About War and PEACE.
Currently, you can again read a lot about the German Armed Forces. Suddenly, many issues re-surface, things that were well known are newly discovered and Frau van der Leyen wants to repair it all. With things such as a “new tradition awareness regulation” and the like. They even start talking about reviving the general military draft. That gives me pause!
However, none of these things will help. Because every army will collapse sooner or later, certainly when matters get serious. Because armies can only function if you have people who can actually see beyond humaneness.
War will always thrive on hatred and enmity. It brings murder and death, useless destruction and annihilation. The soldiers are the instruments that actually realize war.
Consequently, I will now give voice to three theses that show that the German Armed Forces cannot work as they say it works. All three theses are relevant, and not only because of the current developments and discussions. Yet I never hear them in public discussions. Because they would show us how irrational war is. And that is something politics world-wide do not want – among other reasons because the weapons industry does not want it.
An army is not and can never be a “normal” enterprise.
Politics often claim that the German Armed Forces are a normal enterprise that produces security. But that is not what it is. Because: an enterprise is defined as a social system with an economic goal. Said goal is realized through producing things or offering services that the market (the people) need or think they need.
Naturally, the German Armed Forces are also a social system. However, it does not have an economic goal. Its goal is simply to destroy and kill. Its legitimation is fear and its lie of a camouflage is the service “security”. It is considered a matter of course that it exists – based on indisputable “forces”. That is why nobody spends a lot of time thinking about it and, unfortunately, only few persons in Germany sincerely question it.
After WW-II, there was the dream of a peaceful Germany without an army. This dream was quickly destroyed through the re-armament in the 1950s.
The reasons given in favour of armed forces changed again and again during the last sixty years. Let me relate to you how I experienced it as a witness of the time. When it was re-started, the Bundeswehr was sold to us as a
- DEFENSE ARMY
Thus, the re-armament was a necessary contribution towards defending the “free west”. It was realized against the wishes of the majority of the “stupid” citizens. At the time, almost the entire world was – totally irrationally – divided into two blocks through external IMAGES OF THE ENEMY. At school (I grew up in the FRG and was indoctrinated accordingly), I learned that the “East”, which was downtrodden and enslaved by Stalin & Co, wanted to conquer us – the free and rich “West” – and then force communism on us.
Two blocks confronted each other in maniac distrust, each of them overflowing with weapons and with armies that consisted of millions of people. Ideologically and systemically, they were total opponents. You could only have either COMMUNISM or CAPITALISM. The former was extremely evil, the latter was paradise. The other side said the exact opposite. In these blocks, there were two not quite “totally independent states” that had no army. In the West, it was the FDG, in the East, it was the GDR. Due to the image of the enemy – caused by FEAR – and probably also because of pressure put on them by the “allies”, the FRG was the first of the two to decide that re-armament was necessary. They established the Bundeswehr. A few years later, the East reacted, the Peoples’ Army was established in the GDR. This is how the “German” GDR became the most unrelenting enemy of the “German” FRG. The extension was the Warshaw Pact (UdSSR and the rest), i.e., the world of the communists. Since everybody understood more or less clearly that the “defense case” would mean the new total destruction of Europe, there came a time when this model was no longer so famous. Consequently, the military strategists came up with something new, the
- ADVANCE DEFENSE
They gave people the illusion that war could be kept from your own country and that the enemy can be destroyed (beaten) before you suffer detrimental consequences yourself. Since this assumption did not ring very true, it was based on things like “total deterrence through overkill” and “first-hit doctrine”. . The concept reminds me a little of how, today, they think you can win wars by sitting at your desk and sending fighting robots and drones. You will find others to do your dirty work for you. The doctrine of advance defence, too, became doubtful. The people no longer believed it, the Cold War disappeared, Russia capitalized itself (late). Corruption increased. Despotism started to grow. Consequently, they looked for “new tasks” for our army – and they found them. The German Armed Forces became part of the
- World Police
After all, Germany was glamorous again. Being an economic world-power – so they said – we had the duty to take more “responsibility” for the (new) world order. Along the way, we also noticed that, due to our throw-away-society, we are rather dependent on raw materials and that said raw materials often come from far remote countries. And we assumed that some evil-minded guys of this world wanted to steal them from us. That was another reason to become part of the American World Police. Totally as a logical conclusion, the Green and Social-Democratic Parties (!) as the ones in power decided that our Armed Forces were now also necessary abroad. Because if it is not in Germany, waging war is not so bad and no taboo. You can kill people and destroy houses.
(This alone should be reason enough to never again vote for either of the two parties.)
This is how we became part of the export of weapons system. However, if you look at the wars of the last sixty years, you will soon realize that none of these wars ever improved a situation or solved a problem. All those wars were more or less a failure or totally useless. They always brought a lot of misery to people, many persons were killed or injured, crimes against humanity were committed on a daily basis and the destruction of infrastructure was always massive. Yet, the “political result” was always failure. The “small” NATO war on the Balkan is often cited as an example for a successful and just “campaign”. Well, I am not so sure about that. Apart from considerable destruction and the creation of victims, the consequence was that Yugoslavia was liquidated and replaced by a number of small countries. Following modern diction (the belief in huge units such as Europe), this is not considered advantageous, either. But it is actually possible that the Balkan war ended useless bloodshed through determined bloodshed. I might perhaps accept this instance as the one exception that proves the rule. As soon as we started war against (marched into) Afghanistan, it was clear to me that, basically, war can never solve problems. As a side effect, we learned that it is hard to gain raw materials by means of weapons. It is much easier to buy them with good products and hard cash. Thus, the motivation to play world police dwindled and they needed a new reason for waging war. Luckily for our military and politicians, there was a new enemy:
Thus, we started our war against terrorism. We even have units stationed in Turkey. Since, basically, terrorism may also come with the refugees, we protect our border on the Mediterranean with armed forces through Frontex. In order to fight terrorism, we are prepared to increase our budget for more armament by fifty per cent in relation to our gross national product. In doing so, we are true to a promise we gave many years ago totally unnecessarily – a promise that our favourite ally under Trump is now demanding we deliver . I wonder what new enemy they will find when they find out that terrorism cannot be fought with war, either.
The military principle will cause all armies to derail sooner or later.
The militia and armies are based on a cruel principle. Every soldier must be ready to kill and die if he is ordered to. In war, this is an absolute necessity, because otherwise war will not function. This is something every recruit should be made aware of when he decides to be a soldier. Following military concepts, it is impossible that a soldier judges whether or not an order is ethically just or if it can be boycotted. Especially in the real-world scenario, this is unthinkable. Just like it is unthinkable that a soldier may desert his post when he starts having doubts. Deserting your post is a no-go and cannot be compatible with war functioning. Since such a situation is about life or death (that is why some desert), there can only be one punishment for a deserter – the immediate execution. Everything else is wishful thinking. War will not work if a soldier is free to desert. Just remember the old proverb:
Imagine there is a war and nobody joins.
If, for instance, today the occasional deserter from the Third Reich’s Wehrmacht is “rehabilitated”, then this is total hypocrisy. Just like the fairy tale about the citizen in uniform is fraud and a lie. It will only work if the army is some kind of bluff weapon that is never supposed to actually be used. I do not believe that his has ever been the case for the German Armed Forces of the FRG – and even if it was so, then that is definitely no guarantee that it may not still be put to practice
Soldiering is based on the perverse basic principle: “Kill or die on order”.
This principle has to be practiced daily. Basically, a social system with this underlying principle cannot develop in a socially reasonable way and it cannot be healthy either. Sooner or later, it must collapse, either totally or in parts. Armies will always feed from the “honour of the private” and his virtues and heroic deeds. In order to keep this stupid pretence up, you will always need a mystic tradition. And this is where the Third Reich Wehrmacht is an ideal concept for today’s German Armed Forces. After all, it was extremely successful for a few years and was consequently glorified in a unique way.
And thus, the perhaps sub-conscious admiration of “heroic deeds of the German Wehrmacht”, transported through several generations, is probably still found in the hearts of many young persons. (Cynical note: Formerly, I sometimes visited computer vintage markets. And I always met the most enthusiastic computer people. Good IT people basically love computer vintage, and good soldiers love weapon vintage).
The weapons industry promotes war.
To me, this thesis sounds trivial. Consequently, it is quite clear that I will not make a huge effort to justify it. For the weapons industry, war means “making real money”. If you build weapons, you need war. And we all know that today the concerns generally have a huge influence on political decisions and also on legislation, etc. I am sure that the weapons industry is not in the habit of mincing words.
One of my friends, Jolly Kunjappu, can show you particularly well how weapons concerns “plan and make wars”. You can meet him on July, 8th in the Munich Literaturhaus.
I believe that the re-armament and consequently also the establishment of the weapons industry was the greatest sin of the German post-war politics. This decision was prepared by Adenauer in a conspiratorial way immediately after the FRG started to exist and then it was established against the wishes of the German majority. In my eyes, that was a criminal act and it deprived Germany and the world of a chance.
For us, there is perhaps no other way than to “dis-arm” step-by-step. We have to cut down on weapons budgets world-wide. We have to minimize the influence of the weapons industry – and at the same time, we must also become more peaceful, at least in small steps.
Consequently, here is what I ask of you: please be for PEACE. And you will make me happy if you read my category PEACE and especially A PEACE manifesto .
Thank you so much!
(Translated by EG)