The Ukrainian army reports military successes. Is there any chance of peace at all?
Berlin – Are there finally peace negotiations in Ukraine, so that we can soon turn on the gas tap again in Germany without any worries? Or will it get really uncomfortable with new deliveries of weapons because we may now be seen as a war party? And what is the right way? The situation seems just as muddled as the attempt to bring about a meaningful discussion from this mixed situation. Presenter Sandra Maischberger tried it that evening on ARD, however, by sending two promising opponents into the debating ring, CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen and Left Party leader Amira Mohamed Ali.
Maischberger (ARD): Commentators see no basis for peace negotiations
But Maischberger doesn’t really seem to believe in her concept, because her focus keeps straying, she tries to draw parallels between the sanctions against Russia and the long-standing sanctions in Iran and takes the wind out of the sails of the discussion, by letting her three guest commentators anticipate important points.
ZEIT journalist Mariam Lau currently sees “no basis” for peace negotiations. “Stern” editor-in-chief Gregor Peter Schmitz believes that only the USA would be able to create the basis for negotiations. And the cabaret artist Urban Priol provides biting comments in between for relieving laughter with puns about martens as tanks or animals or Viktor Orbán as “Gulash-Putin from Hungary”. But the conversation only becomes really moving at a completely unexpected point.
Mariam Lau, whose family is from Iran themselves, admits that the sanctions in Iran’s case would have helped little, at least domestically. And points out where the real power that could bring about change comes from: 13- and 14-year-old girls who threaten the dictator unveiled. In other words, children who bravely fight for their future. But that cannot and must not be an example or role model for Russia and Ukraine, which is why this important point on this evening on ARD unfortunately has to come to nothing. It remains to be hoped that a separate discussion will be devoted to it elsewhere.
Norbert Röttgen and Amira Mohamed Ali accuse each other of dreams and illusions
The debate at Maischberger picks up speed when finally Norbert Röttgen and Amira Mohammed Ali sit across from each other. With a sonorous voice, he plays the statesman who keeps trying to accuse his opponent of “dreaming”. She seems rushed, speaks so fast that sometimes the words tumble, but she doesn’t let the derogatory comments deter her. The sympathies in the audience seem to be distributed, both of them repeatedly receive applause.
|Maischberger (ARD)||The guests of the program from October 5, 2022|
|Amira Mohamed Ali||Group leader of the left|
|Norbert Rottgen||CDU foreign politician|
|Gerhart Baum from the FDP||Former FDP Minister of the Interior|
|Urban Priole||cabaret artist|
|Gregory Peter Schmitz||Editor-in-Chief of the Stern|
|Mariam Lau||ZEIT journalist|
“Putin is really under pressure now, he has to defend his own power,” says Norbert Röttgen. He considers negotiations unrealistic “because Putin wants war.” Amira Mohamed Ali, on the other hand, argues that it is “an illusion that Russia can be defeated militarily”. Both accuse each other that the other position lacks a fact-based basis and is based only on wishful thinking. While Norbert Röttgen declares it impossible that Putin could also resort to nuclear weapons, Amira Mohamed Ali says: “That cannot be ruled out”. While the left-wing politician doesn’t trust the mantra-like repeated sentence that negotiations with Putin make no sense, the CDU man says that “the war must be defeated”.
Both agree, however, that nobody wants active intervention by NATO and thus a third world war. A very small common denominator that gives worryingly little information about what we and especially Ukraine could actually expect in winter.
Maischberger (ARD): The 90-year-old FDP man Gerhard Baum wants to accuse Putin
Finally, perhaps for encouragement, Sandra Maischger brought along Gerhard Baum, Minister of the Interior from 1978 to 1982, who will be celebrating his 90th birthday at the end of the month. A person who lived through the Second World War and experienced first-hand how it can end, sees a brutal injustice regime raging. “After that I experienced 70 years of peace and freedom,” says Baum, and it sounds like saying goodbye to that time. The FDP man has a lot of ideas and experiences in his luggage. However, Maischberger does not succeed in bundling these into a strong narrative here either, instead the two talk every minute about a new world order that now needs to be rebuilt with the help of countries such as China, India and Brazil. About the fact that Putin is not to be equated with Russia and about human rights struggles in Iran and Myanmar.
It could be exciting when Maischberger asks Baum to report on his currently particularly sensational project: He wants to bring Putin to court, citing international criminal law. But Baum himself modestly admits: “It will be difficult”. In any case, one cannot condemn the Russian ruler from Germany. But at least it is no more and no less than a strong sign that could also be extended to other candidates: “We can accuse perpetrators here who commit war crimes against their own compatriots anywhere in the world.” and so the overall less fruitful ARD program sounds at least forgiving, with congratulations to a fascinating personality. (Teresa Schomburg)