US think tanks and experts are making the worst assessments of Europe and the Euro. Can they be believed?
- Superpower China: Emerging From 60 years Of American Shadow? (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Time to pull the plug? (economist.com)
- Europe’s Zero-Sum Dilemma | Gideon Rachman | National Interest | 25 April 2012 (nationalinterest.org)
- Spain poised to get up to €100bn for bank bailout (guardian.co.uk)
- Queen’s Diamond Jubilee: Keep the Koh-i-Noor (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Church, Religion & Go-Gooders (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- 10 Companies Decide What We Eat (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Land of the Free … Home of the Brave (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Perspectives on Pakistan (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Bilderberg: Silly stories …? (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- China’s ‘naked’ officials (2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Pakistan: The Hidden Chapter (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Indian diplomacy: Heavy Lifting (2ndlook.wordpress.com)
Fat and lazy
Between 1875-1935, Britain was dependent on India for gunpowder, on USA and Iran for oil, on Malaya and India for rubber. British economy had grown fat and uncompetitive – unlike Italian, German and Japanese economies.
Even though Britain won WWII, their economy was a lost cause. Though Germany, Italy and Japan were losers, with their economy in shambles, they could make a brilliant recovery and vastly out-compete Britain.
The story of Middle East oil is similar for USA and West. The Welfare State, built on a diet of cheap oil, easy dollars, is now too expensive for the West to sustain. The above book extract gives an excellent snapshot of the oil industry in the 20th century.
And the shadow of oil on the 21st century.
- Onward, American Soldiers! Another million await death. (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Out with the old? (bbc.co.uk)
- UK economy trailing (thesun.co.uk)
- Skidding Oil Prices: A Blip or a Trend? (green.blogs.nytimes.com)
When the West wanted cheap labour, they changed laws. With economic stagnation they no longer need immi-grunts.
- Merkel Walks a Tightrope on German Immigration (time.com)
- “German Multiculturalism Has â€œFailedâ€ : Merkel” and related posts (therightperspective.org)
- Is Merkel right in saying multiculturalism has utterly failed in Germany? [Steve Waldron] (ecademy.com)
- Mosques to become bigger part of German life – Chancellor Angela Merkel – Reuters – Reuters FaithWorld (richarddawkins.net)
- German far right emerges from shadows to join Cologne campaign against mosque (guardian.co.uk)
- Angela Merkel turns on foreigners with attack on multiculturalism (americablog.com)
- Britons obsess about immigration, Germans focus on education | Martin Kettle (guardian.co.uk)
- Germans Blame Euro Zone Crisis For Eurovision Debacle (dailymaverick.co.za)
- Germany’s Merkel visits Pope, urges tougher market controls (uk.reuters.com)
A car said to have been a gift from Adolf Hitler to a Nepalese king will be repaired and used to drive visitors around the grounds of a palace museum, a government official said on Thursday.
The 1939 Mercedes-Benz was presented by the Nazi leader to King Tribhuvan, grandfather of Nepal’s last King Gyanendra, deposed two years ago. (via Hitler car to be used for Nepal palace tourists).
German activities in Indian border areas
Why would Hitler send a car as a gift to the King of Nepal?
Behind that is an interesting history of manoeuvrings by European powers in Asia. The Tibetan kingdom, sought to counter-balance the British and the Chinese power, by increasing Japanese-German presence. Result – German activity in the Nepal, Sikkim and Tibet region was significant in the 1920-1940 period.
Dr.R.Wilhelm Filchner was an early German traveller in Tibet, China and North West India in 1903-195. Filchener’s second expedition, in 1924 took longer, covered greater distances with more complications. Albert Von Le Coq’s (the German version of Auriel Stein) book in 1928 covered North-West India, Tiber, North-East China, Eastern Iran region. Paul Dahlke, set up the Buddhistisches Haus at Berlin in 1924.
Religion and Occult
There is a certain amount of mysticism and occult elements also. Theodore Illion (German writer of a strange traveller’s account titled Darkness Over Tibet) wrote of mystics in underground cities, who would help the Aryans to conquer and rule the world. The names of Friedrick Krohn and Karl Haushofer are also related to this genre.
In 1920, Friedrick Krohn, a member of the Thule Society, suggested the Hakenkreutz, a symbol used by the Thule Society, to Adolf Hitler for the nascent Nazi Party. An unlikely theory by French researchers Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier that it was Karl Haushofer (a Tibeto-phile from Germany), close to Rudolf Hess and also knew Hitler, who contributed to the idea of Hakenkreuz, the Nazi swastika. The Hakenkreuz was being used by the Nazi Party before Hitler met Haushofer.
It is known that Hitler sent his scientific advisors for studies to Tibet (via Sikkim). These were anthropological studies and culture studies. During Hitler’s short reign, a German expedition went to Tibet (at Tibet’s invitation), led by Ernst Schäfer, included Bruno Berger, H.A. Lettow, (from the Himmler’s SS group), Heinrich Harrer’s travels during WWII have become famous with Seven Years in Tibet film with Brad Pitt.
Hitler’s interest in Nepal, Tibet and Sikkim underscored the importance of the British possession of India in world affairs at that time.
And not Hitler’s occult, religious and racial beliefs.
- Review: Young Hitler (thejc.com)
- Hitler’s Willing (Christian) Executioners [Greg Laden's Blog] (scienceblogs.com)
Gaekwad even signed a secret pact with Hitler to get his support for India’s freedom. It was known as the Baroda-Berlin Pact.
Gaekwad’s personal assistant Vishnu Nene was sent to Germany to arrange the meeting. “Gaekwad believed an enemy’s enemy is a friend. So, he decided to join hands with Hitler,” says Dr Damodar Nene, who has written a new biography of Gaekwad and gives details of the pact. He is Vishnu Nene’s son. The book, ‘Sayajirao Gaekwad Chi Biography’ has been published by Ved Gandharva publishers of Pune. (via Hitler’s secret friend: Sayajirao Gaekwad - Vadodara – City – The Times of India).
For the past few days, after reading this post, I have been trying to corroborate this story. Apart from one small stray reference, there was nothing that I could find. This one reference was a a few lines from a 1972 biography which is linked here.
The fact that the good doctors, father Dr.Vishnu Nene and son Dr.Damodar Nene said nothing from 1936 upto 2010 makes this possibly only a claim. Or after August 15th, 1947 when the raj-gharana of Baroda had lost their kingdom and the threat of British reprisals was gone.
And they had everything to gain by making this claim.
Baroda has very little ice
A claim that may be based on thin ice. What little ice, one get can in Vadodara.
The fact that this claim coincides with a book publication, (books have to be sold, you see) and from the Vadodara edition of TOI (newspapers also have to be sold) makes this story, again, a candidate for collusion. What could I find about the Baroda-Berlin Pact?
Nothing. Yes. That is right. Nil. Zero. Zilch. 零. Nul. Null. μηδέν. ゼロ. нул. cero.
Foresighted Sayaji Rao Gaekwad knew there would be WWII
The other thing.
Apart from a paranoid Churchill, who would have imagined in 1936, that Britain would actually fight a war with Germany. In 1936, as the Berlin Olympics progressed, even Britain did not know there would be a WWII. Remember even the USA, joined the war against Germany and Japan, only after it was forced to. After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941.
Even Hitler did not know there would be WWII. Or even a war with Britain. Hitler’s entire calculation after his successful campaign in Czechoslovakia (March 1939) was that Britain (under Chamberlain) would not go to war with Germany. While attacking Poland (September 1939) and other countries Hitler gambled that Britain would not declare war. Does it seem likely that Hitler would reveal his deepest, darkest plans to an ‘irrelevant’ Indian king? In 1936!
When neither Britain nor Germany knew there would be WWII.
Did the poor king deserve such a biography
Sayaji Rao Gaekwad is respected by many for many reasons. I would not like to assess him in any way, for sheer lack of material with me. Assuming he is respect-worthy, he does not deserve a biographer like the good doctor Nene.
What a shame!
The spirit of the Congress of Vienna, where great powers assembled to effectively govern the world, has no place in the contemporary international community. The G20 is sorely lacking in legitimacy and must change.
A number of countries that have been central to international cooperation in the past, including Norway and the Nordic countries, are excluded from direct membership. Low-income countries and the continent of Africa are almost entirely without the needed representation.
As the response to the financial crisis showed, there is value in having an effective, smaller forum of nations, equipped to act quickly when necessary. But, within that framework, there are simple ways to make the G20 more representative of the world it influences. (via The G20 lacks legitimacy).
It is every man for himself
Caught in a vicious downward spiral, Europe is at a loss. Britain is moaning about the demise of its special relationship with the USA. Sarkozy is off to the US, to mend fences with the Americans. At Copenhagen, while the BASIC countries were negotiating a ‘deal’ with the USA, European countries were sitting out. Waiting for the Big Boys to finish their talks. Japan, China, Korea – along with the USA and India are meeting at Seoul in June to create a strategic oil reserve, against possible supply shocks. To be shuttered out like this, is an unfamiliar experience to Europe.
The Norwegian appeal for inclusion in G20 is to be seen in light of the above reality.
That man with a tan – Obama
Obama has been stressing that EU needs to get its act together and speak in a common voice. The days when 6-12 European countries walked onto centre-stage, are over, seemingly. And Norway is one such victim of the changed circumstances.
The Greek crisis is stressing the weak links between European States. A ‘suspected’ withdrawal by Germany from the EMU would devastate Europe – and EU. Should the EU collapse, the Nordic countries would be shut out from many global forum.
And it is this fear that fuels Norway’s plea for G20 membership!.
In the doghouse
But it was not Obama who put European principalities (Norway, ruled by a king, is too small to be called country) in the doghouse. It started when George Bush railroaded Europe into Iraq and Afghanistan. And excluded the habitual European attendees from G20 – like Norway.
“decided by a secretive five-strong committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament. All current members are former politicians drawn from Norway’s four biggest parties. It is chaired by Thorbjørn Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister.”
It was noted that,
“Worldwide astonishment greeted the decision yesterday to give Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. The U.S. President has been in office for less than nine months, has yet to score a major foreign policy success. He had not even known he was among the record 205 nominations. The deadline for submitting candidates had come just 12 days after he entered the White House.”
At the airport, he was welcomed by the ”Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Kaci Kullmann Five, deputy chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.” In his acceptance speech, Obama admitted that maybe there were “more deserving” candidates. Was the Nobel price in anticipation of a Nordic inclusion in G20? For turning a more benign American eye towards Europe?
Norway raised its claim for G20 membership, the Financial Times wrote
a month before Barack Obama, the US president, visits Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Jonas Gahr Store proposed that members of the Nordic Council – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – could share a rotating seat together with the Baltic states and possibly Poland.
Spain and the Netherlands have managed to secure invitations to all three summits since the financial crisis without being official members. But others such as Poland, Belgium and the Nordic countries have been excluded.
So much for Norway’s Nobel price.
The legitimacy of G20
Jonas Gahr Støre is stressing about the ‘legitimacy’ of the G20 group. If the G20 is indeed illegitimate, then in that case, Shri Støre, you should ask for disbanding the G20! Not make a desperate plea for inclusion into the G20. Will an illegitimate forum become legitimate by Nordic Norway’s inclusion?
That reminds me. Norway was one of the ‘moving’ spirits’ behind the Copenhagen Circus on climate change. This Copenhagen Circus sought to impose a rule of Western NGOs on poor countries of the world. Faceless NGOs, without accountability to anyone, were able to bring global political leadership, to the very brink of an agreement. How legitimate was that Shri Støre?
Støre’s logic somehow escapes me.
Norway- One Great Power
Shri Støre invokes the hoary spirit of the “Congress of Vienna, where great powers assembled to effectively govern the world” . Now, by what logic do ‘Great Powers’ derive legitimacy to govern the world? By Norway’s inclusion?
Shri Jonas Gahr Støre has sent out copies of the same PR material, to Malaysia (published in the New Straits Times), in Canada (published in the Ottawa Citizen), and in the (as per the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway) in The Straits Times (Manila, the Philippines), 6 April 2010 – Al Hayat, 7 April 2010.
God has been kind to Norway! Instead of thanking God for His kindness, for underground wealth – and for natural beauty above the ground. Instead, Norway wants to be ‘recognized’ as a ‘Great Power’!
Norway’s claim to fame is oil. Some 12%-15% of Norway’s GDP is oil. A significant part of Norway’s wealth is “raw products mined and processed in Norway include iron ore, lead concentrates, titanium, iron pyrites, coal, zinc, and copper.” Is Norway’s claim to be a ‘Great Power” based on something buried underground!
15% of Norway’s GDP is Tourism! With more than 1,1oo hotels and nearly 1,000 registered campsites, with picturesque coastline and fjords plus a number of well-known ski resorts. By the way, Norway’s population is about 45 lakhs – 4.5 million.
Manufacturing accounts for an awesome, jaw-dropping 1 percent of Norway’s annual GDP.
The world must listen to
Norway’s population is lesser than Haiti! If there is one country that the world needs to hear clearly and audibly, it is Haiti. Compared to Norway, Haiti has a far superior claim to be a Great Power. Single-handedly responsible for forcing the West to abandon slavery, Haiti has been a victim of Western vindictiveness. It is time that the world listened to Haiti. And for Norway to keep quiet!
And be grateful to God!
weak states cannot easily leave EMU because they would pay a stiff penalty in higher rates, would be stuck with euro debt contracts, and might need controls to stem capital flight. It is a different calculus for Germany, which would see lower rates and might view EMU exit as the only way to ensure monetary stability.”Obviously, we have not reached the end game yet. However, with the latest developments, such a break-up scenario has clearly become more likely. The risk is far from negligible and the consequences for financial markets would be very severe. Investors ignore the break-up risk at their peril,” he said. (via Morgan Stanley fears German exit from EMU – Telegraph).
How many Euro-currencies …
A super-dense, power-currency, union between France, Germany, Italy and UK may have a chance of survival. At least, Joachim Starbatty, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Tübingen, seriously proposes that Germany withdraw from the EMU. In which case what happens to the Euro? Will it become a 2nd-class currency of the Euro-zone?Will Europe splinter into another 20 currencies?
Turning the clock back, to recreate a German Deutschmarks, surely the Germans realize, is the last resort. A en flambé Europe may justify such a last step. Europe is at least a few decades away from such a situation. Unless the gentle decline of Europe gathers significant pace, such thinking will be defeatist. Europe has invested too much and gone too far down the road to turn back. In a stressed financial sector, mandates are difficult and far in between.
One way to draw attention is to give out such reports.