German government supports NATO rearmament

By Johannes Stern
21 April 2014

The German government is taking part in the NATO mobilization in Eastern Europe with at least one warship and six combat planes. According to the Ministry of Defence, the vessel “Elba” will head a flotilla of five mine detectors due to depart soon from the port of Kiel in the Baltic Sea.

Six Euro Fighter multi-purpose planes will reinforce the aerial surveillance operation over the Baltic states in September. Last week, Der Spiegel reported that German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen “will propose joint military maneuvers with the Polish and Baltic armies.”

This aligns the German army (Bundeswehr) fully with the American military in the massive NATO buildup in Eastern Europe directed against Russia. Last Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told journalists in Brussels, “We will have more planes in the air, more ships in the water, and increased capacities on land. If necessary, further action will follow in the coming weeks and months.”

Ships would be “transferred to the Baltic Sea, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere if necessary,” and the defense plans of the alliance would be “reviewed and strengthened,” Rasmussen added. He did not reveal the number of troops involved, but left no doubt that NATO was preparing a major expansion in Eastern Europe. “It will be sufficient to improve our readiness and prepare for more, if necessary,” he declared.

At the same time, the German government praised the crackdown on protests in eastern Ukraine by the pro-Western regime in Kiev. “From our perspective, the Ukrainian government has been behaving very prudently and cautiously in this crisis,” said deputy government spokesman Georg Streiter. It is “clear that the Ukrainian leadership cannot tolerate the violent takeover of police stations or other infrastructure by perpetrators of violence,” he added.

The actions of the fascist-backed regime that took power in a putsch last February are anything but “prudent and cautious.”

Last Tuesday, Ukrainian forces attacked and recaptured the military airfield at Kramatorsk, which had been occupied by opponents of the government. Combat aircraft and helicopters were used in the operation and fired on demonstrators.

According to Russian media reports, there were at least four dead. The attack was part of a so-called “anti- terrorist operation” aimed at forcibly quelling anti-government protests throughout eastern Ukraine. Kiev has moved tanks and heavy artillery in preparation for an offensive against eastern Ukrainian cities.

However, the regime in Kiev and its backers in Washington and Berlin have confronted the problem of widespread resistance by the eastern Ukrainian population, which managed in some places to block the advance of Ukrainian tanks.

In a comment on the situation titled “Kiev’s Tired Chaos Force,” Spiegel Online complained about the weakness of the army and the police when it came to “suppressing the rebellion in eastern Ukraine.” The magazine cynically proposed that, “the special unit Berkut would be suitable for combat missions.” The new regime had made a “mistake,” Spiegel wrote, when it decided to dissolve the 4,000-strong force.

The call for the revival of Berkut epitomizes the hypocrisy of the German media. Just a few weeks ago, the same magazine and many other German media outlets were denouncing Berkut for its role in repressing Maidan demonstrators and propping up the pro-Russian regime of Viktor Yanukovych. Now they are demanding it be reconstituted to violently quash opposition to the new government, whose installation was orchestrated by the US, Germany and their imperialist allies.

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