Whether we want peace is not the question
Today is the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
We cannot understand why this war is taking place and we cannot understand why there is no solution to this conflict so far. The calls for a solution at the negotiating table are getting louder.
Sahra Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer have called for a demonstration in Berlin this weekend with their “Manifesto for Peace”. The manifesto calls for a stop of arms deliveries to Ukraine and an immediate start of negotiations.
This call for a demonstration reveals the helplessness and the powerlessness felt.
Perhaps you can understand this powerlessness. We had hope that our approach to conflict resolution would work. With many sanctions and diplomatic efforts in the background, we wanted to bring about an end to the war. Today, we know that this hope will not be fulfilled.
“Every war ends at the negotiating table.” This sentence is constantly repeated in talk shows, commentaries and in social media. However, it is false.
The Second World War ended with a surrender; the Yugoslav war ended with an agreement prepared for with military force. Many other wars continue or get put on ice without a solution.
The “Manifesto for Peace” is well-intentioned and is finding a lot of support. But it is dangerous.
Dangerous because all those who do not agree with the manifesto and continue to be in favour of supplying arms to Ukraine are portrayed as opponents of peace. The question is not whether we want peace. The question is how we can end the conflict.
Dangerous because this manifesto, with many signatures and most likely a large turnout at the demonstration, sends a signal to Putin: Germany no longer wants to supply weapons to Ukraine. Now, all Putin must do is wait for public opinion in Germany to turn even more before he can completely take over Ukraine militarily.
Putin will continue to live in the belief that he will achieve a military victory. As long as he believes this, he will not agree to any solution at the negotiating table.
With the “Manifesto for Peace”, Sahra Wagenknecht and Alice Schwarzer have achieved the opposite of what they intended. A possible solution at the negotiating table is delayed again.
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