What a dramatic barnburner of a year 2010 was! What will this year bring? Important clues were dropped at two crucial summits that kick-started 2011 for world leaders—one in Davos, the other in Munich.
A close reading of the stance adopted by elites during these high-power conferences gives more than an inkling of what’s in store for Europe—and, thus, the rest of the globe—in the coming months.
You need to understand the far-reaching ramifications.
The annual World Economic Forum met in Davos, Switzerland, January 26 to 30. In past years, the focus has been specifically on trying to project an economic vision for the world for the year ahead. This year, however, the emphasis was patently geopolitical. This change, though not scheduled, was a natural outgrowth of the participants being deeply concerned about the state of the world. They see risks to global stability accelerating on three fronts—the failure to solve the ongoing financial crisis, the shift of growth and wealth to the emerging economies of the east and south, and revolutionary change in the Middle East.
That focus on geopolitical risks in a time of increasing global economic, political and social dislocation continued as many participants shuttled on to Munich for the annual Munich Security Conference. Here, an important reality became clear. It may well be that the emerging economies, led by China, are setting the pace economically at present. However, it is Europe, specifically Germany, that is charting a new direction for global politics.
The Importance of Munich
The Munich conference was born in 1962 of an idea of Ewald Heinrich von Kleist, son of a prominent military officer of the same name who rose to the status of field marshal under Hitler. Both father and son were involved in the plots to assassinate Hitler. After the war, while the elder von Kleist died in prison in Russia, the younger became a successful publisher. He established the Wehrkunde Conference.
The Wehrkunde brought together cabinet ministers, members of parliament, high-ranking representatives of the armed forces, scientists and representatives of the media from all over the world once a year to meet in Munich. There they convened to discuss matters involving international security.
By 1999, the Wehrkunde had changed its name to the Munich Security Conference, chaired by Horst Teltschik, former national security adviser to the German government. It had by then become the premier annual global security summit.
In 2009, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger was appointed chairman of the conference. Under his chairmanship, this year’s conference was its largest ever and—it could be argued, given the continuing global economic crisis and the destabilization of the Middle East—its most crucial.
At Munich, Bavaria, Germany now plays the host annually to the most high-profile gathering of world leaders involved in national and international security policy for the year ahead. It is in the corridors at Munich that alliances are considered and debated and global security strategy is refined.
Just a couple of months earlier, nato held its annual summit, during which it laid out the new transatlantic security model in a new strategic concept. Thus, participants at the Munich Security Conference—who also had just come from Davos—had a fair idea of the perceived direction that the West’s efforts at securing global security would take from the one, and a degree of vision as to the economic direction from the other.
This year, a landmark treaty, the start treaty, was officially implemented between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
But, viewing the live streamed video from Munich, it soon became obvious that Germany was emerging as the most lucid and potently assertive voice effecting international policy economically and monetarily, as well as in matters related to the theme of the summit, security and defense.
The Munich Security Conference opened with a speech by German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. He revealed the new outward-looking perspective of a Germany quickly gaining confidence in its role as a global player.
“Security has a global dimension,” he said. He linked that global dimension with Germany’s recent moves to “launch the most fundamental changes to our military force since the founding of the Bundeswehr,” redesigning the German military to become “smaller, more capable, more efficient and more effective.” He noted that Germany is “joined in this effort by our partners in the [Atlantic] alliance.” These changes, Guttenberg indicated, were to “strike a balance between means and mission” with the overall aim of answering the question, “What do we want to achieve politically with the realignment of the Bundeswehr?”
Given Germany’s history, the answer to that question could have profound impact not only on the Atlantic alliance, but also on the rest of the world.
As if to partially answer it, Guttenberg continued, “We want to improve our strategic weight in the alliance. We want to make an adequate contribution and we want to influence the events.” In this context, Guttenberg does not restrict Germany’s contribution to the transatlantic context. Rather he sees German and nato cooperation providing a “worldwide network of security.”
Toward the end of his remarks, Guttenberg focused on the nation of Israel. He declared that “Israel needs neighbors who want to live with it in peace and which do not threaten its existence. Egypt and Jordan must honor their peace treaties with Israel. Europe has some clout in these countries, and we should use it.”
That latter statement bespeaks the imminent prospect of a regeneration of the Middle East peace process, with Germany taking a lead role—something this magazine has been predicting for two decades.
Guttenberg’s speech was followed by that of nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who drew attention to the overarching theme of the Munich conference: “How to build security in an age of austerity.” He highlighted the danger of reducing defense budgets, declaring that “if the cuts are too deep we won’t be able to defend the security on which our democratic societies and prosperous economies depend.” He emphasized nato using the ongoing financial and economic crisis to “help nations to build greater security with fewer resources but more coordination and coherence” so as to “avoid the financial crisis from becoming a security crisis.”
Alluding to the need for flexibility and a globalist approach toward security in sync with Guttenberg’s stating the need for security to be viewed within a “global dimension,” the nato chief observed that “old certainties no longer hold, tectonic plates are shifting. … At stake is not just the world economy, but the world order” (emphasis mine throughout).
No doubt thinking of Washington’s stick-in-the-mud approach to the Atlantic alliance, Rasmussen stated, “We need a new approach: smart defense, ensuring greater security, for less money, by working together with more flexibility.” That one statement reveals how close Guttenberg’s approach to upgrading the Bundeswehr is to Rasmusson’s vision for nato. The two are of one mind in their strategy for upgrading each force and synchronizing with the other. Both seek a leaner, meaner, more proficient and reactive blending of German and nato military power.
The ongoing financial crisis is accelerating this process. As Rasmussen observed, “The crisis makes cooperation between nations no longer a choice. It is a necessity.” He held up the recent merging of British and French force capabilities as an example, applauding their “fundamental shift towards closer cooperation to develop and share critical defense capabilities” as a real “turning point.” He then praised Germany’s efforts, stating, “I particularly wish to commend Minister zu Guttenberg and the German government for undertaking the reform of the Bundeswehr, to make it leaner and more agile.”
Then the nato leader pointed to the true nature of what European elites are working toward militarily: “A strong, strategic nato-EU partnership would deliver many benefits, in political and operational terms, as well as financially. It makes sense for us in Europe. … I will continue to do all I can to make it happen.”
That statement rings with an air of prophecy. It will happen, but not because Anders Fogh Rasmussen will do all in his power to achieve that end. It will happen because Bible prophecies herald the dramatic rise of a northern European power, dominated by a nation the prophecies identify as being descended from the war men of ancient Assyria. (Proof of this can be found in our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)
Realizing Dr. Funk’s Vision
Perhaps the most eye-opening session at Munich was a panel discussion titled “Implications of the Financial Crisis on Global Stability and Security.” In it, the vision of EU elites came into clear focus. Dr. Walther Funk, Hitler’s minister for economic affairs, would be beaming with national pride were he alive today hearing that vision portrayed by today’s EU centralists. For that vision reveals that Germany is about to fulfill his dream of advancing toward global monetary hegemony.
Funk’s vision was to have the exchange rates of European nations controlled by Berlin. This would enable Germany to ensure it could sell its manufactured goods at increasingly favorable prices; this in turn would increase Germany’s wealth at the expense of lesser economies dependent upon it for custom and financial support in the form of expensive loans.
Germany has, in essence, achieved this effect today by ensuring that the European Central Bank sets interest rates for eurozone countries. This restricts the growth of many EU member nations so much that they are becoming increasingly indebted and prone to call for bailout by Europe’s central bankers, of which Germany is chief by far.
Hence the eurozone crisis.
That raises, once again, an important question: Was the euro crisis foreseen by German elites? Was the single-currency policy of the EU—a German idea—a deliberate strategy to make the individual national economies of Europe subservient to Berlin? That question seemed clearly answered by Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, at the Munich conference.
During the first panel discussion, there was an interchange between financier George Soros, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Olli Rehn, and Wolfgang Schäuble. Soros declared that the euro crisis “is about to be resolved.” And how? “There is now a determination to make up the missing element, which is a common fiscal policy or a common treasury.” He was referring to Germany’s forceful drive to establish EU fiscal regulation under a centralized economic government enacted and controlled by Berlin.
Divergence, Crisis and Success
But Soros went on to raise a particular concern: “I’m afraid that the structure that is being put together will also be flawed. It is clearly visible that it will create problems in the years to come because the euro, which was supposed to bring about convergence, has actually created a divergence within the performances of the various countries. The structure that is currently being discussed will cast this divergence in stone. That will have very serious consequences because you are creating a two-speed Europe between surplus countries surging ahead and indebted countries sinking under the weight of their debt.”
What was intriguing to note was Schäuble’s and Rehn’s response. Here are extracts from their discussion:
Soros: “The euro created a divergence in Europe’s economies. Germany plans a common treasury and a common fiscal policy for the EU. … This creates a two-speed Europe. … Debtor countries sink under the weight of debt while strong economies grow. … This will present a bad political situation allowing for the rise of extremist political groups.”
Schäuble: “The challenge is how to handle the financial crisis versus global security versus global governance.”
Rehn: “A new and enforced economic government is needed. We need a global government to allow the markets to stay close to equilibrium. We need a third way. A rules-based system similar to that which Ludwig Erhard implemented. The German example is the real EU model.”
Soros: “A rules-based system will be flawed due to human imperfection.”
Schäuble: “The global financial crisis happened due to too high demand and too little regulation. We need more regulation. The EU is the classic example of regional cooperation. The Chinese model is not for the rest of the world. The problem of 2008 was due to lack of rules. We need a rules-based system with competition and freedom. Rules and framework—look for these.”
Rehn: “The German approach is a very responsible policy.”
Schäuble: “The deeper the crisis, the better the chance for getting solutions!”
This interchange starkly reveals the anti-democratic stance of the EU’s real controllers, the elites who rule from the European heartland. These elites are determined to impose centralized economic governance on Europe. They are deliberately creating a crisis of divergence between the stronger and the weaker EU members—a crisis as pre-planned as the Greek economic crisis, in which German elites were equally culpable. (You can read more about this in our February 2009 article “Did the Holy Roman Empire Plan the Greek Crisis?”) And this crisis will end with the same results: control of the nations’ economies by centralized authority vested in Brussels, Berlin and Frankfurt.
A Single Government
Wolfgang Schäuble observed during the panel discussion that the founders of what is today’s European Union always wanted political union. The ultimate aim is a single European government. The means of achieving it is monetary union. As Sir Richard Body predicted fully 12 years ago in his book The Breakdown of Europe, “The objective of a single currency in the European Union … is to integrate formally and irrevocably all the economies of the member states. They will be merged together into a single economy under the control of a single authority that will be (de facto if not de jure) a government.”
That is exactly what Germany is proposing today.
The most influential thinkers at the Munich Security Conference spoke of the need for security to be global rather than national in extent and responsibility, administered under centralized rather than sovereign national control.
They spoke of economic and financial regulation that is imposed over sovereign national jurisdiction by a centralized authority. “Such thinking is infused with the utopian belief in ‘new order’ governed by an elite of administrators and planners,” wrote John Laughland of the mindset of EU elites.”[L]ike all socialist thought, such ‘new thinking’ is predicated on a radical rejection of humanity as it is now, and indeed of liberty” (The Tainted Source).
Ultimately, this shows a perceived need for a supreme global human authority to which all humanity would be subservient. But as Soros said, such a system would be flawed by human imperfection.
Berlin’s Economic Government
Using the logic put forward by Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany is now moving aggressively to gain full economic and political control of Europe using the economic crisis as the catalyst. Berlin wants all eurozone member states to acquiesce fully to what it calls its “competitiveness pact.” The trouble is, this is an obvious first step toward Berlin taking over the governance of Europe’s once sovereign economies.
German-Foreign-Policy.com wrote of this: “The mark of the German economic policy, aimed at massive salary reductions, general economic insecurity and aggressive export orientation, is unmistakably recognizable within the individual provisions of the ‘EU competitiveness pact.’ The pact, which is described as the nucleus of a future EU economic governing body, provides for the eurozone nations to introduce ‘debt limitations’ patterned on the German model” (February 14).
The proposed European economic policy “threatens sanctions against those countries that refuse to take these steps. The impending ‘European economic governing body’ will be implemented ‘completely along the lines of the German model’” (ibid.).
Ireland, Greece, Portugal and now Spain have been test cases for this “German model” of economic governance.
Joan Marc Simon, secretary general of the Union of European Federalists, gave an up-to-date observation of just how the process operates using Spain as an example: “The front page of today’s Spanish newspapers [February 4] joined the country’s main political actors in cheering the words of Merkel: ‘Spain is going in the right direction with the reforms.’ I almost fell off the chair: A foreign leader coming to Spain—a sovereign nation-state, at least on paper—and telling the democratically elected leaders what they have to do. And everybody finds it normal!”
Simon’s incredulity came from his observation of “the fact that a sovereign country is managing to force other sovereign countries to do what it thinks to be right. In the past this could be achieved only with the use of military force” (Europe’s World, February 7).
He’s right! Simply put, what Germany sought to achieve by military force in 1914 and 1939 it is now well advanced in gaining through implementing a clever, long-term grand strategy of economic and political control by regulation.
What started 50 years ago as a seemingly innocuous European Coal and Steel Community comprising just six nations has evolved over time into the European Union of 27 states today, being brought under one single government.
Simon observed, “[T]he events of [recent] months show that national fiscal sovereignty is gone … to Germany. Germany decides the measures and evaluates its implementation and, whether we like it or not, it didn’t ask for permission to do so.” He calls this “the biggest takeover of national sovereignty by a European member state since World War ii.”
Once again, he’s so right.
But that’s really what Herbert Armstrong warned for decades was behind Germany’s efforts to unite Europe. He told us Germany had learned that to seek to take over Europe a third time by warfare was counterproductive. He clearly declared that it would set up an economic empire first, then suddenly militarize it at the appropriate time. He told us that it would then turn our own weapons upon us!
That is what the integration of the German, EU and nato military structure being touted by nato and Germany is all about!
Now that Germany is so far advanced toward economic and hence political control of Europe, the time is fast approaching for it to accelerate military control.
The Munich Security Conference exposed the German plan for what it is. The competitiveness pact is the instrument by which Europe’s governance will be centralized in Berlin. The concept of “network security” highlighted by Guttenberg is the strategy by which nato and EU military power will be progressively merged to enforce that government.
It’s all happening just as Herbert Armstrong said. Request our free booklet He Was Right and see just how far ahead Mr. Armstrong saw into the future we are living through today. It’s a remarkable account of the clear vision the Eternal God gave to him of the events leading up to Jesus Christ’s return. And it will show you just how close we are now to that grand event.
Keep watching Europe for events to accelerate toward the final exposure of what this European Union is all about: in reality, the prophesied seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire!