Just how mad have German politics become?

Government is planning military operation in Syria, standing ovation in the Bundestag over absurd fascism accusation, strange campaign against the President for the Protection of the Constitution

by Karl Müller

Three incidents of the past two weeks give light on Germany’s internal political situation. No need to comment these incidents any further, they speak for themselves. It is hard to recognise meaning or objective in all this. You could rather call them symptoms of descent. A grotesque for Germany and the Germans.

“That the minister of the interior wanted to appoint Hans-Georg Maaßen to become his state secretary, was certainly a political signal too. The reactions from interested parties was accordingly desolate. Only three days after the coalition meeting, the agreement from 18 September was only paper waste, … and the struggle in the government benches about the future course of politics is still going on. From the interested parties there will be no let-up and they will fight with every possible means.”

“That the minister of the interior wanted to appoint Hans-Georg  Maaßen to become his state secretary, was certainly a political signal too. The reactions from interested parties was accordingly desolate. Only three days after the coalition meeting, the agreement from 18 September was only paper waste, …and the struggle in the government benches about the future course of politics is still going on. From the interested parties there will be no let-up and they will fight with every possible means.”
On 10 September 2018, the tabloid “Bild” reported in detail, that there have been considerations in the German Ministry of Defence, on how Germany can partake in military operations alongside the USA, Great Britain and France against the Syrian government in case of chemical weapons being used in Idlib. The US government has apparently asked for German combat involvement. Like in 1999, in NATO’s illegal war of aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, German tornadoes could take part actively in bombardments once again. From the German Bundestag, which has to consent prior to a German military intervention, according to the parliamentary participation act, but subsequent approval could be obtained.
Concrete reports from the Russian government about such a use of chemical weapons, can be staged by the combatants in Idlib to bring about a military intervention of the USA and their allies were not mentioned. In the debate of the German Bundestag on 12 September 2018, the chancellor on her part defended the German plans for a military operation and turned against expressions of criticism – although only in April 2018 she had expressed a different view. And although more than 70% of the Germans asked in a recent survey spoke out against such a military operation.

German war plans are violating international law and the constitution

The same day, the tabloid BILD reported on the plans of the Ministry of Defence, the Research Services of the German Bundestag – a party independent scientific board aligned to parliament – published an assessment comprising 10 pages that emphasised once more that such a military operation is not in accordance nor with international law nor with the German constitution. The assessment further emphasised that the past military operation of the USA, Great Britain and France in Syria has been violating international law as well. The chancellor didn’t mention this assessment on 12 September either.
A few days later on the Research Services of the Bundestag presented an additional assessment that transpired that it is also a violation of the law to command a probable German military operation in Syria without a prior resolution from the Bundestag.
That the German threat of an intervention has contributed to the agreeing of the Russian and the Turkish presidents and in the follow-up the Syrian government as well on 17 September on a de-militarised zone in Idlib, in order to prevent the big battle for Idlib for the time being, is rather improbable.

Debate in the Bundestag on 12 September

On 12 September 2018 the German Bundestag debated on the national budget for the year 2019. In the debate on the etat of the Federal Chancellery – traditionally a fundamental debate on the politics of the Federal Government – the group chairman of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), Alexander Gauland, wished likewise to speak and critisised the politics of the Federal Chancellor. Gauland followed-up on the statement the Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer, had given only a few days previously, where he referred to migration as being the “mother of all problems”.
Gauland pointed out contradiction if the Federal Government says on the one hand that it wants to combat reasons for the fleeing and on the other hand it is about to generate new problems and reasons to flee through a German military operation in Syria. There is a danger of an apparent confrontation with Russia too. The deployment of German troops to Afghanistan has not reduced the high numbers of migrants from Afghanistan either, quite to the contrary.
Gauland spoke against further immigration to Germany from secure third states and asked the (rhetorical) question of who is actually endangering the inner security in Germany. He listed daily violent crimes committed by migrants and criticised the official reaction to the killing of one person in Chemnitz. Eventually he turned to the reaction of the chancellor on the events in Chemnitz. Angela Merkel has spoken of “riotous assembly” thereby using a term from the DDR-criminal law that was targeted against citizen protests at that time.

“Time and again such characters turn up and generate the desired pictures”

The people that shouted extreme right-wing slogans und showed the Hitler salute were termed “aggressive airheads” are by no means representative of the demonstrators in Chemnitz, and in a reaction to hecklings, that these extreme right-wing people obviously belong to the AfD, with the words: “Those “foreigners out” bawlers and those showing the Hitler salute actually are your biggest hope, ladies and gentlemen from the political-media establishment. If there had not been those idiots and airheads, if only the normal citizen would demonstrate, that would be a disaster for you. Time and again such characters turn up and generate the desired pictures.”
The truly terrible incident, Gauland continued, has been the bloody deed of two asylum seekers, not the resulting demonstrations. The Federal Government has added fuel to the fire when chancellor and government speaker have spoken of “manhunt” on foreigners, instead of listening to the citizens. To be truthful, no manhunt has taken place in Chemnitz, as was confirmed by the Saxon chief state prosecutor, the Prime Minister of Saxony and by the president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution as well.

Charge with fascism

After Alexander Gauland, SPD member of parliament and former chancellor candidate of the party Martin Schulz said in an aside that he accused the AfD of reducing complex issues to a single topic, namely turning a minority in the country into a problem. He continued that this was “a traditional means of fascism”, with which the Bundestag had just been presented again. Schulz compared the current debate with those in the final phase of the Weimar Republic, and voiced his opinion that the “democrats in this country” had to defend themselves against it. He concluded with the statement that Gauland and the AfD belonged on the dung heap of history.
It is not known whether Schulz’s speech was inspired by the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who in her latest book believes to recognise signs of a renewed fascism in various countries of the world, including the US and Europe, and has introduced the “bourgeois” front of left-wing extremist Antifa. In any case, Schulz received standing ovations for his speech. In the minutes of the meeting it is noted: “The members of the SPD, the Left and the Alliance 90/The Greens are standing up”. The commentary on semi-national Deutschlandfunk radio praised Martin Schulz and bore the title “Sternstunde im Parlament – Great moment in parliament”.

Campaign against the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution … and the Federal Minister of the Interior

According to an agreement reached at the coalition round (meeting of the chairmen of the CDU, CSU and SPD) on 18 September 2018, the current President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maaßen, was to be dismissed from his previous office and instead entrusted with the task of State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
In an interview with the “Bild” of 6 September, Maaßen had taken a different view from that of the German Chancellor (cf. Current Concerns No 21 of 18 September 2018). Maaßen’s statements were followed by a campaign against him in which many political celebrities, especially from the SPD, as well as almost all leading media participated intensively. The question of whether Maaßen was right with his statements played only a subordinate role. Other accusations were given more weight, for example that Maaßen had been disloyal to the Chancellor, that Maaßen had spoken with politicians of the AfD some time ago, and that he was an opponent of the Chancellor’s migration policy in general.
The fact that the Federal Minister of the Interior wanted to make Hans-Georg Maaßen his State Secretary was certainly also a political signal. The reactions from interested parties were correspondingly ignominious. Only three days after the coalition meeting, the agreement from 18 September was only paper waste, …and the struggle in the government benches about the future course of politics is still going on. From the interested parties there will be no let-up and they will fight with every possible means.”    •

For the preservation of freedom of expression

Upper Lusatian Declaration 2018 of the citizens’ initiative “The 89’s”

gl. Upper Lusatia is the most southeastern region of Germany, situated in the border triangle of Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland. In 1945, the largest city, Görlitz, was divided into a German part and a Polish part east of the Neisse. Today the town, rich in architectural monuments, has been beautifully restored; and since 2004, a newly built pedestrian bridge runs across the Neisse into the Polish town of Zgorzelec.
Even in the GDR era, the Upper Lusatians were considered to be particularly independent, even more so than Saxony as a whole. It was not possible to receive West German television; people lived in the so-called “valley of the clueless”, which was perhaps an advantage seen from today’s point of view.
Today many inhabitants of Upper Lusatia and Saxony see parallels between today’s political conditions in the united Germany and those in the time towards the end of the GDR era. They demand the right to freedom of expression.
The following declaration, with signatures collected up to and including 29 September 2018, is to be handed over to the district administrator of the Bautzen district, to the minister-president of Saxony, and to representatives of the regional and public media.

Who are we?

In the group “The 89’s”, have come together citizens of our homeland who are committed to the values of free expression of opinion and the careful and observant culture of conversation, which once characterised the peaceful turnaround in 1989.

What do we want?

We call for the end of a minority’s negative representation of our homeland Upper Lusatia and its people. In particular, we expect the regional media and the state-funded media institutions to provide objective and non-judgmental reporting. The deputies of the district, the district administrator and the representatives of Upper Lusatia in the legislative assemblies of states and of Germany are to position themselves clearly.
Furthermore, we call on all institutions to work for the preservation of freedom of assembly and expression in accordance with Art. 5 of the German Basic Law.

Upper Lusatian declaration

We are watching with great concern the progress of the division of society. Responsible is a new way of denunciation and slander. People stemming from the middle classes of our society are being attacked, vilified and slandered by a small clique, because they question and criticise the conditions in our country. Under the guise of the “Struggle for Democracy and Tolerance,” it is precisely these values that are not only being made nonsense of, but systematically opposed. The rabble-rousing expressions these demagogues use in the social networks, on the Internet, but also on regional media have crossed the border of what is bearable. It is unacceptable that people are discriminated against because of their political convictions and that there are calls for their social exclusion. Our people has already painfully experienced twice, where this leads. We see it as our duty to oppose this development, so as to put an end to the ideologisation, of which we believed that it had been overcome since 1989.

Initial signers
Attorney Ingo Frings (FSV Budissa Bautzen) Dr Christian Haase, Ingolf Schön (entrepreneur), Tobias Hellebrand (dentist),
Lutz Keller (SV Bautzen), Rolf Lehmann, Lutz Neumann (master baker), Frank Peschel (editor “Bautzener Bote”), Katrin & Dietmar Förster (pharmacy Oppach), Michael Ubl (market trader), Steffen Schmidt (broker), Dirk Manitz (entrepreneur)

Honorary patron
Willy Wimmer (State Secretary ret., member of the German Bundestag 1976-2009)

Collection points in Bautzen: Reifencenter – tire centre Schön (Neusalzaer Str. 9), Hentschke Bau – (builders) (Zeppelinstr. 15), Neumann bakery (Ziegelstr. 1), Jacob bakery (Wilthener Str. 11), Hotel Residence (Wilthener Str. 32),
Holzwurm SpielundZeug – play and things (Kornmarkt 4b)

Collection points in the district: Schwanen pharmacy (Str. der Jugend 1, Oppach), fitness club Prima Klima (Guttauer Landstrasse 15a, Malschwitz), An- & Verkauf – buy & sell Kühn (Kamenzer Str 3, Bischofswerda) – more collection points will be added and characterised as such.

(Translation Current Concerns)