“We note to our sorrow the fact that our national parliaments and our national governments are no longer in a position to make an independent assessment of other parts of the world, or to ask ourselves whether our policies towards other countries can be upheld or have to be changed, because we follow the lines from Washington and sometimes from Paris and London in a very bad way.”
ParsToday: Mr. Wimmer, the 55th Munich Conference in the Bavarian court is over. A conference full of tension. In your opinion, what were the dominant themes of this conference?
Wimmer: Well, first of all, there was the Federal Chancellor’s massive attack on American President Trump, and the German automobile workers will be affected by it. If, in a few weeks, punitive tariffs get imposed on German cars exported to the United States, then one will see what the Chancellor’s speech really did. Beyond that, of course, in the room are those who have massively cheered that for two years German politics has not found an answer to the American president. This is certainly the absolute first impression of this conference from domestic policy circles.
And then of course you have to see that the United States, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, have not yet managed to switch from their constant readiness for war to the ability to make peace. And of course you have to take a closer look at the different hotspots, including the Korean Peninsula, including Latin America and Venezuela, and above all, the Middle East and that’s where you’re right in the middle.
ParsToday: Mr. Wimmer, the Chancellor in her speech on Saturday particularly reprimanded the go it alone efforts of US President Donald Trump in foreign and trade policy. How do you find this criticism or this complaint?
Wimmer: From my point of view, that is the inability of the Federal Chancellor and many other European governments to even understand why President Trump exists. That has also shown up very clearly in Munich. You kiss and hug with Mrs. Pelosi and with Lindsey Graham, these are the representatives of the usual Washington war coalition, which is on the way with wars worldwide and also knows how to be bipartisan.
That’s one thing and the second is that because of this war coalition that has plunged the world into misery since the Yugoslav war, there is just President Trump to seize a chance to stop the US’s crash into misery itself. But European governments can not find an answer to that because they bump into a president who at any rate does not carry the usual image of an American war coalition. You have view that very soberly, and that has broken a passage in this conference.
ParsToday: Mr Wimmer, on the first day of the conference, Germany promised its allies in NATO and the EU a strong commitment to defense policy. Let me quote two sentences here, one from the Minister of Defense and then the second from the Foreign Minister. I quote: “We know that we have to do more, especially we Germans,” said Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen on military spending. That was something in the spirit of the American president. But Foreign Minister Heiko Maas emphasized that this alone would not be enough. “For us security is not measured solely in the growth of the defense budget,” he said, “security also includes greater conflict prevention and humanitarian action.” So these are completely opposite opinions from members of the Federal Government. What do you think?
Wimmer: These are both opinions that completely bypass the will of the German people. The stipulations of NATO some years ago when it came to increasing military budgets were all from US pressure. And that has not led in a single country to a national parliament being able to think independently — the situation we are actually dealing with. Well, these statements by Mrs von der Leyen and Mr Maas, you can really put them in a sack. They make it clear that everything that happens in this field is not at all due to a sovereign decision by the national parliaments or even the governments. They bow to the American pressure and that makes it clear in the core that the American military commanders have actually taken control of our countries and that the vehicle to do so is NATO.
And the NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg as a Norwegian is indeed really the eloquent expression for these considerations. During the Cold War, Norwegians and Danes took every opportunity to say goodbye to common defense through footnotes in the conference documents. And now they are the warmongers par excellence.
This is an unbearable situation and what this leads to makes an event in Moscow clear a few weeks ago. The Russian government had invited the Western military attachés to look at the Russian missile in question and attend a briefing. The rocket, which was used on the US side on flimsy grounds to terminate the INF Treaty. What happened in Moscow, the Western military attachés, including the German, could not look at this rocket, because the Americans exerted such unbearable pressure that only the Cypriots and Greeks have looked at this rocket. This of course makes it clear what we actually have to do with it. And when Frau von der Leyen or Herr Maas fume in Munich and inflate their cheeks, then every German knows that we have nothing left to say in defense affairs ourselves.
ParsToday: Mr. Wimmer, on the second day conflicts and tensions with Russia and China were discussed. What do you think?
Wimmer: Yes, that’s a phenomenon, which we can deduct from the considerations I’ve just mentioned. To our sorrow we note the fact that our national parliaments and our national governments are no longer in a position to make an independent assessment of other parts of the world, or to ask ourselves whether our policies towards other countries can be upheld or have to be changed, because we follow the lines from Washington and sometimes from Paris and London, in a very bad way.
That is why we need not be surprised that the world is developing differently than the rulers in Berlin or the leading members of the German Bundestag in foreign policy questions imagine. That reality and what happens in Berlin go too far apart.
ParsToday: Mr. Wimmer, let us also turn to the topics on the third day of the conference. Conflicts in the Middle East were at the center of the third day of the conference. In his speech, the Iranian foreign minister accused the US of “pathological obsession” with Teheran and rejected allegations that his government was planning a new holocaust. On the other hand, the Iranian foreign minister said that these are all hypocrisies, that the Americans set up. How do you see this conflict?
Wimmer: Well, we’ve had to have a corresponding experience in NATO’s modern wartime history during the war in Yugoslavia. When the then unspeakable German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer justified the war against Yugoslavia, which was in violation of international law, with the argument that an Ausschwitz had to be prevented: and indeed the new German-Yugoslav-created – possibly – Ausschwitz.
If a tragic event, such as the development of the Holocaust, leads to instrumentalizing it in current political issues, as Joschka Fischer did back then, or as the American Vice-President did today at the conference in Warsaw or in Munich, then it makes one need to puke. That the most tragic thing in the world is ever used to drum up a new war. And that of course makes it clear that the Western attitude in these questions must be described as complete. That would have to be prohibited under all circumstances, to resort to such a propagandistic means. But of course that makes it clear that the United States obviously has no choice but to resort to this evil remedy.
And we’ve been seeing for decades – and that started with the war on Iran versus Iraq or Iraq against Iran – where the West has done everything to bring a sovereign countr, Iran, to its knees. I do not judge at all about the things that under normal circumstances can and must be discussed between states. But what legitimacy is there for the United States, for France, and for the United Kingdom to rampage over a country as appears in Iran.
So you have to take a focused look at the development in the Middle East over decades to see that certain things do not go. And from my point of view, I can only say that if it is up to American President Trump, whose Iranian explanations I actually know … but if, but if it turns out that for the first time in North Korea the United States may be on the path to peace, then that is worth more than the statements, which Vice President Pence made in Warsaw and in Munich in terms of the war drums against Iran.
ParsToday: Mr. Wimmer, allow me only one last question. And there’s a balance sheet for this three-day conference. How do you balance the conference?
Wimmer: Well, from my point of view, I have to say that it would be much better if the normal means of diplomacy were used to resolve difficulties between states, than this conference on intimidation, that every Munich Security Conference turns into. This is just a gigantic spectacle to make it clear to the people on this globe, that actually the next war is at the door. And for that, the German taxpayer should not spend the millions that this conference costs and where actually only the enemy images are maintained against other states.The interview was conducted by Seyed Hedayatollah Shahrokny