Germany’s Green Party conference held last weekend was a repulsive spectacle. The 817 delegates gathered in Bonn outdid one another with demands for an escalation of the war in Ukraine.
It is hard to say which aspect of the gathering was more repugnant: the delegates’ rejection of the party’s earlier lip service to peace, disarmament, environmental protection and the phase-out of nuclear power, the cynicism with which they justified their new political line or the Greens’ disdain for and ignorance of the concerns and needs of the broad mass of the population.
NATO's proxy war against Russia in Ukraine threatens to escalate into a nuclear third world war. US President Joe Biden has spoken of the danger of a nuclear “Armageddon.” Former CIA Director Leon Panetta estimates the likelihood of tactical nuclear weapons being used in Ukraine at 25 percent. The response of the Greens is to pour oil on the fire and advocate further military escalation.
A motion seeking a ceasefire in Ukraine and another opposing the supply of heavy weapons to Kiev were overwhelmingly rejected by delegates. Green Member of the European Parliament, Sergey Lagodinsky, lambasted the argument of one delegate who warned that Europe would be wiped out after the first nuclear bomb dropped, saying that Ukrainians “cannot defend themselves with sunflowers.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock vehemently advocated the delivery of more weapons and heavy battle tanks to Ukraine. “We support Ukraine, not despite the fact that we are a party of peace and human rights, but because we are a party of peace and human rights,” she stated to justify her advocacy of war.
Party leader Ricarda Lang supported her, saying, “I am convinced we have to deliver more weapons, we have to react faster. The time for hesitation is over.”
The US has declared China a strategic rival and is systematically preparing for war against the country of 1.4 billion people. The Greens stand behind this course. “China threatens our democratic way of life, and that's why we have to take it damn seriously,” blustered former party leader Reinhard Bütikofer.
Contrary to what was laid down in the German national coalition agreement, the federal government is supplying equipment and armament for fighter planes worth 36 million euros to Saudi Arabia, which is using them to bomb Yemen to smithereens. Not a problem for the Greens! The party conference gave a green light for such exports.
Baerbock came up with a new justification for this criminal policy. If Germany were to withdraw from the European joint project that produces weapons for the Saudi regime, the costs for equipping the Bundeswehr would increase and thus money for social benefits would be lacking. “I don't want us to save even more in the social sector and then Lisa [referring to Lisa Paus, the Green family minister] will have no more funds for the children who urgently need them,” the foreign minister asserted.
“Creating social security with arms exports” – a really original new slogan for the Greens! Baerbock was rewarded with a standing ovation.
The party conference also sacrificed climate policy, the trademark of the Greens, to war policy. The party agreed to delay the planned nuclear phase-out and reactivate coal-fired power plants to compensate for the gas shortages resulting from economic sanctions imposed on Russia.
The Greens remained true to their roots in only one respect. The party conference argued over some entirely subsidiary issues in order to give the impression that controversial debate was still possible. The young careerists Luisa Neubauer (Fridays for Future) and Timon Dzienus (Green Youth) were allowed to accuse the party of “ecological hyperrealism“ and of “missing climate targets.” The congress engaged in a heated debate and a snap vote was taken on the issue of the demolition of the small hamlet of Lützerath in order to make way for lignite mining. In fact, all of the inhabitants of the small village have already left.
These debates don’t alter the path of the Green Party which is lurching ever more to the right. The transformation of the Greens into a party of war, the bourgeois state and the capitalist order is complete. “We are bearers of this state,“ proclaimed Omid Nouripour proudly. Nouripour heads the party together with Ricarda Lang.
“The founding figures of Bündnis 90/Green Party gathered in a spirit of rebellion and contempt for the system in both German states,“ commented the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Today, the party regards saving the state order as its most sacred task.” The Tagesspiegel wrote: “Today the Greens are still radical–but radically realistic. ... The ethos of responsibility forces one to think first of the country and then of the party. Those who don’t realise this fail to recognise their responsibility. Ethical considerations are for yesterday.”
The merging of the Greens and the state stands in inverse proportion to Germany’s social divide. The consequences of economic sanctions, soaring inflation, skyrocketing rents and looming recession are deepening the gap between rich and poor, heralding fierce class struggles and clashes with the ruling government of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals. The Greens are responding by moving sharply to the right.
To dispel any doubts about who the party serves, the Greens had invited major corporations to financially sponsor the conference – including the employers’ association Gesamtmetall, which represents among others the interests of the arms industry, the chemical company Bayer, the Federal Association of Housing and Real Estate Entrepreneurs, the German poultry industry and the discount chain Lidl. Siegfried Russwurm, president of the German Industrial Association, appeared as guest speaker at the conference.
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