Afd's Maximilian Krah On Europe's Political Quake

(MENAFN- Asia Times) Maximilian Krah was the Alternative for Germany's lead candidate for European Parliament, and is one of the most controversial and charismatic personalities in German politics. The AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) took 16% of German votes in the June 9 election, more than any party in Germany's present governing coalition, and is expected to poll first in three state elections in September. Born in 1977, Krah left the Christian Democrats in 2016 and was first elected to the European Parliament in 2019. He spoke to Asia Times Editor Uwe Parpart and Deputy Editor David Goldman on June 13. Below is a lightly edited transcript of their discussion.

Maximilian Krah, that was a significant victory – an earthquake, even. It has set off and continues to set off shockwaves. How did it happen? Specifically, what did German voters, your voters, vote for and against?

The game changer was the young people. The youngsters made the difference. We saw a 12% increase among voters younger than 24.

The left allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to vote, thinking they would support leftist candidates. However, within that group, aged 16 to 24, we gained 12%. We are now the strongest political force among the under-24 demographic, with a total of 17%.

This is the game changer because it shows that the future is ours, provided we don't make mistakes again. We could have done much better if we had adopted more of Donald Trump's style. During the campaign, I was a victim of some intelligence attacks.

Unfortunately, my party decided to hide me for some weeks, limiting my campaign efforts to TikTok and the internet, focusing on young voters. The gain among young voters was substantial enough to overcome the losses among older voters.

So, the message from Germany is that young Germany is moving to the right wing. It's a big win and brings hope.

The other message is that we must learn to handle such strong attacks, which were orchestrated by intelligence agencies.

In May, you gave an interview to the Swiss magazine Weltwoche titled“Germany must be a power for peace.” Was the issue of peace particularly important to young voters and the electorate as a whole?

First of all, I think peace
the major issue for European politics in the next five years. Why? Because America will gradually withdraw from the Ukraine conflict.

Looking at the world map, we have three centers of conflict: Ukraine, the Middle East, and Taiwan. America alone cannot win a war in all three locations.

It is clear that the war in Ukraine must be supported by European money. The decision has to pass the European Parliament when it comes to new money for Ukraine, new weapons and funding military support. So, in European elections, we decide on the continuation of the war in Ukraine for the next few years.

Obviously, this is a global issue. This is why intelligence services from all over the world were so interested in and active in influencing this campaign. Among young voters, the questions are much more fundamental.

When you are a young person today, you know that the experiences your teachers and parents tell you won't prepare you for the future. Young people don't know what the future holds, and they aren't even taught what it means to be human.

They doubt their gender identity – whether they are male, female or something else. We have a generation of young people who are insecure about themselves but know they face a future that will transform everything around them. Young people demand fundamental answers because they know that life ahead will challenge them, and they feel unprepared for that challenge.

And, of course, war is a fundamental and crucial issue because it concerns life and death. In war, you can die, so young people are very open to fundamental issues.

Does the AfD have a vision of what peace would look like? Eventually, this war will end, as all wars do. What comes after it?

The AfD has faced challenges during the campaign because we anticipated attacks but didn't know they would be so severe. Unfortunately, we weren't prepared for the intensity of these attacks.

It's hard to say if the AfD has a cohesive vision, but I can share my own vision. For a peace deal, everyone knows the basic idea.

We could take the current front line and establish it as the new border for the next five years. After that, hold a plebiscite in the Russian-occupied areas to determine if they want to belong to Russia or Ukraine. It's highly probable that they would choose Russia.

However, the war in Ukraine is about more than Ukraine; it's about the global world order. If Russia doesn't lose completely and even gains compared with the status quo ante, the current Western-led global order ends. Thus, the West cannot accept such a peace deal.

The conversation is about prolonging the war, supplying more ammunition, more weapons, and trying to prevent Ukraine from losing. Any end to the war would signify the end of Western global dominance.

This is why the elites in Brussels and Washington DC are committed to continuing the war and preventing any peace initiative.

When I spoke to Weltwoche, I emphasized that Germany should be a“Macht für den Frieden” (a power for peace). But Germany today is not a power at all; it is more like a weasel. There is no independent German policy thinking. When Donald Trump was president, all of Brussels and Berlin called for strategic autonomy. When Joe Biden came back to lead the world, everyone was happy because the political elites lacked the intellectual capacity for independent foreign policy.

To understand European policies, just look to Washington, DC. The fight we face is to save Western global dominance, which means American global dominance.

My vision is for Germany to understand it is the loser in this war and seek support from other European countries for an independent foreign policy. Many smaller European countries, like Hungary and Bulgaria, understand this, and even the Netherlands. But as long as Germany is the front-runner in a policy that harms itself the most, there will be no change.

Let's say in a few years, the AfD holds the foreign ministry. You are the foreign minister with a mandate for an independent foreign policy. The old order is in ruins. What kind of new order would you like to bring about? What is your vision for what should replace the existing circumstances?

The vision is to accept that there are different understandings of a perfect order.

Let the Chinese be Chinese, the Indians be Indian, the Africans be African and the Europeans be European. We must abandon the idea that the whole world must follow the same political and legal culture. Asia has its traditions, and they should govern themselves accordingly. The same goes for the Islamic world. Let Muslims follow their own order without trying to impose Western values on them.


Asia Times

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