Germany: Towards a defining moment

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

I was writing an article on what I think are the two major dynamics in Europe today. The social and democratic revolt in France and the shifting of the German (and European more widely) public opinion on the Ukrainian question. I cannot predict where those two dynamics will lead and nobody can be certain, because of exactly the dynamic nature of those two processes. On the contrary, we can be certain of the huge repercussions any outcome of those processes will bear for the whole situation in Europe and the world.

As I was writing my article, I read the speech of the German MP Sevim Dağdelen (from the leftist Linke party) in the Buntestag, the German Parliament, on the special event for the 75 years of the Marshall Plan. As I was reading it I felt that we are facing probably, potentially, a kind of rare, “privileged” (or critical if you prefer) moment in history.

In such “moments”, words and deeds of people become the “raw material” of History, expressing its deepest meaning. And of course, no writer can speak better than History itself. This is why I decided to sidestep and limit myself to citing the main points of the German MP, without any comments on them. Better to let your own minds and souls evaluate by themselves the importance of what was said.

“After 78 years, it is now time for US soldiers to go home. All other allies left Germany a long time ago”, said Sevim Dağdelen on the floor of Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag.

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“The US nuclear weapons must go”, she added, in a March 31 parliamentary event on the 75th anniversary of the Marshall Plan.

As of 2022, the United States had 38,500 troops in Germany, in dozens of bases and other military installations.

Dağdelen did thank the United States for its support in the battle against the Nazi regime, reminding in the same time that “the main burden in the fight against German fascism was shouldered by the Soviet Union”, which lost more than 26 million people in World War II, compared to 400,000 North Americans.

Dağdelen noted that “there once was a time when the Bundestag had more courage”, recalling that, in 2010, the German parliament voted overwhelmingly to withdraw US nuclear weapons. But she lamented that that resolution was not implemented.

Dağdelen urged for “breaking with the existing relationship of extreme subservience by Germany on matters of US foreign policy, one that is marked by war, breaches of international law, and support of coups”.

“The US administration gives the impression that they don’t actually want allies, just loyal vassals”, she said. “Yet fewer and fewer countries around the world are prepared to accept this. And that is good news”.

“The US military bases behave like extraterritorial areas in which the [German] constitution does not apply”, Dağdelen said.

“On German soil, assistance is provided in US wars, lethal drone strikes, and torture flights, in breach of international law”…“And the US hosts conferences at Ramstein Air Base in Germany as if the Occupation Statue was still in force”.

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“Now, Germany’s federal government allows itself to be pushed directly into the line of fire by the USA, with supplies of Leopard battle tanks”, she continued adding:

“Now the federal government is refusing to support an international investigative commission into the terror attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines. I say, terror attacks among friends simply cannot be tolerated”.

She called for Berlin to defend its “democratic sovereignty”, asking, “Why is the federal government refusing, even after 20 years, to condemn the US war of aggression in Iraq as a violation of international law?”

She also addressed Germany’s foreign minister: “Why are you, Ms. Baerbock, not lobbying for the release of Julian Assange, who faces 175 years in prison in the USA for making US war crimes public? Why did you not offer asylum to the dissident Edward Snowden?”

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