Western European News Digest
Letter to German daily: LaRouche Provides Alternative to British War
Aug. 11 (EIRNS)The website of the Germany daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today publishes a letter on Lyndon LaRouche. The newspaper is generally hostile to LaRouche and his wife, Helga.
The author of the letter writes:
"As the Western financial and economic system is sliding ever-deeper into the crisis, the 'geostrategists' in London and Washington are trying to push the world into chaos. Besides China it is Russia, which most directly comes under attack. Whereas the leaders of the Chechen terrorists can prepare their terrorist actions in London, unchecked, Saakashvili was created by George Soros's Open Society Foundation, so that Russia could also be destabilized from Georgian ground. The question for us Germans and Europeans is whether we take the side of the British-American war gamers, or do we support the project of Lyndon LaRouche for a peaceful development of the Eurasian landmass."
London's Telegraph Foresees U.S.-Russia Clash
Aug. 11 (EIRNS)An editorial in the Daily Telegraph today invokes the image of Lord Balfour, one of the architects of World War I, for guidance in the current Russian-Georgian crisis:
"There is no purpose in deceiving ourselves. The West is in no position, practically or morally, to go to war with Russia. At the same time, we cannot afford to allow Russia unilaterally to redraw its borders, nor to place its heel upon the only oil pipeline in the former U.S.S.R. outside its control. In 1918, Balfour declared, 'The only thing that interests me in the Caucasus is the railway line which delivers oil from Baku to Batumi; the natives can cut each other to pieces, for all I care.'" Since the Telegraph has to appear a little more civilized, it adds, "These days, we have to care about both."
After writing about how the West has mishandled Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Telegraph concludes, "We cannot expect a UN, rendered impotent by Russia's veto, to settle this problem. France's EU presidency has the ambition to halt the fighting, but not the means. John McCain is making the defense of Georgia a campaign issue. As of old, the issue may yet come down to a face-off between Russia and America."
Danish Media: Georgian Government Untrustworthy
COPENHAGEN, Aug. 12 (EIRNS)Although Danish neocon Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen blames Russia for the South Ossetia crisis, overall the Danish media has been differentiated. Unlike much of the European, and especially the U.S. media, it has been universally acknowledged that the conflict was provoked by the Georgian President, and that heavy bombardment by Georgia of civilians in South Ossetia took place before the Russians intervened.
While Danish Radio's TV-news reported claims by the Georgian government that Russia was moving for an attack on the capital, Tbilisi, for example, it also showed a reporter standing in the capital, saying no such movements were to be seen.
Russian charges that Georgia was committing genocide in South Ossetia have been reported, along with charges that the Georgian President is a war criminal and that the Georgians were breaking the Geneva conventions and international law by attacking civilians in South Ossetia. The daily Politiken interviewed South Ossetian refugees on how they were shot at even as they fled, and also reports on the internal divisions in Europe on the issue of Georgia: that Germany, France, and Italy are not expected to join in the Russia-bashing that other countries have started.
The correspondent of the newspaper Berlingske Tidende in Brussels writes that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili should have understood the message, when NATO in April turned down Georgian membership. According to sources in both the EU and NATO, he didn't listen, and instead jumped into a trap, providing Russia with the pretext it had allegedly been expecting.
Pope-Tremonti: Meeting of Minds on the 'Markets'?
Aug. 12 (EIRNS)Pope Benedict XVI met with Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Giulio Tremonti on Aug. 11, in his holiday resort in Bressanone (Brixen), before going back to Rome. According to a journalist close to Tremonti, they discussed Tremonti's book, Fear and Hope (2008) which the Pope reportedly read and liked.
"It was already made clear on July 6, if my strong expression is allowed, on which side the Pope stands," wrote Oscar Giannino in today's Libero Mercato. "Of course, I do not mean politically, either at a global or at an Italian level.... No, I am speaking about the dispute about what causes the economic crisis that has bounced from the U.S.A. to Europe in the course of the last year." Giannino then quotes the Pope's statement against financial speculation as the driving force of commodity price inflation.
"The Pope, on this, thinks like Tremonti," said Giannino, "not like the standard-bearers of the market...."
Le Monde Fears 'Recession,' Blasts Greenspan
PARIS, Aug. 9 (EIRNS)"Financial Crisis Still Threatening World Economy" is the headline of the French daily Le Monde today. The newspaper has four articles detailing that the crisis is getting worse, and will continue to do so, since "one year later, the real economy is being caught up by the financial crisis. Recession is threatening the United States, Japan, and Europe."
The lead editorial attributes the crisis to the lax monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, "notably in the Alan Greenspan era," which led to an "orgy" of indebtedness. "The best way to avoid a new catastrophe," the paper concludes, "seems to be to make the bankers pay for their own madness. Let the current crisis hurt them enough, that the memory of the pain should dissuade them from doing it again."
Brits Build Up World War III Slush Fund
Aug. 10 (EIRNS)The British-Saudi "Al-Yamamah" weapons-for-oil deals, which provided the Brits with a huge slush fund to pay for terrorists provocations such as 9/11, are being expanded at the very point the British are launching World War III with simultaneous provocations against Russia and China. The British government is in talks with Saudi Arabia for the sale of 48-70 Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes, in addition to the 72 Saudi Arabia has already purchased. The Al-Yamamah agreement between the British and Saudi governments called for the Saudis to pay for arms with shipments of discounted oil, which the Brits then sold at market price, generating a huge pool of funds for covert intelligence operations. An investigation into this sleazy deal conducted by Britain's Serious Fraud Office was shut down by the House of Lords last month, paving the way for the deal now in the works. The Sunday Times reports today that the contract would be of similar size to the previous Eurofighter deal, which is likely to grow to some $40 billion once support and maintenance are included. That's a lot of slush.