Many thousands of people have fallen victim to war in Ukraine over the past eight years. Indeed, another “defeat of humanity”. Every day sooner that the weapons rest means saving human lives. An early positive outcome of the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine should therefore be desired by everyone. But many who are currently condemning this war are doing so with quite bellicose intentions. Unfortunately, this is also the case in Germany.
Currently, our media are full of texts and pictures about the war in Ukraine every day. Disregarding a few internet media or smaller independent newspapers, even a first glance shows that the coverage is not about trying to establish the truth, let alone about efforts for peace, but without exception about putting Russia’s politics and especially the country’s president in the worst possible light – and clearing the NATO states.
One focus is to accuse Russia of blatant breaches of international law and international humanitarian law.1 This is supposed to spur politicians to escalate the conflict. And while the politicians speak of peace, they have in fact declared hybrid war on Russia. “Hybrid war or hybrid warfare describes a flexible hybrid of the regular and irregular, symmetrical and asymmetrical, military and non-military means of conflict brought to bear overtly and covertly for the purpose of blurring the threshold between the binary states of war and peace established by international law.” That is what Wikipedia says, and that’s exactly what the NATO states, the EU states, other states allied with the USA – and unfortunately also Switzerland – are currently doing. Playing – not playing – with fire!
In the following, the focus will be on Germany.
No no-fly zones and peacekeeping troops …
On 23 March, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke at length in the Bundestag debate on the budget of the Chancellor and the Federal Chancellery. In doing so, he said:
“Of course, I am hearing the voices of those calling for a no-fly zone or NATO peacekeeping forces in Ukraine. As difficult as it is, we will not give in to them. In almost 80 years of post-war history, we have avoided the unthinkable: a direct military confrontation between our Western defence alliance, NATO, and Russia. This must remain the case. Many citizens are very worried because they understand that this is exactly what is hidden behind terms like ‘no-fly zone’ and ‘peacekeepers’. Day after day, I am receiving hundreds of concerned letters and emails. Wherever you talk to citizens these days, sooner or later you encounter the question: Will there be war, also here? There can only be one answer to this question: NATO will not be a party to the war. We agree on this with our European allies and the United States. That is a dictate of common sense. Anything else would be irresponsible.” A little later he added: “We will leave no stone unturned until peace reigns again on our continent.” And at the end of the speech, quoting Willy Brandt: “Without peace, everything is nothing.”
So far, so good.
… but arms supplies and economic war
As late as 7 February 2022, Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s public broadcaster abroad, had read: “The German government rejects Ukraine’s demands for arms deliveries. Reason: As a matter of principle, Germany does not send weapons of war to crisis areas.” (emphasis km) But now the German Chancellor said: “President Zelensky, Ukraine can rely on our help. Since the beginning of the war, Germany has been supplying Ukraine with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, equipment, and ammunition. The European Union is providing an additional one billion euros in military aid.” Isn’t it very likely that arms deliveries to Ukraine will prolong the war?
The Chancellor’s speech of 23 March also states:
“Together with our international partners, we have imposed sanctions that are unparalleled. For months we have prepared them down to the smallest detail so that they hit the right people, so that they have an effect. [...] And we see: The sanctions are working. Russia’s economy is staggering, the stock market is largely closed, the currency has crashed, there is a lack of foreign currency, foreign companies are leaving the country by the hundreds. But this is just the beginning. Many of the harshest consequences will only become apparent in the coming weeks. And, we are constantly tightening sanctions.” (emphasis km)
Quite openly, there is talk today in the NATO states and among like-minded people of “economic warfare” against Russia. Does this serve peace?
Massive German rearmament programme
Over the next five years, Germany intends to put 100 billion euros more than planned into the arms budget and spending on armaments is to be permanently increased to more than two per cent of the German GDP (that would be more than 70 billion euros for 2022 instead of the 50 billion euros planned in the budget so far, i.e., more than Russian arms spending).
And finally: Dialogue and cultural exchange with Russia and with Russians has largely ended from the German side ... personal contacts are becoming increasingly difficult.
How serious is the pursuit of peace if one is actively waging a hybrid war at the same time? Waging war without having been attacked oneself, without having been threatened with an attack, without an alliance obligation that has to be fulfilled. This is another reason why the current German rearmament rhetoric (“Russia is threatening us”) is not honest.
Yugoslavia and Russia
Once before, in 1999, Germany took part in a war of aggression against international law, that of NATO against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. At that time, the war was called “humanitarian intervention”. Even then, not a single NATO state had been threatened or attacked. But the political and military leadership of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was also accused of serious crimes. The German Foreign Minister, the Green Josef Fischer, wanted to prevent a new “Auschwitz”. The NATO PR agencies toasted with champagne after their propaganda had been successful.2
However, Russia can defend itself much better today than the then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Is this the only reason why no NATO bombs have fallen on Moscow as they did on Belgrade in 1999?
Since 2007 (President Vladimir Putin’s speech to the Munich Security Conference), Russia has made its demands again and again and in more concrete terms with two draft treaties from mid-December 2021. Russia considers the fulfilment of these demands to be essential in order to ensure equal security for all European states. From Russia’s point of view, these demands are still relevant and only absurd from the point of view of the NATO states. At least that is how the USA and the NATO states have so far reacted to the Russian proposals and demands.
Not only the unilateral sanctions are contrary to international law and human rights
We have repeatedly argued in this newspaper that unilateral sanctions are contrary to international law and human rights.3 Other fundamental rights are also no longer respected. This goes from the property of Russian citizens to freedom of expression. Citizens who contradict the same-sided propaganda roller are pilloried. And it is deeply undignified how many are now bowing to the pressure and publicly kowtowing to Western war policy.
The Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (rnd) headlined on 16 March: “Don’t believe your eyes! In the war of images, practically anything is possible”. Further down it reads: “Never before has a modern war produced such a flood of unverifiable images.” This is to be agreed with. But the very next paragraph says what the editorial network is about: “The technical perfection with which, for example, Kremlin propaganda has for years been creating and disseminating masses of useful image fairy tales to influence public opinion internally and externally in Putin’s favour has reached a new level of escalation, according to Western experts.” (emphasis km) Well, well, one can only say. And so it goes on until the end of the article. One of the speaking “experts” for example, is the head of the tagesschau.de online portal faktenfinder (fact finder), who is also the “head of the investigative department”. Then it must be true.
What is meant with “Zeitenwende”?
What is this “Zeitenwende” (turning point) that the German government has been talking about since the end of February? And what is meant by the headline on page 1 of a Swiss daily newspaper on 25 February: “The end of the old world has begun”? We know this vocabulary from the days and weeks after 11 September 2001, followed by the endless “war on terror” that plunged Afghanistan, the Middle East and parts of Africa into chaos and from which these regions of the world have still not been able to recover.
Today, racist Russophobes are fighting on the Ukrainian side. With German “help”? With German weapons? The National Socialist war against the Soviet Union was a racially motivated war of extermination against the “Slavic Under-men” (the National Socialist race ideologist Alfred Rosenberg had taken the term “Under-man” from the US anthropologist, race ideologist and eugenicist Lothrop Stoddard). What do today’s Germans think when they reflect on this? And if they accept that the German chancellor dismissed as “ridiculous” the Russian statement that genocide was being perpetrated against the Russian-born population in eastern Ukraine at the extremely aggressively held “security conference” of the NATO states in Munich the weekend before 24 February?
The former German President Joachim Gauck had said in a talk show on German television at the beginning of March that one could “freeze once in a while for freedom”. He drew criticism for the fact that he – himself extremely well off – wanted to encourage Germans to “freeze”. One must add the question of what kind of “freedom” he means. The fact is that Germany is in the process of giving up its remnants of political freedom – in favour of a transatlantic, controlled united front. This front will very likely cost the Germans themselves dearly. The Chancellor’s government declaration of 27 February already showed the loss of intellectual independence and almost nothing but transatlantically coordinated platitudes. The extent of the abuse of language is enormous. The loss of freedom and independence is now called “solidarity”.
It cannot be that the Germans go along with all this in the long run. •
1 Here we cannot address the question of how far Russian warfare is violating international law and international humanitarian law cannot be pursued here. The question is important, but I consider traying to give a reliable answer to this question now presumptuous and therefore rather part of propaganda. In his speech on 24 February, Russia’s president referred to the treaty of alliance with the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which were recognised as independent states on 21 February, and Article 51 of the UN Charter (right to individual and collective self-defence). Russia contradicts the Western allegations of Russian war crimes. Accusing the other side of war crimes (atrocities) is part of the standard repertoire of war propaganda. Therefore, the utmost caution is called for here as well, as long as a reliable verification is not possible.
2 cf. Becker, Jörg/Beham, Mira. Operation Balkan: Werbung für Krieg und Tod. (Operation Balkans: Advertising war and death.) Nomos-Verlag 2006
3 cf. on this, among others: de Zayas, Alfred. “Unilateral sanctions violate international treaties”. In: Current Concerns No. 9/10 of 16 April 2015; Köchler, Hans. “Sanctions from the perspective of International Law”. In: Current Concerns No. 11/12 of 3 June 2018
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