imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Worldwide Wars and Anti-Military Options

by Johannes Becker Saturday, Jun. 03, 2006 at 2:34 AM

The author suggersts three reasons for the nerve-wracking calm in Germany: 1) objective and very cruel mass unemployment, 2) self-stigmatization and 3) people don't think there is anything to share. At the end he urgers: Be IMI-Instinctively Mainstream Ignoring.


By Johannes M. Becker

[This address by Johannes M. Becker, coordinator of the Center for Conflict Research at the University of Marburg on the 10th anniversary of the IMI (Institute for Militarism Information), March 5, 2005 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,]

Dear Friends of Peace,

I thank you, firstly, for the honor of speaking to you on this special occasion.

While many things may not be new to you, the synopsis may be new. What should be our special quality and focus as peace researchers and as the peace movement?


firstly, by US unilateralism. This unilateralism has persisted since the end of East-West confrontation and must be discussed further;

secondly, by distribution battles over dwindling raw materials;

thirdly, by the growing gulf between poor and rich and the new role of Islam in this context.

In this connection with the growing polarization of poor and rich, I’d like to emphasize that the University of Hamburg study group on causes of war discovered that between 80 and 90 percent of the causes of all wars since 1945 consisted in the unequal distribution of wealth on earth, not in religious or ethnic problems. This is a very important aspect.


as an economic global player is currently unsettled. If the constitution is ratified [the constitution was rejected by France and the Netherlands, translator’s note], the EU will enter into a military-political competition with the US – a fatal development.

The alternatives are manifest. A week ago, Tobias Pfluger invited me to a EU military conference in Brussels. The few delegates and Europe experts were not interested in an alternative role played by the European Union. The EU is no longer merely an economic organization but at the beginning of the 21st century an instrument of half a million producers and consumers on a relatively equal level. The EU cannot be compared with the US where a third of the whole population does not participate in the economic, political and cultural life.

This EU should not move at the same level with the US by rearming with rapid striking forces, military carriers and battle groups. The EU should see its chance of becoming a new model in exchange policy with the rest of the world. If the study group on causes of war concluded that 80 to 90 percent of the causes of conflict lie in the unequal distribution of raw materials, the European Union must ask itself whether or not political organization must be a priority and why the model of the US and Nato in rearming should be copied. I find this model totally misguided and completely uneconomical.


runs very smoothly in the US and all the states of the EU. The counteracting forces seem marginalized. A new picture of war has seized the thinking of people. I will return to this.

In 2005, we held a conference in Marburg on the theme “Banal Militarism” or in the gerund “The Banalization of the Military.” “Our army” is already a Freudian premise. The German army is in six, seven or eight conflicts according to one’s calculation. What should be discussed? There will be discussion whether the mission in A should be extended, whether the Bundestag should be controlled by laws and whether the German army can be mobilized for the soccer world cup. That is the banalization of the military.

The continuation of the political in the military and the banalization of the military have colonized our minds. Arguments about “exact bombardments” are offered. In the example of Iran, the US and Nato openly discuss whether or not Iran can be bombed surgically. The theory of war is made acceptable with zero deaths. Wars have been waged with almost no deaths. The US lost 153 personnel in the Yugoslavian war that is incorrectly called the Kosovo war. That is nothing compared to the Second World War when the US lost a six-digit number of men or the Vietnam War in which the US lost 65,000. However war has not become more humane. The war casualties on the opposing side were simply suppressed. In 1991, 150,000 died in Iraq, in 1999, 20,000 died in Yugoslavia on the opposite side of the US troops, in 2001, 20,000 also died in Afghanistan and another 20,000 in the Iraq war in 2003. Nevertheless war comes into mass consciousness as a normal means of politics through banalization of the military.

4. THE US SINCE 9-11…

has declared “war against international terror and terrorism.” No one knows exactly what that is. No one can define it. People still do not know how the attacks in New York were perpetrated or what role the CIA or the other 27 secret services of the US played.

The debate around prevention and preemption results from this “war against international terrorism.” At the moment, the US resolves to wage war in every part of the earth wherever its interests can be defended preemptively. Alongside an enormous uncertainty about the international situation, Russia sees itself legitimated to act militarily in Tschechnya. Politics altogether gets out of control.


After the turn of 1989-91, many people expected what Bill Clinton called the “peace dividend.” The enemy that supposedly threatened us for forty years has atomized. This is not our theme today. Did the Soviet Union really threaten us? At that time, the questions were: Why is Germany spending 30 to 40 billion euro for an army? Why do the Brits, French, Spaniards, and Italians need great armies?

This “peace dividend” was not realized. We witnessed a quantitative disarmament and a qualitative rearmament. To anchor this in the mass consciousness, new scapegoats had to be constructed. These scapegoats must be built in foreign and domestic policy.

In foreign policy, the Milosevic government in Yugoslavia that still described itself as communist was the first scapegoat. With its “policy of the 3rd war” and its principle of self-government, Yugoslavia became the scapegoat at the beginning of the 1990s. Then it was Iraq; the Baath party called itself socialist. Iraq was followed by “rogue states” like North Korea, Libya and Cuba. Now there is the great scapegoat of Islam and Islamism. Islam has become the supportive scapegoat even though no one knows what Islam really is.

Now there is also a domestic political scapegoat. To wage wars, the country must be secured domestically. The republic must be as calm as we wee it today. The domestic scapegoat is decried as the “social hammock” in Germany. Long-term unemployed, immigrants and political refugees are marginalized. I will return to this in discussing exit strategies. The dominant policy divides social classes by emphasizing “social parasites” and preventing defensive social battles and solidarity. The marginalization attempts against foreigner groups accomplish this.


Contrary to everything written by the media, the Yugoslavian war is a disaster. The aggressive states cannot withdraw their troops today but must leave them there for ten or twenty years. What have they achieved?

Almost everything you read about the situation in Afghanistan is a lie. Afghanistan is a brothel. The situation as presented to us in the middle class media has nothing to do with reality. That the situation of women has improved as FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung) writes is nonsense. The warlords are stronger than in the pre-war time. The situation of women is still miserable, the situation at the universities is unbearable and the opium production flourishes. In Marburg, we have a colleague, Matin Baraki, an Afghan who traveled there last year and tells us what the situation really is.

What do our people read about the Iraq war? They read that two bombs blew up in Bagdad. Two weeks ago, the Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung newspaper published a statistic. There were 25,000 attacks last December. That is the reality of the third disaster. The conclusion is that offensive wars cannot be waged any more. The question is what consequences this could and should have for people who think more or less rationally.


For me, the great hope comes from Latin America. In Latin America, Cuba has made itself capable of surviving in the last 15 years. In Cuba, there was the so-called special period after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a very difficult period with broad deep poverty. The government drew conclusions with the fatal consequence that more poor and rich exist in Cuba than in the past. However there was no alternative. Cuba built a mass tourism and brought joint ventures but Cuba has survived. Despite this 15-year phase of drastic poverty, not a single school or a single hospital in Cuba was closed. For me, that is the model for developing countries, the model for 80 percent on this globe.

Why does my hope come from Latin America? Because there are now a few copies of Cuba. One possible copy is in Venezuela and another is in Bolivia. In other lands like Brazil, Argentina and Chile, at least the phase of military dictatorships and sheer brute force against our positions has ended. Nationally oriented governments have begun successively withdrawing the wealth of their countries from the influence of the US.

Unilateralism, the US-dominated logic of politics, is really on the defensive. The US cannot intervene – even with 200,000 soldiers in the Middle East. As a note, everything you read about Venezuela in the middle class press, that the dictator Chavez is a military putshist and so forth, has little to do with reality. Chavez is obviously a very multi-layered person. Chavez is currently arming the population with a million rifles. Does a dictator do that? One need not be a major to have doubts about the propaganda.


The first controversial point is in the assessment of the role of the US and national imperialism, e.g. the slogans anti-Americanism, anti-Germanism etc.

A second controversial point in the peace movement is in the assessment of European Union militarization. In Marburg, the IALANA jurists against nuclear and chemical rearmament have vehemently argued with my position and IMI positions. IALANA insists the process in the European Union must be structured and influenced. However mere rejection of militarization is not enough.

A third controversial point in the peace movement is analysis of supranational organizations. We judge the OSZE (Organization of European Security and Cooperation, formerly KSZE) by its potential. How do we judge the UN and its potential? What does it mean to say the monopoly of force must lie in the US, that we must defend the UN Charter and reform the UN? What does this mean? Every person has a different idea of the reform of the UN. We in Germany agree reform of the UN cannot mean that Germany receives a permanent seat on the Security Council. However that is now mainstream in the heads of people.

A fourth controversial point in the peace movement is the evaluation of globalization. Globalization has more than negative aspects in the third and first worlds. Globalization is a multi-layered theme.

I already discussed the fifth contested point. We are not always agreed on judging liberation movements in the so-called “third world,” the developing countries, now in the very concrete example of Venezuela and Chavez. Still the question of judging Latin America is completely marginalized. Can you transport yourself back into the seventies when we had a rebellion in Chile or in the 80s in El Salvador and Nicaragua? Who discusses Latin America in our movements?


In my opinion, the German peace movement altogether has accepted or swallowed the paradigm shift in security policy from a more civilian logic of Germany in the 50s, 60s and 70s to the military logic. The military logic is accepted and cannot be resisted.

Schroeder did not say in the Iraq war: We are against war and against the action of the military. He said: Not now and not on the side of the US. He spoke of a “German way.” In other words, Germany will act as an imperial actor as my great teacher Czempiel says in Marburg: in “defending German interests at Hindukusch”! (He did not say imperialist because that would be too Marxist). That is the slogan of dominant politics and is only questioned by a few.

All this is swallowed in this land by the mass consciousness. We in the peace movement cannot take to the streets against miserable work. The role of the German Greens and social democrats in breaking the backbone of the peace movement could be the subject of another address.


I believe the peace movement, peace research and movement research ignore the influence of social- and economic policy on the state of the country.

On one hand, the intervention activity of Germany, the EU and Nato has increased and on the other hand, the republic is calm.

The chancellor of the social democratic-Green government called the essential theme of his first term “de-tabooing the military.” Half of his party resigned but nothing changed. There is no appreciable anti-militarist movement on the other side.

For example, there were 150,000 people in Koln at an Anti-Social Dumping demo two years ago. I had the only peace flag amid the thousands of union banners. There was no bridge between the domestic- and foreign policy scapegoats.

I believe these factors are responsible for the calm of this republic. This calm gets on my nerves.

Firstly, people are naturally alarmed by mass unemployment. In reality, we have eight million unemployed, not five million. All these fears – lack of perspective of youth, fears of the future and fears of impoverishment – have a real background. The people are not merely imagining something. This influences the climate in this republic.

The climate in France is completely different. When people in France are asked what most oppresses them, they emphasize their unhurt bodily existence. They are fearful someone will take away their purse. Very different fundamental anxieties concerning life perspectives prevail in Germany.

Now I come to the other two hard facts that produce this calm republic.

Secondly, people in Germany have accepted individual assignments of guilt. The eight million unemployed have accepted self-stigmatization. From our analyses, we know that 7.5 of the eight million unemployed want to work or must work.

I will banalize this as follows: Should I postpone my graduation? Should I have children so early in my university study? Shouldn’t I apply for continuing education? Must I go abroad at such and such a time? Why did I become a spokesperson in our firm? And many others.

This individual assignment of blame makes solidarity impossible. This is a great problem. A few weeks ago in Marburg, AJLE (Study group of young teachers and educators) invited 100 unemployed teachers to begin a political action against their situation. Of the hundred, three came. A majority of the others were ashamed. Atomization and pulverization occurred, not solidarity of the underprivileged.

A last point should be added beside this stigmatization that people believe they are responsible themselves for their situation and therefore can do nothing (“I have no right to demand”).

The people believe nothing can be shared in this land and that our treasuries are empty. The public treasuries are empty. That is a multi-faceted problem. Still I am a member of a little organization with 600 economists, the so-called “Memo-group” of the University of Bremen around Jorg Huffschmid that publishes a memorandum every year. For 2005, the memo group calculated that the state let slip 130 billion euros to which it was entitled in tax revenue without changing the political system. In 2005, we had a budget deficit of 40 billion. The state had to pay 40-50 billion in debt service. But the state could have recovered the 130.

Let me add a trivial detail. I hope no one is here from Stuttgart. I have Daimler stocks, I admit reluctantly. (My father gave them to me and I still have them) I receive a dividend check every year from “my” company. Two weeks ago I read in the Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung newspaper: Daimler had a profit of 4.7 billion but once again pays no taxes this year. The company said it would probably pay taxes next year. Daimler is one of 50-60 companies in Germany responsible for the 130 billion.

Let me summarize. These last three points are very important to me. Why doesn’t our movement reach the hearts and minds of people in Germany that is interventionist and in the European Union that is interventionist? Firstly, there is objective and very cruel mass unemployment. Secondly, people have accepted individual assignment of responsibility. Thirdly, they believe nothing can be redistributed in this land.


The anti-militarist movement is called to continuous enlightenment about the connections of foreign and domestic policy. Our movement must not be discouraged or succumb to the charm of power. All rotten compromises should be rejected. With its different branches, the peace movement must listen again to each other.

My last sentence: Be IMI: Instinctively Mainstream Ignoring!

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy