A crescendo of the powers of peace is possible

by Karl Müller

“There can only be a universally accepted international legal system if governments of all states give in, end their politics of confrontation and start searching for means of cooperation. But governments will only do this if there is a crescendo of their peoples.”

Willy Wimmer says: “In my judgement we are approaching a global disaster” Nobody appreciates hearing this kind of messages. We cannot dismiss it. But how should we deal with this? For all Germans the thruth is: Germany is partaking in the process that would allow such a disaster to be possible. Ignoring the people… but with devastating consequences for all Germans… and for the world. This is once again confirmed by the “White paper 2016. On German security policy and the future of the Bundeswehr”, presented to the public on 13 July. The 140-page document (internet edition) issued by the German Federal Government is formulating strategic considerations for the coming years. For the first time, a document authorised by the entire government is formulating the claim to be a globally leading power. This claim has been prepared for quite a while.
The German government wants to re-arm and the “stereotypical enemy Russia” has become governmental doctrine. The obligation for peace and the restriction to national defence which is stipulated by the “Grundgesetz” are to be things of the past, once and for all.  German military interventions should be possible worldwide, with and also without UN mandate. “German interests” are to be enforced, most of all the economic ones (a more extensive analysis will follow).
The Russian government has already reacted. The insinuations in the German strategy concept are unrelated to present Russian policy. This “further anti-Russian initiative by Berlin” will have consequences for German-Russian relations. This is diplomatic wording but it clarifies the situation. German politics have also openly clarified the path ahead: striving to be among those who rule the world, no longer following the principle of equal partnership of all states or to rely on negotiations – in spite of all attempts for placation by German politicians. If the former head of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs, Micheline Calmy-Rey is stating that Germany is “becoming [the EU’s] hegemon” (“Neue Zürcher Zeitung”, 26 July 2016), it is time to listen.
Also prior to the two great global catastrophes of the 20th century there have been warning voices of individuals who saw the danger. They did not give in but they did all they could to avoid the catastrophe. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Bertha von Suttner was one of them. But: prior to 1914 and to 1939 there were too few who raised their voices. They were not influential enough to stop the powerful who prepared and later lead the wars.
Mankind is a few steps ahead now; the experiences of the 20th century are part of the global memory. There is no need to convince people of what war really means.
In the beginning of his impressive illustrated documentation on World War I (“Im Krieg”), Nikolai Vialkovich is quoting contemporary witnesses of July 1914. Guests from all European countries in a Belgian sea spa agree that, despite the murder of the Austrian heir to the throne and his wife and the mobilization plans of the European powers, there would be no war. There had been many crises in the previous years but the diplomats had so far always succeeded in finding solutions and keeping the peace. Then too many people believed in the diplomat’s wisdom. By end of July 1914 the people were taught an important lesson. Today mankind is a few steps ahead.
For a few years now there have been indications that the US government’s claim of 1990 for a “new world order” including a unipolar world controlled by the US is on the decline and that the world is in transition to a multipolar world. But still there is no universally accepted international legal system for such a world. The United Nations Charter was an attempt after World War II. The states now claiming equal rights for all states in a multipolar world are expressly referring to this document. But the US (and its allies) are abusing their powerful position in the institutions of the United Nations to undermine the Charter’s spirit. They do not yet give in; they still refuse, by all available means.
A multipolar world with a balance of power clearly limiting the former US dominance may possibly be able to avoid a great war for a while. But the pre-
requisite for this is rationality. Can we be sure about this? History after World War II shows that a balance of terror cannot be a goal. “We just lucked out”, stated
Robert McNamara later. He had been US Secretary of Defence during the Cuba Crisis in 1962.
There can only be a universally accepted international legal system if governments of all states give in, end their politics of confrontation and start searching for means of cooperation. But governments will only do this if there is a crescendo of their peoples.
The West’s attacks on the decrees of international understanding, the equality of all peoples and states, on the substance of democratic nation states governed by the rule of law and its institution, on the identity of people within their nations, on the cultural substance of their communal life, on parenting and education, family and community spirit, on the traditions of most valuable achievements had and have the goal to deprive people of their dignity, responsibility and energy in order to prevent this crescendo. Mammon and its cohorts have declared non-values to principles of life because they want to get hold of the people.
Bertold Brecht’s song text about the united front “Und weil der Mensch ein Mensch ist” contains a deep truth. And because man is man, he or she has dignity and can be freed from the strangleholds of manipulation towards immaturity and disposable object. The crescendo is possible!    •