an interview to the British national broadcaster that Soviet action “was clearly necessary for the safety of Russia against the Nazi menace.”

Why then is the West making every effort to demonize the Soviet-German Non-aggression Treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact? Professor Carley noted that it is a vain attempt to white-wash Europe’s grave mistakes of the 1930s, namely the incapability (or unwillingness?) to halt the rise of Nazi Germany and to establish an anti-Hitler alliance in the early 1930s.

“These days western governments and their ‘inspired’ journalists, if one can call them journalists, don’t worry about ‘tendentious’ argument when it comes to blackening the Russian Federation. It’s anything goes. Should we let them equate the roles of the USSR and Nazi Germany for starting World War II? Certainly not. It was Hitler who intended war, and the French and British, especially the British, who repeatedly played into his hands, rejecting Soviet proposals for collective security and pressuring France to do the same,” Professor Carley stressed.

Over Half of Germans View Capitalism as a ‘Negative Phenomenon’, Poll Shows
| August 15, 2017 | 9:38 pm | Germany | No comments
(File) Anti G7-protesters hold a giant banner reading Fight capitalism during a rally in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany on June 6, 2015

Over Half of Germans View Capitalism as a ‘Negative Phenomenon’, Poll Shows

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More than 50 percent of Germans regard capitalism as a negative phenomenon while only 16 percent advocate it, a new poll issued on Tuesday showed.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – According to the poll, conducted by YouGov and Statista, only 3 percent of Germans view capitalism very positively and 13 percent find something positive in the system. At the same time 40 percent of respondents believe that capitalism is a somewhat negative model, while 12 percent consider it as a highly negative phenomenon.

Answering a question on what they understand under capitalism, 60 percent of respondents said it was a system under which rich people are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. According to 41 percent of Germans, under capitalism exploitation of the weak takes place.

Only 32 percent of Germans believe that capitalism provides people with a chance to get rich using “good ideas.” A quarter of the respondents see economic opportunities in the capitalist model.The number of Germans believing that capitalism promotes unfair competition is higher than those thinking that it stimulates fair competition, or 21 percent and 12 percent respectively.

The poll was conducted in July with 1,009 respondents taking part.