Western European News Digest
Indications British Setting Trap for Bush in Iran
The London Economist, which published a declaration of intent to revive the British Empire in its Feb. 3 edition, ran an editorial in its Feb. 10 issue, advising George Bush to "resist a Wagnerian exit from the White House." It warned that a U.S. attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, which seems inevitable given Bush's tendency to blame all U.S. problems in the Middle East on Iran, would be a "reckless gamble," because it would only delay Iran's nuclear ambitions and rally support for the regime. Instead, the U.S. should continue with diplomacy at the UN, even though it moves at a "glacial pace." "What is required now is a further tightening of the economic squeeze coupled with some sort of incentivemost usefully an unambiguous promise from Mr. Bush that if Iran returns to compliance with the nuclear rules it will face no attempt by America to overthrow the regime."
If Bush does attack Iran (highly probable if Cheney is not removed from office), and the world blows apart, the Anglo-Dutch interests behind the Economist can sit back and watch the U.S. disintegrate, all the while gloating, "We told you so."
Merkel Outs Herself as a 'Bio-Con'
A good part of the speech which German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave at the Munich Security Conference Feb. 9 dealt with global warming, which she said poses a non-military challenge to mankind equivalent to the military threat from terrorism. She said that global warming led to environmental degradation, migration, and other catastrophes, thereby creating security problems. Reducing carbon emissions is, therefore, a challenge of the first order, which has to be met by new, alternative technologies and economical methods. "Investing in mankind's future," Merkel put it, meaning "sustainable development" and future security.
It is worth noting that in a special supplement for the Munich conference, Sueddeutsche Zeitung ran two articles on the bio-con agenda, by Amory Lovins and by Daniel Yergin, two of the most prominent U.S. green neo-cons. Lovins argued that if the Pentagon could manage to free U.S. and Western energy supplies from sources in the Southwest Asia, energy security for the West was achievable.
Merz Working To Further Schism in German Politics
Friedrich Merz, the neo-con lawyer and promoter of hedge funds in Germany, who is now said to be actively working for a split-off from the Christian Democrats (after his own resignation from all CDU party functions), fired another salvo Feb. 11, with remarks in an interview with the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Merz said that because of the "leftist" turn of the CDU when it joined with the SPD to form the Grand Coalition in November 2005, larger conservative constituencies of the CDU became alienated. These are the constituencies that the CDU is going to lose, if it doesn't return to its pre-Coalition profile, Merz warned.
Apart from rumors that he is planning a new conservative (neo-con) party, Merz is also said to be ready to return to the CDU top, if it splits from the SPD and goes for a neo-con government coalition with the Liberals (FDP)perhaps in combination with a Green Party that is run by environmentalist neo-cons like Reinhard Buetikofer and Fritz Kuhn. Christian Wulff, Governor of the State of Lower Saxony, one of the "crown princes" of the CDU for the era after Merkel, said in interviews Feb. 10 that the CDU would do better not to believe that grand coalitions have eternal value, but rather to look to the FDP as a future governing partner.
Egyptian Cleric To Sue Italy, U.S.
Abu Omar, the Egyptian cleric who was kidnapped by the CIA in Milan, Italy, in 2003, has been released from an Egyptian prison, after an order was issued by an Egyptian State Security Court which determined that his imprisonment was "unfounded," the Independent reported Feb. 13. Abu Omar, also known as Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, is now at his family home in Alexandria, Egypt, according to his lawyer.
"Abu Omar will be filing a suit against the U.S. and Italian governments to seek damages for his kidnapping, his moral and financial losses, and his excruciating personal and psychological torment," his lawyer said. Another lawsuit will be filed against former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
This will be the second suit filed in a U.S. court over rendition; the other was filed by Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen, and is now on appeal in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Speaking today at a forum at Georgetown University Law Center, Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, cited the release of Abu Omar, and said that he and Committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) are looking into both this case and the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was sent by U.S. authorities to Syria, where he was tortured.
More Signs of 1980s Terror Networks Rebuilding
Italian police have arrested 15 persons belonging to an alleged terrorist organization, the Political Military Communist Party, ideologically linked to the Red Brigades. Among those arrested were fugitive Red Brigades member Alfredo Davanzo, now in his 50s, and two trade unionists. They were allegedly planning criminal acts ranging from kneecappings to kidnappings. Among those targetted were Israeli journalist Vittorio Feltri and labor consultant Pietro Ichino. The house of former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, and/or the offices of his media companies, were also said to be on the target list.
Interior Minister Giuliano Amato said the group "was a structured and highly dangerous organization. The group we broke up, we know, isn't their last."
Anti-terrorist official Giovanni Calesini said the group financed itself through armed robberies and spread propaganda in leftists clubs and in factories.
Meanwhile, a court in Spain reduced the sentence of ETA hunger striker Inaki De Juana from 12 to 3 years. De Juana has been on a 96-day hunger strike protesting his sentence, saying it was unjust. He had been released in 2004 after serving a sentence for terrorism. He was rearrested after writing threatening articles, and sentenced to 12 years. It is not clear whether he has ended his strike. And in Germany, Baader-Meinhof gang member Brigitte Mohnhof has won parole after serving 27 years of her five life sentences. She was involved in the 1970s kidnappings and murders of German industrialist Hans Martin Schleyer and banker Juergen Ponto.
Foundation Receives Substantial State Funding
The German Green Party-linked Heinrich Boell Foundation will receive 37.5 million euros in 2007, from state funds, i.e., taxpayers' money, according to a report released Feb. 9 by the Parliament. This is only one-third of what the Social Democrat-linked Friedrich Ebert Foundation with its 109.3 million euros will get, but disproportionately more Boell funds go into Anti-Fa terrorist and bio-con/neo-con operations.
German Party funding laws arrange for state co-funds for all parties that have gained more than 5% of the vote, in elections.
Sarkozy Suddenly Declares Against Hedge Funds
Look who's come out against hedge funds! In an interview with the Financial Times' French echo, Les Echos Feb. 14, neo-con French Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy (now Interior Minister) came out blasting against hedge funds, saying that if elected, he will push for a "European tax" against leveraged takeovers by the funds. "Who can tolerate a hedge fund buying a company with debts, firing 25% of staff, and then reimbursing themselves by selling it in pieces? Not me." So pronounced the candidate of the right, and said, "I want to make France the [country] that rewards wealth creation, but which also knows how to hit predators." The FT added that Sarkozy's comments are linked to those of Axa Insurance chairman Claude Bebear; but clearly, they are also linked to the public pressure of French organizations and citizens.
Soccer Hooligans Linked to Neo-Nazi Underground
Premeditated violence broke out during and around a soccer match that was held between two Saxony teams in Leipzig, last Feb. 10. Eight hundred hooligans clashed with 300 policemen. The scene was such that police as well as sports journalists spoke of "great luck" afterwards, that no deaths resulted, as had happened in Italy, during similar "fan riots" about a week ago. Thirty-two policemen were wounded, however.
Police found evidence through a search of hooligan blogs, that there had been intense communication, days before the incident, between the relevant groups in Germany and Italy, with explicit announcements of the intent to make the Leipzig match an "Italian-style showdown" with the police. Anti-terror experts have also pointed out that many of the hooligan gangs have little to do with spectator sports, but rather with violence-prone right-wingers linked to the neo-nazi underground.