No nuclear war in Europe!
We must free ourselves from the tutelage of the United States. Exclusive reprint from "Yank, it's time to go!"
by Oskar Lafontaine
[This article posted on 2/17/2023 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/kein-nuklearkrieg-in-europa.]
If we aspire to a peaceful Europe and stay out of the conflicts of the nuclear powers, we need Europe to be liberated from U.S. military tutelage through an independent security and defense policy. This goal should be our top priority. Exclusive reprint from "Yank, it's time to go! - Plea for European Self-Assertion."
Slowly but surely, the mood in the Federal Republic is tilting. Day by day, fewer and fewer people are willing to go along with the ongoing warmongering. They hear about the great suffering caused in Ukraine and hear the daily demands of CDU chairman Merz, FDP politician Strack-Zimmermann or Green MP Hofreiter to supply more and more weapons to Ukraine.
Unfortunately, after initial hesitation, the Social Democratic Chancellor Olaf Scholz always gives in and delivers. The bird shot again our Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who justified her demand to equip Ukraine with more weapons and "Leopard" tanks with the fact that German weapons would save lives. Words fail me.
The older ones still remember that Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union cost the lives of 27 million people, including many millions of Russians and Ukrainians.
On January 27, 2014, the 95-year-old survivor of the siege of Leningrad, Daniil Granin, had reminded the members of the German Bundestag of the inscription of a Russian soldier on the walls of the Reichstag: "Germany, we came to you so that you would no longer come to us" (1). And now we are supposed to supply weapons again so that the killing in Ukraine continues endlessly, Russians are killed with German weapons and Ukraine wins the war against Russia?
The well-read do not believe in Russia's sole guilt anyway. They remember the promise made to Gorbachev not to expand NATO eastward. They know that the U.S. organized and financed a coup on the Maidan in 2014 to install a puppet government that would push for Ukraine's eventual admission into NATO. Too tempting for the hardliners in Washington was the idea that, after the missile bases in Poland and Romania, they could now put missiles on the Ukrainian-Russian border.
Unforgettable in this context is the shameless fairy tale of the USA that the missiles in the Eastern European states were stationed to intercept Iranian missiles. And of course, the Western propaganda press printed these stupid statements without questioning them, let alone criticizing them. The Pentagon can spread any lie - the Western media will swallow it.
Missiles without warning times are something like the knife on the neck of the respective adversary. They are the credible threat to take out an adversary's political leadership and military command centers in one fell swoop. "It is not he who first takes up arms who is the instigator of disaster, but he who compels it," wrote the Florentine Nicolo Machiavelli 500 years ago.
The policy of détente shaped by Willy Brandt, which brought us peace and security for decades, has been abandoned step by step (2). Since it came into power, the traffic light government has unreservedly supported the aggressive policy of the United States.
One sanctions package after another has been adopted to punish Putin. The sanctions-led economic war against Russia began at the latest in 2017, long before the Russian army invaded Ukraine. The Senate and Congress in Washington passed legislation aimed at rolling back Russian influence in Europe and Eurasia. In 2018, the U.S. took aim at Nord Stream 2 (3). Legislation stated that U.S. sanctions decisions would be international law in the future, and violations of them would be subject to civil and criminal prosecution in the United States.
Clause 257 of this bill specified that the goal of this bill was to prioritize the export of U.S. energy resources over other export flows in order to create new jobs in the United States. Back in December 2017, Democrats and Republicans had threatened the Swiss company "Allsees," which laid the pipes for Nord Stream 2, with destruction if it did not stop work on the pipeline within 48 hours. The company gave in. After all, then Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern had the courage to denounce these U.S. laws as a "blatant violation of international law" (4). A braver German chancellor would now have called the Nord Stream 2 blow-up a declaration of war on Germany.
In the meantime, many German citizens are realizing that these sanctions are above all a shot in their own knees. Sure, the Russian economy is suffering and experiencing increasing difficulties, but in this country, energy prices are shooting through the roof. Many people can no longer pay their heating bills and electricity prices and don't know what to do next. The German business community fears a wave of bankruptcies and is calling on the government to find a solution. But - and few dare to say it - without Russian raw materials and energy supplies we will not be able to maintain our prosperity. More and more people will become impoverished and countless businesses will close. Unemployment will rise.
With its eyes wide open, the traffic light coalition is driving the German economy to the wall. That's why this government is the dumbest we've had since the Federal Republic came into existence.
In the following, I would like to point out ways out of this catastrophic situation. To do this, we need to be clear about why we are in this situation in the first place. I have already mentioned one important reason: The policy of détente has been abandoned and replaced by a policy of confrontation. This is an astonishing development in a country that had such excellent experiences with Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik.
When I studied physics in my youth, we used the following method: You set up a theory and then you conduct an experiment. The experiment will either confirm or disprove the theory. The theory that peace in Europe can only be permanently guaranteed through disarmament and rapprochement was confirmed for decades by the "experiment of détente" because there was no war in Europe during that time. But hardly anyone in today's German political and media landscape seems to know this anymore.
The shift away from Brandt's policy of détente began 30 years ago, when Mikhail Gorbachev left the political stage and the hardliners in Washington believed that now the fruits of the collapse of the Soviet Union could be reaped. The U.S. broke all its promises and expanded NATO eastward, although U.S. politicians such as George Kennan called this eastward expansion the biggest mistake of U.S. foreign policy after the war (5). Eastward expansion, the U.S. diplomat argued, would lead to militarism and nationalism. Rarely have the consequences of a wrong policy been predicted so precisely.
If there are now younger politicians in the Federal Republic, above all the current Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who think that the current policy of supplying weapons to Ukraine will lead to peace, then this is an unforgivable error. This policy of confrontation is leading to the destruction of Ukraine and many thousands of deaths, and may end in a Third World War. That is why we must abandon it immediately and return to the policy of détente.
Oskar Lafontaine "Yank, it's time to go: plea for Europe's self-assertion"
Editorial note: This text first appeared in ViER, issue 1/23. Excerpted from: Oskar Lafontaine, "Ami, it's time to go! - Plea for the Self-Assertion of Europe." An expanded edition of the book will be published on February 14, 2023.
Sources and Notes:
(1) German Bundestag, "Speech by Daniil Granin," January 27, 2014, online at: https://www.bundestag.de/parlament/geschichte/gastredner/rede_granin-261326
(2) The text is an expanded version of a speech given by Oskar Lafontaine on September 17, 2022, as part of the 34th Pleisweiler Gespräch of the NachDenkSeiten. The topic was: "End of détente? Who wants peace, must free himself from the USA", to be viewed online at: https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=88304
(3) Atlantik-Brücke Dossier: "Die Sanktionsspirale der USA gegen Nord Stream 2", in: Atlantik-Brücke, November 2, 2020, online at: https://www.atlantik-bruecke.org/die-sanktionsspirale-der-usa-gegen-nord-stream-2/
(4) German Foreign Office, "Foreign Minister Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Kern on Russia Sanctions by the U.S. Senate," June 15, 2017, online at: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/newsroom/170615-kern-russland/290664
(5) George Kennan: "A Fateful Error," in New York Times, February 5, 1997, online at: https://www.nytimes.com/1997/02/05/opinion/a-fateful-error.html
Oskar Lafontaine, born in 1943, was mayor of Saarbrücken, prime minister of Saarland, chairman of the SPD, candidate for chancellor and federal finance minister during his political life. In March 1999, he resigned from all his political posts in the SPD in criticism of Gerhard Schröder's government course. He was founding chairman of the party "Die Linke" (The Left), which was formed on his initiative from PDS and Wahlalternative Arbeit & soziale Gerechtigkeit (WASG) (Electoral Alternative for Work & Social Justice), chairman of the left-wing parliamentary group in the German Bundestag and, since 2009, deputy and chairman of the left-wing parliamentary group in the Saarland state parliament until his party resignation in March 2022.
Sleepwalking into World War III
The Secretary of State declares war on Russia "by mistake," and we could all be sleepwalking with her into a catastrophe no one wants to imagine.
08.02.2023 by Christian Zehenter
War is back
Glorification of violence in blue-yellow
Stakeholders from almost all parties and institutions in Germany call for more guns.
By Christian Zehenter
[This article posted on 2/14/2023 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/gewaltverherrlichung-in-blau-gelb.]
Weapons for peace and victory of freedom - or in the words of the FDP: "End the war, send tanks!" and "After the marten comes the leopard. We'll keep at it." Only people who have never carried a weapon, much less experienced a war, can say such things. People in heated offices who would never pick up a rifle themselves, get into a tank or send their children to the front. Others are supposed to fight for them: 20-year-old Ukrainians are supposed to shoot 20-year-old Russians in the head or blow them to pieces - every hit a feast for the German media and institutions.
Defending values, freedom and living space - where does this rhetoric sound familiar?
We no longer need to discuss, weigh, practice diplomacy, question and connect. What is needed now is strong leadership and decisive action, including solidarity and unity in the name of our values. No more Bullerbü and coffeehousing, victory is at hand, evil must be vanquished and our habitat defended.
Where does this rhetoric sound familiar? Only the colors change: truth, virtue and fatherland are now blue-yellow, regardless of whether Ukraine is a democracy, and the fight for good is rainbow-colored. Even political armbands are required again - after the, medically and ethically irresponsible, mask obligation only a small step of conformity.
Where today truth is decreed, one takes tomorrow to the weapon
Where today government critics are canceled, books and parties are banned and truths and even language are prescribed, tomorrow one reaches for the weapon. Whether Corona, climate, Putin, racism or LGBTQ: There is one truth - a diabolical threat must be defeated with totalitarian measures - in the name of defensible democracy and the defense of our values. Fear and a desire for redemption go hand in hand here in the development of totalitarianism.
The propaganda can be seen through immediately, but feels too awesome to question - especially among the profiteers. Their goal is not democracy, freedom or even reconciliation, but the feeding trough. This fills up with every restriction of our freedom of movement and every further totalitarian, centralist structure and measure - up to and including war.
Cult of threat and belief in redemption: making sacrifices in the name of the good
The trick is to get the population in the right mood until they enthusiastically sacrifice their own freedom, security, wealth and health in order to fight the enemy in the name of the good - be it Corona, the right, Putin, discrimination or climate change. The Germans in particular, in a mixture of missionary and redemptive desire, apparently set out again every two generations at the latest to let the world recover from their values - which always ends tragically.
But to belong to a corps of virtues, to participate in a great cause and to make painful sacrifices for a higher good seems to be a magical, almost religious temptation for them: success must hurt.
No narrative is too banal for that; it just has to feel good. A bad man invades a country and must be defeated, done. Neither, apparently, were there ever wars of aggression before that - most of them led by the U.S., with hundreds of times the number of dead - like Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, or Serbia, nor was there a lead-up - such as a launched 2014 coup in Kiev with eight years of civil war against the Russian minority, U.S. high armaments, and Western involvement of Ukraine at Russia's gates. What event in 1962 does this remind us of?
American wars are good, Russian ones are bad
American wars are good - defense of freedom and democracy, Russian evil - barbaric war of aggression contrary to international law. How simple the world has become. Europe and especially Germany takes over vassal function here, goes (once again!) without need into a war with Russia and eagerly serves the protection of the American superpower status, even at the expense of their own prosperity and peace. Even if the U.S. blows up the German-Russian pipelines Nordstream 1 and 2, supplies overpriced gas, instigates a world war in Europe and relocates German industry to its own country - all this serves only our best. Decades of friendship, rapprochement and understanding with Russia have been undone overnight - and old images of friend and foe invoked that have already brought plenty of war upon the world.
Marginalization of Germany is not an accident, but an American strategy
The deindustrialization, precarization and marginalization of Germany and the destruction of the former German-Russian relations (keyword Petersburg Dialogue) is not a sad side effect, but a central goal of American (intervention) policy - and this for a long time and quite officially. For Germany, with its economic power and especially German-Russian cooperation, painfully diminished American sales and hegemonic aspirations.
The calculation worked out:
While Germany is still posing as the moral world champion and spewing venom and bile as a quasi-demilitarized country, there are no Germans among the 100 most valuable companies in the world today - and nine Americans among the ten most valuable.
German journals and universities have become just as meaningless as the majority of German industry - if it is still located in the country at all - not to mention the Mittelstand. The dollar has overtaken the euro, inflation is devaluing German incomes and assets, and no mail can be delivered, no cell phones operated, and no data flowed in Germany without American permission.
Tanks, poverty, division and freezing for peace: How banal can it still be?
With a debt of the century, the government is playing down the crisis and the restructuring of the country until it can no longer be stopped - and is sure: Putin is to blame. Or Corona. Or climate change. Or the right-wing. Never would it be one's own will to destroy freedom, prosperity and peace in favor of a totalitarian system, but: Tragic external circumstances force it.
The truth is absolute, there is no alternative to action - just like tank deliveries to Ukraine. For the devil must be vanquished, evil defeated and our values defended. Tanks, poverty, division and freezing for peace. How banal can it still be? As always in history, German moralism and totalitarianism will end tragically - and will certainly not create peace, not to mention reconciliation. It is fortunate, however, that German war equipment does not work and that there is no money for too big totalitarian dreams. Nevertheless, the Western efforts to escalate war, anger and enmity in favor of the U.S. at all costs will eventually come to fruition if no one puts a stop to it. Let us hope for insight from outside.
Editorial note: This text first appeared under the title "Glorification of violence in blue-yellow: 'Tanks for peace'" on the news portal Forum 21.
Sources and comments:
Also read: https://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=92256#more-92256
Christian Zehenter is a medical and political journalist, author and editor, and runs the critical news blog forum-21.de.
Sleepwalking into World War III