Over the course of the past few months I have alluded both in writing and in various televised interviews to the ‘ship of fools’ composition of the German coalition government under Chancellor Scholz. This falls in line with my repeated emphasis over the years on the undemocratic results of seemingly progressive political processes across the European Continent guided by proportional representation as opposed to the Anglo-Saxon rule of ‘first past the post.’ I say undemocratic, because as is now commonly the case, no single party in such elections favoring minority groupings enjoys a majority in parliament and governments are cobbled together behind closed doors whereby the public has no say in the outcome. Ministerial portfolios are allocated following political haggling among party bosses and most often competence or prior experience with the given dossier of responsibilities plays no role.
In the German case today, though the Chancellor himself often seems clueless about international affairs, he is brilliant when compared to two of the ministers from the Greens Party whom he installed in his cabinet in positions which weigh heavily today on the most critical issue facing Germany and Europe generally, the sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The ministers in question are responsible for Foreign Affairs (Annalena Baerbock) and The Economy and Environmental Affairs (Robert Habeck).
These two former co-leaders of the German Greens are now featured almost daily on European print and electronic media and so we can more easily reach conclusions about their personalities and suitability for office than is the case with other ministers in the coalition. That conclusion is shock over the incompetence, unprofessionalism and inconsistent logic they project from day to day.
Though most everyone associates the German Greens with environmentally friendly policies, that is not the priority of these two ministers. Instead their priority is punishing Putin in any and every conceivable way, with cavalier disregard for the economic consequences in Germany. Coal power stations can be restarted. The working lives of nuclear power stations formerly scheduled for decommissioning can be extended. These formerly key electoral issues of the Greens now go by the boards to maintain energy supplies to the public and to industry if and when the Russians respond to the sanctions by cutting completely gas deliveries via Nord Stream 1.
From the very start, we heard the trivial proposal from Ms. Baerbock on how Germany could give Putin the finger by cutting back on personal hygiene and reducing daily hot showers to washing the four strategic parts of their bodies. It was hard to believe that a federal minister in the very serious country of Germany could stand before the cameras and utter such rubbish. That was when a Russian push-back was strictly hypothetical. Now that the flow of gas through Nord Stream I has been reduced to 20% of capacity, the complete shutdown is entirely possible and the impact on the German economy will be severe pain, meaning a likely recession on the order of 6%. That implies the loss of hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs.
I can well imagine that the chosen priorities of the Greens’ ministers may be dismissed by some as being idiosyncrasies of the given individuals. However, that is not the case. From the time of its founding more than 30 years ago by Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Joschka Fischer, the German Greens party took anti-Russian policy positions. In the new millennium, it was precisely the German Greens who came out time and again in the European Parliament with calls to sanction Russia for alleged abridgements of human rights such as over the falsified claims of the U.S.-U.K. investor William Browder in what Washington knows as the Magnitsky affair.
The Greens movement across Europe has various faces locally. Here in Belgium the Party, both in its Flemish and Walloon (Francophone) versions, is perceived as a single issue party, as the spokesmen and women for environmentally friendly policies. They have enjoyed variable success at the polls, but have nonetheless been an influential force in Brussels for realization of a variety of Luddite policies.
The Brussels city fathers in the 1960s and 1970s were excessively enamored of the automobile. The downtown was ripped up to make way for highways which were initially elevated. The long drawn-out construction and the resulting ‘Chinese walls’ killed off small shops along the way, to no one’s apparent concern in the ministerial offices. From the ‘90s on, the pendulum swung the other way, with the Greens leading the charge. Arterial roads connecting the city to its residential suburbs have been constricted to make bus and tram lanes which carry a fraction of the traffic of the autos they have displaced. Commuting time has gone up dramatically at all times of the day. Consequently, the economy of Brussels has suffered substantially. Slogans of car-free days have been symptomatic of a government policy that cares little about economic consequences and cares a great deal about populist ideology.
In a related domain, our Belgian Greens have had a great influence on management of park lands. Their slogan has been biodiversity. On this basis, they have promoted the cutting of what was for a couple hundred years through the 1980s Europe’s largest and most beautiful beech forest, the Forêt de Soignes. Their idea was to return this forest to its ‘native state’ before human intervention created a nearly single variety forest. And so we have nearly lost the cathedral of lofty beeches which was the glory of this city.
The forest of the past was home to chipmunks, squirrels, foxes and other small creatures. I recall very well how careful we cavaliers had to be on our weekend horse rides lest our mount shy at a chipmunk crossing our path. That challenge no longer exists. For one reason or another, the forest floor outside Brussels today is devoid of animal life. The mismanagement of our forest heritage by the Greens-influenced authorities today means that obligations of private cutters to clean up after themselves and to remove dead and fallen trees are not observed. Our forest floor is covered with dead branches and rotting tree trunks. It is only the good fortune of a wet climate that spares us devastating forest fires given the amount of kindling waiting to go up in smoke. So much for Green policies in practice.
My point in the foregoing is very simple: the Greens Party in Germany, in Belgium and I assume elsewhere in Europe is nothing more than a vehicle for incompetent, unprofessional sloganeers to seize power and to implement radical social policies of which the public has no inkling. If it were only economic hardship for the population that resulted from their policies, that would be bad enough. But by foolishly and ignorantly baiting the Russian bear and trying to inflict maximum damage on the Russian economy, which is a policy that has “Greens” written all over it, the party and its leadership are pointing Europe to what may yet become a pan-European conflagration that spins out of control.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2022
9 thoughts on “The German Greens and Unprincipled Lust for Power”
“In the German case today, though the Chancellor himself often seems clueless about international affairs, he is brilliant when compared to two of the ministers from the Greens Party whom he installed in his cabinet”
This is not condemning with faint praise, this is a death sentence to outright idiots by praising the Ober Idiot with being brilliant.
Though most everyone associates the German Greens with environmentally friendly policies, that is not the priority of these two ministers.
The greens have been since at least the 90´s steering to the right, but even before there were unsavory links between old nazis’ ideology and the Greens. They are now unwavering supporters of NATO and all the US foreign policy escapades.
BTW. It is Robert Habeck
What surprises me is that the CEOs of German multinationals do not crack down on the political lightweights in government. Is would appear that German lightweight politicians of parties that violate election promises do indeed determine what happens.
I think Germany is on the brink of major national strikes in many sectors, and a lot of public protest. The “ordinary” Germans are not blind for the socio-economic consequences of mismanagement. The worst thing is that Germany is dragging the European Union in its fall.
I agree that the Greens in Belgium have become just as much a party of power now that they are in government. “Using and threatening with nuclear weapons is illegal under international law.” We did not hear that from of the Flemish Green defense specialist Wouter De Vriendt. In a Defense Committee meeting, he spoke about the “immense technical problems” with the F35, but not about the fact that the F35 is nuclear capable, can launch nuclear weapons. De Vriendt also explicitly agreed with fanatical VUB professor Mattelaer that Belgium spends “too little” on defense. The fact that De Vriendt informed the committee that Belgium might, like Germany, have to remove [American] nuclear weapons from our territory, is a meager plaster on the wound. He should have insisted on choosing a non-nuclear-capable fighter jet.
See https://geopolitiekincontext.wordpress.com/2020/10/07/europese-defensie-met-of-zonder-kernwapens/ (use Google translate in the right upper corner).
The Greens also apparently agree to the replacement of the US nuclear bombs at Kleine Brogel with B61-12s, produced by Sandia National Laboratories. B61-12 has a warhead with four options, which can be selected depending on the target to be destroyed. This nuclear weapon is fired at a distance from the target and guided by a satellite system. It can penetrate underground and detonate at great depths to destroy command center bunkers in a nuclear first strike. These are no longer tactical nuclear weapons for a central European theater, but could hit Russia. Apparently the F35s can drop the redesigned B61-12 nuclear bombs. It is infuriating that Parliament has not devoted a single debate to the replacement.
At Groen, but also at the social-democratic party Vooruit, it is remarkably quiet about this issue.
What seems to have been forgotten is the western migration of the communists from the collapsed USSR during the early 1990’s to the environmental movement as the next revolutionary vehicle to install communism. The sheer hatred of the Russians by the West is thus obvious. That they have not learnt from the experiences of the Russians and Chinese makes them even more stupid. We are indeed living in very interesting times.
“What seems to have been forgotten is the western migration of the communists from the collapsed USSR during the early 1990’s to the environmental movement as the next revolutionary vehicle to install communism.”
You are without evidence spouting the usual “subversive Russian” BS, likely influenced by some or just something you pulled out of your nether regions.
The Russians that emigrated usually were either religious folk, many of German extraction from the time of Katherine the Great, or connected to criminal gangs, or simply those who wanted to escape a collapsing Russia at the time. I have known quite a few, In Germany and Canada, but have not met one who had any inclination to spread communism. I bet you have never met a Russian where you live, just smear them because it fits your worldview.
In Germany, the Greens were the first party by that name in Europe, founded in 1979. They were leaning to the left of the Social Democratic Party, but the leader at the time, Cohn Bendit, was suspected by many to be an infiltrator in the tradition of the Gladio enterprise. Pretty soon this part, that always struggled between its left wing and the right, with connections to some old Nazis that existed, drifted to the right.
Another good article, but the problem is not proportional representation.
We only have to look at the disaster that is unfolding in UK politics (which has Prop Rep) to see that the problem is representative democracy itself.
Comments are closed.