(By Ray D.)
Santa Gerd is Coming to Town: It's Christmas Time Again for the Chinese
In Beijing they are making a list and checking it twice. And frankly, Germany's Chancellor doesn't really care whether the Chinese have been naughty or nice.
Last year Santa Gerd promised his Sino-Socialist brothers a high-tech nuclear reactor...for peaceful purposes of course! After all, the Green elves had made it impossible to use the Hanau reactor back home in Germany. So Santa Gerd laughed his jolly laugh and forgave his Chinese fellows their human rights violations and aggressive threats against Taiwan. After all, it was the season of giving.
This year Chinese leaders are planning to present Santa Gerd with an even bigger Christmas wish: They want the EU weapons embargo lifted and they don't want to make a single concession on the issue of human rights. (In case you forgot: That is the same embargo imposed after the Communist government brutally suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests.) According to the German press, the Jolly Old Chancellor supports lifting the weapons embargo and has made that clear on several occasions in the past, despite opposition from the German Bundestag, the United Kingdom and the United States. He does have at least one staunch ally who supports him on this: France.
Perhaps the "peace" Chancellor knows something that we don't. Maybe the Chinese Communist dictators have undergone a true change of heart. It could be that they need the weapons for peaceful parades and not for threatening Taiwan or suppressing citizens in regions like, say, Tibet. Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly), the German "peace" movement, for which "Free Tibet" is a near holy cause, has been deafeningly silent on the arms issue. It appears they are content to trust the "peace" Chancellor and currently too numb drowning themselves in Gluhwein to really care. After all, as long as China's leader isn't named 'George W. Bush' there just isn't a reason to hit the streets.
One thing is certain: Lifting the weapons embargo would be a huge gift from Santa Gerd to the German weapons industry, some of whom are already illegally trading with China as they did earlier with Saddam's Iraq. According to the ARD program Monitor:
The German firms MTU and Deutz AG have produced arms products in China without permission for years. These include engines for tanks, submarines and destroyers. The same submarines and destroyers that were used in threatening maneuvers off the coast of Taiwan.
Lifting the weapons embargo would also fill the stockings of many German companies currently trading with China. Beijing would certainly show greater favor to German businesses should they get their Christmas wish. Santa Gerd seems to hope that Germany, the world's leading export nation, the nation that keeps on giving, might be able to trade its way out of the stagnation brought on by his government's economic mismanagement, mammoth bureaucracy and repeated tax hikes.
Well, folks, I said it last year around this time and I will say it again:
"For the past 2 years, members of Schroeder's Socialist-Green coalition government have incessantly criticized the US for its military campaigns and alleged human rights abuses in Afghanistan, Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay. Then they turn around and make these types of deals with China because they are lucrative for German industry... do I smell hypocrisy here?"
It will be interesting to see how the Chancellor treats Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi on his upcoming visit to Berlin. Hopefully, he will be in the same spirit of giving...but I wouldn't bet the farm on it...Santa Gerd will likely be too busy forging weapons deals and spreading holiday cheer with Communist dictators to lend a real hand to an emerging Middle Eastern democracy.