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Monday, November 4, 2013

U.S. cont’ anachronistic breach in relations; other nations watch, wait

A Nation incapable of being true ally is also incapable of securing trust of other nations 
From Spiegel International Online, excerpt, minor editing by Carolyn Bennett

Lawbreakers’ Club

“…The Americans’ only real friends are the members of the coalition of Anglophone countries known as the ‘Five Eyes,’” consisting of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who maintain “an informal agreement among their intelligence agencies not to spy on each other” and to “closely cooperate and exchange highly sensitive information. …

“… The Five Eyes collaborate on spying operations throughout Europe, drone attacks and the rendition of suspected ‘terrorists’.

These are dirty operations that would immediately be reviewed by an investigative committee if they were conducted by a German intelligence agency.

Not surprisingly, the German government has no inclination to become a member of this dubious club.
Espionage against nonmembers

Most Washington observers agree that the operation against German Chancellor Angela Merkel could not have been launched in 2002 without the approval of then-U. S. President George W. Bush. The surveillance campaign began shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when the United States was preparing unprovoked, violent aggression against an ancient sovereign nation: the Republic of Iraq situated in Western Asia encompassing the Mesopotamian alluvial plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert.

There are many indications that a spying campaign began back then ─ a campaign that was not only directed against Chancellor Merkel, but also against leaders of other allied countries. Yet, to this day, U.S. intelligence agencies feel themselves justified in what they have done.

Britain Prime Minister
David Cameron
German Chancellor
Angela Merkel
This is from Spiegel International’s “Codependent: Merkel’s Pragmatic Approach to the NSA Scandal

Chancellor Merkel, the authors correctly observe, “has every reason to be angry.”

Nothing over the past few years has strained ties between Germany and the United States more than the revelation that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been tapping the cell phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. And the chancellor, the article says, does not know what should upset her more:

…the chutzpah of a so-called friend who listens to her phone calls,
…or Americans’ inability to keep it a secret

As she was deceived “by an unscrupulous [U.S.] intelligence agency”, the chancellor “has every reason to be angry”; but she faces a dilemma, difficulty in finding the appropriate response. The article continues:

Angela Merkel does not want to go down in history as a chancellor who allowed herself to be pushed around by her American big brother. On the other hand, she doesn’t want to rock the boat too much.

Her first move following the outrage over her tapped cell phone was to send a delegation of top-ranking German officials to Washington, including foreign policy adviser  Christoph
Heusgen and Günter Heiss, the foreign intelligence coordinator at the Chancellery.

For some time now, many Germans have become uncomfortable, Spiegel says, “with the notion that [Germany is] at the mercy of U.S. intelligence agencies”; many politicians and officials have been considering or reconsidering projects that would bring independence: German “sovereignty in the world of espionage.”

Although the chancellor was initially dismayed by U.S. actions ─ an occurrence that was published widely on news pages throughout the world ─ and the German government considered “a wide range of possible sanctions” against the United States; for now, the chancellor “has come to terms with the fact” that imposing “sanctions on the Americans would be counterproductive for Germany. “Instead,” Spiegel says. “Merkel can console herself with practical thoughts:

German Chancellor
Angela Merkel
She has just won an election victory and she can look forward to at least another four years as chancellor.

U.S. President Barack Obama, on the other hand, is already one year into his last term in office.

[And] In two years, at the latest, the U.S. president will be a lame duck at major international summits whereas Chancellor Merkel will be received as Europe’s most powerful woman.

Sources and notes

“Codependent: Merkel’s Pragmatic Approach to the NSA Scandal: Chancellor Merkel might be furious about the NSA's unscrupulous surveillance activities, but reluctance to anger her partners in Washington prevents her from imposing sanctions. Trade issues aside, Germany itself depends heavily on intelligence gathered by the U.S. agency. By SPIEGEL Staff : BY RALF NEUKIRCH, RENÉ PFISTER, LAURA POITRAS, MARCEL ROSENBACH, JÖRG SCHINDLER, FIDELIUS SCHMID AND HOLGER STARK.  Translated from the German by Paul Cohen, SPIEGEL ONLINE, 11/04/2013 05:59 PM, URL:


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