By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
The Germans are showing leadership in Europe in many areas and in every sense of the word. Germany still stands behind the continued build up of a United Europe, as France, under the socialist party of President François Hollande, is showing signs of lethargy.
While Berlin’s self-interest is undeniable, there is also the future of the euro for which Germany has become protector.
Most important, however, is the refugee crisis that continues to rock Europe. In the face of the challenge that has rivaled the Second World War experience, Germany availed its resources accepting about 800,000 refugees. Unfortunately, politics sometimes being a beastly game, it is now hurting Ms. Angela Merkel’s image.
Fortunately, a benevolent portion of humanity appears interested in rewarding her to be picked up as the next United Nations secretary-general. Thus, it means that she would break the line of seven male officeholders, without a break.
This entirely is due to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership quality and policy.
On December 6, 2015, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel uttered what normally is not public material for any Western leader. Reuters quotes Mr. Gabriel stating what is described as “unusual criticism” of the Saudi royal family; he publicly urged Riyadh to stop supporting religious extremists.
German intelligence is given the credit for this; it has come with suggestion that lately Saudi foreign policy has again become more “impulsive” – whatever that means. There is no doubt that this latest criticism of Saudi Arabia is based on the German intelligence and the reaction of members of the German parliament that it elicited.
Mr. Sigmar Gabriel dared to tell Saudi Arabia “the time to look away is past. Wahhabi mosques are financed all over the world by Saudi Arabia. In Germany, many dangerous Islamists come from these communities”, according to Reuters.
Of necessity, this adds some luster to Ms. Merkel’s leadership. The Vice-Chancellor is part of Ms. Merkel’s government. I would be hard put that he would have come to state that against Saudi Arabia, without her consent!
In a November 20, 2015 article appearing on Consortiumnews.com, Daniel Lazare tries to establish why necessarily and on a continual basis why Saudi Arabia should become “impulsive”. He thus observes:
“Arab Gulf states of Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, countries with massive reserves of wealth despite a 50-percent plunge in oil prices. The Gulf states are politically autocratic, militantly Sunni, and, moreover, are caught in a painful ideological bind.
Worldwide, Sunnis outnumber Shi‘ites by at least four to one. But among the eight nations ringing the Persian Gulf, the situation is reversed, with Shi‘ites outnumbering Sunnis by nearly two to one. The more theocratic the world grows – and theocracy is a trend not only in the Muslim world, but in India, Israel and even the U.S. if certain Republicans get their way – the more sectarianism intensifies.
At its most basic, the Sunni-Shi‘ite conflict is a war of succession among followers of Muhammad, who died in the Seventh Century. The more one side gains political control in the name of Islam, consequently, the more vulnerable it becomes to accusations from the other side that its claim to power is less than legitimate.
The Saudi royal family, which styles itself as the “custodian of the two holy mosques” of Mecca and Medina, is especially sensitive to such accusations, if only because its political position seems to be growing more and more precarious. This is why it has thrown itself into an anti-Shi‘ite crusade from Yemen to Bahrain to Syria.”
In Washington, writes Daniel Lazare, “Democrats and Republicans dodge the tougher question: how to confront Saudi Arabia about its covert funding for Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorists.”
In a Biblical sense, several nations of the world may march to the Middle East; however, without the Gulf states rallying to the cause of destroying ISIL and other fundamentalists – the fanatics intoxicated with human blood – victory may be needlessly elusive.
Another lesson to be picked up by the West, in fact other nations too, is that unholy alliance with dictators is bad and dangerous. We in Ethiopia have taken sufficient lessons about such collaborations in these past quarter century between Western nations and Ethiopia under the ethnic minority regime of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Its single-party rule is equipped with Nazi-cruelty, the motive of which is economic robbery and ethnic supremacy. The TPLF has been constantly massacring the young and the old, as it is happening at this very moment in Oromia and Gondar to grab lands of common people.
In Ethiopia, citizens’ fear has intensified. If this disgrace is allowed to continue, it is likely that it may eventually destroy one of the world’s oldest multi-ethnic nations – with significant losses of lives.