Voices of reason in Germany

December 9, 2014

Following is the text of a speech on November 26 by Dr. Sarah Wagenknecht, member of the German Bundestag and deputy leader of the “Linke” party, where she criticizes German Chancellor Angela Merkel for serving US demands instead of protecting her own countries interests:


One gets the impression that there is something, Mrs. Merkel, that you think is even more important than the interests of German business: it is the interest of the US government and American business.

In your speech in Sydney, Mrs. Merkel, you are terribly outraged by the fact, that 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall there continues to exist an old way of thinking of “spheres of influence” which tramples on international law. “Who would have thought!” — you were quoted. That begs the question, Mrs. Merkel, where on earth do you live? And where have you been living the past 25 years?

Where were you when the United States trampled international law in Iraq, to expand its sphere of influence over Iraqi oil? Where were you, when with German participation international law in Afghanistan was and still is being trampled upon? Where were you when Libya was bombed, when the Syrian opposition was armed and affiliated with ISIL after weapons deliveries?

Was all that, in your opinion, in accordance with international law? Of course, it was not at all about spheres of influence!

I can recommend you to read Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, who has long been a pioneer of American foreign policy. The beautiful title of this book, written in 1997, reads as follows: “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives.”

With regard to Europe, Brzezinski argues for a decisive NATO expansion eastward, first in Central Europe, then in the South, then in the Baltic States, and finally in the Ukraine. Because, as the author convincingly justifies, quote: “every step of expansion automatically expands the immediate sphere of influence of the United States.”

This is an old way of thinking in terms of “spheres of influence,” which was very successfully implemented, and you really never, ever noticed it, Mrs. Merkel? On the contrary, you belonged to those who further implemented and supported that in Europe! You were just one of the “vassals,” to use Brzezinski’s words, which endorsed this strategy.

[Interuption by the house speaker]

I was talking about Brzezinski, NATO enlargement to the east and German policy in this regard. Mrs. Merkel, now you’ve driven Germany to a renewed “Cold War” with Russia, poisoned the political climate and jeopardized the peace in Europe. You have instigated a senseless economic war, which massively harms primarily the German and European economy.

To the auditorium: Do not moan so, you’re not the one working for companies whose orders have dropped sharply, you’re not the ones running or working for these enterprises. You don’t have to deal with the hard consequences of what you have done.

You are warning us of fire, Mrs. Merkel, but you are among those who are running around with lighted matches. Verbal escalation is always what becomes before things worsen! That is what Hans-Dietrich Genscher told you after your speech in Sydney. No, it doesn’t mean we love Putin, or Russian capitalism with its oligarchs, but diplomacy means taking the interests of the other side seriously, rather then ignorantly pushing them away.

And it cannot be ignored when Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl almost with the exact same words warn, that without the German-Russian partnership no stability and security in Europe is possible.

The former chairman of the SPD Matthias Platzeck pointed out, that trade between Russia and the US this year has grown, while trade between Russia and the EU, primarily Germany, has experienced a huge collapse. As a reaction, the CDU tries to squeeze people like Mr. Platzeck, and other supposed “Putin apologists” out of the “Petersburg Dialoque” conference.

Instead of backing understanding, you are encouraging ignorance! In Ukraine, you cooperate with a regime, in which important functions of the police and security services are occupied by recognized Nazis! President Poroshenki talks of “total war!” He stopped all payments to pensioners and hospitals in eastern Ukraine! And for prime minister Yatsenyuk the insurgents are, quote: “creatures, which must be destroyed!”

Instead of working with these thugs, we finally again need a German foreign policy, in which security and peace in Europe is more important than the instructions from Washington. In a year which marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War I and 75 years after that of World War II, in such a year it would, I think, be extremely appropriate to remember a saying of Willy Brandt: “War — this is not the ultimate ratio [Latin for: the most reasonable argument], war is the ultimate irratio [the most foolish argument].

War cannot be used as a political tool any longer, Mrs. Merkel! So go back to the path of diplomacy, the lifting of sanctions! And if indeed within the SPD there are voices calling for common sense in foreign policy, from Helmut Schmidt to Matthias Platzek, then please listen, Mrs. Merkel, to the voices of your coalition partners! Stop playing with fire!

I summarize: You have squandered all the gains of “detente” politics and led Europe into a new Cold War, and to the brink of a flash fire, because you do not have the courage to stand up to the US government. This is not something that you can be proud of. The citizens of our country in any case deserve better politics, politics where the call for prosperity for all is finally taken seriously, and return to a friendly neighborhood policy with all of our European neighbors.

The YouTube video of this speech:

Other speeches:



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