“Defender 2020” is a “maneuvre of shame”

by Willy Wimmer

former State Secretary at the German Ministry of Defence

Since the NATO war on European territory against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was contrary to international law, NATO has consistently pursued the erosion of international law. The law of the jungle is to determine international relations. The American view takes precedence, and the transformation of our states into a Washington-designated maneuvring area, together with the essential abandonment of our legal system, is being consistently pursued. Yes, it is once again a question of drawing conclusions from two world wars.
One of its outcomes has been blowing up in our faces time and again ever since this very war in Yugoslavia with its actions of the former “West-of-Values”. Since 1945, war had been contained by the Charter of the United Nations, virtually hedged in by the role of the United Nations Security Council. War was only to be possible for self-defence and only according to the rules of the United Nations. Even NATO was only conceivable as a purely defensive organisation and bound to this very Charter of the United Nations.

Germany has made its contribution to shattering the only protection of mankind against renewed destruction in that it deliberately undermined Germany’s commitment to the applicable rules of international law by conducting military operations contrary to the Charter of the United Nations ever since the war against Yugoslavia in 1999.
This is not a historical matter. Anyone listening attentively these days will notice the enormous increase in military air traffic, as well as the tanks rolling across Germany to the Russian front.
This policy has been pursued towards Russia since the end of the Cold War in 1992, against all international agreements on the occasion of German reunification and also against commitments made to the then still existing Soviet Union in November 1990, in the so-called Charter of Paris. The spirit of good neighbourliness was then to determine life in Europe. But where are the Federal Government’s prohibitions in order to prevent the US Army deployment against Russia, which latter is commemorating the huge sacrifices it made in the Second World War, right now and during this NATO manoeuvre? Where was or is a German Federal President who, even if it were only once during his term of office, reminded us of the importance of the United Nations Charter on War Prevention, and who tied the hands of a compliant Federal Government when, once again, German troops had to go to war without a UN mandate?
The German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, is breaking a taboo by allowing German soldiers to participate in the biggest NATO manoeuvre since the end of the Cold War against Russia. This taboo is likely to prevent the creation of lasting peace and possible reconciliation with the Russian Federation and the Russian people, although this is exactly what had before been made possible by grand gestures and rational action. It is precisely the Russian people who are meeting the German people with a benevolent open-mindedness that might actually seem to be completely unimaginable after the devastation of the Second World War and the attack of the German Reich against the Soviet Union. No, you may visit the streets and squares of this great country wherever you want: as a German, you are welcome. When I visited the famous Taman Division near Moscow in 1987 as the first Western defence politician, even the Division Museum was free of any disparagement of the opposing Wehrmacht’s soldiers. The division’s political colonel told me, using the words his mother had said to him, that there would be other mothers, mourning these young German soldiers.
In 1985, German President Richard von Weizäcker in the German Bundestag denounced a behaviour that might be called “repression of history”. This word is applicable to the behaviour of the entire German state leadership today, which voted in favour of letting this manoeuvre be carried out with German soldiers, which set the objectives and which allows the Bundeswehr generals to talk about the manoeuvre in the way they do. These leaders do not object to the fact that German soldiers are buried “in the front gardens of Leningrad/St. Petersburg”. Today, St. Petersburg is a shining pearl of common European culture. On 28 January 2020, a memorial event commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz was held in Jerusalem. On this occasion, Russian President Putin unveiled the Leningrad memorial commemorating the blockade of Leningrad by the German Reich during World War II. The German Chancellor was present, who is responsible for the fact that Russia today threatens to become, and has in fact already become, the target of the same “Versailles” spirit that struck her own country with the First World War and Versailles.

“Defender 2020“ –

deployment at Russia‘s border

km. From February to May 2020 the NATO manoeuvre “Defender 2020“ is being carried out. It is clearly directed against Russia. More than 20,000 soldiers from the USA and their weapon systems will be shipped to Europe for this manoeuvre and transported across Europe to Poland and the Baltic States. In addition, there are the soldiers from other NATO states involved. This is the largest troop transfer from the USA in a quarter of a century. Characteristic of the NATO and German language regime is the statement by Henning Otte, spokesman on defence policy for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, on 13 February 2020: “The security situation in Europe has worsened, partly because of Russia‘s offensive foreign policy. Just think of the annexation of the Crimea in violation of international law and Russia‘s role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russian training flights over the Baltic Sea, offensive military manoeuvres in the Arctic, support for the Assad regime in Syria or the violation of the INF Treaty. Our neighbouring countries are also worried. We must do more again in terms of security policy, and this includes a credible safeguarding of the NATO eastern flank.“ (https://www.cducsu.de/presse/texte-und-interviews/otte-defender-2020-ist-logistisches-grossprojekt)

(Translation Current Concerns)

It is therefore no wonder that the German Federal Government in May 2019 did not commemorate the “Versailles” of one hundred years ago, nor did the German President do so in a commemoration ceremony for which he can be held accountable. Versailles does not only mean “the demon of revenge”, but also a deliberate inability to strive for peace. Instead, those responsible for the dictation at Versailles were aware that the road map for the next war would be set up with “Versailles” in 1919. Wolfgang Effenberger has pointed out that the French Marshal Foch, at whose grave US President Trump stood in 2017, spoke of another war in about twenty years’ time. He was not mistaken.
This way of thinking is expressed once again in the NATO major manoeuvre, deliberately planned for the 9 May, the day the war ended in 1945. As if the fact had needed further proof that the “NATO West” cannot make peace, it can only make war, be that war cold or hot.
The American conference in Bratislava in the Slovak Republic in April 2000 made the American goal for Europe clear: An Iron Curtain between the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, Russia can stay anywhichwhere, and be divided or broken up into smaller states. The NATO manoeuvre called “Defender 2020” is a “manoeuvre of shame” that only serves the warmongers.                 •

(Translation Current Concerns)

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