Military plot in Germany?

| Murad Muradov | 19-11-2018, 09:25

A week ago, news appeared about an alleged conspiracy group within the rank and file of Bundeswehr (German armed forces) that planned to undertake a military coup attempt by murdering several prominent liberal politicians on what was called an "X-day" and declare emergency. The news reignited a discussion about a rise of the far right in Germany and an imminent crisis of the liberal pacifist consensus that formed there after the WWII.

However, a closer look at this case helps to see that this is most probably an example of "fake news" in their finest sense. The news appeared only on sensational websites such as The Sun and Daily Mail, at Russia-connected resources like RT or Sputnik, or on some less-read obscure pages. At the same time, it would be wrong to claim that information reported is far from reality: it is actually based on two relatively recent episodes, one of a disclosed plot within the army (although of a more modest size) that dates back to May 2017, and ethnic riots in Chemnitz in September 2018. So, concerns about radical forces gaining ground in Germany are not entirely misled: the problem persists, and the AfD has still got the momentum it gained in the aftermath of the 2015 refugee crisis. Growing tension with the U.S. over security and Germany’s global role adds credits to illiberal revisionist forces who would love to see the restoration of Berlin’s great power ambitions and see tolerance towards various minorities as a sign of weakness. Still, it was not a news; so, most probably the latest sensation was a carefully designed fake. It came in the period when German politics is still feeling the repercussions of Chancellor Merkel’s recent announcement not to step down after her current term ends in 2021 as well as heated European debates on the continental security which Europe now wants to be able to provide for herself. The timing of the news might be just another attempt to undermine Germany’s credibility as a regional leader; in fact, the analysis provided by the fiercely Eurasianist “Strategic Culture Foundation” openly casts doubt over Berlin’s ability to care for its own affairs, let alone to secure continental leadership. 

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Murad Muradov

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