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Sunday, February 5, 2023

How a German MP reveals @DemocracyNow's support for Russia in Ukraine

On its January 25th show, under a segment with the title  "As Germany & U.S. Agree on Tanks for Ukraine, German MP Accuses U.S. of Pushing Berlin into Proxy War," Democracy Now brought on a German MP to give us the perspective of European socialists on Russia's war against Ukraine. They did so without telling their audience that she was well known as a Putin mouthpiece in Germany. They left that task to me.

Amy Goodman introduced their guest as follows:

For more, we speak with lawmaker Sevim Dağdelen, a member of the Left Party in the German parliament who says the majority of the German public wants more diplomatic efforts to end the conflict. “It concerns me a lot that many so-called progressives in the United States are supporting this line by the Biden administration to push Germany more and more into this proxy war,” says Dağdelen.

Dağdelen then goes on to repeat well-worn Kremlin propaganda about how they had to invade Ukraine because of NATO expansion, and because they are all Nazis, as if this was a representative view of progressives in Europe.

One might get a clue that she has more than a dog in that fight when she fastened on like this: 

Well, I really have to warn: All these illusionists, all these people who are fantasizing about a victory against Russia, they are underestimating Russia like Napoleon and Hitler did in the past. And, you know, it’s a nuclear — the most powerful nuclear power in the world. And there is no way to win a war, a conventional war, against such a nuclear power.

Really? Tell that to the Vietnamese. And the Iraqis, and the Afghans-twice-against two nuclear powers! No way to win a war of independence against a nuclear power? This is a very strange thing to be preached by a leftist. Fortunately, history proves her wrong. As to the lesson from history that she would have us draw—that Russia always wins—it should be enough to point out that against both Napoleon and Hitler, Russia had both the moral and military advantage of being the country being invaded, plus it had Ukrainians on its side. Today, none of that applies.

This piece in Tagesspiegel was published just days before Putin invaded Ukraine, and it gives us a very different perspective on Dağdelen than the one Democracy Now would want us to have. The translation from the original Germany is via Google:

Putin's left-back: MPs from the left show understanding for the Kremlin

Bundestag deputies Sevim Dagdelen and Sahra Wagenknecht defend the Kremlin's policy. This is met with criticism in the Left Party.

By Claudia von Salzen
02/21/2022, 4:55 p.m

The left-wing member of the Bundestag Sevim Dagdelen appeared at a rally at the Brandenburg Gate last Friday. "Security for Russia is security for our country" was the motto of the event to which Peace Coordination Berlin had invited. According to the call for the rally, Russia feels "rightly threatened" by NATO.

Dagdelen conveyed the "greetings of solidarity" to her faction, and then in a 20-minute speech settled accounts with the USA and NATO, which she accused of "warmongering and warmongering". Dagdelen accused the German media of spreading "the US secret service's tall tales" and asked: "Yes, are we in a totalitarian state?"

At the same time, the left-wing deputy defended the Russian troop deployment on the border with Ukraine. Russia reacted because Ukraine wanted to recapture eastern Ukraine militarily. The Kremlin had to be careful "if there was an attack on the Donbass, on the Russian minorities there", "and maybe even on Crimea."
She said this two days before Russian tanks crossed the border between Belarus and Ukraine in their failed attempt to take Kyiv. Tagesspiegel continues:
In doing so, the left-wing politician reflects pretty much the reading of the events disseminated by the Russian state media. She did not say a word about the deployment of more than 100,000 soldiers on Ukraine's borders. On the other hand, Dagdelen accused the USA of having an interest in the escalation: The Americans "do not care whether Ukrainians die or Russians die." They are only concerned with asserting their geopolitical interests.
Salzen notes that not only is Dağdelen pro-Putin with regards to Ukraine, she has a long history of promoting Putin propaganda:
However, Dagdelen does not advocate a policy of equidistance to the governments in Washington and Moscow. From their point of view, such a step does not go far enough. The equidistance slogan serves “to trivialize the NATO armament”. Dagdelen is one of those within the left-wing faction who have repeatedly loudly defended the Kremlin's policies. After the Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal was poisoned with the chemical warfare agent Novichok in Great Britain in 2018, Dagdelen addressed a parliamentary question to the federal government. She took over all the questions from the Russian government.

Democracy Now has every right to put Sevim Dağdelen, or any other Putin propagandist, on its show. After all, we celebrate the freedom of the press in the US. But they should make it clear whose views they are promoting. I suspect they imported a Swedish MP because their usual crop of tankies, such as Medea Benjamin, have become overexposed. Well, this fresh face is promoting the same old Putin propaganda.

Clay Claiborne

5 February 2023

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