Germany’s Heckler and Koch to Stop Selling Guns to Saudi Arabia and israel, Calls Them Corrupt Countries

Germany’s Heckler and Koch to Stop Selling Guns to Saudi Arabia and Israel, Calls Them Corrupt Countries

Heckler Koch 78935

The company announced its new policy in its most recent annual report, stating that it will now only sell to “green countries” and those that met Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index as well as the Economist Intelligence Unit’s democracy index.

The bans list also includes Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia or any African countries.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia have a history of breaching the territorial integrity of different countries and massacre of innocent civilians.

Veteran anti-arms-trade campaigner Jurgen Grasslin told Radio Sputnik that “Heckler & Koch has been exporting arms since 1955 to nearly every crisis or war area worldwide. Nearly 2 million people are killed and more than 5 million injured by H&K weapons around the world, and one person gets killed by Heckler & Koch bullet every 13 minutes.”

When asked by Sputnik about the possible reasons for the company’s surprise decision, he said that the company has been under strong pressure from the peace movement in Germany and that its image has been “so terrible” that it finally decided to stop selling arms to problem countries

Grasslin also told The Guardian that Heckler & Koch “is a company that had one of the most terrible reputations – in all the podium discussions I’ve done in the last few years, the other arms companies used to say, ‘We’re not like Heckler & Koch, we’re morally better.’”

In its latest acts of aggression, Tel Aviv has waged three wars on the Gaza Strip since 2008, including one in 2014, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.

Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution urging EU Member States to improve the implementation of the EU Common Position on Arms Export. The resolution calls for more transparency, a supervisory body and a sanctions mechanism for those Member States not following minimum requirements. It re-iterates the urgent need to impose an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights reported.

Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a bloody war in Yemen, which has killed more than 12,000 deaths since March 2015. Much of Yemen’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war.

Nearly 3.3 million Yemeni people, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition. The Al-Saud aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

*(Image credit: Joe Hsu/ flickr)

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US Broke German Law, Armed Syrian Rebels (Terrorists) via Ramstein Airbase Without Asking Berlin

US Broke German Law, Armed Syrian Rebels via Rammstein Airbase Without Asking Berlin

Expect the German government to ignore it all, same as the massive illegal spying on German leaders Snowden revealed

New reports on the ongoing US program to arm Syria’s rebels have brought focus on several different operations. Among these is evidence that the US used the Ramstein Air Base in Germany as a route through which to ship the weapons.

That’s a big problem, because all indications are that the United States never informed the German government of these shipments, nor is there any sign that Germany ever gave even tacit permission for such shipments.

That would mean that the transfers were a violation of German law, and while the German government will likely not make a huge deal out of it, that’s not to say it won’t have consequences. Public protests surrounding the US military presence in the country will likely grow stronger with the suggestion the US is willfully violating German law.

This is all the more problematic because US arms to Syria have been ineffective, with many arms ending up in the hands of Islamists. At times US arms are on both sides of Syrian battles, and have just led to more infighting. Germany’s surprise complicity in that doubtless won’t sit well with many.

Letter to my American friends

Letter to my American friends

The Saker

Introduction by the Saker: During my recent hurricane-induced evacuation from Florida, I had the pleasure to see some good friends of mine (White Russian emigrés and American Jews who now consider themselves American and who fully buy into the official propaganda about the USA) who sincerely think of themselves as liberals, progressives and anti-imperialists. These are kind, decent and sincere people, but during our meeting they made a number of statements which completely contradicted their professed views. After writing this letter to them I realized that there might be many more people out there who, like myself, are desperately trying to open the eye of good but completely mislead people about the reality of Empire. I am sharing this letter in the hope that it might maybe offer a few useful talking points to others in their efforts to open the eyes of their friends and relatives.

——-

Dear friends:

During our conversation you stated the following:

  1. The USA needs a military
  2. One of the reasons why the USA needs a military are regimes like the North Korean one
  3. The USA has a right to intervene outside its borders on a) pragmatic and b) moral grounds
  4. During WWII the USA “saved Europe” and acquired a moral right to “protect” other friends and allies
  5. The Allies (USSR-US-UK) were morally superior to the Nazis
  6. The Americans brought peace, prosperity and freedom to Europe.
  7. Yes, mistakes were made, but this is hardly a reason to forsake the right to intervene

I believe that all seven of these theses are demonstratively false, fallacies based on profoundly mistaken assumptions and that they all can be debunked by common sense and indisputable facts.

But first, let me tackle the Delphic maxim “know thyself” as it is, I believe, central to our discussion. For all our differences I think that there are a number of things which you would agree to consider as axiomatically true, including that Germans, Russians, Americans and others are roughly of equal intelligence. They also are roughly equally capable of critical thinking, personal investigation and education. Right? Yet, you will also agree that during the Nazi regime in Germany Germans were very effectively propagandized and that Russians in Soviet Russia were also effectively propagandized by their own propaganda machine. Right? Do you have any reason to suppose that we are somehow smarter or better than those propagandized Germans and Russians and had we been in their place we would have immediately seen through the lies? Could it be that we today are maybe also not seeing through the lies we are being told?

It is also undeniable that the history of WWII was written by the victors of WWII. This is true of all wars – defeated regimes don’t get to freely present their version of history. Had the Nazis won WWII, we would all have been treated to a dramatically different narrative of what took place. Crucially, had the Nazis won WWII, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that the German people would have shown much skepticism about the version of history presented in their schools. Not only that, but I would submit that most Germans would also believe that they were free people and that the regime they live under was a benevolent one.

You doubt that?

Just think of the number of Germans who declared that they had no idea how bad the Nazi regime really was. Even Hitler’s personal secretary, Traudl Junge, used that excuse to explain how she could have worked for so many years with Hitler and even like him so much. There is an American expression which says “where I sit is where I stand”. Well, may I ask – where are we sittting and are we so sure that we have an independent opinion which is not defined by where we sit (geographically, politically, socially and even professionally)?

You might ask about all the victims of the Nazi regime, would they not be able to present their witness to the German people and the likes of Traudl Junge? Of course not: the dead don’t speak very much, and their murderers rarely do (lest they themselves end up dead). Oh sure, there would be all sorts of dissidents and political activists who would know the truth, but the “mainstream” consensus under a victorious Nazi Germany would be that Hitler and the Nazis liberated Europe from the Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists.

This is not something unique to Germany, by the way. If you take the Russian population today, it has many more descendants of executioners than descendants of executed people and this is hardly a surprise since dead people don’t reproduce. As a result, the modern Russian historiography is heavily skewed towards whitewashing the Soviet crimes and atrocities. To some degree this is a good thing, because it counteracts decades of US anti-Soviet propaganda, but it often goes too far and ends up minimizing the actual human cost of the Bolshevik experiment in Russia.

So how do the USA compare to Germany and Russia in this context?

Most Americans trust the version of history presented to them by their own “mainstream”. Why? How is their situation objectively different from the situation of Germans in a victorious Third Reich? Our modern narrative of WWII was also written by victors, victors who had a vested reason in demonizing all the other sides (Nazis and Soviets) while presenting us with a heroic tale of liberation. And here is the question which ought to really haunt us at night: what if we had been born not Russians and Jews after a Nazi defeat but if we had been born Germans after an Allied defeat in WWII? Would we have been able to show enough skepticism and courage to doubt the myths we were raised with? Or would we also be doubleplusgoodthinking little Nazis, all happy and proud to have defeated the evil Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists?

Oh sure, Hitler considered Jews as parasites which had to be exiled and, later, exterminated and he saw Russians as subhumans which needed to be put to work for the Germanic Master Race and whose intelligentsia also needed to be exterminated. No wonder that we, Jews and Russians, don’t particularly care for that kind of genocidal racist views. But surely we can be humans before being Jews and Russians, and we can accept that what is bad for us is not necessarily bad for others. Sure, Hitler was bad news for Jews and Russians, but was he really so bad news for “pure” (Aryan Germanic) Germans? More importantly, if we had been born “pure” Germans, would we have have cared a whole lot about Jews and Russians? I sure hope so, but I have my doubts. I don’t recall any of us shedding many tears about the poly-genocided (a word I coined for a unique phenomenon in history: the genocide of all the ethnicities of an entire continent!) Native Americans! I dare say that we are a lot more prone to whining about the “Holocaust” or “Stalinism”, even though neither of them ever affected us personally, (only our families and ethnicity) than about the poly-genocide of Native Americans. I very much doubt that our whining priorities would have been the same if our ethnicity had been Lakota or Comanche. Again, I hope that I am wrong. But I am not so sure.

Either way, my point is this:

We are hard-coded to be credulous and uncritically accept all the demonization of Nazis and Soviets because we are Jews and White Russians. Careful here, I am NOT saying that the Nazis and Soviets were not evil – they definitely were – but what I am saying is that we, Jews and Russians, are far more willing to accept and endorse any version of history which makes the Nazis and Soviets some kind of exceptionally evil people and that, in contrast, we almost instinctively reject any notion that “our” side (in this case I mean *your* side, the American one since you, unlike me, consider yourselves American) was just as bad (if only because your side never murdered Jews and Russians). So let’s look at this “our/your side” for a few minutes.

By the time the USA entered WWII it had already committed the worse crime in human history, the poly-genocide of an entire continent, followed by the completely illegal and brutal annexation of the lands stolen from the Native Americans. Truly, Hitler would have been proud. But that is hardly all, the Anglo invaders then proceeded to wage another illegal and brutal war of annexation against Mexico from which they stole a huge chunk of land which includes modern Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico!

Yes, all this land was illegally occupied and stolen by your side not once, but TWICE! And do I even need to mention the horrors of slavery to add to the “moral tally” of your side by the time the US entered the war?

Right there I think that there is more than enough evidence that your side was morally worse than either the Nazis or the Soviets. The entire history of the USA is one of endless violence, plunder, hypocrisy, exploitation, imperialism, oppression and wars. Endless wars of aggression. None of them defensive by any stretch of the imagination. That is quite unique in human history. Can you think of a nastier, more bloodthirsty regime? I can’t.

Should I even mention the British “atrocities tally”, ranging from opium wars, to the invention of concentration camps, to the creation of Apartheid, the horrors of the occupation of Ireland, etc. etc. etc.?

I can just hear you say that yes, this was horrible, but that does not change the fact that in WWII the USA “saved Europe”. But is that really so?

To substantiate my position, I have put together a separate PDF file which lists 5 sources, 3 in English, 2 in Russian. You can download it here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByibNV3SiUooWExTNGhMTGF5azQ

I have translated the key excerpts of the Russian sources and I am presenting them along with the key excerpts of the English sources. Please take a look at this PDF and, if you can, please read the full original articles I quote. I have stressed in bold red the key conclusions of these sources. You will notice that there are some variations in the figures, but the conclusions are, I think, undeniable. The historical record show that:

  1. The Soviet Union can be credited with the destruction of roughly 80% of the Nazi military machine. The US-UK correspondingly can be credited with no more than 20% of the Allied war effort.
  2. The scale and scope of the battles on the Eastern Front completely dwarf the biggest battles on the Western Front. Battles in the West involved Divisions and Brigades, in the East they involved Armies and Groups of Armies. That is at least one order of magnitude of difference.
  3. The USA only entered the war a year after Stalingrad and the Kursk battle when it was absolutely clear that the Nazis would lose the war.

The truth is that the Americans only entered the war when it was clear that the Nazis would be defeated and that their real motive was not the “liberation of oppressed Europe” but to prevent the Soviets from occupying all of Europe. The Americans never gave a damn about the mass murder of Jews or Russians, all they cared about was a massive land-grab (yet again).

[Sidebar: By the way, and lest you think that I claim that only Americans act this way, here is another set of interesting dates:

Nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: August 6 and 9, 1945

Soviet Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation: August 9–20, 1945

We can clearly see the same pattern here: the Soviets waited until it was absolutely certain that the USA had defeated the Japanese empire before striking it themselves. It is also worth noting that it took the Soviets only 10 days to defeat the entire Kwantung Army, the most prestigious Army of the Japanese Empire with over one million well-trained and well-equipped soldiers! That should tell you a little something about the kind of military machine the Soviet Union had developed in the course of the war against Nazi Germany (see here for a superb US study of this military operation)]

Did the Americans bring peace and prosperity to western Europe?

To western Europe, to some degree yes, and that is because was easy for them: they ended the war almost “fresh”, their (stolen) homeland did not suffer the horrors of war and so, yes, they could bring in peanut butter, cigarettes and other material goods. They also made sure that Western Europe would become an immense market for US goods and services and that European resources would be made available to the US Empire, especially against the Soviet Union. And how did they finance this “generosity”? By robbing the so-called Third World blind, that’s all. Is that something to be proud of? Did Lenin not warn as early as 1917 that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism”? The wealth of Western Europe was built by the abject poverty of the millions of Africans, Asians and Latin Americas.

But what about the future of Europe and the European people?

There a number of things upon which the Anglos and Stalin did agree to at the end of WWII: The four Ds: denazification, disarmament, demilitarisation, and democratisation of a united Germany and reparations to rebuild the USSR. Yes, Stalin wanted a united, neutral Germany. As soon as the war ended, however, the Anglos reneged on all of these promises: they created a heavily militarized West Germany, they immediately recruited thousands of top Nazi officials for their intelligence services, their rocket program and to subvert the Soviet Union. Worse, they immediately developed plans to attack the Soviet Union. Right at the end of the WWII, Anglo powers had at least THREE plans to wage war on the USSR: Operation DropshotPlan Totality and Operation Unthinkable. Here are some basic reminders from Wikipedia about what these operations were about:

Operation Dropshot: included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85% of the Soviet Union’s industrial potential at a single stroke. Between 75 and 100 of the 300 nuclear weapons were targeted to destroy Soviet combat aircraft on the ground.

Plan Totality: earmarked 20 Soviet cities for obliteration in a first strike: Moscow, Gorki, Kuybyshev, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Saratov, Kazan, Leningrad, Baku, Tashkent, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Molotov, Tbilisi, Stalinsk, Grozny, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl.

Operation Unthinkable: assumed a surprise attack by up to 47 British and American divisions in the area of Dresden, in the middle of Soviet lines. This represented almost a half of roughly 100 divisions (ca. 2.5 million men) available to the British, American and Canadian headquarters at that time. (…) The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers.

[Were you aware of these? If not, do you now wonder why?]

I am not making these things up, you can look it up for yourself on Wikipedia and elsewhere. This is the Anglo idea of how you deal with Russian “allies”: you stab them in the back with a surprise nuclear attack, you obliterate most of their cities and you launch the Nazi Wehrmacht against them.

I won’t even go into the creation of NATO (before the WTO – known in the West as the “Warsaw Pact” – was created in response) or such petty crimes as false flag terrorist attack (Operation Gladio).

[Have you ever heard of Operation Gladio or the August 1980 “Bologna massacre”, the bombing of the Bologna train station by NATO secret terrorist forces, a false-flag terrorist attack (85 dead, over 200 wounded) designed to discredit the Communist Party of Italy? If not – do you now wonder why you never heard of this?]

The sad reality is that the US intervention in Europe was a simple land-grab, that the Cold War was an Anglo creation, as was the partition of Europe, and that since WWII the USA always treated Europe as a colony form which to fight the “Communist” threat (i.e. Russia).

But, let’s say that I am all wrong. For argument’s sake. Let’s pretend that the kind-hearted Americans came to Europe to free the European people. They heroically defeated Hitler and brought (Western) Europe peace, prosperity, freedom, happiness, etc. etc. etc.

Does this good deed give the USA a license for future interventions? You both mentioned WWII as an example and a justification for the need for the USA to maintain a military large enough to counter regimes such as the North Korean one, right? So, let me ask again,

Does the fact that the USA altruistically, kindly and heroically liberated Europe from both the Nazis and the Soviets now grant the moral legitimacy to other, subsequent, US military interventions against other abhorrent, aggressive or evil regimes/countries out there?

If you reply “no” – then why did you mention it as a justification?

If you reply “yes” – then please forgive me for being so obtuse and ask you for how long this “license to militarily intervene” remains valid? One year? Five years? Maybe ten or even seventy years? Or maybe this license grants such a moral right to the USA ad aeternam, forever? Seriously, if the USA did liberate Europe and bring it peace and happiness, are we to assume that this will remain true forever and everywhere?

I also want to ask you this: let’s say, for the argument’s sake, that the moral license given by the US participation in the war in Europe is, truly, forever. Let’s just assume that, okay? But let me ask you this: could it be revoked (morally, conceptually)? Say the USA did something absolutely wonderful in Europe. What about the subsequent horrors in southeast Asia, Latin America or the Middle-East. How many murdered, maimed, occupied, terrorized, bombed and otherwise genocided “non-West Europeans” would it take to outweigh the putatively “happily liberated” Europeans which, according to you, grant the USA the license to intervene? Even if the US in Europe was all noble and pure, do the following seventy years of evil mass murder worldwide really count for nothing or does there come a point were “enough is enough” and the license can be revoked, morally speaking, by people like us, like you?

May I point out to you that your words spoken in defense of a supposed need for the USA to maintain a military capable of overseas operations strongly suggest that you believe that the USA has a moral right (if not a duty!) to conduct such operations, which means that the post WWII atrocity-tally of the USA is not, in your opinion, sufficient to elicit a “enough is enough” reaction in you. Are you sure that you are comfortable with this stance?

In theory, there could be another reason to revoke such a moral license. After all, one can have the moral right to do something, but not necessarily the capability to do so. If I see somebody drowning in a flood, I most certainly have the moral right to jump in the water and try to save this person, do I not? But that does not mean that I have the strength or skills to do so. Right? So when you say that the USA needs to maintain a military capable of protecting friends and allies from rogue and dangerous regimes like the one in North Korea, you do imply that besides having the right to extend such a protection the USA also has the capabilities and the expertise to do so?

Really?

And what is the evidence for that, may I ask?!

I asked you to name me a single successful US military intervention since WWII and you could name none. Good! I agree with you. The reality is that every single US military operation since WWII has resulted in a disaster either on the humanitarian, political and military level (often on all of them combined). Even Grenada was a total (military) failure! Also, do you see who sits in the White House today? Do you really want The Donald in charge of protecting “our friends and allies” and are you confident that he has the skillset needed to do this competently? Or Hillary for that matter? Even Sanders has a record of defending catastrophic military operations, such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 which, you guessed it (or not), ended in abject defeat for the Israelis and untold civilians horrors in Lebanon. But forget the President, take a look at US generals – do they inspire in you the belief that they are the kind of people who can be trusted to skillfully execute a military intervention inspired by moral and ethical reasons?! What about US “Congresspersons”? Would you trust them? So where do you see honest and competent “saviors of others” in the US polity?

Did you notice that there was no Islamic State in Iraq before the US invasion? Or did you notice that ever since the US declared a war on ISIS the latter has been getting stronger and stronger and taking over more countries. Yes, of course, once the Russians got involved ISIS began suffering defeat after defeat, but all the Americans had to say about the Russian intervention was to denounce it and predict it would fail. So why is it that the Russians are so good at fighting ISIS and the Americans, and their allies, so bad? Do you really want the Americans in charge of world security with such a record?!

Is insanity not repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Now I hear the reply you gave me to this point. You said “yes, mistakes were made”.

Mistakes?!

I don’t think that millions of murdered people, including hundreds of thousands of children, are “mistakes” (how would you react if somebody conceded to you that Hitler and Stalin made “mistakes”?). But there is something even more insidious in this notion of “mistake”.

How would you define “success”?

Say the US armed forces were not only good at killing people (which they are), but also good at winning wars (which they ain’t). Say the USA had been successful in not only invading Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in fully pacifying these countries. Say the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been successfully defeated, their economy had bounced back, and democratic regimes put in power: capitalism everywhere, 100 channels on each TV, McDonalds in every Afghan villages, gay pride parades in downtown Kabul, gender-neutral toilets in every mosque, elections every 4 years or so and not a single shot fired, not a single bomb going off? Would that be a “success”?

I pray to God and hope with all my heart that your reply to this question is a resounding “no!!”. Because if you answered “yes” then you are truly messianic genocidal imperialists. Yup, I mean that. Why? Because your notion of “success” is the spiritual, psychological and cultural death of an ancient civilization and that makes you, quite literally, an mortal enemy of mankind as a whole. I can’t even imagine such a horror. So I am sure that you answered “no!!” as every decent human being would, right?

But then what is a “success”? You clearly don’t mean the success as defined by your rulers (they would enthusiastically support such an outcome; in fact – they even promise it every time over and over again!). But if their idea of “success” is not yours, and if you would never want any other nation, people or ethnicity to ever become a victim of such as “successful” military intervention, why do you still want your rulers with their satanic notion of “success” to have the means to be “successful” in the future? And that in spite of the fact that the historical record shows that they can’t even achieve any type of “success” even by their own definition, nevermind yours?!

Did you notice that nowhere in my arguments above did I mention the fact that the USA has never asked people (as opposed to local Comprador elites) whether they wanted to be saved by Uncle Sam or not? Neither did they ask the American people if they wanted to go to war, hence all the well-known false flags from the “remember the Maine”, to the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, to Pearl Harbor, to the “Gulf of Tonkin incident”, to September 11th: every time a lie had to be concocted to convince the American people that they had to go to war. Is that really people power? Is this democracy?!

Are there people out there, anybody, who really favor US military interventions? Yes, I suppose that there are. Like the Kosovo Albanians. I suspect that the Afghan Tajiks and Hazara were pretty happy to see the US bomb the crap of the Taliban. So there might be a few cases. Oh, and I forgot our Balt and Ukrainian friends (but then, they were also happy when the Nazis came, hardly much of an example). But it is pretty safe to say that in reality nobody wants to be liberated by Uncle Sam, hence the wordwide use of the “Yankee go home” slogan.

This letter is already way too long, and I will forgo the listing of all the reasons why the USA are pretty much hated all over the planet, not by the ruling elites, of course, but by the regular people. And when I say “the USA” I don’t mean Paul Newman, Mark Twain, Miles Davis, Quentin Tarantino, James Taylor or the Bill of Rights or the beautiful country called “the USA”. But the regime, as opposed to any one specific government or administration in Washington, the regime is what is truly universally hated. I have never seen any anti-Americanism directed at the American people anywhere, not even in France, Greece or Latin America. But the hate for the Empire is quasi universal by now. Only the political elites whose status, power and well-being is dependent on the Empire do, in fact, support the Empire and what it stands for. Everybody else despises what the USA stands for today. And every military intervention only makes this worse.

And you want to make sure this continues? Really?

Right now the US is desperately trying to save al-Qaeda (aka IS, ISIS, Daesh, al-Nusra, etc.) from defeat in Syria. How is that for a moral stance after 9/11 (that is, if you accept the official narrative about 9/11; if you understand that 9/11 was a controlled demolition in which al-Qaeda patsies were used as a smokescreen, then this makes sense, by the way).

By the way – who are the current allies the US are so busy helping now?

  • The Wahabi regime in Saudi Arabia
  • The Nazi regime in the Ukraine and
  • The last officially racist regime on the planet in Israel

Do these really strike you as allies worth supporting?!

And what are the American people getting from that? Nothing but poverty, oppression, shame, hatred, fear and untold physical, psychological and moral suffering.

These are the fruits of Empire. Every Empire. Always.

You mentioned that every time you see a veteran you thanked him for his service. Why? Do you really think that he fought in a just war, that his service is something he can be proud of? Did he fight for his people? Did he defend the innocent? Or was he an occupier in a foreign land and, if he saw combat, did he not kill people who defended their own land, their families and their way of life? What exactly do you thank that veteran for? For following orders? But is that not something the Nuremberg trials specifically condemned as immoral and illegal?

Do you remember how you told me that xxxxx’s Marine husband lived in a nice house with all their material needs taken care of? You added “compare that to Russian servicemen”. Well, you clearly are not aware of how Russian soldiers live nowadays, under your hated Putin, but that is besides the point. The question which I wanted to ask you then and which I will ask you now is this: is the comfortable lifestyle granted to US Marines good enough a reason to be a Marine – that is being part of the very first force called in to murder innocent people and invade countries? Do you even know what Marines did to Fallujah recently? How much is a human soul worth? And it is really your belief that being a hired killer for the Empire is an honorable way of life? And should you think that I am exaggerating, please read the famous essay “War is a Racket” by Marine Brigadier General Smedley Butler, who had the highest rank a Marine could achieve in his time and who was the most decorated Marine in history. If war is a racket, does that not make Marines professional racketeers, hired thugs who act as enforcers for the mobsters in power? Ask yourself this: what would be the roughly equivalent counterparts of the US Marines in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia? To help you answer this question, let me offer a short quote from the Wikipedia entry about the Marine Corps: (emphasis added)

The Marine Corps was founded to serve as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels and was responsible for the security of the ship and its crew by conducting offensive and defensive combat during boarding actions and defending the ship’s officers from mutiny; to the latter end, their quarters on ship were often strategically positioned between the officers’ quarters and the rest of the vessel.

Does that help you identify their Nazi or Soviet counterparts?

Of all people, is it not we, Jews and Russians, who ought to recognize and categorically reject the trappings of Empire and all the rationalizations used to justify the subservient service to Empires?

I believe that history shows beyond any doubt that all Empires are evil, inherently and essentially, evil. They are also therefore equally evil. Shall I explain why?

Do you know what crimes is considered the ultimate, supreme, most evil crime under international law? It is not genocide, or crimes against humanity. Nope, the ultimate crime is the crime of aggression (that, by the way, makes every single US President a war criminal under international law, think of it!). In the the words of the chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg, Robert H. Jackson, the crime of aggression is the ultimate crime because “it contains within itself the accumulated evil” of all the other war crimes. Well, to paraphrase Jackson, imperialism contains within itself all the accumulated evil of all empires. Guantanamo, Hiroshima, Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Gladio and all the rest, they “come with the territory”, they are not the exception, they are the norm.

The best thing which could happen to this country and its people would be the collapse of this Empire. The support, even tacit and passive, of this Empire by people like yourself only delays this outcome and allows this abomination to bring even more misery and pain upon millions of innocent people, including millions of your fellow Americans. This Empire now also threatens my country, Russia, with war and possibly nuclear war and that, in turn, means that this Empire threatens the survival of the human species. Whether the US Empire is the most evil one in history is debatable, but the fact that it is by far the most dangerous one is not. Is that not a good enough reason for you to say “enough is enough”? What would it take for you to switch sides and join the rest of mankind in what is a struggle for the survival of our species? Or will it take a nuclear winter to open your eyes to the true nature of the Empire you apparently are still supporting against all evidence?

The Saker

US Sent Weapons to Syria Through Germany’s Ramstein Military Base – Report

US Sent Weapons to Syria Through Germany’s Ramstein Military Base – Report

By DW,

Washington’s air base in southwest Germany was used for a time to store and send weapons to Syrian rebels, according to a German news daily. If the report proves true, the US could have violated German law.

Featured image: US Air Force (USAF) C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base (AB), Germany, flies over the Ramstein AB tower, before retiring to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) or “bone yard” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB), Arizona. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The US military has been using its massive air base in western Germany to arm rebel groups in Syria without Berlin’s permission, according to a report from German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitungpublished on Wednesday.

The US military may have violated German law with the alleged weapons transfers as the German government has not approved any weapons transports of this type since the conflict in Syria began in 2011.

The report was published after months of collaborative research among the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).

The data was gathered from internal emails from the US military, interviews with whistleblowers, official reports and databanks from the US as well as the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms.

Weapons flown from Ramstein to Turkey

According to the Süddeutsche report, private service providers with the US military have been purchasing weapons and ammunition in eastern Europe since 2013.

The Russian-designed weapons, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, were sent from factories in Serbia, Bosnia, Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic and found their way to US command centers in Turkey and Jordan.

Read full article by Deutsche Welle here.

#BDS German Firm HeidelbergCement Whitewashes Its Plunder of Palestinian Resources

German Firm Whitewashes Its Plunder of Palestinian Resources

HeidelbergCement’s Nahal Raba quarry in the occupied West Bank plunders Palestinian resources in violation of international law.

Who Profits

 

HeidelbergCement is trying to present its theft of Palestinian natural resources under the cover of Israeli military occupation as a force for good.

For a decade, the German company has operated without permission of the Palestinians a quarry on land stolen from the village of al-Zawiya, in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli authorities gave HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary Hanson Israel permission to exploit Nahal Raba, one of a number of Israeli and internationally run quarries in Area C.

Area C is the roughly 60 percent of the West Bank that remains under complete Israeli military control under the terms of the Oslo accords of the early 1990s.

But Israel has no authority to grant such permission, as the Nahal Raba quarry was opened after the June 1967 war in which Israel occupied the West Bank, the human rights group Al-Haq told The Electronic Intifada.

Companies like HeidelbergCement that extract natural resources through Israeli licensing may be engaging in the war crime of pillage, according to Al-Haq.

The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination includes permanent sovereignty over natural resources, even under occupation, the group states.

Illegal quarry

“From HeidelbergCement’s perspective, the quarrying activity at Nahal Raba is compatible with international humanitarian law as it produces substantial advantages for the local Palestinian population,” company spokesperson Andreas Schaller wrote The Electronic Intifada.

But legal scholar Tom Moerenhout rejects this, citing long-established international law on armed conflict and military occupation that says an occupying power can only use “movable and immovable” property in an occupied territory to meet its military or security needs.

Human Rights Watch highlighted HeidelbergCement and other Israeli and internationally operated quarries in a 2016 report on corporate complicity in Israeli occupation and settlements.

“These businesses sell nearly all of the quarried stone in the Israeli or settlement markets,” Human Rights Watch said. “This is in violation of international humanitarian law which requires that such natural resources should only be used for the benefit of the (Palestinian) population of the occupied territory.”

By contrast with HeidelbergCement, Israel has consistently refused to give permits to Palestinians who hoped to utilize their West Bank natural resources for their own development.

This badly damages the Palestinian economy and increases unemployment.

The World Bank estimated in 2013 that if Palestinians were allowed to develop new mining and quarrying operations in Area C, it would contribute $240 million to their economy.

Overall, the World Bank estimated annual Palestinian losses from Israel’s restrictions on their economic activity in Area C at a staggering $3.4 billion.

Whitewashing international crime

But HeidelbergCement is attempting to whitewash its plunder of Palestinian resources.

“Royalties and leasing fees are used by Israel for local projects, for example infrastructure projects, in Area C,” company spokesperson Schaller claimed.

According to the UN, Israel has allocated most of Area C for the benefit of its military and its settlements, all of which are illegal under international law.

In 2014, HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary reportedly paid $467,000 in taxes directly to the Samaria Regional Council, a settler body that would use the funds for the benefit of the illegal settlements.

It paid another $3.5 million in royalties to Israel’s so-called Civil Administration, the military body that runs the occupation ruling over millions of Palestinians.

There is no evidence that Israel is spending this money to benefit Palestinians who live in Area C, who have faced some of the worst poverty anywhere in the West Bank.

And rather than fostering development, Israel’s demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures in the West Bank, especially Area C, hit a new record in 2016.

In any case, even if they did benefit Palestinians, the sums paid by HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary are minuscule compared with the billions in economic losses the World Bank says Palestinians suffer due to Israel’s economic restrictions.

Preaching “equality”

Another strategy HeidelbergCement uses to mask its complicity in this devastating occupation is to deploy the language of “equality.”

The company says that more than half of the employees and contractors at its quarry are local Palestinians.

“Palestinian and Israeli employees are treated the same and receive equal payment,” the company claims, parroting the line SodaStream once used to defend its factory in the Mishor Adumim settlement.

But arguments about allegedly positive employment effects hold no sway under international law, according to Moerenhout.

The main issue is the illegality of commercial activity in settlements that benefit the occupying power. “Any positive spillovers like employment are just used to legitimize and maintain the illegal occupation,” Moerenhout said.

Claims about employment benefits for Palestinians because of the settlements are also economic nonsense, since – as the World Bank estimates – Palestinians would see a huge boost in jobs and a 35 percent surge in GDP if Israel lifted its restrictions on their economy.

Palestinians don’t need companies like HeidelbergCement. They need to be free of the Israeli occupation and colonization from which the firm is profiting.

“Intercultural” occupation?

HeidelbergCement also reveals a political agenda to legitimize the occupation, claiming that “contact between the different ethnic groups has become very limited, if not nonexistent, throughout the last decade with increasing anti-normalization campaigns worsening the situation.”

In Nahal Raba quarry, the company claims, “Palestinian and Israeli employees work together in intercultural teams, which also open up informal channels of cultural exchange that foster mutual understanding.”

This language deceitfully masks the illegal economic exploitation of Palestinian land and labor by colonial settlers and an occupying army as fostering peace and harmony. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Moreover, by providing work opportunities for Israelis in illegal settlements, HeidelbergCement may be facilitating the war crime of transfer of civilians from Israel into the occupied West Bank in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, according to Al-Haq.

Boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigners should increase the pressure on HeidelbergCement to withdraw from its illegal settlement business activities.

Dutch pension funds ABP and PFZW should dump their unethical investments in the company.

Washington Is Preparing for Nuclear War in Europe

Source

By Johannes Stern,

Amid mounting military and diplomatic tensions between the US and Russia, the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Friday that the American Congress has taken the first steps toward Washington’s annulling of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The INF, or Washington Treaty on Mid-range Nuclear Systems, is a bilateral agreement reached between the United States and the Soviet Union on the decommissioning of short- and mid-range missiles (with a range of between 500 and 5,500 miles), and the banning of their production.

The treaty, signed on 8 December 1987 by US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, led to a significant reduction of US nuclear weapons in Europe. The nuclear-armed mid-range Pershing II missiles, whose stationing in Western Europe five years earlier had triggered the largest peace demonstrations to that point in history, were withdrawn.

The danger now is “that the US will construct new missiles and station them in Europe,” warned the Süddeutsche Zeitung. A major shift would be set “into motion” and Europe would stand “on the brink of a new nuclear era … nuclear mid-range missiles were the horror of the Cold War … thirty years on, the spectre has returned.”

The reason for the potential ending of the treaty, according to the newspaper, is the “deep freeze” in US-Russia relations and announcements by both sides of intentions to “comprehensively modernise their nuclear arsenals.”

Characteristically, the explosive reports by the German press have been totally ignored by the US print and broadcast media.

The report came amid a hysterical campaign being mounted by the US and NATO over military exercises planned by the Russian military in western Russia, Belarus and Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad later this month, with Washington and its allies suggesting that they could be used as a “Trojan horse” to pre-position weapons stockpiles and prepare an invasion of the Baltic states.

The Pentagon has deployed seven US F-15C fighter planes to a base in Lithuania along with an additional 600 US airborne troops to the Baltics in advance of the war games.

This military build-up has been carried out in conjunction with a major US diplomatic provocation as the Trump administration has retaliated against Russia’s expulsion of US embassy personnel from Russia (itself a tit-for-tat response to earlier expulsions of Russians from the US) by ordering the shutdown of three Russian diplomatic facilities in Washington, New York and San Francisco. Moscow has charged that the action, which it said was accompanied by FBI searches of the San Francisco consulate and the residences of Russian diplomatic personnel, constituted a violation of international law.

The increasingly dangerous friction between the world’s two largest nuclear powers is unfolding in the context of growing war dangers internationally, particularly on the Korean peninsula. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Friday that the increasingly bellicose confrontation between the US and North Korea had left the region “balanced on the verge of a large-scale conflict.”

It is in this context that the reported threats of an escalation of nuclear brinksmanship on the continent of Europe pose such an imminent danger.

A NATO document classified as secret which was obtained by a joint research group made up of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, and public regional broadcasters NDR and WDR contains 39 proposals on how NATO can take action against Russia. According to diplomats, “formal consultations within NATO” could take place in the autumn at the initiative of the US. The paper was “a compendium of all options available” carefully “divided up into the categories ‘conceivable’, ‘currently to be avoided’ and ‘not advisable’.”

Even the more than a dozen “conceivable” options, which NATO believes would be compatible with the INF agreement, “would exacerbate already tense relations,” according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Proposals include “increased rotation of B-2 and B-52 bombers from the US to Europe,” an “expansion of early warning systems and missile or submarine defence,” and the strengthening of “military and civilian infrastructure against attacks.” The increased readiness and capability for a nuclear retaliatory strike, “nuclear signalling,” is seen as “conceivable.”

Two proposals are especially provocative: “to expand the so-called nuclear targeting planning – i.e. identifying and confirming the targets for nuclear weapons,” and “to increase the operational readiness of those air bases that would drop these bombs in case of war.” On this, “NATO also advises caution,” the Süddeutsche noted. The confirmation of targets, i.e., the concrete planning of a nuclear assault, could rapidly provoke a nuclear war with Russia, which could potentially wipe out humanity.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, if the US abandons the INF treaty, “measures currently found in the ‘not advisable’ category [would be] conceivable: Construction, testing and stationing of a new class of missiles – a further step into a new Cold War.”

The German ruling class is extremely concerned by Washington’s increasingly aggressive war drive against Russia. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democrats, SPD) warned in an interview on Thursday against “repeating the worst mistakes of the Cold War. We are on our way to a Cold War 2.0. All of the good treaties on disarmament and arms controls from Gorbachev and Reagan are in acute peril. Europe is threatened once again with becoming a military training ground for nuclear weapons.”

He continued:

“It is wrong for Mrs. Merkel to remain silent on this. Germany of all countries must raise its voice against this. We have to stick to being a power for peace and oppose an arms spiral. In that context, I found the statement by [SPD Chancellor candidate] Martin Schulz that we must focus on finally ridding our country of nuclear weapons to be correct.”

Schulz and Gabriel are in the midst of an election campaign, and are well aware that the vast majority of Germany’s population—like that of the rest of the planet—opposes military rearmament and war, and would welcome the withdrawal of the US nuclear weapons still stationed in Germany.

The two Social Democratic politicians are by no means committed to peace, but are rather leading representatives of German imperialism. They oppose the US plans for nuclear rearmament because a return to the conditions of the Cold War would endanger Germany’s own plans for global power and increase Berlin’s dependence on the US. It would undermine Germany’s economic and geopolitical interests, which are ever more at odds with those of Washington.

In July, Gabriel strongly criticised the latest US sanctions against Russia. Although Europe and the US had “jointly and in close consultation answered Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia’s actions in eastern Ukraine,” it was not possible to accept “the threat of unlawful extraterritorial sanctions against European companies participating in the expansion of European energy supplies!” The supply of energy to Europe was “a European affair and not one for the United States of America!”

Following the latest threats from the US, the Social Democrats are leading the way in attempting to transform the widespread opposition to Donald Trump’s right-wing, militarist policies into support for German militarism. Asked whether he thought “the fear of many Germans that Trump could overreact and incite a war is justified,” Gabriel answered,

“I am concerned that the US will be forever lost to the West. Some of the people around Donald Trump want to replace the rule of law with the law of the strongest. We must assert ourselves against this.”

Papers published by think tanks and the major political parties give a sense of the methods German imperialism intends to use to “assert” its interests. In “Principles for a Social Democratic Security and Defence Policy,” the SPD writes,

“To be equal to the increased demands for international deployments to tackle crises, cyber defence, and the defence of our own population, we need a modern armed forces capable of action. We need an army in which […] troops capable of deploying are ready for crisis situations. For this we have to better equip the army with personnel and material.”

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) is the only party participating in Germany’s federal election campaign that opposes the US build-up of nuclear weapons from the standpoint of the international working class, and fights for a socialist strategy to combat social inequality, militarism and war. To the capitalist warmongers on both sides of the Atlantic, we counterpose the unity of the international working class. Under conditions of the mounting danger of nuclear war, this perspective assumes enormous urgency.

Europe, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and Turkey’s future

Europe, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and Turkey’s future

by Thomas Bargatzky

August 30, 2017

An opinion article published on 14 June 2017 in Turkish online newspaper Hürriyet Daily News, makes a strong case for a rapprochement between Turkey and the EU. According to the author, political problems with the EU notwithstanding, bilateral economic and commercial relations are on the rise. In addition, not only the economy plays an important role. A rapprochement should be also in Turkey‘s interests with regard to the quality of democracy in Turkey. The author leaves no doubt that for him, „Turkey’s future is in Europe – nowhere else“[1].

This opinion is amazing, and this not just against the backdrop of the recent rapid deterioration of relationships between Turkey and the EU. Relations between Turkey and Germany in particular deteriorate almost hourly. Westen elites, and especially German ones, fail to understand, however, that this is partly a result of their attitude toward Turkey. In 1987, Turkey made her application to accede to the European Economic Community. Status as a candidate for full membership of the European Community (EU) was granted in 1999. As a result of President Erdogan’s victory in the constitutional referendum in April 2017, accession negotiations have stopped. Hence, Turkey has now been kept waiting for thirty years.

Turkey may not accept to be stalled for more years to come. If so, the world may be at the threshold of a revolutionary realignment of the relations between the major state actors – a realignment which will shake the foundations of the power structure which has been in place since the end of the Cold War. Turkey may well play a major part in this process, since she holds the keys to the realignment in her hands.

The focus of the article presented lies on the role of Turkey in a possible – and necessary – shift in the power structure of the Near and Middle East and its impact upon EU and NATO. Current internal political problems of Turkey, which can only be solved by the Turkish people, are not dealt with.

Europe – A „Christian Club“?

Turkey should become aware that she will be never become a full member of the EU. The reason for the refusal, however, is not due to the EU being a „Christian Club“, as some Turkish journalists and politicians would maintain. It is true that religion and European integration have been inextricably linked in the beginning of this process, and it is true, too, that there are still Christians in Europe who take their religion seriously. As a political force, however, Christianity in Europe is dead, at least in Northern and Western Europe, owing to a rapid radical secularization and the waning power of the Christian Churches to reach out to the people. It has become fashionable in elite circles, internet platforms and the mainstream media in the West, to make fun of Christianity. It is considered to be an indicator of an enlightened state of mind to pile rubbish on Christian symbols and holy names.

In Germany, for example, the Lutherstadt Wittenberg made a proposal in 2012 to bestow her Luther Award on the obscure Russian punk rock group „Pussy Riot“ for their „courage“ to speak out against President-elect Vladimir Putin. The group, as is well known, had offended believers by obscene words and acts,[2] desecrating the symbol of Russia’s post-communist turning to Orthodoxy, Moscow’s rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The original Cathedral was dynamited by the communists in 1931, and it is hard to believe that it should be a coincidence that this Cathedral was the target for the degenerate acts hailed by western „democracy“ advocates.[3] Western mainstream media would express concern, not about the disgraceful acts of the group, but about the „suppression of the freedom of expression“ in Russia. Als long as it goes against Russia and Putin, all stops are removed.

The proposal of the Lutherstadt Wittenberg met with protests, though, and the award was not conferred, but the whole process testifies to the pathetic cluelessness of parts of the Lutheran Church in Germany. The Roman Catholic Church in Germany does not yet indulge in celebrating offensive and sacrilegious acts as manifestations of free speech, this Church, however, is no less clueless than the Lutheran Church concerning essentials, as became evident in October 2016. Visiting the Temple Mount, Cardinal Reinhard Marx and Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the preeminent Catholic and Protestant representatives of the two major Churches in Germany, removed their crosses in a show of overeagerness to comply with the presumptive wishes of their Muslim hosts.[4] With pastors like these, German Christians may as well consider turning to the Orthodox Churches which might better serve their spiritual needs. Furthermore, Pope Franciscus‘ posture to become a politician pleading for unlimited Muslim immigration into Europe will accelerate the estrangement from their Church which has befallen many Catholics in Germany, and elsewhere in Europe.[5]

Developments in the USA during the past two decades also testify to a confusion concerning the Christian roots of Western society. „Temples“ and monuments are devoted to the worship of Satan. Obscenity accompanies blasphemy: The Los Angeles-based Tom of Finland Foundation awarded its grand prize for artistic expression in 1996 to a drawing by an artist named Garilyn Brune. It shows a priest performing fellatio on the crucified Jesus.[6] This goes on till today, with the movie industry contributing its fair share.[7] All of this is tolerated and even celebrated in the West as demonstration of religious freedom and the freedom of the arts and expression.[8]

Family and Nation under attack by radical secularism

These are no single events. Moreover, public acceptance and elite celebration of such artistic and social swamp flowers in the Western World indicate a general loss of religious and cultural roots.[9] Europe, too, is no longer a „Christian Club“.

Furthermore, the axe is laid unto the roots of family and society in the West. In Germany, for example, the youth organization of the Green Party – the political party which has portrayed itself as a main sponsor of Turkish interests in Germany – demands the abolishment of traditional marriage and its replacement by multi-person groups.[10] The USA, however, is one step ahead: The American organization „Marry Your Pet“ offers advice to persons who want to enter matrimony with their pet.[11] Not a hoax, I am afraid, as some would maintain, And sooner or later, any fad which is invented in the USA will become popular in Europe, too.

What is more, the the principle of state sovereignty in the Western World is under attack by the Empire.[12] Peter Sutherland, former Chairman of Goldman Sachs and UN Special Representative for International Migration, said in an Interview that the EU should undermine the national homogeneity of its member states.[13]

It is hard to imagine that the Turkish people would feel at home in such a moral and mental environment. Turkey would never submit to such agendas. The same applies to Russia, by the way: Western lifestyle-elites hate Russia and President Putin for the same reasons they would never allow Turkey to become a member of the EU.

And as far as the “quality of democracy” in Europe is concerned, a veiled one-party system has evolved in Germany. With the exception of the left-wing party “Die Linke”, all the political parties in the German Parliament – the Bundestag – are in general agreement with the politics of Chancellor Angelika Merkel. While being strictly against military adventurism and the deployment of German troops to fight abroad, however, the “Linke” is wavering as far as the refugee crisis is concerned. Parts of them also cave in the political correctness of the day. To disagree in public with her course in the refugee crisis, for example, may be branded as “right-wing” in the mainstream media. It may invite censorship, intimidation, even loss of job. People are afraid to speak out. This has been confirmed recently by a comprehensive study of the treatment of the refugee crisis by German mainstream media.[14] Freedom of speech, a pre-requisite for democracy, is in jeopardy.

The new Western “World Order”

Undermining the nation state and traditional moral and social values in the West goes way back into the 60s of the past century, but the recent new boost results from the transformation of the multi-polar Cold War-era into the unipolar world dominated by Washington and the transnational “corporatocracy”[15]. After the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West was seized by fits of an unrelenting triumphalism. US-President George H.W. Bush announced a „new world order“ guided by the „American Way of Life“, underwritten by world-wide American power projection.[16] Military power should be supported by American soft power through culture, to make the re-modelling of the rest of the world more palatable. According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, American culture is a tool for the promotion of American economic and political interests:

“Cultural domination has been an underappreciated facet of American global power. Whatever one may think of its aesthetic values, America’s mass culture exercises a magnetic appeal, especially on the world’s youth. Its attraction may be derived from the hedonistic quality of the lifestyle it projects, but its global appeal is undeniable. American television programs and films account for about three-fourths of the global market. American popular music is equally dominant, while American fads, eating habits, and even clothing are increasingly imitated worldwide. The language of the Internet is English, and an overwhelming proportion of the global computer chatter also originates from America, influencing the content of global conversation. Lastly, America has become a Mecca for those seeking advanced education, with approximately half a million foreign students flocking to the United States, with many of the ablest never returning home. Graduates from American universities are to be found in almost every Cabinet on every continent”[17].

Culture as a weapon to secure American global power has been a very efficient tool in the building of the “new world order”, its impact is hard to beat. Western hard power and soft power notwithstanding, there is a growing resistance in the non-Western world against political and cultural domination, which has found in Islam a way to express itself. Re-Islamization in Turkey and the waning influence of secular Kemalism are Turkish expressions of this universal trend. European political elites are nonplussed and irritated by the rise to power of President RecepTayyip Erdogan and the AKP.

Changing the course of history?

Not only EU-Turkey relations have reached a crossroads. Relations between Turkey and the West in general have unfolded in a way which may urge Turkey to reconsider and readjust her military, economic, and foreign policy alliance with the West. The USA supports the outlawed Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) through its Syrian wing, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG), with heavy weapons and ammunition and military training. Turkey’s concerns that Syrian militants might establish terrorist enclaves on the Turkish side of the border are ignored. Germany depicts Turkey as an unsafe country for its tourists and investors. Germany’s imperious behaviour, in particular, is rankling Turkey’s sensitivity. Turkish politicians and commentators would agree that Germany owes Turkey and President Erdogan gratitude, because in 2015 Turkey took drastic steps to stem the flow of refugees from Syria across the Aegaen Sea to the Greek islands.[18]

Israel and Germany serve as America’s foot-soldiers and watchdogs. Israel’s task is to keep Muslims in the Middle East in their place. In the same vein, Germany’s task is to keep European states in their place inside the EU, and Turkey in its place outside Europe. Turkey, while being useful as a member of NATO, is just too big, powerful and conservative to be of use in converting Europe into a platform from which to project power and cultural revolution into the Eurasian land mass.

Russia and Turkey emerge as natural allies against the backdrop of ever-increasing and more and more desperate Western attempts to maintain hegemony in a unipolar world. Increasing cooperation with Russia such as in the deal with Moscow for the S-400 defense systems by the end of 2017, marks a step forward toward diversifying Turkey’s options. Turkish accession to the Eurasian Customs Union would also mark a decisive step in the direction of an enlargement of Turkey’s options.[19] And as far as bilateral economic and commercial relations with Europe and the West in general are concerned, the West’s habit to “freeze” (that is, to steal) economic and financial assets of disobedient countries and its key representatives for the sake of the promotion of “freedom”, “human rights” etc. has become all too obvious in recent years.

Yet it is not only cooperation with Russia which would increase Turkey’s room for manoeuvre vi-à-vis the Western powers. The entry of India and Pakistan into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June 2017 is tantamount to re-shuffling the cards for the new “Great Game” over influence and resources in Eurasia. If Turkey decides to exit NATO and to join an expanded SCO, it will be part of an alliance that now represents roughly half of humanity and probably more than 25% of global GDP.[20] Such a step by Turkey would mark a watershed in the course of post-Cold War history. Others might follow, and this would seriously weaken the West’s capability to wage endless wars for “democracy” and “Western values”, to foster “regime change” and support “color revolutions”. Turkey may have it in her hands to dramatically change the course of history. All things considered, the country may well come to the conclusion that her future is in Eurasia and the SCO – nowhere else.

  1. Murat Yetkin: Turkey’s future is in Europe – nowhere else. Hurriyet Daily News, June 14, 2017. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-future-is-in-europe–nowhere-else.aspx?PageID=238&NID=114299&NewsCatID=409 
  2. Bernd Lähne: Lutherpreis für Pussy Riot? Vorschlag der Stadt Wittenberg stößt auf Empörung. Leipziger Volkszeitung (Online)., October 7, 2012. https://www.change.org/p/vergabe-des-lutherpreis-das-unerschrockene-wort-an-polit-kritische-punk-band-pussy-riot 
  3. James George Jatras: Death of a Nation. Strategic Culture Foundation August 17, 2017. 
  4. Jan Fleischhauer: Die Unterwerfung. Spiegel Online, November 7, 2016. http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/christentum-und-islam-die-unterwerfung-kolumne-a-1120073.html 
  5. Corrado Ocone: „Bergoglio vuole fare politica, il Vangelo non c’entra nulla“. Il Mattino, July 9, 2017; Niccolò Magnani: Marcello Pera vs Papa Francesco / „Bergoglio fa politica, è in atto uno schisma nella Chiesa“. Ilsussidiario,net, July 10, 2017; http://www.ilsussidiario.net/News/Cronaca/2017/7/10/Marcello-Pera-vs-Papa-Francesco-Bergoglio-fa-politica-e-in-atto-uno-scisma-nella-Chiesa-/773071/
  6. https://tomoffinlandfoundation.org/foundation/Dispatch/PDF/dispSU96.pdf 
  7. Lindsay Kornick: AMC’s „Preacher“ Opens With Graphic Jesus Sex Scene, Closes With Inbred Messiah. mrcNewsBuster, August 21, 2017. https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/culture/lindsay-kornick/2017/08/21/preacher-opens-jesus-sex-scene-closes-inbred-messiah 
  8. Thomas Bargatzky: Die Konservativen und der Islam. Geolitico, July 27, 2017. http://www.geolitico.de/2017/07/27/die-konservativen-und-der-islam/ 
  9. Joseph Ratzinger, Marcello Pera: Without Roots. The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam. – New York: Casic Books, 2007. 
  10. http://www.focus.de/politik/deutschland/kisslers-konter/kisslers-konter-die-verstoerenden-sex-fantasien-der-gruenen-jugend_aid_1096777.html 
  11. www.marryyourpet.com
  12. David Chandler: From Kosovo to Kabul. Human Rights and International Intervention. – London: Pluto Press, 2006. 
  13. „EU should ‚undermine national homogeneity‘ says UN migration chief. BBC News, June 21, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-18519395 
  14. Jochen Bittner: Flüchtlinge in den Medien. Mit dem Strom. Zeit Online, July 19, 2017. http://www.zeit.de/2017/30/fluechtlinge-medien-berichterstattung-studie 
  15. John Perkins: The Secret History of the American Empire. – New York: Penguin/Plume, 2007. 
  16. Andrew J. Bacevich: Washington Rules. America’s Path to Permanent War. – New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010. 
  17. Zbigniew Brzezinski: The Grand Chessboard. Amarican Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. – New York: Basic Books, 1997, p. 25. 
  18. Ilnur Cevik: Germany owes Turkey, Erdogan deep gratitude. Daily Sabah, July 25, 2017. https://www.dailysabah.com/columns/ilnur-cevik/2017/07/26/germany-owes-turkey-erdogan-deep-gratitude 
  19. „Economy Minister: Turkey eyes Eurasian Customs Union“. Daily Sabah, August 18, 2917. https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2017/08/19/economy-minister-turkey-eyes-eurasian-customs-union 
  20. Seema Sengupta: Bigger Shanghai Cooperation Orgabnization may be game-changer. Asia Times,June 5, 2017. http://www.atimes.com/article/bigger-shanghai-cooperation-organization-may-game-changer/ Dr. Thomas Bargatzky is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. He is an observer of international power politics and has published on topics of security politics in journals and the internet. He recently finished a book (in German) on the NATO-war against Libya in 2011. He can be reached by his website www.thomas-bargatzky.jimdo.com 
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