Foreign Minister Maas urged the instigators to be held accountable for the storming of the US Capitol. US President Trump is jointly responsible. The attack shows how dangerous right-wing populism is – also in Germany.
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has spoken out in favor of bringing all those responsible for the storming of the Capitol to justice – including those who instigated it. Indirectly, he also pleaded for US President Donald Trump to be punished. He had previously made this jointly responsible for the attack on the US parliament building.
In the Bundestag debate on the unrest in Washington, Maas emphasized that the storm on the Capitol did not come as a surprise to him after Trump’s election fraud allegations. “Donald Trump has disregarded the democratic decision of American voters and he has trampled the democratic rules of the game, especially in the past few weeks,” he said.
It is now necessary for all democrats to join forces against the enemies of democracy. “This alliance begins with the perpetrators of such derailments to account. This includes the violent rioters and also their instigators. Those who incite are responsible,” said the SPD politician.
Maas: “Disservice” of the right-wing populists
Maas referred to the reactions from Beijing and Moscow as well as the glee in Iran, Venezuela and North Korea after the unrest in Washington. The se showed “the disservice right-wing populists are doing their countries and the danger they pose to democracy,” he said. Future President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris would now need a lot of strength to restore confidence in American democracy.
The social division underlying the events in Washington, however, has long existed “on both sides of the Atlantic,” warned the Foreign Minister. He referred to the acts of violence in Kassel and Hanau as well as the storm on the stairs of the Reichstag building on the sidelines of a demonstration by opponents of the state’s corona protective measures, right-wing populists and conspiracy theorists.
One of the causes of the spread of manipulation and agitation is the role of social networks, which also bear great responsibility here. Maas emphatically insisted on the rule of law so as not to leave control over them to the companies alone. The SPD politician emphasized the importance of freedom of expression even with content “we don’t like”. However, this ends “where criminal threats and agitation begin”.
“Incitement to riot”
Protests by angry supporters of Trump in the US capital Washington escalated last Wednesday. Shortly before the storm on the Capitol, Trump appeared in front of his supporters, repeated his unsubstantiated election fraud allegations and called on his supporters to move to the seat of the US Parliament. You should not put up with the “theft” of the election, said the US President.
Trump must now face impeachment proceedings in the US Senate for “inciting riot”. Maas said it was not his place to evaluate the so-called impeachment. “Ultimately, however, it is nothing more than an expression of the American need not to let the damage to their democratic institutions not lead to consequences.”