The conference in Jalta from 1945 kept Germany at bay in regards to nuclear power. Years after, when the country has proven to be a fully developed, responsible democracy, it still hovers behind the protective wings of Sister America, with no hope of obtaining its own nuclear bomb. Nevertheless, as the regional power, it has inevitably something important to say about the recent actions on the Korean peninsula.
Some interesting pieces were recently published on the most important German blogs. Since nuclear deals are part of our everyday political lives (and since our memory span nowadays can be sometimes very short), Jakob Reimann, German blogger, decided to help us a little bit with remembering how it was with the Iranian deal mere 2 years ago, in July 2015. He basically names it a success and compliments the International Atomic Energy Agency, the one keeping an eye over Iranian nuclear sites for its meticulousness. So far, he says, we can definitely speak of the victory of the world’s diplomacy. The author’s message is clear: this is how we should deal with the Korean dictator – with sanctions and round tables as accessories, not airplanes flying over enemy’s territories.
Casting an eye on the growing tension between US and Korea can definitely make a person nod and agree to the abovementioned statement. Nevertheless, president of the United States called the Iranian deal a disgrace, and most probably enjoys the wind of change, since he quite likes to play with his collection of tin soldiers. The ‘Little Rocket Man’ likes military games too, and maybe we will soon look for mushrooms in the skies.
It is fairly difficult to find a blogger in Germany who wouldn’t be criticizing President Trump and making fun of his tweets - in a manner of a dark humor usually. They like to call him a moody and dishonest oligarch or a person who feels endangered by the morning news. Nevertheless, it is worth an effort to look for a slightly different point of view and try to see if everyone feels as insecure in regard to the current political climate.
Reading through the readers’ letters to nachdenkseiten.de, commenting on an article of Albrecht Müller ‘Kriegsgefahr. “Die Trump-Revolution marschiert”’ (‘The danger of war. “The Trump – revolution marching”’), one comes across a doubtful letter who’s author points out, that no matter how Trump behaves, he is merely a puppet of the system created years ago, along with the nuclear era, and just as much as Bush and Obama, he is a hostage of the situation, not its master. Hence, the probability of him drastically changing the way things are is quite low.
Another reader believes, that the whole escalation is merely a ’(…) muscle game to further boost the armaments industry’, and the fears are artificially exaggerated by the media. Mr. Burkhard Wolff on the other hand, likes the fact that although Donald Trump is making it impossible to clean up the mess in the Middle East, he does so without a mask, at least.
It seems that the German society does not surrender entirely to the madness of projecting an inevitable nuclear war that could destroy our world within seconds. To exemplify it, Mr. Tom Wellbrock mocks the German government in his blog entry for neulandrebellen.de, saying that it fears a nonexistent enemy ready to strike Germany. In his article he grills the following comment on 2017 Nobel Prize for Peace, published on the government’s official website: : ‘(…) Germany and Europe are also threatened - the need to maintain a nuclear deterrent continues. This is ensured by NATO’ (The prize went to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)).
Tom Wellbrock points out to the fact, that Germany, among others, boycotted the United Nations’ negotiations on the first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons (doesn’t mention though, that Germany signed the treaty in the end), but at the same time praises the choice of the Nobel Prize Committee. He is not the first one to point to the somewhat schizophrenic politics of his country. ‘German disarmament policy is similarly contradictory: officially it demands a nuclear-weapon-free world, but in fact Germany opposes a prohibition of nuclear weapons’, states Leo Hoffmann-Axthelm (Heinrich Böll Stiftung).
What is the truth then? Is Germany really fearing the nuclear war, Donald Trump’s unpredictable behavior, his outburst (resulting maybe in the red button situation)? Or is it shaking it off easily as mere media spin-offs? Are Germans convinced, that something might be different this time or do they move onto football news, shrugging their arms?
Most probably they are relaxing, enjoying Oktoberfest and sipping Heineken. Nothing big will happen – and if it does, this time it won’t be them accepting millions of Asian refugees – for once they will just watch how Southern Korea gets flooded by the wave of poor, traumatized people. According to the professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute, this might be a result of a United States’ strike in North Korea. And the longer the war, the more refugees there will be. Somewhere else, at somebody else’s border, far away. Only, that in case of war, Germany, as the close United States’ ally, would be obliged to support it, maybe even militarily.