With absolute demands on the LEFT for a “commitment to NATO”, prominent SPD politicians largely exclude a red-red-green alliance shortly before the election in practice. This is politically incorrect and hypocritical in content: the problematic nature of NATO has rarely come to light as openly as at the moment. The LEFT should reject the demands, which also come from the Greens, in the interest of peace policy and in the interest of their own election chances.
The signals are confusing: On the one hand, the co-SPD leader Walter-Borjans defended that SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz has not yet ruled out a coalition of SPD, Greens and Left Party. “We will talk to everyone, that’s probably normal,” said Walter-Borjans, according to DPA. And further: “We will not surrender ourselves to one side by saying that we certainly do not talk to the other, and then we stand there and have to swallow what the smaller one who is to participate says.”
So far, so rational. But almost at the same time, Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz and co-party leader Saskia Esken are now demanding a “clear commitment to NATO"from the LEFT. Do the SPD leadership and some Greens joining the chorus with their absolute demands finally want to bury a possible red-red-green coalition? So said SPD-Esken the “Welt am Sonntag”: “Condition for a government alliance with the SPD is that coalition partners follow a solid budget policy and stand clearly to NATO and a strong, sovereign EU. This is not negotiable.“And Olaf Scholz attacked the LEFT sharply for their attitude to the recent Bundeswehr” rescue mission “in Afghanistan:” The rejection of the Bundeswehr rescue decision by the party Die Linke was bad, “he told the” Tagesspiegel " on Sunday. And further:
“Anyone who wants to assume government responsibility in Germany must make a clear commitment to cooperation with the USA, to the transatlantic partnership and to the fact that we need NATO for our defence and security. He must commit himself to a strong, sovereign European Union and to our sound handling of the money that the economy needs to grow.”
“Red Socks Campaign” shows success
The statements of Scholz and Esken are certainly strongly under the impression of a currently relaunched by the CDU “red socks campaign”, but it does not make it better.
On the one hand: The LEFT, which is already anxious to enter the Bundestag anyway, cannot clear away this central peace-programmatic point just before the election for electoral tactical reasons alone. And it must not do so for important substantive reasons: The LEFT is the only party represented in the Bundestag with consistent peace positions. All accounts of all Bundeswehr operations confirm this attitude. So why is there no political-moral pressure on the other “progressive” parties to finally change their submissive attitude towards NATO?
Scholz now says that he finds the behavior of the LEFT on the “rescue mission” bad-I find those parties much worse whose deputies made the Afghanistan war possible from beginning to end by voting. It also involves a considerable loss of reality to demand a commitment to NATO just at the moment when the total futility of the 20-year NATO war would finally have to be revealed to the last citizen. Scholz and Esken pretend that the war alliance has just proved to be a pillar of global “security” and has not revealed itself to the bone – not only as a cruel war and propaganda machine, but also as an inept crisis manager. Albrecht Müller recently pointed out this hypocrisy and the important role of the LEFT in rejecting such interventions:
“In today’s debate, of course, we will not come back to the fact that the Left Party was against this operation from the beginning.
Coming back to this would even be important in view of the upcoming Bundestag elections and the coalition negotiations to be held afterwards. Because the negative attitude of the Left Party to the Afghanistan operation and to other foreign operations of the Bundeswehr was always abused to consider a coalition with the Left Party as bad. Social Democrats and Alliance Greens rejected a coalition with the Left Party, citing the allegedly wrong position of the Left Party on military operations. And they were of course supported by the majority of the media, by the CDU/CSU anyway.
This constellation and this argumentation is not pointed out today. This is concealed, although it was actually an important by-product of the Afghanistan operation. The Left Party is not fit to govern, so it sounded, for example, especially in conservative/right-wing parts of the SPD.”
Would red-red-green-away from the corona theme – be cautiously welcomed?
When it comes to corona, the SPD, the Greens and parts of the LEFT have severely damaged themselves by supporting the lockdown policy far too uncritically and thus making it possible. In my opinion, many politicians from the SPD, the Greens and the LEFT have incurred great guilt in connection with the destructive corona policy. But if you disregard the special topic of corona policy, which in practice can realistically hardly be voted out: At least the election program of the LEFT contains, for example, in the social area (and of course in the area of peace policy), in my opinion the most promising points among the current Bundestag parties.
In this respect, I would give red-red-green (very cautious and full of skepticism) a chance, despite Corona and despite the shocking experiences with red-green in the federation. On the other hand, this would of course raise questions: Would red-red-green in the Federation be dangerous for the LEFT program? Would the Federal LEFT not necessarily have to lose its profile in this coalition and would it not very likely be demoted to the status of parts of the Berlin state LEFT, for example?
LEFT refuses (still) the “NATO commitment”
However, the LEFT-wing leadership is not deterred in its desire to co-govern by this potentially threatening loss of profile, nor by the newly built hurdles by the SPD leadership and would like to present an “immediate program” on the coalition question today. Apparently, the party leadership is now – contrary to the signals that co-leader Dietmar Bartsch sent a few months ago-but fortunately not (yet) caved in on the NATO issue, the” confession “is denied in this paper ,as the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports:
“In the immediate program of the left, however, the word ‘NATO’ does not occur once. The foreign policy section states that the aim of the left is to " restore the principles of multilateralism and détente in international politics.” The catastrophe in Afghanistan shows that ‘this form of Western solo walks and war operations is over’. The strategy of ‘humanitarian interventions ‘and’ out-of-area operations ' had ‘neither created democracy and development nor left peace and security’. This is also why the left wants to ‘end military operations abroad’”.
There are also no passages in the left-wing programme on the European Union or on the relationship with the USA that would fulfil Scholz’s “conditions”, but there are similarities:
“Instead, the party points to a variety of areas in which the SPD and the Greens could only assert their positions with the left – for example in pension, tax or rent policy. ‘Finally shape a tax policy for the majority? The Union and the FDP do not participate,’ says the paper of the left.”
The LEFT-chairman Susanne Hennig-Wellsow told the " Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”:
“I’m not sure if Scholz and Baerbock have an interest in governing with the left,” she said. “But I know with both that the store behind it already wants.”