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Archive for November, 2011

So much learned commentary on Germany’s role in Europe’s financial woes, that the simple mind is definitely boggling. And it all sounds so convincing. The most predictable conspiracy theorists argue that Germany has finally achieved its WWII objectives by stealth and peaceful means – that is, the economic domination of Europe, aka the Fourth Reich.

Obviously German punters/taxpayers don’t reckon that’s a good deal, as they complain about having to foot the bill for their profligate Mediterranean cousins. But then we are informed that German banks hold large chunks of Greek and Italian (and other) government debt, so they are only helping themselves get out of some potentially large holes if sovereign debt default happens.

Other experts argue that the dastardly French imposed the Eurozone on the reunifying Germans to make sure their dreaded D-mark did not rule the European roost, and leave Le Coq Non-Sportif in the shed squawking instead of crowing. And furthermore, that latterly monetary union has backfired because the relatively weak Euro has allowed German exports to flourish.  Are you following so far?

Daniel Hannan even argues that ‘Germany no longer needs Europe’, and that the Germans should get over this whole post-WWII guilt trip, and stop propping up the bureaucratic mess that the EU is becoming.  And that nobody will hold it against them anymore, anyway.

If you were hoping to get some new wisdom and insight into all these apparently contradictory commentariat outputs, then keep searching. Let’s just hope that this heady mix of Angst and Schadenfreude is not the Vorspiel to Gotterdammerung on a grand scale. 

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Angrier over Afghanistan

I am very angry about our ridiculous war in Afghanistan. What is wrong with us (Australians)? We get outraged when our cattle are not slaughtered properly in Indonesia, and yet we meekly accept another three Australian soldiers killed this week in Afghanistan in that useless military adventure. Total death toll: 32.

What’s worse is that this latest episode demonstrates again why the stated reason for being in Afghanistan is a sham. As previously reported our war aims have segued seamlessly from rooting out Al-Qaeda, to bringing democracy to a blighted people, and now mentoring the Afghan army to look after their own security. In this incident an Afghan soldier turned his gun on our troops on parade and shot dead three of them, in the back. The whole Afghan barracks in that base have now been disarmed, while someone works out who can be trusted further. Most previous Australian fatalities have occurred from improvised explosive devices. This conflict is a bloody national disgrace.

Gillard intones the usual platitudes about grief and mourning, and Defence Minister Smith makes a lugubrious statement about reviewing how our troops engage with the Afghan army. Politicians from both major parties continue to parrot ‘staying the course’ and ‘completing the mission’. They make me feel sick. Such dishonesty is an insult to the families of our dead soldiers. We don’t even know who our allies are there, and have no damn idea of how they will perform when we’ve finished mentoring them.

Politicians and media have conflated woolly notions of Anzac tradition into an omerta of uncritical support for a misguided military engagement, which has now lasted ten bloody years. So nobody dares (except The Greens) to raise a dissenting voice, for fear of being labelled unAustralian or disloyal to our troops. This is childish nonsense – our involvement in this war needed vigorous and ongoing debate from the start. And now that the emperor’s clothes are so clearly in tatters, it has to stop before another Australian life is needlessly sacrificed in a futile war. Bring the troops home now!

 

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