Patterico's Pontifications

4/20/2022

Germany Continues to Sack Up and Lead

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:44 am



[guest post by JVW]

I confess that I was a major skeptic, but Germany appears ready to stand resolute in the face of Russian aggression in their neighborhood. From NRO:

Germany announced Wednesday that it plans to end oil imports from Russia by the end of the year and will then begin phasing out Russian gas imports, charting a path to energy independence from Moscow amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

“I therefore say here clearly and unequivocally yes, Germany is also completely phasing out Russian energy imports,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said after a meeting with representatives from the Baltic states Wednesday.

“We will halve oil by the summer and will be at zero by the end of the year, and then gas will follow, in a joint European roadmap, because our joint exit, the complete exit of the European Union, is our common strength,” she added.

Now, I love a good “Oh Lord, Germany asserting itself can never be a good thing” joke as much as the next guy, but in this case I can’t help but see this as a positive development. Coupled with their earlier pledge to accelerate the date by which they meet their NATO defense spending obligations, it appears that Berlin is at long last making a clean break from its awful slump last century and accepting its role in defending Europe from foreign aggression. As with any democracy, Germany is always one election (or even some worrisome opinion polls) away from returning to smug pacifism and moral relativism, but I think this more confident and muscular Germany is just what Europe needs right now.

– JVW

53 Responses to “Germany Continues to Sack Up and Lead”

  1. Shorter post: It’s all good until they invade Belgium again.

    JVW (37f1d8)

  2. 50 years ago this evening— back when America truly was great— and “our Germans were better than their Germans”…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSXhb3J05ps

    Was in London for this one; still have an audio tape of the BBC coverage; seems like only yesterday. Really suck times these days for the kids. Attaboy, Joe.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  3. Germany could end all its oil and gas imports in a few months if it did not close down its 3 nuclear reactors by the end of 2022, and if it legalized fracking for natural gas. The Germans are choosing to sacrifice Ukrainians in order to placate the environmental extremists in their political coalition. The Germans are pathetic. Notice how all these promises are scheduled for the future when they are praying that Ukraine will have sued for peace so that Germany can resume its immoral energy policies.

    The Wean Corps (d54fdb)

  4. What did they say about restarting nuclear plants?

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  5. “our Germans were better than their Germans”…

    Was in London for this one; still have an audio tape of the BBC coverage

    Yeah, I would have loved to hear the BBC lauding our German rocket scientists. “It brings back memories”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  6. Notice how all these promises are scheduled for the future when they are praying that Ukraine will have sued for peace so that Germany can resume its immoral energy policies.

    Maybe, maybe not. I’m no expert in nuclear energy, but I would imagine there is something to the defense made by Germany that reopening their nuclear plants isn’t something that could be done immediately; it would take several months to make the necessary preparations and to rehire and retrain staff. When I was drafting this post I initially included a paragraph which bemoaned the moral preening from Angela Merkel and criticized her ridiculous political alliance with the Greens, since it accelerated Germany’s path along the course to being dependent upon Russian energy sources. I guess I could have left it in, but I figure what’s done is done; we’ve lamented the maladministration of Frau Merkel’s final terms in office in this blog before, so no need to conbinue beating that dead horse.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  7. As I just explained in a long comment on the weekend open thread, Germany now has three working nuclear power plants and they could probably re-open two of the three that they closed at the end of last year, relatively soon.

    Whether they will do that is uncertain, since the Green Party is a member of the ruling coalition, which is led by the Social Democrats. (The Liberal Democrats are also part of the coalition, which is an odd combination, to say the least.)

    (As for the twelve closed earlier, I haven’t the faintest idea whether any could be re-opened, and, if so, when.)

    (PS to JVW – I think you will find that long comment informative.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  8. Germanys education ministry seems to be funding the investigation of who is behind libs of tiktok. (ace of spades hq)

    asset (0accad)

  9. Yeah, yeah. Russia, Putin, Hitler… whatever. My question is, how much long must we toil under JVW’s tyranny over the Recent Comments sidebar?

    The humanity.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  10. Power can be intoxicating, lurker.

    norcal (68b459)

  11. I’d say it’s for the glory, not the power. But yeah, there’s no other explanation.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  12. @5. Meh. Even better, the UK’s syrupy embrace of Gagarin in ’61:

    https://astrotalkuk.org/book-about-gagarins-visit-to-the-uk-in-1961/

    But then, the Cambridge Spy Ring… ‘1066 And All that.’ 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. Germany: Coal tops wind as primary electricity source

    ‘In the first half of 2021, coal shot up as the biggest contributor to Germany’s electric grid, while wind power dropped to its lowest level since 2018. Officials say the weather is partly to blame… In total, conventional energy sources — including coal, natural gas and nuclear energy — comprised 56% of the total electricity fed into Germany’s grid in the first half of 2021.’ – source, https://www.dw.com/en/germany-coal-tops-wind-as-primary-electricity-source/a-59168105

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. @5. Kevin- fired off a toy V-2 model rocket in Hyde Park back in the day – before we were banned from doing it in any of Her Majesty’s parks by the Metropolitan Police… it fluttered down and got hung up high in a tree along the Rotten Row horse path where it remained.

    ‘The Devil made me do it!’ – Geraldine Jones [Flip Wilson] 1971

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  15. Germans! Philosophers and beer lovers but they understand that they must seem to lead even though they are really being pushed.

    nk (1d9030)

  16. Whether they will do that is uncertain, since the Green Party is a member of the ruling coalition, which is led by the Social Democrats. (The Liberal Democrats are also part of the coalition, which is an odd combination, to say the least.)

    One cold winter and the government will fall.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  17. Calls to Give Heavy Weapons to Ukraine Divide Germany’s Government

    Fierce debate over sending heavy weapons to Ukraine has struck a fault line through Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government, raising questions about his leadership and dampening expectations of his ability to help steer Europe through the continent’s most dramatic security crisis since World War II.

    With Russia opening a new offensive in eastern Ukraine, calls have grown for Berlin to offer more heavy weaponry to the Ukrainian government in Kyiv. Members of Mr. Scholz’s coalition have publicly broken ranks with him to demand that Germany do more.

    “Europe expects Germany to play a central role,” said Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, the head of the parliamentary defense committee and a lawmaker from the liberal Free Democratic Party, a coalition partner with Mr. Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats and the Greens.
    ………
    For Mr. Scholz, the act of balancing international and domestic politics also includes the expectation of many Europeans that he act as a leader of the continent — a role his predecessor Angela Merkel often filled at moments of crisis. Another perception is important for Mr. Scholz’s government — it is wary of giving Moscow the impression that Berlin is an active belligerent against Russia, at risk of being drawn into a war that would hurt not just Germany but its NATO allies.

    Germany has already sent missiles and artillery to Ukraine, but Kyiv also wants heavy artillery, Leopard tanks and armored vehicles like the Mardar, considered among the best in the world. Ukrainian officials have made repeated public demands. …….
    ……..
    “The longer this war drags on, and the closer Putin gets to a victory, the greater the danger that more countries will be invaded, and that we then end up sliding into an extended, de facto third world war,” Anton Hofreiter, the head of the European relations committee in the Bundestag and a member of the Greens, said on the public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday morning.
    ……..
    ……..In a poll of German voters released on Tuesday, 65 percent of respondents said they did not see him as a strong leader. The magazine Der Spiegel on Wednesday wrote, “One has to ask whether the coalition is fundamentally still behind him.”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. it is wary of giving Moscow the impression that Berlin is an active belligerent against Russia, at risk of being drawn into a war that would hurt not just Germany but its NATO allies.

    More eggshell walkers. “Mustn’t wake Daddy after he’s been drinking.”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  19. Germany can posture and dither and be above it all because it knows that in the end the U.S. will have its back should the sh*t go down.

    norcal (68b459)

  20. “One has to ask whether the coalition is fundamentally still behind him.”

    One has to ask whether the coalition is fundamentally behind anything.

    Classical liberals + Socialists + Greens. Basically everyone who is not CSU/CDU (or the untouchable AfD). Assuming htat no one will be in coalition with AfD, the current grouping is all that will work.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  21. Germany can posture and dither and be above it all because it knows that in the end the U.S. will have its back should the sh*t go down.

    Not really. If there is a war, it will be in central Europe, where they live. Sure, we’ll root for them over here, but it’ll be their houses the tanks roll through.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  22. If there is a war, it will be in central Europe, where they live. Sure, we’ll root for them over here, but it’ll be their houses the tanks roll through.

    I have always considered that the bargain within NATO-the US will provide the military to defend Europe and Europe will provide the battlefield.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. There is another possible coalition in Germany: Social Democrats + CDU/CSU. In fact, that coalition has been quite common, recently:

    The Fourth Merkel cabinet (German: Kabinett Merkel IV) was the 23rd Government of the Federal Republic of Germany during the 19th legislative session of the Bundestag. It was sworn in on 14 March 2018 following the 2017 federal election and dismissed on 26 October 2021, acting in a caretaker mode until 8 December 2021. It was preceded by the third Merkel cabinet and succeeded by the Scholz cabinet. Led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, it was the third cabinet under Merkel to be supported by a coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), and the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

    (Emphasis added.)

    (In Britain, during World War II, there was a similar grand coalition, and there were aspects of it in the US during World War II, with FDR choosing Republicans for his War and Navy secretaries.)

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  24. Jim,

    Yes, you’re right, except that the SPD ruled that out before the election. I suspect that will be the next stop after this hodgepodge.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  25. Good move by Germany, and they’re moving in the right direction, but they could do more, like send more more and faster military aid to Ukraine to block Putin from his war crimes and attempts at cultural genocide.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  26. Every report I’ve seen says that Scholz is dragging his feet on weapons.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  27. Germany agreed to send 1B Euros to Ukraine to buy weapons.
    What Ukraine had asked for was for the package to include $100M of German IFV’s that were ready to ship.
    Instead the Germans sold the IFV’s to Greece.

    I see this as a reluctance to upset Putin, and to upset the flow of oil,gas.
    The Germans are pursuing an oblique role “we gave them cash, we have no control on what they buy with it” rather than delivering the heavy weapons Ukraine has asked for.
    I get it. The Germans have their own path and I’m confident that if Nuking a European power was put to a vote in the Duma, Germany would win

    steveg (e81d76)

  28. R.I.P. Robert Morse, 90

    Great run, Finch: you succeeded.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  29. R.I.P. CNN-Plus, 30… days.

    Dead air; fade to black.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  30. R.I.P. Robert Morse, 90

    Goodbye Bert Cooper!

    felipe (484255)

  31. @30. Coop was fine epilogue role to be sure, but he’ll always be Ponty to me:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n_4t7KcJsQ

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  32. 50 years ago today- another reminder of when America truly was great:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UjMDdXLozo

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  33. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 4/21/2022 @ 12:15 pm

    Same here, DCSCA! I never watched Madmen until after its run had ended, boy was I pleased to see him.

    felipe (484255)

  34. Zippity do da, zippity ay, my oh my what a wonderful day.

    mg (8cbc69)

  35. Where will Germany and the rest of the EU get oil and gas from? OPEC has already stated that they don’t have the spare capacity to replace Russian exports to the EU.

    Xmas (58e1bf)

  36. 72 howitzers, more than 100 drones are among latest U.S. weapons load
    ………
    The package includes 72 155mm howitzers and the tactical vehicles to tow them, and 144,000 additional artillery rounds. That is a significant increase over the 18 howitzers that were in the previous military assistance package, announced earlier this month, and is enough to equip five battalions, said John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

    It also includes more than 121 Phoenix Ghost Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems — a drone that the U.S. Air Force developed “in response, specifically, to Ukrainian requirements,” Kirby added. Later in the day, Kirby said that the drones had actually been “developed for a set of requirements that very closely match” the Ukrainians’ needs for current operations in the eastern region of the country known as the Donbas.
    ………
    Senior defense officials estimated that the first tranche of weapons from the newly announced package will be dispatched in the next 24 to 48 hours, and that Ukraine will begin to take possession of them by the end of the weekend. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity under terms established by the Pentagon.
    ……..

    Related:

    Satellite images show mass grave near Mariupol with 200 new plots

    New satellite images show a mass burial site in the Russian-occupied village of Manhush, about 12 miles west of Mariupol, containing more than 200 new plots alongside an existing cemetery.

    The images, provided to The Washington Post by Maxar Technologies, show several rows of graves in four distinct sections, each measuring nearly 280 feet.

    Maxar’s review of the images indicates that the new graves appeared March 23-26, and the company said additional plots have appeared in the weeks since.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. @36. 72 howitzers, more than 100 drones are among latest U.S. weapons load

    “Related”; Been there. Done that:

    -September, 1950 – Following the outbreak of the Korean War, Truman announces “acceleration in the furnishing of military assistance to the forces of France and the Associated States in Indochina…”. and sends 123 non-combat troops to help with supplies to fight against the communist Viet Minh.

    – 1951 — Truman authorizes $150 million in French support.

    – November, 1955 — President Eisenhower deploys the Military Assistance Advisory Group to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. This marks the official beginning of American involvement in the war as recognized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

    – August, 1962 — JFK signs the Foreign Assistance Act of 1962, which provides “… military assistance to countries which are on the rim of the Communist world and under direct attack”.

    – May 1963 — Republican Barry Goldwater declares that the U.S. should fight to win or withdraw from Vietnam. Later on, during his presidential campaign against LBJ, his Democratic opponents accuse AuH20 of wanting to use nuclear weapons in the conflict.

    – March, 1965 — First U.S. ground troops arrive in Da Nang composed of 3,500 US Marines of the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa. [Hello, fice-student-draft-deferment Joey and pro-Ukrainian U.S. Senate!]

    – July, 1965 — In a nationally televised speech, LBJ announces decision to send an additional 50,000 American troops to South Vietnam, increasing the number of personnel there by two-thirds and to bring the commitment to 125,000. Johnson also said that the monthly draft call would more than double, to more than 1,000 new young men per day (from 17,000 to 35,000) for enlistment and training in the U.S. Armed Forces. By 1966, LBJ [another stale senator just like Joey] expanded the number of troops being sent into Vietnam to 385,000.

    – January, 1968 – General Westmoreland’s public reassurances that “the light at the end of the tunnel” was near were countered when PAVN and NLF forces broke the truce that accompanied the Tết holiday and mounted their largest offensive thus far, in hopes of sparking a general uprising among the South Vietnamese. [Confucius say light at end of tunnel is oncoming train!]

    – March, 1968, three companies of Task Force Barker, part of the Americal Division, took part in a search and destroy operation near the village of My Lai, in Quang Ngai Province. [The Ugly Americans.]

    – April, 1969 – The Big Dick orders the withdrawal of 150,000 U.S. troops from South Vietnam over the span of 12 months, citing “Vietnamization”… [can you spell Ukrainization, Joe?] U.S. troop presence peaks at over 540,000.

    – October, 1969 – Hundreds of thousands of people attend mass protests across the U.S for the United States’ withdraw from the Vietnam War.

    – December, 1969 – The first draft lottery since 1942 is held.

    – April, 1970 – The Big Dick announces 2,000 U.S. troops were sent into Cambodia, reversing his April 20 decision to withdraw 150,000 troops. [Tricky Dicks pull tricks!] By June, The Big Dick withdraws half of the 31,000 troops in Cambodia to fight in South Vietnam.

    – June, 1971 – The Pentagon Papers begin to be published. [Oops! The U.S. government lied; people died, eh Joey?!?!]

    – January, 1972 – The Big Dick announces plans for 70,000 U.S. troops to be pulled out of Vietnam, half of the remaining forces. In February, The Big Dick meets Red China’s Mao; becomes the first president in US history to meet with a Chinese Communist leader face to face.

    – January, 1973 – U.S. troops to be withdrawn from South Vietnam in 60 days due to the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. March 29, 1973 – The last American combat troops are withdrawn from Vietnam.

    COSTS: More than 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam, and more than 150,000 were wounded. South Vietnamese deaths topped 1 million, and North Vietnamese losses ranged between 500,000 and 1 million. Based on the current dollar value, the Vietnam War cost the U.S. equivalent of about $1 trillion. The United States pays $22 billion per year in war compensations to Vietnam veterans and their families.

    Joe Biden is a goddamned idiot.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  38. 100% pilot error on posting 34. Should have been on the weekend thread.

    mg (8cbc69)

  39. U.S. to train Ukrainian troops on howitzers

    ‘The Pentagon will train Ukrainian troops on how to use howitzer artillery systems sent to Ukraine to help in its war with Russia, a senior U.S. defense official said Monday.

    U.S. forces “in coming days” will train Ukrainian forces on howitzers outside the country. The troops will then return to Ukraine to relay the information and train their fellow soldiers.’ -TheHill.com

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  40. @33. FWIW, ‘Mad Men‘ is stellar; accurately nails the ad biz in NYC from that era. And the final episode w/t Coke commercial is just the perfect finale moving into the 1970s.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  41. I got very tired of Don Draper’s womanizing, to tell the truth. For me, the series peaked in Season 1, with “The Wheel.”

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  42. I got very tired of Don Draper’s womanizing, to tell the truth…

    Meh. Shorter: Hello, 1970’s. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  43. “Sometimes you have to speak softly and carry a large Javelin.”

    Uttered by:

    a. [ ] The Zodiac Killer

    b. [ ] Jack The Ripper

    c. [ ] Charles Manson

    d. [ ] The President of the United States

    e. [ ] Norman Bates

    f. [ ] Tommy DeVito

    g. [ ] Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner

    h. [ ] Milton Berle

    i. [ ] Forrest Tucker

    j. [ ] Cher

    Choose.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  44. Prediction: If Le Pen wins in France, she will go out of her way to stand with Ukraine. She has nothing to gain and much to lose by supporting Putin. She may be a fascist, but she is not a stupid fascist.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  45. mg (8cbc69) — 4/21/2022 @ 12:53 pm

    LOL!

    felipe (484255)

  46. 100% pilot error on posting 34. Should have been on the weekend thread.
    mg (8cbc69) — 4/21/2022 @ 3:30 pm

    Well, if it was error, then it was a most brilliant error, IMHO, as it came right after the exchange between DCSCA and myself! I thought it an incisive commentary on what you get when two geezers get together and reminisce. Especially when viewed through today’s social lens.

    felipe (484255)

  47. Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 4/21/2022 @ 4:55 pm

    I have yet to meet anyone who did not get turn ed off by some aspect of that character. For me, it was the never-ending cascade of woe (self-inflicted or otherwise). It quickly reminded me of the worst of the soap-opera tropes. But the writing was, indeed sharp, with each new woe introduced with, at least some interesting twist. But yeah, I was turned of by the writer’s need to milk that cow.

    felipe (484255)

  48. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 4/21/2022 @ 9:07 pm

    h. [X] Milton Berle

    felipe (484255)

  49. Whembly, I just read of your tragedy. You are not alone in your anger and fury. All the effort thrown at “the virus of unspecified origin (h/t to Critical Drinker)” would have been better spent on this scourge instead. Please know of my spiritual closeness to you as a fellow sufferer. With great love comes great suffering. Great suffering requires great trust, to bear.

    felipe (484255)

  50. It seems rather disgusting that my tax dollars are funding Ukraines salaries and retirement funds.

    mg (8cbc69)

  51. felipe, You are too kind.
    I had just read the Florida – Disney verdict.
    😎

    mg (8cbc69)

  52. Germany seems to have no more left in its “sack.”

    Several other allies like the U.K., Canada, Czech Republic and the Netherlands have boosted their support for Ukraine. But nations like Germany have come under fire for their lackluster aid.

    Germany attempted to fend off criticisms this week and claimed it had maxed out its ability to send arms to Kyiv, alleging Germany’s armed services have said it “can no longer supply weapons from its own reserves.”

    Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would send Ukraine spare parts for its vehicles and defensive machinery and will work with other nations on increasing their defensive aid.

    Scholz said this decision was backed by NATO allies including the U.S., but on Friday Washington’s ambassador to the OSEC scoffed at suggestions that anything but immediate aid was adequate.

    https://www.foxnews.com/world/ukraine-preps-shift-war-modern-artillery-us-ambassador-germanys-aid

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)


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