Good USA, bad Russia? The Minister of Transport of Baden-Württemberg sees it differently – and denounces omissions.
Against the background of the war in Ukraine, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Transport, Winfried Hermann (Greens), warned against taking a one-sided view of the role of Russia and the West. “The military conflicts and participation in wars of the past 30 years do not justify the image that only Russia, ‘belligerent’ and ‘evil’, repeatedly enforces its interests with military force,” writes Hermann in a thesis paper on the war that is available to the German Press Agency . “In particular, the US interventions brought a lot of destruction instead of peace and democracy.”
Since the end of the Soviet Union, Russia has waged brutal, illegal wars with proven war crimes in the supposed Russian zones of interest, such as Chechnya, Georgia and Syria, Hermann continued. The USA – supported by individual NATO states such as France, Great Britain and Germany – but “with concentrated military force and partly also against international law twice in the same period in Iraq, in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, in Afghanistan etc.” intervened.
Criticism of “missed chances for peace”
At the same time, Hermann criticized “missed opportunities for peace” since the end of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The opportunity for a new “security architecture with arms control and disarmament, which also takes into account the interests of the former Soviet states and Russia” was wasted in favor of NATO’s eastward expansion.
Hermann is a pacifist and belongs to the left spectrum of the Greens. Politics, especially foreign and security policy, should not be primarily guided by emotions, the minister warned. He questioned whether western arms shipments would really end the war or prolong the violent conflict. “In the end, the peace treaty must also be concluded with the war opponent Russia, no matter what war crimes it has committed,” he emphasized. “That is the bitter, inescapable truth.”