Special Report on Germany
The German Grand Coalition is in deep trouble. As can be observed in the United States with many of the projects of the Bush Administration which seem to backfire and end up in defeat, much of what the German Grand Coalition is doing is also met with disaster. In addition, events outside the German government’s control add to the bleak picture of Germany in the world. When will the German people wake up to do something about these incredible developments? Quite different from Biblical prophecies showing that the United States of America is DOOMED to failure just prior to Christ’s return–regardless of what government or administration might be “ruling” it–the Bible is also very clear that Germany is predestined to achieve TEMPORARY “greatness” in these end times–with disastrous events to follow.
Travesty in Afghanistan
As Der Spiegel Online reported on October 30, 2006:
“The photos of German soldiers posing with skulls in Afghanistan have endangered the mission of an army deployed to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of Afghans… The scandalous photos from Afghanistan… plunged the Bundeswehr into its biggest crisis in years. They fly in the face of a concept under which German soldiers are meant to serve as ambassadors of democracy, and under which they are meant to seek acceptance in crisis regions like Afghanistan and Lebanon… the series of photos shows German soldiers abroad doing precisely the opposite of what they are supposed to do, and it serves as a painful reminder of something the Germans have apparently forgotten over the past few decades: death and the military are all-too-often closely intertwined. Peacekeeping missions are rarely conducted in peaceful regions… Eighteen German soldiers have already been killed in Afghanistan. This is the highest death toll among all German military missions abroad, and it demonstrates just how dead serious life has become for these troops.”
Israel Attacks German Aircraft and Vessels
As if these developments were not bad enough, Israeli attacks on German aircraft and vessels in the Middle East added to the present confusion and the decreasing confidence of the German public in what their government is doing and has gotten Germany into.
Der Spiegel Online reported on October 30, 2006:
“One thing is certain, when Germany’s Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung visits Israel and Lebanon the end of this week, there will be no shortage of things to talk about. He will want a more detailed explanation from Israeli politicians, for example, as to why their fighter jets buzzed a German ship last Tuesday and why a German naval helicopter was approached by Israeli jets on Thursday night. And when Jung visits the Lebanese government, concern within Germany’s parliament about Beirut’s wish to limit the activities of the German-led UN flotilla off the coast will surely be on the agenda… Last Tuesday six Israeli F-16 fighter jets sped at low altitude over the Alster, a part of the German flotilla. At the time the vessel was cruising in international waters some 50 nautical miles off Israel’s coast just south of the border with Lebanon. The Israeli jets allegedly fired two shots from its canon before it released flares normally meant to confuse enemy air-defense missiles [The Israeli government, as well as some within the German government, went on record disputing these allegations, even though the German Defense Department considers them to be accurate]… As it turned out, the Tuesday incident wasn’t the first time tempers had flared… Two weeks previously, a similar event took place.”
Breitbart added on October 26 that “France and the United Nations this week warned Israel that it was endangering the multinational peace mission in Lebanon by sending its fighter planes into Lebanese airspace.” According to Der Spiegel Online of October 31, 2006, and other reports, Israel continued to do so on Tuesday with six or eight airplanes, thereby “clearly violating the UN resolution.”
German Government Guilty of Misrepresentations?
But according to the German viewpoint of public opinion, the real problem does not concern Israel, but Germany’s government. The small opposition under FDP leader Guido Westerwelle is accusing the government of negligent or intentional misrepresentations. As the magazine explained, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had “promised during the parliamentary debate on the mission… that Lebanon doesn’t have any right to veto. ‘We are allowed to travel in the whole region,’ was the promise she made before the German government agreed to the decision. The FDP opposition party is now criticizing Merkel for misleading parliament.”
Since the parliamentary opposition is so tiny, not much can be done, politically, to prevent the Grand Coalition from doing whatever they envision and agree on–even if this means, going against the clear wishes of the German people. The vast majority of the Germans was opposed to Germany’s involvement in Lebanon, but Angela Merkel (CDU) and her administration (coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD) decided to proceed anyhow–casting aside all contrary arguments. The FDP complained–and Westerwelle wrote in his weekly column in Bild about the continuing shortcomings of the ruling parties. Bild also published an article on October 30, stating that the German “adventure” of the country’s vessels in Lebanese waters “is becoming the most costly enterprise of the German Bundeswehr–with anticipated costs of 193 million euros by the end of 2007–with less and less prospects for success, due to the limitations imposed by Lebanon on German operations.”
What we see, then, is a German opposition OUTSIDE the German parliament. According to Der Spiegel Online of October 31, some officials within the ruling parties have begun to question publicly the necessity or effectiveness of Angela Merkel’s policy to commit to German military involvement in Lebanon. These kinds of developments with mounting opposition outside the German parliament and disagreements between the ruling parties occurred in the late 60’s, leading to the ultimate downfall of the then German Grand Coalition.
German Government Failing on Domestic Issues
The Merkel administration is in deep trouble in other respects as well. In private discussions with loyal CDU party members and supporters, they will admit that Merkel is not the kind of leader they had hoped to have. Former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (SPD) was not re-elected because of the German disapproval of Schroeder’s plans to modernize the German welfare system–leading the way to Merkel’s rise. But Merkel’s government has hardly brought about any success in this highly contested area–and German disapproval is mounting. Even in German family-oriented popular public television shows, such as the recent airing of “Spass Muss Sein,” comedians ridicule the key players within the German government–Merkel (CDU), Muentefering (SPD) and Bavaria’s Edmund Stoiber (CSU)–pointing out especially Stoiber’s continued complaining about Merkel’s policies, without being willing or able to show any “viable alternatives.”
President Koehler Puts German Parliament to Shame
One interesting player in this political horror story who has surprised all political parties is German President Horst Koehler (independent). After all major parties agreed to privatize German airlines, Koehler objected and refused to sign legislature to that effect, as, according to Koehler, the proposed law violated the German constitution. The German President has such limited veto powers, but he has rarely used them. That Koehler used them now shows the depth of the crisis pertaining to the German parliament.