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Human rights and politics

Human rights and peace policy must be thought of together – this is what Stefan Herbst, former human rights officer of the Franciscan Mission Centre and member of the coordination group of the Forum human rights, says. Herbst has given a guest article for the Post-Thinking Pages to reflect on the Greens' foreign and peace policy line, using the “Navalny Case” as a current example of a long development that is actually completely contrary to the fundamental values of the Greens.

No doubt: The foreign policy bird of the current Navalny discussion was shot down by the Green Group leader Göring-Eckardt when she told newspapers of the Funke Media Group as follows:

“SPD-Alt-Chancellor Schroeder must now decide whether he is on the side of democracy and human rights”. What she is aiming for: “Green Group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt (has) called for an immediate halt to the german-Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. ….The construction work on the pipeline in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern must be stopped immediately and the federal government must now show a watertight way for the project to be completed.”

In doing so, Göring-Eckardt insinuates to all those who have doubts about the link between the billion-dollar Nord Stream II project and an alleged assassination attempt to be enemies of “democracy and human rights”.

The Green politician has thus developed from the once Green Peace Dove into a foreign policy fighting falcon. It is plunging to voices calling for prudence in its dealings with Russia, speculative links to an unusually populist-mood-making speech. There is no doubt that she has learned the artisanal tool of political defamation and insinuation well. She has undoubtedly moved into the camp of political blinders– whose party leader Habeck strikes the same horn when he defames doubters as a conspiracy theorist – is betting on mood-mongering beyond rational politics, branding other people as conspiracy theorists in the name of “democracy and human rights.” The current forensic discussion is similar to the one that insinuates to me that I must have committed the attempted murder with a kitchen knife, because the kitchen knife comes from my kitchen and I have had trouble with the victim… Such incendiary markers have often led to fatal misjudgments.

In terms of energy policy, too, what the Greens represent here is only the “half truth”. They would then also have to say that they are speaking in favour of the competitiveness of renewable energies, an increase in the price of gas and a possible shortage. In the short and medium term, these statements can only be understood as support for oil countries, coal energy or even the environmentally harmful gas fracking process in the United States.

Gas is certainly only a transitional technology. But it is also indispensable in the short term as a reasonably CO2-neutral alternative to oil and coal. The policy of the Greens is not only problematic in terms of foreign policy, because it undermines the relationship with our European neighbour Russia, but it is dishonest in terms of energy policy and without a green substance.

But let us return to the heart of Göring-Eckardt’s populist speech: her statement defamesais a former brand core of German social-liberal trade and world politics, which was one of two key words: change through trade and détente policy. Now there may be some doubts about the liberal human rights maxim: trade can advance human rights. However, this cannot be dismissed out of hand, although there are many examples of trade interests being and have been placed above human rights interests. In any case, it is certain from a peace policy that close trade relations also bind together a wide variety of and hostile interest groups. Trade and interdependence prevent someone from running amok and thinks that they are putting everything on a map, because they are harming not only the enemy, but also themselves and their own interests. Moreover, it is still true that those who talk to each other do not shoot at the other. Gorbachev’s speech on the “Common House of Europe” points precisely in this direction. When the goal of the détente policy was achieved in the years 1987-1992, we now see that the Greens have developed from their former roots in peace and one-world movement to a new sanctionand human rights militarist intervention party after the skinning and emancipation. It is particularly significant that the US foreign policy narrative of “human rights and democracy” developed in the 1960s and 1970s can be followed completely uncritically by ideology and can use it in our media almost without objection to defame others. We have been much further along in the discourse if, indeed, if the Greens really read and heeded a Noam Chomsky, one of the best American intellectuals. His works on Vietnam were then the intellectual work on the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was partly responsible for the 68 movement and ultimately led to the Greens as the “left” secession of the SPD. Noam Chomsky was certainly originally one of the green-related ideas of political debate culture. But his works, such as “Manufacturing Consent” or “Who dominates the world” or “Hybris – the final guarantee of us global supremacy” or “The Failed State” and “Requiem for the American Dream” and and and and are now largely erased from green intellectual discourse.

Such admissions have nothing to do with green realpolitik or a green programme worthy of the name: they do not help human rights or democracy, nor are they ethically justifiable in terms of energy policy. Just as there is no alternative to semi-friendly relations with the US and our NATO partners, so little is Germany’s and Europe’s foreign policy likely to consist of the alternative of friendly-partnership with our immediate neighbour, Russia, as well as with our Far Eastern partner country, China. Where do the “Greens”, a green foreign policy expert, want to push German politics – one wonders. Do we really want to add a European-French-German foreign policy to the US policy of war, sanctions, blackmail and hegemony?

The Greens today lack alternative real-political concepts. They get lost in foreign policy war falcons in an understated militaristic human rights policy. They also forget essential teachings of a political theology of Jesus of Nazareth:

“Why do you see the sliver in your brother’s eye, but you don’t notice the beam in your eye?” (Matthew 7:3)

“If you point a finger at the enemy, three fingers point back at you,” one might interpret as a popular appropriation of this word of Jesus. For the Greens, they do not notice that they are on the move in a similarly defamatory way as they were once defamed as the “fifth column of communism” or as irresponsible ethicists. They have thrown aside their own lessons of the past: there is no alternative to conversation and communication, even in the case of complete differences and interests among people (should Putin and Göring-Eckardt be such a constellation of people – with Göring-Eckardt never holding a government policy office). Anyone who sanctions the other and stylises him as an enemy has already lost, because he is using his own logic and destroying the principle of dialogue and communication, namely ‘trust’. One wonders which Greens are still travelling to Russia for talks there. Can a former peace political party seriously invite a US foreign policy expert Madeleine Albright to a party congress today, who, together with Joschka Fischer, led the Greens into the War on Serbia, which is contrary to international law, and has publicly defended the US policy of sanctions against Iraq, which has killed more than five hundred thousand children. The Greens have forgotten Hans Christof von Sponeck, who resigned as head of the Oil for Food programme in Iraq in 2000, because the UNITED States, under Madeleine Albright, had rejected all human rights requests from UN experts familiar with the consequences of this policy – thus making the UN an instrument of murder against the Iraqi people. Madeleine Albright has never been held accountable for this murderous sanctions policy – now she can stand out as a foreign policy peace and adviser angel at the 2020 Green Party Congress. But what more stands for this “real-political” change of the Greens from a peace party to a potential war crimes party – of course, and that is to say: “with openness and optimism I want to shape democracy and preserve freedom” than such a historically forgotten invitation. This also puts the glue on the foreign policy-dangerous narrative that US policy among democrats would do things differently. Nothing would be geopolitically wrong than this assumption, because it unilaterally narrows political discourse to the supposed alternative between the oh-so-good “Democrats” and the evil “Republicans.”

Unilateral blindness-human rights Double-Standards of the " new green policy"

How can Göring-Eckardt use a single assassination attempt, which can only provide “plausibility reasons”, but in no way evidence, for a policy of sanctions against Russia, while the (almost) daily us murders or extrajudicial executions by drones in Africa, which are also controlled from Germany, are tacitly ignored? Obviously, the Greens are not concerned with human rights, whose ethical Proprium consists precisely in applying unsightly to the political orientation of the persecuted person, but rather with a unilateral foreign policy positioning of Germany and Europe to a war party in the Western discourse on values. In addition, there is a difference for a rational policy whether a foreign policy action is based on facts or assumptions. While accepting the fact-based US foreign policy that violates human rights, one sounds a loud Alarm and launches the fiercest guns when alleged “political friends” are allegedly or allegedly persecuted and murdered elsewhere. One is foreign policy based on facts, the other foreign policy based on assumptions, possibly creating images of the enemy, just as German foreign policy was shaped up to the late 1980s by anti-Bolshevism and anti-communism from the imperial era and National Socialism.

Back to Navalny: the Greens are not interested in Navalny – they are using the assassination attempt on him to advance their foreign policy Agenda. And since the Ukrainian crisis at the latest, it has become anti-Russian and one-sided.

The Greens are right: there is no doubt that human rights have only ever played a Wallflower role in the foreign policy of human rights and interests.

It is deplorable that human rights have never played a decisive role in the US, Russia and China – but also increasingly in European foreign policy. The collection of civilian victims is carried out by the USA as well as by Russia. The intelligence services of all countries do not shy away from political assassinations or assassinations and torture.

But now to act as a human rights lawyer, especially towards Russia, testifies to the fact that the foreign policy dictum of Joschka Fischer has not been overcome to this day, who at that time already legitimized the Serbian war – and we remember that Germany’s entry into the war was Germany’s first war effort after the Second World War, in addition to being in violation of international law because he defected to the UN – with human rights reasons. Similarly, the involvement of the green-red foreign policy in the war in Afghanistan and the worldwide war discourse “war on Terror” – which the US launched exactly twenty years ago. Fischer had already given his O. K. for the next day’s attack by the USA on Afghanistan and signaled German participation. Joschka Fischer legitimized his remarks at the time with the sentence, among other things, that one could not also stall the other cheek when the other strikes. How poorly this politician understood the love of Jesuit enfranchisement and how much he and his fellow party members succumbed to a supposedly responsible “limited” access to the military and military solutions is evident today. Especially in view of the threat of nuclear death, the self – destructive spiral of armament and the threat to human life caused by environmental destruction and biocide, a different approach to reality, which corresponds to the deepest intuitions of religions and thinkers, would be necessary-the parable of “the other cheek” is basically without alternative. To all those who ignite with “military pressure”, let us say again: after a nuclear war with Russia, there will be no second world for humanity. And: without China, there will be no end to the biocide and the imminent self-extinction of humanity via biocide and climate catastrophe. It will not help the most human rights-loving and Human Rights intervention-hungry Green Party if it says on his grave: “he was right.”

Quo Vadis, Greens? Is the path to the fleshpots of power worth the sacrifice of every reason for peace and foreign policy? And please do not react with an indignant, quick and well-nigh no.