German media and the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz – Nachdenkseiten

This article first appeared on Nachdenkseiten.de

Before his visit to the USA, the German chancellor is under massive pressure from the German media to act against German interests during his visit to Washington. These interests lie in an understanding with Russia and in a secure energy supply. If many German editors have their way, Olaf Scholz should risk both in order to prove “German reliability”.

Before the trip of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to the USA, many major German media are firing on all cylinders. They are not doing this, however, to bolster the Chancellor before a difficult visit, so that he can confidently defend German interests against those of the United States. Many German editors are doing the opposite: they are putting massive pressure on Scholz to make fatal concessions to the United States.

“Is Germany a disappointment for the US?”

Examples of the campaign by many media against “hesitant” social democrats can also be found in public service broadcasting, but above all in large and small private media. This is how the “Spiegel” describes the submissive gestures Olaf Scholz could use to “restore the German reputation”, for example through a commitment to military “deterrence”.

Even second-tier media don’t want to be left behind. The “Wiesbadener Kurier” for example writes:

“Germany’s international reputation has suffered greatly in the Ukraine conflict. Even in reputable US media such as the New York Times, the traffic light alliance around Chancellor Olaf Scholz is described as an insecure canonist who cannot be trusted due to the close ties with Russia. Distrust is also high in Eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania. At the same time, the Chancellor seemed to have disappeared for weeks in the Ukraine crisis. Scholz has thus maneuvered himself into the uncomfortable position of having to appear all the more clearly during the inaugural visit to the US President.

And according to the “Taz” Scholz must use the US visit “to finally show a clear edge. To publicly draw a red line and to name the consequences without rhetorical ado: If Russia puts the toe of its boot in Ukraine, then the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2 cannot and must not be put into operation. The statesmanlike restraint and composure that Scholz brought to the Chancellery during the election campaign has had its day.”

Will Scholz stand firm?

In my opinion, however, it is precisely this “statesmanlike restraint” that Scholz can currently be credited with (although only in the Ukraine complex; the situation is different with corona policy and many other topics). It is to be hoped that he will keep it despite the media storm. At the moment, the chancellor can (still) be said to have a certain steadfastness, for example in an interview on Sunday, in which he emphasized on the issue of arms deliveries to Ukraine that the federal government has had a clear course for years, “that we will not deliver to crisis areas and that we are also not supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine”.

Even if the statement about the restrictive German arms deliveries to crisis areas probably does not apply to many other cases, in the case of the Ukraine conflict this is a strategically clever stance on the part of Scholz. From a German point of view, the main concern at the moment should be to reduce the destructive influence of the USA on the Ukraine conflict. That’s why Scholz’s emphasis on “what the French President and I are pushing so hard for: the Normandy format, in which Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany are trying to resolve the deadlocked situation together”, makes sense.

Linking to Ukraine would be dangerous

If Scholz cannot withstand the pressure during his visit to the USA and sacrifices peacekeeping and the energy supply for a pat on the back from Big US Brother, then those German editors who in recent days have publicly and massively urged Scholz to renounce German interests will also be responsible. The citizens would pay the high price.

The demand by the USA and many German media that Germany must tie its fate to that of Ukraine is bizarre and extremely dangerous: Ukraine can almost be described as a failed and unpredictable satellite state of the USA, which is encouraged to act aggressively by its powerful ally. To risk a confrontation between Germany and Russia by supporting this policy defies all moral and political logic and the instinct of self-preservation. Added to this is Germany’s commitment to reconciliation with Russia, which arises from a great historic debt to the Russians.

Campaign against Social Democrats

The current campaign by many media against Some social democrats has been addressed by the NachDenkseiten in several articles. One article says:

“A war by the West against Russia (or even the continuation of the current practice of escalation and sanctions) would affect Germany much more than, for example, the USA. Americans are the driving force behind the current confrontation within Europe – and with the Greens they have a strong lobby for this destructive policy, now even in the federal government.

Despite the bad experiences with the SPD Foreign Minister Heiko Maas: For me, the hopes for a tolerably rational Russia policy (within the governing parties) are still pinning down on the part of the critical sections of Social Democrats that have now come under the media spotlight. That may sound naïve, but where else would this reason be found if not there?”

Tobias Riegel

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