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Military poisoning of society

by Bernhard Trautvetter Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2024 at 2:14 PM

Military, political and social leaders are misrepresenting the genesis of the Ukraine war with half-truths, for example by hiding CIA chief Burns' memo against NATO's eastward expansion; they are building a rollback of society on such misinformation by permeating many areas of society with militarization.

Military poisoning of society

by Bernhard Trautvetter

[This article posted on 5/23/2024 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

Military, political and social leaders are misrepresenting the emergence of the Ukraine war with half-truths - with the help of such misinformation, a restructuring of society is being driven forward and numerous areas of society are being penetrated and poisoned by militarization. By Bernhard Trautvetter.

The writer and cultural critic Dorothee Sölle described the poisoning of society through militarization at one of the major peace demonstrations of the 1980s:

“When a river tips over, it means: the amount of poison that a living context can still tolerate becomes too much, the destruction gets out of hand, the fish die, the plants follow them, the water stinks. When a river tips over, it is no longer really a river, but a garbage dump. And when a country tips over? When the pollutants and toxins become so prevalent that life is suffocated, when people despair of the possibility of living here, when they look to emigrate or destroy themselves as they float around like fish in the stinking broth? When a river is ecologically polluted, it tips over. If a country is militarily polluted and arming itself to death, then the country tips over. That is exactly what we are experiencing.”

Four decades later, we are witnessing how the Social Democrat military minister Boris Pistorius has become Germany's most popular politician with his campaign for a change of mentality towards a pro-war stance, even though he is setting a counterpoint to the peace commandment in the Basic Law. Many opinion-leading media and leading politicians are reinforcing this 'change of mentality'. Social psychologist Harald Welzer warns: “We are experiencing a paradigm shift in society - war is becoming more sayable, more conceivable”. And this despite the fact that Article 26 of the Basic Law states:

“Acts which are suitable and undertaken with the intention of disturbing the peaceful coexistence of peoples ... shall be punishable by law.”

Military, political and social leaders are misrepresenting the genesis of the Ukraine war with half-truths, for example by hiding CIA chief Burns' memo against NATO's eastward expansion; they are building a rollback of society on such misinformation by permeating many areas of society with militarization.

In April of this year, the Bundestag's Health Committee dealt with “the strengthening of the healthcare system in the event of war”. This specifically concerned the Bundeswehr's medical service. Surgeon General Norbert Weller explained in this context:

“In order to arm ourselves for the scenario of an alliance case, we need ... strong partners and established cooperation. A resilient network and a new legal framework for cooperation between the Bundeswehr clinics, the professional association clinics, the university clinics and the more than 660 clinics of the Trauma Network Germany are needed. And last but not least: 'Digitalization, digitalization, digitalization - we are not yet where we should be' ...”.

The committee dealt with the “challenges of patient care in the event of war, which cannot be compared with civilian patient care. In the event of war, several hundred casualties per day must be expected. In the European healthcare systems, however, little importance has so far been attached to the requirements of a possible defense case.

And the Association of Cities and Towns is calling for the expansion of civil defense and an infrastructure of bunkers, such as those that existed during the Second World War, to prepare for the “worst-case scenario” of war. Federal Minister of the Interior Faeser takes up such initiatives and “even considers a significant expansion of civil defense to be necessary and announces in the Handelsblatt ‘considerable investments in good warning systems, in modern helicopters and other equipment’...”.

Federal Education Minister Stark-Watzinger believes that schools “have a responsibility to prepare young people for war. She is in favor of civil defense exercises.” Bayrischer Rundfunk came to this conclusion in a report on the last CDU party conference:

“Germany is debating its military: the CDU wants a gradual return to compulsory military service, the Bundeswehr Association wants to cover all those fit for military service.”

Even in the late phase of the West German state of FRG, the federal government decided on framework guidelines for overall defense (RRGV) (January 10, 1989): Auxiliary hospitals are “to be made available for civil defense purposes, in particular the corresponding buildings are to be registered and prepared. The aim of these measures is to help cover the additional inpatient bed and treatment capacity required in the event of a mass casualty incident.” Paragraph 19.2.3 of the RRGV even regulates a 'military jurisdiction', which also includes legal regulations for proceedings against prisoners of war, all of this of course for the so-called “case of defense”. The use of the media is also clearly regulated:

“In order to maintain state functions in a crisis and in a state of defense, the federal government and the state governments are dependent on the cooperation of the media, in particular radio (radio and television).

(2) Necessary announcements and proclamations as well as other announcements and information must be transmitted ...

(3) To this end, it is necessary that

1. the broadcasting facilities of broadcasting organizations ... are kept available ..;

2. the cooperation of the broadcasting organizations is guaranteed.

(4) The broadcasters under federal law, Deutsche Welle and Deutschlandfunk, shall grant the Federal Government ... broadcasting time for the announcement of laws, ordinances and proclamations.

(5) According to the state broadcasting laws or the ... state treaties, both the Federal Government and the ... state government ... shall have the right to make announcements.

(6) It must be ensured that official announcements by the Federal Government are broadcast nationwide.

(7) An obligation to make announcements must also be introduced for privately organized broadcasters.”

Civil defense is also included in the war effort:

“The fulfillment of ...humanitarian(r) tasks is necessary, since a threat to the civilian population from armed conflicts cannot be ruled out with certainty and dangerous situations are conceivable in which civil defense makes sense.”

Your language betrays the manipulation: In war, it cannot be ruled out that people will come to harm. This is why paragraph 20.2.2 stipulates: “Only in areas where there is a recognizable imminent danger in the course of hostilities shall the civilian population be given special warning.”

All these plans for a war are now being further developed in the so-called “Operation Plan Germany”:

“In the reorientation of security policy, it is clear: Germany and its population must become more defensible ... in order to be armed against threats and aggressors. These challenges ... must be mastered by the state and society as a whole ... . With this goal in mind, experts from all areas of the Bundeswehr are developing the military component of a national defence plan, the “Operations Plan Germany” (OPLAN DEU), in a joint planning group comprising the federal government, the federal states and local authorities, the so-called blue light organizations and industry.

The German army (Bundeswehr) explains:

“At the federal level, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and for Home Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Defense are the key ministries for the implementation of an effective overall defense. The Operational Plan Germany (OPLAN DEUEuropean Union) has been under development at TerrFüKdoBw since the beginning of March 2023. Experts and military planners from all parts and areas of the Bundeswehr are working together in a joint planning group.”

This involves coordinated action by NATO, a so-called “Territorial Command”, the federal government, the federal states and civilian actors.

There are around 50 nuclear power plants and many other nuclear facilities in Europe. These facilities alone force us to provide for the common good in a way that is incompatible with war.This makes it clear that there is only a future for human life in this part of the world if it is a peaceful one.


Working unilaterally for life!

Violence, non-violence and peace

On October 10, 1981, 300,000 people came to the now legendary demonstration against nuclear “rearmament” on Bonn's Hofgartenwiese. They protested against NATO's planned deployment of “Pershing II” medium-range missiles and “cruise missiles” and demanded a nuclear-free Europe and an end to the bloc confrontation. We commemorate this groundbreaking event 35 years ago with Dorothee Sölle's speech.

Working unilaterally for life!

By Dorothee Sölle

[This speech is translated from the German on the Internet,]

Nuclear death threatens not only those who are afraid, but also those who believe they are safer with nuclear death at hand. Armament kills even without war. When a river overturns, it means that the amount of poison that a living environment can still tolerate is too much, the destruction gets out of hand, the fish die, the plants follow them, the water stinks. When a river tips over, it is no longer really a river, but a garbage dump. And when a country tips over? When the pollutants and toxins get so out of hand that life is suffocated, when people despair of the possibility of living here, when they look to emigrate or destroy themselves as they float around like fish in the stinking broth? When a river is ecologically polluted, it tips over. If a country is militarily polluted and arming itself to death, then the country tips over. That is exactly what we are experiencing.

Imagine if peace broke out. Not the peace of the violent who calculate the megatons in advance, not the peace of rising dividends for arms stocks, not the peace of occupational bans for people who pose a defense risk (and we all do!), not the peace that lets the poor go to rack and ruin and ensures torture in Turkey. I am not talking about the lack of peace that prevails in our country.

Imagine the people explaining peace to the government, what that is: peace, and the government finally understanding it and explaining it to the Americans. We renounce your protection. We withdraw from the alliance. We do not want you to arm us to death. Half of the money we spend on preparing for the Holocaust will be needed for the problems in our country, for housing and health and schools, for all the foreigners who are not allowed to learn anything here. We will spend the other half on peaceful projects in the Third World to combat the causes of starvation. The arms trade will be banned with immediate effect and the companies involved will be treated for what they are: Criminals.

Imagine if peace broke out. We in the heart of Europe would be defenseless. We would no longer practice war, learn war, play war and pay for war with our taxes. We would pose no threat to our neighbors. No one - not even the New Germany - could accuse us of aggression, peacelessness, preparing a war of aggression and wanting to strike first. For the first time in our country's history, we would be free from the desire to kill, retaliate or kill as a precaution. We would have abolished the slavery under which humanity still lives today. War slavery and nuclear slavery. And imagine real freedom: no more threatening and taking advantage of anyone, no more lying and blackmailing. Freedom from the compulsion to prepare a crime that has never been committed in the history of mankind, the nuclear annihilation of all life. Freedom from the preparation of murder and suicide.

Imagine we were defenseless. We lived in a peaceful country. Would we be invaded? Would we be a vacuum that magnetically attracts the aggressive enemy? No one can answer this question with certainty. I don't think it's likely that the Soviet Union would invade such a Germany, but there is a residual risk and a residual fear that we can't talk anyone out of. The only question is whether this risk and this fear are not considerably smaller than what we are taking now. Whether preparing for the first strike, with which we can turn the European part of the Soviet Union into a field of rubble and corpses in four minutes, whether this preparation does not mean more risk and greater danger for us than the peaceful third way we are seeking.

Imagine if peace broke out. Not the armed peace of violence, but the non-violent peace for which we stand here and for the sake of which we do not use violence, because the means of struggle also deform the goal of struggle. We can only use non-violent methods to prepare the peace we believe in. We distrust the government precisely because it wants to use the most violent method in world history, mass destruction, to secure peace. Their method: arming contradicts their goal: disarming. Their method: violence, nuclear violence contradicts their desire: security. We want to keep the goals and methods of our lives together.

Imagine if we could make it very clear to the government why we have come here. We could tell them our vision, our dream. We could remind the desperate riggers what they really want, and we could expose the cynical riggers so that everyone can see what their interests are. What is the difference between East and West? It's not between SS-20 and Pershing II, don't be fooled! The real difference between East and West is us, the peace movement, the fact that arms are being built up in the East without the people being able to raise their voices.

Imagine if the spirit of defenselessness and vulnerability were to come to the fore so that our dream could become reality: Liberation from slavery, banishment of the slave traders, the greatest historical task of human beings on this planet at the end of the 20th century. Perhaps we would become a little poorer in the process, I think most of us would want to pay that price. Perhaps we have to do a little more for this peace we dream of than go to Bonn. Perhaps we need to practice saying no, the big and the many small refusals, in hospital, in the barracks, at work, at school. We have a very one-sided view, one-sidedly against the weapons of mass destruction, which can no more be called weapons than the gas Hitler had used in Auschwitz was a “weapon”.

Source: Book “Bonn 10.10.1981”, Peace demonstration for peace and détente in Europe, speeches, photos, Lamuv-Verlag 1981.

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