June 20, 2016 By Joseph P. Farrell

Yes, you read that headline correctly: Germany is taking aim at NATO's increasing belligerence and posturing vis-a-vis Russia. Of course, Berlin is eminently sensible in doing so, having been the only great power in the last century to have actually fought Russia, and with mixed results, at best. World War Two proved to be a disaster to German military power and aspirations, as everyone knows, largely due to Russia. And while the Russian surrender to Germany and the other Central Powers in World War One might be cited as evidence that "Russia can be beaten in a conventional war," the lesson would be only half-learned, for it was Russian persistence in a war that had largely gone against it that sapped the German Empire's strength and made that victory Pyrrhic and short-lived.

What's interesting here is that if you've been following the stories and news headlines coming out of Berlin lately, you'd see an old familiar, even quasi-Bismarckian pattern: now Germany sounds like it's all pro-Western and Pro-NATO, now it doesn't. Now it's going to beef-up its defense spending and bring the Bundeswehr back up to Cold War standards and size, now it pledges continuing support for the Russian economic sanctions; now it wants a European-wide defense force clustered around Franco-German power as a counterweight to the USA and NATO.  It's the old tightrope walk that German diplomacy has had to walk ever since the proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles in 1871. It was a carefully chosen symbolism, heralding in the palace of the Sun King that France was no longer the premier economic industrial and military power in Europe. Two world wars later, and not much has changed.

Except now Germany, in the form of its Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, is now challenging the whole USA-NATO narrative regarding Russia:

As noted, under the NATO alliance, US bellicosity could drag Europe into a war with Russia, a war none of the European powers wants, desires, nor needs:

Throughout all of these escalations, the popular narrative spun by the "democratic" media was a simple one: it was Russia that was provoking NATO, not NATO's aggressive military actions on the border with Russia that were the cause of soaring geopolitical tension. Ignored in the fictional plot line was also Russia's clear reaction to NATO provocations that it would "respond totally asymmetrically" an outcome that could in its worst oucome lead to millions of European deaths. Still, no matter the risk of escalation, one which just two weeks ago led to assessment that the  "Risk Of Nuclear Dirty Bomb Surges On Poor US-Russia Relations", NATO had to maintain its provocative attitude .

All NATO had to do was assure that all alliance members would follow the lead, and nobody would stray from the party line.

And then everything imploded when none other than the Foreign Minister of NATO member Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, criticized NATO for having a bellicose policy towards Russia, describing it as "warmongering", the German daily Bild reported. And just like that, the entire ficitional narrative of "innocent" NATO merely reacting to evil Russian provcations has gone up in flames.

As AFP adds, Steinmeier merely highlighted all those things which rational persons have known about for a long time, namely the deployment of NATO troops near borders with Russia in the military alliance's Baltic and east European member states. However, since it comes from a NATO member, suddenly one can't accuse Russian propaganda. In fact, NATO has absolutely no planned response to just this contingency.

"What we should avoid today is inflaming the situation by warmongering and stomping boots," Steinmeier told Bild in an interview to be published Sunday.

"Anyone who thinks you can increase security in the alliance with symbolic parades of tanks near the eastern borders, is mistaken," Germany's top diplomat added.

As the article also notes, Herr Steinmeier's pronouncements have led to the usual calls for his resignation in the deluded neo-con and globalist soviet of the Council on Foreign Relations.

But Herr Steinmeier is only voicing reality, and a particularly German and European one. If he resigns, that will not silence that reality. Germany is the only nation in the top five tier of global economies with a population less than 100,000,000. Let that sink in for a moment. In this, too, nothing has really changed since the First World War era, except that the other positions of the top five economies have been taken by nations with much larger populations. This means the old strategic problem faced by Germany under the Kaiser is now, believe it or not, amplified even more, for it is an export driven economy, and the West's markets cannot account for it all, meaning, as I and others have argued elsewhere, that Germany's economic and national well-being are inextricably tied to expanded trade with Russia and China. And where the locomotive of Europe goes, the rest of the European train will inevitably follow. After all, you'll recall that it was also Herr Steinmeier who called, a couple of years ago in his meeting with German businessmen, for Germany's foreign policy to become much more militaristic; after all, Germany has to protect its access to those markets. NATO and Washington have nothing to do with it, and, if one did not know one was in the 21st century, one might think one was listening to Grand Admiral Tirpitz over a century ago.

In short, don't expect the tune to change in Berlin. If anything, it will only grow slowly more intense. Germany, with France, will continue to mouth subservience to Washington, while slowly prying the strangle hold of Washington's fingers away. And if the predicters of doom and gloom and "war with Russia" do have it correct, don't expect Germany or France to join the adventure. They have nothing to gain from a war with Russia, or even increasing bellicosity and the "stomping of boots" as Herr Steinmeier put it. And most people in Germany and Europe know it. What's different now is that the official spokesman for the premier power in Europe has now put it on the record: the NATO narrative vis-a-vis Russia isn't working.

What to expect? Expect this to become a fugue, with Paris, Rome, and Madrid adding their articulations of the theme.

See you on the flip side...