It was a dramatic about-face for the party of the “pacifist” chancellor. Operational plans for war in Syria were made by the General Staff of the Bundeswehr in concert with US generals. There was firm resistance from the SPD, the only force in the government truly committed to defusing Western “retaliation” by military intervention—and a disturbing thumbs-up by die Grünen to the “humanitarian” bombings, whose green colors are turning more and more khaki by the day, having joined up with their warmongering former liberal allies.
All these revelations come from the “confidential report” that exploded on the political scene in Berlin, which threatens to plunge Germany into the first armed conflict with Russia since Operation Barbarossa, in flagrant violation of the German Basic Law (the equivalent of the Constitution), which unequivocally forbids any type of participation in a war of aggression by the Federal Republic.
The contents of the top-secret report were leaked three days ago to Bild, the most popular German newspaper. “The Ministry of Defense is in talks with their American counterparts regarding the possible use in Syria of the Luftwaffe’s Tornado aircraft in case of a chemical attack by Assad’s army”—this is the most poignant excerpt from the confidential document being discussed by the top brass of the Federal Armed Forces, as well as under consideration by the CDU Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen.
The report is a bombshell in more ways than one, even if “there has not been a situation where a decision has had to be made,” as Angela Merkel’s advisers have rushed to point out. Just Tuesday, she was still making public pledges that Germany would never take part in military missions in Syria.
That was not even a half-truth, since the Bundeswehr has been engaged in the Middle East for months with boots on the ground, as well as in the Mediterranean with its navy, although (officially) only for logistical support missions.
Politically, this is a big problem for the Bundestag, which will be called upon to give the formal green light to Berlin’s participation in the war together with Washington, London and Paris. But it is also an ethical dilemma for those who must assume responsibility for the bombings, considering the suspect reliability of allegations of chemical attacks by Assad, which have been proven inaccurate more than once by none other than the American media.
For now, what cannot be denied is the Berlin meeting between German officers and Colonel David Knych, a military attaché to the US embassy, after the Trump administration requested to “join forces” against the Assad regime—as Bild revealed.
Specifically, the United States asked the Christian Democratic defense minister to “take part in the reconnaissance flights after a possible attack, to assess the damage due to the fighting,” reads the top-secret report now made public. The proposal gained CDU’s approval Tuesday, through the voice of Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who said that “Germany must consider the opportunity to join its Western allies in future military missions to prevent a new gas attack on civilians with large-scale effects.”
The SPD, however, rejected these word-salad justifications, determined to close any loophole that could open the door to German involvement in raids on Syria. “The SPD will not agree—either in parliament or in the government—to the participation of Germany in the war in Syria,” SPD leader Andrea Nahles stated tersely, not at all willing to budge on approving the scenario put forward by von der Leyen, who Tuesday limited herself to admitting to the meeting with the US colonel. However, the Greens and the FDP are thinking to “keep the attack option open”—the two partners from the defunct “Jamaica coalition,” who seem ready to act as a crutch for the war plans of the CDU-CSU.
On the same day, Turkish “Sultan” Erdogan—striking a more friendly tone for once—wrote for the Wall Street Journal, drumming up the danger of a new wave of “refugees and terrorists” and asking Moscow and Tehran to stop the “humanitarian catastrophe”—one that he himself has been fueling.