A Promise Is A Promise

Not.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised two months ago to deliver a substantial increase in defense spending. Where is that money now? Funny you should ask, since Mr. Scholz’s waffling on his signature pledge is a growing controversy in Berlin.

The “turning point” speech Mr. Scholz delivered on Feb. 27 included two promises: increase the annual military budget to at least 2% of GDP, in line with North Atlantic Treaty Organization targets, and create a one-time €100 billion ($105 billion) special fund for procurement. Crucially, the procurement fund would be exempt from the constitutional limit on government debt, although the regular military budget wouldn’t be…

Yet Mr. Scholz is struggling to say what he meant by his twin promises. His February speech neglected to specify whether he meant he’d spend 2% of GDP plus €100 billion, or whether he’d spend 2% of GDP including the €100 billion. The distinction matters.

Ordinary Schizophrenic Germans

And an ordinary psychopathic dictator. What could have possibly gone wrong with that mix?

What did ordinary Germans really think of Hitler? – Julia Boyd’s exceptional new book gets to the root of the matter by focusing exclusively on the inhabitants of one small village.

The village in question, Oberstdorf, is a postcard-perfect holiday resort high up in the Bavarian Alps…

Germany’s early victories were greeted with general rejoicing, but even as the war drew to a disastrous close there were fanatics whose faith in the Führer remained unshaken.

German Of The Day: Panzerhaubitzen

That means self-propelled howitzer.

Germany to send seven howitzers to Ukraine in further policy reversal – Germany will deliver seven self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Friday, in a further reversal of a longtime policy not to send heavy weapons to war zones due to the country’s Nazi past.

The howitzer delivery, on top of five such artillery systems the Netherlands had already pledged, was another sign of Berlin heeding pressure at home and abroad for it to help Ukraine fend off a Russian invasion.

12 Monkeys I’ve Heard Of

And seen (great flick). But 12 Germans? That movie title just doesn’t have enough punch.

By the way: Affe (monkey) in German is also used as an insult when calling someone an “idiot” or a “fool.”

12 Germans who got played by Putin – There’s no shortage of politicians, business leaders and intellectuals who have appeased Moscow over the years. Here are a few of them.

Russia’s war against Ukraine has thrust Germany’s establishment into the throes of a tortured process of introspection, self-doubt and recrimination.

After years of lecturing the West that a bit of Ostpolitik was all that was needed to keep Russia in check, Germany’s political, media and academic elites are now obsessing over a new question: How could we have been so wrong?

German Of The Day: Beleidigte Leberwurst

Literally: Insulted liverwurst. It means to be offended, to sulk, to be in a huff.

Like German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. He’s an insulted liverwurst and won’t visit Ukraine because Kyiv refused to invite his Parteifreund (fellow SPD party member) and Germany’s head of state, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

German opposition leader visits Kyiv, Scholz refuses to go – Germany’s conservative opposition leader has traveled to Kyiv for meetings with Ukrainian officials including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

German Of The Day: Bremser

That means brakeman or somebody who drags his feet and won’t get with the plan.

Germany, a world-class Bremser, has now dropped its opposition to an EU ban on Russian oil because, well, 1) they want to improve their image of being a Bremser and 2) they know that this ban won’t happen anyway because Hungary and Slovakia, being even more dependent upon Russian oil than Germany is (which is saying a lot), are being even bigger Bremser than the German Bremser is and for the ban to take place, all 27 EU countries must agree to it.

Two senior ministers in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government on Monday said Germany would be ready to back an immediate European Union ban on Russian oil imports, and that Europe’s biggest economy could weather shortages and price hikes.

As Tough As Jell-O

Jermany is.

When it comes to standing up to Vlad Putin himself. Hey, dependency has its price.

German energy firm Uniper ready to meet Russian pay demand – One of Germany’s biggest energy firms has said it is preparing to buy Russian gas using a payment system that critics say will undermine EU sanctions.

Uniper says it will pay in euros which will be converted into roubles, meeting a Kremlin demand for all transactions to be made in the Russian currency.

Other European energy firms are reportedly preparing to do the same amid concerns about supply cuts.

How Germany Was Divided After World War II?

Pretty much in half.

And it sure is reassuring to know that a big European war like that could never, ever happen again. Cold or otherwise. Right?

The situation in Germany after World War II was dire. Millions of Germans were homeless from Allied bombing campaigns that razed entire cities. And millions more Germans living in Poland and East Prussia became refugees when the Soviet Union expelled them. With the German economy and government in shambles, the Allies concluded that Germany needed to be occupied after the war to assure a peaceful transition to a post-Nazi state.

What the Allies never intended, though, was that their temporary solution to organize Germany into four occupation zones, each administered by a different Allied army, would ultimately lead to a divided Germany.

“Only over time, as the Cold War eroded trust between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies, did these occupation zones coalesce into two different German nations.”

It’s Magic!

Not black magic. Green magic.

Why didn’t anybody think of doing this before? Then all this embarrassing talk about Germany being dependent on Russia for it’s energy needs (50%) wouldn’t have been necessary.

Germany aims to find alternative to Russian oil within days – Germany hopes to find a way within days to replace Russian oil with supplies from other sources, Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) said on Tuesday, adding that Germany could then cope with an EU embargo on Russian oil imports.

German Of The Day: Gepard

That means cheetah. Leopards can’t change their spots, of course, but maybe German cheetahs can.

Anti-aircraft tank Gepard of the German Armed Forces during a demonstration. The anti-aircraft tank Gepard, short Flak Panzer Gepard, is armed with two 35mm cannons. The main task is the fight against aircraft. Through the radar on the turret, the Flak Panzer Gepard can independently locate aircraft.

Support for Ukraine.

Germany wants to supply Gepard tanks – The German government now wants to allow the supply of tanks from industry stocks to Ukraine.