Martin Sieff — Strategic Culture Dec 5, 2018
Angela Merkel was cautious, responsible and well-meaning: She wanted peace in Europe and good relations with Russia. But she will go down in history instead as the most destructive and weakest of German Federal Chancellors.
Merkel made the same mistake so many elitists made before her. She stayed in power for too long and ended up listening to the wrong people. She abandoned the more cautious, sound principles that had served her so well for so long.
Had Germany’s first democratically elected woman leader in modern times stepped down after two terms in 2014, she would be remembered warmly as a socially and fiscally cautious, wise and responsible leader who maintained overall peace, security and prosperity, defended fiscal competence in the European Union and kept its euro-currency strong. She could also claim to have acted as a check on the more manic expansionist and super-hawkish policies of the United States, the United Kingdom and Poland.
Instead, Merkel failed to oppose – at the very least – the catastrophic US and EU-backed violent revolution and coup d’etat that toppled stable, lawful democracy in Ukraine in 2014 and led to a collapse in US-Russia relations unparalleled since the end of the Cold War.
Also, Merkel threw the borders of Germany open to an enormous wave of utterly unregulated immigration from the Middle East that itself was the product of disastrous US, French and UK policies aimed at toppling President Bashar Assad in Syria.
Merkel should have forthrightly and courageously opposed those policies as her far superior and infinitely more courageous and principled predecessor Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder defied the rage of President George W. Bush when he invaded Iraq in 2003.
Instead, Merkel stayed cravenly silent in 2011. Then the US, UK and French aggressive adventure in Syria opened the way for the rise of ISIS –the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – to seize half the territories of both countries, unleashing a wave of barbarism unprecedented in the region for at least a century.
The blowback in Germany itself and other Western European nations from the millions of refugees created by the Syria misadventure has been catastrophic. Waves of violence, murder, rape and terror were unleashed against scores of millions of peaceful, law-abiding people. Far from trying to stem the tide, the European Union did its utmost to prevent democratically elected governments across Europe from doing their constitutional duty to protect their own peoples. Merkel herself did not raise a finger to combat the horrors she had unleashed on Germany.
Merkel therefore will not be remembered for her previous two terms of generally responsible if mediocre stewardship. Instead she will go down in history for having destroyed her people’s physical safety with a huge wave of unregulated immigrants from the Middle East.
She proved reckless and fearless – in all the wrong ways: She opened her country’s borders to the floodgates of ethnic invasion, the true costs of which have yet to be paid in a dark and ominous future.
Yet Merkel, for so long hailed as the Strong Woman of Europe in reality proved to be a spineless jellyfish when it came to guarding the institutions and principles of global security and peace.
She did not dare to raise a finger as three successive US presidents – George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump – destroyed the structures of trust, security and treaties in Europe in a reckless, mad bid to crush Russia.
Since 2014, successive US congresses with their prejudices shamefully fanned by the ignorant and feckless Obama have imposed increasingly draconian sanctions on Russia as it struggled to respond to the breakdown in security across Eastern Europe and Eurasia unleashed by the Ukrainian coup of 2014.
During the years since that fateful event, Merkel clearly grew increasingly uneasy about the wild directions that US policies were taking. But she never once had the guts to stand up publicly and break with them.
This was not statesmanship and leadership but cowardice and craven appeasement of the forces of aggression and deadly risk-taking. Angela Merkel was certainly no Adolf Hitler. But she was clearly another Neville Chamberlain and the reckless warmongers she appeased were not in Berlin but in Washington.
Economically, Merkel proved to be, not a Vladimir Putin or a Konrad Adenauer presiding over a dramatic and lasting restoration of her country’s economy and prosperity. Instead, like her great friend Obama she revealed herself to be a complacent, intellectually lazy and hapless parasite.
During Merkel’s 12 years in power, wave after wave of “green” legislation and government measures with her full approval succeeded where two world wars, the bombing campaigns of the US Army Air Force and British Bomber Command all had failed: Angela Merkel’s policies succeeded in destroying the great steel and aluminum industries of the Ruhr. The escalating costs and unreliability of relying on wind power and other romantic reusable energy sources destroyed competitiveness of the industries that had been the invincible powerhouse of Germany for 200 years.
If the destructive forces so casually unleashed by Merkel can be reined in and subdued, she will be lucky to be forgotten merely as an arrogant and incompetent bungler: A minor, unfortunate footnote to history.
But if the catastrophes she initiated cannot be contained and suppressed, then generations of Germans and Europeans to come will curse and revile her memory.