Germany has voted, waits for the new Chancellor

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Federal elections in my home country Germany: The center-right party CDU, to which I once belonged and for which I sat as an elected representative in the city council of my hometown from 1990 to 1994, was clearly voted out of office yesterday. It should therefore not attempt to form the first federal government of the post-Merkel era via a coalition with the Liberals and the Greens. Instead, the Social Democrats (SPD) have been given the mandate to govern, and that must be acknowledged.

Similarly, there could be difficult coalition negotiations, especially since a three-party coalition at the federal level is a novelty in Germany’s postwar history. But nothing else is mathematically possible if a new edition of the grand coalition is to be avoided, which no one is talking about anyway. None of the parties want to form a coalition with the “Alternative for Germany” (AfD), which is largely comparable to radical Republicans in the United States.

Although the Greens made significant gains, they missed their target of 20 percent. Top candidate Analena Baerbock could possibly serve as vice chancellor in a future three-party coalition and make another run at the chancellorship in four years.

The old party system in Germany has not unexpectedly collapsed in the midst of a dramatically changing world with a man-made global climate crisis and enormous demographic, technological and social challenges. The country is reacting to this – for the present, it is a political shift to the left. However, the majority of climate activists, especially young people, do not trust any of the parties to stand up to the impending climate collapse with the necessary determination. I am afraid they are right.

But at least for now, though, I am relieved. With the exception of the states of Saxony and Thuringia in East-Germany, the radical right-wing AfD has not made significant gains anywhere; on the contrary, it has lost ground. This is the most important conclusion for me from this election, because I don’t want to see political-social conditions in my home country like in the U.S., Poland or Hungary, where populists were either at the helm, still are – or could regain their grip.

After all, Trumpism is very much alive in the USA and will not disappear in the foreseeable future. Millions of misguided “legacy Americans” stand by this pathologic ideology, unwilling or unable to recognize urgently needed adjustments to dramatically changing global circumstances, and thus harm their country with such vehemence that every rationally thinking American should be in fear and terror.

A War Crime, nothing else

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

First, they made the world believe to have successfully killed ISIS-K terrorists in the late August drone strike in Kabul. When even they realized that something had gone wrong again, they tried to cover it up as long as possible. This time, German public television was on the scene shortly after the attack and interviewed people from the immediate neighborhood where the drone struck. These people told a different story from the start than American officials, who quickly stated that no other military in the world uses drones more safely than the United States. In reality, they murdered children, purely by “accident.” This is what Christian retaliation looks like in response to an attack by terrorists.

After the mess the Americans made in Afghanistan, they are already planning the next invasions. AUKUS – the “security agreement” for the Indo-Pacific Region – with the British and Australia, came out of blue sky. Biden, this time, could have been Trump. The treaty is reminiscent of Victorian imperialistic alliances before the First World War and Roosevelt-policies in the Second World War, when spheres of interest in the Southeast Asian region were to be “secured”, deliberately provoking potential confrontations with Japan.

In order not to create any false impressions: this new agreement is ostensibly not directed against China, because in a confrontation with this country the Americans would more than likely go down. Moreover, why would they even fight a country to which large American corporations like Walmart have outsourced much of the American manufacturing base to make the most profit possible instead of creating good paying jobs for their own people at home? Rather, the US once again wants to poke around in regions of the world and explore lucrative expansion opportunities where it is anything but wanted. This just screams for new proxy wars against small countries, this time not with ground troops, but with new war technology that is labeled “infallible”, especially when in the hands of the American military.

After all, the arms business is the main concern in the land of the free, because it secures billions in profits, no matter if the war is lost or won. If children die in the process, as in Afghanistan – that is collateral damage, which is accepted with hypocritical excuses. The poor French are now angry because their submarine deal with Australia was screwed up by the Biden administration. But that’s too bad.

When the time comes, when the next bang occurs, the Americans at home will be told the next lie. People who have fallen for the insane “Make America Great Again” philosophy believe everything they are led to believe anyway – as soon as it is about feigned “American patriotism” and “American freedom” that has to be defended, next time somewhere in South-East Asia.

Vietnam is long forgotten.

Twisted Talent: DeSantis for President

The Man who invented Germany in the Middle Ages

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Ron DeSantis is an especially known interpretative twister of facts – obvious at least for those who scrutinize his claims -; and he is somebody who has been talking after Trump’s mouth. He is not bothered by any nonsense he utters because he knows that his willing audience will accept anything.

But maybe someone should give him some private lessons in history, because when he tells a certain story with a religious tinge of the three masons “in Germany in medieval times”, all his ignorance comes through.

True, it’s a brilliant story he’s spinning – but unfortunately with a little flaw: For in the times of the Middle Ages, not only did Germany not exist, neither as a country nor as a unified nation – hardly anyone would have known what to do with the term “Germany” up to the 15th century. DeSantis, however, seems to like Germany, because he mentions the country quite often – unfortunately never in a logical context.

With this in mind: What kind of political leaders are these – in this case an acting governor in Florida – who open their mouths and don’t know what they are talking about? Before one speaks, one should know.

Probably this figure also wants to become the next president of the United States of America.

Remark: The first German nation-state was proclaimed on 18 January, 1871, in Versailles; its founder was the Prussian Prime Minister and subsequent Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. The “Germany” to which DeSantis wishes to refer was, from the 9th century onward, called the “Holy Roman Empire”, later of German Nation – a loose, often obscure association of kingdoms, counties, duchies, numbering 330 in the 18th century and often in enmity with each other. For a long time, Austria-Habsburg was the leading power. – This political entity came to an end only late – in 1806 with the Prussian defeat by Napoleon.

The Shameful Failure of the Churches

From my Writing Room
Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Hardly any media in this country describes it in depth, because the subject is probably too hot a topic to bring forward to American society: The United States has a huge problem not only with guns, racism and polarization, but also with religious obstinacy, emanating in large parts from white evangelist institutions whose leaders have no interest in a God, but ostensibly in self-sufficiency on the local level and in political influence on the big national stage.

Such a phenomenon is by far nothing new in the history of the Church over the past centuries, considering that oppression, exploitation, extermination, and conquest for self-interest have always been the true motives of Christianity behind a facade of pious faith. In the more modern perception of our time, especially the evangelical orientation seem to take on the most perverse forms, namely to an extent which one would not necessarily expect from a religion practiced in the Western world.

For those who never suspected that the Churches would ever decisively support a perverted wacko like Donald Trump and continue to do so, have long since been proven wrong. Facts speak for themselves: Without the active participation of evangelical Christians, without the influence of evangelical organizations, churches and pastors, an intellectually and morally degenerated figure like Donald Trump would have never made it to the presidency of the United States of America. The incontrovertible fact that the vast majority of evangelical Christians in this country – or those who fancy themselves as such – have been at the forefront of the Trump-mania, will cling to the Christian claim of this country in the history books for the next hundred years.

The heinous lackeys largely responsible for the disastrous development in their communities is the majority of profiting local pastors, ministers, and preachers, who not only perfectly know how to make money with the gullibility of the masses, but are also talented to push impudence and absurdity to the limit – Sunday after Sunday and also in between all possible occasions. The so-called pastor can blurt out whatever he likes, even what his preferences are in his spare time; be it shooting including the killing of animals or whatever else pleases him: he need not expect a reaction of disgust. As always with such constellations, the mass of alleged Christians trot docilely like a flock of sheep in the desired direction of the mindless propaganda, all taking place in the name of their Lord.

Seen in this light, it is not surprising at all that even many elderly, otherwise impeccable church persons casted their vote for someone who, long before his election, said that one could grab any woman between her legs if he only is famous enough and has money – an infamous statement dismissed by his own wife as “locker room talk.”

Against all common sense and with open eyes and ears, evangelical Christians continue to follow Trump’s lies, even though the coronavirus he downplayed has cost so many American lives. They still believe his rants about a rigged election, his laughable claims about the assault on the Capitol. They buy his presumed Christian attitude because he staged himself standing like a jerk in front of a church with a Bible in his hand. He could talk about injecting disinfectants into human bodies and blather about airports that George Washington’s army supposedly conquered in the 18th century. He could call himself the “most stable genius” on camera and stir up racially motivated sentiments against people of different origins and different skin color. He could pay hush money to prostitutes and deny scientific proof about the nature of the coronavirus and man induced climate change. What kind of Christians are those who voted for him anyway in 2020? What else does someone have to say and to do before he is met with refusal?

What alleged Christians think about putting such a person on the shield to the detriment of their own country would remain not only a question of the human brain, but primarily a matter of conscience and character. On the other hand, not a whole lot can obviously be expected from people who do not seem to notice how undignified and in principle unchristian their demeanor is – a support for a figure representing nothing more than what any halfway decent person would commonly consider offensive.

If churches have nothing better to offer in terms of moral leadership, then one can only say: it is disgusting.

An American Catastrophe

From my Writing Room

Copyright © 2021 by Uwe Bahr

Up until this hour I am puzzled as to why there were and are people assuming that Donald Trump of all people would be the cleaning service against corruption and patronage. A socialite and gambler who lied, played the corona virus down initially, made ludicrous statements almost on a daily basis, and contradicted his own words the very next day. A president of the United States of America who incited an antisocial mob to invade a symbol of American democracy.

A self-check for Trump-voters should be a cakewalk, provided there are still some honest people: How had they reacted if Barack Obama had done all of this? What would they have said?

How is it possible that people are so mendacious, without any self-respect? Trump’s base, interspersed with believers – shameless hypocrites who not even shy away from praying to a God. How pathetic.

Trump himself not only stems from a dubious past, which was known long before he even became president, but he also recruited people with corrupt, corporatist background for his administration, including his own family. For sure, there are plenty of people in Washington receiving their money from the same sources as Trump, be it Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi. But a charlatan like Trump, who acted like an autocratic despot, fuming abnormal, ludicrous conspiration theories, is certainly the last person sound people would entrust their country. And yet, they have voted for him twice, giving him even more votes in the past election than in 2016.

Now, America can count the cost. Elected screwballs like Marjory Taylor Green with QAnon fantasies are sitting in Congress, and the Republican Party cannot get rid of the spirits they themselves have cited by allowing Trump to become their frontrunner. The Grand Old Party is facing a potential weakening of her political importance through a conceivable split-up of her radical member section. The consequent pinnacling polarization could pose an uncontrollable peril for the future with immeasurable consequences for the United States.

What have those people turned into who were capable of voting for Donald Trump? Did they ever read a history book in their life? Do they even have a clue what is really going on in this world?

Not for the first time in history: Sordid, partisan fanaticism coupled with fallacious patriotism, all blended with unsubstantiated and often parroted opinions, have led to a widespread, clueless and ideologically infiltrated thinking – especially on the political right of the electorate.

It is an American catastrophe.