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The media's response to Putin's conciliatory essay
by Leo Ensel and Roberto J DeLapuente
Thursday Jul 1st, 2021 10:36 AM
On the exact 80th anniversary of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which cost that country nearly 27 million lives, the Russian president himself published an essay in the former flagship of détente whose title already signaled a willingness to reconcile: "Be open, despite the past."
Completely nailed, despite the past - The media response to Putin's conciliatory essay
By Leo Ensel
[This article published on June 29, 2021 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

The following text by Leo Ensel appeared yesterday on RT Deutsch. See here. Because this contribution is important and clearly contradicts the slogans and narratives spread in our country, and also represents a relevant and contradictory addition to yesterday's contribution on NachDenkSeiten The EU is becoming a problem, we bring it in full length. Albrecht Müller.

On the 80th anniversary of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, President Putin published an essay in DIE ZEIT in which he discreetly blanked out all details of the war of annihilation and again solicited cooperation. The reaction of the media was shameful. By Leo Ensel

Let's take a look - even if it is difficult - at what happened in Germany last week. On the exact 80th anniversary of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which cost that country nearly 27 million lives, the Russian president himself published an essay in the former flagship of détente whose title already signaled a willingness to reconcile: "Be open, despite the past."[1] Putin spared the Germans the details of the invasion.

Putin spares the Germans details

It is worth studying Putin's argumentation more intensively. Already in the first sentence, it is noticeable that he avoids the classic Soviet choice of words - still common in today's Russia in this context - and at the same time goes a long way toward accommodating Germany. He does not speak of the "fascist invasion", but of the "invasion of the USSR by the National Socialists". (He avoids the formulation of the "German invasion," which would have been obvious and one hundred percent accurate). Likewise, the Russian president avoids going into detail about all the horrible details of this most barbaric of wars. He neither mentions the exact number of victims - he speaks cautiously of "tens of millions" - nor does he enumerate the German crimes[2] in more detail. He does not even mention the word "war of extermination".

With only three short sentences he graciously passes over the most brutal atrocities of the German aggressors: "For the Soviet people this was the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the bloodiest in the history of our country. Tens of millions of people died. The economy and culture suffered immense damage." One will admit: Putin could not have been more discreetly accommodating to the Germans!

Putin goes on to mention, also extremely succinctly, the achievements of the Red Army in "saving Europe and the whole world from enslavement," remembering - again, not necessarily the mainstream of Soviet and Russian narrative - "with gratitude the Allies of the anti-Hitler coalition" as well as "the fighters of the Resistance and the German anti-fascists who brought the common victory closer."

In short, the Russian president uses a total of eight sentences in his essay to refer for two paragraphs to the bloody past of the war against the Soviet Union.

Criticism of the West and promotion of new cooperation

What follows can be divided factually into three argumentative steps: Putin praisingly mentions the achievements of the peoples of Europe in overcoming alienation and returning to mutual trust and respect in order to "draw a line under the European tragedies of the first half of the last century," explicitly mentioning the historical reconciliation "between our people" - he could have written "between the peoples of the Soviet Union" - and "the Germans in the East and West of the now united Germany, who played a colossal role in shaping such a Europe." He then describes, from his point of view, the genesis of the new tensions in Europe, for which he holds primarily responsible the now five NATO enlargements to the East. Furthermore, the Russian president complains that many countries, especially Ukraine, have been given an artificial alternative by the West, "either to go along with the collective West or to go along with Russia." The West, he says, organized the coup against President Yanukovych, thus "provoking division within Ukraine and Crimea's departure from the Ukrainian state."

None of this, however, prevents Putin - and this is the clearly discernible concern of his text, published not coincidentally on the 80th anniversary of the invasion - from pleading in several attempts "for fair and creative cooperation": "Tensions are increasing, the risk of a new arms race is palpable. We are missing out on enormous opportunities that cooperation offers." And here he again explicitly takes up a vision that ultimately goes back to Mikhail Gorbachev and that post-Soviet Russia had put forward to the states of Western Europe on several occasions - most recently by then-President Dmitry Medvedev in June 2008: "This also underscores our suggestion to create a common cooperation and security space from the Atlantic to the Pacific, which could include various integration formats, including the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union." (By the way: the formula of "various integration formats" alone would be capable of stimulating the political imagination of well-intentioned cooperation partners in the West in conceiving creative solutions!)

And Putin ends on a conciliatory note - whoever wants to might even detect some self-critical undertones here: "We simply cannot afford to carry around with us the burden of past misunderstandings, grievances, conflicts and mistakes. A burden that prevents us from solving current problems. We are convinced that we all have to admit and correct these mistakes. Our common and undisputed goal is to ensure the security of the continent without dividing lines and a unified space for equal cooperation and collective development for the prosperity of Europe and the whole world."

With this plea, almost twenty years after his famous speech[3] in the Bundestag, delivered mostly in German in the aftermath of 9/11, for which he received a standing ovation at the time - and despite all current tensions - Putin once again proves himself to be a Russian 'Westerner' who still sees Russia's future in a united European space (on an equal footing).

Against the background of a threatening new Cold War and the continuous Russia-bashing of the past years, this alone was a sensation that deserved a detailed reception and explicit appreciation in the German media. But how did they react?

Lie, Scandal, Howler - The Echo in the Mainstream

The ZEIT itself, probably out of fear of its own courage, could not resist garnishing Putin's text with a detailed note, which not only described the genesis of the publication in great detail, but in caring paternalism also provided the correct (i.e. Western) terminology to the reader, who was anticipated to be confused: Putin's "withdrawal" of Crimea was promptly corrected to "breach of international law" and "annexation", whereby one did not miss the opportunity - the threatening undertone was unmistakable - to point out that both the German government and the EU, like - most importantly! - all commentators of DIE ZEIT would use this terminology. (With which, by the way, the quality medium showed how much it thinks of its independently thinking intellectual readership). In addition, as a precautionary measure, responses to this text were announced "in the coming days and weeks. This set the tone for the reactions that would follow.

And of course the now due shitstorm was not long in coming.

The shrill outcry of the BILD newspaper[4] on the same day was predictable. For the chief reporter for politics there, Peter Tiede, the text was "in sum: a lie" and its reprint in DIE ZEIT - just like the (sic!) "Russian pipe"; Nordstream II was meant - nothing less than "a scandal". (To go into the further 'argumentation' seriously - and be it only polemically - is forbidden already for hygienic reasons).

Thomas Franke on Deutschlandfunk[5], also on June 22, sounded the same horn, but in a somewhat more sophisticated way. Supposedly clever, Franke first used a quote from ZEIT founder Marion Gräfin Dönhoff, according to which it is the essence of liberalism "not to defame dissenting ideas and not to persecute criticism of the existing as heresy, but to protect minorities and to practice openness to the contrary, in order to pull the joker out of the bag, that this is - Bild sends its regards - of course not an opinion piece, but a "propaganda article", "so full of lies that it would take too long to refute them one by one. " With which, in a bold sweeping blow, the shrewd author evaded the trouble of refuting even a single one of them! Even more lucrative than the Putin- appeared to Franke apparently - one gets gradually pity with the quality sheet - the ZEIT-Bashing: "With Putin the 'time' has given a platform to an irreverent person who systematically goes against the discourse and considers the liberalism as outdated. The editorial staff has made itself a stooge of the Russian president." A day later, he added on SWR2: "Sure, it's great to have Putin in the paper. That increases the circulation. But you don't have to print everything, and certainly nothing that is so poisoned."

For Deutschlandfunk, however, Franke's commentary did not seem to be enough of a good thing, so that on the same Wednesday Samira el Ouassil was still allowed to blather alliteratively about the "disinformation of a despot"[6], a "disturbing signal" to which "a wide-reaching, German-language weekly magazine" had given space.

In the Süddeutsche, on the other hand, a Nils Minkmar was laconic on June 23. "Heuler"[7] was simply the headline over his Putin and ZEIT slur. Arguing in a similarly differentiated way as Franke, Minkmar postulated in original spelling: "To such an article belongs in this case the warning, that (sic!) flawless propaganda is contained here."

Playing off the victims of the former Soviet republics against each other

And still on the same day - one does not want to let oneself be lumpen - then the first of the announced "countermeasures" followed in the meanwhile heavily scolded ZEIT. The round was opened by the former Polish Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski[8]. Sikorski immediately used the argumentation technique, which has become very popular in the West, of playing off the former Soviet republics and their victims (according to the motto: "Bad Guy" Russia - "Good Guys" all other successor states) against each other, which he also combined with the equally popular technique of insinuating something from the other side, which the latter did not say at all: "Russia", Sikorski said completely correctly, "was not the part of the country that was first attacked by Germany. It was the territories of the Belarusian and Ukrainian Soviet Republics."

True enough. How could it have been otherwise, given the indisputable geographical circumstances! Unfortunately, Putin had already put a spoke in his polemic wheel the day before. The Russian president had written simply: "Exactly 80 years ago, on June 22, 1941, the Nazis, having conquered all of Europe, invaded the USSR." Not a word about their attacking Russia first and then Ukraine or Belarus! Sikorski was similarly original in dealing with the history of Russian nuclear missiles stationed in the Kaliningrad Oblast. Allegedly, they threatened Europe already at the time when he was Minister of Defense, i.e. between 2005 and 2007. Likewise, not a word about them being a Russian defensive measure against the Western missile "defense" system stationed in Poland, among other places, which Russia perceives as a threat.

The final argument, which was to be expected in this context, but was still missing, was finally allowed on June 24, and also in DIE ZEIT, the long since transatlantically turned ex-Maoist and, together with his agile wife, head of the - who actually finances it? - think tank "Liberal Modernity," the green Ralf Fücks[9]: Putin's plea for a Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok is, of course, aimed at "finally decoupling us from the United States and exchanging our Western ties for an alliance with Moscow. There has always been fertile ground for this in Germany, from far left to far right." Quite similarly, in the same quality medium, six weeks earlier Fücks' ex-comrade and brother in spirit, the sensitive aesthete Alan Posener[10] had already sounded off, briskly recommending to the "cultural left" to "get rid of the idea that peace with Russia at almost any price is a moral duty because of the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941."

50 years ago one was further

Gradually, one seriously wonders what else the Russian president can actually do to successfully promote trust in Germany. Should he perhaps once again stand up in the Bundestag and ask for forgiveness - preferably in German - for the fact that the Wehrmacht invaded his country in the summer of 1941 and left only scorched earth and 27 million dead there three years later?

In any case, one thing is certain: there will soon no longer be many offers in this direction. No one is asking German publicists and politicians to follow Putin's argumentation one-to-one. The scandal is not the criticism of individual passages from Putin's essay. It consists in the fact that all conciliatory sentences - or more precisely: the entire basic concern of the text - are either ignored or summarily relegated to the realm of propaganda, or even perfidious lies.

But why not just take Putin at his word and test him? From one day to the other, dear Mr. Fücks, Europe would certainly not change its alliances! And would there really be only an either-or here?

At the end of the sixties, the West was further ahead: Despite the invasion of the Warsaw Pact states - Poland, by the way, was right there with them! - and the bloody suppression of the Prague Spring in the summer of 1968, men like Willy Brandt and Egon Bahr courageously launched their policy of détente a short time later, which decades later led to German unification and the end of the (first) Cold War.

By the way, the most important journalistic ally of the time was - DIE ZEIT!

Cover picture: Gevorg Ghazaryan/











Scientist and washerwoman
June 28, 2021 Roberto J. De Lapuente 57 Comments Christian Drosten, new infections, pandemic, podcast, seasonality, silence, summer, scientificity
[This article published on June 28, 2021 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

100,000 new infections in the summer: this is what Christian Drosten warned in January. This is how it must come, he believed, because the virus does not weaken in warm weather. It's summer. His forecast was wrong. But that's the way it has to be, because that's how science is supposed to work.

Actually, we should have an incidence value of 850 in Germany right now. So about 700,000 new infections per week, 2.8 million people tested positive in one month. At least, that was the state of affairs at Christian Drosten at the end of January. If we didn't immediately turn into a complete lockdown, he told Der Spiegel at the time, there would be 100,000 new infections a day in the spring and summer. The virologist also gave the reason for this development: the Corona virus knows no seasonality. It is like clockwork, always working the same way, regardless of whether it is cold or warm.

Last year, the weather had already slowed down the incidence of infection. However, this empirical value was not taken into account. After all, one does not know for sure. The worst-case scenario, which threw around horror figures, was not a safe bet either. Nevertheless, it was brought to the people. That's just the way science is, it always has to be re-examined, is how many people refute this criticism of Drosten. Science has to acquire knowledge, so everything is always under scrutiny and can be invalidated tomorrow. But is that really how science works?
Scientific values: speculation and loquacity?

In everyday clinical science, this somewhat simplified idea of scientific work may even be true. One reworks what one thinks one knows in order to be able to reinterpret it, to classify it according to the times. The knowledge of today is insofar the penultimate state of science, because the step to revision is immanent to the scientific drive. A scientist starts his work on the premise of a thesis, but can end up somewhere else entirely, so that his thesis has become obsolete. Then what he assumed before is no longer the current state of knowledge.

Christian Drosten cannot be blamed for this, can he? More or less he handles it in such a way. He does not stick to his old opinion, but also allows that one can say of him that he was mistaken. Whoever wants to interpret it this way overlooks one thing: This golden scientific path, which forms, merges and tests theses, antitheses and syntheses, does not take place before everyone's eyes. Especially not in front of an audience of millions. Nor does it take place via the media, where only loud, flashy reports attract the attention needed to finance a newspaper.

That takes place in a quiet chamber. In a somewhat romanticized way, one could say that it takes place in the head of the person seeking knowledge. Which is only partly true; a small audience of experts watches, exchanges, evaluates and invalidates. But the fact that a scientist fumbles his way through the media: That is not science. Actually, one could even assume the opposite, because here one is not searching for knowledge, but speculating, making assumptions and operating the scandalization machine that processes scandals, catastrophes and fear into lurid headlines.

The de-scientificization of such a process is again considerably increased if the model calculations of the worst case are quoted, but not contrasted with the other, softer models. This approach lacks a very specific quality that is ideally assumed to be part of scientific work: Sobriety. Drosten's "scientificity" is thus ultimately lurid, fear-mongering, agitated, biased and self-indulgent.
Nuhr is not a scientist, but knows the scientific credo

Who is definitely not a scientist: Dieter Nuhr. But that doesn't stop him from delivering a scientific credo that goes like this: "If you don't have a clue: Just shut the fuck up." Of course, Nuhr didn't coin this phrase many years ago to urge some wild-eyed researchers to get their act together. It was presumably more about people who nölen, but do not do it on the basis of halfway secured certainties. Nevertheless, this sentence contains the guiding principle of scientific work par excellence. For it is also true for our scientific colleagues that they should keep silent if they do not yet have anything worth talking about.

What does it actually mean that it also applies to scientists? It applies to them in particular! Who, if not they, should have an interest in remaining silent about something that is not yet ready for discussion? To wait until one can answer at least a little more bindingly? What one cannot speak about, one must be silent about - Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote that in a completely different context. He was talking about linguistics. But it is also true here. At least, when you broadcast it to the big wide world.

This is quite normal among experts, it is even supposed to be like that. That is part of trial and error. Scientists are also speculators - to a certain extent. But they should not entertain the masses. If they do, they are no different from the proverbial washerwoman, who tells everything unreflectively while scrubbing the clothes of her loved ones.

In the last few months, Christian Drosten has been selling little more than eloquent gossip. Crude stuff that could potentially be possible but hasn't yet been put to the test. When the scientist leaves the lab, when he becomes a podcaster, part of a media landscape that must feverishly generate news, generate attention, it is inevitable that one becomes a washerwoman, gossiping where he is supposed to tread with exploratory restraint. Well, dear Drosten, if you had been more silent, you might have remained a scientist ....

It seems to me that Mr. Drosten has simply not grown up.

The little curly-head hangs on his mother's skirt and plays - with tests, with numbers and with people. In his nursery, he destroys livelihoods and entire economies. The fact that people die does not affect him. He is as far away from them as Gulliver is from the tiny creatures in the land of Lilliput.

He is without responsibility, without consciousness, without morals - like the elites whose tool he is. He is a child, the Eternal Child. He is the Puer Eternus.
Last edited 1 day ago by Pen
People's memory is short and the media, which would have to pick up on this if they were independent, are silent about it.

So a Drosten can be recycled years later, like Phoenix from the ashes.
Besides, one has learned from the mistakes with the swine flu and the methods (denigration of critical scientists) accordingly adapted and/or the blow against the society thoroughly prepared, at least which concerns the course of action in case of a "Pandemie".

The action scenarios are m.M.n. planned from long hand, as visible in the change of the pandemic definition by the WHO.

"People's memory is short and the media,which should actually pick up on this if they were the independent ones,are silent about it."

And good doctors,who tell the truth, like Wodarg, who exposed the lie about swine flu back then, are deleted on youtube. As well as Prof Sucharit Bahkdi and his wife, Prof Carina Reiss.

The problem with the whole story is that the majority of scientists (or those who think they are) who have been in the limelight since the "Corona crisis" hardly want to leave it again... Drosten is by no means an isolated case... All of a sudden they are listened to almost unconditionally. Even if these off their field, e.g. statistics, sociology, etc. do not have the slightest idea... The government loves these scientists... They can spread panic so well! The resistance in other laws that slowly but surely erode democracy and freedom of expression is much less! The government will, at the end of the crisis, get rid of most of the scientists who are more likely to...
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