The NATO-EU alliance is pursuing a policy of war escalation. This is also served by the propaganda with its blatant accusations against Russian warfare. This deepens the “enmity” against Russia and risks an even bigger war. This hate propaganda contributes to the brutalisation of the war. Ultimately, it also shatters coexistence in our societies. “Ghosts” are being awakened that the NATO-EU alliance will no longer be able to control.
Every war involves human sacrifice, human suffering, and enormous destruction. Every day that a war ends earlier is a gain for humanity. The ideal would be a world without war. Today, no one needs to explain all this. Nevertheless, not all warfare is the same. To cite two extreme examples: The Swiss Sonderbund War in 1847, a year before the founding of the Swiss federal state, was different from the war of extermination waged by Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union (1941–1945) – and not only because of the difference in duration of the two wars. While the former war deliberately did not aim at humiliating the “enemy”, inflicting as many casualties as possible or even “annihilating” it altogether and destroying the “enemy’s” country in a “total war”, the latter did exactly that.
International Humanitarian Law
Since the mid-19th century, especially Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have worked to create a “law in war” (ius in bello). In 1864, the first Geneva Convention “for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field” was adopted by twelve states in Geneva. This was followed by three further conventions (Geneva Conventions) until 1949 and various additional protocols in the decades that followed. All agreements and treaties together form today’s International Humanitarian Law. Its aim is to protect those not directly involved in the fighting, especially the wounded, prisoners and civilians, cultural property, and civilian infrastructure in war.
Unfortunately, in no war, not even in any war after 1949, has International Humanitarian Law been fully respected. Why is this so?
Different war strategies ...
One reason is the respective military strategies. The military strategy of the USA, for example, deliberately aims at destroying the civilian infrastructure of the “enemy” right at the beginning of a war. Civilian casualties are not only accepted but sought. According to all that is known and what can be read in official Russian documents – including on the current war – this is different for Russian warfare. Accessible Russian briefings emphasise respect for International Humanitarian Law at every report and give many indications of how Russian troops are trying to ensure this as well. This cannot be seriously verified at present. But even independent experts such as the Swiss Jacques Baud conclude that “the Russian army is trying [...] to keep civilian casualties as low as possible”.1
... and hate propaganda
Another reason is the way warfare is emotionally charged by the politicians, by the command posts and by the media of the warring parties. There is no warfare without emotions and “enemy image”. But the target of the emotions and the enemy images can be very different. Warfare that is based on hatred and contempt for the “enemy”, that knows only “good” and “evil” and hypocritically imagines itself to be on the side of the “good guys” is the worst quagmire for a brutalisation of war. The “enemy” is demonised and dehumanised, he becomes “inhuman”, a “subhuman”, “vermin”.
Western and Russian media
Anyone who has compared the accessible German-language mainstream media in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with those from Russia in recent weeks and months, especially since 24 February, but also in the weeks before, must have noticed that the former have used and continue to use hate slogans almost daily. This propaganda aims at demonisation and dehumanisation. Unchecked, atrocities are attributed to the “enemy”, corresponding image material is presented in large formats. These “reports” are not only intended to put pressure on political decision makers to continue and escalate the (hybrid) war against Russia2 – especially at the expense of the people in Ukraine. This also includes the fervour with which German politicians like Annalena Baerbock have abandoned the deliberate basic line of former German foreign policy of not supplying weapons to war zones and now even want to supply heavy weapons.
The “reports” of our media also aim at a mass public, at all of us and our emotions. The intellect is to be switched off; blind hatred is to be generated. The methods of hate propaganda have been described and analysed precisely for more than 100 years. And yet they still work for very many people today.
I cannot judge for sure what is true and what is not true in the German-language Russian media accessible to me – but they do not show the hate propaganda that has become intolerable in our media.
An assault on coexistence
This hate propaganda in our media not only destroys all bridges to the “enemy” Russia. It is also an assault on coexistence in our countries – with devastating after-effects. For this propaganda destroys interpersonal trust and does violence to the social nature of human beings. We will feel the consequences.
In her article “Roadmap in times of war” (Current Concerns No. 8 of 12 April 2022), Karin Leukefeld asked the question: “What is to be done?”. She wrote of a “courageous heart” and listed self-evident things: “Look closely and do not let yourself be misled. Question the media reports that try to tell us what is happening in Ukraine, what Russia is allegedly planning; seek other sources. Talk to family, friends, neighbours and colleagues about what you have found out about what is happening in Ukraine, but also about other theatres of war and injustices. Refuse to become an enemy and hold on to the friendship with Russia and its people that has been worked on for decades.”
The hate propaganda of our media is designed to prevent just that. It is meant to prevent us from living our humanity. It is meant to turn thinking and compassionate individuals into bowed mass people with violent affects who inwardly obey hate propaganda. It is meant to lead us to war. Yes, there is something fascist about it.
The Germans who participated in the Second World War remember not only the victims and the destruction of the war, but also the mental disruption of an entire people through National Socialist hate propaganda. Once again, sorcerer’s apprentices are at work. •
1 Die europäischen Länder – und allen voran die Schweiz – sollten versuchen, die Wogen zu glätten, anstatt Öl ins Feuer zu giessen” (The European countries – above all Switzerland – should try to smooth the waters instead of pouring oil on the fire); interview with Jacques Baud in Zeitgeschehen im Fokus No 6 of 5 April 2022; https://zeitgeschehen-im-fokus.ch/de/newspaper-ausgabe/nr-6-vom-5-april-2022.html#article_1332
2 Thus, the internet page www.german-foreign-policy.com (https://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/news/detail/8891) reported on 6 April 2022, after a first approach between the Russian and Ukrainian negotiators in Istanbul, the British government had warned of a too early armistice. First Ukraine would have to be in “the strongest military position”.
Almost one third of the citizens agreed, according to a representative survey, to be living in a fake democracy. This is the result of a survey by the Institute for Public Opinion Research in Allensbach (Konstanz district) commissioned by SWR [Südwestrundfunk].
According to the survey, 31 per cent of the respondents estimated that they live in a “fake democracy in which the citizens have nothing to say”. The difference between west and east is striking: In West Germany, 28 per cent hold this view, in the East German states 45 per cent. In addition, according to the survey, 28 per cent of respondents nationwide believe that the democratic system in Germany needs to be fundamentally changed.
km. On 12 April 2022, the newspaper, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” wrote about a lecture event in the Protestant Academy in Römerburg (Frankfurt district). The speaker was Ben Hodges, US three-star general, former High officer of the US Army in Europe, today member of Washington’s Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Hodges is on tour in Germany. The newspaper writes: “Hodges hurries from one event to the next, makes telephone interviews every half hour, appears in political talk shows and speaks with journalists and military in Germany, Europe and America on a daily basis.”
His core message: “Above all, Germany must be prepared to recognise that this war is about more than Ukraine, namely the fight for freedom and democracy as a whole. And it must be prepared to fight and win this battle.”
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