Sale of tanks to Saudi regime heibt, Germany will "normal", which is why no one abroad is interested in the arms delivery
It is already a little spooky. Waves are running high in Germany after it became known that the German government has given permission in the Federal Security Council to sell 200 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia, i.e. to a crisis area and an authoritarian regime. The deal is estimated to be worth 1.7 billion euros. Some tanks are said to have already been sold.
The heavy weapons are going to a region where an arms race is taking place. This is not only about the conflict with Iran, but also, at least since the Arab Spring, about the uprising to put down the freedom and democracy movement. In this, Syria and Iran hardly differ from Saudi Arabia, which sent soldiers and tanks to Bahrain to brutally put down protests there.
The discussion in Germany is ghostly because hardly anyone else cares about it – neither in Saudi Arabia, nor in Israel, other European countries or in the USA. And this is indeed really frightening. The decision of the German government to sell heavy equipment to the Saudi regime for the first time is probably, along with the demand of the German arms industry, which ranks third in the world for exports, a so-called realpolitik decision, which makes it clear that the demand of the freedom movement in Tunisia and Egypt, which has supposedly been undertaken so far, was only hypocritical. The Merkel government, which also in Germany wants to make itself as independent as possible from the parliament, is not concerned with democracy and human rights, but only with maintaining and expanding its power.
Whoever seems to have the upper hand at the moment is a partner of the German government, an independent policy, based on principles, does not exist, was also going to cause blob unnoticeable trouble. Minister Westerwelle is fraternizing in the media with the protest movements in Tunisia and Egypt, and at the same time giving his approval to Saudi Arabia not only to grant the usual export licenses for weapons, but also for the first time to supply tanks, the use of which is probably not directed against Iran, but against its own population or that of other authoritarian regimes, to which one wants to rush to the aid of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is not only covering up for Ben Ali of Tunisia so that he cannot be held accountable, but also for the Yemeni president. It is safe to ame that the Saudi monarchy will do anything but demand democracy in Yemen. And in the end, tanks could be used there as well, as Syria is doing right now.
Allegedly, the German government first checked with Israel and the U.S. to see if the arms deal was okay. The Suddeutsche whispers about some kind of "circles of the black-yellow government", that the sale of tanks is supposedly intended to help Saudi Arabia, "which, after the upheavals in Egypt and Tunisia, is the ‘last and most important pillar of support in the Middle East region". If this was said in such a way, this would be unmasking. Thus, the democratic movements are viewed skeptically, while the authoritarian regime is supported, as was done before in Egypt and Tunisia. What is the pillar of support in the region? The Saudi regime has supported the Taliban in Afghanistan, calls for fundamentalist Islamism at home and abroad, opposes democracy and human rights, exploits terrorists and religious warriors, and has as its plus, besides oil and money, only the "stability" of tyranny in the Middle East.
Under Chancellor Merkel, Germany is now taking the last step back into the pragmatic policy of interests that all other countries cultivate, which is why they have no problem with the sale of weapons. Sure, Red-Green has led Germany back into the world of war, but still under the guise of humanitarian interventions. Kohler still had to leave office because he made clear what had long been clear, that Germany militarily defends not freedom, human rights or democracy, but its economic and strategic interests. The government is still silent, but the arms deal makes it clear that the last moral reservations, stemming from the reaction to fascism, have fallen. This apparently required a chancellor from the East, who had made a career there from a pragmatic point of view and is now using this knowledge to do what is best in the short term, without any political vision.
But the unscrupulous Merkel also puts Germany in the realm of power politics. Now we are playing along again, which includes that Germany gets a professional army in order to send it more easily to the Hindu Kush or wherever else in order to apparently not only defend German interests, but also to enforce them. Nevertheless it comes thereby to curious constellations. While the German government is rallying against Islamism in domestic politics, it is allying itself with those in power who are pushing it. One would wish that the government would at least explain such decisions and the political concept behind them. But it is also part of the fraternization with authoritarian Islamic regimes that the transparency necessary for democracy is put on the back burner in the name of the Christian virtues that are supposedly followed.