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The preparations for war in Europe proceed: “Integrity initiative” and “Aachen Treaty”

by Karl Müller

It can no longer be overlooked that in the powerful states the responsible politicians, the military and the media are arming for war – and not all of them are doing it to prevent a war. Moreover: The big powers are already waging war – mostly in proxy wars, but also in direct confrontation. One of these war theatres is Syria. The number of victims – most of them civilians who would have liked nothing better than to live in peace – is already in the hundreds of thousands.

Cold War and hot wars

This was not different in the first Cold War: Despite the UN Charta passed at the end of World War II, the hot wars in Korea, Indochina, Afghanistan and many regions in Africa killed millions of people, not counting the material and cultural destruction.
There is a new cold war between the NATO states and Russia and the consequences are not only a return to the arms race but also a new massive propaganda effort establishing enemy stereotypes. This includes the turning away from the imperative of truthfulness in political speech, reporting and commenting. Even persons calling themselves scientists propagate war. The cards are no longer on the table, unwelcome facts are suppressed, everything needs to match the enemy stereotype – and for those refusing to join in life is made difficult.
The work of the secret services, their covert operations and ploys are booming. And if something seems to be leaked, we cannot be sure if we really get the facts. There are only a few personalities left who try to get to the bottom of things – which is not surprising because such people live dangerously.

But should we accept this?

Some see their task in informing, for example about the so-called “Integrity Initiative”1 which started in 2015. So far, in the German speaking countries only the Nachdenkseiten, Telepolis and Swiss Propaganda Research have reported on this, also the German speaking Russian stations RT Deutsch and Sputnik. According to the available reports, the “Initiative” is controlled by a pseudo-private institution in the United Kingdom, financed by the UK government, but also by NATO and Facebook. More or less covertly, networks of secret agents, army officers, politicians, journalists and “scientists” are to be established which – according to the “Initiative’s” [meanwhile deactivated] web page (www.integrityinitiative.net) – want to work against propaganda and disinformation. Focus is mainly Russian “propaganda” and “disinformation” – and much is suggesting that the true motive is not love of truth but propaganda against Russia – and the means of choice is disinformation.
All this is not surprising, and it does not make sense to go into details or to fuss here particularly. A cynic might sum it up: Quod erat demonstrandum (which was to be proven)!

Cynicism is not a solution

But cynicism is not a solution. Even the distanced comprehension of evil cannot do good. What has happened to make people lose respect for war?
What does it take to arouse emotions in people allowing them to say “No to War”, openly and honestly? What does it take to encourage him to take an active stand for peace?

The extent of public deception

The extent of public deception has become large.
On 22 January 2019, the French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel signed a new treaty in the German town Aachen, steeped in history: the “Aachen Treaty”2. The date of signature was chosen deliberately: on 22 January 1963 the Élysée Treaty was signed. Official sources stated that the new treaty was in line with the Élysée Treaty which was concluded between Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer, updating the old treaty. This statement, however, is wrong. The Élysée Treaty was a step towards reconciliation between France and Germany after centuries of hostility – and, at least for de Gaulle, the attempt to release Germany from US-American guardianship – with the goal of a “Europe of Fatherlands”. The “Aachen Treaty” has nothing to do with this objective.

A German-French treaty for war preparation?

This is not the place to highlight all details of the treaty. However, this treaty is directed against the idea of sovereign democracies; military cooperation is a central aspect. Sevim Dagdelen, spokeswoman for disarmament of the Linke faction in the German Bundestag, called the “Aachen Treaty” a “bizarre mixture of military build-up and war preparation with neo-liberal and authoritarian orientation.”3 On his Facebook page, the spokesman for European politics of the Linke faction, Andrej Hunko, stated pointedly: “Formerly, the historic Élysée Treaty marked an important step towards reconciliation between Germany and France. The recently signed treaty does not have much to do with it: back then it was about reconciliation, today it’s about armament!”
Telling is also the headline of the definitively not left-wing German “Handelsblatt” of 22 January 2019: “Germany is approaching France in defence”. And how should we understand the statement of the SPD politician Fritz Felgentreu, cited in the “Handelsblatt”: “In face of the US withdrawal from Syria we see that Europe would not even be able to replace the withdrawing troops. Hence we cannot even discuss if we want to replace the troops or not.” Earlier he had stated: “We should start at last discussing concrete projects with France.”

Von der Leyen is soliciting in the “New York Times”

The German approach towards French “security and defence political goals and strategies” (Article 4 of the “Aachen Treaty”) sounds ominous. It matches the plan to make Germany ready for war – contrary to the law in force. On 18 January 2019, the German “Minister of War” Ursula von der Leyen took the same line in a commentary in the “New York Times” – one of the main media of the US American war party. The title of the column was addressing the US public, formulated along the Obama-Clinton line: “The World Still Needs NATO”. The enemy stereotypes are Russia and China. The height of cynicism is reached with the picture in the internet edition of the newspaper: Soldiers of the KFOR stand in front of the American and NATO flags after the army formation ceremony in Pristina, Kosovo, in December. – This is the result of the first NATO war of aggression, contrary to international law, after 1991.

Germany and the “Integrity Initiative”

Both, the “Integrity Initiative” and the “Aachen Treaty” are meant to make Germany readier for war.
This includes an important detail from a leaked message from the man responsible for the “Integrity Initiative” in Germany to his British “agent handler”: “The depth of vulnerability and the intensity of the Russian attempts make Germany a very tough but very important goal.” The German also complains that Germany was particularly receptive for “Russian influence”.
This must be put in perspective: Indeed, the German-Russian relations have a long tradition, also in the positive sense. The National Socialist Germany outrageously rampaged in Russia, killing tens of millions. Many Germans are still aware of this. And they also know that there can be no peace in Europe without Russia. And that it is of material interest for Germany to maintain good relations with Russia.
The German aversion against a new war, even a war against Russia, is meant to be broken. This matches the statements of the political scientist Peter W. Schulze, cited by Sputnik on 9 January 2019: “This campaign has been running uninterruptedly since the end of the first decade of the new millennium and is meant to weaken the remaining pragmatic circles interested in a moderate cooperation with Russia led by common interests and in addition to demonise Russia further.”     •

1    Cf. https://swprs.org/die-integrity-initiative/  of January 2019 with further hints; or Florian Rötzer, the first to report: “Integrity Initiative: Britische Beeinflussungskampagne gegen Russland?”, https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Integrity-Initiative-Britische-Beeinflussungskampagne-gegen-Russland-4232365.html of 26 November 2018
2    The German version of the Aachen Treaty  can be found here: https://www.bundesregierung.de/resource/blob/997532/1570126/c720a7f2e1a0128050baaa6a16b760f7/2019-01-19-vertrag-von-aachen-data.pdf, the French version is here: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/dossiers-pays/allemagne/relations-bilaterales/traite-de-cooperation-franco-allemand-d-aix-la-chapelle/
3    Sevim Dagdelen. “Nein zum Aachener Aufrüstungsvertrag”, in: Telepolis of 21 January 2019; https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Nein-zum-Aachener-Aufruestungsvertrag-4283180.html

The Aachen Treaty

km. The German version of the “Aachen Treaty” (officially: “Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on Franco-German Cooperation and Integration”) has 16 pages.
A detailed preamble is followed by 7 chapters: “European Affairs”, “Peace, Security and Development”, “Culture, Education, Research and Mobility”, “Regional and Cross-Border Cooperation”, “Sustainable Development, Climate, Environment and Economic Affairs”, “Organisation” and “Final Provisions”.
The most extensive are the chapters on the intensification of foreign policy and military cooperation (Chapter 2) and on cross-border joint projects (Chapter 4).
The main objectives of the Treaty are obviously the coordination and alignment of more and more German and French policy areas as well as the claim to assume a leading role within the EU in the direction of a globalist-oriented “deepening” by means of close agreements.
The other EU states have not been consulted as far as known.