Roland Dürre
Saturday July 20th, 2019

Musings at Night

 

„Thinking of Europe at night
Gives me such a sleepless fright“

 

Our new logo is at least more attractive than the black-red-gold!?

Here is a small text that might also sound strange and disappointed.
But then, things are as they are, which is why I will try to make my musings at night sound totally joyful.

And I hope that nothing will be served as hot as it is cooked
Before this, I will bow to Heinrich Heine and cite from Wikipedia:


Nachtgedanken is the twenty-fourth and last poem in Heinrich Heine‘s  cycle: Zeitgedichte of 1844. The famous first verse
„Denk ich an Deutschland in der Nacht, / Dann bin ich um den Schlaf gebracht“
has become a winged proverb  (geflügeltes Wort).


A short time ago, I had a stupid idea at night. It was about “getting old”. After all, I am not really very young any more. So I had an idea that made me thoughtful:

My age also has an advantage: the chances that I will have to fight in a war are dwindling all the time.

The idea of having to serve has always been a very uncomfortable one for me. Because this idea makes the option of war a real option. This seemed to be over for us. But is that really true? 
To me, war seems to be the worst of all scenarios. And since now women are also trained as soldiers, I hope that at least the elderly will no longer have to serve in a war. In other words, they will only be part of the collateral damage.

Let us look at the current political situation:

A short time ago, they elected the German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen into the job of EU Commission President. Regardless of the fact that the EU citizens had shortly before voted for totally other candidates. Apparently, those other candidates had not been to the liking of the national European countries.

The new EU Commission President is also said to be the most important lady in Europe and the “Chancellor of Europe”. She outed herself as a “Glowing European”. In my book, she is more a „European Nationalist“. And I certainly do not like nationalists, neither European ones nor those on other continents.

As I see it, “Vive l’Europe!“ is just as bad as “Vive l’Afrique!“ – and I do not at all like inter-continental nationalism like in Europe against Asia or Africa. We need peace and have to save our planet – or else we have to look for other planets together. Mind you, I am rather sceptical about the second option – but given the choice between investing our scarce resources in spacecraft or in wars and armament in order to avoid wars, this is probably the better investment.

Von der Leyen was probably also elected by the European Nationalists. And they are said to be the enemies of Europe. At least that is what they say themselves. Isn’t it strange: you are not supposed to vote Right because they are too nationalist, but you need have no qualms about having them vote for you.

But we do not know. Perhaps the Rightists lie – after all, they are often accused of lying anyway – and they did not vote in favour of von der Leyen. The election was secret. Which is also something I do not understand. As a citizen and a democrat, I would really like to know whom the representative I elected voted for. I would like to see this somewhere in a protected environment. Please make it happen by the next European Elections.

If I were a European Congressman, I would also like to know who gave me his or her vote. Maybe some votes ended up in favour of someone I never wanted?

Secret elections have the disadvantage that they are easier to manipulate than transparent elections. Before the elections, they pointed out massively what damage Europe (the EU) stood to suffer if she is not elected! Isn’t it, then, easy to imagine that an ethically responsible person who weighed all the values against each other sacrificed himself for Europe and switched a few votes for the noble cause. Just as it was when they tried to murder the tyrant on the day the anniversary of which we are again celebrating. It can be seen as an “election modification”, as an act of special civil courage in order to save a continent – I am sure it would count as a heroic deed.

The first thing Frau von der Leyen did was to thank all those who had voted for her. She used the expression “nobody is perfect“ to trivialize the violations of human rights and contractual agreements of the EU members. It is all not so bad. And she also said she wanted to avoid punishment for those who misbehaved, at least as far as the financial sanctions are concerned. It sounded like some general amnesty on the day of inauguration. Doesn’t that sound like a fair amount of self-esteem.

I, too, believe that none of the European countries is perfect. Germany certainly is not. Just look at how we treat EU rules. And how we treat other EU countries. Or, especially painful for me: how we produce arms and distribute them all over the world. Isn’t that also some kind of violation of the laws of humanity.

And the new European Chancellor also understands our strong ally France, which is why she wants to promote the project European Army. I am a little older than Frau von der Leyen and was often in France as a young person in the 1960ies. And I understood how hard it was for the French to accept that they are the losers in colonial politics. This is how I developed some compassion for the ”Grande Nation” that had totally lost its role as former world power.

The new government wants to make France a world power again and delights in nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers. Can’t you understand that? Since it is not possible to do this alone, they are now trying to do it with their ex-arch-enemy Germany as a new ally – and to be on the safe side, they do it under the European Flag.

And neither do you have to take it very seriously that the people in France actually do no longer want to be the Grande Nation. And that the young Germans, too, are fed up with the army, is also of no consequence. A short time ago, I attended an Armed Forces event and heard that, unfortunately, the uniform is not something that is very popular, because the civil society has become “violence averse”. Well, I used to believe it was our shared social goal in this civilization to reduce violence? See the monopoly of the executive power,….

Now you could ask who the new European Army is supposed to fight. I hope it is no longer the Russians. Mind you, Barbara found Siberia quite nice when we travelled through on our train trip to Peking. Allegedly, they also have plenty of mineral resources – and perhaps AM and EM together will manage what Napoleon and Hitler alone could not do.

Perhaps Europe with its new army will also have to defend itself against the sick man on the Bosporus or the evil Islamists with their powerful army? And perhaps they have to protect us against all the future migration from Africa?

After all, you will find it hard to use an army to fight the climate catastrophe or the pollution of our climate through waste and the destruction of this planet. On the contrary: armies will exacerbate and speed these processes.

So what if I now add that, on one of these recent black days, I went to sleep in the evening thinking of nothing bad – and when I woke up in the morning I heard that we now have a new Federal Minister of Defence.

This is my personal Europe Logo. Let us put it on all the tanks and bombers.

It is Frau AKK, who, a few weeks ago, talked about not considering certain things taboo, such as a re-instalment of the only sleeping obligatory army service – perhaps this time as a fair deal for both sexes.

And then I ask my friends to understand why I have such sad moonlight ideas. And why I believe that currently the direction is far from good.

But then I know that everything will in the end turn out differently from what you imagined – and I remain totally relaxed. And I will put up a brave front.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

1 Kommentar zu “Musings at Night”

  1. Chris (Sunday July 21st, 2019)

    Dear Roland, remember that WW2 could have been avoided, if we had stood firm against Hitler. France and the British Empire were regarded as militarily strong. Yet they let Hitler take Saarland, Austria and Czechoslovakia. Then they surprised Hitler by keeping their promise to Poland. Even then, they let Denmark and Norway go before becoming a little active. Defence had been neglected, (perhaps due to feeling guilty about the Versailles Treaty). Churchill’s warnings were ignored until it was too late.
    Similarly, the Japanese saw USA isolationism, and thought USA had gone soft.
    I have never voted for anybody as far right as Ursula. Yet when she was suggested for EU chief, I was happy. The EU main candidate “system” was rather hopeless. I wonder whether even half of voters in Bavaria had heard of Mani Weber, a nice guy, but lacking the experience and charisma for the job. Timmermans was a more realistic possibility, but apparently Orban could veto him. I wonder whether Ursula’s late candidature was cunningly planned. I and millions of others were relieved that a realistic candidate got the job. Otherwise the Brexit and EU chaos could have been worsened for many months. Regardless of military considerations, EU needs a chief who is enthusiastic, and she is.
    An EU army will not attack any country. At worst, they will help exclude refugees. I find this sad, but it is clearly desired by most EU voters. That is democracy for you!
    Putin is a cunning opportunist. He has 200,000 special soldiers keeping him in power, by stabilising Russia against demonstrators. But the economic situation is undermining this. He needs small military adventures to assure the support of nationalists. Georgia and Ukraine show this, and then Syria too. Meanwhile he tries to destabilise USA and EU, especially UK. The three small Baltic countries are rightly scared. They are members of NATO, but can they rely on this with Trump president in USA? An EU army would calm their fears, without serious risk of nuclear war.
    It will interest me if I am here realistically accused of swallowing a load of fake news!
    I prefer Ursula to AKK, who seems to have moved right for tactical reasons. I hope Germany finds a better successor to Merkel. “Wehrdienst” is a bad idea. It takes away some of the most important months of peoples lives. Some may learn well from social work, but others are not suitable. The UK has shown that a small professional army can do what is needed. It succeeded on the other side of the world, against attack by Argentina dictators, against the advice of USA.
    By the way Roland, don’t worry about possible conscription. In modern wars, more civilians are killed that military!

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