Germany’s Merkel Now Comes Out as Basically a U.S. Proxy

 

In-depth Report:

 

Fracking-CETA-TTIP

Fracking-CETA-TTIP

On Wednesday, April 1st, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a measure to bring fracking (the patents for which are owned mainly by “large American companies, including Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger”) into Germany. This is a prelude not only to U.S. President Obama’s secret Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) pact with Europe to subordinate national laws and regulations to trans-national mega-corporate panels that will be dominated by U.S. firms and that will override the participating nations’ environmental and labor regulations and consumer protections (and harm European economies generally), but it is also a major step toward removing Europe from Russia’s energy-market, and bringing U.S. and European oil companies to dominate there instead.

German Economic News headlined on April 1st, “Precursor to TTIP: Federal Government brings Fracking to Germany,” and reported that:

The controversial shale gas extraction (fracking) process is coming to Germany: In order not to provoke excessively large protests at home, the federal government highlighted that fracking is initially allowed only for testing purposes. But in fact, the draft law of the Federal Environment and the Federal Ministry of Economics, approved today by the the Cabinet, also allows subsequent large-scale extraction of shale gas….

The American interest in a continuing conflict simmering in Ukraine also causes Europeans to fear that Russian gas could stop and thus drive Europe to give up our still considerable resistance against fracking. Some US politicians have personal interests, such as the US Vice President Biden, whose son works for a Ukrainian fracking company.

Last year [U.S. agent, friend of Angela Merkel, and EU Council President, Donald] Tusk wrote in a commentary in the Financial Times that ‘excessive dependence on Russian energy’ is an EU weakness. Currently, the EU countries derive 44 percent of our natural gas from Russia and 33 percent from Norway. … Objectively, there is no reason to be afraid of the Russians: Even Angela Merkel acknowledged a few months ago that Russians have always accurately fulfilled their gas contracts and therefore are a reliable partner.

Halliburton and Baker-Hughes have merged, and are the two major owners of fracking patents. Schlumberger is third. ExxonMobil is a distant fourth. So, this could produce a huge boost to those stocks.

The fact that the only independent economic analysis of the impact of the TTIP finds that, without a doubt, it will harm European economies, and especially will increase the inequality of wealth in both the U.S. and EUsuggests that the U.S. aristocracy’s control over European aristocracies must be rather strong in order for the TTIP to be moving forward toward approval by, apparently, people such as Merkel and Tusk. Merkel has already shown that she is the EU’s enforcer of austerity (“the Washington Consensus”) upon the residents in Greece and Spain in order to guarantee payments to the bondholders of those countries; but in the present instance, the aristocrats whom she is serving are specifically, if not only, American ones. And, in particular, the oil companies that will be primary beneficiaries of her pro-fracking maneuver are mainly American ones. She comes from the former East Germany, and, apparently, hates Russia just as the CIA-connected Barack Obama does.

After the Cabinet meeting, a joint press conference was held with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in which he said and she seconded, that Ukraine was ready to join the EU and was making the required progress toward rooting out corruption, and toward other matters. He said that the only barriers against that are Russian aggression, and a shortage of money from Germany and from other Western nations. The two leaders stated that the front-line against the threat from Russia is Ukraine, and Merkel promised to do what is needed in order to help.

As a Russian news report put it:

“Reassuring each other in their heartfelt friendship, mutual hatred of Russia, and the bright prospects of Ukraine being on the way into Europe, the heads of Government remembered their shared history. Yatseniuk again accused Russia of trying to ‘privatize the history of Ukraine’, referring to the debate on the participation of Ukrainians in the victory over Nazi Germany. The Prime Minister of Ukraine proposed to celebrate 8 May as a day of reconciliation and European solidarity.”

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

Greece demands Nazi war reparations and German assets seizures as creditor squeeze continues

BankofGreece_3227862b

The Telegraph – March 11, 2015

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras revives claims for compensation in return for the crimes carried out by the Third Reich

Greece’s prime minister has demanded Germany pay back more than €160bn (£112bn) in Second World War reparations as his country is squeezed by creditors to overhaul its economy in return for vital bail-out funds.

In an emotive address to his parliament, Alexis Tsipras said his government had a “duty to history, to the people who fought and to the victims who gave their lives to defeat Nazism.”

The Leftist government maintains it is owed more than €162bn – nearly half the value of its total public debt – for the destruction wrought during the Nazi occupation of Greece.

“The government will work in order to honour fully its obligations. But, at the same time, it will work so that all of the unfulfilled obligations to Greece and the Greek people are met,” said Mr Tsipras on Tuesday at a parliamentary debate on the creation of a reparations committee.

Syriza’s leader added the atrocities of the Nazi occupation remained “fresh in the memory” of Greek people and “must be preserved in the younger generations.”

Greece’s demand for reparations centers on a war loan of 476m Reichsmarks the Greek central bank was forced to make to the Nazis. Athens is also calling for wider compensation for the destruction and suffering caused by the occupation.

 

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Prime Minister Tsipras addressed his parliament at a debate on establishing a Greek war reparations committee

The country’s justice minister went further, threatening the seizure of German assets in order to compensate the relatives of Nazi war crimes.

Nikos Paraskevopoulos told Greek television he was willing to back a supreme court ruling which would lead to the foreclosure of German assets in Greece.

A spokesman for the German Finance Ministry dismissed the threats, saying there would be no negotiation over the war-time debts.

“We won’t be conducting any talks or negotiations with the Greek side,” said Germany’s Martin Jaeger when asked about the latest Greek demands.

“Making these emotional and backward-looking allegations doesn’t help in the context of the work we need to tackle together with the Greeks.”

The Third Reich famously subdued Greek resistance in a matter of weeks in 1941, after the country had held out for months against Mussolini’s Italian army.

The occupation that followed saw more than 40,000 civilians starved to death in Athens.

Germany maintains it has paid up all of its reparations to Greece in a post-war accord agreed in 1960.

chart

The rhetoric comes as Athens prepares to open its books to its lenders in a bid to release €7.2bn in bail-out funds the country desperately needs to stay afloat.

Inspection teams from the “Brussels Mafia”, the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Commission, who have now been officially renamed as the “Brussels Group”, are due to cast their eyes over the country’s finances and begin technical work over the terms of the bail-out extension in the coming days.

Athens is scrambling to pay €1.3bn in loans to the IMF before the end of the month.

 

‘Strong Moralizing’: A Legal Look at Greek Reparations Demands

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leaves some flowers on a monument during a ceremony at the Kessariani shooting range site where hundreds of members of the Greek Resistance were executed by Nazi occupation forces during World War II in Athens January 26, 2015. Tsipras laid flowers at the monument following a swearing-in ceremony as Greece's first leftist Prime Minister. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leaves some flowers on a monument during a ceremony at the Kessariani shooting range site where hundreds of members of the Greek Resistance were executed by Nazi occupation forces during World War II in Athens January 26, 2015. Tsipras laid flowers at the monument following a swearing-in ceremony as Greece’s first leftist Prime Minister. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL

Interview by Dietmar Hipp

March 13, 2015

Athens has demanded that Germany pay Greece billions in World War II reparations. Berlin, though, has ignored the requests. International law professor Frank Schorkopf says that Germany has already fulfilled its obligations through wealth transfers.

Earlier this week, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras assigned a committee in his national parliament to address the issue of making fresh demands for billions World War II reparations payments from Germany. The issue between the two countries is highly sensitive and has angered many in Berlin as international negotiations over Greece’s debt continue. SPIEGEL interviewed Frank Schorkopf, 44, a professor for international law at the Universtiy of Göttingen, about Athens’ calls for justice.

INTERVIEW

SPIEGEL: Mr. Schorkopf, the German government doesn’t want to pay any reparations to Greece, claiming that the issue has been “legally and politically concluded.” Do you agree?

Schorkopf: In my opinion, the German government is correct about this. The problem, however, is that this reference to the formal legal position no longer mollifies the discussion with Greece. One should argue in broader terms.

SPIEGEL: In what sense?

Schorkopf: Reparations demands are about transfer payments, be they between two states because of the general costs of war, or between private individuals, particularly because of war crimes. In addition to the legal components, these questions also have a moral one. And at the moment, we are experiencing a strong moralizing in government relations between Greece and Germany. In a situation like that, you don’t get far with just formal legal arguments.

SPIEGEL: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has complained that the Germans are being silent and tricky

Schorkopf:but he is twisting the context. At the very latest, Greece was required to register claims for reparations at the end of the so-called Two-Plus-Four Treaty negotiations in 1990. In any case, the Greeks did not do so in time. There are good reasons to interpret this silence as acceptance, as a relinquishment of reparations. Yet the more important thought is that there is an obvious reason for the silence.

SPIEGEL: Which is?

Schorkopf: In the past decades, Germany has provided enormous transfer payments, to Greece as well — not as reparations, but as a part of European integration. We are talking about a figure in the high double-digit billions, a sum that easily reached the level of possible reparations payments. Greece could always count on support. When the country was accepted as a member of the European Community in 1981, it was a tottering candidate. In in 2001, when Greece was admitted into the economic and currency union, people didn’t look very closely when the Greeks falsified their accounts.

SPIEGEL: That sounds like a deal: Eschewing reparations in exchange for acceptance into the currency union?

Schorkopf: Perhaps not so direct. But in unspoken terms, these associated transfers of wealth were the implicit way in which Germany sought to do justice to its responsibility for World War II. The so-called Economic Miracle (in Germany) was also made possible by the fact that the question of reparations was put aside in the London Debt Agreement, explicitly so that Germany could prosper. As a part of European integration, other countries rightly profited from that — especially the Greeks. It was a smart and modern form of addressing the issue of reparations. With that, in my opinion, demands for reparations should not only be rejected for formal legal reasons, they should also be viewed as having been fulfilled economically, politically and morally.

SPIEGEL: Why is it that the German government never called on the Greeks to formally renounce reparations?

Schorkopf: Some things were settled and finalized, like damages to civilian victim groups. The Greek government received money for that. And for a long time, both sides seemed happy not picking at old wounds.

SPIEGEL: What about the forced Greek central bank loan of 1942 that is being so widely discussed?

Schorkopf: It was not a standard loan contract, particularly because there was no interest payments attached to it. In my view, it thus falls into the category of reparations and, as such, the issue is already finalized. If you take a different view, the Greeks would only be able to demand a repayment of the loan, but no interest.

SPIEGEL: If the Greeks continue to consider their demands to be justified, are they allowed to seize German government property on Greek soil, like the Goethe Institute, for example?

Schorkopf: Not according to international law. If they did so anyway, Germany could take them to the International Court of Justice.

SPIEGEL: Could Greece also challenge Germany at the court over the issue of reparations?

Schorkopf: Only if Germany agreed to submit itself to such proceedings, because this deals with legal issues from the past. But I don’t believe the Greek government has an interest in doing that. Proceedings like that would take many years and they wouldn’t help Greece.

SPIEGEL: But perhaps later.

Schorkopf: This may sound tough, but even if Greece were one day to win on the question of reparations, in addition to the aforementioned wealth transfers, there’s an even more precarious counterparty relationship. Greece owes Germany about €60 billion. Before even a euro flowed to Greece in further reparations, the German government could offset the claims.

 image-823208-panoV9free-sylx

Professor Frank Schorkopf: “In the past decades, Germany has provided enormous transfer payments, to Greece as well — not as reparations, but as a part of European integration. We are talking about a high figure in the double-digit billions, a sum that easily reached the level of possible reparations payments.”

Nazi Extortion: Study Sheds New Light on Forced Greek Loans

NS-Massaker 1944 im griechischen Distomo

Is Germany liable to Athens for loans the Nazis forced the Greek central bank to provide during World War II? A new study in Greece could increase the pressure on Berlin to pay up.

 

Is Germany liable to Athens for loans the Nazis forced the Greek central bank to provide during World War II?

YES! And an apology to the people of Greece for their suffering during Nazi occupation and FORCED GREEK LOANS!

Published by Spiegel Online International

 By , Katrin Kuntz and Walter Mayr

Loukas Zisis, the deputy mayor of Distomo, a village nestled in the hills about a two hour drive from Athens, says he thinks about the Germans every day. On June 10, 1944, the Germans massacred 218 people in Distomo, including dozens of children. Zisis, who is just 48 years old, wasn’t yet born at the time of the attack.

The massacre, which continues to shape the place today, was one of the most brutal crimes committed by the Nazis in Greece, with the carnage lasting several hours. For decades, a trial over the massacre wound its way through the courts at all levels in Greece and Germany. Greece’s highest court, the Areopag, ruled in 2000 that Germany must pay damages to Distomo’s bereaved.

“But we are still waiting,” says Zisis. “There has been no compensation.”

Last week in Greek parliament, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras demanded German reparations payments, indirectly linking them to the current situation in Greece. “After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the legal and political conditions were created for this issue to be solved,” Tsipras said. “But since then, German governments chose silence, legal tricks and delay. And I wonder, because there is a lot of talk at the European level these days about moral issues: Is this stance moral?”

Tspras was essentially countering German allegations that Greece lives beyond its means with the biggest counteraccusation possible: German guilt. Leaving aside the connection drawn by Tsipras, which many consider to be inappropriate, there are many arguments to support the Greek view. SPIEGEL itself reported in February that former Chancellor Helmut Kohl used tricks in 1990 in order to avoid having to pay reparations.

A study conducted by the Greek Finance Ministry, commissioned way back in 2012 by a previous government, has now been completed and contains new facts. The 194-page document has been obtained by SPIEGEL.

Outstanding German Debt

The central question in the report is that of forced loans the Nazi occupiers extorted from the Greek central bank beginning in 1941. Should requests for repayment of those loans be classified as reparation demands — demands that may have been forfeited with the Two-Plus-Four Treaty of 1990? Or is it a genuine loan that must be paid back? The expert commission analyzed contracts and agreements from the time of the occupation as well as receipts, remittance slips and bank statements.

They found that the forced loans do not fit into the category of classical war reparations. The commission calculated the outstanding German “debt” to the Greek central bank and came to a total sum of $12.8 billion as of December 2014, which would amount to about €11 billion.

As such, at issue between Germany and Greece is no longer just the question as to whether the 115 million deutsche marks paid to the Greek government from 1961 onwards for its peoples’ suffering during the occupation sufficed as legal compensation for the massacres like those in the villages of Distomo and Kalavrita. Now the key issue is whether the successor to the German Reich, the Federal Republic of Germany, is responsible for paying back loans extorted by the Nazi occupiers. There’s some evidence to indicate that this may be the case.

In terms of the amount of the loan debt, the Greek auditors have come to almost the same findings as those of the Nazis’ bookkeepers shortly before the end of the war. Hitler’s auditors estimated 26 days before the war’s end that the “outstanding debt” the Reich owed to Greece at 476 million Reichsmarks.

Auditors in Athens calculated an “open credit line” for the same period of time of around $213 million. They assumed a dollar exchange rate to the Reichsmark of 2:1 and applied an interest escalation clause accepted by the German occupiers that would result in a value of more than €11 billion today.

‘No Ifs or Buts’

This outstanding debt has to be paid back “with no ifs or buts,” says German historian Hagen Fleischer in Athens, who knows the relevant files better than anyone else. Even before the new report, he located numerous documents that prove without any doubt, he believes, the character of forced loans. Nazi officials noted on March 20, 1944, for example, that the “Reich’s debt” to Athens had totaled 1,068 billion drachmas as of December 31 of the previous year.

Forced loans as war debt pervade all the German files,says Fleischer, who is a professor of modern history at the University of Athens. He has lived in Athens since 1977 and has since obtained Greek citizenship. He says that files from postwar German authorities about questions of war debt “shocked” him far more than the war documents on atrocities and suffering.

In them, he says German diplomats use the vocabulary of the National Socialists to discuss reparations issues, speaking of a “final solution for so-called war crimes problems,” or stating that it was high time for a “liquidation of memory.” He says it was in this spirit that compensation payments were also constantly refused. Fleischer had long been accused of bias and he says he is now pleased to have support from Athens — particularly given that the present study has nothing to do with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ Syriza government.

When work on the study first began in early 2012, the cabinet of independent Prime Minister Loukas Papademos still governed in Athens. A former vice president of the European Central Bank, Papademos formed a six-month transition government after Georgios Papandreou resigned. In April 2014, the successor government of conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras decided to continue work on the study and appointed Panagiotis Karakousis to lead the team of experts. The longtime general director of the Finance Ministry was considered to be politically unobjectionable.

50,000 Pages of Documents

Karakousis spent five months reading 50,000 pages of original documents from the central bank’s archives. It wasn’t easy reading. The study calculates right down to the gram the amount of gold plundered from private households, especially those of Greek Jews: 7,358.0014 kilograms of pure gold with an equivalent value today of around €235 million. It also notes also how German troops, as they pulled out, quickly took along “the entire cash reserves from branch offices and regional branches” of the central bank: Exactly 634,962,691,995,162 drachmas in notes and coins, which would total about €40 million today.

Above all, the study, with some reservations, provides clarity about the forced loans. “No reasonable person can now doubt that these loans existed and that the repayment remains open,” says Karakousis.

This history of the loans began in April 1941, after the German troops rushed to assist their Italian allies and occupied Greece. In order to provide their troops with provisions, the German occupiers demanded reimbursement for their expenses, the so-called occupation costs. It’s a cynical requirement, but one that became standard practice after the 1907 Hague Convention.

Out of the ordinary, though, was the Wehrmacht requirement that the Greeks finance the provision of its troops on other fronts — in the Balkans, in Russia or in North Africa — despite Hague Convention rules forbidding such a practice. Initially, the German occupiers demanded 25 million Reichsmarks per month from the government in Athens, around 1.5 billion drachmas. But the amount they actually took was considerably higher. The expert commission determined that payments made by the Greek central bank between August and December 1941 totaled 12 billion rather than 7 billion drachmas.

‘Unlimited Sums in the Form of Loans’

With their economy laid to waste, the Greeks soon began pushing for reductions. At a conference in Rome, the Germans and Italians decided on March 14, 1942 to halve their occupation costs to 750 million drachmas each. But the study claims that Hitler’s deputies demanded “unlimited sums in the form of loans.” Whatever the Germans collected over and above the 750 million would be “credited to the Greek government,” a German official noted in 1942.

The sums of the forced loans were up to 10 times as high as the occupation costs. During the first half of 1942, they totaled 43.4 billion drachmas, whereas only 4.5 billion for the provision of troops was due.

A number of installment payments, which Athens began pressing for in March 1943, serve to verify the nature of the loans. Historian Fleischer also found records relating to around two dozen payment installments. For example, the payment office of the Special Operations Southeast was instructed on October 6, 1944 to pay, inflation adjusted, an incredible sum of 300 billion drachma to the Greek government and to book it as “repayment.”

Debts Have to Be Paid Back’

In Fleischer’s opinion, the report makes unequivocally clear that the Greek demands do not relate to reparations for wartime injustices that could serve as a precedent for other countries. “One can negotiate reparations politically,” Fleischer says. “Debts have to be paid back — even between friends.”

Postwar Greek governments sought repayment early on. The German ambassador confirmed on October 15, 1966, for example, that the Greeks had already come knocking “over an alleged claim.”

On November 10, 1995, then Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou proposed the opening of talks aimed at a settlement of the “German debts to Greece.” He proposed that “every category of these claims would be examined separately.” Papandreous’ effort ultimately didn’t lead anywhere.

So what happens now? What should become of this new study, the contents of which had remained secret before now?

“I am not a politician,” says Karakousis, “I’ve just done my duty.”

But the question also remains whether the surviving relatives of the victims of Distomo will ever be provided with justice — and whether there are similar cases in other countries.

German lawyer Joachim Lau, whose law firm is based in Florence, Italy, represents the interests of village residents of Distomo even today. Lau, born in Stuttgart, a white-haired man of almost 70, is fighting for compensation in the name of the Greek and Italian victims of the Nazis. “I am disappointed by the manner in which Germany is dealing with this question,” he says. He says it’s not just an issue of financial compensation. More than anything, it is one of justice.

Careless Statements

In February, Lau warned German President Joachim Gauck in an open letter against propagating the “violation of international law” with careless statements about the reparations issue. In his view, the legal situation is clear: Greek and Italian citizens and their relatives affected by “shootings, massacres by the Wehrmacht, by deportations or forced labor illegal under international law” have the right to individual claims.

For the past decade, Lau has been pursuing the claims of the Distomo victims in Italy. The Court of Cassation in Rome affirmed in 2008 that the claims were legitimate and that he could pursue the case. Earlier, the lawyer had already succeeded in securing Villa Vigoni, a palatial estate on the shore of Lake Como owned by Germany — and used by a private German association focused on promoting German-Italian relations — as collateral for the suit. In 2009, Lau succeeded in having €51 million in claims made by Deutsche Bahn against Italian state railway Trenitalia seized. On Tuesday, the high court in Rome is expected to rule on the lifting of the enforcement order.

Following a ruling made by Italy’s Constitutional Court in October 2014, private suits in Italy against Germany have been possible again. One of the justices who issued the ruling is the current president of Italy, Sergio Mattarella.

It remains unclear whether this ruling will unleash “a wave of new proceedings” in Italy, says Lau, who currently represents 150 cases, including various class-action lawsuits.

Present and Past, Guilt and Anger

Everything connects in the mountain village of Distoma — the present and past, guilt and anger, the Greek demands on Germany today and past calls for reparations. Efrosyni Perganda sits in the well-heated living room of her home. The diminutive woman, 91 years of age, has alert eyes and wears a black dress. She survived the massacre perpetrated by the Germans at Distomo and she’s one of the few witnesses still alive in the village.

The bones of victims of the Nazi killings in Distomo are features as part of the village's memorial to the massacre. Zoom

Bernhard Riedmann / Der SPIEGEL

The bones of victims of the Nazi killings in Distomo are features as part of the village’s memorial to the massacre.

When the SS company undertook a so-called act of atonement in Distomo following a fight with Greek partisans, the soldiers also captured her husband. Efrosyni Perganda stood by with her baby as they took him. She never saw him again.

As the Germans began to rampage, she hid behind the bathroom door and later behind the living room door of the house in which she still lives today. She held her baby tightly against her chest. “I forgive my husband’s murderers,” she says.

Loukas Zisis, the deputy mayor, silently leaves the house as the woman finishes telling her story. He needs a break and heads over to the tavern, where he orders a glass of wine. “I admire Germany: Marx, Engels, Nietzsche,” he says. “The prosperity. The degree to which society is organized. But here in the village, we aren’t finding peace because the German state isn’t settling its debt.”

Zisis admires Germany, but the country remains incomprehensible to him. “We haven’t even heard a single apology so far,” he says once again. “That has to do with Germany’s position in Europe.” This is something that he just doesn’t understand, he says.

 

 

 

Madame Merkel – Between Munich, Moscow, Washington and Minsk — Jet-setting for Peace or Propaganda?

Region:
In-depth Report:

 

Angela-MerkelMadame Merkel attended on 6 February the 6-7 February NATO security Conference in Munich. Then, not listening to what Mr. Lavrov had to say to the conference on 7 February, she jetted with ‘General’ (as in Napoleon) Hollande of France to Moscow to meet ‘urgently’ with Mr. Putin on 7 February to initiate new peace / truce talks on Ukraine. Keeping the results largely under wraps, not to divulge to her own people or the rest of Europe, she stopped briefly over in Germany where she finally talked to Sergei Lavrov, before jetting on to emperor Obama for reporting and consulting.

What does the master say? We don’t know yet – eagerly awaiting the mainstream media spin. It should be hitting us shortly. – Next stop Minsk. Merkel with Holland in tow, for talks with Putin and Poroshenko. What else is new? Poroshenko can’t budge without a nod from Washington – which he will not get, of course. Peace is not part of Obama’s and his henchmen’s game plan. He needs war, and he wants Ukraine.

Does this look like a serious attempt by Europe to reach peace in Ukraine or sheer propaganda? – Taking hapless Hollande along to Moscow and Minsk, makes it look graver, more serious, but is likely just another propaganda stunt, replaying the odd, old German- French tandem; of course, as a new lie campaign, eventually serving to vilify Vladimir Putin. If it all fails. And fail it will, since Washington has no intention to reach an agreement.

The Kremlin will not give in handing over Ukraine on a silver platter to the emperor and his European vassals, nor on any platter for that matter. And rightly so. Everybody knows that, except for the msm-enslaved populace; a vast majority. Unfortunately.

Almost certainly, Mr. Putin stressed again, what he said since the beginning of the conflict, that there are no Russian troops fighting in Ukraine, humanitarian aid is all that Russia delivers to the cruelly bombed and massacred people of Neorussia, the Donbass area. This was recently confirmed by Chief of Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, General Viktor Muzhenkohttp://www.globalresearch.ca/ukrainian-government-no-russian-troops-are-fighting-against-us-sanctions-against-russia-based-on-falshoods/5428523.

Of course, no msm has picked up this little detail. How could they? It would throw out all justification for western sanctions – and it would lay bare the western, Washington-driven lies about Russian military intervention in Ukraine. People may start wondering, who if not Russia, is responsible for the bloody civil war in Ukraine, that has already left more than 5,400 people dead, hundreds of thousands without shelter and heating in the midst of winter – and millions of refugees? – And for downing the Malaysian airliner MH17? – Could we have been hoodwinked by the Empire of Chaos and its European vassals?

Mr. Putin may also have laid out to the odd couple, Merkel-Hollande, what he did since the beginning of the conflict as a condition of peace, or at least a truce – a relative large autonomy for eastern Ukraine, with Russian as an official language – and NO NATO base in Ukraine.

That sounds very reasonable, given the fact that the war was entirely instigated and the Nazi putsch government (sic) put in place by Washington. Madame Nuland, Kerry’s sidekick, testified to this in a telephone conversation on January 28, 2014, about three weeks before the coup, with US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt. The conversation was published on YouTube. She knew whom she wanted to replace the democratically elected Victor Yanukovitsch with, namely with “Yats”, as she calls him endearingly, the ultra-right wing, fascist Arseniy Yatsenuik, today’s PM of the Kiev junta of thugs and murderers. She later bragged about it at the Washington Press Club.

Again, the msm-lie and deceit machine is as of this day silent about it, lest Mr. Putin could no longer be demonized and his country ‘sanctioned’ – sanctions, which badly backfire especially on Europe – who has built up close and friendly business and trade relationships with Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was a logical step, not only from a geographic point of view; but also seen from an economic development ‘growth’ perspective.

Now – is Ms. Merkel seriously brokering for peace, because the German economy and the Euro may be at stake if Germany is shut out of Russia and the rest of the Eastern markets – all of Central Asia and China?

Keep in mind, there is already the Eurasian Customs Union, to become the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) as of 2015, with the member states including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. In addition, there is the overlapping Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, with potentially new members of Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan.

Turkey and India are also SCO contenders, but with India betraying the BRICS and seemingly rapidly defecting into the lush neoliberal Obama camp, and Turkey being torn apart, on the one hand as Europe’s key NATO base, and on the other, disgusted by Europe and increasingly leaning towards Russia and China – their SCO membership remains in suspense for now.

The SCO, created in 2001, is a politico-economic and military association. Together the EEC and the SCO account for about 25% of the world population and close to 30% of the world’s economic output. The eastern alliance under Russian-Chinese leadership is well on course of establishing its own monetary system, detached from the fraudulent dollar scheme.

Then there are the remaining BRICS, plus Argentina, Venezuela and possibly others that would gladly be migrating out of Washington’s oppressive fangs into a friendly economic environment, where national sovereignty still counts and is respected.

Given all these facts, is it too farfetched to assume that Madame Merkel may have seen the light after all, racing to Obama, telling him the obvious? That without a change of Washington’s policy towards Russia not only the European economy may collapse, but that the US economy may not survive either? – That with WWIII or even a new Cold War over Ukraine, the world as we know it may eclipse? – That he, Mr. Obama, the emperor of the exceptional nation, should put his bets on other horses than conflict and eternal war, and instead start thinking of peace and cooperation?

It would be fair to assume that Washington knows all that. There has been a pattern for the last 35 years, the hegemonic implementation of a neoliberal dogma; controlling energy, food, money and people under a one world order, be it as it may, through financial and economic subjugation as with Greece and other southern European states, or with endless outright military aggression directly or by proxy (as in bought (mis)leaders and mercenaries), à la Afghanistan, Iraq, Indonesia, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Thailand, Yemen, and-so-on – and Ukraine. They, the master and his cronies, will not let go, no matter what concessions Putin would be willing to make. Pursuit of the PNAC’s (Plan for a New American Century) objective, Full Spectrum Dominance, knows no mercy. Obama himself is a mere marionette of corporate empire, led by the military industrial complex and the Zionist-Anglo-Saxon banking system.

Madame Merkel, regardless of the tenor and contents of your discussion in Washington, it is up to you, whether you want to lead Europe out of her conundrum – of her wavering between prosperity and submission – between war and peace.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik News, the Voice of Russia / Ria Novosti, TeleSur, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

Has former Ukraine President Yanukovych received a Chrit$mas gift from the West or trying to join Poroshenko’s psychopathic government?

Former Ukraine President Yanukovych Proposes Solution to Ukraine’s Civil War; It Fits Obama’s Plan

yanukovychThe Ukrainian President whom U.S. President Obama overthrew in a violent coup this past February is now proposing that “people will be able to negotiate and Ukraine will once again be united.”

The former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, in a lengthy interview published on Christmas Eve day in Russia’s weekly newspaper, “Arguments and Facts,” says this after having asserted in the very same statement, “Ordinary Ukrainians from the west and east have nothing to share.”

So: he’s advising that the people in Donbass in Ukraine’s southeast, who, since soon after his overthrow, are being bombed and gunned down by Ukraine’s military from Ukraine’s northwest, should nonetheless negotiate with and come to agreement with them — a government they played no part in electing and that has been trying to kill them. He says they should be ruled by a Government that’s largely elected by people in Ukraine’s northwest, with whom they “have nothing to share” (such as this Gallup poll confirmed to be the actual case: the gulf between Ukraine’s east and west is, indeed, enormous).

In other words, Yanukovych wants Donbass to be ruled by the Obama-installed gang that are trying to exterminate the residents in Donbass and to control the land in Donbass but with the residents gone from it.

This is like proposing that Germany’s Jews should have accepted Hitler’s ruling over them, or that Israel’s Palestinians should accept zionists ruling over them.  Yanukovych’s statement is equally insensitive, equally stupid, equally anti-democratic, and equally repugnant, as that.

He modifies this by saying that it should happen only “as soon as the current policies are gone,” but he doesn’t say how this miracle can even possibly happen. He vaguely asserts that it can occur via “negotiations.” The exterminees are supposed to “negotiate” with their exterminators until “the current policies are gone.” This idea is morbidly fit for “Saturday Night Live” — to be laughed at — but certainly not for any real political leader. In fact, it’s an insult to the people who voted 90% for him, that’s to say, to the people who live in Donbass (it’s shown there as the purple area on the far-eastern side of that map). He’s metaphorically spitting on the graves of his former voters.

This is yet another in a long line of indications that the rulers in Ukraine, at least since the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union, are so profoundly corrupt that they don’t even think seriously at all about the welfare of the people they rule over (not even of their former supporters). They just live in their secure and corruptly gained wealth, with no concern for the people over whom they rule or have ruled.

The Government of Ukraine might be as psychopathic as America’s Government is — maybe even more so, if that’s possible. The major difference between the two Governments is that America’s wasn’t always this way; Ukraine’s unfortunately has been.

Today’s American Government is now so psychopathic as to be seeking to surround Russia with NATO missiles, even for them to be in Ukraine (with a Ukrainian Government that’s elected by the people in the Russia-hating northwestern portion of that country), despite the fact that when the Soviet Union in 1962 tried to install nuclear missiles into Cuba off our own shores, our President at that time, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, made clear that if they did it, we would launch a nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

Why isn’t Russia’s President Vladimir Putin publicly telling Obama and Obama’s NATO exactly what JFK publicly told Nikita Khrushchev: Don’t do that, or else our nukes will fly against you, because doing that will be a mortal threat against all Russians. You must leave your military away from our borders, just like we left our military away from Cuba. (Of course, he should first privately tell Obama this; then, if Obama refuses to back off, Putin should publicly warn it; but Obama hasn’t backed off, and we don’t know whether he’s yet been privately warned.)

Yanukovych is proposing a final solution in Ukraine that’s just as psychopathic as is Obama’s final solution to the whole world, which is: either you accept U.S. rule (or “hegemony”) over this entire planet, or else we shall crush you.

President Obama’s speech at West Point, on 28 May 2014, propagandized for (i.e., rationalized) this conquer-Russia viewpoint, on the part of America’s aristocracy, who want to control the aristocracy in every other nationincluding in Russia, and he lied there about such things as “Russia’s aggression” (when the world’s huge problem is actually America’s aggression, against Russia, and against many other countries; not Russia’s ‘aggression’ against Ukraine) while he asserted: “Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us.” He was telling West Pointers that the emerging newly important national economies are “competing” with us, and that this is the U.S. military’s business, to deal with by weapons and by force, not really by economic competition at all (which isn’t supposed to be the military’s business). Obama was also making clear to the graduating West Point cadets that the “BRIC” countries are America’s enemy (that Russia, and its leading supporters of international independence, are the enemies against a mono-polar or “hegemonic” world, American Empire), from the standpoint of America’s aristocracy, whom the U.S. military now even so blatantly serves to the exclusion of any authentically public-interest at all. Ours want to crush the aristocrats in Brazil, Russia, India, and China. The newly graduating professional U.S. killers at West Point are being given their marching-orders from our ‘democratically’ elected President, their Commander-in-Chief. He said there:

“So the United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed [properly spelled ‘past,’ but this is his text] and it will be true for the century to come.”

He might as well have been Hitler there, or Stalin, or Attila the Hun, all of whom could have said the same thing to their troops. It makes sense, then, that in the 2013 WIN/Gallup international poll, the nation that’s considered the biggest threat to world peace is the United States — not, as Obama said: “Russia’s aggression.” In fact, this poll found: “Rather surprisingly, in Ukraine, which is often described as being deeply divided between pro-Russian and pro-Western camps, the U.S. did not fare well — 33 percent of respondents choose the U.S. as [presenting] the greatest danger, compared to just five percent who picked Russia.” Moreover: “Germans were more ambivalent, with the U.S. selected as the greatest threat (17 percent), just ahead of Iran (16 percent); as were British respondents, who put the U.S. and Iran in joint first place among threats to peace (15 percent each). … In Spain — while not in the same league as Greece — respondents also had a dim view of the U.S., with 25 percent picking it as the greatest danger, compared to just 11 percent for North Korea and 10 percent for Iran.”

So: Obama is scaring-up America’s future warriors against Russia, by lying to them about “Russia’s aggression,” and telling them that “Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe,” and by nottelling them that those “capitals” are controlled by America’s aristocracy, and that Russia’s is not. He is indoctrinating them with lies, not educating them with truths.

Democracy has been stolen from the American people and is now being controlled by the American aristocracy;they’re the people who are the greatest threat to world peace — and the world knows it, though the U.S. aristocracy and its agents keep Americans ignorant of it.

In fact, whereas 98% of the U.S. House, and 100% of the U.S. Senate, want a war against Russia, more than two-thirds of the American public still do not. This is supposed to be a ‘democracy’? WW III won’t be a result of democracy, but of the lack of it.

The problem is aristocracy: the aristocracy itself, and our Government of the people, for the aristocracy, by the aristocracy’s representatives, via pervasive corruption of the political process in America.

Just as Ukraine is controlled by its “oligarchs” or billionaires, so too is the U.S. controlled by our billionaires. And, it’s now endangering the entire world.

As a propagandist on a Ukrainian TV station that’s financed by the U.S. and Netherlands Governments and by George Soros’s International Renaissance Fund said to Ukrainians: “Donbass is overpopulated with people nobody has any use for. … At least 1.5 million of them are superfluous. … Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. … No matter how cruel it may sound, there is a certain category of people who must be exterminated.”

The U.S. President, 98% of the House, and 100% of the Senate, are using Americans’ tax dollars to fund that extermination. But the American people don’t even know about it. And no one in the American Government is condemning that propagandist’s statement, nor its being carried out by the Ukrainian Government that they’re forcing us taxpayers to finance.

Europe to support Ukraine in overcoming conflict in Donbas — EU foreign policy chief

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“The EU will continue to be on the side of Ukraine and will work hard to ensure that the conflict in Donbas ends,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, December 17. /TASS/. The European Union will keep on supporting Ukraine until all points of the Minsk agreements to be implemented, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said on Wednesday.

“The EU will continue to be on the side of Ukraine and will work hard to ensure that the conflict in Donbas ends with full respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” she said.

Europe is also ready to contribute to carrying out reforms in Ukraine. “It’s very important to start implementing the necessary reforms,” Mogherini said.

“We can begin our work using the instruments that have emerged due to the Association Agreement and implement the reforms. We should continue our joint work just as we have ratified the Agreement. We should move forward hand in hand — Ukraine and the EU,” she said.