Pathological Madness

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

Just another mass shooting, only days after Uvalde, and they wonder again and pray. Constantly repeating phrases can be heard: “Tragic has befallen our community”, and “Our prayers are with the families.”

For those who impartially stick to facts, the main reason for gun violence in this Christian country is a morbid mania for guns rather than a tragedy. The U.S. is a violent country where residents are already afraid to make a doctor’s appointment, go shopping, or attend school. Almost as narrow-minded as the Christian pro-life gun nuts are those opponents of abortion who call for stricter gun laws out of sheer hypocrisy or helplessness. Hypocrisy – because they either cannot move from their traditional, right-wing Republican viewpoint or – at a higher level – fear for their re-election if they question the Second Amendment, which gave people no legal right to bear arms in 1791. The latter is a historical fact, but the unteachable do not concern themselves with the history of their own country.

400 million guns are privately owned in the U.S., more than the country’s population. How many more do they need? If more guns make for more security, then the Land of the Free and the Brave should be the safest country in the world, right? Compared to any other advanced country, the exact opposite is the case. This is also proven.

How sick must man be not to be able to recognize this? Praying does not help and has never helped, except in the imagination of people. For the dear God to whom they pray cannot hear them. It’s going to happen again.

Marx and Lenin

Does Mrs. Noem know what she is talking about?

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem actually said the following sentence yesterday during the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Houston: “Let me tell you the truth about the enemies of the Second Amendment. They are schooled in the ways of Marx and Lenin.”

Soviet propaganda banner with the heads of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin), Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx (from left). We were fed up with such images in GDR times, because they hung in every classroom. I can’t believe that I have to come back to these pictures now, in the supposedly freest country in the world, of all places. At least no harm happened to us in school during our childhood, not once in the whole country – and that in the midst of a socialist dictatorship.

What pathetic nonsense.

“In the ways of Marx and Lenin” I was trained against my will in 1987/88 in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) on the Kalashnikov, the most widely used sub-machine gun in the world at the time – and I did not like that at all. Even that “schooling” did not change my attitude towards guns.

In the GDR, where I lived for 29 years, military education was a compulsory subject in schools, as well as military camps – by the way, also for girls -, where the young people were trained on weapons. This also included hand grenades.

Notice something? Marxists, Leninists, Communists, Socialists, were sinister propagandists in line with Mrs. Noem and the NRA in their opinion about guns. Both sides for different, but in both cases self-serving purposes. Both are characterized by efforts to sell their propaganda with all sorts of history distorting arguments to disguise their true intentions. Politicians in the U.S. for reasons of votes and donations from the gun industry, no matter how many children have to die in their own country due to gun violence. Communists and socialists believed that guns were desperately needed to succeed in the “revolutionary struggle against the class enemy.” I am not sure anymore which is worse.

So, I don’t know where the lady from South Dakota gets her wisdom from. But she doesn’t care about historical facts – because she knows how well any nonsense goes down propagandistically with the majority of her countrymen as soon as terms like “Socialism” or “Marxism” come into play. My special friend Ron DeSantis from Florida uses far-fetched allusions to German history, including odd remarks about the Cold War, with such regularity that you can’t help but laugh at them. But with a majority of Americans, that kind of thing resonates.

The radical, naive and inflammatory speeches of the Trumps, DeSantis’, Cruz’ are easy to see through, especially for those who are informed about the historical background. I understand more and more why the political right, together with the churches in the fairway, wants to teach children in schools only what they think is right. For there is nothing more dangerous for the goals of propagandists than an enlightened humanity.

Only China can make Putin see Reason

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2022 by Uwe Bahr

Putin will never succeed in bringing all of Ukraine under his control. I am sure that is not his intention either. Contrary to Western assumptions, the man is not a lunatic, far from it – he knows how to play his cards. He is a Machiavellian. Therefore, he also knows what could exceed the forces of his country.

If anyone at all can mediate in this conflict, it is not the Americans, and certainly not the Europeans. Europeans no longer play any role at all in the big decisions. China – to the detriment of the USA – has the decisive key role to play. If Putin listens to anyone at all, it is Chinese leader Xi Jinping. For the same reason, all channels of communication with Putin must be kept open if the war in Ukraine is to be ended as quickly as possible. As things stand, there will be no other way.

Even then, Putin is unlikely to back down from his demands: Recognition of Crimea as Russian territory, the same for the Donbass, but above all: a guarantee by the West of Ukraine’s neutrality. If peace is wanted – and this peace must come – then this is the price that the West will have to pay for its reckless policy of hubris toward Russia.

The only other possibility would be to bring Russia to its knees militarily or, in the end, even economically. Neither seems very realistic, as Biden’s “no” vote on fighter jets from Poland for Ukraine underscores. It would provoke Russia even more with devastating consequences for the whole of Europe. Here, the West is already showing signs of giving in. And the more the West fights Russia with sanctions, the more it brings the majority of patriotic Russians to Putin’s side.

Even the pictures of protests in Moscow do not change that. For more than a generation, the majority of Russians have wondered what the country actually fought for and won in World War II – only to lose so much again afterwards under its own concession. One has to put oneself in this position of Russian patriots – of a country which was, after all, allied with the USA in the last Great War. All this is directly related to the war in Ukraine.

The other victorious nation, the United States, after the destruction of Hitler’s Germany and with far fewer casualties than the Soviet Union, did not shrink a square inch, did not lose power, although it too has since instigated unjust wars in other parts of the world.

With Thugs at the Desk

In a Florida County Government I worked with questionable characters

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

During the ten years I worked for Pinellas County in Florida, I was gradually subordinated to a number of people who seemed richly suspicious. While most of my coworkers were normal people, others gave me the impression of rather scraggly birds who actually belonged in the innermost part of the institution where I worked: the Pinellas County Jail.

One of them was a temporary worker who regularly disappeared from the office with his briefcase around 10 a.m., sometimes earlier, and told me the recurring sentence as soon as he passed my desk to the exit door: “Uwe, I am heading for the fire station.” Meant was a County project in Tierra Verde south of St. Petersburg, and that was also the direction to his dwelling. The saying “Heading for the Fire Station” became a common phrase among us colleagues whenever we wanted to jokingly imply that we would rather go home now than work.

The other was a ruthless character, unscrupulous to the point of going far beyond what was legal, as I was soon to learn for myself on one occasion when he called me into his office and threatened me in a very illegal manner.

As if my assumptions at that time were still looking for confirmation, I recently came across a television report from News Channel 8 and suddenly saw two very familiar faces. I encountered many shady characters in the GDR dictatorship abusing their authority by intimidating others to achieve personal advantages – but these two crooks in Florida surpass in my memory everything that happened in my life before and after. I would not trust any of them with even five dollars.

Why did I have a constant gut feeling at the time that something was wrong? I could only suspect and knew nothing, because I was in the lowest position and in a sense no more than a pawn in the game of intriguers, who at the expense of the taxpayer carried out their frictions among themselves almost on a daily basis. And most of the time, I admit honestly, I didn’t want to know anything. I had my personal load to carry and was glad to have a semi-secure income with the County Government.

It is interesting to see how criminal energies in the U.S. can develop not only at the top national level, with the executors always getting away with it. Watch this and make sure to turn on the sound. By the way, Andrew Pupke, who was also overpaid, should have been fired simply for the intentionally stupid answers he gave the reporter as a public servant in a senior position.

https://www.wfla.com/…/you-paid-for-it-pinellas-county…/ The report is certainly informative, even though it is several years old.

A Special Kind of “Freedom”

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

In 23 years of living in the US, I never really “warmed up” to the American culture of life. The closest I came to supporting America in recent years was related to the US women’s soccer team – and not only because of their enthusiastic play, but also how civilized they behaved off the field, especially when it came to showing true character by unitedly rejecting the visit to the White House, where a perverted buffoon was president.

Unfortunately, this nation is not as united in its sanity and a responsible-minded, true devotion to the Fatherland as this outstanding soccer team.

The sometimes unnerving American bluster about freedom can certainly correspond to an individual’s view of things – or to a widespread self-deception. Americans obviously have to stress over and over again how free they are because in reality they are unfree, and they are unfree because there is no basic guarantee of fair wages in their country, much less of universal health care affordable to everyone.

How can people call their country a free country when the vast majority of their own population does not even have the freedom to not have to constantly worry about the essentials of life that define a true and just democracy?

Change Starts in the Head

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

As expected, the USA is now tearing itself apart in recriminations over Afghanistan. While many Republicans are trying to whitewash history with their own version of “alternative facts”, Joe Biden is in some ways the executor of Trump’s policy, who engineered the crucial withdrawal from Afghanistan. The unfortunate, deplorable minds are the die-hard supporters of the Republican party who are falling again for every falsification of history, as they did when George Bush started the American journey into the disaster after the terror attacks of 9/11. With so many people absorbing and believing in so much nonsense, putting party ideology first, there is no prospect of positive change for the USA.

Change starts in the head.

And yet adults in particular, who have experience of life, should know better – one would think. Many apparently don’t: “They are as stupid as they were born and have never learned something new”, says an old proverb. One can see it in the obtuse statements in the social media, in the colorful cartoons posted by grown people who want to express something that others have long since invented. They parrot other people’s opinions while they themselves are unable to summarize their own thoughts in writing. Each and every one of these self-proclaimed patriots is responsible for the deep rift that continues to divide the United States.

Only through such misguided souls could someone like Trump make it to the presidency.

“We will hunt them down, we will smoke them out”

President Bush’s War on Terror ends in Disaster for the entire West

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

For twenty years, international troops under U.S. leadership were in Afghanistan with the goal of providing peace and security, including their very own ideas of democracy. Now, the Taliban are closing in on Kabul. They ride in captured American pick-up trucks; a fighting force seemingly from the middle Ages. American interference once again turns out to be a failure all along the line: wherever they show up with their military, only disaster comes out. These days, the allies are rushing to fly out their embassy staff before they too fall into enemy hands. Meanwhile, a human tragedy is emerging for Afghans who thought they could trust the West.

History is often easy to internalize. To do this, you sometimes just need to remember quotes from the past and compare them with the present. Thereby, it would be helpful especially for Americans and their country to learn from history. The only problem is: People who fell for the phrases at that time, fall for all possible charlatanry also today and do not want or cannot remember their own words from yesterday. From which follows: Those are incapable of learning to whom it does not even occur to draw conclusions from the past.

The allegations that circulated and were deliberately spread among the American public even before President Bush’s war on terror began less than twenty years ago were nothing more than the result of obtuse propaganda hammered into Americans almost continuously via the media. It was a typical example of how, even in a democratic country, people’s patriotism was exploited by the cheapest methods.

The following should give pause for thought:

“I’d rather the war be there [in Iraq, Afghanistan] than in our own country.”
I heard this sentence over and over again back then from the mouths of regulars, most of them staunch Republicans. Nobody should want a war anywhere, because it can always strike back and hit you. People don’t believe it until it happens.

“He [Saddam Hussein] is just like another Hitler. We need to take him out of there.”
This was a similar saying from that time, hardly to be surpassed in ignorance to the facts. For comparing a big shot like Hussein with Adolf Hitler is one of the most surprising sentences, while incoherent assessments I have ever heard. Hitler controlled, for a short time, almost all of Europe and kept the whole world in suspense. The German Wehrmacht was the strongest military force of its time, and it took the rest of the world nearly six years in a combined effort to defeat it. Hussein, on his part, had nothing of that sort to display. He never possessed the weapons of mass destruction that were attributed to him, serving as the main reason for a mindless military invasion. If he had possessed them, the USA and its allies would hardly have attacked him – for he would have used them instantly. That simple fact would not go into the heads of most Americans at the time.

No matter how many I talked to back then – the result was almost always the same. The majority of Americans were unstoppable in their euphoria and belief that whatever their government was doing was right. Certainly, a legitimate rage about unprecedented terrorist attacks on their country played a significant role to fume their judgement.

“We will hunt them down, we will smoke them out.”
Remarks by President George W. Bush on September 17, 2001, to employees at the Pentagon. He repeated this phrase as if in a Wild West movie at several other occasions.

In truth, the military invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq made little sense, if only because the terrorist attackers of September 11 essentially not only came from Saudi Arabia, but were also financed from there. Saudi Arabia, however, is the closest U.S. ally in the region, albeit not for reasons of sympathy but of profit from the oil business. The price for this American hypocrisy could be costly: For the disastrous and maybe intended miscalculation of the Bush administration – politically, historically, and geostrategically – could now, after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, carry toxic smoke back to the US. The Taliban, once equipped and trained by the Americans, will in all likelihood find with their present advance sufficient basis and encouragement to launch terrorist attacks against the U.S. and its allies anew and around the world.

Thus, nothing remains of the goals that President Bush announced less than twenty years ago. To hunt down the real culprits of 9/11, there was no need for wars started by the USA, as the elimination of Osama bin Laden has shown. It is very likely that governments with which the U.S. is friendly are also behind dubious plots against the Americans, just as the Americans once created the Taliban to pit them against the Soviets. It is inconceivable.

The ones who suffer are always the innocent. Large parts of the Afghan people have believed the grandiose announcements of democracy and prosperity and are now suffering the revenge of the Taliban, while the West abandons its promises and cowardly runs away.