The German Green Party has a chance to join a ruling coalition in September’s election, after turning its back on its roots, to root for Washington.
By Diana Johnstone
Special to Consortium News
The core of the American empire is its domination of Europe, directly through NATO and indirectly through a web of treaties, institutions and elite organizations which develop policy consensus and select upcoming leaders in European countries. Pervasive American influence has caused drastically deteriorating relation between Western European countries and Russia.
Russia is a great nation with an important place in European history and culture. Washington’s policy is to expel Russia from Europe in order to secure its own domination of the rest of the continent.
This policy entails creating hostilities where none exist and disrupting what should be fruitful relations between Russia and the West.
It is quite obvious to all serious observers that trade between resource-rich Russia and highly industrialized Germany is a natural fit, beneficial to both – and not least to Germany. A symbol of that beneficial cooperation is the Nordstream 2 pipeline, now nearing completion, which would provide Germany and other European customers with much-needed natural gas at reasonable prices.
The U.S. is determined to block the completion and operation of Nordstream 2. The obvious motives are to block “Russian influence,” to sell Germany more expensive gas from U.S. fracking and eventually to weaken support for Putin in the hope of replacing him with an American puppet, like the drunken Boris Yeltsin who ruined Russia in the 1990s.
But for those Europeans who prefer to reject Nordstream on the basis of high-sounding moral posturing, an abundance of largely fictional pretexts are available: Crimea’s vote to rejoin Russia, falsely portrayed as a military takeover; the incredible saga of the non-poisoning of Alexei Navalny; and the latest: an obscure 2014 explosion in the Czech Republic which is suddenly attributed to the same two Russian spies who allegedly failed to poison the Skripals in Salisbury in 2018.
According to the liberal doctrine justifying the capitalist “free market,” economic self-interest leads people to make rational choices. It follows that many sensible observers have placed their hopes for effective opposition to Washington’s policy of isolating Russia on the self-interest of German politicians and especially of German business leaders.
German Elections in September: Pragmatism vs. Self-Righteousness
Next September, Germans will hold parliamentary elections which will decide who is to be the next Chancellor, succeeding Angela Merkel. On foreign policy, the choice may be between pragmatism and moral posturing, and it is not now clear which will prevail.
Aggressive self-righteousness has its candidate, Annalena Baerbock, chosen by the Green Party to be the next Chancellor. Baerbock’s virtue signaling starts with scolding Russia.
Baerbock is 40 years old, just about a year younger that the Green Party itself. She is the mother of two small children, a former trampoline champion, who smiles even while speaking – a clean image of happy, innocent fitness. She learned fluent English in Florida in a high school exchange, studied international law at the London School of Economics, and advocates (surprise, surprise) a strong partnership with the Biden administration to save the climate and the world in general.
Right after Baerbock was selected as Green candidate, a Kantar poll showed her leading a wide field of candidates with 28 percent, just ahead of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU) at 27 percent. But more surprising was a poll of 1,500 business leaders run by the business weekly Wirtschafts Woche, which found that Annalena Baerbock was by far their favorite.
Annalena Baerbock: 26.5%
Christian Lindner, FDP: 16.2%
Armin Laschet, CDU: 14.3%
Olaf Scholz, SPD: 10.5%
It is natural that the liberal FDP (Free Democratic Party) should score well among business executives. Christian Lindner also advocates harsh sanctions against Russia, indicating that business leaders prefer the two most anti-Russian of the lot. Of course, they may be primarily motivated by domestic issues.
The CDU candidate, Armin Laschet, in contrast, is a reasonable moderate, calling for friendlier relations with Russia. But he is said to lack personal charisma.
Two other parties were mentioned in the Kantar poll. Die Linke, or Left Party scored 7 percent. Its best-known members, Sahra Wagenknecht and her husband Oskar Lafontaine, are outspoken in their criticism of NATO and aggressive U.S. foreign policy. But Linke party leaders who pin their rather frail hopes on being included as junior partner in some theoretical left coalition shy away from such disqualifying positions.
The “Alternative for Germany” (AfD) party favors normalizing relations with Russia, but since it is labeled on the far right, no other party would dare join it in a coalition.
German governments are put together by coalitions. The Greens have positioned themselves to go either left (their origins) or right. The historic decline of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the weakness of the Left Party make the prospects of a Green coalition with the CDU more likely. Such a coalition might include either the SPD or the FDP, depending on the vote.
In one Western country after another, opposition to hostile NATO policy finds opposition on either the left or the right margins of the political spectrum, divided by too many other issues ever to join together. So the conformist center dominates, and as the traditionally dominant CDU and SPD have lost support, the Greens are successfully bidding to occupy that center.
The Green Program: R2P and the Great Reset
Baerbock is a perfect product of transatlantic leader selection. In between jumping up and down on the trampoline, her professional interest has always been international relations from an Anglo-American angle, including her masters degree in international law at the LSE in London.
Her initiation into transatlantic governance includes membership in the German Marshall Fund, the World Economic Forum’s Young Leaders Program and the Europe/Transatlantic Board of the Green Party’s Heinrich Böll Foundation.
On that basis, she has risen rapidly to the leadership of the Green Party, with very little political and no administrative experience.