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Merkel resembles the retreating occupiers in Kabul: After me the flood. Save yourself who can

Written by Wolfgang Herles for Tichys Einblick.

The vast majority of the media suddenly no longer give the government a good hair, and register the Berlin bungling with dismay and indignation. If it wasn't cynical, one could say that the Taliban in Afghanistan have opened eyes in Germany. And that a few weeks before the election. The effect cannot yet be assessed.


Still, there is some confusion in the failure of the Hindu Kush debate. The two levels of action are not neatly separated from each other. First there is the failed utopia that the world can be shaped according to the will and ideas of the West. Islam cannot be civilized from outside. Democracy cannot be imposed. The subjects, wherever they may be, must raise themselves to be free citizens and free themselves from the fetters of their history. The Taliban state will not be the last in Afghanistan either. Sad as it may be for those who have once again turned to the West in vain. In the end, it doesn't matter whether the motives for intervention are geostrategic or humanistic or a mixture of both. The age of western values-colonialism is irrevocably over. China is opening a new chapter with more pragmatic methods.


How this knowledge is realized is something completely different. The unprepared, unconditional, hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan is devastating. It counteracts and discriminates against the values ​​for which one has fought in vain. With the hopeless escape from responsibility, the West is betraying itself. And the most disgusting is the betrayal of those who bet on change and entrusted their own survival to the protecting power. Women, democrats, educated, enlightened Afghans are mercilessly handed over to their enemies. It's not realpolitik, it's a shame.


So it is not the change in strategy that is devastating, but the way in which it is carried out. The reasons for this are exclusively domestic political motives in the USA. The loss of trust outweighs a lost war. Biden mutated into Trump's executor. That only makes the German failure worse. Of all people, Merkel, who was proclaimed patroness of the West against Trump, is proving to be incapable of at least taking control of her own people and their helpers. There would have been enough time. Despite the mantra "2015 must not repeat itself", which is currently mumbled ad nauseam, the next wave of refugees is inevitable. But this debate has nothing to do with the failure to evacuate its own employees and their families.


It is similar to that in other policy areas. Indolence, bureaucracy, ignorance and unworldliness form a toxic mixture. Whether in the flood disaster, in energy policy, in education, in the deterioration of the infrastructure, in sloppy digitization, in the unspeakable "pandemic" management or the collapse of old-age insurance: Do nothing, then too late the wrong, avoid foresight, suppress the consequences, Slender feet: it is the behavior pattern of people who do not understand their business. A network of individual failures sits at the controls. The people, held in a false sense of security, disinformed, anesthetized by Merkel, illusionized, droned on with moral rubbish, nodded indulgently and dumbly. But that no longer works as it did a few days ago. Afghanistan exposes the shabbiness of those involved.


And once again the urgent question must be asked: Why do the wrong ones come to the top so often? Why not the most capable? Where are competence and common sense? A week ago I wrote about the sepsis of German democracy. Blood poisoning leads to multiple organ failure. There is nothing to add today. Foreign, interior and defense ministers have failed and are only not leaving their posts because otherwise Merkel would also have to resign shamefully, who not only formulated guidelines for politics, but has also been responsible for the decline of political culture for sixteen years. Oh yes, even shortly before the election it would still make sense to hold them accountable. It is never too late to return to democratic matters of course. And who knows, how long Merkel's incompetent administration can remain in office in the face of a difficult coalition formation.


No matter who wins the elections, this country needs a profound change. It is not enough for the government and its auxiliaries to withdraw like a listless army and leave chaos behind. The impression that Merkel is currently making is similar to that of the retreating occupiers in Kabul: After me, the flood. Save yourself who can.

Photo: Christoph Hardt / Geisler-Fotopress / dpa
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