22 Nov 2022 21:07
Arms deliveries to Ukraine – against Russia, a lack of understanding for the special interests and sensitivities of many East Germans, the usual platitudes against Sahra Wagenknecht: Bodo Ramelow has nothing to say that would distinguish the LINKE from the other established parties.
“We are terribly impressed by the enormous
Cigars, cars and the manners –
After all, you’re not a nihilist.”
– Kurt Tucholsky
By Mirko Lehmann
the Southgerman newspaper conducted an interview with the Prime Minister of Thuringia, which was immediately dated mirror was advertised. Bodo Ramelow (Die Linke) gives an insight into the self-image and political understanding of a trade union official who has made it: to the top. At least as far as it is possible for a good leftist. The actual topics of the conversation are of secondary importance: what Ramelow offers is off-the-shelf ready-made goods.
During the entire interview, the nerdy complacency, paired with the pronounced thin-skinned attitude towards questions, is uncomfortably noticeable. The man from Osterholz-Scharmbeck in Lower Saxony, who likes to be the father of Thuringia, doesn’t seem really sovereign.
In the wake of the “poison dwarfs”
Actually only a provincial politician, which he only became in Thuringia as a western import – otherwise he would probably still be making his rounds in the Hessian trade union apparatus – Ramelow basks in his importance on a state visit to Warsaw: After all, as President of the Bundesrat he is the number one two in the state, even before the federal chancellor, he teaches them SZ-Editors. It is said that he wanted to focus his recently ended Federal Council presidency on “Eastern Europe”. In Warsaw he met his Polish counterpart – with whom Ramelow knows he is in agreement on his anti-Russian attitude. No wonder, since Ramelow completely unthinkingly takes over the transatlantic positions of the Polish elite – and the Baltic “NATO poison dwarfs” (Rainer Rupp). Their highly ideologically determined view of history leads to the equation of European socialism and the (Stalinian) Soviet Union with German fascism in the manner of totalitarianism theory.
Ramelow readily adopts this one-sided, ahistorical view when he talks about “Eastern Europe”. He claims to be the successor to Hans-Dietrich Genscher. What to say: without his diplomatic skills, but with the same agenda, i.e. regime change in the East. Not only does Ramelow admit that he has the “East-West divide in the back of his mind”. He also reveals the paternalistic, if not colonialistic relationship (greetings from Thuringia) he always maintains with the countries of Eastern Europe: The “regions”, as he calls them, must become part of the “overall European architecture” because otherwise “Europe will fail”. would. Not to mention the notorious confusion between Europe and the EU, which this left-wing politician also reproduces.
Left anti-Russia warrior
The Thuringian head of state sits on an even higher horse when he talks about Russia. He allegedly wants to “get along with Russia,” but sets the conditions: “democratization, stabilization and civilization.” Apparently, this unreflective attitude is based on well-studied, centuries-old Russophobic stereotypes and sheer Western arrogance. That’s probably it, the dividing line he mentioned himself in the back of his mind.
Ultimately, Ramelow differs only gradually in the choice of words, but not in the intention of the FDP arms lobbyist and member of the Bundestag Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann. Ramelow also wants to further arm Ukraine against Russia and thus wage war against Russia on the Dnieper. Apparently down to the last Ukrainian, not a word about peace initiatives. Consequently, Ramelow considers the laboriously established “dialogue formats” with Moscow to be obsolete – in line with the announced end of the Petersburg dialogue. The German self-empowerment to intervene in the Ukraine war by supplying weapons and training – and thus as a party to the war – also goes hand in hand with Ramelow’s projection that Russia is “waging its war in Germany too, at the gas station, at the electricity and gas prices and also at every Monday here in Thuringia.”
Otherwise only the flat handouts of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution to mark friend and foe sound like that. The protests in eastern Germany against the economic and war policies of the federal and state governments are not only seen by Ramelow as critical of the government, but as “critical of the system”. System criticism is therefore no longer allowed. What the allegedly “second man in the state” claims here at times is reminiscent of the yet undefined rubber category “delegitimization of the state relevant to the protection of the constitution” that was newly created by the repressive authorities. Established politics seems to want to promote this supposed delegitimization, as Ramelow demonstrates.
Shallow and incompetent
Back to anti-Russian politics: More ignorance and distortion, also in chronological terms, are almost impossible. Ramelow is therefore completely in line with the government line of the Berlin “traffic light” and shows himself to be embarrassingly ill-informed about the anti-Russian sanctions policy, not only against Nord Stream, and its consequences. On the other hand, Ramelow is firm in his rendering of anti-Russian propaganda and reacts extremely curtly, even when he mentions the SZ it is pointed out that the sanctions harm Germany more than the Russian side, as Sahra Wagenknecht has been underlining for months. But he doesn’t seem to have a clue about the self-destructive consequences of sanctions for the German and other EU economies. Not to mention the interrupted flow of raw materials and supply chains or the consequences for trade and industry in his own state. Instead, Ramelow comes up with robber baron fantasies that could come straight from American think tanks: Russian “assets and above all shares of the oligarchs – including cash assets” are to be “collected”. In doing so, Ramelow is on the cheap line of transatlantic morality and the emotionalization and personalization conveyed by the mass media (“pressure on Putin and the kleptocracy”), but outrage is no substitute for economic, international law, or geopolitical competence. Rather, his demonstrative abhorrence of Russia reveals a specifically German, historically oblivious irrationalism.
It goes on and on in this smug tone, whether against the ungrateful East Germans, inner-party adversaries, in the denigration of AfD voters (“fascist party”) or even from critics of the mRNA injections. Ramelow moves from a neoliberal speech bubble (“demographic trap”) to the next clichéd insult (“fascist soup”) to curry favor with the Bundeswehr (“flag ribbon of the Free State of Thuringia handed over”). Of course, he calls for – probably not coincidentally like the Federal President – for the current wartime “a social community year for all people in our country”.
Provincialism, narrow-mindedness, coupled with overconfidence and unrealistic madness, seem to be reaching new lows in German politics. And indeed: Bodo Ramelow has arrived. With his interview he seems to want to confirm Scott Ritter’s analysis of the stupidity of German politics.
more on the subject – Germany in the US “arms trap”?
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