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| STATEMENTS (1) |
August 2001 - February 2002
DONALD RUMSFELD (3) (Feb. 21, 2002)
ISRAEL (Jan. 27, 02)
EXTRA-TERRESTRIANS (Jan. 26, 02)
ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF IDOLS (Jan. 25, 02)
EURO ISLAM (Jan. 25, 02)
ROCK'N'ROLL SAVIOR (Jan. 11, 02)
WOLFGANG THIERSE (Jan. 10, 02)
LUDGER VOLMER (Jan. 07, 02)
G & F MYTH (Jan. 05, 02)
DEMOLISHED VILLAGES (Jan. 05, 02)
KANDAHAR (Dec. 10, 01)
KABUL (Nov. 29, 01)
DIALOGUE OF CULTURES (Nov. 27, 01)
PACIFISM (Nov. 20, 01)
TALIBAN (2) (Nov. 15, 01)
SALMAN RUSHDIE (Nov. 08, 01)
BIN LADEN VIDEO (Nov. 04, 01)
DONALD RUMSFELD (2) (Oct. 28, 01)
USA/ISRAEL (Oct. 24, 01)
RUDOLPH GIULIANI (Oct. 13, 01)
ATTAC (Oct. 12, 01)
PEACE NOBEL PRIZE (Oct. 12, 01)
DONALD RUMSFELD (Oct. 11, 01)
FOUR LEVELS OF TERRORISM (Sep. 14, 01)
GERMANY/USA (Sep. 12, 01)
THE WORLD AFTER 09/11/2001 (Sep. 11, 01)
PALESTINE/ISRAEL (Sep. 10, 01)
MACEDONIA (2) (Aug 17, 2001)
ELVIS PRESLEY (Aug. 16, 2001)
DEMOCRACY (Aug. 02, 01)
MACEDONIA (Aug. 01, 01)
UN/NATO (Aug. 01, 01)
Performing US Minister of Defense Donald Rumsfeld contradicted suspicions according to which the USA plans to strew false reports at home or abroad. The US Army tells the world the truth, said Rumsfeld. Nevertheless there are situations in which the Army would have to intentionally spread faked information for strategic reasons. (See FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU today, Feb. 21, 2002) (German original)
After that the state of Israel murdered Palestinian politicians for political reasons after September 11 and demolished parts of their infrastructure it was obvious that there would be more suicide assassinations. With his authoritarian and unrealistic demand of a seven-day cease-fire to be conducted solely by the Palestinians, prime minister Ariel Sharon made clear to everybody in the world that he does not want peace, but that he wants to murder just as he always used to do, as everybody knows. Since the USA and the incompetent mediator Zinni make Arafat responsible for all the violence in the country the Arab states will probably change their attitude toward the worldwide anti-terror murdering under the leadership of the USA.
The Palestinians have been living under occupation and oppression since 1948 and 1967, many of their villages have been destroyed, many people have been expropriated, trees have been plucked out of the ground and people have been put into prison, tortured and murdered. No people with a sense of pride could ever take that. The violence of the Palestinians is to be condemned also, but it is no violence of a state, but rather the violence of despair. The deeds of the Israelis, on the other hand, were not committed out of despair, but they are the deeds of a highly armed, rich, and internationally recognized nation that calls itself a democracy.
We must finally stop to regard the Israelis as the victims of history who are allowed to do anything they like. The Palestinians have nothing to do with the fact that the Germans had murdered the Jews. We must understand that the Israelis for decades have pursued a racist policy of destruction. They pass the violence that they received in Germany on to a third party. The whole world is to be condemned for silently watching the situation escalate. We are living in a critical situation concerning world politics. If the Palestinians do not achieve their right, even a world war cannot be excluded. The central problem in the world is Jerusalem. (Jan. 27, 02) (German original)
Also read: "Nathan the Wise" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.
On the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day there is an article in today's edition of the FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU which is called: "When young grandchildren imagine old nazis to be extra-terrestrians" by Matthias Arning. In a talk with the FR, the socio-psychologist professor Harald Welzer admonishes, "to think about new forms to convey history", because there is a big difference between the official and the private Germany. The grandfathers are normally regarded to have had an anti-national socialist attitude. Welzer: "When the grandfathers are all gone in the near future we will lack the living correctives" which would lead to the tendency "to draw a picture of the past in which the nazis were the others." Arning: "This resembles the view of the 1950s in the old Federal Republic of Germany which chose to regard national socialism as a phenomenon that suddenly came over Germany and as suddenly was over again. With this view of history, says Walzer, 'the classic image of the extra-terrestrians is present again.'"
Well you see, here in Germany it just has to be like that. It is a matter of manners. If, you know, the grandchildren would not ascribe an anti-national socialist attitude to the grandfathers, and if somebody said that the nazis were not the others, well, what do you think the same newspaper, maybe the same professor, and even you yourself (NB: originally addressing a German audience) would do with them? No, the article just doesn't sound sincere. Who wants new forms to convey history? The FR? Don't make me laugh. It is momentarily the best newspaper in the country, but the FR people are only talking, just like the rest. They are afraid of change. I wonder where this comes from... (Jan. 26, 02) (German original)
"Now we wanted to engage in the glamorous side of stars, but it actually is not so glamorous, anyway", said Carsten Weyershausen in the press about the new German book "Encyclopaedia of Idols" which he wrote together with his friend Michael Völkel. Today at 4.50 p.m. there was a report on the book on NDR in the program "Das!". It caught my attention, because the voice from the off said things in it like: "They were looking for human weaknesses." You can find an article about this book in the STUTTGARTER ZEITUNG from Dec. 6, 2001, called: "The Wisdom-Teeth of the Dietrich", and a RHEINZEITUNG Online's headline from Jan. 25, 2002 reads: "The Tape-Worm of the Callas".
Even though the book is called "benevolent" in German rocker Udo Lindenberg's Online guest book, the basic logic of this encyclopaedia seems rather careless to me: idols are inaccessible celebrities, but in reality they are just as stupid as we are. We do not want any big things around to begin with, because we don't understand them. So we destroy them a little, and people like that, anyway.
And even if the book itself is not meant to be ideologic, but creative and populistic, the reviewing journalists are having a good time with merely decorating their articles with big names and photographs and with presenting immaterial "disclosures". Where I am going, this is called decadence. (Jan. 25, 02) (German original)
The article is structured as follows: from the given theme it comes to a short explanation of the Islamic Law, then it goes via Atatürk to the hardly hidden call for a Euro Islam (after a bonmot of Herr Thierse, president of the German parliament whose name is not mentioned, though). Lerch: "The call for the genesis of a Euro Islam means to pose the question of secularisation." It follows a constructed linguistic analysis which is meant to prove that Muslims are either super strict believers or no believers at all. He leans on the Arabic word "la-dini" ("not religious") as a translation of "secular". Had he chosen the word "'almani" ("worldly") this kind of argumentation would not have worked. This "harsh either-or" would make Islam rigid: "The in-between, that means to say the gradations of a private attitude towards religion which exist in secularism (...) are almost unknown". Therefore - so Lerch in the end - in the Muslim societies you will mostly find believers "or such who do not believe in anything anymore, but who will not say so" (i.e. hypocrites).
The struggle of civilisations is, when one uses the other civilisation as an alter ego in order to project the defects of the own civilisation away from oneself and thus to give more importance to the own norms. The struggle of civilisations thus is always apologetic in nature, it reveals uncertainties. While Herr Lerch sees in the Muslims only dogmatics or hypocrites he presents secularism rather dogmatic himself, because he does not say much about its meaning. In the end, behind the article there lies the simple statement: the others got to be like us, because we are superior and besides we are frightened. (Jan. 25, 02) (German original)
In today's TAGESZEITUNG on the culture page (Between the grooves) you can find the commentary "Another Rock'n'Roll savior: Andrew W. K." by Gerrit Bartels. If you take a look at the language of this article you can quite well recognize what kind of fears and partly maybe even neuroses are hip in the German press at the moment. Andrew W.K. is said to be the third Rock'n'Roll savior now, after the "Strokes" and the "White Stripes", and that in his simplicity he is probably the most consequent Rock'n'Roll savior etc. kinda style. The journalist obviously took quite a fancy to the word "savior" and also the TAZ editorial staff thought it was cool. The word sounds kinda dangerous and subversive, similar to the word "messiah" with the adjective "messianic". Now, by picking up the word and by talking about it like about yesterday's socks the press shows how harmless Rock'n'Roll and all that is in the end.
A similarly striking phenomenon in the field of psychology is the new Christian guide "Power for Life (Kraft zum Leben)", for which publicity is not allowed anymore in Germany. The press these days is absolutely fascinated about this God thing and all that. They are completely gone for that. And despite the fact that they attested that this Christian book is utterly harmless the press at once made out the Hamas-like fundamental Christians in America and used concepts like "missionary" (and other derivations of the word) or "dangerous belief" etcetera. Watch out for that next time you grab a German paper, it's fun. Everytime when it comes to the power of spiritual things they get enormously excited. This is not concerning the mentioned TAZ as an individual paper, it rather is a phenomenon that swirles through the press as a whole, the left more than the right. Nay, both! As if they were shitting themselves because of God or something.
To return to the Rock'n'Roll savior Andrew W.K., it reads here:"The one thing he dislikes is people that prevent other people from doing their thing. The rest would interest him less than an itching earlobe. And we? We are looking forward to the next ultimate Rock'n'Roll from the states." Cool guy, this. And he is right, you know: I also dislike people who prevent others from doing their thing. What remains in the end is the hope that there might not come along another of these cunning old Rock'n'Roll saviors who gives the German press a mighty sock right on the jaw coz he has a kinda itching earlobe... (Jan. 11, 02) (German original)
Satire about the subject (in German): UNSER LAND (1): DIE PRESSE
In the current interview with the German magazine DER SPIEGEL the president of the German parliament Wolfgang Thierse states on the the role of conscience in politics: "It may sound cynical: if I want to cherish my conscience in the first place I must choose a different occupation. But the conscience decision is not only what I do for my own conscience, but what the effects of my decision are for this country and for this globe, and for the generations to come. If I am then still convinced that I must not answer violence with violence, okay." Yes, this sounds cynical, indeed. And I cannot understand this line of argument, anyway. Does he mean "conscience" or "ego"? And what is it then that stands higher than conscience? Bush?
Herr Thierse in this interview says many things with which I agree. I also do not want to overcriticize his reflected approval of military action. Yet there are two statements in the long interview which I do not find okay: "I wish there could grow something like a Euro Islam, an Islam which really engages in acknowledging the separation of church and state and by conviction acknowledges human rights, pluralism, and religious tolerance." With this Herr Thierse only says that the others should be like us, as if everything was so super here. Why, the Western democracies don't have a claim to universal validity, do they? How should a Muslim react if he or she hears the word "Euro Islam" ? Even I feel offended by this. Pluralism okay, religious tolerance okay, but there is no church in Islam to begin with, and about the definition of "human rights" there can jolly well be argued about. Even if I myself have a lot to criticize in the Muslims I rather stick to the words of Professor George Lakoff from Berkeley, who wrote on September 16, 2001:
"Those that teach hate in Islamic schools must be replaced-and we in the West cannot replace them. This can only be done by an organized, moderate, nonviolent Islam. The West can make the suggestion, but we alone are powerless to carry it out. We depend on the goodwill and courage of moderate Islamic leaders. To gain it, we must show our goodwill by beginning in a serious way to address the social and political conditions that lead to despair." (www.press.uchicago.edu/News/911lakoff.html)
Concerning the Palestine issue Herr Thierse says that we have to live with the political realities: "I was born in Breslau in Silesia and do not lay any claim to get back anything of that which was my homeland and the homeland of my parents." Now this comparison is a mean insult to all Palestinians, for the Palestinians did not start a war or a world war like the Germans did in 1914 and 1939. (Jan. 10, 2002) (German original)
Today I read in the online version of the German newspaper FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU the long essay of the minister of state Ludger Volmer from the green party. Its title is "What remains of Pacifism?". In Herr Volmer's view there does not remain much.
An ethical pacifism with a killing inhibition would only be possible in a theocracy and thus is out of the question. Volmer: "An abstract conscious-ethical pacifism is unable to work within the political sphere." When it comes down to a complete renunciation of violence as we know it from historical movements, the diverse kinds of political pacifism would not work: "Anyone who wanted to prevent ethnical cleanings as a consequence of the fascist past had to say yes to a condicional military action." Usual forms of pacifism, according to Volmer, are politically without power, because they fail to present real alternatives. They would turn victims (America) into culprits and lead theoretical discussions against enemy thinking in front of the virulence of actual enemies. Consequently, Volmer calls for a new political pacifism. This, by all means, would be a military pacifism, because there just is no solution without violence.
I don't think that it is the pacifists who take the easy way out, but the defenders of violence. For it is fairly easy to write such a thoroughly apologetical article. Even in the Stone Age violent politicians had challenged their peace-loving collegues with the argument that in the end only violence can lead to visible political changes. Motto: you go out and say sweet little nothings, but we really work, coz we smash right in there and shoot 'em all dead and that's something!
I do not think that the pacifists today have no arguments or ideas for action, they rather just don't have a big lobby. One of the reasons for that is their crititical commitment toward the US foreign policy which today is just unevitable. But also, because in our fantasy denying world we have become so dull that we can only believe the language that everybody understands: violence. Factually existing democracies - be it in the USA or here in Europe - hardly have instruments to communicate with alternative political systems. This leads to a naive policy of the potent army and to interferences in the domestic affairs of forgein states. There are, in fact, many pacifists today who approve of immediate police actions against the actual terrorists. In this way they don't "repress" at all. How can anyone call these military actions of America's "conditional" anymore, anyway? No, Herr Volmer did not come up with good arguments here. He simply defended America's world dominion, because Herr Schröder and Herr Fischer made him to, voilà. The question is not: "What remains of Pacifism?", it is rather the one about what had remained of green policies. (Jan. 07, 2002) (German original)
On the culture page of today's TAZ René Martens writes on the phenomenon of genius and frenzy in artists and takes the German author Robert Walser as an example. "Whose profit is the long living cliche of the somewhat deranged artist?" he asks, and brings an answer in the bottom lines: "The alleged frenzied geniuses serve a similar purpose for the educated reader who has to make a living with soberingly normal drudgery as the models in the women magazines do for latently dyspeptic female secretaries. They stand for a beautiful sick dream world."
While clearly recognizing and describing the cliches of the relationship between creatives and society, Herr Martens remains at the edge of the issue. From the bottom lines of the article it can be derived that the "normal" faces the exceptional artist with a mix of adoration and envy. At this point it was not made clear that envy is by far the dominant part of the two, nor that it, together with other factors, leads to the reality that society can hardly or not at all bring about big artists. This lack of focus is partly due to the choice of Martens' examples which all come from around the thirtys.
If René Martens is concerned with the extinction of cliches in order to reach political changes then he could go a bit further and examine in how far his knowledge is valid in the cultural reality of today's world. For even today artists are pathologized and punished for their writings and ideas, not only in 1933 (long time ago). His thesis is right that the pathologisation of artists has to do with the fact that society does not want to confront itself with their works and ideas and thus conceptualizes the artist as disordered or ill. The article lacks consequence, and maybe a little courage. (Jan. 05, 2002) (German original)
Last Saturday, 52 Afghan village people were killed in US air raids. Yesterday, more than 30 Afghans died in different place (Zhawar). This writes the FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU today on the front page. After the US killing of thousands, if not ten thousand people in their anti terror war, the tv gloaters and the media have almost got used to it. So there is no reason for the Americans to stop. What's more, the violent US policy supplies justification motives for more wars, be it in Israel or India. These are no individual cases, but developments with a direction, and that is the permanent enlargement of conflicts outside and the loss of democracy through repressions at home. Thus new conflicts are programmed. I do not want to live in such a brutal world, this is why I fight with all my power. What about you? (Jan. 5, 2002) (German original)
As dpa reports (Source: Yahoo) Kabul will have its first newspaper since five years, beginning next Monday. The paper is called "Anis" (with a stress on the long "ee" sound) and it is partly in Dari, partly in Pashtu. The front page of the first edition shows an unveiled woman. The source says that the paper was named after its founder, but this sounds unlikely. I mean, who names a newspaper after a guy? It will rather have to do with the Arabic concept "anis" which means something like: friend, entertainer, and intimate, based on the original meanings "human/sociability". (Nov. 29, 01) (German original)
As the KIELER NACHRICHTEN reports today, Schleswig-Holstein Prime Minister Heide Simonis yesterday "impressedly" followed the invitation of Arab students to the CHRISTIAN-ALBRECHTS-UNIVERSITÄT zu Kiel on the occasion of the academic discussion with the title: "For Peace, Against Terror". The CAU with this again proved to be rightly called the "spiritual center of the state Schleswig-Holstein" (CAU Rector Prof. R. Demuth in CHRISTIANA ALBERTINA issue 52/53, Nov. 2001, Editorial). Rector Professor Reinhard Demuth, who is deeply concerned with "keeping high carate scientists in Kiel" (SHZ 15.11.01, p.3), assured: "At the university there is no room for hostility against foreigners."
Frau Simonis, who until that day had not been conspiciously critical of the war, found clear words and showed like many other speakers on that day that the military action in Afghanistan was "about the political and economic hegemony", which also had to do with the "profit from petrol and gas pipelines and the uneven distribution between the rich and the poor". After that she called for donations to the UNICEF for the children in Afghanistan.
The Arab hosts, who also belonged to the speakers, were very critical, too. The university theologists, however, were very self-critical and admitted that they had "initiated too little dialogue yet". In many other important points, on the other hand, there was a consensus. The positive final result, according to the KN, was that we have to "discover the similarities of the religions without denying the differences". In this context, Frau Simonis fears that the dialogue between the cultures will be rather difficult: "We are living on different levels of consciousness." ("Wir leben auf verschiedenen Bewusstseinsebenen." Quotes out of the newspaper KIELER NACHRICHTEN Nov. 27, 01)
I can only unlimitedly support this, dear Frau Prime Minister and dear Mister CAU Rector, and I am happy about the successful and surprisingly critical progress of this intensive dialogue between the cultures. Chapeau! (Nov. 27, 01) (German original)
In her essay "UN must become global police" (DIE TAGESZEITUNG, today p.13) journalist Sibylle Tönnies calls for the reconsideration of the idea of a Global State (Weltstaat). In this context she examines the role of an "organizational pacifism", that is a pacifism which could keep the monopoly of military power e.g. within the UN.
"Absence of violence and use of violence do not differ like good and evil. Under which circumstances is violence the right thing and under which is it not? pacifism must finally give an answer to this question." Ms. Tönnies talks about the psychological inhibitions and fears à la Orwell & Huxley, concerning a global police, and she adds that the USA are not extraordinarily passionate towards such an idea. "Be it a UN rule or a global Pax Americana - pacifism must deal with the subject of a global federalism."
Basically, Ms. Tönnies only describes what the UN wanted right from the start. The UN was born out of pacifism, anyway. And the author shows once again how much it is the Americans who regrettably do not allow global peace. This had been the case long before September 11. A Pax Americana cannot work globally in the long run, for the Americans have developed a rather national interpretation of concepts like justice which is easily to discover in their relationship to the UN, too. It must indeed be an independent, just, international executive council.
I support the thesis that even as a pacifist you can or even must accept (use) certain violence in certain situations. It is unrealistic to think that one could take away power from violent people by mere persuasion. I do not talk about this subject often, because politicians take violent measures too quickly, too hard, and not always for the right reasons. They do not have much fantasy. War remains taboo for me, however. Had I been the American president after Sptember 11, I would possibly have taken the Air Force 1 to fly to Afghanistan, alone, maybe even without a translator. And then looked the Taliban and al-Qaida in the eyes under the protection of the worldwide media coverage, and asked them what they have to say to all that. Crazy, you think? No, direct. No escalation. Worldwide recognition. Different kind of shifting the points. Politicians have the power for grand gestures, and be they less crazy than the mentioned one. The main question is: who names the point where peaceful means are exhausted?
Regards and bravos to Sibylle Tönnies for many constructive and precious suggestions. (Nov. 20, 01)
Parts of this statement were printed in the TAGESZEITUNG on Nov. 28. (German original)
In the German TAGESZEITUNG (Nov. 14, 01) journalist Viola Roggenkamp wrote on page 15 her long article "A Liberation" in which she argues that the Taliban were an anti-feminist fascist regime which has to be overthrown. "No war is good. But there are fascist regimes in the world which cannot be fought but through a war from outside, because in the country they cannot or do not want to establish a revolution or a resistance. Like in Germany under the national socialists." Ms. Roggenkamp writes about the disgraceful, sadistic terror especially against all the women and girls in Afghanistan which came from the Taliban and their religion police and she allegorically sticks to the comparison with the nazi regime.
I agree with Ms. Roggenkamp on that the Taliban - and some other muslim administrations - pursue anti-women and anti-human policies. In some countries until today women are treated brutally, married by force and left without any rights. But Roggenkamp talks about war against other countries which cannot or do not want to establish a resistance of their own. Now this violates the supreme directive of the star fleet. And it also cannot justify the attack of the Americans, because the aim of the Americans is not to free the Afghan woman but to find the assassinators and to display American power. Would Ms. Roggenkamp have pleaded in favor of a war without the Eleventh?
The women in the orient can only be liberated by information and explanation. Yes to fighting, no to war. Be it for the liberation of the women or the blacks, the Jews or the children, never through war! We don't need that anymore. They are no women, Blacks, Jews, or children, there are only people and situations. Ms. Roggenkamp may be one the most renowned feminist authors, here she sounded dogged and full of hatred. (Nov. 15, 01) (German original)
Parts of this statement were printed in the TAGESZEITUNG on Nov. 21.
Salman Rushdie says currently in SPIEGEL ONLINE that the Islam does in fact have something to do with terrorism. If not, there would not be so many Muslims standing up for Bin Laden. Rushdie speaks about a growing radicalization of Islam and says that fanatic, "paranoid" currents in Islam were the fastet growing tendencies within the religion.
I take Rushdie's words seriously, although I don't like them too much. I myself pick on the Americans more these days, because they are making tangible mistakes at the moment. Also probably, because the image of Islam has suffered a lot after the event, and I don't want to support this, for I am close to Islam as I am to Christianity. The Orient compared to the West to my mind is situated on a lower level of civilisation in the sense displayed in Norbert Elias' book "On the Process of Civilisation". This also means that in the Orient we find more open violence than in our societies. And this violence also enters Islamistic circles, because the idea of Islam brings about multiple possibilites of identification. My own social critique aims at both parties equally on their respective levels. The question of justice is the same for both, anyway. I support the quest to find and punish the terrorists. I am also in favor of an administrative stopping of islamistic violence e.g. in Germany. (Nov. 08, 01) (German original)
Yesterday - at last - we got some news from our almost forgotten by now Bin Laden guy. I just got the Arabic original version of his video speech out of the net from al-Jazeera and scanned it, I mean: analyzed it. It is a whole of about three pages in text and deals with several subjects. In the following I give a critical summary of his speech:
The text is argumentative and pugnacious, in many cases it is propaganda. Bin Laden begins his speech with the statement that the world has separated twice into two camps: once on September 11 and a second time with the beginning of the Afghanistan attacks. Again he states that his guilt is not proven. In the second paragraph he says that America's motif is an anti Islamism. In the third paragraph it reads among other things that the demonstrations in Muslim countries show evidence for the existance of a religious war. The vocabulary is harsh at times, we meet a lot of "crusaders" and "unbelievers" and "hypocrates". He says it is not Usama who the Muslims are in motion for, but their belief. He calls the Afghanistan war "the worst crusade attack since the time of the prophet Muhammad."
The forth paragraph is a short press critique, then the question of how to define terrorism and the argument that there had been unjustice before and nobody had felt concerned for decades. The long fifth paragraph starts with the suggestive question whether or not Afghanistan is an isolated case, or if it is only a link in the chain of crusade wars. He begins with World War I and names many international conflicts like Palestine, Kashmeer, and Indonesia. Here he also massively criticizes the UNO and Kofi Annan because of their lack of action, and again Palestine.
In the sixth paragraph he solves the rhetorical question and concludes that there is a conspiracy against Islam. He mentions 13.000 dead in Somalia, hundreds of thousands in South Sudan, Palestine, and a million dead children in Iraq. At the end of the paragraph he utters harsh words concerning the present situation in Palestine / Israel. He presents the comparison of a butcher and two camels. When one of the camels got slaughtered, the other one became nervous, because it could see what was going to happen with it. It bites the butcher in the hand, frees itself, and breaks the hand. In the seventh paragraph he says that there is no distinction to be made between the USA and Israel, because the Americans provide the Israelis with weapons. In the eighths he says that every Muslim now must know where to stand. It follows a quote from the prophet Muhammad in which monotheism and the Koran are preached. In the short ninth paragraph he calls for solidarity and support against "international crime". The very short last paragraph is immaterial except for the slogan: "Fear God, you Muslims, and support your religion, because Islam is calling you."
Despite the fact that Bin Laden is a century late language-wise, he does in fact construct a line of argumentation, he has arguments. Only that they are not credible, because of the propaganda language he uses. And besides, he is wrong. There is no crusade conspiracy against Islam. That's nonsense. There are, of course, hegemonial interests. But what Bin Laden says is not especially gifted and it is not especially new. Often rigid. This guy does not have a lot to say. He also did not threaten with anything. He is inventing himself. It is true: he calls the Muslims to a holy war. Some million Muslim people saw what I have just read. What will they make of it? I do not think that he'll be able to mobilize so many people. He is obviously profiting only from America's mistakes. I think that, if the Americans find a way out of this rash and avoid to make so many mistakes, then someone like a Bin Laden has no chance. He is not modern. I felt as if Bin Laden was the biggest of all running-board riders or however you call that in English. Yet that this video message is an act of despair - as say the Americans - is complete nonsense. It was a mobilization call with historical references, and one would have expected a bit more from Bin Laden. (Nov. 04, 01) (German original)
Performing US Minister of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, today again held a television speech on the subject of the Afghani civil deaths. In this context he uttered his supposition that the Afghanis themselves had killed their people and their children and brought them into the (presumably empty) private houses, mosques, hospitals and Red Cross buildings in order to embarrass the Americans. Rumsfeld said they are dealing with an enemy who would not start back from anything and who wants to supply the whole world with lies.
Minister Rumsfeld, wearing a dark suit and a tie, was correctly dressed for the press release. The US American declaration of independence was formulated in 1776 and accepted by the British in 1783. First president of the USA was George Washington. (Oct. 28, 01) (German original)
A speaker of the US Foreign Department today massively condemned the latest Israelian occupations and said that the death of "innoscent civilians" caused by the military action is "unacceptable". According to this speaker the occupation has led to a "significant escalation of tension and violence." (KIELER NACHRICHTEN today, p.5)
The death of several hundred innoscent civilians on the side of the Afghanis for which the Americans are responsible was not mentioned in this context. (Oct. 24, 01) (German original)
Performing New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, according to dpa, refused the million dollar donation of a Saudi prince. According to Giuliani the prince constructed a context between the terror act and the American foreign policy und thus morally justified the act. The Arab states which support the US politically reacted alienated on this refusal, for they see a connection between American Middle East policy and the genesis of Arab terror groups themselves and they analyse this phenomenon constructively within the frame of the anti-terror campaign. They do not, however, understand this as a justification of the murder of some 5.000 civilians (see DIE TAGESZEITUNG today, p.2).
Originally, I wanted to comment on that, but I just see that this is not necessary. New York has about 7,3 million inhabitants, Greater New York about 18 millions. (Oct. 13, 01) (German original)
(Text on the Attac logo: "A different world is possible"(Eine andere Welt ist möglich)) (German original)
(Oct. 12, 01)
The nobel prize for peace in this year goes to Kofi Annan and the UN, as was just reported in the media. Kofi Annan said that the policy of the UN is confirmed by this prize. It was bad enough then in 1994 that Arafat, Peres, and Rabin got the prize before having reached peace in Palestine/Israel, but this here really tops everything after 100 years of the existance of this prize. For it is mainly due to the omissions of the UN that the world is in this catastrophical state to begin with.
This clearly is an acknowledgement of weakness from the West: it celebrates itself in order to confirm itself in its deceiving we-are-the-good attitude. With this step the gap between the rich and the poor countries was deepened, and the prize committee knows that. They made clear that they are not willing to confront themselves with the causes of terror, and instead will continue to fight the symptoms only, so that there will be no need for self criticism. Now this may work for a year or for ten years. The world, however, during the past five days moved away from peace with big paces. This is a massive provocation for every peace loving human in the world as well as for many violent people. (Oct. 12, 01) (German original)
Performing US minister of defence Donald Rumsfeld said today or yesterday in a press release that he is aware of the fact that there were civil casualties in the afghanistan attack. He said that's the way it is. He said these things happened before, and they always happen. He talked like that publically. I ask you: what is terror? What have those people who died and are dying in new deeds of violence, what have they to do with the whole thing? No no, dear readers, this is not a phrase. Confront yourself with this question! What can justify new innoscent deads? How can somebody do this as a civilized nation, what is this?
A dreamer is who still believes that Osama bin Laden is increasingly isolated. Bin Laden scored many times in the recent past. The Americans are ridiculing themselves by their inability to assess the situation and by their past which is coming back on them with great effect. These leaders of the Free World with their Operation Enduring Nonsense. The vocabulary of the Americans resembles that of Bin Laden more and more. Whether one likes it or not, the terrorist act made a number of cases of hypocrisy rather transparent and visible. This brave facade cannot hold very long. At this stage, the Americans are no more credible than the Taliban and this is what large parts of the Arab and Muslim states will find, both peoples and administrations. (Oct. 11, 01) (German original)
Let us look at this for most of us traumatic event on four levels: the surface, world politics, domestic politics, and the level of the individual:
1. The events of September 11 were a criminal, terroristic act against humanity. Everybody with a different opinion is disqualified. Who of the concerned calls for a punishment of the responsible criminals will not have to fear opposition. Whoever supports such terrorists, encourages them, or only tolerates them, is sharply to be condemned. The pain of the people of September 11 was and is terrible. It cannot be tolerated that such things happen. Measures must be taken.
2. The concept "terrorism" belongs to the culturally embedded and politically interpretable concepts. Ariel Sharon for example publically acknowledges to use terrorism. He says that the state of Israel now needs this terror, because the opponent also uses it. Bush calls Saddam a terrorist, Saddam calls Bush a terrorist. The UCK milicia which was supported by the US are held to be terrorists by many Macedonians. Without a cultural basis the concept is not sufficiently defined. The UN has neglected to present clearcut definitions, no: to apply them. If it is indeed the case that September 11 under the surface is a cultural struggle between the liberal capitalistic world and the other (poor) countries, then it is wrong to place the concept of terrorism control in the foreground of the debate. The debate, however, must be long and thorough. Who simply says that these were madmen paid by madmen, cuts themselves off the discourse and disregards the facts. So what to do? The root of terror is naturally and effectively cut the ground in a world that wants no terror.
3. September 11 will also bring about changes in the domestic affairs of every country in the world. In the Western societies, people now feverishly look for an opponent. People are afraid and they need faces to manifest this fear. Due to the dimensions of the catastrophe this cannot only be a few criminals. Great hatred broke out. A tensile test for the Western countries. Basic values of security are questioned. The superiority of the whole West has become relative. The societies in the Middle East, too, are afraid now. - In our German society there had been many smouldering conflicts which in the course of the results will come on the table. Mostly, domestic political measures are not very creative. They think about punishments and deterrence first. Then they think about stricter security measures. And if this is still not enough, they bring in the army. Most countries act like that. Calculable. Not very creative. And mostly also not very successfull, either. Helplessness that leads to actionism and the presentation of the hurt ego. But how can we prevent the terror in the future? The root of terror is naturally and effectively cut the ground in a society that wants no terror.
4. The conflicts which are existant in the world are always also the conflicts which each of us has inside. There will always be opponentships. We will also not be able to prevent terroristic attacks - and I stress that - by means of authoritarian bahavior. It does not work. The question is with which means will we live in our opponentships? Sports, politics, and art show us possibilities here. Indeed the event reaches so deep that it concerns us in our own interior world, in our own privateand personal world. The I and the other. Our values do not suffice where we lack the understanding. Has all this anything to do with Islam? No. Islam is just a completely normal world religion. They were really worldwide developments that overran us. And yes, we will have to change ourselves. So what to do? The root of terror is naturally and effectively cut the ground in a mind that wants no terror. (Sep. 14, 01) (German original)
Germany, together with Israel and Great Britain, belongs to the most important allies of the USA. It were to a great extend the Americans who were responsible for the end of the horror in 1945. With the Marshall Plan they even helped to rebuild Germany. They did not do that for the love of it alone, but they did it. Ever since Germany has been moving culturally with the USA. After the war trauma they did not have any suggestions anyore, anyway. This was fifty years ago.
Thus it is absolutely clear that Germany in the hour of need is with America. We do not even have to call it solidarity, because we are concerned ourselves. Important is the choice of words, also in times of crisis. The Americans know that the Gemans are with them. We must in this moment not be complacent about our "being civilized".
Let us not be less critical towards the USA than the Americans themselves. There is a lot of self criticizm there, much more than people in Germany would tolerate concerning America. Bob Dylan is an American, too. A lot of intellectuals in America think that President Bush is a catastrophe. The Germans may have opinions of their own, too! It is a better support for the Americans when they have a partner with a head of his own. The United States of America are not God. They almost exterminated the Indians and enslaved the Blacks. They had Hiroshima and Vietnam. They have the Nato.
The Nato will probably attack several countries in the Middle East and extinguish all terroristic cells and places that they know of. This violence is not to be prevented. But afterwards. Will we follow blindly the will of George Bush? I overheard a Bush quote today that went something like "The monumental struggle between good and evil." I hope I did not get that correctly. But will we ask questions? Will we simply slip into it? (Sep. 12, 01) (German original)
Only someone who wants to kill as many people as possible with a single strike can do such a thing. Someone who wants to play ruler over life and death. What a cowardly, gruesome mind is able to do that?! First we saw the cool looking twin buildings how they collapsed. A sience fiction movie. Shock. All the people in the world are shocked. All people. Later we see the victims and hear the numbers. Never since 1945 was a message so conveying like this one. What a horrible event!
Today we stand side by side with the Americans. We all are Americans today. This is not only a terroristic attack against the US. It is an attack against the civilized world, yes, but attention! With such a sentence senseless frontiers can build up. I regret that the German chancellor used the words "unlimited, I stress: unlimitid solidarity with the USA", for unlimited means absolute and what solidarity can mean will certainly be thought about by Mister Bush. Please involve yourself in politics! And again attention: America and Europe have no reason to call themselves civilized, if they now start to make wars against "The Barbarians". No, this case is foremost an event that will change structures worldwide. After September 11, 2001, the world is no longer what it was before. People wake up. The fun society has disappeared at once. Collective archaic fears breaking open. The orientationlessness of the masses coming through to the surface like a monster. A New Age has commenced.
Guilt and revenge are not the point here, you do sense that, don't you? Much more is at stake. It is a matter of everybody's future. And it is a matter of capitalism. No world can endure that after such a catastrophe the petrol shares, but first of all: the weapon shares rise quickly in value. Here capitalism shows us its most ugly grimace! Have we now understood what "Money rules the world" means? And as if all this was not terrible enough we sense to live in a worldwide recession. We all know that we can only live our way of democracy with a growing economy. And we all know that economic systems cannot grow endlessly. And we did not think much about it. But now the essential questions begin for all of us. This is the situation which today burst open like a carbuncle.The fact that some Palestinians jubilated in the streets is disgraceful and shameful. These people are stupid and they see only an abstract symbol. They only give expression to their own despair. Not all Palestinians are like that. Arafat's consternation was not faked. Please do not generalize here like it will easily happen in the future. Do not think that a man who got the nobel price for peace would with his heart support such an act. I am no political friend of Arafat's, because he is authoritarian, but it is a matter of public opinion. Do not allow cliche images to manipulate the public opinion. Distrust everybody who calls for violence! No matter what nationality and what position.
It was clear to everybody with a political understanding that a new age would begin, because the time was ripe (Dissolution of SU, fall of Berlin Wall, Internet, EU, Attac). It would have been in our power to have this new age started with a positive event, if we had believed in our wishes. But we believed in our fears. Only bad news were good news. Only the bad news have motivated us and brought us to deeds. We have repressed the signs of the age so long until an act has happened that nobody can ever forget.
The human kind is now at the point of the critical mass of which James Redfield reports in his 1993 bestseller "The Celestine Prophecies". It is one of the most important books of the 20th century. We have to decide today whether we want to continue to live by our fears and ruin ourselves, or if we change the strategy. If we want to continue to ignore and destroy the things we don't understand, or if we begin to ask questions after September 11, 2001. Do not allow violence to triumph! What a horrible, cowardly, terrible act. (Sep. 11, 01) (German original)
It brings tears to the eyes that the UN is led by someone who watches actionless how peoples slaughter and dominate each other. By someone who lets himself be cheaply used by exterior groups like a puppet on a string. By someone who obviously is not fit for his position, at the expense of billions of people.
Everybody who is in favor of a NATO participation in the Macedonia conflict must be aware that nobody can estimate the consequences of such a participation. For as soon as more weapons and more troops enter the region more hostilities will break out, too. There are different groups which only wait for the opportunity to involve half of the world in this conflict and those groups are strengthened and supported.
Twenty-four years ago today, on August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died in his home in Memphis. He was 42. The range of this man's cultural and historical significance is not recognized to the present day. Elvis gave the world a tangible hope and gave himself completely with all his strength and his weaknesses. With him died an American dream and the world has not recuperated from that.
It is an interesting fact that people in everyday life rarely talk about political matters. They avoid conflict situations in general. What if the other has a different opinion? What if he or she has no opinion at all? We surely don't want to provoke citicism. And you always find easy subjects to talk about. Dangerous, however, is the fact that in these days you can often be rejected, because you have a political opinion to begin with. It is not cool to have an opinion and to even go so far as to support it. (Don't you agree? Do you think I should rather not have written this?) Yet a democracy lives on opinions. I wonder how many of us really want to live in a democracy. Do you? (Aug. 02, 2001) (German original)
Germany, like other countries, is preparing for the next war. After Pandora's Box had opened in Kosovo, mischief and pain continue to be poured out on Europe. While a couple of days ago a rejection against a war in Macedonia showed in the German government, the leading opinion now is changing again. It seems as if a deliberate and accurate weighing and balacing is demonstrated in order to prepare people for war.
If the UN gave the NATO a mandate for Macedonia, this would be pulling wool over everybody's eyes. Kofi Annan obviously was to resign with the outbreak of the war in Kosovo. Now he is instrumentalized from all parties and ridicules himself and, above all, the UN, while losing all credibility. (Aug. 01, 01) (German original)