A column by Jakob Augstein
Kiev: When it comes to Russia, the two East Germans are taking it with human rights very closely. The U.S. however can expect more indulgence.
The President has set an example. He wont go to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia . The unspoken reason: In Russia, gays are suppressed, and the political artist Nadezhda Tolokonnikowa from “Pussy Riots” sits in a Siberian prison camp.
Russia currently beset the Ukraine, not to turn to the west. Reason enough for Angela Merkel to take sides for the Ukrainian opposition. Latest development: According SPIEGEL, the Chancellor wants the professional boxer Vitali Klitschko to build up opposition leaders and opposition candidates to replace President Yanukovych.
These are great gestures. Is that the new style of German foreign policy? Will we be soon against the U.S. as determined as it is now against the Russians?
Often, the Federal Republic must be scold because of their silly foreign policy. Syria, Middle East, Libya: “Where is Germany”? But when it comes to Russia, then Germany is getting firm. Compared to the usual composure, German foreign policy towards the Russian empire acts currently downright aggressive.
Gaucks Olympic boycott is a diplomatic affront. And Merkel’s open support for Klitschko is an interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.
With the U.S. Gauck and Merkel would never deal as harshly
In June, the Russian Duma passed a law that put any “propaganda” for homosexuality to minors is punishable. What do we think of progress, they call decadence in the east. If one looks for it, the Russian legislation could be a good reason to boycott the Winter Games in Sochi .
On the other hand, there are plenty events to boycott, here is a World Cup, there a commercial contract … But do not worry, the Germans will not begin in earnest to make their foreign policy compass by the morals. Here it’s all about the Russians. With the U.S., for example Gauck and Merkel would never act as harshly.
We know this since this summer. Gauck’s first words after the revelations of Edward Snowden denominated, it should be in its deeds to “pure betrayal”, he had no sympathy for it.
It then took a while to get recognized the full extent of American power abuse of the Federal President and the President to become a “This affair makes me extremely worried” roused himself and said that a man like Snowden deserve “respect”.
For a more strict course Joachim Gauck was not available, though.
And Angela Merkel’s words to the scandal were so much insignificant that they were immediately forgotten. To her knowledge, the Internet “for all of us new territory,” – it will be remembered for a long time.
When Gauck and Merkel worry about our rights?
Of course, neither Merkel nor Gauck have now once again took the floor, as the recent furtherance of the scandal became known: the Americans gather worldwide five billion records of cell phones – per day.
One has some sympathy for Merkel and Gauck: You were the only people in the world whose actions would not be influenced by biographical character.
Almost a quarter of a century after the fall, we have after all the unexpected situation that both the President and the Chancellor from the East came from East Germany andhave therefore a very special relationship with Russia – a bad one.
But to the same extent they both tend to misunderstand the USA as a savior they are no longer any more for long time.
Why Gauck apostrophized as President the liberty? Why has he written a book titled “Freedom”? Because Gauck can only see the threats to freedom he knows. The Russians from the former USSR he knows.
Gauck can not imagine that today a much greater threat to our way of life comes from the west.
Merkel could be able to see it, but she does not want to.
We are left with the thought: If the two are boldly fighting for the rights of Russian gays and Ukrainian opposition, when are they going to do for our rights in Germany?
Automatic translated from German