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by Otto Konig and Richard Detje
Tuesday, May. 27, 2014 at 3:41 AM
What lessons were learned from Vietnam, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Iraq and Afghanistan? Can countries become incapable of learning? Is preemptive war, confusion of offense and defense, a Hitlerian perversion? Does cooking intelligence create cynicism instead of public spirit?
PREVENT THE COMEBACK OF THE COLD WARRIORS!
By Otto Konig and Richard Detje
[This article published on May 5, 2014 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.sozialismus.de.]
SOME MEDIA POUR OIL IN THE FIRE OF THE UKRAINE CRISIS
There does not seem to be a great gulf (any more) between more sanctions against Russia demanded by German chancellor Angela Merkel and a military course of threats and confrontation. Defense minister Ursula von der Leyen insists the West must make clear âNATO does not only exist on paper.â
NATO general secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen warns Russian leaders should not have the least doubt that we consider an attack on a member country,â he named Estonia as an example, âas an attack on all of usâ (F.A.S. 5/4/2014). That sounds like war rhetoric. The news from the Stockholm SIPRI-Institute that armament spending fell in 2013 should not be repeated. Rasmussen says: âDo not drive back your defense spending! Reverse the trend and invest more money in defense.â
Thus there should be no policy of excuses or apologies for armament programs. The fiscal pact should ultimately be implemented in the fields of social policy, public employment and the sellout of public enterprises. All that could be material for news reports. Why is only a fraction of spending for armaments and military presence used to combat youth unemployment in Europe?
The mainstream media amplifies the political messages without getting to the bottom of the crisisâ¦ Volker Zastrow, director of the FAS political division, argues: âThe good years are over; the West must rearm.â In taz, Klaus-Helge Donath insists âall EU states should increase their defense budget at least a third, parallel to the upgrading of conventional armed forces and technological innovationsâ (4/29/2014).
There is playing with fire â even if âonlyâ in some key media â 100 years after the outbreak of the First World War and 75 years after the eruption of the Second World Warâ¦ Journalists can have a one-sided perception fading out Russiaâs interests (e.g. Fritz Pleitgenâs interview on Germany radio 5/4/2014). Why is it stubbornly faded out that the US and other western countries have done everything geopolitically to extend their spheres of influence, with the global expansion of their military base systems, the development of generations of highly modern weapons and a series of wars in violation of international law from Kosovo and Iraq to Libyaâ 
Meanwhile the western military alliance with its missile defense systems is nearly at the Russian border. On the occasion of the German unification, Michail Gorbatchev was promised NATO would not expand to the east beyond the area of the former East Germany. In an interview with F.A.S., the art theoretician Bazon Brock recently used the term âvictor infantilismâ for these gestures of the West âsince the end of the Soviet Union.â
The re-animation of black-white thinking occurs. âWhat do you think of Putin?â is regarded as the litmus test. Whoever steps out of line or is different is dismissed as a âRussia interpreterâ â as the âCiceroâ magazine does toward the left in the best Adenauer propaganda or is denounced as âMoscowâs fifth column.â Even ex-chancellor Helmut Schmidt is not exempt. Fritz Pleitgen was aggressively opposed when he mentioned the US surprise attack on Grenada in a talk show with Anne Will. The interventions of the NATO states were âsomething completely different.â
In this attitude, the implicit idea is that everything the West does is legitimate per se and everything Russia does is illegitimate per seâ¦ The ARD correspondent Gabriele Krone-Schmalz criticized the âone-sided reporting about Russia and the Ukraineâ in the NDR media magazine ZAPP. The media inform the population in an increasingly inadequate or even false way, suppress unwelcome facts or disqualify the reporting as âRussian propagandaâ and generate âManichaean worldviews.
Representatives of the established media obligated to truthful and objective reporting throw critical distance over board. One factor is that many journalists currently setting the tone in the âleading mediaâ are directly tied to corresponding institutions and structures.
Still the one-sided presentation and interpretation of the facts is not unopposed. Happily that is also part of media reality. Thus there are journalists with critical voices like Fritz Pleitgen and Sabine Krone-Schmalz. Witty satirical broadcasts are also an encouraging sign.
Finally, the media play an increasingly important role in spreading critical reports and background information â and in the financial promotion of the âMaidan movementâ that includes democratic-oppositional forces as well as reactionary nationalists and fascists of the Swoboda party and foreign secret servicesâ¦
Despite one-sided reporting, the majority of Germans reject a harsh course against Russia according to a poll of the TNS-research institute. 55% understand Putinâs reaction to encroaching the Russian zone of influence. 73% reject economic sanctions according to a Forsa survey at the end of April.
The media reaction is often insulting the public. âThe typical German anxietyâ is denounced and editorial offices of periodicals flooded with criticism âabout our Russian reportingâ (ZEIT-journalist Bernd Ulrich). Or there are psychological interpretations, âthe anti-American Germans seem hyper-moralâ (Sebastian Fischer, Spiegel Online, 4/18/2014).
Happily voices are often heard that inform readers and do not immobilize them with platitudes. âThey do not want evidence from Americans of Russian intervention about which no one can say where they come from, from independent documentaries or from the photo-shop of the CIAâ (Jacob Augstein).
The fact is the great majority of the German population does not want any war. The elders are not the only ones who have not forgotten the barbaric events of the Second World War. This is also true for the Ukrainian-Russian population. âWe do not want your tanks. We do not want the tanks of NATO. We do not want Europeâs tanks,â said Margarita Fjodorowna, a retired civil engineer, to an FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung newspaper) journalist and added: âIt is because of my father. He was killed at forty-three in Charkow, in the war against the fascistsâ (F.A.S., 4/20/2014).
Fueling the escalating level of violence in the Ukraine is the most foolish thing. DÃ©tente policy is necessary and courage for self-critical political correction. âWhoever says A need not say B. He can also correct himself and admit that A was wrongâ (Brecht).
 August Pradetto: Die Krim, die bÃ¶sen Russen und der empÃ¶rte Westen, BlÃ¤tter fÃ¼r deutsche und internationale Politik 5/2014.
 Spiegel online 25.3.2014.
 Ihr Eingebundensein in die Zirkel der Eliten schlage sich, so Uwe KrÃ¼ger in dem Buch Â»Meinungsmacht. Der Einfluss der Eliten auf Leitmedien und Alpha-Journalisten â eine kritische NetzwerkanalyseÂ« (KÃ¶ln 2013) in ihren journalistischen Werken nieder: Â»Am auffÃ¤lligsten war der Befund, dass vier leitende Journalisten der âºSÃ¼ddeutschen Zeitungâ¹ (Kornelius), der âºFrankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitungâ¹ (Frankenberger), der âºWeltâ¹ (StÃ¼rmer) und der âºZeitâ¹ (Joffe) stark in US- und NATO-affine Strukturen eingebunden sind.Â« Die Liste der mit den MÃ¤chtigen verwobenen JournalistInnen lieÃe sich ohne Probleme erweitern. So war beispielsweise ZDF-Heutejournal-Moderator Claus Kleber 15 Jahre lang ARD-Korrespondent in Washington und bis vor einigen Jahren Kuratoriumsmitglied des Aspen Instituts Deutschland (US-Organisation) sowie bis 2013 regelmÃ¤Ãiger Teilnehmer der MÃ¼nchner Sicherheitskonferenz (Nachdenkseiten, 21.3.2014).
Video: Daily Show with Jon Stewart â May 13, 2014, Harry Reid and the Koch Brothers
PLEA FOR A GENUINE PEACE MOVEMENT
Alliances for Peace instead of Rightwing Conspiracy Theories
By Ozlem Alev Demirel
[This short plea published on 5/6/2014 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.neues-deutschland.de. Ozlem Alev Demirel was party chairperson of Die Linke (The Left party) in North Rhine-Westphalia up to 2012.]
The opposition between the individual imperialist states and their blocs has become greater. The battle over the âcakeâ picks up speed. While one even makes a pact with fascists to push back the hegemony of the other, the other power tries to protect its hegemony in the region. The saber-rattling becomes louder; a trial of strength is manifest. New formations are obviously intimated in this battle of the giants and the Ukrainian population struggling anyway with massive social problems suffers. In this battle, the rivals know who the true loser is.
While things started happening very fast in the Ukraine, the imperial powers in their game of chess advance their figureheads and the de facto government with fascist participation advances ever more brutally against the unrest in the east of the country. German streets seem quiet for the most part. While there are voices that speak against war, is there a discernable movement? No such luck. The theme hardly occurred at the great May 1 demonstrations. A colorful mixture of all kinds of election campaign posters placarded the streets. Even the anti-militarist parties are more involved in the election campaign than in the struggle for peace. The traditional Easter marches have experienced a great boom â even though Germany plays an essentially negative role in the looming civil war in the Ukraine.
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