No, not the chancellor, Angela Merkel, but rather the law professor Reinhard Merkel. Unlike the chancellor, Reinhard Merkel is a Putin loyalist. After Putin followed Hitler's playbook in his 1938 Anschluss of Austria by holding a phony plebiscite in Crimea, Professor Merkel gave Russia his seal of approval for taking the peninsula. "Hat Russland die Krim annektiert? Nein." Ever since then, Prof. Merkel has been an honored guest on the Russian propaganda outlet RT Deutsch.
In his most recent pro-Putin piece in the FAZ, Prof. Reinhard blames the US for Assad's slaughter of Syrians and the ensuing refugee crisis:
Am 24.März 2013 erschien in der „New York Times“ unter der Überschrift „Waffenlieferungen an syrische Rebellen ausgedehnt - mit Hilfe der CIA“ ein detailreicher Bericht. Er weist mehr als 160 Frachtflüge mit Kriegswaffen nach, die seit Anfang 2012 aus Saudi-Arabien, Qatar und Jordanien regelmäßig am türkischen Flughafen Esenboga entladen und von dort über die Grenze nach Syrien geschafft wurden - alle mit logistischer und vielfacher sonstiger Hilfe der CIA. Das zeige, konstatiert die Zeitung nüchtern, dass die Vereinigten Staaten entgegen regierungsamtlichen Bekundungen ihren arabischen Verbündeten sehr wohl „auch bei der Förderung der tödlichen Seite des Bürgerkriegs“ zur Hand gingen.
No mention of Assad's brutal murder and torture or demonstrators who took to the streets - initially in peaceful protests against the dictatorship. And what weapons does Assad's army use? Kalishnikov rifles and Russian RPGs. Assad's most potent weapons are Russian MiGs and gunships, which are used to drop barrel bombs on Syrian citizens. Yet Russia - Assad's most powerful ally - in not mentioned once in the FAZ piece.
Is the US really to blame for the mass slaughter in Syria? The Washington Post has a timely update on the civil war - Islamic State has Killed Many Syrians, but Assad's Forces Have Killed More:
BEIRUT — President Bashar al-Assad’s government has killed far more people in Syria this year than the Islamic State, monitoring organizations and analysts say, even as the extremist group grabs headlines with its shocking brutality.
Between January and July, Assad’s military and pro-government militias killed 7,894 people, while the Islamic State killed 1,131, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, a monitoring group based in Britain. In a single day last month, government airstrikes are said to have killed more than 100 people in a residential area of Douma, a suburb of the capital, Damascus.
“No human being should have to endure what Assad is putting us through,” said Hassan Takuldin, 27, who witnessed the Douma attacks.
Government forces are responsible for many more of the estimated 250,000 deaths in the four-year-old conflict than are the Islamic State militants and rebel groups, analysts and monitoring groups say. The figures, they say, underscore how Assad’s indiscriminate use of violence has empowered the Islamic State and other extremist groups and forced millions of Syrians to flee to neighboring countries and Europe. [...]The government’s Russian-supplied aircraft can fly practically unopposed over rebel-held areas to launch airstrikes, which include releasing barrel bombs, metal drums packed with explosives.
Why did Professor Merkel fail to mention once the most important international player in the Syrian conflict? Maybe he wanted more exposure on RT Deutsch and Sputnik. But the more important question is: why did the FAZ - a newspaper I respect - print such a distorted piece on such an important topic?