Refugees from Libya are crowding into Italy and then migrating to France according to an article in the April 27, 2011 issue of the Wall Street Journal, “France, Italy Seek Tighter Borders.” The French have started to set up check points along their border, violating European Union rules about free movement of peoples from one country to the next. Does that sound familiar?

During the late thirties and World War II other refugees fled, particularly the Jews. Many of them took refuge in Italy and then couldn’t go anywhere else. No one wanted them.

Rome is attempting to issue documents for the Libyan refugees so they can cross the French border. They are protesting the French actions. If an unexpected world event such as the Arab Spring that has brought revolution to the Arab world in 2011 caused an even bigger tumult along with a tidal wave of humans fleeing from one country to another it could showcase the fragile European Union.

Germany wants the EU to be about the euro and money. But it’s leaving out the political part. It can no longer be ignored.

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Libyan refugees

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Almost one hundred years ago Lawrence of Arabia was captured and held in Deraa. Just this past weekend Syria sent tanks and armored vehicles into the southern city located along the border with Jordan as it raided homes and deployed snipers. This is according to an April 26, 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal, “Syria Steps Up Violence.”

According to rumor Deraa was where the Turks tortured Lawrence and raped him. In Linda and Gary Cargill’s novels Captive At The Berghof and Escape From The Berghof, it is where Lieutenant Edward Ware, Lawrence’s adjutant, meets his fate in the dark eyes Helga von Wessel, the Arab siren turned German, while looking to release his leader from captivity.

In the past few days thirty-five were killed in Deraa where the Syrian uprising is the most intense since teenagers wrote revolutionary graffiti in March. During the Great War it is where T. E. Lawrence almost died.


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T. E. Lawrence

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The War in Libya may be the first armed conflict in North Africa involving foreigners since World War II when the region saw the likes of Rommel, Montgomery, or “Monty”, and El Alamein, but it continues to provide a playing field for the U.S. to police the region through use of its techo gadgets.

This weekend the target was the third largest city in Libya after Tripoli and Benghazi, Mirata. NATO said predator strikes hit a multiple rocket launcher at 11:00AM Greenwich Mean Time. This was in response to Gadhafi attacking the city of Mirata on the coast using tanks, artillery, and rocket launchers to bombard the center of the city and kill lots of civilians.

Another stroke took place on Sunday. The British and French may be using planes, but the U.S. has to do no more than provide two unmanned drones to clean up the government troops.

Our first big techo gadget in armed warfare was the invention of the atomic bomb at the end of World War II.

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Low inflation is so historically important to Germany that the Euro Central bank raised interest rates by a quarter point on April 7 to 1.25%. This was the first rate hike since the summer of 2008. But now it is almost certain that the European Central Bank is going to raise rates again when it convenes in June according to an article in Wednesday, April 20’s Wall Street Journal, “Euro Zone Economy Expands”.

The inflation rate in the first quarter of the year was .8%, which is considered high. And the second quarter, if left unchecked, will probably go higher still. The Germans want to keep the interest rate at 1.5 to 2% annualized. March, 2011 by itself was 2.7% at an annualized rate.

Most of this growth is confined to France and Germany and Germany in particular. Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain — the “pigs” — don’t keep pace.

Germany experienced the worst hyper-inflation in the history of the modern stock market in the early 1920’s, leading to the rise of Adolf Hitler.

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The inflation game advertised on the European Central Bank website. It’s designed to help Europeans understand the economy.

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The U.K. Telegraph reports in an article reminiscent of Dr. Goebbels, “Russian Official Sacked After Saying ‘Future Of White Race Under Threat'”, that Konstantin Poltoranin said, “What is now at stake is the survival of the white race. We feel this in Russia.”

He was formerly the head of the Russian agency in charge of foreign migrants speaking in an interview with the BBC. He said that Russia needed more Slavs and wanted to make sure that the mixing of the races occurred in the right way here and not in the messy fashion that it did in the rest of Europe. He was aware of the ethnic tensions created by Central Asians and dark-skinned Russians.

This is a tension not new in Europe. In the early 30’s National Socialist(Nazi) Propaganda Minister Dr. Joseph Goebbels gave lectures at an exhibit about German womanhood that discussed how the white Aryan race was dying out. He said that in the present economic crisis women had taken too many jobs. They ought to be allowed to stay home to propagate the race. Their sons would help the government defend German borders against the Eastern threat.

Ironically the hordes that Dr. Goebbels hoped to fight were the Russians.

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Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich, Chancellor of Germany April 30, 1945-May 1, 1945

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The April 23, 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal, “As Arab Spring Turns Violent, Democracy Advocates Face Big Challenges”, is reminiscent of how Churchill, T.E. Lawrence, and the “Forty Thieves” met in Cairo in March of 1921 to draw up the boundaries of Iraq and Transjordan. This was in the wake of England’s Balfour Declaration in 1919 expressing sympathy for the Zionist Movement.

This Cairo meeting didn’t create real countries. It merely drew lines on a map. Ever since the Middle East, released from the sway of the Ottoman Turks after World War I, has been a hotbed of dissension. Arabs felt betrayed by Churchill, betrayed by England, later betrayed by America who was always doomed to inherit whatever international mess the British Empire created.

Instead the Mufti of Jerusalem and other Arab zealot and patriots turned to the Germans. They supported the Nazis and HitlerCol during World War II. It is interesting how even now Germany does not join England and France in fighting Colonel Gadhafi.

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Winston Churchill

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The U.S. policy toward Libya affirms the order established by the Second World War to judge by the April 22, 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “U.S. Launches Drone Strikes in Libya”.

Germany and England were fighting to a virtual stalemate before America entered the war on the side of Great Britain in December of 1941, tipping the balance. The first time Colonel Gadhafi attacked Benghazi last month, France and England flew sorties and pulverized armored columns until Gadhafi got wise to their tactics and hid his tanks inside cities in civilian areas. Then neither Great Britain nor France could find them.

Just as in World War II Europe can’t do without our aid. So the U.S. has authorized predator strikes. Each drone carries two Hellfire Missiles that can be aimed more precisely than anything that the British and French have.

This by itself is reminiscent of the end of World War II and the invention of Fat Man, the first atomic bomb. Americans always have more gadgets than anybody else.

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The Bank of England decided not to increase it’s interest rate, following a path more similar to the U.S. than to Germany and the EU. This is reported in an article entitled ” Policy Makers in the U.K. Focus On Spending” in the Thursday, April 21, 2011 edition of the Wall Street Journal. The Bank of England released a “dovish set of minutes” from it’s April policy meeting held on Wednesday.

The hawks among the members of the country’s Central Bank were disappointed. They had been on the verge of persuading their colleagues on the Rate Setting Committee to vote with them on an interest rate increase to hold down inflation. But the doves won out, mostly because of an independent survey released showing that inflation in Britain — at least according to this one source — was not likely to increase in the near future. The doves want to focus concern on the outlook for consumer spending instead. Not changing the rate, so they think, will serve as a stimulus. This unfortunate policy will stay in place at least until their next meeting in August.

The interest rate in the U.K. is now .5%, already at historically low levels. Not to say that the U.S. is not in worse shape with an interest rate that hovers between 0.0% and .25%. Remember, the EU’s interest rate is now 1.25%, one whole point higher than the U.S. Germany, the economic engine of Europe and the EU, did much better last year than the U.S. in its rate of economic growth.

Fear of inflation — not stimulus — should be the chief concern of the Bank of England as well as the Fed. The Germans can’t forget the hyper-inflation of the 1920’s. We shouldn’t forget it either. History has a way of repeating itself.

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David Cameron, British Prime Minister

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The Wall Street Journal reports in its April 20, 2011 edition that the Head of the Bank of Italy, Mario Draghi, will almost certainly succeed Frenchman, Jean Claude Trichet, as the new Head of the European Central Bank — only because he is supported by Wolfgang Schauble, the German Finance Minister. The Journal says, “The opinion of Germany, Europe’s economic heavyweight, is crucial to settling on a successort to the current European Central Bank President, Jean-Claude Trichet.”

Wolfgang Schauble is credited with being behind Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor’s, speech about the euroo being “Germany’s destiny”. Russia has long thought of the EU, the European Union, as a German show. It’s
\Germany’s way of asserting its authority again after its defeat in World War II and asserting it in the only way it now can — in purely economic terms.

S&P, of the S&P 500, issued a warning to the U.S. today about it’s debt load — but it didn’t issue one to Germany. In the April 19, 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “US Warned On Debt Load” we learned that the US debt load is now 10.6 of its gross domestic product. Britain’s debt load is almost as bad at 10.4%, and they were downgraded in 2009. France’s debt is 7% of its gross domestic product. Germany — and get this! — had a debt load of only 3.3%, the lowest debt ratio in the western world among leading economic countries.

No doubt this is a legacy of Germany’s fear of inflation that dates back to its stock market collapse in 1923. This was far worse than the American stock market crash of 1929. If you held onto your stocks during the 1929 debacle, you would earn all your money back and more. If you held on in Germany in 1923, the stocks would never recover and you would lose all your money. This is the only incident like this in the entire 200 year history of the modern stock market. And it was not by chance that Adolf Hitler attempted his first “putsch” in November of 1923, the Beer Hall Putsch. It failed, but it was a warning sign for the future. It would take him ten more years to gain the title of Chancellor and finally Fuhrer one year later in 1934.

Germany learned its lesson about inflation the hard way. Does the US have to learn the hard way, too?

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