Prof. Dugin, the NSA spying scandal caused a deep impact on German-American relations. We Germans have been told for decades that Washington is our "friend" and "partner". Now many Germans have come to realize that the US has been behaving more or less like an occupation force. Why did it take so long to realize that?
Dugin: We cannot answer this important question without historical details. First of all, Germany lost World War II. In May 1945 there was the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces. The result of the total loss of the war was the total occupation by the two main powers – USA and Soviet Union. Washington and Moscow were not just the main forces at the end of the war; they also represented the two ideological camps of the post war era. The German eastern provinces, eventually annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union, and Central Germany were occupied by the Soviet army, West Germany by the US-army and its western allies, UK and France. Germany was divided by two occupation forces. No part of Germany was free. Frankly speaking, occupation is occupation. There is no degree of occupation. With the Cold War ideology on both sides of occupied Germany the face of the occupation changed. Germans in the GDR were educated to believe that the Soviet Union had liberated them from Nazism and that they were now "free." The Soviet occupation was interpreted in schools and education as the guarantee of "freedom and independence." The same we can see in the FRG, where the Anglo-Saxon occupation powers re-educated the population. There the Germans were told that the western forces liberated them in 1945 and protected their "freedom and democracy" against the "communist threat" from the East. But neither the Germans in the GDR nor in the FRG were free and sovereign, they were still occupied.
This was the past. But with the reunification of Germany in 1990 the Cold War officially ended. This is what the political leaders of all former occupation forces and the German chancellor Helmut Kohl claimed...
Dugin: This is maybe one of the biggest misinterpretations of recent German history. This was not the reunification of a free, independent and sovereign Germany – it was the absorption of one part of occupied Germany by the other part of occupied Germany. The Anglo-Saxon part of Germany simply "added" the former Soviet occupied part of Germany. This step has to do with the end of the Cold war: The socialist camp had capitulated to the capitalist camp. Now the whole of Germany is occupied by the West. Politically, economically, strategically and intellectually Germany is an occupied country. At the same time the former Western Cold War propaganda became a type of major philosophy with the concept of the unipolar world with just one single pole of decisions – the West.
So there was no chance in 1990 to gain real freedom?
Dugin: Of course there was a chance. After the collapse of the communist block there was no reason anymore for the Western occupation of Germany. Germany didn't need anymore the American military to defend it, because the threat was gone. Post-Soviet Russia was too weak to present any type of challenge or danger to Germany. There was no need at all for the presence of the American military on German soil. The pure and naked fact that they didn't leave Germany after 1990 shows that it is still an occupied country. The spying scandal against the German population, the German economy and the German political leaders just exposes this fact again.
When the "Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany" was negotiated in 1990 the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev accepted a NATO-Germany and withdrew the Soviet soldiers, but the American soldiers and nuclear war heads are still here today. Why didn't Gorbachev campaign for a free, neutral and independent Germany?
Dugin: Generally speaking, the whole period of the early 1990's is regarded in modern Russia as a time of the "great betrayal" of our national interests. All that was decided in internal and external politics by Gorbachev and later by Boris Yeltsin is judged as a complete failure. We consider their politics as absolute stupidity and incompetence. The surrender to the West in 1990, the abandonment of the GDR not for a new Germany but for a bigger FRG is considered today in Russia as one of the shames of this big betrayal. Gorbatchev and Yeltsin also sacrificed our Russia!
...you mean the Soviet Union?
Dugin: No, I mean Russia! Greater Russia was not created by the Bolsheviks; they just took it over and renamed it the Soviet Union. The state existed many hundreds of years before the Bolsheviks.
Back to Germany in 1990: German independence and neutrality was discussed even in Washington...
Dugin: I spoke with the Polish-American political scientist, geostrategist and statesman who served as the United States National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski. I was asked him why the Americans promised Gorbachev neutrality in the first negotiations. Brzezinski is a very brave and sincere person. He answered me honestly: "We tricked Gorbachev!" I think Brzezinski told me the truth.
But was Gorbachev so naive or even stupid?
Dugin: Gorbachev is not only naive, but also a criminal. He was giving all our strategic positions to the opponent without gaining anything in return. And in this system the reunification of Germany fits perfectly. It was not a national German event; it was simply the exchange of one occupation regime by another in the entity of the GDR. There was no liberation or gaining of sovereignty for Germany, just an enlargement of the Anglo-Saxon occupied part of your country. From Washington this was a very good and clever step, the Western liberal hegemon gained power not just in the former Soviet occupied Germany but also in Eastern Europe without sacrificing one single drop of blood. We can say today: The weakness of the Soviet Union in 1990 was Germany's misfortune. With a stronger Moscow, Germany could have become an independent, free and sovereign state.
American politicians as well as German politicians use the terms "friendship" and "partnership"...
Dugin: There is absolutely no possibility to call occupation friendship or partnership. Partnership and occupation contradict each other. The USA can't be a real ally as long as they still occupy Germany.
Some German mainstream journalists defend the presence of the US-army facilities in Germany. They say: Germany has to be "guarded" by the Western allies because we behaved "unreliably" in the past...
Dugin: (laughs) Really? Let us take a look at today's Germany. Your country is completely liberal, democratic and absolutely innocent in its internal and foreign politics. Again: There is not even one single reason for occupation – but the occupation lasts. And this is the real scandal – not the spying and the activities of the US intelligence in Germany. This status quo situation becomes now obvious for German society. More and more Germans ask why the occupation continues and what it is for.
Those Politicians and Journalists answer very clearly: because of the "shame of the past"...
Dugin: This "shame of the past" was long ago. It becomes harder and harder to justify occupation by events that happened around 70 years ago. For Germany it is a challenge today, because the established political class in Berlin got used to the situation of occupation; but this cannot continue forever. So today there is only one choice: either end the occupation or accept it as a type of eternal situation in Germany.
The longer time passes from the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces in 1945, the more we celebrate the Americans and their allies as "liberators"...
Dugin: No one can continue this demagogy forever. There is no reason for Germany to be a member of NATO, no reason for US troops to be on German soil, no reason to regard Washington anymore as an "ally." no reason to consider the national interest of the USA and Germany as the same. In all aspects Germany has its own agenda. So in the long term there can only be one solution: Germany should reaffirm itself as an independent, free and sovereign political entity. Whatever American or German politicians say, the truth is very simple: There is no freedom with occupation. If the Germans want freedom, independence and sovereignty, they should rebel against the occupation. Not rebelling against occupation means accepting it.
That sounds too easy...
Dugin: (laughs) Of course this is not easy at all. We talk about a very important, historical and decisive political step. But it is inevitable, because the logic of occupation becomes now more and more transparent. It is not possible anymore to hide that situation. The US-American presence in Germany is based on pure political and military power and not on any strategical reasons for Germany. It is now clear to everybody in Germany – but recognizing this fact is very difficult.
So the NSA scandal is nothing else than just a symptom of the real problem – the occupation?
Dugin: Absolutely! We shouldn't get confused by taking a symptom for the real problem. Whatever the Americans do in Germany, they do it with a background as an occupation force. By the way: Washington doesn't "spy" on Germany – Washington simply controls its territory. After World War II the US were masters of half of Europe – now they are masters of the whole of Europe. Washington interfering in the internal political affairs of the European states is not "foreign politics" – it is seen as a form of internal politics.
In the German mainstream media as well as in press releases of German politicians we can read the following interpretation of the NSA scandal: "We should be happy that our friends spy on us and not authoritarian states such as Russia! This would be much worse!" Is that a revival of the Cold War rhetoric or simply a diversionary maneuver?
Dugin: Yes, I read this strange argumentation theory too. But we have to understand what "network warfare" means. It is a sort of information and intelligence war. One of the principles of that warfare is not only to control the enemies but also the allies. Whoever is a partner today could turn into an opponent tomorrow. Germany is precisely under attack. Defending American interests in the German mainstream media and politics is one aspect of that warfare as well as to "immunize" the German public against Russia. I am convinced that those people who are behind the defense of US interests and behind the anti-Russian campaigns are "strategic information weapons" of US control over Germany.
Critics would answer now: "Come on Prof. Dugin, you are a conspiracy theorist!"
Dugin: (laughs) Sure, they would do that. But the concept of "network warfare" was declared openly in the 1990s by the US government.
The established political class in Berlin, especially our chancellor Angela Merkel and her CDU party, is pro-American. During the Prism scandal in June 2013, they defended the interests of Washington. Now, after it came out that the NSA was spying on the mobile phone of the chancellor, they cannot avoid anymore a reaction. But they just focus the discussion on worldwide privacy rights, never about the occupation or national sovereignty. The pro-American German government is distracting us from the real problem, isn't it?
Dugin: I am not sure about that. We can consider this situation as the first stage of the appearance on the surface of the fundamental problem. Let us talk frankly: We cannot expect from the present political class of Germany any declaration of sovereignty rights. This is quite unrealistic, isn't it?
It would be a type of miracle...
Dugin: So let us not hope for miracles in politics. The present political class of Germany does what it can. The German politicians try a soft form of protest that could be acceptable for the occupation force. It is a kind of "criticism from below." It comes along like: The little private citizen is a bit irritated by the annoying surveillance by the government of their private affairs. It is the reaction of the weak, of the completely subdued, the servile reaction of the slave in front of the master.
For sure not the reaction among equal partners...
Dugin: Not at all. But let us not be too pessimistic.
The media: "This is about privacy, not American dominance."
The media: "This is about privacy, not American dominance."
Dugin: I think this reaction nevertheless shows a kind of understanding of the situation. It recognizes that it cannot go on like this without any change. The society is more and more unsatisfied with this situation. Germany is economically well, socially more or less well, while the European states around it face very difficult challenges. Germany is the engine of Europe. In this situation, the American dominance contradicts Germany's national interests more and more, as well as the mutual European interests. I am convinced that the German political class has now found the most innocent way to react because they have to react whether they want to or not. It is, by the way, very logical that the German government doesn't protest against the violation of sovereignty rights of Germany.
Dugin: Because Germany is not a sovereign state. If you don't have sovereignty rights, they cannot be violated by others. If Germany wants to become a sovereign state, it should rebel against occupation. Liberation comes first, then sovereignty. You cannot pretend to be sovereign and free as long you are occupied.
"Rebellion" sounds violent!
Dugin: (smiles) Not at all, this is a cliché. Rebellion would be if a German chancellor demands openly from the US government to withdraw the US troops from German soil.
Now we are really talking about miracles!
Dugin: Wasn't the German reunification also considered a very unlikely miracle even in the summer of 1989?
You make a point! But anyway: Right now Berlin seems to be more faithful to Washington than other Western country.
Dugin: I think Germany is a very disciplined nation. The German leadership feels hired by their masters in Washington. In the American-German relationship, we witness maybe a tragic relaunch of the old claim of the German Waffen-SS "Meine Ehre heißt Treue" ("My honor is loyalty"). This time the loyalty is towards the USA.
What an interesting interpretation of American-German relations...
Dugin: (laughs) Yes, it is a sort of fidelity. But I think just a part of German society shares this attitude with the political elite of your country.
Our government claims that there is no alternative to the transatlanticist politics and the “partnership” with the US...
Dugin: German independence is a completely rationally calculated and inevitable future step which has to come one day. It is the interest of German society as well as the economy. Let us take a look at German society today: It is liberal and democratic. There is no revanchist or nationalist influence today anymore. When we talk about German sovereignty, those things don't play any role. There are pure social, rational and economic reasons for Germany to break away from the strategies dictated by Washington. The reason is that all those aspects increasingly come into conflict with the US, which wants to organize and control its European space as well as other regions in the world. We need to expect the German revival not from the nationalist or traditionalist part of German society, which is weak and completely saturated by the "shame of the past." But even the liberal and democratic spectrum of German society has a vivid interest in independence from the US. German economists have today a deep interest in rejecting American control. We find German society today in a very deep conflict with Washington; it is not just about the NSA spying.
You speak about economics, social aspects and the liberal society of Germany. What role do things like "German national identity" play in the conflict with the US?
Dugin: I knew this question would come...
...because it is an important aspect?
Dugin: It is, but it will not play any role in the near future conflict with Washington. Such aspects are completely forbidden today. Let us be realistic: Even in Germany itself issues like "German national identity" are not discussed. When it doesn't play any role in Germany itself, so how shall this be a major point of conflict with Washington? The conflicts of economic and social interests between Washington and Berlin are today much more dangerous for the US presence in Germany and Europe than any identitarian or national-cultural agenda.
So in your opinion our national identity will not play any role today or in the future in the "German question"?
Dugin: I didn't say that! For sure it will not play any role in the near future and in the question of German emancipation from American occupation power. Now we have completely rational reasons for such emancipation which worries Washington much more than any traditionally anti-American aspects in Germany.
A couple of weeks ago there was an ironic situation on a German talk show. The former US ambassador in Germany, John Kornblum, gave a lecture to German politicians and journalists. He said that Washington and Berlin are "partners," not "friends." Otto von Bismarck once stated that foreign politics is about interests, not about friendship. How is it that a US diplomat gives us lectures in Bismarck’s way of thinking today?
Dugin: I don't wonder at all about such situations. After World War II free thought, especially about relations to the occupation power, was absolutely prohibited in Germany. Before 1945 we witnessed the nation’s thoughts centered on the destiny of Germany in all political camps of your country. Communists, Social Democrats, Centrists, National conservatives and National Socialists had the German nation in the center of their thoughts. German patriotism was not an invention by the National Socialists at all, as many Germans might believe today. The nation-centered thinking in politics is found also in other countries like France, USA, UK and Russia. It is completely normal to think in a nationally-centered way. And it was until 1945 also a German tradition. After 1945 this thinking was prohibited and defamed in Germany. The Germans were obliged all of a sudden to think of "humanity," "the international community," "Western values" or in any other cosmopolitical ways. The reeducation in the post war period was about ensuring that the new German elite would not work to establish a free and independent Germany. The complete absence of any possibility of a nation-centered way of thinking in German politics was due to Soviet power in the GDR and the Americans in the FRG. The Germans were educated in the anti-German way of thinking. We cannot expect from the German elite or intelligentsia, of course with a few exceptions, any German-centered thought. So, we shouldn't wonder at all that German politicians and intellectuals speak in terms of "friendship" and not about "interests" when it comes to relations with the occupation force. When a German politician leaves that sphere, he will be immediately suppressed by those Germans who defend exactly this anti-German sphere. It is a sort of mental and intellectual "Gulag" or "concentration camp." But this time the Americans are the commanders and masters of this camp and the German elite plays the role of the "Kapo," the camp police. You should either accept this or rebel. For rebellion, it is still too early, but it will come for sure. A free and independent Germany is a big chance for the whole of Europe. Europe can only emancipate itself from American dominance with an emancipated Germany.
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