The NATO Scam

Joe Sylvester over at The Federalist has an article yesterday about the welfare state called NATO. It’s rather interesting.

It has been 27 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but American foreign policy has not evolved to fit the new world. We have more military bases in Europe than we did post-World War II. There seems to be no coherent answer as to the necessity of such bases and, worse, no justification of the burgeoning costs.

Who are these bases designed to protect? Which European countries have an actual or even a perceived threat of foreign invasion, and by whom? Why can’t economic powerhouses such as Germany provide for their own defense?

In short, Germany can, but won’t. Agreements among North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations stipulate that if one member is attacked, the others must come to their aid. This agreement acts as a one-way insurance policy for Europe. The United States pays the premiums—the costs of maintaining bases across Europe. If a member nation is attacked, however, the United States, in practice, will end up shouldering a majority of the burden of defense.

That is not an alliance, it is at best a protectorate, at worst a colony. But it’s a misshapen colony, colonies are supposed to exist for the benefit of the mother country, not the mother country exist for the benefit of the colony. What is really amounts to is welfare. The Europeans subsidize their citizens, and all those Muslim ‘asylum seekers’ on the backs of the taxpayers – the American taxpayers. And like all welfare systems, it has bred dependence on the state, in this case, Europe’s dependence on the United States.

[…] This agreement not only forfeits the rights of the United States to decline participation if it is not in American interests, it is not and cannot physically be reciprocal. Germany and a majority of the rest of the member nations cannot aid the United States in times of conflict. Even if they wanted to, they are not capable of aiding in any meaningful way. This is a contractual obligation that these countries are in default of, which should render it unenforceable and void.

In January, the German Parliamentary armed forces commissioner, Hans-Peter Bartels, issued a shocking report that stunned the German parliament, the Bundestag. In it, he wrote that Germany’s military personnel are at an all-time low of a 170,000-man army. To put this in perspective, if this were hand-to-hand conflict, Germany would be evenly matched against the militaries of Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

It takes new German recruits approximately 45 weeks to get uniforms, and many are trained with broom handles instead of guns and passenger vans in place of armored vehicles. Only one-third of their jet-fighters and a staggering five of their 60 transport helicopters were operational. To make matters worse, after a slight increase in spending in 2018, defense spending will again regress to an all-time low in the following year.

In June of last year, news of a German withdrawal from NATO exercises after less than two weeks into a four-week exercise caused international embarrassment. Rules limiting overtime by German military officials highlight their attitudes about meeting their commitments to the European Union to bolster their defense forces to appropriate levels and see to their own well-being. German attitudes on defense can be summed up by saying, “American pays for our defense, so why should we?”

A couple of things about that last link, the Bundeswehr is only allowed to work 41 hours a week, and there is no provision for overtime. Does that sound as imbecilic to you as it does me? Overtime for the army! And a forty-one hour work week maximum. Any of you civilian Americans ever had it that good? Yeah, usually I got overtime unless I owned the joint, in which case my normal week was 60-80 hours, but 48-60 hours was a normal week most of my career. I’d guess our army is higher than that.

Then there is this part…

Germany is the largest economy in Europe by a long-shot, the fifth-largest economy in the world, and the number one exporter of goods around the world. Forty-six percent of the German economy lives on exports, compared to China at 20 percent. Nine percent of German exports are bought directly by U.S. markets. In 2016, the United States had a trade deficit of $65 billion with Germany, which was only America’s third-largest deficit after China and Japan.

We acquiesced to this type of deal, long ago, when we had ~80% of gross world product, shortly after World War II to help Europe recover from the war. The time for that has passed, as has the Soviet Union.

When you think of Russia, think of Italy with a lot of (mostly) old nukes. That’s about the size of its economy. And it is dependent on one product: Oil. And the corrupt German government is its best customer, while we spend our money defending them. Quite the scam isn’t it.

Russia fails at our will, all we have to do is glut the oil market, which is exactly how we destroyed the Soviet Union, we drove them to their grave economically, while outproducing them militarily. Remember when they put their entire missile fleet on the negotiating table to stop SDI? They did, at Keflavik. Think they might be a bit worried about the US Space Force? I don’t know how well planned it is either, but I like being stronger than the rest of the world put together. It’s a feeling Putin will never know.

But the real problem for the US (actually what passes these days for the free world) isn’t Rusia, it is China. And as long as we’re spending all this money in Europe, we are ignoring the real problem to focus on a  minor annoyance.

Time to get our eye on the ball, before we strike out.

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Mütti and the CSU

Have you been paying attention to Germany? You (and I) should be. It appears that Merkel’s immigrants are causing her problems with the Germans. About time, but perhaps better late than never. From Vijeta Uniyal writing on Legal Insurrection.

Just three months into her fourth term, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel faces the biggest crisis of her career. Her Catholic conservative Bavarian ally, the CSU, has threatened to abandon the coalition government over immigration policy.

Germany’s Interior Minister and long-time CSU leader, Horst Seehofer, wants to push for tougher immigration laws, which will include refusing entry to illegal immigrants at the border. According to German newspaper reports, if the country’s Interior Minister goes ahead with the new restrictions without Merkel’s consent, she will be forced to fire him, putting an end to her freshly-baked coalition government. Her political future hangs in the balance, as CSU leaders meet on Monday to decide the future course of action.

The standoff threatens to end the 60-year-old alliance between Merkel-led Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavaria-based CSU.

Catholic conservative CSU party’s new-found zeal to curb migration may have lot to do with the upcoming state elections in Bavaria, where the party faces stiff challenge from the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD party. “I can’t work with this woman,” Seehofer said referring to Merkel, German newspaper Die Welt reported.

Frustrated with Merkel’s refusal to compromise on her policy of open doors for illegal immigrants, CSU’s Seehofer is seeking to create a European alliance against unregulated migration. As German business daily Handelblatt reported on Wednesday: “In a dangerous swipe at Chancellor Angela Merkel, her own interior minister is siding with the Austrian and Italian governments to forge a right-wing “axis of the willing” to curb immigration.”

“Is Merkel’s reign nearing a frustrated end?,” asked the left-wing UK newspaper The Guardian.

“Chancellor [Merkel] Needs to Turn Around,” demanded the editorial published in the German mass-circulation daily Bild‘s Sunday edition. Explaining the severity of the standoff, the newspaper wrote:

On Monday, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer will present measures to turn away asylum seekers to a safe third-country.

Chancellor, so far, has been strictly against such a move. If Seehofer goes ahead with it, Merkel will have to fire her Interior Minister. That will be the end of the government.

This is pure madness.

Angela Merkel is thereby risking the political stability of the country, the elected government, the unity of her proud party, and a new election with further rise of the radical forces. And all this for a policy that vast majority of people in Germany and her party don’t want anymore.

These are drastic words, coming from a newspaper that ran a #RefugeesWelcome campaign in the autumn of 2016, rising money and public support for Merkel’s open borders policy.

Do read it all. And yes, Merkel is a competent politician, who has been around the block a time of three but I think she let this one get out of control. I also think it is going to cost her (and her party dearly). It could blow up today, it could take a few months, or she might weather it, but I don’t think so.

The tide has turned, the migrants have been too obvious, and especially, too lawless, for an orderly country like Germany to accept.

I welcome Herr Seehofer’s initiative but would caution him that they need a different name, Germany, Austria, and Italy should not be involved with anything having Axis in its title. Just doesn’t have a good sound in these parts, however laudable.

What does this all mean? Maybe nothing, maybe anything. It could easily mark the beginning of the end for the EU, thus backhandedly solving the UK’s Brexit problem, it could easily mean the end of NATO, since a lot of British and American opinion thinks that overdue, anyway. Always remember that NATO is above all a pledge (by the victors, US and UK) to defend western Europe. And mind, NATO needs to not be quite as aggressive, Ukraine was a step too far likely.

It cannot but help but to encourage the Balts, Poland, the Visegrad countries, and yes, Italy, to further distance themselves from the Berlin-Brussels axis, which is hurting Europe in much the same ways as Obama’s presidency damaged the American heartland in favor of the coastal bubbles.

Not much for us to do here, really, except watch and see what happens, but it will affect us.

Scamming the Citizen

Well, I don’t like to say, “I told you so,” but I told you this would happen. From PowerLine.

It’s been a tedious chore to track the slow motion train wreck of Germany’s energiewende, or “energy revolution.” Climatistas here have long touted Germany as the model we should follow. Think of it a renewable energy uber alles.

Well there’s a problem, and you don’t even need to know German to get this headline from two days ago:

Benny Peiser (a German native) at the Global Warming Policy Foundation to translates.

Irregular and unpredictable wind and solar power is increasingly becoming a problem for Germany’s power grid. Utility company Tennet TSO spent almost a billion euros last year on emergency interventions to stabilize the national grid.

That’s what the company announced earlier this week. The costs were thus about 50% higher than in 2016 (660 million euros) and around forty percent higher than in 2015 (710 million). Tennet is responsible for the electricity supply in an area that extends from Schleswig-Holstein in the north to Bavaria in the south of Germany and accounts for around forty percent of Germany’s total area. In particular, Tennet is responsible for important north-south transmission routes.

The reason for the increase in emergency interventions is the rising number of solar projects and wind turbines in Germany. The share of renewable energy increased from 29 to 33 percent of the electricity supply last year. Wind and solar power are irregular and often unpredictable. This makes the network increasingly unstable.

But hey, anything to save the world, amirite? Well, perhaps, not so much.

German parties agree to scrap 2020 climate target – sources

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s would-be coalition partners have agreed to drop an ambitious plan to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, two sources told Reuters on Monday — a potential embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Negotiators for her conservative bloc and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) told Reuters the parties had agreed in exploratory talks on forming a government that the targeted cut in emissions could no longer be achieved by 2020.

As usual, it turns out to be “Anything to keep the cronies in power, so the gravy train doesn’t stop.” Business as usual, in other words, and the average citizen (German in this case) take the hindmost. Such lovely elites. As Steve asks, “How does one say epic fail in German?” His suggestion is Alles kaput. That works for me.

And that is exactly what offends me with the whole scam that climate change has become. There may have been some actual evidence back at the beginning that we do have an effect on the climate, but we’ll never know.

The whole thing has become a scam for statist government, universities more worried about a buck than intellectual rigor, and capitalists without the drive to deal with competition looking for corporate welfare. Who is the loser in this scheme? As always the mark, the sucker of the con, is the citizen, the fool who pays for all the private jets going to the conferences in Swiss ski resorts, who pays for building stupid windmills all over the place, and eventually sits shivering in dark, because the electricity is off (ask a Brit who remembers the seventies!). Likely to starve too since transportation costs will rise as well.

Welcome to their Brave New World.

Beobachte den Osten; the German Outlook

FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

Yesterday, we talked about the British, through the eyes of Katie Hopkins, one of the best spokespeople for the people like us amongst the cousins. But what about the Germans? They are an even bigger economy and the mainstay of the EU, yet Mütti Merkel cannot seem to form a government, in fact, her problems parallel those of Mrs. May, and speak to why Hillary! failed so badly. All three countries (and France, as well) have specific problems but there are also commonalities. Much of this comes from PowerLine but also from where Steve sourced his: The New York Review of Books. Timothy Garton Ash writes in It’s the Kultur, Stupid this…

[L]ike all contemporary populisms, the German version exhibits both generic and specific features. In common with other populisms, it denounces the current elites (Alteliten in AfD-speak) and established parties (Altparteien) while speaking in the name of the Volk, a word that, with its double meaning of people and ethno-culturally defined nation, actually best captures what Trump and Le Pen mean when they say “the people.” In Angst für Deutschland, her vividly reported book about the party, Melanie Amann, a journalist at the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, notes how some of its activists have appropriated the slogan of the East German protests against Communist rule in 1989: Wir sind das Volk—We are the people. Like other populists, Germany’s attack the mainstream media (Lügenpresse, the “lying press”) while making effective use of social media. On the eve of the election, the Alternative had some 362,000 Facebook followers, compared with the Social Democrats’ 169,000 and just 154,000 for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

Its criticism of globalization is familiar, as is its angry and self-congratulatory denunciation of political correctness. Typical of all European populisms is a negative attitude toward the EU in general and the euro in particular. The Alternative started life in 2013 as an anti-euro party. Although overall German support for the EU is still very strong, a poll conducted for the Bertelsmann foundation in the summer of 2017 found that 50 percent of those respondents who identified themselves as on the “right” (carefully distinguished from the “center-right”) would vote for Germany to leave the EU, if Germans were offered a Brexit-style in-or-out referendum. This is a remarkable finding. Unlike Brexit, Germexit would be the end of the European Union.

Yep, that is remarkable, 50% of the right in Germany would vote to exit the EU. But I don’t think that is the main takeaway here. I think the main takeaway here is that so many of its supporters come from the former GDR, the old Deutschedemokratischerepublik, or East Germany. Like the Poles, the Czechs, and the other east Europeans, they know how socialism works (or doesn’t) and they aren’t buying into it again. We Americans have always fought off the worst effects, and the British some of them, but the east ended up with the very worst, subject to the Soviet Union and they haven’t forgotten. I’m guessing that in Germany like the rest, the kids simply can’t (or won’t) believe what their parents and grandparents tell them, but it is all true, in all its grim majesty.

In Germany, I think it worse because teaching much of any real history about the Nazi era is mostly verboten, much as if we didn’t teach FDR’s presidency.

Unlike in Britain and America, economic factors play only a small part here. It’s not just that Germany as a whole is doing well economically. In a 2016 poll, four out of five AfD voters described their personal economic situation as “good” or “very good.” This is not a party of the economically “left behind.” It gathers the discontented from every walk of life, but those who predominate in its ranks are educated, middle-class men. A leading CDU politician told me that the angry protest letters he gets from defectors to the Alternative will typically be from a doctor, businessman, lawyer, or professor. This strong presence of the educated upper middle class distinguishes German populism from many other populisms.

Among the leaders of the party, they are visibly represented by its other designated “leading candidate,” Alexander Gauland, a seventy-six-year-old former CDUfunctionary who almost invariably wears a check-patterned tweedy jacket and dark green tie. He is one of those elderly conservative gents who look so English that you know they must be German. Then there is Beatrix von Storch, a shrill and tiresome minor aristocrat with neoliberal, Hayekian intellectual pretensions. (Her maternal grandfather was Hitler’s finance minister—but we are not responsible for our grandfathers.) As for Alice Weidel: this former Goldman Sachs and Allianz asset manager, white, blonde, always neatly turned out in business attire, lives just across the border in Switzerland, in a same-sex relationship with a Swiss filmmaker of Sinhalese heritage and two adopted sons. These are not the German equivalent of the American rust belt manual worker, or of what is known in England, with liberal condescension, as “white van man.” (The van is white as well as the man.)

Here he is blinded by his own prejudices. In my experience, neither the rust belt manual worker nor ‘the white van man’ is typical, the support for Brexit and Trump extends far beyond these illiberal stereotypes, and the blindness of our so-called ‘betters’ is one of the main reasons they are losing. In fact, I find that they are exactly parallel, the most productive parts of society are the ones most frustrated by the dangerous silliness of the elites, who have rarely had a real-world job.

In any case, an interesting pair of articles. And something rare, an encouraging report from the continent.

Once again, America, partnering with England, shows Europe what freedom looks like and how to achieve it. Perhaps we will be able to say, with William Pitt the Younger:

[B]ut Europe is not to be saved by any single man. England has saved herself by her exertions, and will, as I trust, save Europe by her example.

Beobachte den Osten

Why the Roman empire worked – and the EU empire doesn’t

Roman_Empire_Trajan_117ADI found this very interesting:

The principle of countries working harmoniously together is wholly admirable. Why, then, has the European Union become such a disaster area? The success of the Roman empire may offer a clue.

Romans won that empire almost entirely by military might. But they could not have maintained it that way: for some 500 years, a mere 300,000 legionaries patrolled this area of approximately two million square miles and about 60 million inhabitants. So what was their secret?

The key is pleasingly paradoxical: the Romans never consciouslyplanned an empire at all. Once they had started down that road, they saw the material advantages it could bring, but there was no blueprint for it. Success was a result of hard-won experience.

via Why the Roman empire worked – and the EU empire doesn’t

This, of course, is the period of history we were taught to call the Pax Romana. It’s essentially the longest period of peace that Europe has known. But while the Concert of Vienna held, and the British controlled the seas, there was the Pax Britannia, and after the exhaustion of the wars of the twentieth century, the Pax Americana.

And that has held from 1945 until today, and make no mistake, it was NATO, led by the US and the UK, that held the ring, allowing Europe to mostly waste its inheritance on spending the windfall of the Marshall Plan without having to worry about defending itself.

The EU for all its pretensions had very little to do with it, the ring was held by GI Joe and Tommy Atkins, and the US Dollar, as it is to this day. The EU was envisioned as a common market, to allow the Europeans to use resources where they could do the most good. In many ways, American influence spread as the Roman Empire did, we rarely interfered with anything in our client states and let them follow whatever chimeras they chose, as long as they didn’t get into a war about it. It’s worked pretty well, and if the bureaucrats in Brussels didn’t get too big for their britches, it still would be.

But they did, with the worst outcomes possible for their populations, because Brussels is all about the power of the elites, and while talking a good game, nothing about improvement for the citizenry, or should we say, peasants. See that’s one other thing, there are no successful democratic traditions in Europe, only in the Anglosphere. Europe goes through the motions, as long as we are watching, but when we get distracted, their old aristocratic habit comes back to the fore, with all its memory of divine right to tell everybody else what is best for them. In their zeal for the status quo, as opposed to the future, well, does anybody really think that if it was 1901 they wouldn’t regulate motor cars into oblivion for the benefit of hay farmers, and buggy whip manufacturers?

And so, as Europe stagnates and comes under unceasing pressure from other people migrating in to get the free stuff, it threatens to collapse, which explains the panicked efforts to keep the fifth largest economy in the world (the UK) more or less in it. It also explains why so many Britons are so anxious to unchain themselves from an anchor that will drag them underwater.

I think they should remember what happened when they unchained themselves from Europe last time. When Henry VIII, turned his back on Europe. What happened? The world as you and I know it. It all stems from that.

Will the EU likely collapse sooner if the UK leaves? I think so. Is that necessarily a bad thing? I’m not sure that it is, perhaps if they went back to their nation states, the Europeans, who don’t fit any of the conditions necessary for a cohesive national identity, only for an empire based on force, might figure out a better way. After all, they have an example to follow, they don’t have to invent it, as the British and Americans did. And always remember two things:

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

from Maggie Thatcher, and the folk wisdom of common sense,

Things that can’t continue, won’t.

Give Women the Right to Defend Themselves

Nederlands: Geert Wilders op campagne in zwolle

Nederlands: Geert Wilders op campagne in zwolle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is from Geert Wilders and Machiel de Graaf writing for the Gatestone Institute.

“Cultural enrichment” has brought us a new word: Taharrush. Remember it well, because we are going to have to deal with it a lot. Taharrush is the Arabic word for the phenomenon whereby women are encircled by groups of men and sexually harassed, assaulted, groped, raped. After the Cologne taharrush on New Year’s Eve, many German women bought pepper spray. Who can blame them?

A culture that has a specific word for sexual assaults of women by groups of men is a danger to all women. The existence of the word indicates that the phenomenon is widespread. Frau Merkel, Prime Minister Rutte and all the other open-door politicians could and should have known this.

The Islamic world is steeped in misogyny. The Koran explicitly states that a woman is worth only half a man (Suras 2: 228, 2: 282, 4:11), that women are unclean (5:6), and that a man can have sex with his wife whenever he wants (24:31). The Koran even says that men are allowed to have sex slaves (4:24), and that they have the right to rape women whom they have captured (24:31).

The hadiths, the descriptions of the life of Muhammad, the ideal human being whose example all the Islamic faithful must follow, confirm that women are sex objects, that they are inferior beings like dogs and donkeys, and that there is nothing wrong with sexual slavery and raping female prisoners.

Taharrush is quite common in Islamic countries. Women are frequently surrounded by men and subsequently abused. The Egyptian website Jadaliyya points out that it also happens to veiled women. Women are victims simply because they are women and not because they have provoked the men by their conduct or “provocative” clothing. It can happen in the streets, public transport, supermarkets, or during protest demonstrations. […]

The solution is not that our women keep an arm’s length from the male barbarians, but that the government keeps these men thousands of kilometers away from us. Until that happens, other measures are needed. It is irresponsible to turn our country into a jungle and subsequently send women unarmed into the jungle. They must at least have the right to defend themselves. Contrary to countries such as Germany and France, in our country it is illegal to carry pepper spray. With the Netherlands now being overrun by men who see women as inferior sex tools, it is time to legalize pepper spray in the Netherlands as a weapon against taharrush.

via Give Women the Right to Defend Themselves.

The only real problem that I have with this is this. Women, like men, have an inherent, God-given, right of self-defense, not to mention the duty to defend others. It is simply the right to life. It is illegitimate for any government to think it has any right at all to preemptively remove this right from any member of society. Pepper spray (and tasers and the like) are an OK stopgap. But the only way to stop animals like this is to put them down, and therefore, lethal self-defense is the answer.

Yes, for most of us that means guns. Not for nothing, in the Old American West, was it said that God created men and women, but Colonel Colt made them equal. How else is an 110-pound woman going to defend herself from 2 dozen or so young men? The answer is, she isn’t.

It’s far too late, in Europe certainly, but here as well, for half measures. Either we allow our women (and men, incidentally) to defend themselves, or we allow them to massacred at the will of the insurgents. That is the bottom line decision we have to make.

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