Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Schröder flips Ashton & Kerry the bird

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder has just jabbed a straight middle finger in the air at EU and US attempts to escalate the situation in Ukraine by inviting President Putin to a glittering 70th birthday bash in St Petersburg. The colleagues are incandescent with rage and are spitting blood at the black-tie pictures of the two men hugging, but are powerless to silence the unmistakeable gesture from the German Statesman. 

Schröder is no shrinking violet. His savage trimming of the German welfare system and ground-breaking deployment of German troops in Kosovo and Afghanistan demonstrate his strength, as did his absolute refusal to have anything to do with Blair and Bush's unlawful military adventure in Iraq - thereby saving Germany from the sort of political disgrace that continues to overshadow Britain's Labour Party.

Neither is Schröder uncritical of Putin; he can have few illusions that Putin is other than a despot in the true Russian tradition. However, his powerful gesture was guaranteed to infuriate the unelected EU leadership - and show that there's more than one side to this particular story. And demonstrates just how powerful a small gesture can be from someone of his stature. He really does make Cameron look and sound like a puerile pygmy. 

7 comments:

Nick Drew said...

yes, but he took the bent Putin kopek several years ago, becoming Chairman of Gazprom's North Stream gas pipeline after having 'facilitated' it when in office

he has his office in St Petersburg and if Putin had told him to hold this party, that's exactly what he will have done

the signal is not so much the finger from Schröder, it's the 'money buys me whatever and whomever I want' from Putin

Anonymous said...

Nick Drew said @ 16:59

'the signal is not so much the finger from Schröder, it's the 'money buys me whatever and whomever I want' from Putin'

A significant gesture nonetheless, Nick.

When the world enters a phase of political and cultural turmoil it usually takes a strong man/men to drag it through and out the other side. You can take your pick of who that might be but be warned, at this moment there is no one in the West who could do the job.

Steve

Anonymous said...

Schröder knows exactly which side of his bread is buttered.

Budgie said...

"He really does make Cameron look and sound like a puerile pygmy." That's actually not hard to do. Even Salmond's done it by threatening the EU with no access to Scottish waters come independence. So thug Putin doesn't have to be that effective.

Bloke In Italy said...

THe "illegal war" meme rears its ugly head - there's no such thing as legal and illegal in international relations.

There's morally reprehensible (tick) and disastrously ill-advised (tick) and there's justified by lies and falsified intelligence reports (tick) but the idea that a "vote" by a bunch of corrupt fools in the UN's glass palace somehow makes an act of violence legal is mistaken.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

What Bloke in Italy said.

visc said...

Bloke in Italy: I fear you have also fallen victime to a meme.

The phrase used was unlawful not illegal. Wars of aggresion and unlawful wars predate the UN by many years. The Nuremburg Military Tribunal said they were an 'international crime' and there is long precedent against. As ever the devil is in the detail. Indeed the UN doesnt and shouldnt determine legality, but the even without the UN the Iraq war would have been viewed as unlawful.

Yes this is to an extent a semantic argument, but its the preciseness of the wording does affect the mood music of a narrative.