A group of Left-SPD lawmakers have had enough of the unprecedented Ukraine arms shipments following on the heels of Berlin boosting its military budget by €100 billion. They've sent a letter to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz with the title, "The weapons must be silent!"
Instead of pumping weapons into a hot conflict with a nuclear-armed superpower, the group within Scholz's own party are demanding the pursuit of a diplomatic negotiations, pushing the Ukrainians to the peace talks table. "The escalation spiral must be stopped," letter states, urging a "modus vivendi" until a final settlement can be found.
As predicted, Europeans weary of being told to make "sacrifices" in what for them is a somewhat distant conflict on the continent's eastern periphery will reach a point of saying enough... for some within Scholz previously pacifist Social Democratic Party, that time is now. Yet critics of the letter are already calling it "capitulation" and other denunciations which come close to essentially saying the signatories are 'traitors' to the German and European cause while standing up to Russian aggression.
As spelled out in the letter, the lawmakers not only warn of a German economy plunged into recession and an energy emergency which will hit the common people and the poor especially hard - all for supporting one side of a war that will "have no military victors" - but it could eventually lead to runaway escalation with a nuclear-armed power.
"With every delivery of weapons, it is important to carefully weigh up and consider where the ‘red line’ lies, which could be perceived as entering the war and provoke corresponding reactions," the SDP lawmakers wrote.
"NATO or individual Western states must not be part of the war because this will inevitably extend the war to a third party - possibly atomic - world war."
And addressing the energy crisis and impact on German citizens at home, they wrote:
The war threatens to plunge the world into a recession with rising unemployment. Even now there are far-reaching effects on everyday life, also here in Germany, inflation and tighter emerging energy resources hit the poorest in particular. Therefore we must be war winners have to pay up and tax high incomes more heavily. This not only strengthens the welfare state, but is also a question of justice.
Ein herausragendes Beispiel für unsere Unterstützung der 🇺🇦 ist die Ausbildung der ukrainischen Streitkräfte in #Putlos. Wir liefern 30 dringend benötigte Gepard-Panzer. Die Hälfte davon ist schon da. Ein wichtiger Beitrag für ihren Kampf um die Freiheit der Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/ioRHOGH5VP— Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (@Bundeskanzler) August 25, 2022
The SPD group behind the letter includes the following leaders:
The pacifist wing of the SPD, led by parliament whip Rolf Mützenich, has long been a thorn in the side of Scholz, who is not tired of repeating “Ukraine must not lose” and has ruled out peace by diktat.
Amongst the signatories are two EU parliamentarians of the EU-SPD, Dietmar Köster, Joachim Schuster and Constanze Krehl. Krehl is on the committee for regional development and part of the parliament’s delegation to Belarus.
Given the timing, it seems this is their response to top EU leadership growing louder in urging governments and populations to harden their resolve amid general war-weariness. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in particular has been out front with the public call, telling the AFP this week that Russia's Vladimir Putin sees "the weariness of the Europeans and the reluctance of their citizens to bear the consequences of support for Ukraine." Borrell said: "We will have to endure, spread the costs within the EU."
Critics are piling on with the accusation of "capitulation" and lack of "empathy" and support for the embattled Ukrainians...
Even their own young left wing is saying:— HE IS A LEGEND 🇩🇪🇪🇺🇺🇦 / 🇸🇪♥️ (@alanisalegend) August 26, 2022
“Kiev is deciding when they want to negotiate with Russia. Demanding from Germany that the guns must be silent is a lack of empathy.”https://t.co/WRD4KXYzpP
Below is the entire letter demanding an end to the Ukraine war, in the most significant public challenge yet to Scholtz hard-charging "Zeitenwende" - premised on the idea that "We all share one goal, Russia must not win this war, Ukraine must prevail." The English is according to machine translation...
* * *
The guns must be silent!
Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has been going on for more than half a year now and has caused immeasurable suffering and destruction. War crimes such as attacks on homes, shopping malls, hospitals, Universities and other civilian institutions are showing the full abomination of Russia's actions.
Germany and the EU show solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We emphasize Ukraine's right to self-defense and support political, financial, economic and military measures that contribute to a speedy ceasefire and an end to this war.
We stand by it: NATO or individual Western states must not be part of the war because this will inevitably extend the war to a third party - possibly atomic - world war. The spiral of escalation must be stopped. That's why it applies to of each shipment of weapons and to consider where the "red line" lies, which be perceived as entering the war and could provoke corresponding reactions. the
Establishment of no-fly zones, the delivery of battle tanks or fighter jets would do this. We stand with those Russians who bravely stand up against the war.
Increasingly Russians want to refuse military service or desert. They refuse to be part of a war that violates international law. You must be granted residency in the EU. The right to conscientious objection is a human right and everyone is entitled to it, including Ukrainians.
Time for diplomacy
This war will have no military victors. A continuation of the war will only be result in more deaths and destruction. We need a ceasefire as soon as possible as a starting point for comprehensive peace negotiations. Therefore, It is the time of diplomacy. The EU and its member states must step up their diplomatic efforts to promote a ceasefire. To do this, the exchange with previously neutral countries such as Indonesia, India or South Africa, but also intensified with China in order to persuade them to act as mediators between the warring parties. The United Nations must also launch new initiatives.
The war threatens to plunge the world into a recession with rising unemployment. Even now
there are far-reaching effects on everyday life, also here in Germany: inflation and tighter
emerging energy resources hit the poorest in particular. Therefore we must be war winners
have to pay up and tax high incomes more heavily. This not only strengthens the welfare state, but is also a question of justice. Far more dramatic are the effects on the countries of Africa. According to the UN World Food Program, 50 million people are on the verge of famine - 750,000 at risk of starvation in some African countries. Also to prevent these famines, the war must be stopped as soon as possible.
The guns must be silent!