As villages and big city dwellers here in Germany fume, Merkel attempts to stay the course on harboring refugees. Some experts contend that the once unflappable Merkel will go down with the sinking ship of EU refugee policy.
Regardless of any good intentions on Merkel’s part, even stalwart supporters wonder at the wisdom of German policy as usual. Another question at hand is, can Merkel and the EU survive, after dealing under the table or over the top, with what Putin call’s the accomplices of terror?
This weekend the baying hounds of Merkel opponents are barking out angry attacks professing the German leader’s folly. Even the once friendly right-wing coalition partners, the Christian Social Union (CSU), seems to echo the overall fear and dismay at Germany’s stand on asylum. The broad coalition that put the CDU and Merkel in power seems ready to explode underneath the pressures, both internal, and external.
The bad economy, friction in between America and Russia, the escalation of the Syria debacle, terror, asylum seekers, NATO nations shooting down Russian warplanes, it’s no wonder Mrs. Merkel has been a bit out of the limelight lately. With even EU viability being called into question, the German Chancellor is still talking about “inner-European solidarity,” when acute forces of turmoil threaten to rip the Europe experiment apart at the seams.
Here near Germany’s oldest city of Trier, and in the surrounding villages, upset and misinformation run amok of reason. There’s almost a panic since even before the Paris terrorist event, the same sort of fearful malcontent we’re used to seeing on the fringes, it’s now prevalent even among the silent majority. Everyone from the postman to the local truck driver carrying construction equipment for building temporary refugee shelters has an opinion, some sensational story to tell all he or she comes into contact with.
While it’s true enough there’s mobile units going up near the sports police station, across from the local sports fields, the “terror game” has everyone concerned. Rumor has it 2,000 refugees will clog the facility near our offices, when in reality no more than 180 human beings could inhabit such a refuge. But reality has a way of dissipating as the news and fervor of international events get more sensational. It is this Mrs. Merkel truly has to deal with, for its certain her opponents see the trend.
The seriousness of this situation cannot really be understated. The battle Angela Merkel is trying to fight with her “can do” attitude on the outside is all but lost in a world growing ever more ethnocentric.
So called ausländers (foreigners) have never been all that popular in Germany, and the negative connotation grows steadily worse with each suicide bombing, with every staccato firing of an Ak-47 by ISIL [Daesh].
On the inside, Germany just wants to be left alone in its Frankfurt banking brand of harmonious living, wine and beer fests, along with the daily grind sooth the populace here, just as football games and Walmart shopping serve America. Only here, in a place where violence seldom takes place, there’s a volcanic reactive force to coincide. Merkel and her constituents know this, but something urges her onward toward policies destined to fail.
To make matters much worse, the downing of the Russian Su-24 fighter bomber by Turkey has added a new dimension to the whole EU-NATO-Russia paradox.
Russian’s seem to have finally lost all patience with being the “fall guys” of world foreign policy. Mr. Putin’s comments on “back stabbing” were not just meant for Turkey’s President Erdoğan. Merkel, Hollande, Barack Obama, and other key leaders met at the G20 days before what some considered an act of war by a NATO member state.
It’s no secret that Putin at that rendezvous, extended a mighty and dominant hand concerning just what has been going on in the Middle East. And in a world where very strange coincidences in foreign policy are the norm, the splitting up of alliances and deals is the rule. Strangely, Deutsche Welle quotes Mrs.
Merkel naming Turkey as “key partners” for stemming the flow of refugees into Europe. More alarming than German-Turkish brotherhood for eastern Europeans though, was her suggestion before the Bundestag that Balkan or other immigrant flows are currently, or might be curtailed in favor of taking the more “needy” Syrian asylum seekers.
As far as “cohesiveness” with EU and NATO membership, the Turkey nod, along with Germany sending 650 German Bundeswehr soldiers to assist a French-led peacekeeping mission in the wake of the Mali hotel attacks, this does send a clear message on foreign policy. Angela Merkel is still walking the Washington to Moscow tightrope. As for her internal strategies, she’s clearly in danger of falling off on the side of this circus, and into Obama-Neocon allegiance gallery.
Towing the “party line” will eventually send Merkel to the sidelines, as many experts contend. But what’s worse, the powder keg that Europe is fast becoming, could detonate something no one has seen in 70 years. Even if ultimate war with Russia does not occur, the already splintered EU will certainly depart violently on its fringes.
With Barack Obama relentlessly embarking on anti-Russia rhetoric, sooner or later EU citizens will balk in mass. The White House out and out lied when Obama proclaimed Turkey had the right to defend its airspace, the Pentagon knew full well the exact course of Russian planes that fateful day. For my part, the American president has taken a literal license from the American people’s apathy on these affairs, to exceed the boundaries of that executive office.
Horror stories already emerge, such as the one of a real estate lady harangued by migrants for simply “making eye contact” with a male. That story of cultural integration horror was later morphed into past Germany nightmarish when Facebook people called the woman a Nazi Bitch for complaining. Like I said earlier, Germany and the world are reverting to ethnocentric fragmentation, at a time when integration has never been more sorely needed. The short version is, genocide could begin to spread from ISIL horrors to the sidewalks of any European hometown. The fuse has already been lighted by such as former German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich:
‘We can only unreliably estimate how many of them are Islamic State fighters or Islamist “sleepers”… no other country in the world would be so naive and starry-eyed as to expose itself to such a risk.’
Chancellor Merkel can be credited with at least one accomplishment these last 24 months. She’s managed to get by with the biggest circus balancing act in recent history, serving an apparent master in Washington, attempting to mediate in between the west and Vladimir Putin, and in paying mostly lip service to all other dire needs.
Not to be too harsh, Merkel seems to disappear at the hint of external unpleasantness. And when she does reappear, lip service like sending “reconnaissance” jets to help kill ISIL betrays a wishy-washy commitment to saving Parisian’s or Berliners from the inevitable. Killing ISIL is a lot more about supporting Russia and the legitimate leader of Syria, along with penalizing those that would fund terror, than it is about unneeded bombs or airplanes. Russia and the US have plenty of both Mrs. Merkel. How about Germany and France fix the refugee situation at its source? This is the cry from moderates, leftists, and those who are sane on the far right.
For Angela Merkel the future seems fairly clear. She’s probably ready to retire anyway. Much like her contemporary over in Washington, the lecture circuit and some rest and relaxation must seem attractive at this point. If opponents of Merkel’s policies ever are going to shine, there’s never been a more opportune time.
And if Bavaria had its way, Syria would not be the only partitioned country in all this row, that region of Germany has never had more reason to secede form Berlin’s dominance. Bavaria is more affected by the invasion of asylum seekers than any other region of Germany. Bavarian PM and CSU head Horst Seehofer has already said; “Support for the government depends first of all on stopping the mass influx of refugees.” Merkel’s opponents say she’s in danger of committing political suicide, while noted Austrian author Friedrich Zauner cites her policies as “a revolution against common sense, and cultural suicide.”
All this begs the question; “What manner of motivation compels the most seasoned leadership in the world into such contentious territory? From my perspective, having analyzed every move or Putin and Russia in all this, this Atlantic article (and I never cite them) hints at the only possible answer. That cell phone drama revealed by the Edward Snowden document dump, it has blackmail written all over it. As we now begin to see, these “political suicides” are growing in intensity of late. From Turkey funding and supplying ISIL, then shooting down the only people intent on killing terror, to crazy sanctions that hurt the world, bombing invisible targets, provocations one after another. My sense is, so many leaders have made “back room” deals, like those Vladimir Putin called to question in Sochi in 2014. Now they’ve lost track apparently, of just how much money and influence have been pandered since Arab Spring began, even the best liars in the world have lost track of who they told “yes” to.
Somehow the stigma of Washington hangs over all this discussion on Syria and refugees. Down here on the ground the “normal people” debate as usual, over cookouts and beers, “what do you think of Obama?” “Are we going to war?” That’s the biggie, on and offline now.
If I am asked my opinion I often reply, “It’s all the same game you’ve seen.” What my colleagues and any passersby understands is, the politicians all lie, it’s just a matter of how big the hurt is going to be. And Mrs. Merkel’s latest endeavor has people over here really worried about the hurt to come.
Germany’s Chancellor is going to have a hard time getting around that fear.