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imperialism & war | legacies

War Drumming and Bomb-ocracy

Isn't war the absolute negation of every human right?.. The globalization of predator capitalism launched an attack on the whole world whose extent we are beginning to grasp: war-the military arm of the economy that has brought us to the edge of a nuclear winter.

A Novum in History

By Zeit-Fragen

[This article published in: Zeit-Fragen, March 2007 is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,  http://www.zeit-fragen.ch/.]

After the debris and misery of the Second World War that buried the League of Nations, the foundations of international law were reformulated. The League of Nations was an instrument of the victory nations of the First World War. Its one-sidedness was responsible for the disastrous development of the 1930s. After 1945 a legal foundation for all countries and all people in the same way had to be repositioned. The plane of human rights to protect individuals from incursions of totalitarian and dictatorial states was added. In the following decades, human rights were an important catalysor that brought improvements in the legal system of countless countries. Seen over several decades, a truly peaceful transformation occurred in favor of more freedom and dignity for the individual.

The Berlin wall fell on November 9, 1989. The possibility and hope opened up that the European East and Russia could go the way of peaceful change. At the same time something began in the West that should be seen as a social-psychological and political point of fracture. A "war for human dignity" was prepared. Was this fire and water or schizophrenia? Isn't war that caused a mountain of corpses of the First and Second World War together with Hiroshima and Nagasaki the absolute antithesis and negation of every human right? This fracture of human, political and international law thinking has not yet been worked out and reflected. After the current murderous wars, a generation will probably worry about this and draw conclusions: not to follow the call of war drumming, the logic of mobilization processes and the polished and refined media propaganda for wars any more. Mira Beham describes this propaganda in wars from the German-French war of 1870/71 to the Yugoslavian war of the 1990s. Her book "War Drumming - Media, War and Politics" emphasizes political and ethical development and should be required reading for tomorrow's peace generation.

In Switzerland, a taboo was breached after the Second World War. Respect for lost was lost. In the world outside, a new generation of statesmen was in control who never connected the spoilt generation of the economic boom with war and death: Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and the Schroeder-Fischer pair of twins. They embodied much of the flair of leftist sloppiness, feigned lightness and presented an "everything is no problem" attitude. Simultaneously Anthony Giddens drummed into politicians of every color that left and right no longer existed. His institute produced massive sociological literature about this. The globalization of predator capitalism launched an attack on the whole world whose extent we are only beginning to grasp with difficulty: war - the military arm of the economy that has now brought us to the edge of a nuclear winter and endangers the life of everybody. McDonalds could not become global without McDonnell Douglas, the armaments firm. The military-industrial complex is a machine that crushes everything that was a democratic and international law hope after the Second World War. The present generation will need a long breath and great perseverance to bring about the turn.

Reflection on the Yugoslavian war of the 1990s is urgent. Recovery after a phase of schizophrenia cannot pass by an elaboration that starts at the point of collapse and the triggering factors.

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