Numerous editors and politicians describe the unclear events on the Polish-Belarusian border as a "hybrid" declaration of war against the EU under the "direction" of Russia. This is dangerous, because alleged acts of war can "justify" corresponding reactions. Under the table, in large parts of the reporting, the cause of the mass flight falls: Western wars and sanctions.
The reports from the Polish-Belarusian border are very disturbing. The human suffering and the still unexplained conditions at the border, about the background of which a battle of opinions has broken out, must be ended immediately, the affected people must be taken care of. But in many major German media, instead of a practical search for solutions, a search for scapegoats is practiced: the Russian president enlists his counterparts from Belarus and Turkey to wage a "hybrid war" against "Europe". Those responsible use "migration as a weapon" and "blackmail" the EU with it. This (i.e. the "war") must be "decisively" reacted to.
This is the tenor of numerous media comments on the situation at the border, parts of politics express similar opinions. This view also ignores the fact that the people in question were forced to flee mainly by "Western" wars, as Sergei Lavrov, among others, has made clear once again. Among other things, in the case of Syria, it is illegal "Western" sanctions that threaten citizens and cause them to flee. The key to ending the refugee movements lies first and foremost in the Western do-gooder democracies!
Media squirm because of double standards of Western geopolitics
Since the current events once again make clear the devastating effects of Western geopolitics of recent years, many editors of large media are squirming at the topic because their own double standards are revealed, which are regularly applied to other countries – depending on whether they are political competitors or "partners".
Not only are the Western wars being ignored as the cause of the refugee movements and the current situation in large parts of the coverage – in addition, breaks in content are becoming apparent: the ideal of "open borders" collides with the reality of border protection, which is demanded by numerous citizens – the importance of border protection (in consideration of the important right to asylum in emergency situations) should by no means be underestimated. But the contrast between the human rights lip service of the "West of values" on the one hand and the alleged current "push-backs" by Poland is not to be resolved without contradictions. Even the description of "migration as a weapon" is suddenly no longer a right-wing conspiracy theory. And how are editors supposed to accomplish the balancing act of certifying the refugees from the Mittelmehr the freedom from influence and at the same time presenting the refugees from the planes as instrumentalized and "carted in"? A comment at RT formulates it like this:
"Just four days ago, the German Sea-Eye 4 landed in Sicily and brought more than 800 refugees ashore there. This is a humanitarian action. On the Polish-Belarusian border, however, it will be welcomed if Poland keeps the refugees away. Lukashenko only sharpens the contradiction.“
As I said, the background of the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border is still very vague and difficult to assess. Is it probably true that Russia and Belarus behave tactically ("on the backs of refugees")? Then this would be to be condemned – even if this tactic would not be possible without the wars of the West.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency thanked the authorities in Belarus for the access to the migrants, according to DPA. "We are ready to help find solutions," the statement said. The Belarusian border guard, in turn, welcomed the fact that for the first time the representatives of the aid organizations had taken a picture for themselves. This is an important prerequisite for finding a solution in the interests of people on the basis of international experience.
If the current Western accusations against Russia and Belarus are true: how would this act be classified, what reaction would it justify? The far too fast and very clear answers in numerous German media are sometimes disturbing.
Editors feel caught
As an example, some media articles will be considered here. Despite the numerous uncertainties in the classification of the situation on the Polish border, Bettina Klein, for example, is already taking the Russian government to court in Deutschlandfunk:
"The reaction of the Russian leadership to the drama on the Belarusian-Polish border follows the perfidious script of dictatorships and regimes of injustice around the world: blame the other side for exactly those acts that you yourself commit. Do it very publicly and completely unabashedly – the more brazen, the more effective.“
The "Belarusian ruler", directly or indirectly supported by the Russian leadership, deliberately created a problem on the border with Poland, of which he now accuses the European Union". The whole thing culminates "in the assertion that it is allegedly the EU that is carrying out hybrid attacks here". The cynicism is "hard to beat". The Deutschlandfunk correctly addresses the problems and contradictions of the EU's asylum policy, but instead of showing solutions, the station complains about the exposure by the "adversary". Therefore, the actions of the West that drive people to flee are not scandalized first of all: the "audacity" is scandalized above all by the fact that competing states now point out the discrepancy between formulated "values" and the bellicose reality of Western politics, as if one feels caught:
"Asylum and migration policy is still an unresolved problem in the European Union. Nothing pleases their opponents better than to show off the EU and denounce their alleged or actual failure in terms of their own values.“
"An attack on the EU, on Germany, on us"
"Bild Live" reports from the Polish border and sees "us" under attack:
"What is happening here is an attack on the EU, on Germany, on us. Putin and Belarus dictator Lukashenko are sending thousands of refugees to us. It is an organized, a planned, a deliberate refugee drama. So these are the images that the Russians want to see in the same way, because they put us in a huge moral quandary.”
Also, the "Zeit" of Thursday in the editorial almost does not go into the origin of the refugee movements. Instead, it is demanded to stand "on Poland's side" in the "hybrid war" of the "blackmailer Lukashenko" against "Poland and thus against Europe". This is probably initially intended in the form of "physical barriers", but the accusation of acts of war often also includes the "justification" for a far more aggressive response.
As examples of media from the second series, the "Reutlinger Generalanzeiger" calls for massive sanctions, "which really hurt", the "Südkurier" also wants the intensified punishment of Russia and Belarus:
"But instead of tightening the sanctions against Minsk and Moscow and taking the accomplice on the Bosphorus with them into the shortage, some EU countries prefer to criticize the government in Warsaw, because it resorts to martial means in its time of need.“
Politicians want reactions with "all severity"
Parts of German politics have already followed this demand for a stricter tone. Thus, according to DPA, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) accused Lukashenko in the Bundestag of an unscrupulous game with human lives and again threatened sanctions – not only against Belarus, but also against participating transit countries and airlines:
"No one should be allowed to take part in Lukashenko's inhuman activities with impunity.“
SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz has also announced consequences for Lukashenko. Scholz said on Thursday that action would be taken with "all severity" against the Lukashenko government and was working intensively on a joint EU response. And German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a meeting with Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in Berlin on Thursday that the people are being used unacceptably by the political leadership in Minsk to exert political pressure on the European Union. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a group of "Western Security Council members" at the UN formulated in a statement that the Belarusian action was "unacceptable".
Who is carrying out a "hybrid" attack here?
As a result of the statements quoted here, the understanding with Russia, which is vital for Germany's long-term survival, has reached a new low point. Could this torpedoing of relations between Russia and the EU, which has been going on for years, also be regarded as a "hybrid" attack?