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The return of German militarism

From World Socialist Web Site - February 6

The announcement by the new grand coalition government in Germany that the country’s previous policy of military restraint is at an end marks a historic turning point. It heralds a new stage of aggressive imperialist foreign policy.

For the first time since the end of World War II and the monstrous crimes of the Nazi dictatorship, Berlin’s leading politicians have clearly stated that Germany will in the future intervene in crisis areas and global hot spots more strongly and independently than before, including by military means. The days when Germany was obliged to practice military abstinence are finally over, they insist.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Social Democratic Party—SPD) first announced the new policy last week in the Bundestag (parliament). He said Germany was “too big and too important” to confine itself any longer “to commenting on world politics from the sidelines.”

Ukraine and the pro-imperialist intellectuals

From World Socialist Web Site - February 5

The “Open letter on the future of Ukraine” issued by a group of Western academics and foreign policy operatives is a vile defense of the ongoing far-right protests in Ukraine supported by Washington and the European Union (EU). It peddles the old lie, repeated over nearly a quarter century of imperialist wars and interventions in Eastern Europe since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, that US and EU policy is driven only by a disinterested love of democracy and human rights.

It states, “The future of Ukrainians depends most of all on Ukrainians themselves. They defended democracy and their future 10 years ago, during the Orange Revolution, and they are standing up for those values today. As Europeans grow disenchanted with the idea of a common Europe, people in Ukraine are fighting for that idea and for their country’s place in Europe. Defending Ukraine from the authoritarian temptations of its corrupt leaders is in the interests of the democratic world.”

The Detroit bankruptcy and the global social counterrevolution

From World Socialist Web Site - February 4

Last week, the Detroit news media leaked parts of the restructuring plan that Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is set to implement in the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history. Euphemistically called a “plan of adjustment,” it outlines a savage assault that will set a precedent to escalate the attacks on the working class throughout the US and internationally.

The plan includes ending medical benefits for 23,500 retired city workers and forcing them onto Medicare or Obama’s private insurance exchanges. Retirees will also see their already meager pension checks slashed as the city reduces payments to pension trust funds by as much as 75 percent.

Orr is organizing a fire sale of public assets, including the Detroit Institute of Arts and the municipal water and sewerage system, to pay off the Wall Street banks and other wealthy creditors who control the city’s debt. The elimination of 700 of 1,700 jobs at the water department is only the down payment on the massacre of city jobs to come.

Australian government joins international witch-hunt of Edward Snowden

From World Socialist Web Site - February 3

Over the past fortnight the Australian government has joined the witch hunt being orchestrated by the Obama administration against National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden with the aim of charging and jailing him in the US, or silencing him permanently.

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week branded Snowden “a traitor” who was guilty of “betraying his country.” Abbott’s comments followed those of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop who hysterically accused Snowden of “unprecedented treachery” and “shamefully betraying his nation while skulking in Russia.”

These denunciations feed directly into the campaign of lies and threats being whipped up in ruling circles in the US. Unnamed American intelligence and military officials are publicly airing proposals for Snowden’s assassination. Senior government officials such as National Intelligence Director James Clapper and Attorney General Eric Holder demand his return to the US to face a show trial on trumped-up espionage charges.

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