Critical statements about NATO by Germany’s Foreign Minister Steinmeier, led to contradictions in the ruling coalition government, which may lead to its collapse.
Originally appeared at A-specto, translated by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s sharp criticism, that “symbolic NATO tank parades on the eastern border do not create more security, but the contrary” and that the military exercises on the Russian border are “fatal” sparked controversy not only in the German media but also in the Bundestag, among the ruling coalition partners. Steinmeier’s courage to comment on the real threats facing Europe expectedly did not cause joy and applause, but rather scolding and sharp remarks about how he had allowed himself to express a desire for dialogue with Russia, and disagreement with the military preparation of NATO.
The comments by the Foreign Minister of Germany undermine Western strategy, obediently implemented by the German government, and it would be good if nobody contradicts it, so there are no educational phone calls from Washington. After Chancellor Merkel recently said she sees no reason for the sanctions against Russia to be lifted, Steinmeier again provoked outrage with his remarks on an economic forum in Berlin where he said he hoped for the sanctions to be removed “step by step”.
Steinmeier is not shy to condemn the offensive actions of the Alliance in Eastern Europe, declaring that they unnecessarily “heat up” the situation, but his biggest mistake according to the German media today is that he is disobedient, or as they said in Die Welt, he has a “disloyal behavior”. According to the text in Die Welt Steinmeier takes the logic of Die Linke, which according to the article, is often presenting a Kremlin propaganda. A sharp commentary in FAZ is titled “Did Putin have a birthday?”
The reaction of the large German media is not surprising. But in condemning propaganda and fighting for freedom of speech, tolerance, openness to dialogue and acceptance of others, these media should clearly realize that in their breezy analysis, entering the frame of political correctness and neurotic spasms against every critic of the government line written overseas, they are in fact the biggest victims of propaganda. Anyone standing up against the rhetoric of the government appears almost as a kind of renegade. If one tries to outline a perspective of the events of today, and that outline does not fall within the normalized picture of the situation, he will be pelted with the labels “Kremlin propaganda”, “Putinist” and an idiot. Just because it would violate the one-sided line of analysis, news, commentaries and viewpoints.
According to these media, NATO is rightly taking action in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, as it has to adapt with them with adequate protection to the growing Russian aggression. Except we don’t Russian aggression in tank exercises, projects, initiatives, NGOs and colorful revolutions like the Maidan.
The German Foreign Minister calls for more dialogue instead of “salvation” through military power and a display of weaponry. The worst in this situation however, is that their senses are so dulled, that demands for cooperation and dialogue falls outside their comprehension of understanding, acceptance, tolerance and all other liberal values, whose champions are supposedly the media (and not only) judges. With their transcendent calls for kindness, beauty and open hearts, these people fall into their own fog of denial and hollow unacceptance.
After Steinmeier’s speech about the excessive ignition of the situation with the “clanking of weapons and incitement to war,” emotions in the CDU heated up, an some politicians accused the foreign minister of “unnecessarily complicating the situation.”
According to Norbert Röttgen of the CDU, Steinmeier made “monstrous accusations” and, according to the eminent Transatlantic Jürgen Hart of the CDU and foreign policy spokesman of the Union, the Foreign Minister will lead to “misunderstandings in NATO and ridicule from Moscow.”
Juergen Trittin of the Greens supported Steinmeier. Because of the deeply wounded colleagues from the CDU however, the foreign minister is a hair away from causing the collapse of the coalition. His words apparently hit the yes-man straight into their transatlantic hearts and now we see them experiencing a paranoid seizure.
Steinmeier’s colleague from the SPD, Axel Scheffer rejected the criticism of NATO and commented: “In our foreign minister see the classic image of the SPD, which passes from Willy Brandt to Helmut Schmidt to Gerhard Schroeder.”
In defense of Steinmeier’s statements was the chairman of the Greens and former Environment Minister, Juergen Trittin who said: “The Baltic countries are not really threatened by Russia, they feel threatened. The course of NATO, however, is problematic and strange.”
A few days ago the military training “Anaconda” was conducted in Poland consisting of 31,000 soldiers from 24 countries. This large maneuver was formally conceived as national training, but eventually almost all member states of NATO joined. 150 km from the Russian border, at the military areas in the Baltics, was started the military training Saber Strike with 10,000 soldiers from 13 countries. Soon, thousands of troops from Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia will be deployed on the borders of Russia. The Bundeswehr is also there.
The only defender of Steinmeier, Juergen Trittin stated: “What we clearly see today is the increasing armament of Poland. In this sense Steinmeier’s words of an ever-approaching rattling of weapons and warmongering, is completely appropriate.”