When the Leopard hulls are wheeled back with their turrets blown off, the political price for Berlin will become unbearable.
Germany is being played like a fiddle and the sound is a pathetic and plaintive one. Only days after Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would not be supplying its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to fight against Russia, Berlin has done an embarrassing U-turn. The Leopards are coming.
Germany is to send “a company” of these fearsome battlefield weapons which amounts to about 14 of them, according to reports. What is more, Berlin is giving the proprietary authorization for other NATO members to also re-export the German-made tank to Ukraine.
Last Friday at a NATO-sponsored war summit at the U.S. Air Force Base in Ramstein, Germany, the Scholz government surprised many observers by resisting mounting calls from the United States and other NATO allies to release the Leopards. Scholz has been saying for months that he did not want to provoke Russia into an escalation of hostilities by such a move. How many times has he said that regarding other German weapons only to buckle and cave in?
Immediately after the Ramstein meeting, the pressure on Berlin was ratcheted up. The U.S., Britain, Poland and the Baltic states castigated and shamed Germany for showing cowardice. Warsaw taunted that it would send some of its Leopards regardless of Berlin’s say-so, thereby snubbing the German protocol that as the manufacturer of the tank it must authorize any re-export of the weapon.
The clincher move came from Washington. The Biden administration said it would send its M1 Abrams main battle tanks after previously saying it would not owing to logistical impracticalities. That surprise move pulled the stops from under Berlin’s public position that it would only supply the Leopards on condition that the U.S. would also send its tanks.
Here’s the thing though. U.S. President Joe Biden is ordering the supply of 30 Abrams but it will take months or even up to a year before the American tanks become operational in the war. This is because the Abrams is a bigger beast requiring more training of tank crews. Whereas the German Leopards are good to go.
Washington is no doubt pulling a fast one on Berlin. The Americans are daring the Germans to send their prime tanks to the front knowing that their own lumbering, gas-guzzling behemoths will be leading from the rear.
The whole sordid spectacle of Berlin’s U-turn from brow-beating and hectoring by Poland and the Baltic minions speaks of German humiliation. It does make you wonder what kind of blackmail material the Western intelligence agencies have on Scholz and his government for such a cringe-making capitulation.
History never repeats exactly. In 1941, when Nazi Germany crashed into the Soviet Union with its Panzer Tiger tanks it was the biggest land invasion in history under the steely, brutal leadership of the Third Reich. This time around, the tanks from Berlin are tokenism and under orders from a vacillating chancellor mocked even by his so-called allies as being a “liverwurst” (liver sausage).
It shows, however, that the German establishment is apprehensive about being set up in a dangerous political game by treacherous allies. Polls indicate that the German population is wary about escalating the war in Ukraine against Russia. The bitter, shameful memory of World War Two and the German-led extermination across Europe in which up to 30 million Soviet citizens died is too much to bear. For Berlin to be now indulging the U.S.-led charade about “defending democracy” in an incorrigibly corrupt Ukrainian regime is risking huge political capital at a time of intensifying social and economic hardship for the German people, as in every other Western state.
Factions within the German establishment know that obeying American orders is a reckless, bad idea. Military commanders have warned against sending the Leopards. Business leaders are also against the insane destruction of bilateral relations with Russia. Yet other factions of the establishment are bending their knee to Washington. Is it blackmail or ideological weakness? Probably both. Germany is after all an occupied US military zone with 40,000 American troops and bases, rather than a sovereign nation.
The American imperial overlords want to break Europe into suzerainty under US capital. Germany is the traction point for this American subjugation of Europe. Obliterating geo-economic relations with Russia (and China) is a vital part of the plan. However, there is a catch: the German link is brittle.
The tokenism of sending the Leopards is gravely provocative to Russia, but it won’t make a difference to the outcome of the war in Ukraine. The Kiev regime has been goading NATO for at least 300 tanks in order to purportedly push back Russian forces. A few dozen tanks from Germany and other European allies won’t cut the mustard. Furthermore, tanks in isolation under the lack of air cover won’t have the impact that is unrealistically assumed.
The provocation will nevertheless not go unanswered by Russia. Moscow has warned that it will destroy any tanks arriving from Germany, Poland, or elsewhere before these machines even get off the rail tracks and anywhere near the front line. With Russia’s air power and precision missiles, such a threat is not idle.
When the Leopard hulls are wheeled back with their turrets blown off along with incinerated corpses, the political price for Berlin will become unbearable. The squabbling among NATO minions will then go from simmering to boiling point. And the tracks will come off the NATO war machine.
The Kiev regime is shooting foot soldiers who refuse to obey orders to advance against superior Russian firepower on the battlefield. Washington’s demands on Berlin are tantamount to the same self-defeating coercion.