A reply to James Carden on the transformation of German Greens into Atlanticist war mongers

A couple of days ago, the American Committee for US-Russia Accord, the successor organization to a similarly named think tank which I co-founded with the late Professor Stephen Cohen, published an essay by former U.S State Department expert on Russia and long time free-lance publicist James Carden explaining how and why the once-upon-a-time peaceable German Greens became the strident war mongers in Chancellor Scholz’s cabinet.  

See  https://usrussiaaccord.org/acura-viewpoint-james-w-carden-ostpolitik-down-but-not-out/

I fully agree with James Carden’s assessment of the deplorable role that the Greens have played in overturning the heritage of Ostpolitik going back 50 years to Willy Brandt and his Social Democratic party, a  doctrine of rapprochement with Russia which essentially guided German foreign policy whatever the composition of coalition governments up to about 2012, when Merkel let lapse the strategic partnership with Russia.

However, I disagree with Carden and with the academic and political sources that informed his report on the peaceable nature of the German Greens until recent days.  To my understanding, an anti-Russian dimension was incorporated in the party fiber by one of its early members, Joschka Fischer, and by one of its leaders in the new millennium, Daniel Cohn-Bendit.   To the environmentalist agenda, which the broad public understood to be the content of Greens, they welded on a foreign policy plank that was Neocon in all but name. Like the American Neocons, Fischer and Cohn-Bendit were born again former radical Leftists.

Several readers of an early version of this text have reminded me that the support which Joschka Fischer gave to the American-led bombing of Serbia in 1999 marked their “coming out of the US/NATO Closet.” At that point, many if not most of the original pacifists among the Greens quit the party.

The lightly camouflaged Russophobia at the core of the German Greens came to the fore at about 2012, when the United States aggressively pursued its sanctions policy against Russia under what we know as the Magnitsky Law. German Greens in the European Parliament made common cause with the viciously anti-Russian faction of about 70 MEPs headed by former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt to promote a “European Magnitsky Act.” They brought over to Europe the evil genius behind the Magnitsky Act, Bill Browder, and he twice made appearances at conferences in the Parliament to lobby for this Act.  I know.  I was there as an invited guest of one MEP who vehemently opposed the anti-Russian policies. At the time, the anti-Russian resolutions were supported by perhaps two-thirds of the Parliamentarians.  Such measures are supported today by about 90% of the MEPs.

I mention the year 2012 as being a turning point. Coincidentally, in that year the Greens’ leader Cohn-Bendit co-authored a book with Verhofstadt entitled Debout l’Europe (Arise Europe!), thereby publicly sealing this nominally Right-Left alliance to further an agenda of creating a federal Europe with an anti-Russian foreign orientation.

Since Verhofstadt’s name is probably little known to readers outside of Belgium, allow me to mention that as the Prime Minister from the Flemish Liberals 1999-2008 his domestic policy was inspired by Margaret Thatcher. After leaving his leadership post in Belgium, he moved his office just a kilometer away to the European Parliament, where he formed the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. In his capacity of Chairman of this Group, he drew upon viscerally anti-Russian Estonian politicians to guide his policies towards Russia, which entailed regime change activities including support for the anti-Putin politician Boris Nemtsov, who was the Navalny, or White Knight, if you will, of the time.  This is the man with whom the Greens leader Cohn-Bendit worked hand in hand.

For those who wish to pursue these questions in greater depth, I direct you to two consecutive chapters in my 2015 collection of essays entitled Does Russia Have a Future? beginning with “The Indefatigable Bill Browder: Selling the Magnitsky Act to Europe.”

To bring us up to date and see who later went where, it is worth mentioning that after the 2017 election of Macron to the Presidency in France and the election of Macron-backed candidates to the European Parliament from his en marche political movement, Verhofstadt merged his own bloc with Macron’s to form the “Renew Europe” bloc that is a major grouping in the European Parliament today and is consistently anti-Russian.

During the period from 2012 to present, I have followed voting patterns in the European Parliament fairly closely and there was never any doubt that representatives of the German Greens were vocal and highly active in promoting resolutions condemning Russia for alleged human rights violations and under any other convenient pretext. If I may be allowed to name names, Rebecca Harms (Greens MEP, 2004-2019) was surely the biggest loudmouth in all efforts to present Russia as a pariah state.

For all of these reasons, I reject out of hand any suggestion that the deplorable behavior of the Green’s bubble-headed Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbok represents a new departure in an otherwise respectable German political party in the Ostpolitik tradition.

Before closing, I take issue with a minor point in Carden’s essay, which seeks to provide an optimistic note on where German foreign policy may be headed by pointing to the mass demonstrations in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany against the supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine. In particular, he mentions the Manifesto for peace issued jointly by the Leftist politician and Bundestag member Sahra Wagenknecht and the feminist leader Alice Schwarzer. Apart from the 50,000 who may have rallied at the Brandenburg Gates at the bidding of Wagenknecht and Schwarzer, there were more than 500,000 Germans and people from around the world who signed that open Manifesto online.

Regrettably Carden has not taken note of the first paragraph of that appeal, which flatly condemns Russia as the aggressor. Coming from Wagenknecht, who has been highly principled and never minced words in her public statements, this is a vile concession to the McCarthyism rampant in today’s Germany. Any public statement by German politicians of any stripe must open with this kind of Hail Mary, lest it be denounced as coming from a Putin stooge. 

What Carden may not realize is that the public information space in Germany, in Europe as a whole, is far worse than in the United States.  The USA is split politically 50-50 between pro- and anti-Trump forces. The result is a degree of conflicting views on foreign policy in the air waves that is incredible to anyone seated in Brussels, as I am. We have no Tucker Carlson shows (Fox News) drawing in audiences of 4 million viewers every evening and setting out in detail why the Biden administration’s foreign (and most every other) policy is a disaster. No, in Germany, apart from the “extreme Right” party Alternativ fuer Deutschland, there is hardly a dissenting voice to give Herr Scholz and his Foreign Minister from the Greens reasons to change course or to fear for their political survival.

Finally, I use the opportunity to mention the interpretation of Germany’s present policy with respect to the Ukraine war and its becoming the major supplier of heavy military equipment to Kiev. I take these remarks from what I hear and see on Russia’s leading political talk shows on state television, which generally are representative of the thinking of the political, academic and social elites. They now see what is going on in Germany as the rise of Revanchisme, the enthronement of those who had their fill of Germany’s public remorse and regret for its barbaric behavior at home and abroad in the 1930s and 1940s under Hitler. Alongside the now militarizing Japan, we are witnessing the formation of a new Axis which is in confrontation with a new Entente, meaning Russia and China. If this is so, then the future orientation of German politics will be decided on the field of battle in Ukraine, not in the coffee houses of Berlin.

©Gilbert Doctorow, 2023

Translations below into German (Andreas Mylaeus), French (Youri) and Spanish (Hugo Guido)

Eine Antwort auf James Carden über die Verwandlung der deutschen Grünen in atlantische Kriegshetzer

Vor ein paar Tagen veröffentlichte das American Committee for US-Russia Accord, die Nachfolgeorganisation einer gleichnamigen Denkfabrik, die ich zusammen mit dem verstorbenen Professor Stephen Cohen gegründet habe, einen Aufsatz des ehemaligen Russland-Experten des US-Außenministeriums und langjährigen freien Publizisten James Carden, in dem er erklärt, wie und warum die einstmals friedfertigen deutschen Grünen zu den schrillen Kriegstreibern im Kabinett von Bundeskanzler Scholz wurden.

Siehe: https://usrussiaaccord.org/acura-viewpoint-james-w-carden-ostpolitik-down-but-not-out/

Ich stimme James Cardens Einschätzung der bedauerlichen Rolle, die die Grünen bei der Umkehrung des Erbes der Ostpolitik gespielt haben, die 50 Jahre auf Willy Brandt und seine Sozialdemokratische Partei zurückgeht, voll und ganz zu. Eine Doktrin der Annäherung an Russland, die im Wesentlichen die deutsche Außenpolitik leitete, unabhängig von der Zusammensetzung der Koalitionsregierungen, bis etwa 2012, als Merkel die strategische Partnerschaft mit Russland auslaufen ließ.

Ich stimme jedoch nicht mit Carden und den akademischen und politischen Quellen überein, die seinem Bericht über den friedfertigen Charakter der deutschen Grünen bis vor kurzem zugrunde lagen. Meines Erachtens wurde der Partei von einem ihrer Gründer, Joschka Fischer, und einem ihrer Führer im neuen Jahrtausend, Daniel (Rudy “der Rote”) Cohn-Bendit, eine antirussische Dimension verliehen. Der umweltpolitischen Agenda, die von der breiten Öffentlichkeit als der Inhalt der Grünen verstanden wurde, fügten sie ein außenpolitisches Programm hinzu, das bis auf den Namen vollständig neokonservativ war. Wie die amerikanischen Neocons waren auch Fischer und Cohn-Bendit wiedergeborene ehemalige radikale Linke.

Mehrere Leser einer früheren Version dieses Textes haben mich daran erinnert, dass die Unterstützung, die Joschka Fischer der von den USA geführten Bombardierung Serbiens 1999 zuteil werden ließ, ihr “Coming-out” in Richtung US/NATO markiert.

Die leicht getarnte Russophobie im Kern der deutschen Grünen kam etwa 2012 zum Vorschein, als die Vereinigten Staaten ihre Sanktionspolitik gegen Russland im Rahmen des so genannten Magnitsky-Gesetzes aggressiv vorantrieben. Die deutschen Grünen im Europäischen Parlament machten gemeinsame Sache mit der bösartigen antirussischen Fraktion von etwa 70 Abgeordneten unter Führung des ehemaligen belgischen Premierministers Guy Verhofstadt, um ein “europäisches Magnitsky-Gesetz” zu fördern. Sie haben das böse Genie hinter dem Magnitsky-Gesetz, Bill Browder, nach Europa geholt, und er ist zweimal auf Konferenzen im Parlament aufgetreten, um für dieses Gesetz zu werben. Ich weiß das. Ich war dort als geladener Gast eines MdEP, der sich vehement gegen die antirussische Politik aussprach, die damals von vielleicht zwei Dritteln der Parlamentarier unterstützt wurde. Heute werden solche Maßnahmen von etwa 90 % der Abgeordneten unterstützt.

Ich erwähne das Jahr 2012 als einen Wendepunkt. In jenem Jahr verfasste ein führender Politiker der Grünen, Cohn-Bendit, gemeinsam mit Verhofstadt ein Buch mit dem Titel Debout l’Europe (Steh auf, Europa!) und besiegelte damit öffentlich dieses nominelle Rechts-Links-Bündnis zur Förderung einer Agenda zur Schaffung eines föderalen Europas mit einer antirussischen Außenorientierung.

Da der Name Verhofstadt Lesern außerhalb Belgiens wahrscheinlich kaum bekannt ist, möchte ich erwähnen, dass seine Innenpolitik als Premierminister der flämischen Liberalen 1999-2008 von Margaret Thatcher inspiriert war. Nach seinem Ausscheiden aus der belgischen Regierung verlegte er sein Büro nur einen Kilometer entfernt ins Europäische Parlament, wo er die Fraktion der Allianz der Liberalen und Demokraten für Europa gründete. In seiner Eigenschaft als Vorsitzender dieser Fraktion stützte er sich auf ausgesprochen antirussische estnische Politiker, um seine Politik gegenüber Russland zu lenken, die Aktivitäten zum Regimewechsel beinhaltete, einschließlich der Unterstützung für den Anti-Putin-Politiker Boris Nemzow, der der Nawalny oder, wenn man so will, der Weiße Ritter jener Zeit war. Das ist der Mann, mit dem führenden Politiker der Grünen, Cohn-Bendit, Hand in Hand arbeitete.

Wer sich eingehender mit diesen Fragen befassen möchte, sei auf zwei aufeinanderfolgende Kapitel in meiner 2015 erschienenen Aufsatzsammlung mit dem Titel Does Russia Have a Future? verwiesen, die mit “The Indefatigable Bill Browder: Selling the Magnitsky Act to Europe” beginnt.

Um uns auf den neuesten Stand zu bringen und zu sehen, wer später wohin ging, ist es erwähnenswert, dass Verhofstadt nach der Wahl Macrons zum französischen Staatspräsidenten 2017 und der Wahl der von Macron unterstützten Kandidaten seiner politischen Bewegung “En Marche” ins Europäische Parlament seinen eigenen Block mit Macrons Block zusammenlegte, um den Block “Renew Europe” zu bilden, der heute eine wichtige Gruppierung im Europäischen Parlament ist und konsequent antirussisch eingestellt ist.

Im Zeitraum von 2012 bis heute habe ich das Abstimmungsverhalten im Europäischen Parlament ziemlich genau verfolgt, und es bestand nie ein Zweifel daran, dass Vertreter der deutschen Grünen lautstark und sehr aktiv Entschließungen unterstützten, in denen Russland wegen angeblicher Menschenrechtsverletzungen und unter jedem anderen geeigneten Vorwand verurteilt wurde. Wenn ich Namen nennen darf, war Rebecca Harms (Europaabgeordnete der Grünen, 2004-2019) sicherlich das größte Großmaul bei allen Bemühungen, Russland als Pariastaat darzustellen.

Aus all diesen Gründen weise ich jede Behauptung von vornherein zurück, dass das beklagenswerte Verhalten der grünen Außenministerin Annalena Baerbok eine Änderung einer ansonsten respektablen deutschen Partei in der Tradition der Ostpolitik darstellt.

Bevor ich schließe, möchte ich noch einen kleinen Punkt in Cardens Aufsatz ansprechen, der versucht, mit dem Hinweis auf die Massendemonstrationen in Berlin und anderswo in Deutschland gegen die Lieferung tödlicher Waffen an die Ukraine einen optimistischen Hinweis darauf zu geben, wohin sich die deutsche Außenpolitik bewegen könnte. Er verweist insbesondere auf das Manifest für den Frieden, das die Linken-Politikerin und Bundestagsabgeordnete Sahra Wagenknecht und die Frauenrechtlerin Alice Schwarzer gemeinsam veröffentlicht haben. Abgesehen von den 50.000 Menschen, die sich auf den Aufruf von Wagenknecht und Schwarzer vor dem Brandenburger Tor versammelt haben mögen, waren es mehr als 500.000 Deutsche und Menschen aus aller Welt, die dieses offene Manifest online unterzeichnet haben.

Bedauerlicherweise hat Carden den ersten Absatz dieses Aufrufs nicht zur Kenntnis genommen, in dem Russland pauschal als Aggressor verurteilt wird. Ausgerechnet von Wagenknecht, die in ihren öffentlichen Äußerungen nie ein Blatt vor den Mund genommen hat, ist dies ein schändliches Zugeständnis an den McCarthyismus, der im heutigen Deutschland grassiert. Jede öffentliche Äußerung deutscher Politiker, gleich welcher Couleur, muss mit einem solchen Ave Maria beginnen, damit sie nicht als von einem Putin-Handlanger stammend denunziert wird.

Was Carden vielleicht nicht weiß, ist, dass der öffentliche Informationsraum in Deutschland, in Europa insgesamt, viel schlechter ist als in den Vereinigten Staaten. Die USA sind politisch 50-50 zwischen Pro- und Anti-Trump-Kräften gespalten. Das Ergebnis ist ein Ausmaß an widersprüchlichen Ansichten zur Außenpolitik in den Radiowellen, das für jemanden, der wie ich in Brüssel sitzt, unglaublich ist. Wir haben keine Tucker Carlson-Shows (Fox News), die jeden Abend 4 Millionen Zuschauer anziehen und detailliert darlegen, warum die Außenpolitik der Biden-Administration (und fast jede andere Politik) eine Katastrophe ist. Nein, in Deutschland gibt es, abgesehen von der “rechtsextremen” Partei “Alternative für Deutschland”, kaum eine Gegenstimme, die Herrn Scholz und seinem Außenminister von den Grünen einen Grund gibt, den Kurs zu ändern, wenn sie nicht um ihr politisches Überleben bangen wollen.

Abschließend möchte ich die Gelegenheit nutzen, um auf die Interpretation der gegenwärtigen Politik Deutschlands im Hinblick auf den Krieg in der Ukraine und seine Rolle als Hauptlieferant von schwerem Militärgerät für Kiew einzugehen. Ich entnehme diese Bemerkungen dem, was ich in den führenden politischen Talkshows des russischen Staatsfernsehens höre und sehe, die im Allgemeinen für das Denken der politischen, akademischen und gesellschaftlichen Eliten repräsentativ sind. Sie sehen in dem, was in Deutschland vor sich geht, den Aufstieg des Revanchismus, die Inthronisierung derjenigen, die von der öffentlichen Reue und dem Bedauern Deutschlands für sein barbarisches Verhalten im In- und Ausland in den 30er und 40er Jahren unter Hitler genug haben. An der Seite des sich militarisierenden Japan bildet sich eine neue Achse, die mit einer neuen Entente, d.h. Russland und China, konfrontiert wird. Wenn dem so ist, dann wird sich die künftige Ausrichtung der deutschen Politik auf dem Schlachtfeld in der Ukraine entscheiden, nicht in den Kaffeehäusern von Berlin.

Réponse à James Carden sur la transformation des Verts allemands

en bellicistes atlantistes

Il y a quelques jours, l’American Committee for US-Russia Accord, l’organisation qui a succédé à un groupe de réflexion au nom similaire que j’ai cofondé avec le regretté professeur Stephen Cohen, a publié un essai de l’ancien expert du département d’État américain sur la Russie et publiciste indépendant de longue date, James Carden, expliquant comment et pourquoi les Verts allemands, autrefois pacifiques, sont devenus les fervents fauteurs de guerre du cabinet du chancelier Scholz.

Voir ici :  https://usrussiaaccord.org/acura-viewpoint-james-w-carden-ostpolitik-down-but-not-out/

Je suis entièrement d’accord avec l’évaluation de James Carden concernant le rôle déplorable que les Verts ont joué en renversant l’héritage de la Ostpolitik qui remonte à 50 ans, à Willy Brandt et à son parti socialiste, une doctrine de rapprochement avec la Russie qui a essentiellement guidé la politique étrangère allemande quelle que soit la composition des gouvernements de coalition jusqu’en 2012 environ, lorsque Merkel a laissé tomber le partenariat stratégique avec la Russie.

Cependant, je ne suis pas d’accord avec Carden et avec les sources académiques et politiques qui ont alimenté son rapport sur la nature pacifique des Verts allemands jusqu’à ces derniers jours.  Selon moi, une dimension anti-russe a été incorporée dans la fibre du parti par l’un de ses fondateurs, Joschka Fischer, et par l’un de ses dirigeants au début du nouveau millénaire, Daniel (Rudy « le Rouge ») Cohn-Bendit.   Au programme écologiste, que le grand public considérait comme le contenu des Verts, ils ont ajouté un programme de politique étrangère qui était néocons dans tout sauf le nom. Comme les néocons américains, Fischer et Cohn-Bendit sont d’anciens gauchistes radicaux.

La russophobie à peine camouflée au cœur des Verts allemands est apparue au grand jour vers 2012, lorsque les États-Unis ont poursuivi de manière agressive leur politique de sanctions à l’encontre de la Russie dans le cadre de ce que nous appelons la loi Magnitsky. Les Verts allemands au Parlement européen ont fait cause commune avec la faction vicieusement anti-russe d’environ 70 eurodéputés dirigée par l’ancien Premier ministre belge Guy Verhofstadt pour promouvoir une « loi Magnitsky européenne ». Ils ont fait venir en Europe le génie maléfique à l’origine de la loi Magnitsky, Bill Browder, qui a fait deux apparitions lors de conférences au Parlement pour faire pression en faveur de cette loi. J’en sais quelque chose. J’y étais en tant qu’invité d’un député européen qui s’opposait avec véhémence aux politiques antirusses qui, à l’époque, étaient soutenues par peut-être deux tiers des parlementaires. De telles mesures sont aujourd’hui soutenues par environ 90 % des députés européens.

Je mentionne l’année 2012 comme étant un tournant. Par coïncidence, cette année-là, Cohn-Bendit, le leader des Verts, a coécrit un livre avec Verhofstadt intitulé Debout l’Europe, scellant ainsi publiquement cette alliance nominalement droite-gauche pour promouvoir un programme de création d’une Europe fédérale avec une politique étrangère anti-russe.

Comme le nom de Verhofstadt est probablement peu connu des lecteurs en dehors de la Belgique, permettez-moi de mentionner qu’en tant que Premier ministre des libéraux flamands de 1999 à 2008, sa politique intérieure était inspirée par Margaret Thatcher. Après avoir quitté son poste de dirigeant en Belgique, il a déménagé son bureau à un kilomètre de là, au Parlement européen, où il a formé le groupe de l’Alliance des démocrates et des libéraux pour l’Europe. En sa qualité de président de ce groupe, il s’est appuyé sur des hommes politiques estoniens viscéralement anti-russes pour orienter ses politiques à l’égard de la Russie, ce qui impliquait des activités de changement de régime, y compris le soutien à Boris Nemtsov, un politicien anti-Poutine qui était le Navalny, ou le chevalier blanc, si l’on veut, de l’époque. C’est l’homme avec lequel le leader des Verts Cohn-Bendit a travaillé main dans la main.

Pour nous mettre à jour et voir qui plus tard est allé où, il convient de mentionner qu’après l’élection de Macron à la présidence en France en 2017 et l’élection au Parlement européen de candidats soutenus par Macron et issus de son mouvement politique en marche, Verhofstadt a fusionné son propre bloc avec celui de Macron pour former le bloc « Renew Europe » qui est un groupe de poids au Parlement européen aujourd’hui et qui est systématiquement anti-russe.

De 2012 à aujourd’hui, j’ai suivi d’assez près l’évolution des votes au Parlement européen et il n’y a jamais eu aucun doute sur le fait que les représentants des Verts allemands étaient très actifs dans la promotion de résolutions condamnant la Russie pour de prétendues violations des droits de l’homme et pour tout autre prétexte opportun.

Pour toutes ces raisons, je rejette d’emblée toute suggestion selon laquelle le comportement déplorable de la ministre des affaires étrangères des Verts, Annalena Baerbock, représenterait un nouveau départ pour un parti politique allemand par ailleurs respectable dans la tradition de la Ostpolitik.

Avant de conclure, je m’oppose à un point mineur de l’article de M. Carden, qui cherche à fournir une note optimiste sur la direction que pourrait prendre la politique étrangère allemande en soulignant les manifestations massives à Berlin et ailleurs en Allemagne contre la fourniture d’armes létales à l’Ukraine. Il mentionne en particulier le Manifeste pour la paix publié conjointement par la politicienne de gauche et membre du Bundestag Sahra Wagenknecht et la dirigeante féministe Alice Schwarzer. Outre les 50 000 personnes qui se sont peut-être rassemblées à la Porte de Brandebourg à l’appel de Wagenknecht et Schwarzer, plus de 500 000 Allemands et personnes du monde entier ont signé ce manifeste ouvert en ligne.

Malheureusement, M. Carden n’a pas pris note du premier paragraphe de cet appel, qui condamne catégoriquement la Russie en tant qu’agresseur. De la part de Mme Wagenknecht, qui s’est toujours montrée très respectueuse des principes et n’a jamais mâché ses mots dans ses déclarations publiques, il s’agit d’une concession ignoble au maccarthysme qui sévit dans l’Allemagne d’aujourd’hui. Toute déclaration publique d’un homme politique allemand, quel qu’il soit, doit commencer par ce genre d’Ave Maria, sous peine d’être dénoncée comme émanant d’un larbin de Poutine.

Ce que Carden ne réalise peut-être pas, c’est que l’espace public d’information en Allemagne, en Europe dans son ensemble, est bien pire qu’aux États-Unis. Les États-Unis sont divisés politiquement à 50-50 entre les forces pro- et anti-Trump. Il en résulte un degré de conflictualité en matière de politique étrangère sur les ondes qui est incroyable pour toute personne installée à Bruxelles, comme c’est mon cas. Nous n’avons pas d’émissions de Tucker Carlson (Fox News) attirant des audiences de 4 millions de téléspectateurs chaque soir et exposant en détail pourquoi la politique étrangère de l’administration Biden (et la plupart des autres politiques) est un désastre. Non, en Allemagne, à part le parti « d’extrême droite » Alternativ fuer Deutschland, il n’y a guère de voix discordante pour donner à M. Scholz et à son ministre des affaires étrangères issu des Verts des raisons de changer de cap ou de craindre pour leur survie politique.

Enfin, je profite de l’occasion pour mentionner l’interprétation de la politique actuelle de l’Allemagne en ce qui concerne la guerre en Ukraine et le fait qu’elle soit devenue le principal fournisseur d’équipement militaire lourd de Kiev. Je tire ces remarques de ce que j’entends et vois dans les principaux talk-shows politiques de la télévision d’État russe, qui sont généralement représentatifs de la pensée des élites politiques, académiques et sociales. Elles considèrent aujourd’hui ce qui se passe en Allemagne comme la montée du Revanchisme, l’intronisation de ceux qui ont eu leur dose de remords et de regrets publics de l’Allemagne pour son comportement barbare à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur du pays dans les années 1930 et 1940 sous Hitler. Aux côtés du Japon qui se militarise, nous assistons à la formation d’un nouvel Axe confronté à une nouvelle Entente, à savoir la Russie et la Chine. Si tel est le cas, l’orientation future de la politique allemande sera décidée sur le champ de bataille en Ukraine, et non dans les cafés de Berlin.

Una respuesta a James Carden sobre la transformación de los Verdes alemanes en belicistas atlantistas

Hace un par de días, el Comité Americano para el Acuerdo entre Estados Unidos y Rusia, la organización sucesora de un grupo de expertos de nombre similar que cofundé con el difunto profesor Stephen Cohen, publicó un ensayo del publicista independiente y antiguo experto del Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos sobre Rusia James Carden explicando cómo y por qué los otrora pacíficos Verdes alemanes se convirtieron en los estridentes belicistas en el gabinete del canciller Scholz.

Ver https://usrussiaaccord.org/acura-viewpoint-james-w-carden-ostpolitik-down-but-not-out/

Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con la evaluación de James Carden sobre el deplorable papel que los Verdes han desempeñado en el rechazo de la herencia de la Ostpolitik que se remonta 50 años atrás a Willy Brandt y su partido socialdemócrata, una doctrina de acercamiento con Rusia que esencialmente guió la política exterior alemana, independientemente de la composición de los gobiernos de coalición hasta aproximadamente 2012, cuando Merkel dejó caducar la asociación estratégica con Rusia.

Sin embargo, no estoy de acuerdo con Carden y con las fuentes académicas y políticas que documentaron su informe sobre la naturaleza pacífica de los Verdes alemanes hasta hace pocos días. A mi entender, una dimensión anti-rusa fue incorporada en la fibra del partido por uno de sus fundadores, Joschka Fischer, y por uno de sus líderes en el nuevo milenio, Daniel (Rudy ‘el Rojo’) Cohn-Bendit. A la agenda ecologista, que el público en general entendió como el contenido de los Verdes, se soldaron en un entramado de política exterior que era neoconservador en todo menos en el nombre. Al igual que los neoconservadores estadounidenses, Fischer y Cohn-Bendit nacieron de nuevo de ex izquierdistas radicales.

Varios lectores de una versión temprana de este texto me han recordado que el apoyo que Joschka Fischer dio al bombardeo de Serbia liderado por Estados Unidos en 1999 marcó su “salida del closet de Estados Unidos/OTAN”.

La rusofobia ligeramente camuflada en el núcleo de los Verdes alemanes pasó a primer plano alrededor de 2012, cuando Estados Unidos persiguió agresivamente su política de sanciones contra Rusia bajo lo que conocemos como la Ley Magnitsky. Los Verdes alemanes en el Parlamento Europeo hicieron causa común con la facción brutalmente antirrusa de unos 70 eurodiputados encabezada por el ex primer ministro belga Guy Verhofstadt para promover una “Ley Magnitsky europea”. Trajeron a Europa al genio malvado detrás de la Ley Magnitsky, Bill Browder, y dos veces hizo apariciones en conferencias en el Parlamento para presionar por esta Ley. Lo sé. Estuve allí como invitado de un Miembro del Parlamento Europeo que se opuso vehementemente a las políticas antirrusas. En ese momento, las resoluciones antirrusas fueron apoyadas quizás por dos tercios de los parlamentarios. Estas medidas cuentan hoy con el apoyo de alrededor del 90 % de los Miembros del Parlamento Europeo.

Menciono el año 2012 como un punto de inflexión. Casualmente, en ese año, el líder de los Verdes, Cohn-Bendit, fue coautor de un libro con Verhofstadt titulado Debout l’Europe (¡Levántate Europa!), sellando así públicamente esta alianza nominalmente de derecha-izquierda para promover la creación de una Europa federal con una agenda de orientación exterior antirrusa.

Dado que el nombre de Verhofstadt es probablemente poco conocido por los lectores fuera de Bélgica, permítanme mencionar que como primer ministro de los liberales flamencos 1999-2008 su política interna se inspiró en Margaret Thatcher. Después de dejar su puesto de liderazgo en Bélgica, trasladó su oficina a solo un kilómetro de distancia del Parlamento Europeo, donde formó el Grupo de la Alianza de los Demócratas y Liberales por Europa. En su calidad de presidente de este Grupo, recurrió a políticos estonios visceralmente antirrusos para guiar sus políticas hacia Rusia, lo que implicó actividades de cambio de régimen, incluido el apoyo al político anti-Putin Boris Nemtsov, que era el Navalny, o Caballero Blanco, si se quiere, de la época. Este es el hombre con el que el líder de los Verdes, Cohn-Bendit, trabajó mano a mano.

Para aquellos que deseen profundizar en estas preguntas, los dirijo a dos capítulos consecutivos de mi colección de ensayos de 2015 titulada ¿Tiene futuro Rusia?  comenzando con “The Indefatigable Bill Browder: Selling the Magnitsky Act to Europe”.

Para ponernos al día y ver quién después fue a dónde, vale la pena mencionar que después de la elección de Macron a la presidencia de Francia en 2017 y la elección de los candidatos respaldados por Macron al Parlamento Europeo de su movimiento político en marche, Verhofstadt fusionó su propio bloque con el de Macron para formar el bloque “Renovar Europa” que es una agrupación importante en el Parlamento Europeo hoy y es consistentemente antirruso.

Durante el período comprendido entre 2012 y la actualidad, he seguido los patrones de votación en el Parlamento Europeo muy de cerca y nunca hubo ninguna duda de que los representantes de los Verdes alemanes fueron muy ruidosos y activos en la promoción de resoluciones que condenan a Rusia por presuntas violaciones de los derechos humanos o bajo cualquier otro pretexto conveniente. Si se me permite dar nombres, Rebecca Harms (eurodiputada de los Verdes, 2004-2019) fue seguramente la mayor charlatana de todos los que se esforzaron por presentar a Rusia como un estado paria.

Por todas estas razones, rechazo de plano cualquier sugerencia de que el comportamiento deplorable de la ministra de Asuntos Exteriores de los Verdes, Annalena Baerbok, represente un nuevo punto de inflexión del que en otras circunstancias sería un respetable partido político alemán en la tradición Ostpolitik.

Antes de terminar, discrepo con un punto menor en el ensayo de Carden, que busca proporcionar una nota optimista sobre hacia dónde puede dirigirse la política exterior alemana al señalar las manifestaciones masivas en Berlín y en otras partes de Alemania contra el suministro de armas letales a Ucrania. En particular, menciona el Manifiesto por la paz emitido conjuntamente por la política izquierdista y miembro del Bundestag Sahra Wagenknecht y la líder feminista Alice Schwarzer. Aparte de los 50.000 que pudieron haberse reunido en las Puertas de Brandenburgo a instancias de Wagenknecht y Schwarzer, hubo más de 500.000 alemanes y personas de todo el mundo que firmaron ese Manifiesto abierto en línea.

Lamentablemente, Carden no ha tomado nota del primer párrafo de ese llamamiento, que condena rotundamente a Rusia como agresor. Viniendo de Wagenknecht, que ha sido muy apegada a sus principios y nunca se ha andado con rodeos en sus declaraciones públicas, esta es una vil concesión al macartismo desenfrenado en la Alemania de hoy. Cualquier declaración pública de los políticos alemanes de cualquier tipo debe comenzar con este tipo de Ave María, para que no sea denunciada como proveniente de un títere de Putin.

Lo que Carden puede no darse cuenta es que el espacio de información pública en Alemania, en Europa en su conjunto, es mucho peor que en los Estados Unidos. Estados Unidos está dividido políticamente 50-50 entre fuerzas pro- y anti-Trump. El resultado es un grado de puntos de vista contradictorios sobre política exterior en los espacios de difusión que es increíble para cualquiera sentado en Bruselas, como yo. No tenemos programas de Tucker Carlson (Fox News) que atraigan audiencias de 4 millones de espectadores cada noche y expongan en detalle por qué la política exterior de la administración Biden (y la mayoría de las demás) es un desastre. No, en Alemania, aparte del partido de “extrema derecha” Alternativ fuer Deutschland, apenas hay alguna voz disidente que dé a Herr Scholz y a su ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de los Verdes razones para cambiar de rumbo o temer por su supervivencia política.

Finalmente, aprovecho la oportunidad para mencionar la interpretación de la política actual de Alemania con respecto a la guerra de Ucrania y su conversión en el principal proveedor de equipo militar pesado para Kiev. Tomo estas observaciones de lo que escucho y veo en los principales programas de entrevistas políticas de Rusia en la televisión estatal, que generalmente son representativas del pensamiento de las élites políticas, académicas y sociales. Ahora ven lo que está sucediendo en Alemania como el ascenso del Revanchisme, la entronización de aquellos que se hartaron del remordimiento público y el arrepentimiento de Alemania por su comportamiento bárbaro en el país y en el extranjero en las décadas de 1930 y 1940 bajo Hitler. Junto al Japón ahora militarizado, estamos presenciando la formación de un nuevo Eje que está en confrontación con una nueva Entente, es decir, Rusia y China. Si esto es así, entonces la orientación futura de la política alemana se decidirá en el campo de batalla en Ucrania, no en los cafés de Berlín.

33 thoughts on “A reply to James Carden on the transformation of German Greens into Atlanticist war mongers

  1. As you rightly noted, but applies to the Anglo-Saxon world as well, many critics of the war in Ukraine, somehow must have a caveat: “Russia as the aggressor”. Sadly, Chomsky is one of those. I sometimes wonder if it is ‘inserted’ there to defend the argument from outright dismissal, or they actually believe in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unique, irreplaceable stunning contribution available nowhere else. As always, though this stands out. Au revoir, Europe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whence cometh this hatred of Russia? It seems so thoroughly gratuitous. Is it, in the words of Falstaff, a question not to be asked?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Recommend reading: »Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria« by Guy Mettan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would like to suggest a reason for this Russophobia may be rooted in a ‘materialist’ view of history (also quoting Gilbert quoting Tolstoy): old fashioned plunder. Who keeps the Neocons in power, funds their think-tanks, publications, lobbying etc: major Western corporations: Nuland, Kagan, et al would be replaced by others if they were not there. As in the 30’s Anglo-Saxon financialised capitalism has got itself into a deep pickle. Its long predicted collapse is unlikely to see the Phoenix of social-democracy rise from its ashes, but the opposite: repression if not fascism in some new form. Getting unfettered access to Russia’s vast economic assets could put some fresh tangible economic assets/reserves under a tremendously bloated Western financial system; ther repression at home due to war can quell domestic unrest.


  4. Several European countries have enacted laws to limit free speech. Notably Germany, and also France. Not at all surprising then that both countries have almost no opposition to war mongering by the Greens and Socialists. Any dissent from war mongering having been made illegal.


    1. Indeed, this is tragic. Europe is becoming one of the least free regions of the world as regards discussion of the very conflict that is heading us all to nuclear catastrophe.


  5. Dear Gilbert,
    As an expert on Balkan history, can i clarify that the turn in Green politics occured during the Yugoslav Wars when Fischer supported intervention in Bosnia to “prevent genocide” and then the bombing of Serbia to “prevent genocide” in Kosovo. Fischer has always been the most cynical realist, once remarking that his “Foreign Policy isn’t Green, but German”. He subsequently worked in Madeline Albright’s consultancy and the NED with that neocon clique of Nuland et al


    1. Thanks. Several other readers have also mentioned the “coming out” of the German Greens when they supported the bombing of Serbia in 1999.  I will add a sentence to the text to include this important fact.


  6. As a German political animal who is extremely closely following what happens here with regard to Nato‘s war to destruct Russia, I fully (100 percent) agree to what you express in this piece, Mr. Doctorow. Just do not qualify the AfD party as »far right«. They are just … conservative. And the only such party left here. (In case their voter’s share keeps growing, as it currently does (which shows the difference between elite and citizens), they will be illegalized — verboten — by the the other parties — all of them on the pretext of ›another 1933‹. Don’t believe that.


    1. As you see, i put the term “extreme right” in quotation marks. That is to say I am quoting what mainstream media say about the AfD, not expressing my oopinion, which is in line with your comment about them.


      1. Gilbert, right or wrong, a majority over here is little hesitant about populism, or at least the type of nationalist populism the AfD represents.

        The party did not necessarily start out on the extreme right, but has been steadily moving there.


      2. I know, all other political parties constantly depict them as »far right«, »nazis« even and after almost twenty years the AfD has be become toxic. Your comment is proof: you do not bother at all to argue! Wtf is »far right« about them? Tell me! Give me two or three arguments, please, so I can deal with them.


      3. @moon:
        “…type of nationalist populism…”
        “The party did not necessarily start out on the extreme right, but has been steadily moving there.”

        It was not the AfD that moved to the right; what are AfD positions today were “back then” those in the middle of the CDU.

        The rest of the party spectrum moved completely and seemingly on command, and to the left. And in a form and manner that I had not thought possible …

        I don’t know what you mean by defining this type of “nationalist populism” in concrete terms.
        If today it is already suspicious to carry a Germany flag in public, if it is a reason to arrest people for carrying the Basic Law (constitution) on demonstrations, then there is something wrong in and with this state. And this is a tendency that was already publicly propagated by Merkel about 10 years ago, when the AfD was not yet in the Bundestag.


  7. The way things are progressing, German politics might not be decided on Ukrainian battlefields but rather in Berlin itself. You would think that Germans would be aware of their profound vulnerability but their incredible faith in US protection seems unflappable.


  8. I found this essay extremely illuminating until to got to the last paragraph when (for me) the lights went out. Three re-readings did not enable me to switch the lights back on. Does anyone out there understand the last paragraph? (I would not make this complaint were it not for the fact that the essay this paragraph derails is so otherwise good.)
    But I seriously want to understand that last paragraph so I hope someone explains it.


    1. Gilbert describes how the Russian media – as a gauge of Russian elites – interpret and understand developments in German politics.
      Unfortunately, I can only agree with this view – both that in the Russian media and the author’s obvious support for these statements.


  9. Leaving aside the question of Bolshevism as a real threat accross Europe (perhaps 700,000 Poles had good reason to volunteer in the Nazi forces), I too have noticed that the most ardent Russophobes reside in those nations which allied with Germany in WWII.

    They thought the West should have joined their war against Stalin. Today, they want to see that situation reversed. A redo. Many Eastern Europeans never truly accepted the defeat of the Axis powers.

    It’s not ideological. They just want to get Russia.


  10. I also think there is a strong external influence here. The rejection by major European countries, including Germany (Canada included as well) of the 2003 Iraq invasion by the US was a shock and a cold shower for the hegemon and very likely they started a soft power action to rectify this political gap.

    Nowadays that would not happen. They even managed to bamboozle Finland and Sweden to join NATO.


  11. Mr. Doctorow, as always, I appreciate your writing. This is spot on with regard to my own observations regarding the German Greens. The latest iteration of the much more marginalized Green party in America is the same, with Howie Hawkins toeing the imperialist line as well. I must, however take issue with this statement: “The USA is split politically 50-50 between pro- and anti-Trump forces”. The media in the United States is dominated by voices officially endorsed by the oligarchic aristocracy, and it does not deviate from Republican and Democratic partisan lines. This is not however, reflective of the US populace. Some simple math will express my point.
    Of the eligible adult population in the US, only about 60% are actually registered to vote. Of those that are actually registered to vote, slightly more than 25% are registered as Democrats, and slightly under 25% are registered as Republicans- to make the math easy, I will stick to the 25% figure for both. This means that only about 15% of adult Americans care enough about either party to register for one of those parties (and this ignores realities of closed primaries, that force some independents to register with a party to have a say in the primaries-I myself fall into this category). Now to drill down even further, remember that only about 60% of registered voters turned out in the previous election. I do not know what proportion of independents vs partisans sat out the election, but we can be sure that not all of the registered partisans cared enough to cast a vote. Independents are independent because they specifically do not support either party and their candidates- they are mostly voting for the lesser evil. So as we can see, AT MOST, roughly 15% of Americans truly support and 15% oppose Trump, no matter how much the media would have people believe that the country is evenly divided, this simply is not the case (remember that the media profits from any seemingly close race/decision of any kind. The closer and more dramatic a fight, the better the ratings and ad revenue). Most Americans despise both parties because they are well aware that neither of these parties represent them. No matter which party controls the levers of power in the US, they are only supported by a small minority of the populace. Of course, the monied elite support is what matters, and they are just factions vying for control to enrich themselves, and use the government to beat on domestic groups they do not like- Never assume for a minute that they are not more or less united on foreign policy- and it was Trump, not Obama or Biden, who actually started sending weapons to Ukraine.


    1. Foreign policy does not sway American elections.
      The most important swing vote is the soccer Mom, educated liberal suburban women. They decide what school for their kids, what food, what trends to follow. They are impressionable and easily manipulated and will always go for feelz, personalities, and good intentions over substantive and results-driven policies. The uniparty war machine is completely insulated from their spectrum of engagement.


      1. Soccer Moms are a critical demographic in some elections. They weren’t in 2016. They could be in 2024. We won’t know until the campaigns end.
        Incidentally in Canada too, the Green Party has jumped onto the anti Russian bandwagon. So have the NDP (formerly social democrats).
        The reasons are very simple- the few dissidents are afraid of punishment, not from the electorate which rather admires independence and listens to cogent dissension, but from the media (which is now significantly subsidised by the government) and from the apparatchiki in the political parties.
        There are significant connections between Green politics and the blood and soil organics which informed fascists, like Henry Williamson, in the 1930s. It is hard to believe that this was not of importance in German politics.


      2. The Globalists have clearly focused their propaganda on women. Not all women are held captive by their emotions, but Soros has discovered that quite enough are. With election victory margins having become increasingly narrow, women are the primary target of Globalist propaganda. This is how we get weak women in power, starting with Angela Merkel, Von der Leyen, and darling girls like Sanna Marin, the hideous Jacinda Ardern, and the hysterical Baerbock. The gaggle of U.S. power office holders, Nuland, Samantha Power, designated liar Susan Rice, Psy-Ops queen Pelosi, etc. Of course, the men like Trudeau are arguably even worse. Olaf Scholz, Macron, Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and above all, the empty suit grifter Biden exhibit zero leadership qualities. Putin conversely, is a conservative Christian who loves his country and is not afraid to fight for it. So, of course the weak all despise him and work themselves into a frenzy about him.


  12. There is a nexus between green and progressive/woke activism … often different groups, but support found among the same demographic. The woke horror at social conservative principles (like in Russia) merges with the horror at intel-orchestrated/amplified alleged/manufactured human rights atrocities/moral panics. As in the US, where Trump has caused the traditionally anti-establishment/CIA/war liberals to accept the intel community as the heralds of gospel truth, in Europe too, progressives have suddenly become loyal to truth as shaped by official government authorities and intel. In a strange switch, the progressive left have become far more obedient to the official line, whereas the populist right has become skeptical and disaffected instead of loyal.
    The woke & green crowds have suddenly become rabidly anti-Russian out of moral outrage where traditionally they were geo-politically indifferent or not engaged. Moral outrage is not susceptible to reason or argument.


    1. Well remember, that although the so-called social conservatives or populist right might not have a problem with Russia, they devolve into drooling idiots when the subject of China comes up. The enemy du jour among partisans in the US is simply a matter of different tastes.


      1. You make a good point Mr. Bogdanov. Once people realize that everything they have been told about the Ukraine war is a lie, they may well begin to question the vilification of China as well. China’s opportunism is not the same thing as imperialism. China will cheat when it can, but the U.S. is hardly a bastion of fair play. It is the U.S. that maintains a collection of military bases around the world. China and Russia, not so much. A fair assessment of the facts is that the U.S. operates as the world’s most prominent meddlesome bully. That demonstrates that any complaint out of the U.S. about Russian or Chinese imperialism are pure projection. The rest of the world recognizes the hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. has had a chance to be a force for goodwill in the world. That opportunity has been squandered by the Biden Regime with strong support from chicken-hawk morons in the U.S. Senate. Here is a portion of the childlike, paranoid reply I received from Rick Scott, one of the Senators from my state. I had written to express my disagreement with Ukraine war funding. ‘Russia is a cancerous, evil regime that threatens our national security by attempting to control as much of Europe and Eurasia as it can. It also supports the regimes in Iran, Communist China, Cuba, and Venezuela. All of them continually seek to harm the United States and force us into a position of dependence upon them for our livelihood. Vladimir Putin’s unjustifiable and unlawful invasion of Ukraine is just one more example of this fact. I believe that the United States must continue to stand strongly with Ukraine and provide the lethal military aid it needs to win this war. Putin’s murderous attacks are a threat to our national security and the security of our democratic allies.
        While we must continue to support democracy in Ukraine, I will not allow Russia’s unjust invasion to deprioritize or slow progress on solving urgent domestic issues such as securing the border, fighting inflation and rebuilding our national defense.’
        The U.S. can do better than this. But it remains to be seen if we will make enough meaningful change before it is too late. The rest of the world is already moving on.


      2. might not have a problem with Russia, they devolve into drooling idiots when the subject of China comes up.

        Great comment Arkady, Jacob Heilbrunn published a great essay on this indirectly via the new intellectual GOP star, Eldrige Colby. He worked for/under Bush, although seemingly dissenting against the Iraq war, and later for /under Trump.


        Haven’t read articles by Heilbrunn for longer now. He never dissappoints.


  13. Recalling a 1998 interview with The New York Times, Joschka Fischer stated his intention to close Germany’s nuclear power plants (19 at the time, if I recall correctly) over a period of about 20 years. Why did Fischer actively pursue this policy idea if it meant increasing Germany’s dependence on Russia for her energy needs?


  14. Guy Verhofstadt…
    now that’s one of those…how he could attain a position of so much influence in Europe is beyond me. There is something rotten in the state of…Belgium, dear Hamlet and it has been so at least since the ’70’s. We had a Vanden Boeynants, we had a King Albert, we have WEF member De Croo now…not much hope, is there? In comparison, King Leopold II was rather likeable (ouch!).


  15. The story is not so simple. To his credit, Verhofstadt stood alongside Gerhardt Schroeder and Jacques Chirac in denouncing Bush’s plans to invade Iraq. In 2010 this cost him the position of EU Commission President for which he was a leading candidate – the USA would not forgive or forget and ensured he was not elected.


    1. Dear Mr Doctorow,

      I agree, but isn’t this the whole point?
      They told him to behave -and afterwards he did.


  16. Mr. Doctorow, an excellent article! Thank you!

    You describe in detail the inner-German political structure. I also agree with you in your conclusions that Germany’s political fate will be decided on the battlefield in Ukraine. Scholz is being blackmailed by both the US (on the basis of his obvious lies in a banking affair) and driven before him by the war-mongering Greens. However, he doesn’t seem to have any trouble with it personally …

    The description of the German reality around the Wagenknecht manifesto captures the misery of the German “opposition” as well as the “far-right” AfD.

    Germany is no longer far away from conditions like in the 1930s and 1940s; in some areas, the country is already more “developed” than it was then. The awakening will be terrible. Not only for Germany.


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