War in Europe again? Nobody can want that!

by Karl-Jürgen Müller

Why does a citizen of a Central European country take a stand on Russia and the relationship of the “West” to this country? And even one contrary to what one can read, hear, and see in the so-called mainstream media?
  It is about the confrontation with campaigning journalism, which can also be seen here. It is also about a sense of justice – even if that is an often-misused word. Yes, one must not find it right how Russia and its politics are usually treated in the West. Not because everything is perfect in Russia – there is no such thing anywhere in the world. But because so many things that are said about this country are not true. Because the blatant use of double standards is striking: Almost daily, the Navalny case fills the headlines – but Julian Assange is largely hushed up. Obviously, the campaign is not about truth, but about power; or rather, the campaign is the mouthpiece of power-political aspirations.
  According to new figures released on 26 April 2021, by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the US officially spent $778 billion on its military in 2020 (4.4 per cent more than in 2019) and Russia spent the equivalent of $61.7 billion (2.5 per cent more than in 2019). The US has about 800 military bases abroad; Russia has fewer than 20.
  Russia has never formulated the aspiration to lead the world. The current US administration and many of its predecessors – and in tow many other states in the West – very much have. That is where those who do not want to be subordinate “interfere.”
  The fact that in politics, especially in international politics, might is increasingly prevailing over right is a step backward in terms of civilisation, a relapse into barbarism.

The existential question of preventing a great war

Above all, however, the existential question is how to prevent another, perhaps even major, war in Europe and the world. “At the end we lucked out,” said former US Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara. By this he meant that the world was mainly lucky not to go down in a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. “Luck” – that was a few political figures at the time who prevented the war – against the opposition of many “hardliners” – that was the Soviet submarine lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov, who did not press the button. That was almost 60 years ago. Have the lessons been forgotten? After NATO’s war of aggression on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which violated international law, Swiss Division Commander Hans Bachofner, who died in 2012, said, “War is back – but we’ve lost respect.”
  We know this: Germany’s own warmongering, which was a major cause of the two great World Wars, is recast as the “fight for freedom”; the struggle for the survival of entire peoples is portrayed as “aggression.”

Why does Germany want to be a frontline state?

In his latest book “Anmassung – Wie Deutschland sein Ansehen bei den Russen verspielt” (“Insolence – How Germany gambles away its reputation with the Russians”), Alexander Rahr, who has been intensively involved with Russia for many years, gives a detailed account of the Russian diplomat Volodja. The latter does not understand why Germany has rejected the many benevolent offers of cooperation made by Russian President Putin since he first took office in 2000. Instead, large sections of German politics and the German media had turned Germany into the front state of the anti-Russian campaign.
  The German Greens wrote in their election programme (seeCurrent Concerns No. 9 of 28 April 2021) that they wanted to support the “democracy movement in Russia” as a future governing party. We are familiar with similar formulations by U.S. politician Victoria Nuland after the coup in Ukraine: after all, she said, $5 billion had been invested in “supporting democracy” in the country.
  In this year’s State of the Nation Address (see the article “Just a few words about the meaning and purpose of Russia’s policy in the international arena”), the Russian president formulated Russia’s orientation points. Everyone can read them. The reactions of the German-language media to this speech were not formulated in a way that signalled any kind of rethinking: “Putin’s fairy tale hour: The West should debunk propaganda,” the German “Handelsblatt” wrote on 22 April “How Putin staged his threat against the West,” the “Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung” on the same day, “He wants to destroy opponents, buy loyalty and keep Belarus under control,” said the German foreign radio station Deutsche Welle on 22 April, “Threatening words, beautiful promises,” the “Salzburger Nachrichten” of 21 April “Illegal and inhumane,” commented the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” of the same day, which – like so many – directed its focus not on the content of Putin’s speech, but entirely on the Navalny case.

Clear words from Russia

Reading the official Russian statements of the last days and weeks, one can recognise clearer words than in the past years. The speech of the Russian president also contains clear words. Russia, the West should assume, will not surrender. The repeated attempts to bring about regime change in Russia, too, will not improve the situation.
  Can the people in the East and West expect improvements? Very much does not look good at all. It will be even more important to remain (or become) active and to make one’s voice heard for peace.
  At the end of 2014, 60 prominent Germans published an appeal entitled “War in Europe again? Not in our name!” in the newspaper Die Zeit. Among the signatories were former German President Roman Herzog (CDU) and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD). It also says: “We appeal to the media to fulfil their duty to report without prejudice more convincingly than before. Editorialists and commentators demonise entire peoples without sufficiently appreciating their history.” The situation has not eased since then. On the contrary. But such initiatives have become rare. Many can and should have the will to change this.  •

News that belongs together

With 2 trillion military spending ...

“Global military spending continued to rise last year. According to the Stockholm-based peace research institute SIPRI, total global military expenditure rose to almost 2 trillion USD, an increase of 2.6 per cent. This was a new peak since the surveys began in 1988. This means that the pandemic had not had a significant impact on global armament spending. It remained to be seen whether countries will maintain this level through a second year of the pandemic.
  As the world’s largest military spender reportedly remained the United States, that alone with nearly 780 billion accounted for 39 per cent of global military expenditure last year. Germany had increased by 5.2 per cent to an estimated around 53 billion dollars. According to SIPRI, this was the largest percentage increase among the top ten countries on the ranking.”

... the concern about “serious conflict” is very justified

“German Foreign Minister Maas has warned of an increasing collision course with Russia. The SPD politician said on ARD television that the EU and the West had already shown Moscow that they were reacting decisively with new sanctions in the Navalny case and earlier in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. President Putin thus knew about the risk of further punitive measures. However, Maas criticised that there were now many ‘smart alecks’ who were calling for ever tougher measures. He added that it was important to consider whether these measures would really benefit Navalny. He believes that the opposite is the case. The foreign minister added that ultimately no one could have an interest in permanent provocations turning into serious confrontations at some point – certainly not here in Europe. Green Party co-chairwoman and candidate for chancellor Baerbock had spoken out in favour of a tougher course toward Russia and, among other things, advocated withdrawing political support for the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline."

Source: Deutschlandfunk News of 26 April 2021

(Translation Current Concerns)

 

Together with Heinrich Böll, Petra Kelly and Gert Bastian, I demonstrated in Mutlangen against Pershing II. The red-green coalition with Schröder and Fischer came about largely at my instigation – Schröder wanted a grand coalition. I regretted this decision. Not only because of Agenda 2010, but also because of Germany’s participation in the war in Yugoslavia, which violated international law and was essentially pushed through by Joschka Fischer and the Greens. Since then, the Greens have transformed themselves from a peace party into a war party. The Heinrich Böll Foundation should be renamed the General von Clausewitz Foundation.
  A leading representative of this pro-war Green Party is the new “candidate for chancellorship” Annalena Baerbock. She approves of wars against international law, further armament, arms deliveries, the encirclement of Russia by the USA and is of course against Nord Stream 2. Jens Berger has compiled relevant quotes on the Nachdenkseiten today [20 April]: https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=71720
  The idea of the US-controlled Greens providing the chancellor with Annalena Baerbock in the event of an escalating crisis on the Russian-Ukrainian border is a horror for me.
  And there is something else: It would be unthinkable in business for someone to become head of, say, VW, Daimler or BASF who has never been managing director in a small company, or department head or board member in a medium-sized company. The Greens and many of their supporters in journalism, along with Annalena Baerbock, apparently think that if you have been an associate of a Green parliamentary group and raised two children, you are sufficiently qualified to be Chancellor of Europe’s largest economic nation.
  I can only think of Wilhelm Busch:

  “If someone climbs laboriously
  Into the branches of a tree
  And thinks himself a bird to be:
  Wrong is he.”

#btw21 #Baerbock #Bundestagswahl #kanzlerkandidat #frieden #krieg #aufrüstung #oskar #lafontaine #oskarlafontaine #aufstehen

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