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Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank PresidentPrice stability has been Germany’s new religion since the Second World War. It is the policy that made possible its miraculous economic recovery from the fire bombings and the invasion by Allied troops, most ominously by Russia. This policy experienced its heyday in the time period from the 1970’s to the 1990’s when Germany cemented its position as the leading economic power of Europe.

Germans feel threatened by the proposed new Head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi. They can’t trust anyone from the south of Europe, especially not the “pigs”. They don’t think southern Europeans have enough discipline to enact a policy that fights inflation above all.

What they like better is the new Bundesbank President, economist Jens Weidmann. He began his term, according to an article in Tuesday, May 3’s Wall Street Journal, “Germany’s Bundesbank Gets A New Inflation-Fighter”, promising to enact more anti-inflation moves just like his predecessor, Axel Weber.

Most Germans disapprove of the bailouts of the pigs such as Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland. They don’t like to be saddled with having to pay for it, especially if it goes on and on.

Weidmann vows to express his views on inflation when he takes his seat on the European Central Bank board where he has one of twenty-three votes. But his influence and the influence of Germany is far greater than these numbers would express. His power is second only to the head of the European Central Bank since Germany is the economic engine of Europe.


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Suddenly the Navy Seals burst through the two security gates and the twelve-foot fences. They open fire at 1:10AM local time on a compound 8 times larger than any other house in the neighborhood in the town of Abbottabad forty miles outside Islamabad in Pakistan. A man with a grizzly beard and a gun strapped to his side fights back in the midst of explosions and a firefight that goes on for half an hour. He finally gets shot and killed. The Seals carry his body away.

Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attack, is now dead. But is this the end of the story? Hardly! In fact it is the one conflict from the Great War, World War I, that one hundred years later has never been resolved and is not likely to be resolved any time soon.

The story begins when Lawrence of Arabia, a Colonel in the British army, took up the Arab cause during the Arab Revolt, a small but important part of the Great War. He helped the Bedouins win their freedom from the Turks and helped make the Ottoman Turkish Empire collapse. What he couldn’t do was help the Arabs set up their own nation states. He attempted to represent them at the Paris Peace Conference. But the powers that be wouldn’t listen. Instead they partitioned the countries to be ruled by them.

Winston Churchill arrived in Cairo in 1921 with his “Forty Thieves”, including T.E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia. The future Prime Minister and his associates established the modern boundaries of Syria and Transjordan. But what they created had nothing to do with real nation states. They were merely lines on a map.

Meanwhile the Arabs grew more bitter as Britain smiled up on the Jewish attempt to set up the modern state of Israel at their expense, starting with the Balfour Declaration in 1919 right after the Great War. The Arabs got their revenge by siding with the Nazis during World War II. Men such as the Mufti of Jerusalem were minor allies of Adolf Hitler.

After World War II the Arab hate shifted from Britain to the United States, who inherited most of the Mother’s Country’s foreign entanglements. The Arabs started using anti-Jewish rhetoric. Really they just wanted to do anything they could to irritate the “powers of Satan”, meaning the U.S.and Britain.

That was where Osama entered the picture. He channeled this rage against the Anglo-American Powers into 9/11. The United States and Britain must hear the disenfranchised masses of the Middle East sooner or later. After all, the promise of nationhood stirred up by the Great War has here never been satisfied. The Twin Towers as well as the Arab Spring proves what a volcano is ready to erupt if we don’t hear their cries.

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Osama bin Laden, Mastermind of 9/11

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The London mob has always been feared by monarchs and Prime Ministers alike, nowhere more so than the 1930’s and then again during the Royal Wedding ceremony this past Friday.

In the 1930’s Prime Minister Baldwin and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain wanted to keep the peace and not provoke Adolf Hitler or the German Third Reich in any way. Neville Chamberlain is famous for his “Peace in our time” speech on the eve of returning home from Germany in 1938 with the Fuhrer’s signature on a piece of paper after they had agreed to the Munich Accords.

Fear of the mob pure and simple made Chamberlain and his predecessor follow and appeasement policy. Not only would they be kicked out of office if Hitler declared war on them, not only would their party suffer if the army had to be mobilized, the jobless populace, still not recovered from the Great War, might start to riot. It was the very sort of situation that made the upper classes quake in their boots.

n December of 2010 student protestors attacked a Rolls Royce carrying Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles. These rioters smashed windows and splashed paint on the car. Even worse, they were chanting, “Off with their heads!” In March more than 200 peopled were arrested for criminal activities, violence, and other offenses as they protested government austerity measures enacted by David Cameron’s government.

So can you blame the government for planning for high security during the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton? Britain was already on a severe threat level due to anticipated terrorist attacks. This only heightened the feeling of unease.

Scotland Yard arrested only 50 people for disturbing the peace, theft, an drunk and disorderly conduct on the wedding day in central London. There were no major incidents. But the feeling was that they ducked it this time. One of these days soon their number may be up.

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Neville Chamberlain

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Stanley Baldwin

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David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain

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Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

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The Wall Street Journal extols the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William as being steeped in tradition and fairy-tale-like in its Saturday, April 30 article, “The Traditions Behind Crown, Carriages, And An Historic Abbey”, but on Friday I saw Wallis Simpson walking down the aisle seventy-four years after the fact.

In1936 Edward VIII abdicated his throne to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, who was also clearly a commoner. In the interim William’s father, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, divorced his mother, Princess Diana, in 1996, one year before her death. And in 2005 he remarried another infamous divorcee, Camilla Parker Bowles, who was also a commoner. Now William is following in his father’s footsteps. Instead of marrying another royal as his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II did, or instead of marrying a member of the British nobility as his father did when he married Lady Diana in 1981, he chose to also marry a commoner.

If Edward VIII, later the Duke of Windsor, and Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, could see the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton they would shake their heads and wish they had been born a couple of generations later. The British royal family took a giant step toward becoming middle class on Friday like the monarchs of the Netherlands, Scandanavia, and Spain.

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Kate Middleton and Prince William, New Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

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Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, later Duke and Duchess of Windsor

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Angela Merkel proudly declared that the euro was Germany’s destiny, but will she be able to persaude her fellow Germans to back an Italian for the most important economic post in the EU? Germans are obsessed with controlling inflation ever since their 1920’s nightmare with hyper-inflation. Yet they doubt if a southern European would have the discipline to battle inflation the way they do, especially at a time when the “pigs” demand bailouts from Germany.

If Merkel opposes Mario Draghi, according to an article in Friday, April 29’s edition of the Wall Street Journal, “Germany to Back Italian Central Bank Chief”, she will risk a rift with Sarkozy who has already come out in favor of the Italian. She can still prevent the man from taking the post. No one could get it without Germany’s O.K. But she risks unity, which is necessary to carry out Germany’s economic ambitions.

Germany wants a bigger market for its goods and services. So it may have to compromise.

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Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

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The royal wedding on Friday, April 29 is a contemporary echo of the old British Empire, so much talked about and praised by Winston Churchill, that died after World War II.

In the Wall Street Journal’s Thursday, April 28 article, “Wedding’s Far-Flung Audience”, we hear about the fifteen realms including Canada and Australia that still count Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state and are tuning in eagerly for footage of the royal wedding on television or You Tube. We hear of a Commonwealth with fifty-three independent countries where their is also wedding frenzy.

At The Windsor Arms, an inn in Toronto, in Eastern Canada, which some say is more British than the British, the owners will feature live coverage starting at 3:00AM and the ceremony starting at 6:00AM Eastern Time while the gawkers make themselves comfortable eating and imbibing. Descendants of Britons in faraway Australia and South Africa plan celebrations and parties.

Media hype is all that remains of what was once a functioning political entity during the First and Second World Wars. The British could once command troops from their far-flung empire to fight and die in the trenches of a hellhole like Gallipoli. Now all they can get them to do is tune in on T.V. , munch microwave popcorn, and buy replicas of Kate Middleton’s wedding gown.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton

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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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