I Didn’t Do Nothin’

The other kids were jumping off the bridge. What, me worry?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not only revealed the willful ignorance of German politicians, businesspeople, and voters to Vladimir Putin’s regime, it has cast a dark backwards shadow over the tenure of former chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel’s lack of regrets illustrates the fallacies of Germany’s Russia policy – Russia’s war of annihilation against Ukraine and the unhinged rhetoric of its elites raise urgent questions about the future for Europeans, for the trans-Atlantic alliance, and for global order.

For a generational cohort of German politicians, some of whom are retired and some still in power, it also raises urgent questions about the past. What could they have known, or at least predicted? What bloodshed could they have prevented?