Actually, by mid-August 2021, with Afghanistan, it should have become clear to everyone that the wars of the USA and its European NATO allies are a major disaster. Actually – because on 14 October, the German Armed Forces placed an advertisement throughout Germany to recall their 20-year deployment in the war in Afghanistan in a very absurd way. On a size of 15 x 20 cm, the contours of a German soldier and a German tank together with its crew could be seen in the twilight (probably in Afghanistan), and the sentence could be read in large white letters: “You have done Germany all honour.”
Written smaller underneath: “bundeswehrkarriere.de remembers 20 years of the Afghanistan mission”. Then, with a picture, the German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has her say: “I am firmly convinced that the German Armed Forces can be proud of their mission in Afghanistan. Our soldiers have fulfilled all the orders given to them by the Parliament. [...] In taking stock, we must now consider what was good, but also what we must do better for the future.”
No pause in view of the failure
These sentences also show what conclusions were drawn. No pausing in view of one’s own failure, but rather the call for “more of the same”: one wants to “do it better” in the future. On 21 October, the day of the NATO defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels, the still acting German minister confirmed this in an interview with the Deutschlandfunk. On 21 October, the day of the NATO defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels, the still acting German minister confirmed this in an interview with the Deutschlandfunk.
Germany, together with Portugal, Slovenia, the Netherlands and (the actually neutral) Finland, had formulated a “concept paper” according to which, says the Deutschlandfunk, a “rapid military reaction force of the European Union” in “addition” to NATO and with a “coalition of the willing” should be able to “act robustly and swiftly” all over the world.
In general, EU Europe is to be further armed, including nuclear. “This is the way of deterrence”, said Kramp-Karrenbauer. Who is to be “deterred”? Russia! “We have to make it very clear to Russia that in the end – and this is, after all, the deterrence doctrine – we are also prepared to use such [military] means [...].” Even the Deutschlandfunk spoke of “figures of speech like in the times of the East-West conflict”.
Propaganda formula “deterrence”
It must be added that the NATO formula of the “deterrence” was already a propaganda formula in the first Cold War. The Soviet Union had no territorial claims beyond the results of the Yalta and Potsdam conferences in 1945. With its strong army, it wanted to prevent renewed devastation in its own country as in the war against Napoleon and Hitler.1 This is even more true for today’s Russia. To accuse it of a desire for conquest is not justified by the facts. So far, only the USA (with its NATO allies) wanted to be the “world’s sole superpower” with a claim to rule over the whole world. Such megalomaniac ideas do not exist in other states of the world – not even in Russia.
The opposite direction of more peace
Like the tips of icebergs, other reports of the past two weeks are to be added. All of them show the opposite direction of more peace:
Also, the new German government wants to remain on a confrontational course
If the NATO states then always say at the same time that they are ready for a “dialogue”, then that is not trustworthy. But perhaps the NATO states understand something different by dialogue than is generally meant by the word. Perhaps for the NATO states “dialogue” does not mean that equal partners with different views and respect for each other seek a dialogue in order to understand each other better and, in a good case, to move towards each other. Perhaps dialogue for the NATO states means that the dialogue partner must first fulfil NATO’s conditions.
Be that as it may, the prospects for a turnaround in international politics towards more peace remain poor.
“Peace is not everything, but everything is nothing without peace”
It is now 50 years since a renowned German politician and different SPD Chancellor, Willy Brandt, was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. Ten years later, on 3 November 1981, Willy Brandt said: “Peace is not everything, but everything is nothing without peace.” How far has Germany, how far has EU-Europe moved away from this fundamental idea!
The questions remain: What can move the political leaders in EU-Europe to distance themselves from the bellicose attitude of US policy and to follow an independent, truly peace-political path? Is this still possible without a major catastrophe? And what can move the citizens of Europe to stop watching silently – for whatever reason – but to exercise and fulfil their right and duty as sovereigns? •
1 cf. on this Wimmer, Willy. Die Akte Moskau (The Moscow File), 2016, pp. 11f. There you can read: “In early summer 1988, the Defence Working Group of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group flew to Washington for a working visit. [...]. The trip went directly to the CIA headquarters in Langley. We should detach ourselves – was the message in the large discussion group – from what we had heard for decades about military potentials and strategies in the conflict between East and West in Europe. The results of a study on this topic were clear: The Soviet Union was pursuing purely defensive intentions. It is solely about defence to protect ‘Mother Russia’. The Warsaw Pact’s previous strategy was ultimately only the consistent reaction to the murderous attacks of Napoleon and Hitler, so it had nothing to do with aggression at all.”
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