Only In Germany

I don’t make this stuff up, people.

Sami

As reported earlier, after finally deporting Osama bin Laden’s freeloading bodyguard (he and his family received welfare payments for years/decades while he worked as an Islamist hate preacher), German authorities have now realized that the other German authorities who did the deporting did not deport Sami A in the proper German legalese fashion so… Now they want him back. In order to deport him again. Only this time gründlich (thoroughly). Without any Pfusch (botching it).

It’s times like these I think there really is something to this old Oswald Spengler stuff.

Germany suspects 42-year-old Sami A. of working as a bodyguard to late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. A German court wants him to return from Tunisia after ruling his deportation was illegal.

Anwältin: Sami A. soll mit Visum nach Deutschland.

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German Of The Day: Gefangener

That means prisoner or captive. You know, as in “Germany is a captive of Russia.”

Yeah. A captive who finally got caught.

Germany

“It pays billions and billions of dollars to Russia for energy. Germany is a rich country. Why should the U.S. protect you against Russia when the two countries are making deals? You tell me, is that appropriate?”

Deutschland ist ein Gefangener Russlands.

The Berlin Airlift

No, not this one. This one.

Iran

Iranian Plan to ‘Airlift $350 Million’ From Germany to Tehran Sparks U.S. Anger

The U.S. ambassador to Germany has called on Berlin to block an Iranian plan to withdraw 300 million euros ($350 million) of cash from bank accounts in Germany to offset the effect of new U.S. financial sanctions imposed after Washington withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal.

This comes after Washington recently announced new sanctions on Iran and ordered all countries to stop buying Iranian oil by November and foreign firms to stop doing business there or face U.S. blacklists.

Der Iran will 300 Millionen Euro in Deutschland loseisen und per Flieger heimholen. Die USA und Israel sind nicht erfreut.

When Had We Left The Jungle?

I wasn’t aware that we had.

Jungle

WTO Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump -U.S. President Donald Trump has set his sights squarely on the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Even its critics are worried that without the organization, the world of trade would revert to the law of the jungle.

The U.S. and other industrialized nations made several concessions to developing economies when the WTO was founded in 1995 and significantly reduced their tariffs. In return, they were able to push through stronger protections for intellectual property. They hoped that the strategy would help slow China’s rise.

But from the U.S. perspective, the system has not been beneficial. And once China joined the WTO in 2001, that dissatisfaction only grew, partly because the Chinese proved adept at taking advantage of the rules. Even today, there is significant dissent within the WTO because the economic superpower China is still classified as a “developing nation” by the organization, which gives it certain privileges. On the other hand, China is fighting for recognition as a market economy, to which both the U.S. and the European Union are opposed because it would mean they could no longer defend themselves against state-subsidized Chinese exports with anti-dumping duties.

On top of all that, the WTO is facing a more fundamental problem: its size and its sluggishness. Negotiating rounds focused on removing tariffs have become increasingly complex. And because everything is up for negotiation at the same time, every member state can paralyze the process by simply exercising its veto. The Doha Round, launched in 2001, is a perfect example: It never achieved any results and has become symbolic of the WTO’s failure.

“The problems are coming from the behavior of a single country that would like to return to the jungle.”

German Of The Day: Nicht Mehr Tragbar

That means no longer tenable or sustainable.

NATO

As in “The United States continues to devote more resources to the defense of Europe when the Continent’s economy, including Germany’s, are doing well and security challenges abound. This is no longer sustainable for us.”

Donald Trump has reportedly sent sharply worded letters to several Nato member countries, urging them to spend more on their self-defence, in an escalation of the US president’s long-standing feud with the military alliance…

The Nato allies agreed in 2014 to spend more on their own national defence, aiming to eventually contribute two per cent of their GDP to the effort. Many members countries say they are still working towards that goal, and are frustrated by Mr Trump’s threats.

“Die Vereinigten Staaten geben nach wie vor mehr Mittel für die Verteidigung Europas aus, während es der Wirtschaft des Kontinents, einschließlich Deutschlands, gutgeht und die Sicherheitsherausforderungen vielfältig sind. Das ist für uns nicht mehr tragbar.”

PS: Happy 4th of July!

Seems Like A Fine Idea To Me

As speculated upon earlier, the Pentagon is considering plans to remove American troops from Germany, possibly placing them in Poland instead.

Troops

Hey, the world changes. That old Cold War line doesn’t run through Germany anymore, it’s moved to the East. And Germany, although not willing to pay it’s fair share for it’s own defense, doesn’t want American troops here in Germany anyway (Germans are pacifists) so it’s a win-win situation if you ask me. I know, you didn’t ask me but I told you anyway.

Poland is willing to spend $1.5 billion to $2 billion to entice the U.S. to build a permanent military base there, according to a Defense Ministry proposal. The plan offers a strong incentive for the U.S. to consider moving at least some of its forces from Germany, especially since the current deployment makes little military sense.

Das US-Verteidigungsministerium prüft laut einem Bericht der „Washington Post“ einen Abzug der in Deutschland stationierten US-Soldaten. Zu den erwogenen Optionen gehöre eine Rückkehr eines Großteils der rund 35.000 in Deutschland stationierten Soldaten in die USA oder die Verlegung des gesamten oder eines Teils des Kontingents nach Polen, berichtete die Zeitung am Freitag.

 

It’s Like Pulling Teeth

To get this woman to do anything, I mean.

Merkel

Angela Merkel’s friends and enemies lined up in Berlin on Friday morning to defend and attack the chancellor after she stayed up for hours with EU leaders in Brussels hammering out a common European Union plan on keeping out more asylum-seekers.

The ultimate question was whether Merkel had found a deal satisfactory enough to appease her Bavarian allies. The Christian Social Union (CSU) precipitated a government coalition crisis in the past few weeks by insisting that asylum-seekers who had already registered in other countries be turned away at the German border.

“It is the result of a debate in Germany that the migration issue is finally being addressed more strongly at an EU level.”

Alle CSU-Forderungen hat der EU-Gipfel nicht erfüllt. Dennoch gehen die Beschlüsse so weit in Richtung Abschottung, dass selbst Kanzler Kurz zufrieden ist. Ein Erfolg ist die Einigung, weil Europa auf gemeinsame Lösungen setzt.

German Of The Day: Aktionskunst

That means performance art. And in one of the stupidist performances seen to date in Berlin, Greenpeace activists painted the streets around the Siegessäule (Victory Column) yellow. Greenpeace went yellow, in other words.

Greenpeace

They stole this idea from the ancient Egyptions, I believe, as they also worshipped the sun (it kind of looks like the sun, see?). The yellow paint, I think, representing, uh, sunlight or something and thus symbolizing, well, how the hell am I supposed to know what this symbolizes? Wait, I’ve got it now. It symbolizes just how awful coal-firng power plants can be for sun-worshiping Greenpeace Germans (yellow or not) and the rest of humanity for that matter and that they need to be shut down immediately or something. Big medicine, folks. Why didn’t somebody think of doing this before?

Die Berliner Polizei ermittelt gegen Aktivisten der Umweltorganisation Greenpeace – zum einen wegen gefährlichen Eingriffs in den Straßenverkehr, zum anderen wegen eines Verstoßes gegen das Versammlungsgesetz. Greenpeace hatte am Dienstagmorgen um 7.30 Uhr auf dem Großen Stern in Tiergarten gelbe Farbe ausgekippt, insgesamt 3500 Liter.

A Little Burkini Never Hurt Anybody

In Germany, I mean. It certainly doesn’t bother Germany’s Family Minister Franziska Giffey of the SPD.

Untergang

Letting Muslim girls wear them during swim instruction is better than not having them take part in swim instruction at all, right? It’s not like school authorities have an alternative. They couldn’t force them to take part or, Allah forbid, fail them for not doing so. And wearing them wouldn’t be the downfall of the Western World, Frau Giffey assures us.

And she’s right on the money with that one. The downfall of the Western World has already taken place (the dinosaurs didn’t know they were already extinct, either). At least in Europe. Again: Great catastrophes are often the accumulation of smaller mishaps, mistakes and omissions, etc. And they’re all around us now, folks. Wherever you look.

“Wichtig sei nur, dass der Bildungsauftrag im Vordergrund stehe und die Sache „nicht hochstilisiert wird zum Untergang des Abendlandes.”

German Of The Day: Totgesagte Leben Länger

That means “those declared dead live longer” or there’s life in the old dog yet.

Merkel

Sure, Angela Merkel’s approval rating has long become a disapproval rating and nearly half of Germans polled would like to see her step down now but what does that have to do with anything? There is no direct balloting for the office of Chancellor or they would have voted her out of office years ago. The parliamentary majority decides. And harmless little old Angela Merkel has spent years bumping off anyone in her party who could even remotely pose a threat to her position as boss lady. Nope, things will just keep plugging along, one painful step in the wrong direction after the other. Same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie? Same procedure as every year, James.

By the way, did you know that most great catastrophes don’t just happen suddenly, out of nowhere and overnight? They usually result after a long accumulation of smaller mishaps, mistakes and poor decisions has taken place.

Berlin. Angesichts der aktuellen Regierungskrise um die Asylpolitik ist fast jeder zweite Deutsche für eine Ablösung von Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel. In einer Umfrage des Meinungsforschungsinstituts YouGov sprachen sich 43 Prozent dafür aus, dass Merkel zurücktritt und ihr Amt an einen Nachfolger oder eine Nachfolgerin übergibt.