Thursday, October 14, 2010

The New Bogeyman by Steven Vogel

I’m a cold war kid. I grew up in the 80s next to NATO’s biggest base in Europe, and my granddad was stationed there as an English soldier after WW2. The Hohne Camp was only around 150km west of the boarder to the former Iron Curtain, and monthly war games with 1000s of tanks, airplanes and soldiers were a common sight growing up. Fact was, living so close to an army base and close to the “enemies” boarder, the Cold War was a real life fact. I was indoctrinated to believe that the “Soviet” was our enemy, always looking for ways to drop nuclear bombs on our small community. Crazy as that seems to adults these days who were born after 1989/90 that was fact.

As real or perceived the threat was, everyone with half a brain now realizes that essentially after Reagan came to power, the Soviet Union was broke and unable to really pose a threat to anyone- as was witnessed in their war in Afghanistan in the 80s. Fact is also, that western governments have used the Soviet Union and their theory of the Communist Domino Effect to frighten and control us in the name of patriotism. Furthermore, it made a few people very rich. I mean, so rich that I cannot even comprehend the amount of zero’s on their bank statement. The “real”, and mostly, thought-up threat of war by the imaginary enemy to the East was reason alone to increase government spending on war and the war industry to levels unheard of to this point. In fact, some historians claim it was Reagan’s strategy to not outdo the Soviet Union in terms of arms, but to bankrupt them via the arms race. It worked, granted, but I seriously doubt that Reagan and his cronies intention was as noble as that. They wanted to get rich, and they did. In the meantime they scared the living day lights out of us, and stumbled across a means to control their population through willing media channels.

And then the Soviet Union threw in the towel. Over and out. Everyone was stoked, the war was won and over. The only problem was that now, we had a power vacuum, the enemy disappeared and really, there was no reason for that insane spending of tax money to fight a no longer existing enemy. Clinton got on that horse and turned the US budget around ( imagine that! ) only to find out that if you take away the pay check from Haliburton and Co., you’re in serious trouble. Throughout the 90s the people making money of fear looked for an enemy, a new Bogeyman, to scare us all witless. It took 8 long years until Bush 2 came into power until the conservative American think tanks, supported by their ruthless European counterparts, came up with a strategy to have an endless war, an unknown, scary, dangerous enemy called Al-Qaida.

And before you know it, we had an axis of evil, the twin towers were brought down and the thankfully, we now could once again, draw a line in the sand. You’re either with us, or for them.

We all know what happened next. War, 100 of thousand of innocent victims dead, whole regions destabilized, and in the meantime, the Neo Cons grew richer again, from war. Thanks to the new Bogeyman, called Al-Qaida. Crimes were committed unthinkable in their atrocity, all in the name of freedom, democracy- in reality, all in the name of money, fear and breeding generations of new terrorists, to guarantee an income for the next generation of war hawks.

Eerie. This should be no news to anyone with half a brain, but sadly, I think the majority of people in the west still believe this. Psychologically, it’s easy to understand. The vacuum created by “winning” the Cold War, made life in the West difficult, there were no clear lines anymore, the world turned grey and the black & whites were diminished. Sadly, it’s a fact, that figuring out the way of the world, takes time and patience, and nothing is black and white.

Forward to today, and something is happening in Germany which thoroughly disgusts me. As per usual, Germany takes a few years to catch on, and from what I can gather this has been happening in the US for some time, but I can’t talk about it, as I don’t live in the US and the information I get I don’t trust, either “right” or “left” wing media is tainted by unprofessionalism, and I cannot base my arguments on them. So let’s stick to Germany.

Most recently, really only for the last 18 months of so, the “conservative” -side note, they’re not conservative at all, they’re populist right wing idiots that want utilize fear for monetary gain -members of German society, media and politicians have thought to themselves, “Well, if the yanks can do it, we sure can”.

Lo and behold, I and everyone in this country has all of a sudden been bombarded, through the media mostly, by a new Bogeyman. The Muslim. No longer contend with singling out a group of religious fanatics, we are now at war, abroad and in our own communities with THE MUSLIM. To explain, Germany has a large Turkish, Kurdish and for a lack of a better word “Arab” community. We welcomed people from those regions to Germany in the 50sand 60s to support our booming economy. A lot of them stayed in the country, were integrated into German society and as far as I am concerned were and still are a huge benefit to our country.

Most recently, the politicians, paid for by the conservative media and large corporations that benefit from war ( we have a lot of them here, think of all the German steel manufactures, for example, that build weapons ) have gotten on the horse, that, the Islamic religion is undermining the “Christian & Jewish traditions of this country” – I kid you not, that’s a direct quote from one of those muppets.

They are basing this fear mongering on the fact that small, and I mean very small, portions of the followers of Mohammed in this country, mostly 3-4th generation of Germans ( longer than my family has been German for that matter ) are not willing to integrate into German Society, and are fighting a war to turn us all into suicide bombers. Which, quite frankly, is total nonsense and only a simplification of our own racism and unwillingness to genuinely help integrate those small groups into our own society.

I wager that there are more white bread Germans in Germany that reject our current constitution and call themselves Neo Nazi’s that there are radical Muslims in this country. But hey, they’re ok, because they go to a Christian Church. It’s flat out disgusting, wrong and I feel ashamed at this.

I liked Germany once, because it was mostly secular, and religion really didn’t play a part in how you were treated. As far as I am concerned, I don’t care who you believe in, or if you don’t believe at all. If you want to live here, you’re welcome, there’s the law, follow it, pay your taxes and it’s all good. That’s not the case anymore and I am seriously considering moving, to pull my taxes ( which are a lot ) out of this country as I cannot support this, and I am, through my taxes.

What’s happening here now is the same thing we saw in the 1950s. The only thing “our leaders” have changed is our “new enemy”, the Muslim. What’s even more disgusting is that people are buying it.

There are idiots in every culture, and demonizing a whole religion, because of them is flat out wrong. In our case it serves only this purpose: to rally the people behind a cause, no matter how wrong it is, to lead them into stupidity and to be able to shape them in any form that these leaders want them to be. For what? To get rich. To start more wars. Because that’s really what this is all about. Making money.

I am against this, and will do anything in my power to not only fight this demonizing of a people because of their religion -something that’s happened here before.


No comments: