Letters to the Editor

“One can only hope ...”

It is interesting for me how Professor de Zayas sums up the problems in this world in Current Concerns of 20 January 2021: “Big Brother, globalism, militarism, totalitarianism”, to name just one quote.
  I still remember the day in June 1979 when we were sitting together with friends and an experienced social studies teacher pointed out the memorability of that day when the Salt II Agreement on disarmament was signed between the USA and the Soviet Union. This agreement gave the world more security and predictability between the opponents and was an enormous relief.
  Now, forty years later, all these sagely negotiated agreements on disarmament and arms control are simply being “cancelled” by an US President Trump who was all the more overwhelmed with his duty the closer the new elections approached, and also in the face of the completely new and unexpected pandemic, which would have required completely new solutions. In a crazy belief in his omnipotence, he has cancelled these treaties with Russia, and he has trashed the nuclear agreement with Iran, which is far away from the USA and which plays almost no role in the existence of the USA.
  Anarchy in foreign policy is therefore to be expected with a constant possibility of escalation. One can only hope that the new President Biden learns from the mistakes of his predecessor; and above all, that Biden does not advocate a reduction of human and civil rights in his country as he did in 1995 – when he proposed an anti-terrorism law (before 9/11!) – and that he directs attention on the development of domestic civil industry and economy in the interest of the American state instead of an increase in military spending. If he relies on further militarisation, he will lead the US to fall behind the more economically successful China. These are the concerns of Kishore Mahbubani in his book “Has China Won?” (2020).
  Unfortunately, only a few reliable film and media reports reach us in Europe from the USA, so that we can hardly get an idea of the real situation and life of the people.

Susanne Wiesinger, Freiburg i. Br.

Human sympathy is anything but a racist assault

In the age of our world-historically unique prosperity, thanks to active and good people, we finally learn the correctness and the only eternal and basic truths, which should determine our lives from now on. These truths may not be questioned and so far, we did not want to take note of them because of our male arrogance and white hubris. High time, I was finally enlightened to realise that it is extreme racism to stand next to a foreign person and ask her where she is from. Here, I expose why this caused me such deep, incurable mental injuries.
  From 1960 to 2004 I was on the road professionally in very many countries on all continents. Everywhere and on every occasion, for example in Lagos or in Tanzania, in the centre of Nairobi, in a lift in Johannesburg, in a bus in Shanghai, in Calcutta, in a train to New Delhi, in Bombay, in a hotel bar high up in Kathmandu and in a temple in Lhasa, on Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, in Buenos Aires, on Grenada and Jamaica, in a port in the Azores, on a US base on the Panama Canal, in Sydney and Wellington, in Hawaii, yes, even in Fiji: Everywhere and again I was asked where I was from – usually followed by a positive comment when I mentioned Switzerland. In the subway in Beijing, the Chinese bench neighbour who approached me even exclaimed loudly: “Ah, the Swiss, the most peaceful and defensible people in the world.” In places where I was particularly conspicuous because of my white skin or the shapes of my eyes, nose, lips, body or clothes, which were different from those of the locals, for example in Africa, India, China, Saudi Arabia, etc., I was approached more often than average. I always felt that this was a pleasant expression of the primal human need for contact with other people and interest in other cultures, and I was happy to respond. Often this resulted in interesting and informative conversations, in which I learned a lot about the country I was visiting. Now and then even friendships evolved that lasted for a while until the worldwide distances between us put an end to them.
  Thanks to the politically correct activists, who today have the monopoly to form opinions and determine what is politically correct, I have understood that it is evil racism to ask a foreign-looking person the question about his origin, who is therefore in the same position as I was for decades in all countries: being a non-native. Unfortunately, this means that all the people all over the world – the Africans, the Indians, the Germans and the English, the Chinese, the Russians, the Indians in South America and all the others – who asked me the question about my origin probably feigned friendliness and surely only feigned interest – they were nothing else than sneaky racists.
  All my sunny memories of so many seemingly nice people all over the world now became incurable, deep psychological traumata, because the politically correct showed me in their articles that I had been a naive victim of racists all my life.

Gotthard Frick, Bottmingen

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