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15 May 2016

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William R. Cumming

German politics are perhaps the most complicated in the world despite looking somewhat middle of the road among democracies. The world should be thankful for the choice of Merkle. Why? Largely uncorruptable while many western politicians now almost totally govern and vote based on their self-dealing. The Islamic world of governance is almost totally being disrupted by sectarian warfare. At least in Germany between Protestant and Catholic religion not a driver.

I am guessing American Presidents unlikley to be majoritarian for the near future.

Coalition governing very tough work IMO.

Kassandra

When studying at the Academy of Sciences, she became a member of the FDJ district board and secretary for "Agitprop" (Agitation and Propaganda). I know the GDR pretty well even if I did not live there, but I frequently visited good friends living in the GDR and got quite some insights into life there. I have no problem with her role at that time - it is simply a specific qualification she got there, which as any tool, may be used for any purpose it is made for. IMHO, she masters this tool, and this is a relevant component of her political career.
Helmut Kohl was an unscrupulous party manager who knew from his time as general secretary of the CDU all dirty laundry of his party colleagues very well. His tutorship of Merkel certainly provided further insights to her, in particular, how to survive inside the CDU. I do not glorify him, but he had the political standing and historic committment to push for the reunification against all odds - in particular by building trust with Russia. This was an ambivalent act, but I guess, for him it has been driven by some sincere learning from the catastrophic WWII experience his generation had.
Both, Kohl and Schäuble have not been killed by receiving illegal funds. Merkel got only a small window of opportunity against competitors from her party when this scandal broke out. Anyway, these illegal funds are the way the system works to a large extent, money is power, and none of those who got blamed in this rare case bubbling up suffered from serious consequences beyond some loss of face. None of them has been bribed individually, so your point she had never been bought misses the point. Merkel knows that the political support she gets from the 1%ers is worth much more than some annual cash flow (which is received by others for her party anyway, this is not her business), and she serves that power ("Marktkonforme Demokratie"). Even her superficial Caritas for refugees is closely linked to increase the supply on the labour market before the Unions come to terms and the minimum wage regulations have a major effect.
You ask: How do you know? Well, I know the tune and her songbook texts. If you look for proof, well, bad luck.
I cannot see any real committment to the res publicae of Germany and Europe in her doings. Her talk, of course, is something completely different.

Tyler

Steve,

I know, as a progressive, you want to deny nature, but that is a very real play here.

Tyler

Ulen,

Actually looking at stuff others have linked here to, I am actually right and you are the one burying his head in his arse.

As is your par. Have you taken to inviting the rapefugees in your home yet? TIA.

Tyler

^^^^^

"Wow, just wow", European edition.

Kutte

"As far as I am concerned she behaved like 99% of all students in the GDR"
Yes, but 99% of the people in the GDR didn't have 2 cars

"as long as nobody can prove that Merkel was an informer and wrecked the careers/lifes of her peers it is only hot air"
Unfortunately I lost my key to the vaults where the proof is stored. I remember vaguely saying that anyone can draw their own conclusions from rather conspicious details. Please follow the debate on HRC, who is innocent yet, but a lot of people find a few things conspicuous.

"sorry, Sippenhaft is not longer a feature of our of our legal system."
That is getting nasty. I was aware of a few conspicious things others might not be aware of, and offered to share them. It is silly to demand proof from a common person regards a public figure. Suspicions are being aired all the time, and rightfully so.

A.I.Schmelzer

My paternal Grandfater (German) convinced my paternal Grandfather (also German) to move over to the GDR out of love. He was quite the charmer, and a comitted communist (hilariously enough, he couldnt prove being a communist after being taken prisoner of war by the red army, but he successfully disappeared himself out of the pow camp, and moved west pretending to be French thanks to a uniform he found in a bombed theatre. He had a close encounter with a Francophile Polish RKKA officer who nearly figured out that he is German, but grandpa had enough booze, and was openhanded enough with it, to pass off as a drunk frenchmen who speeks with slurred and thus german sounding accents because he is drunk).

GDR was sometimes a pretty ironic country. Grandpa was a Eurocommunist, and on the "wrong side of the prague spring" as far as SED central was concerned. His punishment? 1: He would never become a full professor and 2: He would have to teach Marxism instead of art history.

As far as Merkel is concerned: She was pretty standard run of the mill "Anpasser".

Now, "President Gauck" is likely a serial traitor.
My reasoning for Gauck having been Stasi goes as follows:
1: Gaucks family got real and serious privileges. You could get the privileges of Merckel without fully inserting yourself into the SEDs rear end, but Gauck? He had family who could move abroad, could get a western car, travel to the west etc.
This is not a prove, but the first "strike".
2: Stasi was very intensively interested in finding compromat on west german decision makers. They were also pretty good at it. After the GDR fell, the question was of course what to do with the Compromat gold mine that is Stasi. Had any of the west German factions controlled it, they could have used the compromat to run roughshod over their adversaries. Whoever got the control of it automatically gained huge power. However, the Stasi files were very usefull for purging East Germany, and opening up many quite cushy jobs for West Germans. The solution of course was ingenious. Who would be the person damaged the most by the revelation that he was a Stasi agent? Someone who made a career out of being against the Stasi. And well, the double (at least) agent Gauck was easily blackmailable, and quite controllable. Since he is also a traitor, he hates those he betrayed with a particular passion (noone is more spitefull in victory then a victorious traitor) and thus could be relied to be unrelenting towards East Germans.
So, put Gauch in charge of the Stasi archive, after handing out copies of his own (unabridged) Stasi activities to the German (and perhaps not just German) powers that be. Gauck cannot try to use Stasi compromat to blackmail west German politicians, or take particular sides in West German political disputes but is reliably anti East German. Best of all worlds.

3: Well, did you know that Gauck actually employed a number of Stasi personel in his archives? And that this happened only in the central archive which he himself ran? My reading is that those who are employed there are the ones who know enough about Gauck to inconvenience him, and they basically made a deal. There is no other possible reason for super-anti-stasi witchhunter Gauck to be benign to any Stasi officer other then Gauck getting blackmailed.
To paraphrase a joke among former Stasi:
"Former stasi agents can be divided, by their treatment in the FRG, into 3 classes. The first, and worst treated, are those who were totally uninvolved with the causa Gauck. The second, and intermediatly treated, are those who knew of the causa Gauck. The third, and very well treated, class of former Stasi agents consists of Mr. Gauck himself."

Ulenspiegel

Sorry Kassandra, you bend the realitry a little bit too much for my tatste:

1) It was part of the GDR life that you have to play a role in the "political theatre" if you want to get admission into university and science. That was SOP and not the issue.

It is naive to assume that after 10 years nobody within the CDU or SPD would have come with incriminating evidence if there had been something; many her opponents had access to governmental tools for at least four years to mine the data.

2)Kohl was considered before the unification a dud. You only have read Helmut Schmidt's comments. He grew afterwards. To assign him the unification is shallow and wrong. The team around Genscher did the actual work and was in contrast to Kohl highly qualified for the task. Sorry.

3) When Merkel published her FAZ interview, Kohl was already politically a walking dead, knee-deep in the affair. Merkels timing was perfect to kill Schäuble, because until then nobody outside the CDU had known that he was involved too and had lied before. Schäuble died politically within two months. The fact that she survived this interview should tell something about her ability to build a power base.

4) Her take on the refugee crisis was first and formost an aknowledgement of reality: We had 1.2 million refugees in the EU and we needed a solution. Provide alternatives then we can talk. And here you should read the interview of the former Polish foreign minister Sikorskion this topic, quite educational.

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