Sigmar Gabriel was connected from Goslar. But what does connected mean? The ensemble looked as if the other participants of the Maybrit Illner round had joined Goslar. Gabriel sat enthroned in the studio above the studio, sitting between a flower arrangement and the candle lamp, he was the towering visual center of the show. And because it was about forecasts about the further course of the Ukraine war, Gabriel's moving statue, very large, very close, very Buddha-like, took on a prophetic quality. Goslar as the elevated vantage point to Berlin, Kiev and Moscow, but also to Beijing and Washington.

Christian Geyer-Hindemith

Editor in the feuilleton.

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With the eye-catching top-down forecasting technique, Gabriel laid the international cards. The more he appeared up there as the personification of composure, the more one feared that it could all be just a façade, right down to the flower arrangement, and that Gabriel could at any moment fall out of the already rather fabricated Gosla emotional role.

No freaking out behind the façade, nowhere

But Gabriel kept the form until the end. Under the power of his calmness, there was obviously nothing underneath it in the psychoanalytic sense. There was no freak out anywhere, even if he, Gabriel, was occasionally contradicted in trifles, such as the one that the "worst land battle since the Second World War" (Gabriel), which is to be expected soon to be called the Spring Offensive, will not be a single battle, but several battles. Gifted, Gabriel's conduct made it clear. In general, the coming battle, in which Ukraine goes on the offensive, Russia on the defensive: it will be huge, bloody and terrible, with thirty to forty thousand people on each side.

While the former Vice-Chancellor and current President of Atlantik-Brücke prophesied the military future like a fortune teller from an enraptured sphere, the other participants sitting below him at the studio table seemed to be crammed together in the now. What Gabriel took advantage of with Maybrit Illner is called a seat advantage. He knew how to stand out, and so his nod (Illner: "Sigmar Gabriel nods") was no less important than his expressionless look down on other people's speeches.

It's about creating confusion in the opponent

It was striking how often he agreed with Carlo Masala, the professor of international politics at the Bundeswehr University in Munich, who was simply described as a military expert, in his statements, how demonstratively Gabriel held back behind Masala time and time again. Again and again, Gabriel said that Mr. Masala would be able to explain this much better than he could. Thus, by Gabriel's grace, Masala found himself elevated to the rank of a military superego who knows about everything relevant to the battlefield and who could have been confidently invited to the show alone. And indeed, Masala had already spoken in 1001 broadcasts about the Russian war of aggression.

Said superego, in turn, referred to a British newspaper in which it was said that the Russians had had time in recent months to now have the "best developed defensive positions since the First World War", and that thirty thousand anti-tank mines had been buried alone.

At present, according to Masala, it is evident that the Russians have a problem with their border security; At the moment, the weakness of Russian air defense and Russian intelligence, which could not predict the Ukrainian advances, is becoming apparent. What is currently happening is serving the Ukrainians in preparation for the battlefield to cause confusion among the enemy. A secondary theatre of war in the face of what was to come, as Gabriel summed it up, nodding at Masala. British economic historian Adam Tooze recalled the pressure that the United States associates with the expected Ukrainian offensive in pre-election times.

In addition to the central star Gabriel/Masala, the well-rehearsed antipodes were Marie Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chairwoman of the Defence Committee ("armed force as a prerequisite for negotiations"), and Amira Mohamed Ali, the leader of the Left Party's parliamentary group ("negotiations instead of armed violence"), who argues more in terms of association psychology ("negotiations instead of armed violence").

In fact, Strack-Zimmermann reaffirmed her understanding of her role, according to which she could "only remind again and again" that in this war an illegitimate aggressor was facing a country entitled to the right to defend its borders, so that it was not a question of a comparable will if both sides wanted war.

Mrs. Strack-Zimmermann, she was certified from Goslar, described the conditions quite correctly. Especially since armed force and diplomacy, Masala also pointed out, are an artificially created opposite, since diplomacy is always running in the background of the current military conflict. The forecasts can only be linked to this peg of description, which has already been erected several times by Strack-Zimmermann, if one is not to look into the free-floating sphere.