German politics at the federal level have a background noise of turmoil, and have had so for more than a decade.
The conservatives are suddenly throwing overboard long-held positions (being led by a chancellor who is not really partisan, but rather power-hungry).
The greens turned from a pacifist party into yes-sayers for the 1999 Kosovo Air War and to strong supporters of the German ISAF participation. Recently, certain prominent greens have even adopted a militaristic foreign policy position if it's only about freeing oppressed people.
They used to be the party for a military-free foreign policy, if not even for a military-free country.
The reds (social democrats) have thrown overboard their worker representation roots, fucked the unemployed with their Agenda 2010 about ten years ago (and ever since), got into photo sessions with luxury suits and cigars and embraced even the big bank CEOs as buddies.
Seriously, they can claim to have been somewhat right about capitalism, its instability and the greed thing all along - until only a few years before the 2008 economic meltdown kind of proved them right in this regard.They threw that thing overboard just in time to avoid being proved to be correct.
I sound maybe a bit critical and maybe I am, being totally dissatisfied with all but one federal minister, but I'm not alone.
There have been two great FAZ articles in the recent past which laid out the whole mess - in German language (of course):
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The Libyan uprising and the German reaction to it are affected by this turmoil.
The latest news s that our foreign minister (who shouldn't be one in the first place) came under pressure for not applauding the NATO success in Libya quicker than all others did.
Let's look at it:
There was a UNSC resolution that was insanity itself and Germany abstained. Why insanity? Well, it was outright bullshit to believe that you could "protect" civilians from the air and not do much else. OF COURSE would the intervention parties not protect Ghadafi-held cities against firepower of rebels. OF COURSE did protecting rebel cities against Ghadafi military deny him victory. OF COURSE did this de facto mean a regime change permission - but with terribly awkward requirements.
The UN is not in the regime change business. Libya was in no way a threat to another UN member. It was simply no business of the UN to authorise exemptions to its founding document's provisions in order to further regime change in Libya.
The whole thing was not only terribly awkward from an operational perspective and outright provoking the stretching and violation of the UNSC resolution. It was also violating the purpose of the United Nations itself and thus indirectly diminishing the reliability< and utility of the United Nations.
This has not been German policy, ever - and it made sense to abstain.
For some weird reason the 'success' of the intervention is now supposedly justifying the means.
So far it hasn't been policy of the FRG that the end justifies the means, and it's extremely surprising and awkward to see such positions being held (now - some of the same people backed the abstaining from the vote earlier!).
Let's face it: The federal German politicians have lost their compasses, have become entirely unreliable representatives. The lefties behave like right-wingers, the right-winger quit being right-wing and drop overboard decades-old positions (that's more often than not no deterioration in itself at all).
A few years ago I was able to tell others that the typical German stance on this or that security problem is xy.
Today I couldn't. A single cabinet meeting or a single day could throw everything overboard.
Greens can turn into warmongers, reds can make a move to destroy the "social" in social market economy and conservatives can make more grand political turns in a year than al others in a decade. Oh, and reds can cuddle with bank CEOs while conservatives bend over and let their junior coalition partner (liberals) give a totally nonsensical multi-billion tax gift to hoteliers.
Did I mention we have a liberal gay as foreign minister, a conservative woman as chancellor and an adopted Vietnamese as no-skill minister of the economy?
I'm conservative in one regard: I want pro-worker social democrats, pacifist-eco greens and predictable no-experiments conservatives. The voters should be able to recognise the party they voted for a mere half term later.
Oh, and I'd like to have a clue again about what's typical in regard to German security policy. Right now I can only tell that everyone seems to trust and rely on the stability of NATO by 100%.