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Alexander Rahr: on German Vice-Admiral's resignation of the and the Fate of European democracy

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Alexander Rahr: on German Vice-Admiral's resignation of the and the Fate of European democracy


Alexander Rahr

Alexander Rahr

Kay-Achim Schönbach, chief commander of the German Navy, was forced to resign after saying that "Crimea is gone, it will never come back" to Ukraine. He also called for "respectful and equal treatment" of Russian President Vladimir Putin and said that talks of war were "nonsense". The current situation in Germany resembles witch-hunting with the liberal media turning into an inquisition that is thirsty for the blood of those whose opinions do not conform to the official dogma. The above is evidence of the serious crisis experienced by democracy in Europe. It is beginning to act in authoritarian, autocratic ways.

The vice-admiral expressed his civic position, which perhaps was heard only because he had withdrawn slamming the door. Millions of people in Germany share his view that Russia is absolutely not an enemy of Western civilization as they attempt to present it but a Christian country that needs to be talked to.

I can see that many German military personnel - albeit former ones - have made a stand for Schönbach. Especially since he did not say anything radical but voiced a more than mild and sensible view: Germany should not take any risks. As an intelligent man, he understands the full scale of responsibility in the event of a hypothetical military clash that must be averted. He warns the Germans. But no one wants to hear this point of view in the midst of the hysteria that is in full swing here.

And I also think that the high-ranking military man is being "executed" not because of Crimea. After all, Schönbach is not the first person to say something like that. Back in 2015, Christian Lindner, the current minister of finance and opposition politician back then, said that Ukraine had to be taken out of the conversation with Russia because Crimea would not return to the Ukrainians. After that, he was dragged through the mud for weeks. In my opinion, it's all about the fact that the vice-admiral took the liberty to speak about the Russian president with understanding. At this point, politicians aggressively cling to dogmas and they do not want to yield an inch.

Europe increasingly reminds me of the Roman Empire, which established its own codes, standards of behavior, and interests. Today, Berlin, Paris, and Brussels consider themselves to be the centers of this new empire, while they view Russia as a barbarian that does not allow them to impose the highest culture and the highest morality. Look at how the interview of Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko is being promoted (he accused the FRG government of betrayal because it refused to sell arms to Ukraine; he also called to legislate German "lobbyists like ex-Chancellor Schröder" against working for Russia - a comment by the RG). Soon the situation will reach the point where the professions are barred. During an interview with the FAZ, a retired German diplomat suggested closing all money accounts in Europe that belong to Russians, "like the German accounts were closed in 1944." Just imagine the absurdity of that!

Kay-Achim Schönbach. Photo credit: Marineversteher /

There are other examples as well. I know that some restaurants in Berlin refuse to serve the Alternative for Germany activists: the owners recognize the politicians and literally kick them out of their establishments. This is what the liberal press has achieved! By the way, four years ago the Alternative was the strongest opposition force in Germany and it was feared. But now look at today's France where the presidential elections will be held in the spring: all the most successful candidates are of the right-wing. And it is against this background that the head of the French Interior Ministry declares the most dangerous person for the Fifth Republic to be Marine Le Pen!

We can see that the European Union will fight against right-wing movements, against traditionalists by any means hitting everyone with the fascism label. A few years ago, it was impossible to imagine that the liberal Brussels would start imposing sanctions against Hungary, against Poland, against Romania. But this is happening right in front of our eyes.

In this context, I thought a lot about what was going on with our democratic system. I grew up in the 1960s. Germany had no civil society in the contemporary understanding at that time. The country was led by Adenauer who could not be described as a classical democrat. The same case was with de Gaulle in France. But the democracy worked its way up through the "soft revolutions" and fought for the emancipation of the individual, for social justice, for a better world. It followed in the footsteps of the Enlightenment.

At school, we were taught Churchill's favorite phrase, which he had repeated after Voltaire. It has the following meaning: "I will never agree with your opinion. But as a democrat, I will fight to the last to give you the right to express it." Today that maxim has been thrown into the ash heap of history.

That democracy is nowhere to be seen. Now it seems to me that I belong to the last generation that grew up in the old paradigm. Today's politicians are fighting to make sure that alternative opinions never make their way in. They just shouldn't be heard by the public.

Paradoxically, democracy takes the place of autocracy, clings to privileges, and becomes a tool for suppressing the majority. To this end, for example, the so-called "gender language," the cult of minorities, and so on, have been pushed in Germany. Democracy is no longer enlightened, but rather militarized. It turns out that the most assertive and intolerant systems today are the democratic ones. They limit their own citizens, their right to freedom of thought in order to hold their ground.

Source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta

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