In a few sentences about Russia and its president Vladimir Putin, Friedrich Merz, who is far from education, radically turns geopolitical realities on its head. Merz told the Bild newspaper on Sunday that “There is no escalation from Germany and Europe.” This escalation “currently comes exclusively from Russia.” But Merz shoots the bird mainly with the following misrepresentation:
“This man and his army are bombing hospitals, kindergartens, schools, nursing homes. One of the main causes of flight – the problems we now have in Greece – are problems that have been largely triggered by these barbaric acts of war by the Russian army, which Putin is responsible for.”
Fake news about Russia and refugees
Most of the refugees reaching Europe come from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. All three countries were not attacked by Russia, but became victims (direct and indirect) campaigns of the West. The current Navalny episode is already a harrowing example of a practice in which evidence, questions about motive, and presumptionof innocence are annulled when it comes to allegations against Russia. In the case of Navalny, however, there is still some scope for such speculation. The question of responsibility for the displacement of millions of people, on the other hand, is clearly resolved.
Merz, for example, probably alludes to Syria with the “bombed hospitals” – at least those allegedly “targeted” destroyed buildings were a central part of emotional anti-Assad propaganda. However, the international assessment of the Syrian conflict is clear: the only foreign power that is in Syria in accordance with international law is Russia. All other warring parties supported by the West are violating international law with their direct and indirect interventions.
But more recently, not only Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and other societies have been destroyed by (direct or indirect) Western interventions – in addition, countries like Greece, which experience the force of refugee movements in Europe most directly, have been weakened by neoliberal campaigns and cuts.
The great self-whitewashing of media and politics
Merz’s current behavior has been seen in the recent past by numerous media outlets and politicians: first, the citizens who warned of the Western wars and the refugee movements they triggered were defamed. As a result, these wars were shielded from criticism by Western editors and politicians, and the suffering caused by the West was made possible. The fact that, in addition to this suffering of the victims, there are also great risks for the warring nations – for example, in the form of a predictable shift to the right in response to refugee movements – was also not addressed. And now that the damage has been done, a political-media war coalition is pretending that the flow of refugees was not caused by Western wars, but by the defense against it.
These false recriminations must be rejected time and again: firstly, in order to be able to realistically assess the present and to be able to call Ross and Reiter at least retrospectively in the emergence of wars and refugee movements. On the other hand, in order to establish the dangerous and also self-destructive nature of the Western wars, so that they can be prevented in the future. The phenomenon of the denial of own responsibility for the Western wars goes far beyond the person Friedrich Merz: he is just one example of a widely used strategy used by many politicians and editors to wash oneself white wash and conceal one’s presumed co-responsibility for millions of sufferings.
Merz caused quite a stir with some of his other statements in the “Bild” interview discussed here. And because of the excitement about Merz’s attitudes towards gay politicians or the habit he feared to be idle during Corona' death, the outrageous statements about Russia are somewhat eclipsed.
US wars and millions of refugees
The recent figures from the Cost of War Project of the US-based Brown University, to which RT refers, also make it clear that the “problems in Greece” are not due to the policy of the Russian government. The researchers calculated that US-led wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia, and Syria had turned at least 37 million people into refugees. That number is “conservative,” according to Professor David Vine of American University in Washington, who said 48 to 59 million refugees have lost their homes as a result of the US-led wars. RT quotes the study as follows:
“Millions (people) have fled airstrikes, bombings, artillery fire, house searches, drone strikes, battles and rapes. People fled the destruction of their homes, neighborhoods, hospitals, schools, jobs, and local food and water sources. They fled expulsion, death threats, and large-scale ethnic cleansing triggered by the US wars, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq.”