“Sanctions Against North Korea Apparently Ineffective”

Like, duh. How could they be effective if countries like Germany, and a number of other “cooperative States,” keep letting the North Koreans get around them?

Korea

North Korea procured equipment and technology for its ballistics missiles program using its embassy in Berlin, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has said.

“We determined that procurement activities were taking place there, from our perspective with an eye on the missile program, as well as the nuclear program to some extent,” BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen told public broadcaster NDR in an interview.

Falsche Ladepapiere, ungewöhnliche Schifffahrtsrouten, das Verladen von Öl auf hoher See: Nordkorea umgeht offenbar systematisch alle bestehenden internationalen Sanktionen. Ein brisanter UN-Bericht bringt nun eine Reihe kooperierender Staaten in Bedrängnis.

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Germany Planning To Unveil Secret Hell-Freezing-Over Device

They must be. Otherwise they wouldn’t be so delusional about thinking that they could ever have the bittiest little chance of getting a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

UN

I don’t know what German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) has been smoking these past few days but he has certainly been on a roll. This is the same guy, mind you, who just accused the NATO of warmongering by staging military exercises in support of its eastern NATO members (they appear to be concerned about some other types of exercises being carried out by another way big non-NATO country just a bit further down the road).

And now he thinks that a toothless, nay-saying nation like Germany somehow has the right to determine policy in the body that is at least nominally charged with the maintenance of international peace and security? Like I said. It must be some really good stuff.

Steinmeier, an honor graduate from the Neville Chamberlain Institute of Applied Appeasement, now specializes in mistaking cause and effect and is also branching out into the popular field of abandoning worried NATO neighbor countries in the East.

I Got Your Green Credentials For You Right Here, Pal

“It’s ugly, but it gets you there.” But it’s ugly. And it’s getting uglier by the minute.

VW

The timing of the scandal could not be worse for the government.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to travel to New York on Friday to persuade fellow members of the United Nations to adopt climate goals ahead of a UN climate conference in Paris in December.

Merkel sees herself as champion of climate issues and would like to see Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power and the transition to renewable energy as one of her most lasting legacies.

In June, she helped draw up ambitious carbon emission reduction goals adopted by the Group of Seven (G7) countries.

At the same time, she has always robustly defended the interests of her country’s automakers and postponed the implementation of European emission limits.

UN Called In To Protect German Cultural Treasure That Gets You Drunk As Shit

The Reinheitsgebot may be “intangible” here, but the beer behind it sure isn’t.

Beer

German beer brewers have applied to Unesco for their Reinheitsgebot law to join a list of “intangible heritage” that includes Spanish flamenco and Turkey’s Kirkpinar oil-wrestling festival.

Are the blue helmets on the way yet?  Blau also means drunk in German, by the way.

But, as Simpson points out, the Reinheitsgebot law’s inception wasn’t about purity. “It was created to free up the baking grains so that there was less competition with the bakers,” Simpson said. “The bakers were up in arms because they felt the brewers were taking all the grains so the Reinheitsgebot restricted the grains that the brewers could use to malt, strictly malted barley.”

Speaking Of Ingratitude

Don’t the Libyans appreciate everything the Germans have done for them? Gee, I guess they don’t.

Before the Libyan revolution, Germany was the country’s second-largest trading partner. But then Germany abstained in a 2011 UN vote to militarily intervene in its civil war. Now that the war is over, German businesses and think tanks are finding that most Libyans want little to do with them.

“Water doesn’t flow uphill on its own / And wars, too, don’t stop themselves.”

No Positions “R” Us

Diplomats in New York “have lost faith in Germany?” Was there ever really any faith in Germany to lose?

Apparently there was at one time a German foreign policy maxim to never oppose its European partners and the United States, or that’s what I just read, but I can’t remember that time. Germany’s strategy of avoidance with Libya finally took the Kuchen though, I guess. Like the famous Soviet njet from yesteryear, when push comes to shove, even the slowest and blindest diplomat out there has finally figured out what the German answer will always be: No position, as usual.

And Berlin was actually expecting to get permanent membership and veto power in the United Nations Security Council? What for?

Hey, they shouldn’t sweat it, and they won’t. Isolating themselves and having shrinking influence is better than being isolated and having no influence at all.

“Germany has no position yet, as usual.”

German Reliability?

Sure it’s for real, sort of. As the late Richard Holbrooke said of his experience with it: “Expect the unexpected breach of trust.”

Considering Germany’s latest big coup, declining to vote in favor of a UN Security Council resolution to protect Libyan civilians fighting against the Gaddafi dictatorship (remember that these are the folks who want a permanent seat in the Security Council), I wonder what wonderful words of praise President Obama is going to dish out on June 7 when he bestows the Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian distinction) on Chancellor Merkel? Something tells me he’s going to do a great job, by the way.

We already know what Frau Merkel will say (or already has said): “Freedom does not come about by itself. It has to be struggled for, and then defended anew, every day of our lives.”

Struggle? What struggle? Well it sure is a struggle trying to put German words and action together here. So I suppose, in a way, it is almost better that Germany now comes out and openly says no from the get go. At least then, as in the case of Libya, “It didn’t do what Germany normally does — say ‘yes,’ and then not do much of anything.”

“How come Germans have this reputation of being reliable, when they never quite are, and historically maybe never were.”

“No Risk Please, We’re Germans”

The German skeptics across the political spectrum who continue to describe the actions of the anti-Gadhafi alliance as being “insufficiently conceived” are completely right. The actions were not well conceived. They were born out of necessity, and the first sorties were chaotic because the nations that took action were convinced that they lacked the time to think things through.

They were not out to cleanly and permanently regulate the affairs of Libya through the use of force. They were intent on preventing a bloodbath within a few hours with an untidy, last-minute campaign. Given these circumstances, the idea that Westerwelle could have been the foreign minister of a permanent Security Council member — equipped with veto power — is extremely unsettling.

Germany seems determined to torpedo the international community’s newfound resolve. 

Massive German Kiss-Up Offensive Underway

And we’re talking offensive, folks. In a too-little-too-late attempt to make amends for breaking ranks with its allies and refusing to support the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing military action in Libya, Germany has now begun a surprise kiss-up campaign by actively publishing unflattering photos of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Degrading reports about botched plastic surgury operations performed on Gaddafi are also making the rounds.

But it doesn’t just stop there. Someone the Germans are referring to as Agent 008 has also been sent to Tripolis to see about establishing a ceasefire.

And as if that weren’t enough already, Germany also says that it is now prepared to let its troops take part in Libya “to help provide humanitarian aid to Libyan civilians” (if the United Nations asks the European Union please, pretty please). You know, that old we’re-the-good-soldiers-who-do-the-good-things trick of theirs?

The policy shift, announced by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Thursday night, reflects disarray in Germany’s strategy but an awareness that its standing among its allies was damaged when Mr. Westerwelle told the country’s ambassador to the United Nations to abstain from the vote.

A Permanent Security Council Seat For Germany?

Let’s vote.

“Germany has lost its credibility in the United Nations and in the Middle East.”

“Germany has turned the idea of a unified European Union foreign policy into a farce.”

“Germany’s hopes for a permanent Security Council seat can be buried. Even the idea of an EU seat is damaged.”

“I don’t know what the German foreign minister was thinking, but (the abstention) doesn’t have much in common with a values-driven foreign policy nor with German and European Union interests.”

“German hopes for a permanent seat on the Security Council have been permanently dashed and one is now fearful of Europe’s future.”

“Why is it so difficult for us in Germany to realize that we have to help the rebels in Libya, primarily because a bloodbath is looming in Benghazi?”

“Everyone has seen pictures of the Warsaw ghetto. Everyone knows what happens when an army takes over a city. That’s why all parties in France, including on the left, were in favor of a military intervention in Libya. In Germany, that didn’t happen.”

“The opposition to our closest partner France is a break with all constants of German foreign policy since 1949.”

“I have nothing but shame for the failure of our government.”

“The reform of the United Nations Security Council remains a major goal for the German government. The German government’s willingness to shoulder more responsibility within the framework of such reform is unchanged.”