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German election: first assessment – Germany shifts right

Rise in AfD and fall in support for establishment parties puts German stability in question

Alexander Mercouris

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Though the final result has not yet been confirmed statements from German political leaders – including Merkel herself, who has spoken of a ‘disappointing’ result for the CDU/CSU – suggest that the final outcome will differ little from that suggested by the exit polls.

The final outcome of the election is therefore an end to the ‘grand coalition’ between Merkel’s CDU/CSU and the left wing SPD, which has suffered one of the worst electoral results in its history, but with the CDU/CSU almost certainly lacking enough support to form a majority coalition in the Bundestag with the FDP.

Since bringing either the right wing AfD or the left wing Left Party into the ruling coalition is categorically ruled out – and would be rejected by those parties if it were ever offered to them – that means that the only chance of a majority coalition is one which includes the Green Party.

Such a coalition would be difficult to achieve.  The Green Party emerged in the 1980s as an anti-establishment leftist party well to the left of the SPD.  Whilst it has long since put its origins behind it – today it is very much a part of the German establishment and is indeed by many measures the most pro-US, ‘liberal interventionist’ and anti-Russian party in Germany – much of its electoral support continues to be drawn on the basis of its old anti-establishment past.  How its supporters will react to it entering into a coalition with the arch-establishment CDU/CSU and FDP remains to be seen, and as of the time of writing it is not a foregone conclusion that this will happen.

Needless to say, if a coalition with the Greens cannot be patched up, Germany’s future CDU/CSU/FDP government will lack a majority in the Bundestag, making it even less stable that it would be with the Greens in the coalition, and even less likely to forge ahead with fundamental changes to Germany’s established positions.

The inescapable fact of the German election is that Germany has shifted decisively to the right.  The only two parties which have achieved gains in the election are the AfD, which by German standards is right wing, and the FDP, which is centre-right.

By contrast the traditional standard bearer of the left – the SPD – has fallen back, as has the CDU/CSU at the centre.

The right wing shift has however proved insufficient to dethrone the CDU/CSU from its position at the heart of German politics, increasing the sense of paralysis which is at the heart of Germany’s problems.

That means that some of the changes some people have been willing on Germany are now all but impossible.

With the ruling coalition lacking a stable majority even if the Greens can be induced to join it, and with a strong anti-EU party in the form of the AfD now in the Bundestag and threatening the CDU in its conservative heartlands, it beggars belief that Germany will for example agree to the sort of all-embracing changes to the EU institutions demanded by French President Macron.

Needless to say any prospect of a softening of the German line towards Britain with regard to Brexit, or towards Greece in relation to its bailout, can now be ruled out.

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samo war
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samo war

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DS Analysis
Guest
DS Analysis

The war is lost. The US is doing what the Nazis did in Berlin. They are killing for no reason. Prolonging the killing. Fuck them and they can go to hell

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

The SPD is a neoliberal right-wing party all right, masquerading as a center-leftist social-democratic one. Ditto for the Green Party (unlike the Greens in the US, for example).

DS Analysis
Guest
DS Analysis

The top 2 parties are center left globalist puppets who take their order from DC. One fakes left, one fakes right. Same as the whole of western Europe, Canada, Australia, Scandinavia also.

Constantine
Guest
Constantine

SPD is not center-leftist or anything leftist. Most of the political spectrum in Germany and elsewhere has moved towards the neoliberal right so that neoliberal policies won’t be perceived as the purview of a certain party or coalition, but as a product of consensus between all the ”respectable” and somber democratic parties of the ”Left” and the Right.

DS Analysis
Guest
DS Analysis

These NGO’s who are illegally ferrying illiterate subsistence farmers away from their communities where they are needed and dumping them into the streets of Europe, are doing it at the behest of DC. The whole goal here and of the Ukraine war is to weaken Europe. It was getting too strong.

A guest worker program with a path to citizenship is how you move people. Not through migration anarchy.

Anyway Merkel lost some power but NOT NEARLY ENOUGH. THIS IS SICK ! THIS IS A POLITICAL FAILURE.

Le Ruse
Guest
Le Ruse

Mutti, still in charge…More refugees coming to Mutti ??

JNDillard
Guest
JNDillard

Mercouris is correct: Germany is shifting to the right. This is likely to continue as the US/Atlanticist umbrella which has shielded Germans since WWII is shredded. Add to that the prospect of a long-overdue world-wide depression and you have more reason for a conservative shift. There are, however, two possible mitigating factors: the first is the likelihood that the worst of the influx of immigation, from which the AfD draws most of its strength, is over, meaning the AfD has probably peaked. The second is Chinese/Russian One Belt One Road. Germany is basically run by its industrial base and its… Read more »

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Angela Merkel CDU-CSU coalition lost 10 points, . compared to the previous election, won with 42.5%, meaning they lost 25% of voters. Besides, she has no partners to put up a coalition in order to govern, which must have at least 51% of the Bundestag. That only proves what a sinister joke the “democracy” is, when a leader with a third of popular approval can impose her will on a whole people and country. The same with Macron in France, where his support was only of 23% in the first round. The second barely counts, because is not based on… Read more »

Keith Smith
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Keith Smith

This is pretty big, 13% of the total vote for the far right is v similar to the numbers UKIP got in 2015 GE. Will the momentum of nationalism be halted here again tho?

hvaiallverden
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hvaiallverden

Wanna bet on any “change”, huh, I bet that absolutely, definitively, and by all historical preferences that nothing, absolutely nothing will change, and this “alt-right” is an scam, and one must never forget Germany is occupied territory where the inhabitants have nothing to say, what so ever.
Merkel is an Israeli bitch, along with the other rotten heap of shit called Trumpstein.

peace

Peaceful Prosperity
Guest
Peaceful Prosperity

There are some troubling news about the Afd from Aangirfan blogger, maybe it’s all just “smokes and mirrors”:

Alice Weidel, worked for Goldman Sachs, is openly gay, is apparently of Jewish origin, “employed a Syrian asylum seeker at her home in Switzerland.”
AfD candidates “claim they are the real defenders of Jews against reactionary Muslim fundamentalists.”

I guess will see who they really are soon…

Marc Leif
Guest
Marc Leif

Very true. Internet censorship is coming very, very fast. The “West” will be locked up behind a “silicon curtain.”

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Just because the CDU/CSU and SPD lost voters doesn’t mean a shift to the right. Yes, the AfD comes into the Bundestag, but all other parties stayed about the same, with the FDP back on the scene. The AfD came in with a little over 12% – so this number does NOT represent a shift to the right. However, it will be very interesting to see how all this develops. There is big discord within the ranks of the AfD.

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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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