Berlin Sticks to a Course of Self-Destruction
The German government has outdone itself in the past week in terms of aggressive statements and actions aimed at both Russia and China. To begin with Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD), he stated April 21 that it was quite justified for Ukraine to launch attacks on Russian territory, such as the increasingly frequent combat drone deployments it has carried out! And in a speech to the Bundestag on April 19, he called on the West to counter Russia’s presence in Africa. Moreover, Berlin’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has just expelled 20 Russian diplomats accused of attempting to recruit German informants, according to Focus.
As for Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (of the Greens), she chose to be demonstrably provocative during and after her visit to China two weeks ago, calling the country a “systemic rival”, and increasingly aggressive on the international stage. After a surprise meeting with Chinese dissidents, she said she was “more than shocked” at China’s repressive policies domestically. On Taiwan, she chose a very different approach from French President Macron, by warning Beijing of the “horror scenario” of a military conflict (cf. SAS 16/23).
The Greens, as we know, have become the spearhead of NATO and the transatlantic “war party” in Germany, while moving to cut off trade relations with Russia and China (to the benefit of the U.S.) and deliberately destroying the country’s energy supply — a policy that spells certain doom for Germany and its once powerful economy.
The yet unanswered question is whether this policy course, which is not supported by a majority of citizens, will prevail until the end the current government’s mandate, or whether a constructive revolt will lead to the ousting of the coalition in time to prevent irreparable damage. Never has a German government been so unpopular, with the latest opinion polls showing an approval rating of no more than 42% of the voters. The SPD of Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the Greens are down to 18% each, while the FDP flounders at 6%. In the opposition, the CDU has only slightly improved its rating, up to 31%. The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is up to 15%, as several of its positions – opposing support for Ukraine at the expense of relations to Russia, insisting on a thorough investigation of the Nord Stream sabotage and repair of the pipelines, and calling for a return to nuclear power — resonate with an increasing number of citizens.
Meanwhile, the largest camp is that of the “abstentionists”, which now reaches 40%, mainly due to the defection of traditional SPD voters. What is needed is the leadership to turn the growing political vacuum into an actual political factor, perhaps in the form of a new party. The openness of new layers to discuss common perspectives with the Schiller Institute, demonstrated at the April 15-16 SI conference, indicates how that vacuum can be filled (cf. below).