Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, , the security-political battle amazon and Iron Lady of the FDP with the steel-gray Stuka dive hairstyle and the charme of an Iron Maiden has been Chairwoman of the Defense Committee of the German Bundestag since 2021 and recently asked German generals and military officers not to mess around, but to speak plainly, frank and openly and give advice to politicians and not to remain silent for fear of career disadvantages. A German vice admiral has now followed suit and his career is over, because he probably didn’t express politically correct mainstream views, but rather represented a somewhat unconventional view. The German newsmagazine DER SPIEGEL reports:
„Navy Chief Schönbach under criticism after controversial speech »We need Russia against China«
NATO fears a Russian attack on Ukraine. Germany’s navy chief Kay-Achim Schönbach would rather have Putin as a partner against China, as he said during a visit to India. Now the vice admiral is rowing back, but according to SPIEGEL information he still has to report. 01/22/2022,
A leading German military caused a stir with uncoordinated statements on foreign policy during an appearance in India. The Vice Admiral and Chief of the German Navy, Kay-Achim Schönbach, expressed his private views on the Ukraine crisis, NATO’s eastward expansion and Vladimir Putin’s presumed intentions – and explained that he would like to have Christian Russia as a partner because of his Christian faith. Putin demands respect – and probably deserves it The statements massively contradict the official line of the federal government – and that in the middle of the Ukraine crisis. During a visit to India’s capital Delhi, Schönbach said he did not believe in an impending attack on Ukraine. He sees the real threat in China and would rather see Russia as a partner than as an enemy. He is a „very radical Roman Catholic Christian,“ said Schönbach: „I believe in God and I believe in Christianity.“ For this reason, he would like to have a Christian country like Russia on his side against China – even if Putin is an atheist, it doesn’t matter. China appears as an enemy to many countries, although not necessarily to Germany. The first step, however, is to accept what China is really doing: giving money to dictators, murderers and criminals. (…)
The fact that Russia wants to incorporate parts of the Ukraine is »nonsense«, said Schönbach. „What Putin really wants is respect.“ Showing respect is a „small expense,“ and possibly even no expense, the military continues in a speech that has now been videoed out on the Internet. „It would be easy to give him the respect he wants – and probably deserves.“ Russia is an old and important country. India and Germany need Russia, says Schönbach: „We need Russia against China.“ If you had this great country on your side, it would keep China off your back, even if it wasn’t a democracy. Of course, one cannot ignore Russia’s actions in Chechnya or Ukraine. „Crimea is gone and it won’t come back,“ says Schönbach, which is a fact. Under international law, Russia’s annexation of Crimea is not recognized by the majority of countries around the world, including Germany. When asked how he assessed a possible expansion of NATO to the east, Schönbach replied that Ukraine does not currently meet the requirements for joining the military alliance because the Donbass region is „occupied“. Georgia, for example, does meet the requirements. »But would it be smart? Would it be smart to have her as a member? No, it’s not.« The situation is different with the Baltic states, which are already members of NATO – because they were already independent states before the Soviet Union occupied them.
Schönbach was called in for a clarifying discussion with the Inspector General According to SPIEGEL information, the appearance of the inspector far away from home on Saturday caused severe irritation within the federal government, both in the defense department and in the Foreign Office, people were quite angry up to the top management. The military responded quickly. At a video conference hastily convened in the morning, Minister Christine Lambrecht, SPD, discussed with her Inspector General Eberhard Zorn and her chief PR adviser how to deal with Schönbach.”
I guess with his frigate Bayern the German fleet admiral feels a bit alone in the Indo-Pacific and is more confronted with China than Russia. But “very radical Roman Catholic Christian”? Is the good man a crusader like al Qaeda has always accused Western troops? Are we still living in a secular state? Then, according to Schönbach, Russia is Christian, but Putin is an atheist, and then the Christian and not secular-democratic West shoul found a Christian Holy Alliance with an atheist? That in itself is already contradictory. And the negative qualities that Schönbaum criticizes about the Chinese also apply to Putin. A crude mixture of religious moralism which wants to team up with realpolitik. In any case, there are also two factions in the US in the Pentagon, the military and the State Department: one that wants to get Russia in distance from China in the coming Sino-American conflict, and the other that thinks it can and must fight Russia and China equally. Therefore, the German naval chief Schönbach might find even more understanding in the USA than in Germany.
I guess with his frigate Bayern the German fleet admiral feels a bit alone in the Indo-Pacific and is more confronted with China than Russia. But “very radical Roman Catholic Christian”? Is the good man a crusader like al Qaeda has always accused Western troops? Are we still living in a secular state? In any case, there are also two factions in the US in the Pentagon, the military and the State Department: one that wants to get Russia in distance from China in the coming Sino-American conflict, and the other that thinks it can and must fight Russia and China equally. Nevertheless, it is a false premise to assume, like Trump’s G-11, John Mearsheimer or Schönbach’s Christian alliance with Russia against China, that Putin’s Russia, as the West’s junior partner, will allow itself to be instrumentalized against China. This ignores the fact that Russia does not want a conflict with China and that Putin and Xi both advocate a multipolar world order and not Pax Americana, in which Russia wants to play a role as an independent great power, even if it does not want to be dominated by China. Distance from China or equidistance is the maximum that can be achieved under Putin in the medium and long term, if at all. Therefore, the German naval chief Schönbach might find even more understanding in the USA than in Germany. Especially since the Trump supporters are also recruited from fundamental Christian evangelicals, who also demand a Christian alliance with Russia against atheistic China and against the decline of the Christian Occident due to liberalism and for a new crusade and Amargeddon in the Middle East against the Muslims and for the Holy Land and Isreal. Now all what’s missing is a Hun speech in the style of Kaiser Wilhelm II, so that no Chinese will stare at us.
Nevertheless, it is to be welcomed when the military sometimes take a clear position, as long as this does not result in an attack on the FDGO and the GG or an „uprising of the generals“against our democracy as demanded by the AfD and AfD-affiliated military or in times of crisis when unity is needed. In recent years, the Bundeswehr has had to endure many fiancial cuts, reforms and foreign missions in a security environment that has changed dramatically, without any discussion and sometimes without public perception, with the final highlight being the withdrawal from Afghanistan. It is logical that a lot of frustration, anger and sometimes resignation built up within the troops, which was never articulated, partly because of opportunism, partly because of a kind of ban on discussion. In this sense, not every opposing comment should be put under the disciplinary guillotine and thus deter any other military personnel who want to speak plain, frank and open language, promote a long overdue broad security policy debate and redeem the active positioning demanded by Strack-Zimmermann as long it is not quetiong the primacy of politics and democracy. Statements by the military should be welcomed and then discussed in terms of content and not hastily supressed in a disciplinary manner, but have a free space which is promoting a broad public debate on security policy.As we have just been informed, Vice Admiral Schönbach has just been fired. We hope that he will not now switch to the AfD and lead the „rebellion of the generals“ demanded by them, as there are now fears in the USA of polarization of the US military and an attempted coup in Trump’s favour.But maybe Schönbach, as the former highest general and chief of the German Navy, will join more moderate and democratic ex-military leaders like General a. D. Kujat, who have long advocated a New Ostpolitik. As an amused Chinese commentator wrote to us, the CCP had already reserved a place for the night in the marble boat of the Empress Dowager in the Summer Palace for Schönbach’s fleet and the frigate Bavaria and was awaiting the Western troops. This shows that China can, insofar as the DDP does not declare Taiwan independent, sit back and relax, let the West and Russia and other parts of the world fight each other in their diadoche battles, and then, as a pacifist mediator, grail figure of world peace and constructive problem solver reep the fruits and the harvest of BRI and RCEP.