Don’t Be a US Puppet: Sahra Wagenknecht Berates Angela Merkel

You are warning us of fire, Mrs. Merkel, but you are among those who are running around with lighted matches.

Sahra Wagenknecht, Bundestag Member and Left Party Deputy Chairperson, berates Angela Merkel in the video below for squandering all the gains of “détente” politics, leading Europe into a new Cold War with Russia, and to the brink of a flash fire because Merkel does not have the courage to stand up to the US government. She points out that the American coup in Ukraine was part of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s geostrategic plan to expand NATO eastward: “first in Central Europe, then in the South, then in the Baltic States and, finally, in the Ukraine.” She quoted what Brzezinski wrote in The Grand Chessboard:

Every step of expansion automatically expands the immediate sphere of influence of the United States.

However, what also continues to drive US foreign policy today is the “Wolfowitz doctrine” written after the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1992 by Paul Wolfowitz, then Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and his deputy, Scooter Libby.

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.

Obama brought Angela Merkel to heel to do Washington’s bidding, as we saw with the arm twisting that went on when he wanted Europe to back the sanctions America imposed against Russia for legitimately protecting its own interests in Ukraine.

As long as I can remember, America has beaten the same old lies on its war drums to feed the voracious appetite of the Military Industrial Complex that could not survive without war. Where has this taken us? To a world of chaos and fear and terror, and poverty and inequality! As I refuse to listen to the insanity of the same old lies about Russia I was brainwashed with growing up in Australia, it is refreshing to hear Sahra Wagenknecht’s feisty speech challenging Obama’s puppets (and this now applies to Trump) to think again about the path of insanity they would have us embark upon.

Click to activate the English subtitles. A transcript of the subtitles appears below.

Transcript of Subtitles

One gets the impression that there is something, Mrs. Merkel, that you think is even more important than the interests of German business: it is the interest of the US government and American business.

In your speech in Sydney, Mrs. Merkel, you are terribly outraged by the fact that 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall there continues to exist an old way of thinking of “spheres of influence” which tramples on international law. “Who would have thought!” you were quoted. That begs the question: “Mrs. Merkel, where on earth do you live?” And where have you been living the past 25 years?

Where were you when the United States trampled international law in Iraq, to expose its sphere of influence over Iraqi oil?

Where were you when Germany’s participation [against] international law in Afghanistan was and still is being trampled upon?

Where were you when Libya was bombed, when the Syrian opposition was armed and affiliated with ISIS after weapon deliveries?

Was all that, in your opinion, in accordance with international law? Of course, it was not at all about spheres of influence!

I can recommend you to read Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book, who has long been a pioneer of American foreign policy. The beautiful title of this book, written in 1997, reads as follows: The Grand Chessboard: The Primacy of America and its Geostrategic Imperatives. With regard to Europe, Brzezinski argues for a decisive NATO expansion eastward: first in Central Europe, then in the South, then in the Baltic States and, finally, in the Ukraine. Because, as the author convincingly justifies, quote, “every step of expansion automatically expands the immediate sphere of influence of the Unites States.”

This is an old way of thinking in terms of “spheres of influence,” which was very successfully implemented, and you really never, ever noticed it, Mrs. Merkel? On the contrary, you belonged to those who further implemented and supported that in Europe! You were just one of the “vassals,” to use Brzezinski’s words, which endorsed this strategy!

[Speaker] Ms. Wagenknecht, let…

Ms. Wagenknecht …I was talking about Brzezinski, NATO enlargement to the east and German policy in this regard.

Mrs. Merkel, now you’ve driven Germany to a new “Cold War” with Russia, poisoned the political climate and jeopardised the peace in Europe. You have instigated a senseless economic war, which massively harms, primarily the German and European economy. Hall: do not moan so, you’re not the one working for companies whose orders have dropped sharply; you’re not the ones running or working for these enterprises. You don’t have to deal with the hard consequences of what you have done.

You are warning us of fire, Mrs. Merkel, but you are among those who are running around with lighted matches. Verbal escalation is always what comes before worse things! That is what Hans-Dietrich Genscher told you after your speech in Sydney. No, it doesn’t mean we love Putin, or Russian capitalism with its oligarchs but diplomacy means taking the interests of the other side seriously, rather than ignorantly pushing them away. And it cannot be ignored when Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmet Kohl almost with the exact same words warn that without the German-Russian partnership no stability and security in Europe is possible.

The former chairman of the SPD Platzeck pointed out, that trade between Russian and the US this year has grown, while trade between the EU, primarily Germany, has experienced a huge collapse. As a reaction, the CDU tries to squeeze people like Mr. Platzech, and other supposed “Putin apologists” out of the “Petersburg Dialogue” conference.

Instead of backing understanding, you are encouraging ignorance! In Ukraine, you co-operate with a regime, in which the important functions of the police and security services are occupied by recognised Nazis! President Poroshenko talks of “total war!” He stopped all payments to pensioners and hospitals in eastern Ukraine! And for Prime Minister Yatsenyuk the insurgents are, quote, “creatures which must be destroyed!” Instead of working with these thugs, we finally again need a German foreign policy in which security and peace in Europe is more important than the instructions from Washington.

In a year which marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, and seventy-five years of World War Two, in such a year it would, I think, be extremely appropriate to remember a saying of Willy Brandt: “War – this is not the ultima ratio, [last reasonable argument – Latin] war is the ultima irratio [last foolish argument – Latin].”

War cannot be used as [a] political tool any longer, Mrs. Merkel! So go back to the path of diplomacy, the lifting of sanctions! And if indeed within the SPD there are voices calling for common sense in foreign policy, from Helmut Schmidt to Matthias Platzeck, then please listen, Mrs. Merkel, to the voice of your coalition partners! Stop playing with fire!

I summarize: You have squandered all the gains of “détente” politics, and led Europe into a new Cold War, and to the brink of a flash fire, because you do not have the courage to stand up to the US government. This is not something that you can be proud of. The citizens of our country in any case deserved better politics, politics where the call for prosperity for all is finally again taken seriously, and return to a friendly neighbourhood policy with all our European neighbours.

Translation –

This video originally appeared at Russia Insider


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2 thoughts on “Don’t Be a US Puppet: Sahra Wagenknecht Berates Angela Merkel

  • January 21, 2015 at 7:19 am

    However she tries to frame it, the Ukrainian people have been systematically colonized, abused, and exploited by Russian expansion, which outlawed their language, nearly wiped out their culture, led to a mass exodus of intellectuals, and, of course, Stalin’s genocide of the 1930s, which likely killed more ;people than died in the Holocaust.

    The idea that this is all some sort of US scheme is off-base and overblown. Yes, the US State Department was supportive of the Ukrainians overthrowing their pro-Russian leader, but that doesn’t mean that they got them to do it. In truth, their involvement was overblown. Similarly, the idea that all of the Ukrainians who went into government are fascists… well, that’s simply not true. Some are Ukrainian nationalists, certainly… some have even been outspoken against homosexuals and minorities. But have you seen Russian political leaders? (Or American political leaders, for that matter?) When people want to paint entire large groups of people with one big brush, that’s usually a dead giveaway that it’s unhelpful for their argument to let people know that most people are fair, reasonable, and rational, doing what they do for understandable motives that we might follow ourselves, were positions changed.

    Her citation of the writings of Zbignew Brezhinski, a person who hasn’t served in office since Carter, and has basically no power and little real influence, as indicative of some sort of master plan overlooks the obvious… that Russia is using its old Soviet Union infrastructure — where all roads, pipelines, etc. lead to Moscow or other Russian cities — and its monopoly of oil and gas. This infrastructure allows Russia to apply extreme, oftentimes crushing, economic pressure on the former Soviet nations. Is it any wonder that so many turn to the rest of Europe, in the hope of becoming part of the EU and trading on the common market, rather than being forced to have Russia as a self-imposed middleman on every deal, siphoning off the wealth of their people?

    Does this mean that the U.S. doesn’t have good reasons to see that Ukraine can defend itself, and can develop closer infrastructure and economic ties with Europe? No. Does that mean that Germany doesn’t have good reasons to make loans — which they would profit from — to Ukraine, and to help them develop closer ties to Europe? No. But that’s not a conspiracy, and not wrongheaded. Likewise, it makes perfect sense that when Russia sends ground troops in and seizes the territory of a sovereign nation, that Germany should turn a blind eye, when that happens on their doorstep. Sanctions against Russia could end very soon if Russia chose to remove their troops, stopped arming separatists, and relinquished its claim over Ukrainian territory in the Crimea and East Ossetia.

    Sanctions do not equal a march to war. Rather, they send a message to a whole long list of former Soviet states that they *CAN* choose to embrace free trade with any nation they wish, without fear of Russian reprisals. Loans let them know that if Russia tries to hurt them or cut off their heat in the winter, that the nations of Europe will stand with them against imperialism and economic exploitation. And, rather than hurting free trade and peace, as Wagenknecht alleges, it helps cement free trade with new, emerging nations, and makes it clear that invasions and war do not work and cannot be profited from anymore.

    Really, what message does refusing to even give Ukraine a loan, while routinely loaning money to Russia, helping them develop their economy, and importing huge amounts of goods, oil, and natural gas from them send? Is might — economic and military — really right… or are there longterm benefits of being fair to every nation, regardless of circumstances?

    That’s what is really at the heart of this. Russia has done its best to prop up pro-Russian leaders — and, in some cases, brutal dictators, such as Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, which, unsurprisingly, is sitting on an ocean of oil — with the goal of maintaining this exploitative position over its neighbors, which functions like the exploitative merchantilism of the British Empire, where cheap raw materials flooded into England due to bans on trading with other nations, and were turned into finished products at a big mark up… and then exported back into the colonial nations, cementing their domination and exploitation. It’s really at the heart of what led Americans to revolt in the first place.

    In this case, Russia maintains those policies through its pipelines, its refineries, its roads and ports… and the comparative lack of good infrastructure and strong economic ties between the former Soviet states and Europe. Russia is trying to hold the former Soviet states back, prevent them from developing stronger ties to European markets, better roads, greater ability to produce finished goods… trying to make these nations subservient, in transparently obvious ways that have nothing at all to do with democracy or the sovereign rights of independent nations.

    In truth, over 90% of Ukrainians voted for separation from Russia / The Soviet Union, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians took to the streets in protest, and over 70% of the congress in the Ukraine voted to remove their pro-Russian leader from office.

    “Self-determination” for a Russian ethnic minority doesn’t mean that they get to seize lands and decide for themselves how to split up a nation that they have no legal standing to, any more than self-determination for Israeli settlers should’ve meant that they had the right to settle and take whatever lands they wanted from Palestine, so long as they settled enough people on those lands, or expelled enough Palestinians.

    The thing is, both I and the speaker in question both identify politically as democratic socialists. As such, I find it kind of sad to see a democratic socialist who I might otherwise agree with on a lot of issues basically supporting colonialist policies, and overlooking democratic intent and free will… but then again, her idea of democratic socialism is a lot different than mine, which is more along the lines of Sweden or Denmark. In comparison, she was once a former member of the East German government and only had that position because of her loyalty to the Soviet Union.

    Basically, even if she had a point that was more important than the right of the Ukrainians to overthrow the last remnants of Russian colonialism and forge their own destiny, even if she had a point that was more important than the right of the Ukrainians to overthrow the last remnants of Russian colonialism and forge their own destiny, she would be the wrong person to make it.

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