From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr
Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sees “Russian troop movements on Ukraine border with concern.” Oh, my goodness. The clever strategist – what does he want to do?
“It is very, very important that no one rummages through the history books to redraw borders,” Scholz said today at a press conference in Berlin, already doing his first pull-ups on the edge of the table.
He’s not even in office yet, and already he’s talking nonsense. It’s a pity that he can no longer seek advice from his great role model, Helmut Schmidt (“Schmidt the Lip,” quote: Jimmy Carter). Yet, very likely he had to say these words – for diplomatic reasons, but above all for alliance reasons, in short: Pro forma.
But the choice of words could have been a little more prudent. The history of the people is not important? Their ethnic origin, their traditions, their language, and everything that makes up their identity – all that can be swept under the carpet so easily? Scholz, as a German, should be aware that the memory of the Great Patriotic War is still very much alive in eastern Ukraine. And also, about what we Germans did there in the Second World War. Does Germany’s new chancellor know anything about this? Even if he does, he should keep his mouth shut. If that’s the way they want it, let the Americans get themselves into hot water once again.
We Germans have no say in the matter.
Has anyone ever considered the fact that Ukraine is not a unified state, because the eastern part with the Donbas is deeply Russian, while the western part was Austrian for a very long time, between the World Wars even polish? Is it ever asked what the people in eastern Ukraine want?
The Americans including NATO want to push their sphere of influence right under Putin’s nose, and that’s what it’s all about. I can understand very well that he doesn’t like that. In the end, Biden, too, will be cautious – because he cannot risk the next American military disaster.
After the end of the Cold War more than 30 years ago, there was absolutely no reason for the West to reject Russia’s outstretched hand. And yet it did. Even more, it broke its promises to Russia and extended NATO across the Oder-Neisse line. It is understandable that Russia feels threatened by this. But the West always puts the blame on the other side.