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    April 30, 2016

    "Forgetting history" German politicians on the NATO troop buildup on the Russian border

    "Uschi" (Ursula Von Der Leyen, German Defense Minister), with some German troops
    Sputnik Germany, April 30, 2016

    Translated from German by Tom Winter

    The announcement of a possible deployment of German troops to Lithuania for "containment" of Russia has made quite a stir in the media and the social networks in Germany.

    The opinions are often widely divergent. From the perspective of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Berlin faces a dilemma. If Germany would refuse the deployment of troops, that would be a lack of solidarity towards the Baltic States. Should it agree, that would strain relations with Russia. However Deutsche Rundfunk [The German Radio] considers these plans quite sound: NATO must guarantee the "territorial integrity of the countries" that "feel unsafe" near Russia.

    But this reason, that the states felt threatened by Russia, the Left-politician Gregor Gysi considers unconvincing. "First, it is not about feelings, but the question of whether a real threat exists. Second, these 250 soldiers would be in case of a real war more than superfluous," said Gysi on his Facebook page. To make his point even clearer, the politician thinks back on history: "Therefore, it is historically oblivious, and escalating, to send troops now to the Russian border"

    The Member of Parliament Sahra Wagenknecht supported her party comrade: "Chancellor Angela Merkel is committing an irresponsible provocation, when she sends the Bundeswehr to the Russian border 75 years after the Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union." [for her press release, click]

    In the comments on the Internet, many readers have aired their displeasure about the plan of the Federal Government. 

    "The border to Africa / Turkey / Syria is open, but the danger comes from Russia. Right! Just crazy," wrote one user in comments to the article in Die Welt

    Another reader, J89, pointed out that a NATO battalion constitutes no appreciable risk on the border with Russia: This is "symbolic politics." Other Internet users are unenthusiastic at the prospect of German soldiers in the direction of Russia. A sample: 
    Bundeswehr as a deterrent? Are the guns straightened out already?

    Does Panzer-Uschi want to go to Stalingrad, or what?
    East of the Oder, no German soldier has anything to look for!

    So ends the Sputnik story. Here is the full text of Gregor Gysi's Facebook post:

    The German government plans to involve up to 250 Bundeswehr soldiers in the beefing up of NATO's eastern flank on the border with Russia. I find the reasoning unconvincing that this was a sign for the eastern NATO members who felt threatened by Russia. First, it is not about feelings, but the question of whether a real threat exists. Second, these 250 soldiers would be in case of a real war more than superfluous. The populations of the eastern European countries also know this, so that a feeling of threat would not lessen. Incidentally, in history it's this way: it's not Russia invading Germany, but Germany invading Russia. On June 22, we have the 75th anniversary of the last attack by Germany. Therefore, it is history forgotten, and escalating, now to send troops to the Russian border.




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    Item Reviewed: "Forgetting history" German politicians on the NATO troop buildup on the Russian border Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Winter
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