Short dialogue: Between real politics and value politics, between pacifism and militarism
Briefly here is a short dialogue between a former ex-military and Global Review after we gave him our old student newspaper, Streitblatt/Dispute sheet from 1999 and the article: “NATO. Russians out of the Caucasus!” and which he assessed as realpolitik:
As it appears, the willingness to negotiate with Russia now seems to be increasing on the US side. Not only on the part of the US siloviki like Milley or Burns, but also on parts of the civilian administration. Biden’s and NATO’s reactions after Selenksky’s missile on Poland are significant. Incidentally, an article from our then student newspaper, Streitblatt, from 1999, when we could already see the basic structure of this conflict coming, when everyone was still talking about a peace dividend.
I have to say self-critically that in my youth I was in the pro-Soviet Communist International, especially as a cadre for international affairs, peace and anti-fascism, although I quickly became disillusioned, even though we had the so-called national liberation struggles in Central America, Africa, the Greater Middle East with the Pan Arabs and the communists in Afghanistan against the Islamists, although some things even today are understandable if you only think of 9 11 and Somoza. But that’s why I knew and know the way of thinking of the Soviet siloviki, and now also the Russian ones, very well. Interestingly, the now former Putin adviser Dr. Rahr was working for the USA and the CIA on the other side at Radio Free Liberty/Radio Free Europe, less than 3 km from our headquarter in Munich, but then changed sides. Anyway, we have from that time still a certain ability to empathize with the way of thinking of Russian siloviki, although there is also their certain professional paranoia regarding the intentions of the West and NATO, which, as you can see, can quickly blossom again ideologically in Novorussia, Eurasianism and the Russian world. But as my then Professor Kindermann, founder of the neo-realist school, once said: Sometimes it is less a question of reality than of the perception of reality. And this sort of professional paranoia can also often be found on the part of western siloviki. Conversely, you can also understand parts of Anne Applebaum’s opinion that the Russian siloviki should be excorsitized this paranoia and neo-imperial thinking. That’s what’s going on in the Ukraine too. But behind this there are hidden US imperial motives, as with Brzezinski, who see the US only as a global power and the whole world as a US sphere of interest, into which the Russian Federation or sphere of interest belong and which should be incorporated as a regional power . It will be interesting to see whether Navalny, Pomorajev or Khodorkovsky will want to become a non- nuclear regional power if they should replace Putin. That’s also the assessment of a number of Eastern Europeans that Russia, regardless of the leadership, That any Russia had it in it’s genes always to be more than a regional power. Even in Kissinger’s book “Diplomacy”, one reads similar passages about Yeltsin and the tendentious neo-imperialism of the Russians. We want to discuss this with the help of the book “Perspectives after the Ukraine War”, the Körber Foundation event and Röttgen’s and Timothy Snyder’s New Ostpolitik and the fundamental question of a European peace order and security architecture- with or without Russia. At the moment we are still more in the collection and brainstorming phase. About reality, perception and silowiki-related professional paranoia-What is a world and a regional power?
Ex-Military: „World power today is: space and cyber power – nuclear and military power – cultural power – global political and economic power – with hundreds of military bases worldwide like the USA, and allies who march along in wars – like the Romans in a ratio of 80 to 20 – Serving 2 theaters of war at the same time with a state-of-the-art military machine… Measured by this, Russia is more of a nuclear regional power – Obama was right about that – with global ambitions, but certainly more power than GBR or FRA….(…) Kindermann was good, realistic school. Unfortunately, political romanticism in various forms usually prevails here. I prefer that you were a communist than if you were in the middle-class Young Union/JU like me. To this day these wimps in cashmere sweaters get on my nerves… I’ve become more left-wing as I’ve gotten older, maybe the years with Merkel are to blame….or I used to be just too right-wing – look at the sins of my youth, which I still get hit on the head to this day, like recently in Spiegel – and I’m after moved to the left and now „the new center“ – to quote FJS. I do not know. I don’t care either. Realistic school a la Kissinger or Luttwack or Creveld – has nothing to do with right or left anyway. But Germany is firmly in the political grip of romantics. Perhaps this even has a tradition across all political upheavals up to Anna Lena, although she „comes from international law“. That’s why I’m glad that the decision about war and peace is no longer made in Berlin….I wouldn’t be able to sleep peacefully otherwise….“
Global Review: Nuclear regional power, that sums it up very well. But it is not a nuclear world power and Putin, in view of his overconfidence, would classify himself as a nuclear world power and would never want to accept to be called a nuclear regional power, in fact he would feel insulted. Especially since if China really wants to get 1000 ICBMs, it would be the actual nuclear world power against the USA and would not see itself as an economically wrecked entity like the nuclear regional powers Russia and North Korea, which cannot even conquer Ukraine.
Yes, Annalena comes from international law and the Robert, according to her statement, more from the sheeps and chickens. But that’s not her fault. Geopolitics was mercilessly taboo in Germany, also and above all at the universities because of Haushofer and Carl Schmitt and where should the geopolitical people come from then? Especially since these two people were responsible for a world war and a criminal system with their theories and also a Carl Schmitt with his ban on the intervention of space-alien powers in Europe and his writing „Land and Sea“ already differentiated between land and sea power, but he transformed land, earth and sea at the same time into a religious-esoteric mythology, especially since he postulated the rootlessness and lack of groundedness of the Jews as a form of his anti-Semitism, which Mc Kinder or Mahan never had. But I could also observe this complete negation and lack of geopolitics at Munich University when I was studying economic geography, although the LMU was dominated by social scientists who were more angry about the census, while at the TU it was really more geoeconomic and a great professor even taught something like geopolitics, from classics such as Mahan, Homer Lea, McKinder or even Brzezinski, which are common knowledge at US universities. Especially since he also showedus that the earth is a globe and round and not a disk with a large pond and that the Soviet military and especially its nuclear missiles can also come across the Arctic. You wouldn’t believe it. I got along surprisingly well with Prof. Kindermann , although I was a communist at the time, but similar to the way the Russian or Chinese communists analyzed ideology, above all by analyzing geopolitics and the balance of power, although we were known to be wrong about the Soviet Union, which he attributed to our nevertheless existing ideological hubris and he always pointed out our wrong analysis to convince us otherwise. At the moment they are trying to give the Germans geopolitical tutoring on talk shows about the turn of the era/Teitenwende in a crash course, but that’s small talk, timely limited and nothing compared to a Uta Danella. It would be important to anchor regular geopolitical, security policy, geoeconomic and geocultural as well as ecological and technological magazines in the public media and not just at the end of the broadcast night. But then there would be a revolt by Tatort and Pilcher fans. At least there are a few things worth seeing on ARTE, Phönix, 3 sat and special interest channels, some YouTube and some media libraries, but you always have to search individually. Well, let’s not have another discussion about the public TV´s educational mission, otherwise we won’t be able to sleep at all.
The cashmere coats and suits men in black of the JU and all those chic Munich right-wingers were to be found on the left in a different form: Terrible Pax Christi and other pacifist pack who rejected power and violence per se, as if the brave Soviet soldiers or US GIs didn’t liberate us from Hitler’s fascism militarily at the time I even liked a hardcore Stalinist event, „Thank you, you Soviet soldiers,“ better than those esoteric candlelit peace teas by ecopeacefreaks, who started self-awareness therapy groups who propagated that world peace depended on the selfawareness of one´w own facism and militarism in his soul and thinking and in our subconscious and there were no states,power apparatuses who were responsible for wars , as the purpose for these people was lying in their boundless individualism and their own hubris, but that was only a vain display of their own absolute do-gooderness and peacefulness, which then at least also wanted confirmation from some peace women through tantra sex and reading the Kama Sutra. Nothing between collectivism and individualism, between pacfism versus militarism in this sort of peace movement. Hard to imagine at all how a normal-thinking or political-thinking zoon politicon person should bend in these circles in order to be able to form an alliance with them . I then did lay out a leaflet for the peace movement at the time: “Who is actually at war in Afghanistan? The USA supports Islamists”. I was called back by both Moscow and the Peacenicks because it would be a politicization of the peace movement and very unpeaceful and not conducive to the peace alliance. Just Yoko Ono and a sleep in was missing. Well, they now already have gotten their bill: the Soviets and the USA then with 9/11. They never understood Islamism back then either, and when I wrote the Manifesto of the Left Counterjihad with a few secular Muslims and then we were called Islamophobic. Well, let´s Margot Kässmanns then drink peace tea with the Taliban and have tantra sex with the spirit of Mullah Omar. I won’t and hopefully not any secular and reasonable person either. I guess the German ex-military had just as much to report about Germany’s right or political middle/center as I would have about the German left or political middle/center and you really sit between the chairs. Because you have a basic orientation that protects you from the worst cases. In addition, I used to be of the opinion: the end justifies all means. In the meantime, I tend to see the proportionality between the end and the means actually, which my Catholic father taught me, but I only learned this lesson later. Otherwise I would probably have ended up with the RAF.
It is also interesting why Moscow rejected the leaflet at the time. Because of the number of victims, but I said at the time that the end and the good goal justify all means, but the Moscow authorities thought that this Soviet warfare and Afghanistan should not be discussed in the peace movement, because all the western media bashed the SU for that. I wanted to turn the tables and show that the Soviet Union and our Afghan comrades wanted to bring land reform, education, infrastructure, industrialization and women’s equality and no burqa to this country, all noble goals, purposes and motives like a Code Napoleon in South-Tirol. Yes, romanticism or value-based, maybe even then feminist foreign policy ala Baerbock. Also that our Afghan female comrades, who went to the countryside, provided education there and then got acid in their faces or were shot by the Islamists, like the female students from Kabul Uni verity were attacked by Hektamayar’s troops, who was then received as a freedom fighter in the White House – yes, I thought that these arguments are self-explanatory and that the peace movement should also see them that way. That wasn’t the case. When NATO went into Afghanistan after 9/11 with the same idealistic and romantic goals, it was also clear to me that the West would fail. I wish the Chinese good luck with their attempt for a New Silk Road in Afghanistan, if they want to achieve more with their way of drilling wells. At least they are smart enough not to try to send their PLA military. Or for now and at the moment. Maybe they hope that Pakistan can do the job, but that would be the next mess, maybe with Islamists seizing Pakistan´s nuclear weapons and then the US and India preventing the worst.