German military-academic complex publishes war manifesto
On July 20, the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) published an article invited by 22 academics and military. The declaration can only be described as a war manifesto of the German military-academic complex.
The article pleads for the continuation of the deadly proxy war in Ukraine, denounces any “desire for a rapid ceasefire and a political solution” as “dangerous” and calls for “increasing the level and quantity Western arms deliveries”.
The appeal underlines the aggressiveness with which German imperialism supports NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine. The authors explicitly state that there is “no leeway” for a “ceasefire” or a “diplomatic solution” in Ukraine. They claim that in order to avoid a “dictated peace” by Russia – that is, to defeat the Russian army in Ukraine – “the firepower and counterattack capacity in particular” of the Ukrainian army must be “massively” strengthened. The aim of the war must be “to gain time for the sanctions to take effect”, and thus to permanently limit the “military power” of Russia.
To justify this agenda, the newspaper relies on the usual propaganda of the NATO powers and upsets reality. The Kremlin regime “systematically planned and prepared for the war in Ukraine for several years” and aimed to “destroy Western societies, democratic political systems and international institutions”, say the authors. Russia, they continue, is trying to wage a years-long “war of attrition” in Ukraine and wants to trigger a recession in Germany “by cutting off the supply of natural gas”.
If the war ends with a “‘hasty’ diplomatic solution”, the authors state in a truly Orwellian manner, “further serious and destructive war crimes are threatened in Ukraine”.
In reality, it is the Western powers, including Germany, that are pursuing a destructive imperialist great power policy with the war in Ukraine, having “systematically planned and prepared” for the conflict. The NATO powers surrounded Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and massively reinforced and modernized the Ukrainian armed forces after the pro-Western coup of 2014. They intentionally provoked the Russian invasion. Now they are using war to weaken and ultimately subjugate the resource-rich country so that it can be exploited and controlled by imperialist powers.
The “Manifesto of the 22” spells it out unequivocally. According to the authors, the war in Ukraine “represents the beginning of a new era, the consequences of which are still not understood by many”. They continue: “The failure of the Russian troops” and “the enormous losses inflicted on the Russian professional army” offer Germany and its allies “opportunities to influence new developments which must not be wasted”.
The war offensive is directed not only against Russia, but also against China. The article laments China’s “thinly veiled sympathy for Russia’s position”, which shows that “we are at a time when democratic states are facing an alliance of powerful authoritarian regimes seeking to eliminate the order rules-based liberal international community based on collaboration in solving global problems.
Indeed, under the guise of “freedom” and “democracy”, the imperialist powers are preparing for a third world war against the nuclear powers of Russia and China. NATO’s new strategic concept states, among other things, that it “will individually and collectively provide the full range of armed forces necessary for deterrence and defence, including for high-intensity interdimensional warfare against peer competitors. possessing nuclear weapons.
The danger of a Third World War waged with nuclear weapons does not prevent the signatories of the FAZ war manifesto from demanding that the decisions of the NATO summit in Madrid be “quickly implemented”. Behind the madness hide well-defined imperialist objectives. Above all, the ruling class in Germany sees the war as an opportunity to implement its long-formulated war and great power plans.
Specifically, the document demands that the German armed forces “play a leading role” within the framework of the NATO alliance and “swiftly” implement a military strategy “for Poland and the Baltic States”, as well as for the entire “Baltic Sea”. Region.” In addition, a strategy must be developed that “points beyond the immediate war”. Given the “massive errors” and “humiliating losses” on the Russian side, it would be “negligent” not to use the “options” presented by the “current Russian weakness”, say the authors.
The historical implications of this program are as clear as they are considerable. By marching once more towards Eastern Europe and waging war in Ukraine in order to defeat Russia, the German army revives its war aims in World Wars I and II. It supports and arms the political heirs of the forces which cooperated with the Wehrmacht and the SS in the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union.
Then as now, a class of academics plays a pivotal and repulsive role in advancing and ideologically masking the ruling class’ war politics. Among the signatories of the call to war are German professors and chairholders from the universities of Kiel, Bradford, Bonn and Potsdam, as well as high-ranking officers and professors from the military universities of Hamburg and Munich. In addition, there are members of various geopolitical think tanks and militaristic training academies. Six signatories alone are associated with the Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel (ISPK), close to the German navy.
Many authors have been omnipresent in the media since the beginning of the war, put forward to spread the poison of militarism. Among the most prominent are Carlo Masala (University of Munich) and Sönke Neitzel (University of Potsdam), as well as NATO military planner and DGAP colleague Heinrich Brauß, Austrian analyst Gustav Gressel (European Council on Foreign Relations ) and German nuclear weapons propagandist Maximilian Terhalle (London School of Economics).
Former General Klaus Wittmann, one of the perpetrators, recently demanded a “Ukrainian counter-offensive” with German tanks in the southeast of the country in the right-wing Springer press.
Since 2013, the Socialist Equality Party (SGP) and its youth organization, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), have warned against the transformation of universities into centers of militarism and war propaganda. , as it happened before the First and Second World Wars. At that time, the SGP and the IYSSE were the only political organizations to oppose the militarist conspiracy in the state apparatus and showed how the end of Germany’s “military restraint” was systematically prepared by the main political, military, media and academic circles.
From the publication of the programmatic article “New power, new responsibility”, to the publication of a new white paper by the German Armed Forces and to the relativization of the crimes of the Nazis by Humboldt University professor Jörg Baberowski (“Hitler was not vicious”), we demonstrated the role of professors and scholars in the return of German militarism. Christoph Vandreier, longtime spokesman for the IYSSE in Germany and current president of the SGP, explained in his book Why are they back? that “the ruling elite in Germany must relativize and trivialize the greatest crimes in human history in order to revive the aims of the two world wars”.
At Humboldt University Berlin, which plays a central role in this regard, the IYSSE is at the forefront of the fight against attempts by the university administration to suppress criticism of far-right and militarist positions. . The positions of Baberowski and Herfried Münkler – that Germany must become the “discipline of Europe”, and the Nazi war of extermination should be seen as an understandable reaction to the violence of the Bolsheviks – correspond to the policy of the ruling class.
Under conditions of concrete danger of nuclear war and the largest German rearmament program since the fall of the Nazi regime, leading government politicians pay tribute to a Ukrainian ambassador who denies critical aspects of the Holocaust before a global audience. The declared objective of the German government is to dominate Europe militarily and to make the EU “a geopolitical player” under the leadership of Berlin.
Only a powerful international anti-war movement of the working class can halt the march towards World War III and prevent the historic crimes of German imperialism from being eclipsed by new ones. The strikes, mass demonstrations and social unrest that have developed around the world since the start of the war in Ukraine show that the basis for such a movement is already taking shape.
Warmongering professors and generals are also aware of this. “The next two years will be very difficult,” they conclude in their manifesto. “It is with great concern” that it must be stated “that there are repeated calls for a political solution or a ceasefire.” In order to counter the foreseeable social and political eruption, “a concerted action by all social and political forces concerned” is necessary.
The working class must oppose the war plot and the “concerted action” of the ruling class with its own program. The SGP and its sister parties in the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) will do everything in their power to arm the struggle against war, militarism and social misery with a socialist and internationalist perspective. The task of building these organizations now takes on the greatest urgency.