Politics and media denigrate Berlin peace demonstration
By Arnold Schölzel
On Monday, rude vocabulary against the participants of the Berlin peace rally on Saturday again dominated the major German media. The focus of the demonstration was the demand for a stop to arms deliveries.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung called the participants a “peace mob” and quoted statements by Katina Schubert, deputy party chairwoman and head of the Berlin regional branch of the Left Party, according to which “our fears” had been confirmed: “Anyone who launches a call that is suitable for a cross-front will reap a cross-front.” The demonstration had “nothing to do with left-wing politics, even with left-wing peace policy.” A “perpetrator-victim reversal” ran through the speeches, she said. Visible equations of Baerbock with Hitler had not been rejected from the stage, she claimed – “an inconceivable relativization of fascism.”
Left co-chair Janine Wissler said Monday in Berlin that it was perfectly clear that „this had not been a left-wing event“. The handling of the initiators with the mobilization from the right had worried her, consequences for Wagenknecht she gave a refusal. The chairwoman of the Bundestag’s Committee on Defense, the liberal Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) told the Rheinische Post that the organizers had “joined forces with radical right-wingers and left-wingers” and stylized “the victim as the perpetrator.” N-TV called Wagenknecht “the one-woman cross-front without a majority,” Berliner Zeitung said the movement was “consumed by a lack of reality,” RND declared Wagenknecht a “danger to democracy in Germany.” According to FAZ, she and Schwarzer, as “representatives of old German thinking in East and West, showed that some still confuse peace with cemetery peace.”
In contrast, the co-leader of the Left’s parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Amira Mohamed Ali, called it an important sign “that a great many people want us to break out of the logic of war and rearmament.” According to the Tagesspiegel, the Left Party local branch of Berlin-Lichtenberg also agreed with this. At a general meeting on Saturday, it adopted an endorsement of the “Manifesto for Peace” and also advocated the implementation of Thursday’s UN resolution.
Hate campaign continues (2)
By Arnold Schölzel (jw 03/03/2023)
Politicians from the SPD, Greens, FDP and the opposition CDU/CSU poisoned the debate on the Ukraine war in the Bundestag on Thursday further on with insults and abuse. They were responding to a motion by the Left Party parliamentary group titled “Diplomacy instead of tanks – For a negotiation initiative to end the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine.” The session began with a government statement by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on “One Year of ‘Turning Times’ (Zeitenwende).” In it, he reaffirmed the course toward high armaments and prolonging the war in Ukraine, stating, “You don’t create peace either if you shout ‘never again war’ here in Berlin – and at the same time demand that all arms deliveries to Ukraine be stopped.” Today, he said, “never again” means that war of aggression must not return as a means of politics. He did not mention the numerous wars of aggression waged by the West in recent years.
Gregor Gysi (Die Linke) recalled them when introducing the motion. He condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine. He warned that the attacks on Yugoslavia and Iraq, which violated international law, had “set a precedent. In addition, he recalled the current wars in Turkey and Yemen. ARD and ZDF should also show television pictures from there. In Ukraine, he said, a way must be found to de-escalate the situation. The motion was rejected by the government factions and the CDU/CSU, with the AfD abstaining.
With regard to the peace movement started by Sahra Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer, the speakers of the majority uniformly claimed that the left does not distinguish itself from right-wing extremists. Ralf Stegner (SPD), for example, declared himself in agreement with individual pages of the Left’ motion, but demanded, “Close your right flank!” Johann Wadephul (CDU) echoed the comment of a “clever journalist” who had recently made it clear that Wagenknecht was “expressing hostility to democracy” – “quite apart from the anti-Semitic sprinklings, which are extraordinarily unsavory.” Jürgen Trittin (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) spoke of “mendacity” with reference to the Linke motion and accused Gysi of having “completely lost his political compass” when he called for a peace rally to which far-right publicist Jürgen Elsässer also announced “national flags.” Finally, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) quoted from a 1941 speech by Thomas Mann: “There is no peace with a Hitler.” This is still true 82 years later, she said, adding that Vladimir Putin only understands “the language of strength.”
In his speech, Scholz put German civilian and military support for Kiev over the past twelve months at 14 billion euros. This will be further expanded: With “Leopard” battle tanks, soon more “Gepard” anti-aircraft tanks and an additional “IRIS-T” air defense system. The Bundeswehr has trained more than 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers since the start of the war. CDU/CSU faction leader Friedrich Merz, who called Wagenknecht “cynical, inhumane and vile,” accused Scholz of “delaying and dithering” on rearmament. Commenting on the economic consequences of the war, he said that German industry had “shut down production capacities.” In 2022, industrial production was “below 20 percent of our value added” for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
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