सीधे मुख्य सामग्री पर जाएं

German defence support to Ukraine: Goodbye to foreign policy pursued since 1945

Olaf Scholz (right)
By James W. Carden 
News came at the end of March, courtesy of German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, that Germany had completed a delivery of 18 Leopard 2 A6 main battle tanks to Ukraine. Still more, as Reuters reported on April 2, the German defense contractor Rheinmetall will set up a “military maintenance and logistics hub” in Satu Mare, Romania. What some might reasonably see as a major departure from Germany’s postwar foreign and defense posture is also the fulfillment of a promise German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made in his paradigm shifting Zeitenwende (“Turning Point”) speech of February 27, 2022.
Speaking in the chamber of the Bundestag, Scholz proclaimed: “We are living through a watershed era. And that means that the world afterwards will no longer be the same as the world before.The issue at the heart of this is…whether we have it in us to keep warmongers like Putin in check.That requires strength of our own.”
Scholz went on to pledge €100 billion for “a special fund for the Bundeswehr” and to meet what had heretofore been a mysteriously unattainable target of two percent of German GDP on defense spending.

The Green’s Hawks Take Flight

In an interview with a leading member of Washington’s captive nations lobby, Germany’s ambassador to the US, Emily Haber, made the case for the Zeitenwende’s efficacy, noting that Germany is “…now the EU’s largest [provider] of military support [to] Ukraine and mind you, before the war, we even refused to send military equipment to Ukraine.”
Haber, in an interview with the Ukrainian-born CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis, also put forward her view that the war in Ukraine, “is not only about borders and security in Europe, the outcome of the war is about the future, the global map of influence. And that’s existential for America too.”
Haber has been a particularly strident supporter of the Scholz policy, relentlessly tweeting about the size and scope of the military and humanitarian aid provide to Ukraine by Germany, to the point where she, taking a page out of US ambassador to Michael McFaul’s playbook, has become embroiled in twitter battles with representatives of her host country.
Why Haber feels she has the standing to twit-lecture a sitting US Senator (JD Vance) who was just sent to Washington by 2.2 million Ohio voters is anyone’s guess. But it is indicative of the self-righteous stridency which characterizes the German Foreign Ministry under the leadership of Green foreign minister Annalena Baerbock. Perhaps because popular sovereignty doesn’t count for much among the Greens, as witness Baerbock’s pledge that she will put Ukraine first “no matter what my German voters think.”
Withal, the transformation of the Greens into the most militant and slavishly Atlanticist members of the German political establishment is one of the more remarkable transformations in recent European political history and one that was repeatedly remarked upon in conversations I had with parliamentarians, staffers and activists on the left, right and center of the political spectrum in Berlin in March.
Die Linke’s deputy leader, Sevim Dagdelen, MdB, told me that, “The Greens were once the party of peace and demilitarization, but now they are the strongest warmongers in Germany…very linked to the Trans-Atlantic community.”
The power that the Greens now hold in Berlin is partly owed to the influence of a network of transatlantic think tanks which many observers I spoke to believe serve as a kind of beachhead for the US national security establishment. In Dagdelen’s view, “The media landscape in Germany is very much influenced by the trans-Atlantic think tanks. Most of the executive editors, chief editors, are members of transatlantic partnership think tanks, such as Atlantic Council, Atlantic Bridge, German Marshall Fund.” And as if to prove her point, right on cue, the neoconservative Atlantic Council published a piece complaining that Scholz has “routinely missed the mark and gotten in the way of his own big idea.”

Zeitenwende oder Ostpolitik?

A SPD parliamentarian who was in the chamber when Scholz delivered his Zeitenwende address told me that he and his colleagues were shocked – not so much by the content of the speech but by the militant, even joyful reaction of the conservative CDU/CSU members to Scholz’s seeming repudiation of German foreign policy since 1945.
Ostensibly, the Zeitenwende is a 180 degree (not, as Ms. Baerbock recently opined, a 360 degree) turn away from Ostpolitik, the “Eastern Policy” of normalizing relations with the countries of the communist bloc that was crafted by Chancellor Willy Brandt and his advisor Egon Bahr in the late 1960s.
According to Ralf Stegner, MdB, deputy leader of the SPD in the Bundestag, “There is pressure on SPD to change their policy to send more and more weapons combined with an attack on the Ostpolitik of Willy Brandt.”
“On foreign policy,” he continued, “some in the CDU/CSU and many in the Green Party have a moralistic view that ‘we must punish the authoritarian regimes,’ but it’s not a smart foreign policy not to speak to them.”
Some don’t see the Scholz policy as that drastic of a change. Joachim Schuster, SPD member of the European Parliament told me that, “Scholz has said we don’t want to become a party to the war. Nor does he say that Ukraine must win the war. He speaks about the fact that Ukraine must not lose the war. In addition, he stressed that further diplomatic efforts are also needed.”
Professor Hajo Funke, professor of politics and culture at the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science at The Free University of Berlin, told me that in his view, “Formally, at least, the SPD is united being Scholz but there are signs of an internal split, the Bundestag SPD faction chief Rolf Mutzenich, is a supporter of Ostpolitik. Scholz himself is wavering, being very cautious not only because of the public wave of support for Ukraine, but also because his coalition partners, the Greens and Free Democrats, are pushing it, so it’s a balancing act, and in this situation he is somewhere between Biden and Macron.”
Others on the left and right ends of the political spectrum take a more critical view.
Die Linke’s Dagdelen agrees with Funke that Scholz is “under pressure from a number of different quarters, especially by his coalition partners, the Greens and the Liberals.” Yet she believes that by deciding to get further involved in the war effort, Scholz has “entirely turned his back on the legacy of Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik.”
Dagdelen said, “The decision of the German government to deliver Leopard 2 battle tanks taken in response to massive pressure from the US, paves the way to making Germany more and more of a party to the conflict and sending it into the line of fire against Russia. The German government is acting as a willing vassal to the US administration and bowing down to the US’s strategy of driving a wedge between Germany and Russia.”
Officials I spoke to on the far-right have also been critical. A AfD politician from Brandenburg told me that in his view “a Cold War mindset still holds power over the Western part of Germany.” “But Germany,” he said, “should be neutral and has no interest in this war.”
Yet it would be a mistake to view the Zeitenwende as burying Ostpolitik once and for all. Indeed, recent months have seen a wave of popular dissent over Germany’s deepening involvement in the war.
In February, at the instigation of the feminist activist Alice Schwarzer and Sarah Wagenkneckt, a leading Die Linke member of the Bundestag, a ‘Manifesto for Peace’ was published which called for Scholz, “to stop the escalation of arms deliveries, Immediately!” Further, the Manifesto called for Scholz to, “Lead a strong alliance for a ceasefire and peace negotiations at both German and European level.” The Manifesto led, in the weeks that followed, to a demonstration which drew 50,000 to the center of Berlin.
Professor Funke, one of the original signers of the Manifesto, told me that when it was released the signers faced what he described as a series of “McCarthyite smears” from the media. Yet the tide began to turn as the popularity of the Manifesto grew to the hundreds of thousands (as of this writing it has garnered over 775,000 signatures). One positive sign Funke pointed to is the support for negotiations by Wolfgang Ischinger, a former ambassador to the US who served as chairman of the Munich Security Conference from 2008 to 2022. Funke says that “public opinion may be turning and Ischinger is a good indication of this as an important German public intellectual.” A follow up peace appeal spearheaded by the historian Peter Brandt, son of the late Chancellor, was published in Germany in early April.
So while it is clear that the German political establishment remains, for now, firmly under the thumb of the US national security establishment, German public opinion is a different matter altogether – and may be at a ‘turning point’ of its own.
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This article is distributed by Globetrotter in partnership with the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord (ACURA). James W. Carden is a former adviser on Russia to the Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs at the State Department. He is a member of the board of ACURA.
Source: Globetrotter

टिप्पणियाँ

ट्रेंडिंग

हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

ગુજરાતના સ્થાપના દિવસે યાદ કરીએ ભારતના વિશ્વપ્રસિદ્ધ ગુજરાતી પુરાતત્વવિદ્ ને

- ગૌરાંગ જાની*  આજે કોઈ ગુજરાતી એ કલ્પના પણ ન કરી શકે કે વર્ષ ૧૮૩૯ માં જૂનાગઢમાં જન્મેલા એક ગુજરાતી વિશ્વ પ્રસિદ્ધ બની શકે! પણ આપણે એ ગુજરાતીને કદાચ વિસરી ગયા છીએ જેમણે ગિરનારના અશોક શિલાલેખને દોઢસો વર્ષ પૂર્વે ઉકેલી આપ્યો.આ વિદ્વાન એટલે ભગવાનલાલ ઈન્દ્રજી. ૭ નવેમ્બર, ૧૮૩૯ ના દિવસે જૂનાગઢના પ્રશ્નોરા નાગર બ્રાહ્મણ પરિવારમાં તેમનો જન્મ થયો હતો. જૂનાગઢના એ સમયે અંગ્રેજી શિક્ષણની સગવડ ન હોવાને કારણે તેમને અંગ્રેજી ભાષાનું જ્ઞાન ન હતું પણ પાછળથી તેમણે ખપ પૂરતું અંગ્રેજી જાણી લીધું હતું.

Under Modi, democracy is regressing and economy is also growing slowly

By Avyaan Sharma*   India is "the largest democracy in the world", but now its democracy is regressing and its economy is also growing slowly. What has PM Modi's ten years in power brought us? Unemployment remains high. Joblessness is particularly high among India's youth - with those aged 15 to 29 making up a staggering 83% of all unemployed people in India, according to the "India Employment Report 2024", published last month by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD). The BJP-led government did not provide jobs to two crore youth in a year as was promised by Modi in the run up to the 2014 general elections.

नफरती बातें: मुसलमानों में असुरक्षा का भाव बढ़ रहा है, वे अपने मोहल्लों में सिमट रहे हैं

- राम पुनियानी*  भारत पर पिछले 10 सालों से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) राज कर रही है. भाजपा आरएसएस परिवार की सदस्य है और आरएसएस का लक्ष्य है हिन्दू राष्ट्र का निर्माण. आरएसएस से जुड़ी सैंकड़ों संस्थाएँ हैं. उसके लाखों, बल्कि शायद, करोड़ों स्वयंसेवक हैं. इसके अलावा कई हजार वरिष्ठ कार्यकर्ता हैं जिन्हें प्रचारक कहा जाता है. भाजपा के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस दुगनी गति से हिन्दू राष्ट्र के निर्माण के अपने एजेण्डे को पूरा करने में जुट गया है. यदि भाजपा को चुनावों में लगातार सफलता हासिल हो रही है तो उसका कारण है देश में साम्प्रदायिकता और साम्प्रदायिक मुद्दों का बढ़ता बोलबाला. इनमें से कुछ हैं राम मंदिर, गौमांस और गोवध एवं लव जिहाद. 

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

ભારતમાં જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટના દર્શન, ખ્રિસ્તી ધર્મના આગમનને કારણે સમાજ વ્યવસ્થામાં પરિવર્તન

- ઉત્તમ પરમાર  મારી કિશોર અવસ્થામાં કેટલાક ચિત્રો અને મૂર્તિઓએ હૃદયમાં એવું સ્થાન જમાવ્યું છે કે આજદિન પર્યંત  ઉત્તરોઉત્તર વિકસતું જ રહ્યું છે. પ્રેમ કરુણાના મૂર્તિમંત અવતાર  જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટને વધુસ્તંભે ચઢાવેલી મૂર્તિ  મારી કોઈપણ ધર્મ વિશેની સમજ નહોતી ત્યારથી મારા હૃદયમાં સ્થાપિત થયેલી છે. મારા ઘરની દિવાલ પર વધસ્તંભે ચઢેલા જીસસની પ્રતિમા જોઈને કોઈ મને પૂછી બેસતું કે તું ક્રિશ્ચન છે?

रैंकिंग: अधिकांश भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिरा, इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी

- प्रमोद रंजन*  अप्रैल, 2024 में भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों की अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर उच्च रैंकिंग की चर्चा रही। मीडिया ने इसका उत्सव मनाया। लेकिन स्थिति इसके विपरीत है। वैश्विक विश्वविद्यालय रैंकिग में अच्छा स्थान मिलने की खबरें, कुछ संस्थानों को इक्का-दुक्का विषयों में मिले रैंक के आधार पर चुनिंदा ढंग से प्रकाशित की गईं थीं। वास्तविकता यह है कि हाल के वर्षों में हमारे अधिकांश विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिर गया है। इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी रही है।

नोएडा में मैन्युअल स्कैवेंजर्स की मौत: परिवारों को मुआवजा नहीं, प्राधिकरण ने एफआईआर नहीं की

- अरुण खोटे, संजीव कुमार*  गत एक सप्ताह में, उत्तर प्रदेश में सीवर/सेप्टि क टैंक सफाई कर्मियों की सफाई के दौरान सेप्टिक टैंक में मौत। 2 मई, 2024 को, लखनऊ के वज़ीरगजं क्षेत्र में एक सेवर लाइन की सफाई करते समय शोब्रान यादव, 56, और उनके पत्रु सशुील यादव, 28, घटुन से हुई मौत। एक और घटना 3 मई 2024 को नोएडा, सेक्टर 26 में एक घर में सेप्टि क टैंक को सफाई करते समय दो सफाई कर्मचर्मारी नूनी मडंल, 36 और कोकन मडंल जिसे तपन मडंल के नाम से जानते हैं, की मौत हो गई। ये सफाई कर्मचर्मारी बंगाल के मालदा जिले के निवासी थे और नोएडा सेक्टर 9 में रहते थे। कोकन मडंल अपनी पत्नी अनीता मडंल के साथ रहते थे। इनके तीन स्कूल जाने वाले बच्चे हैं जो बंगाल में रहते हैं। नूनी मडंल अपनी पत्नी लिलिका मडंल और अपने पत्रु सजुान के साथ किराए पर झग्गी में रहते थे। वे दैनिक मजदरूी और सफाई कर्मचर्मारी के रूप में काम करते थे।

प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने कुछ परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली: प्रमुख प्रस्थापनायें

- राणा सिंह   भारत में परजीवियों का एक विशाल समूह है जो बोलता है कि “सब कुछ माया है”,  लेकिन व्यवहार में यह समूह सारी जिंदगी इसी “माया” के पीछे पागल रहता है।  प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने इन परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली थी।

बिहार के ऐतिहासिक विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय के खंडहरों की परिक्रमा का रोमांचक अवसर

- सुमन्त शरण  कुछ दिन पहले एक सुदूर ग्रामीण अंचल (पीरपैंती)  से तकरीबन डेढ़-दो घंटे की दूरी पर अवस्थित ऐतिहासिक बौद्ध विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय (के अवशेषों) की परिक्रमा का अवसर मिला। विक्रमशीला विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना पाल वंश के राजा धर्मपाल ने की थी। 8वीं शताब्दी से 12वीं शताब्दी के अंत तक यह विश्वविद्यालय भारत के प्रमुख शिक्षा केंद्रों में से एक हुआ करता था। कहा जाता है कि यह अपने कुछेक अत्यंत अनूठे नवाचार के चलते उस समय नालंदा विश्वविद्यालय का सबसे बड़ा प्रतिस्पर्धी था। हालांकि, मान्यता यह भी है कि अल्प अवधि के लिए दोनों विश्वविद्यालय के बीच शिक्षण एवं प्रबंधन के क्षेत्रों में घनिष्ठ पारस्परिक संबंध एवं शिक्षकों के आदान-प्रदान का सिलसिला भी रहा था। यह विश्वविद्यालय तंत्रशास्त्र की पढ़ाई के लिए सबसे ज्यादा विख्यात था। इस विषय का एक सबसे विख्यात छात्र अतीसा दीपनकरा था, जो बाद में तिब्बत जाकर बौद्ध हो गया। इसके प्रथम कुलपति ज्ञान अतिस थे।