Willy Wimmer, the CDU party politician of Germany visited Russia in April. To know more about him you can google. Against all odds he has spoken out quite frankly, painted the picture of current world so vividly; more importantly so it is a person as some one who is at the very top and a deep insider of the ‘west’. Part of the speech:
“… I experienced something of a Swiss nature [while I was at a plenary meeting of 500 Russian journalists in Saint Petersburg]. Switzerland embodies a consensus democracy, in which those in power are forced to justify themselves. For three days, I had the opportunity to experience this type of grassroots democracy by observing these journalists. Serving as a link between the people and the federal level, journalists took turns questioning in a way that was both critical and yet friendly. And I can only hope that this will one day again be possible in our country ….
You just have to look at the media of today! You can’t find one ounce of pluralism any more. Never have I seen German media beat the war drum so intensely, as I have while observing the media reactions to the situation in Ukraine, Iraq, and the illegal war in Yugoslavia. Ladies and gentlemen, we have the right to a free press, one that expresses the will of the people. And I have to go to St. Petersburg to experience this.
If I look at what is written about Russia in the German press, then there is nothing that I can say that is favorable. I can understand it, in a way. Take a look at the German media: naturally they report on the Russian Federation, but the partners that you find mostly in Moscow are Russians that work for the Americans – for the NGOs. Ladies and gentlemen, I want us to have unrestricted access to our largest neighbor in Europe, and that neighbor is simply the Russian Federation. I don’t need to have any “interpreter” whose residence is in Washington. Why? Because I can judge for myself what is happening between me and my neighbor – and this freedom to judge independently is what we must value.
And on the following day, I got to experience a really interesting discussion [Putin’s Q&A], to which I can only say, Chancellor [Merkel], I’d like to see you do this in Germany. I’d like to see you hold your own against representatives of local and regional media outlets for hours. I’d like to see you do a Q&A in front of 500 people and declare: I’m the chancellor of this country and you all have the right to question me and my policies. Please, feel free to do so! If this lady had the same quality of character as the Russian president, then all I can say is that it would be a wonderful present to all of us. But [something like Putin’s Q&A] doesn’t exist in Germany. It exists in St. Petersburg, and for that the Russians are being insulted! That is simply the truth.
So as far as I’m concerned, I experienced Swiss consensus democracy in Saint Petersburg. The folks were very proud to pose their questions, and they were — and this is the most amazing part — so nice about it! This is something we don’t know anything about in Germany.
Ladies and gentlemen, the crisis developing in the Ukraine serves as the last brick placed in a wall which is being constructed across Europe. The only way we can have contact with our big neighbor is by going over this wall of American control, which is held in place by these European countries.
Ladies and gentlemen, after the fall of the Berlin Wall 26 years ago, this simply cannot be the political reality! It can’t be that American policy is the reason we are making enemies of each other again here in Europe!
It simply must not be!”
My two cents in this:
1. He said a very important thing as a value: ‘freedom to judge independently’ if you read above you will find that he explained it further that they don’t need any interpreter from across the ‘pond’. Hope this is echoed everywhere! Alas!
2. Portrayed the current world in a Pink Floyd single: ‘Ukraine serves as the last brick placed in a wall which is being constructed across Europe’. So the real wall was down 26 years ago but new walls are created everywhere with chilling efficiency at the heart of Europe, in the minds of its people. We are dancing, together, in the same tune and adding bricks in that wall. What a time!