Wednesday, March 9, 2011

German Ambassador on U.S. and German Plans for the Arab World

German Ambassador to the United States, Klaus Scharioth (pronounced almost like chariot) spoke last night before the World Affairs Council in San Francisco. I was there.

Scharioth told the audience that Germany and the U.S. were very much in sync on how to handle the upheaval in the Arab world. He indicated that he thought the upheaval would spread but did not identify any further countries where that upheaval might occur. He said he was in regular contact with the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon and the NSC. He said more than once that revolution, "must come from within rather from without."

He said that he did not expect military intervention from the U.S. and Europe in Libya, not even a no fly zone, unless it was demanded from the "global community" including the United Nations, the Arab League and the African Union.

It appears that U.S. and German attempts at influence in such countries as Egypt will be focused on the judiciary. Scharioth said that elections in countries like Egypt are down the road and that much will be going on before the elections through the judiciary. He said there were strong judges in Egypt that could play an important role in how a new Egypt would develop. He gave the impression that the U.S. and Germany have identified these judges.

Scharioth then made some truly remarkable, hard to swallow, statements about climate change. He said 97% of all scientists agree that climate change was occurring. He also said that in a small country like Germany, it was easier to detect climate change than in a large country such as the United States. He then pointed out some deforestation going on in Germany, but in the next breath admitted that the deforestation had nothing to do with climate change.

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