German anti-refugee draft law

This video says about itself:

Refugees Arrive In Germany To Cheers

6 September 2015

Hundreds of refugees have arrived in Germany to a hero’s welcome. People traveled to train stations and border crossings to cheer and offer food to the new arrivals.

That was people in Germany, then. Unfortunately, there is also the German government, now.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

German government adopts drastic measures to deter refugees

19 September 2015

The German government wants to drive away refugees by leaving them to starve and refusing them all medical support. A draft law to this effect has been in discussion between the various ministries since Monday and will be debated in parliament in October.

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which has seen the text of the bill, it represents the “harshest restriction of support for refugees in the history of post-war Germany”. So-called “Dublin refugees” would have no right to receive pocket money, accommodations and medical aid, but would merely be provided with a return ticket and some provisions.

The “Dublin refugees” are those who have travelled through other European countries before reaching Germany. Since Germany does not lie on the outer borders of the European Union, this affects almost all those seeking asylum in the country. Under the Dublin Agreement, the country in which a refugee first arrives is responsible for accepting them and their asylum application.

In the last weeks, the Dublin Agreement had collapsed as a result of the high number of refugees fleeing to Europe from Syria. By tightening up the right to asylum, the German government clearly wants to “stabilise the Dublin system again”, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

This change in policy is being conducted on the backs of refugees, who are refused the most basic rights. They are to be scared away through hunger and homelessness, and transported back like cattle to countries where unspeakable conditions prevail and where they are confined in virtual concentration camps.

Three weeks ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel, responding to a wave of solidarity from the German population, had promised to let in refugees from war-torn areas in the Middle East, underscoring this with the words, “We can do it”. Since then, her government has systematically worked to close off Germany’s borders—and the other European countries have followed suit.

The border between Hungary and Serbia, through which numerous refugees had come to Austria and Germany last week, has now been hermetically sealed off by a metres-high barbed wire fence, guarded by a massive police-military force.

Hungarian President Viktor Orban has received much international criticism for his brutal treatment of refugees. However, by closing the border he is merely doing what the German and other European governments have demanded of him. By tightening up the asylum laws, Germany is adopting Orban’s own brutal methods.

Following the closure of the Hungarian border, many refugees have sought to travel from Serbia to Austria via Croatia and Slovenia. In the last two days alone, 11,000 refugees have crossed the Serbian-Croatian border.

Since Croatia has offered them virtually no support, dramatic scenes have ensued. On Thursday at the Tovarnik border crossing, thousands of refugees sat for hours without any food or water. When they attempted to continue their journey on foot, they were held back by police.

In the meantime, both Croatia and Slovenia have sealed their borders. On Thursday night, Zagreb closed seven of eight border crossings to Serbia and placed the army on standby. Slovenia halted a train and sent back 150 refugees to Zagreb, saying their papers were not valid. Train links between the two countries were halted temporarily.

In the Mediterranean, EU military operations are entering their second phase. Refugee ships will not only be observed but captured, the traffickers arrested and the boats sunk. This escalation of military operations is also aimed at sealing off escape routes for refugees.

The European Union is also working at top speed to close the routes for refugees from Turkey via the Greek Aegean islands. At present, some 2 million refugees from Syria are in Turkey. In a 2002 agreement, the Turkish government had pledged to return “illegal” immigrants coming from Greece, but is not currently complying with this agreement.

The EU now wants to ensure that Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan keep hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees by offering financial inducements.

As well as seeking to repel refugees fleeing war in the Middle East and Africa, the tightening of Germany’s asylum laws is also meant to stop the influx of refugees from the poorer Balkan countries and Eastern Europe.

To this end, Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro have been declared “safe countries of origin”. Refugees from these countries will be refused the right to work, preventing them being granted legal residency status, which requires having a job. Moreover, they will now have to remain in a reception camp for six months instead of three, and would only receive benefits in kind, rather than money.

German interior minister plans abolition of right to asylum: here.

The major European powers are escalating their attacks on refugees fleeing from war-torn countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced Tuesday night that France would reestablish its borders, while German officials moved yesterday to slash benefits for asylum seekers arriving in Germany from other EU countries: here.

BUT WHO GETS TO STAY IN EUROPE AFTER MIGRATING? “Yet, like Hassan, after risking their lives by land and sea to reach the continent’s economic powerhouse, about one in every two asylum seekers is initially rejected. It has made asylum a numbers game.” [WaPo]

PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL: REFUGEES AND HOPE “Even at a time when we strive to overcome our own difficulties, Brazil welcomes with open arms all refugees who wish to live and work in the country. The refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa — which reached dramatic proportions over the last few days — has been dragging on for more than four years, especially with the onset of civil war in Syria and the military intervention in Libya.” [HuffPost]

Racist anti-refugee arson in Germany

This video says about itself:

Germany: Planned refugee shelter set on fire in arson attack

7 September 2015

Three blocks of flats that were planned to be turned into shelters for refugees were set on fire in Rockensussra, Monday. The roofs of the buildings were heavily damaged, however no one was hurt in the attack.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Arson in German reception center for refugees

Today, 10:23

In Germany last night fire was set to a planned reception center for refugees. In the sports hall in the town of Wertheim (Baden-Württemberg) since yesterday three hundred beds were ready. The building is now in danger of collapsing and is no longer usable, says a spokesperson for the local authorities.

The fire brigade came tonight with heavy equipment and managed to extinguish the fire. No one was injured. Police found signs of burglary at the rear of the building. The authorities later today will tell more about the events in a news conference. …

It is not the first time in Baden-Württemberg state that an emergency shelter for refugees has been set on fire. Three weeks ago, fire was set to a vacant building in the village Weissach im Tal, where refugees would be housed.

Refugees and wars, a view from Germany

This video says about itself:

18 September 2015

People in Belgium welcome refugees! Join the movement and come to Brussels on 27 September for a solidarity march with refugees. Share this video and invite your friends to the march.

Marche citoyenne/solidariteitsmars REFUGEES WELCOME, 27 September, 14.00, Bruxelles/Brussel, Gare du Nord/Noordstation

More info in French/Dutch/English: here.

By Victor Grossman in Berlin, Germany:

Germany: The refugee crisis hasn’t just ’emerged from nowhere’

Saturday 19th September 2015

“A MILLION refugees in Germany this year,” predicted Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. But Angela Merkel had announced that all were welcome — winning her a reputation as the most humane leader in all Europe.

But suddenly the line changed. German crossing points from Austria were shut down. Then Austria closed its entry points from Hungary, while Hungary, by far the most brutal, blocked its entry points from Serbia with razor wire and, when it felt necessary, with batons, tear gas and multiple arrests.

Now Serbia has followed suit, Croatia felt forced to do the same, and those Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and other refuge-seekers who survived dangerous crossings through ever stormier seas are caught in a series of traps. Their loud chants of “Germany, Germany” and joyful waving of Merkel portraits have largely vanished.

Is it fair to charge her with hypocrisy? It may have been impossible for her to foresee how many would move northward, singling out Germany as a desired goal.

Who could have predicted the jammed railway stations, disastrous, improvised shelters or videos of crying children — or drowned ones?

She must also have been aware that the truly amazing, heart-warming welcome by over half the German population might, under the weight of numbers, go into reverse, providing new strength to the ever-menacing xenophobes, Islamophobes and other far-right racists.

Some cynics whisper that Merkel’s mercy was really motivated by hopes that a large increase in population, especially by young people of working age, would not only counteract the demographic threat of a Germany with ever fewer babies but also build up a “reserve army” of eager workers, useful in counteracting fights for wage increases by a workforce already hit hard by a growing number of temporary, part-time, low-paid jobs, always harder to organise and easier to exploit.

But her policy reversal was also based on the refusal of the European Union to take in more than 120,000 of the 1,000,000 expected in Germany alone.

Few member countries have accepted even modest quotas. Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and the Baltic countries refuse to take in even a handful.

The quarrel is threatening the very basis of the European Union, especially one of its key achievements — visa-free borders, unhindered travel and migration from Estonia to Malta, from the North Cape to the Rock of Gibraltar.

Of course it must be admitted that the shaky economies of many EU members are hardly able to cope with great influxes, nor has there been any clamour on the part of the refugees to settle in Poland or Portugal.

Yes, the huge numbers were perhaps unexpected and pressure from Merkel’s sister party, the Christian Social Union, in Bavaria has grown increasingly anti-immigrant.

But she, too, like most of the media, used humane cliches but carefully avoided the causes of this unsettling chaos.

One long-lasting cause is the treatment of poorer countries. Most African immigrants — aside from Eritrea, a different story — are from Nigeria, about which Ghent scholar Olubayo Oluduro comments: “With over 50 years of oil exploitation, vast stretches have poor water quality; there is pollution, disruption and degradation of farmlands and fishing ports, destruction of wildlife and biodiversity, loss of fertile soil. Moreover, there has been no provision of adequate compensation or a planned mitigation policy for the areas affected… The response … in the form of protest and campaigns against the activities of the multinational oil companies, has led and continues to lead to violations of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in the form of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary detentions and unlawful restrictions on their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. These restrictions are imposed by security agents, mostly with the complicit support” of oil multinational companies.

Is it surprising that many are ready to risk their lives in the Mediterranean rather than endure a lifelong struggle for bare survival in filthy slums?

But behind all the recent human surges are wars started or supported by the Western democracies.

Large numbers have fled from Iraq and Afghanistan, both thrown into deathly turmoil by illegal foreign invasions. We can soon expect similar large numbers from Yemen.

In Syria, Germany and other major powers have provided all sides with weapons for years, even poison gas, while repeatedly rejecting peace negotiations unless Assad is eliminated, an impossible condition for any true efforts.

The worst killer in the region, Isis, has continually exported oil via that friendly Western ally Turkey, now carrying out a merciless bombing campaign against left-wing Kurdish groups, far and away the most effective force in fighting Isis.

The main sources of Isis weapons, it is clear, have been Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, close US allies, who also use them to fight Saudi Arabia’s chosen new foes, the Houthis, destroying much of Yemen in the process.

They, in turn, were supplied for years by just those Western countries which complain most loudly about Isis cruelty.

While the US is the main supplier, Germany has also sold them arms worth billions. In February and March it sold huge amounts of ammunition and spare parts for tanks and ground-to-air missile equipment.

In April came the OK for 100 drones, radio equipment and tank replacement parts. Rifles dropped by Saudi planes over Aden to fight the Houthis were products of the famous firm Heckler & Koch, which is ably represented in the Bundestag by Volker Kauder, a recipient of its constant election contributions, and who, aside from being an ardent Christian evangelist and Islam-hater, is a main supporter of arms sales, especially from Heckler & Koch, as well as head of Merkel’s party caucus in the Bundestag since 2005, a top position.

Merkel’s recent sudden decision to stop weapons sales to the Saudis is a surprising, welcome reversal of the blood-stained trade deals, till now blushingly approved by Social Democratic Vice-Chancellor Gabriel.

It could be a result of growing world alarm at the terrifying destruction in Yemen — and fear of huge new waves of refugees when Yemeni ports are reopened.

But we must be generous and congratulate Merkel on the decision — if it is genuine and if it holds against opponents, transatlantic and within her own party.

It is clear that humane treatment is a must in accepting the refugees, while the only way to stop more such waves is to end the wars and the arms sales.

This has been the consistent message of Die Linke party in Germany. It is also the position of the new head of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. We may hope that his clear, sharp, evidently popular demands will have some long-range effect on Germany’s Social Democrats, who have thus far failed to rejoice at his success — indeed, in the case of one leader, have denounced him.

But voices and actions like Corbyn’s are bitterly needed in an increasingly tense continent.

Refugee news update

An injured refugee carries a child during clashes with Hungarian riot police at the border crossing with Serbia in Roszke. Photo by Reuters

This photo shows an injured refugee carrying a child during clashes with Hungarian riot police at the border crossing with Serbia in Roszke.

The US journalist Richard Engel ran to the aid of a pregnant woman who collapsed in front of him as he reported on the refugee crisis at the Hungarian border. … Engel then supported her head to keep her breathing and joined aid workers who rushed her off to a makeshift tent for treatment, which was then attacked with tear gas: here.

Refugees seeking new route to safety in Europe could be forced through Croatia minefields: here.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Refugees in Croatia: Hundreds break through police lines after ‘horrendous’ crush at border

‘Everywhere you look children are crying, women are crying’

Adam Withnall

Thursday 17 September 2015

Hundreds of refugees have forced their way through a barricade into Croatia after a desperate standoff with border police.

Just a few dozen police officers had held back an estimated 2,000 refugees in blazing heat at the border town of Tovarnik on Thursday, letting in only handfuls to board buses and trains onwards.

TV news crews reported an increasingly desperate situation, with children pushed to the front of the crowd being crushed against a low metal barricade.

Sky News Stuart Ramsay reported live: “They are getting crushed, it’s a pretty horrendous scene actually now.

Read more:
Refugee crisis timeline: How the crisis has grown
Divisions leave Europe paralysed as borders close to refugees
Refugee crisis: Hunger strike starts at closed Hungarian border

“A very little girl is crying her eyes out being passed over the fence to a riot police officer, and he’s passing her down to her mother.

“Everywhere you look children are crying, women are crying, men are crying, they are all finding this very emotional.”

Moments later, reports came through that the police line had been breached and people were rushing through to heat into Croatia on foot.

People trampled and fell over each other in their rush to get through, according to the Associated Press. A photographer described seeing a man collapse on the ground and dozens injured in the melee.

“This is exactly what Croatia did not want to happen,” Ramsay said. “They just can’t cope, they simply cannot cope with this.”

Croatia has become the new route of choice for refugees desperate to reach the welcome offered to them in western Europe, after Hungary closed its borders and began prosecuting anyone who entered the country “illegally”.

But there remains a great deal of uncertainty surrounding what will happen to refugees inside Croatia itself.

The Croatian government has officially said that any who enter the country must apply for asylum there or be considered illegal immigrants.

But Croatia’s own Prime Minister, Zoran Milanovic, has said it would allow refugees to continue onwards.

“Croatia is entirely ready to receive or direct those people where they want to go, which is obviously Germany or Scandinavian countries,” he said.

Germany’s economy will grow faster because of the million refugees it is helping, study finds. Research published today suggests a 0.6 per cent GDP boost by 2020 and lower inflation: here.

The [British] government has quietly cut money to house and educate orphan child refugees living here.

Demonstrators against arms trade fair in London, England

This photo shows demonstrators against the arms trade fair DSEI in London, England. The second sign from the left points out that, apart from weapons, and torture gear, at the DSEI fair also tear gas is sold, including to the Hungarian goverrnment.

Police attack refugees, politicians promote refugee-making invasion of Syria

This video says about itself:

Serbia/Hungary: Refugees stuck in ‘no-man’s land’

16 September 2015

More than 1,000 people, including many families fleeing conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, remain stuck in abysmal and rapidly deteriorating conditions along a Serbian motorway after Hungarian authorities closed the border crossing yesterday, Amnesty International said today from Horgoš on the Serbian side.

Humanitarian organizations, including the UN Refugee Agency, have been virtually absent so far and the Serbian authorities’ only response has been to send a handful of police to the border area. Hundreds of refugees are sleeping rough on a closed motorway, with only ad hoc aid from volunteers and severely restricted access to food, running water or toilets.

“The refugees we’ve spoken to have described the uncertainty and indignation they feel, stuck in limbo with a complete lack of information. They are effectively stuck in a no-man’s land on the Serbian border and the Hungarian border fence,” said Tirana Hassan, Director of Crisis Response at Amnesty International, from Horgoš.

“Even more refugees are streaming in today as the situation rapidly deteriorates. The Serbian authorities and the European Union knew this was going to happen and yet failed to respond adequately, meaning hundreds of the most vulnerable people are now stuck between razor wire and the abyss of not knowing what comes next.”

By Chris Marsden:

Hungarian border police fire tear gas and water cannon at refugees

17 September 2015

Hungarian police used tear gas and water cannon Wednesday in an unprovoked attack on hundreds of refugees seeking access to Europe.

The excuse offered was that some in the crowd had thrown plastic water bottles at the police, injuring no one. Later this was upgraded to accusations of stone-throwing and “aggression” that allegedly injured 20 officers. In reality, the stone-throwing occurred after the police attack.

There were also claims of an “attempted breakthrough” in the 4-metre-high border fence, which is topped with razor wire. The fence was fully sealed on Monday.

James Reynolds of the BBC gave a revealing account of what took place. He wrote: “For more than an hour, in the afternoon heat, a group of migrants and refugees stood inches from a line of Hungarian riot police at the border gate. A water cannon stood behind the police. ‘Open the gate, open the gate,’ the group shouted…

“Several people began to throw empty water bottles towards the Hungarian line. Minutes later, riot police fired tear gas canisters in unison. The crowd ran backwards, nearly knocking over tents. I ran back with the crowd, with the sting of tear gas in my eyes. Several refugees pointed me towards a father carrying a baby—both had been caught up in the tear gas… From the back, we watched the Hungarian police fire water cannon…”

Television reports showed the very real injuries sustained by asylum seekers, with pictures of ambulances arriving on the Serbian side of the border after the firing of tear gas and water cannon led to a stampede of refugees seeking safety. Many, including children, suffered from the impact of tear gas.

Protesters, mainly young men, were filmed facing off against police and pouring water over their eyes and covering their faces. People received medical treatment from the Serbian ambulance service. Two children were injured in the clashes after they were thrown over the security fence, an adviser to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on TV.

The clash occurred at a border crossing between the Hungarian town of Röszke and Horgos in Serbia, one of the main frontier crossings in the European Union. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said he had demanded that Serbia act against migrants who “attacked” police on the border. “Police are taking lawful and proportionate measures to protect the Hungarian state border and the external frontier of the European Union,” the government declared in a statement.

While Serbia has protested the firing of tear gas into its territory, Hungary has ordered the border crossing with Serbia to be suspended for 30 days.

A reported 373 people, including 73 children, entered Croatia from Serbia after the Hungarian border fence closure. The Guardian reported that mine cleaners had been despatched to the Croatian frontier “amid concerns that refugees may inadvertently stray” into “minefields left over from Croatia’s 1991-95 war.”

Hungary boasted of a drop in migrants entering the country from 9,380 on Monday to 366 on Tuesday. That day, it declared a crisis in two southern counties, stating that the border zone there would be extended to 60 meters from 10 meters to accommodate the expected swell of refugees trapped there. Orbán told Austria’s Die Presse that Hungary would now build a fence along parts of its border with [fellow European member] Croatia.

The brutal treatment of refugees has been documented by aid agencies as well as reporters. The Guardian cited Muntada Aid official Kabir Miah explaining, “What we witnessed at Röszke shocked us. We saw women, children, babies and elderly people being herded into an open field where they were kept for days without shelter, exposed to the cold and rain.

“On Monday night it was raining and the refugees burned anything they could find, including wet blankets, to keep themselves warm. Children were suffering asthma attacks from inhaling the smoke. Diabetics were having fits as no insulin was available. One person was coughing blood. There were no doctors.”

Miah explained that the largely Muslim refugees were repeatedly and over several days offered only pork salami sandwiches to eat by police, despite repeated appeals and protests.

Zahir Habbal, a 29-year-old Syrian, told of how his request for asylum was summarily denied after a few perfunctory questions. He was one of just 16 or so applicants whose appeals were “heard” Tuesday, with all of them “turned down in a maximum 20 minutes.”

The suffering is underscored by a report by Germany’s chamber of psychotherapists that half of those refugees who have made it to Germany are suffering from “psychological illness” such as post-traumatic stress disorder, including one in five children. “Forty percent have already had suicidal thoughts or have even attempted to kill themselves,” the organisation reported.

Whatever official criticisms are levelled against Hungary, all of the major European powers are responding in a similarly brutal fashion. Both Britain and Germany have sent troops to the Mediterranean to clamp down on people smugglers. The UK’s Royal Navy frigate, HMS Richmond, is to take part in a blockade-style naval operation, described as a “more aggressive” phase two of a European Union initiative.

Austria has closed its border with Hungary, while the Austrian rail operator EBB yesterday suspended its service between Salzburg and Germany. This was done under instructions from the Merkel government in Berlin, which has closed its borders with Austria and the Czech Republic and sent hundreds of border guards to Bavaria to stop refugees crossing.

British Home Secretary Theresa May told Parliament Monday that the government was opposed to any European Union-wide quota system for taking in refugees and relocating “120,000 people already in Europe.” She supported the creation of “screening centres” in refugee “hotspots”—a de facto endorsement of the measures put into practice by Hungary. “Claiming asylum must not be viewed as an easy means of resettlement in Europe,” she insisted.

Refugee crisis: UN Secretary General urges compassion as Hungary fires tear gas at refugees: here.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

German politicians and media promote military intervention in Syria

17 September 2015

The German elite are using the refugee crisis in Europe to intensify their campaign for militarism and war. Since the government sealed the borders to stop the flow of refugees into Germany, politicians and the media have been pushing for a military intervention in Syria.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) led the way on Sunday. On the same day he announced Germany would reintroduce border controls, telling the German newspaper Die Zeit that Europe has “not acted decisively enough in its foreign and security policies.”

Although “the West bombed Libya,” they had “ended engagement as soon as the dictator was gone,” complained the interior minister. He added that “The fight against Syrian dictator Assad and the so-called ‘Islamic State (IS)’ was also not being carried out with the necessary determination.” One cannot stand by and “watch the killing any longer,” he added.

De Maizière exemplifies the militarist turn of German foreign policy during the last two years. In 2012, when he served as minister of defense, he criticized proponents of military intervention in Syria as “coffeehouse intellectuals” who “call for the deployment of soldiers without having to be accountable for it.” Now he raises the possible deployment of ground troops in the fight against IS in order to defend the interests of German imperialism in the Middle East.

To quote de Maizière: “We need a security strategy. One cannot defeat IS out of thin air. One cannot rely on the fight of the Kurdish Peshmerga on the ground alone.”

Wolfgang Ischinger sang the same tune in an interview with the Münchner Merkur Tuesday. The leader of the Munich Security Conference also called for military intervention in Syria and even sending in German ground troops if necessary.

A “comprehensive political strategy” (Ischinger refers to the proposal of Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to establish a large Syrian Contact Group, taking Moscow and Tehran into account) would “only be credible […] if it is backed by credible military options.”

The EU would have to “be able to talk seriously about questions like protection zones in Syria for the millions of refugees” and “speak with the US and other nations about possible flight bans in and around Syria.” According to Ischinger, anyone who could not commit to that, should not “be surprised when hundreds of thousands or millions of refugees land here.”

The use of the German military was, therefore, “obvious.” While Germany had “wrongly looked away” before, it has now learned “with difficulty and somewhat late, that looking away does not free us from responsibility,” he said. “Inactivity” has consequences and the Syrian conflict had now “come crashing on our doorstep.”

The entire Middle East is “on the verge of a great explosion” and the “threat of instability spilling over” is enormous. With regard to ground troops, he would “not rule anything out.” For that, however, one would also have to “engage Syria’s neighbors in the region.” What was not permissible, according to Ischinger, was “the planning of crusade-style events”.

The war and propaganda strategies of the German elite are as repugnant as they are transparent. In reality, the “great explosion” of the Middle East, with its dramatic consequences, is not the result of “looking away” or “inactivity.” It is the result of the neo-colonial war policies of the West, which de Maizière, Ischinger and Co. now want to massively expand.

The rise of IS and the suffering of millions of refugees, which the German elite now uses as a pretext for direct military intervention in Syria, are direct results of previous interventions that left entire countries in ruins and cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Among them are, above all, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the NATO bombardment of Libya in 2011 and the civil war in Syria instigated by the West.

If anything is “explosive,” it is the offensive of the German government. While it did not, officially at least, participate in the wars in Iraq and Libya, it is now using the consequences of these illegal crusades to secure its piece of the pie in the redistribution of the Middle East and to promote the return of German imperialism on the world stage.

An interview with Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) in the Monday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung underscores just how aggressive Berlin has become. Schäuble, who embodies more than anyone the role of the German “task master” of Europe with his brutal stance toward Greece, now demands, under the title “We cannot duck away,” proceeding with the drive to war despite the anti-militarist sentiments of the majority of the population.

According to Schäuble, Europe will naturally have to engage more strongly in Syria, and “in Germany we will have to get used to taking on even more foreign policy responsibility.” That the German population is “skeptical, even hostile” was “no badge of honor for Germany.” The government will have to “take note of it” but must “not be content with it.” Germany “cannot duck away.”

Then he threatens: “I know that especially in foreign policy we’ve come a long way since 1990. But we are far from finished. We must adjust to that. Our policies must show that we have the courage to lead, even when the opinion polls seem to speak another language.”

That is the voice of war and dictatorship! A further comment in the weekend edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung made clear how far German ruling circles are prepared to go in carrying out their reactionary plans. Under the title “The Order of the Day,” reserve officer Reinhard Müller argues not only for “an intervention” in Syria and a “robust” deployment for the “home front protection” of refugees, but also for the deployment of the military within Germany.

After noting that the military was until now on call only “as a kind of armed, technical aid organization,” he dresses up further demands in the form of questions: “Or must the military be used for the defense of housing accommodations? Or should it enable or prevent right-wing and left-wing extremist demonstrations, in case the police force is too weak?”

“Necessity knows no law,” concludes Müller.

It should be recalled that Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg justified the invasion of Belgium by Reich Defense on August 4, 1914 with precisely these notorious words. “We are now in a state of necessity, and necessity knows no law,” said the Reich Chancellor. “Our troops have occupied Luxemburg, perhaps already entered Belgian territory. Gentlemen, this is a breach of international law […] the wrong that we are committing we will endeavor to repair as soon as our military goal has been reached.”

Poll shows 81 percent of Syrians believe US created ISIS: here.