Would you prefer a Chancellor Scholz or a Chancellor Baerbock, Ms. Mohamed Ali?
The left in government? For many conservatives, this is a gruesome idea. According to current surveys, it would be enough for the red-green-red coalition. Amira Mohamed Ali, leader of the Left parliamentary group in the Bundestag, is convinced that your party is ready to step out of the opposition. And the politician also directs a few demands to Olaf Scholz.
MOPO: Watch out, the bad communists are coming! Your political opponents are currently playing with this horror scenario, the left is more in focus than it has been for a long time. Does that flatter you or do you feel defamed?
Amira Mohamed Ali: The defamations annoy me, it’s from the day before yesterday and completely absurd. The red sock campaign 2.0, which is being unpacked, reveals the desperation of the Union, which is falling further and further in surveys. We say clearly: We want to participate in government, if this makes social politics possible.
Amira Mohamed Ali on MOPO: “We will not be stirrup holders”
How do you feel: will you be there in the end?
The polls are such that it might be possible. But it is also clear to us: We will not be stirrup holders, but want to implement a more social policy.
Olaf Scholz asked for a clear commitment to NATO as a prerequisite for working with you. Isn’t it going to fail because of that?
NATO, as it is now designed, wages wars that are contrary to international law, we reject that. We are happy to be part of a peace alliance, but that would require NATO to reshape itself and involve Russia. We know, of course, that this would not be feasible overnight.
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You don’t think Scholz would get involved, do you?
The SPD has to ask itself what it wants in terms of foreign policy. After 20 years of war in Afghanistan you can see how devastating these military operations are. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 deaths in Afghanistan, including many women and children, 3,600 NATO alliance soldiers have died, more than 18 million people are now dependent on humanitarian aid, and over 70 percent of Afghans live below the poverty line. To be honest, I find it absurd that the SPD thinks now of all times that we have to rethink our positions on peace policy.
In the end, the explorations will be about the existence of bridges that all negotiating partners can cross. Would that be the compromise? That one says: You can’t quit from now on, but Germany has to influence the restructuring of NATO’s content?
We have set clear cornerstones in the party program.In any case, the party ultimately decides whether it wants to agree to a coalition agreement.
Amira Mohamed Ali in a MOPO interview. The questions were asked by Maik Koltermann and Geli Tangermann.
Would you personally agree?
That depends on the coalition agreement, which doesn’t even exist yet. Personally, I think our positions in the party program are correct.
Looking back, are you satisfied with your group’s abstention on the Afghanistan evacuation mandate? It was about saving many people.
We are and have always been in favor of the evacuation of the local workers and their families and we applied for this in June, but the application was rejected. The evacuation mission at the end of August documents the failure of the federal government, because only a fraction of the local staff could be brought to safety. I think it is correct that the majority of us abstained from the Federal Government’s application, because we did not want to confirm the Federal Government’s fatal Afghanistan policy or the catastrophic mistakes in the evacuation mission. Thousands have been left behind and are still waiting for help.
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The pictures from Afghanistan left no one indifferent and everyone saw the conditions under which such a rescue operation takes place. Doesn’t that change your view of the Bundeswehr and the Special Forces Command (KSK), which you would like to abolish, but which also saved children from Kabul?
We are not criticizing the evacuation of people by the Bundeswehr, but rather the involvement of the Bundeswehr in NATO’s completely unsuccessful war policy. As leftists, we think that the Bundeswehr must be a defense army, as provided for in the Basic Law.
“We want to end the Bundeswehr’s missions abroad”
But there you make it easy for yourself: Your party is clearly positioning itself against foreign missions. And the rescue of these people was an assignment abroad.
We have always called for the people at risk to be evacuated from Afghanistan. Basically, we think that the Bundeswehr as a defense army has lost nothing abroad and we want to end the Bundeswehr’s missions abroad. This is especially true for combat missions with a robust mandate.
But the rescue operation had a robust mandate.
That is one of the reasons why we could not agree. It was declared a combat mission and, as a peace party, we programmatically exclude combat missions for good reasons.
You see the field of tension, don’t you …?
Naturally. But once again: If it had been up to us, the evacuation would have taken place much earlier and more peacefully.The fatal ending underscores how wrong the Afghanistan policy was from the start. In terms of foreign policy, we want to move away from wars of intervention and towards comprehensive humanitarian aid. The military operation in Afghanistan cost Germany over 12 billion euros. Only 425 million were earmarked for humanitarian aid. Those are the conditions and something is wrong.
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Let’s look back towards the federal election: Who would you prefer as Chancellor? Mrs. Baerbock or Mr. Scholz?
I have no personal preference, it depends on the content.
Who are you most likely to trust?
I don’t like to mention names there. That is not my job, what matters is that it really is about a social orientation of politics. As the left, we fight for our content. There are certainly points of contact with both parties: The wealth tax is a central point, because without this income sufficient investments in education and the energy transition are not possible. A higher taxation of real top incomes is also necessary to relieve low and middle incomes. The proposals by the SPD and the Greens are going in the right direction, but they are simply too timid. Another point for us would be the introduction of a minimum pension – we are asking for 1200 euros, here too I see a lot of catching up to do with the SPD and the Greens. Because old-age poverty is increasing in Germany and is already a major problem.
Finally, let’s take a look at Angela Merkel’s 16 years of chancellorship. Is there anything that you will miss about the Chancellor?
Your dry sense of humor. Angela Merkel can be very funny at times. But she always has herself under control: Armin Laschet’s inappropriate laugh in the flood area would never have happened to her. Politically, I will not miss anything, because it has driven and solidified the social divide in the country. We urgently need a change in social policy.