The Greens are once again fighting for their relationship with the war

Initiative against weapons

Russian attack on Ukraine: The Greens are once again fighting to maintain their relationship with the war

Berlin.Philipp Schmagold has a clear point of view. “The Bundeswehr already receives more than 50 billion euros a year, which is 55 percent more than in 2014,” he told the editorial network Germany (RND). The “inhuman attack by Putin’s army on Ukraine” presents challenges for all, “but upgrading NATO, as the strongest defense alliance in the world, would be the wrong response to a Russian army already being used only in Ukraine through brutality and violence not acting through a superior military “.

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+++ All developments toom war in Ukraine in the live blog +++

The 43-year-old Green from the district association Plön in Schleswig-Holstein is therefore opposed to the special fund of 100 billion euros for the Bundeswehr, which Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has announced, and which the Federal Party and the parliamentary group support. He is not alone in this. Schmagold wants to force a vote with the aim of stopping the special fund. According to him, 1210 members are already “binding”. An additional 5,076 are to be added by August 14 – with over 125,000 members in total.

Where do the problems in the Bundeswehr come from and what should be improved now

The German armed forces have been reduced since the union in 1990. The federal government under Chancellor Scholz wants to change that with the special fund – there are already initial plans for that.

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“It will not be a sure success, but it can be done,” says the man from the base. His initiative is reminiscent of the early phase of the party, which met in Düsseldorf on Saturday with 99 delegates to the state council, a small party conference.

non-violence as a principle

When the Greens were founded in the early 1980s, they did so with the four principles of “ecological, social, grassroots democracy and non-violence”. West German pacifism was one of their roots. In 1999, under the umbrella of the red-green coalition, there was a fierce internal dispute over German participation in the Kosovo war. Green Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer paid for the argument by getting an opponent to throw a paint bag at him at the party conference in Bielefeld. Both in 1999 and in the Afghanistan mission in 2001, the majority of the Green faction voted to deploy the German military.

Now the Greens are in government again – and must stand up to the Russian attack on Ukraine. They are the most ardent advocates of arms supplies. The then party leader and current vice-chancellor Robert Habeck did so almost a year ago. Former parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter even linked the demand for the delivery of heavy weapons with criticism of Scholz. Some ask: what happens to the Greens? Have pacifists become bellicists?

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They are now working against something. Hofreiter was recalled by party leaders Ricarda Lang and Omid Nouripour. Unlike the special fund, the goal of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense should not be enshrined in the constitution. Ukraine’s resolution, which is on the agenda for Saturday, states that democracy’s ability to defend itself must not “hinder effective peace work”.

The Bundeswehr is once again flying war-wounded Ukrainians to Germany

The Bundeswehr is scheduled to fly Ukrainian war victims to Germany on Thursday. A special plane will transport the seriously injured from Poland to Leipzig. This was reported by “Leipziger Volkszeitung” on Wednesday.

Finally, there is Philipp Schmagold and his comrades-in-arms. He told RND: “Investing an extra 100 billion in debt-financed weapons is not measured.”

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