ARE THE GERMAN MESSAGES ABOUT SAUDI ARABIA REALLY MIXED?December 13, 2015
Yesterday I suggested that Germany is sending messages about Saudi Arabia, but that the messages seem to be very mixed, and that those mixed messages go all the way to the German Chancellory itself. I also suggested, however, that the Paris attacks functioned, at least in part, as a crisis of opportunity to shape a "Europe-wide" response to the refugee crisis, and with M. Hollande's sharp response to the event by sending France's Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier - with quiet naval and logistical support from Germany - that a major corner had been turned geopolitically, and to some extent, culturally, in Europe. And we're not done yet.
For when one considers the messages coming out of Germany regarding one of the fountainheads of financial and other support for ISIS, one looks not so much at Sultan Erdogan's Ottomania, but at the regime in Riyadh. Consider these articles shared by Mr. B, Mr. S.D., and Mr. R:
Let's look at the last article first:
Germany has reportedly drawn up plans to prevent sharing intelligence with its Nato ally Turkey as it prepares to support international air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
German Tornado aircraft are to commence reconnaissance flights over Syria and Iraq after the country’s parliament on Friday voted to deploy up to 1,200 military personnel.
Highly unsual measures have been ordered to prevent Turkey getting access to intelligence from the flights, according to Spiegel magazine.
In the light of revelations coming out that suggest that the USA or someone within its massive "military-industrial-intelligence" complex may have supplied Sultan Erdogan with the intelligence that permitted the shootdown of the Russian Su-24 last month, this revelation is a quiet bombshell. Indeed, with or without that context, it is still a bombshell, for it is a tacit admission that the NATO structure is obsolescent, as far as European security matters are concerned. But let us assume, for the sake of some high octane speculation in this regard, that some USA source did share intelligence. This would mean that Germany has concluded that any intelligence sharing with Turkey (and therefore with the USA), on its reconaissance flights might be risky, and similarly, it might be equally risky for Germany not to share with the USA. After all, even Russia, with all the current tensions between Moscow and Washington, lets Washington know when it is going to fire off cruise missiles at ISIS targets. So one may play the intelligence sharing game a different way, and this way is, I suspect, what the German government may be up to, for the indications are that it will share intelligence on a very limited way, most likely with France(a given, given its stated support for M. Hollande's actions and its determination to supply naval and space-based support to French efforts), and the USA, and probably no wider a circle than that. If there is thus a replay of a shootdown incident by Turkey involving a Luftwaffe aircraft, then it will be pretty clear whence the leak to Turkey came, and it wouldn't come from Paris. Anyway one slices it, Germany's message is clear: Enough is enough.
Or is it clear? Recall yesterday that I mentioned that the story of the BND's analysis of Saudi interventionism, its backing of ISIS, and more importantly, its disclosure of the longterm involvement of the current Saudi King (Salman) and his son and defense minster in funding terrorist organizations and activities was met with a (sharp? or not? you decide) rebuke from the Chancellory. This brings us to the first three articles:
NBC reports the German Vice-Chancellor, Herr Sigmar Gabriel, a member of the opposition SDP party and part of Frau Merkel's coalition cabinet, as stating the following:
"We need Saudi Arabia to solve the regional conflicts," Sigmar Gabriel, the head of the Social Democrats (SPD) who share power with conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, told the mass-circulation newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
"But we must at the same time make clear that the time to look away is past. Wahhabi mosques are financed all over the world by Saudi Arabia. In Germany, many dangerous Islamists come from these communities," he said.
Russia's RT is reporting the Vice Chancellor's remarks in almost identical terms:
Gabriel stressed that the Saudi regime has been funding mosques known for radicalizing the Muslim population, including in various communities in Europe.
“We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over,” Mr Gabriel, Merkel’s deputy and the head of the Social Democrats (SPD), told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia. Many Islamists who are a threat to public safety come from these communities in Germany.”
And RT adds a significant comment and analysis of its own:
The allegations against Saudi Arabia have been around for some time, but it is rare for a Western politician to speak out against it, as the Gulf State remains a key western ally. (Emphasis added)
This sentiment is echoed by Great Britain's Daily Telegraph, widely regarded as the newspaper of choice of the British Conservative Party:
The allegation that Saudi Arabia has funded mosques with links to Islamist terrorism in the West is not new. But it is highly unusual for a Western leader to speak out so directly against the West’s key Arab ally.
So, is Berlin sending mixed messages, or not? Against the backdrop of the growing discontent in Germany against Merkel's open borders refugee policy, (and against the backdrop of picture-photo ops of the smiling if somewhat uncomfortable-looking Chancellorin and the Saudi king), perhaps so. But personally, I suspect not, and return to my high octane speculation that I have been advancing over the past few weeks that Saudi Arabia is "on the menu," i.e., that it has been very quietly, very discretely, but very definitely moved from the "friend" column to the "foe" column by at least some of the west's deep state leadership. Frau Merkel has, if one looks back over her tenure in the Chancery, a unique pattern of allowing her cabinet ministers to make controversial statements, and in this respect it is worth recalling German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir's remarks last year that Germany's foreign policy must assume a more militaristic stance commensurate with the size of the Germany economy and its economic global stature. We recall, as well, the remarks of German Defense Minister von der Leyen last year, indicating that Germany had fewer than ten operational aircraft that could meet a NATO emergency in case of the (fairy tale) of a possible Russian intervention in force in the Ukraine or the Baltic States. Notably, the Luftwaffe seems suddenly to have found enough operational aircraft for reconaissance flights in Syria, not to mention that space-based military satellite capabilties have suddenly been scraped up by which to lend assistance to the French effort there. These, I submit, are the types of things that make one go "Hmmm...." But the bottom line is that a major leader of a major western nation has finally stood up, and gone on record as saying that the time that the West will "look away" from Saudi Arabia, is over, and this implies that the time of looking away from its record of support for terrorist activities, plus the nature of the regime itself, are over. Indeed, Herr Gabriel's remarks is really a rebuff to the predictable Saudi response and denials that they're behind any terrorism whatsoever. In effect, Herr Gabriel has said "we're no longer even pretending to believe you."
The bottom line here is that something is, indeed, afoot in Europe, when one of its major nations is no longer willing to share intelligence with an ostensible ally(Turkey), and is fingering the ultimate source of the problem, and saying openly, what most people have known for a long time. This is most definitely not the end of a process, but the beginning of one.
And notably, all of it has followed Mr. Putin's intervention in Syria, and his allegations that the war against ISIS have, up until that time, been something of a sham.
See you on the flip side...