The green hypocrites

Alliance 90/The Greens held their federal delegates' conference at the weekend, which focused on the policy programme. The draft opens the way for the Greens further in the direction of a black-green coalition in Berlin. The mission of the Bundeswehr is to be extended to a vague “concept of security”

Peace and military in draft Green Policy Programme

In the chapter ‘Peace’, the Greens/Alliance 90 formulate their vision for broad sections of the electorate:

“Our goal is a global order with international institutions. It is intended to secure peace, justice and freedom…”

For the Greens, this means:

“We as an international community have a responsibility to address the most serious violations of human rights and genocide within the framework of the United Nations.”

This wording opens up the Greens to foreign missions, as they have been responsible for since the time of Foreign Minister Josef Fischer. The fact that these military operations have contributed significantly to the disintegration of an entire region between the Gulf, Mali and the Balkans, that ecological crimes have taken place, from which the states can no longer recover for a long time, is out of sight of the authors of the programme. This will have to be addressed in more detail later, looking at the programme that has been decided upon. On the tasks of the Bundeswehr is stated in the agreed programme (Chapter 8, 364):

“The mission and tasks of the Bundeswehr are based on the real and strategically important challenges for security and peacekeeping. It is a necessary means of state and international security policy. Germany should be able to rely on its allies, and so should its allies rely on Germany. The overall responsibility for the deployment must be justified, information on all operations in the operation must be fully accessible to the allies. Direct UN operations take precedence over EU and NATO crisis operations.”

On the other hand, according to the Basic Law, the Bundeswehr is to be set up exclusively for defence:

“The Federal Government is putting up armed forces in defence. … Except for defence, the armed forces may only be deployed to the extent expressly permitby by this Basic Law.” For example, the Bundeswehr may help the police security agencies when it comes to “defending against an imminent threat to the existence or the liberal democratic basic order of the federal or state”. (Art. 87 a GG)

The extension of the order to a vague concept of security sounds better to uninformed ears than the observed effect of this concept since the military interventions of the Bundeswehr since its deployment in Somalia in the early 1990s. A look at Afghanistan, Mali or other intervention areas shows that wars do not end in peace. The ‘priority’ for the use of military force on the United Nations decision-making position sounds superficially good, and it is so vaguely worded that the Greens are also open to further non-UN-mandated NATO operations. The Greens are also in favour of further militarisation of the EU in the programme that has just been adopted: the programme aims to “strengthen cooperation between the armed forces in the EU, pool military capabilities and fill generally recognised capability gaps. This requires appropriate equipment, the expansion of EU units and a strengthening and consolidation of the common EU command structure.”

“Military mobility” towards Russia’s western border

This opens up green policy to a disastrous European policy in the event of a further increase in conflicts on our continent. This is made clear by a look at the so-called ‘closing of the EU’s military capability gaps’: The Frankfurter Rundschau reported on 6.6.2018 under the keyword ‘military mobility’:

“In view of the tense relationship with Russia, the EU Commission proposes to invest 6.5 billion euros in armour-grade transport routes over the next decade. The aim was to develop rail networks, roads and bridges from 2021 to 2027 as part of the next seven-year budget, the Brussels authority (…) announced. (…) The Authority had already proposed that transport routes in Europe be checked for military suitability by 2019. (…) The EUR 6.5 billion should then be available for this purpose.”

In plain language, it is a question of transporting tanks and other heavy military equipment to the area of combat operations in Europe within a very short period of time. It is not difficult to guess where this battle is located: military mobility directs the transport routes to the Russian western border. Fighting in Europe is irresponsible for the densely populated and highly industrialized continent with around 200 nuclear reactors and many chemical plants. Europe’s most powerful nuclear power plant is located in Ukraine, about 200 kilometres from Donetsk.

In view of the dangers that have been invoked here, we can only be responsible for a peace policy in Europe that takes account of the security interests of all the states of this continent, as the preamble to the Treaty, on the basis of which Germany exists in its present form, is responsible. But the policy of the Greens, on the other hand, follows the disinformation communication of NATO propaganda: they follow the narrative that the Crimean crisis of 2014 legitimizes NATO armament, since Russia has proved to be an aggressor here. They pass on to the fact that NATO partners have long occupied and annexed areas that the army had conquered. It also avoids the fact that the first breach of the law in the Ukraine crisis in 2014 was the illegal installation of a pro-Western government and the blackmail of Europe.

“The aggressive great-power policy of Russian President Putin, especially the annexation of Crimea, which is contrary to international law, the literal most borderline in the Sea of Azov and the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, has shaken the European peace order. This also applies to Russia’s support for populist opponents of a liberal democracy in the West. This puts a long-gone defense and deterrence logic back on track.”

The Support of such repressive states as Saudi Arabia, which not only murdered the critic Khashoggy, but also committed a violation of international law in the Yemen war, is what the Greens make in this argument. This is not only contradictory, it is also highly dangerous for entire regions of the world and for civilisation, and it is highly unecological.

On NATO, the text of the programme is just as disorienting: it is “from a European point of view an indispensable player alongside the EU that can guarantee the common security of Europe.” (369) These words overstate the fact that NATO is the alliance of states from which it has suffered the most and most massive violations of international law since the end of the Second World War. Through this war policy, it has led the way in destabilizing and partially destroying international architecture. This is the opposite of security.

With regard to the armament and all associated damage to the biosphere, including the use of resources, the program finds no critical statements, on the contrary, the program again demands rather vaguely that the Bundeswehr be “equipped with personnel and material tasks” in accordance with its mission and tasks. This does not suit a party that presents itself with the color green, as it does not address the imbalance in the policy-setting, which results from the fact that in the federal budget about 50 billion euros are compared to about 3 billion euros for environment.

Promoting ecology policy while omitting the military sector is an irresponsible misplay with humanity’s survival interests on the edge of the abyss.

Against the background of the ecological dangers to the future, NATO/EU military policy is anything but green. And the Greens are not moving in the original version of their color – after all, they originated in the early 1980s from the peace and anti-nuclear movement; Since the 1990s, their colour has become ever greener. Humanity is struggling to comply with the already dangerous limit on global warming to 1.5 degrees Kelvin plus. The military sector is already the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Just one hour of flying by a Eurofighter brings as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as a German citizen in a whole year. The tank Leo II consumes more than 500 litres of diesel per 100 km, depending on the speed and load.

Eye-washing with the euphemistic term of the market

This passage in the Greens' draft programme also opens the direction of a black-green coalition after the next elections. It leads away from ecology. It says in the vision formulation:

“The economy serves the people and the common good, not the other way around. Sustainable prosperity in the sense of climate neutrality, preparedness and justice is at the heart of a sustainable economic system. The goal is an economic and financial system that adheres to planetary boundaries and achieves a better quality of life for all people, worldwide and for future generations. To do this, it is necessary to operate in a fundamentally different way: in an appropriate way for opportunities, resources and gender.”

But then the text reconciles the ecologists with capitalism with the words of a “change to a social-ecological market economy within clear guidelines and with a public interest orientation.” (90) A little further back, the programme explains that “free entrepreneurs, the founders and start-ups are the drivers of innovation.” (114) And in section 163, the programme advocates a “regulated capitalist … progress” in contrast to “authoritarian-directed progress”.

It seems that the authors are aware that ‘market economy’ is a substitute for the unpleasant but more realistic word ‘capitalism’. Capitalism is a frowned upon in the green electorate. This is already made clear by the demand of “Fridays for Future” when they chantthatate that they want “system change, not climate change”.

The image of the market is supposed to dock in everyday consciousness to the idea of a weekly market, where everyone is fighting for buyers about the same amount. This is as visual as it is erroneous. In 2014, the University of Zurich published a study entitled “147 corporations control the entire global economy.” As early as 1972, the Club of Rome report “The Limits of Growth” made clear his critique of capitalism: it called for a society with a planned balance of consumption and the regrowth of resources. Plan and entrepreneurial freedom are incompatible.

Capitalism – euphemistically dubbed ‘market economy’ – has since proved incapable of building a sustainable economy of balance between consumption and the regrowth of resources, on the contrary. The World Overload Day, from which humanity consumes more per year than the Earth can allow to grow in the given time, has progressed from 1970 to the present day from the beginning of December to the end of July, and time is running out.

The immense destruction of the world by the capitalist competitive economy and through its growth dogma in the limited ecosystem earth made the Wagenhofer film ‘Let’s make money’ clear: the hiding of the destruction of nature by the military sector with high and nuclear armament, dangerous maneuvers and wars and reconciliation with the system, which is “cancer for the world”, contaminates the green-packed program. And this at a time when we no longer have much time to shape the ecological system change before the processes could get out of hand.

One thing must be made clear here: the criticism of the Greens' 2020 programme does not mean that the Greens will no longer be seen as possible allies of the peace, ecology and human rights movements in the future. The great alliance to forge is not given much time, as it seems, would gain influence – first through clarity in demands and orientations and then through the breadth, which also brings with it further clarifications in the discourse and in the common experience of action. The main point here is to make it clear that this power does not have the ecological clarity necessary for overcoming the environmental, social and military threats to the future.