Western European News Digest
Sweden Opens Baltic Pipeline Dispute to Anglo-Dutch
Sweden has asked the European Union to start an environmental review of the North European Gas Pipeline (NEGP), which goes beneath the Baltic Sea. This sounds innocent enough, but it is a break with a centuries-long policy to keep the Baltic Sea issues a matter only for the states that border its shores. The Swedish decision invites the entire EU, including the British and the Dutch and their oil/gas companies to have a say on the pipeline project.
An op-ed by a former Swedish ambassador, Prof. Krister Wahlbeck, in Sweden's Dagens Nyheter July 31, reveals that this is a full-scale attack to stop the project. The insider Wahlbecka security expert and no ecologistonly uses superficial ecological arguments to call for a halt of the project. He argues that the pipeline will unsettle sea-bottom sediments which are full of old, dumped ammunition, including mustard-gas containers, from the two World Wars. He adds that the planned 70-meter pumping station just outside the Swedish island of Gotland would impede Sweden's future plans for sea-based windmill constructions.
Actually, the reason the pipeline is to be built under the Baltic is that Sweden had rejected an offer by then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin to build the transit pipeline, for free, between Russia and Germany, via Finland and Sweden. The controversy has also blocked the construction of Norwegian gas pipelines through Sweden. Now, Wahlbeck calls on Sweden to invoke the right to also block the NEGP, as it will cross the Swedish economic zone in the Baltic Sea. Wahlbeck writes that an agreement between Russia and Germany make him "shiver," an allusion to the Hitler-Stalin Pact, and he calls on the Swedes "not to lie down for the superpowers."
Günter Grass: I Volunteered for Hitler's Waffen SS
Günter Grass, a leading Congress for Cultural Freedom figure, admitted Aug. 12 that was he a member of Hitler's elite Waffen SS, having volunteered for it. In what has become a leading news story, almost pushing aside the coverage of the Lebanon war, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ran a front-page article, with a full-page inside jump, of Grass' confession that, unlike many other German teens who were conscripted into the Waffen SScondemned at Nuremberg for war crimestowards the end of the war, Grass was a "believer" in Hitler's ideology.
The confession comes as a big shock; for the past 50 years, the sophist Grass has played a key role as a supposed anti-fascist, including in the attack on President Ronald Reagan's 1985 visit, with then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl, to the military cemetery in Bitburg. Their visit came under heavy attack, because those buried there include several dozen Waffen SS soldiers, most of them teenage draftees who at the end of the war were sacrificed by Hitler. It was alleged that Reagan and Kohl's visit to honor the war dead, also honored the murderous SS.
The Grass case also sheds some additional light on the entire phony postwar political-correctness campaign, run prominently by the Congress for Cultural Freedom.
Grass' autobiography, which includes this confession, is to be released in September.
London Endorses Incumbent Post-Industrialist as Berlin Mayor
The City of London's Financial Times Aug. 14 endorsed its post-industrial darling Klaus Wowereit for another term as Mayor of Berlin. The daily pulled the Berlin Mayor from his summer haunt, to say: "Berlin must move on from its industrial past... Berlin must embrace its future as a post-industrial city and abandon aspirations to revive its traditional manufacturing base."
The mouthpiece of the Anglo-Dutch bankers is full of praise for the Mayor: "Germany's politicians usually pride themselves on the country's industrial roots, so the comments by Klaus Wowereit, one of Germany's most influential Social Democrat politicians, are unusual, and could signal a shift in economic thinking on the future of Germany's less vibrant regions."
Wowereit told the FT, "Berlin is Germany's only metropolis and a magnet for young people.... Our future-oriented business areas focus on services, on tourism, fashion, young creative industries and many other areas. We still have 90,000 industrial jobs that are relatively stable, but industrial investors are not queuing up to enter. I no longer believe we'll get anywhere near the 300,000 industry jobs we had at the beginning of the 1990s. I'm realistic about this."
Then, incredibly, Wowereit adds, "I really wonder, why people see the value of a job in tourism as being inferior to a job in industry." Could it be that in an industrial job, workers are paid a living wage with benefits, and that entertainment jobs are unskilled, and paid at subsistence levels?
Needless to say, the FT fails to mention the campaign of BüSo candidate Daniel Buchmann, a leader of the LaRouche Youth Movement in Germany, who is running for Mayor of Berlin on a program to restore Berlin as an industrial and scientific powerhouse. The election will be held Sept. 17.
City of London Sees Berlin as Future Entertainment Mecca
Financial Times Deutschland, the German edition of the London daily, is also pushing a non-industrial future for Berlin. Under the headline, "Berlin, Metropolis on the Infusion Tube," the FTD wrote Aug. 14 that, with the exception of the Adlershof research-and-development center, where people work on "re-inventing industry for Berlin," industrial employment is a thing of the past.
One of Berlin's few advantages, according to the FTD, is the fact that scientists there are 30% cheaper than in Munich, therefore, there might be a future in low-paid jobs in science. The FTD sees the really big future for Berlin, however, in the city's trend as "a boom town for fashion, media, and music," and that, in these fields as well, "the low living standard" there makes Berlin "competitive." And, according to the FTD, pop music is big trend: Two round-the-clock music television networks, MTV and VIVA, are already in the city, and 60% of the annual turnover of German-language pop music is produced in Berlin, where "global players like Universal Music" work next door to "small labels." This is what creates "new jobs" in Berlin, the FTD claims.
Hypocrite Blair Hires, Then Rails Against Islamists
The duplicity of "Perfidious Albion," recently addressed by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in discussions on the sidelines of the G-8 Summit in St. Petersburg, has been confirmed by a leak from the Foreign Office to the media, in Britain.
At the same time that Prime Minister Tony Blair was giving his big speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council Aug. 1, putting forward a Manichean vision for the Middle East, Martin Bright of the New Statesman magazine received a dossier from someone at the Foreign Office, according to which former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw employed a certain Moqbul Ali, an extremist Islamist, whom he authorized to build up a special department for contacts with the Islamic world. Ali maintains contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as with Jamaat al-Islami, among others, representatives of which he repeatedly arranged to get official invitations by the Foreign Office for travels to the West.
Martin Bright, who did more research on the affair, publicized a dossier for the think tank Policy Exchange, and contributed to a special expose on Channel Four television. The Foreign Office tried in vain to block the TV program; however, it located the source of the leak as Bright, and wants to put that source on trial. Moqbul Ali, however, still has a free hand to carry on as before.