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Monday, July 17, 2017

What drives German politics to bogeyman Russia? by Karl Müller

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier addresses the media after talks in Berlin on October 15, 2015. (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)


by Karl Müller

In an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (16 June 2017), German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed his opinion on the German-Russian relationship. All those who had hoped for a signal of detente in bilateral relations by the German President were disappointed. Even the Federal President sang the same tune as the majority of German politics and media. By imputation Steinmeier put Russia in a poor light, speaking of an expected further cooling off in the relations between the two countries. Literally he said: “If Moscow’s influence on the Bundestag elections were to take effect, the reserves of commonalities would inevitably be further reduced. That would be bad for both sides.” And further, “One and a half decades of growing alienation between Europe and Russia are lying behind us.” Today, Russia is seeking its identity rather in contrast to Europe and the West than in similarities. Then he also speaks of the “annexation” of Crimea and the military activities of Russia in Eastern Ukraine that would have spurred everything.
Many questions remain unanswered

These expressions by the German Federal President bespeak again a way of thinking that absolutely does not want to take into account that facts cast a different light on the events. It is no coincidence that Frank-Walter Steinmeier does not say anything substantial, does not name facts, and instead sets on cheap propaganda. The question is for instance:

How is “Moscow” to have influence on the Bundestag elections? The fact that the Russian government has its own opinion on the various parties and their candidates is not to blame. Neither that it is critical, in particular, of the political forces in Germany that are fomenting the conflict with Russia. The fact that German-speaking Russian media like Sputnik and rt deutsch make use of their right to freedom of expression is natural. The fact that voters are “manipulated” by “Moscow” is more likely the result of the conception of man from the forces in Germany (and elsewhere) who in turn try everything to influence the German electorate. The idea that Russian hackers could penetrate the most secret data of the parties and candidates and influence the election by their publication is remarkable. Is there perhaps any important political information about parties and candidates that is not supposed to come to light? As voter this makes you rather curious …
Shall Russia’s government say even thank you to the enemy stereotype of Russia?


With a view to the actual growing alienation, wouldn’t it be sensible to look at one’s own share of this alienation? Since the beginning of the century, all Russian Presidents and Russian governments have sent signals to the other states of Europe and especially to Germany, that were directed towards more relationship and cooperation. Reactions were ambivalent. For one thing, the rest of Europe, especially Germany, has tried to do good business with Russia. There are also forums of exchange of ideas such as the “Petersburg Dialogue” or the “German-Russian Forum”. At the same time, however, NATO has moved forward to the Russian border. The EU has sought to bind Russia’s neighbours closer to its own people, whereof Ukraine is just an example. Simultaneously, it is attempting to undermine the special relations of the Western neighbours to Russia. As far as the forums are concerned, from Western perspective there was no equivalent exchange on an equal footing. Instead, Russia was to be “westernised”. What that means, the people of Russia had experienced and suffered during the Yeltsin era. Is it so surprising as that Russian policy increasingly seeks an independent way and not say thank you to the enemy image Russia?
What actually happened in Crimea and Ukraine?

When looking at Crimea and Ukraine, why are the facts blinded out? Since the autumn of 2013, the EU states and Germany, in particular, had a significant share in the worsening. In February 2014, Frank-Walter Steinmeier as German Foreign Minister, was actively involved in an attempt to bring about a constitutional transition of the governance in Ukraine. However, the agreement reached was paper waste only  one day later and there was a constitutional overthrow of the government. The German Foreign Minister, who was the co-signatory to the agreement, had done nothing, although the Russian Foreign Minister had urged him to do so. In the wake of the Ukrainian coup and the open hostility of the new government, not only against Russia, but also against the sympathising population of the Ukraine in Russia, – they had the desire for greater autonomy from Kiev – and in the Crimea by a large majority for membership in the Russian Federation. The great majority of the Crimean inhabitants did not and does not have the impression that they had been annexed by Russia … and the international legal assessment of the events in spring of 2014 turns out to be different.
The German Federal President is right to say that a further deterioration of German-Russian relations was “bad for both sides”. All the more the question araises why German politics and why so many German media are doing everything possible to further downgrade these relationships. This does not comply with the wishes and interests of most Germans. But what drives German politics into the enemy image of Russia?
What is really “disturbing” about Russia?

Considering the facts, they cannot be the content of accusations against Russia. The facts will also be known to German policy. The German Federal President is most likely to know that the argumentary with the bogeyman Russia is wrong.
Is it the German dependence on those circles in the USA, that in April 2000 at a conference in Bratislava declared that they wanted to divide the European continent and create a new “Iron Curtain”? The former Secretary of State at the German Ministry of Defense Willy Wimmer rightly mentioned this again and again. Everything west of this frontier should be under US influence.
With 97 to 2 votes, the US Senate has once again decided to tighten sanctions against Russia and at the same time wanting to prohibit US President Trump from lifting sanctions against Russia. The enemy image of Russia has taken on delusional moes in the United States. There are many reasons for this: They range from the domestic American war of the “deep state” against the ruling US president and his political ideas up to the most tangible economic interests, not least in the raw material deposits of Russia.
Above all, Russia has become a pioneer of the idea that every country is to decide itself about its fate and that it’s no good for mankind if one state alone or even some kind of “world government” wants to determine the fate of the world.
Is Germany again brought in position against Russia?

Already twice in the 20th century, Germany has allowed itself being instrumentalised for devastating wars against Russia and the Soviet Union respectively. Is Germany again brought in position against Russia, once again against the will of the people?
Are there forces within Germany that want to benefit from the fact that the German-Russian relationship is worsening ever more? Pointedly, there are forces all over the world, in Germany as well, that benefit from conflicts (and wars) although one could also do good business with Russia. In USA, the military-industrial complex is referred to as the first group.
Germany is the European country where the forces of cultural subversion have the greatest influence, from the gender ideology up to the calculated stultification and atomisation of our children and adolescents. An embittered antagonism drives these forces against all states and peoples who want to maintain, cultivate and develop the cultural substance. The sharpest polemic against Russia can be found in the German feuilleton.
And so on and so forth. A definite answer has still left to be open.
Independent thinking shall survive


In the end, to clarify this: The author of these lines is a German citizen. The fate of his country is of great concern to him. He is not a voice of the Russian government, does not receive any money from Russia, is controlled by no one from Russia. He merely undertook to think for himself. He knows that the conflict with Russia is a dead end, which is already calling for many victims. He is convinced that Germany could do well with Russia if German policy had the willingness to do so. He pleads for dialogue rather than confrontation. He sticks to former Chancellor Willy Brandt, “Peace is not everything, but everything is nothing without peace.”     •

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