There's a firestorm brewing in Germany, according to this article shared by Mr. V.T., and it is a firestorm with potential long-term repurcussions for the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance.
It seems that, contrary to Chancellorin Merkel's bland assurances that the USA had pledged to stop its electronic surveillance activities in Germany - a pledge that helped her stay in office in the German elections of 2013 - nothing of the sort in fact occurred. Indeed, the USA simply ignored them:
Consider the first three paragraphs of the article:
"Starting on Friday May 8th, some German news media have been reporting on the release of previously secret emails from the office of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. These emails make clear that when her underlings have said, ever since 2013, that the U.S. has promised to stop tapping the phones and other communications of Germans and even of the German Chancellor herself, no such promise had actually been received from anyone in the U.S. Administration of President Barack Obama. Instead, this claim from the Chancellor’s office was being made simply in order for her to be able to win the 22 September 2013 parliamentary elections. It was contrary to fact. And it still is.
"North German TV headlined on 8 May 2015, “No-Spy-Abkommen war nie in Sicht,” or “No Agreement Against Spying Was Even Considered,” and reported that Merkel’s office had received on 19 July 2013 from Obama’s Advisor Karen Donfried an email saying that she could only convey “sad news” to Merkel, despite “the difficult situation of the Chancellor,” and that this sad news was that, “the question of whether German law on German soil is respected” isn’t one that the U.S. can deal with, because, “Here, the focus of course is that we comply with the U.S. law.” The North German TV report said, “United States showed little interest in no-spy agreement.” In other words: Obama was communictiong through his underlings that he would not even consider Chancellor Merkel’s request for Obama’s people to stop spying on any German they wish to spy on — the spying would simply continue, on a routine basis.
"Subsequently, in January of 2014, Merkel’s office tried again, and asked on January 7th, whether the Chancellor’s office was understanding things correctly, that the text which the U.S. is willing to offer “does not exclude the possibility that the U.S. Government will spy on Geman citizens without our consent and without our knowledge … correct me if I’m wrong.” The very next day was received: “You’re right — there will be no no-spy agreement, and I think that everybody on our side has clearly expressed this.'"
Many would be inclined to view this as yet another confirmation of the fact that in spite of Germany's large economy in the global scales, and commensurately large military potential, Germany's diplomatic weight remains smaller than its circumstances would seem to warrant. In this, they would be correct. And it's a problem that all American allies have experienced in recent years, including Germany's counterpart half a world away, the American Satrapy of Japan. Adding weight to this view of things was the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeir himself, who in an address to German businesses last year, offered the opinion that Germany should consider a much more "militaristic" foreign policy.
But in my high octane speculation of the day, I'm bold to suggest that this is but another step in the process that will eventually lead Germany, and the EU and its other members, ultimately to break with Washington, for if nothing else, it underscores to Germans that German and American interests are increasingly in conflict, and until that German "weight" is acknowledged in those relations, there will be no other ultimate course of action other than to expel the American military presence permanently. And of course, to do that, will be a long-drawn out affair, one requiring that Germany, and for that matter, all of Europe, beef up their own electronic and space-intelligence capabilities.
Or to put all of this much differently, more succinctly, and "country simple," once again American heavy-handedness is being applied, this time on a powerful ally, that can only result in a negative backlash.
See you on the flip side...