Tribute to Angela Merkel: A Lady for All Seasons

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There is a chill in the air, not due to any harsh winter weather, but due to the recent departure of the dearest lady of steady democracy and meaningful freedoms, Angela Merkel; a leader with a steely spine who was able to ameliorate competing leaders and build a European identity, while also controlling NATO-expansion. 

The loss is deeply felt from Washington D. C. to Moscow to Beijing, as each has lost a trusted friend they could be completely candid with. Having met her several times, when Harold Braun and later, Christoph Heusgen, served as Germany’s exceptional Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She was, in the halls of power, just as she is on a personal level when she’s shopping for groceries: purposeful. A point she made in the Oval Office with then-President Donald Trump: “Do you want to have a handshake?” 

Alas, who will fill the void she leaves behind, having faithfully served as an honest fiduciary of “liberty and justice for all,” but always protecting the German worker, is a pregnant question without a due date for an answer. That she will be missed, is open for all to see as current events start to overtake us, from the Ukraine-Russia border and the incendiary straits of Taiwan. Maybe, presidents Biden, Putin and Xi ought to consider forming a new G3 and appoint Merkel as its Secretary-General, with jurisdiction limited to War, Peace and SARS-CoV2/Pandemics. 

It wasn’t always so. Germany is a word that causes an intense reaction, especially in the 20th century. After the devastation of World War I and the excessive reparations that predestined the Weimar Republic that followed the Great War, its ignoble doom in the hot flames of hyperinflation concurrently gave birth to Hitler and his Third Reich. The resulting evil of the Holocaust and the Second World War reminds us to this day the cost of both appeasement and a ‘Big Lie’ going unchallenged. 

Post-World War II, however, saw the emergence of true American generosity – the Marshall Plan – to rebuild Germany, Europe and Japan. The 1945 Yalta Conference between three giants of their time – Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin – not only carved up the world, so to speak, as in the “West” and the “East,” but they also, in a contrary step, harnessed hope itself and embedded it in the UN Charter, uniting the world with ideals, and addressing reality with its UN Security Council and P5 multi-polar structure. It is this conflicting paradigm – along with the unique contributions of a self-aware Angela Merkel over nearly two decades – that has served so far to prevent World War III to date, despite many a near-start. 

Sadly, dear Merkel has retired with quiet grace, and the drums of war are beating ever-louder, as if to acknowledge her absence and to call her back.  

Merkel was born Angela Dorothea Kasner in Hamburg, West Germany, and moved as an infant to East Germany with her clergyman father. Her first political affiliation was with the Christian Democratic Union in the old Communist GDR. A scientist by training, she earned a doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986 and worked as a research scientist until 1989. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the German reunification in 1990, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. 

As the protégée of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Merkel was appointed as Minister for Women and Youth in 1991, later becoming Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1994. After the 1998 CDU election loss, Merkel was elected CDU’s General Secretary, and then went on to serve as Leader of the Christian Democratic Union from 2000 to 2018, Leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2005, and as the chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021.  

Not since Sir Thomas More, a Man for All Seasons, has there been a Lady for All Seasons until Angela Merkel. She will be sorely missed, as miscalculations multiply, and dramatic rhetoric draws lines in red.  

The America Times celebrates the lasting contributions of Angela Merkel to global prosperity, peace and security, and with a full measure of respect, says: Danke sehr!

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Ravi Batra, starting September 11, 2021, is a publisher of The America Times Company Ltd., and since January 2022, is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a member of the National Press Club, in Washington D.C., and a member of its "Freedom of the Press" and "International Correspondents" Teams/Committees.

A member of the bar since 1981, he is the head of a boutique law firm in Manhattan, The Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C., that handles complex constitutional, sovereignty, torture, civil and criminal cases, representing governments, corporates and individuals, with landmark legal victories, including, libel in fiction, in “Batra v. Dick Wolf.” He is Chairman & CEO, Greenstar Global Energy Corp., King Danylo of Galicia International Ltd., Mars & Pax Advisors, Ltd., Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and since September 2021, Advisor for Legal and Humanitarian Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. He is invited by various governments to address High Level Ministerial events, including, on Counter-Terrorism, including, Astana (Nur-Sultan), Dushanbe, Minsk and Delhi. He has testified in Congress as an invitee of the Chair, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and interacted with U.S. Department of State from 1984 -1990, and then again, from 2006, during the tenures of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo and Antony Blinken.

He has served as Commissioner of New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Trustee on New York State IOLA Board, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Second Judicial Department, City Bar’s Judicial Committee, Vice-Chair of Kings County Democratic County Committee’s Independent Judicial Screening Committee for the then-2nd Judicial Department of Brooklyn and Staten Island, Chair of NYSTLA’ Judicial Independence Committee, with many more bar leadership roles, including, NYSBA’s House of Delegates for four years. He has served as Advisor for Legal & Human Rights Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine post-annexation of Crimea till 2021, and Legal Advisor to numerous nations’ permanent missions to the U. N. since 2009, including, India, Pakistan, Honduras and Malta. He has served: as Global Special Counsel to The Antonov Company in Ukraine, a state-owned company, and was registered with the Justice Dept pursuant to FARA; and as Special Global Advisor to Rector/President of both - National Aviation University of Ukraine and National Technical University of Ukraine/KPI. He remains involved in geopolitics and public policy since the mid-1980's, starting with being on House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Speaker’s Club and appointed member of NACSAA during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. In 1988, he was part of U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese’s Delegation to Japan to resolve bilateral trade imbalance. He regularly interacts with the multilateral diplomatic community, and during the High Level UNGA Debate, with heads of State/Government. He is sought for his views as a speaker and writer. 

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