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Is Bush About to be ‘Stiffed’?

Is Bush About to be ‘Stiffed’?

By Selwyn Manning – Scoop Deputy Editor

Germany’s ascension to the UN Security Council raises questions like will it vote yes to an Iraq war? But does Gerhard Schröder have a broader goal than the United States anticipates… for Europe to speak with one voice, to operate within one currency [The Euro], to economically present a unified GDP that equals the United States’, to become the balancing superpower union that will prevent the United States from achieving its stated goal of sustainable economic, military, and social global dominance?

Here is Chapter 4 of a continuing series… Click here for links to earlier Chapters… Click here for members of the United Nations Security Council…

Will Schröder 'Stiff' Bush: Image courtesy of the White House. Photo by Paul Morse. US President George Bush and Germany's Chancellor Gerhard Schröder address the media from the White House steps in the Rose Garden.

BACKGROUND - During Germany’s election campaign last year, an embattled Gerhard Schröder, fighting off criticisms of a pressured economy, immigration woes, and a foreign policy in danger of being dominated by the USA’s Bush Administration, promised Germany would not endorse a war against Iraq even if such an operation was backed by the UN.

A rift between Germany and the US President became a divide, made worse by reports that Germany's then justice minister, Hertha Däubler-Gmelin, had likened Bush to Adolf Hitler. Needless to say that was as unpalatable as vomit, with Schröder apologising via a "Dear George" letter for the insult, and Däubler-Gmelin was subsequently fired.

Then followed Germany’s softening on Bush demands that USA citizens be exempt from ever being tried at the European-based International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. See Lessons in Justice…

In recent weeks, the USA has applied incredible pressure onto Germany to accommodate the United States’ position on war against Iraq. It’s all about Germany’s ascension to the United Nations Security Council – the body that will vote to support or not a war against Iraq.

On January 1 Germany became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a period of two years and, its new Ambassador to the UN, Gunter Pleuger, will assume the Security Council Presidency for the month of February, a rotating function sequenced in alphabetical order in English.

The Security Council is preparing to vote on whether to justify a United States led military invasion of Iraq.

Schröder faces a domestic/international dilemma. The ‘No Iraq War” election promise enabled Schröder to win a narrow victory and form a coalition with the Greens, which is by the way determinedly against any involvement in a war against Iraq and led by Joseph (Joschka) Fischer, Germany’s deputy Chancellor and Foreign Minister.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder – image courtesy of Bundesregierung.de

The US began to apply pressure during the Prague NATO summit meeting in late November 2002. [ See Controlling NATO: The Real Agenda at Prague…] In the wake of that meeting Schröder began to temper his anti-war stance. Still cautious of riling Germany’s massive anti-war movement and a citizenry that is intolerant to further broken promises [Schröder recently broke an election promise by raising taxes], Schröder began to play a hedging game. His New Year address aligned him to the White House Hawk rhetoric that war with Iraq may be necessary to topple Saddam Hussein. But he also reiterated that Germany would not take part in such a war.

“We Germans know,” he said “from our own experience that dictators sometimes can only be stopped with force.”

The statement outraged many Germans and domestically media editorials slated Schröder as about to break yes another pledge.

Public pressure drove Schröder to an interview published in the January 6 edition of German magazine SPIEGEL. There, Schröder reaffirmed Germany’s position on Iraq. He said Germany's vote in the UN Security Council would “reflect the position taken by the German government both before and after the general election”.

He said the German position is clear: "We will not take part in any military action. And we will do everything we can to avoid war." Schröder noted, however, that UN Security Council Resolution 1441 had to be fulfilled, adding that this was “the clear und unequivocal position of the German government”.

THEATRE OF WAR READIES - Since then, the United States military build up in European/Middle East/Central Asia region has escalated. US Navy aircraft carriers and their accompanying armada have taken positions in the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean, on land Air force bases are at the ready in Turkey, Germany itself, within NATO installations throughout Europe, and in the past few days an Iraq War HQ base with top-brass personnel was assigned and posted to Qatar. US Reservists have been called up, as have the British Reservists.

Stateside Bush has launched a controversial tax-cut-for-the-wealthy programme designed to “kick-start” the ailing US economy, in the medium-term, investment-led and production growth will be an essential participant, indeed a necessity should war be declared.

In the interim, Bush needs Germany’s Security Council vote, its debate and rhetoric, and essentially the USA needs the Deutsche Euro.

Schröder has agreed to allow US forces to use military bases inside Germany and within German airspace once war breaks. Schröder will provide German troops to guard American facilities within Germany so United States soldiers will be freed to fight in Iraq.

A symbiotic relationship is developing. Bush clearly believes Germany’s dream is to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Bush knows that for Germany to achieve this, Schröder needs Bush onside, needs Germany within the centre of Alliance politics.

Yes, Germany clearly intends to stamp its pre-election stance on UN Security Council votes. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. A goal is emerging that fits the German psyche perfectly, a goal that places Germany and a unified Europe at the centre of and influencing world affairs.

In China on December 30 Schröder said Germany’s foremost policy task for 2003 is "to preserve peace in the world. And I don't want to give up hope that the international community will be able to enforce the UN Security Council resolution on Iraq without having to go to war." Schröder said it was "clear that we must insist that Iraq be disarmed if it has weapons of mass destruction, but I don't want to give up hope that we may be able to achieve this by means of political pressure from the international community and not have to use the military option."

It is doubtful, that Schröder will vote outright for an Iraq war as the United States believes.

In SPIEGEL’s December 30 edition Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer reaffirmed that the German government would not send German soldiers to fight in a “highly dangerous conflict” as long as it is not one hundred percent convinced of the need to do this. Germany will not take part in a military intervention in Iraq, he said.

"We have enough on our hands with the fight against terrorism. In my view it would be wrong to declare regime change in Baghdad a top priority," Fischer noted, adding that a war against Iraq could pose a threat to regional stability and "that would have an effect on Europe as a direct neighbour".

But Time Magazine predicts that Schröder will renege on his electioneering promise. It editorialises that Germany’s desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council makes it “inconceivable that Germany will end up the lone dissenter on an Iraq resolution. Such ambitions will no doubt take precedence when Schröder decides how to cast his vote.”

But the German leader will inevitably use its position on the Security Council to strengthen its leadership position within the expanding European Union. Germany has already stated: “Germany will coordinate its work on the Security Council with the other EU countries and in doing so seek to promote EU cooperation and visibility.”

THE GOAL - The goal is clearly broader than the United States believes… the goal indeed is for the European Union to speak with one voice, to operate within one currency [The Euro], to economically present a unified Gross Domestic Product that equals the United States’, to become the balancing superpower union that will prevent the United States through diplomacy from achieving its stated goal: [see the USA’s National Security Strategy and Imperial PAX Americana …] of advancing and sustaining United States of America’s economic, military, and social global dominance. See… The Convention on the Future of Europe…

And just perhaps, a burgeoning European Union with its core purpose to develop a system of social and economic progress, of equality in law and right to life ethics, humanitarianism and environmentalism considered ideals worth pursuing in sincerity… then, just perhaps a new political blueprint will emerge that permits through comparison even those who reside within the United States to see how ridiculous its government’s view of world affairs is and how shallow and futile its stated goal, via its National Security Strategy, is: to embark at grave cost to dominate the globe.

Let the true debate begin.

NOTES:

EARLIER CHAPTERS IN THIS SERIES

Chapter 1. Imperial PAX Americana

Chapter 2. See Lessons in Justice…

Chapter 3. See Controlling NATO: The Real Agenda at Prague…

FURTHER REFERENCE:

See The Convention on the Future of Europe…

United Nations Security Council Members for 2003

France - Permanent Member (power to veto resolutions)

Germany - 31 December 2004

Guinea - 31 December 2004

Mexico - 31 December 2003-01-09

Pakistan - 31 December 2004

Russian Federation - Permanent Member (power to veto resolutions)

Spain - 31 December 2004

Syrian Arab Republic - 31 December 2003

United Kingdom - Permanent Member (power to veto resolutions)

United States - Permanent Member (power to veto resolutions)

Angola - 31 December 2004

Bulgaria - 31 December 2003

Cameroon - 31 December 2003

China - Permanent Member (power to veto resolutions)

Chile - 31 December 2004


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