Is Otto Schily doing Schröder now? No, ex-Interior Minister Schily (1998 – 2005) is not quite as one-sided as the ex-Chancellor on the side of the war criminal Putin. But he is not satisfied with the traffic light government’s Ukraine policy either. In doing so, he brings out the heavy artillery: “In Germany, a bellicism has spread that is risky.”
Schily locates this bellicism, this glorification of war, primarily in the eco-party, which he was one of the founders of more than 40 years ago: “The Greens, of all people, are too one-sided.” One rubs one’s eyes in astonishment : Ironically, Economics Minister Robert Habeck and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock are said to be bellicoses, i.e. people who do not detest war, but actually see something good in it.
So for Schily it is a glorification of war if one also supports Ukraine, which has been invaded by Russia, with weapons. Apparently it bothers him that the majority of Germans approve of this support. Is the ex-Greens, who switched to the SPD in 1990, actually aware that he puts the leading Greens on the same level as brown and red nationalists, for whom war is nothing more than continuing politics by other means? That he made Baerbock and Habeck the spiritual great-grandchildren of Ernst Jiinger or of General and Hindenburg deputy Erich Ludendorff, who praised “total war” as “the most perfect effort of will by a people”?
Schily has every right to criticize the federal government’s Ukraine policy. He is also entitled, like Gerhard Schröder, to put the interests of the attacked Ukraine on the same level as those of the aggressor Russia. It’s as if two neighboring countries were having difficulties with each other and no one could say who was actually more to blame. Of course, this has nothing to do with reality.
Schily, who turns 90 this Wednesday, should still be able to remember how difficult it was for the Greens in the Schröder/Fischer government to decide on the first combat missions of the Bundeswehr in the Kosovo war. He should also know how much the Greens were still reluctant to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons in the summer of 2021. They, like Social Democrats, have changed this position under the pressure of events. Not playing for the pleasure of war, but to prevent genocide in Ukraine.
Is it a coincidence that former top politicians in particular are drawing attention to themselves with particularly shrill speeches? This was and is common practice at Schröder. Klaus von Dohnanyi has also made headlines with his understanding of Putin. Now Schily joins the ranks of the elderly, in whom neither the wisdom of old age nor the mildness of old age can be seen.
Even when he was active, Otto Schily liked to speak plain language. He never bothered to offend, not with the Greens, not in the SPD and not within the red-green government.
But it’s just indecent to corner all of Ukraine’s supporters as belligerent politicians. The use of manslaughter arguments not only harms political dialogue; above all it harms those who use it.