With A Stress On “Symbol”

26 soldiers, eight beds.

Portugal

German military. Get it? There is no German military to speak of. The lady currently running the EU saw to that. A mid-size American city’s police force is more effective.

“A symbol of hope” – German military aid arrives in Portugal – A German military plane carrying over 20 doctors and nurses together with ventilators and hospital beds arrived on Wednesday in coronavirus-stricken Portugal, where a severe rise in cases has prompted several European nations to offer help.

The German team will manage a new unit of eight ICU beds in a private hospital in Lisbon, Hospital da Luz, which was equipped but lacked the staff to operate, Health Minister Marta Temido said at the military base where the plane landed.

“Eight beds may not sound like much, but it is a lot for a health system under significant pressure.”

 

Dig, Uschi! Dig!

It really is fun to watch her. I think she’s gone mad, by the way. But this is the world that Angie Merkel & Co. want.

Uschi

The incompetent Eurocrats are in a horrible hole. So why are they STILL digging?

For politicians across the world, the past 12 months have brought challenges few could have imagined. And inevitably, every government has made its share of mistakes. But for some people, determined to hold up a magnifying glass to Britain’s failings, there has always been a shining beacon of honesty and competence — the EU. Time and again, they insisted that France, Germany and their Continental neighbours put Britain to shame…

The EU’s vaccine shambles has been well chronicled, from its failure to sign a timely deal and secure supplies to its mendacious attempts to blame the British/Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and its ham-fisted attempt to close the Irish border. So I don’t intend to rehearse all the gory details. What has shocked me, though, is that instead of apologising, the Brussels elite have doubled down on their mistakes and evasions. Having found themselves in a hole, they have been digging more furiously than ever…

Despite her pompous presidential title, Mrs von der Leyen is not a serious politician. Most German commentators see her as a serial failure, whose time as their defence minister was blighted by her risible inability to arrange proper aircraft procurement. She was parachuted into the Commission presidency as Angela Merkel’s creature, a pliant puppet who would do her mistress’s bidding. But if Mrs Merkel had known what was coming, she would surely have made a better choice.

Isn’t It The Other Way Around?

Isn’t Europe doomed to be led by Germany?

Germany

Germany is doomed to lead Europe – The EU’s biggest member is in charge, whether Germans like it or not.

Walk into any meeting in Brussels and, most likely, a German will be leading it. In the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the former German defence minister, is in charge. For the next six months, German ministers will be cajoling their peers into signing off legislation as the country takes over the EU’s rotating presidency. In the European Council, where the bloc’s leaders butt heads, it might technically be Charles Michel, the former prime minister of Belgium, heading it. But it is Angela Merkel—longer in post than the leaders of France, Spain, Italy and Poland combined—who is the undisputed top dog. The EU’s main response to the covid-19 crisis—a flagship €750bn recovery fund paid for with debt issued collectively by the EU—is based on a plan cooked up in Berlin and Paris. The Germans are running the show.

How did Henry Kissinger put it? “Poor old Germany. Too big for Europe, too small for the world.”

PS: German oddity 5. Young adults in Germany have never known another chancellor other than Angela Merkel. She has been in office since 2005.

This Is The Real Problem

Not Donald Trump withdrawing American troops.

Germany

The Germans want a free ride and they’re offended at having finally been caught.

The Sorry State of Germany’s Armed Forces – Trump’s calls to withdraw U.S. troops from the country are impulsive, but Germany isn’t blameless.

The German armed forces are in a sorry state, and that’s not because Germany, more important to NATO’s efficacy as a collective defense pact than any other European member state, lacks the means to fix this problem. It does not.

Germany’s gross domestic product, valued at $4 trillion, ranks fourth in the world and first in Europe. The country is also Europe’s technological powerhouse. Indeed, in 2018, the World Economic Forum hailed it as the world’s leader in technological innovation.

And yet the German military remains riddled with problems. A damning 2019 report (available in an English-language summary) issued by the Bundestag’s then commissioner for the armed forces, Hans-Peter Bartels, summed up the problem.

PS: Please note here that the woman who ran the Bundeswehr for years and years and proved to be unable to fix it is now the woman EU technocrats (voters weren’t asked) have chosen to fix Europe.

German Of The Day: Fehlbesetzung

That means the wrong choice, as in choosing the wrong person. Well, at least the voters didn’t choose her.

Ursula

Hey, Ursula von der Leyen ruined the German Bundeswehr. She has a proven track record. That’s how she got her raise to ruin what’s left of Europe in the first place. She never had to run for election, folks. Backroom politics at its best. Why should she? She was one of Angie Merkel’s girls. Is anybody really surprised by any of this?

In the midst of the deepest crisis Europe is desperately seeking leadership. The new Commission President is proving to be weak in every respect.

Inmitten tiefster Krisen sucht Europa händeringend nach Führung. Die neue Kommissionspräsidentin erweist sich in jeder Hinsicht als schwach.

Dying?

Long dead is more like it. The German Air Farce.

Air Force

Germany’s Air Force Is Dying: Everything You Need To Know – AFebruary ministry report showed only 39 of 128 Eurofighter jets were available for training and combat use last year on average, and just 26 of 93 older-model Tornado fighter jets.

The problem – for anybody on the outside out there – is assuming that anyone here gives a damn. And the punchline: The German defense minister directly responsible for this just got promoted and will now be running the EU. Get it?

Die Luftwaffe is at a low point.

Mein Kampf-Karrenbauer

I mean Mein Kramp-Karrenbauer, of course. But she is a Kampf-Karrenbauer now, you know.

AKK

Or you can just call her AKK, if you prefer, although that sounds like a machine gun, too. Or just call her Mini-Merkel if you like that better (that’s her official unofficial designation). But I dunno. Mini-Merkel just doesn’t have the punch a defense minister needs to have with his name, don’t you think? Especially when it’s a she. Again. It just doesn’t exude any shock and awe. Well, shock, maybe, but nothing this government does can awe me anymore.

Merkel protege AKK given defence job seen as poisoned chalice – Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeds new EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen as German defence minister.

Angela Merkel’s favoured successor as chancellor has been appointed Germany’s new defence minister in an unexpected and potentially risky move after Ursula von der Leyen’s confirmation as European commission president…

The job of defence minister is widely seen as a poisoned chalice. Germany’s armed forces, which critics maintain have long been chronically underfunded, are consistently accused of inefficiency and of having inadequate or defective equipment.

“The World Is Crying For More Europe”

That’s odd. I live here and I can’t hear a damned thing.

Ursula

Ursula von der Leyen asks MEPs to back her as first female European commission president- Ursula von der Leyen has championed gender equality in her appeal to MEPs to back her as the first female president of the European commission, telling the European parliament: “We represent half of our population. We want our fair share.”

In a related matter, please take part in this important survey.

“Die Welt schreit nach mehr Europa.”

Of Course She’s Inadequate

If she were adequate they wouldn’t have nominated her for the job in the first place.

Inadequate

That’s how the EU works.

EU crisis: Merkel’s coalition ally slams Ursula von der Leyen for EU chief ‘inadequate!’ – The European Parliament is due to vote next Tuesday on whether Ms von der Leyen, Germany’s defence minister and a conservative ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, should succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the EU. Ms Von der Leyen’s nomination by EU leaders has infuriated the Social Democrats (SPD), Mrs Merkel’s coalition partners, who have accused leaders of ignoring the lead candidates from the main parliamentary blocs in their horse-trading over top posts…

The SPD said of her efforts to fix gaps in military readiness, Ms von der Leyen had failed to make significant improvements and that the Bundeswehr was still “in a shabby state”.

German Of The Day: Hinterzimmer

That means backroom.

Backroom

You know, like backroom deals? Like the way EU technocrats decide who runs the show despite what the electorate says? Why even hold European elections in the first place?

Von der Leyen nomination: Germans criticise ‘backroom deal’ – “What was the point of all that?” German critics are asking, after the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s defence minister, for the top EU job of Commission president.

There were TV debates. There were election rallies. Germany’s streets were plastered with posters showing the faces of candidates for the EU’s top jobs.

But Mrs von der Leyen’s face did not appear on any posters. Instead her nomination was suddenly announced after weeks of difficult, behind-the-scenes wrangling between EU leaders.

This is European, I mean EU democracy in action, people.