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WHO’S PLAYING CHARLEMAGNE?

As you know, last Thursday in my News and Views from the Nefarium I spoke briefly about the rccent Greek tragedy and the capitulation of the Syriza government of Mr. Tsipras to the demands of the European Union (read Berlin and Wolfgang Schaueble, the German Finance Minister).  Well, there's more to the story, obviously, than can be covered in a fifteen minute news video, and really, much more to the story than can even be covered in a more detailed blog or a whole series of blogs. Behind the scenes there is of course the whole role of Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank in the affair, selling the Greek government bad securities - much of which was the so-called "mortgage backed" securities - which Goldman sold via the 'credit rating worthiness" assurances given to Athens by the giant German bank.  This on top of massive German armaments sales to Greece, which was being threatened by... well... by whom? In spite of the bad blood between Turkey and Greece, Turkey wasn't planning to re-annex its for Greek province in any sort of re-vivified Ottoman Empire. Italy? Well, notwithstanding Mussolini's foolhardy venture in 1941, there were no plans of recent Italian ventures. In short, the large Greek military buildup of the years previous to the current crisis makes no military sense. It makes perfect sense, however, if you're corrupt oligarchs in Athens looking for a way to waste money and enslave your own people.  So in a way, what we've witnessed are the penultimate chapters in the Goldman Sachs-Deutsche Bank rape of Greece.

But, everyone is counting the Greeks as down and out. Well, don't count too quickly yet...

The German side of this equation is equally mystifying, for the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaueble, one of the architects and savants of "European Union" also played his role as Shylock in the affair to perfection, demanding, and getting, the last pound of flesh from Greece. There was, in the most recent version of the Play - one might call it "The Merchant of Frankfurt" - no softening influences of Portia or Antonio; there was just Shylock, and only Shylock, who was going to have his pound of Greek flesh, or, failing that, kick Greece altogether out of the European Union.  The pattern, however, on the German side of the equation, is as mystifying as the Syriza capitulation that were much worse than the initial demands that the Greek populace rejected, and which brought the Syriza government to power. Consider this article shared by "P":

Schäuble's Push for Grexit Puts Merkel on Defensive

The point in this article that I found particularly intriguing - and there were many, but this one in particular stands out - is contained in these paragraphs:

But that freedom is now becoming an issue for Merkel. The euro summit last weekend came close to failing because Schäuble tried to push through such tough demands. And this from a finance minister who has done so much for European unity. Just three years ago, Schäuble won the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen for his contributions to the integration of the Continent, but is now regarded in southern European countries as the epitome of the ugly German. This too adds to the drama of Wolfgang Schäuble.

In past decades, the burden has always fallen on Germany to be the mediator in Europe. But only when Germany suppressed its own interests was it possible to find harmony in the complicated meshwork that is Europe, where the Catholic South meets the Protestant North and the rule-fixated Germans and the anarchistic Greeks come together. No one has internalized this rule more than Schäuble -- or so it seems. Now Germany's policy on Europe is revealing itself as a curious mix of indecision and brutality. That brutality, for the most part, comes from Schäuble.

It was undoubtedly the right move to impose strict reforms upon Greece. This was the only way to persuade countries like Slovakia and Latvia to release new funds. But last weekend's marathon summit in Brussels didn't only bring forth a new aid package for Greece. A new Germany was also presented, one with a rather uncomely face.

It was there that Schäuble raised the idea of pushing Greece out of the euro. It was a suggestion that broke a European taboo. Germany, of all countries, was showing another euro-zone member the door. Germany, whose rise is so closely linked to the solidarity and forgiveness of its neighbors.

The summit was therefore not merely a break in Germany's Europe policy. It also described the tragedy of Merkel and Schäuble, chained together yet increasingly working against one another.

The calamity began last Thursday when top members of Merkel's coalition government met at the Chancellery. Merkel was there, as was Schäuble, Social Democrat (SPD) leader Sigmar Gabriel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is also from the SPD. The idea was to prevent a rift with France, but the group also deliberated over how to proceed with Greece if it refused to implement the reforms demanded by its creditors.

Schäuble proposed a temporary Grexit, in such a situation. Merkel and the SPD leaders agreed, but for them it was little more than a thought experiment. Greece, they knew, would never willingly sign on to a Grexit. (Emphases added)

The mention of how to "prevent a rift with France" highlights what I saw going on, in part, behind the scenes: it was as much about "sending strong messages to France" to mend its socialistic spendthrift ways as it was about Greece: Greece was merely the whipping boy needed - and used - to send messages to Paris, and the message was: Berlin gets to play Charlemagne for now, not Paris. The subtler message lying behind that was: Berlin will always get to play Charlemagne, your economy simply isn't large enough. As I pointed out in The Third Way: The Nazi International, The European Union, and Corporate Fascism, the recent affair with Greece is but a replay of events much earlier on the bumpy road to the Euro, when Kohl's Germany had to make sure Mitterand's France understood that point.

The recent German hard line is producing the old fault lines:

The euro crisis is driving a wedge between Berlin and Paris. Hollande is doing everything he can to prevent a Grexit, even if it means going behind Germany's back. Just two weeks ago, after the Greek referendum, Hollande and Merkel were in agreement that Athens must make its own reform proposals.

Merkel's people were thus surprised to learn that Hollande had provided the Greek premier with advisers to help him come up with a list of reforms. The plan to send French officials to Athens had been in the works for six weeks. On July 2, the social democratic leaders of France, Sweden and Austria, as well as Gabriel and the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, met in Evry, near Paris, to deliberate over a solution for Greece. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls suggested sending French finance officials to Athens to help the government there formulate its request for emergency funds. Faymann, Gabriel and Schulz all agreed.

Now, after the summit, Merkel sees herself in a role she never wanted. She's the woman who imposed her will on Europe. "The French president has fought hard for a solution," Austrian Chancellor Faymann said, while handing out no such praise to Merkel.

Germany's relationship with power has been precarious ever since the end of World War II. That has to do with its central location in Europe and its reluctance to use military force. Most of all, though, it has to do with its Nazi past. Any bravado or harsh words are immediately conflated with a resurgence of German megalomania.

The response to this problem by German policymakers has been the use of "soft power." Germany has led the Continent not with orders, but with persuasion and cooperation. Every chancellor has relied on the relationship with France in matters of European policy. This alliance prevents a split between the northern European Protestants and the southern Catholics.

But now, a fault line is threatening to emerge. In early 2013, the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben wrote an essay for the newspaper La Repubblica in which he implored the "Latin empire at the heart of Europe" to resist Germany's dominance. At the time, it seemed like the idea of an overexcited essayist, but now it's clear that the southern countries are increasingly opposing the Continent's germanization.

Merkel's people can sense this mood change. A few months ago, Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut mused in a small group about Germany's changing role within the European Union. Meyer-Landrut was Merkel's European policy adviser for four years but soon he'll become the German ambassador to France.

But behind these fault lines, the Der Spiegel article is also suggesting that there are fault lines between Frau Merkel and her ministers, chiefly Herr Schaueble. One has to wonder, however, if these fault lines are genuine, or just for show. My high octane speculation of the day is that, to some extent though not entirely, the fault lines are just for show. Consider the fact that, in the past, Frau Merkel has allowed the ministers of her coalition government to speak for her, while she herself maintains a discrete silence or, as is also often the case, mouths the required platitudes and formulas embraced in Washington. Recall that the German Interior Minister, de Maziere, a firm pro-west Atlanticist and from a family with a long connection to the German military and German politics, issued some warnings about the long-term destablizing consequences of American unipolarism.  The warning was not from Merkel herself, but originated within her cabinet.

Then, you'll recall, there was the speech given by the SDP Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeir in Berlin to a group of assembled German businessmen. You'll recall Herr Steinmeir made the breathtaking assertion that Germany would have to take up the mantle of being a world power once again, and that its foreign policy would therefore have to take on a much more military flavor.  Again, in the context of de Maziere's warning about American unipolarism, it was an "interesting" comment to make. And given the wider context of the Ukrainian mess, and even more interesting one.

And now, as if on cue, Herr Schaueble played a classical "brinksmanship" diplomacy card: agree to the deal, or we kick you out of the EU." So while Der Spiegel wonders about possible rifts in the EU along classical Protestant and Roman Catholic lines, and possible rifts between Frau Merkel and some of her ministers, if one puts these ministerial statements of the past few years into context, what emerges is a rather different pattern, namely, that when Frau Merkel wants to send tough messages, she allows her ministers to do it, while she gets to play the role of the somewhat gentile and frumpy deutsche Hausfrau, for make no mistake, statements of her cabinet ministers do represent the position of her government, and when one examines these three ministers and their statements over the past few years, the pattern is amazingly consistent. And we could add those of Ursula von der Leyen, the German Defense Minister, as well, who, when Washington was pressuring its European allies about potential military involvement in the Ukraine, made the extraordinary statement that the Luftwaffe had fewer then ten operational fighters, and that the whole Bundeswehr was not at all prepared for any such effort, and that they were woefully short on spare parts and...&c &c... you get the picture. "Sorry, can't join you on this one. You're on your own."

To put it country simple, it appears that when "tough things need to be said," that the new playbook in Berlin is "let the ministers say them, while the Chancellorship itself is isolated from them, and can appear to be 'bowing to pressure.'"

In short, it's Merkel who's playing Charlemagne. And that means, she's in drag.

See you on the flip side...

 

 

13 thoughts on “WHO’S PLAYING CHARLEMAGNE?”

  1. Interesting comment to a ZH article:

    “1.) Germany wants the Greeks to utterly default and leave the euro in order to destroy the massive pile of derivatives being held by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, thus avalanching the US$ monetary system to a cloud of dust; the purpose being to free themselves from 70 years as an Occupied country and a puppet government for the US neocons.

    2) Russia wants the same thing, particularly due to the NATO encirclement of Russia, economic sanctions, threats of incipient nuclear war, and to put a stop to the US-engineered, Nuland/Soros destruction of Ukraine –which isn’t doing neither Europe nor Russia any good. Bolstering Greece with a loan, even to return to the drachma, would not have accomplished the desired effect.

    3) Sadly, the Greeks are the unfortunate pawns on this board and are therefore being backed into an insupportable corner in order to produce a a complete and utter, insurrection-driven default. Then, and only then, will Russia and China will open their pocketbooks with as much aid as Greece needs.

    In the end, and without a shot being fired, Deutschland will return as a global superpower; reigning supreme as the head of a newly revived euro. i.e. Deutchland uber alles; Amerika kaput.

    No war; eurasian prosperity; and the neocon empire turned to rubble.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-21/tsipras-asked-putin-10-billion-print-drachmas-greek-media-reports?page=3

  2. I think it’s falling into a trap to paint Schaueble as the villain in this Greek tragedy (/farce). Granted he has all the Strangelovian accoutrements, but in the final analysis his gambit — which failed — was to let the Eurocrat vampires craft the worst possible deal so that there was no alternative for the Greeks but to exit for their own good.

    The glaring absurdity of this latest round of theatre is that everyone party to it — except Schaueble — refuses to admit that the deal is untenable and offers no solution to the problem. Fundamentally, there are two bad choices for Greece: continue the rinse-and-repeat bail-outs, which is a euphemism for even bigger loans to pay the creditors of prior loans, combined with asset-stripping and the humiliation of being reduced to vassel-state status, or leaving the euro and reinstating a sharply devalued drachma which is nonetheless in parity with its now imploded economy and doing the hard work to rebuild the country.

    However, Syriza had no intention of ever doing any hard work and had made no preparations at all, and here you have to ask, Just who exactly are they beholden to? Now of course Schaueble’s modest proposal shows that not all countries in the Union are created equal, but fundamentally, he is correct that Greece has no other option but Grexit if it wishes to remain a functioning nation-state and if the EU wishes to stop the massive hemorrhage of both funds and goodwill, and his anger and frustration seem to me at least to come not from relishing the plight of the Greeks and seeking some short-term advantage or spiteful punishment, but from the dispassionate appraisal that Greece is FUBAR and this continuing and deepening crisis (because they will be back again in 6-9 months for another round) is undermining the whole European project.

    I think he is like a triage surgeon, wanting to amputate a limb to save the patient. I don’t see any comparable rationality in any of the other players, who are just kicking the can down the road to the detriment both of Greece and the facade of European unity, and if Dr. Schaueble’s prognosis is indeed correct, then gangrene is simply waiting in the wings.

    1. Hopefully Dr. Farrell is done chasing windmills with his latest book on nazis and will begin to put the pieces together of a far more substantial conspiracy: the Imperial Eurasian Pact. Quite frankly, I think he has jumped the shark with his nazi international.

  3. I had read a while ago some interesting theories, mostly from a guy called Jean Parvulescu, or Jean Parvulesco in French. He was a Romanian who emigrated in France at the end of WW 2 (escaped more correctly, as communism was taking over) and who was in touch with other French occult or mystic writers. Most of his writings are of the same type, occult books, and he was a sort of magister or main source of inspiration for Dughin, the unofficial ideologue of Putin.

    Beside the more fantastic tales of two forces (being and non-being, probably an inspiration from Romanian folklore mythology) fighting to rule the humanity, other dimensions crossing ours here and all sort of people in the service of those forces (with today globalization, mixing of peoples and cultures and new world order as part of those forces plan) he wrote about an “empire of last times”.

    This is the eurasian empire (that Dughin probably told Putin to cling on). An empire already predicted (or planned) by some occult forces before the end of Cold War, made along the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis, including Russia and spread up to India and Japan. An empire of “indo-europeans”.
    The European Union should be its first big phase, the Americans will supposedly be pushed out of Europe, and the “eurasian empire” would have eventually push himself for a sort of revolution in US to get rid of the occult forces there (those who promote the globalization democracies and the new world order), so the liberated American people have a new country and unite with all Americas in a single new superstate, sister of Eurasian one.

    Of course, both of those shadow forces fight to impose their own plans and to control this global scale developments and is not sure who’s who and which is the good one. The “non-being” one (the more chaotic force) seem to promote the mix of all populations and cultures, with a melt of everyone in some muddy level that will eventually mix with the “hordes of gog and magog” coming from the other dimensions hehe.

    Anyway, same Parvulescu said that the plan for “indo-european” empire might have been even older, and Nazi Germany was suppsoed to bring it closer. But Nazis missed the point and the real plan (either because they were deturned from the correct road by “the other side” either because they were kinda dumb) and followed a short sighted and narrow view of Germanism, “germanic superiority” and a too materialistic view of world, instead to follow the more grandios plan of “indo-european empire” and returning to the prehistoric roots.
    So they were pushed back and crashed by these occult forces (the side that have this plan).

    Today Germany, due to population and economy was put again to be the engine of this project, at least in its first phase. The engine, not the brain, because as Marcos-Toledo said they are not quite fit to build and run a long lasting empire. Only Romans (Latins) did that in officially known history, in Europe, a long lasting pan-European superpower empire.

    Today the German elites seem to miss the point again, and probably affected by the power they have they wrongly think they are the leading force and not just the engine of the project.
    Russia (Dughin) seemed to do the same mistake and think it can take the lead (with Putin as top leader). But it was then bring back with the feet on Earth with Ukraine move. Greece trouble within EU seem to be the shock the Berlin part of the axis have received.

    Neither of them are the real brain behind the project, if the “brain” is even on this dimension as some said (kinda fantasy occult stuffs hehe).
    The other side move too its pieces and is hard to know now who may win and who is really the good side for humanity

  4. As a good German, Merkel is assuredly not playing the part as ‘Charlemagne’ but rather as ,,Karl der Große” with boots, tunic, crown and all.

  5. The EU has now been seen by the rest of the world for what it really is, and no amount of band aid slapping will change that. Reputations can be made and broken, the EU is the aggressor and the Greece people are the prey, the MSM isn’t going to change that view and Merkel and the other elites have a black arm band for life.

  6. It was interesting to see this Spiegel article, both in its ever-so-cautious language and the fact that it has 8 authors! So even journalists feel they have to engage in risk hedging!
    In a vidchat I think Joseph has been asked what he thinks about R. Steiner, founder of the Anthroposophic Movement – which might be summarized as a sort of Germanic/Christian version of Blavatsky’s Theosophy, with some very original takes on education and natural agriculture. About 20 years ago – as German re/unification was being accompished, the Steiner Press in London published a curious little booket (I’ll try to find it on my shelves) with a sort of “esoteric” interpretation of the them of Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” which made much of the divisions between Catholic/Protestant vs Orthodox Europe and positing them not only as historical background but as a sort of “instrumentum regni” for powers clever enough to exploit them. With a map of “Charlemagne’s Europe”. This interpretation brings in Steiner’s belief that there are “national guiding spirits” and that conflicts in the material world are merely a reflection of the “war in heaven”. Be that as it may, perhaps the idea of a “Volksgeist” did not fade away with the Thulegesellschaft and all that, but may be lingering on somewhere…

  7. All this theater is happening for one reason, to keep the $FRN on top. By killing off all the other currencies. The pile of debt is now getting a bit hazardous. The problem with putting all these people in the streets of Europe and inciting race riots in the US, is sometimes it yields unexpected results. The longer this goes on, the more likely Goldman and JP Morgan’s felonious actions will come to light. When the Sheeple figure out they’ve been sheared and the shearers subsidized, then we might see some real change.

  8. marcos toledo

    The problem is when Charlemagne died the Empire imploded. And neither the Norman-Americans or the Germ-Scandinavians know how to run a Empire properly they dream they’re Gods and everybody else are their slaves to serve their idiot whims.

  9. But France doesn’t particularly have more “socialistic polices” than Germany. Or Sweden, or Finland. And France was certainly not taking bribes from German armaments makers to borrow monies to buy German gear. France likely has some restrictions on the trade in the fake “bonds” that Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Chase, UBS, and HSBC were selling as “insured”.

    France does have an independent military. Sort of like Sweden with nuclear weapons.

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