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General Kujat and Parliamentarian Gehrcke Urge Merkel
To Bring U.S. and Russia Together To Stop Syria War

October 2015

Gen. Harald Kujat receives the Legion of Merit medal at the Pentagon on April 7, 2005. Photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, U.S. Air Force.

Oct. 20, 2015 (EIRNS)—If Chancellor Merkel is the "Most Powerful Woman in the World," then she should go to Washington and get the United States to "sit at the table" with Russia to stop the killing in Syria. This was the de facto consensus between Gen. Harald Kujat (ret.), and Bundestag Member (MdB) Wolfgang Gehrcke, during their appearance last night on Phoenix TV’s "Unter den Linden" talkshow. General Kujat was head of the NATO Military Committee from 2002-05 and before that Chief of the Bundeswehr General Staff; MdB Gehrcke was a longtime member of West Germany’s Communist Party until in 1990, becoming a leader of what is now Die Linke.

Although the discussion concerned the refugee crisis in Europe, the two guests continually brought the issue back to the fact that "the refugee crisis is only the symptom," but the cause is the brutal war in Syria, which must be ended. The moderator tried to keep the issue on the refugees and Chancellor Merkel’s Turkey visit, but Gehrcke interjected that "nobody wants to talk about the causes." We make a deal in the middle of Erdogan’s election campaign to get a deal like that we had with Qaddafi, "whom we later butchered like a dog," leaving us with the problem we have now. General Kujat said the deal won’t work; "[the] key is to stop the war." Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s diplomacy is important, "but the key is to have the U.S. sit down with Russia to implement a common goal."

Uwe Steinert für Fraktion DIE LINKE. im Bundestag [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
German Bundestag Member Wolfgang Gehrcke.

Kujat concurred with Gehrcke that Turkey is "indirectly involved" in backing ISIS. Since the U.S.-Erdogan deal, Turkey is not bombing ISIS in Syria but the Kurds (who were a major stalwart against ISIS). The Russians were accused of bombing only "moderate" rebels and not ISIS, "which I don’t think is all true," but Turkey?

General Kujat constantly criticized the failure "of our politicians" to see that we have a hard interest that the U.S. and Russia and Europe cooperate to end the war. Refusing to cooperate with Russia by falsely claiming that Putin only backs Assad, is wrong, he said. The West doesn’t have to negotiate with Assad, "Russia will do that for us." Gehrcke mentioned that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has proposed humanitarian corridors to bring in humanitarian aid. General Kujat added the he hopes that we work jointly with Russia and the United Nations for common measures. It is completely ivory tower thinking to make everything depend on the issue of Assad.

Kujat lamented the lack of leaders with the "farsightedness" of former Chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt. Obama made a big mistake when he asserted that the U.S. won’t negotiate with a "regional power" like Russia. Gehrcke urged Merkel to go to Washington; and added, "If ISIS wins, I fear a world war."