The Free World

BERLIN (Own report) – In light of the pending incorporation of the Crimea into the Russian Federation, German politicians and media are stepping up their Russophobe agitation. The public’s “understanding for Moscow’s alleged motives” regarding the Crimea, remains “strikingly high,” complains a leading German daily. This reflects the view that Western global aggressions are either “not better or even worse.” In this context, a leading German newspaper, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” has discontinued a Russian PR insert, which it had begun carrying following a lucrative European-Russian economic conference. Another leading publication, the weekly “Die Zeit”, has “apologized” for having printed differentiated articles about the Ukraine. The author, a freelance journalist, had also earned his living, doing editorial work for the above-mentioned Russian PR insert. Last week, the leading German Green Party’s candidate for the European parliamentary elections tabled a motion for a gag order on former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, who had criticized the EU’s Ukrainian policy. This motion, to restrict his right of freedom of expression, has been ultimately rejected by the European parliament, however, not by her Party.

Two Blocks

From a purely strategic point of view, Moscow, with yesterday’s referendum and Crimea’s pending incorporation into the Russian Federation, succeeded in launching a first effective counter-coup against the West’s more than twenty-year offensive. For years now, with the EU’s and NATO’s eastward expansion and its subsequent “Eastern Partnership,” Berlin, Brussels and Washington have been able to attract countries, situated between Russia and the Western Alliance and which had not yet opted for one side or the other. In 2008, the West suffered its first setback, when Russia countered Georgia’s military aggression by Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s de facto secession from that country. From the perspective of power politics, Crimea’s annexation – Moscow’s response to repeated western attempts to take over Ukraine – is the first real effective counter-coup: Unlike Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Crimean Peninsula, in the middle of the Black Sea, is of great geo-strategic importance ( reported.[1]). While business circles are trying to salvage their deals with Russia, Berlin, Brussels and Washington are aggravating the political confrontation. Moscow’s challenge to Western hegemonic claims will not go unanswered.

Free Expression

Currently this is clearly reflected in the leading German media, which is seeking to swing public opinion to approval of the political confrontation. A leading daily, for example, is warning that the public’s “understanding for Moscow’s alleged motives” is still “strikingly high,” reflecting the view that “what the Americans do is not better or maybe even worse.”[2] Proponents of this view can in fact point to numerous US wars over the past few decades and to German aggression, such as in Yugoslavia. Twenty years of repeated western violations of international law – including wars of aggression, also with German participation – accusations of Moscow violating international law in the Crimea, has obviously little impact. The leading media is therefore intensifying the dose.

Only a Test Run

With amazement, the European Parliament has rejected an attempt by the German Greens to restrict the right to freedom of expression in a precedence case. Nevertheless, this incident is but an indication that still standing democratic taboos could be broken in the current frenzy of Russophobe agitation, without consequences for the perpetrators. The power struggle over the Ukraine, as the backdrop, is perceived in Berlin as a “test run” [7] for the new German foreign policy. To be successful, this new policy must win broad popular support at home – by any means necessary.

More reports and background information on the current German policy in reference to the Ukraine can be found here: Problems of Eastward Expansion, A Broad-Based Anti-Russian Alliance, Expansive Ambitions, Our Man in Kiev, Integration Rivalry with Moscow, On the Offensive, At all Costs, The Crimean Conflict, The Kiev Escalation Strategy and Cold War Images.

Full article: The Free World (German Foreign Policy)

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