Sick joke? Germany just sent Ukraine 5,000 helmets, but no weapons, amidst Putin onslaught — here’s why
Germany has been failing freedom in Europe’s darkest hour since WWII, but there is a new sign of hope
As the Ukrainian people fight for their very lives and their nation’s very survival — and countries all over Europe send weapons and ammunition to help — what is German Chancellor Olaf Scholz doing to help the democratic people of Ukraine?
Sending anti-tank missiles? No.
Machine guns? No.
Desperately needed ammunition? No.
Instead, Scholz has just sent Ukraine 5,000 helmets.
Is this some kind of sick joke?
That’s certainly what Ukrainian officials think.
“The behavior of the German government leaves me speechless,” says Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
“What kind of support will Germany send next?” he shot back. “Pillows?”
WHY IS GERMANY’S GOVERNMENT SO WEAK AT THIS CRITICAL MOMENT?
This would be funny — worthy of a late-night comic routine — if it weren’t so serious.
Last century, German governments started two world wars and the Holocaust that led to the deaths of tens of millions of people.
Now it is refusing to help a free democratic neighbor withstand Czar Putin’s onslaught.
“We are standing on Kyiv's side,” insists German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, who says, “we have to do everything to de-escalate” the situation.
“Currently, arms deliveries would not be helpful in this respect,” she adds. “There is agreement on this in the German government.”
Chancellor Scholz certainly agrees.
“In recent years, the German government has repeatedly decided not to supply lethal weapons,” he says. “There are reasons for this, which are of course also based on all the developments of recent years and decades.”
What are those reasons?
There is really just one: Germany has let itself be held hostage by the Kremlin.
Pursuing its radical “green energy policies,” Germany began shutting down its coal plants and its nuclear power plants, steadily shifting to much cleaner natural gas.
That wouldn’t be so bad if Berlin hadn’t also been so foolish as to decide to import more than half of its natural gas supplies from Russia.
What’s more, Germany has been pushing and pushing Europe and the United States to approve and support the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
So that Germany could — wait for it — import even more natural gas from Russia and become even more beholden to Czar Putin.
The Trump administration opposed the pipeline.
But President Joe Biden gave Nord Stream 2 the green light, while shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline at home in pursuit of his own radical green energy policies.
Now the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost.
In a cold, bleak winter, Berlin is so dependent on Putin that they will just let him invade Ukraine and do nothing more than send helmets to Kyiv.
“The gas from Russia cannot be replaced in the short term,” Markus Krebber, CEO of one of Germany’s largest utilities, told the Wall Street Journal.
“The decision to phase out nuclear and coal at the same time has made Germany fully dependent on Russian gas and vulnerable to the possibility that Russia could use energy as a weapon,” Gustav Gressel, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told the Journal.
A NEW SIGN OF HOPE?
Germany is failing freedom.
German leaders — determined to not be a threat to Europe again — are once more becoming a threat to the world.
Not by attacking democracies, but by refusing to defend them.
There is suddenly a bit of hope, however.
Biden had warned Putin that if Russia attacked, the U.S. would oppose and sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
And to his credit, Biden kept that pledge this week.
With Biden’s sudden resolve, Chancellor Scholz has, too.
Scholz just froze Germany’s participation in the pipeline project through the Baltic Sea.
“The situation has fundamentally changed,” Scholz said Tuesday.”
The Ukrainians immediately expressed gratitude.
“This is a morally, politically and practically correct step in the current circumstances,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted. “True leadership means tough decisions in difficult times. Germany's move proves just that.”
Next, let’s pray that Scholz will send real military assistance to Ukraine.
Not just helmets.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.