And an Unnoticed, Resurgent Revanchism in Germany.
Troubled Times Ahead: NATO Gears Up for Major, Violent Clashes.
The last NATO summit, held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July 2023, offered a mixed bag of some good news and a lot of bad and troubling news.
First the Good News:
Ukraine’s accession to the military alliance has been postponed indefinitely. If President Zelensky’s request, supported by American neocons and European war hawks for immediate admission had been granted, Article 5 (NATO members’ mutual assistance obligation) might already have been invoked and NATO would have been drawn into a direct war with Russia. It is reassuring that we are not (yet) in World War III.
The Bad News
We are firmly back in the Cold War. NATO has set all the course for this at the summit in Vilnius. The public is being prepared for an endless conflict with Russia and potentially another one with China. Armament is sold as the solution.
As befits an aggressive war alliance, NATO is now consistently gearing up for the big war that may follow the Cold War. NATO’s media partners will undoubtedly do their best to stir up sentiment and whip up the citizens of Western countries with the appropriate fear propaganda against Russia and China.
Remarkably, the author of the book “Ukraine, Zbig’s Grand Chessboard” published seven years before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, prophetically foresaw the warlike development. Rather than dissolve NATO after the dissolution of its Soviet counterpart, former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew “Zbig” Brzezinski and other influential U.S. hawks wanted to use NATO to expand U.S. global dominance and not only maintain but accelerate arms purchases and sales. Thus, “Zbig” proclaimed that “an expanded NATO will serve well both the short-term and longer-term goals of U.S. policy.” Significantly, he “designated” Ukraine as the key country to defeat Russia. It appears that attempts are now being made to vigorously implement this move.
NATO and its Propaganda Myth of a Purely Defensive Alliance
We should start with the establishment of NATO and its Eastern counterpart to comprehend how this came about: The Federal Republic of Germany was brought into the Western military alliance by its transatlantic Chancellor Konrad Adenauer not long after all the sacred oaths were taken, guaranteeing that war would not come from Germany again after the civilizational catastrophe of World War II, similar to how Japan would refrain from any military buildup. The Federal Republic of Germany was firmly enmeshed in the U.S.-led NATO, making it better to manage than to remain outside, so the U.S. welcomed it. NATO also served as a tool of discipline.
Eight countries from the Eastern Bloc founded the Warsaw Pact in response to that, I repeat: in response to that. So the Eastern Defense Alliance was sparked by West Germany’s rearmament rather than the other way around!
The Warsaw Pact dissolved together with the Soviet Union. With the elimination of the much-vaunted Warsaw Pact threat, NATO could also have dissolved. Instead it carried out its so-called eastward expansion, growing to 28 members, contrary to the commitment to expand “Not One Inch Eastward.” As a result, Russia felt increasingly encircled — and betrayed.
To make matters worse, in 2001 – after the September 11 attacks – NATO not only declared a state of alliance emergency, but German troops also invaded Afghanistan, supposedly to defend democracy in the Hindu Kush, as German politicians claimed. Even more serious was the military intervention with German participation in the so-called Kosovo War, where NATO carried out terrorist air strikes on what was then Yugoslavia and on Belgrade, among other places. This was certainly illegal under international law, since there was no UN mandate for it; moreover, the bombing of Belgrade was very likely a war crime.
This brings us to the question: why was NATO created in the first place? NATO’s first Secretary General, Briton Hastings Ismay, defined its purpose as “keeping the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down” in Europe. A European power center, driven by cheap Russian energy and raw materials and German technology, was to be prevented by all means. More than 70 years after the Alliance’s founding, this strategy has not changed. Only, since the defeat of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe has become an important place for the implementation of this strategy.
The Driving Forces behind NATO Expansion
Many prominent figures in the U.S. political establishment originally opposed NATO-expansion: Robert M. Gates, who served as Secretary of Defense in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, warned against NATO expansion, as did Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, who wrote that NATO expansion was neither necessary nor desirable, and Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s Secretary of State, who predicted war in Ukraine. George Kennan, the intellectual father of U.S. containment policy during the Cold War, issued a stark warning against NATO enlargement in a May 1998 interview with The New York Times, calling it a “tragic mistake” and declaring that “there is no reason for it at all.”
Nor were the voices of countless other prominent U.S. foreign policy leaders, including former senators, military officers, diplomats, and academics, who had warned against NATO expansion decades ago taken seriously.
President Biden could not, or would not, recall that as a senator and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he also assessed NATO expansion as a dangerous Western provocation of Russia and warned that it would provoke “a vigorous and hostile response from Russia.”
Matthew Hoh, deputy director of the Eisenhower Media Network, explains why NATO expansion went through anyway: “At the end of the Cold War, the military-industrial complex faced an existential crisis. Without an adversary like the Soviet Union, justifying massive arms spending by the United States would be difficult. NATO expansion allowed for new markets. Countries coming into NATO would be required to upgrade their armed forces, replacing their Soviet-era stocks with Western weapons, ammunition, machines, hardware and software compatible with NATO’s armies. Entire armies, navies and air forces had to be remade. NATO expansion was a cash bonanza for a weapons industry that originally saw destitution as the fruit of the Cold War’s end. From 1996–1998, US arms companies spent $51 million ($94 million today) lobbying Congress. Millions more were spent on campaign donations. Beating swords into plowshares would have to wait for another epoch once the weapons industry realized the promise of Eastern European markets.”
A Massive Arms Boom
The message was reiterated at the last NATO summit: Because its member states must prepare for a protracted conflict with Russia, it’s “arm, arm, arm!” Especially because, following the proxy war in Ukraine, the arsenals of many member states already have large gaps. In the coming years, the arms industry will boom like never before.
The New York Times drew a parallel with the Cold War in its analysis. The conflict with Russia could “drag on for years,” the Americans are already preparing for it and probably mean decades. U.S. President Biden drummed as Washington did 70 years ago: NATO will stand up to Russia “for as long as it takes.”
But not with its own troops, because Washington fears, like the devil fears holy water, that American body bags would literally return in frightening numbers.
A significant benefit of the Ukrainians’ war against Russia, fought under NATO training, arming, and guidance, is that no NATO troops had to be deployed on the ground, preventing the dreaded body bags that would have been returned from Ukraine. In his 1993 piece titled “Toward a New World Order: The Future of NATO,” the billionaire oligarch and financier George Soros, who is frequently portrayed as a humanist, advocated for a hard-nosed geopolitical strategy for the “new world order.” He acknowledged that NATO countries had no desire for “body bags,” suggesting instead that Eastern Europeans could take on that role. And that is exactly what the Ukrainians are doing now.
The “Forces for Good”: America’s top foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, is meeting with her friend George Soros. She had urged a “hard line on China and Russia.” The German Green Party minister who is practicing a “feminist foreign policy” publicly declared “a war against Russia,” which must please her American patrons. She also promised support for Ukraine as long as it is needed “no matter what my German voters think.” (Screenshot Tweet Annalena Baerbock)
In order to assume the role assigned to it, Eastern Europe, especially the Baltic states, is being massively rearmed. Eastern European soldiers, equipped with mainly American weapons, are to fight on the front lines.
Comedian Zelensky: “I have been a Banderist for three weeks now. That’s the only way to make career in Ukraine. (…) Please send me Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf.’ It’s sold out here.” NATO offers further career opportunities, as it also trains and uses Eastern European elites like “Agent Zelensky,” who became president, to turn their countrymen into cannon fodder for NATO.
And with Sky Shield, Washington, from a safe distance across the ocean, even wants to include the neutral countries of Austria and Switzerland in NATO’s Eastern European theater of war. The Alliance explicitly mentions that more air defense systems and more long-range artillery and missile systems (against Russia) are planned.
What else does the buildup mean besides massively increased military budgets and higher tax burdens for European citizens? The current 40,000 NATO troops on combat readiness are to be increased to 300,000. Germany will provide its own division for this purpose. 65 aircraft and 20 ships (after Sweden’s accession, the Baltic Sea is almost completely, with the exception of the Kaliningrad enclave, NATO waters) will be assigned “special tasks”.
The casualties of the devastating illegal wars of aggression by the U.S. and its NATO allies in the Middle East and Afghanistan have resulted in millions of refugees overrunning Europe and severely straining its economy and its social and cultural fabric – and not that of the U.S. [Photo credit: Polaris]
A Striking NATO Civilizational Achievement
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi inherited one of the poorest countries in Africa when he took power in Libya. However, Libya was undoubtedly the wealthiest country in Africa by the time he was bombed out of office by NATO and assassinated.
In Africa, Libya had the highest GDP per capita and life expectancy, and its poverty rate was lower than that of the Netherlands. In addition to free healthcare and free education, Libyans also had free electricity and interest-free loans available to them.
With tens of thousands of deaths and a failed state with “little hope” for the future, NATO’s illegal bombing of Libya in 2011 put an end to the nation’s exceptional prosperity in comparison to other African nations. Under Gaddafi’s rule, girls who attended school and were safe now ran the risk of being sold into slavery. NATO once again displayed its true colors, despite its claims to uphold superior moral principles.
German Revanchism is Back
Germany was aggressive, imperialistic, and dangerous during the first half of the 20th century. It left behind millions of unnecessary war deaths as well as the unspeakable atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. In the first half of the 1940s the German “master race” fought a race war against the slavic “subhumans” (“Untermenschen”) in the Soviet Union killing dozens of millions of people. At the time, Russophobia was in vogue in Germany, as it has recently come back into fashion.
Germany demilitarized at the insistence of the victorious Allies after being humiliated and defeated in 1945. Soon after, it enacted a constitution that forbade “wars of aggression.” Germans were aware of their troubled past and refused to use violence as a tool in future foreign policy. Franz Josef Strauss, an influential conservative politician who would later become Bavaria’s prime minister, proclaimed in 1949, “Whoever wants to pick up a rifle again, let his hand fall off.” After Russia invaded Ukraine eight decades later, Germany flexes its muscles once more and rebuilds its armed forces. Olaf Scholz, the chancellor, referred to the Ukraine War as a “Zeitenwende” or “turning point.” He has promised to immediately increase military spending by more than $100 billion, earning the enthusiastic support of the German parliament.
One of his great predecessors, Willy Brandt, who belonged to the SPD, the same Social Democratic party as Scholz, had initiated the “Ostpolitik,” a policy of détente with the countries of the Eastern bloc and the expansion of trade relations with them. In 1970, treaties were signed with the Soviet Union renouncing the use of force in their relations and with Poland recognizing Germany’s 1945 losses east of the Oder-Neisse line. This policy was continued by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who also belonged to the SPD. Despite years of Christian Democratic opposition to the social-liberal government’s Ostpolitik, subsequent governments under conservative Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU) continued the foreign policies of the previous Brandt and Schmidt governments in their basic outlines.
However, the new “Ostpolitik” of the current German government is the exact opposite: instead of peaceful coexistence and cooperation, including economic and cultural exchanges with Russia, it is cutting ties and carrying out an aggressive military buildup and threatening Moscow. It also relies on sanctions (the weapon of hunger) with the openly stated intention of “ruining Russia.”
No wonder Germany has become Ukraine’s second-largest arms supplier after the United States. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged a new arms package worth 700 million euros at the NATO summit in Vilnius, including additional tanks, ammunition and Patriot air defense systems, putting Berlin at the forefront of military support for Ukraine, he said.
No German party is as vehemently committed to rearming Ukraine and Germany as Annalena Baerbock’s Die Grünen, the second party in the government. The fact that it was once a party of pacifists and even ran in the last election campaign with the slogan “No weapons and armaments to war zones” has been completely forgotten. But renegades are known to be the biggest fanatics.
Image below Los Angeles Times headline: Chancellor Olaf Scholz ending Germany’s supposed anti-war experiment.
Germany has been at the forefront of recent events in Ukraine, which it actively helped shape, including the events that triggered Russia’s invasion in 2022. Former Foreign Minister and current President Frank-Walter Steinmeier played a crucial role to align Germany with the neo-Nazi elements during the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Kiev in 2014 and was subsequently involved in the implementation of the Minsk Agreement (“Steinmeier formula”), which former German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted was nothing but window dressing.
When recent criticism arose over the U.S. supply of cluster bombs to Ukraine, which is banned by more than 100 countries, including Germany, Steinmeier demanded, “in the current situation, we should not put any obstacles in the way of the United States.” The U.S. is notorious for large-scale use of cluster bombs, for example in Vietnam and Laos, where it dropped millions of tons of such bombs that kill indiscriminately over a large area. Those that fail continue to pose a danger for decades. Almost 50 years after the end of the Vietnam War, children in Laos and Vietnam are still stepping on them and being killed or maimed.
After Germany lost World War I, the victorious powers (the United States, Great Britain, France, and other allied states) imposed territorial, military, and economic penalties on Germany in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. In the west, Germany had to cede to France Alsace and Lorraine, which had belonged to Germany since 1871. Belgium received Eupen and Malmedy, and Denmark was awarded Northern Schleswig. In the east, Poland received parts of West Prussia and Silesia from Germany. Czechoslovakia received the district of Hulchin from Germany, and Memel, a small strip of territory in East Prussia on the Baltic Sea, was added to Lithuania. Outside Europe, Germany lost all its colonies. In all, Germany forfeited 13 percent of its European territory (more than 69,929 square kilometers or 27,000 square miles) and one-tenth of its population (between 6.5 and 7 million people). For Germans, this was a staggering humiliation and a driving force that helped Hitler’s revanchist Nazi party to power.
After Germany lost World War II, the country did not fare much better: it was forced to cede all of its land east of the Oder-Neisse line, including the provinces of East Prussia, West Prussia, Silesia, and the eastern half of Pomerania, to Poland. Millions of Germans fled or were expelled from these areas.
M.K. Bhadrakumar, former Indian ambassador and prominent international observer, notes that the Ukraine crisis has created the framework for accelerated militarization of Germany. He goes on to say that in parallel, revanchist sentiments are resurgent and there is a “cross-party consensus” among the leading German parties (in government and opposition) – CDU, SPD, FPD and Greens – in this regard. Basically, he says, Germany’s motivation stems from its crushing defeat at the hands of the Red Army and has little to do with Ukraine per se. As an example, he cites leading foreign and defense expert Roderich Kiesewetter of the CDU, who would be considered for defense minister in a future CDU-led government, calling for NATO to cut off Kaliningrad from Russian supply lines. Berlin still suffers from the phantom pain of the cession of the former northern East Prussia, including the German city of Königsberg (renamed Kaliningrad), to the Soviet Union.
In the past, European borders have often changed, and it is possible that the ongoing war in Ukraine will change Ukraine’s territorial borders to the east and south. It could also revisit the post-World War II settlement for western Ukraine.
Eastern migration, which lasted for more than a millennium, resulted in Germans living throughout Central and Eastern Europe, all the way to Russia. The existence of these enclaves was occasionally used by German nationalists to justify territorial claims.
Poland seems to want to reverse the cession of Volhynia and Galicia in western Ukraine. Such a turn of events will certainly bring to the fore the question of the German territories that now belong to Poland. Under the Potsdam Conference of 1945, the “former eastern territories of Germany” comprising nearly one quarter (23.8 percent) of the Weimar Republic had to be ceded to Poland. The remainder, consisting of northern East Prussia including the German city of Königsberg (renamed Kaliningrad), was allocated to the Soviet Union.
Says Bhadrakumar: “Make no mistake about the importance of the eastern border for German culture and politics. Indeed, there is always something volatile about a ‘handicapped’ Great Power when a whole new intensity appears in political, economic and historical circumstances, which prompts those in power to turn ideas into reality, and revanchist and imperialistic discourses that were quietly but steadily streaming below the surface of the carefully considered diplomatic efforts begin to probe pan-nationalist expansion.”
Indeed, there have been attempts in the past to establish German rule in the Baltic States based on revisionist claims against the new states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, where German colonists had settled as early as the 12th and 13th centuries.
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) said two weeks ago during a visit to Vilnius that Germany was preparing the infrastructure to permanently station 4,000 troops (“a robust brigade”) in Lithuania to maintain military flexibility on its eastern flank. No wonder CDU foreign policy expert and member of the Bundestag Kiesewetter called the idea of a German base in the Baltics a “decision of reason and reliability.”
Some believe that the United States has a lot of kompromat on leading German politicians who are systematically monitored by the NSA. Chancellor Scholz was a key figure in a huge fraud involving 100 banks and 1,000 suspects, and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has falsified her resume beyond recognition, plagiarized her writings and concealed her past. They are an ideal blackmail target to ensure that they adopt U.S. policy uncritically, no matter how damaging it is to German interests. But the hatred and campaign against Russia has gripped all politicians of the leading German parties and the mass media.
It is striking how the German President of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen, as well as politicians of the German government, have even driven the rule of law as it applies in Western countries to the wall by negating the presumption of innocence and the right of rich Russians to defend themselves and by abolishing the guarantee of property. The parallel with the treatment of rich Jews, who were also under general suspicion in the early days of National Socialism, cannot be denied. Money, houses, cars and other possessions were taken away from a maligned group under general suspicion without trial in the 1930s, as is happening again today.
A leftover from earlier times? European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen comes from a German aristocratic family with previous ties to the Nazis and is a fierce advocate of confiscating the property of Russian citizens. Her grandfather joined the Wehrmacht in 1940 and was a staunch Nazi. He reached the rank of staff sergeant and led an “anti-Partisan” unit on the Soviet Eastern Front that hunted down resistance groups, helped capture the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, and participated in the heinous Babiy Yar massacre in September 1941 in which more than 33,000 Jews living in Kiev were brutally murdered. [Headline source: Bloomberg]
Russian athletes are another group collectively punished for the actions of their government. The ancient Olympic Games in Greece allowed for dialogue, discussion and peace between city-states that were otherwise constantly at war. Yet German politicians, media, and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) demanded and succeeded in banning Russian athletes from international sports competitions.
Even normal families traveling via Germany to a southern European vacation destination have their cars taken away by German customs authorities just because they are Russian!
Another analogy to Germany’s dark past: German politicians, sports and cultural officials, and the media have once again stirred up hysteria against everything Russian, not only against oligarchs and other rich Russians, but also against Russian culture, music, art, literature, and painting.
Left: Title page of the book “Forbidden Music: The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis”. Right: News about Russian artists and athletes who were collectively banned because of their government’s actions.
They used to wear brown, but today they wear green and other political colors: Ursula von der Leyen and other German politicians are again at the forefront of efforts to “punish” a group under general suspicion. They are also once again supplying large quantities of weapons to war zones, even though German law prohibits it. Historically, Germany has a rather short history as a constitutional state, but its current rulers are again eager to bring it down.
Left: One of the German soldiers in World War I (1914-1918) who fought the Russians with rifles, among other weapons, wears a pickelhauben helmet. Right: One of today’s German Woke journalists with a Mohawk haircut, regularly firing rhetorical poison darts against Russia and others who are not among the “forces of good.”
Finally, the German icing on the cake at the last NATO summit was the announcement by Rheinmetall, the big 135-year-old German defense contractor, that it will open an armored vehicle plant in western Ukraine at an undisclosed location in the next 12 weeks. It will be protected by German and other NATO-supplied air defense systems and other measures. Germany will regain its footing where it has long wanted to be.
Anka Feldhusen, German ambassador to Ukraine, poses with a plush model of a Leopard tank that will soon be produced in Ukraine. The German battle tank is currently tearing Russian soldiers and possibly civilians to pieces in the Donbass. Eight decades ago, German tanks already rolled into Russia in the largest land offensive in human history, helping to slaughter millions of Russians. Is that perhaps the real reason this German government official calls them her “favorite toy”? (Screenshot Tweet Anka Feldhusen)
America’s Grand Plan Unchallenged in Europe, but Highly Controversial in Asia
The US-led war alliance is very ambitious. Sweden is the 32nd full member, so the alliance continues to grow. The next countries to join the alliance will be Ireland, Austria and Switzerland, if all goes as Washington would like. In light of the escalating conflict with China over the island of Taiwan, which is part of its territory under international law and is being fomented by the United States, the alliance also has its sights set on Asia, such as Japan.
This raises alarm in Beijing. NATO is the source of numerous threats, China says. The West is urgently warned against NATO expansion in Asia. China’s ambassador to the United Nations declared: “China has never invaded any other country, and never launched a proxy war. China doesn’t threaten other countries with the use of military force, and interfere in other countries’ internal affairs. Could NATO countries do the same?” According to the Australian television station Sky News, demonstrations against NATO’s expansion into Asia are taking place in Japan and other Pacific Rim countries. In Taiwan, too, most citizens are concerned about the United States’ confrontational policy. Neither Taiwanese nor Mainland China want war. Mass protests are also expected in South Korea if the government there, which pursues U.S. rather than Korean interests, gets too close to NATO. “Where NATO goes, war is very likely – Australia should take note,” Independent Australia warns.
Europe’s political and media elite submits largely compliantly to U.S. interests and offers little resistance to the hegemon America’s grand chess plan, designed decades ago by American strategists such as Polish-American Zbig Brezinski. Asia, however, could become a very different and less easy game for them. This is a glimmer of hope for all who are not war profiteers and fear conflict and violence on a grand scale.