By Oskar LaFontaine,
Published on Defend Democracy Press, Sept 17, 2022:
Oskar Lafontaine wrote this guest article for Defend Democracy Press, the website of the Delphi Initiative. LaFontaine was Prime Minister of the Saarland; 1990 candidate for chancellor of the SPD; chairman of the SPD from 1995 to 1999, and Minister of Finance in the Schröder cabinet. Since 2005, he has held key positions in the Left Party. On March 17, 2022, he announced his resignation and has been a non-party since then.
August 30, 2022
For the vast majority of German politicians and journalists, the war in Ukraine began on February 24, 2022. From this point of view, which ignores the entire history of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, Germany cannot make any contribution to peace.
The sentence is attributed to the poet Aeschylus: In battle, truth is the first casualty. This leads to the conclusion that in order to find peace one must return to the truth, better: to the truth. And that means every war has its own history. And the prehistory of the Ukraine War begins with the United States’ self-image as a chosen nation, claiming to be and remain the sole world power.
Therefore, America must do everything possible to prevent the emergence of another world power. This applies not only to China and Russia, but also to the European Union or, in the future, perhaps India or other countries. If you accept that claim, and at the same time know that the US has by far the greatest military equipment in the world, you may come to the conclusion that taking refuge under the wing of this single world power is the most it’s a good thing. ,
“Germany is not a sovereign country”
However, this view holds true only if the defense power pursues a peaceful foreign policy and does not militarily surround emerging adversaries, continually provoking them and thus accepting the risk of war. If the defending power has military facilities in the territory of its allies with which it does its war, it puts not only itself but also allies with aggressive geopolitics at risk.
For example, Ramstein Airport was indispensable to the United States’ war in the Middle East, Africa, and Ukraine. So, when Americans are at war, Germany is always on the side of the war, whether it likes it or not. Because he saw this connection, Charles de Gaulle, for example, did not want any NATO, i.e., US, facilities on French soil. He said that a country should be able to make its own decisions about war or peace.
Germany is not a sovereign country, this became clear again when US Secretary of War Lloyd Austin invited a conference in Ramstein to allow vassal states to contribute to the Ukraine War. Of course, the US also claims the decision whether a country like Germany can commission an energy supply line like Nord Stream 2.
War with a long history
The history of the Ukrainian War also includes the views of American strategists, according to which Ukraine is the dominant state in terms of dominance on the Eurasian continent. For this reason, according to Brzezinski, a former national security adviser to President Carter, in his 1997 book titled The Only World Power, Ukraine should be made a vassal state of the United States.
Although shrewd American politicians such as George Kennan warned against turning Ukraine into a military outpost on the Russian border, Presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden proceeded with the eastward expansion of NATO and the armament of Ukraine. , although Russia has indicated for more than that. For 20 years it will not accept US troops and missiles on its Ukrainian border.
At the latest with Putt on the field in 2014, the United States showed they were unwilling to take Russia’s security interests into account. He established an American puppet government and made every effort to integrate Ukraine’s armed forces into NATO formations. Joint exercises were conducted and persistent objections of the Russian government were ignored.
No state should launch rockets from a rival power on the border of nuclear power without warning and naively justifying it with a coalition’s free choice.
In this context it is falsely argued that each state has the right to freely choose its alliance. But no state should launch rockets from a rival power on the border of nuclear power without warning and naively justifying it with a coalition’s free choice. Imagine if Canada, Mexico or Cuba allowed Chinese or Russian troops into their territory while allowing missile bases to reach Washington without warning.
Since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, we have known that the US would never accept it and would risk nuclear war when in doubt. These considerations lead to the conclusion that an aggressive superpower cannot lead a “defensive alliance”. After all the experiences of the past decades, how long will it take for Germany to understand that it must take its own security into its own hands and become independent from the United States?
There were German politicians who saw the danger posed by American policy and attempted an independent German foreign policy. For example, Willy Brandt knew that peace would have to be made with Russia and its Eastern European neighbors after World War II. They called for disarmament and detention and were convinced that security could be achieved not against each other, but only together. Helmut Kohl negotiated German unity with Gorbachev and believed that peace and cooperation with Russia were prerequisites for European peacekeeping.
Hans-Dietrich Genscher was at times not on the side of American politicians because he feared a limited nuclear war in Europe and therefore did everything to ban short-range missiles and strategic nuclear weapons from German and European territory. “Genscherism” became a dirty word in Washington. In his excellent book National Interests, Klaus von Dohnny recently pointed to the attitude of some American strategists that a nuclear war confined to Europe could very well be waged.
How to stop growth
At present, there is no indication of a foreign policy putting Germany’s interests first. Traffic light leaders Scholz, Barbock, Habeck and Lindner are loyal vassals of America. Scholz advocates re-arming and takes pride in being able to announce the delivery of weapons to Ukraine at an ever shorter interval. He acts as if he had never heard of Willy Brandt’s ostpolitik and detente policy. The foreign policy of the FDP is dominated by armaments lobbyist Streck-Zimmermann, who calls for new weapons for Ukraine every other day.
The Greens have changed from a party that has changed from a German peace movement to the worst war party in the German Bundestag. Annalena Berbock’s statement that we should “destroy Russia” should be called fascist. The largest opposition party is also absent. As a former employee of American financial giant BlackRock, CDU president Frederick Merz is a loyal Atlanticist, demanding the delivery of even more weapons and even the closure of Nord Stream 1.
German foreign policy harms the interests of our country and does not contribute to peace in Europe. It needs a complete restructuring. If American geopolitics threatens war between nuclear powers, it is the job of German and European politicians to do everything possible to keep our region out of this conflict.
Europe needs to separate itself from the United States and play the role of mediation between rival world powers. Together, Germany and France have the potential to develop an independent European foreign and security policy.
It’s high time to start. When war escalates we can’t always rely on a level-headed military to prevent a nuclear world conflict. Examples include Soviet naval officer Arkhipov, who prevented nuclear torpedoes from being launched during the Cuban Missile Crisis, or Soviet Colonel Petrov, who, in 1984, when Russian computers removed nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles from the United States. The approach was misinformed. , decided to act in this case so as not to trigger a truly ordered nuclear “counterstrike”.
It is time to stop leaving the peace initiative only to Turkish President Erdogan. Even if the United States, by its own admission, is unwilling to work toward a ceasefire and an early end to the war in Ukraine, it is in the survival interest of the Europeans.
The founder of the music group Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, is right when he points out that peace can still be achieved on the basis of the Minsk Agreements. On the other hand, when the United States declares that it aims to undermine Russia so that it cannot start a similar war again, it is cynical. How many more Ukrainians and Russians are expected to die before they get much closer to their geopolitical goal of significantly weakening Russia?
Europe now has the highest energy prices. European industrial companies are in the process of relocating to the US and setting up new branches. The huge orders for the US ordnance industry and the huge profits that the environmentally damaging US fracking industry is bringing to the table makes it abundantly clear who benefits from this war and sanctions.
Given this situation, even traffic light politicians inexperienced in foreign policy must understand that Europe has no way of self-affirmation. The first step would be to insist on a ceasefire, present a peace plan, and put Nord Stream 2 into operation.
Continuity of the current policy, on the other hand, leads to the impoverishment of large sections of the population, destroys entire sectors of German industry and puts Germany in danger of engaging in nuclear war.
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