The West gambles peace in Europe away

The West gambles peace in Europe away

by Willy Wimmer

In the two years 2014 and 2015 the whole horror of the past century has been passing by before our eyes, once again. These are the years that tell of devastation: 1914 and 1919, 1939 and 1945. It is a terrible chain of events that might be perpetuated, because it determines our lives today and will go on to do so far into the future. In this particular calendar of misery there was one bright spot, that were the two years in 1989 and 1990. Both a good reason not only to commemorate solemnly but to increase talents then received  in the biblical sense.  A reason for us to celebrate, of course, simply because of the impact that they had on us, the Germans. Much more, however, for the battered continent, for the other promising picture of the “Common European House” it seemed to be more than just a vague utopia. Negotiate, rather than shoot and kill, suddenly seemed to be possible. Today, when we ought to celebrate, only one thing can be stated: from dull, brazen arrogance every effort has been made to make this memory of 1990 and 1989 fade away. Looking back at the policy that has been significantly shaped by us since that turning point in history, we have not done justice to the possibilities which had emerged from this radical world political change. Quite the contrary, we are about to betray them all together. As demonstrated by the war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the civil war in Ukraine – both  violating international law – the  shooting and dieing have again become the dominant perspective in Europe. When shall we put a halt to our sliding down this slippery slope, if not now?
On 1 April 2015 in the Berlin Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, Rolf Hochhuth has taken his 84th birthday as an opportunity to compassionately and captivatingly warn of the 3rd World War. We really wonder whether on 8 May 2015, these words will be completely ignored in the Bellevue Palace, a short distance away, or even in the Plenary Session of the German “Bundes- tag”. The speeches in this context, which the German Federal President delivered in Poland last year, seem to endorse this impression more than we would have liked in Germany and in Europe. The line which  the provided speakers for at the memorial service in the “Reichstag” on 8 May 2015 seem to take, make us fear that now they are about to “unsheathe” against the Russian Federation in the truest sense of the word and especially against the current President Putin. The images of the past are determined by both, the Hitler-Stalin Pact and by the boundless, millionfold suffering that was caused by this war, as well and especially in Russia, as it had existed before the disintegration of the Soviet Union. There is every indication that we will gamble away our chance for ever. Instead of making the end of the Cold War the starting point for a present and future German policy, the West – and  therefore inevitably we Germans along with it – behave as if it was the 8/9 May 1945. The “Reichstag” as the seat of the German Parliament is a parliament building and not an opera.
All of Europe hold their breath when they think of the Minsk II Agreement. Europe has not solved the problems, but  bought some time. Time that lies between us and a possible outbreak of a larger war in Europe. It is the high time of propaganda, and you cannot stop marveling. This marvel is based on the German and Western activity with regard to Ukraine going on for years, which culminated in the shameful silence and damnable inaction in view of the Maidan massacre, the burnt victims in the union hall of Odessa and the behaviour towards the hundreds of deaths in the crash of the Malaysian airplane on the territory of Ukraine; not to mention the fall of the Ukrainian government, previously freely elected and worth negotiating, against which a coup had been staged from the inside and from the outside.
The West has not only played with fire, but burned the stage. German media pictures, showing the alleged participation of American soldiers stirring up the Eastern Ukraine in the Spring of 2014, made a lasting impression. But a certain behaviour by the West and hence Germany in this context evokes political dismay, i.e. the practice to make forget one’s own previous deeds, as soon as it is about the Russion proceedings. It should make those responsible in Berlin stop and think when hearing what former Chancellors or long-time Brussels celebrities publicly declared about the devastating policy the West has pursued towards the Russian Federation.
What should they think in Moscow, when hearing the German Mr “Bundes-präsident”’ talk in Poland? What should they do in Moscow if only one thing is unambiguous and clear at the end of the Cold War: It is Moscow and the Russian Federation, i.e. today’s Russia, that the cold shoulder is being turned to. Surely you can understand the development since 1992. They did not want and do not want the Russians sitting at the European table, and certainly not in an own apartment in the common “European House”. Today, only two things are clear resulting from the policy consistently pursued by us in the West: in a country that is simply not allowed to belong, people will finally put up with that condition and domestic turbulences will surely follow. But this is the same in our own country, as demonstrated by the last two NATO Secretary-Generals’ continous requests for higher military spending. After the people in Western Europe have been made ever poorer by the United States’ expropriation policy, the last shirt is now to be taken off for higher military spending that we have  caused ourselves.
The men from Norway and Denmark are strange creatures in the NATO weather house. When there was a serious threat in Europe because of a envisaged Soviet attack, these two countries’ official representatives stood out by their footnotes against NATO decisions and their ducking away. Today they are in a haste to contrive on the Russian border, what once drove Japan into the war: the evident strangulation by neighbours who have turned into enemies. We might try to forget our history, although it catches up on us again and again. Why should Russia forget Napoleon and Hitler?
And what about commemorating all that misery? On Easter Saturday the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” accurately headlined  “Abuse of Commemoration” by which it meant – unsuspected and even less surprising – Moscow, of course, with its military parade – a parade which in recent years has in fact been attended by German chancellors. The press pictures from Moscow apparently prompted a speech against it in the German “Bundestag”. Recent examples of such events may suggest which pictures we might see in future. But the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” is falling short. The official Berlin does not just offer a speech. Stylishly as ever the Federal Minister of Defence makes the army dance. “Let’s dance the waltz” is the motto on 9 May, the day of the “Wehrmacht”’s surrender to the Red Army at the “Ball des Heeres” (Ball of the German Army) in Berlin, probably in Berlin-Karlshorst.     •

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