Wagenknecht: “So it’s not even embarrassing to lie to the public about the real situation in Ukraine”


From her Bundestag speech of June 4, 2014

Sahra Wagenknecht

Translated from German by Tom Winter. The first section of the speech, omitted here, dealt with the European economy. Yes, it is from last year, but remember, Fort Russ only began last fall, and further, these words from last year need to be heard still!

In Ukraine, Europe has already failed. The country is sinking into a bloody civil war. How nice those flowery promises sounded that you made to the Ukrainians a few months back. Supposedly, the German government wanted to support the forces of democracy, freedom and Europe against those that stand for oligarchy, poverty, and corruption. Today you support a government which includes four ministers of an openly anti-Semitic and anti-Russian Nazi Party, a government that has emblazed conflict and today is brutally waging war against its own people.

[Katrin Göring-Eckardt (Alliance 90 / The Greens): Have you heard that there were elections?]

You support a president who has run his campaign with his multibillion-dollar kleptogains and his own television station, an oligarch, who outdoes the former president Yanukovych in corruption, gangsterism and crooked business, and who used to be his minister.

So it’s not even embarrassing to lie to the public about the real situation in Ukraine, in which very rich oligarchs, just like Afghan warlords, finance their own private armies and plunder the country shamelessly, while a majority of Ukrainians live in grinding poverty, a poverty, which will be exacerbated as a result of the cuts dictated by the EU and the IMF that continue

You hide the fact that armed thugs of the Right Sector are ensconced just like before on the Maidan and move about freely in many parts of Ukraine endangering life and limb, and that the government, instead of disarming these marauding Nazi gangs, prefers to ban the Communist Party.

Unfortunately, the murder of more than 40 civilians in a union house in Odessa, which was set on fire by this right-wing mob and burned the victims alive is not Russian propaganda, but cruel reality,

[Applause from the Left]

a reality that has nothing to do with the image you’ve painted of a cosmopolitan pro-European Ukraine.

[Applause from the Left Party Henning Otte (CDU / CSU): Scattered applause!]

Is not it downright irresponsible to help a government that so blatantly violates elementary democratic standards, with billions in EU money? Would not it be much better to advocate that the predatory wealth of the oligarchs were finally returned the Ukrainian people? There is enough of it to solve the financial problems of Ukraine.

[Applause from the Left. Max Straubinger (CDU / CSU): How’s that go in Russia? Volker Kauder (CDU / CSU): Where are your slush funds?]

Down with oligarchy and corruption! Democracy and better social protection: These were the concerns of the original Maidan movement. They were completely betrayed by the current rulers in Kiev, and by you, Madam Chancellor, insofar as you support these rulers.

[Katrin Göring-Eckardt (Alliance 90 / The Greens): But the Maidan movement was  controlled by America!]

What applies to the EU, also applies to Ukraine. Only when people have a social perspective, will the land have one.

The first condition for this is an end to the civil war. The new president does not even make an attempt to de-escalate the situation. He wants no talks and no negotiations, only the merciless use of military force, even though every experience teaches that there are no quick victories in civil wars, just endless bloodshed.

Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Steinmeier, if you want to return to a responsible foreign policy after all the failures of your Ukraine diplomacy, put pressure on Poroshenko to stop the war against his own people,

[Applause from the Left]

to open the path to negotiations and a cease-fire. Then you can count Putin credible and put him under pressure as well.

[Max Straubinger (CDU / CSU): Unbelievable! what is Putin paying for such a speech?]

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This is also a matter of taking the legitimate interests of all sides seriously. That is exactly what the West has ignored when it comes to Russia. Today it appears even to former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates that NATO’s eastward expansion was a mistake, a mistake which – as Gates literally – “was a political act, not a carefully considered military commitment, thus undermining the purpose of the alliance and recklessly ignoring what the Russians considered their own vital national interests. “

It was equally irresponsible, in Article 10 of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, to put Ukraine in a common defense policy with the EU, effectively binding Ukraine in with NATO. Equally irresponsible is the absurd sanctions debate which continued to worsen the climate,

[Applause from the Left]

and has the potential to massively damage the German and European economy, while US oil and gas corporations laugh.

There is no peace and no security in Europe without or against Russia.

[Applause from the Left]

It is therefore the absolute responsibility of the Federal Government to clearly and decisively come down against Obama’s utter terrifying war rhetoric and speak out against the announced troop deployment in Eastern Europe. We do not need further military provocation.

[Michael Grosse-Brömer (CDU / CSU): Have you told Putin this?]

We also do not need more arms in this world bristling with weapons.

[Applause from the Left]

Whoever, exactly 100 years after the beginning of World War I and after the horrors of World War II contemplates and fantasizes that wars can be installed in Europe,

is, I must say, sick in the head, and must be reined in, whether it is Obama, Rasmussen or anyone else.

[Applause from the Left]

Therefore, Mrs Merkel: untie yourself from the US warmongering tow-rope.

[Applause from the Left Party – Shouts from the CDU / CSU: Oh – Henning Otte (CDU / CSU): You’re divorced from reality – Michael Grosse-Brömer (CDU / CSU): Absurd!]

Sit down – possibly jointly with France – to ensure that Europe refuses this course of escalation. The French historian Emmanuel Todd has issued Germany a damning testimony.

[Michael Grosse-Brömer (CDU / CSU): Who, Trotsky?]

– Emmanuel Todd. If you have not heard the name, you should read more.

[Alexander Ulrich (DIE LINKE): Sometimes reading is helpful – Michael Grosse-Brömer (CDU / CSU): Emmanuel Trotsky?]

I quote him: “Unconsciously … the Germans are now about to take their disaster-making role for other Europeans one day — for themselves.”

[Henning Otte (CDU / CSU): This is cheek!]

If you mistake food for thought as cheek, then I really am sorry.

[Max Straubinger (CDU / CSU): What is it else?]

Madam Chancellor, the German European policy stood once in another tradition. It stood in a tradition that was established by the Bruderkuss of Charles de Gaulle and Adenauer in the Elysée, through the handshake of Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl over the graves of Verdun, and Willy Brandt’s genuflection in Warsaw with which he took Germany beyond antisemitism and racism in the world, and symbolically brought in the spirit of east-west détente. Finally, bring back this tradition of German foreign and European policy!

[Applause from the Left]

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