Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Germany’s dismal election

Complacent elite rejects all change even as Germany’s problems mount

Alexander Mercouris

Published

on

4,709 Views

On Sunday Germany votes in an election from which Chancellor Merkel’s CDU party is universally expected to remain the largest but which none of the underlying problems which affect Germany have been addressed.

One of the problems involved in discussing Germany is that the image of the country as a runaway economic success story is so powerful that it makes objective analysis of its problems difficult.

The reality is that Germany is indeed a very rich and economically successful country.  However there are growing problems that put its long term prospects in doubt, and these are being ignored rather than addressed.

Briefly, the German system as it evolved after the Second World War involved a political and financial system heavily geared towards high business investment.

The secret of German economic success was the close collaboration of decentralised regional governments and banks with a partially cartelised business community, with the whole system underpinned by high savings and a well trained and well organised workforce.

Key to the success of the system was a monetary policy geared towards creating low inflation and high savings, and a fiscal policy that avoided deficit.

The result was indeed high business investment drawing on high savings in conditions of extreme price stability within a strictly controlled competitive environment, enabling German business to remain continuously competitive even as German wages and living standards steadily rose.

Over the last decades this system has slowly unravelled as German banks have become less focused on Germany’s domestic economy and more involved in the international financial system, and as Germany has integrated itself ever more deeply into the EU’s institutions and has replaced the Deutschmark with the euro.

The result is that savings and investment in the German economy have fallen from their historic post war highs, so that the total rate of investment in the German economy has fallen from around 30% of GDP in the early 1980s to around 19% now, with the two biggest falls taking place in 1990 (at the time of unification) and in 2000 (at the time of the introduction of the euro), with the rate of investment unchanged since then.

Moreover recently pressure on savings has been increasing further because of the zero interest rate/quantitative easing policy of the European Central Bank, whose lax monetary policy is also causing Germany to experience for the first time in its post Second World War history on a sustained basis a property price boom, something which the Bundesbank, Germany’s own central bank, always anxious to direct investment towards businesses rather than fixed assets, had previously always acted to choke off.

The Germans have responded to the fall in investment in their classic way, striving to keep their economy internationally competitive by compensating for the fall in investment with downward pressure on wages.

In addition Germany has sought to continue to run a budget surplus – operating its economy ‘within its means’ as it is called – a policy whose intended and actual effect is to choke off imports.

Taken together with the relative weakness of the euro (as compared to the strength of any currency Germany might have had if it still had the Deutschmark) these policies have kept the German economy internationally competitive, causing it to run a massive surplus.

However the continued downward pressure on wages, the action taken to make the German workforce more ‘flexible’ (the so-called Hartz IV reforms), the refusal to run a budget deficit (causing public investment to collapse), and the property price boom, are making German society more unequal, and are increasing pressure on living standards.

Needless to say that feeds resentment and It is anyway debatable how sustainable a system, which compensates lower wages for lower investment, in the end is.

At this point it is important to make some qualifiers.  The German economy remains exceptionally strong and the standard of living in Germany remains by international standards extremely high.  The problems, though real, are still in their infancy, and there is time and space to turn things round.

Germany’s real problem is not that its problems are intractable.  It is that under Angela Merkel, who became the CDU’s leader in 2000 – just as the second big fall in the economy’s rate of investment took place – and who has been Germany’s Chancellor since 2005, no serious attempt to address these problems has been taking place.

At a time when Germany needs purposeful policies to turn things round, Merkel’s complacent “keep calm and carry on” approach is leaving them as they are.

The result is that behind the facade of contentment there is growing unease.  Some of the consequences have been well described in a recent article by Andrew Spannaus

A …. major factor is the system of labor market and welfare reforms introduced in Germany in the 2000s. The most famous is the “Hartz IV” law, which provides unemployment subsidies of just 280 euros ($330) a month, and forces people to accept whatever jobs they are offered, even at only 1-2 euros an hour.

German companies have done very well with this system, that allows them to exploit extremely cheap and flexible labor. Critics points to this as one – although certainly not the only – factor contributing to the great success of German industry in Europe.

For the six million citizens trapped in the system though, things aren’t so great. There are entire areas called “Hartz IV neighborhoods,” indicating widespread socio-economic difficulties among the local population. If we add the high level of “working poor,” a category that has reached 9 percent of the population in Germany, it becomes clear where the populist movements can look for votes on economic issues.

This situation explains the strong reaction of many Germans when Merkel, without much consultation, suddenly threw open Germany’s and Europe’s doors to the mass refugee flow in 2015.  Inevitably many poorer working class Germans, who have been under growing economic pressure for some time, resented the fact that Merkel and the political establishment appeared to care more about the refugees than it cared about them.  In my opinion this was a far more important factor in the widespread protests in Germany against Merkel’s policy in 2015 than the supposed xenophobic or racist attitudes of lower class German voters, whose grandparents had accepted mass immigration from Turkey and southern Europe in the boom times of the 1950s and 1960s without protest.

Unfortunately the problem is not just Merkel.  The entire German political establishment is locked into the same complacency, so that she has fought the election without coming under any serious challenge.

That a thirst for such a challenge is there is shown by the brief surge of support for Martin Schultz after the SPD nominated as its Chancellor designate at the start of the year.  In the event – as I and many others predicted – Schulz has however proved to have been a truly dreadful choice, with offering no credible alternative to Merkel, so that after his brief surge the SPD’s polling figures have spiralled down.

The result is a dismal election, with a sense of Germany treading water.  Even neoliberal admirers of Merkel such as the Guardian’s Natalie Nougayrède are dismayed

Having spent this week in Germany, I am struck by another inward-looking syndrome. The German campaign has paid very little attention to Europe, not to mention the world beyond it. It has practically dispensed with the question of how the country should relate to realities beyond its borders: the global shifts at work, how to define its role in a changing environment, how to strategically prepare for the future, and the external impacts that may lie in store…..

The Germans simply don’t want to hear much about the troubles of our times and how to face them: they just want to hunker down and keep on living the good life – which is one of Merkel’s CDU party slogans…..

…..I’ve just spent days in Berlin, Leipzig and Munich, meeting officials, members of the Bundestag, municipal and regional elected representatives, and civil society activists, on a study tour of the German elections with the Robert Bosch Academy. Here are some of the comments I heard. On Germany’s potential leadership role in the Trump era: “The expectations other countries have towards Germany are sometimes exaggerated. We are self-confident, but we don’t have any missionary zeal. We are intensely aware of our history”; “Trump is disturbing, but to take up a leadership role is just too much for us.”

On Europe: “It’s not a topic in this campaign because all the parties, apart from the AfD [the far-right Alternative for Germany], are convinced by the European project. Germans need Europe to forget they are Germans. It’s how we break away from our national historical burden.” On eurozone reform (said with a touch of irony): “Macron wants progress, but it might be expensive for us.” And on Brexit (when asked about it): “It’s like a satire show.”

One of the most fascinating developments in Germany is that, contrary to many predictions, the 2015 refugee crisis has not upended the nation’s politics entirely. How come? In Britain, it contributed to producing Brexit. In France, it helped Le Pen collect 10m votes. In 2015 the world’s huddled, desperate masses came to Germany – and yet, two years on, the country hardly seems to worry about the state of the world, or wants to even discuss it. “We are proud of what we did, the welcome culture, but it mustn’t happen again,” is the main answer you get when raising the question.

Into the gap opened up by the German elite’s complacency has moved the AfD, the new political movement originally created by a group of professors to challenge the twin orthodoxies of Germany’s Atlanticist foreign policy and the euro, but which has gained popular traction as it has redefined itself as an anti-immigrant party and has veered towards the right.

How well the AfD will do in Sunday’s election remains to be seen.  Here however I will restate a view which I previously made in connection with the role in French politics of Marine Le Pen.  Since in Germany as in France there will alway be a majority against a challenge to the status quo from the right, the eventual effect in Germany of the AfD, as of Marine Le Pen in France, will be to reinforce the status quo, not to change it.

On the subject of Angela Merkel herself, though she retains many of her political skills and a large reservoir of support amongst Germany’s large centre right Christian electorate, she has increasingly come across in this election (at least to me) as tired and stale, something which incidentally was never true of her CDU predecessor Helmut Kohl.

Almost everyone expects this to be Merkel’s last election, and I have no doubt this is right.  Not only is Merkel’s time as Chancellor drawing to a close, but I doubt she will be around for much longer, and I think it is unlikely she will see out her full term.  Had the SPD picked a more charismatic and popular candidate than Martin Schulz, I have no doubt she would have been in serious trouble during the election, though the nature of the German political and electoral system always gives the incumbent Chancellor a big advantage.

Germany’s and Europe’s problem – and potentially their crisis – is that in the desert which is what Germany’s current politics have become, it is difficult to see any change coming after Merkel is finally gone.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Tom Luongo
Guest
Tom Luongo

I think Schultz was picked BECAUSE he was a dismal candidate. And his collapse would ensure Merkel would have no credible opposition and possibly win outright. It was done to stave off AfD. It would allow her and her foreign minister Gabriel to make noises about normalizing relations with Russia while remaining strong against Brexit and the Visigrad 4 who refuse to make the same ‘sacrifice’ the Germans made by admitting all these refugees.

BobValdez
Guest
BobValdez

Absolutely!

Le Ruse
Guest
Le Ruse

What about that one ??comment image

RaisingMac
Guest
RaisingMac

You are right about Martin Schulz. I still can’t get over the fact that the SPD actually managed to find a candidate even more pointless than Sigmar Gabriel. In all likelihood, the SPD will lose yet more seats this time around. Pathetic.

Le Ruse
Guest
Le Ruse

This Martin ??comment image?w=620

RaisingMac
Guest
RaisingMac

Yup. That’s him.

DenLilleAbe
Guest
DenLilleAbe

The usual tribe: The EU will fail, the euro will fail, Germany will fail, neo liberalism, fascism ect, ect.
Living in northern Europe I consider my self blessed, especially compared to the mess that is the US, we might not make it to millionaire in dollars, but we have a good life.
Germany will prevail as ever, and the European project moves forward, the EU is already the largest economy in the world, capable of bringing the multinationals to their knees, not even the US can do that…

XRGRSF
Guest
XRGRSF

Is this anything like the Thousand Year Reich ?

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

“Etc, Etc” I think is what you meant to write.
From the Latin “et cetera”, ie “and the rest”.

observerBG
Guest
observerBG

Germans do not have children, they will be replaced and will not exist in the future. Native german (non-immigrant) birth rate is 1,4, way below 2,1 – the replacement rate. So there will be no blond or white people in Germany, there will be mostly low IQ brown and muslim people. You will be replaced. Second – even with immigration, the german population is old and declinig, so it will dissappear at some point in the future. Third – Germany is a declining country – it will matter less and less in the future. China gdp growth rate – 7… Read more »

margarida
Guest
margarida

HOW MANY MORE RAPES AND UNEMPLOYMENT DOES GERMANY NEED TO WAKE THE GERMANS UP?

JNDillard
Guest
JNDillard

As usual, excellent analysis by Mr Mercouris. Some seventy years ago Germany hitched its wagon to the Atlanticist wagon. Until recently, that has proven an exceptionally wise choice. Now it is proving to be a disastrous one, but like an addict comfortable in their addiction, Germany will go down with the Atlanticists. There is a dim possibility that the economic opportunities being offered by the Russian and Chinese markets will allow it to transition, but at this point Germany is a strong supporter of Atlanticist polices that can only be called disastrous.

samo war
Guest
samo war

merkell want worldd satan mafia matrix ???

tjoes
Guest
tjoes

Merkel looks like an old Notzie that has been used hard and put away wet. But she is good for the deep state so they will prop her up. And nuttyahoo likes her, since she puts Israel interests ahead of Germany.

Dow Jones
Guest
Dow Jones

Like all occupied nations, Japan, Germany, Palestine etc. the toll of mental and spiritual subjugation to an alien and brutal culture has destroyed the will to procreate and continue living. The Japanese aristocracy can control their livestock with techie BS while the Germans are simply dying off and being replaced on the sheep farm with imported tribes from USSA’S ongoing and unending judaic wars. The Merkel slash “Soros” conspiracy to destroy the last sovereign states of Europe as they continue erecting the hated globalist EUSSR project in Natostan capital, Brussels. “In his book «Praktischer Idealismus», (1920) Austrian Count Richard Von… Read more »

Tim Webb
Guest
Tim Webb

“Who is this elite however?”
The answer is obvious; mankind’s intractable and incorrigible eternal enemy, the chosen people of satan, THE JEW.
Look at the loathesome Schultz’s comment if you don’t believe this.

pogohere
Guest

European Prize for the Chancellor 1-13-11 The European Society Coudenhove-Kalerg has awarded Chancellor Angela Merkel the European Prize 2010. The prize is awarded every two years for exceptional contributions to the European unification process. . . . Angela Merkel is the second German head of government (after Helmut Kohl who received the prize in 1990) to be awarded this prize. The last time the European Prize was awarded in 2008, it went to the former Polish Foreign Minister and current Secretary of State in the Polish Government, Władysław Bartoszewski. The European Prize is based on the vision of the diplomat,… Read more »

Dow Jones
Guest
Dow Jones

Link below to the daily toll of Merkill’s invading hordes as they rape, pillage and plunder their way across a subdued and resentful population that may very well surprise the presstitutes and politburo in Brussels on Sunday 23rd.

Rape, pillage and plunder; Merkill’s generous gift to the German populace.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1_rNT3k2ZXB-f9z-2nSFMIBQKXCs&ll=50.18890452243554%2C10.293085891308692&z=8

disqus_1Op5S8jvui
Guest
disqus_1Op5S8jvui

Yes, the Germans have worked hard and efficiently to create the well being of their country. However, Ms Merkel has committed an unforgivable, political and historic crime by throwing open the borders of the EU nations thus destroying the national borders and quality of life of qualified nations for Germany’s and its corporations own benefit. The damage to Europe is huge. She and Germany will understand in time that they cannot own Europe or the world. There has always been a mentality and arrogance gap there. Minding that Deutsche Bank has been in default for long or that Greece is… Read more »

Latest

Photos of swastika on Ukrainian mall stairway creates a stir [Video]

Ukrainian nationalist press in damage-control mode to explain away the Nazi sign, but they forgot the name of the street the mall is on.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

One of the aspects of news about Ukraine that does not make it past the gatekeepers of the American and Western news media is how a significant contingent of Ukrainian nationalists have espoused a sense of reverence for Nazis. The idea that this could even happen anywhere in the world in an open manner makes the claim seem too absurd to be taken seriously. Gone are the days when the Nazi swastika adorned streets and buildings in Europe. Right?

Well, maybe, wrong.

This was seen in Kyiv’s Gorodok (or Horodok, if you insist) Gallery, a shopping center in that city, located on Bandera Avenue.

The pro-nationalist news service UNIAN wasted no time going to press with their explanation of this incident, which admittedly may be accurate:

Children and teenagers who participated in the All-Ukrainian break dance festival held in the Kyiv-based Gorodok Gallery shopping mall were shocked to see a swastika image projected onto an LED staircase.

The mall administration apologized to visitors, explaining saying that their computer system had apparently been hacked.

“The administration and staff have no relation to whatever was projected onto the LED-staircase, and in no way does it support such [an] act. Now we are actively searching for those involved in the attack,” it said in a statement.

According to Gorodok Gallery’s administrative office, it was not the first time a cyber breach took place.

As reported earlier, Ukraine is believed to be a testing ground for cyberattacks, many of which are launched from Russia. Hackers have earlier targeted critical energy infrastructure, state institutions, banks, and large businesses.

This time, it appears, hackers aimed to feed the Kremlin’s narrative of “Nazis in power in Ukraine” and create a relevant hype-driving viral story for Russian media to spread it worldwide.

The Gorodok Gallery also apologized on its Facebook page and said that this was a result of hacking.

But what about the street that the mall is on? From the self-same Facebook page, this is what we see:


To translate, for those who do not read Ukrainian or Russian, the address says the following:

23 Steven Bandera Prospekt, Kyiv, Ukraine 04073

This street was formerly called “Moscow Avenue.” Big change, as we shall see.

Steven Bandera got his birthday designated as a national holiday in Ukraine last December. He is known in Ukraine’s history for one thing. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The street where the shopping mall is located is named for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who briefly collaborated with Nazi Germany in its fight against Russia.

His troops are believed to have killed thousands of Jews.

Several Israeli papers picked this bit of news up, and of course, the reasons are understandable. However, for the West, it appears possible that this news event will largely go unnoticed, even by that great nation that is often called “Israel’s proxy”, the United States.

This is probably because for certain people in the US, there is a sense of desperation to mask the nature of events that are happening in Ukraine.

The usual fare of mainstream news for the West probably consists of things like “Putin’s military seizes innocent Ukrainian sailors in Kerch incident” or, “Ukraine’s Orthodox Church declared fully independent by Patriarch of Constantinople” (not that too many Americans know what a Constantinople even is, anyway), but the overriding narrative for the American people about this country is “Ukraine are the good guys, and Russia are the bad guys,” and this will not be pushed aside, even to accommodate the logical grievance of Israel to this incident.

If this article gets to Western papers at all, it will be the UNIAN line they adhere to, that evil pro-Russia hackers caused this stairway to have a swastika to provoke the idea that Ukraine somehow supports Naziism.

But UNIAN neglected to mention that the street name was recently changed to Stephan Bandera (in 2016), and no one appears to have hacked this. Nor does UNIAN talk about the Azov fighters that openly espoused much of the Nazi ideology. For nationalist Ukrainians, this is all for the greater good of getting rid of all things Russia.

A further sad fact about this is the near impossibility of getting assuredly honest and neutral information about this and other similar happenings. Both Ukrainian nationalists and Russian media agencies have dogs in the race, so to speak. They are both personally connected to these events. However, the Russian media cannot be discounted here, because they do offer a witness and perspective, probably the closest to any objective look at what is going on in Ukraine. We include a video of a “torchlight march” that took place in 2017 that featured such hypernationalist activity, which is not reported in the West.

More such reports are available, but this one seemed the best one to summarize the character of what is going on in the country.

While we do not know the motive and identities of whoever programmed the swastika, it cannot really be stated that this was just a random publicity stunt in a country that has no relationship with Nazi veneration.

The street the mall is on bears witness to that.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

It’s Back to the Iran-Contra Days Under Trump

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela.

Strategic Culture Foundation

Published

on

Authored by Wayne Madsen, via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Showing that he is adopting the neoconservative playbook every day he remains in office, Donald Trump handed the neocons a major win when he appointed Iran-contra scandal felon Elliott Abrams as his special envoy on Venezuela. Abrams pleaded guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information on the secret sale of US weapons for cash to help illegally supply weapons to the Nicaraguan right-wing contras, who were battling against the government of President Daniel Ortega. Abrams would have headed to a federal prison, but President George H. W. Bush, an unindicted co-conspirator in the scandal, issued pardons to Abrams and his five fellow conspirators – former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and former Central Intelligence Agency officials Alan Fiers, Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, and Clair George – on Christmas Eve 1991, during the final weeks of Bush’s lame duck administration.

Abrams escaped being charged with more serious crimes by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh because he cut a last-minute deal with federal prosecutors. Trump, who has made no secret of his disdain for cooperating federal witnesses, would have normally called Abrams a “rat,” a gangster term meaning informant. The man who helped engineer the pardons for Abrams and his five convicted friends was none other than Bush’s Attorney General, William Barr, who has just been sworn in as Trump’s Attorney General. Trump, who is always decrying the presence of the “deep state” that thwarts his very move, has become the chief guardian of that entity.

During a recent hearing of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, newly-minted congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, reminded her colleagues and the world about the sordid background of Abrams.

Omar zeroed in on Abrams’s criminal history:

“Mr. Abrams, in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people should find any testimony you give today to be truthful.”

Abrams, as is the nature of neocons, refused to respond to Omar and cited her comments as “personal attacks.”

Abrams’s and his fellow criminals’ use of mercenaries and “death squads” to conduct secret wars in Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala during the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s has made a re-entrance under Trump. Abrams was brought on board by neocons like National Security Adviser John Bolton, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oversee a US military build-up in Colombia, said to be 5000 US troops, to support Venezuelan paramilitary and military efforts to topple President Nicolas Maduro. Abrams and Bolton are also believed to have retained the services of another unindicted conspirator in the Iran-contra affair, Michael Ledeen, a colleague of the disgraced and convicted former Trump National Security Adviser, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Ledeen and Flynn co-authored a book titled, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies.” The book contains nothing more than the standard neocon tripe one might expect from the likes of Ledeen.

An official investigation of the Iran-contra scandal by the late Republican Senator John Tower of Texas concluded that Abrams’s and Ledeen’s friend, Iranian-Jewish middleman Manucher Ghorbanifar, a long-time Mossad asset and well-known prevaricator, was extremely instrumental in establishing the back-channel arms deals with Iran. Ghorbanifar has long been on the CIA “burn list” as an untrustworthy charlatan, along with others in the Middle East of similar sketchy credentials, including the Iraq’s Ahmad Chalabi, Syria’s Farid “Frank” Ghadry, and Lebanon’s Samir “Sami” Geagea. These individuals, however, were warmly embraced by neocons like Abrams and his associates.

Abrams, whose links with Israeli intelligence has always been a point of consternation with US counter-intelligence officials, is part of an old cabal of right-wing anti-Soviet Democrats who coalesced around Senator Henry Jackson in the 1970s. Along with Abrams, this group of war hawks included Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Douglas Feith, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Abram Shulsky, and Paul Wolfowitz. Later, this group would have its fingerprints on major US foreign policy debacles, ranging from Nicaragua and Grenada to Lebanon, Iraq, and Libya. Later, in December 2000, these neocons managed to convince president-elect George W. Bush of the need to “democratize” the Middle East. That policy would later bring not democracy but disaster to the Arab Middle East and North Africa.

Abrams and his cronies will not stop with Venezuela. They have old scores to settle with Nicaraguan President Ortega. The initiation of “regime change” operations in Nicaragua, supported by the CIA and the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami, have been ongoing for more than a year.

The Trump administration has already achieved a regime change victory of sorts in El Salvador. Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, who was expelled from the formerly-ruling left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation (FMLN) party and joined the right-wing GANA party, was recently elected president of El Salvador. Bukele has quickly re-aligned his country’s policies with those of the Trump administration. Bukele has referred to President Maduro of Venezuela as a “dictator.” He has also criticized the former FMLN government’s recognition of China and severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan. It will be interesting to see how a sycophant like Bukele will politically survive as Trump continues to call hapless asylum-seeking migrants from his country, who seek residency in the United States, “rapists, gang monsters, murderers, and drug smugglers.”

Another country heading for a US-installed “banana republic” dictator is Haiti. President Jovenal Moise has seen rioting in the streets of Port-au-Prince as the US State Department removed all “non-essential” personnel from the country. Moise, whose country has received $2 billion in oil relief from Venezuela, to help offset rising fuel prices, has continued to support the Maduro government. However, at the US-run and neo-colonial artifice, the Organization of American States (OAS), Moise’s envoys have been under tremendous pressure to cut ties with Venezuela and recognize the US puppet Juan Guaido as Venezuelan president. Moise’s refusal to do so resulted in armed gangs hitting the streets of Port-au-Prince demanding Moise’s resignation. It is the same neocon “regime change” playbook being used in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

There will be similar attempts to replace pro-Maduro governments in his remaining allies in the region. These include Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Abrams was also brought in as an adviser on Middle East policy in the George W. Bush administration. The carnage of Iraq is a stark testament to his record. In 2005, it was reported that two key Bush White House officials – Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliot Abrams – gave a “wink and a nod” for the assassinations by Israeli-paid operatives of three key Lebanese political figures seeking a rapprochement with Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah – Member of Parliament Elie Hobeika, former Lebanese Communist Party chief George Hawi, and former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

In 2008, a United Nations panel headed by former Canadian prosecutor Daniel Bellemare later concluded Hariri was assassinated by a “criminal network” and not by either Syrian and Lebanese intelligence or Lebanese Hezbollah as proffered by Abrams and his friends in Washington.

Representative Omar was spot on in questioning why Abrams, whose name is as disgraced as his two fellow conspirators – Oliver North and John Poindexter – whose criminal convictions were overturned on appeal, is working for the Trump administration on Venezuela. The answer is that the neocons, who can sense, like raptors, Trump’s political weakness, have filled the vacuum left by top-level vacancies in the administration.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Putin: If mid-range missiles deployed in Europe, Russia will station arms to strike decision centers

Putin: If US deploys mid-range missiles in Europe, Russia will be forced to respond.

RT

Published

on

By

Via RT…


If the US deploys intermediate-range missiles in Europe, Moscow will respond by stationing weapons aimed not only against missiles themselves, but also at command and control centers, from which a launch order would come.

The warning came from President Vladimir Putin, who announced Russia’s planned actions after the US withdraws from the INF Treaty – a Cold War-era agreement between Washington and Moscow which banned both sides form having ground-based cruise and ballistic missiles and developing relevant technology.

The US is set to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in six months, which opens the possibility of once again deploying these missiles in Europe. Russia would see that as a major threat and respond with its own deployments, Putin said.

Intermediate-range missiles were banned and removed from Europe because they would leave a very short window of opportunity for the other side to decide whether to fire in retaliation after detecting a launch – mere minutes. This poses the threat of an accidental nuclear exchange triggered by a false launch warning, with the officer in charge having no time to double check.

“Russia will be forced to create and deploy weapon systems, which can be used not only against the territories from which this direct threat would be projected, but also against those territories where decision centers are located, from which an order to use those weapons against us may come.” The Russian president, who was delivering a keynote address to the Russian parliament on Wednesday, did not elaborate on whether any counter-deployment would only target US command-and-control sites in Europe or would also include targets on American soil.

He did say the Russian weapon system in terms of flight times and other specifications would “correspond” to those targeting Russia.

“We know how to do it and we will implement those plans without a delay once the relevant threats against us materialize,”he said.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending