Western European News Digest
2003 Summit Key to Trans-Atlantic Cooperation on Torture
Agreements between the U.S. and the European Union for massively upgraded judicial cooperation in the "war on terror" point to dirty trans-Atlantic collaboration on torture. Networks in the EU bureaucracy, in alliance with networks in the EU member states, are undoubtedly responsible for the joint EU/U.S. adoption of a highly upgraded collaboration in the fight against terror which created the conditions in which the torture flights and centers occurred. The key thing to look at is the June 25 EU/U.S. summit on "judicial collaboration" in Washington, where many measures were adopted "supranationally" by the EU with the U.S., without prior approval by the member states.
At that 2003 EU summit in Washington, the then-EU Commission President, Romano Prodi and other EU bigwigs, were received by President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. The summit had been prepared by the May 2003 G-8 summit in Paris, where Ashcroft was warmly received by Nicolas Sarkozy and Dominique Perben. Then-Justice Minister Dominique Perben had earlier prepared the French aspects of this collaboration in his Nov. 12-14, 2002 meeting with Ashcroft in Washington, with the objective to finalize the Perben II laws, which he stated publicly, had been modelled on the Patriot Act. Ashcroft arrived in Paris on May 5 to contribute to this effort.
On Feb. 18, 2004, Reseau Voltaire, the online newsletter, began exposing this European/American collaboration, in particular the fact that Perben decided to modify French law to allow the FBI to extend its operations against terrorists into French territory. On March 8, the RV newsletter warned "that France had authorized the action of American services in its territory."
Germany Denounces CIA Black Propaganda on Torture Issue
SPD Party vice chairman Kurt Beck told the German neo-con news daily Die Welt Dec. 12 that he is not convinced by what U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on the torture issue, during her recent European trip. "What was said publicly is not satisfactory at all. The attempt to launch a counterattack and put the blame on Germany once again, isn't either. And the reactions by U.S. government officials against the German Chancellor are simply unacceptable."
"America has been told clearly, what the German position is," Beck said, adding that through Eurocontrol, there is oversight of flights in Europe, including those that the U.S.A. did, and that therefore, the right approach is to investigate these affairs in a special commission in the European Parliament.
Beck added that whereas foreign intelligence work is a legal means of counterterrorism, "torture is not an instrument of a law-abiding state."
Muentefering Calls for 'High Wages, High Productive Standards'
"Germany must be again a country of high wages and high productive standards." That was the core of a speech made by German Vice Chancellor Franz Muentefering (SPD), before 300 factory councilmen in Berlin Dec. 15. It was an obvious echo of the debate inside the U.S. Democratic Party, a reflection of California Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi's "NASA speech," at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government on Dec. 2. Because Muentefering, lashing out against the always lower wages in Germany ("some people working 40 hours a week, get 800 euros gross per month"; "Germany is beginning to become a low-wage country") demanded a clear turn of economic policy: 1. "Germany must become a country of high productive standards again, and that means massive investment into education, research and technology"; 2. "The state must have higher income, we don't have too much state, we have too little ... especially the communities need better financial support, because they invest up to 15 billion euro less than ten years agoand if they invest, we could create jobs in building of roads, canals, and electricity towers!"
The other issue Muentefering took up, was that "social dumping" within Europe must be stopped. Muentefering warned that Germany would fail completely within the next 20-30 years, if we don't turn around now! No government official had previously attacked these EU mechanisms in such harsh words.
German Parliamentarian Endorses Bretton Woods Concept
At a public meeting in Berlin Dec. 1, Wolfgang Thierse (SPD), vice president of the German Bundestag, in reply to a question from EIR news service on the need for a new trans-Atlantic partnership based on a new Bretton Woods, answered that, "I would say, whether we call it Bretton Woods or something else, this is what we urgently need to bring order into the global system!"
During his speech, Thierse said that globalization brings not only opportunities, but also an acceleration of social tensions and imbalances. Therefore, we need order in global affairs, such as a fair trade concept. "But who can bring this order?" Thierse asked. "Only the USA has the civilizational power to do it. Europe is too divided as well as economically and military too weak." He also demanded in this context a "concept of the public good, which never must be brought under the control of private economic-financial interests like education, resources, security, etc." In strongly criticizing the Bush Administration for its violation of international law, he also said, "But we have to ask ourselves, if the European model is the adequate answer...."
The event was opened by a well-known theologian in Germany, who is also a strong critic of the neo-cons, and who had just returned from the U.S. "The power of the neo-cons is shrinking," he said. "The Senate voted against torture, and with that, against Cheney, so I am optimistic that we can get back to 'my America,' which is the America of Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Lincoln."
Sarkozy Continues His Gingrichite Neo-Con Revolution
Nicolas Sarkozy, who holds dual ministries in the French governmentState, and Interior and Regional Developmentannounced a new offensive Dec. 13 against what he calls the "archaic" social model of France, the remnants of the de Gaulle/Adenauer policies of the 1960s and '70s, which all parties are still defending in France. He just created the Agincourt Circle, taking the name of the famous battle in 1415 between the French and English in which the French were defeated by the numerically inferior English. So today, if the French stick to their archaic "social" model, they will lose the battle of the future, according to Sarkozy.
Britain is out of its economic crisis and so is Spain, raved Sarkozy, and France will also come out if its crisis if it only dumps its social model.