There have been floods of articles recently, calling for a new 'leader' (fuhrer) in europe; invariably suggesting that leadership needs to come from the newly dominant Germany.
We are going to de-construct an article in today's Irish Times titled "Assertive Germany now vital if euro debacle to be resolved", written by Dan O'Brien.
"It (Germany) is again centre stage as the future of the euro hangs in the balance. Ultimately, Germany will have to decide whether to take on a greater role in Europe’s affairs and save the euro, or to turn in on itself and let the currency fail."
Is this true? Why exactly does Germany need to take on a greater role in Europe's affairs? The EU is meant to be equal betwen member states. What Mr O'Brien is saying here is that if Germany doesn't gain control of other sovereign nation's economies, the Euro will collapse. Mr O'Brien believes Germany is somehow superior to other nations in fiscal control. Which as we have demonstrated previously, is complete rubbish and smells strongly of propaganda.
"Militarily, in its first 70 years of existence it went to war against almost all its neighbours, often simultaneously, and always with devastating consequences."
True. But then he twists that view for the reader, and contradicts himself;
"...old concerns about German intentions have resurfaced. Most crudely, this has been evident, here and elsewhere, in talk of a German takeover of Europe and even a “Fourth Reich”. Such views are informed by comic books, not an understanding of national character, such as it is, or of German actions in the world after (and before) the 1914-1945 period"
According to O'Brien, there appears to have been only peaceful non-assertiveness before 1914. Even though he has just alluded to a series of wars in the making of Germany, and the attacks on Austria (1866), then France (1870). But Mr O'Brien would like you to forget that, as he wants to convince the reader that talk of German takeover of Europe is "comic book". Despite that he just said Germany needs to be more assertive in it's very takeover of Europe by controlling other nation states. Which is it Mr O'Brien?
After he has just said that people who believe Germany is trying to takeover Europe do not have an "understanding of (German) national character", he again uses the opposite argument to twist reality for his argument and says "Countries are not like people. They do not have immutable characteristics, but change and evolve constantly." Again Mr O'Brien, which is it?
History has important lessons. It is not politically-incorrect to state a problem with German foreign policy. There is talk of provisional dictatorship in German leadership circles, as democracy is deemed as inefficient. Finance Minister Schäuble's own words last week demonstrate that. Characteristics do change, but every country is also different due to it's history and experience. German democracy is young, and had to be foisted upon Germany by the UK and US. Fact.
In trying to create the idea that Germany is not assertive in recent years, he says;
"For years, Britain and France have been dragging it to join them in ratcheting up sanctions on Iran in an effort to thwart the Islamic state’s bid to acquire a nuclear weapons capability."
O'Brien is ignoring that the reason Britain has had to do this, is because Germany is assertively supporting Iran, by moving their terrorist funding via their banks, and giving German tunneling expertise to help hide Iran's nuclear ambitions from the IAEA. A number of shipping vessels have also been found to contain weapons, rocket parts etc, all bound for Iran from German firms. But according to Mr O'Brien, that must be because Germany is not assertive enough....
"Germany could decide that a finite period of economic meltdown is more tolerable than forever attempting to make everyone else more Germanic in how they manage their economies, and permanently bailing them out if they fail."
Firstly, yet again he is ignoring German involvement and casino behaviour in causing the financial crisis, and talking about mythical German superiority. Secondly, if Germany was in control of the economies of Europe, there would be no bailouts. The other countries would be under German fiscal control. So he is making a moot point.
O'Brien finishes with;
"The real risk for Europe now is not German domination, but isolationism."
If only. Germany leaving the Euro may be one of the best things for all the other economies. The interest rates that share a large part of the blame for the Euro periphery proplems, are set for the benefit of Germany at the expense of the periphery. With Germany out of the Eurozone, the others may actually stand a chance of sorting out the problems, without being pillaged by Germany and her debt collectors.
If Germany did not intend to control and consume Europe, and benefit from the crisis, they would have left the Eurozone already.
But Mr O'Brien seems to want to convince the reader that German domination is the best bet for the future.
Irish Times Article