WATCH: CNLive! — Global Greens: War or Peace? (in Gaza & Ukraine)

Peace was among the worldwide Green movement’s founding principles. But with wider wars threatening in Ukraine and the Middle East, the Green movement is divided over peace and war. 

CN Live!Season 5, Episode 12 – ‘Global Greens: War or Peace?’

With the dangers of a wider Middle East war threatening to break out and the perilous conflict in Ukraine far from over, where do Green parties around the world stand on the question of peace or war?  

The Green Party movement began in the Australian state of Tasmania in April 1972, when the first Green Party in the world contested in state elections.  Later that year the first Green Party in Europe was founded in Switzerland. The next year saw the first British Green Party, which began as the Ecology Party.  

From the first, an anti-War and non-violent position was at the core of Green Party politics worldwide. Indeed peace was one of the Four Pillars of the Green movement, along with ecology, social justice and democracy.

In the Australian capital Canberra in 2001, the Global Greens Charter was adopted by 800 delegates from 72 national Green Parties. It called for: 

So peace was a bedrock principle of the Green movement from the start, including in what became the largest and most influential Green Party in the world — in Germany.  They began as an anti-war party in 1980.  But within 20 years, the German Greens had broken with this tradition, supporting NATO’s attack on Serbia in 1999, and then NATO’s war in Afghanistan in 2001.  

This split the Global Greens movement. Today under the leadership of Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, the German Green Party is one of the most pro-war parties in the world, rivaling the U.S. Democratic Party. Baebock is infamous for saying that “We,” meaning the West, “are at war with Russia” over Ukraine.

Last week she was in Israel giving unqualified support for Israel as it pursues policies of shutting off water, food and electricity to 2.2 million Gazans; demanding hospitals in the north of Gaza evacuate 2,000 patients in a war zone; had already killed more than 2,500 Gazan civilians with aerial bombardments and is poised to launch a ground war that threatens to engulf the entire Middle East in war.  

Indeed differences with the global Greens movement were starkly demonstrated earlier today, Monday, in Australia when federal Green Party leader Adam Bandt, according to The Australian newspaper, “tried to amend a statement of support for Israel with one condemning ‘war crimes perpetrated by the State of Israel, including the bombing of Palestinian civilians.’” 

“Mr Bandt said The Greens condemned the Hamas attack on innocent Israelis and called for Israeli hostages to be released, saying there was ‘no place for anti semitism and Islamophobia’. But he said the upcoming invasion of Gaza loomed as ‘not just a humanitarian catastrophe, but a war crime’.

‘Australia cannot stay silent and, indeed, back that invasion,’ Mr Bandt said, backing UN condemnation of Israel’s decision to prevent food, water and fuel from getting into the enclave. The Greens’ amendment was defeated 107 to seven, with a number of MPs outside the chamber at the time. The motion was ultimately supported overwhelmingly, 134 votes to four, with only the Greens voting against it.”

GUESTS: Senator David Shoebridge, former Senator Lee Rhiannon (AUS); Dimitri Lascaris (CAN); Diana Johnstone (US), former EU Greens group press officer. Host: Joe Lauria. Produced by Cathy Vogan.

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34 comments for “WATCH: CNLive! — Global Greens: War or Peace? (in Gaza & Ukraine)

  1. Eddy Schmid
    October 17, 2023 at 22:50

    The whole concept of the Greens saving the Waorld by rejecting the clearing of trees, is a contradiction in of it’self. Wars clear a hell of a lot of trees, and also emit a lot of green house gases, thus by advocating Wars, the Greens are nothing of the kind, in fact are the opposite.

  2. October 17, 2023 at 01:05

    Thank you, excellent speakers and, as an Australian, I am interested to hear the Greens speaking in a way I can respect, and agree with – more so than in the past. Perhaps they are willing to be more accountable and stick their necks out in a way we used to believe the Labor Party would.

  3. Onlooker
    October 16, 2023 at 20:29

    As far as the supposed reliable and cheap nuclear power in France, let me remind Ms Johnstone that in the last couple of years, France has had to buy electricity from Germany …. because climate change (drought and heat waves have forced shutdowns of NPPs due to shortages or overheating of cooling water).

  4. Onlooker
    October 16, 2023 at 18:07

    One minor point to Mr Lascaris: what Kissinger is reported to have claimed Nixon said is confirmed in detail in the Oval Office Papers.
    But fear in the White House that a pre-revolutionary situation existed was not due to peaceful mass demonstrations, but to widespread sabotage of all kinds, mutinies in the military, and violence (remember “fragging”?).

    • Rafael
      October 18, 2023 at 12:09

      Yes, a mutinous army was the most important, but you should not counterpose it to civilian demonstrations. There was unity between war resisters in and out of uniform, and conscious integration of the two. For example GI coffee houses. This (and not the intentionally fabricated lies about demonstrators spitting on returning GI’s) was the reality of the movement, and its strength.

  5. Onlooker
    October 16, 2023 at 17:37

    To be blunt: one major reason for the corruption of the German Green Party I believe to be “unofficial agents” of Western MIC agencies at the top of the party — Joschka Fischer, a.k.a. “IM Turnschuh”, and now Anna Baerbock, who not only got her university education at the LSE, a notorious center for recruitment by British intelligence agencies, and goes to Britain from time to time for unapparent reasons, but I suspect to get instructions from her handler.

    What do you think, Ms Johnstone?

  6. Raymond Howard
    October 16, 2023 at 15:36

    Listen carefully to Diana Johnstone as she talks about the extraordinary energy prices in Germany and runaway energy conservation laws in France. These are our future. Get ready for electricity bills so high that A.C. will be a luxury and a new type of vagrant – one who couldn’t afford to pay for utilities anymore – is created.

  7. Andrew Nichols
    October 16, 2023 at 14:20

    Like the Aus Greens we Aotearoa Greens support Palestine and oppose Israels apartheid. The German Greens are blatant establishment owned fakes riddled with neocons. They even had a co leader once who was an ex NATO general.

    • JonnyJames
      October 16, 2023 at 17:46

      That’s great. I hope Aotearoa Greens opposes the NATO war in Ukraine as well. The NZ govt. mimic’s the US/ NATO war propaganda, adding fuel to the fire. It’s time for Aotearoa to become a truly independent sovereign country, not a vassal of the US/UK.

      • Eddy Schmid
        October 17, 2023 at 23:04

        As an Australian myself, and one that has actually served in one America’s war of choice, alongside my brothers in arms, the Kiwis, it bothers me greartly, to see a once proud and indepentant nation, who was not scared to stand up and voice it’s opposition to the policies constantly being waged by the U.S. and the Nuclear experimenttion conducted in it’s own back yard by the U.S. and French, contrary to it’s wishes. It’s also very clear to me, the contradicting of opposing such behaviour, allowing the French to freely murder Kiwi nationals in New Zealand, who opposed their nuclear policies, to now behave in the opposite manner. Meaning all those good folks down there have been let down again by their very own Govt, and the people who have suffered as a direct result of the opposition to said policies , have sufered in vain. I fail to understand why the Kiwis have this great love affair with their Masters thousands of miles away in the U.K./U.S. who couldn’t gIve a fig about the people of New Zeaaland.

  8. Afdal
    October 16, 2023 at 12:40

    It’s interesting how it seems like the closer that “Greens” have gotten to power, the more moderate or right-wing their politics have become. The most radically left Green parties today tend to be found in places where they can’t get elected at all.

    • nwwoods
      October 17, 2023 at 11:21

      Only quite recently there was an internecine battle among the Canadian Greens leadership over obeisance to Israel and more recently the erstwhile “left-wing” NDP has shown its hawkish colours by unequivocally siding with the US ands Israel.
      Obviously the Canadian Liberal party and it’s Nazi adjacent deputy PM are all in with the neocons’ respective conflicts in Fascist Ukraine and Apartheid Israel.

  9. JonnyJames
    October 16, 2023 at 12:31

    Maybe I am naive, but since the US military (plus vassals’ military) is one of the worst polluters on earth, with toxic sites around the world and war leaves toxic pollution for decades, I would think than any political party who call themselves “green” would be staunchly anti-military, anti-war.

    Since most political parties in the western world, “socialists” included, have shifted hard-right/authoritarian, the Green parties can join them and add their NewSpeak Greenwash BS as a PR front. Crudely speaking: The ruling kleptocratic oligarchy wants more war for us, power and profits for them. Politicians are usually just an extension of sales/marketing and PR departments.

    • Raymond Howard
      October 16, 2023 at 15:46

      What the Near Left & the Near Right share is an anti-industrial policy. Get rid of industry and the working class will be superfluous. Then the workers and farmers can be treated just as Colored minorities are. The fate of the Yellow Vest movements shows what to expect if the ordinary people try to start political movements of their own.

      Fascism isn’t the only thing we need worry about. A centrist authoritarian movement committed to finish the project of Western conquest of the rest of the world is a real possibility now that traditional politics has failed.

  10. Peaceful Tree Hugger
    October 16, 2023 at 11:30

    Even back then, every time I heard the ‘women will be better’ theme, I always pictured the face of Margaret Thatcher.

  11. Peaceful Tree Hugger
    October 16, 2023 at 11:28

    In Germany, the Greens are a key part of the government and leaders of the German drive to militarize and send tanks into Russia. High level Greens regularly make very belligerent statements.

    In America, the Greens are an official subsidiary of the Democratic Party. For 20 years, their ‘safe states’ strategy openly forbids both competition with the democrats and any real attempt to win power. Given this, it is not surprising that the American Greens have been conspicuously silent during World War 3. Their masters have certainly commanded this.

    If there is still a functioning, no-co-opted, Green movement in Australia, this former American Green wishes you the best.

    • Lois Gagnon
      October 16, 2023 at 14:55

      Where are you getting your information? The GPUS is by no means a subsidiary of the Democrats. We no doubt have a very small number of members who fall into that category, but the majority do not. As a Green in the US, I and the Greens in my state have been highly critical of the German Greens. If the GPUS were to go that route, I would leave the party. Stop spouting nonsense you can’t verify.

      • Rafael
        October 17, 2023 at 01:45

        I agree. In what way did Jill Stein or Ajamu Baraka run safe-state campaigns?

        But there is evidence of a struggle for the soul of the US Greens. If Howie Hawkins were to secure their presidential nomination this time around, I think we would have to conclude that the “social imperialist” wing of the Greens had won the struggle.

        • Lois Gagnon
          October 17, 2023 at 08:15

          Howie is not running and if he did, he likely would not be nominated.

          • Rafael
            October 18, 2023 at 04:40

            A very good sign. I hope that the US Greens can remain true to their principles and avoid the German betrayals. There’s potential for much greater influence if they can.

    • witters
      October 16, 2023 at 18:00

      If you mean the Green Party here, then co-option is long completed.

  12. Shona Helen Davidson
    October 16, 2023 at 11:10

    I am unable to share your site in Canada – on The Peace Alliance Winnipeg facebook page due the the Canadian law about news sharing.
    Free speech is being censored here. I have attempted to share it via “X” /twitter.
    I am most upset!

  13. susan
    October 16, 2023 at 08:56

    It is completely impossible to communicate with an audience that is willfully ignorant. Violence is wrong no matter the circumstances but it seems to me that humans are predisposed to violence and war…

    • Peaceful Tree Hugger
      October 16, 2023 at 12:09

      There was once a vain hope that the existence of nuclear weapons might change this. The cost of war would be just too high. Such reasoning was obviously way over the head of human beings.

    • Me Myself
      October 16, 2023 at 12:44

      “humans are predisposed to violence and war”

      Our leadership doesn’t operate under the definition of Human “Humanity, The word humanity is from the Latin humanitas for “human nature, kindness.

      ” Humanity includes all humans, but it can also refer to the kind feelings humans often have for each other”

      Inhuman is what leadership is.

      “lacking human qualities of compassion and mercy; cruel and barbaric.” Inhuman

  14. Robert
    October 16, 2023 at 08:49

    About 20 years ago it was popular belief among left wing politicians around the world that electing more women into high office would result in less conflict and far fewer wars. Mainstream media frequently included comments supporting that position.

    And then along came a series of war mongering left wing women in high office. The result: They were just as hawkish as men. Step forward to today and we have Annalena Baerbock. She’s a German Greenie who goes beyond war hawk. Annalena is a war addicted lunatic. Step aside John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Annalena is here to save your day.

    I will also mention our own notorious Vicky no last name needed even though she is merely a Deep Stater never elected to any office.

    • Peaceful Tree Hugger
      October 16, 2023 at 11:58

      I was young in the 70’s. When women police officers came on the streets, they were more dangerous than the men. The men were usually confident in their ability to handle a situation without shooting (yes, this was a long time ago). But the women were less confident, and thus more likely to go for the gun and open fire.

      Politicians look the same. The women appear more afraid to ‘seem weak’. So, it turns out that they are more dangerous than the men.

  15. peter mcloughlin
    October 16, 2023 at 08:06

    As the First World War was about to break out, Germany was gripped by something called Burgfriedenspolitik, where Left and Right came together in defence of the Fatherland. There was a similar phenomenon in its adversary, France – union sacree. In Britain, there is the iconic poster of General Kitchner, the Secretary of State for War, pointing to the reader with the caption: “Your Country Needs You”. Not all joined up to it, but war went ahead nonetheless. A hundred years and two global wars later, humanity stands on the brink of yet another world war – having learned nothing from history. Everyone wants to avoid this conflagration: the war nations want to avoid is the one they don’t see coming. To avoid it requires awareness.

    • Peaceful Tree Hugger
      October 16, 2023 at 11:36

      In that time, socialist movements across Europe, that had opposed war, happily got in line and marched to the recruiting stations with cheers and flags.

      To avoid a repeat, remember America’s Nobel winning poet … “Don’t follow leaders. Beware of Parking Meters.”

      The last is just general good advice to keep the Establishment’s hand out of your pocket with fines. The first reminds that leaders can sell-out, lie to you, or otherwise just be stupid enough to lead you off to war. Don’t follow.

  16. Valerie
    October 16, 2023 at 07:04

    Mr Shoebridge was wrong when he said the UK had not called for restraint. Yesterday the foreign secretary “urged” restraint in their Gaza offensive and i believe Blinken is currently in Israel doing the same thing. However that is just a mistake on Mr. Shoebridge’s part. What is really needed is for these government officials to tell Israel to cease and desist. I am sure if they all banded together they could put enough pressure on Israel. Asking for restraint is a sick joke. And i am sure they are all aware of the potential consequences of this ongoing slaughter of innocent people.

    • Peaceful Tree Hugger
      October 16, 2023 at 11:46

      The US is also reloading Israel, and supplying satellite and comm intelligence to them, probably in real time. So, the US says, Urgent- there is a humanitarian convoy heading for the crossing, and the IAF planes launch with the new bombs just unloaded from American cargo planes to turn them back.

      What Blinken says is of no importance. We see the actions. We see the bodies.

      Besides, these people’s idea of ‘restraint’ is unclear. Anything short of nuclear weapons appears to be fine with them in many places around the world. They have a long history of supporting torturers. Given what the US does not object to, what does Blinkie mean by ‘show restraint’? America long refused to call Rwanda to be genocide. America nuked cities. America allows Israel’s rogue nuclear weapons program. America uses Shock and Awe as a military doctrine. What the heck does Blinkie actually mean by ‘show restraint’?

      Besides, he’s lower ranking that Biden and his ‘full support of Israel’. That’s what The Big Guy says.

      • Valerie
        October 18, 2023 at 12:48

        I don’t know what any of them mean by restraint. Like i said, it’s a sick joke.

    • Eddy Schmid
      October 17, 2023 at 23:21

      The way I recall history, it was the Brits who decided amongst themselves, to divide the M.E. and destroy Palestine. Question is, from where do the Brits think they have the power/authority to make such a decision on behalf of the Palestininan people’s ???? Yet, to have the Brits ensure during all that time, the World follow their Orders, is the most amazing thing. As it also means, GT BRITANIA STILL RULES, and the followers, still do as they are told and follow meekly. Whilst all fingers pointed at the U.S. Ukraine, Russia, China, the U.K. quietly in the background, continue their planning, staging and iniciating of coupe’s/assasinations/undermining foriegn Govts and fomenting wars. From where I sit, I have come to the conclusion, the World is in a dire need of a thourgh clensing service, in particular that tiny group of Ilands refered to as Great Britain.

      • Valerie
        October 18, 2023 at 12:45

        I couldn’t agree more Eddy. You only have to look at India and Africa and what the brits did there to understand their mindset. And what we have in power now and for the past decades is beyond comprehension.

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