On December 1-2, 1995, the German Greens' annual congress in Bremen split over the question of sending German troops as part of imperialism's "peace-keeping" force in Bosnia. Led by Joschka Fischer, a leader of the right-wing realo current in the Greens, 38% of the delegates and most of the parliamentarians supported the sending of troops. Just two years earlier, only 10% of delegates at an extraordinary party meeting voted for the same motion.
In an open letter to delegates in the lead up to the 1995 congress, Fischer accused party members of "fleeing from reality" in opposing troop deployment. In the end, more than 40 of the Green deputies defied the conference decision and voted with the conservative Kohl government to send the troops.
How did this sorry state of affairs in the German Greens — a party founded just 16 years ago on the four principles of environmental sustainability, peace and disarmament, social justice and grassroots democracy — come about so rapidly and so completely?
Answering this question requires an understanding of the basic content and trajectory of Green politics as it has developed in the world to date. Such an assessment must also be the starting point for any discussion about how to advance the red-green political project on the eve of the 21st century.